Public health advocates pleaded for federal action as the U.S. recorded its 27th straight day of record high seven-day-average of coronavirus cases Sunday, another grim milestone as the pandemic continues to sweep across the country and governmental responses are increasingly seen as insufficient.
"We went through hell," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told Meet the Press Sunday. "We cannot afford to go through hell again."
WATCH: Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) tells @Mitchellreports that "we need a national strategy ... masking is at the core of that." #MTP #IfItsSunday@GovMurphy: "We went through hell, we cannot afford to go through hell again." pic.twitter.com/1yoe0ddYDX
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 5, 2020
The country recorded 43,347 new cases Sunday. Thirteen states including West Virginia, Tennessee, and Montana saw their highest cases to date as hospitalizations in Florida and Texas—two states now considered major epicenters of the nation's pandemic—spiked.
Data obtained via a lawsuit from the Centers of Disease Control by the New York Times shows that Black and Latin Americans are around three times as likely as whites to contract the disease.
As the Washington Post reported:
The somber numbers have caused frustration among local leaders, who say they have had to grapple with conflicting orders regarding the pandemic and frequently changing guidelines from governors and the White House as they try to curb sharply rising infections.
President Donald Trump lied over the weekend during two July 4th speeches by falsely claiming that the virus is safe for 99% of those who catch it. The White House is reportedly planning on taking a sanguine approach to the ongoing outbreak and presenting it to the American people as something the country just has to "live with."
According to NBC News:
At the crux of the message, officials said, is a recognition by the White House that the virus is not going away any time soon—and will be around through the November election.
As a result, President Donald Trump's top advisers plan to argue, the country must figure out how to press forward despite it. Therapeutic drugs will be showcased as a key component for doing that and the White House will increasingly emphasize the relatively low risk most Americans have of dying from the virus, officials said.
CNN's Maeve Reston opined that the political consequences of the president's rhetoric versus the reality of the outbreak could be dire for Republicans.
"With many Americans flouting public health guidelines during the holiday weekend, Trump's conduct is creating an inflection point for the GOP at a time when his poll numbers have tumbled," wrote Reston. "With American lives on the line, the question now is whether members of the Republican Party will continue to stand by in silence as the President peddles fiction about a deadly virus, and if so, will they pay a price at the ballot box in November."