Florida hit a grim milestone Saturday, surging past New York’s total number of COVID-19 cases.
Nationwide, cases increased by 74,848, the second-highest daily count on record. Total COVID-19 deaths in the country topped 1,000 for the fourth consecutive day.
California has the highest total number of cases in the country — but its population is more than twice Florida’s.
President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled the major portion of the Republican National Convention planned for Jacksonville, Florida. Trump said he determined it’s “not the right time” to hold the mass gathering as COVID-19 is surging in the state. His announcement came a day after the local sheriff said he likely wouldn’t provide security for the event because he lacked the manpower, adequate funding or any realistic GOP plan to keep the community safe amid the pandemic.
Trump had earlier pushed for the convention to be held in Jacksonville after officials in North Carolina, the RNC’s original host, refused to relax social-distancing restrictions for the event.
California’s confirmed cases hit 445,400 Saturday; the state’s death toll so far is 8,340. New York tallied an additional 750 cases for a total of 411,200 by the end of the day Friday (with a death toll of 33,600).
At the same time, Florida added 12,199 cases, for total of 414,511 (5,894 deaths). Over a two-day period, Floridians have been dying from COVID-19 at a rate of about one person every 10 minutes.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said last week that the state had “stabilized” its number of cases and pointed to a decline in the percent of coronavirus tests that came back positive. “We’re definitely trending in a better direction,” DeSantis said.
More than 146,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and more than 4.1 million have been infected. By Saturday, seven-day averages for cases hit new highs in California, Mississippi and Indiana — and tied records in Montana and North Dakota, according to tracking by The Washington Post. South Carolina tallied its worst daily death toll.
Despite the surging number of cases, Trump and DeSantis pushed for children to head back to school in the fall.
The Florida Education Association teachers union filed a lawsuit Monday to block schools from reopening for in-person instruction. The rush to open will fail to provide a safe and secure environment as required in the state constitution, the suit argues.
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