Given the rapidly increasing number of corona cases, many US states are changing course. Before the holiday weekend, they take back easing, block beaches or introduce a mask requirement.
By Katrin Brand, ARD Studio Washington
It must have taken him a great deal of effort to touch the flabby thing at all. But yesterday the Texas governor apparently had no choice. He held a cloth mask with the flag of his state at the camera, very briefly just to get rid of his message.
More patients, more severe cases
“I’m ordering a mask requirement for all counties with more than 20 corona cases,” said Republican Greg Abbott in a video message. A spectacular turn that shows how serious the situation is. In May, the Texan quickly eased the corona requirements of his state and just claimed that the government could not force individuals to wear masks.
That is over now. Around 8,000 new infections are confirmed every day in Texas, compared to around 1,000 at the beginning of June. The hospitals are overwhelmed: “More patients are coming than we can use,” says pulmonologist Jeffrey Dellavolpe from San Antonio in a CNN report. The patients, he says, are getting younger and sicker.
Preparations for the holiday weekend
Florida is also one of the new hotspots, which has set a new record with around 10,000 cases. Francis Suarez, the Mayor of Miami, has already ordered a mask for his city. “We oblige people to wear seat belts,” he says. “It doesn’t curtail your freedom, it makes you safe.” However, Governor Ron de Santis, a Republican, refuses to impose a duty on the entire state.
The coastal cities are facing the coming holiday weekend with great concern. Many beaches are closed, bars and restaurants close – again. If you want to travel over the weekend, you have to inform yourself beforehand. Several states, but also cities like Chicago, send guests from certain states into quarantine and face fines. It is a weak attempt to protect yourself against the return of the virus.
Realism in New Hampshire
New Hampshire decided differently and is now letting visitors from its neighboring countries back into the country. The small state in the northeast is currently one of the very few in which fewer new infections are reported every day. But according to Governor Chris Sununu, it won’t stay that way. “It would be ignorant and arrogant to believe that we are completely immune to what is happening in other parts of the country,” Sununu said on local television. After all: New Hampshire is better prepared than in March.
It is a realistic assessment. Texas, California, Florida and Arizona are responsible for a large part of the new infections, but the problem is much broader: the virus has just returned in 38 of the 50 states. The virus was confirmed for the first time yesterday in more than 55,000 people, reports the Reuters news agency. No other country in the world has done this before.