Florida surpasses NY in COVID-19 cases

Florida reached a grim weekend milestone as it now ranks second in the nation in total number of COVID-19 cases, behind only California.

With 9,300 new cases on Sunday, the state’s total rose to nearly 424,000 - blowing past New York, which, while once the U.S. epicenter of the virus, has managed to control it with stores and restaurants shuttered and the wearing of masks mandatory.

Despite Florida’s continued surge, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said he will not make mask-wearing mandatory and that schools should reopen in August - something President Trump has pushed for, despite teachers’ and families’ concerns that children could contract or transmit the disease should they return to the classroom.

While Trump has left reopening in hotspots such as Florida up to those state’s governors, the president last week urged Congress to tie the next federal relief bill to school re-openings.

“If schools do not reopen, the funding should go to parents to send their child to public, private, charter, religious, or home school of their choice. The key word being choice.”

Another surging state, Texas, has the 4th highest number of total COVID-19 cases at 391,000.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Tropical Storm Hanna, which made landfall over the weekend as a Category 1 hurricane, was especially challenging as it was sweeping through an area of the state that has been the worst hit by the coronavirus.

More than 146,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 - nearly a quarter of the global total - and there are nearly 4.2 million confirmed cases in the country, or at least 1 in 79 people have been infected.

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