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Governors warn of 'dark winter' as COVID-19 surges

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"It's just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet."

A dire warning this week from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the U.S.

New COVID-19 infections hit a record 142,279 on Wednesday - the eighth day above the 100,000 mark, according to a Reuters tally.

The number of hospitalizations also surged to a record of at least 64,939.

There were 1,464 deaths on Wednesday - the most since summer.

The White House seems to be sitting silently by. There's been no new action or announcements for weeks, even as new cases soar.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi was outraged in her weekly press briefing on Thursday:

"The President and the Republicans in Congress have ignored by delay, distortion, denial, deaths have been caused and what are they doing now? Continuing to ignore in spite of these numbers."

Without any leadership on the federal level, state governors are stepping up.

In Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers urged citizens to stay home as much as possible - only leaving to get food, medicine or to get tested.

"Wisconsin, this is serious! The crisis is urgent."

And in Indiana, where hospitalizations are at an all-time high and hospital officials expect the numbers to double over the coming weeks.

Governor Eric Holcomb is limiting activity county-by-county.

"Because our front line medical personnel are nurses and assistants and doctors are exhausted and overwhelmed, and need us all to do the things that we can on the outside that will slow the number of patients that need hospitalization."

Hospitals in Lubbock, Texas as so over-run, two of them are setting up mobile medical tents.

In the neighboring states of New York and New Jersey, restaurants, bars and gyms have been ordered to close at 10PM.

NJ Governor Phil Murphy:

“Unless we all recommit to the common sense measures that got us past the first horrendous months of this pandemic, we are in for a long, dark winter.”

And in the state of Illinois, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a 30-day advisory calling on residents of America’s third largest city to stay at home and cancel plans for Thanksgiving.

"If we do not step up and do the things that we know actually work to protect ourselves, to protect our families, protect people in our network, protect our colleagues, by the end of this year, we will lose at least a thousand more lives in the city.”

Doctors in other states are also urging Americans not to have large Thanksgiving gatherings this year.

(DR. MARK ESCOTT – AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH) “The strongest advice is don’t gather with people outside of your household this Thanksgiving.”

For some Americans looking forward to the holidays to bring some joy during a tough year - the pandemic may have taken that away too.

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