By Wenxin Fan
The U.S. recorded more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day as infections surged on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend.
The holiday has sparked worry for many public officials. Leaders across the country have urged people to use caution in their Independence Day celebrations, with many fireworks displays virtual or canceled completely.
The nation added 52,104 cases Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to almost 2.8 million cases. Confirmed cases neared 11.1 million world-wide, with more than 525,000 deaths.
Florida, Texas, California and Arizona were among the hardest hit states, while a number of other states set records for new daily cases.
President Trump on Friday visited Mount Rushmore for an event and fireworks display—attracting thousands of attendees with little social distancing and few masks —before heading back to the capital for Saturday’s celebrations.
Ahead of the Mount Rushmore event, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top campaign aide and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for the virus in South Dakota, said a person familiar with the events. Trump Jr., who tested negative, and Guilfoyle didn’t travel with the president to the state and weren’t with him before the festivities. The couple, who had been headlining fundraisers in the region, were expected to drive back to the East Coast to avoid contact with others.
The Florida health department reported nearly 9,500 new cases Friday, after the state passed the 10,000 mark—setting a record—a day earlier.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Friday, and said it would be effective until further notice. He also ordered entertainment venues, including movie theaters and casinos, to close again after reopening in May.
The resurgence of coronavirus cases as the nation reopens has led to many last-minute changes or cancellations of festivities.
In New York, the annual Macy’s Inc. fireworks show was taking place as five-minute displays throughout the week in unannounced locations to prevent viewers from congregating.
Los Angeles County, which has the most cases in the country according to Johns Hopkins, has canceled Fourth of July fireworks, but the city of Lancaster plans to go ahead with its fireworks celebration.