The Memorial Day weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer in the U.S., meant big crowds at beaches and warnings from authorities Sunday about people disregarding the coronavirus social-distancing rules and risking a resurgence of the scourge that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans.
What We Know:
- Last week, 11 states reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally. It is not clear if the cases are over 1.6 million, the highest in the world.
- In Missouri, people packed bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks, a vacation spot popular with Chicagoans, over the weekend. One video showed a crammed pool where vacationers lounged closed together without masks.
- In the Tampa area along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the crowds were so big that authorities took the extraordinary step of closing parking lots because they were full. “Disney is closed, Universal is closed. Everything is closed so where did everybody come with the first warm day with 50% opening? Everybody came to the beach,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a Sunday news conference, referring to crowds in the Daytona Beach area.
“We need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance. It’s really critically important we have the scientific evidence of how important mask wearing is to prevent those droplets from reaching others.” – Dr. Deborah Birx, Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force
- On Georgia’s Tybee Island, the beach was filled with families, bicyclists, beach chairs, games, swimmers, and more. On a main drag, people lined the sidewalk at Wet Willie’s, a chain bar that sells frozen cocktails. Most stood close together – not nearly 6 feet apart – and none wore masks.
- Officials in California said most people were covering their faces and kept their distance even as they ventured to beaches and parks. Many Southern California beaches were open only for swimming, running, and other activities.
- The U.S. is on track to surpass 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the next few days, while Europe has seen over 169,000 dead, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that almost certainly understates the toll. Worldwide, more than 5.4 million people have been infected and nearly 345,000 have died.
- While all this was occurring, the White House broadened its travel ban against countries hard hit by the virus by saying it would deny admission to foreigners who have recently been in Brazil.
The front page of The New York Times for May 24, 2020 pic.twitter.com/d14JhFp4CP
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2020
President Donald Trump, who went golfing for the second day in a row after not playing for weeks, said on a syndicated Sunday program Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson that he is feeling fine after a two-week course of unproven drug hydroxychloroquine and a zinc supplement.