Live updates: WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit

Live updates: WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit

More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide.

As confirmed cases and hospitalizations climb in the U.S., new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Case numbers hit record highs Friday in Florida and Arizona as they continue to surge in the South and West. Tulsa County in Oklahoma — where President Trump plans to hold a campaign rally Saturday — also hit a record high Friday.
  • The CDC said Thursday that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus could rise to as high as 145,000 by July 11, meaning as many as 26,000 Americans could die in the next few weeks.
  • President Trump plans to host an Independence Day celebration again this year, despite the pandemic, the White House announced Friday.
  • The stock market closed broadly lower as worries about rising coronavirus infections in multiple states undercut an earlier rally. The Dow closed down 208 points, erasing an early gain of 371 points Friday following news that Apple will temporarily close 11 stores as virus cases rise across swaths of the South and West.
  • The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a legal bid to stop Trump’s Tulsa rally over health concerns. The rally, which is expected to draw 19,000 people to the BOK Center in Tulsa, could worsen the pandemic in the city.
  • Capt. Brett Crozier’s removal from command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he questioned the Navy’s handling of the outbreak on his ship has been upheld by Navy leaders.

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