Coronavirus cases surge nationwide as voters cast ballots early

Hospitals are being overwhelmed amid political battles over how to control the virus.
5:24 | 10/31/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus cases surge nationwide as voters cast ballots early
What's been a campaign like unlike any other the final countdown of the election is coming just as the country battles a new and alarming wave and corona virus case is all thirteen of those battleground states have been talking about. Are seeing an increase in confirmed cases today. ABC news's chief national correspondent. Matt Gutman. Joins me now with more Matt I think Gary you've got to be one of the leading reporters across the country on this pandemic. Hats off to you back home in Los Angeles right now. Take it to the front lines you've seen. In hospitals in various places having recently you tall Idaho Montana how they're dealing with this what are you saying on those front line. It. Aggregate tell you a tale of three cities right now Terry. First with a lot talk about Texas in this show so we'll start there. El Paso right El Paso is basically seeing the worst of all worlds that. That is the spot that not only has one of the highest covic rates in the country but also the highest number of hospitalizations. This city now. Pretty much on lockdown there's I'll date I would say bid a significant amount of political fight. About how the lockdown should function a county judge calling fort the governor now trying to rescind the order. I won't get into that they'll give you a picture of what it looks like right now a group named the BCS after. Which is a major disaster relief organization has built up his tents around the hospitals there. Alone had eight. Hundred staff members. Tending to the hospital's building them up they are flying patients out of El Paso. And right now we're just in the stage of hospitalizations. In a couple of weeks we're going to see deaths. And a lot of them unfortunately in El Paso to take you farther north Salt Lake City we were there two days ago. And there they are. Approaching capacity at the hospitals right Covert rate is soaring they've doubled the numbers over the past up month or so. And they are trying to deal with the influx there bombed. They are on the precipice of something very very bad because the main hospitals they are the intermountain. Health care center the basically takes your people from Wyoming Nevada you to off. And Idaho as well so. They're about to get. Totally slammed and then. The clean underwear yesterday Rex Byrd Idaho that number one Kobe hot spot in the entire country can it is a very small city where the very large college population right. So it has the highest rate. Nobody my I would say nobody that I ticket keepers in the people saw Wear a mask I talked college students they said not once have they ever been asked to put a mask on. Going to any restaurant or supermarket most of the friends don't Wear it well one young woman said hey I just had it. And her friend says well built well it's adjusting. Finished wearing masks so. That hospital. Is actually fine because the vast majority of people who've gotten sick there are young people and if they have to be hospitalized it's for a very short period of time. It's she went into the ER. Yesterday afternoon. And it was empty not a single person there so it really gives you a sense of the variety of what we're seeing across the country and really that sense that some of these hospitals are empty because young people are getting sick serves to. Continue. And prolong that vicious circle people saying well. This really can't be real bombs people are really getting sick so why shouldn't Wear a mask Muster a practice hygiene why should we socially distant it's a very dangerous thing Terry. And Matt I'm did that takes is to politics where political show it at this point and I want to ask you because you've got an excellent political mind about that divide that you just described. President trump is basically saying let's get past it were almost passed it anyway we've got to get on with our lives we can't let this thing dominate our imagination in our lives. Democrats are saying what we've got to save lives and and and buckle down if not locked down. The idea that you're seeing that play out in real life. Is there it is give you get a sense that one side. Is more persuasive with would Americans. It's a really interesting question write a feel at the entire country right now is in this very large Scopes monkey trial right it's science vs. All the other stuff. The fact is these working a give you personal anecdote right. You and I both travel a lot I am basically I have a cold. Every single month from February. Through this summer right for like 810 months I have a cold this year I have not gotten sick wants. And because I Wear a mask pretty much everywhere I go I've practiced hand hygiene I socially distant. Rotavirus is a cold it is a type. The virus is very similar to the common cold right. It is deadly but people refuse to believe that these work and they don't want the rights infringed upon so. In the red are states that we have gone to recently parts of Texas Idaho Utah Montana. South North Dakota that's were Kobe he's truly taking off right now because people are making it political stand out of wearing these. It should not be it is sad to see and the results are that we are likely seeing many more tens of thousands of gas probably. You know maybe a 100000 deaths then we should have seen at this point Terry. Not gotten back home in Los and is good to see you thanks for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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