Transcript for COVID-19 nears 20 million cases worldwide
We begin tonight with breaking news and the staggering new numbers as we come on the air. The coronavirus nearing 20 million cases worldwide. 25% right here in America. And all of this as one of the largest public gatherings since the start of this pandemic gets under way in South Dakota. The U.S. With nearly 5 million cases now, more than 162,000 American lives lost to the virus. The annual biker rally rolling into Sturgess this weekend. 250,000 people with no masks required. The mayor saying, "We cannot stop people from coming." Florida remains a national hot spot for the virus. Nearly 8,200 new cases in 24 hours. 44 hospitals without available icu beds. ABC's Trevor Ault in Sturgess tonight to lead us off. Reporter: Tonight, as health officials worry about super spreader events and a lack of social distancing, the Sturgess motorcycle rally is at full throttle in South Dakota. An estimated 250,000 bikers with almost no masks in sight in what health officials warn could lead to significant viral spread. No, we didn't take any precautions, as we normally don't. Reporter: Defenders of this rally acknowledge the numbers sound alarming, but they insist the difference is that they have space. They say the thousands of bikers are spread out in the open air on campgrounds that stretch out for miles across the black hills. It's been very well spaced out in all the places we've been. Reporter: The Buffalo chip campground hosting campers and concerts all week. Owner rod woodruff says they brought in hand sanitizer and are handing out masks, but nobody will be forced to wear one. This is a celebration of freedom out here is what it is, so, for us to be bossing people around would be the an THIT sis of why we're here. Reporter: The rally pushing forward as across the country the daily death count is now rising in 26 states, Washington, D.C. And Puerto Rico, with hospitalizations rising in 27. They woke up with just awful, horrible, no good body pain, just the worst ever. Reporter: Kathleen Keene says she contracted the virus at a Minnesota funeral even though she wore a mask and gave one person a hug. She's one of nearly 30 infections stemming from that single gathering. You drop your guard when you are mourning. You don't realize that you are putting yourself in that danger. Reporter: In New Hampshire, state health officials have identified 16 positive cases connected to events at crossing life church. Services there now being streamed online as members quarantine. We don't want this virus to spread and we're willing to pay a cost if that's what we have to do, you know, which means more time away as a church family. Reporter: But drawing more concern in Texas, a packed indoor arena at the southwest believers convention led by televangelist Kenneth Copeland. Covid-19! Covid-19. I blow. I blow. The wind of god. The wind of god. On you. Reporter: While masks are required inside, livestream video shows hardly anyone wearing them. And executive orders from governor Greg Abbott prevent local authorities from intervening. We have no authority whatsoever when it comes to a religious event. And Trevor Ault joins us now from Sturgess. And Trevor, even if people at the rally aren't afraid of the virus, local hospitals are taking precautions? Reporter: Yeah, Tom. Local health system monument health is reportedly taking big steps. They've canceled most surgeries, they have backup physicians and surgeons oncall. But those are steps they might typically take during the rally. Last year, they had 470 emergency room vists and that was without the threat of covid. Tom? We can see and hear that rally behind you. Trevor, thank you for that.
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