Growing COVID-19 crisis in the US

More than 155,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus as the nationwide debate over going back to school intensifies and the race for a vaccine continues.
3:21 | 08/03/20

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Transcript for Growing COVID-19 crisis in the US
and the medical workers already on the front lines against the coronavirus. And tonight, we turn to the virus, and what Dr. Deborah birx, a member of the president's team said, that led the president to take aim at Dr. Birx. She said what we are seeing today is different from March and April, that it is extraordinarily widespread. She pointed out it's into rural and urban areas. Well, what the president just said about Dr. Birx as we came on tonight. And the numbers here. More than 155,000 American lives now lost. Today marked the first day of school for some children in Georgia, but in one school district alone, nearly 300 teachers and staff are out sick, either infected by the virus or exposed to it. ABC's Steve osunsami from Atlanta tonight. Reporter: In the middle of this pandemic, it is back to school today for the adamus family in Paulding county, Georgia, and for many families across the country whose school systems have in-person instruction. I tried not to cry. That was hard. Reporter: Here the kids aren't required to wear masks, but the adamus children are wearing them anyway. I'm suiting under this. I don't know how a 5-year-old is going to be able to handle it. Reporter: About an hour to the east in gwinnett county, Georgia, nearly 300 teachers and staff are out sick. Teachers that tested positive for covid-19 or exposed to someone who was infected. In Mississippi, in Indiana, the list of states is growing, where teachers and students are testing positive just as parents are getting kids back into classes. In my mind, I'm thinking, here we go. I want to be clear. This is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas. Reporter: Getting that message across is a challenge. Positive rates are climbing in 25 states. California alone now has more than a half million cases. In New York, authorities arrested the owner of this party boat after photos showed big parties with little social distancing. In New Jersey, they believe that large parties have led to larger transmission and now the governor is putting a limit on most indoor gatherings to 25 people. We cannot move forward if a few knuckleheads think the rules don't apply to them or they think they can be cute and skate by with a wink and a nod. Reporter: A vaccine can't come soon enough. And Eli lily is in the final stages of testing an aty body treatment that, if it works, it could be given at nursing homes and clinics until the vaccine is They hope this is not just a defense, but an offense. Not only hold back this virus, but hopefully conquer it. Reporter: Families in Georgia are saying prayers tonight for Justin hunter. The coronavirus claimed the lives of both of his parents just last week. Temperature skyrocketed, they had headaches, horrible cough. Reporter: This antibody treatment is similar to the antibodies that come from flood plasma from people who have donated after they got sick from the virus, except in this case, the antibodies are created in a lab and tested to see what works. David? That's providing some new hope tonight, as well. We'll be tracking that.

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

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