Hospitals fill as COVID cases increase in Texas, Arizona and Florida

The U.S. has topped 3 million cases as experts call the Sun Belt states the COVID virus capital.
4:26 | 07/08/20

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Transcript for Hospitals fill as COVID cases increase in Texas, Arizona and Florida
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a Wednesday night. We do have a lot to get to. And we going with those new images, hospitals under siege. And they are the kind of images that reminded us today of what we saw in New York City when the pandemic was raging here. Tonight, the U.S. Now surpassing 3 million cases. That sobering milestone coming after a record 06,000 cases reported in just 24 hours in this country. More than 132,000 lives have been lost. More than 800 more Americans dieing in just the last 24 hours. Toontd, from Texas, the images from Houston's united memorial medical center the urgent effort to save patients. The moment they try to save that 66-year-old woman. They were unable to, calling her family right after. And then moving quickly to the next patient in need. ABC's Matt Gutman leads us off tonight with the urgent need inside those icus. And the plea from Dr. Deborah birx tonight to American families to help try to slow this down. Reporter: When medicine and machine failed, staff inside Houston's united memorial medical center worked to jumpstart this covid patient's heart with their own hands. One, two, one, two. Come on. Put some pressure, people. Reporter: They pounded her chest and pumped air into this 66-year-old woman's unreceptive lungs in this video shot by the A.P. This week. In the race for life, every moment counts. But like more than 130,000 American covid victims, she flatlined. And for a solemn second, they stood there. Then race equipment to the next coding patient. The U.S. Topping 3 million covid cases today. And tonight, this is the grim reality across much of the south and west, where covid is exploding. In coronavirus, one minute you're looking great and the next minute, you're gone. Reporter: This icu unit started with 46 covid beds. They doubled those, and now need more. We are playing musical chairs in the middle of the night, moving one patient from one side to another. Reporter: Experts calling the sun belt the covid capital of the world. In Arizona, cases more than doubling in just the past week. The mayor of Phoenix tells us that testing here is woefully inadequate, considering the 33% positivity rate here in Arizona. 1 of every 3 cars that drives to a testing site like this has a covid patient inside. At today's white house coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah birx asking those four states to roll back their reopenings even further. It's really asking the American people in those counties and in those states to not only use the face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining, but really not gathering in homes either. Reporter: Nearly 10,000 new infections in Florida overnight. Icus at 41 hospitals at capacity. Now a new hot spot in South Carolina. At this coastal hospital, dozens of staff infected. They've asked the National Guard to help. We're pretty well maxed out on icu capacity. 96%, that could happen quickly. Reporter: And the president tonight undercutting America's leading voice on the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who advised the American people not to take comfort in a lower death rate. I disagree with him. You know, Dr. Fauci said don't wear masks and now he says wear them. And you know, he's said numerous things. Don't close off China. Don't ban China. Reporter: But tonight, the scope of the crisis encapsulated back in that Houston hospital. It's horrifying, because you can't get your breath. All you can think in your head is, am I going to end up on a ventilator? Do I have to be on a ventilator? Reporter: Covid has been trafficking in fear and in death. For Dr. Varon, that agonizing call. I'm very sorry. Thinking about the teams and the patients fighting this all. Matt with us from a testing site in Phoenix. And Matt, you've been reporting here that people have been waiting in line for seven, eight hours in the searing heat and then they have to wait for results. Some waiting several days, even weeks. Reporter: Up to ten days, maybe more, David. That's if they can get tested. Now, epidemiologists tell us that means there's a lot of covid in the community and not nearly enough testing. The mayor of Phoenix says she is asking the federal government for help, but the governor of this state, a state in crisis, hasn't been seen or hasn't spoken about the coronavirus in over a week. His team tells us they're planning a briefing for tomorrow. David? More than a week. All right, Matt, you'll stay on

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

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