Stark warning amid ‘disturbing surge’ in coronavirus cases

Dr. Anthony Fauci called the next two weeks critical as Texas reported over 5,000 cases in one day and Arizona reported a 20% increase in hospitalizations as President Trump arrives for events.
3:50 | 06/24/20

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Transcript for Stark warning amid ‘disturbing surge’ in coronavirus cases
Of course, the other major story we're following tonight, the alarming surge of coronavirus. New records set in Texas, California and Arizona. Dr. Anthony Fauci today causing it a disturbing surge. Hospitalizations are up in 21 Texas, for example, with more than 5,000 cases in just the past 24 hours. Texas children's hospital now prepared to take in adult patients. California with the highest daily increase ever, more than 5,000 new cases there. And Florida tonight with more than 3,000 new cases, two more counties now voting to require masks. And in Arizona, where the president is tonight, a 20% increase in hospitalizations setting new records in cases and in deaths. As thousands now prepare to gather to hear the president. Many in line, many with no masks. And they explain why right here tonight. ABC's Matt Gutman now from Arizona. Reporter: Dr. Anthony Fauci, today with a stark warning about the coronavirus. Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we are seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona, and in other states. Reporter: The images painfully familiar. Doctors and nurses overwhelmed with covid patients. This time across the sunbelt. In 21 states, hospitalizations are surging. And in 23 states, the rate of those testing positive is increasing. A sign there's more covid in the community. We are now seeing a disturbing surge of infections that looks like it's a combination, but one of the things is, an increase in community spread. And that's something that I'm really quite concerned about. Reporter: Texas hitting a record 5,000 cases today. Children's hospital in Houston now taking adult patients to free up beds in other hospitals. And the governor who early on resisted issuing a stay at home order, now telling kbtx-tv, Texans should stay home when possible. The safest place for you is at your home. Reporter: Today, in Phoenix, throngs of people, including 3,000 students, packing into this megachurch to see the president. Just a fraction of those lining up outside wearing masks. If a person feels like they don't need to wear a mask, I don't think they should be forced to wear a mask. Reporter: Dr. Sam Durrani told us his hospital system saw a record rise in covid patients just over the past 24 hours. We're talking about 10% increases per day -- Reporter: Per day? 10%, 20% increases in hospital admissions. Reporter: So, what does that mean for hospitals like yours? You're going to get to the point where we have overflow, especially in the icu. Reporter: He called today rally a superspreader event. But mass gathering at this time is not safe. Reporter: Of any kind? Of any kind. Reporter: In yuma, Arizona, covid patients being airlifted to other hospitals for acute care. And in Yakima, Washington, hospitas transferring patients also and rubbing short on staff. Doctors juggling emergencies. We have the difficult choice of, do we send someone away for eight hours to go across the mountains and back, and that means one less ambulance that's available for a car accident? Reporter: And across the country, cases are surging in places like Myrtle Beach, south Carolina, where the vie us have on the move. 14 students from Ohio testing positive after a trip there. Another 30 visitors diagnosed after returning to west Virginia. And back in Phoenix, despite the warnings, defibs about mask wearing. I don't wear a mask even though I have -- my immune system is a little compromised. I'm a breast cancer survivor. Reporter: And David, the chiefs of covid response here tell me they are at a tipping point. They are already considering canceling some kind of surgeries here. They say they've begun bringing in nurses from out of state and they say that the thousands of people in that rally behind me are certainly going to have a negative impact on their case load here. David? All right, Matt Gutman tonight. Thank you, Matt. This evening, Dr. Anthony

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

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