US coronavirus deaths top 150,000

Florida and Texas have seen their deadliest days since the start of the pandemic and an internal memo from FEMA obtained by ABC News showed a 30% increase in deaths from last week's total.
4:38 | 07/30/20

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Transcript for US coronavirus deaths top 150,000
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this Wednesday night. And we begin tonight with that grim new milestone. The death toll in this country now topping 150,000 from the coronavirus. 150,000 lives lost. So many families affected in this pandemic. Tonight, the federal government now pointing to 98 hot spots, they say now emerging across 30 states. Some of them where the virus had already been slowed. More than 4.4 million Americans testing positive and, of course, that death toll tonight. Florida reporting a record number of deaths in the last 24 hours. 217 more deaths. More than 9,000 new cases there. Texas tonight reporting 313 deaths and 9,000 new cases there, a total number of cases in Texas now more than 400,000, joining California, Florida and New York. And the emotional debate tonight over reopening schools. In jeffersonville, Indiana, for one, parents were could they could choose virtual in class. Some parents saying they had no choice to send their children, even if they fear for their health, saying they have no choice because they have to that is their reality. Vice president pence and education secretary Betsy Devos paying a visit to a private school in North Carolina. Secretary Devos saying there is no national plan for reopening schools. And so we begin tonight on all of this, including those new hot spots and the debate, what are parents to do with the school year about to begin and so many unanswered questions. ABC's Victor Oquendo leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, the country topping a once unimaginable toll. 150,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus. Florida and Texas seeing their deadliest days yet. Doctors are pushed to the breaking point. They're exhausted. There's not a deep bench of physicians. Reporter: E.R. Doctor Robert Rodriguez is back in his hometown of Brownsville, Texas, helping on the front lines. We're trying everything, but these patients are extremely, extremely sick. Reporter: Behind every patient, a family. In Arizona, 20-year-old Adrian Garcia, who had diabetes, losing his battle with the virus. His entire family infected, but Adrian was the only one who didn't recover. He leaves behind a 3-month-old daughter. For the average person without underlying health conditions, you'll be okay, we're okay. But my son is not. Reporter: The nation's death toll surging. An internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC news revealing a 30% increase in deaths in just the last week. Homeland security identifying 98 emerging hot spots across 30 states. And tonight, a new front in the war on covid. Dr. Anthony Fauci telling our Dr. Jen Ashton he's concerned about cases ticking up in states like Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Which is a sure-fire hint that you may be getting into the sort of trouble with those states that the southern states got into trouble with. Reporter: Today in jeffersonville, Indiana, about 70% of students back to school with masks and social distancing. Parents can choose virtual or in-person learning. Some parents feel they have little choice. Honestly, the options were limited. My husband and I both work outside of the home. Reporter: In Florida, Latoya Floyd is a single mother of two, an essential worker at a grocery store. She's worried about sending her kids back to school. I absolutely have no choice but to send them to school, because I work 45 hours a week, Reporter: With the debate raging over safely reopening schools, doctors in Florida demanding more robust safety measures. Puts hundreds and thousands of young people, teachers and staff together in enclosed places like school buildings is an invitation for a covid-19 super spreader event. Reporter: Officials taking no chances. South of Orlando, ordering nearly 300 students to self-quarantine, after one person who attended an outdoor graduation ceremony tested positive. Today, the vice president, who has pushed for the reopening of in-person classes, viting a private elementary school in North Carolina, where teachers and students wore masks. Taking off his mask for a time to talk to kids. We really do believe it's in the best interest of our children to be back in the classroom. Reporter: Education secretary Betsy Devos acknowledging there is no national plan for schools. There's not a national superintendent, nor should there be, therefore, there's not a national plan for reopening. Reporter: Here in miami-dade county, the nation's fourth largest school district, they'll get the school year with online learning, same with other major cities throughout Florida, but some school districts will be starting with in-person classes, something that the governor has continually pushed for. Just today, he said, if his kids were old enough, he'd have no problem sending them back to school. David? All right, Victor, thank you. Tonight, president trump once again saying he supports

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