US reels from pandemic with 4.5M cases reported

Daily cases topped 70,000 and an internal memo from FEMA showed that infections have slowed from week to week, but the death toll is over 152,000.
4:44 | 07/31/20

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Transcript for US reels from pandemic with 4.5M cases reported
Tonight's other major headline, the coronavirus crossing another major threshold in the U.S. More than 4.5 million cases reported. The death toll surges, topping 152,000 American lives lost. More than 1,000 deaths in 24 hours. Three of the government's top health experts on capitol hill today. Dr. Fauci warning the virus is so contagious it will likely not disappear. News about the two vaccine trials in their final stages here in the U.S. And tonight we're hearing from a doctor and what drove her to be a vaccine volunteer. And the baseball season at greater risk of being shut down as more players test positive. Victor Oquendo is in Florida. Reporter: With a hurricane set to sideswipe Florida, the state today setting a record number of deaths from the virus for the fourth straight day -- 257 lives lost. The president touching down in Tampa touting his response to the crisis. You know, they're starting to give us very good marks. You notice that? We're getting very high marks on this China virus. Should have never come here. Reporter: President trump setting down with the governor, reminding people to wear a mask. Wear a mask when you're in crowd places or cannot socially distance. Wear a mask if you're in close contact with others. Reporter: So much loss here in Florida. Loriana hernandez-aldama says her family had just minutes to say goodbye to her 94-year-old father-in-law on a video call. How was your family able to say good-bye to your father-in-law? They called us at 6:00. We were table to talk to him until 6:19, and they said his blood pressure was going down. By 6:30 we lost him. Reporter: The CDC now forecasting the virus could claim up to 182,000 American lives by August 22nd. Today on capitol hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci saying he's hopeful about a vaccine. We feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021. So, I don't think it's dreaming, congresswoman. I believe it's a reality and will be shown to be a reality. Reporter: Two vaccines are now in the final stage of testing in the U.S. Dr. Victoria Smith with oschner health in Louisiana is volunteering for pfizer's vaccine. I've lost three patients to covid. I have a large African-American and Latino patient population, who's been disproportionately affected by covid. And so a vaccine is really what offers some hope to try to end, you know, so much of the suffering. Reporter: Latinos make up more than half the cases in California. The state approaching 500,000 cases now. And now growing concern about those states north of the sunbelt, like Idaho, which saw record deaths this week. Icu nurse Krista Murphy is tired of hearing people saying they don't want to wear a mask. Makes me feel awful, like they don't care about what we're going through here. They don't care about the people that are admitted to the hospital, whose families can't come and see them and are terrified. Reporter: In New Jersey, transmission rates are now higher than they were in April. Look, the numbers are setting off alarms that we are taking -- that we take very seriously. Reporter: Police there are looking for a woman at this staples store who they say assaulted a liver transplant patient, allegedly over a mask. The suspect grabbing the victim's cane, throwing that woman to the ground breaking her leg, all because she asked her to wear a mask. And tonight, the challenge for so many schools trying to safely reopen. Today in Georgia, the first wave of students back in school with new safety rules, but masks are not required. I have full confidence that they have put in all the right protocols. Reporter: It comes as a new CDC report raises concerns about the risks. At one Georgia sleepaway camp, where cloth masks were not worn by campers, the virus spread to more than 44% of campers and staff within a week. Now the future of baseball is in question. Sources telling ESPN, the commissioner of major league baseball is warning players the sport could be shut down if the sport doesn't do a better job of managing the virus. After 20 members of the marlins were infected along with a few member of cardinals and Phillies. What could be a major development for baseball. Victor joins us now. I want to go back to schools. New York City outlining its re-opening today? They'll be taking what the mayor is called a blended approach of in-person and online classes but it's all about the numbers. If the infection rate goes above 3% they'll close the schools and transition to online learning. 3%, the big number. Victor, thank you for that.

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

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