Transcript for White House Task Force coordinator says US has entered ‘new phase’ of pandemic
We turn now to the fight against the coronavirus. And an alarming admission from Dr. Deborah birx, saying the U.S. Has entered a new phase of the pandemic. Citing how extraordinarily widespread transmission has been. The death toll in the U.S. Rapidly approaching 155,000 lives lost. A number the CDC says will continue to rise. And tonight, as Americans worry about safety in schools, the story of one couple, married for decades, both lost to covid-19 within weeks. Here's Trevor Ault. Reporter: Tonight, one of the nation's top public health experts warning the pandemic is entering a new phase. What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. Reporter: 22 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, seeing their case numbers climb. And Dr. Deborah birx had this message for states only now experiencing outbreaks. Everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune. Reporter: July saw 1.9 million new cases of covid-19 in this country, shattering the previous record. And today house speaker Nancy Pelosi blasting the federal response, saying she doesn't have confidence in Dr. Birx or her assessment of I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee. I have tremendous respect for the speaker. I have never been called pollyanna-ish or non-scientific or non-data driven and I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles. Reporter: One of those states with increasing cases -- Indiana. And they're impacting just-reopened schools. Greenfield central junior high reporting students testing positive in their first week, or even first day back. Getting a phone call saying your child is going to need to stay home for two weeks. Disappointing? Yes. Reporter: Today the Louisiana department of health reporting 10% of the state's new cases are children, a bigger portion than people over 70. For the people who want to send their kids back to school this fall, how are they going to change their behaviors now to earn that right? And I don't believe I'm seeing a lot of evidence in most of the country that people understand that what they do now matters to what the country looks like in the future. Reporter: And tonight, the reck family, one of over 154,000 American families devastated by this disease. Sam and Joanne had been married close to 30 years. When her covid diagnosis forced the couple apart. At 90 years old, it was too contagious, too risky for Sam to visit. He sent video messages instead. Practically every picture I've got has got you in it. I love you, darling, and I hope you really enjoy this video. Reporter: But as Joanne was in her final hours, her devoted husband insisted on seeing her one last time, donning full ppe to sit by her side. You don't recognize me with all this junk on my face. It is Sam. I love you, sweetheart. I love you so much. He did risk his life to go see my mom, but that was his choice. Reporter: Just three weeks after that touching good-bye, Sam met the same cruel fate his wife did, struggling for breath fighting covid-19, dying Saturday in the same room. Before he passed, his stepson asked Sam if he regretted that visit to the hospital. Sam replied, not one second. They're letting me hold your hand. Feel me squeezing your hand? Reporter: That he was happy to have held her hand one more time. The story just so devastating. So many families torn apart. By Trevor, today Dr. Birx telling families in multigenerational households to take more precautions? Reporter: Beyond wearing a mask in public, she said people who live with older or higher risk family members should consider wearing a mask inside their homes. And asking people who have traveled to consider self-isolating. Trevor, thank you. Now to southern California, where the apple fire near palm
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.