Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

America's great economic reopening is hitting a major snag, just like the public health experts warned.

Why it matters: Confirmed case counts are soaring to the point where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pausing the state's reopening and canceling elective surgeries to stockpile PPE.

  • The number of Texans hospitalized with COVID-19 has tripled since Memorial Day, the Texas Tribune reports.
  • The state still has plenty of hospital beds, but hospital officials are rushing to add more capacity and shift patients around.

The big picture: Face masks are essential to slowing the coronavirus' spread, but they have become politicized in recent months.

  • Wearing face masks "could result in a large reduction in risk of infection," according to a recent review of 172 studies, Axios Science editor Alison Snyder and Eileen Drage O'Reilly report.
  • But conservatives who prize individual autonomy over social responsibility experience "a massive pushback of psychological resistance" when presented with mask mandates, psychology professor Steven Taylor told Axios Future editor Bryan Walsh.
  • This is partly a failure by public health experts. CDC guidance has flip-flopped on wearing masks during the pandemic, and white lies meant to preserve PPE for health workers has backfired big time.
  • The CDC now thinks the realistic estimate of cases could be as high as 23 million — 10x the current tally — because of asymptomatic carriers.

Between the lines: Unlike the mass confusion of mid-March, Americans now have a reasonable sense of what to do in a pandemic.

  • If you're at risk, stay home.
  • If you're not at risk and won't stay at home, put on a mask and wash your hands, don't socialize indoors and stay 6 feet apart.

The bottom line: This round of outbreaks may be concentrated among young people, but at a certain level of spread, the older folks could get it too.

  • "We have consistently underestimated this virus," Ashish Jha of Harvard reminded the AP.

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."
20 hours ago - Health

Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in April at the White House. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued an executive order on Saturday requiring all people ages 8 and older to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to The Advocate.

Why it matters: Louisiana is now the 25th state to issue some form of a mask mandate as case counts surge across the U.S.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."