Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted Thursday that anyone who politicizes mask-wearing as protection from coronavirus "is an absolute moron who can't read."

The big picture: His statement came just after California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order requiring people to wear face coverings in public.

  • Newsom's order came the same day the state saw its biggest increase in new cases, with 4,084 new confirmed infections.
  • Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said the order was "100% the right move." He added, "This will help us beat this terrible virus. The science is unanimous — if we all wear masks, we slow down the spread and can reopen safely."

The bottom line: A recent study in Health Affairs indicated that some states' mandates for wearing masks in public may have prevented hundreds of thousands of cases.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Updated Sep 25, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 980,000 worldwide on Thursday.

By the numbers: Globally, more than 32 million million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Johns Hopkins data shows.