Why it matters: The U.S. faces a range of health care flashpoints — unaffordable drugs, opioids, vaping — as we debate whether to adopt universal care. For now, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but Republicans want to issue it a final death blow.
By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.
Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.
Data released by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday shows that 6,974 people in the state are currently being treated in hospitals for the coronavirus, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Why it matters: Florida has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases over the past two weeks and has broken single-day records for new cases multiple times since the end of last month.
13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.
The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.
Hong Kong's secondary schools, primary schools and kindergartens will close on Monday, education secretary Kevin Yeung announced Friday.
What's happening: Hong Kong reported 147 new coronavirus infections over the past week, the Financial Times reports. 88 of those infections were reportedly locally transmitted.
It feels like mid-March in America again. The coronavirus is surging, deaths are climbing and the country is dreading a wave of disruptions, less than four months since the first round started.
The big picture: Lingering under all the happy talk of future plans is the reality of this virus — which thrives in potential super-spreader conditions like mass gatherings.
It's often easier to socially distance in rural America, but it can simultaneously be more challenging to get medical care.
Axios Re:Cap digs into the pandemic's urban-rural divide with microbiologist Amber Schmidtke, who has found that coronavirus-related morbidity is higher in many of Georgia's rural counties than in Atlanta.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday reiterating that individuals are required to wear face coverings when they are in an indoor public space. It also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces.
The big picture: Whitmer mandated masks in enclosed public spaces for anyone physically able to wear them back in April. More than 20 states have mandated face masks statewide in response to surging coronavirus cases across the U.S. in recent weeks.
South Carolina restaurants and bars will have to close alcohol sales by 11 p.m., beginning Saturday, under an order issued Friday by Gov. Henry McMaster.
The big picture: The U.S. had another record single-day spike of 63,200 new coronavirus cases from Thursday. COVID-19 cases in South Carolina have increased, with 21,560 cases recorded in the last two weeks.
Some 250,000 to 370,000 deaths may have been averted between March and May 15 as a result of the statewide stay-at-home orders enacted to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, a study published Thursday in Health Affairs projects.
Why it matters: The U.S. has changed strategies since then. New modeling suggests the outbreaks could lead to more than 200,000 deaths by the end of year.
By letting the coronavirus surge through the population with only minimal social distancing measures in place, the U.S. has accidentally become the world’s largest experiment in herd immunity.
Why it matters: Letting the virus spread while minimizing human loss is doable, in theory. But it requires very strict protections for vulnerable people, almost none of which the U.S. has established.