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As COVID cases rise in battleground states, virus response highlights political divisions

COVID-19 cases surge in Midwest
Battleground states see sharp increases in COVID-19 cases before Election Day 02:29

The United States reported more than 99,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday – more than any country has ever reported in a single day. 

Case numbers are rising in 44 of the 50 states. And as we near Election Day, health officials are especially concerned about infections in key Midwestern battleground states like Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

As correspondent Adriana Diaz reports, these states highlight how political differences have affected efforts to control the virus.

In the final push before Election Day in Wisconsin, a state all too familiar with political division, one key point of contention this year is the country's coronavirus response.

"This has affected this community in very, very profound ways," said Dr. Manar Alshahrouri, who treats COVID patients at two Green Bay, Wisconsin hospitals, both of which are near capacity.  "We've lost a lot of good people."

Health officials are concerned about COVID infections in key Midwestern states, like Wisconsin, which has seen a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases.  CBS News

Dr. Alshahrouri is concerned about making progress against the virus, saying public health policy has become political.  

"We are flaunting masking, we're debating basic effective measures," he said. "I know this is a very emotive topic, but just stop. Look at the data, look around you."

A New York Times analysis looked at the top 20 metro areas with the greatest number of new cases relative to population; 10 were in Wisconsin.

Andrea Palm, Secretary-Designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said on Friday, "In two months, our seven-day average has increased by more than 500 percent."

Democratic Governor Tony Evers said he is not considering another lockdown; the state's Republican-led legislature has challenged his previous public health orders. 

"Honest to God, it's just breathtaking," Evers said on CNN Sunday. "We're in a very difficult situation here. We should be pulling together instead of pushing apart."

Another concern for the Midwest: dropping temperatures, forcing people indoors, especially during upcoming holiday gatherings. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told "Face the Nation" Sunday, "My view is the inflection point is going to be Thanksgiving. I think it's going to be unmistakable what's happening at that point."

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