Dr. Anthony Fauci, a coronavirus task force member who's the country's top infectious disease expert, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill earlier in the day that he wouldn't be surprised if the US sees new cases of coronavirus rising to 100,000 a day.
He and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield stressed the importance of wearing masks. Fauci said that "we recommend masks for everyone" and "masks are extremely important" and Redfield singled out younger Americans in particular to deliver a message that they are not exempt from the necessity of wearing a mask.
But Trump has continued to defy health recommendations and has been reluctant to be seen wearing a mask in public. He recently told the Wall Street Journal
that masks are "a double-edged sword" and suggested that masks sometimes are being worn as a political statement, rather than a health precaution, to show disapproval of him. Experts say wearing a mask
or other face covering could reduce the transmission of Covid-19 by as much as 50%.
Murphy on Tuesday called Trump's actions "so unforgivable because we have a pathway for states to reopen, we have a game plan that we have shown people in the Northeast can be effective here."
"Ultimately this will be the President's political undoing, because Americans are not going to be distracted from the issues that dominate their lives so long as the infection rate is so high," Murphy added.
Months of strict shutdown rules, widespread testing and imperfect attempts at contact tracing have brought cases under control in the New York tri-state area and the region
-- a 180-degree flip from just a few months ago, when the tri-state area, and New York City in particular, was the epicenter of the pandemic.
There are more than 2.6 million reported cases of coronavirus nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and new cases in at least 36 states are trending upward compared with the previous week.