Coronavirus live updates: Biden campaign slams Trump for ‘politicizing’ mask-wearing

ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

Biden staffers pointed out that Biden has been wearing a mask for months.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 564,000 people worldwide.

Over 12.6 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.2 million diagnosed cases and at least 134,764 deaths.

Latest headlines:

  • Trump wears mask in public on visit to Walter Reed
  • Biden campaign slams Trump for ‘politicizing’ mask-wearing for months and ‘actively discouraging’ the issue
  • Nearly 600 military medical teams sent to Texas hospitals to help with COVID-19
  • Several 4th of July partygoers at Michigan sandbar test positive
  • Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

    2:25 a.m.: Biden campaign slams Trump for ‘politicizing’ mask-wearing for months and ‘actively discouraging’ the issue

    A spokesman for former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign reacted to President Trump’s decision to wear a mask during his visit to Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday, slamming him for spending months “ignoring the advice of medical experts,” and “politicizing” mask-wearing.

    “Donald Trump spent months ignoring the advice of medical experts and politicizing wearing a mask, one of the most important things we can do to prevent the spread of the virus. Rather than taking responsibility and leading, he wasted four months that Americans have been making sacrifices by stoking divisions and actively discouraging people from taking a very basic step to protect each other,” campaign spokesman Andrew Bates wrote in a statement released Saturday night.

    “By contrast, Joe Biden has led by example from the start and as President will make decisions informed by science to protect the American people and defeat the virus,” he continued.

    Numerous Biden staffers have taken to social media on Saturday to point out that Biden has been wearing a mask for months, and that President Trump mocked him for doing so during a Memorial Day visit to a war memorial.

    “Our Adult Son President remembered not to spread or catch an infectious respiratory disease today. Is this leadership??” the Biden campaign’s Digital Director Rob Flaherty joked.

    1:56 a.m.: Nearly 600 military medical teams sent to Texas hospitals to help with COVID-19

    U.S. Army North confirms that 580 military medical personnel are being sent to Texas by U.S. Northern Command to assist with taking care of COVID-19 patients at civilian hospitals.

    The 50 nurses and respiratory therapists who were sent to San Antonio earlier this week are part of this larger deployment. In effect, there are now six Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces of 85 soldiers, along with 72 sailors from a Navy acute team and rapid rural response teams who will be operating in civilian hospitals in Texas.

    The deployments of these teams were a big help in New York hospitals and they proved to be more useful than setting up large temporary field hospitals or sending the Navy hospital ship.

    Last night Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a military medical team deployment to Texas, but that was before the Pentagon had finished working out the details.

    10:05 p.m.: Several 4th of July partygoers at Michigan sandbar test positive

    Several people who attended a Fourth of July party at Torch Lake sandbar near Rapid City, Michigan, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.

    The popular hangout spot on Houghton Lake in northern Michigan had been flagged by police as problematic in a press release on July 8. Michigan State Police said it saw an increase of 26% in call volume over the previous 10 years at the so-called Torch Fest. Seven people were arrested for drunk and disorderly charges and nine were charged with operating while intoxicated.

    Photos released by police showed hundreds of people and boats crowded into close quarters.

    “If you were at the Torch Lake Sandbar party over 4th of July weekend, you should monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if symptoms should develop or if you were at high risk for exposure due to being in close proximity with others or not wearing a cloth facial covering,” the health department said in a statement.

    ABC News’ Luis Martinez, John Verhovek and Molly Nagle contributed to this report.

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