U.S. Records 70,000 New Cases in a Day for the First Time Since July

President Donald Trump acknowledging supporters at a campaign rally Friday in Macon, Ga.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump is in Wisconsin for a rally in Rock County, one of dozens of counties in the state that have been overwhelmed by a record surge in cases over the past week.

Mr. Trump’s decision to go forward with the rally in Janesville, which was postponed after the president was hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment this month, flies in the face of repeated warnings from his own White House Coronavirus Task Force, which urged officials in Wisconsin last month and again this week to militate against large social gatherings.

The warnings came in a weekly report the task force sends to governors and which are not released publicly.

“To the maximal degree possible, increase social distancing mitigation measures until cases decline,” the task force urged Wisconsin officials in a Sept. 27 report obtained by The Times.

Another task force report sent this week, according to the Center for Public Integrity, cautioned that Wisconsin remained in the “red zone” with the fourth highest rate of positive cases per capita in the country, and that failing to limit large gatherings could lead to “preventable deaths.”

Officials in Wisconsin reported more than 4,160 new cases on Friday, setting a single-day record, according to data compiled by The New York Times. The state is also adding new deaths at a record pace, recording 135 in the last seven days alone.

State officials say they are updating their computer system and do not plan to publish new infection data again until Tuesday, interrupting the ability to track the scale of the outbreak.

Wisconsin Covid Map and Case Count

A detailed county map shows the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, with tables of the number of cases by county.

Wisconsin’s struggles to contain the recent outbreak have been compounded by a number of lawsuits challenging orders by Gov. Tony Evers aimed at limiting gatherings and encouraging people to stay home. Mr. Evers is a Democrat often at odds with the Republican-controlled Legislature.

On Wednesday, a county judge blocked an order that had been limiting indoor dining at most restaurants and bars to 25 percent capacity.

“This is a dangerous decision that leaves our state without a statewide effort to contain this virus,” said Britt Cudaback, a spokesperson for Mr. Evers, in an email on Thursday.

The president’s Wisconsin rally, which will follow another in Michigan earlier on Saturday afternoon, is the latest in a string of large gatherings Mr. Trump has held this week, even as the country approaches a third peak in its curve.

On Friday, the president hosted large campaign events in Florida and Georgia. Many attendees did not wear masks.

With just over two weeks until Election Day, the president has resumed a full campaign schedule, often holding several in-person events each day. Mr. Trump is expected to hold two rallies in Nevada on Sunday.

Public health officials have reiterated concerns about the Trump campaign’s decision to forge ahead with large rallies, particularly in states like Wisconsin that appear to be entering the most severe days of the pandemic so far.

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said in an interview on CNN on Monday.