The United States reported more than 1,100 coronavirus-related deaths Friday, the fourth day in a row that the grim tally has been above 1,000.

The recent run is the first time since late May that the daily number of deaths has been above 1,000 across the United States. More than 74,000 new infections were reported nationally on Friday, one of the highest single-day totals yet.

Globally, coronavirus-related deaths reached 640,000 Saturday morning, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. More than one-fifth of those deaths were reported in the United States, where total confirmed cases surpassed 4 million this week, based on data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 400,000 new cases had been added in the United States over seven days.

In states where cases have ballooned, officials are weighing additional public health measures to slow the spread of the virus in their communities.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell doubled-up on restrictions against the sale of alcoholic beverages, prohibiting takeout drinks effective Saturday, she said in a news briefing Friday. The mayor’s announcement comes after Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered bars closed for on-premise consumption statewide earlier this month and the state tallied 2,084 new cases Friday.

A legal challenge of the emergency orders by Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee was denied by a federal judge Friday. While Republican state lawmakers argued for a preliminary injunction against the governor’s use of emergency powers, which they said was unconstitutional, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Judge Benjamin Settle ruled that Inslee wasn’t enforcing the orders.

In Michigan, the entire football team for Michigan State University will quarantine after a second staff member and one athlete tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, the university announced Friday.

As measures to protect public health have been flouted by those who argue for individual liberties, nearly 800 bar owners in Texas were to participate in “Freedom Fest” on Saturday, an event where bars will openly defy a June 26 order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to shut down. Hundreds of bars will reopen, serving alcohol and offering live entertainment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Local TV news stations across the country are set to air a baseless conspiracy theory that Fauci was involved in the creation of the coronavirus, a claim publicized by the medical researcher in the debunked “Plandemic” conspiracy online film.

Sinclair Broadcast Group stations will show the interview by “America This Week,” hosted by Eric Bolling, with researcher Judy Mikovits, who argues that Fauci “manufactured” the coronavirus and shipped it to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated.

A chyron during the segment reads, “DID DR. FAUCI CREATE COVID-19?”

Although Bolling doesn’t challenge Mikovits, he told CNN that he brought Fox News medical contributor Nicole Saphier on the show after to “provide an opposing viewpoint.”

The segment was first reported on by Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog.

A Sinclair spokesperson, Bolling and Mikovits didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

In response to critics urging Sinclair to reconsider broadcasting a conspiracy theory, the company issued a statement on Twitter, saying that it is not “aligning with or endorsing the viewpoints” aired in the segment.

“We also interviewed a medical expert who debunked Dr. Mikovitz’s claims as conspiracy theories,” the company continues, referencing Saphier. “We’re a supporter of free speech and a marketplace of ideas and viewpoints, even if incredibly controversial.”

Hurricane Hanna, expected to be the first named hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 2020, may complicate efforts to social distance as coastal communities in Texas prepare to shelter in place. Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez told residents Saturday to bring soap and hand sanitizer with them if they’re forced to evacuate their homes.

Jon Ossoff, the Georgia Democrat who is challenging Republican Sen. David Perdue for his seat, is waiting for results of a coronavirus test after his wife, Alisha Kramer, was diagnosed with the virus, according to Ossoff’s campaign spokesperson. Kramer is an OB/GYN for Emory University’s hospital. Ossoff has not attended an in-person campaign even in more than a month, according to his campaign.


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