Festering uneasiness across the country is underscored by the growing numbers of new cases of coronavirus, especially across the sun belt and western states. Arizona, Texas, California, Florida and the Carolinas are among the new hot spots. Emerging cases in those places alone reveal the truth about the current state of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Overall, the U.S. has seen record levels of more than 50,000 new cases per day in the past week. The death toll has risen to 130,000-plus with more than 3 million total cases registered since the pandemic reached American shores earlier this year.