... Deaths hit records, but efforts to rein in disease are feeble.
"We're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as we speak."
The coronavirus pandemic's merciless march through the Sun Belt is killing record numbers of Americans there, overrunning hospitals and exhausting supplies. But even as some leaders fall ill themselves, they have failed to contain the disease's spread.
On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis offered no new restrictions as Florida joined Texas and California in reporting record deaths. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey promised more testing and limited restaurant capacity after the state announced the most cases in six days. In Mississippi, where many lawmakers had resisted wearing masks in the Capitol, 26 of them tested positive, including the leaders of both legislative chambers.
New U.S. virus cases topped 60,000 in a day for the first time Thursday, with the national total above 3.1 million. And in states where the disease rages, a nightmarish paralysis hit institutions filling with the sick and dying. Quinn Snyder, an emergency physician in Mesa, near Phoenix, said patients were flooding in from other parts of Arizona and as far as New Mexico as smaller hospitals near the saturation point.
"We've been discussing putting people in fluoroscopy suites, in radiology suites, everything to housing people in tents," Snyder said. "We're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as we speak."
Vivid videos and reports of suffering in the Northeast didn't move Sun Belt states, many run by Republicans who support President Donald Trump, to prepare adequately....