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As Covid-19 cases soar to new highs, U.S. governors are again in the crucible, facing wrenching choices about how to balance economic recovery and the health of citizens.

Their divergent approaches are inflaming tensions within states as well as with neighbors. While some have paused to reassess the wisdom of allowing movement and commerce, many are plunging ahead despite daunting numbers like Florida’s 2.8% increase in reported cases Friday, its largest daily jump since May 1.

The surge also has produced record numbers of new cases in Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama and North Carolina. “The disease is spreading,” Governor Roy Cooper said Friday afternoon.

The outbreaks — and the dilemmas for governors — come about a month and a half after U.S. states began emerging from emergency lockdowns, and as the country surpasses 2 million confirmed infections and 114,000 deaths. The pressure reflects the Trump administration’s approach to the pandemic, providing largely voluntary guidance and leaving states to set strategies. That has produced a patchwork of policies and cleared the way to reopening of high-risk places like casinos and bars.

At the first U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefing in months, officials Friday said little about why cases are increasing in some places, instead repeating familiar advice about wearing masks and washing hands. Jay Butler, CDC’s Covid-19 response incident manager, said any lockdown decisions would be local.

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