Coronavirus USA news summary: cases, deaths, stimulus checks and news for 27 June
US coronavirus latest: 11:30 PT / 14:30 ET on Saturday 27 June (20:30 CEST)
According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 9,866,685 cases have been detected worldwide, with 495,781 deaths and 4,983,029 people recovered.
In the USA, there have been 2,492,246 confirmed cases and 125,255 deaths with 670,809 people recovered from the virus.
US case numbers set another record
If they call wanting information, it's a scam
Scammers are doing their best to take advantage of people - be vigilant. You don't have to pay anything to get your stimulus check. And remember, any strange or unexpected phone call, where the person on the other end of the line says it's urgent and you need to do something now, is almost certainly a scam. The pressure of urgency makes people make mistakes.
Global Pride 2020
Pride has been terribly hit by the pandemic, here's our guide to alternative ways to celebrate.
New one-day record of confirmed cases in Florida
Florida recorded 9,636 cases, a new record for a single day. The state has more than 120,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with over 3,300 deaths.
In response to the burgeoning number of cases, all beaches are set to be shut in Miami-Dade county from 3 July to 7 July.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez: "Here in Miami-Dade we expected huge crowds to be at the beach, it would have been very hard for us to control our social distancing and having people abide by the rules."
California sees nearly 6,000 new cases of Covid-19
California has reported 5,972 new cases of coronavirus from Friday to Saturday, with 60 deaths.
Watch the Global Goal concert live
LGBTQ Americans adjust Pride celebrations in a time of pandemic
Diana and Jillian Rosile of Denver this year would have marked their first Pride celebration as an out queer couple since Diana, a transgender woman, changed her legal name this month.
But as the relentless coronavirus pandemic forced Colorado's Pride events to go virtual, the young software engineers had to shelve their plans. However, the Rosiles still showed their Pride, sharing their news on social media.
The response, they said, has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Family and friends and coworkers have all been supportive," said Diana, 33.
The pandemic has forced organizers to move parades, marches and forums online across the United States in June for Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community and a renewed call for equal rights. Still, "canceling" Pride was not an option, said Cathy Renna, director of communications at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
City of Galena Park imposes curfew to curb rising cases
The small city on the outskirts of Houston has instituted a curfew starting Saturday night due to surging cases of the novel coronavirus, the latest move by officials in a dramatic retreat in the aggressive reopening of America’s second-biggest state.
Fauci pleads with Americans
Dr Anthony Fauci appeals to Americans as coronavirus cases continue to climb in US.
Miami to close beaches as cases spike
The news to close beaches in Miami-Dade County was con firmed by Mayor Gimenez
How to celebrate Global Pride 2020: concerts, online, virtual Pride
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic seeing marches and paraded cancelled in many parts of the world, there are many online alternatives to celebrate Pride 2020 with NYC and San Francisco offering virtual alternatives.
Summer movie blockbusters delayed again as Disney pushes 'Mulan' to August
Walt Disney Co postponed the debut of live-action movie "Mulan" until Aug. 21, the company said in a statement on Friday, a blow to theater operators who want blockbuster movies to draw audiences from their homes in the middle of a pandemic.
"Mulan" was scheduled to debut in March but was postponed until July 24 when the coronavirus outbreak forced theaters around the world to close.
"While the pandemic has changed our release plans for 'Mulan' and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance," Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, co-chairmen of Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement.
AstraZeneca ahead in COVID-19 vaccine race - WHO
AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 vaccine is probably the world's leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist said on Friday.
The British drugmaker has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford.
This week, AstraZeneca signed its tenth supply-and-manufacturing deal.
"Certainly in terms of how advanced they are, the stage at which they are, they are I think probably the leading candidate," WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference.
NBA releases schedule, but Silver admits risk exists
Even as the NBA was unveiling its schedule for the conclusion of the regular season, commissioner Adam Silver admitted Friday that the league's "bubble" in central Florida can't be made totally safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
The league is bringing 22 of its 30 teams to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, for the resumption of play. Each team will compete in eight "seeding games" to complete the regular season, and the playoffs will follow, all at the Disney site.
Action will commence July 30 with the Utah Jazz opposing the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Los Angeles Clippers facing the Los Angeles Lakers in a doubleheader that will air on TNT.
Coronavirus affects food businesses in Texas and Florida
Bar and restaurant owners in Texas and Florida are furious at the new health measures as coronavirus cases have increased in these regions.
Miami beaches closed due to coronavirus
Due to the increase in coronavirus infections in recent days, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez said he will close the beaches over the weekend of July 4.
“I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk”, he said.
Coronavirus and its relationship with purchases
Money spent in restaurants and supermarkets may reflect how fast or slow the coronavirus can spread, according to an economist's study.
The economy suffers in the southern USA
Consumers in the southern United States have declined due to new coronavirus infections in recent weeks. This has directly affected the economy of the states in the south.
At the first White House task force briefing in two months, Dr Fauci said: "The only way we're going to end it is by ending it together."
As health experts said more must be done to slow the spread, Vice-President Mike Pence praised US "progress".
Americans set to be excluded from EU border decision
European Union countries failed to settle on Friday on a final 'safe list' of countries whose residents could travel to the bloc from July, with the United States, Brazil and Russia set to be excluded.
Ambassadors from the 27 EU members convened from Friday afternoon to establish criteria for granting quarantine-free access from next Wednesday. A redrawn text of 10-20 countries was put to them, but many said they needed to consult first with their governments, diplomats said.
The list did not include the United States, Brazil or Russia, one diplomat said. Discussions were continuing overnight, with the EU countries expected to give informal replies by Saturday evening, people familiar with the matter said. U.S. passengers may be allowed to travel if they meet certain conditions such as passing temperature checks, two U.S. officials said.
White House does not commit to airlines on temperature checks
Top U.S. airline executives met on Friday with Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials but did not come away with any commitments from the White House on mandating temperature checks for airline passengers.
Pence met with the chief executives of United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and the president of Southwest Airlines at the White House alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Mark Redfield, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other officials. Airlines want the U.S. government to administer temperature checks to all passengers in a bid to reassure the public.
The Trump administration is open to the idea of having the Transportation Security Administration conduct the tests, but there are still many unanswered questions, including what would happen to passengers who had high fevers and were denied boarding and how to pay for the screening.
Education plans for the new normal
Each district in the state must develop a reopening plan that best fits the needs of their community and they must include in-person instruction in some capacity, Gov. Phil Murphy said. But the state issued guidance Friday that all districts would need to incorporate, he said.
In pictures: A bartender wearing a facemask makes a drink at a restaurant in Austin, Texas, June 26, 2020. - Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas have spiked in recent weeks after being one of the first states to begin reopening. (Photo by Sergio FLORES / AFP)
NBA-Significant spread of COVID-19 in Orlando could halt play - Silver
The NBA season could again be put on hold if there is a 'significant spread' of COVID-19 among its players in Orlando, where the league is set to resume play on July 30 with no fans in attendance, commissioner Adam Silver said on Friday. The NBA was the first major North American league to suspend its season in mid-March after a player tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It recently agreed a plan with its players to restart with 22 teams at Disney World in Florida. But if the number of cases inside the NBA's so-called 'bubble' rises, 'that may lead us to stopping' play, Silver told ESPN.
Silver said the record number of cases in Florida recently has raised the level of concern but added that the use of the campus - where players will live, practise and play - is designed to limit risk of exposure to the surrounding community. Silver's remarks came on the same day the NBA reported that 16 out of 302 players tested for COVID-19 on June 23 had tested positive. The league did not disclose the identities of the players. Players are scheduled to begin traveling to Orlando on July 7 with tip-off set for July 30.
New pandemic clampdowns in Texas, Florida rattle business owners
Bar and restaurant owners in Texas and Florida were fuming on Friday after state officials abruptly slapped new restrictions on their businesses due to a spike in new COVID-19 cases. Owners warned the sudden reversals, just weeks after accelerated reopenings, will drive some out of business.
'You can't turn a bar into an UberEats,' said Jeff Kaplan, co-owner of Houston's Axelrad Beer Garden. He said businesses could not stay afloat relying on the new rules that provide to-go sales but not alcohol consumption on the premises. Houston officials advised residents to stay home, and Texas ordered doctors to end elective surgeries as new coronavirus cases set records on three consecutive days.
Florida reported nearly 9,000 new infections on Friday, also a record high. Houston restaurant owner Peter Mitchell said his revenue has been running a third of normal and fell further as virus cases soared in the region. 'It'll be a close call as to whether we stay open,' he said. 'I wish we had tougher restrictions for another month when we did the 25% occupancy (phase),' said Mitchell. He said his business never has exceeded 25% occupancy, but noted that no regulators have ever checked.
Florida owners also complained that counties and cities in the state had inconsistent operating rules. “The level of ambiguity that we’ve run into every step of the way has been really challenging,” said Will Thompson, owner of Miami’s Jaguar Sun. 'It comes back to the lack of clarity from officials.” Gabriel Orta, whose company runs hotel food and beverage operations in Miami, said rules are inconsistent. 'We don’t have the leadership that we need when we go into a catastrophe,' he added.
Anthony Wegmann, who ran four bars and restaurants in Texas, closed two after a landlord would not grant a reprieve on rent. 'There's no way a business can pay 100% of their bills on 25% of their revenue,' he said. Some are willing to accept the loss of business for the public good. 'It was a little unexpected,' said Sara Murray, manager of the Cheers Pub in Friendswood, Texas. 'In the end we all have to do what we have to do to keep everyone safe.