Coronavirus USA news summary for 8 July: cases, deaths, news and stimulus checks

Coronavirus live US: latest Covid-19 news - 8 July

USA

US coronavirus latest: 14:30 PT/17:30 on Wednesday 8 July (23:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 11,921,616 cases have been detected worldwide, with 546,318 deaths and 6,506,408 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,035,231 confirmed cases and 132,041 deaths, with 936,476 people recovered from the virus.

USA

US coronavirus latest: 09:00 PT/12:00 on Wednesday 8 July (18:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 11,884,799 cases have been detected worldwide, with 545,398 deaths and 6,488,528 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,009,611 confirmed cases and 131,594 deaths, with 936,476 people recovered from the virus.

Texas restarts executions

The execution of Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, is set to go ahead on Wednesday. He was condemned to death for killing an elderly man during a robbery in 1993. 

US Covid-19 cases go past three million

According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the US has now seen more than three million cases of Covid-19 (3,035,231 as of 23:32 CEST/17:32 ET/14:32 PT).

Coronavirus pandemic making US travelers wary

The number of American travelers who are planning to change their travel plans because of the coronavirus has jumped in the last several weeks, and support among Americans for opening up their communities to visitors is at its lowest level since mid-May amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

According to a survey conducted on July 1 by Longwoods International, a travel industry research and consulting firm, 76% of travelers are planning to alter their future plans because of coronavirus, up from 69% at the beginning of June. The share of travelers who say they will cancel their plans completely has also jumped from 37% in mid-June to 45% at the start of July.

First Covid-19 vaccine will be like the flu shot, with about 40-60% effectiveness

The first COVID-19 vaccine may be no more effective than seasonal flu vaccines, according to experts. On Tuesday, Andy Slavitt, the former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under president Barack Obama, posted a Twitter thread in which he outlined the views of three scientists he had spoken to regarding the state of the pandemic and how they expected it to evolve. "My core question was what the world is going to look like in three years but asked other things as well," Slavitt wrote.

UK Royal Society president: “Everyone should wear a face covering”

Nobel prize-winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan who is the president of the UK’s Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy, said people should have face coverings with them when they leave their home and should always wear them in crowded public spaces, “particularly indoors in enclosed public spaces where physical distancing is often not possible.” 

“As we lift lockdown and people increasingly interact with each other we need to use every tool we have to reduce the risk of a second wave of infection,” he added.

In particular he said the messaging on masks in the UK had not been strong or clear enough. 

No benefit from hydroxychloroquine

1,500 people with Covid-19 got the drug, 3,000 got standard care, the difference in death rate was not statistically significant. So no benefit, but hydroxychloroquine has some pretty nasty side effects.

"It’s killing people"

In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Hollywood actor Tom Hanks had some choice word for people who do not take steps to protect themselves and others from the spread of the coronavirus.

"Look, there’s no law against ignorance," Hanks said. “It’s not illegal to have opinions that are wrong. But there is a darkness on the edge of town here folks, and let’s not confuse the fact: it's killing people.”

"We don’t know what’s going to happen with Covid-19. The idea of doing one’s part, though, should be so simple: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands," Hanks added.

"That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole. And it’s such a small thing."

Hanks and his wide, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have both recovered from Covid-19 after testing positive in Australia in March. "We felt rotten," he said. "I had body aches - crippling, cracking body aches."

US

Grain farmer Jim Niewold inspects corn plants on his farm in Loda, Ilinois. Some of last year's crop remains in storage in the grain bins behind him, because all of his end markets have been affected by the coronavirus.

(Photo: REUTERS/Nick Carey)

US "simply does not seem to be taking the virus as seriously as other countries"

Writing in The Hill, the journalist Peter Sullivan has offered a succinct, damning overview of why the United States has struggled to handle the coronavirus pandemic, saying the action taken by the US fall short of the meaures seen in other countries.

"Major European countries for the most part had much stricter and more sustained lockdowns than the US did, allowing the virus to be suppressed to low levels before they tried to reopen," Sullivan says. 

"Elsewhere, notably South Korea, an aggressive system of testing, treatment and isolation was able to suppress the virus without resorting to a full lockdown. Other places have had success in part due to mandatory mask requirements throughout the country.

"All of these elements are missing in the United States. And more broadly, experts say the US simply does not seem to be taking the virus as seriously as other countries."

US WHO pull-out "not what the world's people need"

President Donald Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the World Health Organization is "not what the world’s people need", says the WHO’s envoy for Covid-19, Dr Peter Nabarro.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, Nabarro said: "We’ve still got a lot to find out about this virus, and how to deal with it, and it just seems really unfortunate that the most important country, in terms of size of the WHO budget, has decided to pull out."

New York orchestra

In New York, a string quartet of musicians from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra perform Schubert's String Quartet in A minor 'Rosamund' on Sunday, in a sidewalk park across from David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, in their first public performance since the orchestra's closing in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Second stimulus check: why 20 July is a key date

President Donald Trump has said he wants to send millions of Americans a second round of stimulus checks to help them during the Covid-19 crisis.

Full story:

WHO

WHO acknowledges "evidence emerging" of airborne spread of Covid-19

The World Health Organization has acknowledged "evidence emerging" of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

"We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19," Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing on Tuesday.

The WHO has previously said the virus that causes Covid-19 spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.

Because those smaller exhaled particles can linger in the air, the scientists are urging WHO to update its guidance.

Speaking at Tuesday's briefing in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO's technical lead for infection prevention and control, said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive.

"...The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings - especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out," she said.

(Text: Reuters; photo: EFE/EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI)

I’ll return US to WHO if elected - Biden

Joe Biden has said he would reverse the United States' withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) if elected president in November, after it was confirmed that the country is to officially leave the body in July 2021.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted on Tuesday: "Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage."

U.S. coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that the United States and other countries could have had a stronger initial response to COVID-19 if China had been more forthcoming about key features of the virus.

United States would restrict visas for some Chinese officials because Beijing obstructs travel to the region by U.S. diplomats, journalists and tourists.

Former schoolteacher Amy Kennedy won a Democratic primary in New Jersey on Tuesday to become the standard-bearer to take on U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew

Walt Disney Co will stick to its plans to reopen its Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida, to a limited number of guests on Saturday

New evidence suggested COVID-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium.

The U.S. coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim new milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday

The United States will leave the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday

Targeting aid for those hardest hit

The first stimulus checks began to be issued some months ago under the provision of the CARES Act and further help is being considered for those suffering most.

Republican senators drop out of GOP convention

The RNC backed out of Charlotte, North Carolina, last month and picked Jacksonville as the main site for the convention after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles wouldn't commit to allowing a full convention because of health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New York's Covid-19 vending

Trump continues to dig his heels in over the reopening of schools.

USA

US coronavirus latest: 15:30 PT / 18:30 ET on Tuesday 7 July  (00:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 11,712,663 cases have been detected worldwide, with 540,582 deaths and 6,399,535 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 2,981,602 confirmed cases and 131,248 deaths, with 936,476 people recovered from the virus.

Texas reports more COVID-19 cases in single day than any EU country as cases rise by 10,000

Texas shattered records on Tuesday when it reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase in the state since the pandemic started, according to the state health department.

Texas, with 30 million residents, has reported more new daily coronavirus cases than any European country had at the height of their outbreaks, according to a Reuters tally.

Outbreaks in Texas, California, Florida and Arizona have helped the United States break records and send cases rising at the highest rates seen yet in the epidemic.

In June, Texas infections rose by 154% or over 100,000 new cases. The percentage of tests coming back positive has soared in July to 13% from 5% at the end of May.

To contain the outbreak, Texas ordered bars to close and limited restaurant capacity. The governor has said shutting down the state again is a last resort and has resisted mandating masks when people go out in public.

Hello and welcome to our live, rolling coverage of the coronavirus in the United States

More than 11.5 million people globally have contracted the disease according to official figures, and well over half a million have lost their lives to the virus since it started to spread at the beginning of the year.

In the US, the first wave was believed to be over but that is obviously not the case.

Texas, Florida, Arizona and California have seen a resurgence in new cases and record numbers of hospitalisations reaffirming fears that a second wave, or a continuation of the first, is a very real possibility.

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