Coronavirus USA news summary for 16 July: cases, deaths, news and stimulus checks, today

Coronavirus live US: live updates - 16 July


US coronavirus latest: 08:30 PT / 11:30 ET on Thursday 16 July (20:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University13,589,273 cases have been detected worldwide, with 585,906 deaths and 7,617,607 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,533,317 confirmed cases and 137,846 deaths, with 1,075,882 people recovered from the virus.

US death rates

The number of daily cases is rising (now at over 60,000 having plateaued at 20,000 in May) but the daily number of deaths has fallen from 3,000 in April to 1,000 now. But that's not the whole picture, with a number of confounding factors making it difficult to track cases directly to deaths. The good news is that more people may be surviving because we're simply a lot better at treating people who are very sick with the virus; the bad news is that there may be long lag time between people getting tested ever earlier and finally becoming sick and dying (up to two weeks from first reporting symptoms, with a further week for the death to be reported). Also worrying is that a lot of young people are getting infected - they might not end up being badly affected by the virus, but when they spend time with older relatives, there may be a more lethal spike. 

US cases pass 3.5 million mark

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US has passed the 3.5 million mark, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As of 20:20 CEST/14:20 ET/11:20 PT there were 3,533,317 cases in the US, with 137,846. 

The US has seen by far the most confirmed cases of any country, followed by Brazil (1,966,748), India (968,876) and Russia (751,612)

Florida sees another 13,965 cases

The Florida Department of Health is reporting an increase in 13,965 cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours since yesterday. Total deaths rose by 156 to 4,677, setting a previous daily record of 132 that was set on Tuesday.

No ICU beds available in Miami-Dade County

CNN is reporting that there are no available ICU beds in Miami-Dade County. In total the area has 405 ICU beds and according to FIU Infectious Disease expert Dr Aileen Marty there are 431 ICU patients. Some patients have been moved into converted ICUs. Saying that the situation was "extremely serious", Marty explained that “We now have the highest number of people on ventilators that we’ve had, ever.”  

Florida has a total of 301,810 confirmed cases, with 4,521 deaths.

That means workers have submitted more than 51 million initial jobless claims in 17 weeks amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — a number larger than the populations of Texas and Florida combined, according to Thursday’s US Department of Labor figures.

Fauci not buckling to pressure recently from Trump and the White House.

Another scandal seems to be brewing in the White House.

Refrigerated trucks brought in to help morgues in Arizona and Texas counties

In Arizona's Maricopa County, which has the most Covid-19 cases in the state, the medical examiner's office has ordered four portable coolers with additional ones expected in the coming days, said Fields Moseley, the county spokesman.

The medical examiner's office morgue had a total of 156 deceased people -- with a surge capacity of just over 200.

France makes mask wearing compulsory

Authorities ordered people to start wearing face masks in parts of the northwestern French region of Mayenne on Thursday after a rise of coronavirus infections there.

The Mayenne prefecture said masks would be compulsory in its main city Laval as well as five other municipalities - Bonchamp-lès-Laval, Changé, L’Huisserie, Louverné and Saint-Berthevin. 'In Mayenne, the situation is problematic today', French health minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio, via Reuters.

The announcement came ahead of a nationwide order making masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces across France from 1 August. Up to now, France has required people to wear face coverings on public transport and in public spaces where social distancing is not possible, but has not mandated the wearing of masks in shops.

Trump vs Fauci: the feud continues

Although it shouldn't be the focus of much of the attention during the pandemic, it appears that it is another diversion tactic from the administration.

Mask anecdotal evidence grows

Although some are still pushing against the mandatory use of face coverings, the argument for doing so is getting stronger.

How 'good' does a Covid-19 vaccine need to be?

Different vaccines may offer different levels of protection. Scientists talk about this as the vaccine’s efficacy or effectiveness.

If 100 people who haven’t been exposed to the virus are given a vaccine that has an efficacy of 80%, that means that on average 80 of them would not get infected.

Americans on Covid-19 jobless benefits spent more than when working - study

Americans who received enhanced unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic spent more than when they were working, a study released on Thursday said, adding to concerns about a steep fall in spending when the emergency benefits expire.

The $600 weekly supplement added to jobless benefits as part of the CARES Act helped unemployed households spend 10% more after receiving benefits than they did before the pandemic, according to research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Researchers analyzed transactions for 61,000 households that received unemployment benefits between March and May.

Spending dropped for all households as the virus spread and led to business shutdowns, but then rose when households began receiving jobless benefits, the study found. That contrasts with a typical recession, when households receiving unemployment benefits usually cut spending by 7% because regular jobless benefits amount to only a fraction of a person's prior earnings, the research found.

The analysis highlighted how the additional unemployment benefits are helping to prop up the U.S. economy and consumer spending after the pandemic led to a surge in joblessness across the country. 

Coronavirus test between $20 and $850

While federal law now requires insurers, Medicare and Medicaid to cover the tests at no cost to patients and provides funding to cover costs for testing the uninsured, limits to the federal requirements mean that some patients may still receive bills, Kaiser Family Foundation said.

Stimulus popularity in swing states

The decision on when and what is going to be made available to needy Americans is believed to be getting closer, and it is likely to be influenced by the upcoming presidential election.

Politcal interference in US coronavirus reporting

Hospitals were told as of Wednesday to stop reporting daily Covid-19 data through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network and instead funnel it through two HHS systems. The order set off alarm for a broad range of health care groups, including those representing local and state health officials, who questioned why the change was made at a critical point in the pandemic as coronavirus cases spike in more than half the states.

A senior Senate Democrat suggested the move could be deliberately intended to sideline public health experts, who've increasingly come under attack by the administration.

Kevin Stitt tests positive for coronavirus

This Wednesday came the news that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt tested positive for coronavirus. The reactions on the matter were immediate.


Dr. Anthony Fauci talks about the coronavirus in the United States and attempts to find a vaccine against this disease


Can shortage in the United States

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a high consumption of soft drinks and canned beer in the United States, but some companies have reported a shortage of their products due to high demand.

The social media platform temporarily shut down verified accounts after some of the world's richest men were targeted by hackers in Covid-19 bitcoin scam.


Stocks rally on vaccine hopes

World shares strode to four-month highs on Wednesday as hopes for a coronavirus vaccine offset rising U.S.-China tensions and also helped lift the euro and oil prices on improved sentiment.

Asian markets were choppy after more barbs between Beijing and Washington over Hong Kong, but European bourses rose almost 2% and Wall Street advanced as investors set aside concerns about the growing number of COVID cases.


Fauci bullish on prospects for U.S. vaccine, not worried about China winning race

The leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, predicted on Wednesday the country will meet its goal of a coronavirus vaccine by year's end and was unmoved by the prospect that China would get there first.

While there are no guarantees, "I feel good about the projected timetable," Fauci told Reuters in an interview.

His comments follow promising early stage data for the Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine, released on Tuesday, that was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci directs.

Many experts see a safe and effective vaccine as the only way out of the pandemic that has infected millions and killed more than 575,000 people worldwide.

Fauci said Moderna's results were especially promising because the vaccine appeared to offer the type of protection seen in a natural infection.

Fauci was unmoved by the prospect that China could cross the finish line first. Although he said he hopes China  succeeds, he does not think they will win the vaccine race, at least not by much.

Has the IRS canceled stimulus checks for deceased recipients?

The Bureau of Fiscal Services has canceled outstanding checks sent to non-eligible recipients, including the some 1.1 billion issued to deceased US citizens.

The race for a Covid-19 Vaccine, the Oxford University candidate

Recommended in-depth read from Bloomberg focusing on the Oxford University vaccine candidate and it's steps to be the first vaccine available to fight the virus.

Full article here

Florida hospitals at tipping point

When will the US border with Canada be open again?

The border between the United States and Canada has been closed since 21 March as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Fauci defiant despite White House criticism

The White House Coronavirus Task Force expert said he hasn't considered stepping down from his position despite increasing attacks from supporters of President Donald Trump as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the US. 

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus live US updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, US-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has registered just over 3.4 million cases and 137,000 deaths in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been more than 13.4 million cases and 581,000 fatalities, JHU estimates.