Coronavirus USA news summary: news, cases and deaths for Saturday 18 July 2020

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Coronavirus USA live updates: news, cases, deaths and stimulus checks, today

Coronavirus live US: latest news - 18 July


US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PT / 16:00 Saturday 18 July (22:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University14,126,035 cases have been detected worldwide, with 598,098 deaths and 7,931,486 people recovered

In the USA, there have been 3,676,942 confirmed cases and 139,748 deaths, with 1,107,204 people recovered from the virus.

Is Covid-19 testing covered by medical insurance?

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic — when scarce Covid-19 testing was limited to those with serious symptoms or serious exposure — the government and insurers vowed that tests would be dispensed for free (with no copays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket expense) to ensure that those in need had ready access. However, now those promises are being rolled back in ways that are creating anxiety for consumers. 

Late last month, the Trump administration issued guidance saying insurers had to waive patient costs only for “medically appropriate” tests “primarily intended for individualized diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.” It made clear that insurers do not have to fully waive cost sharing for screening tests, even when required for employees returning to work or for assisting in public health surveillance efforts.

Donald Trump on the death of civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis


Record daily increase in global Covid-19 cases for second day running

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with the total rising by 259,848 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases reported on Saturday were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 237,743 on Friday. Deaths rose by 7,360, the biggest one-day increase since May 10. Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day in July, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June.

Total global coronavirus cases surpassed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 600,000 people in seven months. The surge means that 1 million cases were reported in under 100 hours.

Unemployed would be hit even harder without stimulus payments

Americans might soon have to battle income losses of up to 70% once the CARES Act aid program expires at the end of this month, a top economist said.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of Georgetown's Center on Poverty and Inequality and an economic adviser to the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, explained during an interview with NPR Friday what will happen to the American economy once these benefits end.

"Families are going to face high rates of eviction, homelessness, food insecurity, hunger," Dutta-Gupta said. "And the economy overall is going to see much slower progress in a recovery than otherwise."

G20 should start talks on "reducing debts of poorest countries"

World Bank President David Malpass on Saturday urged the Group of 20 major economies to extend a freeze in official debt payments by the poorest countries through the end of 2021, and said they should start talks on reducing the debt of some countries.

Malpass told a virtual meeting of G20 finance officials that some major official creditors were not participating fully in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and private creditors should stop collecting payments from the poorest countries.

"Even with these immediate steps ... many of the poorest countries won’t be able to make the resulting debt burdens sustainable in the medium term," he said. "I urge the G20 to open the door to consultations about the debt overhang itself and effective ways to reduce the net present value of both official bilateral and commercial debt for the poorest countries."

The White House press secretary reiterated the Trump administration's determination to open schools despite surging Covid-19 cases across the USA.

Texas: 85 babies under one year test positive for Covid-19

In Texas' Nueces County, where Corpus Christi is located, the number of new coronavirus cases skyrocketed in July after a flattening trend. The virus has infected dozens of babies and local officials are urging people to wear masks and practice social distancing. 

"We currently have 85 babies under the age of one year in Nueces County that have all tested positive for Covid-19," said Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces County. 

"These babies have not even had their first birthday yet. Please help us stop the spread of this disease."

Wisconsin: federal judge throws out lawsuit challenging coronavirus rules

US District Judge William Griesbach in Green Bay told those who brought the lawsuit they could try to revive their legal challenge in the next 30 days if they more carefully tailor it. 

Two dozen residents across the state in May challenged stay-at-home orders and other rules local officials had established to battle the coronavirus pandemic. They argued the rules interfered with their freedom of association, freedom of religion and other constitutional rights. 

There's a worry over the mistrust of a Covid-19 vaccine

Billions are being poured into developing a shot, but the rapid timetable and President Trump’s cheerleading are creating a whole new group of vaccine-hesitant patients.

School reopening sparks Arizona protest movement

Arizona third-grade teacher Stacy Brosius has been called a 'liberal socialist Nazi' and a 'whiner and complainer' for leading car-based protests to delay in-person schooling, but she says she's doing it to save lives in a pandemic. Inspired by Black Lives Matter demonstrations, hundreds of Arizona teachers like Brosius are putting on red t-shirts they last wore in a 2018 strike and driving around cities in cars daubed with slogans like: 'Remote learning won't kill us but Covid can!'

With 'motor marches' spreading to other coronavirus-hit sunbelt states, including Florida, and counter demonstrators organizing 'reopen' rallies, the fight over the new school year is fast becoming America's new protest flashpoint. In Arizona, teachers want Republican Governor Doug Ducey to push the start of in-person school to at least early October after a beloved educator died of Covid-19 teaching summer school and statewide hospitalizations and deaths spiral.

At stake, Arizona teachers say, is the safety of the state's 1.1 million public school students and 20,000 teachers. 'We don’t want any children to get this from us, because as a teacher, I don’t want to go to any of their funerals,' said Brosius, 47, who is not prepared to send her three children back to school.

Incomplete hospital data met with immediate skepticism

"All evidence suggests that Missouri's numbers are headed in the wrong direction," Missouri Hospital Association spokesperson Dave Dillon wrote in an email.

"And, for now, we will have very limited situational awareness. That's all very bad news."

Tennessee doctors and teachers question reopening schools

As many school districts prepare for students to return to classrooms in the coming weeks, a group of Tennessee doctors, health care workers and even teachers are calling the return to school "insane and irresponsible."

Dr. Amy Gordon Bono, a primary care doctor practicing internal medicine in Middle Tennessee, spoke out on behalf of ProtectMyCare, a coalition of doctors who have been outspoken throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump used N-word and is "virulently racist", says niece

The niece of the US president claims her uncle used racial and anti-Semitic slurs during an interview to promote her book on the Trump dynasty.

Florida man dies and family in search of answers

A family is mourning the loss of their father who died this month after he tested positive for having Covid-19 while at the hospital, but that wasn't why he was there in the first place. 

Nestor Aristiguieta, 58, received a kidney transplant from Jackson Memorial Hospital in early June. He was given 20-30 more years to live. 

The personal stories amid the pandemic

When you consider the individual circumstances that are affected by political decisions.

Robert Shiller warns that urban home prices could decline

The coronavirus pandemic could cause a decline in urban housing prices if employees continue to work from home and forgo city life, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller.

“People forget that a lot of the value of homes outside of the central city is in the structure and you can build more of them,” he said. “Home prices out of the dense urban setting tend to follow construction costs, and so there shouldn’t be any big movement in those prices.”

Pence comes out to back under-fire Fauci

Dr Fauci has been criticised from all angles in the White House but Pence has backed the immunologist and Trump too during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delving deeper into the US Covid-19 crisis

Cases of Covid-19 are surging across the United States’ sun belt, the region from southern California to Florida. More than 137,000 Americans have died, and more than 3 million have been infected. But as cases have surged, daily deaths associated with the pandemic have not risen to the seismic numbers seen in April, when New York City was gripped by the virus.

Politicians have seized on this, including Donald Trump, who has perpetuated falsehoods about the death rate even as hospitals across the region begin to fill. The Guardian delves deeper into what it all means.

Kids’ school schedules vs parents’ work obligations during pandemic

This fall, it looks like millions of U.S. children will spend no hours at school at all. And for nearly every parent, the usual complicated dance between their jobs and their kids’ daily schedules has become even more complex, as school systems adjust their plans in accordance with what’s possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Biden says more money, planning needed to reopen U.S. schools

Democrat Joe Biden on Friday hammered President Donald Trump's approach to reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting billions more in funding may be needed to educate children safely.

A five-part plan released by Biden's campaign argued that children can only return to the classroom after summer recess once more measures are taken to stop the novel coronavirus and prepare schools for the risks.

More than 20,000 gather despite new rise in cases

NASCAR held its annual All-Star Race, where Chase Elliott, son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, took home the grand prize - $1 million. 

Tennessee restricted the number of attendees due to social distance implementations, setting a cap at 30,000 tickets, but the venue can hold up to 140,000 fans.

“Tonight felt like an event again, and I felt like we’ve been missing that piece for a couple months,” Elliott told NBC News. 

Plenty to be discussed on the next stimulus package

Millions of American businesses and households are eagerly awaiting news on the next recovery package, with much still to be debated and agreed.

Half of US adults live in households that lost income in pandemic

In some states, even more residents are affected. In Hawaii, which depends on tourism, the share is 61.6%, while in Nevada, where all the casinos had shut down, it's 59.7%. New York and California came in at 58.2% and 57.5%, respectively. 

Some places fared relatively better. They include: the District of Columbia at 34.6%, North Dakota at 36.1%, Iowa at 39% and Idaho at 39.4%.

Coronavirus 2020: a USA timeline

Trump taking control of the Covid-19 data

It's not only in America that they're scratching their heads over the latest decision by the Trump administration, which will now see hospitals send Covid-19 data directly to the White House.

It's not good...not good

The Trump administration is having a troubled time dealing with the pandemic and these graphs give a clear picture of just how bad it is getting.

Congressional Democrats send letter to White House to reverse controversial CDC decision

Senate Democrats sent a letter Friday to Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, who run the White House coronavirus task force, urging them to "withdraw your confusing and harmful changes to hospital reporting requirements" for Covid-19.

"These changes pose serious challenges to the nation's response by increasing data management burden for hospitals, potentially delaying critical supply shipments, compromising access to key data for many states, and reducing transparency for the public," states the letter, which was organized by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and signed by 44 out of 45 Senate Democrats and the chamber's two independents.

US troops in Japan to be tested for coronavirus before leaving the States

Four days after a U.S. military family in Japan tested positive for the coronavirus, the country’s defense minister on Friday called on the U.S. military to test all its personnel before they leave the United States.

“We believe that if we can detect these asymptomatic personnel prior to departure [from the U.S.], we can take different measures to contain the virus,” Taro Kono told reporters during a press conference in Tokyo.

Newsom orders virtual instruction in most California counties

Newsom said at a news conference Friday that he “recognizes the president’s insistence from an economic paradigm” regarding schools reopening but noted concerns about teachers' health and the unknowns surrounding childhood transmission of the virus.

“I’m not looking to score cheap political points with people that have different points of view,” Newsom said. “I respect and appreciative this dialectic, this conversation we're having.”


Coronavirus | Sports 

Major League Baseball could have good news regarding coronavirus testing on the players

New York news

Activities begin to resume in High Line Park, New York after this state was considered the epicenter of the coronavirus.

These may seem like minor things but the very ways we lived out lives have changed because of the coronavirus.

Millions of American businesses and households are eagerly awaiting news on the next recovery package, with much still to be debated and agreed.


A nurse swabs the nose of a person through a glass pane in the Aardvark Mobile Healths Mobile Covid-19 Testing Truck on July 17, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. The Aardvark mobile units were brought to the streets of Miami Beach through the Florida Department of Emergency Management as the cases of coronavirus spikes in the State of Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

Hello and welcome to our rolling news coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States

The number of cases across the States continues to rise steeply, with 39 states reporting an increase in new cases from last week. California, Arizona, Texas and Florida are seeing hospital bed shortages due to the surging rise in sick patients. 

The number of confirmed cases in the US passed the 3.6 million mark on Friday afternoon, while the death toll stands at over 138,000.