Coronavirus USA summary: news, cases, deaths - 21 July

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Coronavirus live USA: latest news - 20/21 July


US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PT / 16:00 ET on Tuesday 21 July (22:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University14,774,887 cases have been detected worldwide, with 611,599 deaths and 8,340,042 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,858,686 confirmed cases and 141,426 deaths, with 1,160,087 people recovered from the virus.

It will 'probably, unfortunately' get worse before it gets better

Donald Trump, after spending months declaring the United States had defeated the coronavirus and vowing it soon will "disappear," on Tuesday warned Americans the outbreak that has killed at least 141,000 in the United States is likely to grow more dire.

"It will probably, unfortunately get worse before it gets better," the president said as he revived his regular coronavirus briefings.

Notably, he implored Americans to wear face coverings after dismissing the practice for months as many of his supporters said mask requirements limited their freedoms.

"Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, get a mask," he said. "They have an effect."

Watch the return of the Covid-19 briefing

Dr Fauci explains current situation

During an interview on CNN, Dr Fauci admitted he was not invited to the new task force briefing:

“I was not invited up to this point. I’m assuming I’m not going to be there.”

Coronavirus vaccines: House panel testimonies

Representatives of five companies developing coronavirus vaccines testified before a House panel Tuesday about their quest to produce shots in record time — and distribute them worldwide.

Pharmaceutical executives’ appearances on the Hill in recent years have almost entirely been tied to the heated debate over high drug costs, from soaring insulin prices to patent games that limit generic competition.

Relief package updates from Mnuchin and McConnell

Both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell spoke on Tuesday, with the focus on the next relief package.

Strict measures lead to Covid-19 prevention

The state of Vermont has officially gone 30 days without a death related to Covid-19, unlike many other parts of the country where cases keep increasing.

California soon to over take New York as worst-hit state

California on Tuesday became the second U.S. state after New York to report more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases, according to a Reuters tally of county data.

The most populous U.S. state has totaled 400,166 Covid-19 cases, putting it on the verge of surpassing New York - the original epicenter of the nation's outbreak - for the highest number of infections in the country since the novel coronavirus was first detected here in January.

At that point, if California were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for total Covid-19 cases behind only the United States, Brazil, India and Russia. New York currently has over 412,800 total cases and is adding on average 700 new cases a day in July while California is rising by an average of 8,300 cases a day.

Since its crush of cases earlier this year, New York state has gotten the virus under control, reporting the fewest hospitalizations in four months on Monday.

UK's Russia Report: what was in it and who's to blame?

Delayed from being published before the last general election, today saw the release of the report, which held some shocking revelations.

California: Orange County now has second-worst coronavirus outbreak

The cumulative Covid-19 case count in Orange County was 29,986 Tuesday, just ahead of Riverside County’s 29,983. Only Los Angeles County is higher, with nearly 160,000 cases. 

Over the last 14 days, Orange County has reported 12,104 additional Covid-19 cases, a figure that trails only that of Los Angeles, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker.

During that same time, Riverside County has confirmed 9,428; San Bernardino County, 8,754; and San Diego County, 7,135.

Trend check: DC, Maryland, Virginia

The following thread gives an idea of how things are across the three states.

Chinese hackers charged after attempts to breach Covid-19 research 

FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich: "China is determined to use every means at its disposal, including the theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies, laboratories and our universities, to degrade the United States’ economic, technological and military advantages."

Politico's Eric Geller with a thread on what's been happening.

Analyst not entirely convinced by Oxford vaccine data

Ronny Gal, an analyst at investment house Bernstein, is less than impressed by the data from the Oxford vaccine trial, saying "in the competitive context they fail to impress." By that he means when compared to some of the other vaccines in the race, including mRNA vaccines, such as the one developed by Moderna.

The level of immune response is what Gal appears to be taking issue with, saying that the immunised patients had lower responses than convalescent patients (i.e. patients who have actually had Covid-19), while mRNA vaccines appear to have better responses. 

Overall though, we'll have to wait till the next set of data. “Efficacy data will be out by September, these results suggest some efficacy is likely – let’s see how much (and for how long),” he concludes.

Read more at Endpoints News

Florida teachers’ union sues state over reopening plans

In case it passed you by, Florida’s largest teachers’ union sued Gov. Ron DeSantis over his emergency order pushing schools to reopen next month despite spiking novel coronavirus cases statewide.

According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by NBC News, the Florida Education Association accused DeSantis and other state officials of failing to keep public schools “safe and secure,” which is in violation of a state constitutional mandate. The union further asked a state court in Miami to halt DeSantis’ reopening order.

Can second stimulus checks resolve this issue?

By the end of May, the analysis undertaken by the Urban Institute states that around 75% of white adults had had their stimulus checks - Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) - while only 69% and 63% of blacks and Hispanics respectively had received theirs.

Oklahoma needing help quickly

This report by the Washington Post delves into the hardships being faced in the state with many asking what support is coming and when.

Good news from Canada's High Street

Canadian retail sales have rebounded sharply after historic declines in March and April, with vendors making up almost all of their pandemic losses, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

Receipts rose 19% in May, the agency said in its first full release for the month. June looks to have recorded another strong gain, with a flash estimate predicting another 25% increase. That would bring sales last month to about 100% of February levels, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Mike Pompeo in London

The United States and Britain still have more work to do on a free trade deal, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday during a visit to London, adding that he hoped a deal could be finalised before too long.

"A third round (of negotiations) scheduled for later this month, a primary focus for the United States is to see that we can make progress on this and bring this to a closure just as quickly as possible," he said during a brief news conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab. "I spoke with the prime minister this morning about this, and I hope that we can get it finalised before too long," said Pompeo.

Mnuchin and Meadows to discuss next round of coronavirus aid on Capitol Hill

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will meet with Senate Republicans and top congressional Democrats on Tuesday to discuss the next phase of coronavirus legislation, amid disagreements between the White House and Congress on how to address the economic fallout from the pandemic, CBS reports.

Mnuchin and Meadows will present the administration's proposal for the next round of coronavirus relief at a GOP luncheon, before meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer later in the afternoon. The Republican proposal is still taking shape, but is likely to include another round of direct payments to Americans, billions of dollars for schools and liability protections for businesses.

US markets jump after EU coronavirus package deal

European Union leaders reached a deal on Tuesday on a package of measures to boost their economies after the coronavirus pandemic, agreeing to borrow and spend hundreds of billions of euros in the next few years and pay them back from new taxes.

1. Key to the deal is a new element in EU policy making: the European Commission will borrow massively on the market and then grant much of the cash, rather than lend it, to countries most in need of economic stimulus. EU leaders agreed the Commission would cheaply borrow 750 billion euros using its triple-A rating. Of that, it would disburse 390 billion in grants and 360 billion in cheap loans.

2. The grants force the bloc to generate cash to repay the borrowing by 2058. Leaders agreed that: - Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands would lose their current rebate on the amount of VAT they pass on to the EU. - EU countries will impose a tax on non-recycled plastic and pass on the proceeds to EU coffers. - From 2023 there would be a tax on goods imported into the EU from countries with lower carbon emissions standards than the bloc. - A tax on financial transactions is another option as is a getting some money from extending the emissions trading system to maritime and aviation sectors. Such new taxes will be expressly allotted to the repayment of the 750 billion borrowing, but they will become part of EU reality for the next 38 years.

3. The grants will be disbursed to countries that present plans that strengthen their growth potential, job creation and economic and social resilience of their economies. The plans also have to make economies greener and more digital and be in line with the Commission's annual recommendations. The disbursement will need the approval of a qualified majority of EU governments and be linked to meeting milestones and targets. If any EU government believes such targets had not been met it can ask EU leaders to debate it within three months. The money will also be linked to observing the rule of law -- an issue for Poland and Hungary which are under EU probes over their rule of law practice. But there will be a lot of political leeway: if the Commission decides there are 'manifest generalised deficiencies in the good governance of Member State authorities as regards respect for the rule of law', it can propose measures that would have to get the backing of a qualified majority of governments.

4. To secure their backing for the recovery plan, net contributors to the EU budget like the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Germany, will receive much deeper rebates than before on what they have to contribute each year to EU coffers based on the size of their economies.


Covid-19 deaths rise for second week running

Deaths from Covid-19 in the United States rose for a second week in a row to more than 5,200 people in the week ending 19 July - up 5% from the previous seven days, a Reuters analysis found. The country reported over 460,000 new coronavirus cases last week, up nearly 15% from the prior week, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

Nineteen states have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks, including, Arizona, Florida and Texas. Testing for Covid-19 rose by 9% in the United States last week and set a new record high on Friday, with over 850,000 tests performed.

Nationally, 8.5% of tests came back positive for the novel coronavirus, down from 8.8% the prior week but still higher than the 5% level that the World Health Organization considers concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.

Thirty-one states had positivity test rates above 5%, according to the analysis, including Arizona at 24%, Florida and Nevada at 19%, and Idaho and Alabama at 18%. Nationally, new Covid-19 cases have risen for seven straight weeks. Forty-three states reported more new cases of Covid-19 last week compared to the previous week, the analysis found.

For the first time since April, cases rose in New York State week over week, breaking a 13-week streak of declines. New Jersey now leads the nation with cases falling for two weeks in a row. The other six states have only seen cases decline for one week.

Experts views on why children are less susceptible to Covid-19

There are many hints and even some data showing that children fare better against the virus on a few levels than adults do. First, only 17 children under the age of 5 nationwide have died of Covid-19, according to data reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as of 11 July. There are many hints and even some data showing that children fare better against the virus on a few levels than adults do. First, only 17 children under the age of 5 nationwide have died of Covid-19, according to data reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as of July 11. 

Kentucky couple ankle-tagged for refusing to self-isolate

A couple have been forced to wear electronic tags after refusing to sign a self-quarantine order. Health authority employees and police officers turned up at Elizabeth and Isaiah Linscott's home in Radcliff, Kentucky.

They had tested positive for Covid-19 before refusing to sign a quarantine order pledging to isolate at home. Under Kentucky law those with the bug are required to stay at home and then contact their authorities if their condition worsened. After refusing to sign a quarantine order, officials attached electronic tags on the couple's ankles and placed them under house arrest.

"Patriotic" Trump start wearing a face mask in public

Minnesota reports first its infant Covid-19 death

Minnesota reported the state's first known infant death due to Covid-19, as cases among all residents continued to increase on Monday.

"We're very sad today to report the death of a 9-month-old who tested positive for Covid-19," Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcom said during a news briefing. "Based on what we know at this point, the death appears to be an isolated incident related to this infant's very specific situation."

Officials said the infant did not have any known underlying health conditions, adding that they would not release any further information to the public over privacy concerns for the child's family.

Minnesota reported 922 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, with four new fatalities. The state has reported a total of 47,107 cases and 1,545 deaths since the pandemic began.

Florida COVID-19 cases soar again, California sees surge stabilize

The mayor of Chicago shut down indoor service at bars on Monday and Florida reported more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the sixth day in a row, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the United States.

For 67 days, tiny Prince Edward Island went without a single new case of COVID-19. That changed earlier this month when Canada’s smallest province, best known as the home of fiction’s Anne of Green Gables, announced a cluster of new cases linked to a foreign student who entered Canada from the United States.

Early tests of COVID-19 vaccines yield promising results

Risk to humans from cats and dogs?

Pretty much zero, even if dogs or cats can catch Covid-19 from us.

White House not keen

"You would have to try hard to come up with a more tone deaf position," one GOP aide said. Of course Trump is convinced that more testing leads to more cases being discovered, making him look worse.

Long-term effects of Covid-19

Common symptoms when presenting with the disease include cough, fever, dyspnea (shortness of breath), musculoskeletal symptoms (myalgia, joint pain, fatigue), gastrointestinal symptoms, and anosmia (loss of sense of smell)/dysgeusia (loss of sense of taste). 

This study showed that after having the disease, 44.1% of patients in the trial reported worsened quality of life, with 87.4% reporting persistence of at least one symptom, particularly fatigue and shortness of breath. 


Opening back up

Looking after children in a pandemic

The choices people, and in general we're talking about mothers here, are going to be forced to make are extremely difficult.

Trump: briefings back and a u-turn on masks

A cynic might say the briefings are coming back because Trump feels he needs to be in the limelight to turn around his plummeting poll ratings. But good news on the mask front, finally. Hopefully his base listens.

The Democratic Party in Georgia said on Monday it had chosen state senator Nikema Williams to be its nominee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat that is vacant following the death of civil rights icon John Lewis. Lewis, 80, died on Friday after being diagnosed late last year with pancreatic cancer.

Tensions between the United States and China over the South China Sea have erupted into a war of words on social media, in what analysts see as a change in U.S. strategy amid a burgeoning superpower rivalry in Southeast Asia.

Dr F

Dr. Fauci to throw first pitch before Nationals-Yankees opener

The Washington Nationals have announced Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch before they open the 2020 MLB season.

Full story

'Patriotic' President Trump posts image wearing mask

In case you missed it, POTUS shared a picture of himself wearing a protective mask.

Is this a sign that he is going to take a clearer stance on the matter? Let's see...

'Ace' the Trump cognitive test

The interview went viral on social media as the President of the United States boasted about his test score and challenged Joe Biden to take it.

Now it's your turn.

New York revises Covid-19 death figure

New York City now reports there were 13 confirmed deaths due to Covid-19 on 11 July, the 24-hour period in which Mayor Bill de Blasio had said that no deaths were reported.

"The mayor was very clear that the information was preliminary and subject to change," a spokesperson for the city told NPR on Monday. 

De Blasio made the announcement on 13 July, but since then, more complete data has been released.

U.S. companies fear workplace coronavirus precautions do not address airborne risk

About two weeks ago, the World Health Organization called for more scientific study into airborne transmission of Covid-19. The move raised awareness of an issue excluded from U.S. government back-to-work guidelines, adding to the challenge of keeping people safe in offices, stores and work sites, these consultants said. 

Many companies devised strategies based on WHO guidance that large respiratory droplets of the virus could infect people when first emitted and after they landed on surfaces. Now the concern over infection is focused on the idea that tiny droplets could linger in the air for hours.

Covid-19 catch up

Here are a selection of coronavirus-related stories that have been making the headlines over the past 24 hours:

- GWU Hospital doctor's new research of Covid-19 affected lungs using virtual reality

- Royals' Junis goes on injured list after Covid-19

- The White House is reviving its public coronavirus task force briefings

- Bahamas bans tourists from US, cites coronavirus concerns

 - Tech shares lead Wall Street higher as potential vaccines show promise

- California postpones high school sports because of coronavirus

- Oxford vaccine triggers immune response, say initial trial results

US coronavirus latest: 19:00 PT / 22:00 ET on Monday 20 July (01:00 CEST Tues 21 July)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University14,599,613 cases have been detected worldwide, with 607,746 deaths and 8,189,366 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,816,427 confirmed cases and 140,879 deaths, with 1,131,121 people recovered from the virus.

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 Covid-19 cases in the US stands at  over 3.8 million while the death toll has passed 140,000.