Coronavirus USA: news summary for 22 July 2020

Coronavirus live USA: latest news - 22 July

USA

US coronavirus latest: 14:00 PT / 17:00 ET on Wednesday 22 July (23:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University15,041,059 cases have been detected worldwide, with 619,132 deaths and 8,536,350 people recovered.

In the USA, there have been 3,940,592 confirmed cases and 142,677 deaths, with 1,182,018 people recovered from the virus.

Florida Governor says parents should have option to send children to school

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that parents should have the option to send their children to school and local school leaders should have the power to decide whether to begin the school year with in-person instruction.

During a 7-minute address on education, the Republican also said that Florida teachers at higher risk or who feel uncomfortable with in-person instruction should be given the option to work remotely.

Fans must wear face coverings at all NFL games

Everyone entering stadiums to watch NFL games during the rest of the year will be required to wear face coverings, league spokesman Brian McCarthy declared today. Some teams, such as 

Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens have said they will be limiting attendance to 12,000 per game and face coverings can only be removed when fans are eating or drinking.

Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs are currently scheduled to play the first game of the league's 101st season in just under a couple of months' time.

Global coronavirus cases worldwide rising sharply

Coronavirus cases topped 15 million worldwide on Wednesday, up from 10 million less than a month ago. The United States was a major contributor to the spike, with nearly 4 million confirmed cases reported since the start of the pandemic. 

On June 28, there were 10,063,319 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 500,108 deaths reported globally, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. By Wednesday, July 22, a total of 15,000,424 confirmed cases and 617,832 deaths had been reported.

Another inmate dies from Covid-19 in San Quentin

John Beames, a child killer from Tulare County, appears to be the latest death row inmate to die from the coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, CBS reports.

Eight other condemned San Quentin inmates have died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, as have four other inmates from the general population. The 13 deaths are the second-most COVID-related deaths in the state prison system as of Wednesday afternoon. Nineteen inmates have died at the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Dark days for the dollar

A steady decline in the dollar has accelerated in recent weeks, as a resurgent coronavirus outbreak in the United States and improving economic prospects abroad sour investors on the currency, Reuters reports.

The dollar is down 8% from its highs of the year against several currencies and stands near its lowest level since 2018. Net bets against the dollar in futures markets are approaching their highest level in more than two years.

“The dollar is hanging by a thread,” said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities in New York. “At this point, the dollar-weakness mindset has become deeply entrenched.”

Covid-19 cases on the wane in nine states

With global Covid-19 cases surpassing 15 million on Wednesday, nine states have reported a drop in new infections during the past fortnight, according Johns Hopkins University data.

New Jersey, Hawaii, West Virginia, Iowa, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Rhode Island and North Carolina all saw a decrease in new cases over the last 14 days.

Bomb hoax made to Chinese Embassy in Washington

Bomb and death threats have been made against the Chinese embassy in Washington, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, blaming the U.S. government.

"As a result of smears & hatred fanned up by the #US gov, the Chinese embassy has received #bomb & #DeathThreats," she posted on Twitter after the United States told China to close its consulate in Houston amid widespread accusations Chinese officials have been involved in spying.

confed

U.S. House to vote on banishing Confederate statues from Capitol building

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives was due to vote on Wednesday to remove statues honoring heroes of the pro-slavery Confederacy from the Capitol building, which houses statues selected by all 50 states.

The statues include one honoring the former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, who authored a decision supporting slavery. Democrats also have pointed to a former senator who was expelled from the body after joining the Confederate army in the Civil War.

Democratic Representative Barbara Lee called the statues 'painful symbols of bigotry and racism.' She said they do 'nothing more than keep white supremacy front-and-center in one of the most influential buildings in the world.'

If passed by the House, the measure would also have to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump has lashed out at the idea of removing statues, accusing Democrats of wanting to erase the nation's history. Representative James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, told reporters his party was not advocating the destruction of statues, adding they could be placed in museums 'until the states that sent them up here...can come and get them.'

Twitter goes to war with QAnon

Up to 150,000 accounts around the world may be affected by the latest action taken by the social media company in its bid to stop the coordinated spread of disinformation. The conspiracy theories have been rife, including many questioning the science behind the current pandemic.

Who needs experts when you have people with imagination?!

covid

Global Covid-19 cases hit 15 million

The number of confirmed Covid-19 infections worldwide surpassed 15 million on Wednesday evening with the figure at 15,008,046 according to the data collected by Johns Hopkins University at 19:00 hours CEST.

The United States, Brazil, and India remain the top three countries most affected by the pandemic. Earlier, the US confirmed 68,524 new cases of the coronavirus, while India registered 37,724. Brazil saw a rise of 41,008 in daily infections in the past 24 hours, marking a significant increase to the 20,257 reported the day before.

A total of 617,832 people around the world died from Covid-19 so far, while 8,509,938 have recovered from the virus.

vaccine

Don't expect first Covid-19 vaccinations until early 2021 - WHO

Researchers are making 'good progress' in developing vaccines against Covid-19, with a handful in late-stage trials, but their first use cannot be expected until early 2021, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday. WHO is working hard to ensure fair distribution of the vaccines, but in the meantime it is key to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's emergencies programme, as daily new cases around the globe are at near-record levels.

"We're making good progress," Ryan said, noting that several vaccines were now in phase 3 trials and none had failed, so far, in terms of safety or ability to generate an immune response. "Realistically it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated," he told a public event on social media.

WHO is working to expand access to potential vaccines and to help scale-up production capacity. "And we need to be fair about this, because this is a global good. Vaccines for this pandemic are not for the wealthy, they are not for the poor, they are for everybody,Ryan added. The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion to buy 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc and German biotech BioNTech if it proves safe and effective, the companies said earlier on Wednesday.

Tracking the evolution of case numbers in the worst-hit countries

The animated chart below shows how case numbers have progressed in the world's worst-affected countries since mid-April:

US orders closure of Chinese consulate in Houston

In the wake of the United States’ confirmation that its Justice Department has charged two Chinese hackers with attempting to steal American research into a coronavirus vaccine, the US has ordered China to close its Houston consulate.

"We have directed the closure of [People's Republic of China] Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Are mouth lesions another Covid-19 symptom?

A research team in Spain has published a study that finds some coronavirus sufferers with a skin rash also have enanthems, or mouth lesions.

Full details:

Relief package could end up costing over $2tn

Despite Republicans' desire to keep the next coronavirus relief package to a limit of around $1 trillion, US lawmakers say the bill's overall spend could end up being double that, according to this report by The Hill:

Hospitalization levels soaring in US

This CNN report notes that Covid-19 hospitalization levels in the United States have now almost climbed back to where they were in April

Citing figures compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, CNN says 20 July's total of 58,330 people hospitalized is just short of the 59,528 recorded on 15 April.

On 15 June, the figure had dropped to a low of 27,722, the report explains.

$600 unemployment benefits boost in US: when does it end?

As part of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn coronavirus relief package passed in March, unemployed Americans have been receiving expanded jobless benefits.

Full details:

Economic impact of Covid-19 "with us for a long time"

Raghuram Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, says there will be no quick fix to the negative economic effects of the coronavirus crisis.

"I think the hit is going to be with us for a long time," Rajan told CNBC on Wednesday. "As this goes on, more and more businesses find that a long period without revenue, but high cost, implies that they simply don’t have a chance, and they’re closing down."

Not even the swift roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine is likely to prevent a prolonged financial fall-out from the pandemic, Rajan added.

"You have to vaccinate a lot of people," he said. "So, the earliest people are going to feel safe going into crowded restaurants is probably going to be by the middle of next year. If everything goes according to plan - things are not going to go according to plan."

WHO chief "bought" by China, claims US secretary of state Pompeo

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has reportedly accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of being “bought” by China, adding that his election as secretary general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to “dead Britons”.

Speaking at a private meeting with MPs during his visit to the UK, Pompeo said Adhanom Ghebreyesus is too close to China and that the WHO is "political not a science-based organisation", according to The Times.

He is reported to have claimed that "on a firm intelligence foundation, a deal was made" with China for Adhanom Ghebreyesus to be elected as WHO chief in 2017.

Earlier in July, the US gave the WHO formal notification of its intention to withdraw from the body in 2021, amid repeated criticism from president Donald Trump over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump

President Donald Trump pulls his protective face mask from his pocket to show it to reporters as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response news briefing at the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

Global coronavirus cases exceed 15 million - Reuters tally

(Reuters) Global coronavirus infections surged past 15 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the pandemic gathering pace even as countries remain divided in their response to the crisis.

In the United States, which has the highest number of cases in the world with 3.91 million infections, President Donald Trump warned: "It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better."

The top five countries with the most cases is rounded out by Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. But, the Reuters tally shows the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas, which account for more than half the world's infections and half its deaths.

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered those arriving in New York from an additional 10 states to quarantine for 14 days to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus as cases flare up across the country.

Physicians on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, particularly its coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, are frustrated that warnings about rising cases are being ignored, and dismayed that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the renowned U.S. infectious disease expert, has been demeaned and disparaged, officials said.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he expects another round of direct payments to Americans will be included in the next coronavirus response bill.

The most populous U.S. state has a total of 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 since the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States in January.

Trump on masks

Note Trump said "a number of times". As far as we know he's actually only worn it once in public.

Here's that Pelosi interview (see below)

Pelosi says Trump has "recognised his mistakes"

"He recognized the mistakes that he has made by now embracing mask wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax, it is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction and in fact clearly it is the 'Trump virus," said the Speaker of the House in response to Trump's briefing earlier (See below), where he said the pandemic would probably get worse before it gets better.

Whether Trump really has accepted he made mistakes is a moot point.

Joe Biden slammed President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying ‘he has quit on this country’

U.S. records over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time since early June

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus rose by more than 1,000 on Tuesday, the biggest single-day increase since early June, according to a Reuters tally.

After weeks of declining fatalities, there were more than 5,200 U.S. Covid-19 deaths in the week ended July 19, up 5% from the previous seven days, a Reuters analysis found. That was the second successive week of rising deaths.

Nearly 142,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, a toll that experts warn will likely surge following recent record spikes in case numbers and an alarming rise in hospitalizations in many states. U.S. deaths peaked in April, when the country lost on average 2,000 people a day.

Indiana: the women's 'ticking time bomb' of a prison

Gov. Eric Holcomb often brags about the Indiana Women’s Prison. Last year, Holcomb showed the prison off to Ivanka Trump. He’s mentioned the prison in his state of the state address and posted videos to his Facebook page. 

“I wanted to be at your graduation because of what it symbolizes for you and your families and for the state of Indiana,” he said at the 2018 graduation ceremony for The Last Mile, a program that teaches inmates how to code. “We’re all in this together.”

Florida nurse explains stressful situation they find themselves in

“When I was talking to one of our physicians and he was saying, ‘They’re everywhere. The Covids are everywhere.’ You come in for abdominal pain thinking, perhaps, it’s your appendix and they test and you’re Covid positive,” Martha Baker, a Florida nurse said.

“The patients in the hallways, Covid positive everywhere. It’s hard to stay safe,” she added.

The mixed messaging about safety and reopening protocols coming from state and local leaders isn’t helping. Baker said that caregivers are “getting angry” at leaders for not standing up for them.

POTUS' return to the Covid-19 briefing stand

A clip from Donald Trump's 'eventful' first day back on task force duty.

Trump: Americans should wear a mask when they cannot keep social distance

President Donald Trump, in a shift in rhetoric on facial coverings, encouraged Americans on Tuesday to wear a mask if they cannot maintain social distance from people around them in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In his first briefing focused on the pandemic in months, Trump told reporters at the White House that the virus will probably get worse before it gets better. Trump has been reluctant to wear a mask himself in public. He wore one for the first time in public during a recent visit to a military hospital but has otherwise eschewed putting one on in front of the press.

As cases rises in states around the country, including in politically important states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, Trump is shifting his tone to try to get the number of cases under control. “We're asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they'll have an effect and we need everything we can get,” he said. Trump said he was getting used to masks and would wear one himself in groups or when on an elevator. 'I will use it, gladly,' he said.

'Anything that potentially can help... is a good thing.' The president also urged young Americans to avoid crowded bars where the virus could spread.

Covid-19 catch up

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

- Dr. Anthony Fauci says he is "cautiously optimistic" about several promising coronavirus vaccine trials

- Representatives of five companies developing coronavirus vaccines testified before a House panel today

- California on Tuesday became the second U.S. state after New York to report more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases

- U.S. charges two Chinese hackers with breaching hundreds of companies, NGOs, & dissidents and trying to hack three U.S. firms researching coronavirus

- Florida teachers’ union sues state over reopening plans

- Kentucky couple under house arrest after refusing to sign self-quarantine agreement

US coronavirus latest: 18:30 PT / 21:30 ET on Tuesday 21 July (00:30 CEST Wed 22 July)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 14,774,887 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.

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, as California and Florida, in particular, slide towards overtaking New York as the worst hit region since the pandemic began. 

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US stands at  over 3.8 million while the death toll has passed 141,000. 

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