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Coronavirus USA summary: news, cases, deaths - 29 July

Coronavirus live US: latest news - 29 July

USA coronavirus latest: 14:55 / 17:55 ET on Wednesday 29 July (23:55 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 16,824,259 cases have been detected worldwide, with 662,222 deaths and 9,808,910 people recovered.

In the US, there have been 4,390,491 confirmed cases and 149,961 deaths, with 1,355,363 people recovered from the virus.

Governor Kay Ivey extends Alabama mask order through August

The state's safer-at-home order, which includes the mask mandate, will now expire Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. The amended order also includes an order mandating masks in schools and colleges for employees and students in second grade and above. 

"These decisions are not easy, and they’re certainly not fun," Ivey said at a press conference on Wednesday. "There’s no way in the world you ever can make everyone happy 100 percent of the time. But one thing is for sure. Tough decisions are a lot easier to make when you’re on the sidelines than when you are actually in the arena."

The order does not include any additional restrictions on business activities or gatherings.

HEALS Act: the $1,200 and the change in dependents

With the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act now in discussion, many Americans are keen to know how much they could be due.

Trump defends use of Covid-19 bill to fund new FBI office near his hotel

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his push to use a coronavirus relief package to fund a new FBI headquarters near his Washington hotel despite opposition from fellow Republicans, citing his background as a real estate developer.

The bill, facing tense negotiations in the Senate before multiple provisions aimed at helping Americans stave off financial losses amid the coronavirus pandemic expire on Friday, is on shaky ground with the White House at odds with both Democrats and Trump's own Republicans, who control the chamber. Trump at first did not directly answer a question about whether he would drop his demand for $1.8 billion to fund a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington one block from Trump International Hotel.

He later said the provision 'should stay.' 'Republicans should go back to school and learn,' he told reporters at the White House. 'I'm very good at real estate.' 

U.S. Open to be held without spectators due to Covid-19 pandemic

The U.S. Open scheduled to be played at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York from Sept. 17-20 will be held without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Open is the second major that will not have spectators after organisers confirmed last month that next week's PGA Championship in San Francisco, California would go ahead without fans.

Both majors were scheduled to be held in May and June before the pandemic forced the tournaments to be rescheduled.

"Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved," USGA CEO Mike Davis said in a statement.

"We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens."

Westchester County, where Winged Foot Golf Club is located, has recorded nearly 36,000 cases and over 1,400 deaths.

The PGA Tour said this month that it would play the rest of its season without fans.

The great mask debate is likely to continue

President Donald Trump is campaigning in Texas without a face mask on Wednesday as the state has seen its coronavirus cases surge and he again defended a doctor who touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the deadly disease.

Trump arrived in Midland, Texas, without a mask even as most of the state officials greeting him wore one, including Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry wore a face covering but removed it when the president got to him.

Also on the tarmac were two teenagers - both wearing masks - who had the president sign football helmets. Nearby Odessa, Texas, where the president held a posh fundraiser, is the setting of the famous book on high school football 'Friday Night Lights.'

U.S. CDC reports 4,339,997 coronavirus cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday reported 4,339,997 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 59,862 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,194 to 148,866.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as Covid-19, caused by the new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on 28 July versus its previous report a day earlier. The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

US unwanted milestone making headlines around the world

The nation recorded the deadliest day of the summer in the last 24 hours, with more than 1,200 confirmed coronavirus deaths, the highest daily toll reported by the country since May, according to a tally by Reuters.

Covid-19 deaths have risen in the US for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.

The White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator, Deborah Birx, on Tuesday said hotspots threaten regions where cases are controlled.

Birx warned: “We can see the virus moving north. What we’re seeing across the south right now is both rural infections, as well as small metros and major metros, simultaneously.”

Gohmert's case sparks renewed debate over lawmaker testing

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said congressional leaders may need to rethink their coronavirus protocols — including requiring regular testing for members — after Rep. Louie Gohmert tested positive Wednesday.

“We’re not mandating testing at this point… but we’re discussing that,” Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday. “We have discussed it in the past. This is a moment, I think, where we ought to be discussing it again.”

Tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple testify to Congress

The behemoths of the technology industry are being questioned by Congress on Wednesday at 13:00 ET with the objective to identify if the power is controlled by too few.

The company chiefs will be asked about their market dominance primarily although at the hearing almost anything goes. That could see questions raised about the management of fake news and propaganda especially around elections and the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH LIVE

Trump in no hurry for coronavirus deal as lawmakers tangle

Top Trump administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders tried to narrow stark differences over coronavirus aid on Wednesday, with no guarantees they can craft a compromise before some unemployment benefits expire as President Donald Trump said he was in no hurry.

'We're so far apart we don't care. We really don't care,' Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a trip to Texas, blaming Democrats. 'We want to take care of the people, the Democrats aren't taking care of the people,' the Republican president said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were due to resume negotiations with the two top Democrats in Congress: House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. An hour-long meeting of the four broke up late on Tuesday afternoon amid no sign of progress. 'As of now, we're very far apart,' Mnuchin told reporters.

Senate Republican leaders are pushing for around $1 trillion in new aid, on top of more than $3 trillion enacted since early this year. Democrats have backed $3 trillion in new spending.

NBA Adam Silver coronavirus

NBA ready to "cease completely" in event of outbreak

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the season will “cease completely” if there is an outbreak of the coronavirus at the league campus in Florida.

The 2019-20 NBA season is due to resume at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, with 22 teams involved.

"It's not an exact science, because nobody's ever done this before," Silver told Good Morning America on ABC. "We have plans in place where we might pause - similar to what baseball's doing now.

"Probably if we had any significant spread at all, we'd immediately stop and what we'd try to do is to track and determine where they're coming from and whether there had been a spread on campus.

"I would say, ultimately, we would cease completely if we saw that this was spreading around the campus and something more than an isolated case was happening."

Read the full story

(Text: Perform; photo: Getty Images)

US 150,000 coronavirus infections

US deaths pass 150,000 mark - Reuters tally

Coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 150,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, having risen by 10,000 in 11 days.

This is the fastest increase in fatalities since the US went from 100,000 cases to 110,000 cases in 11 days in early June, according to the tally.

Nationally, Covid-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.

A spike in infections in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas this month has overwhelmed hospitals. The rise has forced states to make a U-turn on reopening economies that were restricted by lockdowns in March and April to slow the spread of the virus.

Texas leads the nation with nearly 4,000 deaths so far this month, followed by Florida with 2,900 and California, the most populous state, with 2,500. The Texas figure includes a backlog of hundreds of deaths after the state changed the way it counted Covid-19 fatalities.

While deaths have rapidly risen in July in these three states, New York and New Jersey still lead the nation in lives lost and for deaths per capita, according to Reuters totals.

(Text: Reuters; REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare)

HEALS Act stimulus check: could I get more money this time round?

A second stimulus check, officially known as an Economic Impact Payment, is part of Senate Republicans' proposal for the US' next coronavirus relief package.

Full details:

DT

Support dips for protests, but many Americans still reject Trump's response

Americans' support for the Black Lives Matter protests has declined since the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd in May renewed a national conversation on race, yet more than half still disapprove of President Donald Trump's response.

The July 27-28 poll also showed a largely partisan reaction to Trump's decision to deploy federal agents to quell demonstrators in some cities against the wishes of local authorities. About four in 10, most of them Democrats, say Republican Trump is just trying to help himself politically as he seeks a second term in the Nov. 3 election.

Vaccine

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine pricing will ensure broad access

Moderna Inc plans to price its experimental coronavirus vaccine in a way that ensures broad access, it said on Wednesday, adding that it did not intend to conduct late-stage trials of the shot outside the United States.

Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel declined to comment on the specific price of the vaccine on a conference call with analysts.

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that the company was planning to price the vaccine at $50 to $60 per course, at least $11 more than another vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech.

Doctor mask

UK Doctor runs 22 miles with mask, oxygen levels fine, as of course they would be

Dr Tom Lawton, who works in intensive care at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Yorkshire, England, ran to work and back with his mask on and wearing a sats meter to record his oxygen saturation, to prove that wearing the mask doesn't limit the amount of oxygen. Anti-maskers have been peddling ridiculous claims that wearing a mask can stop sufficient oxygen getting into the body. 

He ran eight miles into work and then went the long way round on the way home, 14 miles, and during the entire run his oxygen levels never dropped below 98% (a reading of 95-99% is normal). 

Dr Lawton: "It was with disappointment, but not surprise, that I started to see the misinformation coming out: masks are dangerous, they drop your oxygen levels, or claims they're part of a government control scheme. The final straw for me was seeing a post on Twitter "proving" with an oxygen sats meter that blood oxygen levels became low even sitting at a desk with a mask on'.

I know masks can be uncomfortable when you're not used to them. They can provoke anxiety—even panic—and when you start to breathe fast they can make breathing feel harder and limit performance if you try to exercise hard...But it upset me to see the mistruths, because masks aren't dangerous and won't limit oxygen.

At a medium run pace I can use enough oxygen for at least ten resting people, so I thought showing this by running in a mask might reassure people."

The other side of this story is the online abuse he got, being accused of using a mask with 'breathing gaps' or of being a professional athlete brought in to encourage "compliance" from the public. 

 Dr. Anthony Fauci breaks Topps Now baseball card sales record.

The Topps Now limited-edition baseball card featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci sold out in just 24 hours with the company selling 51,512 cards.

U.S. records 10,000 coronavirus deaths in 11 days as fatalities approach 150,000

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus were approaching 150,000 on Wednesday, the highest level in the world and rising by 10,000 in 11 days, according to a Reuters tally.

This is the fastest increase in fatalities since the United States went from 100,000 cases to 110,000 cases in 11 days in early June, according to the tally.

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.

A spike in infections in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas this month has overwhelmed hospitals. The rise has forced states to make a U-turn on reopening economies that were restricted by lockdowns in March and April to slow the spread of the virus.

Texas leads the nation with nearly 4,000 deaths so far this month, followed by Florida with 2,690 and California, the most populous state, with 2,500. The Texas figure includes a backlog of hundreds of deaths after the state changed the way it counted COVID-19 fatalities.

Donald Trump on Fauci's high approval ratings: 'Nobody likes me'

President Donald Trump quipped about medical expert Anthony Fauci's high approval ratings and joked that 'nobody likes me' as he struggles to improve his standing with voters.

Texas cases pass 400,000 mark

Half a dozen U.S. states in the South and West reported one-day records for coronavirus deaths on Tuesday and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark, dampening early hopes the country was past the worst of an economic crisis that has decimated businesses and put millions of Americans out of work.

California health officials said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous U.S. state, account for 56% of infections and 46% of deaths.

Cases are soaring in the Central Valley agricultural region, with its heavily Latino population, overwhelming hospitals.

DT

Dollar wallows near 2-year low as coronavirus keeps Fed in a bind

The dollar languished near two-year lows on Wednesday as the United States struggled to contain a spike in coronavirus cases, dashing hopes for a quick economic recovery.

The dour outlook for the world's largest economy is expected to see the U.S. Federal Reserve sticking to a dovish stance at its policy review later in the day, with dollar bears betting it could hint of other ways to loosen policy further down the road.

The dollar index against six major currencies stood at 93.720, near its lowest since June 2018 this week.

The euro traded at $1.1723, up slightly on the day though it has stepped back a tad from Monday's 22-month high of $1.17815.

U.S. coronavirus deaths rise by 1,200 for first time since May

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus rose by more than 1,200 on Tuesday, the biggest one-day increase since May, according to a Reuters tally.

California and Florida, two of the most populous states, reported a one-day record spike in deaths on Tuesday, together accounting for 362 of the 1,227 new deaths. Arkansas, Montana and Oregon also had one-day record increases in COVID-19 fatalities.

Tuesday's surge in deaths comes on top of U.S. deaths rising on a weekly basis for three weeks in a row. Last week, fatalities increased by over 1,000 for four days in a row.

Moderna Inc is planning to price its coronavirus vaccine at $50 to $60 per course, at least $11 more than another vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday she did not believe Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was ready to reach an agreement on coronavirus relief legislation.

Moderna Inc on Tuesday said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response and protected against infection in a study on monkeys.

Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Oregon each reported record spikes in fatalities. California had recorded 133 deaths by mid-afternoon, shy of its one-day peak of 159 with hours to go.

California health officials said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous U.S. state, account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths. Cases are soaring in the Central Valley agricultural region, with its heavily Latino population, overwhelming hospitals.

NFL player test positive

21 since reporting to camp, 107 tested positive in the offseason.

The NFLPA has more info here.

Eastman Kodak Co (KODK.N) will get a $765 million loan from the U.S. government to produce pharmaceutical ingredients in the country, helping reduce dependency on other countries by strengthening domestic supply chains. The company’s shares were trading at $8.80 after closing at $2.62 in the previous session.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corp said on Tuesday it would sign a letter of interest to provide the loan to Kodak, a company known more for its cameras and imaging business.

Trump

Trump storms out when pressed over tweeting Covid-19 misinformation

Faced with questioning by CNN's Kaitlin Collins about "his words of support for a doctor who downplayed masks and suggested alien DNA was used in medical treatments" President Trump stormed out.

Trump continues to back theories about the virus that are unproven. In fact he's still talking up hydroxychloroquine when all the studies have shown it has no benefit either in preventing or treating the disease. As his adviser on the virus Dr. Fauci said: "the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease." But Trump keeps backing it.

U.S. Republicans on Monday unveiled a new coronavirus relief proposal hammered out with the White House, four days before millions of Americans lose expanded unemployment benefits. The package is facing opposition both from Democrats and from some Republicans, however.

“There’s concern with the stimulus out of Washington, which is critical to the oil complex and to supporting demand, especially for gasoline,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. Kilduff added that the longer the talks drag out, the more it will weigh on market sentiment.

Avoid coronavirus at all costs

"Ongoing myocardial inflammation" in a substantial number of patients after Covid-19 infection. The long-term effects of the pandemic  are very much unknowns as yet.

No signs pandemic is slowing down

"In the past six weeks the number of cases has roughly doubled"

School

Lawmakers probe White House pressure over schools reopening amid coronavirus

Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday asked the U.S. education secretary and head of a top government health agency for their correspondence with the White House to determine if political pressure influenced new federal recommendations on whether schools should reopen in the fall.

Public comments from Republican President Donald Trump and members of his administration made clear that reopening schools was a priority and interfered in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) messages to the public, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Andy Levin said in a letter.

"The challenging decision of whether and how to reopen schools safely for in-person instruction should be based on the best available public health information and guidance, without regard to politics," they wrote.

Bio-secure bubble presents unprecedented challenges for NBA

An NBA season like no other resumes inside a bio-secure bubble in Orlando this week, following a four-and-a-half month break, in what will probably be the most uniquely challenging title run in the 74-year history of the league.

Bringing home the Larry O'Brien trophy in October will require a level of mental toughness never seen before. Players have to stay away from their families for three months, play in front of empty stands and also subject themselves to regular COVID-19 tests.

"We are in uncharted waters," Hall of Famer Reggie Miller said on Tuesday.

"Twenty two teams in a bubble, isolated on a campus, in a dorm living together in the middle of a pandemic. We've got civil unrest in our country and players have left their families at home.

"Whoever wins this championship, with everything that's going on in the world, they will have wanted it."

Fauci sees signs of hope in some U.S. states hard hit by outbreak

A coronavirus surge in Florida, California and a handful of other hard-hit states could be peaking while other parts of the country may be on the cusp of growing outbreaks, the top U.S. infectious diseases official said on Tuesday.

A spike in cases in Florida, along with Texas, Arizona and California this month has overwhelmed hospitals, forced a U-turn on steps to reopen economies and stoked fears that U.S. efforts to control the outbreak are sputtering.

"They may be cresting and coming back down," Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC's "Good Morning America" program regarding the state of the outbreak in several Sunbelt states.

Fauci said there was a "very early indication" that the percentage of coronavirus tests that were positive was starting to rise in other states, such as Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

In this guide you’ll find a summary of many of the recommendations and explanations provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other public health authorities, along with answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.

HEALS Act vs HEROES Act

The Republicans launched their coronavirus stimulus HEALS Act legislation on Monday, here's how it differs from the Dems' HEROES Act on stimulus payments.

Trump

Trump says many doctors think hydroxychloroquine is extremely successful in treating coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on Tuesday on his support for the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine, describing it as extremely successful in treating the deadly coronavirus.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month revoked its emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 after several studies cast doubt on its effectiveness.

CDC record over 50,000 new daily cases

A further 54,448 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking the total to 4,280,135.

It said the number of deaths had risen by 1,126 to 147,672. The CDC reported its tally as of 4 pm ET on 27 July 27 versus its previous report a day earlier.

California Latinos contracting COVID-19 at three times rate of whites

Latinos in California are becoming ill and dying from COVID-19 at far greater rates than other groups, the state's top health official warned on Tuesday, prompting new outreach and data collection efforts as cases surge.

Latinos make up 39% of the population in the most populous U.S. state, but account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths, the California Health and Human Services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said in a conference call with reporters.

Of particular concern is the heavily Latino Central Valley agricultural region, where cases continue to soar and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed even as the rate of new infections may be slowing in the state overall, Ghaly said.

Coronavirus live United States updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, US-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered over 16.5 million cases and over 655,000 deaths worldwide, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.

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