Coronavirus USA: news summary for Thursday 30 July

Coronavirus live US: latest news - 30 July

Why is Trump asking to delay the 2020 presidential election?

The U.S. president on Thursday suggested the November presidential election be delayed so that people could "properly, securely and safely" vote.

Read more:

plane

WHO urges countries to prioritise essential travel

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said countries should gradually lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritise essential travel for emergencies.

The WHO recommends that priority should be given to essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, and repatriation, it said in a statement. A surge of new infections around the world has forced many countries to reimpose some travel restrictions in recent days.

The WHO has now urged each country to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of its own and decide on its priorities, before resuming international travel. Earlier this week, the WHO said that bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders. It said last month that it would update its travel guidelines ahead of the northern hemisphere summer holidays.

Earlier in July, the organization urged travellers to wear masks on planes and keep themselves informed as Covid-19 cases surge again in some countries. The WHO's previous guidance for travellers has included common-sense advice applicable to other settings such as social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Biosafety helmets in the battle to stop Covid-19 spreading

Colombian experts have created a helmet which makes it possible to supply air and control carbon dioxide output in a way that is similar to systems used in space helmets.
The innovative biosafety capsule is designed to guarantee complete isolation from airborne particles and fluids, something particularly important to preventing spread of Covid-19

Chinese-backed hackers targeted COVID-19 vaccine firm Moderna

(Reuters) Chinese government-linked hackers targeted biotech company Moderna Inc (MRNA.O), a leading U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine research developer, earlier this year in a bid to steal valuable data, according to a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking activity.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department made public an indictment of two Chinese nationals accused of spying on the United States, including three unnamed U.S.-based targets involved in medical research to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The indictment states the Chinese hackers “conducted reconnaissance” against the computer network of a Massachusetts biotech firm known to be working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.

senate

Still no deal on Coronavirus aid bill jobless benefit nears expiration

(Reuters) Just one day before a federal jobless benefit was set to expire, the U.S. Congress was no closer to a deal to extend or replace the extra $600-per-week in payments to tens of millions thrown out of work by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Republicans were discussing a way to hold a vote, possibly early next week, on just the unemployment benefit. But there were no signs that Democrats, who have been resisting such a narrow response, would go along.

With little prospect of having to be in Washington to vote on a coronavirus-response bill this week, the Senate was mulling beginning its weekend immediately and returning on Monday -- after the unemployment insurance benefit has expired.

The past four days of private talks involving top White House and congressional officials have yielded no tangible results and much of Thursday was spent with Republicans and Democrats criticizing each other. "Republicans don’t want this aid to expire," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "But the Speaker and the Democratic Leader say they won’t agree to anything unless the program pays people more to stay home than to work".

Stimulus check delays are "an outrage"

Issues with delivering stimulus checks issued under the CARES Act have been branded outrageous, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) facing calls to expedite delayed payments, Newsweek reports.

Payments of up to $1,200 per person began being sent to eligible individuals after President Donald Trump signed the bill in March, though lawmakers have complained of people still awaiting their money months later.

While 159 million stimulus payments went out, a House Ways and Means Committee report in June estimated 30 to 35 million payments were still due to be made at that time, while a Taxpayer Advocate Service report suggested many people still waiting for their payment could face delays until next year.

trump

Republican lawmakers reject Trump suggestion to delay U.S. election

Multiple conservative U.S. lawmakers on Thursday pushed back against fellow Republican President Donald Trump's suggestion to delay the 3 November presidential election, saying the contest would be held as planned even as they backed his concerns about mail-in voting.

"We should not delay the election," Republican Senator Ted Cruz told reporters. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham also told reporters: "I think delaying the election probably wouldn't be a good idea." U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the U.S. House Administration Committee, wrote in a tweet that there would "be no delay."

Former presidential candidate Cain dies of Covid-19

Herman Cain, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 US presidential election, has died of Covid-19, it has been confirmed.

The 74-year-old was hospitalized earlier in July after testing positive

It is not known how and where Cain was infected with the coronavirus, however photos of him not wearing a mask at Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20 were widely shared on social media. Cain tested positive for Covid-19 nine days later. Eight members of the advance team at the rally tested positive for the coronavirus and the campaign staff had to self-isolate afterwards.

Shared on his Twitter account on Thursday, a post announcing Cain's death read: "We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight.

"He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle […].

"We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he'd have a full recovery."

DT

Breaking News via BBC: US President Donald Trump calls to delay 2020 election

Donald Trump has called for November's presidential election to be postponed, saying increased postal voting could lead to fraud and inaccurate results.

He suggested a delay until people can "properly, securely and safely" vote.

There is little evidence to support Mr Trump's claims but he has long railed against mail-in voting which he has said would be susceptible to fraud.

Full story here

Quake rattles Los Angeles with no immediate reports of damage

An earthquake of 4.2 magnitude hit about a mile (2 km) north of the Los Angeles community of Pacoima on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Though relatively small in magnitude, the quake, which struck at 4:29 a.m. Pacific time (1129 GMT), was felt in much of the Los Angeles area, social media reports said. A second quake of 3.3 magnitude struck nine minutes later, the survey said.

People on social media reported feeling the quake in areas such as North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, with some saying they did not receive a ShakeAlert message on their phones.

What four U.S. states is Dr. Fauci concerned about and why?

Speaking to ABC News, Fauci claimed that he and Dr. Deborah Birx are concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases in four US states.

$600 unemployment boost: update on extension of extra benefits

A $600 weekly benefits boost implemented as part of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn coronavirus relief package, expires at the end of July.

DT

China says U.S. fuelling new Cold War due to presidential election

China on Thursday accused the United States of stoking a new Cold War because certain politicians were searching for a scapegoat to bolster support ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

U.S. President Donald Trump identifies China as the West's main rival, and has accused President Xi Jinping of taking advantage over trade and not telling the truth over the novel coronavirus outbreak, which Trump calls the "China plague".

Asked if he saw a new Cold War, China's ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, said the United States had started a trade war with China and that there would be no winner from such an approach.

 

United States death Covid-19 related death toll passes 150,000 mark 

The US has now surpassed 150,000 deaths, now making us the country with the most deaths in the world. The latest figure offered by the Johns Hopkins University cites the figure at 150, 716.

Ashleigh Barty pulls out of US Open over coronavirus fears

World number one Ashleigh Barty pulled out of the US Open on Thursday over fears about the coronavirus pandemic in a major blow for the Grand Slam, which is scheduled to start in New York on August 31.

The Australian is the biggest name so far to withdraw from the tournament, with her decision coming as the United States marked a grim milestone when its Covid-19 deaths topped 150,000.

Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson vaccine protects monkeys in a single dose

Johnson & Johnson on Thursday kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine after releasing details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose.

When exposed to the virus, six out of six animals who got the candidate vaccine were completely protected from lung disease and five out of six were protected from infection as measured by the presence of virus in nasal swabs, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

"This gives us confidence that we can test a single-shot vaccine in this epidemic and learn whether it has a protective effect in humans," Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The U.S. government is backing J&J's vaccine effort with $456 million in funding as part of a spending spree aimed at speeding production of a vaccine to end the pandemic, which has infected millions and killed more than 660,000 people.

USD

Asian stocks make cautious gains as US dollar languishes near two-year lows on Fed

Asian stocks were boosted on Thursday by the promise of ultra-easy monetary policy globally as the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to support the country's virus-battered economy, though record-shattering COVID-19 cases tempered gains.

In a mixed lead for Europe, futures for Eurostoxx 50 were slightly higher and those for Germany's Dax were flat. London's FTSE futures rose 0.2% while E-minis for the S&P 500 were 0.2% lower.

U.S. Open to be played in New York but with no fans in attendance

Due to the ongoing impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, as a safety measure no fans will be in attendance at this year's U.S. Open.

Global Covid-19 cases pass 17m mark

The world has seem more than 17 million coronavirus cases with the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus tracker posting 17,031,021 cases as of Thursday morning with 4.4 million of those cases being detected in the United States alone.

 

The impact of coronavirus on energy consumption in the US

 

 

Madonna reportedly posted false information about the coronavirus

 

The situation in the US remains critical against the coronavirus

US, with improvements in the economy and job creation in times of coronavirus

Deaths have risen substantially in the past 20 days with Tuesday being the deadliest day this summer. With the latest daily count, the U.S. death toll has surpassed the grim 150,000 landmark.

Fauci outlines five principles as deaths surpass 150,000

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has outlined five principles which could help stop coronavirus surges happening in the U.S.:

Universal wearing of masks

Avoiding crowds

Physical distancing of at least six feet

Typical hand hygiene

Avoiding bars or closing them where possible

“If we don’t start initiating rather strict adherence to the five principles I just mentioned,” Fauci said, “what inevitably is going to happen is that the states that are not yet in trouble will likely get into trouble."

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi announces mask-wearing requirement for lawmakers and staff

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced that members and staff are required to wear masks in the House of Representatives during the coronavirus pandemic. Members will be allowed to remove their masks to speak in the House when addressing the chamber, Pelosi said on the House floor.

'The chair expects all members and staff to adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect for the health, safety, and well-being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas,' Pelosi said on the House floor. The move came after Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who steadfastly refused to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, said on Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19, leading at least three of his colleagues to say they would self-quarantine.

Pelosi warned that she had the authority to ask the House Sergeant at Arms to remove a member from the floor for violating decorum, and 'the chair views the failure to wear a mask as a serious breach of decorum.' She said masks will be available at entry points to the House for members who forget to bring them. Pelosi had said earlier Wednesday that leaders had been discussing a mask mandate with the Capitol physician.

Lions put Golladay, Hockenson on COVID-19 reserve list

The Detroit Lions put five players on the COVID-19 reserve list on Wednesday, including emerging wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson. There were 19 such designations in the NFL on Wednesday with the Lions having the most. T

he other Lions players designated are cornerback Amani Oruwariye, punter Arryn Siposs and linebacker Jalen Elliott. The reserve list means a player either tested positive for COVID-19 or was recently exposed to someone who did. Golladay is entering a contract year and coming off a season during which he led the league with 11 touchdowns and set a career-high with 1,190 receiving yards.

Hockenson finished his rookie season with 32 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. He missed the final four games with an ankle injury.

Houston

The scene inside United Memorial Medical Center in Houston has become all too familiar: overwhelmed medical staff fighting to curb the wave of coronavirus disease patients that come through the hospital's doors every day.

While in earlier pandemic hot spots like New York the medical emergency has subsided, Texas is among the many U.S. states battling a resurgence of the virus that is straining their healthcare systems. Dr. Joseph Varon, the chief medical officer of United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC,) said he is afraid he will soon face a dilemma many doctors elsewhere said they confronted earlier in the pandemic.

Deciding who to save. 'I'm afraid that at some point in time I'm going have to make some very serious decisions,' he told Reuters in an interview. 'I'm starting to get the idea that I cannot save everybody.'

Varon, 58, is overseeing the hospital's unit dedicated to Covid-19 patients, where he said he tends to an average of 40 people a day. He said he signed more death certificates in the last week than at any point in his career. (Photo: Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

World number one Barty to skip U.S. Open over coronavirus concerns

World number one Ash Barty will skip this summer's U.S. Open and the tournament proceeding it in New York due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

'My team and I have decided that we won't be traveling to the U.S. for the Western and Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year,' the Australian told the Herald Sun newspaper.

'I love both events so it was a difficult decision but there are still significant risks involved due to Covid-19 and I don't feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position. 'I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and look forward to being back in the U.S. next year.'

US shares gain amid renewed Fed promise to get economy through coronavirus

The Fed's repeated pledge to use its full range of tools to support the economy and keep interest rates near zero boosted stocks.

The major indices were already higher ahead of profit reports from big tech firms such as Amazon and Apple.

The world's biggest technology giants have been accused of abusing their market power in a long-awaited congressional hearing in the United States.

Pelosi announces mask-wearing requirement in House

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced that members and staff are required to wear masks in the House of Representatives during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Members will be allowed to remove their masks to speak in the House when addressing the chamber, Pelosi said on the House floor.

Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google vs Congress

Bosses of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday 29 July about their companies' dominance and power.

The tough questioning spent some of the time focused on the hardships for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of disinformation around the virus.

Covid-19 catch-up

Here is a selection of some of the coronavirus-related stories that have been making the headlines over the last 24 hours:

- Governor Kay Ivey extends Alabama mask order through August

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

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

- Trump campaigns without a mask in Texas despite state's coronavirus surge

- US coronavirus deaths near 150,000 as 21 states declared 'red zones'

- NBA ready to "cease completely" in event of outbreak

- Moderna says Covid-19 vaccine pricing will ensure broad access

USA coronavirus latest: 13:00 / 19:00 ET on Wednesday 29 July (01:00 CEST on Thu 30 July)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University16,849,365 cases have been detected worldwide, with 662,648 deaths and 9,871,808 people recovered.

In the US, there have been 4,401,599 confirmed cases and 149,961 deaths, with 1,355,363 people recovered from the virus.

Coronavirus live United States updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, US-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered over 16.8 million cases and over 662,000 deaths worldwide, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.

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