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

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

Coronavirus USA: live updates - 2 August

USA coronavirus latest: 14:30 PT / 17:30 ET on Sunday 2 August (23:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University17,952,324 cases have been detected worldwide, with 686,877 deaths and 10,603,189 people recovered.

In the US, there have been 4,657,625 confirmed cases and 154,793 deaths, with 1,461,885 people recovered from the virus.

Scroll through some of the recent coronavirus-related articles:

What will going to a sports stadium be like post-coronavirus?

Pelosi on Birx: "I don't have confidence there, no"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) has told ABC’s This Week that she has no confidence in Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator.

“I think the president has been spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee so, I don’t have confidence there, no,” Pelosi said on Sunday.

Pelosi also did not deny recent comments attributed to her by Politico’s Jake Sherman, who reported that she said: "Deborah Birx is the worst. Wow, what horrible hands you’re in."

Second stimulus check: how much would HEALS Act give dependents?

The HEALS Act, Republican senators' proposal for the next coronavirus relief package in the US, includes a second round of stimulus checks.

Full details:

US

Protesters gather outside the Trump National Golf Club as the US president, Donald Trump, plays golfs at the club ion Sterling, Virginia on Sunday.

(Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

US in "new phase" of Covid-19 pandemic, says Dr Birx

Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, says the United States is now "in a new phase" of the coronavirus pandemic, telling CNN’s State of the Union: “It’s more widespread and it’s both rural and urban.”

"We are in a new phase […],” Birx said on Sunday. “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas. To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus.

"And that’s why we keep saying no matter where you live in America, you need to wear a mask and socially distance, do the personal hygiene practices, but more importantly, if you're in multi-generational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.

"This epidemic right now is different, and it’s more widespread and it’s both rural and urban."

SpaceX Crew Dragon returns to Earth: live

In non-coronavirus news, we also have live coverage of the return to Earth of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, which is carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back home after their 63-day stay aboard the International Space Station. Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to splash down at 14:48 Eastern Time (20:48 CEST).

Watch live:

Santa Monica empty

A woman walks down a deserted Third Street Promenade, a usually busy shopping and restaurant pedestrian street in Santa Monica, California, on Saturday. The scale of economic devastation from the pandemic was laid bare on 30 July as Western economies recorded historic slumps, just as resurgent caseloads forced many countries into agonising new trade-offs between health and financial stability.

(Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP)

Thai army suspends U.S. training plans after soldiers contract Covid-19

(Reuters) Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the U.S. military after nine Thai soldiers tested positive for coronavirus upon returning from Hawaii, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

The Thai Army said the infected soldiers were among 151 Thai officers who had returned from Lightning Forge 2020 training with U.S. soldiers in Hawaii for the first three weeks of July.

"The army has suspended all plans to bring forces abroad until the situation improves," said defence ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantawanich. Thailand had no plans for joint training with other countries but the United States, he said.

Canadian company Vyzr has designed a type of diving helmet that purifies air and has N95 filters to protect the wearer from Covid-19 and other diseases.

Li-Meng Yan, a virologist who fled to the US, has claimed that China deliberately withheld information and that Covid-19 is not a naturally occurring virus.

The Senate is due to go into recess on 7 August, leaving little time for Republicans and Democrats to reach agreement on the latest stimulus package.

Donald Trump has accused the Democrats of playing political hardball over a new stimulus package with an eye on the November elections while stating that the Republicans want to push through a new deal as quickly as possible. 

On Thursday, a group of Republican senators proposed sending out $1,000 payments per individual amid the coronavirus pandemic.

California

Caution tape surrounds an orange stand at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market in Santa Monica. The scale of economic devastation from the Covid-19 pandemic was laid bare on July 30 as Western economies recorded historic slumps, just as resurgent caseloads forced many countries into agonising new trade-offs between health and financial stability. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

storm

Storm Isaias churns close to Florida's east coast

(Reuters) Isais, downgraded from a hurricane but still a powerful tropical storm, churned close to Florida on Sunday, set to brush the state's east coast with strong winds and potential coastal flooding.

By 5 a.m. (0900 GMT), Tropical Storm Isaias was about 45 miles (75 km) southeast of West Palm Beach, heading northwest with top sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph), the National Hurricane Center said.

On its current path, Isaias will move near or along Florida's east coast during Sunday, the Miami-based NHC said. On Monday and Tuesday, its center would move from offshore of the coast of Georgia into the southern mid-Atlantic states.

It was not expected to change much in strength in the next couple of days.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

U.S. records over 25,000 coronavirus deaths in July

(Reuters) U.S. coronavirus deaths rose by over 25,000 in July and cases doubled in 19 states during the month, according to a Reuters tally, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy.

The United States recorded 1.87 million new cases in July, bringing total infections to 4.5 million, for an increase of 69%. Deaths in July rose 20% to nearly 154,000 total.

The biggest increases in July were in Florida, with over 310,000 new cases, followed by California and Texas with about 260,000 each. All three states saw cases double in June.

Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, according to the tally.

Coronavirus rattling MLB as possible cases force more delays

Major League Baseball (MLB) postponed Saturday's game and Sunday's double-header between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers after initial rapid tests showed another player and 'multiple' staff on the Cardinals may have Covid-19.

MLB is scrambling to keep its coronavirus-shortened season on track after numerous games were postponed due to positive test results, with an outbreak on the Miami Marlins injecting uncertainty just days after the delayed, truncated season began. The league had already rescheduled Friday's game between Milwaukee and St. Louis after two Cardinals players tested positive.

Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain opted out of the rest of the 2020 season, the team said on Saturday, though it did not specify why. 'We fully support Lorenzo's decision, and we will miss his talents on the field and leadership in the clubhouse,' Brewers President and General Manager David Stearns said in a written statement.

Australia's Kyrgios withdraws from U.S. Open

Australia's Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the U.S. Open and again criticised some of his fellow professionals for their decisions to ignore health advice during the coronavirus pandemic. Kyrgios follows compatriot and women's world number one Ash Barty, who withdrew from the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 tournament earlier this week. 'I will not be playing this year at the U.S. Open,' Kyrgios said in a video on social media on Sunday.

'It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport's greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

'But I'm sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It's my decision.'

Kyrgios had no problems with the USTA scheduling the tournament or players competing if they chose, 'so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely'.

Mexico logs over 9,000 new coronavirus cases for first time

Mexico racked up a record number of new confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday, registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time and passing the previous peak for the second day running, official data showed.

Mexico's health ministry reported 9,556 new cases of coronavirus, surging past the record of 8,458 set on Friday. The ministry also logged 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total tally in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths.

The new record in cases came a day after Mexico overtook Britain as the country with the third-highest number of deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The latest on financial aid to american citizens in times of coronavirus

MLB | Red Sox suffer another loss in the season by COVID-19

 

Is Trump at risk of getting coronavirus?

Arizona congressman tests positive for Covid-19

Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva has contracted Covid-19, it has been confirmed. The Democrat, who has now gone into self-isolation, tested positive on Friday, NPR has reported.

In a statement in which he said he was not suffering from any symptoms, Grijalva took aim at congressional Republicans who, he said, "routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask".

"While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously," Grijalva said.

"Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families."

NPR notes, for example, that Grijalva chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, which on Tuesday was attended by Republican congressman Louie Gohmert, who has repeatedly refused to put on a face mask in public.

Second stimulus check: what's been proposed other than the HEALS Act?

As the coronavirus crisis continues, a number of proposals have now been tabled for a stimulus check to follow the payments sent out as part of the CARES Act.

Full details:

"Wrong!": Trump disagrees with Fauci on surging US case numbers

US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to publicly disagree with Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, on the reason why coronavirus cases are continuing to surge in the States.

Testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Friday, Dr Fauci said he believed the US’ rising case numbers were caused by the varying scope of the lockdowns imposed by each state.

"There are some states that did it very well, there are some states that did not," Fauci said, per CBS.

However, Trump yet again put forward his disproved claim that the US’ coronavirus figures are merely a reflection of the level of testing being carried out in the country, tweeting: "Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000

"If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!"

Coronavirus live US updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 19:00 ET had registered over 17.7 million cases and 681,500 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the US, which has been by far the world's worst-hit country, there have been over 4.6 million cases, leading to over 154,100 fatalities.

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