Coronavirus USA summary: news, cases, deaths - 5 August

Coronavirus live US: latest Covid-19 news - Wednesday 5 August

USA coronavirus latest: 15:00 PT / 18:00 ET Wednesday 5 August (00:00 CEST on Thu 6 Aug)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University18,614,542 cases have been detected worldwide, with 702,330 deaths and 11,181,018 people recovered.

In the US, there have been 4,793,950 confirmed cases and 157,416 deaths, with 1,528,979 people recovered from the virus.

Scroll through some of the recent coronavirus-related articles:

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Coronavirus scams have conned almost $100 million

Scams taking advantage of Americans' desperation in the midst of a deadly pandemic and accompanying economic upheaval "are running rampant."

NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art cuts staff by 353

Faced with financial pressures from the coronavirus pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is reducing its staff by 353, museum officials said.

The reduction will come through a combination of voluntary retirements, furloughs and the elimination of some positions, the museum said on Wednesday. With previous pandemic-related staff cuts, it brings the number of Met employees down from roughly 2,000 to 1,600.

Fauci expects tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses at start of 2021

Drug manufacturers will likely have tens of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the early part of next year, with production ramping up so that it hits a billion doses by the end of 2021, Anthony Fauci, the top US government official on infectious diseases, said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday.

Fauci said he has not seen any pressure from the White House to announce a vaccine close to the 3 November election, in the hopes of boosting President Donald Trump's re-election chances.

He added that regulators have promised 'they are not going to let political considerations interfere' with the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine and 'safety and efficacy' will be primary considerations.

Trump hosts Doug Ducey 

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey visited the White House to discuss the coronavirus response with President Donald Trump.

Remdesivir Covid-19 treatment price set at over $2,300

“We’ve lost more than 150,000 Americans to Covid-19. Now is not the time to squeeze extravagant costs from hospitals, taxpayers, or families for a vial that costs only $1 to create.”

McConnell: "We'll certainly be in next week"

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will meet next week, meaning a delay to the August recess, which is meant to start after Friday's session. 

The backdrop is the ongoing negotiations over the next stimulus package, with many Americans desperate to get news of extended unemployment benefits and a second round of stimulus checks. 

"We'll certainly be in next week. We'll see what happens after that," McConnell told CNN.

The negotiations between Democrats and White House officials have a deadline of the end of this week to reach an agreement. There was apparently some movement today, with both sides offering some small concessions. 

CARES vs HEALS vs HEROES Acts

As the American economy and households continue to struggle amid the pandemic, the Republican proposal is the latest step towards more aid.

Can they get their Acts together?

What date can I expect my second stimulus check?

The Republican-proposed HEALS Act arrived after some delay, and that was a new starting point with which to negotiate.

Meanwhile, Americans around the United States waited on news of what financial support they could expect and, importantly, when they were likely to receive it.

US goes past 157,000 Covid-19 deaths

The latest figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University show that the death toll from the novel coronavirus now stands at 157,186.

So far today there have been 14,448 new cases confirmed and 385 deaths. 

Chicago to start school year fully online

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and likely to avoid a strike by the Chicago Teacher's Union, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district will start the 2020-21 academic year fully online.

The head of the CPS, Dr Janice Jackson, said that a large percentage of parents had indicated they were not comfortable sending their children to school, even with a hybrid model. 

US has "no cohesive plan" to tackle huge second wave

The New Scientist has done a deep dive into how the US is preparing - or not - for what could be a massive second wave of coronavirus infections. 

While the US has done lots of testing, a lot of the tests take too long to come back, making them effectively worthless. 

"“The whole testing system is a dismal failure of epic proportions,” says Antoine Dupont, who was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms. “With the labs backed up the way they are, I wouldn’t get an answer in a reasonable amount of time anyway.”

There's a long litany of problems across the states, with inconsistent mitigation regulations covering travel, mask mandates and quarantine, and a lack of proper contact-tracing. 

Public officials know how to get the virus under control, but it's not happening so far. The good news is that there is optimism it can be turned around. "The development and deployment of faster coronavirus tests, as well as advances in vaccine development, should help future efforts to contain the virus’s spread," says Eric Topol at the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California.

The worrying thought is whether the US can sort things out before schools reopen and people start to go back indoors as the summer comes to an end. 

Trump looking at executive action

If there is no stimulus deal agreed by the end of the week, President Trump has said he is considering signing an executive action on the lapsed unemployment benefits. 

Tuesday figures

In case you missed them, the United States recorded a further 57,540 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, with 1,399 deaths.

That took the totals to 4,771,080 cases and 156,801 deaths, however those figures are already moving up again.

At 08:00 ET, there were 4,771, 846 confirmed cases and 156,839 deaths. 

On first day at school Georgia second grader tests positive

There are quite a few of these stories going about at the moment. In this one, Sixes Elementary in the Cherokee County School district in Georgia began classes on Monday, but after a second grader tested positive yesterday the teacher of their class and 20 students have all been sent to quarantine for two weeks. 

Of course that means 20 families now have a second grader back at home, presumably throwing work plans for many completely awry.

Novovax

Novovax becomes third US company to release positive study results

Novovax Inc has released Phase 1 data showing two doses of its vaccine prompted volunteers to develop neutralising antibodies to the coronavirus. 

The study has yet to be peer reviewed. 

Stay up to date with the latest from Beirut

If you want to keep an eye on what's happening in the aftermath of yesterday's terrible explosion in Beirut, we have live coverage up and running.

Global death toll passes 700,000 mark

The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.

Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.

That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds.

(Text: Reuters)

U.S. losses from coronavirus-related fraud and identity theft have reached nearly $100 million since the pandemic emerged in March, while complaints of COVID-19 scams have at least doubled in most states, a consumer protection group said on Tuesday.

Novavax Inc said on Tuesday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus, according to initial data from a small, early-stage clinical trial, sending the company’s shares up 10%.

A bipartisan group of state attorneys general on Tuesday urged the U.S. government to allow other companies to make Gilead Sciences’ (GILD.O) COVID-19 treatment, remdesivir, to increase its availability and lower the price of the antiviral drug.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday ordered all students in grades K-12 to wear masks at public schools that reopen, one of the few states along with New Jersey to issue such a statewide mandate for those attending in-person classes.

Teachers at dozens of school districts protested from their cars on Monday over plans by some U.S. governors to resume in-class instruction during the coronavirus pandemic, while Arizona, Florida, California and Texas saw declines in new cases.

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.

Most Americans think U.S. should have a 2-week nationwide lockdown

The latest poll from NPR/Ipsos shows that 59% of Americans would support the government issuing a two-week mandatory nationwide stay-at-home order to battle the pandemic. Only a little more than a third (36%) said they would oppose such a decision. Meanwhile, 85% of those who took part in the poll believe that the government should expand funding for Covid-19 testing to make it free of charge.

Beirut blast: Trump says explosion "a bomb of some kind"

The U.S. president said that he had spoken with military officials who think the Lebanon blast that has left over 70 people dead seemed to be an attack.

Read more

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Chicago public schools to hold all classes online this fall

(Reuters) Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the United States, will hold all classes online this fall for its 350,000 students amid the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported on Tuesday. School officials are expected to unveil details of their plan as early as Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported citing unnamed sources.

The development came shortly after the Chicago Teachers Union threatened a work stoppage if the school system went with its original plan to hold some in-person classes. A Chicago Teachers Union official who asked not to be identified told Reuters on Tuesday afternoon that the union plans to discuss early next week a possible strike vote demanding remote learning. It would be the strongest action yet, led by rank-and-file teachers across the nation who have voiced frustration this summer over plans to reopen schools and return to in-person learning in the fall. 

Who is investigating Donald Trump's companies over fraud?

The U.S. president faces a grand jury subpoena for his tax returns as Manhattan's district attorney suggests wider probe into the Trump Organization.

Read more:

Second stimulus check: What is my AGI and where can I find it?

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is used by the IRS for the stimulus check thresholds - here's how to find out your AGI.

More information here:

Indianapolis 500 behind closed doors

This year's Indianapolis 500 will be held without fans in attendance due to growing health and safety concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced on Tuesday. It will be the first time in the race’s 109-year history that the race will go ahead without the public in the stands.

 

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 close to 18.5 million cases and more than 698,000 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 4.75 million cases, leading to just over 156,400 fatalities.

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