Coronavirus USA news summary for Friday 7 August: news, cases, deaths, relief bill deadline and stimulus checks, today
Coronavirus live US: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 7 August
USA coronavirus latest: 13:00 PT / 16:00 ET on Friday 7 August (22:00 CEST)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 19,160,816 cases have been detected worldwide, with 716,669 deaths and 11,610,152 people recovered.
In the US, there have been 4,917,050 confirmed cases and 160,702 deaths, with 1,598,624 people recovered from the virus.
Scroll through some of the recent coronavirus-related articles:
Trump to move ahead with executive action as stimulus talks collapse
President Trump will likely move ahead with executive orders to address the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus as talks between Democrats and Republicans collapsed today, the last day in principle to reach an agreement on a fourth stimulus package.
"We're going to take executive orders, to try to alleviate some of the pain that people are experiencing," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would recommend that the president move ahead with executive orders. These could be signed this weekend, and will likely address unemployment benefits, that expired on 31 July, along with rental foreclosures and student loans.
Mnuchin and Meadows met Dems Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer earlier today in a bid to reach an agreement on a stimulus package, but made no progress.
The Democrats said they had offered to reduce their demands of a package of $3.4 trillion, but the Republicans were unwilling to raise their offer of $1 trillion, leading to stalemate and the only option now available being executive orders from the President.
The three W's
"Wash your hands."
"Watch your distance – meaning stay at least six feet from others and avoid crowded places."
"Wear a face mask."
That's from US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who said there's no "need to wait for a vaccine" to get the coronavirus under control. He was speaking at a news briefing with Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. Baltimore was warned this week about its rising positivity rate.
California deaths pass 10,000 mark
California confirmed 142 new Covid-19 deaths today, taking the total in the state to 10,011.
The state has 538,416 confirmed positives, with a further 8,436 cases on Friday.
Unemployment benefit extension?
Waiting on news about the fourth stimulus package. Here's what might happen with unemployment benefits.
U.S. surpasses 160,000 coronavirus deaths as school openings near
(Reuters) U.S. deaths from the coronavirus pandemic exceeded 160,000 on Friday, nearly a quarter of the world’s total, according to a Reuters tally, as the country debates whether schools are ready to reopen their doors in the coming weeks.
The country with the most coronavirus cases, the United States recorded 160,003 deaths and 4.91 million cases.
Coronavirus deaths are rising in 23 states and cases in 20 states, according to a Reuters analysis of data the past two weeks compared with the prior two weeks.
On a per-capita basis, the United States ranks 10th highest in the world for both cases and deaths.
The grim milestone marks an increase of 10,000 deaths in nine days in the United States.
President Trump reacts to July's fall in U.S. unemployment
President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to react to today's news that unemployment in the U.S. fell from 11.1% to 10.2% in July:
"Congress’ biggest swing and a miss in a decade"
With White House and Democrat chiefs seemingly nowhere near a deal, Politico's Jake Sherman says the sides' failure to agree a coronavirus relief package by today's deadline - barring an unlikely 11th-hour accord - "might be Congress’ biggest swing and a miss in a decade".
“Ten meetings between Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over two weeks have yielded little more than bickering and resentment […]," Sherman says.
“There was a really, really easy package here that was a bit too much for Republicans, and far too little for Democrats, but would’ve easily passed.
"PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] renewal, direct payments, extension of enhanced unemployment, $105 billion in education funding, eviction moratorium, testing money, $200 billion in state and local, $10 billion for USPS and SNAP money.
"Instead the White House is finalizing executive orders to try to halt evictions and student loan payments, suspend the payroll tax and extend enhanced unemployment insurance. The signing of these executive orders could come as soon as this evening."
U.S. unemployment falls in July
Unemployment in the United States fell to 10.2% in July, the U.S. Department of Labor has today reported. This figure represents a 0.9% drop from the jobless rate in June, and is 4.5% lower than April's peak of 14.7%. Nonetheless, unemployment remains nearly 8% higher than pre-coronavirus pandemic levels: it was down at 3.5% in February.
Second stimulus check: will the eligibility requirements change?
Negotiations are ongoing over the next coronavirus relief package in the U.S., which is set to include a second stimulus check for qualifying Americans.
Medical workers call for safer conditions
Healthcare workers at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Fountain Valley, California, hold a rally on Thursday, calling for safer working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Trump vows unilateral measures if stimulus talks fail
As negotiations drag on between White House officials and Democratic congressional leaders over the terms of the next coronavirus stimulus package, U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to deliver unilateral aid measures if these talks continue to fail.
According to Politico, "Trump said he could issue executive orders in the coming days to cut payroll taxes, provide eviction protections, boost unemployment benefits and assist borrowers with student loans."
However, such a move would not be straightforward and would be likely to be met with legal challenges, the media outlet explains.
U.S. death toll predicted to hit 300,000 by December
Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have predicted that a further 137,000 people will die of Covid-19 in the United States between now and 1 December, taking the country’s death toll past the 300,000 mark.
So far, the coronavirus pandemic has led to just over 106,100 fatalities in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
U.S. job growth forecast to slow sharply in July as Covid-19 cases soar
U.S. employment growth likely slowed significantly in July amid a resurgence in Covid-19 infections, which would provide the clearest evidence yet that the economy's recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic was faltering. The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday could pile pressure on the White House and Congress to speed up negotiations on another aid package.
Around 13.1 million Americans have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. Employment peaked at 152.5 million in February. The economy, which entered into recession in February, suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter, with gross domestic product dropping at its steepest pace in at least 73 years.
U.S. warns citizens not to travel to Mexico
The U.S. State Department urged citizens on Thursday not to travel to Mexico, despite easing a global travel ban, and warned of the rapid spread of coronavirus in the neighboring nation, in addition to rampant crime and kidnapping.
The United States and Mexico have close commercial ties and share the world's busiest land border, crossed by many of their citizens for work, travel or family visits. Mexico's health ministry reported 6,590 new infections and 819 more deaths, taking its virus tally to 462,690 confirmed cases and 50,517 fatalities.
On Twitter, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, said his country had issued a 'Level 4: Do not travel,' warning for all nations at the beginning of the pandemic in March. But the stringent advisory, usually reserved for countries at war, was not lifted for Mexico, because of the spread of Covid-19.
The state department said, "Travelers to Mexico may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Mexico due to Covid-19."
Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit seeking to block proxy voting
Washington, D.C., federal district court Judge Rudolph Contreras determined that McCarthy's suit was out of bounds because courts have no ability to review purely legislative functions, affirming the sweeping power of the House to set its own rules and processes without other branches of government getting involved.
Though Contreras noted that such broad power could give rise to "troubling" hypotheticals — such as rules that interfered with lawmakers' voting power on a discriminatory basis — the proxy voting measure had no such implications, he said.
Brazil's Bolsonaro orders $360 mln to be set aside for AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree on Thursday that will set aside 1.9 billion reais ($356 million) in funds to purchase and eventually produce the potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University researchers.
Brazil's Acting Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello said the vaccine could be available for Brazilians by December or January. He called the vaccine 'the most promising in the world' to fight the virus. 'January is the best bet. The vaccine is the solution to end the pandemic,' Pazuello said during Bolsonaro's weekly live chat on Facebook. AstraZeneca's candidate is seen as the frontrunner in the global race to deliver an effective vaccine.
On Thursday, the British drugmaker struck a deal to produce the vaccine in China. Pazuello said Brazil would initially receive 100 million doses, which would allow for the vaccination of half the country's population, and then produce the vaccine locally.
Trump focuses again on 'terrible' China over virus
US President Donald Trump on Thursday intensified his attacks on China for its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 700,000 people worldwide, as his health secretary headed to Taiwan for a visit sure to irk Beijing.
Trump, whose public approval ratings have fallen amid continued Covid-19 infection rates and economic woes, sought to shift the focus to Beijing, claiming again, without evidence, that it may have intentionally let the virus spread globally.
The Republican president, who is trailing Democrat Joe Biden in national polls ahead of the 3 Nov. election, said it was a 'disgrace' that Beijing had limited the spread of the virus at home but allowed it to reach the rest of the world.
'What China did is a terrible thing ... whether it was incompetence or on purpose,' he said, as his administration continued to crack down on Chinese firms and exports.
More lawmakers test positive, Congress still has no clear plan
Last week, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva, tested positive for Covid-19 in the latest outbreak on Capitol Hill.
And although Grijalva is asymptomatic, he's worried because he's 72 years old and an admitted on-and-off smoker.
"You get scared; your family gets scared," he said from his Washington, D.C., home, where he is now quarantining. "If you're not afraid of this disease, there's something fundamentally wrong."
Here is a selection of some of the coronavirus-related stories that have been making the headlines over the last 24 hours:
- Ohio governor cancels Trump greeting after testing positive
- Drive-through voting in Texas get creatives for polling
- US lifts global health coronavirus travel advisory
- Donald Trump is poised to sign an executive order that would require the federal government to procure certain essential medicines from US companies
- Deaths dip, coronavirus cases rise in Florida and Palm Beach County
- Trump says considering few places for nomination acceptance speech
USA coronavirus latest: 16:00 PT / 19:00 ET on Thursday 6 August (01:00 CEST on Friday 7 August)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 18,923,922 cases have been detected worldwide, with 710,916 deaths and 11,436,080 people recovered.
In the US, there have been 4,870,367 confirmed cases and 159,864 deaths, with 1,598,624 people recovered from the virus.
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 almost 19 million cases and more than 710,000 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 4.87 million cases, leading to almost 160,000 fatalities.