Coronavirus USA: news summary for Monday 10 August

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

Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - Sunday 9/Monday 10 August

US coronavirus latest: 14:30 PT / 17:30 ET on Monday 10 August (23:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University19,952,057 cases have been detected worldwide, with 732,689 deaths and 12,150,698 people recovered.

In the US there have been 5,074,059 confirmed cases and 163,275 deaths, with 1,656,864 people recovered from the virus.

Coronavirus-related stories:

US Secret Service confirms shooting outside White House

Trump again makes US testing claim

Trump has yet again made his disproved claim that the US' high coronavirus case figures are purely a reflection of the amount of testing being done in the country.

"Because we are so far ahead of testing, we have more cases," he told his news conference, adding: "If we have much smaller testing, we’d have fewer." The US president went on: "It’s a great record to have. No other country is close."

Trump says there has been shooting outside White House

Following his return to the podium inside the press room, Donald Trump has confirmed that there has been a shooting outside of the White House. "There was a shooting," Trump said, per USA Today. "It was law enforcement shot someone, it seems to be the suspect. And the suspect is now on the way to the hospital."

According to the BBC, Trump added that he did not know if the suspect had any malicious intentions towards him. "It might not have had anything to do with me," he said.

Trump exits news conference abruptly before returning

US President Donald Trump abruptly ended a press conference at the White House a short time ago, before returning minutes later.

In this video, shared by Washington Post journalist Peter Stevenson, Trump can be seen seemingly being escorted out of the press room by Secret Service personnel.

The president then reappeared shortly afterwards, saying he had been taken to the Oval Office after an incident outside the White House

According to Stevenson, the agent said there had been "shots fired" outside the White House.

Who is Paul Vallone, the Democrat who says hydroxychloroquine saved his life?

In the past, US President Donald Trump has claimed that hydroxychloroquine works efficiently against the coronavirus, contradicting health experts.

Full story:

Trump considers Gettysburg for presidential nomination acceptance speech

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he is weighing delivering his speech accepting the Republican nomination later this month either at the White House or at the site of the Civil War battleground in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

"We will announce the decision soon!" he wrote on Twitter of the location for his speech to close out the Republican National Convention on 27 August.

Plans for this year's party conventions have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the US particularly hard and become a key campaign issue ahead of the 3 November election.

The 24-27 August Republican convention was initially supposed to take place entirely in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state both parties expect to be competitive in the fall.

Now only one day of official convention business will take place there with a far smaller number of attendees.

(Text: Reuters)

Trump executive orders: what will happen with student loan payments?

US President Donald Trump’s executive orders will continue the suspension of monthly payments and interest on all federally-held student loans until 31 December.

Full story:

White House press sec hopeful $400 benefits boost will be ready "close to immediately"

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said the Trump administration is hopeful that the $400 enhanced unemployment benefits included in the president’s executive orders will be available to out-of-work Americans "close to immediately"

However, McEnany did not inspire confidence that the scheme will be delay-free when she explained that states will have to take part in an "application process" for access to federal funds (which will make up three-quarters of the additional $400).  

We hope to see it quickly, close to immediately,” McEnany told a news conference on Monday. “I don’t have an exact read-out for you on time, but a lot of this will depend on states and them applying, because as you know it’s 75% federal government covering, and 25% by the states […]. It will require an application process."

Asked to clarify whether the wait for the $400 will be a matter of weeks or months, McEnany said: “I can’t pinpoint a timeline, other than [to say] we will be working around the clock.”

Georgia

Expanded Covid-19 testing announced in Georgia

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds up a mask while speaking as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp looks on during a press conference announcing statewide expanded Covid-19 testing on Monday.

Recently a high school in Georgia had to switch back to virtual learning after nine people tested positive for the coronavirus when the school opened for regular in-person classes.

(Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/AFP)

Mnuchin sees possible virus deal, but no talks set with Congress

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration and Congress could reach a coronavirus aid deal as soon as this week, but Democratic aides said the two sides have not spoken since talks collapsed last Friday.

With negotiations at a standstill, it was unclear whether Democrats and Republicans would be able to bridge their differences to provide relief to workers, businesses and local governments that have been devastated by the pandemic, which has killed at least 162,000 Americans.

Democrats have passed a $3.4 trillion aid bill through the House, while Republicans countered with a $1 trillion package in the Senate. Both sides support money for schools and coronavirus testing, but remain at odds over enhanced unemployment benefits and aid for state and local governments. Senate Republicans want liability protections for businesses.

Mnuchin, in an interview on CNBC, said there was room for compromise but declined to say when talks could resume. "I think they're willing to compromise," he said. "There is still a lot of things we need to do and that we've agreed on." Trump, who has not participated in negotiations, said it was up to Pelosi and Schumer to reach out. "They know my phone number," he wrote on Twitter.

	People wearing face masks wait to enter the first wholesale outlet for private eateries, during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Havana, Cuba, July 28, 2020. Picture taken July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Cuba reports record number of COVID-19 cases

Cuba reported a record 93 cases of the new coronavirus on Monday as a surge of the disease in the Havana area threatened to stall the re-opening of the country after a partial lockdown beginning in March. Most of the cases were in Havana, where a partial lockdown was re-imposed on Monday, and in neighboring Artemisa province. The area has been isolated from the rest of the country where with but few exceptions no cases have been reported in more than two months. In Havana, restaurants, bars and pools are once more closed, public transportation suspended and access to the beach banned.

Cuba has been hailed as a rare success story in Latin America for its textbook handling and containment of its coronavirus outbreak through contact tracing and isolation of potential asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Perhaps of most concern to officials in Monday's health ministry report was that 22 cases had not been traced to contacts, a figure way above the usual two or three untraceable cases per day. “We are witnessing a new epidemiological outbreak that puts our entire population at risk,” Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal said during a daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday. Cuba has reported just under 3,000 cases and 88 deaths to date. (Reporting by Reuters)

Trump's latest tweet

In his latest Twitter post, Trump claims Chuck Schumar and Nancy Pelosi are now ready to make a deal on a coronavirus stimulus bill, after the president signed four exectutive orders on Saturday.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers failed to reach a deal last Friday, which had been earmarked as the deadline to agree on a new bill. 

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas says has COVID-19, feels 'relatively well'

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, 60, said on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and is in quarantine.

"I'd like to add that I'm feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I will recover as soon as possible," Banderas said on Twitter. (Reporting by Reuters).

"No way" Trump will have vaccine by election day, say experts

Vaccine experts have contridicted President Donald Trump's predictions that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by Election Day.

"I believe we'll have the vaccine before the end of the year, certainly, but around that date, yes. I think so," Trump said Thursday.

However, after reviewing data from Moderna, the first company to begin Phase 3 clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States, Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN: "There’s no way. There's just no way".

"I don't see how that would be possible," said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccinologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (via CNN), also after reviewing the Moderna data.

"Maybe by Inauguration Day, we might have a glimmer of whether the vaccine is working and be able to assess its safety," Hotez added.

 

Pelosi on Trump's "meagre" exectutive actions

ICYMI, here is what Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had to say regarding President Donald Trump's executive orders on Fox News yesterday. Following a press conference at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., Trump signed four orders on unemployment benefits, payroll tax cuts, an eviction moratorium and student loan relief.

However, Pelosi has said that the president's actions "do little for working families". 

"Republicans must come back to the negotiating table, meet us halfway and work toward a compromise that will truly help American workers and families," Pelosi tweeted. 

Small business confidence rebounds after historic lows

While the coroanvirus pandemic continues to wreak ecomoic havoc across the US, the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey has found that small business confidence in the third quarter of 2020 has increased to 53, up from a record low of 49 in Q2. 

“This is not the V-shaped recovery we were hoping for. Things are certainly better than they were last quarter, but far off their marks from what we had seen earlier this year and last year,” said Laura Wronski, research scientist at SurveyMonkey (via CNBC).

“These small businesses are going to have long-lasting effects from this pandemic.”

Huge shortfall in funds to fight coronavirus, WHO says

There is a huge gap between funds needed to fight the coronavirus and funds committed worldwide, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. But he said he saw "green shoots of hope".

"It is never too late to turn the pandemic around," Tedros told a news briefing. The message is to 'suppress, suppress, suppress". More than 19.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 729,883​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. (Reporting by Reuters)

Offices at risk of Legionnaires' disease

With many office buildings shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts are warning that these facilities could be at risk of Legionnaires' disease when they re-open.

The New York Times reports several CDC offices have been forced to close following the discovery of bacteria. 

 US Health Minister Alex Azar arrives to attend the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 August 2020.

Azar says any U.S. vaccine would be shared once U.S. needs met

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday that any U.S. vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 would be shared fairly with the rest of the world, once the U.S. need has been satisfied. There are more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development around the world, including more than 20 in human clinical trials.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to have a shot ready before year's end, though they typically take several years to develop and test for safety and effectiveness.

"Our first priority of course is to develop and produce enough quantity of safe and effective FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for use in the United States," Azar told reporters while on a visit to Taiwan. "But we anticipate having capacity that, once those needs are satisfied, those products would be available in the world community according to fair and equitable distributions that we would consult in the international community on." He did not elaborate.

Azar also said that the United States' decision to leave the World Health Organization (WHO) did not mean less international involvement for his country in global public health.

"The United States has always been and will remain the largest funder of global public health in the world," he added. "After our departure from the WHO, we will work with others in the world community to find the appropriate vehicles for continuing to support, on a multilateral and bilateral basis, global public health on the order that the United States has done in the past." (Reporting by Reuters; photo by EFE)

97,000+ children positive for coronavirus in last two weeks of July

A new report has revealed that more than 97,000 children tested positive for covid-19 in the last two weeks of July, representing a 40% increase. 

According to the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association,  86 children have died since May. 

The report has been released days after seperate study published by the CDC, which found that 1 in 3 children that required hospitalization for coronavirus was admitted to ICU.

Hispanic children were eight times more likely to be hospitalized than white children, while black children were five times more likely, according to the report. 

Spiritual revivals and seaside baptisms defy public well being orders in California

One of the attending police officers admitted there was nothing they could really do.

As hundreds of people crowded on to a small beachfront park, he said the prospect of trying to issue fines to them all was unrealistic.

For weeks now, a group called Saturate OC has been holding religious revivals and baptisms on beaches along the coastline of Orange County in Southern California.

7 Covid-19 face mask myths you shouldn't fall for

Even President Donald Trump, who has long declined to wear one, in July tweeted a photo of himself with a face mask on, calling mask-wearing a "patriotic act." 

Though we still have much to learn about the coronavirus, misinformation about face coverings is circulating. For example, some people who are opposed to mask-wearing have begun donning mesh masks that "cover" their nose and mouth but still allow through the kinds of droplets known to transmit the virus. And others believe they don't need to wear a mask if they're not experiencing symptoms - that's a myth that isn't supported by leading health experts, doctors, scientists or national and international recommendations.


US health chief conveys support from Trump in Taiwan visit

US Health Secretary Alex Azar told Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday that it was a true honour to be in Taipei to convey a strong message of support from US President Donald Trump.

Azar, meeting Tsai in the presidential office, said his trip was to highlight Taiwan's success on health, particularly its efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

Harvard doctor proposes a simple method to beat coronavirus

 

New job opportunities in USA following the reopening of some businesses

 

Despite the coronavirus, the price of oil recovers in US

Pier

 A 'Going Out of Business' sign hangs outside a Pier 1 Imports store in Las Vegas, Nevada. In February, Pier 1 Imports Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but was unable to secure a buyer due to the coronavirus pandemic. In May, the home goods store received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to wind down its business. On July 31, Florida-based investment firm Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) finalized a USD 31 million purchase of the 58-year-old brand's intellectual property and e-commerce assets. REV plans to launch a new e-commerce business under the Pier 1 Imports name later this month. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

LA

The Rev. Arturo Corral gives a blessing following Mass celebrated outdoors at the historic Our Lady Queen of Angels (La Placita) Church amid the Covid-19 pandemic on August 9, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Congregants are seated in socially distanced chairs and are required to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The church, dedicated in 1822 when California was a part of Mexico, primarily serves members of the Latino community and is the oldest Catholic church in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

Fed's Evans says another coronavirus aid package 'incredibly important'

(Reuters) The United States should implement another support package to ensure workers can stay safely at home while the novel coronavirus continues to spread, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in an interview with CBS News released on Sunday.

Evans said it was up to U.S. lawmakers to protect small businesses and vulnerable communities with measures that ensure they can continue to pay their rent and buy food as long as the virus was not under control.

"I think that public confidence is really important and another support package is really incredibly important," Evans said on CBS's Face the Nation program.

He also said that the most pessimistic economic projections involved not supporting state and local governments, which in turn would have to implement drastic cuts to support some of the federal aid measures.

Look what's hidden in your face mask! Parody video takes aim at conspiracy theorists

This viral video takes the mickey out of the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is a government tool created for population control:

Mnuchin

Dems will have "a lot of explaining to do" if they challenge executive orders - Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has warned Democrats against mounting a legal challenge against President Donald Trump’s executive orders, which include the extension of enhanced unemployment benefits at the reduced rate of $400 a week.

"We've cleared with the office of legal counsel all these actions," Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday. "If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of Covid, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do."

(Photo: Mandel NGAN / AFP)

Trump executive order on unemployment benefits "laughable", says Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has branded Donald Trump’s executive order on enhanced unemployment insurance as "laughable", saying his state cannot afford to contribute to the benefits boost.

On Saturday, the U.S. president signed an executive memorandum vowing to give unemployed Americans an extra $400 a week in benefits, amid stalled negotiations over a wider coronavirus relief package.

As part of Trump’s plan, states would have to cover $100 of the additional $400.

"What the president has done has made it impossible, impossible on the state," Cuomo told reporters, per The New York Post. "The concept of saying to states 'you pay 25 percent of unemployment insurance' is just laughable."

Nine positive at high school where images crowded corridors went viral

Nine people have tested positive for Covid-19 at a high school in Georgia which recently gained widespread attention after images emerged of corridors crowded with students despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to parents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona said: "At this time, we know there were six students and three staff members who were in school for at least some time last week who have since reported to us that they have tested positive."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's report quotes Angie Franks, the aunt of two students who have tested positive, as saying: "They sat in class all day long with no masks and not social distancing. And I have no idea how many kids they came into contact with."

Coronavirus live U.S. updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, U.S.-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 19:00 ET on Sunday had registered over 19.7m cases and 728,600 deaths worldwide. In the U.S., the globe's worst-affected country, the case count has now passed the 5m mark and nearly 163,000 people have lost their lives.

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