Coronavirus USA news summary for Tuesday 11 August updates: news, cases, deaths and stimulus checks, today

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

Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - Tuesday 11 August

US coronavirus latest: 14:30 PT / 17:30 ET on Tuesday 11 August (23:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 20,176,050 cases have been detected worldwide, with 738,665 deaths and 12,398,243 people recovered.

In the US there have been 5,130,732 confirmed cases and 164,593 deaths, with 1,670,755 people recovered from the virus.

Coronavirus-related stories:


White House, congressional Democrats go fourth day without coronavirus relief aid talks

A stalemate between the Republican White House and congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief ended in a fourth day without talks on Tuesday, with each party blaming the other for intransigence.

The lack of progress was confirmed separately by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans and Democrats both pointed fingers over claims of ignoring the severity of the crisis and refusing to compromise on key issues such as unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments.

"As far as I know, the secretary of the Treasury and the chief of staff have not spoken to the speaker and the Democratic leader today," McConnell told Fox News. Pelosi, asked if she had had or expected any communication with the two White House negotiators, shook her head and whispered 'no' to reporters as she entered an elevator on Capitol Hill.


Coronavirus cases in children rose by 40% in two weeks in the U.S.

Stats in a recent report are cause for concern. On July 9, there were approximately 200,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in children but by the end of the first week in August that number had risen by nearly 180,000 - an increase of nearly 90% in just over four weeks. From 319 cases per 100,000 children, the numbers soared to 501 cases per 100,000, in just four weeks.

Russian vaccine

U.S. scientists worry whether Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ coronavirus vaccine is safe

Scientists and the World Health Organisation are sceptical about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the country’s potential vaccine for the coronavirus “works quite effectively,” saying Tuesday that the vaccine still needs critical testing to determine whether it’s safe or effective. 

Russia became the first country to register their coronavirus vaccine this week - months ahead of other candidates which remain in various different stages of development and clinical testing. 

But not everyone is convinced by the Sputnik V vaccine. “Phase three trials are critical” for drug and vaccine development, said Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Would I be confident about the safety and effectiveness without a phase three? Absolutely not.” 

Airbnb to be floated on stock markets

Short-term home rental company Airbnb Inc is close to confidentially filing paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later in August, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Airbnb is preparing to potentially go public before the end of the year, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter. An Airbnb spokesman declined to comment. Reuters had reported in October that Airbnb was close to hiring Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc as joint lead advisers on its planned stock market flotation.

Airbnb last year announced plans to become a publicly listed company in 2020, making it one of the biggest names to pursue a stock market float this year. The company's plans to go public come at a time when its core home-rental business has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced millions of people across the world to postpone their travel plans.

Earlier this year, Airbnb raised $1 billion in funding from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.

Half the daily 100,000 COVID-19 cases in Americas are in U.S. -WHO director

More than 100,000 cases of C0VID-19 are being reported every day in the Americas, half of them in the United States, and there are worrisome spikes in countries that had controlled their epidemics, like Argentina and Colombia, the World Health Organization regional director Carissa Etienne said on Tuesday.

"Our region remains under COVID's grip," she said in a virtual briefing from Washington with other Pan American Health Organization directors. Etienne said the disruption of healthcare services threatened an increase in illnesses that were under control such as TB, HIV and hepatitis.

Trump calls coronavirus "China Plague" in lastest tweet

Donald Trump has once again re-iterated that US's high caseload is due to the fact that the US is doing more testing than anywhere else, while labelling the coronavirus as "the China Plague."

"More Testing, which is a good thing (we have the most in the world), equals more Cases, which is Fake News Gold," said Trump. "They use Cases to demean the incredible job being done by the great men & women of the U.S. fighting the China Plague!"

Celebrity chef urges congress to pass stimulus bill

Marcus Cooks has urged congress to pass a stimulus bill in a bid to help the battered hospitality industry

"Are we going to not have... favorite restaurants in our neighborhoods? Those are like the heart and soul of the neighborhoods," he told CNN. "We really need Congress to pass this $120 billion bill."

Trump says 'great' bond with China's Xi changed after Covid-19

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping has frayed in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic and that he has not spoken to his Chinese counterpart in a long time.

"I used to have a very good relationship with him," Trump told Fox Sports Radio in an interview, citing their Phase One trade deal last year. "I had a great relationship with President Xi. I like him, but I don't feel the same way now." 

Trump said his feelings changed amid Covid-19. "I certainly feel differently. I had a very, very good relationship, and I haven't spoken to him in a long time."

Trump, who is seeking re-election in the 3 November US election, made challenging China a key part of his 2016 presidential campaign and touted his friendly ties with Xi during much of his first term in office as he sought to make good on his trade deal promises. But he said on Tuesday that the fallout from the outbreak was worse than the conflict over trade.

"This is a thousand times the trade deal what happened with all of the death and ... the world had to shutdown. It's a disgrace," he told Fox. First reports of the virus emerged from China in late 2019 and it has now infected more than 20 million people and killed at least 735,369 worldwide, including at least 5.1 million cases and at least 163,160 deaths in the United States.

Can you get the $400 unemployment benefit benefit if you are working?

Many Americans recieving partial unemployment benefits are wondering if they are entitled to the extra $400 unemployment bonus approved by Donald Trump's executive orders. Read more...

Former FDA commissioner speaks about Russian vaccine

In an interview on CNBC, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he would not take the Russian-approved vaccine (see details in post below). 

"In a lot of these situations, you might only get one shot at taking a vaccine within a season. So if you put a vaccine on the market that's not efficacious, it's going to be hard to re-vaccinate the population," he said. 

Russia names new Covid-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' in reference to Cold War space race

Russia has named its first approved Covid-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' for foreign markets, a reference to the world's first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country's RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly-registered Covid-19 vaccine.

He was speaking after President Vladimir Putin announced the approval after less than two months of human testing. The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some international scientists to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before solid science and safety. (Reporting by Reuters).

More than 66 NFL players won't partake in upcoming season due to pandemic - CNN

CNN reporting that at least 66 NFL players have chosen not to play in the upcoming 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The most affected team is the New England Patriots, with eight of its players opting out of the 2020 season, including starters like linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chun. 

Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue. The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product, but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety. (Reporting by Reuters)


Bill Gates says most US tests are "completely garbage"

In case you missed it, Wired Magazine published an interview with Bill Gates a few days ago, in which the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation founder said, "The majority of all US tests are completely garbage."

"We are the only country in the world where we waste the most money on tests,"  he added. 

"Herd immunity" cast into further doubt

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports that according to scientists the idea of so-called "herd immunity" comes with potentially devastating risks: "We're certainly talking north of a million [deaths], probably much more," experts warn. 

Trump says he is inclined to host G7 meeting after the Nov. 3 election

(Reuters) US President Donald Trump said on Monday he is interested in hosting a Group of Seven summit in a "calmer atmosphere" after the November presidential election, and that he has not decided whether to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In May as the coronavirus pandemic was spreading, Trump postponed a G7 summit he had hoped to hold in June until September or later, and said he hoped to expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.

"I'm much more inclined to do it sometime after the election. ... We could do it through teleconference or we could do it through a meeting," the Republican president said at White House news conference.

Trump, who is trailing Democratic candidate Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election, said he had decided on the new time frame because it would provide a "better, calmer atmosphere to have a G7."

$400 unemployment benefits boost: why has Trump taken executive action?

On Saturday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that seeks to give unemployed Americans $400 a week in enhanced benefits.

Full details:

Coronavirus cases pass 20m mark

Global coronavirus cases have now surpassed 20 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which bases its data on official figures. As of 21:00 ET, there had been 20,004,254 cases worldwide, leading to 733,929 deaths.

With just under 5.1m cases and nearly 163,500 fatalities, the US is by a distance the world’s worst-affected country in the pandemic, followed by Brazil and India, which have registered 3m and 2.2m cases, respectively.

New saliva test for COVID-19 avoids supply chain shortages

The number of new COVID-19 cases among children in the United States rose 40% in the last two weeks of July, according to a report released just weeks before tens of millions of American students are scheduled to begin the new school year.

Republican and Democratic governors said on Monday President Donald Trump’s coronavirus relief measures were too expensive for states to implement as they struggle with the costs of the pandemic, and called on officials in Washington to resume negotiations on federal aid.

California’s top public health officer has resigned following data-collection failures that led to an undercount of coronavirus cases as the state was reporting a downward trend in COVID-19 infections, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday.

Chicago police exchanged gunfire with looters and arrested more than 100 people after crowds swarmed Chicago’s luxury commercial district early Monday, looting stores, smashing windows and clashing with officers for hours, police said.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 fell 16% to about 7,200 people last week, the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases, according to a Reuters tally of state and county reports.

The U.S. Secret Service abruptly escorted President Donald Trump out of the White House press room in the middle of a briefing on Monday because of a shooting outside the White House. Trump returned to the media room several minutes later and said a person had been shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital. He said he understood the suspect had been armed.

California public health officer resigns

California's top public health officer has resigned following data-collection failures that led to an undercount of coronavirus cases as the state was reporting a downward trend in Covid-19 infections, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday.

Dr. Sonia Angell offered in a letter to step down as the director of the Department of Public Health over the weekend, and "I accepted her resignation," Newsom told a news conference in Sacramento. Calling it a 'personnel' issue, Newsom declined to say directly whether the departure of Angell less than a year into her tenure was related to computer problems that caused nearly 300,000 Covid-19 test results to go temporarily unprocessed.

The Los Angeles Times reported Angell notified department staff of her resignation in an internal email on Sunday. The dual roles she had filled, as director of the Public Health Department and as the state's chief public health officer, will now be shared by two immediate successors. California Health Care Foundation executive Sandra Shewry was named acting Public Health Department head, while Dr. Erica Pan, who was public health officer for Alameda County, was appointed acting statewide health officer. 

Big Ten expected to cancel football season in fall

The Big Ten is expected to cancel its fall college football season in a historic move due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, insiders told the Free Press on Monday. Multiple sources said early Monday morning that presidents voted 12-2 to end the season, though the Big Ten said Monday afternoon no official vote had taken place.

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.

Read more:

Texas and Arizona faced shortage of Covid-19 testing kits

Texas and Arizona struggled to contain rising coronavirus cases due to a shortage of testing materials, documents released on Monday reveal. While the federal government has provided states with some testing materials, Texas said it has sourced its own swabs and that reagents that were available weren’t always compatible with its machinery, Bloomberg reports. Arizona’s public-health department said it’s working with federal agencies and vendors “to obtain test kits which are in short supply and back-ordered.”

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.

Read more here:

Merck one-shot vaccine ready for human trials

America’s top vaccine maker Merck & Co. says human trials of one of its shots will begin in mid-August. Merck told Congress last month that it expects to have a vaccine ready by 2021 is the earliest. Most corona­virus vaccines require two doses—a vaccine plus a booster shot—to provoke a strong enough immune response. Roger Perlmutter, Merck’s top scientist, says his team is working on a one-shot vaccine.

$400 unemployment benefits: who is eligible?

After US President Donald Trump signed the executive order to extend compensation for those who lost their job, many are asking if they are eligible.

More information here:

States able to execute unemployment top-up payments "within the next week or two"

In Monday's press briefing, president Donald Trump confirmed that most if not all states will be able to execute the new $400 unemployment benefit supplement in a matter of days. "A lot of money will be going to a lot of people and depending on the state, we can terminate the 25%," Trump explained.

Replying to ABC journalist Kyra Phillips, Trump intially tried to dodge the question, "By the way, this is Scott Atlas, do you know who he is? Scott is a very famous man who is also very highly respected. Stanford. And he's working with us on the coronavirus. He has many great ideas and he thinks what we have done is really good and will take it to a new level. We've had some great discussions..."

California gov. says states don't have money to fulfill unemployment bonus order

California Governor Gavin Newsom says the money needed to fulfill the state's portion of a new expansion to existing unemployment benefits "simply doesn't exist."

Trump announced on Saturday said the unemployed would receive an extra $400 each week on top of the unemployment benefits but 25% of the money would be contributed by individual states using the remaining funds they received through the CARES Act.

"There is no money sitting in the piggy bank of the previous CARES Act to be reprioritized or reconstituted for this purpose. "The rest of the money simply does not exist," Newsom said.

Trump escorted from briefing after shooting outside White House

U.S. President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted from the White House briefing room on Monday shortly after a shooting outside the fence surrounding the complex. Trump returned to the briefing room after several minutes and said a person was shot by law enforcement and has been taken to the hospital. He said he understood the suspect had been armed.

"It was a shooting outside of the White House," Trump said. "It seems to be very well under control. ... But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don't know the condition of the person."

The Republican president told reporters he was taken to the Oval Office outside the briefing room after he was escorted out. Minutes into a news briefing, Trump was taken out of the room with no explanation for the disruption. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought were also taken out of the room and the doors were locked.


Trump considering cutting capital gains tax, income taxes for middle-income families

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he is considering cutting the U.S. capital gains tax and lowering income taxes for middle-income families to help the U.S. economy recover from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're ... also considering a capital gains tax cut, which would create a lot more jobs," Trump told reporters at the White House. "And also at an income tax cut for middle-income families."

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 20 million cases and 732,600 deaths worldwide. In the U.S., the globe's worst-affected country, the case count has now passed the 5 million mark and more than 163,000 people have lost their lives.