Coronavirus USA live updates: news, cases, deaths and stimulus checks, 13 August
Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - Thursday 13 August
US coronavirus latest: 13:15 PT / 16:15 ET on Thursday 13 August (22:15 CEST)
Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.
Senate has left town
Hopes of another stimulus package any time soon took another blow today as the Senate went on recess until September.
Coronavirus' impact on Manhattan real estate
Like virtually every segment of the economy, the real estate sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. 13,000 apartments now lie empty in Manhattan as cash-strapped NY residents look elsewhere for cheaper living spaces. CNBC reports...
France reports new post-lockdown peak in daily COVID-19 cases
The French health ministry reported 2,669 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Thursday, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the second day in a row and taking the country's cumulative total of cases to 209,365.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 1,962, a total that has doubled over the last two weeks and is at levels not seen since the end of April. (Reporting by Reuters)
Excess death rate in New York has quadrupled
TWP reporting that the excess death rate during the coronavirus crisis in New York has quadrupled, according to analysis. The TWP report also highlights that the covid-19 death rate rivals that of the 1918 flu epidemic, according to researchers.
US weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million
(Reuters) The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, likely as the expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement discouraged some from filing claims.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 963,000 for the week ended Aug. 8, compared to 1.191 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the lowest level since mid-March when authorities started shutting down non-essential business to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.12 million applications in the latest week.
Donald Trump told Fox Business News that stimulus package negotiations have stalled due to "the post office and the $3.5 billion for mail-in voting."
Global death toll passes 750,000
The worldwide coronavirus death toll has passed the 750,000 mark, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As of 10:30 ET on Thursday, 750,371 people had died of Covid-19, JHU said.
The United States, the world’s worst-affected country, has suffered the most fatalities, with 166,118 Covid-19 patients dying from the disease. The US is followed by Brazil - the only other nation to have registered more than 100,000 deaths - where there have been 104,201 fatalities.
$400 unemployment benefits boost: why could it be delayed?
As part of a series of executive orders issued on Saturday, US President Donald Trump is seeking to give Americans an extra $400 a week in unemployment insurance.
Unemployment benefits claims below 1m for first time since pandemic began
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, likely as the expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement discouraged some from filing claims.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 963,000 for the week ending 8 August, compared to 1.191 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
That was the lowest level since mid-March, when authorities started shutting down non-essential business to slow the spread of coronavirus. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.12 million applications in the latest week.
US faces "gruesome" fall, says Yale epidemiologist
A Yale School of Medicine epidemiologist has told Politico that the United States faces a "gruesome" fall amid rising coronavirus case numbers in the country, despite apparent optimism in the Trump administration that progress is being made in the nation’s response to the crisis.
"The fall could be incredibly gruesome," Gregg Gonsalves told the media outlet, adding that the White House's handling of the pandemic in recent weeks has left the US no more protected than it was back in June.
"Somebody’s going to have to explain it to me, 10 years from now, why they would make all these bad choices," Gonsalves said.
'Cancel rent' protests across the US
A woman poses in front of her car with a sign asking to 'cancel rent' during a protest in Los Angeles, California, this week.
The 'cancel rent' movement is gathering steam with protests across the US as Americans hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic pile up debts. Activists want landlords to suspend rent obligations for those in the most dire straits, having lost their jobs in the economic chaos sparked by the virus crisis.
(Photo: VALERIE MACON / AFP)
Harris slams Trump over handling of Covid-19 crisis
Kamala Harris, who was this week confirmed as Joe Biden's pick for vice-president, has slammed US President Donald Trump’s handing of the coronavirus crisis.
"This virus has impacted almost every country," Harris said on Wednesday in her first campaign appearance alongside Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
"But there’s a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It’s because of Trump’s failure to take it seriously from the start. His refusal to get testing up and running. His flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks. His delusional belief that he knows better than the experts.
"All of that is […] the reason that an American dies of Covid-19 every 80 seconds. It’s why countless business have had to shut their doors for good.
"It’s why there is complete chaos over when and how to reopen our schools. Mothers and fathers are confused and uncertain and angry about childcare and the safety of their kids at school - whether they’ll be in danger if they go, or fall behind if they don’t.
"Trump is also the reason millions of Americans are now unemployed. He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground."
Florida ‘archbishop’ arrested over bleach Covid-19 ‘cure’
A Florida man who has been selling bleach as a cure for the coronavirus has been arrested in Colombia and is awaiting extradition back to the United States.
Along with his three sons, Mark Grenon, who is the self-styled ‘archbishop’ of the Genesis II Church, faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and criminal contempt, a Department of Justice statement said in July.
The Genesis II Church is a religious group created by Grenon and his sons to “avoid government regulation” of their ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ to Covid-19, the Department of Justice added.
Dollar on backfoot as hopes fade for U.S. stimulus deal
The dollar nursed losses against most of its peers on Thursday amid fading hopes for a compromise between Republicans and Democrats over additional economic stimulus.
The greenback was hampered by a decline in Treasury yields, but analysts say this is likely only a temporary setback because U.S. lawmakers will eventually agree to more stimulus to support economic recovery from the coronavirus. "The dollar needs positive news on stimulus to rise further, but I'm sure we'll get there, because these politicians can't go back to their constituencies empty handed," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo. "Once this happens, gains in dollar/yen could be a catalyst for dollar gains against other currencies."
Man in his 20s dies from plague in US
A man in New Mexico died of one of the most common clinical forms of the plague, local health authorities confirmed. The man was in his 20s and had received treatment in hospital before he died. His case is the the first human plague death in New Mexico this year.
Health officials revealed on Friday that the man is the second person to be diagnosed with the disease in 2020 after a man from Sante Fe County was diagnosed with the bubonic plague on July 27 this year.
Florida elementary school reopens, class into quarantine one day later
Martin County School District reopened and the next day an entire class at SeaWind Elementary were put into quarantine with remote learning after one student showed symptoms of Covid-19.
What's not clear is whether the people in contact with those children are also in quarantine.
Some will see this, along with the many other stories of classes heading into quarantine almost as soon as their school reopened, as proof reopening schools is a major error, while others will see it as exactly what needs to be done to keep schools open (which we know is better for children if it can be done safely).
The worrying part is that we don't really know how much coronavirus spread will occur between children, even with quarantines being put in place fast - like at SeaWind Elementary - and how much it will then be spread to more vulnerable members of society, including elderly people in families of school-going children, and of course, more mature teachers.
Basically, reopening schools is a huge experiment, even if it is being done for all the right reasons.
The most expensive mask in the world
Hard to watch knowing many people don't have access to masks, but everybody is, or at least should be, free to spend their money how they choose. And check out the comments at 1:20, for the other side of the argument.
Big East Conference postpones fall sports
The Big East is the latest conference to take a decision on Covid-19, reaching the conclusion that it was best to postpone the fall sports competition and asses the possibility of holding the falls sports contests in spring 2021.
The Big East organises men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, and field hockey, but not football.
Setting an example
Model Bella Hadid, on the right, out and about with a friend in Manhattan, fully masked up.
Dollar falls on fading stimulus hopes
The dollar fell against most major currencies as hope fades for a compromise between Republicans and Democrats over a new stimulus package.
"The dollar needs positive news on stimulus to rise further, but I'm sure we'll get there, because these politicians can't go back to their constituencies empty handed," Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.
Against the euro, the dollar traded at $1.1786 following a 0.4% decline on Wednesday.
Quick mask solution
These videos have been doing the rounds since masks were generally accepted to be one of the most potent ways of stopping the spread of the coronavirus, but it's always worth a reminder.
Student loan relief lowdown
Trump's executive orders requires "Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to continue deferring federal student loan payments through the end of the year with no interest accrued during that time."
Of course you'll still have to pay back the capital, but money in your pocket now is money you can either use, or earn interest on (though not much at current rates). And of course one way you could use the money is to pay off more capital now, which is usually the best thing you can do to a loan.
California: 11,000 new cases recorded
The Golden State confirmed a further 11,465 cases of coronavirus today, although only half of those were new cases identified in the past 24 hours, with the other half coming from a data reporting error.
California has a total of 586,056 infections and 10,699 deaths.
Crowds in for FC Dallas vs Nashville SC
FC Dallas face Nashville SC at 19:30 in the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas in front of a 25% capacity crowd, of up to 5,110 fans. That's despite a surge in Covid-19 cases in the state. It's the first major league team sports event to be played in front of a crowd.
Texas Governor, Greg Abott signed an executive order on June 3 allowing sports venues to open up to 50% capacity.
Fans will have to sign a waiver to attend, and will have to wear a mask at all times in the entire ground including the parking lot.
Choosing not to send you kids back to school
CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent has a deep dive into why he, as a parent, will not be sending his children - three teen and preteen girls - back to school. He admits it hasn't been an easy decision but says his family turned to science to make the final call.
The article covers, among other things: the risk of children getting severely ill (some 6% become severely or critical ill according to one study in China); the fact that this will in effect be a large experiment, with the number of cases in children increasing dramatically in recent weeks; and the fact the school community is not just made up of children.
Socially-distanced meteor watching
Tonight is another fine night to watch the Perseid meteor shower, which as an outdoor activity is a pretty good activity for these Covid-affected times. Check out our guide below, along with a video feed of the night sky which you can watch if it's not night with you yet, or if you can't get outside to watch.
The lowdown on Trump's executive order benefits
German institute says Covid-19 vaccine could be available in autumn
Germany's leading infectious disease institute said on Wednesday a first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available as early as autumn but warned that it may take longer to control the pandemic.
"Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020," the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.
"It would be dangerous at this point to trust that a vaccination from autumn 2020 can control the pandemic," it cautioned. The impact of any vaccine could be tempered by viral mutations or by the resulting immunity only lasting a short time immunity, the institute added. (Reporting by Reuters)
Masters to be played 9-15 November with no spectators
Fred Ridley, the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, confirmed the 2020 Masters will be played 9-15 November, as previously indicated. There will not be any spectators, with ticket holders for this year's event being guaranteed a ticket for next year's event, which is planned to be held in its traditional April slot.
Top US Democrats say Mnuchin sought meeting on coronavirus aid but refused to budge
The two top Democrats in the US Congress say that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sought a new meeting on coronavirus stimulus aid but showed no sign of moving from his existing, stated position on new legislation.
"An overture was made by Secretary Mnuchin to meet ... (but) the White House is not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement. "We have again made clear to the administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously," they said in the statement.
Coronavirus live US updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our live, U.S.-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 19:30 ET on Wednesday had registered nearly 20.5 million cases and over 745,000 deaths worldwide.
In the U.S., the globe's worst-affected country, the case count is close to the 5.2 million mark and nearly 166,000 people have lost their lives.