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

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

Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 14 August

US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PT/16:00 ET on Friday 14 August (22:00 CEST)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide

Cases: 20,020,216
Deaths: 761,393
Recoveries: 13,0048,303

US

Cases:  5,289,323
Deaths: 167,948
Recoveries: 1,774,648

d

Trump dumps Fauci and enlists new coronavirus task force advisor

Donald Trump has appointed a new coronavirus task force advisor advisor to replace Dr Anthony Fauci, with whom the President has had an increasingly tense relationship in recent weeks.

Scott Atlas, a healthcare policy expert at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, will take Fauci's place on the task force. 

“Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected,” Mr Trump said in a press conference on Monday.

“He’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level.”

Stimulus relief talks

Good QuickTake from Bloomberg:

Mike Pence tweets after coronavirus task force meeting

"The WhiteHouse Coronavirus Task Force remains committed to protecting our most vulnerable and finding ways to safely reopen schools this fall," said Pence.

"We had a good meeting today to discuss the surge in testing to nursing homes & providing PPE to protect teachers across America."

Illinois reports highest daily coronavirus cases since May

Illinois has registered 2,264 new Covid-19 positive cases today, the highest such figure since since May 24, bringing its total tally to 202,691.

There has been a 4.1% positivity rate recorded over the past seven days. The state's death toll stands at 7,721.

 

MLB: Cards only team with positive tests this week

There were only four positive COVID-19 tests among the 12,301 samples examined over the last week in Major League Baseball, the league and union announced Friday. The four positive tests -- two players and two staff members -- were all from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The other 29 teams had zero positive tests through the end of Thursday. That brings the total to 75 positive tests out of 66,127 samples since monitoring testing began, or 0.11 percent. The total includes 51 players and 24 staff members from 19 different clubs. (Reporting by Reuters).

Trump says he won't sit down personally to cut deal with Dems on Stimulus Bill

During a White House press conference, President Trump was reminded by a jounrnalist of his own personal admissions of being a great deal maker and was subsequently asked why he doesn't sit down with Democrats personally to cut a deal on the Stimulus Bill.

Trump dismissed the idea, saying Democrats want to hand "$1 trillion to their friends running cities very badly".

France reports yet another new post-lockdown peak in daily COVID-19 cases

The French health ministry reported 2,846 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Friday, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the third day in a row and taking the country's cumulative total of cases to 212,211.

The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 2,041, doubling over the last two weeks, and going beyond the 2,000 threshold for the first time since April 20. 

New York City: museums and cultural institutions can reopen

The question as always: does 25% occupancy make it worthwhile?

Canada, Mexico travel ban extended

The US Department of Homeland Security says a ban on non-essential travel through the borders with Mexico and Canada will be extended to 21 September. The reciprocal ban was first put in place in March and has been extended several times since. 

LA

An empty Grand Ave in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday during renewed outbreaks of Covid-19 in California. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Travel restrictions to be extended at US land borders

(Reuters) The United States will extend to a ban on non-essential travel at land borders with Canada and Mexico for another 30 days as several states struggle to contain coronavirus outbreaks, a top US official confirmed Friday.

Acting US Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad Wolf confirmed the action on Twitter. Reuters reported earlier Friday the planned extension at the US-Canada border.

"We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of Covid-19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21," Wolf wrote. 

Why hasn't a stimulus package been agreed?

After two weeks of negotiations, White House leaders and Democratic congressional chiefs could not agree on a coronavirus relief bill by their self-imposed deadline of last Friday, leaving attempts to push through the legislation - and, with it, confirm the distribution of a second stimulus check - set to drag on into September.

Full story:

Dr Fauci: "I'm not pleased with how things are going"

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, says he’s “not pleased” with how the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is progressing, amid surging case numbers and a death toll that rose by just under 1,500 on Wednesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

"Bottom line is, I’m not pleased with how things are going," Fauci said on Thursday on a National Geographic panel moderated by Deborah Roberts of ABC News. He added: "We certainly are not where I hope we would be, we in the middle of a very serious historic pandemic."

Redfield

US faces "worst fall" if Americans don't take Covid-19 precautions - CDC chief

Dr Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says the US faces its "worst fall from a public health perspective" if Americans do not follow safety guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Redfield told an interview with WebMD this week: "I’ve said before, when John Kennedy said, ‘don't ask what your country can do. Ask for what you can do for your country.’ Kind of try to paraphrase that. 

"“For your country right now and for the war that we're in against Covid, I'm asking you to do four simple things. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and be smart about crowds

"You do those four things, it will bring this outbreak down. But if we don't do that, as I said last April, this could be the worst fall from a public health perspective, we've ever had."

(Photo: KEVIN DIETSCH / Pool / AFP)

Football

High-school football returns amid pandemic

Fans wearing masks watch the Herriman Mustangs take on the Davis Darts at Mustang Stadium in Herriman, Utah, on Thursday, in what was the first regular-season high-school football game in the United States since the coronavirus began.

(Photo: Chris Gardner/Getty Images/AFP)

Trump eager for US schools to reopen

President Donald Trump says schools in the United States need to reopen, despite the country suffering just under 1,500 deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

"We got to open up," Trump told a White House news conference. "We got to open up our schools and open up our businesses […]. Children often have only mild symptoms, and medical complications are incredibly rare - very, very, very rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions."

It is worth underscoring that, even if young people are less likely to suffer severe symptoms if they contract Covid-19, they can still spread the disease to other people.

Trump also repeated his disproved claim that the US’ surging case count is merely a reflection of the high amount of testing being carried out in the country. 

“As we move forward, the number of cases is not, by any means, the most important metric to focus on because the fact is we have more cases because we have far more testing than any country in the world,” he said. “There’s no country that’s even close.

"We’ve done more testing and better testing than any country. And many of these countries that the media was putting up as a shining example of success, they’re, right now, in massive outbreaks. You see what’s going on in many of the countries that you constantly mention.

"Far more important is who the virus is infecting. That’s why our strategy and attention are focused on preventing the cases that are most likely to require hospitalization or result in death - those that afflict the elderly and those with certain underlying health conditions - all the while acting to prevent hospital overcrowding."

Georgia on alert for coronavirus. The infections are increasing.

Vaccine against coronavirus in the US would not be ready before November

Fauci warns - again - about opening up without having Covid-19 under control

Dr Anthony Fauci spoke to actor Matthew McConaughey on Instagram in an interview called 'Let's pull together'. 

“I'm old enough to have been a baby during World War II, but I remember how the country absolutely pulled together. We pulled together after 9/11. This is equivalent to that. We've got to pull together," said Fauci. 

Fauci also doubled down on his message that it's vital for the US to get the coronavirus under control: "To think that you can ignore the biologic and get the economy back, it's not gonna happen. It's just not gonna happen. You gotta do both. You gotta get control of the biologic as you carefully, open the country.” 

Worth watching if you have 40 minutes, McConaughey and Fauci work well together.

 

355 new cases in Hawaii - highest single-day count

The new cases take the state's total number of cases to 4,312, with 40 deaths.

"There's no way in hell the US tries this [Russian vaccine] on monkeys, let alone people"

The Russian vaccine Sputnik V - approved by Russian authorities this week in the absence of a large scale trial - is so poorly viewed by US officials that there has been absolutely no interest in pursuing anything to do with it, reports CNN. 

According to the same report, Russian officials have offered "unprecedented cooperation" with Operation Warp Speed - the US drive to find Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics - but the US have rebuffed offers of help. 

Russia has previously said the US firms have showed interest in their Sputnik V vaccine, but so far nothing has been made public of such interest. 

Are there any countries that have zero cases of Covid-19?

There are currently 12 countries that are claiming not to have had a single Covid-19 case.

North Korea
Turkmenistan
Solomon Islands
Vanuatu
Samoa
Kiribati
Federated States of Micronesia
Tonga
Marshall Islands
Palau
Tuvalu
Nauru

The last 10 on the list are all isolated islands who were probably able to stop cases coming in.

North Korea thought it did have one case, but it turned out not to be, although the probability it has not actually had any cases is very slim given its proximity to China - although the country is very isolated people do cross the border. 

The general consensus of experts is that Turkmenistan is being rather economical with the truth in its claims it has no Covid-19 cases. 

Vaccine unlikely before November

National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins told reporters in a call that none of the vaccines that are part of Operation Warp Speed - the US government's push for a vaccine and therapeutics for Covid-19 - will be ready by November this year, given the need for a large-scale clinical trial.

The large-scale clinical trial is what the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine, approved by Russian authorities this week is lacking. 

Meanwhile German Health Minister Jens Spahn said to ZDF Television that he did think there would be a Covid-19 vaccine soon. "I'm optimistic that in the next months, and certainly in the next year, there can be a vaccine," Spahn said.

WHO says don't fear the wrapper

The World Health Organisation has said food and food packaging are not playing a part in the transmission of Covid-19.

"There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus. And people should feel comfortable and safe," said Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies programme head.

The comments come after two cities in China said they had found traces of the coronavirus in food shipments from Brazil and Ecuador. 

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.

Stimulus talks are stalled - what's the problem?

Money. And how much of it to spend...

US weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million

In case you missed it earlier, the number of Americans applying for 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. That's claims for people who have become eligible for benefits, not the total receiving benefits - that stands at some 28 million.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totalled a seasonally adjusted 963,000 for the week ended 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.

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...

Senate has left town

Hopes of another stimulus package any time soon took another blow today as the Senate went on recess until September.

SARS-CoV-2

Global death count over 750,000

According to figures from John Hopkins University the global death count from Covid-19 is now over three-quarters of a million. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, since then it has infected people in nearly every country on Earth in the worst pandemic since the H1N1 flu outbreak of 1918. 

Coronavirus live US updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, U.S.-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 19:20 ET on Wednesday had registered over 20.7 million cases and over 751,000 deaths worldwide.

In the U.S., the globe's worst-affected country, the case count is over the 5.2 million mark and over 166,000 people have lost their lives.

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