Coronavirus USA summary: news, cases and deaths - 20 August
Coronavirus USA live: latest news - 20 August
This live feed is now closed.
For the latest developments relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, please follow the new August 21 live coverage here.
Mets-Marlins postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests
Thursday's game between the New York Mets and the Marlins in Miami, as well as Friday's game between the Mets and the visiting New York Yankees, have been postponed due to two positive tests for Covid19 in the Mets' organization, Major League Baseball announced Thursday evening.
MLB did not provide specifics about whether a Mets player or other members of the organization tested positive. The league said both games were being postponed "out of an abundance of caution and to allow for additional testing and contract tracing to be conducted."
Japan to ease COVID-19 entry curbs on foreigners with resident visas - NHK
Japan plans to ease its COVID-19 entry restrictions on foreign nationals with resident visas from next month, public broadcaster NHK reported, after an outcry over the emotional and economic hardship that the measures are inflicting.
Re-entry will be permitted for visa holders including permanent residents and exchange students on condition that they undergo testing for the coronavirus and quarantine for 14 days, the same policy that now applies to Japanese citizens re-entering the country, NHK reported on Friday.
Pelosi says she opposes smaller coronavirus relief bill
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that now was not the time for the chamber to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill, after more than 100 House Democrats urged their leadership to pass enhanced unemployment benefits.
"I don't think strategically it's where we should go right now because the Republicans would like to pass something like that and say forget about" other Democratic priorities, Pelosi said in an interview on PBS's 'NewsHour' program.
Pelosi said she would also want any legislation to include aid for state and local governments, food aid for children, funding for vote-by-mail and other initiatives.
On Tuesday, more than 100 Democrats in the House of Representatives issued a letter urging Pelosi to allow a vote on a bill to reinstate the lapsed $600 a week unemployment benefits until the coronavirus pandemic ends. Asked about the letter, Pelosi said: "I don't think the timing is for us to do it right now". (Reuters)
These figures are from the UK - they show just how big an improvement there was in survival rates for patients with Covid-19 in intensive care as medical teams learnt better how to treat it: use of blood thinners, prone position, dexamethasone, restrained use of mechanical ventilation.
The other thing about living in the 21st century is that this knowledge is rapidly shared between hospitals across the globe.
Trump calls on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to reopen the state
President Donald Trump told supporters Democrat governor Wolf would wait until the day after the elections to reopen the state.
"What is he doing? What is he doing? So the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we're going to get it open. And I know when he's going to do it. You know when it is? November 4," ranted Trump.
Trump spent most of the rest of his speech attacking Joe Biden, who will accept the Democrat presidential nomination tonight.
Oxford vaccine to be tested in India
The Oxford vaccine candidate is onto phase 2 clinical trials, about to start in India. Some of the funding is from the US Operation Warp Speed.
More potentially bad news
A huge storm is raging across our star, which could lead to a massive burst of radiation hitting the Earth today or tomorrow. If we're unlucky it could knock out all manner of telecommunications and electrical systems.
There is one positive... it might produce some fantastic auroras borealis at latitudes you don't often see them.
American Airlines to suspend service in October to 15 cities
American Airlines is planning to suspend services to 15 cities in October due to "low demand". So far airlines receiving payroll stimulus funding under the CARES Act have been unable to cut services, but that runs out on 1 October and Congress has not extended it.
The 15 cities:
Del Rio, Texas
Florence, South Carolina
Greenville, North Caroilina
Huntington, West Virginia
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Haven, Connecticut
New Windsor, New York
Roswell, New Mexico
Sioux City, Iowa
Not coronavirus news...
But a pretty big breaking story nonetheless. Trump has said he's "sad" about the news but hasn't dealt with Bannon in years.
Trees frame buildings in downtown Milwaukee, the site of the mostly virtual Democratic National Convention (DNC) due to the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Trump plans to reopen schools, colleges dealt a blow
A series of outbreaks in colleges and schools has left many questioning whether the United States is sufficiently prepared for the president's desired return to the "new normal."
There is concern that the US president may refuse to accept the results of the election but Joe Biden says the military will oust him if necessary.
The number of US workers filing state jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, a sign of the labor market’s fragility months into the coronavirus pandemic
Stagehand Chaize Rhodes (R) holds a sign during a 'Drive and March' event held by We...The Entertainment Community of Las Vegas (WE/EC) down the Las Vegas Strip in support of the Las Vegas entertainment industry that has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. Although Las Vegas hotel-casinos were allowed to reopen in June, most live entertainment venues have remained closed to curb rising Covid-19 cases. There has been no work for performers and all the workers it takes to make the shows run, including audio and visual technicians, makeup and wardrobe personnel, showroom managers, equipment providers and other behind-the-scenes crew members. Many workers have not had help from unemployment or other financial assistance efforts since the shows closed in March. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
China and United States agree to hold trade talks
(Reuters) China and the United States have agreed to hold trade talks "in the coming days" to evaluate the progress of their Phase 1 trade deal six months after it took effect in February, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Ministry spokesman Gao Feng made the comments at a weekly briefing held online, but did not elaborate.
They followed Tuesday's remarks by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that no new high-level trade talks were scheduled, though both sides were in touch about implementing the Phase 1 deal.
The deal, reached on 15 January and seen as a major breakthrough after a two-year long trade dispute between the world's two largest economies, set ambitious targets for China to sharply boost purchases of U.S. farm and manufactured goods.
But ties quickly soured in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and China's imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong.
Trump touts convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday touted the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for Covid-19 and suggested a reported decision by regulators to put on hold an emergency authorization for its use could be politically motivated.
"I've heard fantastic things about convalescent plasma," Trump told a briefing. An emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration for the use of blood plasma as a coronavirus treatment has been put on hold over concerns the data backing it was too weak, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
"It could be a political decision," Trump said. "You have a lot of people over there that don't want to rush things because they want to do it after November 3," he said, referring to the presidential election.
"I've heard numbers way over 50% success. And people are dying and we should have it approved if it's good and I'm hearing it's good. I heard from people at the FDA that it's good," he said.
Two tennis players in quarantine at U.S. Open bubble after contact tracing
Argentina's Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien of Bolivia are in risk of missing the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 31, after they were put in quarantine for 14 days due to their fitness trainer testing positive for COVID-19.
The United States Tennis Association said on Tuesday that a non-player has tested positive for the virus within the controlled environment that will host the Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open in New York.
Organisers of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday said two players, who were in close contact with the infected person, have been placed in quarantine and removed from the tournament field. The players were not identified.
Sometimes reading the bald statistics of cases and hospitalisations and deaths caused by Covid-19 it's hard to get a feel for the true impact, and then you read something like this.
Sturgis attendee was infectious at event
There were a lot of fears of a major outbreak coming from the rally. In total the 10-day event, which ended on 17 August attracted some 460,000 vehicles.
The individual who tested positive was at One-Eyed Jack's Saloon on August 11. Those who were at the bar should check for symptoms say health officials.
Sturgis residents meanwhile are being given the option of free Covid-19 tests for up to a week after the rally ended.
Georgia reported 2,391 new cases of coronavirus today, taking the total to 243,982. A total of 56 new deaths were reported, bringing the tally to 4,849.
Obligatory flu vaccines
Talking of mandated vaccines (see below), Massachusetts has said it will require all schoolchildren to get a flu shot to be able to attend school.
“The new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Students will have to get the shot by 31 December 2020, unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
No mandatory vaccine in the States - Fauci
Dr Fauci, the country's top infectious disease official and a member of the White House coronavirus task force says in principle any Covid-19 vaccine would not be obligatory, although he did say certain localities could mandate it for certain groups, such as children.
"You don't want to mandate and try and force anyone to take a vaccine. We've never done that. You can mandate for certain groups of people like health workers, but for the general population you can't," said Fauci on a talk organised by George Washington University.
Most states do mandate the 16 recommended childhood vaccines in order to be able to attend public schools.
The National Football League is considering a restricted bubble to prevent teams becoming infected with Covid-19 as they look to land a Super Bowl spot.
NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton floated the plan to hold playoff games in a so-called bubble.
"The concept was discussed on our last competition committee call," Vincent said on a media briefing call. "Is it something that we are considering? All things are on the table, frankly, at this juncture during this fluid environment."
'Skinny' stimulus bill
With talks between Democrat and Republican lawmakers currently going nowhere, the White House is pushing for a slimmed down version of the stimulus package to try and get some relief to the American economy. The bad news: it looks like a second round of stimulus checks would not be included.
The Florida Department of Health confirmed 4,115 new Covid-19 cases and 174 deaths today. Cases are down from a peak of 15,300 back on 12 July.
Fauci: focus on facts
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to be doing outreach work almost every single day at the moment, spoke on a George Washington University webinar and urged medical professionals to focus on facts not speculation.
“Everything that we are talking about in the arena of public health, any intervention, it could be a diagnostic, a vaccine, a therapy – it has to be made on the basis of sound scientific data and evidence.”
Coronavirus live US updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has registered over 22.2 million cases and naerly 784,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the US, the globe's worst-affected country, there have been over 5.5 million cases and nearly 173,000 fatalities, JHU records.