Coronavirus USA summary: cases, deaths and latest news - 18 Sept

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

Coronavirus USA: live updates 17/18 September 2020

US coronavirus latest: 14:30 PT  / 17:30 ET (23:30 CEST on 18 Sept)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide

Cases: 30,319,277
Deaths: 948,472
Recoveries: 20,629,277

US

Cases: 6,713,179
Deaths: 198,407
Recoveries: 2,540,334

Coronavirus-related stories you might be interested in:

House Democrats to file government funding measure

Democrats in the US House of Representatives plan to file a stopgap funding measure that would avoid a government shutdown and keep federal agencies operating through 11 December, according to a House Democratic aide via Reuters.

The measure, known formally as a continuing resolution or CR, was expected to be released by the Democratic-led House Appropriations Committee and taken up by the full House and the Republican-led Senate next week. But it was not immediately clear when the CR would be filed.

'We plan to file a CR with a Dec. 11 end date,' said the Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Word of the CR emerged after weeks of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. With talks on new Covid-19 aid legislation stalled, lawmakers were determined to reach an agreement on the funding measure.

Failure to adopt the CR would threaten a partial shutdown of the federal government in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and just before the 3 November election. Current funding for US agencies runs out after 30 September, the end of the federal fiscal year. The measure's expected December end date would require Congress to address government funding again in its post-election lameduck session, when the threat of a government shutdown could re-emerge.

Relief package, negotiations, stimulus check...

What those in charge have been saying about the current situation, and they don't always talk nicely about each other.

Baylor season opener against Houston postponed

One of the marquee matchups, scheduled less than a week ago, for Week 3 has been postponed. 

No. 24 Baylor and Houston were set for a Saturday afternoon tilt in Waco until the Bears announced Friday they did not reach the Big 12's Covid-19 game cancellation thresholds. It's the third time Houston has seen its opener disappear, and the second instance for Baylor. 

Working out sensible etiquette

Bloomberg look at the occasional challenges faced by interactions during a pandemic where being close can be a danger.

'April 2021 for US to have enough vaccine for all Americans'

Trump is not the most reliable when it comes to making claims (you'll maybe remember the one about Covid-19 disappearing in a few days) but he's cheerleading again.

“Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April and again I’ll say even at that later stage, the delivery will go as fast as it comes,” Trump said at a White House press briefing.

“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third ... late second quarter, third quarter 2021,”

Concerns growing in Florida

As well as worries about the virus itself, there are concerns over the reporting of it.

Breaking | CDC reverses guidance that said people without symptoms may not need a test

The CDC now says that people who had close contact to someone with Covid-19 should be tested, even if they don't have symptoms — reversing a controversial change it made last month.

Michigan court rules that late arriving ballots must be counted

A Michigan judge ruled on Friday that mailed ballots postmarked by 2 November must be counted in the state as long as they are received within two weeks after the 3 November election, the latest move by a US court to protect voting rights in the pandemic, Reuters report.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens made the ruling in a case brought by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, and argued for by Marc Elias, an elections lawyer working with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign. The ruling said the ballots must be received 'by the clerk's office no later than 14 days after the election has occurred,' and would apply to this year's election as a special provision due to the coronavirus pandemic. Late arriving ballots 'are eligible to be counted in the same manner as all provisional ballots' up until the time when the election is certified, Stephens said.

Elias, in a tweet, called the ruling a 'major victory for voting rights' in the state, though it is likely to be appealed. 'This helps rectify issues with delays from the USPS, while relieving pressure on voters to make sure their ballot is received in time to be counted,' said Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes. 'This is a victory for every voter in Michigan.'

Democrats and Republicans have clashed over the rules for voting by mail ahead of the November election, when there is expected to be a surge in mail voting because of the virus. That has led to controversy over whether the US Postal Service (USPS) will be able to handle the mail rush in time to ensure that voters who mailed their ballots would not be disenfranchised.

How the pandemic is taking its toll on women

In a new analysis of two major scientific databases, written up in Quartz, researchers from the University of Texas found that the proportion of papers with female authors has declined during the pandemic.

The authors theorize that these women — academic medical researchers who have spent more than a decade on their education — have more caregiving duties during Covid-19 than their male colleagues, and less time to work. We’ve seen this play out in other fields as well.

It made me think of a provocative article I read this week by Jo Piazza in Marie Claire: “Warning Working Moms: Your Partner Is Your Glass Ceiling.” Piazza interviewed author Caitlin Moran about her new book (out this month) that claims many women set themselves back by marrying men who think their own jobs are more important than their wives’ jobs.

Elizabeth Ralph looks at the study for Politico

What can be learned from the global reaction

Israel, Spain, France and others got on top of their Covid-19 infection rates but then things turned for the worse.

The Post has a look into what we can take from other countries' experiences.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on children with Covid-19:

"Children, when they do get infected, they're much less likely to have a serious outcome. However, we need to assume that children a) are vulnerable, and b) can transmit the virus.

Hospitals in better position if second wave hits

U.S. hospitals expect to be better prepared if a second wave of Covid-19 cases comes in the coming months, doctors and administrators say, after gaining a better understanding how to deal with patients, which drugs to use and what supplies are needed.

When coronavirus first struck, beds filled up at record speed and ventilators were in short supply.

Donald Trump says the U.S. coronavirus death rate would be better “if you take the blue states out."

“The blue states had tremendous death rates,” Trump said. “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at, we’re really at a very low level.”

According to data collected by The New York Times, 3 of the top 6 states in terms of deaths have Republican governors and 5 of the top 10 voted for Trump in 2016.

Masks our strongest weapons against Covid-19, say experts

As America waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director Robert Redfield said we all might be better protected by continuing to wear masks.

"I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine," said Redfield.

Covid-19 can leave many people with potentially debilitating fatigue months after they've recovered from the illness

Research released on Thursday suggests that coronavirus can leave people fatigued months after they've tested negative for the virus.

"Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic Covid-19 infection," Dr. Liam Townsend, an infectious disease doctor at St. James's Hospital and Trinity Translational Medicine Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said in a statement.

While Covid-19 symptoms, including fever, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhea, have been well-publicised, Townsend said, "the medium- and long-term consequences of infection remain unexplored."

Vaccine

EU seals 2nd Covid-19 vaccine deal as deadline for WHO-led scheme looms

The European Union has agreed to buy a potential Covid-19 vaccine from Sanofi and GSK in its second such deal to secure supplies, as a deadline for signing up to the World Health Organization's vaccine purchase programme looms.

The deal will see the French and British drugmakers, which have teamed up to manufacture a recombinant protein-based vaccine they hope to get approved next year, provide the EU with up to 300 million doses, according to a tweet from European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

KCC

Fan at Chiefs' NFL opener tests positive for Covid-19

Kansas City's health department has said a fan who attended the Chiefs' NFL season-opener at Arrowhead Stadium had tested positive for Covid-19 and that 10 others had been told to quarantine due to potential exposure.

The fan had watched the game against Houston from the group's box in the lower level of the stadium and tested positive the next day.

The Chiefs allowed less than 17,000 fans inside the 75,000-seater stadium and required them to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines.

How has Joe Biden proposed vaccine distribution?

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has bluntly contradicted President Donald Trump's suggestion that a coronavirus vaccine may be only 'weeks away'.

Scientists dismiss theory that coronavirus was developed in Chinese labs

A research paper claiming to prove that the coronavirus was artificially developed in Chinese laboratories has been widely dismissed by mainstream scientists.

Moderna publish vaccine blueprint 

Moderna Therapeutics released a blueprint Thursday morning outlining how it will determine if its coronavirus vaccine currently under development is effective and safe.

Read the 135 page document here

DT

Trump will deliver UN speech next week from White House

U.S. President Donald Trump will not travel to New York on Tuesday for his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, but will deliver the address from the White House, his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said on Thursday.

"He's not going," Meadows told reporters as Trump flew to Wisconsin for a campaign rally.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested in May that leaders send video statements to the annual high-level gathering instead of traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States is traditionally the second country after Brazil to address the General Assembly, due to start this year on Sept. 22.

Vaccine

Pfizer vaccine trial bets on early win against coronavirus

Pfizer Inc is betting that its coronavirus vaccine candidate will show clear evidence of effectiveness early in its clinical trial, according to the company and internal documents reviewed by Reuters that describe how the trial is being run.

In recent weeks, Pfizer has said it should know by the end of October whether the vaccine, developed together with Germany's BioNTech SE, is safe and effective. If the vaccine is shown to work by then, Pfizer has said it would quickly seek regulatory approval. It has not said what data it  would use.

Israel

Israel to become First Nation to lockdown for second time

The new lockdown, due to last three weeks, coincides with the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, traditionally a time for large family gatherings.

Catching parents off-guard and trying to prevent further infections in schools, Israeli authorities decided late on Wednesday to close classrooms on Thursday, a day earlier than planned.

Teachers shifted to online lessons while children lamented not being able to hang out with friends just weeks after the school year started.

Under the new rules, Israelis must stay within 500 metres (yards) of home, with exceptions for activities such as commuting to work, shopping for essentials and walking outdoors for exercise. Workplaces will be allowed to operate on a limited basis.

Social distancing and limits on the number of worshippers were to go into effect at synagogues, usually packed for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement that begins at sunset on Sept 27.

Former Pence aide who helped organize White House coronavirus response backs Biden

A former White House aide who helped coordinate the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic sharply criticized President Donald Trump in a video released on Thursday and said she planned to vote for Democrat Joe Biden.

Olivia Troye, who was an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, served as a top organizer for the White House Coronavirus Task Force that Pence leads.

A lifelong Republican, Troye, who has since left the White House, said in a video released by the group Republican Voters Against Trump that the administration knew around mid-February that Covid-19 would become a big pandemic in the United States.

"But the president didn't want to hear that because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year and how was this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success," she said.

Westwood says feedback on safety convinced him to play in U.S. Open

Former world number one Lee Westwood said that he was reluctant to travel anywhere for tournaments amid the  pandemic, but speaking to his fellow professionals eased his concerns about playing in the U.S. Open.

The Englishman, who has 25 European Tour wins and two PGA Tour victories, had previously said he was slightly asthmatic and would not feel comfortable playing in the United States where over 197,200 people have died due to Covid-19.

The 47-year-old skipped the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis and the PGA Championship in San Francisco, but returned to action in Spain this month at the Andalucia Masters where he was tied for 10th place.

"(It was) just feedback from other people that have been at tournaments and telling me what's going on at tournaments and stuff like that and I felt comfortable coming here," Westwood told reporters

DT

Trump announces $13 billion in farm aid

U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new round of pandemic assistance to farmers of about $13 billion at a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Thursday night, delivering aid to an important sector in a crucial battleground state.

"Starting next week my administration is committing an additional ... $13 billion in relief to help farmers recover from the China virus, including Wisconsin's incredible dairy, cranberry and ginseng farmers who got hurt badly," Trump said, referring to the novel coronavirus virus.

Wisconsin is known for its milk and cheese industries, which have been hard hit by both the White House's trade policies and the Covid-19 pandemic - but the amount of assistance to farmers weeks before the vote was unexpected.

Biden

Trump downplaying of virus "close to criminal", says Biden

Joe Biden says President Trump’s downplaying of the coronavirus despite being aware of its threat is “close to criminal”. Biden told Thursday’s CNN town hall: “But he knew it. He knew it, and did nothing. It is close to criminal.”

Last week, it emerged that Trump told journalist Bob Woodward early this year that he knew Covid-19 was “deadly stuff”, despite insisting publicly at the same time that it would “disappear” and was “going to work out fine”.

(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Biden: "I don't trust the president on vaccines"

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he doesn't trust President Donald Trump to determine when a coronavirus vaccine is safe to take, telling a CNN town hall that he would prefer to "listen to the scientists".

"I don't trust the president on vaccines," Biden said. "I trust Dr Fauci. If Fauci says a vaccine is safe, I would take the vaccine. We should listen to the scientists, not to the president."

CDC guidance posted despite agency's objections - NY Times report

The New York Times’ Apoorva Mandavillli has reported that recent guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said people without coronavirus symptoms did not need to be tested, was not written by CDC scientists and was posted on its website over the objections of the agency.

Mandavilli reports that US health department officials wrote the recommendation “and then ‘dropped’ it into the CDC’s public website, flouting the agency’s strict scientific review process”.

Who's saying what about the latest relief package?

As the impasse over the next coronavirus aid package continues, we round up what all the key players have been saying about the prospects of a deal finally being struck:

NY

Taxi drivers call for debt relief amid Covid-19 crisis

Taxi cab drivers stop traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Thursday, as they held a day of action calling for debt forgiveness for loss of income, amid a shortage in work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP)

Coronavirus live US updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered over 30 million cases worldwide. As of 19:45 ET, there had been 30,003,378 cases across the globe since the start of the pandemic, leading to 943,243 deaths.

With just under 6.67 million cases so far, the US has been the world's worst-affected country and accounts for over a fifth of the globe's total infections.

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