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Coronavirus USA: news summary for 22 September

The American flag flies at half staff for late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, September 21, 2020. - Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on September 23 and September 24,

Covid-19 US live updates: 22 September

US coronavirus latest: 15:00 PT / 18:00 ET on Tuesday 22 September (00:00 CEST on Wednesday 23 September)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.


Cases: 31,439,197
Deaths: 967,197
Recoveries: 21,549,919


Cases: 6,885,499
Deaths: 200,558
Recoveries: 2,615,974

Coronavirus-related stories you might be interested in:

World Economic Forum won’t meet in Davos next year

The World Economic Forum won’t be meeting in Davos at all in 2021 after initially postponing its annual session in January because of the coronavirus crisis. Organisers are now looking at other locations elsewhere in Switzerland for the gathering although the Forum could bring together key global leaders digitally to share their views on world issues.

Wisconsin Governor sounds alarm over surges in cases

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has declared a new public health emergency and extended a face mask mandate into November to fight a coronavirus flareup, as the number of people who have died across the United States since the pandemic began passed 200,000.

In-person social gatherings have led to cases in Wisconsin skyrocketing among people aged 18 to 24, Evers said, as he pleaded with students who returned to colleges for the fall semester to stay out of bars and wear masks. "We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus," the governor said in a statement announcing his decision. The mask mandate, part of a second public health emergency the Democratic governor declared in late July, was due to expire on Monday.

Wisconsin has experienced one of the highest percentage increases of coronavirus cases nationwide over the past two weeks, and has the second-highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in the nation at 17%, according to a Reuters tally. 

Coronavirus "affects virtually nobody" Trump tells Ohio rally

On that day that the United States hit the grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, president Donald Trump told those attending a rally in Ohio that coronavirus "affects elderly people. Elderly people with heart problems and other problems. But they have other problems, that's what it really effects, that's it. You know in some states, thousands of people [are infected] — nobody young. Below the age of 18, like nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows. But it affects virtually nobody. It's an amazing thing,"



USA postpone October international matches

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that its men's national team will not play any international matches during the upcoming window in October due to Covid-19 concerns.

The U.S. has not played since beating Costa Rica 1-0 in February in Carson, California. Friendlies against Netherlands and Wales were postponed in March, along with the CONCACAF Nations League final four in June and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.

"After extensive conversations about holding a men's national team camp in October, we ultimately determined the unique challenges created by COVID-19 as it relates to hosting international opponents and getting our players together wouldn't allow us to move forward," Brian McBride, U.S. general manager, said in a statement.

U.S. Soccer are targeting a training camp in November before participation in competitive matches in 2021, starting with the Nations League games in March. 

Texas battle student spread

Colleges are “places where we’re starting to see a lot of spread,” said Stephen Kissler, an infectious disease researcher at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Of course, diseases don’t stay isolated in the populations where they start. That’s the big concern lately, trying to make sure the virus doesn’t spread into the surrounding community.”

For the past four weeks, local data shows, the Travis County ZIP code with the fastest-growing case count was the stretch including the University of Texas at Austin’s West Campus, where many students live. 

Florida: Monday dip, Tuesday growth

Although the important trend is over a longer period of time, the day-to-day reports continue to drive opinion.

As the United States on Tuesday passed 200,000 deaths, Florida is now up to 687,909 confirmed cases, 13,416 resident deaths and at least 163 non-resident deaths from Covid-19.

At least 42,771 hospitalizations have been attributed to the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreak, according to the state health department’s dashboard.

NFL: no players test positive after Week 1

The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Tuesday that there were zero confirmed positive results for Covid-19 among players coming out of the Week 1 games, via Reuters.

Per the release, there were 14,074 tests administered to 2,438 players over the period from Sept. 13-19. In addition, there were also 22,590 tests administered to 5,407 other personnel over that span. Five of those tests came back positive, with the NFL and NFLPA announcing that those people were immediately isolated away from team facilities in order to prevent any spread of Covid-19.

There were seven confirmed positives last week, including two players, out of 40,479 tests administered from Sept. 6-12.

Covid-19 on list of first presidential debate topics

The first debate will be held at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic. It is scheduled to start at 21:00 ET on 29 Sept (03:00 CEST 30 Sept) and is expected to run about 90 minutes.

The topics are:

- The Trump and Biden records

- The Supreme Court

- Covid-19

- The economy

- Race and violence in our cities

- The integrity of the election

Flags planted to mark 200,000 dead

The bleak milestone, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world, was reported by Johns Hopkins, based on figures supplied by state health authorities. But the real toll is thought to be much higher, in part because many Covid-19 deaths were probably ascribed to other causes, especially early on, before widespread testing.

The number of dead in the US is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days. It is roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City or Huntsville, Alabama.

Second stimulus check: what did Mnuchin say in Congress testimony?


Second stimulus check: what did Mnuchin say in Congress testimony?

Mnuchin testifies before Congress

As well as stating that the next relief package should be more targeted, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that President Trump would support additional PPP money.

Here are the highlights from his testimony...

Trump continues to downplay pandemic

While President Donald Trump insists against evidence the pandemic is nearing an end, health experts have urged the country to stay on guard, as more schools and businesses reopen and people spend more time indoors.

Trump health officials have emphasized that basic public health tools like physical distancing and mask wearing remain key to keeping the virus in check, especially with flu season looming. But Trump continues to downplay those measures and the virus' risk as he holds packed rallies with mostly maskless crowds and urges states to swiftly lift restrictions.

Sounds like new pompoms are going to be needed soon...


Trump lays into China in UN General Assembly address

US President Donald Trump is seen on screen on Tuesday as he delivers a pre-recorded address to the 75th annual UN General Assembly, which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus.

In his speech, Trump talked of a battle against the "China virus", declaring: “The United Nations must hold accountable the nation that unleashed this plague upon the world."

China's UN representative responded to the president's attack by saying that the Asian country "resolutely rejects the baseless accusations", per The Guardian.

(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Coronavirus: how have CDC guidelines changed about airborne transmission?


Coronavirus: how have CDC guidelines changed about airborne transmission?

Up in the air: what changed in CDC's guidelines on whether coronavirus is airborne?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its official Covid-19 guidelines on Friday, and then quickly retracted them. What happened?

Full story:


Weekly number of new coronavirus cases at highest level claim WHO

The weekly number of new recorded coronavirus infections worldwide was last week at its highest level ever, the World Health Organization has announced, as deaths from Covid-19 in Europe increased by 27% week on week.

Over 950,000 people have now died from the coronavirus since it first emerged in China at the beginning of the year.


'Work from home': Johnson starts to shut down the UK again as Covid-19 spreads

Britain is better prepared for a second wave of Covid-19 than it was for the first one, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, but he said complacency about the risk of infection could be the country's undoing.

"After six months of restrictions it will be tempting to hope that the threat has faded, and to seek comfort in the belief that if you have avoided the virus so far then you are somehow immune," he told lawmakers. "I have to say that it is that kind of complacency that could be our undoing."



Dollar bounceback pauses amid second wave fears

The tide of risk-aversion which saw the dollar hit new six-week highs early on Tuesday ebbed as the session wore on, as European equity markets rose, the dollar's gains paused and riskier currencies recovered some losses.

Stocks sold off on Monday and the currency market saw "risk-off" moves, with the dollar index climbing to its highest in six weeks.

The dollar continued its ascent in early London trading on Tuesday and riskier currencies fell, as investors feared new lockdown measures to combat a second wave of Covid-19 infections would pose a threat to the global economic recovery.

Second stimulus check: update on coronavirus economic relief bill


Second stimulus check: update on coronavirus economic relief bill

Second stimulus check: relief bill update

Hopes of Congress being able to pass a coronavirus stimulus bill before the elections are fading, as other issues draw focus away from relief talks.

Full story:


CDC takes down airborne transmission guidance

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.

The now-withdrawn guidance, posted on the agency's website on Friday, recommended that people use air purifiers to reduce airborne germs indoors to avoid the disease from spreading.

"CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted," the agency said.

Presently, the agency's guidance says the virus mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which can land in the mouth or nose of people nearby.


Sign-up delays for global vaccine plan are procedural - WHO

More countries will sign up to a global vaccination plan and some of the delays were due to procedural issues rather than doubts about the scheme, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

The Geneva-based body has said that 156 nations have joined the so-called COVAX plan to deliver some 2 billion vaccine doses globally by the end of next year but big countries such as China, Russia and the United States are missing.

About 64 wealthy nations have signed up and more are expected despite missing an official deadline. However, some of those supporting the plan such as France are reluctant to use it to secure vaccines and have instead struck separate supply deals.


US death rate "among lowest in the world", Trump tells rally

President Trump also claimed during Monday’s rally in Ohio that the US has a coronavirus, death rate “among the lowest in the world”, despite the country’s case-fatality percentage of 2.9% placing it 53rd out of 195 nations, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracker.

The US’ rate of 60.98 deaths per 100,000 people is the 11th worst in the world, meanwhile.

Trump’s comments came as the US’ total death toll edged towards the 200,000 mark. As of 06 ET on Tuesday, there had been 199,886 coronavirus-related fatalities in the country, Johns Hopkins University said.

(Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images/AFP)

Covid-19 "affects virtually nobody" among youngsters, Trump claims

US President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” among young people, in remarks that contradict his own statements to the journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Swanton, Ohio, on Monday, Trump said: “It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems - if they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. You know, some states, thousands of people - nobody young, below the age of 18, like nobody […].

“Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system; it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

In March, Trump told Woodward: "Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It's not just old, older. Young people too, plenty of young people.”

In August, the World Health Organization's Dr Takeshi Kasai warned that younger people are becoming the primary drivers of the spread of Covid-19.


More than 150 nations join WHO-led global plan for Covid vaccines

A total of 156 countries have joined the global COVAX scheme intended to ensure fair distribution of supplies of future vaccines against Covid-19, an alliance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The list includes 64 wealthier, self-financing countries, and accounts for about two-thirds of the global population, a statement issued by the WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance said, after a deadline of last Friday to make binding commitments.

The goal of COVAX is by the end of 2021 to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses around the world, with healthcare workers prioritised initially and then the most vulnerable 20% of people in every participating country, regardless of income level.

While many lower-income nations are seeking assistance via COVAX, some richer countries had been reticent in confirming their intentions. Some of those who have secured their own future supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, do not plan to join COVAX.

The plan has highlighted the challenge of distributing vaccines equitably around the world and stirred accusations of selfish behaviour by some wealthier nations.


U.S. nears grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths

The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States was approaching over 200,000 on Tuesday, by the far the highest number of any nation. 

The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally.

That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15. During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the worst was over, as the death toll reached 199,630 with 6.8 million confirmed cases.

"We are rounding the corner on the pandemic, with or without a vaccine... and we've done a phenomenal job - not just a good job - a phenomenal job."

NHL-Lightning hold off Stars, tie Stanley Cup Final 1-1

Tampa Bay's power-play unit finally snapped out of their slumber to help the Lightning secure a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday and tie the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Final at one game apiece.

The Lightning, who had gone 0-for-14 on the power play over their past four games, got two goals with the man advantage in Game Two of a best-of-seven championship series being held in Edmonton to limit travel and minimize Covid-19 risk.

"This was an emotional game," said Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli. "There were ups and some downs. It's always good to come out with the win here. That's one, and we have to come out hard next game."

 The weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States rose last week for the first time after falling for eight straight weeks, an increase that health experts attributed to schools reopening and parties over the Labor Day holiday.

 The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Six players in the men’s and women’s qualifying draw for the French Open have been withdrawn due to COVID-19 concerns, organisers have said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.

Mexico surpassed 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday even as health authorities cited what they described as nearly two months of slowing infection rates.

A new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against COVID-19.

Robert Redfield "is still an active member” of White House task force

U.S. vice-president Mike Pence stated that Robert Redfield remains an active member” of White House Coronavirus task force, in spite of Donald Trumps claims that the CDC director was "confused" and "incorrect" in his comments about wearing face masks to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol

The late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, becoming the first woman in history to be honoured in such a way. Ginsburg's casket will be placed in National Statuary Hall, where a formal ceremony will be held for invited guests only.

A total of 34 men have laid in state at the Capitol since 1852. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was lain in "honour" at the Capitol Rotunda in 2005, but Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state.

Illinois passes 5 million Covid-19 tests

Illinois set a new one-day statewide record for Covid-19 testing over the weekend and is now averaging 52,000 tests per day - the third highest figures in the country, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced. A total of 4,286 Covid-19 tests were conducted over 24 hours on Saturday - a new record, which pushed Illinois past 5 million tests since the pandemic began.

On Monday, 1,477 new, positive cases were reported and seven fatalities, raising the statewide tally to 275,735 known cases and 8,457 deaths.


Second stimulus check: Democrats and Republicans look to strike deal on payment


Second stimulus check: Democrats and Republicans look to strike deal on payment

Second stimulus check: Democrats and Republicans look to strike deal on payment

Formal talks for the overarching bill have yet to restart. The total cost of the bill and how the money would be used are the main causes of the disagreement. The White House could go up to $1.5 trillion. The Democrats have reduced their original $3 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion, meaning that there has been progress made to come to an agreement.

More here:

IRS phone number: how can I talk to a real person on the helpline?


IRS phone number: how can I talk to a real person on the helpline?

IRS phone number: how can I talk to a real person on the helpline?

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), almost nine million eligible Americans have yet to receive their stimulus check. But getting through to a real human person when calling the IRS Customer Service hotline is not easy, here’s how you can avoid talking to an automated service.

Read more here:

Handling Covid-19 crisis - men more likely to stoke fear not unity

Female world leaders have been more likely to use compassionate language focusing on social unity when speaking publicly about the Covid-19 pandemic, while their male counterparts tend to focus on fear-based tactics, by either using war rhetoric or blame.

Researchers analysed 122 public addresses, statements and speeches made by 20 heads of government around the world between 26 February and 6 April of this year. Of the total, 61 speeches were delivered by women and 59 by men. 

Almost all leaders mentioned how Covid-19 has affected the economy, but women were more likely to speak about the economy on an individual level and made a point about emphasising the impact on small businesses. The men meanwhile, focused on larger businesses and corporations.

Heath official to step down for mocking face masks and undermining Dr. Fauci

A public affairs official at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)  is set to "retire" following a report by the Daily Beast which identified him as the anonymous author of blog posts on a conservative website that disparaged Dr. Anthony Fauci and mocked the use of masks, a NIAID spokesperson said on Monday.

Bill Crews, a PR official at the National Institutes of Health, was also managing editor of RedState website, branded Fauci "a mask Nazi, attention-grubbing and media-whoring" and intimated that he officials who were responsible for the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic should be executed. Crews had been writing for RedStateunder the streiff pseudonym for a number of years.


Biden bashes Trump's leadership on pandemic in Wisconsin

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying the Republican 'froze' when faced with the enormous challenge posed by the health crisis.

With U.S. deaths from Covid-19 approaching 200,000, Biden said on a campaign stop in Wisconsin that Trump had fallen short of the level of presidential leadership required to contend with the pandemic's spread. "He just wasn't up to it. He froze. He failed to act. He panicked," Biden told workers at an aluminum manufacturing plant in Manitowoc, south of Green Bay.

Trump also will campaign on Monday in the Midwest, where Biden is highlighting the faltering post-pandemic economy as he tries to reclaim a handful of key states that backed Trump in 2016. Trump will hold events in Ohio.

In Wisconsin, Biden said Trump could have saved lives with a mask mandate but continued to hold rallies without social distancing or people wearing masks, and worried too much about spooking financial markets. "Frankly, I've dealt with guys like Trump my whole life ... guys who think they're better than you," Biden said. "I don't like guys like this."

Republican Senator Gardner says he will vote for a 'qualified' Supreme Court nominee

(Reuters) U.S. Republican Senator Cory Gardner said on Monday he would vote for a 'qualified nominee' to the Supreme Court, suggesting he is not in favor of waiting for the winner of the 3 November presidential election to name a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law," Gardner said in a statement. "Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm."

Coronavirus live US updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 19:00 ET on Monday had registered close to 31.2 million cases and 962,266 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the US, the globe's worst-affected country, there have been nearly 6.8 cases, while the nation's death toll is getting closer to the 200,000 mark.


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