The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Scripps’ Television correspondent Joe St. George asked President Trump if he actually ordered testing to be slowed down. He said in his Saturday speech he did. He didn’t answer the question.

Trump also claimed the U.S. does “more testing than any country in the world.” The U.S. ranks 10th in per capita testing.

  • President Trump’s comments at an Oklahoma campaign rally about slowing down testing for coronavirus were just “a passing observation” and not meant in jest, VP Pence told governors on a conference call.
  • In a press conference White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked by a reporter, “Is what you’re saying, that he told people to slow down testing, is not true?” She replied, “It was a comment he made in jest.” 
  • In a Tuesday morning Tweet, Trump wrote, “Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!”

NOTE: The U.S. ranks 10th worldwide in per capita testing.

  • CBS White House correspondent, Weijia Jiang, asked the President if he was kidding when he said he told his people to slow down testing, which is how White House officials explained the comment. 

He said, “I don’t kid.”

  • The White House announced it’s “scaling back” coronavirus temperature checks for visitors upon entering the complex.

People who find themselves in close proximity to Trump and Pence will still get temperature checks and coronavirus tests.

  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced, “We’re seeing a tremendous uptick in cases, particularly among young people, 18 to 35. We are also seeing an increase in hospitalizations… we are not going into Phase Three.”
  • Levels of an antibody found in recovered COVID-19 patients fell sharply in 2-3 months after infection for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, according to a Chinese study, raising questions about the length of any immunity against the coronavirus.
  • New Jersey will allow indoor dining in restaurants on July 2 with capacity limits, Governor Murphy announced. Restaurants will be required to limit indoor capacity to 25% when they reopen and other rules will be announced within the next several days.
  • New Jersey will allow Atlantic City’s casinos to reopen to gamblers on July 2 with 25% capacity limits. 
  • The same week it reopened for business, Tashmoo Bar & Restaurant in Morristown, NJ had its outdoor dining license revoked  after overcrowding on Friday night, Morristown officials said in a statement, a violation of new coronavirus regulations on outdoor dining.
  • New York City entered Phase Two of the state’s four-phase reopening plan as  restaurants and bars opened for outdoor dining — and office spaces, real estate services, in-store retail, barbershops and hair salons, car dealerships and houses of worship can also all open at limited capacity.

City playgrounds will also reopen under the Phase Two of the plan.

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow minimized new spikes in coronavirus cases and said there is “no second wave coming.” Kudlow, who has previously sought to tamp down concerns about new spikes, noted that he isn’t a health expert but cited conversations with Trump administration health officials in offering his assessment.

“There are some hot spots. We’re on it. We know how to deal with this stuff now, we’ve come a long way since last winter and there is no second wave coming.”

  • Since Friday, 12 states have recorded record highs in new coronavirus cases. Florida, Texas, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, California, Tennessee, and Oklahoma all showed rising cases as results came in over the weekend. In Florida, new data found 4,049 newly-confirmed coronavirus infections as of Saturday.
  • In April, Congress provided more than $25 billion to increase testing and contact tracing capacity, as well as $2 billion to provide free COVID-19 testing for the uninsured and other services associated with getting a test. President Trump still hasn’t spent or distributed $14 billion of those funds even as cases rise and local officials seek to prevent outbreaks.
  • Amid a surge in Florida coronavirus cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration is changing the guidelines for hospitals’ reporting of intensive-care beds in the state Emergency Status System.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who’s also the secretary of the Department of Health, said he no longer wants hospitals to report to the state the number of patients in intensive-care unit beds.

Instead, Rivkees said he only wants hospitals to report the number of patients in those beds who require what he described as an “intensive level of care.”

  • More than 183,000 new cases of coronavirus infections were reported to the World Health Organization on Sunday in what was a record single-day increase.
  • Toronto, Canada’s biggest city and its financial capital, will allow businesses to reopen starting Friday, as it joins other regions in the province of Ontario in ending a three-month pandemic lockdown, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday.

Restaurants in Toronto, along with Peel Health Region which encapsulates the city’s densely populated suburbs, will be able to open their patios.

  • Two additional members of President Trump’s reelection campaign have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, OK.
  • President Trump confirmed that he would support another round of stimulus checks to help the economy bounce back amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: “It will be very good. It will be very generous.”
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called recent spikes in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “unacceptable” but stopped short of announcing any new requirements to halt the spread of the virus. Rates of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Texas averaged more than 3,200 per day over the last “four or five days,” an increase from the second half of May, when around 1,600 people in Texas were hospitalized per day.
  • Saudi Arabia said it will bar arrivals from abroad to attend the Hajj this year due to the coronavirus.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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