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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The U.S. hit another daily record in coronavirus cases — the 6th time in 9 days. For the first time, single day COVID-19 infections topped 55,000 in the U.S.
  • Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate and businessman, has tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week after attending President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally, a statement posted to his official Twitter account on Thursday.

The day before being admitted into the hospital, regarding the president’s upcoming appearance in South Dakota, Cain Tweeted: “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump.  PEOPLE ARE FED UP!” 

  • Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona this week had to be postponed by a day after several Secret Service agents who helped organize the visit either tested positive for the coronavirus or were showing symptoms of being infected.

Pence was scheduled to go to Phoenix on Tuesday but went on Wednesday instead so that healthy agents could be deployed for his visit

  • Senate appropriators on Thursday expressed concern about whether the government was doing enough to ensure that coronavirus vaccines developed with federal assistance are made affordable.
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield estimates the number of people in the United States who have been infected with the coronavirus is likely to be 10 times as high as the 2.4 million confirmed cases.
  • The U.S. is no longer “flattening the curve” of the COVID-19 epidemic, Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Service told members of Congress Thursday. 

“We are not flattening the curve right now. The curve is still going up,” Giroir said during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing. “There is no question the more testing you do the more you will uncover, but we do believe this is a real increase in cases because the percent positive [tests] is going up,” he said.

  • The coronavirus delayed the arrival of seasonal immigrants who normally help harvest U.S. wheat, causing farmers and harvesting companies to have a hard time finding and keeping workers to run machines that bring in the crop.
  • In an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Thursday that a new strain of the coronavirus found to be dominant around the world may contain a mutation that allows it to spread from person-to-person with more ease.

The new, prevalent virus strain is thought to have first been seen in Italy.

  • Treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System.

In a large-scale retrospective analysis of 2,541 patients hospitalized between March 10 and May 2, 2020 across the system’s six hospitals, the study found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine alone died compared to 26.4% not treated with hydroxychloroquine. None of the patients had documented serious heart abnormalities.

  • More than three dozen U.S. states were seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis on Thursday, the latest grim sign that the coronavirus pandemic, once thought to be waning, was again spreading rapidly.
  • Florida reported 10,109 new COVID-19 cases Thursday morning, the first time Florida has recorded more than 10,000 cases in a 24 hour period.
  • GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an order making it mandatory for all Texans to wear a face covering of some kind while out in public as the state faces a surge in coronavirus cases.
  • Vanilla Ice is still slated to hold an Independence Day concert in Austin, Texas on Friday, even as the state reimposes certain coronavirus restrictions amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

UPDATE: Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed his concert that drew fierce criticism due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Executive Committee of the Texas Republican Party on Thursday voted to push ahead and have their state convention in person this month, despite a surge in coronavirus cases in Houston, where it will take place.
  • The committee voted 40 to 20 to host the meeting that about 6,000 people are expected to attend in Houston’s George R. Brown convention center in just over two weeks.
  • A 1,500-member church in Mobile that resumed in-person, social-distanced worship with weekly attendance of about 350 people has had more than 20 members test positive for COVID-19 the past two weeks, and has moved back to online services only.
  • Students in Alabama threw COVID-19 parties where infected students were invited and there was a contest over who would get it first, according to officials.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City schools would open in some form come September — only for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to describe the mayor’s announcement as “premature.”

“We value the opinion of local politicians and the state’s 700 local school districts as to what should be done, but the public should not be confused on this important decision that has practical consequences for many,” Dani Lever, Mr. Cuomo’s spokeswoman, in a statement.

  • In New York City, twenty-two streets, some already closed to car traffic, will be dedicated to outdoor dining on Friday nights and weekends.
  • Five of the nine Atlantic City casinos reopened Thursday but with new rules: Gamblers must wear masks, and won’t be allowed to smoke, drink or eat inside.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly told legislative leaders that a desire to reopen schools is a key reason for her executive order requiring Kansas residents to wear masks in public and their workplaces. The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, with a fine of up to $2,500 possible for violators.
  • The powerful Nevada union that represents more than 60,000 casino workers in the Las Vegas area filed a lawsuit against several of the city’s casino operators, accusing them of failing to properly protect employees from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham modified her public health order to tighten travel restrictions by requiring all out-of-state travelers to quarantine for 14 days, including New Mexicans who traveled out of state and are returning home.
  • Noting what was probably his last chance to reach residents before the July 4th holiday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Thursday implored residents to refrain from gathering with people outside their household — no matter how great the temptation — and to wear masks.
  • Striking California nurses picketed outside Riverside Community Hospital and demanded the proper protective equipment and better conditions to fight COVID-19.
  • A group of Oregon State Police troopers appeared to defy Gov. Kate Brown’s statewide mask order while in uniform Wednesday, entering a Corvallis coffee shop without wearing required face coverings, video obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows.

The store’s assistant manager, Travis Boss, said he told the first trooper who arrived that the trooper needed to wear a mask.

“Governor Brown has no authority to take our civil liberties. We aren’t going to wear masks,” the trooper allegedly said, according to a written statement from Boss provided to the newsroom. 

Three other law enforcement officers entered the business moments later and also refused a request to wear masks, Boss said. Boss said he felt compelled to fulfill their drink orders because they were in uniform, even though he said he had sent other patrons away earlier for not wearing masks.

  • A spokesperson for Oregon State Police told Oregon Live that the trooper who appeared to be speaking to the manager had been placed on administrative leave and was under investigation. The four officers are all assigned to Oregon State University, according to the agency.
  • COVID-19 testing supplies distributed by the federal government have failed quality checks and are arriving late, Washington state’s top health official said in a letter to a senior administration official, warning of problems as cases spike.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday that the city is issuing an emergency travel order directing all residents and travelers entering Chicago from states experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases to quarantine for 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
  • The Treasury Department on Wednesday approved a $700 million loan from CARES funds to YRC Worldwide, a financially-troubled trucking company that is also being sued by the Defense Department for overpricing shipping costs.
  • The European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged European Union countries to step up testing and contact tracing, and asked governments to communicate to their citizens that “the pandemic is not over.” The warning comes as Europe’s reopening has brought a resurgence of cases in some pockets.
  • The Palestinian Authority announced plans to reimpose virus restrictions throughout the West Bank following a sharp rise in the number of new cases in the territory.
  • Scots have been ordered to wear face coverings in all shops starting July 10. Those who don’t comply face a £60 fine. 
  • Mexico posted a record 6,741 new cases.
  • Nearly six weeks after Tokyo lifted a state of emergency and declared the virus contained in the Japanese capital, new cases spiked to 107 on Thursday, up from 67 just a day earlier and the highest level since May 2.
  • Tesla is building mobile molecule printers to help make the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CureVac in Germany, the electric-car maker’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted.

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

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