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

Read Time: 8 Minutes

  • The United States on Friday reached 60,000 new cases for the first time, and then the number soared to more than 68,000 — setting a single-day record for the seventh time in 11 days. 
  • The daily number of deaths from the coronavirus has risen recently in some of the nation’s most populous states, signaling a possible end to months of declining death totals nationally.

The seven-day death average in the United States reached 608 on Thursday, up from 471 earlier in July, but still a fraction of the more than 2,200 deaths the country averaged each day in mid-April, when the situation in the Northeast was at its worst.

  • Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, is warning that she expects to see an increase in coronavirus-related deaths after the number of cases in the U.S. has been trending upward over the past several weeks.
  • As European nations have cut their number of reported cases to a few hundred a day, in the United States the spread of the virus is accelerating alarmingly: The nation reported more than 59,880 cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record for the sixth time in 10 days.
  • Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of how President Trump has handled the coronavirus pandemic, the latest ABC/Ipsos poll reveals. 67 percent of respondents said that they disapproved of how the president has handled the pandemic, which has killed more than 130,000 people across the country.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is leading an effort to demand the FDA reverse course and grant a second emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19.
  • A federal judge in Boston said on Friday that a challenge to new Trump administration rules stripping visas from foreign students who planned to study entirely online in the fall was likely to succeed. But she put off any decision until next week. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeking a court order to protect foreign students from losing their visas.

After the hearing, President Trump said he was ordering a review of universities’ tax-exempt status.

  • Mr. Trump said in a speech on July 4. “We show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless.”

In an interview with The Financial Times that was published Friday, Dr. Fauci said he was not sure of the source of the data the president was referencing.

“I’m trying to figure out where the president got that number,” Dr. Fauci said. “What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”

“Even if it doesn’t kill you, even if it doesn’t put you in the hospital, it can make you seriously ill,” Dr. Fauci said. And he called the pandemic “the big one.”

  • Dr. Fauci revealed he last saw Trump in person at the White House on June 2 — and said he has not briefed the president for at least two months.
  • In a joint statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and The School Superintendents Association, said that schools in places with a high community spread of the virus should not be pushed to reopen, especially if local public health officials have advised otherwise.
  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that it was important for schools to reopen in the fall despite risks.

Kudlow told reporters. “Just go back to school, we can do that.” “And you know, you can social distance, you can get your temperature taken, you can be tested, you can have distancing — come on, it’s not that hard.”

  • House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott is calling on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to testify before the committee later this month on how teachers, staff and students can safely return to classrooms across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Scientists warn of a potential wave of coronavirus-related brain damage as new evidence suggests COVID-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium.
  • Autopsies of patients who have died from COVID-19 have shown a “dramatic” increase in the number of blood clots affecting major and minor blood vessels as well as “almost every organ” in the human body, according to a top New York pathologist.
  • In one month, cases in the U.S. military have more than doubled, according to Pentagon data, a disturbing surge that mirrors a similar trend seen across the country.
  • At least six states reported single-day records for new cases: Georgia, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Iowa and Ohio.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced the state will require all residents to wear masks in public for 30 days, citing an “explosion” of cases of COVID-19. The mask mandate will apply to most forward-facing businesses such as retailers and restaurants, and as outdoor spaces where social distancing is impossible.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that the sale of all alcoholic drinks in restaurants and bars would be banned beginning Saturday night, saying he was concerned about spread among young people. 
  • Alabama state Sen. Del Marsh (R) told reporters that he would “like to see more people” contract COVID-19 in order to create herd immunity in the state. Marsh made the comment when asked about Alabama setting a new daily record for COVID-19 cases after the state reported 2,164 cases on Thursday.

“I’m not as concerned as much as the number of cases — and in fact, quite honestly — I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it.”

  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she’s rolling back her city’s reopening, saying the state, “reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences.”
  • Florida officials on Friday announced 11,433 new cases, nearing the single-day record for new cases the state reported on July 4. The state also reported on Friday that there were 93 new deaths, a day after setting a single-day reporting record with 120 deaths.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) disagreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying he doesn’t think his state reopened too early.

“I think there was really no justification to not move forward,” DeSantis said according to The South Florida Sun Sentinel while discussing reopening phases of the state.

His defense comes amid criticism of the state as it sees climbing coronavirus cases, and also follows Fauci saying on FiveThirtyEight’s weekly “PODCAST-19” that he thought the state rushed through reopening phases.

“Despite the guidelines and the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently, some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly,” Fauci said on the podcast. “Certainly Florida … I think, jumped over a couple of checkpoints.”

  • Louisiana has been seeing an average of more than 1,000 new cases a day this month for the first time since April.
  • On Friday, Ohio reported 1,525 new cases, exceeding the previous single-day record it had set back in April.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called the state’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations “significant” and ordered people in hard-hit counties to wear masks. The average number of new cases a day in the state this month is twice what it was last month.

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed an order requiring people in the state to wear masks in indoor public spaces and in crowded outdoor areas, and requiring businesses to turn away people without masks. It is punishable by a $500 fine.
  • Iowa is reporting an average of more than 400 cases a day this month for the first time since May.
  • In a move that could set up a clash with Gov. Kristi Noem (R) who has fought against coronavirus checkpoints on tribal lands, The Oglala Sioux tribe is locking down its South Dakota reservation for a 72-hour period as it seeks to prevent spikes in coronavirus cases.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signaled that he might impose a new economic “lockdown” if the state is unable to reverse the caseloads and hospitalizations that have made it a leading U.S. hot spot in the pandemic.

Mr. Abbott bluntly predicted that “things will get worse” and said that he may take steps even more drastic than his statewide face-mask requirement, which has angered members of his own party.

  • Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak (D) said that as of 11:59 p.m. on Friday, the state will close bars in some counties. Bars in Las Vegas and Reno that don’t serve food will be affected by the restrictions.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services announced the state broke another daily coronavirus case record on Friday with more than 4,200 more cases reported, with health officials also revealing that 89 percent of intensive care units in the state are full.
  • As coronavirus cases spike in Arizona, morgues are reporting that they are nearing capacity and some are even requesting refrigerated trucks.
  • The Los Angeles teachers union called on the Los Angeles Unified School District on Friday to keep campuses closed when the semester begins on Aug. 18 and to focus on preparing for distance learning in the fall, the union said in a statement.
  • The New York Times tracked over 200 ICE deportation flights from March to June — and confirmed that hundreds of detainees with Covid-19 were returned to 11 countries around the world.
  • Hong Kong, which has been lauded for its aggressive handling of the outbreak, is confronting a third wave of infections, and on Friday shut down its school system.
  • A large takeout order from a KFC in Australia led the police to more than a dozen people hiding at a house party and more than 26,000 Australian dollars in Covid-19 fines, the authorities said Friday.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton of the Victoria police announced the hefty fine at a news conference, saying that 16 people had broken coronavirus restrictions by attending a surprise birthday at a home in Dandenong, a suburb of Melbourne.

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

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