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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The United States saw a record number of new cases Tuesday with 67,417. Wednesday registered 60,971 new diagnoses and 773 U.S. deaths.
  • A Gallup survey found mask wearing remains a political issue, with 94 percent of Democrats stating that they “always” or “very often” wear masks when outside their homes, compared to 46 percent of Republicans who said the same. 

36 percent of Republicans said they “rarely” or “never” wear a mask when going out, a position shared by only 2 percent of Democrats.

  • Young people throwing “Covid parties” in the United States has been making Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “head spin,” he said.

“When I hear about these Covid parties, it just makes my head spin. Because when you get infected, what you’re doing is you’re not in a vacuum. You are part of the propagation of the outbreak.”

  • Moderna’s chief medical officer said Wednesday that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the biotechnology company’s Covid-19 vaccine developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health.
  • President Trump said his trade adviser Peter Navarro made a misstep by publishing an op-ed critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“He made a statement representing himself,” Trump said when questioned about the article while departing the White House. “He shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony.”

  • The Los Angeles Times reported that President Donald Trump personally “authorized” and “encouraged” an op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • Fauci said the government’s attempt to discredit him “is a bit bizarre. I don’t really fully understand it.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he has “total” confidence in Dr. Fauci.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s battle with Anthony Fauci is intensifying, putting the White House in a difficult position as it struggles to downplay evidence of a rift between President Trump and one of the nation’s most trusted health experts during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is the sort of thing that would get you fired in any other White House,” a former official said.

  • Infectious disease expert Dr. Colleen Kraft said the United States doesn’t have a handle on coronavirus, largely due to people’s behavior. 

“I’m not really sure at this point…what to say differently, except that we may be more at a toddler status, where we have to sort of learn ourselves by putting our hand over a fire to actually learn that there’s a problem.”

  • Coronavirus cases are surging in the South because states reopened too soon, not because northerners traveled to Southern destinations over Memorial Day, the Harvard Global Health Institute asserted in a statement.

“Northerners are not the cause of big outbreaks in the south,” the Institute said in a statement. “What the states that are seeing large outbreaks have in common is that they relaxed COVID-19 regulations around the same time in May.”

  • The reported death rates of patients being treated for coronavirus in intensive care units has improved since the beginning of the pandemic from 60% of patients dying to 42% at the end of May. 
  • A majority of voters oppose the Trump administration’s demand that K-12 schools and day care centers be fully opened for in-person instruction during the coming academic year.
  • Walmart will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores, making it the largest retailer to introduce such a policy that has otherwise proven difficult to enforce without state and federal requirements.
  • Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket chain, will require customers to wear a mask or face covering to shop in their stores.
  • Thirty-eight states reported an increase in the number of new cases from the week before.
  • Twenty-seven states have paused or rolled back plans to reopen their economies.
  • Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) warned of “an unsettling climb” in new cases and moved to reduce seating capacity in restaurants and limit the size of gatherings.
  • Philadelphia plans to reopen schools in September with a hybrid of in-person and online learning, with most students physically attending school two days per week.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called for Ohioans to show unity and take action against the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the state.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it took Ohio 20 days to reach its first 1,500 total Covid-19 cases, DeWine said during a briefing. Last week, Ohio saw over 1,500 cases in a single day.

DeWine emphasized that the number of new cases is not just the result of increased testing.

“I know some say that our case numbers are increasing because we are simply doing more testing. Yes, our testing has gone up by 87%. But our number of positive cases has skyrocketed by almost 200%,” the governor said.

He encouraged Ohioans to wear masks.

  • Officials in Prince George’s County, Md., announced that students would be distance-learning through at least February.
  • Richmond, Virginia will make K-12 classes fully virtual in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. The school board cited research showing the illness is airborne and “highly contagious, especially indoors” for the decision.
  • Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said the district’s state of emergency will be extended — likely through October.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is calling on all public school districts in the state to submit plans for reopening that give parents the option to either send their children back to school, or keep them home for distance learning.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is extending the state’s emergency coronavirus restrictions, but is not requiring citizens to wear a mask.

The order also explicitly bans Georgia’s cities and counties from ordering people to wear masks in public places. He voided orders that at least 15 local governments across the state had adopted even though Kemp had earlier said cities and counties had no power to order masks.

  • Florida reported another 10,181 cases of coronavirus.
  • Florida has hit another troubling milestone in its fight against the coronavirus: a record number of daily hospitalizations related to coronavirus infections.

WFLA 8 Florida reports that the state has recorded 453 patients as new hospital admittances on July 15.

  • Florida’s largest public health system has seen a 226% increase in coronavirus patients since June 14. 

“The biggest issue is we have a lot of aggressive noncompliant people, people that just do not believe that masking is the right thing to do,”Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya said. 

  • Fifty-four Florida hospital ICUs have reached capacity as Miami-Dade county reports Covid-19 ventilator use is up 92%
  • Florida health officials have identified a troubling trend: approximately 33 percent, or one third, of children in Florida tested for COVID-19 yield positive results.
  • Alabama reported a record 47 COVID deaths, more per capita than Florida. 
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced a mandatory statewide mask order, citing a 50 percent increase in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks.
  • The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, the oldest fishing tournament in the United States, has been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • More than 30 students from Lake Zurich High School, Illinois have tested positive for coronavirus. 
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced that she would delay the opening of schools until after Labor Day, saying that schools needed time to get masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer and other supplies. “I can’t in good conscience open schools when Kansas has numerous hot spots where cases are at an all-time high & continuing to rapidly rise,” she wrote on Twitter.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has tested positive for coronavirus as cases in his state hit record levels just a month after he hosted Trump’s first campaign rally amid the pandemic.
  • Oklahoma has reported a record-high number of new cases. The State Department of Health said that there are at least 22,813 total cases, up at least 1,075 new cases from Tuesday.
  • Texas has set grim records for single-day deaths and new COVID-19 cases as the Lone Star State continues to get rocked by the pandemic.

The state reported 110 deaths and 10,791 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 282,365. It was the second consecutive day that Texas broke its record for daily number of new cases.

  • TexasGov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an order mandating that most people wear face masks in public.
  • The Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest in the country, said it would start the year virtually on Sept. 8. Students will have at least six weeks of online instruction, with a tentative plan to start in-person classes on Oct. 19.
  • Idaho experienced its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began and hit a new record for cases. Eight Idohans succumbed to the disease and 550 were newly diagnosed. 
  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a statewide order requiring the use of a face covering in many indoor and outdoor settings.
  • New Mexico reported its second-largest single-day Covid-19 case increase with 330 new cases.
  • Arizona has led the nation for over a month with the highest 7-day average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
  • Hospitalizations and ICU admissions for Covid-19 patients in California continue to rise in the state, setting a new record with a total of 6,745 hospitalizations and 1,886 ICU admissions.
  • Sacramento County students will not return to public school campuses in the fall, joining several other California counties that will start the academic year with online distance learning only.
  • Public school students in San Francisco will start the fall semester with classes completely online.
  • The iconic Tournament of Roses Parade, scheduled for New Year’s Day 2021  has been canceled. 

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

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