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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 69,917 new cases and 1,291 new deaths – the tenth time in eleven days of over 1,000 deaths 
  • Arizona, Mississippi and Florida each recorded a record one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths
  • House members are complying with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask mandate. During Thursday night’s votes, republicans all appeared to be wearing masks, although a couple members, including Rep. Jim Jordan, have worn them incorrectly, under their noses.
  • FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said there is no evidence that people can contract Covid-19 from wearing masks, after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) suggested as much.
  • President Trump took the extraordinary step Thursday morning of openly suggesting in a tweet the possibility that the 2020 election, set for November 3 should be delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump tweeted. 

NOTE: There is little risk of voter fraud using mail-in ballots. 

  • “Never in the history of the Congress, through wars, depressions and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3rd,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said shutting down President Trump’s suggestion to delay the election.
  • Federal Elections Commission Commissioner Ellen Weintraub flatly stated that the executive branch does not have the power to delay a presidential election after President Trump stirred an uproar by raising the idea on Twitter.

“States and localities are asking you and Congress for funds so they can properly run the safe and secure elections all Americans want,” she added. “Why don’t you work on that?”

  • President Trump says he wants the next coronavirus relief package to be “very generous” with direct stimulus payments to Americans that are potentially more than $1,200.

Trump said his priorities for this next relief measure are those payments and an eviction moratorium. He said Congress can take care of other issues “later,” acknowledging that Republicans and Democrats are “so far apart” on other major issues.

  • President Trump said he supports a “temporary extension of unemployment benefits.” 
  • President Trump said shutting down the economy “to achieve a temporary reduction in cases is certainly not a viable long-term strategy for any country” as coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

“The scientific path forward is to protect those at highest risk while allowing those at lower risk to carefully return to work and to school with appropriate precautions.”

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters he is “not very optimistic that we will have any kind of an agreement on a comprehensive bill in the near future.”

Asked to clarify, he replied, “I’m not even optimistic about next week.”

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested it is impossible to know whether the US is nearing the end of the pandemic or still in the early stages, and that the outcome depends very much on Americans’ behavior going forward.

“It’s impossible to predict because when we were looking at the increase and then going down, if it had gone all the way down to baseline… then you could say ‘if we hold tight, we may be in the 7th or 8th inning,’ but that didn’t happen.”

  • Fauci said “we should try as best as we possibly can to get the children back to school.”

“Because we know the consequences on the children when they’re kept out of school, as well as the downstream deleterious, unintended consequences on families, of parents who have to get off work to take care of their kids.”

  • Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said, there is “no evidence” that hydroxychloroquine works for treating Covid-19.
  • Birx called on state and local officials “to mandate masks for their communities” to slow the spread of Covid-19.
  • Trump and Fauci encouraged plasma donations from people who have recovered from coronavirus.
  • Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s multi-billion effort to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, will fund eight vaccines. 
  • Just two weeks of social distancing policies cut the spread of coronavirus by 65% globally, preventing more than 1.5 million new cases, Texas researchers estimated.
  • The University System of Maryland  is making Covid-19 testing mandatory for all on-campus students and employees.

Anyone returning has to be tested within 14 days prior to arriving and will need to provide university officials with confirmation of a negative test result.

  • The backlog on coronavirus testing “shouldn’t be acceptable” Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services said. 
  • Bill Gates said other nations had better coronavirus responses than the U.S. 

“If you score the U.S., our domestic response has been weak. It can improve,” he said. “Our (research and development) response — funding vaccines and therapeutics — has been the best in the world.”

Ramping up testing has been slow, Gates said. “The US is now starting, you know, to say hey, the testing turnaround can’t be long like this.”

  • The University of Washington now projects there will be 230,822 U.S. deaths from Covid-19 by November – raising their projection from July 22 by 11,000 additional deaths.
  • Because of limited capacity at AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys announced season tickets will be unavailable for the 2020 season. Season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase a limited number of single-game tickets for a limited number of games.
  • The NFL’s Buffalo Bills have sent their rookies home from the team’s facility following five positive Covid-19 tests in the last week. 
  • Nineteen players and coaches for the Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies announced that no players on the team tested positive, but two staff members did, a coach and a clubhouse worker. All activities at Citizens Bank Park, where the team plays, have been cancelled until further notice. 
  • Toronto Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo confirmed this weekend’s series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed.
  • The Southeastern Conference announced teams will on;y play conference games in the fall. 
  • The Advocare Classic, one of college football’s marquee opening weekend games that Alabama vs USC were to play in, has been cancelled. 
  • Vermont had its first Covid-19-related death in 43 days. 
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said the state has seen infection rates double among 10 to 19 year olds.
  • Virginia Beach’s schools will start remotely in September. The plan includes guidelines for when students can begin returning to school for in-person classes and will also allow families to choose to continue with remote learning even when the district decides it is safe enough for in-person classes.
  • Washington, DC, announced that public school students will have virtual learning for the year’s first term.
  • Georgia reported 4,045 new cases and 30 new deaths. 87% of the state’s ICU beds are in use. 
  • Florida reported 9,956 new cases and 253 deaths – the third consecutive day of record high fatalities.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) advocated for parents to be able to choose either in-person or distance learning as districts in the state weigh their options for the upcoming school year.
  • Wayne County (MI) announced that at least five people who attended a wedding reception at a banquet hall in Southgate now have COVID-19. 

Between 100-125 guests attended the indoor reception in violation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order, which limits gatherings to no more than 10 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said his state could be headed to a “reversal” in the state’s reopening plan if the positive cases of coronavirus continue to climb.
  • Louisiana reported 1,769 new cases and 69 new deaths.
  • Louisiana has the highest number of Covid-19 cases per capita in the nation. 
  • Missouri reported a record 2,084 daily Covid-19 cases and 13 new deaths.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) encouraged in-person learning, and added that in order to request online-only learning, schools must have a positivity rate of at least 15% in their county. 

Reynolds said 93 of Iowa’s 99 counties meet the less than 10% positivity threshold that the Centers for Disease Control recommends. 

  • Iowa teachers are sending mock obituaries to Reynolds in hopes she will reconsider her school plans for the fall. Teachers are demanding Reynolds declare a statewide school mask mandate.
  • Texas reported 8,800 new cases and 84 new deaths. The state now has a higher case count than New York.
  • Fort Worth, Texas schools moved the beginning of its school year back by three weeks and will begin the school year with the first four weeks being all-digital.
  • Arizona reported 2,525 new cases and 172 new deaths.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said, “We are headed in the right direction.” There has been a downward trend in Covid-19 cases since early July, Ducey said.
  • California reported 10,197 new cases and 194 deaths. 
  • A coronavirus outbreak has been confirmed at four Costco locations in the Bay Area.

A total of 31 cases have been confirmed within the past two weeks at four Costco stores in Gilroy, Mountain View, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.

  • A San Diego gym that was shut down after operating in defiance of the county’s health order to close last week has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus.
  • Hawaii reported 124 new cases, a record high number for the second day in a row. It marks the state’s fifth record day in the past week.

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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