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

Read Time: 5 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 51,998 new cases and 1,181 additional deaths. 
  • Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said people should not get “hung up on a number,” when asked if there were a number of tests that the U.S. should be doing.

“We are doing the appropriate amount of testing now to reduce the spread, flatten the curve, save lives – because it’s not the number,” Giroir said.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans need to think about returning to some sort of normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

It is a challenge, but “you can’t interrupt your life, totally, indefinitely. You’ve got to try to safely get back to normal,” he said.

  • Fauci said, “You can’t run away from the numbers of people who’ve died, the number of people getting hospitalized, the surges we’re seeing.”

“How long we’re going to have to be doing this depends totally on us.”

  • Regarding the state of the pandemic, Fauci said, “Bottom line is, I’m not pleased with how things are going.”
  • CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asked Americans to do “four simple things” for “their country right now and for the war that we’re in against” coronavirus:

Wear a mask

Social distance

Wash your hands

Be smart about crowds

“I’m not asking some of America to do it,” Redfield said. “We all gotta do it.”

  • Joe Biden advocated that a mask mandate be instituted nationwide. 

“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum. Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing,” Biden said, adding that experts advised it could save over 40,000 lives over the same time span. 

Biden said, “It’s about your responsibilities as an American. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens.”

  • A new survey by the CDC found that almost 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic – both related to the pandemic itself and the measures put in place to contain it, including physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.
  • The Senate left Washington, D.C. on Thursday until September — the latest sign that a deal on a fifth coronavirus relief package is, at least, weeks away.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) said that talks between the White House and Democrats on coronavirus relief will resume only when Republicans come to the table with at least $2 trillion.

“When they’re ready to do that, we’ll sit down,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

  • Another 963,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis – the first time in five months that fewer than 1 million have filed for first-time jobless benefits.
  • Since the Trump administration directed hospitals to report its data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Covid Tracking Project has found the data to be “erratic,” “spotty and difficult to interpret.”
  • Bill Gates predicted in an interview that the first coronavirus vaccine “won’t be ideal in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission. It may not have a long duration, and it will mainly be used in rich countries as a stopgap measure.”
  • Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said the United States should not expect to see an approved vaccine by October – a reference to speculation that President Trump could prematurely rush a vaccine through the regulatory process prior to Election Day.
  • Russian officials in Moscow said they have offered “unprecedented cooperation” with the U.S. to accelerate access to effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. But the officials said that the “U.S. is not currently open” to the Russian medical advances.
  • The World Health Organization said there is not “sufficient information at this point to make a judgement” on the Russian vaccine that was announced this week.
  • Confronted on Fox News with polling showing public support slipping for in-person school amid the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos pushed a conspiracy theory: “Well, we know that it’s a coordinated effort and a campaign to sow fear.”
  • A group of parents are suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom over in-person school restrictions. Christine Ruiz has two sons with autism, and she said that without specialized learning, they are falling behind.

The lawsuit alleges that students will not receive equal access to education.

  • 47-year-old Yolanda Yarbrough was arrested this week after she allegedly hit an American Airlines employee at an airport in Arizona after she was barred from boarding for refusing to comply with the airline’s mask policy.
  • New York City’s “Tribute in Light” that honors victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum announced Thursday. “The health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light.”
  • Stanford University is canceling almost all in-person classes this fall.
  • East Carolina University police have already had to shut down 20 student parties, one of which was packed with about 400 students. Classes started at ECU on Monday.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is withdrawing his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) and the City Council regarding restrictions Atlanta put in place over coronavirus, including a citywide mask mandate.
  • Illinois has surpassed 200,000 total Covid-19 positive cases, with an additional 1,834 new cases being reported Thursday.
  • Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas (D) is extending the city’s coronavirus state of emergency until at least Jan. 16, 2021, requiring most people to continue wearing face coverings while in public places and capping crowds at bars to 50% capacity.
  • St. Louis’ order that limits capacity of bars, restaurants and nightclubs to 50% occupancy and institutes an 11:00 p.m. closing time went into effect Thursday. There were no previous restrictions.
  • Shelby County, TN health officials say they won’t recommend closing schools or returning to a stay-at-home order until 25% of coronavirus tests in the community come back positive — a threshold dramatically higher than other cities across the nation.

By contrast, New York City’s mayor has said school buildings must shutter if the positivity rate exceeds 3%, and other school districts have vowed to limit in-person learning when the rate hits 5%.

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) is extending the state’s mask order. 
  • California’s coronavirus case count topped 600,000 on Thursday, the first state in the country to reach the grim milestone.
  • The number of people dying from Covid-19 every day in California remains high, despite a decline in cases and hospitalizations. The 14-day positivity rate has also dropped to under 6% for the first time since June 28. The state reported another 160 fatalities Thursday. 
  • A Los Angeles megachurch that has remained open, despite state guidelines ordering indoor worship services closed, is suing the state over what they believe are unfair Covid-19 restrictions. The suit accuses the state government officials of selectively restricting gatherings and interfering with their religious freedom.
  • Hawaii reported its highest single-day case count of Covid-19 with 355 cases.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, 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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