The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 53,923 new cases and 1,088 additional deaths. Twelve of the last fifteen days have seen deaths in excess of 1,000. Two of the sub-1,000 days were Sundays when states’ reporting of numbers is traditionally lower.
  • The United States has now recorded more than 5 million people infected.
  • Five hundred seventy children in America, most of them previously healthy, have experienced an inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19 called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C. Most became so ill that they needed intensive care, according to a new report from the CDC.
  • A new report by the CDC reveals that Hispanic and Black children have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic at a disproportionate rate, underscoring how minority communities across the country have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the chances of scientists creating a highly effective vaccine — one that provides 98% or more guaranteed protection — for the virus are slim.
  • President Trump announced he was issuing multiple executive actions designed to provide relief to millions of financially struggling Americans after talks between his aides and Democratic leaders on a new pandemic relief package broke down this week.

Speaking from his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, Trump said his orders would provide $400 per week in unemployment benefits, which is $200 less than the supplemental benefit that expired at the end of July. States will cover 25% of the costs while the federal government will cover 75%.

Trump also said he would suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year, protect renters from being evicted from their homes, and instruct employers to defer certain payroll taxes through the end of the year for Americans who earn less than $100,000 annually.

It’s unclear where Trump will get the money to pay for the actions and whether they will face legal challenges.

  • Several GOP senators voiced discomfort regarding President Trump’s issuing of four executive orders meant to address the economic fall out of the coronavirus and bypassing Congress.

Some members of the president’s party took issue with the move, asserting that Congress should be legislating.

  • An official from a northeastern state run by a Democratic governor laughed on Saturday when asked about President Donald Trump’s executive action asking states to pay 25% of the $400 unemployment relief.

“We don’t have that money,” the official said.

The official went on to say they were not given a heads up on this executive action and that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, their funds are completely tapped.

  • Tens of thousands of motorcyclists swarmed the streets of Sturgis, SD on Saturday for an annual rally despite objections from residents — and with little regard for the coronavirus.

The herds of people overran every street in town, making no effort to keep six feet apart. Few masks could be seen, and free bandannas being passed out were mostly folded, or wrapped around people’s heads.

  • Johns Hopkins University is moving to remote learning and reducing undergraduate tuition by 10 percent for the fall term.
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst backtracked on a previous plan to let students enrolled in online classes live on campus. Just weeks before the semester is scheduled to begin, the university said only a small subset of students “enrolled in essential face-to-face classes” would be allowed into dorms and dining halls.
  • Officials at Harvard said that they plan to allow up to 40 percent of undergraduates, including the entire freshman class, to return to campus for the fall, but that all instruction would be delivered online.
  • The Mid-American Conference has postponed its entire fall sports season, becoming the first FBS conference to make the drastic decision because of ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
  • South Carolina reported  1,178 new cases and 67 additional deaths.
  • In a new “Fight the Spread” campaign, South Carolina health officials are encouraging residents to fight the spread of Covid-19 as evidence increases about “high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious.” 

Residents are urged to wear masks, practice social distancing and get tested.

The state’s current positivity rate is 15.9%,

  • Illinois reported more than 2,000 new Covid-19 positive cases for the second day in a row. The 2,190 new cases are the highest daily reported number since May 24.
  • Wisconsin reported 1,165 new cases –  its highest single-day number. 
  • Texas reported 6,959 new cases and 247 additional deaths.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties. 
  • Texas’ 7-day Covid-19 positivity rate has risen to 19.41% — the highest average since the pandemic began.
  • California reported 7,371 new cases and 178 additional deaths.

Trump Administration

  • TikTok has plans to sue the Trump administration over President Trump’s executive order on Thursday that targeted the Chinese-owned app, a person with direct knowledge of the pending complaint told NPR.

NPR’s source said that the wildly popular video app could file the lawsuit as early as Tuesday, adding it will be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where the company’s American headquarters is located.

  • White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clashed in front of President Trump on Thursday before he signed an executive order requiring the Chinese parent company of TikTok, called  ByteDance, to sell the app within 45 days or see it banned in the U.S.

Aides present at the meeting told the Washington Post that Mnuchin pushed for tech giant Microsoft to look into purchasing TikTok while Navarro pushed for a complete ban of the app in the U.S. and accused Mnuchin of being too soft on China, leading to their argument in front of the president. 

Sources described the interaction to the Post as a “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

  • Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups came out against  retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, President Trump’s pick for ambassador to Germany, after a series of past controversial remarks about the Holocaust, Jews and use of force against civilians were unsurfaced this week. 

Presidential Campaign

  • Joe Biden blasted President Trump’s executive order to cut payroll taxes as “a reckless war on Social Security.”

“He is laying out his roadmap to cutting Social Security,” Biden said. “Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without Trump putting their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.”

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

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

Read TIme: 6 Minutes

  • The U.S. recorded 54,184 new cases and 1,251 additional deaths on Thursday. 
  •  The U.S. recorded 52,810 new cases and 1,388 additional deaths on Wednesday. 
  • Masks continue to be one of the most effective ways to prevent Covid-19 transmission and there are many different types that serve this purpose, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained.

“There was a great study out of Lancet which basically said the likelihood of me transmitting the virus if I didn’t have a mask on was 17% or 18%. If I did have a mask on, it was closer to 3%. You are talking about a sixfold difference, potentially. It is not perfect but it can really help,” Gupta said.

  • The CDC does not recommend people use masks with valves or vents during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new mask recommendations.

The valves may provide the wearer more comfort, since the valves allow air to escape from the mask and can keep people cooler, but the valves also allow the virus to escape from the mask. Taping over the vents is recommended.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci,said goggles  or a face shield can serve as an extra degree of protection for teachers who are in close contact with children.

Fauci said that if he were in a classroom with children who often don’t cover their sneeze or cough, he “might very well” wear goggles.

  • Fauci said he wishes testing for Covid-19 in the country had worked out better. When asked about people waiting to get a test result back five or seven days later – he said it’s been “very difficult” to defend the government’s efforts on testing.
  • Fauci warned that if the United States does not have a unified response against Covid-19, the country is at risk of continuing to “smolder.”
  • Contradicting President Trump’s repeated claims it will “go away,” Fauci said the world may never eradicate coronavirus.
  • Researchers behind an influential model at the University of Washington are now projecting that the US death toll could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1 – but that can be changed if consistent mask-wearing occurs.
  • Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, said it has increased its manufacturing capabilities of the antiviral drug “to meet real-time global demand starting in October.”
  • A potential coronavirus vaccine should not have any “political spin attached to it,” Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health said. 
  • President Trump said he was “optimistic” a potential coronavirus vaccine could be ready by Nov. 3, noting that, while “It wouldn’t hurt” his chances for reelection, he was doing it “to save a lot of lives.”
  • The State Department lifted its global level 4 travel “Do Not Travel” advisory after more than four months of warning US citizens against traveling abroad.

However, there are currently only nine countries that allow U.S. citizens to enter freely and twenty-three that have restrictions. All other countries ban U.S. citizens entry. 

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said that he hopes the US will reconsider its decision to withdraw from WHO – and that the problem the withdrawal creates is not financial, but the lack of solidarity between global leaders.
  • Another 1.2 million Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits last week, down from the prior week’s 1.4 million claims.
  • President Trump tweeted that his staff is working on a possible executive order addressing some of the components of the stimulus negotiations.

“Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I’ve notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.” 

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she remains optimistic that despite hard negotiations, “we will” find a solution and come to an agreement on a new relief bill.
  • Twitter restricted President Trump’s campaign from tweeting after its account shared a video containing false claims about the coronavirus.

The tweet, a video of Trump’s interview with Fox News in which he said children are “almost immune” to the virus, “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on Covid-19 misinformation.”

  • 62 of the largest school districts accounting for nearly 7 million students will start with full online learning.
  • Major League Baseball has made several strict changes to its health and safety protocols in the wake of recent Covid-19 outbreaks.

Coronavirus-related postponements started after 21 members in the Marlins, including 18 players, tested positive for the virus. Earlier this week, an outbreak among Cardinals’ players and staff raised further questions about MLB’s plans to safely hold the season amid the pandemic.

  • Out of a total of 2,880 players in the National Football League, there are 66 who have opted out of the upcoming season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • More than 1,000 Big Ten college football players released a letter, writing that the NCAA “has had ample time to prepare for the safe return of its athletes to competition, yet it has done nothing.”
  • President Trump agreed to continue paying for the full cost of National Guard troops deployed to help with the coronavirus response in just two states — Texas and Florida — after their Republican governors appealed directly to him.

Other states will now have to pay a quarter of the cost of National Guard deployments in their states, despite their governors also requesting the federal government continue to foot the entire bill.

  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said the state is committing $266 million to school reopening efforts
  • Pennsylvania’s health and education departments jointly recommended that pre-K-12 school and recreational youth sports be postponed until at least Jan. 1 “to protect children and teens from Covid-19,” according to a release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) office.
  • Georgia reported 3,250 new cases and 42 additional deaths – raising the state total to over 4,000. 
  • Four students from three Georgia high schools who attended classes in person this week have tested positive.
  • At least two high school students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA have been suspended after sharing video and photo of how congested their hallways were during the pandemic with mostly maskless students. 
  • Florida reported 7,650 news cases and 120 additional deaths.
  • At least 53 Florida Hospitals have reached intensive care unit capacity and show zero ICU beds available. Another 33 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said shutting down youth sports if athletes tested positive for Covid-19 was “not an option.”

DeSantis wants to “give the fans what they want” when it comes to sports returning to schools and college campuses this upcoming school year.

“If they bring something back to the house, I mean, as much as I wouldn’t want that, I would rather take that risk,” DeSantis siad.

  • Hillsborough County Schools in Florida voted to start the school year with four weeks of remote learning.
  • Hours after he tested positive for the coronavirus, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced a second test had come back negative.
  • Ninety-one people in Ohio were infected with coronavirus after an infected man attended church services. 
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has extended the state’s mask mandate for another 30 days.
  • With Michigan experiencing outbreaks at child care centers and camps, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has signed an executive order requiring face coverings to be worn at these locations.
  • Illinois reported 1,953 new cases – the highest single-day count since May 24. There were 21 additional deaths.
  • The president of the South Dakota State Medical Association says he is “concerned” about the upcoming City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

About 500,000 people are estimated to have attended the rally last year, and the city’s mayor said there won’t be mask requirements or travel restrictions for out-of state visitors this year.

  • Texas reported  7,598 new cases and 306 additional deaths and a jump in the positive infection rate to above 17%.

Hospitalizations decreased for the third day in a row.

The positivity rate continues to climb, at 17.05% as of Aug. 5. The positivity rate was just 12.09% one week ago.

  • Hidalgo County, Texas’ shelter-at-home order has been extended another two weeks.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus, Racial & Social Justice, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

  • The U.S. reported 49,561 new cases and 519 additional deaths – the second day in a row deaths were under 1,000.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci explained why it can be so difficult to contain community spread of the virus.

“Nursing home outbreaks, meatpacking plant outbreaks, prison outbreaks – it’s unfortunate that they occur, but you know exactly what you’re dealing with, and you could go in there, and try and suppress the infection and contain it,” he said. “Whereas when you have community spread, it’s insidious. There are people who are spreading it who have no symptoms at all, and we know that definitely occurs. It’s difficult to identify it, and it’s difficult to do identification, isolation and contact tracing.”

  • Two new studies have arrived at the same conclusion: young children not only transmit the coronavirus efficiently, but may be major drivers of the pandemic as well.
  • In a racially charged tweet, President Trump publicly ripped Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the White House’s coronavirus response, suggesting she was hurting him after she bluntly acknowledged that the pandemic is widespread across the United States.

“So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting (sic) the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”

  • As President Trump continues to downplay the surge in U.S. cases and to attribute it to increased testing, White House officials were told on Monday they will now be subjected to random testing for the virus.
  • A major organization representing deaf Americans and a group of deaf individuals are suing the White House over the lack of a sign language interpreter at the administration’s COVID-19 briefings.
  • A Trump campaign email, typically used for soliciting donations, made a different request of his supporters: consider wearing a mask.

“We are all in this together, and while I know there has been some confusion surrounding the usage of face masks, I think it’s something we should all try to do when we are not able to be socially distanced from others,” the email, sent by the Trump campaign and signed by the President, read.

  • President Trump signed an executive order aimed at expanding access to telehealth and improving rural health care.
  • President Trump said that he is considering taking executive action to halt evictions and suspend payroll tax collection as coronavirus relief talks see slow progress on Capitol Hill.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said extension of the federal $600 unemployment insurance provisions in the next stimulus bill is not negotiable.
  • Michigan State Sen. Tom Barrett (R) who has been outspoken in opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic has tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Police officers Saturday morning in Lehigh County shot and wounded Adam M. Zaborowski, the shooter in a Friday incident at a Bethlehem Township cigar store, where a mask dispute ended in gunfire.

Local police and state police troopers were monitoring the man’s house and pickup truck awaiting the arrival of a Municipal Emergency Response Team.

Zaborowski then left the house and got into his vehicle. Police followed and attempted to stop him when he got out of his truck and opened fire with an AK-47.

  • Northwestern University stopped football workouts after a student-athlete tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six team staffers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week. Major League Baseball announced the team’s scheduled four-game series against the Detroit Tigers this week has been postponed.
  • The NHL announced on Monday afternoon that it has had zero positive COVID-19 test results since its 24 playoff teams reported to their bubble cities of Toronto and Edmonton.
  • The Liberty Belle, a large riverboat, was used on Saturday to host a party with more than 170 guests, violating New York state and local social-distancing rules. Deputy Sheriffs intercepted the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrested two owners of the boat, Ronny Vargas and Alex Suazo, and the boat’s captain for violating social distancing provisions of the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders and operating an unlicensed bar and bottle club, the Sheriff’s Office said.
  • Students will be required to wear masks in school buildings unless they have a medical condition or certain disabilities, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said.

Murphy tightened restrictions on indoor gatherings. Murphy scaled back indoor limits to 25 people, with exceptions for weddings, funerals and religious and political events.

  • Maryland recorded 870 new cases and eight new deaths. 
  • Georgia reported 2,271 new cases and two new deaths.
  • Florida reported 4,752 new cases and 73 additional deaths. 
  • A 14 year old and a 17 year old in Florida have died from COVID-19 complications. Seven children have now died in the state due to COVID-19. 
  • Florida’s top business regulator, met with brewery and bar owners to discuss ideas about reopening. 
  • Ohio reported 932 new cases and 10 additional deaths.
  • Public schools in Columbus, Ohio, will start the school year completely remotely for grades K-12 until at least Oct. 27. 
  • During a call with governors, Dr. Deborah Birx warned Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D)  that his state would likely see an increasing number of deaths from coronavirus in the coming two weeks.
  • For the thirteenth day in a row, Illinois reported over 1,000 new cases. There were 1,298 new cases in the state on Monday.
  • 85 Chicago police officers tested positive for Covid-19 in the month of July, bringing the total to 677 total officers this year.
  • City officials issued 20 tickets to Denver businesses over the weekend for violations of public health orders, including customers and staff not wearing masks, no social distancing and other compliance issues.
  • California reported 5,719 new cases and 32 additional deaths.

Protests/Racial and Social Justice

  • The U.S. Navy SEALs have announced an investigation into a video showing a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey being attacked by dogs at a demonstration at the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Trump Administration

  • The Manhattan district attorney’s office implied that its subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns is part of an investigation into “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including potential fraud allegations detailed in media reports in recent years.
  • President Trump said Monday that TikTok will be shut down in the U.S. if it hasn’t been bought by Microsoft or another company by Sept. 15.

Trump said he wants the government to receive a portion of the sale price.

  • President Trump signed an executive order aimed at blocking U.S. agencies from outsourcing jobs to foreign workers, a move partly sparked by outrage among some conservatives over outsourcing plans from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The order specifically targets the use of H-1B visas and requires federal agencies to prioritize hiring U.S. residents and green card holders before outsourcing contract jobs to foreign workers.

Presidential Campaign

  • House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) blasted President Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in voting, accusing him of deliberately sabotaging the U.S. Postal Service. “Trump put Postmaster DeJoy in charge of the postal service to dismantle the USPS & sabotage vote by mail. New procedures are causing massive delays,” Waters tweeted.
  • President Trump claimed to have the authority to issue an executive order addressing the expected influx of mail-in voting in the November election and said he hadn’t ruled out doing so, in spite of the Constitution expressly giving states the right to run their elections.

“I have the right to do it,” Trump insisted, adding: “We haven’t got there yet, but we’ll see what happens.”

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

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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

  • The United States reported 67,023 new coronavirus cases and 1,259 new deaths. The eleventh time in twelve days over 1,000 deaths have been reported. 
  • A forecast published by the CDC projects more than 173,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 22.
  • The World Health Organization reported 292,527 new Covid-19 cases, another record for daily cases reported to WHO. 
  • Researchers published harsh critiques of a study President Trump repeatedly touted on Twitter. That study by the Henry Ford Health System, claimed to show that hydroxychloroquine saved lives. The researchers dispute the validity of the study, citing multiple errors, flaws and biases in the process. 

For example, the patients in the Henry Ford study who were given hydroxychloroquine had fewer risk factors for heart disease, researchers at the University at Albany wrote.

Also, the hydroxychloroquine patients were more than twice as likely to be given steroids, a treatment known to be effective against Covid-19.

The Detroit study was not a randomized clinical trial, which helps avoid potential biases. In such trials, patients are randomly assigned to take a drug or not take it, which means the two groups should be very similar.

  • Widespread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic fueled by the internet “has resulted in difficulties in discerning truth from fiction” and is a growing problem, The Lancet wrote in an editorial. 

The disinformation is causing a “growing mistrust in science and experts” and “poor and confusing responses by political and government leaders,” the journal wrote. The problem is compounded by some people’s use of social media as their only source of information.

The publication described those spreading misinformation on Covid-19 as “highly organized political or pseudoscientific bodies that are experienced at using nefarious techniques to propagate their narratives” and warned that they’re targeting vulnerable populations.

  • In a tweet, the president once again made the false claim that the U.S. has more cases because the nation does more testing. “Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World. If we had no testing, or bad testing, we would show very few CASES..”

NOTE: The percentage of people testing positive, a key measure of the true spread of the virus, has spiked.

  • The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation warned there are not nearly enough Americans using masks to bend the curve on the coronavirus infection rate.
  • Analysts say the Trump administration’s new online COVID-19 data system that bypasses the old platform managed by the CDC contains errors and inconsistencies that lead to delays and misinformation.

The delays leave the exact numbers of available hospital beds, ventilators and other vital equipment for treating COVID-19 somewhat unknown.

Lisa Lee, a former chief science officer for public health surveillance at the CDC, told NPR, “If the information is not accurate, it could cost time — and lives.”

  • The U.S. government will pay $2.1 billion to Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for COVID-19 vaccines to cover 50 million people and to underwrite the drug makers’ testing and manufacturing.
  • A report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee found that the Trump administration overpaid by as much as $500 million for ventilators and was slow to respond to an offer to accelerate shipments in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Trump administration paid the manufacturer Philips $15,000 per ventilator, more than any other American purchaser. Some purchasers buying as few as just one ventilator negotiated prices down to as low as $9,327 per ventilator.

  • Dr. Fauci today reiterated his belief that a vaccine will be developed by the end of the year. “I don’t think it’s dreaming … I believe it’s a reality.”
  • A study of a Coronavirus outbreak at an overnight camp in Georgia released on Friday raises questions about the safety of students and staff in U.S. schools, as it showed a large percentage of those between the ages of six and 17 years old being infected.

A YMCA camp in Georgia saw 260 of 597 campers and staff test positive. 

The CDC found the virus “spread efficiently in a youth-centric overnight setting, resulting in high attack rates among persons in all age groups, despite efforts by camp officials to implement most recommended strategies to prevent transmission.” 

The camp required tests for all guests and staff 12 days or fewer before arriving. Masks were required for staff but not the young campers. 51% of the children 6-10 years old and 44% of children 11-17 contracted the virus.

  • House Democrats introduced a bill that would require passengers to wear masks on commercial planes and in airports in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It also calls for a study on how the virus is transmitted in airplane cabins.
  • Microsoft’s U.S. workforce will have the option of working from home at least through January 19.
  • Blood plasma taken from coronavirus survivors and infused into hospitalized patients reduced their mortality rate by about 57%, a team of researchers reported. 
  • “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston appealed to his fans to “keep wearing the damn mask,” after revealing that he contracted Covid-19.

“I was pretty strict in adhering to the protocols and still… I contracted the virus. Yep. it sounds daunting now that over 150,000 Americans are dead because of it. I was one of the lucky ones.” 

“We can prevail – but ONLY if we follow the rules together. Be well – Stay well. BC”

Cranston also shared a video of himself at the UCLA Donation Center, where he had gone to donate plasma. Scientists say people who test positive for the virus may have antibodies in their plasma that could help other coronavirus patients.

  • MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLBPA executive director Tony Clark that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season as soon as Monday.
  • The Miami Marlins have eighteen players and three coaches who have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last week.
  • Friday’s game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed because members of the St. Louis Cardinals tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R)  signed two executive orders extending existing Covid-19 safety measures and extending the Public Health State of Emergency through Sept. 10.
  • Florida reported 8,983 cases and 257 new deaths, the fourth day in a row that the state has reported a record number of deaths.
  • The Sun Sentinel, a prominent South Florida newspaper, urged Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to issue a statewide mask mandate and take other actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus across the Sunshine State.

“Far better that you require people to wear masks in public than to continue fostering conditions that will force another shutdown,” the board wrote. “Your refusal to impose a mask order — a requirement now in effect in 32 other states — is out-of-touch with the mainstream.”

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health is asking doctors to focus testing on the most vulnerable populations as a surge of coronavirus testing has resulted in a seven-day turnaround time.
  • Arkansas reported  752 new cases and 11 new deaths.

Arkansas reported a 10% positivity rate for new coronavirus cases Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson *R) said during an afternoon news conference.

“In terms of our positivity rate, this is not good,” Hutchinson said. “We have a lot of work to do here. We’re right at the 10% level, which is CDC recommendation, but that’s too high, we want it lower.”

  • As an Indiana school district opened, one of their students who had attended part of the school day at Greenfield-Central Junior High School tested positive for Covid-19 on the first day of class, according to a letter sent to parents.
  • Illinois reported 1,941 new cases and 21 new deaths.
  • Missouri reported 1,489 new cases and 10 new deaths.
  • Oklahoma reported 747 new cases, the lowest total of daily cases in a week, and 5 new deaths. 
  • Texas reported 8,839 new cases and 295 deaths. 
  • The Salt Lake City School District will begin the school year with remote instruction. 
  • California’s health department confirmed the first Covid-19-related death of a teenager in the state on Friday.

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

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

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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

  • The U.S. has passed the grim milestone of 150,000 coronavirus related deaths. 
  • The U.S. recorded 66,211 new cases and 1,418 additional deaths. 
  • California, Florida and North Carolina set new records for daily coronavirus deaths Wednesday.
  • The U.S. needs to reset its response at the federal, state and local levels to get control of the Covid-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security said in a new report. 

“Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic,” the report says. “It is time to reset.”

  • With current Covid-19 testing results delayed, Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said the federal government needs to step in and distribute faster antigen tests to power through the backlog of testing and get ahead of outbreaks.

If health officials can’t quickly determine who has the virus and where it is, they can’t prevent the spread, Jha wrote in an op-ed.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of a coronavirus resurgence moving into Midwestern states. 

In Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, an increase in the percentage of positive coronavirus tests signaled a resurgence. “We’re starting to see that in some of the states now, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and other states,” Fauci said. .

The White House coronavirus task force warned the governors that they need to get out ahead of the curve.

  • Vice President Mike Pence met with some of the doctors who were featured in a video which was shared by President Trump and was later removed from social media for misinformation.

The video claimed that masks aren’t necessary and promoted hydroxychloroquine as a cure. Both claims are contradicted by scientific studies. The most prominent person featured in the video, Stella Immanuel – who has said in the past that DNA from space aliens is being used in medicine – did not meet with Pence.

The group is backed by Tea Party Patriots. 

  • President Trump defended his retweet of a video containing false claims about the coronavirus pandemic, saying that he was “very impressed” with one of the doctors in the video due to her statements about hydroxychloroquine, despite a report revealing she has made controversial claims about aliens, reptilians running the government and demon sex.

“I think she made sense, but I know nothing about it,” Trump said. “With hydroxy, all I want to do is save lives. All I want to do is save lives.”

  • Dr. Fauci dismissed a viral video that President Trump retweeted that makes false claims about the coronavirus and features a doctor who has raised concerns about alien DNA and sex with demons: “When there’s a video out there from a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true, the only recourse you have is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that.”
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said both the White House and Republicans were “very far apart” from Democrats on negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who frequently refused to wear a mask, tested positive for COVID-19. Gohmert declared he had probably gotten the “Wuhan virus” because he had started wearing a mask — not despite it.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced all members and staff will be required to wear face coverings in the House.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges chief scientific officer Dr. Ross McKinney Jr. said the U.S. could see deaths skyrocket “well into the multiple hundreds of thousands” if there is not a course correction.
  • School closures due to the pandemic were associated with a significant decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

States that closed schools earlier, when incidences of Covid-19 was lowest, saw the greatest declines per week, compared to states that were slowest to close schools and had the highest incidences.

  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos argued against the need for national leadership on reopening schools.

“You know, there’s not a national superintendent nor should there be, therefore there’s not a national plan for reopening.” 

  • The House passed two bills aimed at easing the financial burden for child care amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Georgetown University will begin the fall semester completely online. Earlier this month the university had planned on welcoming back about 2,000 undergraduate students to campus.
  • The shuttering of Rutgers football workouts due to six recent positive cases among players has been tied to athletes from various Rutgers sports programs, including the football team, gathering for a recent on-campus party.
  • The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that its football season will begin play during the week of Sept. 7.. ACC teams — plus partial league member Notre Dame — will play 11 games, including 10 ACC contests and one non-conference game against an opponent that resides in the home state of league members.
  • Penn State University announced that eight student-athletes tested as part of the school’s return to campus protocol have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • The outbreak on the Miami Marlins may be tied to, according to USA Today baseball insider Bob Nightengale, “at least” one Marlins player, possibly more, leaving the team hotel and going out while in Atlanta, days before the season began.
  • The US Open Championship will be held without fans at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, on Sept. 14 to 20, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
  • The NBA and players’ union announced that none of the 344 players tested since July 20 tested positive.
  • The NBA has unveiled a new community testing program, which will provide thousands of no-cost Covid-19 tests in Orlando and in team markets nationwide.
  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said her state “cannot move forward to phase four” due to the spread of coronavirus from parties. She said contacting tracing shows “we’re partying too much, social gatherings are too large.”
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said, “all the news on numbers and our status is all very good.” The state conducted 62,276 tests Tuesday with an infection rate of 1.1%. There were 5five deaths. 
  • There are 619 New Yorkers hospitalized, the lowest number since March 15.
  • Vice President Mike Pence visited an Apex, NC private school that Pence said was “in the forefront of reopening schools in America.”

North Carolina public schools are set to reopen on Aug. 17, with most students in remote learning.

Pence said,“if we’re going to open up America, we’ve got to open up schools.”

  • North Carolina reported 1,763 new cases and a single day record for deaths of 45. 
  • The North Carolina State Fair has been canceled.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced,starting Monday, face masks must be worn in all state government offices and buildings.
  • For the second day in a row, Florida set another new record for Covid-19 deaths. The state reported 216 deaths and 9,446 new cases of Covid-19.

At least 54 hospitals have reached ICU capacity. Another 44 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available. About 16% ICU beds are available for the entire state.

  • Florida will shutter all its state-run coronavirus testing sites from Friday to Monday due to the storm system Isaias, which is expected to become a tropical storm.
  • With cases in Indiana on the rise, the Indianapolis Public Schools administration is recommending that the upcoming school year begin with 100% remote learning for all students when school starts on August 17.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) encouraged school districts to return to in-class instruction.
  • Minnesota has 310 people who are currently hospitalized due to Covid-19, nearly half in the ICU. 
  • Oklahoma reported 848 new cases and 14 new deaths.
  • Texas reported 9,042 new cases. Texas has now surpassed New York in total coronavirus cases. 
  • Denver Public Schools will “extend 100% remote instruction” from the start of the school year until the end of the first quarter.
  • Arizona’s top emergency preparedness director, Wendy Smith-Reeve, quit in protest of the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “I could no longer support the direction that the governor [Doug Ducey (R)] was going in.”
  • California added 8,755 new cases and broke the state single-day record for deaths with  197 fatalities. Though higher than desired, the positivity rate remained steady at 7.4% over the past 14 days.

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

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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 61,660 new cases and another 1,292 deaths. Arkansas, California, Florida, Montana, Oregon and Texas each reported record spikes in fatalities.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the surges in southern states, and how to hopefully avoid future surges through careful reopening, “Obviously, the southern states that really had a major surge,” Fauci said, naming Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. “They appear, I hope, and it looks like they may be cresting and coming back down.”

Fauci said that what he was concerned about other states, such as Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky, “that are starting to have that very early indication that the percent of cases regarding the number of tests you have – that the percent is starting to go up.”

“That’s a surefire sign that you’ve got to be really careful.” Fauci said.

“If you are trying to open up, please do it in a way that’s in accordance with the guidelines,” Fauci added.

  • “If you look at the deaths as they’re occurring right now – about 1,000 per day – unless we get our arms around this and get it suppressed, we are going to have further suffering and further death,” said Dr. Fauci.
  • Twitter removed a tweet that had been retweeted by President Trump that falsely said that there was a cure for the coronavirus. Late Monday night, Trump retweeted a tweet from an account with the handle “@stella_immanuel” that said: “Covid has cure. America wake up.”
  • Stella Immanue, a Houston doctor who appeared in a video this week published by the right-wing outlet Breitbart News, made false statements about the coronavirus in a video that was removed from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube this week has previously made other unfounded claims about medical conditions, sexual contact with demons, the U.S. government, children’s television shows and more.
  • President Trump resumed his defense of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, despite substantial medical evidence disproving its effectiveness, saying he believed the debate about it had become “very political.” 

Trump added later that he believed use of the drug to treat COVID-19 has become taboo specifically because he has promoted it. 

Public health officials have repeatedly said that there is no evidence the drug is effective in treating the disease.

  • Fauci said, “I go along with the FDA. The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.” 
  • President Trump questioned why Anthony Fauci has a higher approval rating with the public than he does on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“He’s got this high approval rating, so why don’t I have a high approval rating … with respect to the virus?” Trump wondered aloud.

  • The Topps NOW limited-edition baseball trading card featuring Anthony Fauci shattered an all-time sales record run for the company in selling 51,512 cards in the span of just 24 hours. 
  • Newly declassified intelligence shows that the Russian military intelligence unit known as the GRU is using a variety of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the novel coronavirus.

The new alleged Russian disinformation campaign deals primarily with websites acting as legitimate news outlets.

  • The U.S. was slow to recognize the coronavirus threat from Europe, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, admitted for the first time in an interview with ABC News.
  • Coronavirus is not known to spread through food or food packaging, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said. 
  • The Trump Administration has awarded $6.6 billion in taxpayer money to private companies for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Executives at these pharmaceutical firms are taking home multimillion-dollar compensation packages even before their companies produce a working treatment.

  • President Trump said his administration will use the Defense Production Act to turn Kodak into a pharmaceutical company, an announcement he called “one of the most important deals in the history of US pharmaceutical industries.” 

“With this new agreement, my administration is using the Defense Production Act to provide a $765 million loan to support the launch of Kodak pharmaceuticals.”

  • Twitter temporarily suspended Donald Trump Jr. from tweeting or retweeting for twelve hours after the president’s son posted false information on the coronavirus on the social media site.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Tweeted: “The GOP COVID-19 bill includes

$2 billion for F-35s

$1.75 billion for an FBI building

$1 billion for surveillance planes

$375 million for armored vehicles

$360 million for missile defense

$283 million for Apache helicopters 

$0 for millions facing eviction

It’s Dead on Arrival”

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that Democrats are not insisting that $600 federal unemployment payments be included in the massive coronavirus relief package under negotiation between the two parties.

“It’s not $600 or bust,” he said on CNN’s “New Day” program. “Speaker Pelosi said the other day, which I thought was a great line: ‘We don’t have red lines, we have values. And we’re going into these negotiations with values.'”

  • Joe Biden told reporters he has not yet been tested for coronavirus.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is demanding that lawmakers remove the $1.75 billion in funding for a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington from the GOP’s coronavirus relief package, a proposal that the White House asked to have included in the bill.

Many have speculated Trump is pushing to change the FBI headquarters to prevent a hotel that would compete with the Trump hotel in DC from being built in the prime location.

  • The Consumer Technology Association announced that it will be hosting its flagship event, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), digitally in 2021. CES usually attracts over 4,000 exhibitors and nearly 175,000 attendees to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
  • C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen, the restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado that defied state orders by reopening on Mother’s Day despite a statewide shutdown, announced it would be closing permanently, The Denver Post reported.
  • All games on the Miami Marlins’ schedule through Sunday have been postponed.
  • The remainder of the home-and-home series between the Phillies and the New York Yankees has been postponed.
  • 21 NFL players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) will issue an executive order later this week setting Sept. 8 as a universal start date for students to return back to school in the fall.

Scott said, “We have achieved a stage of viral suppression that will allow us to open schools comfortably,”

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) offered Major League Baseball the option of playing games in New York state if they’re having difficulty playing in other states.
  • 45 businesses in New York have had their liquor licenses suspended for “egregious violations” of coronavirus regulations.
  • Pennsylvania reported 1,120 new Covid-19 cases and 24 more deaths.
  • Philadelphia has extended their ban on indoor dining until Sept. 1.
  • Philadelphia’s superintendent of schools is now proposing all students continue with virtual learning until at least November 17.
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) will impose new restrictions on restaurants and bars, but only in an eastern section of the state that’s experiencing a major surge of new coronavirus cases. 

Bars in the Hampton Roads area will be prohibited from serving alcohol after 10 p.m. and restaurants will have to close by midnight and will be reduced to 50 percent capacity for indoor dining.

  • North Carolina reported 1,244 new hospitalizations, breaking the previous record of 1,228 cases on July 22. In addition, the state recorded 1,749 new cases.
  • Starting Friday, restaurants in North Carolina must stop selling alcohol after 11 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper announced in a news conference today.

Bars will remain closed, Cooper said, adding that “we want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours.”

  • Georgia reported 4,293 new cases and 54 new deaths.
  • Florida reported 186 new deaths, breaking the previous record of 173 deaths on July 23. The state had 9,203 new cases. 
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) touted “positive developments” in Covid-19 fight as his  state broke another record for new deaths. 
  • The City of Miami has issued at least 167 tickets to individuals not wearing masks in the city. 
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez (R) said the Miami Marlins should follow the 14-day quarantine protocol when they return to South Florida.
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said that schools in her state should be open. “The science is very clear on schools. Our schools should be open.” 
  • Oklahoma reported 1,089 new Covid-19 cases and 13 new deaths.

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

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

Read Time: 5 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 75,193 new cases and 1,178 new deaths. An 8.09% test positivity rate. 
  • There were a record 284,196 new cases reported to the WHO. 9,753 additional Covid-19 deaths occurred worldwide. 
  • Covid-19 can be a prolonged illness, even among young adults without underlying chronic medical conditions, the CDC reported.

Of those surveyed, 35% said they still weren’t back to normal two to three weeks after testing positive.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he quickly reviewed the CDC’s new guidelines on reopening schools and found them to be “a sound set of guidelines.” 

Fauci also said that it’s not a good idea to force all teachers to come back and teach in person. “So, I think when you talk about forcing teachers to come back to school, you better be careful about that and make sure you pay attention to keeping them safe, and keeping them healthy.”

As many people as possible should get vaccinated for influenza this year, as Covid-19 will complicate flu season according to Fauci.

Fauci said a Covid-19 vaccine likely won’t be “widely available” to people in the U.S. until “several months” into next year.

Another nationwide lockdown is not necessary, Fauci said. To avoid the need for one, he said that there are fundamental things that can be done by everybody – wearing a mask, avoiding crowded places, continuing to practice social distancing, closing bars and practicing good hand hygiene.

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) criticized President Trump in a new interview with The Hill, accusing him of not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously enough in its early days and calling the administration’s national testing strategy a “big failure.”
  • US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that newly enrolled international students won’t be allowed to enter the United States if their classes are offered online only.
  • McDonald’s will require customers to wear face masks at all of its more than 14,000 U.S.  restaurants. The policy takes effect on Aug. 1.
  • Chipotle announced they will require customers to wear masks or other face coverings.
  • Universal Studios announced it has canceled this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at its Orlando and Hollywood theme parks. 
  • St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the private school in the Maryland suburbs attended by Barron Trump, said it was considering either a hybrid part-time plan or going back to entirely online classes.
  • The entire Michigan State University football team has been placed under a 14-day quarantine after a second staff member and student-athlete tested positive. 
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced a mask mandate starting Aug. 1 for both indoor and outdoor activities where social distancing is not possible.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced the state will require residents returning from out of state as well as other travelers to the Pilgrim State to quarantine for 14 days unless they can provide a negative test result for Covid-19. 
  • New York reported 650 hospitalizations – its lowest number of hospitalizations since March 18. There were nine fatalities.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said eighty-four bars and restaurants face fines of up to $10,000 per incident for violating Covid-19 rules following compliance checks executed from July 21-23.
  • A New Jersey gym that publicly challenged statewide shutdown restrictions faces fines after being found in contempt of court Friday.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy declined to find Atilis Gym of Bellmawr in contempt, but warned the owners to follow health department guidelines. The state attorney general’s office returned to court Thursday with new evidence the gym was violating the governor’s orders, and this time the judge agreed.

Gym owner Ian Smith said they will do “whatever we possibly can” to fight the decision. The gym’s doors were removed to prevent officials from padlocking them closed, and Smith said he and others would remain in the gym all day, every day.

“We will not leave this building under any circumstances unless they take us out in handcuffs.”

The gym owners also face criminal charges for remaining open during the pandemic.

  • Officials on Long Beach Island say 24 lifeguards have tested positive for the coronavirus after being together at a recent event.
  • Georgia reported 4,813 new cases – the highest number of new cases reported in a 24-hour period by the department since the pandemic began. There were 82 new deaths.
  • Florida reported 12,329 new cases and 135 additional deaths.
  • On July 4, Florida reported 5,022 Covid-19 hospitalized patients.Today, that number stands at 9,215 – an increase of 84.5%. 
  • Regarding schools opening as scheduled, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said, “I don’t know how much improvement we can make within two to four weeks, to be honest with you, and I don’t think it looks good for day one opening right now.”
  • Suarez  is urging residents to wear masks or face coverings while in their own homes to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within families. He said transmission between family members is currently the most common way for the virus to spread.
  • At least 19 people contracted Covid-19 after attending the Pickaway County Fair in Ohio, the county’s public health agency said.
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said the state is working to decrease the positivity rate from 8% currently to 5% as recommended by the CDC for reopening schools. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do over the next 30 days.”

Hutchinson said that schools should be prepared to go back to online learning during the school year if needed.

  • Texas also reported 8,701 new cases and 196 new deaths, the second highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day.
  • Harris Country, Texas is requiring all public and non-religious private schools in the county to remain closed to in-person instruction until at least Sept. 8.
  • Starr County, Texas, has issued a shelter-at-home order for residents of the county, effective until 11:59 p.m. local time on August 10. 
  • Doctors at Starr County Memorial Hospital in Rio Grande City may decide to send coronavirus patients “home to die by their loved ones” due to limited resources, officials say.
  • The Texas Testicle Festival plans to move forward with its August 1 start date. Claire Ball, an organizer with the event, said the fest was hoping to build on the 150 attendees who showed up in January.
  • Oregon recorded nine new deaths, its highest number since the outbreak began.  396  new cases were reported.
  • Arizona reported 3,349 new cases and 79 new deaths.
  • The US Supreme Court denied a petition from a church in Nevada that argued a policy limiting in-person church attendance to 50 during the coronavirus pandemic violated the Constitution.
  • California reported 9,718 new cases and 159 additional deaths, the highest number of fatalities in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • There have been at least 4,005,414 cases of coronavirus in the United States since the start of the pandemic, and at least 143,820 people have died across the country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • The CDC projects more than 164,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 15. The new projections have a possible range of 158,490 to 173,431 deaths.
  • White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told a group of state and local health officials about a concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities as President Donald Trump continues to tout progress amid the coronavirus pandemic at scripted, on-message briefings this week.

“There are cities that are lagging behind and we have new increases in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Jose, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Baltimore, so we’re tracking this very closely. We’re working with the state officials to make sure we’re responding together, but when you first see that increased test positivity, that is when to start the mitigation efforts,” Birx said during the call.

  • More than 150 prominent US medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses and others have signed a letter to political leaders urging them to shut down the country and start over to contain the surging coronavirus pandemic.

“Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities,” the letter said.

  • Cloth face coverings should have at least two layers, preferably three, to be most effective, according to new research.
  • 41% of U.S. adults have at least one underlying medical condition that may put them at a higher risk for severe Covid-19 outcomes, according to a new report published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, looked at five conditions that put people at risk for more severe disease from the coronavirus: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and obesity.

  • New CDC guidelines favor opening schools, saying children don’t suffer much from coronavirus, are less likely than adults to spread it, and suffer from being out of school.

The new guidelines, which come after demands from President Trump that the agency alter its recommendations, do recommend that local officials should consider closing schools, or keeping them closed, if there is substantial, uncontrolled transmission of the virus.

Testing of students is not recommended. 

  • President Trump called on Congress to allocate $105 billion for schools as part of the next coronavirus relief bill.

He said the money would be used to support measures like smaller class sizes, teachers aides, rearranging spaces for social distancing and masks.

Trump said “If schools do not reopen, the funding should go to parents to send their child to public, private, charter, religious or home school of their choice.”

  • A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the use of hydroxychloroquine – given either alone or in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin – did not improve the conditions of hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19.
  • U.S. Senate Republican leaders and White House officials tried to hammer out a proposal for a fresh round of coronavirus aid on Thursday, which officials said will not include a payroll tax cut and could reduce an enhanced unemployment benefit. The text of the GOP proposal is expected to be released Monday.
  • President Trump sought to blame Democrats after Senate Republicans rejected a payroll-tax cut in the coronavirus relief package that they’re crafting with the White House. Trump has been pushing for a payroll-tax cut throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and said in a recent Fox News interview that he might not sign a relief package that doesn’t include one.

“The Democrats have stated strongly that they won’t approve a Payroll Tax Cut (too bad!). It would be great for workers.”

  • By unanimous consent, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation that would protect coronavirus relief payments from being garnished by banks and debt collectors.
  • A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 53 percent of registered voters who participated in the survey strongly supported statewide mask mandates that would fine or even jail individuals who refused to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Anthony Fauci revealed that he and his family, including his wife and daughters, have received “serious threats.”

“As much as people inappropriately, I think, make me somewhat of a hero… there are people who get really angry at thinking I’m interfering with their life because I’m pushing a public health agenda,” Fauci said in a new interview.

  • A resurgence in infections and a rollback of reopening plans in several states is making it difficult for people to re-enter the labor force following the pandemic lockdown. 

Thursday’s Department of Labor report indicates the jobless crisis is still at critical levels. Another 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, marking the first increase in initial claims in 16 weeks.

  • AMC Theatres, the world’s biggest movie theater chain, is delaying its opening once to “mid-to-late August,” the company said.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the state is monitoring rising coronavirus rates among younger people. 

A graphic presented during his press conference showed a 13.2% test positivity rate for individuals between the ages of 21 to 30, compared to 9.9% a week earlier. Cuomo called the statistic “a significant increase in a short period of time.”

Channeling The Beasties Boys, Cuomo said, “This is not the time to fight for your right to party.”

  • NJ had 344 new cases and 23 deaths. The positivity rate is at a comfortable 2.88%.
  • At least 20 teenagers in New Jersey have tested positive for coronavirus after they allegedly attended a house party earlier this month.

The Middletown Township Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the cluster of cases linked to a group of teens between the ages of 15 and 19.

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced a $6 million lease emergency assistance grant program to assist small businesses with up to $10,000 in direct help to pay their rents.
  • Georgia reported 4,286 new cases and 25 new coronavirus-related deaths. 3,360. Georgians have now succumbed to the virus. Hospitalizations grew by 431.
  • Florida reported 10,249 new cases and 173 additional deaths, breaking the previous record of 156 deaths on July 16
  • The City of Miami issued 115 tickets for face mask violations this week, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. “We have written 115 tickets,” Suarez said. 

The breakdown for tickets issues includes, “59 warnings, 41 $50 tickets, 15 $100 tickets and we have closed 15 businesses, 10 for 24 hours and five for 10 hours,” Suarez added.

  • Tennessee reported 37 new coronavirus deaths, a record single-day total for the state. The state also added 2,570 new coronavirus cases. Its highest one-day total in 10 days.
  • Arkansas reported 1,013 new positive cases.
  • Ten hospitals in Mississippi have no ICU beds available, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said. 
  • Louisiana reported 2,408 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to over 100,000 cases for the pandemic. There were 16 new fatalities.
  • Louisiana hospitals have paused elective surgeries as Covid-19 hospitalizations increase.
  • Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) mandated bars and nightclubs in Indianapolis to close through August 12.

Social gatherings, including wedding receptions, banquets, and club meetings, won’t be allowed to exceed 50 individuals.

  • Illinois announced 1,624 new cases – the highest daily total of cases since May 25. The state’s seven-day positivity rate of 3.4% remains promising.

There were 20 new deaths. The state also reported that 1,473 people are hospitalized with 309 in intensive care units and 135 on ventilators – below concerning levels.

  • Missouri reported 1,637 new cases, a record single-day increase, and  20 new deaths. 
  • Texas reported 9,507 new cases and 173 deaths.
  • New Mexico recorded an all-time high number of 343 new cases.
  • New Mexico will delay in-person classes through at least Labor Day, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said.

Schools may begin online learning in August. After Labor Day, New Mexico will phase in a hybrid model bringing the youngest students back to school first.

  • Arizona reported at least 89 new Covid-19 related deaths. The state has now lost over 3,000 people to Covid-19.

Arizona is currently seeing a 42.61 death rate per 100,000 people and an alarmingly high 12.5% positivity rate.

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed an order extending the closure of bars, gyms and water parks for another two weeks.
  • Ducey said classes need to begin on time this year, even if they start with learning from home.
  • Arizona emergency rooms are rationing coronavirus tests as cases surge. Dr. Frank LoVecchio, an ER physician, said doctors are rationing Covid-19 tests due to testing problems.  

“We’re overwhelmed with regard to testing.” Many labs have a nine-day wait for testing results, which is “kind of ridiculous,” he said. 

“Sometimes there’s no swabs, sometimes there’s no reagent, sometimes the lab is backed up.”  “…Our country did not prioritize testing; our country did not streamline this. Other countries that streamlined testing did a little bit better.”

  • California reported its highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began with 157 deaths. The state added 12,040 more confirmed cases. This is the second highest daily uptick, following only yesterday’s reported high of 12,807.

The positivity rate in the Golden State over the past two weeks stands at 7.6% – over 50% higher than desired. 

  • A Claremont, CA 13-year-old boy, who had tested negative and had been isolating in his room after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, died. An autopsy report to determine Maxx’s cause of death, and whether he had COVID-19, is expected

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • There were 64,534 new cases and 1,082 reported deaths reported in the United States.
  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported worldwide reached 15,000,424, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The global Covid-19 death toll rose to 617,832. 

The United States leads the world in total confirmed cases, nearing 4 million.

  • The first reported COVID-19 case in the U.S. came on January 21. After 99 days, on April 28, 1 million Americans became infected. It took just 43 days after that to reach 2 million cases on June 11. 28 days later, on July 8, the US reached 3 million cases. The 4 millionth case could come just two weeks after that.

NOTE: Testing volume has increased, but not to a level that would justify the large increase in positive results.

  • During a live-streamed event, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t think COVID-19 will ever be fully eradicated, but noted it can be controlled. “I don’t see this disappearing the way SARS 1 did,” contradicting President Trump, who reiterated his claim Tuesday evening that the virus would disappear.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx said the statistic she watches closest is the test positivity rate because it is “the most sensitive indicator” of how the coronavirus situation is unfolding at any particular time and place.

The recommended test positivity rate is 5% or below. Wednesday’s test positivity rate for the U.S. was 8.8%, an increase of 0.215 over 7 days and 0.426 over 13 days. (The numbers were misreported for July 8)  

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic saying, “I don’t think it’s been a great example for the world to see America.”
  • A federal judge denied a motion to release families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Members of a national nurses’ union laid pairs of shoes on the lawn of the US Capitol to honor 164 colleagues who have died while treating coronavirus patients.

“We are calling on the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, which will fully invoke the Defense Production Act to mass produce personal protective equipment, and will also create an emergency temporary standard to protect essential workers on the frontlines of this deadly pandemic.”

  • Dr. Robert Redfield said Americans should embrace “personal responsibility” and wear masks. “We’re not defenseless. We have powerful tools. Probably the most powerful tool that we have is a simple face mask,” Redfield said.
  • FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor acknowledged testing capacity is “stressed” in some places during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

He said there is no shortage of swabs or media for coronavirus testing, the items his agency is responsible for overseeing, but added that testing is “stressed in locations that have increased cases, increased hospitalizations.”

  • Despite shortages in coronavirus testing supplies and lags in results, the Trump administration is still sitting on billions of dollars in unused funding that Congress allocated months ago. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have questions about why the money has not been used as testing continues to fall well short of the national need. 

“It’s probably a logistical problem as much as anything else, but yeah, it’s a concern,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

  • The White House and a key group of Senate GOP negotiators struck a deal on Wednesday for new coronavirus testing funds.
  • The forthcoming proposal, text of which is expected to be released Thursday, will provide $16 billion in new funding for coronavirus testing
  • U.S. labs won’t be able to cope with a surge in demand for Covid-19 tests in the fall during flu season, and time lags to process the tests will likely worsen, James Davis, an executive vice president at Quest Diagnostics, told the Financial Times.
  • The U.S. government has ordered 100 million doses of Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for $1.95 billion with the option for 500 million more orders.
  • President Trump said that he would be comfortable sending his school-age son and grandchildren to school in person this fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The president suggested children do not transmit the coronavirus, though early evidence suggests children between 10 and 19 years old may transmit coronavirus just as much as adults. He attributed the recent rise in cases in part to racial justice protests, though early evidence suggests the protests did not cause a spike, and in part to migration from Mexico, though there is no evidence for this either.

  • The surge in coronavirus cases seen across the South and Southwest can be linked back to the traveling people did around Memorial Day, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said.
  • Citing safety concerns for their staff, Lowe’s will not require employees to enforce customer mask mandate.
  • United Airlines is expanding its mask requirements for passengers, requiring that its fliers wear a face covering in all 360 airports United serves, at every step from check-in to baggage claim.
  • Southwest Airlines says its planes will carry only masked passengers. 
  • The president of the Olympic organizing committee says the 2021 Games may not be possible if current coronavirus conditions continue: “Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus.”
  • Fans attending NFL games will be required to wear masks in stadiums this season. On June 23, the league said it would let individual teams set their own capacity limits based on orders from state and local officials.
  • Two cafeterias used by White House staff members were closed and contact tracing was conducted after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said his state’s positivity rate is lower than it was prior to reopening.

Baker reported 143 new cases of coronavirus.The seven-day average for positive tests remains at about 1.7%, he added. 

Baker praised “the work that’s continued to be done by the people of Massachusetts to do the things that we know are most successful in containing the virus and reducing the spread.”

  • Connecticut reported 127 new Covid-19 cases today and no new deaths.
  • New Jersey reported 390 new cases.
  • Baltimore City Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young (D) signed an Executive Order suspending indoor dining at restaurants and bars effective Friday. 
  • Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia, one of the largest public schools systems in the nation, has announced it will begin the school year virtually on Sept. 8.
  • Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, announced that it will start the school year next month with full virtual instruction. 
  • Florida reported 9,785 new cases and 139 additional deaths

Included among the deaths is a  9-year-old girl from Putnam County, FL — the youngest patient to die in the state related to the coronavirus.

  • 47% of all Covid-19 deaths in Florida are linked to long-term care facilities.
  • In Florida, 53 hospitals have reached intensive care unit capacity and show zero ICU beds available.

Another 45 hospitals in the state have 10% or less ICU capacity available.

15% of all ICU beds are available across the state.

  • Broward County, FL, Mayor Dale Holness (D) said during a news conference today that ICU beds in the county are 90% filled.
  • Louisiana recorded 2,802 new cases and 60 deaths. Its highest daily death total since May 1.
  • Tulane University in New Orleans is planning for a full-campus reopening. But at least one official at Tulane — which is often ranked as one of the country’s top party schools — warned that partiers will be punished.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) extended his mask order to include all counties in the state.

All Ohio residents will be required to wear masks while in public.

  • DeWine issued a travel advisory for all individuals who come into Ohio from states with a Covid-19 positivity rate of 15% or higher. The state is recommending that those individuals self-quarantine at a hotel or at home for 14 days.
  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced a statewide mask mandate to go into effect on Monday. 
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said that the state reported 1,598 new cases, its highest one-day total in the month of July.
  • Missouri reported a record single-day increase of 1,301 new cases.
  • Texas reported 9,879 new cases and a single day record 197 fatalities and a new record number of hospitalizations in the state, with 10,893.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that he signed an executive order that requires residents to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and indoor public settings.
  • The Kansas State Board of Education has rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) executive order to delay the start of schools across the state. 
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a new mandate for the next 30 days that “last call” for alcohol in bars will be at 10 p.m. He encouraged people, instead, to get drunk at home with a small group of friends.

    “If you want to get drunk…Have three or four people over in your home, and a small event with them, not 40 people in your home.”
  • The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools is recommending that the district start the 2020-21 school year remotely.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said she will be rolling back a number of the state’s reopening measures in response to a growing number of coronavirus cases.
  • California has surpassed New York as the state with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States.
  • California added 12,807 coronavirus cases over the past day, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

The positivity rate remains steady at 7.4% over the past two weeks, but the one week rate is climbing and currently holds at 7.6%.

“Every decimal point causes some concern,” Newsom said.

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