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

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • When asked in an interview by ABC affiliate WFAA what he would have done differently in the state’s handling of the coronavirus, Texas Governor Greg Abbott replied, “You know, I think that’s an easy thing to pinpoint. If I could’ve done anything differently it would’ve been to delay the opening of bars. The opening of bars, if I recall correctly, was around the Memorial Day time period. And in hindsight, that should’ve been delayed. Especially, now knowing how rapidly coronavirus could spread in the bar setting.”
  • Nevada (1,099), South Carolina (1,604), Georgia (1,990), Arizona (3,591), Florida (9,585) hit record daily highs for new coronavirus cases on Saturday. 
  • For the third time in four days, Florida broke its record for the number of new cases of COVID-19 in a day. Florida now has 132,545 total cases of the virus, sixth-most in the country.
  • Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said on Saturday that his state would pause moving into the next stages of opening its economy as cases there rise.
  • The Iowa Department of Education released guidelines for reopening schools in the fall that do not include requirements for students or teachers to wear face masks, undergo temperature checks or practice social distancing.

Instead, the state will allow the 327 school districts and 119 accredited nonpublic schools to make their own policies.

  • Health officials are imploring young people to wear masks and practice social distancing as coronavirus transmission among younger Americans continued to drive record outbreaks in several states.

Younger coronavirus patients are a widening percentage of total coronavirus hospitalizations, with those in the 18 to 49 age group growing from about 27 percent of hospitalizations the week ending March 7 to 35 percent last week, CDC figures show.

  • At least 54,000 residents and workers have died from the coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States, according to a New York Times database. These deaths comprise 43% of all COVID related deaths. 
  • A growing number of COVID-19 infections among people under 35 years of age is a “worrying trend,” Ireland’s chief medical officer Tony Holohan said on Saturday as the country reported the highest number of new infections for two weeks.
  • The Trump campaign is postponing Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign events in Arizona and Florida this week “out of an abundance of caution” as both states face spikes in coronavirus cases.
  • The Trump campaign has reportedly scaled up precautions to protect the president after several campaign staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Campaign officials told CNN that although the president does not wear a mask in public, he has voiced increasing concern about contracting the coronavirus and has insisted on upping precautionary measures in the White House and at campaign events.

  • Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) on Friday said there needs to be a “consistent national message” from President Trump on wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

“A consistent national message supporting the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing is very important to making sure everybody understands the importance of it,” Hutchinson said. “Nothing beats leadership. Certainly it’s important to convey the importance of that.”

  • Pinecrest, Florida Mayor Joseph Corradino, a small town in the Florida county with the most coronavirus infections, warned residents this week that “private house parties” are the area’s most dangerous spreaders of the virus.
  • Twenty-eight members of one Los Angeles family have tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple reports.

The family is not certain on how they contracted the virus, but they claim that it could have been a caretaker who cares for Garay’s mother or a family member who visited in May.

  • United Airlines will resume twice weekly nonstop flights between San Francisco and Shanghai as of July 8. Prior to the pandemic, United was the largest US airline operating flights to China, with five daily flights between Shanghai and US gateways in Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco.
  • United Airlines is suspending its service to Myrtle Beach, effective on July 6. The airline cited “demand conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic” as the reason for temporarily discontinuing service.
  • American Airlines Group Inc. plans to sell flights to capacity starting July 1, abandoning caps on passenger loads that were designed to promote social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers still will be notified when they’re booked on crowded flights and can move their reservations at no cost.

  • Spain will maintain a ban on cruise liners from docking at its ports to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a ministerial order published on Saturday.

Cruise liners form part of Spain’s tourist sector which contributes 12% of GDP. In 2019 10 million cruise line passengers visited Spain.

  • Mainland China on Sunday reported 17 new coronavirus cases, mostly in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
  • Brazil recorded 38,693 new cases and 1,109 additional deaths. 
  • Mexico’s health ministry reported 4,410 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 602 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 212,802 cases and 26,381 deaths.
  • Global coronavirus cases neared 10 million on Sunday according to a Reuters tally, marking a major milestone in the spread of the respiratory disease that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler on Friday panned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to pause the reopening of the state’s economy, arguing that additional mitigation measures need to be imposed to stamp out a spike in coronavirus cases.

“Pausing will not make things better,” Adler, a Democrat, told CNN’s “New Day.”

“The path we’re on right now is the path that right now has us in danger,” he said. “We need to do something that’s different than that. We need our people in our community here to act differently. The status quo will not protect us.”

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday morning ordered bars to close once again in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus as the number of infections mount across the state. Abbott initially allowed bars to reopen at limited capacity on May 22.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that if need be, the state will pause its reopening in a bid to quell the coronavirus spread. 

“To the extent we do not see progress being made, and we’re not advancing the cause of public health and public safety, then we certainly reserve the right to put a pause in terms of advancing into the subsequent phase,” Newsom warned.

KTLA reports that the state’s positivity rate has risen to 5.1 percent over the past two weeks, and 5.6 percent during the last week. 

Hospitalizations due to coronavirus infections have similarly risen by 32 percent over the last two weeks.

“We’ve got Fourth of July coming up,” Newsom said. “We have rules of the road — expectations — that we believe need to be met, and cannot impress upon people more important at this critical juncture, when we are experiencing an increase in cases that we had not experienced in the past, to take seriously this moment.”

  • President Trump on Thursday night said that he was merely joking when he said over the weekend that less testing would mean fewer confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

“Sometimes I jokingly say, or sarcastically say, if we didn’t do tests we would look great,” Trump told Sean Hannity during a televised Fox News town hall event. “But you know what? It’s not the right thing to do.”

  • Chuck E Cheese announced that it will file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic has limited dine-in restaurant service and children’s birthday parties at the entertainment chain. At one point during the outbreak, several locations took to offering food delivery through apps under the name “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.”
  • Florida is shutting down bars in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, after the state reported a single-day record of new infections.

Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the agency that regulates Florida bars, announced that on-premise alcohol consumption will stop immediately. 

Florida shattered its single-day record of new coronavirus cases reported on Friday, adding an additional 8,942 cases, according to the Department of Health.

  • Before Tuesday of this week, New York was the only state to ever report more than 5,000 new Covid cases in one day.

Since then, California, Texas, and Florida have all seen several 5,000+ case days each. And Florida is rapidly nearing 10k per day.

  • The Florida Department of Health reported 8,942 new cases of Covid-19 today. That’s a huge spike and the highest single day reporting of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Vice President Pence claimed on reopening that “all 50 states and territories are moving forward.” 

NOTE: Texas and Florida just announced new restrictions in the wake of surging case numbers.

  • “Arizona is in a state of crisis right now,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said about the rise in coronavirus cases. She says the city only has ten ICU beds available.
  • New daily coronavirus cases are now rising in 29 states, an NPR analysis shows. 

The Top 10 states with increased cases: 

Idaho 160 new cases/day +310%

Oklahoma 370 new cases/day +259%

Florida 4,013 new cases/day +216%

Texas 4,757 new cases/day +175%

West Virginia 39 new cases/day +144%

Arizona 2,834 new cases/day +137%

Kansas 193 new cases/day +105%

Mississippi 554 new cases/day +101%

Nevada 384 new cases/day +100%

Georgia 1,455 new cases/day +99%

  • President Donald Trump on Friday morning canceled his scheduled weekend trip to his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

The trip had drawn criticism as Trump said he would not follow New Jersey guidelines and would ignore a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from states with coronavirus spikes. Trump visited Arizona on Tuesday amid a rapid rise in cases there.

  • President Trump said in a Twitter post Friday that he’s staying in Washington, D.C., instead of going to his golf club in New Jersey over the weekend “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced” in the nation’s capital. 

“I was going to go to Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, but wanted to stay in Washington, D.C. to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced,” he said in a tweet. “The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped. I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe — and these people will be brought to Justice!”

  • During the coronavirus press briefing, a reporter asked Vice President Pence,  “Can you tell me…why the campaign continues to hold these rallies?”

Pence replied, “The freedom of speech. The right to peacefully assemble is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and we have an election coming up this fall.”

  • Dr. Deborah Birx said Orlando, Tampa and Miami are among the metro areas the federal government is watching. She also noted that the counties that are showing the largest daily case increases in the state are Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.
  • “We are facing a serious problem in certain areas,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, said. “So what goes on in one area of the country ultimately could have an effect on other areas of the country.”
  • Fauci said, “You have an individual responsibility to yourself but you have a societal responsibility, because if we want to end this outbreak — really end it, and then hopefully when a vaccine comes and puts the nail in the coffin — we’ve got to realize that we are part of the process.”
  • The Trump administration will grant five community-based coronavirus testing sites in Texas a 14-day funding extension, after pushback from federal and local officials who criticized the end of funding as the state sees skyrocketing cases.
  • The E.U. will bar most travelers from the U.S., Russia and Brazil, which have been excluded from a list of countries deemed to have curbed the coronavirus.

Europe will allow outsiders to begin entering again on July 1, but the U.S. and Russia are among the nations considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak.

  • AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said on Friday.

The British drugmaker has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford.

  • Tomas Philipson, who said this week he will resign as acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, confirmed in an email to The Wall Street Journal that he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. He said he experienced a “very mild case of one day of fever” and that the White House had a “very capable medical team that managed my case exceptionally well during the infection.”
  • A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration must release immigrant children being detained with their parents in U.S. immigration jails during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the order, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee swiped at the administration for detaining families during the pandemic and said that all children held for more than 20 days at detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must be released.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added three new possible symptoms for COVID-19. 

The new symptoms are congestion or runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea. These symptoms join the federal agency’s list that already included fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, and loss of taste or smell and sore throat.

  • Paul Monies, a reporter for Oklahoma Watch, who covered President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week, announced Friday he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Monies was in the BOK Center last Saturday to cover Trump’s rally and said he wore a mask and practiced social distancing. He was never close to the president.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of being “cowardly” for not wearing a mask amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and said she would support a policy to make wearing the face coverings mandatory in public. 

“I totally agree with Joe Biden. As long as we’re faced with this crisis, masks should be mandatory,” Pelosi said Friday on NPR’s “All Things Considered.

  • Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) on Friday sent cease and desist letters to Glendale-based Clean Air EXP and Phoenix-based Dream City Church, the megachurch  where President Trump held a campaign rally earlier this week, demanding that they stop claiming that Clean Air EXP’s air filtration systems can purify air of 99 percent of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • An uptick in in-restaurant spending can predict an increase in COVID-19 cases over three weeks, according to a research note from J.P. Morgan.

“Looking across categories of card spending, we find that the level of spending in restaurants three weeks ago was the strongest predictor of the rise in new virus cases over the subsequent three weeks,” wrote Jesse Edgerton, of the bank’s economic and research department.

Restaurant purchases with cards presented in person, rather than online, were particularly predictive.

The opposite was true for supermarket spending, where an increase in credit card purchases was associated with a decline of the virus.

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