Coronavirus Live Updates: Latest News and Analysis


While politicians wrangled over a pandemic relief package and schools struggled over whether to open their doors to students, the United States passed another milestone on Saturday: more than five million known coronavirus infections.

No other country has reported as many cases. Brazil ranks second, with more than three million, and India is third with two million. (In cases per capita, the United States ranks eighth, between Oman and Peru.)

The data, from a New York Times database, is based on reports of known cases from federal, state and local officials. Public health experts have warned that the actual number of people infected is far greater.

Cases are trending upward in seven states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and decreasing in 17, according to The Times database. In the past week, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida had the most new cases relative to population.

President Trump took executive action on Saturday to circumvent Congress and try to extend an array of federal pandemic relief, resorting to a legally dubious set of edicts whose impact was unclear, as negotiations over an economic recovery package appeared on the brink of collapse.

It was not clear what authority Mr. Trump had to act on his own on the measures or what immediate effect, if any, they would have, given that Congress controls federal spending. But his decision to sign the measures — billed as a federal eviction ban, a payroll tax suspension, and relief for student borrowers and the unemployed — reflected the failure of two weeks of talks between White House officials and top congressional Democrats to strike a deal on a broad relief plan as crucial benefits have expired with no resolution in sight.

Mr. Trump’s move also illustrated the heightened concern of a president staring down re-election in the middle of a historic recession and a pandemic, and determined to show voters that he was doing something to address the crises. But despite Mr. Trump’s assertions on Saturday that his actions “will take care of this entire situation,” the orders also leave a number of critical bipartisan funding proposals unaddressed, including providing assistance to small businesses, billions of dollars to schools ahead of the new school year, aid to states and cities and a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans.

“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage,” Mr. Trump said, savaging the two top Democrats during a news conference at his private golf club in New Jersey, his second in two days. A few dozen club guests were in attendance, and the president appeared to revel in their laughter at his jokes denouncing his political rivals.

Since June, Brazil has frequently reported more than 1,000 new deaths a day, as the number of new infections and deaths plateaued at a high level. Dr. Croda believes the country will continue on this trajectory for some weeks, adding tens of thousands of deaths to its toll in the coming months.

The numbers, he believes, will eventually fall — as they have begun to do in severely hit states such as Amazonas — when a large number of Brazilians acquire immunity to the virus.

But that “has nothing to do with the government,” Dr. Croda said. “It is a consequence of tragedy.”

Taking such a break, however, may not be realistic, said Jill Schwitzgebel, a college counselor in Celebration, Fla. “What is your child going to do with a gap year?” she said. “Getting a job is tough. Flying overseas is not happening.”

Other updates from around the U.S.:

MIS-C was first recognized in May as a condition linked to Covid-19 that appears to occur in children and young people who often had not developed any of the respiratory symptoms that are the primary way the virus attacks adults.

The syndrome, which can include a fever, rash, pinkeye, stomach distress, confusion, bluish lips, muscle weakness, racing heart rate and cardiac shock, appears to emerge days or weeks after the initial viral infection, and experts believe it may be the result of a revved-up immune system response to defeating the virus’s first assault.

The C.D.C. reported that about two-thirds of the patients had no previous underlying medical conditions, and most experienced complications that involved four or more organ systems, especially the heart. Ten died. Nearly two-thirds were admitted to intensive care units for a median of five days.

The blockaded Gaza Strip might be among the few places in the world where no cases of community transmission of the coronavirus have been recorded — a phenomenon attributed to the coastal enclave’s isolation as well as to swift measures taken by its militant Hamas rulers.

But the pandemic has not left Gaza untouched.

Citing a need to combat the virus, the authorities that control Gaza’s borders have imposed new restrictions on movement outside the territory. That has exacerbated an already challenging situation for Palestinians who say they urgently need to travel to Israel and the West Bank.

In March, fearing an outbreak in Gaza, the Hamas authorities ordered all travelers returning to the territory by way of Israel and Egypt to enter quarantine facilities for three weeks. They could not leave quarantine until they had passed two virus tests.

The system seems to have succeeded. All 78 known infections in the territory were detected at quarantine facilities.

Still, experts did not rule out the possibility of the pandemic penetrating into the area’s densely populated cities and towns.

“All it takes is one small mistake,” said Gerald Rockenschaub, the head of the World Health Organization’s mission to the Palestinians. “There’s no guarantee the virus won’t get inside.”

Mr. Rockenschaub warned that Gaza lacked the resources to deal with a widespread outbreak, noting that medical institutions had only about 100 adult ventilators, most of which were already in use.

Before the coronavirus hobbled the U.S. economy, many low-wage workers were already struggling to make ends meet.

After mass layoffs and a deep recession followed in the early months of the pandemic, millions of workers found themselves faced with evictions, late car payments, and crushing medical bills. For many, the main solace through the worst months of the crisis was a broad range of stimulus measures, including $600 per week in extra unemployment benefits.

But with those measures expiring, and no clear indication of whether new ones will replace them, many unemployed workers now find themselves in limbo, struggling to find work in an economy that remains significantly weakened.

Eviction moratoriums are expiring or have expired in much of the country, and a report released Friday warned that 30 million to 40 million tenants risk losing their homes in the coming months. The Paycheck Protection Program, which helped thousands of small businesses to retain workers, also ends this week.

Research from the last recession found that when unemployment benefits ran out, people cut their spending on food, medicine and other necessities, suggesting they were able to do little to prepare for the drop in income.

While wealthier families may be able to draw on savings to get by until Congress strikes a deal to prolong the stimulus, lower-income households face serious long-term consequences from even a temporary lapse in income. An eviction can make it hard to rent in the future. Having a car repossessed can make it hard to find another job. And for children, periods of hunger, homelessness and stress can have long-term effects on development and learning.

While the U.S. economy has slowly added back some jobs that vanished at the beginning of the pandemic, the unemployment rate still stands at over 10 percent. For those who may not return to work for some time, the loss of protections has only added to uncertainty about the future.

Even as the virus continues to spread widely, and public health officials have urged people to move activities outside as much as possible, the summer heat still tends to demand a great deal of time spent indoors.

For those who regularly share home or office spaces with others for extended periods, this may raise questions about indoor air quality. A growing number of scientists are convinced that significant virus transmission can occur through the air indoors, and that poor ventilation magnifies the risk. But the options available for increasing airflow or filtering out are not all created equal.

Experts have a few recommendations.

If the temperature outside is tolerable, consider opening a few windows to let outdoor air in.

“The more outside air you have, the more you dilute the virus,” said Jose-Luis Jimenez, an aerosol scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In hotter climates, some air-conditioners can be used safely if they cool and circulate both outdoor and indoor air. But be wary of certain models that only recirculate the air inside.

Those looking to be especially cautious may consider using air filters. But as with air-conditioners, to derive any real benefit consumers should look to those that meet specifications to filter out virus particles that are far smaller than other airborne particles like dust or pollen.

Above all, experts caution that airflow patterns are difficult to predict. The best way to prevent spreading the virus inside may be to avoid holding indoor gatherings altogether.

The country is polarized along regional and linguistic lines, making governing perpetually difficult. This is now the longest period without a formal government in Belgian history.

“I hope to form a government as soon as possible,” said Paul Magnette, the head of the French-speaking Socialists. “Our country needs it to effectively combat the epidemic, which sadly is rising again.”

Credit…Jimmy Escobar

New Yorkers, by and large, have adhered to rules mandating social distancing and mask wearing. The diligence has helped keep the coronavirus under control in the city even as outbreaks have raged across the United States, primarily in the South and the West.

As the summer wears on, however, mounting reports of parties, concerts and other social events, like a recent rave under the Kosciuszko Bridge, are raising fears that New York’s hard-earned stability may be tenuous.

Over the last few weeks, videos and photos posted on social media have shown densely packed, mask-free crowds.

“It’s illegal,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a recent news conference, referring to the partying. “It not only violates public health, but it violates human decency.”

Reporting was contributed by Iyad Abuheweila, Sarah Almukhtar, Manuela Andreoni, Matt Apuzzo, Hannah Beech, Pam Belluck, Julia Calderone, Emily Cochrane, Conor Dougherty, Jacey Fortin, Maggie Haberman, Alex Marshall, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Zach Montague, Heather Murphy, Julia Echikson, Max Horberry, Claire Moses, Monika Pronczuk, Adam Rasgon, Thomas Rogers, Constance Sommer, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Jim Tankersley, Derrick Taylor, Mark Walker, Katherine J. Wu and Mihir Zaveri.



Source link Health

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*