Coronavirus Live Updates: New Zealand Races to Trace Source of New Outbreak

The Four Percent


Key Data of the Day

The U.S. reports its highest single-day virus death toll of the month.

Officials across the United States reported at least 1,470 deaths on Wednesday, the highest single-day total yet in August, according to a New York Times database, and a reflection of the continued toll of the early-summer case surge in Sun Belt states.

More than half the deaths reported on Wednesday were spread across five states that saw some of the most dramatic case spikes in June and July. Texas reported more than 300 deaths Wednesday. Florida more than 200. And Arizona, California and Georgia all reported more than 100 each.

Even as the number of new cases has fallen from its late July peak, deaths have remained persistently high. For more than two weeks, the country has averaged more than 1,000 deaths a day, more than twice as many as in early July.

The last six weeks have marked a tragic reversal of months of progress in reducing deaths. By early summer, deaths had declined to fewer than 500 per day, far below the peak of more than 2,000 daily in April. But even as death reports reached their nadir, the rebound was already being predicted because of the Sun Belt outbreaks.

Because some people do not die until weeks after contracting the virus, reports of additional deaths can remain high even after new case reports start falling. Arizona, where case numbers have been falling for weeks, posted one of its highest daily death totals on Wednesday. Though new cases are showing sustained growth in only two states, deaths are trending upward in 14.

With the exception of three days this summer, Wednesday’s death total was the country’s highest since late May. The figure was higher on each of those three days because a single state reported large numbers of backlogged deaths from unspecified days. Tuesday’s death toll of 1,450 had also been the highest since late May, excluding the three anomalous summer days.

Republicans and Democrats have been at odds over how much to spend on another round of stimulus aid, with Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, pushing for at least $2 trillion and the White House insisting on staying around $1 trillion.

Democrats have insisted that much more than $1 trillion is needed for humanitarian and economic reasons. Republicans have objected to that price tag, with some lawmakers and White House officials saying the economy is beginning to recover and doesn’t need that level of support, and others saying that the United States cannot afford to keep piling on debt.

Those positions could further harden given that weekly jobless claims, which had been above one million for months, fell below that number last week, with 963,000 people filing first-time claims for benefits under regular state unemployment programs. On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi doubled down on the Democrats’ position, saying that they would not agree to a stimulus package unless it provided at least $2 trillion of additional aid.

Ms. Pelosi also said she did not plan to deliver her convention speech from Washington, signaling that she did not expect in-person negotiations in the coming days.

The Treasury Department said on Wednesday that the budget deficit had reached a historic high of $2.8 trillion, in large part because of spending from the first $2.2 trillion pandemic package that lawmakers approved in March.

Even before those numbers were released, some Republicans in Washington were already saying they hoped no additional aid would be forthcoming because of the ballooning deficit.

“From my standpoint, the breakdown in the talks is very good news. It’s very good news for future generations,” Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, said in an interview on Friday with Breitbart News. “I hope the talks remain broken down.”

But economists warn it is too early to withdraw aid, especially given that the virus has not abated and the pace of rehiring has slowed. Millions of Americans remain out of work and much of the spending power from the last stimulus package has run out, including an extra $600 per week in unemployment aid.

“It remains quite stunning that Congress has yet to agree on a fresh round of relief legislation with so many Americans hurting financially,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate.com.

On Thursday, Mr. de Blasio announced that all of New York City’s roughly 1,300 public school buildings will have a full-time, certified nurse in place by the time schools are scheduled to physically reopen.

The announcement fulfills a major safety demand made by the city’s powerful teachers’ union, which has said its members should not return to schools until there is a nurse in every building. The union has also demanded that the city upgrade outdated ventilation systems and create a clearer protocol for testing and tracing in schools.

The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits fell below one million last week for the first time since March. But layoffs remain exceptionally high by historical standards, and the pace of rehiring has slowed.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that 963,000 people filed first-time claims for benefits under regular state unemployment programs last week. Another 489,000 applied under the federal program that covers independent contractors, self-employed workers and others who don’t qualify for regular state unemployment insurance.

Unemployment filings have fallen sharply since late March, when nearly 6.9 million Americans applied for benefits in a single week. But the numbers still dwarf those in any previous recession: Before the coronavirus pandemic, the worst week on record was in 1982, when 695,000 people submitted claims.

In late March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed one of the most severe lockdowns anywhere, ordering all Indians to stay indoors, halting transportation and closing most businesses. But as the country’s ailing economy started contracting, officials lifted some of the restrictions, hoping to ease the suffering.

People soon thronged markets with little heed for maintaining social distance, and congested areas soon experienced an explosion of new infections. Some areas then reimposed restrictions, only to lift them again.

In China, two people who had seemingly recovered from the virus tested positive again.

Germany’s daily infections rose to a level not seen since the country successfully flattened the curve in May, with the country reporting 1,445 new cases on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the state of Bavaria, which had promised free tests to all returning holiday travelers, was under scrutiny for failing to deliver timely results.

Cases have slowly risen over the past few weeks as holidaymakers return from heavily affected areas and schools restart. In August alone, there have been six days when Germany has registered more than 1,000 new cases.

The growth is especially noteworthy because it is linked not to a single cluster, but to a general rise of infections in the population. Five districts, including one in central Berlin, reported more than 25 cases per 100,000 in the past week, according to figures released Wednesday. The seven-day reproduction value is at 1.04, meaning more people are becoming infected than are recovering.

Also on Wednesday, the Bavarian authorities admitted that they had failed to promptly deliver 44,000 test results to returning travelers. Among those were 900 positive tests for the virus. The state has set up free testing centers in airports and some major train stations. The state’s governor, Markus Söder, called the breakdown in transmitting test results “really, really annoying.”

Jens Spahn, the country’s health minister, warned that many of the new infections are seen in young people. The average age of infected people was 34 last week, the lowest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.

In other news from around the world:

In their debut as running mates, Biden and Harris attack Trump’s handling of the virus.

“We have better testing than any country in the world,” he said, adding that “when you look at the job that we’ve done compared to others, we’ve done a great job.”

In an appearance in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris laid out the staggering toll that the coronavirus crisis has taken on every facet of American life, suggesting that they will try to make the election a referendum on Mr. Trump’s handling of the outbreak.

“This virus has impacted almost every country, but there’s a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation,” Ms. Harris said. “It’s because of Trump’s failure to take it seriously from the start. His refusal to get testing up and running. His flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks. His delusional belief that he knows better than the experts.”

The Chios infection is not the first in a Greek migrant camp — dozens of cases were reported in April at three facilities on the mainland. But it is the first in an island camp, where overcrowding is the most intense. In the Vial facility, 3,800 people live in a space meant for fewer than one-third that number.

Conditions at the island camps, long criticized as unsanitary and inhumane by human rights groups, have become particularly worrying amid the pandemic. Restrictions on movement are in force, though migrants are allowed to leave the camps between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Greece has generally weathered the pandemic better than many of its neighbors, recording around 6,000 cases since late February and just over 200 deaths. But daily case reports have increased sharply in recent weeks, prompting the authorities to reintroduce some restrictions. The country reported 262 cases on Wednesday, its highest figure so far; only 29 of them appeared to be linked to foreign arrivals.

Some conferences postponed college football. Not so fast in the South.

Does it seem as if everyone’s got it better than you?

A beach house, a suburban home, a home without children, a home filled with family: These days, everyone wants something that someone else has. You are not alone if you are filled with “quarantine envy.” Here are some ways to deal with it.

Reporting was contributed by Ian Austen, Alan Blinder, Ben Casselman, Damien Cave, Emily Cochrane, Katie Glueck, Jason Gutierrez, Mike Ives, Thomas Kaplan, Niki Kitsantonis, Elian Peltier, Amy Qin, Christopher F. Schuetze, Eliza Shapiro, Mitch Smith, Deborah Solomon, Serena Solomon, Eileen Sullivan, Sameer Yasir and Elaine Yu.



Source link Health

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*