Over 3 million people in the US have now tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak (3,158,932 as of midday Thai time).
Nearly 135,000 deaths have been recorded and the country is now facing an acceleration of new cases in a number of key states, notably Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee. On a positive note, the country’s death rate from Covid-19 has flattened out as treatments improve and many of the new cases are being seen in younger patients.
Despite the rising number of cases and hospital admissions, the White House has been pushing forward on the re-opening of businesses, including schools, around the country. The US Vice-President Mike Pence, heading up the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, argued rules should not be “too tough”.
He stated, against the evidence, that “cases were flattening out”, while the US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that America was “in a good place” regarding the pandemic.
In the past 24 hours the US has recorded 61,848 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, a new daily record for the US. Texas and Florida have recorded the highest numbers of new cases with 10,199 and 9,989 respectively.
Dr Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and adviser to the President and the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, says the US was still “knee-deep” in only its first coronavirus wave.
Meanwhile, Mr Pence defended the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic at the US Department of Education yesterday, whilst wearing a mask for most of his speech.
“While we mourn with those who mourn, because of what the American people have done, because of the extraordinary work of our healthcare workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady.”
He pushed forward on the country’s re-opening of schools saying that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing new guidelines after the US President criticised a plan put forward by the CDC was “very tough and expensive” and threatened to cut off funding to schools that weren’t prepared to re-open in late August, early September.
Referring to the CDC guidelines in a Tweet, the US President said… “They are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”
In Oklahoma, health officials in the city of Tulsa say the President’s campaign rally held on June 20 in a large sports stadium, and the protests that were taking place outside the venue “likely contributed” to a new spike in local cases , according to Associated Press.
Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr Bruce Dart says that there has been almost 500 new cases… “and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots.”
On the business front, United Airlines is warning that unless flights dramatically increase, the company would have to lay off nearly half of its workforce, some 36,000 employees.
And more than 5,600 companies in the US fossil fuel industry have taken a minimum of US$3 billion in coronavirus aid from the federal government. The businesses include oil and gas drillers, and coal mine operators, as well as refiners, pipeline companies and companies providing services for the industry.
SOURCES: BBC | USA Today | Bloomberg | Worldometers
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