Categories
confirmed million

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm – Springfield News Sun

Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. … They need a real lockdown.”

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

M ore than four months into a sustained outbreak, the U.S. reached the 5 million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.

“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”

With America’s world’s-highest death toll of more than 160,000, its politicized resistance to masks and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely traveling to the bloc.

France and Germany are now imposing tests on arrival for travelers from “at risk” countries, the U.S. included.

“I am very well aware that this impinges on individual freedoms, but I believe that this is a justifiable intervention,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said last week.

Mistakes were made in Europe, too, from delayed lockdowns to insufficient protections for nursing home elderly and critical shortages of tests and protective equipment for medical personnel.

Hard-hit Spain, France, Britain and Germany have seen infection rebounds with new cases topping 1,000 a day, and Italy’s cases went over 500 on Friday. Some scientists say Britain’s beloved pubs might have to close again if schools are to reopen in September.

Europe as a whole has seen over 207,000 confirmed virus deaths, by Johns Hopkins’ count.

In the U.S., new cases are running at about 54,000 a day — an immensely high number even when taking into account the country’s large population. And while that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most.

In contrast, at least for now Europe appears to have the virus somewhat under control.

“Had the medical professionals been allowed to operate in the States, you would have belatedly gotten to a point of getting to grips with this back in March,” said Scott Lucas, professor of international studies at the University of Birmingham, England. “But of course, the medical and public health professionals were not allowed to proceed unchecked,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump ‘s frequent undercutting of his own experts.

When the virus first appeared in the United States, Trump and his supporters quickly dismissed it as either a “hoax” or a scourge that would quickly disappear once warmer weather arrived. At one point, Trump suggested that ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants would eradicate the virus. (He later said he was being facetious).

Trump’s frequent complaints about Dr. Anthony Fauci have regularly made headlines in Europe, where the U.S. infectious-disease expert is a respected figure. Italy’s leading COVID-19 hospital offered Fauci a job if Trump fired him.

Trump has defended the U.S. response, blaming China, where the virus was first detected, for America’s problems and saying the U.S. numbers are so high because there is so much testing. Trump supporters and Americans who have refused to wear masks against all medical advice back that line.

‪“There’s no reason to fear any sickness that’s out there,” said Julia Ferjo, a mother of three in Alpine, Texas, who is “vehemently” against wearing a mask. ‪Ferjo, 35, teaches fitness classes in a large gym with open doors. She doesn’t allow participants to wear masks.

‪“When you’re breathing that hard, I would pass out,” she said. “I do not want people just dropping like flies.”

And health officials watched with alarm as thousands of bikers gathered Friday in the small South Dakota city of Sturgis for an annual 10-day motorcycle rally. The state has no mask mandates, and many bikers expressed defiance of measures meant to prevent the virus’s spread.

Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who is leading a team seeking treatments for COVID-19, decried such behavior, as well as the country’s handling of the virus.

“There’s no national strategy, no national leadership, and there’s no urging for the public to act in unison and carry out the measures together,” he said. “That’s what it takes, and we have completely abandoned that as a nation.”

When he gets on Zoom calls with counterparts from around the globe, “everyone cannot believe what they’re seeing in the U.S. and they cannot believe the words coming out of the leadership,’’ he said.

Amid the scorn from other countries, Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien, newly recovered from a bout with the virus, gave an upbeat picture Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“We’re going to fight like heck. We’re working hard on vaccines. We’re working hard on testing machines that are portable and fast. … We’re working on therapeutics,” he said. “I’m so impressed with our scientists and our doctors and our first responders and the folks who are attacking this disease, and God bless them all.”

Many Europeans point proudly to their national health care systems that not only test but treat COVID-19 for free, unlike the American system, where the virus crisis has only exacerbated income and racial inequalities in obtaining health care.

“The coronavirus has brutally stripped bare the vulnerability of a country that has been sliding for years,” wrote Italian author Massimo Gaggi in his new book “Crack America” (Broken America), about U.S. problems that long predated COVID-19.

Gaggi said he started writing the book last year and thought then that the title would be taken as a provocative wake-up call. Then the virus hit.

“By March the title wasn’t a provocation any longer,” he said. “It was obvious.”

___

Pane reported from Boise, Idaho. AP reporters from around Europe contributed.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

FILE – In this April 18, 2020, file photo, Mortician Cordarial O. Holloway, foreground left, funeral director Robert L. Albritten, foreground right, and funeral attendants Eddie Keith, background left, and Ronald Costello place a casket into a hearse in Dawson, Ga. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Credit: Brynn Anderson

Credit: Brynn Anderson

FILE – In this July 14, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for coronavirus testing at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

FILE – In this July 6, 2020, file photo, Dr. Joseph Varon, right, leads a team as they try to save the life of a patient unsuccessfully inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

FILE – In this May 28, 2020, file photo, a woman passes a fence outside Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery adorned with tributes to victims of COVID-19 in New York. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Credit: Mark Lennihan

Credit: Mark Lennihan

FILE – In this March 25, 2020, file photo, patients wear personal protective equipment while maintaining social distancing as they wait in line for a COVID-19 test at Elmhurst Hospital Center, in New York. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Credit: John Minchillo

Credit: John Minchillo

FILE – In this July 24, 2020, file photo, a sign informs customers at the Edison Hotel restaurant about wearing a protective face mask during the coronavirus pandemic along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Fla. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Credit: Lynne Sladky

Credit: Lynne Sladky

FILE – In this Monday, April 13, 2020, file photo, a patient arrives in an ambulance cared for by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns outside NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Credit: John Minchillo

Credit: John Minchillo

FILE – In this July 6, 2020, file photo, Sam Samusi, left, wears an N95 mask while waiting for his train at Union Station in Los Angeles. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Credit: Jae C. Hong

Credit: Jae C. Hong

FILE – In this March 31, 2020, file photo, a worker sprays disinfectant to sanitize Duomo square, as the city main landmark, the gothic cathedral, stands out in background, in Milan, Italy. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

Credit: Luca Bruno

Credit: Luca Bruno

FILE – In this June 29, 2020, file photo, a woman cleans a restaurant prior to the opening, near the beach which is reflected in the glass, in Barcelona, Spain. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)

Credit: Emilio Morenatti

Credit: Emilio Morenatti

FILE – In this March 2, 2020, file photo, tourists pull their trolleys as they walk through a nearly empty St. Mark’s Square on a rainy day in Venice. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Credit: Francisco Seco

Credit: Francisco Seco

FILE – In this April 24, 2020, file photo, a man wears a mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as he walks along the Trocadero square close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Credit: Michel Euler

Credit: Michel Euler

Read More

Categories
confirmed reaches

US reaches 3m confirmed Covid-19 cases as Pence pushes for schools to reopen – live – The Guardian

The National Governors Association is calling on the White House to renew the public health emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic, which is currently set to expire on July 25.

NGA
(@NatlGovsAssoc)

#WeTheStates are calling on @WhiteHouse to formally renew the Public Health Emergency declaration for #COVID19, which otherwise would expire July 25. States need every tool available to combat this deadly #pandemic.https://t.co/1D8CgvRRNU

July 8, 2020

“The public health emergency facing every state is far from over. Despite months of response to the coronavirus pandemic, many states have hit record numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, causing many governors to pause or roll back re-openings,” the NGA said in a statement.

“The U.S. government must ensure governors, states and territories continue to have all the tools necessary to manage the COVID-19 surge.”

The group, which represents the governors of all 55 states and territories, said the PHE declaration was needed to ensure states continue to have access to critical resources and funding for testing.

“Without these options, governors’ ability to protect the health and safety of their residents will be reduced at a critical time,” the NGA statement said.

Former Fox News host Shepard Smith is joining CNBC, nine months after leaving his old network following public spats with the president.

CNBC said Smith will anchor a one-hour news program titled The News with Shepard Smith, which will air at 7pm ET starting in the fall.

“Information is coming at us from every direction. If we’re not careful life-altering decisions will be made based on half-truth, rumor, misdirection or worse,” CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman said in a statement.

“We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise. We’re thrilled that Shep, who’s built a career on an honest fight to find and report the facts, will continue his pursuit of the truth at CNBC.”

JM Rieger
(@RiegerReport)

Shepard Smith:

“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged. Under our agreement, I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future.” pic.twitter.com/ZJHszeBHS4

October 11, 2019

Smith left Fox News in October after repeatedly criticizing Trump for spreading falsehoods and misinformation, attracting the president’s ire on Twitter.

Delivering his final message to Fox viewers, Smith said in Ocrober, “Even in our currently polarized nation, it is my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive.”

New York to reopen schools with hybrid online and in-person instruction

In case you missed it: New York schools plan to reopen this fall by combining some in-person instruction with online learning.

“Most schools will not be able to have all their kids in school at the same time,” New York mayor Bill de Blasio said this morning.

De Blasio said parents would have the option to keep their children home for online-only instruction, but three quarters of New York parents indicated they wanted their children to return to school in a recent survey.

Most students will attend school in person for two to three days a week and take online lessons for the rest of the time.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
(@NYCMayor)

Through a mix of in-school and at-home learning we can make more space in every classroom and building. That means most kids coming to school 2 days a week.

It’s a first for NYC public schools but it’s the only way to bring kids back safely.

July 8, 2020

“When you think about social distancing, you need more space,” de Blasio said. “You’re going to have fewer kids in a classroom, fewer kids in the school building.”

Shortly after de Blasio announced the plan, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the proposal would still have to be approved by state officials, as is required for every school district in the state.

The city’s plan is sure to displease Trump, who is pushing for schools to reopen despite lingering concerns about the spread of coronavirus in classrooms.

Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s position earlier today, saying at the White House coronavirus task force briefing, “It’s time for us to get our kids back to school.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has arrived at the White House for a meeting with Trump on the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which went into effect last week.


María Peña
(@mariauxpen)

Trump receives ⁦@lopezobrador_⁩ for their bilateral meeting. No hand shake. pic.twitter.com/txz9bcuo9a

July 8, 2020

Trump was present to welcome the Mexican president as he arrived, but the two leaders skipped the traditional handshake greeting, which has largely been abandoned amid the current pandemic.

Canadian President Justin Trudeau announced earlier this week that he would not attend the meeting, partly due to concerns over coronavirus.

“We’re obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently,” Trudeau said last week. “We’re also concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus reality that is still hitting all three of our countries.”

Updated

Joanna Walters

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had approved Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman for promotion as part of a crop of new promotions due to be sent to the White House in the coming days.

That’s what a senior US defense official told Reuters this afternoon.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, presumably because he or she was not authorized to discuss such sensitive information, though Reuters has not yet specified, said Esper had approved the list on Monday with Vindman’s name.

Vindman announced this morning that he was retiring from the military, hounded out by bullying from the White House after his devastating testimony during the impeachment process of Donald Trump, about US foreign policy with regards to Ukraine being corrupted by the president with his eye on domestic political gain.

Joe Biden released a scathing statement after the US surpassed 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, blaming Trump for exacerbating the crisis through a lack of federal leadership.

“Today’s awful — and avoidable — news that America surpassed three million Covid-19 cases is yet another sad reminder of the cost our country is paying for President Trump’s failure to lead us through this crisis,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a statement released by his campaign.

“The American people have sacrificed far too much in this fight for Donald Trump to just admit defeat; they’ve done their job, and it’s long overdue for their courageous efforts to be matched with real action and leadership from the White House.”

The country’s grim milestone comes as polls show Biden leading Trump in several battleground states, with Americans increasingly expressing disapproval of the president’s handling of the pandemic.

Updated

Today so far

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • The US has now confirmed more than 3m cases of coronavirus, far more than any other country in the world. As the Johns Hopkins tracker of US cases surpassed 3m, Mike Pence led a White House cororonavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, urging schools to reopen in the fall despite the pandemic.
  • Lt Col Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Trump impeachment inquiry, announced his retirement from the US Army. In a statement from his lawyer, Vindman said he chose to retire because of “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” spearheaded by Trump.
  • The supreme court sided with the Trump administration in a birth control case. The justices issued a 7-2 decision in support of the administration’s expanded exemptions for private employers to opt out of covering contraceptives.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated

The White House coronavirus task force briefing at the US department of education has now concluded.

In one of the last questions of the briefing, Mike Pence was asked why the president threatened to cut off funding to schools that don’t reopen in a tweet this morning.

Pence replied, “What you heard from the president is just a determination to provide the kind of leadership from the federal level that says we’re going to get our kids back to school.”

But schools have said they are having trouble reopening because they do not have the money to safely welcome students back.

Another reporter pressed Pence on whether the White House believed schools should adhere to the CDC’s recommendations on social distancing between students.

Pence responded, “We just don’t want the guidance to be too tough.”

Updated

Mike Pence was pressed on whether Trump’s tweet criticizing the CDC’s guidelines on schools reopening made it easier for school officials to ignore those guidelines.

Pence responded by expressing his confidence in governors and local officials to make the best decisions on ensuring safe reopening for their schools.

The vice president said the CDC guidelines were not meant to “supplant” the judgment of state and local officials and were instead aimed at offering a “range of options” on reopening schools.

Updated

Mike Pence signaled the Trump administration may try to tie school reopenings to states receiving federal financial relief.

Pence said the White House was looking for ways to “give states a strong incentive and encouragement to get kids back to school.”

The comment comes hours after the president threatened to withhold funding from school districts that don’t reopen in the fall.

Congress has been looking at another coronavirus relief bill, which could potentially include proivsions on school reopenings.

Updated

The vice-president, Mike Pence, was asked about the president’s tweet this morning criticizing the CDC’s “very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools.”

Pence told reporters, “We don’t want the guidance from CDC to be a reason that schools don’t open.” The vice president said Trump’s tweet was meant to convey that sentiment.

Pence added the administration was planning to work with governors and local officials as they crafted their own requirements on schools reopening.

“We really do believe that we can open these schools safely,” Pence said.

Updated

Dr Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, interestingly downplayed his agency’s recommendations on how to safely reopen schools.

Redfield emphasized different schools had diffrerent needs when it came to safely reopening, and he said the recommendations were not meant to encourage schools to remain closed.

“I want to make it very clear that what is not the intent of CDC’s guidelines is to be used as a rationale to keep schools closed,” Redfield said at the task force briefing. “It’s guidance; it’s not requirements,” Redfield later added.

Redfield’s comments come hours after Trump criticized the CDC for its “very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools.”

Education secretary Betsy DeVos insisted schools must be fully operational this fall, despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the classroom.

“Students can and must continue to learn full-time,” DeVos said during the White House coronavirus task force briefing at the department of education.

The eduction secretary criticized Fairfax county school district in nearby Virginia for presenting “false paradigms” between education and safety. The school district had asked parents whether they wanted to convene in-person classes for zero or two days a week.

“It’s not a matter of if schools reopen. It’s simply a matter of how. They must fully open, and they must be fully operational,” DeVos said

Read More

Categories
confirmed million

The US now has 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus – USA TODAY

CLOSE

When will it hit and what will it look like? Those are just a few unanswered questions about a possible second wave of COVID-19.

USA TODAY

The United States topped 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus Tuesday – nearly a third of the world’s cases – as health authorities here and around the globe try to understand the full scope of who is at risk and who has been infected.

Reaching seven figures – 1,002,498 to be exact – is the latest milestone for the U.S., which has topped 57,000 deaths during the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard. That’s a number approaching the 58,220 Americans killed in the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975. 

And despite warnings from national health leaders that the country could face a second wave of the virus in late 2020, states and cities are drafting or implementing plans to get people out of their homes and back into mainstream life.

It’s all happened in about three months. That’s when the country’s first case was confirmed, and much of what we know about the virus is still subject to study and debate. 

There are now six new symptoms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caution could be signs of the coronavirus: Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a loss of taste or smell.

Shortness of breath was tweaked to “shortness of breath or difficulty breathing”  by the CDC, which recommends seeking “medical attention immediately” for trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure on chest, bluish lips or face, or a new confusion or inability to awaken.

The daily spike in new cases had slowed in recent weeks, but April 24 saw a new daily  high for the U.S. with 36,200 new cases reported.

Get daily coronavirus updates in your inbox:Sign up for our newsletter now.

Testing pitfalls

According to Johns Hopkins University data, 5.6 million people of the estimated 328 million people in the country have been tested for the virus. Still, testing is not as widely available as President Donald Trump says and many governors say they’re running low on testing equipment.

The lack of testing “is probably the No. 1 problem in America, and has been from the beginning of this crisis,” said Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, the chairman of the National Governors Association.

The number of cases would be substantially higher if testing was more readily available and steady increases are to be expected as testing expands further.

Will we ever have an accurate number of cases?

Dr. Tom Ingelsby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said numbers represented on the Hopkins dashboard don’t accurately portray the total amount of cases and deaths in the U.S. 

“We know at this point that there has been a very, very important undercounting of total cases,” he said. 

He said the lack of testing mild and moderate cases is the main driver of this misrepresentation, as hospitals only tests patients who are in need of critical care. Ingelsby also doesn’t doubt that there’s an undercounting of deaths as well, although probably less so. 

The first phase of testing has been about determining who has COVID-19. The next will be about who had it. Instead of looking for the virus itself, the second phase will look for signs in our blood that we developed antibodies to fight the virus.

However, antibodies for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 look very similar to other coronavirus antibodies that cause illnesses, such as the common cold.

Tests could mistakenly identify antibodies as being for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, producing a false positive, said Dr. Raed Dweik, chairman of the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. As antibody testing develops further, the accuracy should improve.

The implementation of widespread antibody testing will face similar challenges as testing for the virus, and Dweik said it will take more time to develop a test that can accurately detect the right antibodies.

US coronavirus map: Track the outbreak in your state

Contact tracing: Apple and Google join forces on app that could warn you of coronavirus exposure

Meanwhile, states big and small are evaluating when they can restart their economies after weeks in lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus, and they’re taking different approaches.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he will let his stay-at-home order expire Thursday as the state begins a phased reopening that will permit malls, restaurants and movie theaters to operate starting Friday, with occupancy limitations.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a partial reopening beginning Friday, with some openings delayed until May 12. Dental offices and veterinarian clinics are allowed to open Friday. General offices, distribution centers, manufacturers and construction companies can open May 4. Retail stores, consumer and service businesses will have to wait until May 12.

Masks will be required for workers and shoppers.

“No masks, no work, no service, no exception,” DeWine said.

However, New Jersey is not ready to take those stepsGov. Phil Murphy said Monday. The state ranks second to New York for the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the country, and Murphy suggested a phased reopening may not take place until Memorial Day weekend. He did not commit to a timeline.

Contributing: Jorge Ortiz, Ryan Miller, Joel Shannon, USA TODAY

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/28/coronavirus-us-cases-million-update/2996724001/

Find New & Used Cars

of

Powered by Cars.com

Read More