CORONA Main Coronavirus thread


TB Fanatic
1:57 min
4 States Hit Single-Day Records Of COVID-19 Cases | Sunday TODAY
•Jun 28, 2020

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Nevada all reported a record number of new coronavirus cases in one day yesterday. Meanwhile, Arizona is seeing a record number of hospitalizations, and in Texas, many intensive care units are now at capacity. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports for Sunday TODAY.


3:51 min
Reopening ‘Certainly Contributed’ To Surges In Coronavirus Cases, Doctor Says | Sunday TODAY
•Jun 28, 2020


NBC News contributor Dr. Kavita Patel joins Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist to discuss the new surge in coronavirus cases in some parts of the country, including Florida and Arizona. “The reopenings certainly contributed to this,” she says.
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TB Fanatic
8:45 min
The race for a coronavirus vaccine
•Jun 28, 2020

CBS Sunday Morning
Drug industry heavyweights and not-so-well-known biotech firms are pushing to create a COVID-19 vaccine, and thousands of people have signed up to take part in clinical drug trials, despite the hazards. But what are the technical, ethical and political obstacles to coming up with an effective and safe vaccine quickly? Martha Teichner reports.


TB Fanatic
3:28 min
Florida shuts bars and beaches as COVID-19 cases surge
•Jun 27, 2020

PBS NewsHour

At least six states have reported a record increase in COVID-19 cases as the total number of cases in the U.S. nears 2.5 million. Some states, like Florida, which saw more than 9,500 new cases Saturday morning, are rolling back some of the reopening including shutting beaches, parks and some bars. Ben Conarck, who covers healthcare for the Miami Herald, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.


TB Fanatic
9:45 min
NY Gov. Cuomo: Government 'Failed Effort To Stop The First Wave' | Meet The Press | NBC News
•Jun 28, 2020

NBC News
In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) talks to Chuck Todd about the resurgence in COVID-19 infection rates in states that opened more quickly than New York.


1:18:15 min
Pence, Texas Gov. Abbot Hold Briefing On Coronavirus Case Surge | NBC News
•Streamed live 107 minutes ago

NBC News

Watch live coverage of Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Gov. Greg Abbot holding a press conference on the coronavirus case resurgence in the state. »
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TB Fanatic
2:31 min
‘Awful’ mass gatherings risk second wave of coronavirus, [UK] Home Secretary Priti Patel warns | ITV News
•Jun 28, 2020

ITV News
Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned the rise of mass gatherings witnessed in recent days was “unacceptable” and that it risked a second deadly spike of coronavirus. Ms Patel, in interviews with broadcasters, also confirmed reports that Leicester faced becoming the first area to have a local lockdown imposed following a surge in infections. Police had to disperse crowds causing “significant disruptions” at two unlicensed music events in south London on Saturday night while the Liver Building in Liverpool was set on fire on Friday as fans gathered to celebrate Liverpool FC’s Premier League title win. Ms Patel said police would continue to break up such gatherings and that the “full force of the law” would come down on those found guilty of assaulting emergency service workers. Officers in Liverpool were subject to “violent confrontations” while dozens of Metropolitan Police officers were injured in aggressive scenes as they attempted to shut down late-night parties in Brixton on Wednesday evening and in Notting Hill on Thursday.


TB Fanatic
2:42 min
Coronavirus resurges as Americans ease into reopenings
•Jun 28, 2020

Face the Nation
CBS News' Mark Strassmann reports on the latest developments on COVID-19 across the country.


6:19 min
Inslee faults Trump for failing to push masks amid "critical" COVID resurgence
•Jun 28, 2020

Face the Nation

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the president has "downplayed, distorted and disabled our ability to fight this war" against the coronavirus.


5:59 min
Gottlieb expects COVID deaths to rise again amid "major epidemics" across the South
•Jun 28, 2020

Face the Nation

The former FDA commissioner says the virus is "likely to seep into more vulnerable communities" in states that are seeing renewed outbreaks.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
This was posted by someone in my hometown. She's politically opposite of me and is 51 days ahead of me.

Copied from michele stone finicle

"Tomorrow marks 100 days since my first Covid symptom. Today, I am tethered to a holter to measure my heart rate and rhythms because they won't stabilize and the doctors don't know why. Tomorrow marks the 100th day of fever, which is the only consistent symptom aside from the fatigue. The others range from crushing chest pain, dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, blurry vision, stomach pains, and nerve pain that feels like lava in your veins. I am grateful for a social media group with over 60,000 others who share their experiences, resources and frustration. I am saddened to see the number of children cases in this group growing immensely over the past two weeks. A recent study indicates 1 in 10 will experience the long haul form of Covid. We are group of children, teens, young adults, athletes, mothers and fathers. 88% of us said we were very healthy before contracting Covid, now only 6% of us say we feel healthy over one month after the virus. It is not only a matter of life or death, it is a matter of your quality of life after Covid. Please wear a mask."

Me again - I figured covid out. It's absolutely not a pneumonia. It uses the lungs as a way to spread. But it's not a lung disease.

It takes over our bodies wiring and sends bad signals each directions.
You don't want this!! I repeat, you don't want this!!


1st Amendment Right and Pertinent
What is wrong with this headline, on CNN's homepage right now (programming, anybody?):

Dr. Fauci says vaccine might not produce herd immunity US needs
Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on lessons learned to prepare for the next pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 23, 2020. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The nation's top infectious disease expert says he'd settle for a vaccine that's 70-75% effective, but it may not quell the outbreak since many might refuse to get it

Link goes here to this story, which i am not in the mood to read right now...and I have to log off...

Fauci says Covid-19 vaccine may not get US to herd immunity if too many people refuse to get it

By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

Updated 9:15 PM ET, Sun June 28, 2020

(CNN)Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would "settle" for a Covid-19 vaccine that's 70% to 75% effective, but that this incomplete protection, coupled with the fact that many Americans say they won't get a coronavirus vaccine, makes it "unlikely" that the US will achieve sufficient levels of immunity to quell the outbreak.

With government support, three coronavirus vaccines are expected to be studied in large-scale clinical trials in the next three months.

"The best we've ever done is measles, which is 97 to 98 percent effective," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "That would be wonderful if we get there. I don't think we will. I would settle for [a] 70, 75% effective vaccine."

A CNN poll last month found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid, even if the vaccine is widely available and low cost.

continued here:



TB Fanatic
40:05 min
COVID-19 Question & Answer with Dr. Seheult - Live - June 28, 2020
4 hours ago

MedCram - Medical Lectures Explained CLEARLY

Dr. Seheult will respond to COVID-19 questions from the week in addition to new questions that are received during the live-stream. Speakers: Roger Seheult, MD Co-Founder and Lead Instructor at Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Kyle Allred, PA Co-Founder and Producer at Conference Director


TB Fanatic
1:55 min
California orders bars and nightclubs closed in 7 counties as coronavirus cases spread
•Jun 28, 2020

CBS Evening News

In California, the coronavirus is proving resurgent prompting officials to order bars and nightclubs closed to curb the spike of new infections. Lilia Luciano reports.

6:46 min
CBS News poll: Majority of Americans say coronavirus fight going badly
•Jun 28, 2020

CBS News

As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, Americans offer some of their most dire views on the pandemic to date: record numbers say efforts against the outbreak are going badly. CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto joins CBSN to discuss Americans' views on the ongoing pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
View attachment 205912
Copps Island OystersLike Page
During the 1918 influenza epidemic, oysters were the hoarder equivalent of today's toilet paper—stockpiling was ubiquitous, prices skyrocketed, black markets developed. Poachers raided oyster beds—you can often still see the remnants of single-room guard houses built in the middle of the bay where guards with shotguns stood lookout.⠀

Why the hysteria? Legend had it that oysters could fend off the flu, especially the rich, briny broth locked inside. As legends go, it was fairly sound science. Zinc has been proven to be an immunity booster, and oysters are zinc powerhouses—pound for pound, these bivalves might be the best possible source of zinc.⠀

Back then, oysters weren’t raised as cocktail-sized delicacies. Before steaks and
chicken breasts, oysters were harvested at full size, providing a major source of protein for communities close to the shore. (Think: oyster stew for dinner.) Full-sized oysters—4 or 5 years old, like the oyster on the right (versus the typical 1 year olds on the left)—are a relic, as out of fashion as shoulder pads; but now that restaurants are on intermission (and restaurants account for 90% of oyster sales), maybe more of these beloved bivalves will be given the space to grow into maturity. Savor the benefits of the adult oyster? I think so. If not now, when?⠀
This is fascinating. Thanks for posting. What we know now about zinc makes this story make sense to us today, but they were probably working on anecdotal 'old wives' tales'. Good tip!


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This was posted by someone in my hometown. She's politically opposite of me and is 51 days ahead of me.

Copied from michele stone finicle

"Tomorrow marks 100 days since my first Covid symptom. Today, I am tethered to a holter to measure my heart rate and rhythms because they won't stabilize and the doctors don't know why. Tomorrow marks the 100th day of fever, which is the only consistent symptom aside from the fatigue. The others range from crushing chest pain, dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, blurry vision, stomach pains, and nerve pain that feels like lava in your veins. I am grateful for a social media group with over 60,000 others who share their experiences, resources and frustration. I am saddened to see the number of children cases in this group growing immensely over the past two weeks. A recent study indicates 1 in 10 will experience the long haul form of Covid. We are group of children, teens, young adults, athletes, mothers and fathers. 88% of us said we were very healthy before contracting Covid, now only 6% of us say we feel healthy over one month after the virus. It is not only a matter of life or death, it is a matter of your quality of life after Covid. Please wear a mask."

Me again - I figured covid out. It's absolutely not a pneumonia. It uses the lungs as a way to spread. But it's not a lung disease.

It takes over our bodies wiring and sends bad signals each directions.
You don't want this!! I repeat, you don't want this!!

It is so disheartening to hear that you are still suffereing from this horrible virus. You are, and have been, in my prayers since you first posted.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
That's really hard. Speaking of which, I start rounding 12 hour shifts, supporting the nurses in a hospital just north of Dallas tomorrow. Prayer would be appreciated that I stay healthy. Thank you.
Prayers added. I wish there was a way you could avoid this assignment. Not just because of the hospital you'll be going to, but where you will be staying, where you will be eating, etc. Stay safe, wear masks and gloves everywhere, and if you are staying in a motel, do your own sanitizing when you check in and then refuse entry to everyone, including housekeeping, until you leave.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
What does China know that they're not telling us? Because otherwise their behavior, as it has since this started, seems quite excessive.

(fair use applies)

China puts half a million people in lockdown as Beijing fights new cluster
June 28, 2020

China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus cluster on Sunday, as authorities warned the outbreak was still "severe and complicated."

After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks.

Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county—about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Beijing—will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year.

Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine, the county's epidemic prevention task force said in a statement.

The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

The outbreak was first detected in Beijing's sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market, which supplies much of the city's fresh produce, sparking concerns over the safety of the food supply chain.

Nearly a third of the cases so far have been linked to one beef and mutton section in the market, where workers are being made to quarantine for a month, city officials said Sunday.

Businesses in Anxin county had supplied freshwater fish to the Xinfadi market, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Some 12 cases of the novel coronavirus were found in the county—including 11 linked to Xinfadi, the state-run Global Times reported.

The new cases in Beijing have prompted fears of a resurgence of the virus in China.

The capital has mass-tested wholesale market workers, restaurant workers, residents of medium and high-risk neighbourhoods and delivery couriers over the past two weeks.

At a press conference on Sunday, officials said 8.3 million samples have been collected so far, of which 7.7 million have already been tested.

Testing has now expanded to include all employees of the city's beauty parlours and hair salons, the Global Times said.

Beijing city official Xu Hejian told reporters Sunday that "the epidemic situation in the capital is severe and complicated," warning that the city needed to continue tracing the spread of the virus.

City officials have urged people not to leave Beijing, closed schools again and locked down dozens of residential compounds to stamp out the virus.

But Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters last week the new outbreak had been "brought under control", and officials lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed on seven Beijing communities on Friday.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

New Yorkers who travel to Florida, Texas, and other states with high COVID-19 infection rates will lose paid sick leave benefits
Katie Warren
7 hours ago

  • New Yorkers who travel to states with high coronavirus infection rates will lose their COVID-19 paid sick leave benefits, per a June 26 executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
  • The order applies to travelers coming from states with positive test rates higher than 10%, which currently include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.
  • New York is seeing its lowest numbers of hospitalizations and deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • Meanwhile, cases are rising in 36 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.
  • The US just reached an all-time high for daily new cases, with more than 40,000 new cases reported on Friday, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

New Yorkers who travel to states with high coronavirus infection rates will lose their COVID-19 sick leave benefits, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo signed an executive order on Friday saying that New York employees who voluntarily travel to a state with a positive test rate higher than 10% will no longer be eligible for benefits from New York's COVID-19 paid sick leave law. The order does not apply to people who are traveling for work.

"If we are going to maintain the progress we've seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility — that's why I'm issuing an executive order that says any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave," Cuomo said in a statement.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University last updated on June 28, nine states currently have positive test rates greater than 10%: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.

In March, Cuomo expanded paid sick leave benefits for New York employees who were quarantined as a result of the coronavirus or who had to care for a family member infected with COVID-19.

The new law said that employers with more than 100 employees had to provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the quarantine's duration. Employers with 11 to 99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income of more than $1 million had to provide at least five days of paid sick leave as well as job protection.

In addition to New Yorkers losing these COVID-19 paid sick leave benefits after visiting high-risk states, any travelers arriving from states where the virus is surging have been ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Earlier in the week, Cuomo, along with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, implemented a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from high-risk states based on the same 10% positivity rate threshold. Those who are found to have broken the self-quarantine can be fined more than $2,000, Cuomo said.

As Business Insider's Jake Lahut reported, governors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have touted their states' lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations after seeing the most severe outbreaks in the US.

COVID-19 cases are surging across the US

New York is experiencing its lowest numbers of coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic in March. On Saturday, less than 1% of tests administered came back positive.

However, cases are rising in 36 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, CNN reported. Only two states — Connecticut and Rhode Island — are seeing their cases decline, while numbers for new cases remain steady in many other states, including New York. Some states, such as Texas, are pausing their reopenings or rolling back openings of bars and restaurants.

The US just reached an all-time high for daily new cases, with more than 40,000 new cases reported on Friday, per data from Johns Hopkins University. Total US cases now exceed 2.5 million.

On Friday, Cuomo said that New York was offering assistance to states with high COVID-19 infection rates like Texas, Florida, and Arizona.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This is just one restaurant, but I found it illustrative in how one place can cause a spike.

18 coronvairus cases linked to outbreak at Harper's Restaurant in East Lansing
Christian Martinez and Megan Banta
12:15 p.m. ET June 23, 2020 | Updated 11:11 p.m. ET June 23, 2020

At least 18 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in connection with an outbreak at Harper's Restaurant in East Lansing, the Ingham County Health Department said Tuesday.

The health department advised anyone who was at Harper's between June 12 and June 20 to monitor themselves for symptoms of the disease.

All those who tested positive are between the ages of 19 and 23 and around half are connected with Michigan State University, officials said.

Harper's announced Monday that it would close for modifications.

We 'have chosen to close temporarily to do two things – implement a program to eliminate lines, and to modify our HVAC system to install an air purifying technology that will remove 99.4% of the COVID-19 virus (including other viruses, bacteria and mold) while the air is being conditioned and re-circulated," the restaurant said Monday on its Facebook page.

The posting makes no mention of positive COVID tests.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said Tuesday that the health department visited Harper's last week regarding a pair of people who had tested positive for COVID.

"My understanding is that on (June 18), we went out and visited because we interviewed people who had tested COVID positive and the connection between those two appeared to be that they were at Harper's," Vail said. "However, they were there on different days, and since then that number has grown and all of them connect to Harper's."

Vail said her staff spoke with "whoever the person in charge was on-site at the time."

When the restaurant, a popular destination for students at MSU, reopened to dine-in customers, lines formed outside its doors and wound down the sidewalk.

"We have experienced long lines on the public sidewalk in front of our building," the restaurant said in the posting. "We have attempted to instruct customers waiting in line to wear face coverings and practice social distancing through signage on the public sidewalk and with a banner on our railing. Our oversight of the line on our stairs has been successful, but trying to get customers to follow our recommendations on the public sidewalk has been challenging."

"Because we have no authority to control lines on public property, we are left with the dilemma of staying open and letting this situation continue, or closing until we can devise a strategy that eliminates the lines altogether," the restaurant said.

City Manager George Lahanas said the city doesn't have an easy way to clear the sidewalks either.

Officials can't simply clear people because there are rights to gather, he said, and telling people they can't block the sidewalk isn't a "great tool for moving a line along."

Lahanas said, for him and other officials, the line isn't the most concerning part. He's more concerned about the people inside, who aren't practicing social distancing or wearing masks and who likely have to lean in to hear each other over the music.

"In a loud bar with 250 people, it just doesn’t sound like a great formula for containing the spread," Lahanas said.

He said as soon as Harper's reopened and started drawing big crowds, city officials contacted MSU.

A group of people from the city, the health department, the university and the restaurant sat down to "talk about what can all (of us) do about communicating safe behaviors," Lahanas said.

After that meeting, he said, Harper's put more signage up encouraging patrons to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

"Obviously individual responsibility is a significant part of it," Lahanas said.

He added it seems the seriousness of the pandemic "isn't registering" with young people, if the crowds at bars in downtown East Lansing are any indicator.

Harper's is not the first Greater Lansing restaurant to close since dine-in restarted on June 8.

The Lansing Brewing Co. closed Friday after someone who had entered the facility tested positive for COVID.

The facility was deep cleaned and the brewery planned to reopen Tuesday.

Despite the closures, Vail said she did not think restaurants had opened prematurely.

"I don't think things opened up too soon," she said. "What I think is that people didn't take the recommendations and the precautions that are needed to keep the illness from becoming a problem again seriously."

"And to the extent that people are standing in a big line, in a big crowd and nobody is wearing masks and (are) all close together, that is a recipe for disaster in this environment," she said. "If people keep doing that, then we're going to have a problem."

"You can either choose to wear a mask, or we can go through this again," she said.

Multiple attempts made to reach Harper's on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

UPDATE: 22 coronavirus cases linked to outbreak at Harper's Restaurant in East Lansing
(fair use applies)

here's an update on this restaurant. When I originally posted the article they had 18 cases. It's now up to 85!

(fair use applies)

85 coronavirus cases have been linked to one Michigan bar, and patrons who recently visited are being asked to self-quarantine
Michelle Mark
Jun 27, 2020, 10:38 PM

Dozens of people have tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting a restaurant in East Lansing, Michigan, health officials said.
At least 80 people who visited Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub caught the virus after visiting, and five additional people caught "secondary infections" from those patrons, the Lansing State Journal reported.
Health officials are asking anyone who visited the restaurant between June 12 and June 20 to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The restaurant said in a statement on Facebook that it has closed temporarily and will eliminate lineups and install an air purifying system before reopening.

A Michigan restaurant has been recently linked to dozens of coronavirus cases, and public health officials are asking anyone who visited between June 12 and June 20 to self-quarantine for two weeks.

On June 24, the Ingham County Health Department announced that 34 people who had recently visited Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub in East Lansing were positive for COVID-19. Three days later, that figure shot up to 85, the Lansing State Journal reported Saturday.

Eighty of those who tested positive for the coronavirus visited the restaurant, and five were deemed "secondary infections," meaning they hadn't visited themselves but caught the virus from someone who did, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The restaurant's owners said in a statement on Facebook that they had re-opened for business at 50% capacity on June 8, as per Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order. But long lineups immediately began forming on the public sidewalk outside the restaurant, and some customers refused to follow certain social-distancing recommendations, the statement said.

"We have attempted to instruct customers waiting in line to wear face coverings and practice social distancing through signage on the public sidewalk and with a banner on our railing," the statement said. "Our oversight of the line on our stairs has been successful, but trying to get customers to follow our recommendations on the public sidewalk has been challenging."

The statement said the restaurant has closed temporarily, and plans to both eliminate lineups and modify its HVAC system to "install an air purifying technology."

The statement noted that the new closure would likely harm restaurant employees, who had just returned from a three-month layoff.

"They have rent, mortgages, car payments, grocery bills, and everyday living expenses to address," the statement said. "But we believe for the safety of all, it is the right thing to do."


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

'Window is closing' for US to get coronavirus under control, Trump's HHS secretary warns
CNN Digital Expansion 2018 Veronica Stracqualursi
By Veronica Stracqualursi
Updated 1:28 PM ET, Sun June 28, 2020

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned Sunday that the "window is closing" for the United States to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, as confirmed cases are surging in a majority of the country and some states are dealing with record numbers of hospitalizations.

"Things are very different from two months ago... So it is a very different situation, but this is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control," Azar told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

He suggested that the US is better positioned to handled the pandemic than before, pointing to increased testing, contact tracing, hospital capacity, reserves of personal protective equipment, and advancement toward therapeutics and potential vaccines for the virus.

The top health official's message differs from that of President Donald Trump, who seems ready to move on from the still-raging pandemic, and Vice President Mike Pence.

At a Friday press briefing by the White House's coronavirus task force, the first in nearly two months, Pence declared that the US had "flattened the curve," painting a rosy picture at odds with reality.
Thirty-six states are reporting a rise in positive coronavirus cases, and only two are reporting a decline in cases compared to last week.

On Friday, the US reported the highest number of new cases in a single day, with at least 40,173 new infections. The previous daily high was reported on Thursday.

Several states, including Texas and Washington state, and localities have paused their reopening plans or reimposed some restrictions in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus.

Azar denied that reopening too quickly was tied to the rise in cases, but instead "inappropriate individual behavior" that has enabled the spread of the virus.

"That's not so much about what the law says on the reopening as what our behaviors are within that," he told Tapper.

He cautioned that if Americans "act irresponsibly, if we don't socially distance, if we don't use face coverings in settings where we can't social distance, if we don't practice appropriate personal hygiene, we're going to see spread of disease."

Asked about the Trump's administration's request to the Supreme Court on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act amid a pandemic, Azar said that they will work with Congress on a replacement plan.

"We have made very clear that the Supreme Court strikes down all or a large part of Obamacare, because it is constitutionally or statutorily infirm, we will work with Congress to create a program that genuinely protects individuals with pre-existing conditions," Azar said, adding that the exact details will be dependent on the court's decision and makeup of Congress.

Former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden cautioned on Fox News Sunday that while the US is doing more testing and our hospitals are better prepared, "this virus still has the upper hand."

When asked whether the Trump administration's claims of rising case numbers was the result of more testing being done, Frieden dismissed it, saying, "As a doctor, a scientist, an epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states where you're seeing an increase, it is a real increase.
"It is not more tests, it is more spread of the virus," Frieden said.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Mike Pence in Dallas as Gov. Abbott says COVID-19 has taken 'very dangerous turn in Texas'
By Gromer Jeffers Jr., (The Dallas Morning News)
7 hrs ago

Vice President Mike Pence met with Gov. Greg Abbott Sunday, pledging additional resources and testing in wake of what Abbott called “the very swift and very dangerous turn” of the coronavirus in Texas.

“President Trump wanted us to be here today with the developments over the last two weeks with the rising positivity and the rising number of cases with a very simple message and that is to use people of Texas: We’re with you,” Pence said.

Before Pence spoke after meeting with state officials, Abbott gave a somber assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.

“We need to understand that COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,” he said.

Pence noted that about two weeks ago something changed, but said that he believed it was not the reopening, but the behavior of people not wearing masks or social distancing.

Pence urged everyone to wear a face covering. He wore a mask as he came off Air Force 2, as did Abbott and other state officials who met the plane.

“Our administration is promoting the practice” of mask wearing, Pence said. He sidestepped a question about whether President Donald Trump should wear a mask.

Pence also said he and Abbott discussed the importance of leaning on local health officials’ guidance in Texas during the closed-door meeting.

“For anyone, if you can’t maintain social distancing ( … ) it’s just a good idea to wear a mask,” he said.

On Friday, federal officials had announced federal funding for testing sites that was to be cut off June 30 would be extended for 14 days, but on Sunday, he said, “We’ll be extending that every bit as long as Texas wants us to.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response task force coordinator, said Texas had a good reopening plan, then had the spike.

“It was a very serious and safe opening plan and you can see the impact of the opening plan and how it worked out. All of May, for almost five weeks, and then there was an inflection point,” she said.

“What we are seeing here is a increased rate of hospitalization of 20-40 year olds … We know that’s the primary asymptomatic group,” she said, adding that those serious cases in that age group have underlying health conditions like diabetes or obesity.

She said that Dallas County “s more steady,” while cases are spiking in Bexar and Harris counties. As Birx was speaking, Dallas County reported another record in cases on Sunday — 570 — and one death.

Birx also thanked Abbott for closing bars in the state, which was part of his executive order Friday dialing back some openings.

“I’m really appealing for every Texan to wear a mask,” she said.

Cars weaved around Ellis Davis Field House at a COVID-19 testing site June 26 in Dallas. The same day, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took more countermeasures to stem the tide of coronavirus infections, closing bars, ordering restaurants to return to 50% capacity, shutting river-rafting outfits and giving local officials more control over large gatherings ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Texas has 143,371 reported COVID-19 cases, with at least 2,366 deaths because of the virus.

The state’s positivity rate, which is the percentage of coronavirus tests administered that produce a positive result, dwindled to under 5% last month, after a high in mid-April of 13.86%. On Thursday, the seven-day average positivity rate was 11.73%.

On Friday Abbott took steps to stem a tide of coronavirus infections. He closed bars, ordered restaurants to return to 50% capacity, shut river-rafting outfits and gave local officials more control over large gatherings ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Last week Dallas County saw its largest single day increases of COVID-19 cases ever, including a staggering 561 new infections on Saturday and an additional 7 deaths. As of Saturday, Dallas County has had 19,595 COVID-19 cases, and at least 351 county residents have died from the virus.

Democrats criticized the response.

“The Trump-Pence administration’s failure to get Americans — including Texans — the testing they need or offer an effective reopening plan based in public health and science has now exacerbated the pandemic in communities across the country,” said Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager for former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden’s campaign criticized the administration for initially proposing to end funding of federal testing sites just as new coronavirus cases began to spike. The federal government backed off the plan to stop funding its testing sites in Texas. Biden also charged that Pence’s trip was reflective of the administration’s “dismissive attitude” in addressing the pandemic.

“Our leaders should be tackling this pandemic head on and laying out concrete recovery plans for the American people — not jet setting across the country to hold events that go against basic public health guidance,” Bedingfield said. “Families in the Lone Star State and across the country deserve better.”

During a conference call staged by the Texas Democratic Party Friday, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, appealed to Pence to promote more testing, the wearing of masks to mitigate spread and attention to businesses that are suffering.

“We need your attention Mr. Vice President,” she said. “We are a hotspot.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has sparred with Abbott over the speed of Texas’ reopening, blasted the governor for what he described as ignoring science. He said at the beginning of the crisis, local leaders were taking a scientific approach to the pandemic.

“At the beginning of May, our governor said hold my beer. And let me take this over,” Jenkins said. “No more requirements, everybody do what you want to do, everything that doctors and business are telling you, these are only recommendations.”

Pence also gave remarks at First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas as part of annual patriotic service to “celebrate freedom,” according to church officials. Housing Secretary Ben Carson who traveled aboard Air Force 2 to Dallas, also gave remarks.

“Vice President Pence’s speech to the First Baptist Church is another example of the Trump Administration’s ongoing commitment to protecting religious freedom for all Americans,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Cotten said. Trump had tweeted earlier: “Have a good time this morning at First Baptist Dallas Church.”

In Pence’s introduction, Pastor Robert Jeffress pitched a second term for Trump and for Pence to move into the White House in 2024.

“ … When you have finished your term as vice president in 2024, we don’t want you moving out of the West Wing. We just want to you to move down the hall a few doors and continue to build on the legacy of the most faith-friendly president ever,” Jeffress said. He noted before that remark that “Mr. Vice President, I know I probably shouldn’t say this, but my congregation knows that hasn’t stopped me before.”

“It’s good to be back in church,” Pence told the worshipers at First Baptist, many of whom were wearing face coverings.

He touched on several topics, praising Abbott for “his courageous and compassionate leadership for the people of Texas during this challenging time.” Abbott and Trump’s leadership will “bring Texas and America back bigger and better than ever before,” he said.

He also touched on the death of George Floyd.

“We all know the tragic events of recent days and let me say there’s no excuse for what happened to George Floyd,” he said. “There’s also no excuse for the rioting, violence, that ensued. Burning churches is not protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. There will be no tolerance for vandalism or violence in the United States.”

A handful of protesters — and supporters — greeted Pence.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

U.S. Officials Press President Trump to Wear Mask in Coronavirus Fight
Speaker Pelosi says wearing a face mask in public should be required of all Americans
Nick Timiraos
June 28, 2020 2:32 pm ET

President Trump is coming under growing pressure from Republicans and Democrats to set an example for the country by wearing a face mask as the number of U.S. coronavirus cases hits new highs.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, told CNN Sunday that it would help if Mr. Trump wore a mask in public because it might eliminate political stigma associated with the practice.

“If wearing masks is important—and all the health experts tell us that it is—in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” Mr. Alexander said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Sunday a federal mandate to wear masks in public was “long overdue” and faulted Mr. Trump for not setting an example by wearing one in public himself.

“Real men wear masks,” she said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “Be an example to the country and wear the mask. It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others.”

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Mr. Trump said masks are a “double-edged sword” because people can fidget with them, leading them to touch their face and possibly expose themselves to the virus. He also criticized former Vice President Joe Biden’s use of a mask.

“It’s like he put a knapsack over his face. He probably likes it that way,” said Mr. Trump. “He seems to feel good in a mask, you know, feels better than he does without the mask, which is a strange situation.”

Polls have shown that Democrats are more likely to regularly wear masks in public than Republicans are.

Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the administration supported the wearing of masks wherever state and local authorities deem the practice is needed. “We believe people should wear masks wherever social distancing is not possible,” he said.

Mr. Trump has attended two large indoor gatherings with supporters in the past week—a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20 and a political speech to young conservatives at a packed megachurch in Phoenix on June 22. Many attendees at both events didn’t wear masks.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, also said it would help if Mr. Trump would encourage Americans to wear a mask, even if he doesn’t do so himself. “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,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Nothing beats leadership.”

A coronavirus upsurge is hitting U.S. states in the South where Mr. Trump has a large base of support, including places like Texas, Florida and Arizona.

The Trump campaign this weekend postponed events Mr. Pence was to appear at Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz., and Thursday in Sarasota, Fla.

The U.S. recorded more than 42,000 cases Saturday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, lower than the record 45,255 recorded Friday, but the second consecutive daily total over 40,000.

Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview on Fox News Sunday that he expected cases to rise for the next few weeks because new steps to reduce the spread of disease will take time to be reflected in reported case counts and hospitalizations.

Dr. Frieden also disputed the idea that rising case counts reflected an increase in testing. “As a doctor, a scientist, an epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states, when you’re seeing an increase, it is a real increase,” he said. In Arizona, one out of four tests for coronavirus have been positive in recent days. “That is explosive spread of coronavirus,” he said.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This next article is Trump bashing, I realize that, but you have to realize that a lot of voters agree with it and he has got to reverse course and start acting presidential about this virus if he wants to win back those voters. We need Trump to win in November, he needs all the help he can get, and I hope he is reading articles like these and taking it to heart so he can make some changes that will bring these voters back.

(fair use applies)

With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections
Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, Yasmeen Abutaleb
1 day ago

Five months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, a record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the country’s historic failure to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.

President Trump — who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, sidelined experts and misled Americans about its dangers and potential cures — now finds his presidency wracked by an inability to shepherd the country through its worst public health calamity in a century. The dysfunction that has long characterized Trump’s White House has been particularly ill-suited for a viral outbreak that requires precision, focus and steady leadership, according to public health experts, administration officials and lawmakers from both parties.

As case numbers began rising again, Trump has held rallies defying public health guidelines, mused about slowing down testing for the virus, criticized people wearing masks and embraced the racially offensive “kung flu” nickname for a disease that has killed at least 123,000 Americans.

A similarly garbled message for the country has also been put forward by the president’s top aides and other senior administration officials, who contradict one another on a daily basis. On Friday, Vice President Pence used the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in almost two months to praise Trump’s handling of the virus and cast aside concerns about a record spike in new infections.

“We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward,” Pence said, a few minutes after announcing that more than 2.5 million Americans had contracted the coronavirus. “We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”

Later Friday, the United States recorded more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases — its largest one-day total.

It was the latest example of whiplash from the Trump administration, which has struggled to put forward a consistent message about the pandemic. While public health experts urge caution and preventive measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing, Trump, Pence and other top aides repeatedly flout their advice, leaving confused Americans struggling to determine who to believe.

“They’re creating a cognitive dissonance in the country,” one former senior administration official said. “It’s more than them being asleep at the wheel. They’re confusing people at this point when we need to be united.”

This portrait of a nation in crisis — and its failure to contain an epic pandemic — is based on interviews with 47 administration officials, lawmakers at the national and state level, congressional staff, federal and local health officials, public health experts and other current and former officials involved in the bungled and confused response.

America’s position as the world’s leader in coronavirus cases and deaths is in large part the result of human error, and the still-rising caseload stands as a stark reminder of the blunders that have characterized the national response. Trump’s actions, and his position in the Oval Office, make him a central figure in any assessment of the country’s handling of the outbreak.

As the White House task force scaled back its meetings and stopped its public briefings in May and June, Trump seized the national spotlight and used it to shift the country’s focus from the virus to an economic comeback he branded the “TRANSITION TO GREATNESS.”

Trump’s public mentions of the coronavirus declined by two-thirds between April and early June. When he did discuss the pandemic, it was often to float misinformation about treatments, masks and testing — science-defying views that have been embraced by his supporters and top Republican lawmakers.

The White House has blocked Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from some appearances that he has requested to do in recent weeks, according to two people familiar with the matter. White House aides have argued that television interviewers often try to goad Fauci into criticizing the president or the administration’s approach, and that Fauci is not always good about “staying on message,” in the words of a senior administration official. Aides did allow Fauci to appear on CNN recently for a town hall, the official said.

White House officials have battled for weeks over whether to hold the public coronavirus briefing, with some arguing to instead focus on other issues, such as the economy.

As local officials struggled to enforce stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, the virus continued to circulate throughout a country riven by partisan politics and devoid of a national public health strategy, said Max Skidmore, a political scientist at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and author of a book on presidential leadership during health crises.

“We’re the only country in the world that has politicized the approach to a pandemic,” he said.

Now, covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is advancing at an accelerated pace in the United States, even as other countries reopen their economies after getting their outbreaks under control. European diplomats are poised to approve an agreement that will reopen the European Union to travel from many countries but not American tourists, because the coronavirus is still raging in the United States.

In contrast, states from Arizona to Florida are pausing or reversing their attempts to reopen their economies.

The new peak in cases — coming so quickly after the first and with just months to go before a presidential election and an impending flu season — has alarmed public health experts and the president’s political allies.

“These epidemics are going to be hard to get under control,” said Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and an informal adviser to the Trump administration. He said he expects deaths to soon climb to more than 1,000 per day again. “It’s going to continue to spread until you do something to intervene. I’m not sure we are taking enough forceful action to break the trend right now.”

The president has dramatically scaled back the number of coronavirus meetings on his schedule in recent weeks, instead holding long meetings on polling and endorsements, his reelection campaign, the planned Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., the economy and other topics, according to two advisers, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

While Pence continues to convene weekly calls with governors to discuss coronavirus testing, supplies and other issues, Trump no longer participates, the advisers said. Trump now receives his updates on the coronavirus effort from Pence, officials said.

Trump’s intense focus on his campaign comes as he has been sliding in public polling and trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is winning support from voters who disapprove of the president’s handling of the pandemic and the accompanying economic recession. Some Republican officials have tried to advise the president to focus more intently on managing the public health crisis at hand, arguing that doing so would help his political standing — and theirs — while also speeding along the economic recovery.

But Trump has shown little indication that he plans to re-engage on shepherding a national coronavirus response in the wake of surging cases. He has expressed frustration to aides that he was criticized for a lack of adequate testing and is now not being given enough credit for the 500,000 daily tests that are currently being conducted, officials said. Trump has repeatedly claimed that the caseload is only going up because of the increasing number of tests, and he has openly discussed reducing testing.

“The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down,” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter.

In several states, where hospitalizations and positivity rates are sharply increasing, Trump’s words offer little comfort to governors trying to figure out how to respond to a burgeoning crisis.

Some states are still struggling to procure testing kits and supplies for the kits, including swabs, and have pleaded for the federal government to play a larger role in coordinating purchases, resolving supply shortages and distributing the tests. Doctors and health-care facilities are still grappling with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), including private doctors’ offices that cannot perform routine procedures safely because they do not have the necessary equipment, according to the American Medical Association.

“It is not clear to us how the administration has distributed PPE across the country during the pandemic, but having a single national coordinated strategy would help ensure that states, hospitals, physician offices and other facilities have a single, centralized authority to work through to acquire essential PPE,” said American Medical Association President Susan R. Bailey.

Politicization of the pandemic has left many Republican governors to choose between staying a doomed public health course while touting economic recovery or acting on recommendations from public health experts who Trump has dismissed.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate, even as Florida’s cases jumped by 62 percent from its previous high of 5,511 on Wednesday to a new high of 8,942 on Friday. His argument, made publicly as recently as Thursday, is that not all parts of the state are experiencing the same level of outbreak, and therefore they should not be subject to a one-size-fits-all approach. The state announced Friday that all bars must shut down on-site consumption, three weeks after they reopened.

In Arizona, public health experts and local officials largely credit lobbying efforts by mayors for pushing Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to reverse his position and allow cities to implement mask requirements as they saw fit.

Kristen Pogreba-Brown, an epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, said she found it “disgusting” to watch politics penetrate considerations about public health precautions. She pointed in particular to issues of testing following the president’s erroneous suggestion that increased testing is to blame for the scope of the outbreak.

“The fact that we don’t have a federal testing program is pretty embarrassing, frankly,” she said, noting that her university is developing its own in-house testing system, because “we don’t have faith people can go out and get tested in the community.”

More than five months after the first test for the coronavirus was conducted in the United States, testing equipment is still being doled out based on which states manage to get federal officials on the phone to press their case. After a recent weekend that saw demand for testing outstrip capacity, the governor’s office in Arizona placed a call to the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Daniel Ruiz, Ducey’s chief operating officer. Within 24 hours, they had secured expedited access to a rapid Roche testing machine, he said.

Some states are banding together to issue quarantine orders against visitors from regions with rising cases, further highlighting the lack of a federal standard. Conspiracy theories about masks, vaccines and social distancing have abounded, threatening to stymie local leaders’ attempts to enforce public health guidelines.

Trump’s willingness to ignore ordinances on masks and large crowds has added to the sense of confusion, public health experts said.

“Any time there is politicization of an infectious-disease response, it makes it much harder to intervene,” said Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. People are “less likely to actually listen to public health authorities on what are the best actions to take and how to take them because they think that everything has been politicized in that there is no truth — it’s truth from Democrats or Republicans, rather than the truth,” Adalja said.

The White House has played a central role in undermining the kind of clear and consistent messaging experts say is necessary to mount a successful public health response to a viral outbreak, current and former administration officials said.

Top aides to Pence, including his chief of staff, Marc Short, have grown increasingly skeptical of public health officials within the administration, believing they have been wrong too many times about mitigation techniques and transmission of the virus, according to three officials familiar with the matter. Short has increasingly disagreed with public health experts in coronavirus meetings, these people said.

Trump has undermined Fauci and other health experts repeatedly, publicly dismissing their views about reopening schools, professional sports and other aspects of public life.

While Fauci has been sidelined from briefing Trump and appearing on television, economic advisers such as trade adviser Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, have been given a more prominent public role. They have often used the platform to provide false assurances that the recent surges are under control.

“We’re going to have hot spots. No question. We have it now,” Kudlow said Thursday. “And, you know, Texas and parts of the South, the Carolinas, Arizona. We just have to live with that.”

Others without a background in public health, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have played an outsized role in guiding the federal response. Just last month, Kushner told others involved in the response that the virus was essentially under control and that there would be no second wave, a former administration official said.

White House officials, including Kushner, Deborah Birx, coordinator of the administration’s coronavirus response, and acting chief of staff Mark Meadows met Thursday to discuss what the administration should be doing to contend with the spike in cases, a White House official said. The plan is for Birx to visit the hardest-hit states to collect more information, and for officials to redirect the therapeutic drug remdesivir to states that are surging.

The official said that Birx and Fauci are also likely to do more regional TV interviews in places where cases are surging.

The White House is also expected to record public service announcements in Spanish about the coronavirus in an attempt to reach the Hispanic community, which has been hit particularly hard by the virus. A senior White House official said top administration officials have regularly offered assistance to officials in Texas, Florida, Arizona and other states. Two administration officials said there will probably be more briefings for reporters, though many are likely to be off-camera.

The partisanship that has come to surround mask-wearing was on stark display on Capitol Hill on Friday, as House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) convened a hearing of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis.

Clyburn and the other committee Democrats attended wearing masks, while the committee’s Republican members were maskless, which led to angry exchanges.

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) accused Republican members who were maskless of provoking “terror and fear in your colleagues and perhaps your staff.”

Republicans, several of whom had worn masks into the hearing room before taking them off, contended that they could practice social distancing safely while seated maskless at the dais.

“We are six feet apart. We don’t need a mask,” said Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who is a physician.

Publicly, GOP lawmakers remain largely supportive of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, declining to put any blame on him or the federal response for the upward trend in infections. They generally say the decision-making responsibility now lies with state governments, and that individual citizens bear the onus for responsible behavior to hold down infections.

The CDC is sending teams to states experiencing outbreaks, rather than following the usual policy of waiting for states to ask for help. The agency has sent nearly 150 people out to about 20 states, a federal official said, including California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. It has about three dozen more staffers awaiting deployment to hot spots to provide technical assistance, epidemiological support, surveillance and contact tracing, the official said.

While Trump has attacked some Democratic governors for their handling of the virus, its recent spread in Republican-led states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Oklahoma has complicated the politics around the president’s response.

Officials in some states that have contained much of the virus’s spread have called on Republican leaders in other states to take drastic measures to get control of the disease.

“As painful as it is, you’ve got to overdo it in terms of the aggressiveness in which you shut things down,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said in an interview.

While several Republican governors resisted shutdown efforts during the spring, some have begun to warn their residents that they are hardly immune.

Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s top health officer, told residents recently to be prepared for a lack of a hospital bed if they crash their cars or a lack of ventilators if they suffer a heart attack.

“If we’re not careful,” he said, “Mississippi will look like New York.”


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
And then of course there's this. The other side of the coin. BOTH SIDES have made a virus a political issue. It is pure insanity and a testament to the times we are living in that a health matter was used by powerful people to keep or gain that power. :shk:

(fair use applies)

COVID-19 Hype is Needed In Order to Justify “Virtual Debates” Between Biden and Trump – (Among Other Motives)…
by sundance
Posted on June 26, 2020

In order to support the most important political objectives of the DNC writ large in the 2020 election, COVID-19 hype is essential:

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot easily achieve ‘mail-in’ voting; which they desperately need in key battleground states in order to control the outcome.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot shut down rallies and political campaigning efforts of President Trump; which they desperate need to do in key battleground states.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot block the campaign contrast between an energetic President Trump and a physically tenuous, mentally compromised, challenger.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats do not have an excuse for cancelling the DNC convention in Milwaukee; thereby blocking Team Bernie Sanders from visible opposition while protecting candidate gibberish from himself.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats do not have a mechanism to keep voters isolated from each-other; limiting communication and national debate adverse to their interests. COVID-19 panic pushes the national conversation into the digital space where Big Tech controls every element of the conversation.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot keep their Blue state economies easily shut-down and continue to block U.S. economic growth. All thriving economies are against the political interests of Democrats.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot easily keep club candidate Joe Biden sealed in the basement; where the electorate is not exposed to visible signs of his dementia.

Without COVID-19 panic it becomes more difficult for Big Tech to censor voices that would outline the fraud and scheme. With COVID-19 panic they have a better method and an excuse.

Without COVID-19 panic Democrats cannot advance, influence, or organize their preferred presidential debate format, a ‘virtual presidential debate’ series.

[Comrade Gretchen Whitmer knows this plan, hence she cancelled the Michigan venue]

All of these, and more, strategic outcomes are based on the manufactured weaponization of the COVID-19 virus to achieve a larger political objective. There is ZERO benefit to anyone other than Democrats for the overwhelming hype surrounding COVID-19.

It is not coincidental that all corporate media are all-in to facilitate the demanded fear that Democrats need in order to achieve their objectives. Thus there is an alignment of all big government institutions and multinationals to support the same.

Nothing is coincidental. Everything is political.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

World hits coronavirus milestones amid fears worse to come
2 hours ago

ROME (AP) — The world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones Sunday -- 500,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases -- and hit another high mark for daily new infections as governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come.

“COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, who allowed businesses to start reopening in early May but on Friday shut down bars and limited restaurant dining amid a spike in cases.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back reopenings of bars in seven counties, including Los Angeles. He ordered them to close immediately and urged eight other counties to issue local health orders mandating the same.

More Florida beaches will be closing again to avoid further spread of the new coronavirus as officials try to tamp down on large gatherings amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said interactions among young people are driving the surge.

“Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are,” DeSantis said.

South Africa’s health minister warned that the country’s current surge of cases is expected to rapidly increase in the coming weeks and push hospitals to the limit. Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said the current rise in infections has come from people who “moved back into the workplace.

New clusters of cases at a Swiss nightclub and in the central English city of Leicester showed that the virus was still circulating widely in Europe, though not with the rapidly growing infection rate seen in parts of the U.S., Latin America and India.

Poland and France, meanwhile, attempted a step toward normalcy as they held elections that had been delayed by the virus.

Wearing mandatory masks, social distancing in lines and carrying their own pens to sign voting registers, French voters cast ballots in a second round of municipal elections. Poles also wore masks and used hand sanitizer, and some in virus-hit areas were told to mail in their ballots.

“I didn’t go and vote the first time around because I am elderly and I got scared,” said Fanny Barouh as she voted in a Paris school.

In Texas, Abbott appeared with Vice President Mike Pence, who cut campaign events from upcoming visits to Florida and Arizona because of rising virus cases in those states.

Pence praised Abbott for both his decision to reopen the state, and to roll back the reopening plans.

“You flattened the curve here in Texas ... but about two weeks ago something changed,” Pence said.

Pence urged people to wear masks when unable to practice social distancing. He and Abbott wore face masks as they entered and left the room, taking them off while speaking to reporters.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, meanwhile, defended the fact that President Donald Trump has rarely worn a mask in public, saying he doesn’t have to follow his own administration’s guidance because as a leader of the free world he’s tested regularly and is in “very different circumstances than the rest of us.”

Addressing spikes in reported coronavirus cases in some states, Azar said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that people “have to take ownership” of their own behaviors by social distancing and wearing masks if possible.

A reported tally Sunday from Johns Hopkins University researchers said the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic had topped 500,00.

About 1 in 4 of those deaths – more than 125,000 – have been reported in the U.S. The country with the next highest death toll is Brazil, with more than 57,000, or about 1 in 9.

The true death toll from the virus, which first emerged in China late last year, is widely believed to be significantly higher. Experts say that especially early on, many victims died of COVID-19 without being tested for it.

To date, more than 10 million confirmed cases have been reported globally. About a quarter of them have been reported in the U.S.

The World Health Organization announced another daily record in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world - topping over 189,000 in a single 24-hour period. The tally eclipses the previous record a week earlier at over 183,000 cases, showing case counts continue to progress worldwide.

Overall the U.S. still has far and away the most total cases. At more than 2,450,000 - roughly twice that of Brazil. The number of actual cases worldwide is much higher.

New York, once the nation’s pandemic epicenter, is now “on the exact opposite end,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in an interview with “Meet the Press.”

The state reported five new virus deaths Saturday, its lowest reported daily death toll since March 15. During the state’s peak pandemic in April, nearly 800 people were dying every day. New York still leads the nation in COVID-19 deaths with nearly 25,000.

In the state of Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee put a hold on plans to move counties to the fourth phase of his reopening plan as cases continue to increase. But in Hawaii, the city of Honolulu announced that campgrounds will reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distancing.

Britain’s government, meanwhile, is considering whether a local lockdown is needed for the central English city of Leicester amid reports about a spike in COVID-19 among its Asian community. It would be Britain’s first local lockdown.

“We have seen flare-ups across the country in recent weeks,” Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC on Sunday.

Polish voters were casting ballots, in person and by mail, for a presidential election that was supposed to have taken place in May but was chaotically postponed amid the pandemic. President Andrzej Duda, a 48-year-old conservative, is running against 10 other candidates as he seeks a second five-year term.

Iwona Goge, 79, was encouraged to see so many people voting in Warsaw.

“It’s bad. Poland is terribly divided and people are getting discouraged,” she said.

French voters were choosing mayors and municipal councilors in Paris and 5,000 towns and cities in a second round of municipal elections held under strict hygiene rules.

Italy was honoring its dead later Sunday with an evening Requiem concert in hard-hit Bergamo province. The ceremony in the onetime epicenter of the European outbreak came a day after Italy registered the lowest daily tally of COVID-19 deaths in nearly four months: eight.

European leaders were taking no chances in tamping down new clusters. German authorities renewed a lockdown in a western region of about 500,000 people after about 1,300 slaughterhouse workers tested positive.

Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to climb to a new high of more than 371,000, including 9,484 deaths, according to figures released Sunday by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

China on Monday reported a further decline in new confirmed cases, with a total of just 12, including seven cases of domestic transmission in Beijing, where nearly 8.3 million people have now undergone testing in recent weeks. No new deaths were reported Monday, leaving the total at 4,634 among 83,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

L.A. County faces 'critical moment' as coronavirus cases keep surging
Alex Wigglesworth
1 day ago

Another day of big increases in both coronavirus cases and hospitalizations prompted health officials Saturday to warn Los Angeles County is entering a "critical moment" and that some of the easing of stay-at-home orders are in jeopardy unless the trend changes.

Los Angeles and many other parts of California have seen big COVID-19 spikes in recent weeks, as the economy has reopened. Officials say it's essential to following social distancing rules and other safety regulations.

“If we can’t find it in us to follow these mandates, including wearing face coverings and distancing when around others, we jeopardize our ability to move forward on the recovery journey,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said Saturday in a statement. “Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and businesses, to reverse the trends we are experiencing.”

Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 2,169 new coronavirus cases.

The county also reported 23 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing its total to more than 95,500 cases and nearly 3,300 deaths. There were 1,698 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals, an increase from the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations the county was seeing two weeks prior, officials said.

This comes a little over a week after the county permitted the latest round of business sectors, including bars, nail salons and tattoo parlors, to reopen, and about a month after hundreds of thousands of people began taking to the streets for protests decrying the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans.

The alarms over the rising case numbers extends across California, where statewide cases approached 210,000. Some officials are cracking down on scofflaw businesses while others are preparing to help overwhelmed hospitals.

In San Diego County, the health department on Friday ordered an Escondido restaurant to close immediately, saying its proprietor refused to follow public health directives imposed to prevent coronavirus outbreaks.

And Belmont Park, an amusement park in Mission Bay, was closed Friday afternoon by officials who said it was operating rides in violation of state guidelines. The shutdown came on the same day that county officials announced the highest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in a single day.

In San Bernardino County, officials said many hospitals are getting closer to reaching "surge capacity" and that they are making plans to open alternate care sites for patients if hospitals fill up.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was recommending that Imperial County reinstitute stricter stay-at-home orders after it continued to report the highest per-capita case rate of any county in the state, as well as the highest test positivity rate.

The county Board of Supervisors took no immediate action to direct businesses to shut down, but local officials were meeting with a state delegation Saturday to decide how to proceed.

San Francisco has also decided to pause the relaxation of its stay-at-home orders amid a rise in new cases, Mayor London Breed announced Friday.

Los Angeles County health officials also said they've received reports of bogus mask exemption cards “that depict a government seal with threatening language.” The information is false, and everyone except children younger than 2 should wear a face covering any time they leave the house, they said.

The increases in L.A. County reflect a statewide trend. California has logged record-breaking numbers of daily new cases on several occasions this week, with 5,700 new infections confirmed on Friday alone.

As of Thursday, California had seen a 32% increase in hospitalizations of patients with confirmed COVID-19, and a 19% jump in ICU patients with verified infections, over the previous 14 days.

And as of Friday, 5.7% of coronavirus test results in California over the preceding seven days had come back positive, a rate not seen since early May, a Times data analysis found. A week ago, the rate was 4.7%, a rate that had been largely stable for June until Sunday, when there was a dramatic shift in the numbers.

In L.A. County, the cumulative positivity rate, which had been holding at 8% since late May, rose to 9% Friday, with more than 1,037,000 people having been tested and receiving their results. Over the last two weeks, the seven-day average of the county’s daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% to 8.6%, officials said.


Heliobas Disciple

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‘A travesty’: North Carolina faces calls to continue reopening even as Covid-19 cases surge
North Carolina remains in the second phase of its reopening plan after hitting a new high in hospitalizations, but industry groups want restrictions eased

Lewis Kendall in Durham, North Carolina
Sun 28 Jun 2020 04.00 EDT | Last modified on Sun 28 Jun 2020 09.39 EDT

Major – the photogenic life-sized bronze bull statue that presides over a square near the center of downtown Durham, North Carolina – hasn’t had much company in recent weeks.

With the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the state all trending upwards, many businesses up and down Main Street remain closed, while others operate in a limited capacity. Some storefronts have been boarded up following recent Black Lives Matter protests, with the plywood covered in graffiti art. “People were crying before the teargas,” one read.

Outside Pour Taproom on Thursday evening, several groups sat sipping drinks at red metal tables spaced strategically apart. The pour-it-yourself taproom reopened last week, and since has seen a solid, if unspectacular, stream of patrons. Anjelika Vasquez, the Taproom’s manager, said many had felt “cooped up in the house”.

“It’s such a weird period,” she said. “But people want to drink.”

Under North Carolina’s current set of rules, restaurants, breweries, retail stores and salons are allowed to open at 50% capacity. Gyms and bars are closed, with wiggle room for pubs that serve food. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

The Taproom halved its staff and reduced its hours, along with adding sanitizing stations and selling face masks. While the moves have bought the business some time, Vasquez said she’s wary about the future.

“Everybody is getting really impatient and small businesses are suffering,” she said. “But I have a feeling we’re going to have to close again.”

On Wednesday, a day after the state hit a new high in Covid-19 hospitalizations, the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, announced North Carolina would remain in the second phase of its three-phase reopening plan, a decision that was swiftly condemned as anti-business by many in the state’s Republican-dominated legislature.

Phase two was scheduled to end Friday, but Cooper, who also announced a mandate requiring individuals wear masks in public despite fierce opposition in some quarters, said he was “concerned” about the direction the state is trending.

“The numbers we see are a stark warning,” the governor said. “We’re adding this requirement because we don’t want to go backward.”

The announcement was met with furor from industry groups.

“The governor’s decision is effectively signing a death warrant for 1,063 bars across North Carolina while offering zero relief to the small-business owners or their employees,” Zack Medford, president of the North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association (NCBATA), said in a release. “Asking private bar owners to lose everything they’ve worked for while their competitors can thrive is unconscionable.

On 4 June, the NCBATA filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of more than 185 bars, alleging that the Cooper’s office violated the businesses’ constitutional rights by “irrationally treating [bars] differently from restaurants, hotels, wineries, distilleries, taprooms, brewpubs, breweries, private clubs and eating establishments”.

Groups representing churches and gyms have also filed similar lawsuits.

But for the past several weeks, the state has failed to hit its self-imposed benchmarks for reopening. In addition to a steady increase in hospitalizations – culminating in the record high 915 on Tuesday – North Carolina saw 1,721 new cases Wednesday, its second-highest daily total since the pandemic began.

“We used to be rock solid in the mid-500s of the total number of hospitalizations. We’re now in the 900s and that trend continues to go up,” Mandy Cohen, the state’s health and human services secretary, said this week.

About 9% of tests performed are coming back positive, a number that has also failed to dip. One of the only metrics that has dropped has been tests performed, with the state Department of Health and Human Services citing a renewed shortage of testing reagents.

The Republican-controlled state general assembly has generally fought Cooper’s reluctance to reopen, passing a handful of bills that would relax restrictions on bars, gyms, bowling alleys and amusement parks. Cooper vetoed at least two of these bills.

Many of North Carolina’s first hotspots were focused near its population centers, such as Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham. But in recent weeks the spread has moved into less populated areas and heavily impacted Hispanic, Black and indigenous communities, particularly those working in food processing facilities and on farms.

The virus’s movement from urban to rural areas was predictable, said Lori Carter-Edwards, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is underscoring the conflicted relationship between the economy and public health across the state.

Without proper safety nets in place – namely in areas with fewer resources – governments and businesses will continually be forced to choose between financial stability and public health, she said.

“Both decisions are tough, but if we can’t make the health decision when the science tells us what it tells us we will be dealing with this much longer and will be the nation that didn’t do what it could have done,” Carter-Edwards said. “And that will be a travesty.”

As it stands, congregate living facilities, daycare centers and schools are the only facilities required by the state to report outbreaks, which it defines as two or more cases. For all other businesses, local health departments and, by extension, the state department of health and human service (DHHS), depend on companies volunteering their own data or tracking down clusters through case interviews.

“It is in the best interest of public health for those private businesses to self-identify and work with NCDHHS so that we can help protect employees and communities by providing technical assistance on mitigation strategies, educating employees about the virus and measures they can take, and providing testing for those who have been exposed as well as for others in their households,” a DHHS spokesperson wrote.

North Carolina is set to reassess its reopening strategy when the current order expires on 17 July, and Carter-Edwards said the next three weeks represent a critical window for the state to coordinate a response to its rising numbers.

“People need to understand the war is not against an individual,” she said. “Until we learn how to work together, be bipartisan and treat this as a collective public health [issue], we won’t be able to hit our plateau. We’ll miss the mark, we’ll have more deaths and we’ll have more cases.”


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Rising Coronavirus Cases Put Fresh Strain on Mask Supplies
Hospitals, nursing homes face new challenges finding enough N95s for front-line workers

By Austen Hufford and Melanie Evans
June 27, 2020 4:14 pm ET

The renewed surge in coronavirus cases across much of the U.S. is undermining efforts hospitals and manufacturers made in recent months to provide enough N95 masks to front-line workers.

Emergency responders and health-care workers from California to Florida are using more protective equipment and N95s—which block 95% of very small particles, including droplets containing the virus—as hospitalizations related to Covid-19 climb. At the same time, as restrictions on business have been lifted, factories and construction sites are getting back to work, adding demand from workers that wear N95 masks to protect against noxious fumes and compounds.

The supply picture varies drastically from state to state.

Many local officials have made progress in stocking up since the early days of the pandemic and hospitals are also building up stockpiles.

Michigan said that as of Thursday, 20% of its hospitals had less than a seven-day supply for some types of medical equipment and 6% had less than a 15-day supply of N95s. Virginia’s emergency management department said in response to a records request from The Wall Street Journal that it had about 500,000 N95s and 3.5 million masks that conform with a similar Chinese standard, KN95. Vermont’s department of public safety had 133,000 N95s and 969,000 KN95s as of June 18. North Carolina’s emergency management department had 3.8 million N95s and about 2 million KN95s.

Hospital and health-care supply executives said they have been able to get masks more readily since manufacturers including 3M Co. and Prestige Ameritech have ramped up production. But demand broadly continues to outstrip the growing supply, they said.

“It’s still bad,” said Cathy Denning, head of sourcing operations for Vizient Inc., which contracts for medical supplies on behalf of hospitals.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated earlier this month that demand for N95s in the U.S. would outstrip production and imports through August. Distributors continue to cap how much protective gear each customer can order and report extensive back-orders of N95s and other equipment, health-care supply executives said.

Now hospitals treating fresh waves of coronavirus patients are facing new pressure on their stockpiles. Many hospitals have resumed procedures that had been halted for weeks, using up additional inventory of masks, gowns and gloves.

Premier Inc., a purchasing group for hospitals, said half of more than 1,000 hospitals surveyed through mid-June reported they couldn’t get enough N95 masks to resume postponed surgeries.

Many health facilities are still following federal guidelines to extend the lifespan of their masks. Workers in some hospitals are wearing a single mask for an entire shift instead of donning a new mask to treat each patient, standard practice in normal times.

Pioneer Health Group in Arizona is one of 15% of nursing homes nationwide that has less than a seven-day supply of N95s, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. The nearly 500 employees at Pioneer Health’s two elderly-care facilities are given one new N95 each week and one surgical mask each day, to wear over the N95.

“We would not have enough for one week if we were using it for how it was intended to be used,” said Amy Malkin, Pioneer Health’s chief operating officer.

Masks are also being sent through decontamination systems, which the Food and Drug Administration has authorized as an emergency tool. Some health-care workers have raised concerns about such systems.

Texas sent more than 5,000 N95s through a decontamination system in the past week, according to the state’s Division of Emergency Management. The state has more than 47 million masks of all types in its stockpile and continues to order more, said Seth Christensen, a spokesman for the agency.

The agency is aware that hospitals continue to ration masks, he said. “Conservation measures are great to ensure we are not wasteful at a time when the supply chain is not fully recovered,” Mr. Christensen said.

Texas had placed orders for $1 billion in personal protective equipment though June 7, but has canceled more than half of that amount because suppliers failed to deliver or delivered products that didn’t pass quality inspection.

“We don’t even take it off the truck, and sometimes we send it back,” Mr. Christensen said. Nonetheless, the agency is prepared to meet hospitals’ needs, he said.

One of the earliest states to roll back restrictions on surgery, Texas initially required hospitals to promise they wouldn’t ask for state or federal inventory of protective equipment for the rest of the coronavirus pandemic. The state soon dropped the requirement. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday again halted some surgeries as Covid-19 patients pushed hospital intensive-care units near capacity.

“We are still having to use one mask for the entire day,” said Serena Bumpus, director of practice for the Texas Nurses Association. “The more Covid patients we have in the hospital means the more PPE we will be required to use.”

The uncertain supply of protective equipment has limited how quickly some hospitals can bring in patients whose procedures were previously delayed.

“We have to be really careful not to overshoot and have a full hospital and be too busy and run out of supplies,” said Kathryn Schabel, an orthopedic surgeon and associate professor at Oregon Health and Science University.

Demand for masks has nearly doubled in the past month among the hospitals, surgical centers and nursing homes on a medical-supply exchange launched in April by organizations including Stanford Health Care and Resilinc, a supply-chain risk management company.

Hospitals on the exchange can request inventory to ease shortages by offering surplus of another type of equipment. Buyers for more than 2,000 hospitals have signed on, said Bindiya Vakil, Resilinc’s chief executive. Demand for N95s in some sizes exceeds supply, she said.

Some hospitals have found new mask suppliers, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Cedars-Sinai is burning through N95 masks more quickly since resuming surgery, said Jeff Smith, executive vice president of hospital operations, but has months of protective equipment in inventory and is working with Los Angeles County to create a public stockpile.

Cedars-Sinai continues to perform procedures postponed earlier by the pandemic, and Dr. Smith said patients in need of care shouldn’t avoid hospitals.

“It could lead to a second public-health crisis,” he said.


Heliobas Disciple

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Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same
Mike Allen, Kia Kokalitcheva
17 hours ago

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told Axios in an interview that global travel may never fully recover, and that he sees a future where people travel much more within their own countries, possibly for longer stays.

Driving the news: "I will go on the record to say that travel will never, ever go back to the way it was pre-COVID; it just won't," Chesky told us by Zoom from his home in San Francisco. "There are sometimes months when decades of transformation happen."

Chesky, who said travel has changed more tectonically than during the Great Recession of 2008, said Airbnb data shows these trends:

  • "People are not getting on airplanes, they're not crossing borders, they're not meaningfully traveling to cities, they're not traveling for business."
  • "They're getting in cars. They're traveling to communities that are 200 miles away or less. These are usually very small communities. They're staying in homes and they're staying longer."

Airbnb says business within countries has recovered to previous levels. But international travel remains off in a way that's devastating to the platform.

  • 'People will, one day, get back on planes," Chesky said. "But one of the things that I do think is a fairly permanent shift is ... a redistribution of where travelers go."
  • In the past, with what he called "mass tourism," travelers limited themselves "to like 50 or 100 cities. You know, everyone goes to Rome, Paris, London, they stay in the hotel district, they get on the double-decker bus. They wait in line to get a selfie in front of a landmark."
  • "I think that's going to get smaller as a percentage of travel in the future, and I think it's going to get somewhat displaced, or at least balanced, by people visiting smaller communities."

Chesky said he sees a potential boom for National Parks.

  • "Most people haven't gone to them," he said. "And it's pretty cheap ... You don't need to buy an airplane ticket. You can usually drive because most people live within 200 miles of a park."
  • "So, I think you're going to start to see travel becoming more intimate, more local, to smaller communities."

Chesky said he thinks business and convention travel will hurt for some time.

  • "I think a lot of people are going to realize they don't need to get on an airplane to have a meeting. I mean, I met you in an office, but now we're on Zoom."


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Are young people to blame as COVID cases surge in Florida and Miami? DeSantis says yes
Rene Rodriguez, Kirby Wilson, and David J. Neal
June 28, 2020 08:09 PM , Updated 4 hours 28 minutes ago

As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to skyrocket statewide, Gov. Ron DeSantis has found a new target in Florida’s battle against the virus: Youths.

Seated at a table with medical professionals during a Pensacola news conference on Sunday, Florida’s top elected official again cited numbers that showed Floridians aged 18-44 are primarily responsible for the state’s recent spike in cases.

“You can’t control...they’re younger people. They’re going to do what they’re going to do,” DeSantis said.

That group is going out more and socializing at a greater rate, DeSantis said. That’s why, he said, the state is seeing more cases.

The growth is alarming.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 43,964 new COVID-19 cases were reported for the week of June 21-28 around the state — the highest weekly number of infections to date — bringing the total number of cases to 141,075.

The number of deaths over that same weekly span was 147, down 26% from the previous week’s death toll of 199. Statewide, the total reached 3,419. A rise in the number of patients requiring hospitalization has been seen to trail increasing case numbers by weeks, and increases in the number of fatalities has trailed by a month or more.

On Sunday alone, the state reported 8,530 new cases, a 144% increase over the previous high for a Sunday — 3,494 cases on June 21. That Sunday-to-Sunday comparison is significant because fewer tests are processed and results posted because of lower staffing levels on the weekend.

One-fourth of those new cases came from Miami-Dade, which set a new single-day record of 2,152 cases. The county also added six more deaths, bringing its total to 953.

Broward County reported 574 new cases, for a total of 14,620, and no new deaths, keeping its fatal tally at 382.

Taking local precautions

Local governments in South Florida aren’t taking any chances. As a result of the growing number of cases, Broward County announced on Sunday its beaches will be closed for the upcoming holiday weekend of July 3-5. The decision followed Friday’s announcement by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez that parks and beaches would be closed July 3-7 and holiday weekend gatherings larger than 50 people, including parades, were canceled.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended alcohol consumption at bars around the state, citing the growing number of infections among young people. Bars can still sell alcoholic beverages in sealed containers to be consumed off-site, and restaurants can serve alcohol to be consumed by diners at tables.

Although less than two weeks ago DeSantis vowed Florida was not “rolling back” the reopening of businesses, the governor said Sunday this was a necessary step because of the “widespread noncompliance” of social distancing rules at bars across the state.

“If you get sick very quickly with an aggressive strain, you’re not out in the community and you’re not spreading it,” said Jason Foland, the medical director of the pediatric unit at Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart in Pensacola. “If you have symptoms much like the common cold, you’re spreading it all over the place.”

But Foland and DeSantis also pointed out that young people are not immune from the worst outcomes. Even asymptomatic carriers are not exempt from passing the infection along to a more vulnerable population.

Older Floridians staying safe

The uptick in cases among young people spreading to the state’s sizable elderly population is the looming threat to Florida. DeSantis complimented the state’s older population for abiding by social distancing rules, while urging younger people to follow suit.

“The seniors have been very, very diligent,” DeSantis said. “I know it’s gone on now, we’re in the third month of this, and it can be tiring - we just ask that you maintain that diligence.”

DeSantis has stressed personal responsibility while declining to pursue some actions that other hot-spot states have put into place. For example, the Republican governor questioned the efficacy of a statewide indoor mask requirement on Friday. California has such a requirement in public spaces, as do at least 15 other states, in some form.

The governor also announced that the formerly shuttered Pan American Hospital at 5757 NW Seventh St. in Miami would reopen on July 1st strictly as a medical care center for residents of long-term care facilities who test positive for the coronavirus. The center would be the first of its kind in Miami-Dade, DeSantis said, and would isolate patients from spreading the virus through senior citizen communities.

More testing

At a media briefing at Hard Rock Stadium, Mike Jachles, spokesman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said staffers conducted a total of 979 swab tests on Sunday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted at the site since it opened in March to nearly 44,000.

Jachles said state-run testing sites such as the Hard Rock or the Miami Beach Convention Center continue to test anyone over the age of 18 with a photo ID, regardless of symptoms, but warned about extended wait times on weekdays.

“Today was the lightest lines we’ve seen,” he said. “But it’s important for people to remember they could be sitting in their cars for a couple of hours, so make sure your gas tank is full, your air-conditioning is working and you bring water, snacks and medication with you.”


Heliobas Disciple

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The Second Round of Lockdowns Won't Be As Easy as the First
Ryan McMaken

The pressure is already mounting for state and local governments to move again toward coerced stay at home orders and mandatory business closures.

The constant drumbeat of headlines designed to convince people to adopt new draconian government controls is more of less exactly the same as what it was back in March. Arizona "lost control of the epidemic" one headline proclaims, while another insists "ICU beds full." A government bureaucrat in Texas says the situation is "apocalyptic" and Bloomberg dutifully features the word in its headline. The governor of California is threatening another stay-at-home order. The Texas governor has re-imposed some restrictions. Florida has "paused" its scaling back of lockdown edicts.

Americans should expect more of this as the year proceeds. Once we arrive at September, hospitalizations due to the usual winter diseases like flu will begin to mount. At that point, the daily headlines about "full" or nearly-full hospitals will be a daily or even hourly occurrence.

There is no doubt politicians and government "experts" like Anthony Fauci will briefly emerge from their luxury homes and gated communities to demand that middle class and working class Americans be once again forced to abandon their jobs, take pay cuts, and sit at home. (The politicians decreeing lockdowns, of course, will keep collecting their six-figure salaries.)

But there's a problem with the politicos' plans. They assume Americans will comply with the stay-at-home orders to the same degree they did back in March and April. This may not be a very prudent assumption. This will be due to at least two reasons. First, more Americans now doubt the official narrative on the disease. Second, Americans are now in a worse economic position compared to the time of the first lockdown.Both of these factors will contribute to more resistance to lockdowns.

In other words, a second lockdown will be more difficult — both economically and politically — than the first. Economic pain will mount as political doubts grow.

The Economic Threat

A second round of lockdowns also poses a very large economic risk to families.

Advocates of coercive lockdowns have long tried to portray opponents of lockdowns as just "people who want a haircut." The reality is a lot more grim than that, however, and the threat to the economic well-being of many families is going to make a second round of lockdowns far worse than the first.

Many Americans voluntarily complied the first time around because they were starting from a relatively good economic position. The politicians kept assuring them it was all just for "two weeks" or maybe even a month. After all, when the lockdowns began, the economy was at very high levels of employment. The US was in the waning days of the boom phase of a boom-bust cycle. But it was nonetheless still in the boom phase. Since the spring lockdowns began, 40 million Americans have become unemployed. Twenty million of them are still unemployed, and more than 1.3 million Americans became newly unemployed over the past week. Tax revenue has also plummeted reflecting the downward spiral in Americans' income.

The bankruptcies are now mounting. In recent weeks, just some of the companies that have declared bankruptcy are J.Crew, Gold's Gym, Neiman Marcus, Hertz, GNC, and Chuck E. Cheese. Thousands of retail locations for these companies will be closed. Their staffs will be laid off.

The idea that everyone can just "work from home," of course, has always been a fantasy of the well-off. The work-from-home myth is especially damaging for lower-income workers and for blacks and Hispanics. Moreover, if school closures remain, many parents who rely on government schools as a type of "free" day care will find themselves without schools as a resource.

So far, all of this has been cushioned by outlandish fiscal and monetary "stimulus" designed to bailout bankrupted industries, small businesses and households. Households have received stimulus checks as incomes dried up or were reduced.

The federal budget is likely to top ten trillion this year (well more than double last-year's budget) as a result of literally trillions of new dollars being created out of thin air to finance the stimulus checks and bailouts.

If lockdowns are imposed again, expect even more "stimulus," bringing the federal budget to 12 trillion, or maybe 14 trillion. There will be no end in sight.

But apparently-endless money printing can't continue indefinitely. At some point the upward pressure on interest rates, and concerns over the value of the dollar, become so great that even Congress and the Fed fear another round of stimulus. If that comes this year, household finances will immediately collapse. More businesses will go under. Jobs will dry up. 30 percent of Americans already missed their house payments in June. Expect that to get a lot worse if lockdown mandates are tightened again.

And as economic turmoil becomes worse expect more of what resulted during the lockdowns of March and April: more child abuse, more suicide, more drug overdoses. Expect more death from non-COVID causes as "elective" medical care is banned by executive order.

The New Lockdowns Will Be Longer

Also complicating the situation is the fact that if lockdowns are tightened now, the duration of the lockdowns will likely last well beyond the month or two of lockdowns initially promised. Hospitalizations for a wide variety of diseases (not just COVID-19) will only get worse as the northern hemisphere approaches flu season three months from now. At that point, the end of the 2020-21 flu season will still be a long way away.

If the current plan for the "experts" and the politicians is to impose a six- or eight-month lockdown until next summer, get ready for an economic depression of unprecedented proportions.

The lockdown advocates have always claimed the economy would survive relatively unscathed because the job losses and closures were just "temporary." Their narrative claimed workers would only be furloughed for a couple of months and then the recovery would begin.

But what if they get their wish for an open-ended lockdown that continues from mid-summer through May of next year? After all, that is the reality we're looking at if rising hospitalizations justify lockdowns. We'll be looking at month after month of mounting unemployment.

Compliance Will Be a Problem

The heightened economic pain means lockdowns will be harder to enforce, and Americans now estimate their risk of severe illness to be much lower now than was the case during the first lockdown.

Back in March and April, many Americans didn't know what to expect. The experts and politicians assured us we were all facing a truly apocalyptic scenario. Bodies would be piling up in the streets. Gurneys would be lining the sidewalks as patients died unattended. Americans were concerned: does this disease affect everyone equally? What is my risk level? Many people took a wait-and-see attitude.

But now that so much more is known than was the case in March, it is clear risk is hardly equal for everyone — 40 percent of deaths were in nursing homes —and it makes little sense to lock down an entire population to protect certain specific populations. States that never enacted lockdowns during the first round, for example, had fewer deaths per capita.

Since March, the CDC has repeatedly reduced its estimated fatality rate. Many Americans have also gradually become aware, for example, that in the US 40 percent of deaths attributed to COVID-19 occurred in nursing homes. Many now know that among known cases under age 50, the fatality rate is now estimated at well under 1 percent. The CDC estimates that the symptomatic case fatality rate for people younger than 50 is just 0.05 percent, compared to 1.3 percent for people 65 or older and 0.2 percent for 50-to-64-year-olds. Those are just the symptomatic cases. Many who get the disease show no symptoms at all.

Americans have realized the risk to most Americans is much lower than what is suggested by the over-the-top panic-inducing rhetoric repeatedly employed my media outlets and politicians. Moreover, for many people, COVID-19 news has already receded to the point of becoming background noise. Every day they are bombarded with dire warning of impending death and destruction. Warnings of this sort soon have a diminishing effect.

Just as Americans long ago made peace with the relatively high risks associated with highway travel, many Americans are likely to do the same with COVID-19. After all, the most dangerous thing most people do every day — by far — is get in a motor vehicle and drive. Yet few people seem to let the risk limit their daily activities. The more the dangers of COVID-19 become just another daily bullet point, the easier the warnings are to ignore.

Many will also be less likely to comply because of the obvious hypocrisy of government officials over June's riots and protests. Medical personnel who condemned any sort of gathering — and especially anti-lockdown protests — suddenly decided mass gatherings were perfectly fine so long as the politics behind the protests was to the experts' liking. People won't forget that.

For those who refuse to comply, the politicians will send in the police to enforce their edicts. Police who refused to stop rioters will nonetheless arrest peaceful business owners. This will also be remembered. The resentment will build. The impoverishment will continue. Americans will be going into foreclosure. "Deaths of despair" will mount.

Politicians will insist it's all "worth it" and "we're all in this together." The longer it goes on, the less the public will agree.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
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UK: Half of Imported Coronavirus Cases Come from Pakistan
Kurt Zindulka
28 Jun 20200

People arriving from Pakistan brought half of all the imported coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom since March, a report has found.

As a result of the United Kingdom refusing to close down travel from virus hotspots during the pandemic, over 65,000 people from Pakistan — most of whom are believed to hold British passports — arrived in the country since March 1st.

Pakistan, which is reporting around 4,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, is considered a “high-risk” country for the virus, but despite the inability or unwillingness of the Pakistani government to introduce effective containment measures, travellers from the Islamic Republic have been free to flood into the country.

Officials in Whitehall are reportedly worried that the revelations could spark a backlash against attempts to establish so-called open-air bridges with EU nations. British officials are also concerned that they will now have little ground to criticise countries like Portugal for failing to block imported cases from its former colony of Brazil.

“We can’t take people off the list because they might import cases from their former colonies”, a Whitehall official told the paper.

“Diplomatically we have to rate [them] to see actual uncontrolled spread. Imagine if people said that about the UK with our links to the U.S. We’d be fuming,” the official added.

Pakistan International Airlines said it been flying directly to the United Kingdom without quarantine since April, with limited flights at first, however, in the past week, the airline has resumed its normal schedule of flights to Manchester and London.

A spokesperson for the airline claimed that all passengers were subjected to temperature screenings and were required to wear masks.
Coronavirus: Over One Million People Arrived in UK by Sea Without Quarantine This Year One Million+ People Arrived by Sea to UK Without Quarantine This Year
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2020

This week, other such as including Dubai and South Korea have cut travel from Pakistan amid a spike in cases. The Emirates airline suspended flights from the South Asian country after 30 passengers tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong on June 22nd.

There has been no indication that the British government or British airlines will follow suit, however.

The British government is expected to finally introduce mandatory quarantines for those arriving from foreign countries next month, in order to prevent a second wave of the virus.

A quarantine expert at Exeter University’s medical school, Bharat Pankhania, cautioned that the government should focus its energies on screening arrivals from high-risk countries like Pakistan rather than imposing restrictions on the whole world, which would likely be largely unenforced.

“As soon as a country reaches a set threshold, then special screening and tests are done on all individual arrivals at the border. If they are staying in Bath, for example, then the local public health director is alerted and they are subject to on-the-door checks by his or her team,” Pankhania said.

“You also need to make it clear that this is a serious issue if you are coming from an at-risk country, and increase the penalties for breaches… to prison and/or £10,000 fine,” he suggested.

‘We Are Guided by the Science’: British Govt Shrugs Off Responsibility For Open Borders, No Arrival Testing UK Govt Shrugs Off Responsibility For Open Borders, No Arrival Testing
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 13, 2020


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Is the coronavirus pandemic entering a second wave?
Simone McCarthy
Published: 12:00pm, 29 Jun, 2020
  • Unclear whether Covid-19 will have similar trajectory to 1918 flu pandemic, which is infamous for its more lethal later surge
  • Experts say the term is ambiguous but people’s behaviour and government actions will be critical

As countries around the world relax Covid-19 restrictions and some areas see an increase in infections, questions are being raised about whether the pandemic is entering what is known as a second wave.
In the United States, where new cases had levelled off at roughly 20,000 a day for a period of weeks, infections have again spiked.

The US on Friday reported one of its largest single-day increases since the start of the pandemic, with more than 40,000 new cases on the previous day, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Thursday, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said 30 countries and territories in the region had seen increases in new cumulative cases in the past two weeks
as they eased social distancing measures, with 11 of those experiencing a “significant resurgence”.

But whether this means such areas are seeing a second wave remains unclear, largely due to the ambiguity of the term, experts say.

Many caution against declaring a new rise in case numbers in areas or countries where cases had appeared to decline as a “second wave”, since an uptick of cases as social distancing restrictions are relaxed did not necessarily mean the start of a new cycle – or the end of old one – especially if there was still a significant amount of transmission.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking in a June 18 interview with The Washington Post, said the United States was still in the first wave, even as case rates decline and increase at different times in various regions of the country.

John Mathews, an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, said a second wave would typically be characterised by a dramatic decline followed by a sudden comeback in the numbers of cases.

“But no one has really defined the scale that is required to call a second wave, either in terms of the time, or space, or the scale of the [case] numbers involved.” Mathews, a former deputy medical officer to the Australian government, said “second wave” was an ambiguous term, and not one “to use loosely”.

The second wave phenomenon is most widely associated with past influenza pandemics. The 1918 flu pandemic, which infected 500 million people and killed 50 million worldwide, is infamous for its far deadlier second wave in the autumn, months after the first wave. A third wave occurred in a number of countries in 1919.

Mathews said influenza-like second waves could be driven by a change in the virus or shifts in people’s behaviour, with changes in the virus thought to play a role in the second wave in 1918. Immunity had developed among a sufficient proportion of the population which drove the flu virus to evolve to “dodge immune response” and continue to infect people, he said.

“We don’t think that is happening very soon with this coronavirus,” he said, given the current low levels of immunity, compared to the estimated 60-70 per cent of people that would need to be vaccinated or exposed to the disease to stop its spread and pressure it to adapt.

Instead, as the population remained susceptible to Covid-19, the “major determinant” for what happened next would be people’s behaviour and the response of governments.

Hannah Clapham, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at National University Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, agreed the critical factor at this stage of the pandemic would be public health measures in response to new upticks in cases.

A focus on the concept of waves, whose definition was “less clear” than other metrics – such as simply watching how cases were peaking – was not the most pressing point, she said. “To me, the relevant thing is whether we are seeing consistent increases of cases again and how places are responding with public health measures to try to control this increase in transmission.

“The worrying thing is we are seeing increases in case numbers and then high numbers of cases again in many places, sometimes higher numbers of cases than at peaks earlier in the epidemic.”

Some specialists feel the history of the 1918 flu pandemic is likely to be repeated. “It is almost certain to say a second wave of epidemic will come, as we won’t see a supply of vaccine before [then],” Gabriel Leung, dean of the University of Hong Kong’s medical school, said in an online seminar for journalists earlier this month.

“After mid or late autumn will be another critical stage.”


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Minnesota Witnesses Spike in Number of Positive COVID Cases for Younger People
coronavirus testing
Kyle Morris
28 Jun 20200

Minnesota has witnessed a spike in the number of younger people who are testing positive for COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to grow in the United States.

According to data released Sunday by the Minnesota Department of Health, 523 new cases were identified Sunday, bringing the total number of coronavirus-positive residents in the state to 35,549.

A spike in the number of people who are testing positive for the virus can be seen amongst people in their 20’s, with that age group making up the largest group of positive cases in the state.

As of June 28, there have been a record number of 51 percent new positive cases announced for people in their 20’s.

According to Minnesota’s StarTribune, four bars in the Minneapolis and Mankato areas “have contributed to a surge in COVID-19 cases in young adults.”

StarTribune reported:

Roughly 100 people suffered COVID-19 infections related to crowding over the June 12-14 weekend at Rounders Sports Bar & Grill and the 507 in Mankato, while more than 30 cases have been identified among people who went to Cowboy Jack’s near Target Field and the Kollege Klub in Dinkytown between June 14 and June 21.

Officials in the state have warned that the number of positive cases for people in their 20’s can continue to grow unless precautions are taken to not “overwhelm” the system.

“When you have 56 cases associated with one location from one weekend, that is not managing the rate of growth,” said Kris Ehresmann, state infectious disease director. Ehresmann added that businesses and citizens should work to prevent the spread “so that even as we open up, we are not putting ourselves in a position to overwhelm the system we worked so hard to strengthen.”

According to the StarTribune, the “number of lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota has increased 37% — from 25,208 on June 1 to 34,616 as of Friday — but has increased 51% among people aged 20 to 29 and 61% among children and teenagers.”

While there is a spike in the number of positive cases in the state, it is worth noting that of the 1,460 people that have died in the state from COVID-19 illnesses, only two of those people were below the age of 30.

As of Sunday, Minnesota health officials had administered nearly 15,000 tests. Nine percent of those who have been tested have been hospitalized while 228 remain in hospitals across the state. The state’s health department also reported eight new COVID-related deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 1,460.


Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Florida adds more than 8,530 coronavirus cases; cases pass 10 million worldwide
Sunday's 29 new COVID-19 deaths is the highest total reported for the day of the week.

By Kavitha Surana
Published Yesterday | Updated Yesterday

Florida added more than 8,500 coronavirus cases on Sunday as the state struggles to contain the virus’s rapid spread after last month’s partial reopening.

Globally, confirmed cases of the virus surpassed 10 million and deaths due to the virus passed the 500,000 mark.

In Florida, the death toll climbed by 29 on Sunday, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

Death reporting in Florida often follows weekly patterns, dropping off on Sundays and Mondays. Sunday’s 29 new COVID-19 deaths is the highest total reported for any Sunday or Monday since the pandemic began.

Over the past week, the state has averaged almost 38 new deaths per day.

An additional 108 people statewide were hospitalized, according to the Sunday report. Hospitals are filled at nearly 75 percent capacity across the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday the scope of the coronavirus outbreak in Florida is not as bad as the case numbers might have you believe.

During a Pensacola news conference, Florida’s top elected official again cited numbers that showed Floridians aged 18-44 are primarily responsible for the state’s recent spike in cases.

That group is going out more and socializing at a greater rate, DeSantis said. That’s why, he said, the state is seeing more cases.

DeSantis noted that younger people are less at risk for the worst health outcomes from the virus. One doctor he appeared with, Jason Foland, the medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart in Pensacola, said that younger people could be suffering from a less severe strain of the virus — although he stressed that theory needs further study.

“If you get sick very quickly with an aggressive strain, you’re not out in the community and you’re not spreading it,” Foland said. “If you have symptoms much like the common cold, you’re spreading it all over the place.”

But Foland and DeSantis also pointed out that young people are not immune from the worst outcomes. Even asymptomatic carriers are not exempt from passing the infection along to a more vulnerable population.

As Floridians wrestle with mixed messages, these are the latest numbers on coronavirus cases across the state and Tampa Bay.


What’s happening across the state?

Florida on Sunday recorded 29 new deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Its total death count rose to 3,518 since the pandemic reached Florida four months ago.

The state’s tally of confirmed infections has risen to 141,075, up by 8,530.

More than half of the state’s total deaths are tied to long-term care facilities. In the Tampa Bay area, about 66 percent of deaths are tied to long-term care outbreaks.

On Saturday, the state hit a record high of 9,585 cases new cases, one that beat the earlier record by more than 3,000 cases.

In recent days, the soaring number of COVID-19 cases has raised questions about the state’s rush to re-open businesses and return, as much as possible, to a pre-pandemic level of normalcy.

Florida moved to Phase 2 of its reopening on June 5, which meant the reopening of bars, movie theaters and other indoor venues at 50 percent capacity. Around that time, thousands of Floridians also began regularly taking to the streets to protest racism and police brutality. Cases began to precipitously increase across the state around mid-June.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the rise in cases to younger adults socializing and maintained that stricter measures, like mandating masks statewide, are not necessary. But signs of a withdrawal from a full-fledged reopening are creeping in.

On Friday, officials announced that bars would no longer be able to serve alcohol and must remain at 50 percent capacity instead of increasing to 75 percent as scheduled. Both Miami-Dade and Broward County announced that beaches would close over the Fourth of July weekend. Some cities, like Tampa and St. Petersburg, have imposed mask requirements

Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida, said it’s clear the virus is spreading faster in the community and people need to take action, such as social distancing and wearing masks.

“Without doing anything differently, we’re going to see tens of thousands of new cases every day in short order,” Levine said.

The rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida also has the White House concerned. Vice President Mike Pence has canceled “Faith in America” campaign events across Florida “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a report from USA Today.


What’s the latest in Tampa Bay?

The death toll in the broader Tampa Bay area grew to 553 Sunday with the addition of seven reported deaths.

The counties that make up the greater Tampa Bay region — Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk — together account for 24,573 of the state’s cases.

1,700 new coronavirus cases were reported in the Tampa Bay region Sunday— or nearly 20 percent of the new cases reported.

Beds in the area’s hospitals are currently filled to 75 percent capacity, according to data from the Agency for Health Care Administration. Intensive care unit capacity is at about 80 percent.

About 66 percent of the area’s deaths, or 366 of them, can be tied to long-term care facilities.

Pinellas County, where several large outbreaks have occurred in nursing homes, continues to lead the region in reported deaths with 115.

The deaths reported Sunday were: Three women aged 97, 92, 81 and two men aged 82 and 73 in Pinellas; a 100-year-old man in Polk; and a 75-year-old man in Manatee.

Hillsborough County continues to have the most confirmed infections.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough had 9,918 cases and 135 deaths; Pinellas had 6,020 cases and 156 deaths; Polk had 3,495 cases and 94 deaths; Manatee had 2,737 cases and 132 deaths; Pasco had 1,780 cases and 18 deaths; Hernando had 346 cases and six deaths; and Citrus had 277 cases and 12 deaths.

What are the tests showing?

Demand for testing has risen sharply in recent weeks.

In Tampa Bay, long lines at drive-thru sites have meant wait-times drag for hours without an appointment.

The state reports ramped up testing this week, jumping from an average of about 37,000 tests a day earlier in the week, to an average of 73,000 tests a day in the past three days.

As of Sunday, Florida had tested more than 1.8 million people for the virus. The median age of those who have tested positive in the past week is about 34, according to state health officials.

In the past week, an average of about 14 percent of tests per day in the state came back positive, according to Johns Hopkins University. Florida is one of 23 states exceeding the World Health Organization’s recommended guideline of a 5 percent positivity rate.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
"... they’ve also tired of Trump’s behavior.

“In 2016, maybe they weren’t yet sick of his style. They are pretty sick of it now.."

I heard this while traveling last summer. Never gave it a thought then, but now that I think about it, the complainers were all women.

He can't win without the women voters. I don't know who he takes council from, maybe no one, but I wish someone like Steve Bannon was working on his campaign and could talk sense to him. He has to do something different than what he's doing to get these voters back. Not all of his supporters agree with his COVID approach. Some, like me, will vote for him despite it and I hope there's a lot like me out there, who may be unhappy with one issue but don't want to see him lose the WH over it. Others, and we had a poster a few pages back, who was a supporter, won't this time around because of it. And it seems like the more threatened he feels about it, the more he digs his heels in. His instincts on everything else so far have been really good, let's hope he sees for himself that he needs to change his step a little so that he doesn't lose his base, but also doesn't lose the 'on the fence' voters he also needs to pull him over the finish line. Of course, if the leftists continue with their destroying the country act, they may do the job for him. That's a great incentive for a fence sitter to come down off the fence and vote him back in.