Coronavirus updates: More than a dozen states set case records; NYC protest leader arrested
More than a dozen states have set records for the number of new COVID-19 cases in a week, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows.
Through late Sunday, 13 states – Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Wisconsin – had topped their own records for new cases in a seven-day period.
Meanwhile, in New York City, a protest leader decrying new restrictions issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo was arrested Sunday in connection with an attack on a journalist covering the demonstration last week.
Heshy Tischler, who is a City Council candidate and activist in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, is facing charges of inciting people to riot and unlawful imprisonment.
New York is working to stave off new COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in clusters in and around New York City in recent weeks, many in Orthodox communities. The new restriction include limits to religious gatherings, and some have accused Cuomo of unfairly targeting Orthodox Jews with his new order.
“I understand the desire to hold large religious ceremonies. I understand that. I understand how important it is to their culture and to their religion. I also understand that it, as a matter of fact, jeopardizes human life,” Cuomo told reporters Sunday. “We know what happens. People get the virus, people get sick, people go into the hospital, people die. That is the trajectory.”
Cuomo said Sunday that the clusters make up less than 3% of the state’s population but account for almost 18% of all new COVID-19 cases in the past week.
Some significant developments:
Confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court began Monday, and the coronavirus will play a role, altering how the hearings operate and threatening to derail Republicans’ tight deadline to confirm her before Election Day.
A World Health Organization official urged world leaders to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” for blunting a virus surge.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7.7 million cases and 214,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. There have been more than 37.5 million confirmed cases around the world and more than 1 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.
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UK’s Boris Johnson unveils 3-tiered lockdown plan
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his plan to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus with a three-level approach to lockdowns, extending more expansive shutdowns to the areas most affected by the virus.
Johnson said the plan would “simplify and standardize” British rules around virus restrictions, which had been localized. The new categories – medium, high or very high risk – allow for varying degrees of closures, limits or curfews in public gatherings, bars, restaurants, gyms, casinos and other high-risk settings.
The city of Liverpool met the requirements to be considered “very high risk,” meaning all pubs, gyms, leisure centers, betting shops and casinos are to close Wednesday.
Judge denies GOP effort to end Wisconsin mask mandate
A Wisconsin judge has blocked an effort by Republicans to end Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate at a time when coronavirus cases are surging.
St. Croix County judge R. Michael Waterman on Monday denied the effort, backed by Republican lawmakers, and ruled the governor has the power to issue multiple health emergency orders over the same pandemic.
For now, the ruling hands a win to Evers who has been challenged by Republicans over his ability to issue new health orders without legislative input.
Republican lawmakers say Evers has to use a process known as rulemaking to implement such health safety policies after a May state Supreme Court ruling in a lawsuit brought by GOP legislative leaders over Evers’ stay-at-home order.
The legislative leaders filed a brief in support of the lawsuit, which seeks to block Evers’ health emergency order and statewide mask mandate, instead of taking a vote to accomplish the same goal. GOP lawmakers have said they are pursuing the matter in court because taking a vote would imply the order is legal. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they will appeal the decision.
– Molly Beck and Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Study: 75,000 more Americans died from pandemic than reported in spring and summer
The coronavirus pandemic may have caused nearly 75,000 more deaths in the spring and summer than previously thought, a new study published Monday from researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University has found.
By looking at death certificates, the study in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA found more than 150,000 deaths were officially attributed to COVID-19 from March to July. However, researchers determined nearly 75,000 additional deaths were indirectly caused by the pandemic – bringing the total number of deaths for those four months to more than 225,000.
Johns Hopkins University data puts the total COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. so far at just below 215,000.
“There have been some conspiracy theories that the number of deaths from COVID-19 have been exaggerated,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “The opposite is the case. We’re actually experiencing more death than we thought we were.”
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Stimulus negotiations ‘at an impasse’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats, “we remain at an impasse” on stimulus negotiations until both sides were able to work out the total amount of funding to fight the pandemic and a COVID-19 testing plan, among other provisions.
Pelosi rejected the latest $1.8 trillion stimulus offer from the White House, calling the proposal “one step forward, two steps back” in their negotiations.
Trump said Sunday on Fox News “Republicans want to do it,” citing Pelosi as an obstacle. Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Republicans would “go along with it” if a deal were struck despite Senate Republicans’ previous reluctance to spend too much on a relief deal.
Kudlow also said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin “may” move the administration’s position up from their current offer of $1.8 trillion in funds, though fewer Senate Republicans are likely to accept a deal the higher the price tag goes.
– Nicholas Wu
China to test entire city of 9 million people after new cases
After nine cases of COVID-19 were detected in China’s Qingdao, all 9 million people in the city will get tested, state health officials said Monday.
Eight patients at Qingdao’s Municipal Chest Hospital and one family member have tested positive, sparking the new concern. The National Health Commission said the citywide testing would take place over five days.
Before the nine new cases, China hadn’t reported new virus cases in two months. However, the country has a practice of not reporting asymptomatic cases.
Fauci says Trump campaign ad takes him ‘out of context,’ insists he didn’t endorse anyone
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, released a statement Sunday disputing being used in a new advertisement from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign meant to tout the White House’s handling of the pandemic.
The 30-second spot seeks to highlight how Trump, who caught COVID-19 this month, and the U.S. economy are recovering from the contagion. “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” Fauci says in the ad.
But Fauci rebuked the use of the small snippet, which made it seem as if he was endorsing Trump’s effort. He said in his “nearly five decades of public service” he has never endorsed a candidate publicly.
“The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” Fauci said Sunday in a statement provided to CNN.
– Phillip M. Bailey
Contributing: Michael Stuck, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: States set case records; NYC protest leader arrested