- Texas reports record jump, deaths tick higher
- Pence, Surgeon General urge mask wearing
- WH spox says Trump has "no problem" with masks
- San Quentin outbreak tops 1000 infected
- California cases tick higher
- FDA releases standards for COVID-19 vaccine
- Fauci says US could see 100k new cases per day
- NY Gov adds 8 states to 'must-quarantine' list
- Stocks climb on Fla, NY case numbers
- Texas moves to temporarily ban more types of elective procedures; hospitalizations fall
- Bar owners sue Texas for reimposing lockdown
- Dr. Fauci testifies to Senate HEL&P Committee
- EU bars US travelers, as expected
- Goldman says mask mandates can cut spread by 25%
- Victoria imposes 1-month lockdown as cases climb
- US sees total new cases below 40k for yesterday
- LA County closes beaches for July 4th weekend
- Indian PM makes speech as country approves plan to help supply food to 800 million
- South Korea, Tokyo see rise in new cases
- Morgan Stanley says total case number projection is now 3.8 million
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Update (1700ET): Texas just reported a new record daily jump in new cases, validating expectations that a backlog over the weekend would send Tuesday's number even higher.
- TEXAS POSTS RECORD 6,975 NEW VIRUS CASES; FATALITIES RISE 0.90%
Texas is one of the four states generating more than a quarter of the US's total cases, the other three being Florida, California and Arizona. Meanwhile, VP Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams have urged all Americans to wear masks.
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Update (1400ET): White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany insisted during a hastily arranged press briefing on Tuesday that President Trump has "no problem with" wearing masks, reiterating a comment made by the president himself (he has said he has "no problem" with masks, but avoids wearing them because he says it doesn't look "presidential").
It appears the briefing was called mostly to walk back some of Trump's comments encouraging the anti-mask crowd, and double-down on claims Trump was never briefed about reports Russia bribed Taliban terrorists to kill American troops in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the latest numbers show that US cases are up 1.9% on Tuesday, which is higher than the 1.6% 7-day average.
- U.S. VIRUS CASES RISE BY 1.9%, ABOVE PAST WEEK'S 1.6% AVERAGE
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Update (1530ET): An outbreak in California's oldest, most infamous prison has spun out of control, Gov. Newsom acknowledged on Tuesday. San Quentin prison has more than 1,000 of its ~3,500 residents infected.
California's oldest correctional facility is battling a widespread coronavirus outbreak that has affected nearly a third of its inmates.
San Quentin State Prison reported more than 1,000 positive coronavirus cases as of Monday morning, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news briefing. The prison housed 3,507 inmates as of Wednesday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
"That is our deep area of focus and concern right now," Newsom said. He said 42% of San Quentin's inmate population is considered "medically vulnerable."
San Quentin's outbreak is more than double the size of the one at the California Institution for Men in Chino. According to data released by the CDCR, there are 509 confirmed coronavirus cases at the institution. By Monday night, there were 1,059 confirmed cases at San Quentin, according to the same data.
In other news, Florida has decided to start reporting total hospitalization figures again following criticism from a whistleblower who accused the state's Department of Health of trying to deliberately misrepresent the severity of the outbreak.
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Update (1515ET): Apparently, there's going to be a WH press briefing in 15 mins.
Watch live here:
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Update (1450ET): Dr. Fauci's testimony ended hours ago, and the performance from Mnuchin & Powell was mostly a snoozefest (Mnuchin's decision to briefly remove his mask seemed to generate an outsize share of commentary), but here's an interesting snippet from the AP's story on Dr. Fauci's performance that we neglected to mention in our brief summary of the highlights.
Lawmakers also pressed for what Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the committee’s top Democrat, called a national vaccine plan — to be sure the race for the COVID-19 vaccine ends with shots that really are safe, truly protect and are available to all Americans who want, one.
“We can’t take for granted this process will be free of political influence,” Murray said. She cited how President Donald Trump promoted a malaria drug as a COVID-19 treatment that ultimately was found to be risky and ineffective.
The Food and Drug Administration released guidelines Tuesday saying any vaccine that wins approval will have to be at 50% more effective than a dummy shot in the final, required testing. That’s less effective than many of today’s vaccines but independent experts say that would be a good start against the virus.
Dr. Fauci warned that the US is heading in the wrong direction, and warned that we could see 100k new cases a day, double the current rate, if states aren't more proactive.
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Update (1344ET): With the US on track to report fewer cases on Tuesday than it did on Monday (remember all these numbers come with a 24-hour delay), California just reported more new cases on Tuesday, with the number eclipsing both the prior day and the 7-day average increase.
- CALIFORNIA COVID-19 CASES RISE 2.9% VS 2.8% 7-DAY AVERAGE
According to CDC data, 35,664 new cases were reported Tuesday vs 41,075 a day ago.
Circling back to Cali, the 6,367 new confirmed cases is the state's second-biggest daily jump yet, bringing its total to 222,917. Deaths, meanwhile, climbed by 0.7%, or 44, to 5,980, while hospitalizations jumped 6.3% to a record 5,077 patients. The number of intensive-care patients also hit a new record, climbing 4.3% to 1,528. The state’s rate of positive tests over the past 14 days inched higher, to 5.6% from 5.5% a day ago.
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Update (1330ET): Contradicting that "whisper number" on Texas hospitalizations earlier today (which we advised readers not to trust), Houston's biggest hospital operator reported 97% ICU capacity on Tuesday.
- HOUSTON-AREA ICU WARDS AT 97% OF CAPACITY: TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER
That 97% level is up from 95% a day earlier, per TMC. COVID patients occupied 460 ICU beds as of Monday night, a 3.4% increase from Sunday, while virus victims accounted for ~35% of all ICU cases.
Here's Gov Abbott's declaration from earlier intended to make more room for patients. He has also ordered a slowdown in the state's reopening, in addition to other measures like closing bars.
Meanwhile, here's a rundown of Arizona's hospitalization numbers from earlier.
By WaPo's count, there are 7 states seeing hospitalizations hit record highs: Texas is included.
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Update (1310ET): Perhaps the biggest news on Tuesday was Dr. Fauci's testimony that the US could soon be reporting "100,000 COVID-19 cases per day" if the trend of rising case numbers doesn't turn around soon. While deaths so far remain low, the doctor worries that mortality could surge in the fall if COVID-19 and the seasonal flu are circulating at the same time.
As more Republicans join Chris Christie in urging President Trump to rethink his strategy, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy encouraged President Trump to don a mask, while Alex Azar and even Goldman Sachs have urged people to wear masks in public.
As hospitalizations continue to accelerate, 7 states, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Montana, Georgia and California, are seeing seven-day averages at least 25% higher compared with last week, according to WaPo.
On Tuesday, the FDA unveiled its criteria for vaccine candidates to win regulatory approval: any potential vaccine must prevent the disease or decrease its severity in at least 50% of people who receive the vaccine, while requiring drug companies to continue monitoring the vaccine for any "performance issues" after release.
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Update (1130ET): NY Gov Andrew Cuomo just added 8 more states to the state's "must-quarantine" list. Travelers from these states must quarantine for 2 weeks upon arriving in New York.
Anybody caught violating the quarantine could face massive fines of between $2,000 and $10,000. Presumably, Connecticut and New Jersey, which joined NY in adopting the quarantine earlier this month, will also move to add these states to their lists for the 14-day quarantine order.
The 8 new states join South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Washington and Utah on the list. Meanwhile, critics have accused Cuomo & Co. of hypocrisy after the NY governor infamously threatened to sue Rhode Island for targeting New Yorkers hoping to escape to properties in Rhode Island and quarantine there instead of hellish NYC. Cuomo claims the situation is different because he's not targeting just one state, like Rhode Island was allegedly doing, according to Cuomo.
Meanwhile, in Texas, the state has expanded its temporary ban on elective procedures to free up more resources for coronavirus patients. In Texas and other states seeing a coronavirus resurgence, local leaders expressed frustration that inflexible state-level reopening and health guidelines have led to mixed messaging and contributed to the resurgence in cases.
More than 30 bar owners in the state are suing to try and block the governor from ordering all bars to close again due to the pandemic. We suspect the battle will be intense, as Gov Abbott has conceded that reopening bars was a "mistake".
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Update (1100ET): Stocks are moving higher on a spate of new data out of Florida and New York. In Fla., cases climbed day-over-day but remained below their peak levels from last week.
New York's numbers showed a string of 700+ daily numbers reported late last week might have been just a fluke, as positive test numbers have moved lower again.
And don't forget to wear a mask...
...and keep those nursing homes protected.
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Update (1020ET): Dr. Fauci kicks off his testimony to the Senate "HELP" (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee, Texas has just reported a 20% drop in hospitalizations with a warning on the dangers of the flu and COVID-19 supercharging the outbreak in the fall. However, as Texas, California, Arizona and others rollback some economic reopening measures, the 'whisper' number for Texas hospitalizations has just hit, and it looks like it's down 20%.
The number has fallen to 4,739 from 5,913 cases, a number that some have warned might be a misprint.
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Update (0945ET): As expected, the EU has barred travelers from the US as it extends its travel ban for most of the world aside from a select handful of countries, including China.
In addition to China, residents of the following countries are set to be allowed to travel to Europe as of July 1: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
In other news, comments made by a team of Goldman analysts are starting to get a lot of attention: Analysts at the bank projected that mandatory mask-wearing requirements could cut infection rates by 25%.
So now we have Goldman Sachs warning that mask wearing should be mandatory? Given the recent wave of corporate activism, it's not terribly surprising. But it's also certainly worth considering.
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Arizona Gov Doug Ducey last night announced plans for a month-long rollback of the state's economic reopening, closing bars, restaurants, movie theaters, water parks and other venues, while pushing back the first day of school in the state until Aug. 17. Hours later, on the other side of the world, the leaders of Australia's second-most-populous state, Victoria, ordered 36 suburbs surrounding Melbourne, the country's second biggest city, to try and stop a cluster that has emerged over the past couple of weeks.
Australia never had a huge COVID-19 problem (the biggest outbreak before this incident in Victoria was caused by the "Ruby Princess" and the decision to allow infected passengers to disembark without any real scrutiny. Yet, weeks after its neighbor, New Zealand, declared the outbreak over, the country is seeing its worst outbreak yet.
Beginning at midnight on Wednesday (local time), the first suburb-specific stay-at-home order will come into effect for 320,000 people, according to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who spoke at a news conference on Tuesday. For four weeks, residents in the suburbs will be seeing a return to lockdown conditions: They must stay home unless traveling for work, school, healthcare, exercise or food. Restaurants are back to takeout only just weeks after the reopening. Local leaders described the move as a devastating setback for the local economy.
Most of Australia has reported zero or low single-digit daily increases in COVID-19 infections for weeks, Victoria has experienced double-digit increases for each of the previous 14 days, bringing Australia's national daily totals back toward their highs. Victoria reported 64 new cases on Tuesday, down from the previous day's 75 new cases.
More lockdown news from overnight: Nevada Governor announced the state won't hesitate to reimpose restrictions if state-wide trends don't improve. Georgia Governor Kemp extended his state's public health emergency until Aug. 11, while LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a 'hard pause' on cinema reopenings for the largest theater market in the US.
As the number of new cases reported daily accelerates around the world, global cases have reached 10,278,458, according to JHU, while the worldwide death toll has hit 504,936. Elsewhere in Asia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled plans to extend a plan to provide free grain to more than 800 million Indians until the end of November as the battle against the virus has left India's economy in tatters. Though its daily number of new cases is off its highs, the numbers its seeing are still well above the peaks from just a couple of weeks ago. On Tuesday India reported 18,522 new cases, down from the 19,459 recorded the prior day, bringing the country's total to 566,840. The country reported 418 new deaths, bringing the total to 16,893 deaths.
Indian PM Narendra Modi said Tuesday that while the country's COVID-19 death rate is "under control," the country's outbreak has reached a "critical juncture."
"People are becoming careless," he said, adding, "we need to call out the violators."
Back in East Asia, South Korea confirmed 43 new cases, up from 42 a day ago, as total infections reach 12,800 with 282 deaths, while in Japan, Tokyo has found more than 50 new cases for the fifth day running, TV Asahi reported.
China reports 19 new coronavirus cases, up from 12 a day earlier. Of the new infections, seven were in Beijing, which has been battling a fresh outbreak. China also reported four new asymptomatic patients, who tested positive for COVID-19 but showed no symptoms.
Yesterday, US states recorded fewer than 40k new cases for the first time in a week.
And deaths remain at or close to their lowest levels from March.
In the US, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts determined, according to a research note published Tuesday, the US reproduction number has remained at 1.17 since last week, while the time for the number of total cases to double has declined slightly to 41 days (vs 46 days last week), "suggesting that spread is ongoing and accelerating. Our total predicted infections now stand at 3.8M."
Following a move to rollback California's economic reopening by closing bars and other venues, LA has joined a growing group of cities around the country that are planning to close their beaches for the July 4 weekend.
Following a handful of vaccine-trial updates out of China, British media reported that a global trial designed to test whether the anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent infection with COVID-19 will soon re-start after being approved by regulators.
Finally, the US isn't on a "safe list" of destinations for non-essential travel due to be released by EU members later on Tuesday as the bloc unveils guidelines for leisure and business travel beyond its borders. For the past few days, a steady stream of leaks has claimed that the EU would exclude travelers from the US for the remainder of the summer, at least.