Home News Coronavirus Live News: World Updates – The New York Times

Coronavirus Live News: World Updates – The New York Times

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Credit…Matt York/Associated Press

New daily cases have hit records in 12 states, and the White House acknowledges preparing for a fall wave.

Peter Navarro, the White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, said in an interview on Sunday that the White House was working to prepare for the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall, though he said it wouldn’t necessarily come.

“We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall,” Mr. Navarro told Jake Tapper on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “We’re doing everything we can.”

The comments come in contrast to President Trump’s repeated assertions that the virus will “go away” and his questioning of its ability to last into the fall and winter.

But if anything, the virus is gaining ground. Nationwide, cases have risen 15 percent over the last two weeks. Cases are rising in 18 states across the South, West and Midwest. Seven states hit single-day case records Saturday, and five others hit a record earlier in the week.

In Harris County, Texas, which includes most of Houston, more than 1,100 new infections were reported both Friday and Saturday, by far the two highest daily totals there. Public health experts in Texas, the nation’s fourth largest city, warned of a dire outlook.

The Trump administration’s latest reckoning with the magnitude of the health crisis came on the same day that the World Health Organization reported the largest one-day increase in infections across the globe. It said that there were 183,020 new cases, with Brazil and the United States accounting for the most new infections.

California reported 4,515 new cases on Sunday, setting a record for the highest daily increase in the number of infections since the pandemic began in March. Los Angeles County accounted for 47 percent of the total number of cases statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Also Sunday, Missouri reported 397 new cases and Oklahoma reported 478 new cases, which were both records.

Across the United States, the number of new infections has steadily risen during the past five days after plateauing for the previous 80 days.

At the same time, overall deaths have dropped dramatically. The 14-day average was down 42 percent as of Saturday.

Strikingly, the new infections have skewed younger, with more people in their 20s and 30s testing positive, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said. These clusters may be especially worrying to colleges and universities that plan to bring students back to campus in the fall, when the coronavirus and the flu virus are expected to be circulating simultaneously.

In Florida — which “has all the makings of the next large epicenter,” according to model projections by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — an advisory from the state’s Department of Health this weekend recommended that people avoid crowds larger than 50 people. It also encouraged social distancing and mask wearing at smaller gatherings.

Mr. Trump is set to deliver his national convention speech on Aug. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla., inside an arena that holds 15,000 people.

Health experts challenge Trump’s remarks about virus testing.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Health experts directly contradicted President Trump’s recent promise that the disease will “fade away” and his remarks at a rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday night that disparaged the value of virus tests.

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the spikes in confirmed cases were not simply a result of increased testing. Pointing to increased hospitalizations, he said, “That’s a real rise.”

On “Face the Nation” on CBS, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said, “We’re seeing the positivity rates go up. That’s a clear indication there is now community spread underway, and this isn’t just a function of testing more.”

Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director for the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned on Sunday that the country was likely to experience one long stretch of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“I don’t think this is going to slow down. I’m not sure the influenza analogy applies anymore,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referring to a report he and colleagues wrote in April using influenza pandemics as a model for understanding the virus. “I think that wherever there’s wood to burn, this fire is going to burn it.”

“I don’t think we’re going to see one, two and three waves — I think we’re just going to see one very very difficult forest fire of cases,” Dr. Osterholm said.

Peter Navarro, the White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, said that Mr. Trump’s comment at the campaign rally about wanting to slow down virus testing had been “tongue in cheek.”

At the rally, Mr. Trump said: “When you do testing to that extent, you will find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’”

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, tweeted on Sunday: “The president’s efforts to slow down testing to hide the true extent of the virus means more Americans will lose their lives.”

Mr. Trump’s call for fewer tests to be conducted also drew condemnation from prominent doctors, including Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

“He acknowledges what we’ve seen — active obstruction of testing in a pandemic which claimed 120K lives so far,” Dr. Gawande wrote Sunday on Twitter. “If I did this for 10 people at my hospital, it’d be a crime.”

At the rally, which drew roughly 6,200 attendees to a 19,000-seat indoor arena, according to the Tulsa Fire Department’s count of scanned tickets, Mr. Trump also boasted about his coronavirus response and blamed China for the pandemic’s economic damage in the United States, saying the country “sent us the plague.”

He referred to the virus disparagingly as “kung flu,” echoing past remarks of a White House official, despite criticism that the phrase, as well as “Chinese virus,” which Mr. Trump has also used, was racist. Public health experts have repeatedly noted that viruses have no ethnicity and expressed concern that associating them with an ethnic group encourages discrimination.

An earlier version of this item incompletely described the forecast of a researcher, Dr. Michael Osterholm, in a report discussing the pandemic’s possible course in the United States. Dr. Osterholm and his co-authors did not predict a first and second wave, with a decline in between. They outlined several possible scenarios, among them one characterized by successive waves.

global roundup

China temporarily halts some imports of Tyson Foods poultry.

Credit…Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

As Beijing struggles to stop an outbreak that appears to have started at a vast wholesale food market, China’s customs agency is taking aim at a U.S. company in a politically contentious industry: Tyson Foods.

China’s General Administration of Customs said on Sunday that effective immediately, it was temporarily suspending poultry imports from a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse that has had coronavirus cases among its workers. Shipments from the slaughterhouse that have already arrived in China will be seized, the customs agency said in a public notice.

Scientists have said that the coronavirus appears to spread mostly through the air, not contaminated meat. But China has already curbed almost all transmission of the virus within its own borders and is looking to stamp out even low-probability risks.

The Chinese agency’s notice did not identify the location of the slaughterhouse, providing instead a registration number: P5842. That plant is in Springdale, Ark.

Over the course of this spring, Tyson Foods has disclosed cases among its workers in several U.S. states. On Friday, the company said that 13 percent of the 3,748 employees at its facilities in northwestern Arkansas had tested positive for the virus. Almost all were asymptomatic.

Tyson is one of the only large U.S. meat producers that is voluntarily disclosing the number of workers who have tested positive for the virus in its plants. It released a statement saying that it was “looking into” China’s action and that it was operating in compliance with all government safety requirements.

Safety limits on food imports from the United States could make it even harder for China to meet its promise to buy more American goods as part of the first phase of a trade agreement signed with the Trump administration in January.

In other international news:

  • More than 3.6 million people tuned in this weekend to watch a live-streamed summer solstice sunset and sunrise at Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in southwestern England, after the site’s annual gathering was canceled because of the pandemic.

  • Police in The Hague said on Twitter that they had detained about 400 people who had protested against the Dutch government’s social-distancing measures. There has been significant unrest in the Netherlands over the closure of businesses and restrictions on public gatherings.

‘Horrendous, horrific and pathetic’: India’s hospitals, crammed with Covid patients, turn others away.

Credit…Manish Swarup/Associated Press

As India’s coronavirus crisis has accelerated — India is now reporting more infections a day than any other nation except the United States or Brazil — the country’s already strained and underfunded health care system has begun to buckle.

A database of recent deaths reveals that scores of people have died in the streets or in the back of ambulances, denied critical care.

Indian government rules explicitly call for emergency services to be rendered, but still people in desperate need of treatment keep getting turned away, especially in New Delhi. Infections are rising quickly, Delhi’s hospitals are overloaded and many health care workers are afraid of treating new patients in case they have the virus, which has killed more than 13,000 people in India.

“There is currently little or no chance of admission to hospitals for people with Covid-19, but also for people with other intensive care needs,” the German Embassy in New Delhi warned.

After watching television reports showing bodies in the lobby of a government hospital and crying patients being ignored, a panel of judges on India’s Supreme Court said, “The situation in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic.”

As complaints began to pile up, the government issued a directive re-emphasizing that hospitals should remain open for “all patients, Covid and non-Covid emergencies.”

But clearly not everyone has been listening. A 13-year-old boy in Agra died of a stomach ailment after being turned away from six hospitals, his family said. Another boy, in Punjab, with an obstructed airway, was rejected from seven hospitals and died in the arms of a family friend.

“This is inhuman,” one doctor said.

Can gay bars, an anchor of N.Y.C. nightlife, survive the pandemic?

Credit…Justin J Wee for The New York Times

Gay bars in New York City face the same challenges as other establishments shuttered in recent months — high rents, thin profit margins and now little to no income — but for L.G.B.T.Q. establishments the shutdown during the coronavirus has been more than a financial predicament.

It has struck at the heart of a community whose culture and history are passed down through generations of people not related by blood, and who depend on spaces like bars to find safety and meet their peers.

The financial pain is particularly acute during June, which as Pride Month is often the most lucrative time of year for L.G.B.T.Q. establishments. Millions of people attended Pride events in New York last year, including a parade that passes the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

The venue — described by its owners as a watering hole, community center and “gay church” — is now struggling, with its doors locked while the bills pile up.

“If Stonewall, the most iconic L.G.B.T.Q. bar in the world, is facing an uncertain future, then think about everybody else,” said Stacy Lentz, one of the bar’s owners.

Some establishments have tried selling to-go cocktails, undertaking digital fund-raising or holding online events. Most have laid off or furloughed employees.

Alibi Lounge, which opened in 2016 and describes itself as the only black-owned L.G.B.T.Q. bar in Harlem, has raised more than $105,000 on GoFundMe, but the return on its drink sales is far lower than usual.

“One night we made $10,” said Alexi Minko, the lounge’s owner. “If Alibi closes its doors,” he added, “I am afraid it will send the message to other black men and women that people of color who open an L.G.B.T. business in New York are doomed to fail.”

Tribal governments trying to claim federal relief funds are stuck in limbo.

Credit…Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A question of how to distribute $8 billion set aside for tribal governments in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is descending into legal infighting, holding up funds at a critical phase in the pandemic.

As new coronavirus hot spots emerge almost daily in the United States and unemployment continues to tick upward, some tribes have filed lawsuits saying that they have not received the amounts they are entitled to.

The lawsuits boil down to disputes over how tribal populations are calculated. One method counts a tribe’s enrolled members, not all of whom live on a given reservation. The other relies on government population figures for specific locations.

Some tribes that would stand to gain more funding if counts were revised have said they would be willing to wait for the litigation to move forward in order to receive a more equitable share. But for many others, the immediate damage from economic downturn has already left members in dire straits.

The lawsuits come weeks after many families and businesses have already received stimulus funding and individual paychecks.

Bullfighting, already in decline in Spain, is battered by the lockdown.

Credit…Marcelo Del Pozo/Getty Images

Extremeño, an imposing black bull who weighs more than half a ton, was set to fight to the death next month in Valencia, Spain. Instead, the coronavirus gave him an unexpected lease on life: The event was canceled.

Spain ended its state of emergency on Sunday, allowing European visitors to fly in for the first time in months and relaxing lockdown measures across the country. But most of the bullfighting season, which runs from March to October, had already been called off.

Bull breeders and matadors have locked horns with a left-wing Spanish government that they accuse of wanting to use the epidemic as an accelerator for bullfighting’s permanent removal, in line with the wishes of animal rights activists, who say it amounts to torture.

“I find it deplorable that the fiesta of the Spanish people has become so politicized,” said Aurora Algarra, who owns Extremeño. “We now find ourselves under tremendous attack from Spain’s government, but at least this crisis has united us in the face of adversity in a way that I had not seen before.”

Since the lockdown, some animal rights associations have asked the government to disburse funds to help those working in bullfighting find alternative jobs. Many workers are contractually tied to a specific matador, making it hard for them to get jobs elsewhere. Even so, most of the support staff earn money only when there is a fight.

Ana Belén Martín, a politician from Pacma, a party that defends animal rights, said that bullfighting had been declining for over a decade and that it was heading for a natural death. She argued that the coronavirus crisis should not become a reason to extend a lifeline to a cruel pastime.

Contact tracing in New York City is off to a rough start.

Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

New York City hired 3,000 disease detectives and case monitors for its contact-tracing program, but the effort has gotten off to a troubling start.

The tracers are expected to identify anyone who has come into contact with the hundreds of people in the city who are still testing positive for the coronavirus every day. But the first statistics from the program, which began June 1, indicate that tracers are often failing to find infected people or are unable to get information from them.

Of the 5,347 people whose contacts needed to be traced in the first two weeks of the program, only 35 percent provided information about close contacts, the city said in releasing the first statistics.

In lieu of a vaccine, contact tracing is one of the few tools that public health officials have to fight Covid-19, along with widespread testing and isolation of those exposed to the coronavirus. The stumbles in New York’s program raise fresh concerns about the difficulties in preventing a second surge of the outbreak in the city, which is to enter a new phase of its reopening on Monday.

China, South Korea and Germany and other countries have set up extensive tracking programs that have helped officials make major strides in reducing outbreaks. But in Britain, the program has struggled to show results with a low-paid, inexperienced work force.

In Massachusetts, which has one of the United States’ most established tracing programs, health officials said in May that only about 60 percent of infected patients were picking up the phone. In Louisiana, less than half were answering.

Downing St. seeks new powers against foreign takeovers of vaccine firms and other health-related businesses.

The British government will seek greater powers to intercede in foreign business takeovers to make sure that “they do not threaten” Britain’s ability to deal with a public health crisis like the pandemic, according to a government statement published on Sunday.

The law in question is the Enterprise Act 2002, which gave the government the oversight of mergers and takeovers on three public interest considerations: national security, media plurality and financial stability.

The proposed changes, to be presented to Parliament on Monday, would allow the government to intervene on a fourth: the country’s ability to combat a public health emergency.

“The economic disruption caused by the pandemic may mean that some businesses with critical capabilities are more susceptible to takeovers — either from outwardly hostile approaches, or financially distressed companies being sold to malicious parties,” it said, naming as examples “a vaccine research company or personal protective equipment manufacturer.”

India, Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries have also moved to protect businesses from unwanted takeovers since the start of the pandemic.

“These measures will strike the right balance between the U.K.’s national security and resilience while maintaining our world-leading position as an attractive place to invest — the U.K. is open for investment, but not for exploitation,” Alok Sharma, Britain’s business secretary, said in a statement on Sunday.

Nursing homes are forcing vulnerable residents into homeless shelters and rundown motels.

Credit…Andrew Cullen for The New York Times

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a resident of a Connecticut nursing home was told that he had less than a week to pack his things and move to a homeless shelter, his lawyer said. In April, Los Angeles police officers found an 88-year-old man with dementia crumpled on a city sidewalk. His nursing home had recently deposited him at an unregulated boardinghouse.

And in New York City, nursing homes tried to discharge at least 27 residents to homeless shelters from February through May, according to data from the city’s Department of Homeless Services.

More than any other institution in America, nursing homes have come to symbolize the deadly destruction of the coronavirus. Residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities represent more than 40 percent of the death toll in the United States.

At the same time, nursing homes across the country have been forcing out older and disabled residents — among the people most susceptible to the coronavirus — and often shunting them into unsafe facilities, according to 22 watchdogs in 16 states.

Critics suggest that such ousters create room for a class of customers who can generate more revenue: patients with Covid-19. Aside from sheltering older people, nursing homes gain much of their business by caring for patients of all ages and income levels who are recovering from surgery or acute illnesses like strokes.

Because of a change in federal reimbursement rates last fall, Covid-19 patients can bring in at least $600 more a day from Medicare than people with relatively mild health issues, according to nursing home executives and state officials.

Many of the evictions, known as involuntary discharges, appear to violate federal rules, and at least four states have restricted nursing homes from evicting patients during the pandemic. But 26 ombudsmen from 18 states provided figures to The Times: a total of more than 6,400 discharges, many to homeless shelters.

“We’re dealing with unsafe discharges, whether it be to a homeless shelter or to unlicensed facilities, on a daily basis,” said Molly Davies, the Los Angeles ombudsman. “And Covid-19 has made this all more urgent.”

Making difficult pandemic conversations easier.

When it’s time to invite people over or arrange a play date, would-be hosts face tough conversations with friends, neighbors and family on their standards for avoiding coronavirus infection. Here are some strategies to help.

Reporting was contributed by Anne Barnard, Keith Bradsher, Aurelien Breeden, Benedict Carey, Emily Cochrane, Melina Delkic, Ben Dooley, Amy Julia Harris, Iliana Magra, Raphael Minder, Aimee Ortiz, Sharon Otterman, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Mitch Smith, Liam Stack, Ana Swanson, Hisako Ueno, Neil Vigdor, Mark Walker and Karen Zraick.

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