Live Coronavirus Updates: Trump Aides Target Fauci


A new week begins with a grim outlook: More than 100,000 new cases were identified over the weekend.

More than 100,000 new coronavirus cases were identified. Seven states set daily case records. Florida added more infections in a day than any state had previously.

And that was just over the weekend.

The U.S. outbreak — once centered in the densely packed northeastern hubs of New York and New Jersey — is now growing across 39 states, from the worsening hot spots in the South and West to those emerging in the Midwest. Restrictions on business operations, mass gatherings and mask-wearing have become debate fodder in an increasingly polarized election year.

As a new week begins, the country’s outlook is exceptionally grim. Case numbers are rising in all but a handful of states. Hospitals are running out of beds. And some of the country’s biggest urban centers — Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Fla. — have seen out-of-control growth with few concrete signs of progress.

“Put politics aside and wear a mask,” Mayor Lenny Curry of Jacksonville, a Republican, said on Twitter.

As new cases continue to mount in the Southeast and West, troublesome signs are emerging elsewhere in the country. The county that includes Oklahoma City has been averaging twice as many cases as it was just two weeks ago. Case numbers have started increasing again around Minneapolis after weeks of progress. And Wisconsin and Ohio are averaging more new infections than at any previous point in the pandemic.

In Miami-Dade County, Fla., six hospitals have reached capacity as virus cases spike. The increase in cases caused the mayor there to roll back reopening plans by imposing a curfew and closing restaurants for indoor dining.

Hong Kong, a city that weeks ago seemed like one of the most successful places in controlling the virus, announced Monday evening that it would close gyms and cinemas and ban public gatherings of more than four people in response to a new wave of locally transmitted infections.

Carrie Lam, the territory’s chief executive, announced a series of measures to take effect on Wednesday. Also included were a prohibition on all dining inside restaurants every evening from 6 p.m., and a requirement that everyone taking public transport wear a mask.

Health officials said that the territory’s new spate of cases, including another 52 announced on Monday, was mainly connected to taxi drivers, restaurants and nursing homes.

The prohibition on public gatherings of four or more people could make it even harder for the pro-democracy opposition to organize any protests against a stringent national security law imposed on June 30 by Beijing. The ban could also interfere with an election campaign now underway to choose a new legislature on Sept. 6.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, has a robust contact-tracing system that helped the authorities contain an initial outbreak last winter. The city won praise from international health experts in the pandemic’s early days. In response to a second wave of infections imported in March from Europe and the United States, Hong Kong closed its borders to non-residents and mandated quarantine for returning residents.

Under the new regulations issued on Monday, travelers to Hong Kong will be required to provide proof that they tested negative for the coronavirus before boarding flights to the city.

The 52 new cases on Monday continued a week-long spike, labeled a third wave by health officials, after months in which few or no new daily infections were detected. The authorities said they were unable to trace the infection pattern in 20 of the new cases disclosed on Monday. That raises the prospect that the virus is circulating silently in the community, after months in which local transmission appeared to have been at a standstill.

Gabriel Leung, the dean of Hong Kong University’s faculty of medicine, said in a radio program on Sunday that the virus was now spreading at a faster pace within the region because of a mutation in its DNA. The reproductive number of the virus is currently close to four, he said, suggesting that each person who is infected on average passes the virus on to four others.

Reducing health risks by shifting life outdoors.

In other developments around the world:

After Trump first wore a mask in public, administration officials urge the public to do so, too.

In February, Hamala Diop, a 25-year-old medical assistant, said the directors of the nursing home where he worked in Milan kept him from wearing a mask, fearing it would scare patients and their families. In March, he became infected with coronavirus and spoke out about the virus spreading through the home. In May, he was fired amid claims that he had “damaged the company’s image.”

Mr. Diop challenged the decision in a lawsuit that will be heard in court on Monday. The proceedings raise the issue of whether whistle-blowers have paid a price in voicing concerns about dangerous conditions at medical facilities.

After successfully lowering the curve of new cases after a devastating initial outbreak, Italy is now bracing for a potential second wave.

The country, with the oldest population in Europe, was affected especially deeply by the virus, and nearly half the infections reported in April happened in nursing homes, according to the Italian National Institute of Health. The breadth of the outbreak put the management of nursing homes under judicial and media scrutiny.

In a statement, the lawyers for the nursing home, the Palazzolo Institute of the Don Gnocchi Foundation, said the home had followed the instructions of the Italian National Institute of Health on the use of masks, and that communications about the infections among workers took place according to privacy laws.

“Nobody protected us from catching the virus,” Mr. Diop said, “and nobody protected us from getting fired.”

To ward off germs, Disney now leaves rows of seats empty on rides, which employees constantly disinfect. Face masks are mandatory, and, for some visitors, the coverings quickly grew wet with sweat.

“It would be a lot more fun without having to wear one,” Ivan Chanchavac, 14, said as he hopped off the Jungle Cruise.

“Picture the image of hundreds of faxes coming through, and the machine just shooting out paper,” said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of the department. The county has so far recorded more than 40,000 coronavirus cases.

Some doctors fax coronavirus tests to Dr. Shah’s personal number, too. Those papers are put in an envelope marked “confidential” and walked to the epidemiology department.

“From an operational standpoint, it makes things incredibly difficult,” Dr. Shah said. “The data is moving slower than the disease.”

The torrent of paper data led at least one health department to request additional forces. Washington State recently brought in 25 members of the National Guard to assist with manual data entry for results not reported electronically.


Reporting was contributed by Brooks Barnes, Pam Belluck, Emma Bubola, Keith Bradsher, Chris Buckley, Sheri Fink, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Hailey Fuchs, Maggie Haberman, Hikari Hida, Makiko Inoue, Sarah Kliff, Tiffany May, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, Kate Phillips, Motoko Rich, Rick Rojas, Dana Rubinstein, Margot Sanger-Katz, Mitch Smith and Eileen Sullivan.



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