Steve June 30, 2020
fauci-warns-congress-that-new-us-coronavirus-cases-could-rise-to-100,000-a-day
1 min ago

US records more than 44,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

At least 44,766 new coronavirus cases and 1,277 deaths were reported in the United States on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Some 2,635,538 Covid-19 infections, including at least 127,425 related fatalities, have now been recorded nationwide, per JHU’s tally of cases.  

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US

28 min ago

The best DIY face mask material and fit? Quilting cotton beats bandana, new study suggests

From CNN’s Katie Hunt

Wearing face masks and coverings is recommended, or in some places mandatory, in public spaces to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

But what kind of DIY face covering offers the best protection?

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have experimented with different materials and styles of non-medical masks and found that a well-fitted stitched mask made from two layers of quilting fabric was the most effective in stopping the spread of droplets from emulated coughs and sneezes.

They also compared a loosely folded homemade face mask, such as one you could make with a handkerchief or T-shirt, a bandana-style face covering and a cone-style non-sterile commercial mask that is usually available at pharmacies.

The researchers said they chose to test these styles of face covering because they are readily available to the general public and do not draw away from the supply of medical-grade masks and respirators for health care workers.

“While there are a few prior studies on the effectiveness of medical-grade equipment, we don’t have a lot of information about the cloth-based coverings that are most accessible to us at present,” said Siddhartha Verma, an assistant professor at the department of ocean and mechanical engineering at Florida Atlantic University and author of the study.

Read the full story:

The best DIY face mask material and fit? Quilting cotton beats bandana, new study suggests

1 hr 3 min ago

Children may be able to spread coronavirus similarly to infected adults, study finds 

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

It’s still unclear to what extent children may spread the coronavirus, but a new study suggests it is possible they can transmit it as easily as infected adults, Swiss researchers reported Tuesday.

Fewer children than adults contract Covid-19, fewer develop severe forms of the illness and they don’t seem to be “major drivers of transmission,” but children of all ages have been infected, researchers said.

“Despite the high proportion of mild or asymptomatic infections, they should be considered as transmitters unless proven otherwise,” researchers from the Geneva University Hospitals and the University of Geneva concluded.

In the survey, 23 children ranging in age from 7 days old to 16 tested positive for Covid-19 and all but two carried the same amount of virus as adults. 

“Our data show that viral load at diagnosis is comparable to that of adults and that symptomatic children of all ages shed infectious virus in early acute illness, a prerequisite for further transmission,” the authors wrote.

However, children do not seem to spread the virus in the same way adults do.

“Considering the relatively low frequency of infected children, even in severely affected areas, biological or other unknown factors could lead to the lower transmission in this population,” the authors surmised.

They said more research is need to fully understand the role of children in spreading the virus. 

The study had some limitations, including its small size and the use of virus samples left over from routine diagnostic tests.

The research was published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

1 hr 32 min ago

Trump refuses to lead as pandemic worsens and allies desert him on masks

Analysis from CNN’s Stephen Collinson

Most Presidents would try to stop the United States from barreling toward disaster. But Donald Trump has nothing to say and no answers to mitigate a calamity unfolding on his watch that he seems resolved to ignore.

On the day when the government’s top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would not be surprised to see the US record 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day, Trump refused to break his deafening silence.

And the day after his White House described record-breaking new infections that are sweeping the nation as “embers that need to be put out,” Trump’s campaign claimed credit for the “phenomenal” success of his botched pandemic leadership.

Trump is now pretty much the sole figure in authority in either party — including his major Republican allies — who refuse to wear or endorse face masks that are proven to slow the spread of coronavirus but that he has stigmatized as a liberal plot to harm him politically.

“We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday.

But Trump on Tuesday tweeted cryptically “THE LONE WARRIOR!” — apparently embracing his isolation from even political allies and the scientific approaches that have proven elsewhere to at least slow the spread of the coronavirus in the short term.

Read the full analysis:

Trump refuses to lead as pandemic worsens and allies desert him on masks

2 hr 1 min ago

It’s just past 8 a.m. in Brussels and 3 p.m. in Tokyo. Here’s the latest on the pandemic

In many places, as countries reopen, Covid-19 cases are on the rise. Here are the latest developments from around the world:

  • “Significant increases” in US cases: Top US infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is “very concerned” with the increase in cases in some parts of the country and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the US begins to see new cases coming in at 100,000 a day, given current trends.
  • Reopening plans halted: At least 16 US states have halted their reopening plans in response to a surge in new infections, but some health officials say the spread of coronavirus will be difficult to control. Experts have long warned that some states reopened far too soon and too quickly, cautioning the move could lead to more spikes in cases.
  • Tokyo Disneyland parks re-open: All of Disney’s Asia parks have now officially reopened, with Tokyo Disney Resort welcoming visitors to its two theme parks from July 1. Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have been closed since late February due to the pandemic.
  • Brazil’s President doesn’t have to wear a mask: A Brazilian court has ruled that President Jair Bolsonaro can go mask-less in public without facing a potential fine. Brazil is the world’s second worst affected country by the virus, with more than 1.4 million confirmed cases.
  • UN Security Council to adopt first Covid-19 ruling: After months of feuding between the US and China, the UN Security Council is on the verge of endorsing its first Covid-19 ruling, calling on countries to stop conflicts until after the pandemic has been contained. China had previously objected to the US wanting to lay the blame for the pandemic at its door, while the US had wanted to leave out all mention of the World Health Organization.
  • US travelers remain barred from EU: The European Union has agreed to allow travelers from 14 countries outside the bloc to visit EU countries, months after it shut its external borders in response to the pandemic. The list does not include the US, which doesn’t meet the criteria set by the EU for it to be considered a “safe country.”
2 hr 34 min ago

What EU’s new border rules mean for travelers

From CNN’s Luke McGee and James Frater

The European Union has formally agreed a set of recommendations that will allow travelers from outside the bloc to visit EU countries, months after it shut its external borders in response to the outbreak of Covid-19.

As had been widely expected, the list of 14 countries does not include the United States, whose current Covid infection rate does not meet the criteria set by the EU for it to be considered a “safe country.”

The criteria requires that confirmed Covid cases in countries on the list are similar or below that of the EU’s per 100,000 citizens over the previous 14 days (starting from June 15).

Countries must also have a “stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days,” while the EU will consider what measures countries are taking, such as contact tracing, and how reliable each nation’s data is.

The recommendations are expected to come into force as early as July 1, however, it remains up to member states to decide exactly how the implement any changes in border policy.

Read more for the answers to some key questions about the new rules:

The EU opens its borders, but not to Americans

2 min ago

Tokyo Disney parks reopen after 4-month closure due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Lilit Marcus and Yoko Wakatsuki

People arrive at Tokyo Disneyland on the reopening day on July 1, in Tokyo, Japan. 
People arrive at Tokyo Disneyland on the reopening day on July 1, in Tokyo, Japan.  Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

All of Disney’s Asia parks have now officially reopened, with Tokyo Disney Resort welcoming visitors to its two theme parks from July 1.

Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have been closed since late February due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shanghai Disneyland was the world’s first Disney park to reopen, welcoming guests from May 11 with protocols about social distancing and mandatory mask wearing, and Hong Kong Disneyland followed suit a month later.

Oriental Land, the company that operates the Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea parks in Japan, has announced its own guidelines for ensuring guest and staff safety going forward. These include advance ticket booking, mandatory temperature checks and social distancing while enjoying the attractions.

Read the full story:

Tokyo Disney parks reopen after 4-month closure due to coronavirus

3 hr 33 min ago

China releasing info on new swine flu is evidence it learned a lesson from Covid-19 backlash, expert says

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

A worker feeds the piglets in a hog pen in southwest China's Sichuan province on February 21.
A worker feeds the piglets in a hog pen in southwest China’s Sichuan province on February 21. Feature China/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

The release of a study on a new strain of the swine flu in China is evidence the communist nation learned a lesson from initially withholding information on the coronavirus, according to Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

“There are infectious diseases emerging and reemerging all the time and the fact that we’re hearing about this now in advance of any sort of significant human disease is evidence that things have changed in China,” Lipkin told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“There’s a recognition that they need to share the information,” he said. “Earlier there was a suggestion that people might be withholding data. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have heard about this virus.”

Chinese researchers discovered the G4 virus during a years-long pig surveillance program and published their findings in a scientific journal this week. Lipkin said it’s unclear whether this new virus is a threat.

 “We don’t know that it’s going to become a pandemic. We do know that it has infected some human beings. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to extend and cause large amounts of disease.”

Read more about the new swine flu here.

3 hr 40 min ago

Judge overturns order that mandated Brazil’s Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the ceremony to extend emergency aid to informal workers, at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 30, 2020.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the ceremony to extend emergency aid to informal workers, at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 30, 2020. Dida Sampaio/Agencia Estado/AP Images

A Brazilian federal judge overturned an order Tuesday that mandated President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public or face a fine.

Bolsonaro appealed to the federal court to avoid being obliged to wear face masks in public on Friday.

The court order given on June 26 by judge Renato Borelli — of the 9th Federal Civil Court of the Federal District — attested a decree issued on April 30 by the Federal District government.

The decree established that the use of face masks became mandatory as a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Bolsonaro would have faced fines of 2,000 reals a day ($366) if he breached the order.

Judge Daniele Maranhão Costa, of the Federal Regional Court, said a legal judgement, or injunction, was not appropriate in this case against Bolsonaro. The judge said the judiciary is not the appropriate place to resolve that sort of matter.

“I recognize the absence of a need to file a lawsuit of origin for the purpose of compelling citizens to wear masks, regardless of the position they occupy in the state administration,” Costa said.

Bolsonaro took to the streets near the Federal District without protective equipment several times before the mask order was overturned. 

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