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Covid-19 Live Updates: Pandemic Intensifies Food Insecurity, Leaving ‘Children Screaming in Hunger’ Covid-19 Live Updates: China Uses the Promise of a Vaccine as a Diplomatic Carrot
(about 1 hour later)
China is still most likely months away from mass producing a vaccine that is safe for public use. But the country is using the prospect of the drug’s discovery in a charm offensive aimed at repairing damaged ties and bringing friends closer in regions China deems vital to its interests.
Latin American and Caribbean nations will receive loans to buy the medicine, and Bangladesh will get over 100,000 free doses from a Chinese company.
In the Philippines, where China is competing with the United States for influence, President Rodrigo Duterte told lawmakers in July that he had “made a plea” to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, for help with vaccines. He also said he would not confront China over its claims to the South China Sea.
A day later, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said China was willing to give the Philippines priority access to a vaccine.
China’s vaccine pledges, on top of earlier shipments of masks and ventilators around the world, help it project itself as a responsible player and could also help it push back against accusations that the ruling Communist Party should be held accountable for its initial missteps when the coronavirus first emerged in China in December.
The Trump administration has roundly attacked Beijing over its handling of the virus, as well as over allegations that Chinese-directed hackers have tried to steal vaccine research to gain an edge. The Justice Department indicted two Chinese suspects accused of targeting pharmaceutical companies in July.
China is a leader in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine, and four out of the eight late phase clinical trials are for Chinese vaccines. The country began testing experimental vaccines on soldiers and employees of state-owned companies in July, and the testing has quietly expanded to include health care and aviation workers. Chinese vaccine makers have built factories that can produce hundreds of thousands of doses.
The United States has three vaccine candidates in late-stage trials, with Pfizer saying it could apply for emergency approval as early as October and Moderna saying it hopes to have a vaccine by the end of the year. AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish company that received U.S. government funding to develop its vaccine, paused its late-stage global trials this week because of a serious suspected adverse reaction in a participant.
But Chinese vaccine companies that have gone abroad to conduct clinical trials have also generated controversy amid fears that local residents are being treated like guinea pigs. And some political experts worry about the leverage that China could wield over countries that accept vaccines.
“Should we be suspicious, or should we be grateful?” asked Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat, an academic at Universitas Islam Indonesia, who researches China’s foreign policy in Indonesia.
“I think both.”
Long before the coronavirus swept into her village in the rugged southeast of Afghanistan, Halima Bibi knew the gnawing fear of hunger. It was an omnipresent force, an unrelenting source of anxiety as she struggled to nourish her four children.Long before the coronavirus swept into her village in the rugged southeast of Afghanistan, Halima Bibi knew the gnawing fear of hunger. It was an omnipresent force, an unrelenting source of anxiety as she struggled to nourish her four children.
Her husband earned about $5 a day, hauling produce by wheelbarrow from a local market to surrounding homes. Most days, he brought home a loaf of bread, potatoes and beans for an evening meal.Her husband earned about $5 a day, hauling produce by wheelbarrow from a local market to surrounding homes. Most days, he brought home a loaf of bread, potatoes and beans for an evening meal.
But when the virus arrived in March, taking the lives of her neighbors and shutting down the market, her husband’s earnings plunged to about $1 a day. Most evenings, he brought home only bread. Some nights, he returned with nothing.But when the virus arrived in March, taking the lives of her neighbors and shutting down the market, her husband’s earnings plunged to about $1 a day. Most evenings, he brought home only bread. Some nights, he returned with nothing.
“We hear our children screaming in hunger, but there is nothing that we can do,” said Ms. Bibi, speaking by telephone from a hospital in Kabul, where her 6-year-old daughter was being treated for severe malnutrition. “That is not just our situation, but the reality for most of the families where we live.”“We hear our children screaming in hunger, but there is nothing that we can do,” said Ms. Bibi, speaking by telephone from a hospital in Kabul, where her 6-year-old daughter was being treated for severe malnutrition. “That is not just our situation, but the reality for most of the families where we live.”
As the global economy absorbs the most punishing reversal of fortunes since the Great Depression, hunger is on the rise. Those confronting potentially life-threatening levels of so-called food insecurity in the developing world are expected to nearly double this year to 265 million, according to the United Nations World Food Program.As the global economy absorbs the most punishing reversal of fortunes since the Great Depression, hunger is on the rise. Those confronting potentially life-threatening levels of so-called food insecurity in the developing world are expected to nearly double this year to 265 million, according to the United Nations World Food Program.
The largest numbers of vulnerable communities are concentrated in South Asia and Africa, especially in countries that are already confronting trouble, from military conflict and extreme poverty to climate-related afflictions like drought, flooding and soil erosion.The largest numbers of vulnerable communities are concentrated in South Asia and Africa, especially in countries that are already confronting trouble, from military conflict and extreme poverty to climate-related afflictions like drought, flooding and soil erosion.
For now, the unfolding tragedy falls short of a famine, which is typically set off by a combination of war and environmental disaster. Food remains widely available in most of the world, though prices have climbed in many countries, as fear of the virus disrupts transportation links, and as currencies fall in value, increasing the costs of imported items.For now, the unfolding tragedy falls short of a famine, which is typically set off by a combination of war and environmental disaster. Food remains widely available in most of the world, though prices have climbed in many countries, as fear of the virus disrupts transportation links, and as currencies fall in value, increasing the costs of imported items.
Rather, with the world economy expected to contract nearly 5 percent this year, households are cutting back sharply on spending. Among those who went into the pandemic in extreme poverty, hundreds of millions of people are suffering an intensifying crisis over how to secure their basic dietary needs.Rather, with the world economy expected to contract nearly 5 percent this year, households are cutting back sharply on spending. Among those who went into the pandemic in extreme poverty, hundreds of millions of people are suffering an intensifying crisis over how to secure their basic dietary needs.
The United States should not expect a return to normal until “well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday.
In an interview with “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC, Dr. Fauci addressed when people would likely be able to do things again that they had done before the pandemic, such as going to an indoor movie theater “with impunity.” While a vaccine may be available by the end of the year, he said, “by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen till the mid or end of 2021.”
Dr. Fauci also took issue with comments made by Mr. Trump on Thursday that the country had “rounded the final turn” on the virus.
“I have to disagree,” Dr. Fauci said. “We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.” He raised concerns that Labor Day could make that number rise again, as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July had done before.
But in any case, he said “what we don’t want to see is going into the fall season when people will be spending more time indoors — and that’s not good for a respiratory borne virus — you don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.”
As of Thursday, there had been an average of 35,629 cases per day over the previous week, a decrease of 16 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to a Times database. Case numbers remain persistently high across much of the country, though reports of new cases have dropped considerably since late July, when the country averaged well over 60,000 per day.
But even as many of the country’s most populous states saw vast improvement — and as the Northeast kept case reports low — new infections were rising by late summer across parts of the Midwest and South.
Deaths, though still well below their peak levels in the spring, averaged around 700 per day in mid-September, more than were reported in early July.
It began as a trickle of coronavirus infections as college students arrived for the fall semester. Soon that trickle became a stream, with campuses reporting dozens, and sometimes hundreds of new cases each day.It began as a trickle of coronavirus infections as college students arrived for the fall semester. Soon that trickle became a stream, with campuses reporting dozens, and sometimes hundreds of new cases each day.
Now the stream feels like a flood. In just the past week, a New York Times survey has found, American colleges have recorded more than 36,000 additional infections, bringing the total of 88,000 cases since the pandemic began.Now the stream feels like a flood. In just the past week, a New York Times survey has found, American colleges have recorded more than 36,000 additional infections, bringing the total of 88,000 cases since the pandemic began.
Not all those cases are new, and the increase is partly the result of more schools beginning to report the results of more testing. But The Times survey of 1,600 colleges also shows how widely the contagion has spread, with schools of every type and size, and in every state reporting infections.Not all those cases are new, and the increase is partly the result of more schools beginning to report the results of more testing. But The Times survey of 1,600 colleges also shows how widely the contagion has spread, with schools of every type and size, and in every state reporting infections.
Only about 60 of the campus cases have resulted in death — mostly of college staff — and only a small number have resulted in hospitalizations. But public health experts say the rising number also underscores an emerging reality: Colleges and universities have, as a category, become hot spots for virus transmission, much as hospitals, nursing homes and meat packing plants were earlier. Only about 60 of the campus cases have resulted in death — mostly of college staff members — and only a small number have resulted in hospitalizations. But public health experts say the rising number also underscores an emerging reality: Colleges and universities have, as a category, become hot spots for virus transmission, much as hospitals, nursing homes and meat packing plants were earlier.
Hoping to salvage some sense of normalcy — along with lost revenue from housing fees and out-of-state tuition — many schools invested heavily in health measures to bring at least some students back to campus.Hoping to salvage some sense of normalcy — along with lost revenue from housing fees and out-of-state tuition — many schools invested heavily in health measures to bring at least some students back to campus.
But outbreaks have forced course correction after correction.But outbreaks have forced course correction after correction.
The State University of New York at Oneonta sent students home after the virus spun out of control in less than two weeks, with more than 500 cases. And the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign mounted one of the most comprehensive safety plans, requiring more than 40,000 students to be tested for the virus twice a week, and barring them from campus buildings without app verification that the latest test was negative. But, some students continued partying after they received a positive test result, and hundreds were infected.The State University of New York at Oneonta sent students home after the virus spun out of control in less than two weeks, with more than 500 cases. And the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign mounted one of the most comprehensive safety plans, requiring more than 40,000 students to be tested for the virus twice a week, and barring them from campus buildings without app verification that the latest test was negative. But, some students continued partying after they received a positive test result, and hundreds were infected.
A lockdown brought the number of new cases at the university down again. But its surge pushed its metro regions toward the top of the list of U.S. areas with most cases per capita, as did spikes at universities in Oxford, Miss., and Athens, Ga.A lockdown brought the number of new cases at the university down again. But its surge pushed its metro regions toward the top of the list of U.S. areas with most cases per capita, as did spikes at universities in Oxford, Miss., and Athens, Ga.
In other education news:In other education news:
In Des Moines, school began this week with local officials openly defying Iowa’s governor and a judge’s order by teaching remotely. The decision puts the district’s funding and administrators’ jobs at risk, and leaves students locked out of athletics and their parents uncertain whether online classes will even count.In Des Moines, school began this week with local officials openly defying Iowa’s governor and a judge’s order by teaching remotely. The decision puts the district’s funding and administrators’ jobs at risk, and leaves students locked out of athletics and their parents uncertain whether online classes will even count.
A new study of hospital patients challenges the notion that young people are impervious. The research letter from Harvard found that among 3,222 young adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 88 died — about 2.7 percent. One in five required intensive care, and one in 10 needed a ventilator to assist with breathing. The study “establishes that Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease in people of all ages,” wrote Dr. Mitchell Katz, a deputy editor at JAMA Internal Medicine.A new study of hospital patients challenges the notion that young people are impervious. The research letter from Harvard found that among 3,222 young adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 88 died — about 2.7 percent. One in five required intensive care, and one in 10 needed a ventilator to assist with breathing. The study “establishes that Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease in people of all ages,” wrote Dr. Mitchell Katz, a deputy editor at JAMA Internal Medicine.
Public schools are obligated to teach millions of students with disabilities. But as learning moves online, many services that parents fought for are at risk.Public schools are obligated to teach millions of students with disabilities. But as learning moves online, many services that parents fought for are at risk.
New research suggests children in multilingual households started using their parents’ native languages more during lockdown, especially among younger kids. New research suggests children in multilingual households started using their parents’ native languages more during lockdown.
Officials in Oregon’s state corrections system this week began moving hundreds of inmates out of the path of the wildfires creeping toward some of their prisons. But the introduction of large groups of prisoners into different facilities may be exposing them to another risk — contracting the virus.Officials in Oregon’s state corrections system this week began moving hundreds of inmates out of the path of the wildfires creeping toward some of their prisons. But the introduction of large groups of prisoners into different facilities may be exposing them to another risk — contracting the virus.
Juan Chavez, a lawyer with the Oregon Justice Resource Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, said that relocated inmates were sleeping on mattresses crammed close together, but it’s “picking your poison” between the virus and the fires. He added that he fears the relocated inmates could contribute to a superspreader event for the virus in the prisons.Juan Chavez, a lawyer with the Oregon Justice Resource Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, said that relocated inmates were sleeping on mattresses crammed close together, but it’s “picking your poison” between the virus and the fires. He added that he fears the relocated inmates could contribute to a superspreader event for the virus in the prisons.
But few other options exist for the Oregon Department of Corrections, which has evacuated four prisons so far.But few other options exist for the Oregon Department of Corrections, which has evacuated four prisons so far.
As the Beachie Creek and Lionshead wildfires raged in an area southeast of Portland, officials hastily relocated 1,450 inmates from three prisons in Marion County Oregon State Correctional Institution, Santiam Correctional Institution and Mill Creek Correctional Facility. Inmates were moved west, to emergency beds in the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem on Tuesday, according to the agency. Inmates will be “housed with others from their home institution whenever possible,” and officials are aware of the potential virus spread, said Jennifer Black, a spokeswoman for the prison system.
On Thursday officials sent 1,303 inmates from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, a prison north of Salem in Wilsonville, to the Deer Ridge Correctional Institute more than 100 miles to the southeast, said Jennifer Black, a spokeswoman for the prison system.
Those inmates were moved to avoid a third blaze, the Riverside wildfire, which is north of the Beachie Creek and Lionshead wildfires. Each of the three blazes is more than 100,000 acres in size.
Inmates will be “housed with others from their home institution whenever possible,” and officials are aware of the potential virus spread, Ms. Black said.
“We are taking all available steps to mitigate that impact,” Ms. Black said. “As we have said from the beginning, prisons were not constructed to allow for optimal social distancing.”“We are taking all available steps to mitigate that impact,” Ms. Black said. “As we have said from the beginning, prisons were not constructed to allow for optimal social distancing.”
The virus has already ravaged the state prison population. In June, the governor commuted the sentences of 57 inmates who were vulnerable to the virus. There have been 829 confirmed cases in prison system facilities, including staff members and inmates, according to the department’s records. Six people have died.The virus has already ravaged the state prison population. In June, the governor commuted the sentences of 57 inmates who were vulnerable to the virus. There have been 829 confirmed cases in prison system facilities, including staff members and inmates, according to the department’s records. Six people have died.
At the Oregon State Penitentiary, 36 staff members and 143 inmates have tested positive.At the Oregon State Penitentiary, 36 staff members and 143 inmates have tested positive.
U.S. ROUNDUPU.S. ROUNDUP
In an opinion column published in USA Today on Thursday, eight top regulators at the Food and Drug Administration promised to uphold the scientific integrity of their work and defend the agency’s independence. The column warned that “if the agency’s credibility is lost because of real or perceived interference, people will not rely on the agency’s safety warnings.”In an opinion column published in USA Today on Thursday, eight top regulators at the Food and Drug Administration promised to uphold the scientific integrity of their work and defend the agency’s independence. The column warned that “if the agency’s credibility is lost because of real or perceived interference, people will not rely on the agency’s safety warnings.”
The pledge by career scientists in the federal government came amid mounting concerns over the role the White House has played in emergency approvals for coronavirus therapies, including convalescent plasma and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which the agency later revoked.The pledge by career scientists in the federal government came amid mounting concerns over the role the White House has played in emergency approvals for coronavirus therapies, including convalescent plasma and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which the agency later revoked.
The specter of political arm-twisting has grown as several drugmakers entered large late-stage vaccine trials this summer. President Trump told reporters on Monday that “we’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date.”The specter of political arm-twisting has grown as several drugmakers entered large late-stage vaccine trials this summer. President Trump told reporters on Monday that “we’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date.”
That timeline, framed around Election Day, has been widely challenged by the administration’s top health officials, who have said that a vaccine approval by early November was improbable.That timeline, framed around Election Day, has been widely challenged by the administration’s top health officials, who have said that a vaccine approval by early November was improbable.
The statement in USA Today was written in large part because of fears over political influence on the F.D.A., including from the White House, according to senior administration officials familiar with the effort.The statement in USA Today was written in large part because of fears over political influence on the F.D.A., including from the White House, according to senior administration officials familiar with the effort.
Elsewhere in the U.S.:Elsewhere in the U.S.:
Prospects for any additional stimulus to address the pandemic’s devastating toll before the presidential election darkened considerably on Thursday, when a whittled-down Republican plan failed in the Senate on a partisan vote.Prospects for any additional stimulus to address the pandemic’s devastating toll before the presidential election darkened considerably on Thursday, when a whittled-down Republican plan failed in the Senate on a partisan vote.
More than 150 business leaders in New York City sent a letter warning Mayor Bill de Blasio that he needed to take more decisive action to address crime and other quality-of-life issues that they said were jeopardizing the city’s economic recovery. Chief executives of companies like Goldman Sachs, Vornado Realty Trust and JetBlue signed the letter. Mr. de Blasio responded in a conciliatory tone, urging business leaders to work with him and arguing that the city needed federal funding and new borrowing capacity.More than 150 business leaders in New York City sent a letter warning Mayor Bill de Blasio that he needed to take more decisive action to address crime and other quality-of-life issues that they said were jeopardizing the city’s economic recovery. Chief executives of companies like Goldman Sachs, Vornado Realty Trust and JetBlue signed the letter. Mr. de Blasio responded in a conciliatory tone, urging business leaders to work with him and arguing that the city needed federal funding and new borrowing capacity.
Helene Cooper, a Pentagon correspondent with The New York Times, was selected to participate in a vaccine trial for Moderna, a biotech company based in Massachusetts. Ms. Cooper, who covered the Ebola outbreak for The Times in 2014, shared her experience in a personal essay. The following are some experts.
The families, the politicians and the bagpipers gathered once more at ground zero on Friday, as the country paused to remember a national crisis even as it found itself in the midst of another.The families, the politicians and the bagpipers gathered once more at ground zero on Friday, as the country paused to remember a national crisis even as it found itself in the midst of another.
The somber rituals held at the Sept. 11 memorial in Lower Manhattan provided an especially poignant resonance in the face of a pandemic that has crippled the country and brought particularly devastating loss to New York City. The somber rituals held at the Sept. 11 memorial in Lower Manhattan were especially poignant in light of a pandemic that has crippled the country and brought particularly devastating loss to New York City.
And having already transformed so many rhythms of life, the outbreak also altered a collective moment to honor the dead. The outbreak also altered a moment to honor the dead. Though the names of the victims resounded across the plaza, and bells tolled across New York as they have in years past, there was no stage in front of those who came to mourn.
Though the names of the victims resounded across the plaza, and the bells tolled across New York as they have in years past, there was no stage in front of those who came to mourn. Some of America’s most notable politicians attended, including Vice President Mike Pence and Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee for president, but all of them wore masks in addition to their customary memorial ribbons and lapel pins. They exchanged elbow bumps, then distanced themselves six feet apart as they stood for the national anthem.
Some of America’s most notable politicians were in attendance, including Vice President Mike Pence and Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee for president, but all of them wore masks in addition to their customary memorial ribbons and lapel pins. They exchanged elbow bumps, then distanced themselves six feet apart as they stood for the national anthem. It has been 19 years since passenger jets hijacked by terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost, some 2,700 of them in New York, in the deadliest attack in the country’s history.
It has been 19 years since passenger jets hijacked by terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost, some 2,700 of them in New York, in the deadliest attack in the country’s history, a blow to America’s psyche. The United States’ death toll from the pandemic has far exceeded that of Sept. 11, 2001. In New York City alone, more than 23,000 people have died of the virus.
Now, the United States confronts a far deadlier calamity. During the pandemic, the United States has exceeded the death toll of Sept. 11, 2001, by orders of magnitude. In New York City alone, more than 23,000 people have died of the virus.
In both tragedies, the eyes of the nation turned to New York, looking to see how a city brought to its knees would stagger back to recovery.
“It’s two of the most traumatic things that have ever happened to New York City, and it’s probably changed it forever,” said Diane Massaroli, whose husband, Michael, was killed in the World Trade Center.
Having transformed so many aspects of daily life, the pandemic thus affected one of the city’s most sacred and solemn moments. The family members gathered at the Sept. 11 memorial’s eight-acre site in Lower Manhattan were asked to stay socially distant, and others were discouraged from gathering near the spot known as ground zero.
GLOBAL ROUNDUPGLOBAL ROUNDUP
France is facing a worrying surge in cases, the government said on Friday, warning that the new cases were rapidly increasing and that hospitals were seeing an uptick in admissions.France is facing a worrying surge in cases, the government said on Friday, warning that the new cases were rapidly increasing and that hospitals were seeing an uptick in admissions.
Many expected new restrictions, especially after the government’s scientific council had said earlier this week that authorities would have to take “difficult measures.”Many expected new restrictions, especially after the government’s scientific council had said earlier this week that authorities would have to take “difficult measures.”
But the authorities did not announce new rules, vowing instead to improve the country’s massive testing program — which has been plagued by delays in recent weeks — and urging the French to continue social distancing measures.But the authorities did not announce new rules, vowing instead to improve the country’s massive testing program — which has been plagued by delays in recent weeks — and urging the French to continue social distancing measures.
The country registered about 54,000 new cases over the past 7 days — less than Spain, but far more than other neighboring countries like Italy or Germany. Nearly 31,000 people in France have died of the virus.The country registered about 54,000 new cases over the past 7 days — less than Spain, but far more than other neighboring countries like Italy or Germany. Nearly 31,000 people in France have died of the virus.
On Thursday, there were nearly 10,000 new confirmed cases, a record since the beginning of the epidemic. The surge is due partly to widespread testing, but the positivity rate for those tests has also increased — it was at 5.4 percent this week, up from 1.5 in late July — meaning that the virus is picking up speed.On Thursday, there were nearly 10,000 new confirmed cases, a record since the beginning of the epidemic. The surge is due partly to widespread testing, but the positivity rate for those tests has also increased — it was at 5.4 percent this week, up from 1.5 in late July — meaning that the virus is picking up speed.
Jean Castex, the French prime minister, said in a televised address on Friday that authorities were particularly worried about a renewed increase in the number of hospitalizations, especially of elderly people.Jean Castex, the French prime minister, said in a televised address on Friday that authorities were particularly worried about a renewed increase in the number of hospitalizations, especially of elderly people.
“This shows there is no Maginot line,” said Mr. Castex, referring to national fortifications built in the 1930s. Even if the virus is still mostly spreading among younger people, he said, it “inevitably” ends up reaching more vulnerable segments of the population.“This shows there is no Maginot line,” said Mr. Castex, referring to national fortifications built in the 1930s. Even if the virus is still mostly spreading among younger people, he said, it “inevitably” ends up reaching more vulnerable segments of the population.
In other developments around the world:In other developments around the world:
Myanmar has locked down half of its largest city, Yangon, and halted travel between regions in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. Myanmar’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, urged the public to follow health protocols in a nationally televised address on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases has gone up fivefold in less than three weeks, reaching 2,422 on Friday, with 14 deaths, according to a Times database.Myanmar has locked down half of its largest city, Yangon, and halted travel between regions in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. Myanmar’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, urged the public to follow health protocols in a nationally televised address on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases has gone up fivefold in less than three weeks, reaching 2,422 on Friday, with 14 deaths, according to a Times database.
India on Friday reported a record 96,551 new cases, pushing the country’s total caseload above 4.5 million, according to a New York Times database. More than 76,000 deaths have been linked to Covid-19.India on Friday reported a record 96,551 new cases, pushing the country’s total caseload above 4.5 million, according to a New York Times database. More than 76,000 deaths have been linked to Covid-19.
The U.S. extradition hearing in London for Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, will resume on Monday, Reuters reported. The hearing was postponed on Thursday over fears that a lawyer involved in the case may have come into contact with someone with the coronavirus, but the lawyer tested negative.The U.S. extradition hearing in London for Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, will resume on Monday, Reuters reported. The hearing was postponed on Thursday over fears that a lawyer involved in the case may have come into contact with someone with the coronavirus, but the lawyer tested negative.
North Korea has deployed crack troops along its border with a shoot-to-kill order to prevent smugglers from introducing the coronavirus into its isolated and malnourished population, the United States’ top general in South Korea, Gen. Robert B. Abrams, said on Thursday. North Korea insists that it has not confirmed a single case of Covid-19. But outside experts are skeptical, citing the country’s decrepit public health capabilities and the long border it shares with China, where the epidemic first erupted.North Korea has deployed crack troops along its border with a shoot-to-kill order to prevent smugglers from introducing the coronavirus into its isolated and malnourished population, the United States’ top general in South Korea, Gen. Robert B. Abrams, said on Thursday. North Korea insists that it has not confirmed a single case of Covid-19. But outside experts are skeptical, citing the country’s decrepit public health capabilities and the long border it shares with China, where the epidemic first erupted.
A series of studies released on Friday offered the strongest evidence yet that the coronavirus is surging again in Britain, suggesting that the country may be following other European nations in seeing significant new spikes of the virus.A series of studies released on Friday offered the strongest evidence yet that the coronavirus is surging again in Britain, suggesting that the country may be following other European nations in seeing significant new spikes of the virus.
Scientists from Imperial College London said that the prevalence of coronavirus infections doubled every eight days from late August to early September in England, a significant quickening of the spread.Scientists from Imperial College London said that the prevalence of coronavirus infections doubled every eight days from late August to early September in England, a significant quickening of the spread.
The scientists tested a random sample of 150,000 people and estimated that the so-called reproduction number — a measure of how many people on average a single patient will infect — was 1.7, indicating a growing outbreak. An R number below 1 would indicate a dwindling outbreak.The scientists tested a random sample of 150,000 people and estimated that the so-called reproduction number — a measure of how many people on average a single patient will infect — was 1.7, indicating a growing outbreak. An R number below 1 would indicate a dwindling outbreak.
The government’s own scientific advisory group offered a more conservative estimate of the virus’s spread — it said the R number was between 1 and 1.2 in Britain — but still said that “the epidemic is growing.”The government’s own scientific advisory group offered a more conservative estimate of the virus’s spread — it said the R number was between 1 and 1.2 in Britain — but still said that “the epidemic is growing.”
And the government’s Office for National Statistics estimated that around 3,200 people, not counting those in hospitals or nursing homes, became infected with the virus every day in England during the week starting Aug. 30.
The British government reported 3,539 new daily cases on Friday, lifting its seven-day average well over 2,500, a level last seen in May. Its total caseload has surpassed 361,000, with more than 41,600 deaths.The British government reported 3,539 new daily cases on Friday, lifting its seven-day average well over 2,500, a level last seen in May. Its total caseload has surpassed 361,000, with more than 41,600 deaths.
Heeding the surge, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that the government would ban gatherings of more than six people. But with students now returning to school and Britons socializing inside more as the weather cools, scientists said that might not be enough.Heeding the surge, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that the government would ban gatherings of more than six people. But with students now returning to school and Britons socializing inside more as the weather cools, scientists said that might not be enough.
“This is a massive blow to the government’s strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Simon Clarke, an associate professor at the University of Reading, said of the Imperial College London study.“This is a massive blow to the government’s strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Simon Clarke, an associate professor at the University of Reading, said of the Imperial College London study.
Mr. Johnson has been encouraging people to go back to work, eat out at restaurants, patronize pubs and send children back to school. Many Britons have also remained resistant to wearing face masks in crowded places.Mr. Johnson has been encouraging people to go back to work, eat out at restaurants, patronize pubs and send children back to school. Many Britons have also remained resistant to wearing face masks in crowded places.
Britain’s new contact-tracing app will be introduced in England and Wales on Sept. 24, Mr. Johnson’s government announced on Friday. The government had previously been criticized over the long delay; earlier versions were scrapped months ago.Britain’s new contact-tracing app will be introduced in England and Wales on Sept. 24, Mr. Johnson’s government announced on Friday. The government had previously been criticized over the long delay; earlier versions were scrapped months ago.
The app will allow people to scan QR codes when they visit hospitality venues and will use Apple and Google’s technology for detecting other smartphones in the vicinity to log location data necessary for contact tracing.
What’s the fairest expectation of how bad the pandemic should have been in the United States?
In his Morning newsletter, David Leonhardt spoke with Donald McNeil, the New York Times reporter who has frequently appeared on “The Daily” podcast to talk about the coronavirus.
Mr. Leonhardt writes:
When the pandemic hit, Americans vastly scaled back on preventive health, and there is little sign that this deferred care will be made up.
Vaccinations dropped by nearly 60 percent in April, and almost no one was getting a colonoscopy, according to new data from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.
The data, drawn from millions of health insurance claims, shows a consistent pattern, whether it was prostate screenings or contraceptives: Preventive care declined drastically this spring and, as of late June, had not yet recovered to normal levels. Many types of such care were still down by a third at the start of this summer, the most recent data available shows, as Americans remained wary of visiting hospitals and medical offices.
Americans continued seeking care they couldn’t avoid — hospital admissions for childbirth, for example, held steady — but avoided care they could put off. More invasive preventive procedures, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, showed the greatest decline.
Colonoscopies, which are generally used to screen for colon cancer, declined by 88 percent in mid-April and were still 33 percent lower than normal at the end of June. Mammograms, which fell 77 percent at the height of the pandemic, are still down 23 percent.
Critical childhood vaccinations for hepatitis, measles, whooping cough and other diseases also declined significantly, a trend that had already begun to worry pediatricians earlier in the pandemic. Of particular concern, measles vaccinations fell 73 percent in mid-April and were still down 36 percent at the end of June.
But one preventive service stayed relatively steady through the pandemic: pregnancy-related ultrasounds. Those declined slightly in March and April but never fell more than 20 percent below 2019 levels. Insertions of IUDs, one of the most effective birth control methods, declined like other preventive care — raising the possibility of an increase in pregnancies in coming months.
Halsey Beshears, Florida’s secretary for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, announced on Twitter on Thursday that the state would allow bars to operate at half capacity starting Monday. He rescinded an executive order from June that had banned drinking at bars as the state experienced a surge.Halsey Beshears, Florida’s secretary for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, announced on Twitter on Thursday that the state would allow bars to operate at half capacity starting Monday. He rescinded an executive order from June that had banned drinking at bars as the state experienced a surge.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, had hinted earlier on Thursday that his administration would not only soon allow the reopening of bars and restaurants but also forbid future closures.Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, had hinted earlier on Thursday that his administration would not only soon allow the reopening of bars and restaurants but also forbid future closures.
“I think that we probably need to just have it that everyone knows they’ll be able to operate,” he said. “The closures are just totally off the table, because it’s hard to plan if you think you have the sword of Damocles hanging over your head.”“I think that we probably need to just have it that everyone knows they’ll be able to operate,” he said. “The closures are just totally off the table, because it’s hard to plan if you think you have the sword of Damocles hanging over your head.”
Bars, however, seem likely to remain closed in Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county and where the virus has hit hardest. Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Wednesday that bars and nightclubs, which have been shut down by county order since March, would remain shuttered. On Friday, Mr. DeSantis announced the state’s two biggest counties, Miami-Dade and Broward, will move to the second phase of reopening on Monday, paving the way for schools to bring students back to classrooms in person sooner than expected.
“The activities there are not conducive to maintaining a six-feet separation,” he said. “I don’t foresee us opening bars and nightclubs here for the foreseeable future until we get a vaccine.” The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, and the county’s schools superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, appeared with the governor at the news conference on Friday. Mr. Carvalho said he expects to make an announcement about physically opening schools before the end of the month; he had previously established a timeline to bring students back by Oct. 5. About 51 percent of parents of public school students have told the district they want to send their children back, he said, adding that “six feet of distance is probably not going to be possible in many schools.”
Mr. Gimenez, whose county was hit hardest in the state, said that his administration would begin to look at businesses that could now reopen under certain restrictions, including movie theaters and bowling alleys, though he reiterated it would not include bars and nightclubs. On Wednesday, he said he did not foresee reopening them “until we get a vaccine.”
“We’re still not out of the woods yet, but we’re getting close,” he said Friday.
In Puerto Rico, Gov. Wanda Vázquez eased some of the island’s tight restrictions on Thursday, citing a recent drop in cases. Ms. Vázquez lifted a lockdown that had forced people to stay home on Sundays, and reopened beaches to everyone. She also authorized the reopening of gyms, movie theaters and casinos at 25 percent capacity.In Puerto Rico, Gov. Wanda Vázquez eased some of the island’s tight restrictions on Thursday, citing a recent drop in cases. Ms. Vázquez lifted a lockdown that had forced people to stay home on Sundays, and reopened beaches to everyone. She also authorized the reopening of gyms, movie theaters and casinos at 25 percent capacity.
Bars and nightclubs remain closed, and a nightly curfew will remain in effect.Bars and nightclubs remain closed, and a nightly curfew will remain in effect.
Reporting was contributed by Sarah Almukhtar, Aurelien Breeden, Kenneth Chang, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Abdi Latif Dahir, Marie Fazio, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Michael Gold, Peter S. Goodman, Sophie Hardach, Sarah Kliff, David Leonhardt, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Benjamin Mueller, Saw Nang, Richard C. Paddock, Roni Caryn Rabin, Campbell Robertson, Dana Rubinstein, Karan Deep Singh, Megan Specia, Jim Tankersley, Kate Taylor, Sui-Lee Wee and Noah Weiland.
Reporting was contributed by Aurelien Breeden, Kenneth Chang, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Abdi Latif Dahir, Marie Fazio, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Michael Gold, Peter S. Goodman, Sophie Hardach, Sarah Kliff, David Leonhardt, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Benjamin Mueller, Saw Nang, Richard C. Paddock, Roni Caryn Rabin, Dana Rubinstein, Karan Deep Singh, Megan Specia, Jim Tankersley, Kate Taylor and Noah Weiland.