In the United States, more than 1,300 lives were lost nationwide on Tuesday, the largest single-day increase since May, according to a Reuters tally.
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California health officials have said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous US state, account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths. Cases are skyrocketing in the Central Valley agricultural region, with its heavily Latino population, crushing hospitals. The state reported 171 deaths on Tuesday.
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Florida has seen 191 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the state health department said.
Texas added more than 6,000 new cases on Monday, bringing its total to 401,477, according to a Reuters tally. Only three other states – California, Florida and New York – have more than 400,000 total cases. The four are the most populous US states.
California and Texas have both reported a decrease in the total number of hospitalizations, with Dr.Anthony Fauci, a leading US infectious disease expert, seeing signs that the outbreak could peak in the south and the west while other areas were on the cusp of further outbreaks.
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Fauci said early indications showed the percentage of positive coronavirus tests was increasing in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
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The teachers’ union is fighting
The rise in the number of deaths and infections in the United States has dampened early hopes that the country has surpassed the worst of an economic crisis that has decimated businesses and put millions of Americans out of work.
This trend has fueled a bitter debate over whether to reopen schools in the coming weeks. President Donald Trump and members of his administration have pushed for students to return to class, while some teachers and local officials have called for online learning.
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“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of students and their teachers,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Tuesday at the union’s virtual convention. “It’s the 11th hour; we need the resources now. ”
The Texas Education Agency, the state’s public education supervisor, said it will deny funding for schools that delay in-person classes due to orders from local health officials related to the pandemic.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued guidelines that health officials cannot impose “general” school closures for coronavirus prevention. Such a decision is up to school officials, he said.
Local health officials in larger Texas metropolitan areas, including Houston and Dallas, recently ordered in-person classes to be postponed.
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In Washington, some Republicans in the US Senate pushed back their own party’s $ 1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal the day after it was unveiled by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, weighing on US stocks.
“I’m not for borrowing another trillion dollars,” Republican Senator Rand Paul told reporters.
Democrats have dismissed the plan as being too small compared to their $ 3 trillion proposal that was passed by the House of Representatives in May. Some Republicans called it too expensive.
Trump said Tuesday that he does not support everything in the Senate Republican legislation on coronavirus relief, but would not give details.
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“There are also things that I support a lot,” he said during a White House briefing. “But we will negotiate.”
Trump also lamented Fauci’s high approval ratings and joked, “No one likes me” as he struggles to improve his position with voters on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It can only be my personality,” Trump said.