Hospitalizations continued to increase and intensive care beds were filling quickly as the nation reached 3 million cases of coronavirus on Wednesday.
The astonishing milestone will mark less than six months after the first confirmed case was reported on January 21 in Everett, Washington. The virus has killed more than 130,000 Americans.
Hospitalizations in California increased 50% from two weeks ago. In Florida, at least 56 hospital intensive care units have reached their maximum capacity. Some Republican senators have said they will not attend the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month.
Yet opposition to tougher restrictions to stem the outbreak has remained firm. A lawmaker in Louisiana has compared the treatment of people who refuse to wear masks to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. And several movie channels have filed complaints in New Jersey, demanding the right to reopen.
Here are some recent developments:
- A group of national movie channels has filed a lawsuit against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for not allowing them to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- New Zealand authorities have said they will file a complaint against a COVID-19 patient who escaped quarantine for shopping.
- San Francisco has indefinitely delayed plans to reopen outdoor bars and indoor restaurants.
📈 Today’s statistics: The United States is approaching 3 million confirmed cases and more than 131,000 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University. Globally, there have been almost 12 million cases and more than 540,000 deaths.
📰 What we read: Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to COVID-19 contractors accused of prior fraud. These contracts range from masks and medical equipment to janitorial cleaning, video productions and even ferry services.
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A pandemic rewrites the rules of scientific progress
The methodical process of moving from a scientific hypothesis to a consensus can take years. But a pandemic is not waiting for any scientist, and researchers are openly sharing information and finding ways to innovate. Since December, more than 5,000 manuscripts related to COVID-19 research have been submitted to medRxiv and another preprint server, bioRxiv. This online archive is the location of the first genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease.
“Science immediately reorganized in a targeted manner to respond to a global threat,” said James Bradner, president of the Novartis Biomedical Research Institutes, during a webinar hosted by Chemical & Engineering News.
– Jordan Nutting, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Louisiana legislator equates COVID-19 mask mandates to the Holocaust
A lawmaker in Louisiana has declared that people who refuse to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic are treated as Jews in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
Republican state official Danny McCormick released a video on Facebook Tuesday against mask warrants as an assault on liberty, sparked by a mask warrant issued by Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins. In the video, McCormick shreds a surgical mask with a chainsaw, saying that “the Constitution is shredded before our eyes.”
“The government needed a bad guy,” said McCormick in the video. “People who do not wear masks will soon be painted as the enemy as they did for the Jews in Nazi Germany. Now is the time to grow back before it is too late. We can preserve America. ”
McCormick said his constituents praised his position. “It’s a great response,” he said in an interview with the USA TODAY Network. “The message of freedom is strong. It is amazing that more politicians are not taking the liberty movement because it is so popular. ”
– Greg Hilburn, Monroe (La.) News-Star
56 ICUs of hospitals in Florida have reached their maximum capacity
At least 56 intensive care units in Florida hospitals reached capacity on Tuesday, according to data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Another 35 hospitals have an ICU bed availability of 10% or less. The data comes as the state, which has become the country’s hotspot number 1 for the virus, reports 7,361 new cases of COVID-19. Governor Ron DeSantis refused Tuesday to say why his state had not started reporting the daily COVID-19 hospital rate, the Miami Herald reported. On Monday, he said the epidemic in Florida had “stabilized”.
In total, more than 16,400 Floridians were hospitalized yesterday due to COVID-19, and more than 3,800 died.
– Elinor Aspegren
AMC, Cinemark and Regal Take Legal Action Against New Jersey to Reopen Cinemas
Several national movie theater chains – including AMC, Cinemark and Regal – filed a lawsuit against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday for not allowing them to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The trial alleges that this is a violation of theaters’ rights to freedom of expression, equal protection and due process, as other companies have been allowed to reopen. The groups claim to have presented detailed security plans to the state detailing how they would keep customers and employees safe.
“Rather than treating these comprehensive security proposals in a meaningful way, the defendants have chosen to continue to discriminate against cinemas and to continue to demand the closure of indoor cinemas,” said the lawsuit.
San Francisco delays reopening of outdoor bars and indoor restaurants
Plans to reopen outdoor bars and indoor restaurants have been delayed in San Francisco as cases continue to increase in the city, said the mayor of London Breed. They were originally scheduled to reopen on June 13.
“We know the reopening break is disappointing, but we can’t risk letting the virus get out of hand,” Breed said on Twitter. “We all have to do our part by wearing face covers, keeping your distance from others and being tested so that we can get to a place where we can safely resume reopening.”
United Airlines: New quarantine rules again weigh on travel demand
When New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in late June amidst a coronavirus outbreak in several Sunbelt states, the big question for the airline industry was whether it would delay an emerging rebound in travel. United Airlines answered the question with a resounding yes in a securities file Tuesday night following an employee’s town hall. Less than a week after announcing plans to add 25,000 more flights in August due to increased travel demand, the airline said it would revert to these plans. Instead of operating 40% of flights flown in August 2019, it will only operate 35%.
The reason: “reduced demand for destinations experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases and / or new quarantine requirements or other travel restrictions. ”
– Dawn Gilbertson
Some senators will not participate in the GOP convention because the cases in Florida
Several senior Republican officials have said they will ignore the Republican National Convention as coronavirus cases mount in Florida, where President Donald Trump is expected to accept the party’s appointment in August before a large crowd. RNC withdrew from Charlotte, North Carolina, last month and chose Jacksonville as the main site for the convention after North Carolina governor Roy Cooper and mayor of Charlotte Vi Lyles failed to commit to authorize a full agreement due to health problems amid the pandemic coronavirus.
In a conference call with local journalists on Monday, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, 86, the oldest Republican senator, said he would avoid the convention “because of the viral situation.” Some other GOP legislators have announced that they are deliberating or will not be participating in the convention while not specifically pointing to the coronavirus.
New Zealand charges patient escaping quarantine from shopping
New Zealand authorities say they will file a complaint against a coronavirus patient who escaped quarantine in Auckland and went shopping in a supermarket. Air Commodore Darryn Webb, responsible for isolation and quarantine, said the 32-year-old man escaped through a fence at the Stamford Plaza hotel and left for a little more an hour before returning. The man was then tested positive for the virus. Webb said the man was a New Zealand citizen who had just returned from India and that his actions were “completely unacceptable”. New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus and is trying to contain cases at the border by placing the new arrivals in 14-day quarantine in various hotels. The supermarket was closed for thorough cleaning.
Levi’s cuts 15% of its workforce after a drop in sales due to a pandemic
Levi Strauss & Co. is cutting approximately 15% of its workforce worldwide due to a sharp drop in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company said. The cut of 700 office jobs, which will not affect workers in stores or factories, will save the San Francisco-based jeans maker about $ 100 million a year. The company, also known as Levi’s, said its revenues were down 62% due to temporary store closings, many of the department stores that sold its jeans were also closed. It posted a loss of $ 363.5 million, after reporting a profit a year ago.
“We started the year with strong momentum, but the global pandemic and economic crises had a significantly negative impact on our second quarter results, as our stores and most wholesale doors were closed worldwide” said CEO Chip Bergh.
– Kelly Tyko
More on the US coronavirus TODAY
When a face mask is required: Many governors are issuing or renewing orders requiring people to wear headgear in public as business continues to increase. Is your state on the list? See it here.
Coronavirus watch: We have several ways to keep you informed. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here and come together to share the latest information on coronavirus, cope with lifestyle changes and more by joining our Facebook group.
Where are the states at the reopening? Some are taking preventive measures to postpone new phases of their reopening, while others have canceled their phases to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. See the list.
Contribuant: The Associated Press