Pressure to create a coronavirus vaccine is increasing by the day, but for a safe vaccine to enter the market, it takes time.
President Donald Trump says he plans to resume his daily coronavirus briefings possibly as soon as Tuesday as cases spike across the country.
The news comes as some states, including Florida and California, continue to see booming numbers of new cases. In California, Los Angeles County reported another record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. After Florida reached its sixth straight day of 10,000-plus new coronavirus cases Monday, the state’s largest teachers union sued Gov. Ron DeSantis over plans to reopen schools next month with in-person instruction.
Meanwhile, Trump met with top Congressional Republicans at the White House on Monday to discuss the next COVID-19 aid package. The GOP leaders touted another round of stimulus checks and a payroll tax cut as possible provisions for their next coronavirus stimulus proposal.
Some recent developments:
📈 Today’s stats: The U.S. has about 3.8 million cases and more than 140,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been 14.7 million cases and more than 610,000 deaths.
📰 What we’re reading: Wearing face masks and protective suits, FBI investigators recently raided a medical building in Detroit over an alleged fake treatment being sold for COVID-19. It looked like a drug bust. But they were actually looking into a scheme tied to Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that has become more popular than ever, with religious-like claims about its effectiveness against COVID-19 despite not even having the power to cure the common cold.
California allows outdoor haircuts, manicures and massages
Hair and nail salons in California can operate outside, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, offering support to an industry decimated by coronavirus shutdowns.
Some hair and personal care services are still banned, but many hair stylists, barbers, manicurists, massage therapists and estheticians can offer outdoor personal care services under the new rules. Businesses can operate under a tent or canopy as long as no more than one side is closed.
Newsom made the announcement as the state has seen infections, hospitalizations and intensive care cases continue to increase but at a slower rate than when the state scaled back its reopenings earlier this month.
Fred Jones, attorney for the Professional Beauty Federation of California, said that while the new rules will help some of the group’s members, many barber shops and beauty salons will struggle to find space to operate outside.
EU leaders reach historic coronavirus recovery deal
Leaders of European nations reached an unprecedented budget deal that would provide a massive aid package for countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
An agreement on the $2.1 trillion budget, which includes a more than $850 billion coronavirus fund to be sent as loans and grants to the hardest-hit countries, was reached early Tuesday after four days and nights of negotiations.
The E.U. is facing the biggest recession in its history, and the bloc has seen 135,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Connecticut discovers ‘flaw’ in coronavirus testing system with 90 false positive test results
Connecticut discovered a “flaw” in a manufacturer’s coronavirus testing system resulting in 90 false COVID-19 positive test results, the state’s Department of Public Health announced Monday.
Officials said the 90 false results were from the one-month period from June 15 to July 17 where 144 people were tested. Many of them are nursing home residents, officials said.
The manufacturer system is run by Thermo Fisher Scientific, which labs across the country use. The “flaw” is being investigated and has been reported to the manufacturer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a news release.
Coronavirus found at Yosemite National Park’s raw sewage
With no confirmed case of the coronavirus, Yosemite National Park appeared to be a safe haven from the pandemic. But tests of the park’s raw sewage have confirmed the presence of the virus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, and dozens of people are believed to have been infected.
No park employee or resident has tested positive at the park’s health clinic, and no visitors have reported being sick since Yosemite began a phased reopening on June 11 after being closed for nearly three months.
Working with the National Park Service, Mariposa County health officials began taking samples of untreated wastewater and sent it to a lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for analysis. The lab, Biobot Analytics, told the county this week that based on how much of the virus they counted, it’s possible about 170 people were infected in Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite, which typically attracts more than 4 million visitors each year, is cutting the number of vehicle passes to the park by half. Visitor centers remain closed, while campgrounds, gift shops and hotels are limiting services to allow for physical distancing.
At least two pharmaceutical companies promise affordable COVID-19 vaccines
At least two COVID-19 vaccine companies receiving millions of dollars from the U.S. government plan to eschew profits or set a single global price if their vaccines prove successful. A House subcommittee on Tuesday is set to grill the heads of five pharmaceutical companies leading the effort, revealing differing timelines and thoughts on cost and access. They are AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer.
AstraZeneca said it will make two billion doses of its vaccine on a non-profit basis, according to prepared remarks posted Monday night by Executive Vice President Menelas Pangalos.
“The cost of the doses of the vaccine under those agreements will provide no profit for AstraZeneca,” the statement said. AstraZeneca, which is creating a vaccine in conjunction with the University of Oxford, said Monday it hopes to have a vaccine available by early next year.
– Elizabeth Weise
What we’re reading
Florida governor sued by teachers over school reopening plan
Florida reached its sixth straight day of 10,000-plus new coronavirus cases Monday as the state’s largest teachers union sued the Gov. Ron DeSantis administration over plans to reopen schools for in-person instruction next month.
In its lawsuit filed in Miami state circuit court, the Florida Education Association said the school reopening order violates the Florida Constitution, which requires that a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system” of public schools exist.
FEA President Fedrick Ingram cited Monday’s case numbers and deaths as the “backdrop,” for the union’s action. “No one wants to be back in a classroom and reopen our school buildings more than educators,” Ingram said. “We are teachers … that’s what we live for … but we want to do it safely and we don’t want to put people at risk.”
The state added 10,347 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing Florida’s total cases to 360,394. Another 90 deaths occurred, with 5,072 Florida people now lost to the disease in the state.
– John Kennedy
Kids will ‘get over’ COVID-19 when they catch it during school reopenings, says Missouri governor
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, downplayed the risk for children who may contract the coronavirus from classrooms during school reopenings, insisting “they’re going to get over it.”
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson said in an interview Friday with radio host Marc Cox on KFTK. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
“We gotta move on,” he continued. “We can’t just let this thing stop us in our tracks.” His comments come during a nationwide debate over school reopenings as the pandemic continues to rage across the United States.
– Savannah Behrmann
Report: Blacks, Latinos, the poor were less likely to get stimulus checks
With another round of stimulus checks in the works, a study concluded that people who are poor, Black or Latino were less likely to get the $1,200 payments distributed last spring under a new federal law aimed at blunting the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
The study, by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, concluded that while the rollout of the cash payments was a success in many ways, there were significant disparities by income, race, ethnicity and family citizenship in terms of who received the money.
Thirty percent of adults younger than age 65 reported that their families had not received the stimulus payments or that they didn’t know if the money had arrived as of late May. Just six in 10 adults (nearly 59 percent) with incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level reported receiving the payments. Nearly 74 percent of white adults reported getting the checks, compared to almost 69 percent of Black adults and nearly 64 percent of Hispanics.
The report cited various reasons for the disparities, such as some people having no bank account or lacking access to the internet. Among Latinos, some adults may have been ineligible because they or their spouse were undocumented or did not qualify as residents of the United States, the report said.
– Michael Collins
Trump to resume coronavirus briefings at the White House amid spike in cases
President Donald Trump said Monday he plans to resume daily coronavirus briefings at the White House in part because of a recent spike in cases.
“We have had this big flareup in Florida, Texas and a couple of other places so I think what we’re going to do is I’ll get involved and we’ll start doing briefings,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, adding that the first briefing may come as soon as Tuesday.
The briefings were also a chance for Americans to hear from public health experts advising the White House, including Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
– John Fritze
Marine Corps Marathon canceled for first time in 45-year history
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed yet another event for long-distance running enthusiasts.
The Marine Corps Marathon, with its picturesque course that takes runners through some of the most historic parts of Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., will not be held in person in 2020 for the first time in its 45-year history. The main event had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25.
– Eddie Timanus
More on the coronavirus from USA TODAY
Where a face mask is required: Many governors are instituting or renewing orders requiring people to wear face coverings in public as cases continue to rise. Is your state on the list? See it here.
Coronavirus Watch: We have a few ways for you to stay informed. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here, and come together and share the latest information about the coronavirus, coping with lifestyle changes and more by joining our Facebook group.
Where are states on reopening? More than half of all states, including California and Michigan, have paused reopening plans or are taking steps to halt the spread of COVID-19. Here’s the list.
What went wrong in Florida? Two months after Gov. Ron DeSantis boasted about proving the experts wrong by flattening the curve and getting COVID-19 under control, Florida has become the state that other states don’t want to become.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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