Beef and pork industries are rebounding significantly, meat trade association says
From CNN's Dan Shepherd
Despite multiple, significant Covid-19-related challenges this Spring in beef and pork production, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said those industries are rebounding significantly.
USMEF President Dan Halstrom said that processing facilities around the US “have done a lot of work within the supply chain on enhancements and improvements in response to Covid-19.” He made the remarks in an audio clip published this week in the trade publication Farm Journal.
He stated that for the week ending June 27, the USMEF experienced “dramatic rebounds” with their members' slaughter rates, over 680,000 cattle, with a 4% increase from the week before and 1% above the same time in 2019.
"this is the second largest weekly kill in 2020 for the beef side, with (cattle) weights up 50 pounds from last year” and that from a pork production standpoint, “this week’s estimate at 2,641,00 head is up 11% from last year. This is four weeks in a row of productions above a year ago," he added.
The USMEF is a trade association that promotes the beef, pork and lamb industries, both domestically and internationally.
12:49 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
WHO is working to verify reports of remdesivir stock hoarding by the US
From CNN's Amanda Watts
The World Health Organization is working to verify reports that the United States is hoarding the antiviral coronavirus drug remdesivir.
“We're aware of the reports in the media around this purchase or procurement of remdesivir stocks, and we're obviously working through our colleagues and our partners and the access to Covid Tools Accelerator to clarify and verify this this report,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program, told a briefing Wednesday.
What is this about: On Monday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it had secured 100% of drug-maker Gilead's projected production for July, and 90% of its production for August and September, plus more for clinical trials.
“Obviously, there are many people around the world who are very sick with this disease and we want to ensure that everybody has access to the necessary lifesaving interventions,” Ryan said.
“We are fully committed as an organization, and with our partners to equitable access to life saving interventions,” he added.
Ryan said WHO continues to work with the United States — even though President Trump has said he has split with the organization. “We are grateful for and continue to engage with our technical counterparts in the United States on all matters related to science and public health,” he said.
Speaking directly about the remdesivir situation and WHO’s contact with the United States, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We’re in contact and we’re still discussing and there are collaborations. It’s not specific to one thing that you raised, but on many issues.”
12:42 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
The White House coronavirus response has “failed,” NY doctor says
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
Dr. Craig Spencer, director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Medical Center, says that the White House has failed in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve seen the response from this administration from the White House coronavirus task force. It has failed. We are an outlier. Look, the European Union opened up travel to many countries today and we’re not allowed in because we have cases surging all across this country,” Spencer told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. “Politicians masquerading as public health professionals results in this horrible pandemic that we’ve seen here in the US,” he said.
Spencer said he thinks the coronavirus response should be taken out of the hands of the White House and given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We need new leadership; we need it now. Otherwise, more Americans will continue to be infected and die of this virus in the next coming months and maybe the next couple of years,” he said.
Spencer said he saw firsthand the devastating effects of the coronavirus in New York City, and he predicts more deaths in states currently seeing surges in the virus.
“A lot of places and a lot of politicians aren't taking this seriously, and I'm really worried because I know what comes next. I know what happens after you have a huge increase in cases. People continue to stream through the ER doors, into the ICUs, and will unfortunately die of this virus until we take this seriously,” he said.
12:44 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
New York is building a database of travelers from states on quarantine list, governor says
From CNN's Melanie Schuman
Asked about how the implementation of the state's traveler quarantine is working so far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the process being used to ensure that those coming to New York from states where Covid-19 is surging are following the rules of the new travel advisory.
Cuomo said the state is working with the airlines to give passengers upon landing a slip to fill out stating where they came from and where they are going.
These papers are then collected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the information is then entered into a database. Random checks are being done on these travelers. People could be asked to show their surroundings of the room you are in to make sure it’s a residence and then on a second check, it has to be the same surroundings, the governor said.
Asked if the quarantine has been effective, Cuomo said the state has not had a person test positive after coming in to the state post-quarantine. In other words, no one has traveled to the state after the quarantine was implemented who then went to a clinic or hospital sick and ultimately, tested positive.
Some more context: Last week, New York announced a joint travel advisory — along with Connecticut and New Jersey — mandating that anyone traveling to the region from a state where coronavirus cases are spiking to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
As of Wednesday, 16 states are on the quarantine list, according to Cuomo.
12:30 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
Federal government's July 4 plans in DC go against health guidance, mayor says
From CNN's Nicky Robertson
In a news conference this morning, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said that she has told the Department of Interior that scheduled plans for Fourth of July in the district go against guidance from health officials due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know that this is a special event for the Department of the Interior. We communicated to them that we do not think that this is in keeping with the best (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and department of health guidance, but this event will take place entirely on the federal property,” Bowser told reporters.
This morning the Department of Interior announced its plans for Fourth of July this Saturday on the National Mall, which include a 35-minute firework display and a flyover from military branches.
"The National Mall and surrounding areas will remain open and available to the general public for prime viewing of both the Salute to America flyovers and the annual fireworks demonstration," the statement said.
Bowser has repeatedly encouraged DC residents to celebrate the holiday at home this year due to the pandemic.
12:41 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
More than 100 new cases reported in Pennsylvania county following bars and restaurants reopening
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, announced Wednesday morning an additional 110 new coronavirus cases, four new hospitalizations and one Covid-related death.
An investigator will be assigned to look into the cases to determine the potential source of this uptick, Amie Downs, communications director for the Allegheny County Executive, tells CNN.
Covid-19 cases have spiked in Allegheny County in the aftermath of the county's decision to reopen bars and restaurants, Downs told CNN Tuesday.
The numbers have increased dramatically since mid-June, when bars and restaurants were permitted to reopen, she said.
The county has since closed them again to on-site consumption, but cases continue to climb, Downs added.
One thing to note: The aforementioned numbers were released by the county and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project
12:38 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
Holiday weekend could be “perfect storm” for spike in new cases, health expert says
From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts
As the holiday weekend quickly approaches, an infectious disease doctor said we could be looking at “the perfect storm” for a spike in new cases.
“It's set up a perfect storm: the combination of travel, the combination of reopening —perhaps in some cases, too early — and the combination of people not necessarily following some of these preventive guidelines,” Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center, said during a Wednesday briefing held by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Barocas said after Memorial Day, some places around the country saw a spike in cases.
“I'm very concerned, especially given this coming weekend that the same types of spikes, the same types of surges could be seen - not just in the places that are currently experiencing surges, but in places that have already experienced surges and in ones that haven't yet,” he said.
Dr. Ricardo Franco, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said “this surge in our prolonged first wave of infections, it's very difficult to predict what might happen and the Fourth of July weekend could play a big role in this.”
Reiterating what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said on Tuesday, Franco said bars are a no-go.
“If you have bars, you have music. If you have music, you want to socialize. And you want to speak louder than usual so you can overcome the background noise.” All those factors can increase the spread, Franco added.
Here are Barocas' recommendations to stay safe this holiday weekend:
Barocas is encouraging people to stick to outdoor activities that don’t require congregating in large groups – things like kicking a ball back and forth, flying a kite or biking.
This weekend it’s especially important that Americans – if they must – congregate with friends and families outdoors and remain physically distant, he said. And above all, “avoid sharing items,” he added.
“I would urge people to not share food or drinks with others outside of your household, this is something we oftentimes forget. Bring your own sunscreen. Bring your own bug spray,” Barocas said.
Wearing a mask is also very important this holiday weekend, Barocas said, and the reason is threefold.
12:27 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
Cuomo confirms NYC won't restart indoor dining next week
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that indoor dining will not resume next week as previously planned.
Cuomo said the restarting of indoor dining will be postponed "until the facts change" and did not give a specific timeline. His confirmation comes hours after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that indoor dining would be delayed.
This is only for New York City, which is set to enter phase three next week, Cuomo said. Other New York regions in stage three will be allowed to resume indoor dining.
Cuomo said the move to pause comes as compliance to social distancing and other measures are declining.
"Citizen compliance is slipping. That is a fact," Cuomo said. "I get it. I understand it: Been inside a long time, the weather is warm, I miss my friends."
12:11 p.m. ET, July 1, 2020
Miami-Dade County to limit pool hours and alcohol sales at hotels for holiday weekend
From CNN's Tina Burnside
As cases continue to spike, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez signed an amendment on Tuesday requiring hotels, motels and commercial lodging to restrict pool access and alcohol sales for the Fourth of July weekend, according to a news release from the county.
Here are some of the guidelines:
The amendment will require all lodging establishments to close their pool areas from 8 p.m. each night until 6 a.m. the following morning.
When pools are open, only guests staying in rooms at these establishments may use the pool, and overall capacity will be limited to 50% of the pool deck capacity.
Alcohol will not be permitted for sale or consumption on pool decks prior to 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
The county will close the pool and pool deck at any commercial lodging establishments that violate these requirements for the Fourth of July weekend until July 7.
“Recent spikes in Covid-19 cases throughout Miami-Dade County require that we take these measures to tamp the curve,” Giménez said. “While we want everyone to enjoy the Fourth of July Weekend, we must safeguard our community’s public health. There is no more patriotic an act than protecting the lives of everyone in our County.”
Beaches will remain closed starting Friday through Monday.