July 13 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:15 p.m. ET, July 13, 2020
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4:06 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Hundreds of people celebrated the July 4 weekend at a Michigan lake. Now some have Covid-19

From CNN's Sheena Jones and Holly Yan

Party-goers at the Torch Lake Sandbar on July 4.
Party-goers at the Torch Lake Sandbar on July 4. Michigan State Police

After revelers celebrated the Fourth of July at a Michigan lake, some started testing positive for Covid-19 -- prompting health officials to warn other party-goers that they might have been infected, too.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan said other health officials in the state reported that several people have tested positive "after attending the festivities at the Torch Lake sandbar over the Fourth of July holiday," the department said Friday.

Those who tested positive weren't able to identify everyone they had contact with, "and therefore we want to make the public aware that those who attended could be at risk for exposure, and additional cases could be seen in the coming days," the health department said.

"If you were at the Torch Lake Sandbar party over 4th of July weekend, you should monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if symptoms should develop or if you were at high risk for exposure due to being in close proximity with others or not wearing a cloth facial covering," the department said.

10:55 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Southeast Asia has a golden opportunity to finally address overtourism

From CNN's Helen Regan and Kocha Olarn

Before the pandemic put a stop to most international travel, each year millions of people flocked to Southeast Asia's white sandy beaches, ancient temples and diverse wildlife.

Last year, 133 million tourists visited the region, spurred by an increase in arrivals from China, which is now the world's largest market for outbound travel.

In some places the crowds became so intense it caused locals, environmentalists and even governments to complain that overtourism was pushing the region's fragile ecosystems to breaking point.

Coral die-offs, vanishing marine life, damaged cultural sites and idyllic islands overflowing with plastic and human waste were all blamed on too many tourists -- and the unchecked development set up to attract and accommodate them.

Then the global coronavirus pandemic struck. Countries went into lockdown. International travel dramatically reduced. And the tourists were largely gone.

For countries like Cambodia, where tourism contributes an estimated 30% of GDP, the effect has been devastating. Asia-Pacific is estimated to lose $34.6 billion due to the pandemic, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said.

As travel restrictions lift, countries that rely heavily on tourism will be competing for visitors as they seek to rebuild their economies. The temptation to attract as many tourists as possible could be difficult to resist.

But experts say the global pause on tourism has offered countries an unprecedented opportunity to examine how to rebuild their tourism industries in a way that benefits their economies and also protects the planet.

Read the full story.

3:48 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Japan

From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo

A ticket-clerk checks his phone at Yose theater Shinjuku-Suehirotei on July 10, in Tokyo.
A ticket-clerk checks his phone at Yose theater Shinjuku-Suehirotei on July 10, in Tokyo. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Japan recorded 411 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the country's health ministry said today.

In the capital Tokyo, 206 infections were reported on Sunday, the fourth straight day that cases have topped 200.

The western city of Osaka also reported an uptick in infections, with 32 cases.

This figure does not include the 62 cases detected on US military bases in Okinawa between July 7 to 12, which are all US personnel and their families, according to the Okinawa prefecture local government.

The total number of people infected by the virus in the country stands at 22,580, with 995 deaths.

2:52 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

White House takes aim at Fauci as he disagrees with Trump on virus

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30. Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images

As coronavirus cases surge in the United States, the White House is taking aim at the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In a statement Saturday, a White House official told CNN that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The official went on to provide a lengthy list of examples, citing Fauci's comments early in the pandemic and linking to past interviews.

These bullet points, which resembled opposition research on a political opponent, included Fauci downplaying the virus early on and a quote from March when Fauci said, "People should not be walking around with masks," among other comments.

The move by the White House comes as President Donald Trump and Fauci are not speaking. The tension between the two men has grown publicly as the two have responded to one another through interviews and statements.

In a recent series of newspaper and radio interviews, Fauci -- who has worked under six US presidents from both parties -- has at times openly disagreed with Trump.

Kathleen Sebelius, who served as secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Barack Obama, said efforts to discredit Fauci and other scientists are "potentially very, very dangerous" as the US and other countries work toward a coronavirus vaccine.

"I think people want to know from the scientists that the vaccine is safe, that it is effective, that it will not do more harm than good," she said.

Read the full story.

2:21 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Miami Beach hospitals are reaching capacity, mayor says

From CNN's Mitch McCluskey

Hospitals in Miami Beach, Florida are reaching full capacity, the city's Mayor Dan Gelber said on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to start moving regular beds into ICU (intensive care unit) beds,” Gelber told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. “We’re clearly being strained at this point.”

Almost 1,900 Covid-19 patients in Miami Beach have been hospitalized and a further 400 are in intensive care, with 200 on ventilators, Gelber said.

Gelber added that he is frustrated by the response from the national government to combat the spread of the virus.

“There’s a total disconnect between what is happening and being said out of Washington and even Tallahassee and what is happening in some of these communities right here,” he said.

 On Sunday, Florida saw its highest single-day number of cases with more than 15,000 new infections and 7,500 hospitalized patients.

1:54 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Amnesty report says governments should be held accountable for healthcare worker deaths

From CNN’s Zahid Mahmood in London

More than 3,000 healthcare workers have died from the coronavirus globally and governments must be held responsible for their deaths, rights group Amnesty International said today.

Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States topped the list of countries with the most healthcare worker deaths, the report “Global: Health workers silenced, exposed and attacked,” said.

Out of 79 countries examined, Amnesty found that:

  • In Russia, 545 healthcare workers had died from Covid-19.
  • The UK saw 540 deaths -- including 262 social workers.
  • The US has 507 health worker deaths.

“Countries yet to see the worst of the pandemic must not repeat the mistakes of governments whose failure to protect workers’ rights has had devastating consequences,” said Sanhita Ambast, Amnesty International’s Researcher and Advisor on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Threatened for speaking out: The report said that healthcare and essential workers have faced retaliation from authorities after being threatened with arrest, violence, a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and in some cases not being paid for their job.

Two female Russian doctors are facing retaliation after complaining about a lack of PPE, with one being charged under Russia’s fake news laws and being fined up to $1,443, and the second facing disciplinary proceedings that could result in her dismissal, Amnesty found.

“Health workers on the frontline are the first to know if government policy is not working, and authorities who silence them cannot seriously claim to be prioritizing public health,” Ambast added.

Choosing "between death and jail": An unidentified Egyptian doctor told Amnesty that doctors who speak out against their conditions were faced with threats to their life and interrogations by the National Security Agency and penalties. 

“Many (doctors) are preferring to pay for their own personal equipment to avoid this exhausting back and forth. (The authorities) are forcing doctors to choose between death and jail,” the unidentified Egyptian doctor told Amnesty.

Amnesty said the 3,000 deaths is likely to be underestimated due to under-reporting and differences in how countries count and collect data.

1:54 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

Here's what we know about the WHO team in China investigating Covid-19 origins

From CNN's Kristie Lu Stout

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a two-person advanced team to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.

"The experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission. The mission objective is to advance the understanding of animal hosts for Covid-19 and ascertain how the disease jumped between animals and humans," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout said this is what we know so far:

  • The team consists of two experts -- one an expert in animal health and the other an epidemiologist.
  • This is an advance team, which means they are in China to be able to determine the agenda, the scope and scale of a greater investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
  • It is still very early on in this process.

According to the WHO, these two individuals will try to get answers to two very critical questions: 

  1. We know that the virus is found in bats, but is there an intermediate species -- another animal host -- that also transmitted the virus?
  2. How did this virus make that leap from animals to humans?

This comes at a time of fraught political tension between the US, China and the WHO:

"We know the WHO has been under fire for its relationship with China, we know that the US under President Donald trump is withdrawing from the WHO," Lu Stout said.
"So there’s a lot fo scrutiny and pressure on this two-person advance WHO team in China to see whether or not they’re going to get access to data, to samples, to files from Chinese authorities to Chinese scientists as well as, critically, answers just to find out what happened."

1:29 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

More than 100 beach-goers in Rio fined for not wearing masks 

From journalist Marcia Reverdosa in Sao Paulo

More than 100 beach-goers in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro were fined over the weekend for not wearing masks, according to Rio's Municipal Guard.

The guards carried out health inspections Saturday and Sunday on beaches in Arpoador, Ipanema Park, Copacabana and Leme, resulting in fines for 135 people not wearing masks.

The mask mandate went into effect on May 21, and inspections began June 5. Since then, 1,377 fines have been issued for people violating the mask order, the city's municipal guard said. Those fined must pay 107 Brazilian reais ($22).

Rio state has the second highest number of cases in Brazil, just after Sao Paulo, with nearly 130,000 and 11,415 deaths. The city of Rio de Janeiro tallies more than 64,000 and 7,310 deaths.

12:50 a.m. ET, July 13, 2020

India records another highest-daily jump in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

A civic authority worker sprays sanitizer on the main door of the residence of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as he tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai on July 12.
A civic authority worker sprays sanitizer on the main door of the residence of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as he tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai on July 12. Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images

India has recorded its highest 24-hour jump in Covid-19 cases yet, with 28,701 infections announced on Monday morning by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The latest jump brings the total positive cases in the country to 878,254 -- the third highest in the world, after the United States and Brazil, the health ministry said.

In total India currently has 301,609 active cases; more than 550,000 people have recovered since testing positive.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 11.8 million tests have been conducted across the country.