July 15 coronavirus news

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6:30 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

UK Health Secretary "worried" about long-term impact of virus

From CNN’s Hilary McGann in London

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks to the media in London on July 5.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks to the media in London on July 5. George Cracknell Wright/LNP/Shutterstock

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he is “worried” about emerging evidence of “debilitating” long-term impacts for some coronavirus survivors.

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, Hancock revealed the British government has allocated “almost £10 million” ($12.6m) into research, and set up an NHS service to support the “significant minority” greatly impacted by the virus. 

Acknowledging he is “concerned,” Hancock said it is “really important we support people who are in that situation.”

Hancock also spoke about the “consequences” of this being a novel virus: "we’re constantly learning about the impact of it.”

The UK is among the worst-hit countries in the world, with more than 292,900 confirmed cases and 45,000 deaths since its outbreak began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

8:11 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Positivity rate up to 31% in Miami-Dade County; ventilator use at 92%

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Dan Shepherd in Miami

People line up in cars at a Covid-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 12.
People line up in cars at a Covid-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 12. Lynne Sladky/AP

The Covid-19 positivity rate rose to 31% on Tuesday in Miami-Dade County in Florida, according to data released by local officials. 

The county's goal is to not exceed a positivity rate -- how many of those tested are actually infected -- of 10%. Yet it has exceeded 22% for the past two weeks.  

The current 14-day average positivity rate is 27%, the data shows.

Over the past 13 days the county has also seen a 56% increase in Covid-10 patients being hospitalized, a 65% increase in ICU beds being used and 92% use of ventilators, according to local government data.

Here is a breakdown of the hospitalization data released by Miami-Dade County Government:

Covid-19 patients:

7/01: 1298

7/14: 2029

Patients in ICU beds:

7/01: 266

7/14: 438

 

Patients on ventilators:

7/01: 118

7/14: 226

5:08 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

White House lets trade adviser publicly attack Fauci after denying efforts to undermine him

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

Top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro openly attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci in an op-ed on Tuesday, after the White House repeatedly insisted there has been no effort to undermine the nation's leading infectious disease expert.

The USA Today op-ed, which like all other opinion pieces from White House officials had to be edited and approved by the press office, marks a stunning shift in strategy after the President said he had a "very good" relationship with Fauci and White House officials insisted he would not be dismissed.

"Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on," Navarro writes in the op-ed. "So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution."

Some context: Before the op-ed was published Tuesday evening, the White House appeared to be recalibrating its approach to Fauci, who sat for a lengthy meeting with chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday, after White House officials questioned his record in a statement to reporters.

The President insisted during an afternoon roundtable their relationship was "very good." And White House officials insisted Fauci would not (and, for that matter, could not) be dismissed, and would remain on the President's coronavirus task force.

Still, Trump's irritation with Fauci has, at times, been encouraged by Navarro who has repeatedly blamed Fauci for doubting the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.

Read more here:

5:01 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Trump offers denial and delusion as pandemic crisis overtakes his presidency

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 14, in Washington DC.
US President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 14, in Washington DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Im

Rarely has a president shown himself to be so unequal to a tragic national emergency.

Hundreds of Americans are dying daily and tens of thousands are getting infected from a once-in-a-century virus. States and cities are closing down again, threatening to trigger a ruinous new economic slump. Doctors and nurses lack sufficient protective gear as they battle the deadly pathogen. And with testing swamped by waves of disease, one top official is warning of the "the most difficult time" ever for US public health this winter.

Yet this is what is on Donald Trump's mind: Joe Biden didn't fix the country's roads and bridges, crowds of bikers and boaters in MAGA hats prove that election polls are wrong, and the border wall is almost finished (except it isn't). Oh, and by the way, where is Hunter Biden?

Trump struck all the wrong notes on Tuesday, a day when Florida, now the world's coronavirus epicenter, recorded its highest-ever Covid-19 death toll, and Texas broke its record for single day infections. The President offered denial and delusion at a White House appearance that even by his standards was a rambling, grievance-fueled mess.

What is needed from Trump and his administration is a plan to tackle the most relentless national challenge since World War II, consoling words to memorialize the 136,000 Americans who are already dead and the thousands destined to follow, and the rhetoric to summon the will to triumph over this invisible enemy.

All Trump could offer on Tuesday was self-pity, incoherence and indifference. He came across as a leader living in a different dimension from his people and their fear and suffering and uncertainty about what the coming months will bring.

Read the full analysis:

8:12 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

India reports nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day jump so far

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi

A man reads a newspaper while sitting in front of closed shops in a commercial area in Bangalore, India on July 15.
A man reads a newspaper while sitting in front of closed shops in a commercial area in Bangalore, India on July 15. Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

India recorded 29,429 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday -- the highest one-day jump in cases so far.

The ministry also recorded 582 new coronavirus-related deaths.

That brings the national total to at least 936,181 cases and 24,309 deaths. Of these total infections, nearly 600,000 people have recovered.

Over 12 million tests have been conducted so far, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

8:16 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Mexico sees high Covid-19 numbers as it extends US border restrictions

From CNN's Karol Suarez and Natalie Gallón in Mexico City

Streets in downtown Mexico City are full of people using face masks on July 13.
Streets in downtown Mexico City are full of people using face masks on July 13. Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Mexico reported more than 7,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the country's health ministry on Tuesday.

That raises the national total to 311,486 cases -- the country with the seventh highest number of infections. 

Mexico also saw 836 new deaths from the virus Tuesday, bringing its death toll to 36,327.

The new cases come after the government announced Tuesday it will extend its US border restrictions for a third time, now in place until August.

 "After checking the rise of the COVID-19 spread, Mexico proposed to the US the extension of all non-essential traffic restriction at the common border for 30 more days," the Foreign Ministry announced on its official Twitter account Tuesday.
8:14 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

US coronavirus model now projects 224,000 total deaths by November 1 

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

A waiter covers his face with a shield as he chats with another man at a restaurant on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on July 14.
A waiter covers his face with a shield as he chats with another man at a restaurant on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on July 14. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

A closely watched model that predicts Covid-19 deaths is now forecasting 224,000 deaths in the United States by November 1 this year. 

The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, had projected almost 16,000 fewer deaths in a forecast made last week -- but the surge in cases nationwide have caused the projection to jump. 

“That increase in our forecasts is being driven by the big upsurge in you know the ones we know about in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California,” said the chair of IHME, Dr. Chris Murray.

“There's a longer list of states where deaths are going up, as well as hospitalizations. So, that includes Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. So those are our lists that are driving up forecasts, as we look ahead."

The US coronavirus death toll stands at 136,466.

Face masks could lower this projection: The projection could continue to change depending on the implementation of nationwide restrictions, reopenings, and preventative factors like the use of face masks.

The more people wear masks, the fewer deaths will likely be projected, He said -- at the individual level, masks can reduce transmission of the virus by a third. 

“At the population level, it can save more than 40,000 lives in the US between now and November 1. And as a strategy, that may be our best strategy right now in the US, to have a mask mandate," he said.
2:52 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Coronavirus restrictions are trapping refugees into violence and persecution, report says

From CNN's Mallory Gafas in Atlanta

Venezuelan migrants attempting to return to their country due to the Covid-19 pandemic remain in makeshift camps at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on July 7.
Venezuelan migrants attempting to return to their country due to the Covid-19 pandemic remain in makeshift camps at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on July 7. Schneyder Mendoza/AFP/Getty Images

Global coronavirus restrictions are preventing people from fleeing violence or forcing them to take more dangerous routes, warned the International Rescue Committee in a new report.

Border tightening and movement restrictions are also leaving thousands stranded, or to return to dire conditions and places with ongoing humanitarian crises. 

“In El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, borders are completely closed,” the report said. “So many who want to flee from violence are instead ‘locked in’ to a pressure cooker with some of the highest pre-existing rates of urban and gang violence in the world.”

The report found:

  • In some Latin American countries, gender-based violence has increased by more than 60%.
  • In Malaysia, 20-50 Rohingya refugees starved to death while stranded at sea after being turned away from closed ports and borders.
  • At the US-Mexico border, more than 20,000 asylum seekers are awaiting US immigration hearings in the wake of court closures. 
  • 21,000 migrants have been left stranded in the African region, as well as 1,500 migrants quarantined.

Tens of thousands of migrants have also had to return to dangerous conditions due to loss of work and increased risk of xenophobia or infection.

That includes over 80,000 Venezuelans who have returned from Colombia since April, nearly 60,000 migrant workers who returned to Myanmar, and 298,000 people who returned to Afghanistan from Iran.

Many of these migrants are returning to communities of violence, and some have "very low levels of knowledge about Covid-19," said the report.

1:28 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Elderly Utah man dies waiting for a Covid-19 test

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

KSTU
KSTU

A 71-year-old man was found dead in the parking lot of a Covid-19 testing location on Sunday in North Ogden, Utah, the facility said in a statement. 

On July 12, a caretaker and driver from Mountain View Health Services, a nursing facility in nearby Ogden, Utah, brought the man to the North Ogden Clinic for a Covid-19 test, Intermountain Healthcare, the company that runs the clinic, said in their statement.

“When the nursing facility’s van reached the testing tent after less than a 45-minute wait, their patient was unresponsive, cold to the touch, and appeared to be deceased,” the statement said.

The 71 year-old-man, who has not been identified, was discovered in "cardiac respiratory arrest" by first responders who could not revive him, said Deputy Chief Jeremiah Jones of the North View Fire District. It's unclear exactly what caused the man's death. 

“Cardiac respiratory arrest can be caused by a variety of medical reasons, including a heart attack or complications from Covid-19,” Jones explained.