July 19 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 12:50 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020
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5:12 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

At least 3,711,413 coronavirus cases in US, at least 140,119 deaths

There have been at least 3,711,413 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States. At least 140,119 people have died in the U.S. from coronavirus. 

On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported 63,698 new cases and 853 new deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Keep track of Covid-19 cases across the US with CNN's interactive map:

4:15 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

UK's Boris Johnson reportedly reluctant to return to "nuclear deterrent" of nationwide lockdown

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing on coronavirus in Downing Street, London, Friday, July 17.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing on coronavirus in Downing Street, London, Friday, July 17. Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/AP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed his reluctance to implement a second national coronavirus lockdown, likening the measure in a newspaper interview to a “nuclear deterrent.”

“I can’t abandon that tool any more than I would abandon a nuclear deterrent. But it is like a nuclear deterrent, I certainly don’t want to use it,” Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph, adding that he does not believe the UK will find itself in need of a second national lockdown. 

“It’s not just that we’re getting much better at spotting the disease and isolating it locally, but we understand far more which groups it affects, how it works, how it’s transmitted,” Johnson said. 

"We’re genuinely able now to look at what’s happening in much closer to real time, to isolate outbreaks and to address them on the spot,” he added. 

The PM’s comments come just days after the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, warned that a second wave of the virus could emerge, encouraging the continued enforcement of social distancing measures. 

“All we've done is suppressed the first wave and when you take the brakes off you would expect it to come back,” Vallance told the House of Lords Select Committee on Thursday.

"My view on this – and I think this is a view shared by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) – is that we're still at a time when distancing measures are important,” he added. 

3:03 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

Japan reports more than 600 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Junko Ogura

A doctor wearing personal protective equipment, conducts a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, Japan, on July 18.
A doctor wearing personal protective equipment, conducts a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, Japan, on July 18. Yomiuri Shimbun/AP

Japan reported 664 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, but no deaths, according to the country's health ministry.

At least 25,354 people have been infected in Japan, where the death toll is 998.

In the capital, 290 cases were confirmed on Saturday, the third consecutive day that the city surpassed 200 new cases. On Friday, Tokyo reported 293 infections, which was its highest single-day rise.

Tokyo has reported 9,223 cases during the pandemic.

2:54 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

Trump doesn't think US needs a national mask mandate

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn at the White House, on Thursday, July 16,  in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn at the White House, on Thursday, July 16, in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has said he will not consider a national mandate on mask wearing in an interview with Fox set to air Sunday. 

When asked whether he would consider instituting a mandate, Trump responded: "No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don't believe in that, no."

During the hour-long sit-down, Trump also said he disagrees with the assessment by Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that "if all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks, six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground." 

"I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears," Trump said. "Dr. Fauci said don't wear a mask, our Surgeon General, terrific guy, said don't wear a mask. Everybody was saying don't wear a mask. All of a sudden everybody's got to wear a mask, and as you know, masks cause problems too, with that being said, I'm a believer in masks. I think masks are good." 

In the early days of the pandemic, public health officials asked people to not wear masks to save supplies for frontline workers, but now both Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, and US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, have repeatedly called upon Americans to wear masks in public.

Read the full story:

2:13 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

Artist donates 1,800 paintings to Brooklyn hospital, one for every employee

From CNN's Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman

Artist Michael Gittes holds a canvas featuring paintings from his "Strangers to No One" series
Artist Michael Gittes holds a canvas featuring paintings from his "Strangers to No One" series Courtesy Taylor Crichton

A hospital in Brooklyn received a special delivery this week: 1,800 paintings representing a flower -- or one for every employee.

The paintings were created and donated by Los Angeles-based artist Michael Gittes, whose works have been shown at The National Portrait Gallery in London, the Park Avenue Armory in New York, and the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

"At the height of the pandemic, Michael had this brilliant idea to donate a painting to every single employee at a hospital, specifically in New York, because New York was fighting it the hardest," Eli Bronner, Gittes' manager and dealer, told CNN.

Gittes enlisted Bronner to help him find the perfect hospital for the donation. 

Based on Gittes' specifications, it had to be a non-profit hospital in an underserved community, with an intensive care unit treating coronavirus patients. It had to be small enough for Gittes to be able to paint a unique, original painting for every single staff member, from the doctors and administrators to the janitors, security guards and cafeteria workers, Bronner said..

They decided that Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood would be the perfect fit for the project.

Read the full story.

1:48 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

India records nearly 39,000 new Covid-19 cases, in its highest single-day increase

From From CNN’s Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

India recorded 38,902 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday morning and 543 deaths, according to its Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

That marked the highest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 1,077,618, including 26,816 deaths. 

There are a reported 373,379 active cases in India and 677,422 patients have recovered.

In India, patients with mild and moderate symptoms are considered no longer active after 10 days of symptom onset if they meet certain conditions. A test to confirm they no longer have the virus is not required. Severe cases can be discharged after one negative test.

The western state of Maharashtra, which includes the financial capital Mumbai, remains the worst-hit region of the country by sheer numbers, with 300,937 confirmed cases and 11,596 deaths. 

India had conducted 13,791,869 coronavirus tests as of this morning.

Read more about how the world's second most populous country hit 1 million cases:

1:08 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

Brain fog, fatigue, breathlessness. Long-term symptoms linger for many coronavirus victims

By Laura Smith-Spark, Jo Shelley and Livia Borghese, CNN

Professional diver Emiliano Pescarolo contracted coronavirus in March and spent 17 days in hospital in the Italian port city of Genoa, before being discharged on April 10.

Now, three months later, the 42-year-old still experiences breathing difficulties. "Once back home, even after weeks I couldn't see any progress: if I took a small walk, it was like climbing Mount Everest. I was out of breath also just for talking. I was very worried," he said.

Pescarolo is one of dozens of former Covid patients receiving care at a rehabilitation clinic in Genoa -- and says he is starting to see some progress.

For much of Europe, the peak of Covid-19 infections has passed. But while hospitals are no longer awash with acute cases, there are thousands of people who had either confirmed or suspected Covid and, weeks or months later, say they are far from fully recovered.

In the United Kingdom, communities of "long Covid" sufferers have spring up online, as people try to manage what appear to be long-term effects of a virus about which much remains unknown. Meanwhile, health authorities in the UK and Italy, two of the European nations worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, are starting to offer rehabilitation services to Covid-19 survivors.

These will likely need to be wide-ranging, since research now indicates that coronavirus is a multi-system disease that can damage not only the lungs, but the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract.

Dr Piero Clavario, director of the post-Covid rehab institute attended by Pescarolo in Genoa, said his team had started contacting several hundred Covid-survivors treated by hospitals in the district in May. Of those, they have now visited more than 50.

"They are not only those that were in ICU and intubated because of Covid, but also patients that spent not more than three days in the hospitals and then went home," he said. "We investigate aspects that escape standard virological and pulmonary exams."

2:42 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

State Department releases cable that helped spread claims coronavirus emerged from Chinese lab

By Jennifer Hansler and Jamie Crawford, CNN

The Department of State building in Washington, DC.
The Department of State building in Washington, DC. Daniel Slim AFP/Getty Images

The State Department has released a 2018 diplomatic cable noting that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) had "a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory."

Contents of the 2-year-old cable, which were leaked earlier this year, provided fodder for unproven allegations from members of the Trump administration and Congress that the coronavirus may have escaped from the lab at the epicenter of the virus.

The January 2018 cable, obtained by the Washington Post after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, noted that ties between the WIV and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston could help alleviate the shortage and that, reportedly, the US-based institution was training technicians to work at the WIV.

A second cable about the WIV from April 2018 cited a French official who said that "French experts have provided guidance and biosafety training to the lab, which will continue."

Parts of both cables are redacted.

Read more here

12:52 a.m. ET, July 19, 2020

$140 fine for not wearing a mask in Australian state as Melbourne cases rise

From CNN’s Sol Han

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wears a face mask as he walks in to the daily briefing on July 19, in Melbourne, Australia.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wears a face mask as he walks in to the daily briefing on July 19, in Melbourne, Australia. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Face masks will be mandatory in parts of the Australian state of Victoria from midnight on Wednesday as cases in the region continue to rise.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Australia’s Victoria State, said Sunday that people within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire would be fined 200 Australian dollars ($140) if caught not wearing a face covering.

Andrews said Victoria had recorded 363 new Covid-19 cases Saturday, bringing the state's total to 5,696 cases.

“We are going to be wearing masks in Victoria, and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time,” Andrews said.

“There is no vaccine to this widely infectious virus. And it’s a simple thing but it’s about changing habit and it’s about it becoming a simple part of your routine.”