July 21 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Ivana Kottasová, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:23 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
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8:04 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Colombia's coronavirus death toll surpasses 7,000

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon

A health worker collects a swab sample from a detained man to be tested for the new coronavirus, at police station in Cali, Colombia, on July 21.
A health worker collects a swab sample from a detained man to be tested for the new coronavirus, at police station in Cali, Colombia, on July 21. Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Colombia's health ministry reported 7,033 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the country's total to 211,038 cases. 

The ministry also reported 239 new fatalities, bringing the nationwide total death toll to 7,166. 

Despite the growing number of cases, Health Minister Fernando Ruiz defended Colombia's strategy not to impose a nationwide lockdown and instead try to isolate the hotspots across the country. 

Speaking on television on Tuesday, Ruiz said, "This approach is much more effective than shutting down the whole country." 

7:43 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Pelosi: Trump has recognized the "mistakes that he has made"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on July 16 in Washington.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on July 16 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday responded to President Trump's briefing earlier in the day, in which he warned the pandemic would probably get worse before it gets better, saying he had realized his early actions and rhetoric were in error.

"He recognized the mistakes that he has made by now embracing mask wearing and the recognition this is not a hoax, it is a pandemic that has gotten worse before it will get better because of his inaction and in fact clearly it is the 'Trump virus,'" she said, speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"If he had said months ago 'let's wear a mask, let's socially distance' instead of having rallies.... then more people would have followed his lead," Pelosi added. "He is the President of the United States."

In today's briefing that lasted around 30 minutes, Trump again said he believed the virus would disappear and insisted the American response to the pandemic was "much better" than in other places.

But he also offered more realistic projections that his advisers hope will make him appear like a sober-minded leader.

"It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better," Trump said, echoing a prediction he made at the start of April of a "rough" two weeks ahead.

Pelosi suggested that Trump ought to have taken the tone he took today in March, instead of waiting until the virus surged across the country.

"If it's important to wear a mask now, it would have been important to wear it in March instead of telling us that by April, we would all be going to church together," she said. "I wish that were the case."

7:21 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Indianapolis 500 to require fans wear face coverings

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26, 2019 in Indiana.
The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26, 2019 in Indiana. Chirs Graythen/Getty Images

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Tuesday that fan attendance of approximately 25% of capacity will be allowed at the 2020 Indianapolis 500, and all attendees will be required to wear face coverings.

Race officials originally announced in late June a planned attendance of 50% of capacity, but said Tuesday that policies and procedures put into effect by Indianapolis Motor Speedway led to this new reduced attendance.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Indy 500 organizers were hoping to draw more than 300,000 attendees this year. Twenty-five percent of that total would still make the 2020 Indy 500 the most attended sporting event in the US since the onset of the pandemic.

The race is scheduled for August 23 after being postponed from its original date of May 24.

Race officials plan to unveil a nearly 100-page plan of guidelines and protocols for how the race will be run on July 22.

7:01 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

UC Berkeley to begin fall semester online only

From CNN's Sarah Moon

UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley Shutterstock

The University of California, Berkeley will begin fall semester with “fully remote instruction,” the university announced in a statement to its faculty and staff on Tuesday.

Citing trend lines and the increase in coronavirus cases across California and Alameda County, the university said a “dramatic reversal in the public health situation” is unlikely before the semester begins on August 26.

“We continue our preparations to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow,” UC Berkeley said. 

The fully remote option is open for all students, according to the statement. UC Berkeley plans to continue with remote education after Thanksgiving, even if some in-person instruction becomes available.

UC Berkeley is the first among 10 campuses across the state to announce its decision to begin the semester entirely online.

6:53 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Brazil reports more than 41,000 new coronavirus cases

From Rodrigo Pedroso, Fernanda Wenzel and Sugam Pokharel

A health professional takes a patient on a trolley at the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital (HUPE) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 15.
A health professional takes a patient on a trolley at the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital (HUPE) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 15. Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil reported 41,008 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,159,654, the country's health ministry said.

The ministry also registered 1,367 new fatalities due to the virus, raising the total death toll to 81,487.

Earlier Tuesday, the Pan American Health Organization said Covid-19 "is showing no signs of slowing down" in the Americas.

"There have been a total of 7.7 million cases and more than 311,000 deaths reported in the region as of July 20," PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne said in Tuesday's briefing.

6:51 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he took another coronavirus test since testing positive

Jair Bolsonaro President of Brazil looks on in front of the official residence in Alvorada Palace on July 18 in Brasilia.
Jair Bolsonaro President of Brazil looks on in front of the official residence in Alvorada Palace on July 18 in Brasilia. Bruna Prado/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday said he took a second Covid-19 test since testing positive for the virus on July 7.

He made the statement to a crowd of supporters gathered in front of his presidential residence, video broadcast live on his Facebook page showed.

Wearing a mask and separated from supporters by a small water canal, Bolsonaro said he expects the result to come out soon.

“Tomorrow morning or late afternoon, God willing, it will be negative and I will return to normal. Then on Friday, I will travel to Piaui,” Bolsonaro said referring to a state in the northeast of the country, where he is expected to meet governors.

On July 15, Bolsonaro said he took another coronavirus test that again came out positive. 

This is the fourth consecutive day that the far-right president of Brazil left his residence in the afternoon for a walk outdoors to greet his fans.

During the interaction, a supporter asked if she could have breakfast with Bolsonaro on Wednesday but was reminded by the the his aides that she cannot get close, as the president may still be infected.

6:46 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fact check: Trump claims that governors have "everything they need"

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

President Trump claimed governors are receiving “everything they need” from the federal government and that “tremendous amounts” of critical medical supplies are available for states that need them.

“The governors are working very, very hard and we are supporting them 100%, everything they need they get, and we are taking good care,” Trump said. “We have tremendous supplies and a great supply chain. Whether it's ventilators or gowns or just about anything they need.” 

Facts First: Trump is overselling the federal pandemic response. Some governors have what they need, but others have said the Trump administration is falling short. And even though he says “tremendous supplies” are available, some hospitals and health care workers still don’t have enough protective gear, and experts say Trump’s slow decision-making is partially to blame.

The country is in better shape than a few months ago, but there are still reports of equipment shortages. Some frontline health care workers are still rationing their personal protective gear.

CNN previously reported the Trump administration has not fully utilized the Defense Production Act to spur manufacturing of critical supplies like masks, gowns and gloves. Some efforts are underway, but experts say it’s not enough and that the law was invoked far too late. Because of that, smaller physicians’ offices and assisted-living facilities are currently facing shortages.

Regarding the governors, Trump is exaggerating.

CNN reached out to governors’ offices across the country earlier this month, after Trump made a similar claim about governors having everything they needed. Democratic governors from Washington state, Colorado, Michigan and Illinois said they needed more supplies from the federal government. One Republican governor told CNN that Trump’s comment was accurate.

Trump is a repeat offender on this front. He also said in April that governors were satisfied with the supplies they received, even as governors from both parties said they faced shortages of medical equipment. 

6:35 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fact check: Trump makes misleading claim about banning travel from Europe and China

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam 

Touting the actions his administration took to address coronavirus, President Trump claimed, "We closed the border to China, we put on the ban.” He later added, “I closed the borders from Europe." 

Facts First: It’s misleading for Trump to say he closed the US border to travel from China and Europe because both policies contained multiple exemptions, including for US citizens and permanent residents; the Europe policy exempted entire countries. Only foreign nationals who had been in China, Europe's Schengen area, the UK or Ireland within the past 14 days were outright banned from entering the US. 

You can read more about Trump’s travel restrictions here.

6:29 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fact check: Trump claims that he inherited "empty cupboards." Here's what we know.

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam

At Tuesday's briefing, President Trump tried to shift blame for his administration’s delayed response to the coronavirus pandemic on his predecessor, claiming once again that he inherited “very empty cupboards.”

Facts First: The Strategic National Stockpile was not empty before the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the stockpile contains enough smallpox vaccines for every American, among other medical resources. And while the stockpile of some critical supplies that could be used to combat coronavirus was drained and not replenished, Trump had three years in office to build those depleted stockpiles back up.

Trump has also previously claimed the US didn’t have any ventilators when he took office or when the coronavirus pandemic hit. However, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for “many years,” including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020; the spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.

Ultimately, Trump ignored the warnings of experts and failed to restock masks and prepare other supplies to fight a potential pandemic.

You can read a longer fact check on Trump’s claims about inheriting an empty cupboard of supplies here.