Trump says he'll decide over next day on mandating masks on federal property
From CNN's Kevin Liptak
President Trump said he would make a decision over the next day on whether to mandate masks on federal property.
"We’re going to make a decision over the next 24 hours," Trump said when asked whether he would follow the local government in Washington, DC, on mandating masks.
While DC Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a mandate on masks on Wednesday, it won't extend to federal buildings.
Trump repeated his support of mask wearing, and again pulled out his mask to demonstrate his willingness to wear it (though didn't actually put it on).
While Trump once mandated masks be worn by staff on the White House complex, the order expired and they are no longer mandatory for aides.
6:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Texas records 197 new Covid-19 deaths
From CNN's Raja Razek
Texas reported Wednesday 197 new Covid-19-related fatalities — the highest number of deaths recorded in a single day in the state.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the state now stands at 4,348.
Texas also reported a new record number of hospitalizations in the state, with 10,893 Covid-19 patients. It surpassed Tuesday's record of 10,848 patients.
The state reported 9,879 new positive Covid-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 351,618 cases.
Note: These numbers were released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
5:59 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Brazil's Bolsonaro wears a mask and talks with supporters after his third positive coronavirus test
From Fernanda Wenzel in Sao Paulo
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro talked with supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia Wednesday after again testing positive for Covid-19.
Earlier Wednesday, Bolsonaro told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil he had tested positive again, just over two weeks after taking his initial test that came back positive on July 7.
Bolsonaro, wearing a face mask, greeted supporters during a flag-lowering ceremony, as he has done several times since working from the presidential palace in semi-isolation.
The president did not speak about the virus during his appearance.
5:42 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Here's the latest coronavirus update from Peru
From CNN's Abel Alvarado, Maria Ramirez Uribe, and Chandler Thornton
Peru confirmed 3,688 new Covid-19 deaths that were previously unaccounted for, according to the country's government.
The new deaths from the novel coronavirus were brought to light after an analysis by a special commission that studied 20,000 cases from March to June, Peruvian Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti Soler said in a news conference Wednesday.
"Today, according to our routine analysis, we would have 13,767 deaths and to this number, after conducting the committee's analysis, we will add 3,688 deaths," Soler said.
With these newly confirmed deaths, Peru's death toll from the virus went from 13,767 to 17,455. This toll puts it ahead of Iran in total number of deaths from the virus worldwide. Iran has 14,853 Covid-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Soler said the committee will conduct another analysis for the month of July.
"The discrepancy in information is covered until June. This committee will also evaluate a second set of data, or rather are already evaluating, so that we can have the information for July," the minister said.
The minister did not specifically mention the reason for the discrepancy in numbers, but did say the analysis is done on a case-by-case basis from 8,000 entities.
5:50 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
UK prime minister directs military to prepare for quadruple winter crisis
From CNN's Sarah Dean and Nada Bashir
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the British military to prepare for a potential four-way winter crisis, with the possibility of a second coronavirus spike, a seasonal flu outbreak, winter flooding and disruptions caused by the UK's transition out of the European Union threatening to overwhelm national resources.
Giving evidence to Parliament’s Public Services Committee on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence’s head of military strategy and operations unit confirmed that the army is working with the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre and government officials to develop a new contingency plan.
“The [coronavirus] crisis is still very firmly with us, and definitely as we look towards the winter now…we can see the normal flu season, we’re obviously transitioning out of the EU, and we have our normal floods,” Lt. Gen. Douglas Chalmers said.
“We’re looking very heavily at how we do winter preparedness … we will support some of the departmental table-top exercising,” he added.
According to Chalmers, the army has been ordered by the prime minister’s office to develop a new contingency plan by the end of August.
“Number 10 has been very clear those table-top exercises need to be done by the end of August in order that we can learn from them and then act on some of those elements that have been brought forward,” he said.
5:32 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Fauci will not be at today's White House briefing
From CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jim Acosta
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, tells CNN that he will not be in attendance at today's White House briefing with President Trump.
A White House official said there were early rumblings that Trump might bring guests to today’s news conference. But the official cautioned Trump could change his mind.
5:17 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Senators accuse White House of belittling pandemic by ignoring long-term effects of infection
From CNN's Maggie Fox
A group of senators accused the White House of downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic by ignoring the serious and long-term effects the virus can have on some patients.
They wrote a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, asking him to outline how the White House coronavirus task force plans to address the issue of lasting health effects from infection.
“As the number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States reaches new highs on a daily basis, the failure to fully understand, communicate, and address the chronic long-term morbidity risks from the disease would represent a new and dramatic public health failure on top of the Trump Administration’s initial and ongoing failure to contain the disease,” the four Democratic senators – Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont – wrote.
Earlier on Wednesday, the World Health Organization’s Dr. Mike Ryan said many patients suffer long-term fatigue and poor lung function. “Even if you're not going to die from it, and even if you're not going to be admitted to the hospital, a significant minority of people – even young people – find it hard to make a full and immediate recovery from the disease,” he said.
The senators noted that scientific reports about these problems have been building for weeks.
“In the face of this mounting evidence, President Trump and other White House officials have falsely and dangerously continued to belittle the risks of the growing pandemic,” they wrote in the letter, obtained exclusively by CNN.
“President Trump has falsely tried to assure the public that ‘99%’ of coronavirus cases are ‘totally harmless’ and has repeatedly claimed that the virus will one day just ‘disappear,’” they wrote.
“Similarly, Vice President Pence claimed that Americans can ‘take some comfort in the fact that fatalities are declining all across the country,’ calling it ‘very encouraging news’ that an increasing number of coronavirus cases are occurring in younger victims,” they added.
“But using fatality rates as the sole measure of effectiveness in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic – essentially acting as if the only potential risk from COVID-19 is death – would ignore the growing evidence of the chronic health impacts of the disease.”
They asked Pence to answer questions about how the task force is evaluating the risks to survivors.
“How are these risks being factored into Task Force actions and recommendations alongside the mortality risks of the disease? Specifically, how does the Task Force evaluate and assess these risks with regard to reopening schools, businesses, and the economy?” they asked.
“How are CDC, NIH, and other federal agencies conducting long-term surveillance or other research on survivors of COVID-19, including those who presented with nonsevere symptoms and those who presented with severe symptoms? How is this information being transmitted to and used by the Task Force?”
They asked for answers by July 31.
5:04 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Covid-19 set to become one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
Covid-19 is set to become one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County, according to Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Coronary heart disease is the top killer, and claimed nearly 6,000 lives in the first six months of 2019. In the first six months of this year, more than 4,200 people in Los Angeles County died as a result of Covid-19.
Ferrer acknowledged that the comparison is not exact as data from two separate years is being used. This year’s data has not yet been finalized, she said.
“It’s killing more people than Alzheimer’s disease, other kinds of heart disease, stroke, and [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease],” Ferrer said.
Comparing Covid-19 to the flu, Ferrer provided data that shows Covid-19 killing twice as many people in six months as the flu did in eight months.
Los Angeles added 3,266 coronavirus cases to its cumulative tally, bringing the county’s total to 164,870. The total number of deaths recorded in Los Angeles County stands at 4,213.
“Younger adults are driving the high rate of infections, but the older adults are the ones who are dying,” Ferrer said, urging the public to consider others when venturing out.
4:57 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
Louisiana reports largest daily increase in Covid-19 deaths since May
From CNN’s Kay Jones
Louisiana recorded today its highest daily death total since May 1, according the governor’s office. At least 60 deaths were reported today from Covid-19.
The state also recorded 2,802 new cases today, bringing the total to 99,354.
According to the Department of Health, 1,581 people have been hospitalized in the state and 188 people are on ventilators.