July 22 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Steve George, Tara John, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:10 a.m. ET, July 23, 2020
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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

 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday July 22.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday July 22. House of Commons/PA/AP

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

Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images
Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images

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

President Donald Trump holds a face mask as he speaks during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21.
President Donald Trump holds a face mask as he speaks during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 21. Evan Vucci/AP

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.

4:47 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Connecticut reports 127 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Connecticut reported 127 new Covid-19 cases today and no new deaths from the virus since yesterday, according to a statement from Gov. Ned Lamont. 

The state has a total of 48,223 cases of Covid-19 and 4,406 deaths from the virus, the statement said. 

Note: The numbers listed were released by the state of Connecticut and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:30 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Seattle schools superintendent recommends starting the year remotely

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools is recommending that the district start the 2020-21 school year remotely, a statement on the school district website said. 

“We will follow the remote instruction model until the risk of significant transmission of Covid-19 has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction,” the statement said.

Seattle Public Schools is the largest K-12 school system in Washington state and has an enrollment of more than 50,000 students, according to its website.

“We can't imagine a way to open schools without the risk of significant transmission of Covid-19 based on the current trajectory of infections in King County,” the statement said.

However, the district said that they “will adapt and respond as quickly as possible” as the Covid-19 outbreak evolves.

The school board will vote on the superintendent's recommendation and an associated plan for fall 2020 on August 12.


4:34 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

São Paulo reports more than 16,000 new cases

From Marcia Reverdosa in Sao Paulo

Cemetery workers in protective clothing bury victims of the new coronavirus at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 15.
Cemetery workers in protective clothing bury victims of the new coronavirus at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 15. Andre Penner/AP/FILE

The Brazilian state of São Paulo registered 16,777 new coronavirus cases Wednesday — the second highest daily number since the start of the pandemic. The new cases bring the total number for the state, the most populous in Brazil, to 439,446. 

Sao Paulo also reported 361 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 20,532. 

The executive coordinator of the São Paulo Contingency Center, João Gabbardo, acknowledged the number of new cases was higher than expected but said there was no cause for alarm.

"If we analyze this week, from Sunday to Wednesday, considering the data from this epidemiological week, and the data from yesterday, we will reach the number of 27,000 confirmed cases," he said.

He added delays in the input of data by laboratories may explain Wednesday's high number. "In the same four days of the previous week, week 29, we had 35,000 confirmed cases," he said.

The highest daily figure in the state was 19,030, recorded on June 19.