July 28 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020
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3:28 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

MLB postpones multiple games out of abundance of caution

From CNN's David Close

The Miami Marlins play the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies, on Sunday.
The Miami Marlins play the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies, on Sunday. Chris Szagola/AP

Major League Baseball has announced multiple postponements of upcoming games out of an abundance of caution after multiple Miami Marlins tested positive for Covid-19. The MLB statement says Marlins’ personnel who have tested positive for coronavirus are currently in isolation and are receiving care.

Here's what was postponed, according to a statement from the MLB:

  • All games on the Miami Marlins’ schedule through Sunday.
  • The remainder of the home-and-home series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

"As a result of these postponements, the Yankees will now play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday in order to create more scheduling flexibility later in the season. Additional rescheduling during the week of August 3rd will be announced later this week," the statement said.

The MLB said that out of more than 6,400 tests conducted since Friday, July 24, no other on-field personnel has tested positive from any of the other teams.

"The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day. We are confident that Clubs and players will act appropriately, for themselves and for others, and the data provides reason to believe that the protocols can work effectively," the MLB said.

3:31 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Georgia reports nearly 4,300 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Dianne Gallagher

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 4,293 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

The statewide Covid-19 case total is now 175,052. 

The public health agency also reported 54 new deaths. The total death toll for Georgia is now 3,563. 

There were 402 new Covid-19-related hospitalizations recorded on Tuesday.

Note: These numbers were released by the Georgia Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

3:23 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Trump keeps seeking out unproven theories, even as aides try to shift focus back to the pandemic

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump wears a face mask Monday as he tours the Bioprocess Innovation Center in Morrisville, North Carolina.
President Donald Trump wears a face mask Monday as he tours the Bioprocess Innovation Center in Morrisville, North Carolina. Evan Vucci/AP

Even as President Trump’s aides attempt to shift his focus back to coronavirus, the President continues to hear from a wide range of associates — including the CEO of a far-right television network — who are undermining the administration’s health experts and questioning their approach to the pandemic, people familiar with the conversations say.

While Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci are speaking again after going more than a month without meeting, the President is also hearing from outside allies and even some inside the administration who have offered him competing advice and sometimes bad information, worrying some of his advisers who had once hoped to turn a page in the coronavirus response.

Trump also continues to hear steady criticism of Fauci, who has resumed making television appearances after weeks off the national airwaves — earning him more irritation from Trump, according to the people familiar.

The competing voices spilled into public view when Trump retweeted a message late Monday critical of Fauci that claimed the infectious disease expert had “misled the American public on many issues.” Fauci appeared hours later on ABC to say he would continue doing his job, despite the President’s attacks.

A series of events earlier on Monday illustrated the dueling stream of voices influencing Trump as the outbreak continues to rage across the nation:

  • A vaccine meeting: Midday, Fauci and others gathered in the Oval Office to update Trump on the 30,000-person phase three trial launched by Moderna. Trump later told reporters it was a “great meeting” and participants walked away believing the President was sincere in his efforts to convey more leadership on the outbreak. While the meeting focused almost exclusively on the vaccine trial, and not on Trump’s response to the virus more broadly, it seemed to participants like the President was engaged — unlike some previous meetings that became detailed with unrelated topics and complaints.
  • A trip to North Carolina: But as the day progressed, Trump heard from several others who reinforced a different message than the one being offered by the administration’s health experts. His hawkish trade adviser Peter Navarro — who published an op-ed in USA Today last week trashing Fauci without running it past the White House but was never formally reprimanded — traveled alongside Trump to North Carolina, where the President broke with health experts by calling on governors to reopen. "I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they’re not opening,” Trump said, countering the advice being offered by Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx for states to rethink how they are listing restrictions.
  • A talk with an executive of a far-right network: The same day, Trump spoke with Robert Herring, the chief executive of far-right OANN, about an unproven anti-malarial that Trump has long touted and even took himself, despite a lack of clear evidence on its efficacy in preventing or treating Covid-19. “Yesterday, I had a chance to talk to President Trump about hydroxychloroquine,” Herring later wrote on Twitter. “I gave him a list of doctors we have interviewed. I know he wants to help & put people back to work. Hope he talks to real doctors & not Dr. ‘Farci.’ Remember: Trump has cited OANN as a new favorite television channel after becoming frustrated with Fox News’ willingness to interview Democrats. The channel, which is not distributed widely, often peddles wild conspiracies and false information.

By Monday evening, Trump had taken the hydroxychloroquine message public, retweeting a series of videos that were later removed by Twitter for containing false and misleading information about mask-wearing and the unproven drug.

Fauci said on ABC he agrees with the Food and Drug Administration that “the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”

The mild rebuke from Fauci caused some Trump advisers to shake their heads, fearing another round of headlines pitting Trump against the well-respected disease expert. 

More on the Fauci-White House relationship: Last week, Trump said Fauci was a “nice guy” in an interview before his interviewer, Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports, said the doctor was “on my axe list because every time he talks and says the country should stay inside, my stocks tank.”

“Well, he’d like to see it closed up for a couple of years, but that’s okay because I’m president, so I say, ‘Well, I appreciate your opinion, now give me another opinion, somebody please,’ “ Trump responded.

Meanwhile, Navarro has sustained his attacks on Fauci, saying he doesn’t regret his unsanctioned op-ed and dinging the doctor for his first pitch last week at Nationals Park.

Asked by reporters at the White House on Tuesday about the continued attacks on Fauci, Navarro stormed away.

3:09 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Philadelphia extends ban on indoor dining until September

From CNN's Laura Ly

The City of Philadelphia has extended their ban on indoor dining until Sept. 1 due to Covid-19 concerns, the city’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced at a press conference on Tuesday. 

“Indoor dining is inherently risky. People are indoors, where we know the risk is greater. People are not wearing masks because they’re eating and drinking,” Farley said. 

Farley spoke of clusters that have occurred in restaurants in other parts of the country and the state. Such clusters have not yet been reported in Philadelphia.

“There have been clusters in restaurants that have occurred across the country, and in other counties in Pennsylvania. Now, we’re not seeing clusters occurring in Philadelphia involving spread in restaurants, but then again, we haven’t allowed indoor dining here,” Farley said.

2:55 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Oklahoma reports more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases for the 3rd day in a row

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Oklahoma reported at least 1,089 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, bringing the total to at least 33,775 cases since the pandemic began.

This is the third day in a row that the state has reported more than 1,000 cases.  

A day after reporting zero deaths, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported at least 13 new deaths, bringing the state’s total to at least 509. State health officials said that none of those deaths came within the past 24 hours, though.

The health department also reports that at least 26,363 people have recovered from the virus.

Note: These numbers were provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

2:53 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Russia claims it will soon approve the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, but major questions remain

From CNN's Matthew Chance

CNN has learned that Russia intends to approve the world’s first coronavirus vaccine in less than two weeks, despite concerns about its safety, effectiveness and that the country has cut essential corners in development.

Russian officials tell CNN they are working towards a date of August 10 or earlier for approval of the vaccine, which has been created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. 

“It’s a Sputnik moment,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is financing Russian vaccine research, referring to the successful 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union. 

“Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik’s beeping. It’s the same with this vaccine. Russia will have got there first,” he added.  

But Russia has released no scientific data on its vaccine testing and CNN is unable to verify its claimed safety or effectiveness. Critics say the country’s push for a vaccine comes amid political pressure from the Kremlin, which is keen to portray Russia as a global scientific force. There are also wide concerns human testing of the vaccine is incomplete. 

Russians scientists say the vaccine has been quick to develop because it is a modified version of a vaccine already created to fight against other diseases. Russia’s defense ministry says that Russian soldiers served as volunteers in human trials. 

In recorded comments provided to CNN, Alexander Ginsburg, the director of the project says he has already injected himself with the vaccine.

Russian officials say the drug is being fast-tracked through registration because of the global pandemic and Russia’s own severe coronavirus problem. Russia now has more than 800,000 confirmed cases. 

“Our scientists focused not on being the first but on protecting people,” said Dmitriev, whose government fund is helping finance Russia’s vaccine program. 

 “Russia marshaled its leadership position in vaccine development and its proven Ebola and MERS vaccine platform to bring the first safe and efficient solution to the world’s biggest problem,” he told CNN previously.

The World Health Organization says there is no approved vaccine for MERS.

3:16 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

New York suspends 45 businesses' liquor licenses for coronavirus violations

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

About 45 businesses in New York have had their liquor licenses suspended for "egregious violations" of coronavirus regulations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced in a statement on Tuesday, including 12 suspensions over the weekend in New York City.

Over 100 business have been cited for violations – which can carry a fine of up to $10,000, according to the statement. 

A multi-agency task force conducted 644 compliance checks on Monday night and observed 26 additional violations, Cuomo's office says.

"New Yorkers have worked hard to flatten the curve, but the bars and restaurants that ignore public health guidance are disrespecting their sacrifices which have saved lives while allowing us to sustain the reopening of our economy," Cuomo said in the statement.

State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley said the SLA will continue to suspend licenses of those "who jeopardize lives" by violating the governor's executive order.

"Our communities, as well as the majority of restaurant and bar owners and staff, have endured great sacrifices to bend the curve, and the SLA will not hesitate to take immediate action against those who threaten the progress our state has made," Bradley said in the statement.

2:33 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Ohio fairs will have only junior events to limit Covid-19 spread

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Today Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced his decision to limit all fairs to junior fair events only. This applies to all fairs starting on or after this Friday.

“As we head into really the busiest part of the year of the summer with the county fairs, it’s become increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular safe fair in the Ohio summer, Covid-summer of 2020, that we simply cannot do that,” DeWine said.

Going forward, only livestock competitions and other 4-H and FFA competitions for children and teenagers will be allowed. The state is also prohibiting rides, games and grandstand events in order to limit crowds.

Additionally, fairgrounds will be under a 10 p.m. local time curfew, with the exception of a show that might run later than that, according to DeWine.

2:55 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Florida governor touts "positive developments" in Covid-19 fight as state breaks record for new deaths

From CNN’s Angela Barajas

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, speaks during a news conference as Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Don Soffer Clinical Research Center on July 27 in Miami.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, speaks during a news conference as Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Don Soffer Clinical Research Center on July 27 in Miami. Wilfredo Lee/AP

At a roundtable in Orlando today with medical professionals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has seen "positive development over the last few months, generating improved outcomes in patient recovery."

Earlier today, Florida recorded 186 new deaths, breaking the previous record of 173 deaths on Thursday, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health. The statewide total resident death toll is at least 6,117 to date. 

DeSantis said the Covid-19 fatalities reported today were "probably reflective of infections and hospitalizations that have happened in the past, so it's more of a lagging indicator."

DeSantis explained, "whereas, I think the ED visits and some of the hospital censuses is probably more of a leading indicator about where things are trending. And so as you have fewer ED visits, as you have fewer Covid-positive patients in the hospital, we think and I'm pretty sure with what the good work they're doing, you'll see mortality decrease as well." 

A new shipment of 20,000 remdisivir vials is expected to be distributed across Florida hospitals today

Medical professionals at today's roundtable expressed concerned for non-Covid patients in need of treatment for other conditions keeping away from the hospital but ultimately need critical care. 

Hospital officials noted they have seen "a steady, but very consistent decline" in their census among Central Florida facilities. They peaked at 515 patients on July 19th. Today they are accounting for 406 patients.