July 29 coronavirus news

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

Updated 12:40 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020
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10:47 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

North Carolina State Fair canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The North Carolina State Fair has been canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns, organizers for the fair announced on Facebook on Wednesday.  

The 152nd state fair was originally scheduled to take place in October. 

10:44 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Trump signals openness to short-term Covid-19 stimulus bill

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Trump signaled he may be interested in a short-term bill as negotiations on Capitol Hill have largely stalled.

“As of now we’re very far apart,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters on the South Lawn. “The President and we have discussed a short-term extension for unemployment benefits.”

Trump said the negotiation team is working to extend the eviction moratorium.

“We want to work on the evictions, so people don’t get evicted. We work on the payments to the people. And the rest of it we’re so far apart, we don’t care. We really don’t care. We want to take care of the people. The Democrats aren’t taking care of the people. The payments aren’t enough,” Trump said.

Mnuchin said they are going to wait until Friday regarding the possibility of a short-term bill, and that Trump is focused on evictions and unemployment insurance.

“We want to take care of them now, the rest we can discuss later,” Trump added.

Trump defends FBI building money: Trump was asked about a $1.75 billion provision in the bill for a new FBI building. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have voiced opposition to the measure.

Trump said that a new FBI building has been in the works “for many years,” and he thought it was “crazy” that they would consider moving it to the suburbs of Virginia or Maryland.

“I’m very good at real estate, so I said we’ll build a new FBI building, either a renovation of the existing or even better, we’ll get a new building. So we have that in the bill, it should stay,” Trump said.

Pressed by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on the fact that Republicans don’t want it in the bill, Trump said, “Then Republicans should go back to school and learn. We need a new building.”

Catch up on stimulus talks here.


10:44 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

AFL-CIO president warns of devastating consequences if $600 benefit expires

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka decried the Republican stimulus bill proposal, as benefits for millions of Americans are set to expire Friday.

“When this expires, 35 million people are going to have $600 a week less to spend. Can you imagine the shock that is going to go through our economy?” Trumka said.

The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of unions in the US, representing about 12.5 million workers. Trumka said that he sees no evidence of unemployed Americans taking advantage of the $600 benefit to not find jobs instead.

GOP senators slammed the administration for including $1.75 billion in the bill to build a new FBI building. 

“The Republican bill totally fails to recognize the magnitude of the crisis, and it directs money to people who don't need it and takes money away from people who do need it. That $600 a week is what's keeping the economy going right now,” Trumka said in an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto. 

Trumka also said that Trump is pressuring workers to return to potentially unsafe conditions. 

“What the Republicans do in this bill is they don't give a standard. That means essential workers are going to continue to get infected and continue to die. … It's the absolute wrong thing to do in a pandemic,” he said. 

Trumka also alleged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of being absent during the pandemic, saying that there have been 6,000 complaints but only two violations since February. 


9:57 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Best Buy will stay closed on Thanksgiving

From CNN‘s Jordan Valinsky

Best Buy is the latest major retailer to announce it will stay closed on Thanksgiving.

Instead, Best Buy will bolster its digital options and offer seasonal deals "earlier than ever," the company said late Tuesday.

Some context: That echoes plans from Walmart, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods. All have said within the past week that they too won't be open on Thanksgiving and will begin holiday sales earlier in the year.

Retailers are rethinking their plans for the holiday shopping season as coronavirus cases rise, prompting concerns over crowds in stores.

9:55 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

The $600 unemployment enhancement expires in 2 days. Here's where stimulus talks stand now.

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

The negotiators responsible for brokering a sweeping stimulus deal that will keep many Americans from losing federal unemployment benefits are currently at the "airing our differences" phase of talks.

But the weekly $600 federal unemployment enhancement expires in 48 hours, and, as a person involved told CNN last night, negotiators are "in different universes right now."

Here's where things stand this morning:

  • Republicans vs. Republicans: Divisions within the Republican conference spilled out last night as some GOP senators dismissed parts of their party's own leadership's stimulus plan. In particular, senators blasted the administration for including $1.75 billion in the bill to build a new FBI building.
  • What the GOP plan says about unemployment: The GOP proposal would cut enhanced federal unemployment benefits to $200, from the current level of $600, as states transition to implement a system designed to provide approximately 70% wage replacement for laid off workers.
  • What Democrats want: Democrats — who already passed their stimulus plan in the House — aren't budging on the $600 federal unemployment enhancement, nor the nearly $1 trillion for state and local funding.
  • What happens next: Contrary to where things currently sit, there are solutions here. People involved in the talks — most of whom are veterans of a half-dozen or more extremely high stakes deadline negotiations — acknowledge there are deal points here that can be reached. But they also make clear neither side is anywhere near moving towards those points at the moment. Today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will return to the Capitol Wednesday to meet again with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
10:32 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Iraq reports new daily record with almost 3,000 coronavirus cases, health ministry says

From CNN'S Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

A person prays by the grave of someone said to have died from Covid-19 at a cemetery near Najaf, Iraq, on July 20.
A person prays by the grave of someone said to have died from Covid-19 at a cemetery near Najaf, Iraq, on July 20. Anmar Khalil/AP

Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported at least 2,968 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. This is a new record in daily cases.

The total number of cases in Iraq now stands at 118,300.

The health ministry reported 68 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in Iraq to 4,603.

9:25 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Trump heads to Southern Covid-19 hotspot today

As the US nears 150,000 coronavirus deaths, President Trump is traveling to Texas today, one of the country's virus hotspots.

According to the President's schedule, Trump lands in Texas at 11:30 a.m. local time. He is participating in a roundtable with supporters and delivering remarks at a fundraising committee luncheon in Odessa, Texas.

Afterwards, Trump will motorcade to Midland, to participate in a tour of Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig and deliver remarks on energy.

Here is a look at where cases stand across the state, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Texas currently has the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 cases:

8:59 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

The US is nearing 150,000 coronavirus deaths

The US is nearing the grim milestone of 150,000 coronavirus deaths as the country continues to battle surges of Covid-19 cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally, at least 149,260 people have died from Covid-19 in the US. The country leads the world in cases with more than 4.3 million cases.

Meanwhile, at least 22 US states are seeing increases in new Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.

9:34 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Peru records highest daily increase in Covid-19 cases since June

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza and Jimena de la Quintana

People bury someone said to have died from Covid-19 at a cemetery in Arequipa, Peru, on July 22.
People bury someone said to have died from Covid-19 at a cemetery in Arequipa, Peru, on July 22. Jose Sotomayor Jimenez/AFP/Getty Images

Peru reported its highest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases with at least 5,288 in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Health Ministry on Tuesday evening. The increase is the highest the country has recorded since June 12. 

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 395,005, according to the same data, while the death toll reached 18,612 with 194 new deaths.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Martin Vizcarra announced an additional grant of 760 soles (more than $200) for 8,500 million vulnerable families affected by the pandemic.

During a televised speech celebrating Peru’s independence day at parliament, the president also announced a lifetime financial grant for children orphaned by Covid-19 of 200 soles per month (about $57).

Vizcarra also acknowledged the urgent need to reactivate the economy badly affected by the pandemic and announced a plan to create one million jobs

"With an investment of 6,350 million soles (more than $1.8 billion) to carry out infrastructure works and generate more than one million jobs throughout the country, which will start in August." Vizcarra said . 

Some background: Peru started to ease lockdown restrictions on July 1 and the state of emergency in the country is due to finish on July 31.

“Lockdown has allowed us to avoid a catastrophe of unimaginable consequences” Vizcarra said.

Peru has the third highest number of Covid-19 cases in the Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico, according to Johns Hopkins University.