July 30 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, July 31, 2020
105 Posts
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6:47 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Key coronavirus model projects 230,822 deaths in US by November

From CNN’s Haley Brink

The University of Washington now projects there will be 230,822 US deaths from Covid-19 by November, based on the current scenario.   

On July 22, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasted 219,864 total deaths from the virus by November. 

The latest update reflects an increase of about 11,000 deaths due to an increase in infections and the refusal by some people to wear masks, to practice social distancing, and to perform other measures to mitigate the transmission of the virus.

If the US universally adopted wearing masks, the number of deaths by November would drop to nearly 198,831, the model projected. The use of masks is up but not as high as it should be across the nations. However, there has been a rise in mask wearing across states and locations with increased cases and deaths, the IHME said.

"If 95% of Americans wore masks each time they left their homes, infection rates would drop, hospitalizations would drop, and forecast deaths would drop,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at IHME. "Unfortunately, people let down their guard until media report the risk of increased infections."

Some context: So far, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 4.47 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and at least 151,674 have died. 

"We would like for Americans to keep their guard up to reduce the transmission of the virus. We do not have an effective drug and vaccines are on their way, so prevention is key." Mokdad told CNN. 


6:45 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Florida governor advocates for parents to choose between in-person and virtual learning

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis The Florida Channel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis advocated Thursday for parents to be able to choose either in-person or distance learning as districts in the state weigh their options for the upcoming school year.

“I believe that there should be a choice for parents throughout Florida,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

“Parents who prefer distance learning should be able to opt for it, and parents who desire in person instruction should have access to it," he added.

DeSantis cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as he said “kids under 18 are far less likely to be hospitalized or to die from Covid-19 than they are from seasonal influenza.” 

The CDC released guidelines last Thursday that pushed for schools to reopen and pointed to studies showing that children are not at high risk of severe symptoms from coronavirus, as well as to studies showing younger children may not be important vectors for the spread of the virus.

“We cannot be the generation that deprives our children of the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential,” DeSantis said.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last Friday that “there's still a lot to learn about what the prevalence and incidence of infection is in children.” 

6:43 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Connecticut increase among young people

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Gov. Ned Lamont
Gov. Ned Lamont CT-N

Connecticut has seen a notable increase in coronavirus rates among 10 to 19 year olds, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference on Thursday.

He said the rates have “doubled.” 

Lamont blamed the spike on kids drinking and partying, and cited the potential risks to other families and teachers, if or when kids return to school. He went on to say that parents need to make sure their children are following safe protocols.

"The power of shame is greater than anything I can do by edict or punishment," the governor said.

On schools: Lamont also said he is leaving it up to school districts to determine what they want to do with respect to in-person or hybridized learning, with a likely emphasis on more in-person schooling for younger kids.

Any school or district that wishes to opt out of any in-person schooling will have to present its case before the education commissioner, he said.

Lamont said there have been at least six new deaths since the last update and approximately 13 new hospitalizations.

6:32 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Brazil records roughly 58,000 new coronavirus cases

From Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

Brazil's health ministry reported 57,837 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing the country's total to 2,610,102.

The ministry also reported 1,129 new deaths from the virus, bringing Brazil's death toll to 91,263.

Some context: This new data was released after President Jair Bolsonaro's press office announced today that Brazil’s first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, tested positive for Covid-19. 

On Saturday, the president tested negative after several positive tests.

6:43 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

White House chief of staff "not very optimistic" there will be agreement on a "comprehensive bill"

From CNN's Manu Raju and Ali Zaslav

Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, speaks to members of the media at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, July 30.
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, speaks to members of the media at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, July 30. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday he is “not very optimistic that we will have any kind of an agreement on a comprehensive bill in the near future."

Asked to clarify what he meant by near future, he replied, “I’m not even optimistic about next week.”

Meadows talked with reporters for more than 20 minutes at the US Capitol Thursday amid stalled negotiations over the next stimulus bill, as senators left for the weekend and federal unemployment benefits expire tomorrow.

Watch here:

6:14 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Trump: A permanent shutdown is "not a viable long-term strategy" for the US

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said shutting down the economy "to achieve a temporary reduction in cases is certainly not a viable long-term strategy for any country" as coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

"The scientific path forward is to protect those at highest risk while allowing those at lower risk to carefully return to work and to school with appropriate precautions," he said at a news briefing on Thursday.

"A permanent shutdown would no longer be the answer at all," he added.

He said the purpose of the shutdown was to flatten the curve and to develop treatments and therapies.

"We have done that," Trump said, but warned the virus "can come rearing back when you least suspect it."

Trump said moving forward, it is important to protect elderly people and those with health conditions that put them at higher risk for complications.

"You want to protect the elderly and socially distance. Wear a mask if you cannot socially distance and practice vigorous hygiene. Everyone – even healthy young people – should be taking extraordinary care to avoid infecting those at the highest risk from this terrible disease," he said.

Watch here:

6:04 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

Trump pays his respect to Herman Cain who died from Covid-19

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump expressed his sadness over the death of Herman Cain, who passed away from Covid-19 after spending nearly a month in the hospital with the virus.  

“He was a very special person, and I got to know him very well,” the President said during a news briefing this afternoon.

Trump sent prayers to Cain’s wife and “wonderful family.”

Earlier Thursday: Trump tweeted that he had spoken with the Cain family.

“America grieves for all of the 150,000 Americans who had their lives taken by this horrible invisible enemy,” Trump said. “We mourn their loss as a nation, we mourn their loss as people, as people that love one another.”


6:05 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

The head of vaccine effort is "optimistic" vaccines will be available for everybody within the year 2021

From CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen

The head of Operation Warp Speed said he’s “optimistic” there will be vaccines for all Americans by the end of next year, but hopefully even sooner. 

“I am optimistic that we will have vaccines for everybody within the year 2021, ideally within the first half of the year 2021. That's our objective,” said Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the federal government’s multi-billion-dollar program to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. 

In his first television interview since being appointed, Slaoui spoke with CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen on Thursday while touring a vaccine clinical trial site in Savannah, Georgia. 

Phase 3 clinical trials – the final step before government approval – are underway in the United States for two vaccines, one made by Moderna and another by Pfizer. Operation Warp Speed is also funding six other vaccine efforts, Slaoui said. 

Slaoui said he expects to “probably have a few tens of millions of doses [of vaccine] in December and January” and those would go to high-risk individuals. 

“We will not have doses for the full US population on day one,” he said.

High-risk individuals include the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

5:29 p.m. ET, July 30, 2020

There is no "cost-benefit ratio of letting people sit in bars" until there is a vaccine, Bill Gates says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said schools should be opened up if infection rates get very low, but he can’t see a benefit to reopening bars and restaurants.

Speaking during a Time 100 Talk on Thursday, Gates said that it was a good thing that, in many of the initial hotspots, such as New York City, the numbers were down dramatically.

“If the numbers get very low,” he said, “then you can do opening up and things like schools – particularly for young children – should be opened up.”

For bars and restaurants, however, Gates said that until there is a vaccine, “sadly, I just can’t see the cost-benefit ratio of letting people sit in bars” due to the amount of transmission that has come out of them, from people talking loudly and being close to each other. 

“We haven’t been as tasteful as we might like to be,” he said, and the country is now paying a price for some places that reopened despite an increase in Covid-19 cases. 

Later this year: Autumn could be a challenge because people will be indoors more. Cold and flu symptoms could make things a bit more confusing, Gates said.

“So, if we can use the next few months to get the numbers down, that will make a huge difference in terms of the death going into the fall,” said Gates.

He described the fall as a mix where “the innovation track is the good news that could bring things down, and a lack of social distancing – you know – that one hangs in the balance.”