August 4 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020
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8:12 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

US reports more than 45,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton in Atlanta

A total of 45,585 new coronavirus cases and 542 deaths from the virus were recorded in the United States on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

That brings the nationwide total to at least 4,713,540 confirmed Covid-19 infections, including at least 155,402 related fatalities. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

1:14 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

China reports 36 new coronavirus cases

Residents undergo coronavirus testing in the Xinjiang province of China, on August 1.
Residents undergo coronavirus testing in the Xinjiang province of China, on August 1. Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's National Health Commission recorded 36 new coronavirus cases on Monday amid an outbreak in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

Twenty-eight locally transmitted infections were detected in Xinjiang, mostly emanating from the provincial capital, Urumqi, the NHC said on Tuesday.

Two other cases of local transmission were found in Liaoning, a coastal province in northeastern China.

Meanwhile, six imported cases were found across the country -- four in Guangdong province, one in Shanghai, and one in Sichuan.

Chinese authorities also claimed on Monday that a cluster of cases in Dalian, Liaoning, was unrelated to outbreaks in Xinjiang and Beijing, with it possibility originating from abroad. 

The NHC reported that there were no deaths in China from Covid-19 on Monday. 

11:49 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Trump uses campaign email to ask supporters to wear face masks

From CNN's Caroline Kelly

US President Donald Trump on Monday sent a campaign email, typically used for soliciting donations, to make a different request of his supporters: consider wearing a mask.

"We are all in this together, and while I know there has been some confusion surrounding the usage of face masks, I think it's something we should all try to do when we are not able to be socially distanced from others," the email, sent by the Trump campaign and signed by the President, read.

The rare move comes after Trump avoided wearing a mask in public for months until he tweeted a photo of himself wearing one in a stark messaging pivot in July -- though footage later surfaced of Trump not wearing a mask later that day.

The shift to encouraging mask-wearing was primarily motivated by floundering poll numbers, a source familiar with the President's thinking told CNN last month, and came nearly three months after he publicly announced new mask recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and two months since he mocked his election rival Joe Biden for wearing one.

In Monday's email, Trump highlighted mask wearing as a potential means of accelerating a return to normal life, lamenting the effects of the coronavirus using a stigmatizing and inaccurate term for the virus.

"I don't love wearing them either. Masks may be good, they may be just okay, or they may be great," the email continued. "They can possibly help us get back to our American way of life that so many of us rightfully cherished before we were so terribly impacted by the China Virus."
Trump added, "My feeling is, we have nothing to lose, and possibly everything to gain, including the next chapter to our country, and to keep things open whether it be schools or businesses."

Read the full story:

3:43 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Australia to deploy 500 more soldiers to Victoria state to enforce stay-at-home order

From CNN's Isaac Yee

Australia’s Defense Department will deploy 500 more troops to enforce stay-at-home orders in the state of Victoria, according to State Premier Daniel Andrews.

“I can confirm there will be more than 500 additional ADF (Australian Defense Force) personnel come to Melbourne in the coming days, they will be accompanied by more than 300 additional authorized officers from the health department, they will continue to go out in teams to door knock,” Andrews said on Tuesday morning.

Andrews also announced new penalties for people found to be in breach of directions from the chief health officer, including a newly increased $3,540 on-the-spot fine for people who breach isolation orders, the largest instant penalty in Victoria.

Andrews added that people who conduct in “particularly selfish behavior” may also be taken to court, where they can be fined up to $14,290. 

Andrews said the new fines were being imposed because of the 3,000 door knocks on infected people -- who are meant to be self isolating -- 800 patients were not home.

Victoria’s Minister for Police Lisa Neville also warned that Victorian Police will be out in force to find people who are in breach of coronavirus restrictions, saying officers “will not hesitate” to fine people or even detain them in certain cases.

Victoria recorded 439 new Covid-19 cases and 11 fatalities in the past 24 hours, Andrews said. That brings the total number of cases reported in the state to 12,335 and the total death toll to 147.

Read more about coronavirus restrictions in Victoria here:

8:25 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Trump criticizes Birx for the first time after she issues coronavirus warnings

From CNN's Betsy Klein

US President Donald Trump criticized Dr. Deborah Birx in a Monday tweet after she warned the pandemic is "extraordinarily widespread" in the US.

While Trump and other top White House officials have publicly attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the tweet marked the first time Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, publicly drew Trump's ire.

The dust-up comes as the country continues to be ravaged by coronavirus, with more than 155,000 US citizens dead and more than 4.7 million cases. Trump has consistently lied and misled mostly in attempts to downplay concerns about the virus as he presses for schools and businesses to reopen.

"So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!" Trump wrote.

When Trump was asked what he meant in his tweet, the President sidestepped the question.

"Well, I think that we're doing very well and we have done as well as any nation," he told reporters at a press briefing Monday afternoon.

"I told Dr. Birx I think we're doing very well. She was in my office a little while ago. She's a person I have a lot of respect for. I think Nancy Pelosi's treated her very badly," Trump added. "And I'm just referring to the fact that I thought that, really, they should say the job we've done ... I think we're just doing very well."

Birx sounded the alarms during an appearance on CNN Sunday, telling CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" that the pandemic has reached a new phase.

"What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas," she said, suggesting that some Americans in multi-generational families should start wearing masks inside their homes.

She did not reject a warning by former Federal Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb that there could be 300,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of the year, saying, "Anything is possible."

Read the full story:

11:20 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

WHO director-general urges everyone to "do it all" to control Covid-19

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

At a press briefing in Geneva on Monday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke about Friday’s meeting of the Emergency Committee on Covid-19.

“It was a sobering moment coming six months on from when the committee advised, and I agreed, that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” Tedros said.

He detailed the rise in cases since this initial meeting, going from fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China on January 30, to more than 17.5 million cases and 680,000 deaths.

Tedros said that in addition to the direct toll of Covid-19, it is also having a social, economic and political impact.

“The committee put forward a number of recommendations for countries to continue to implement to bring the virus under control,” he said.

According to Tedros, these range from sharing best practices, to enhancing political commitment, and leadership for national strategies.

Tedros also highlighted that a number of vaccines are in promising stages of development.

“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment -- and there might never be,” he said. “For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.”

He gave examples which, among others, included testing, isolating and treating patients, informing communities, keeping physical distance and wearing a mask -- urging everyone to “do it all.”

“And when it’s under control, keep going,” Tedros said.

This week, WHO is also launching a mask challenge with partners from around the world, Tedros said, where they are encouraging people to post photos of themselves wearing masks.

“As well as being one of the key tools to stop the virus, the mask has come to represent solidarity,” he said.

Wearing a mask sends a powerful message, he said, that everyone is in this together. 

8:13 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Large gatherings continue on Rio de Janeiro beaches despite rising Covid-19 cases

From Marcia Reverdosa and CNN’s Maria Ramirez Uribe

Sunny weather over the weekend in Brazil led to large gatherings of hundreds of people with no social distancing on Rio de Janeiro beaches. 

On Saturday, Rio de Janeiro City Hall began phase five of its reopening plan. Under this new phase, swimming and water sports are allowed; however, individuals cannot remain on the sand. Despite this, large groups of people defied the order. 

Around 400 people were asked to leave the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches by the Municipal Guard of Rio de Janeiro, and more than 100 people were fined after being caught not wearing face masks in public. The fines cost 107 reais ($20).

Under phase five, City Hall authorizes the opening of bars, malls and restaurants with extended hours and street shops can also open on Sundays.

Vendors selling products, food and drinks are allowed on beaches, but the rental of tents and chairs, and the sale of alcoholic beverages is not yet allowed.

In 55 days of inspection, the Municipal Guard has registered 3,677 sanitary infractions.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella said he is looking into a system for residents to reserve spaces in the sand by using their phones, according to a release from City Hall. The project is being discussed at the Secretariat of the Environment and has no implementation date yet.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has the second-highest number of cases and deaths in Brazil. Of the 167,225 cases, nearly 50% belong to the city of Rio de Janeiro. Of the 13,572 deaths in the state of Rio de Janeiro, nearly 60% belong to the city of Rio.

8:19 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Only 2.5% of Italians have Covid-19 antibodies, government study shows

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome and Mia Alberti in Lisbon

Authorities in Italy have found that only 2.5% of Italians, or 1,482,000 people, have Covid-19 antibodies despite it being one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe.

According to the results of a national survey released on Monday, the northern region of Lombardy, the worse-hit by the pandemic, reported the highest number of people with antibodies, 7.5%, while the two main Italian islands, Sicily and Sardinia, had the lowest number of 0.3 % of the population. 

“The different results of the survey in the country’s territory are very relevant. This means that the tough and rigorous measure adopted by the central and regional governments, and the correct behavior of the Italian people avoided a more massive spread of the virus,” Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said during a news conference on Monday. 

According to the survey, almost a third of those who tested positive for antibodies were asymptomatic and the most frequent source of infection, in 41.7% of the cases, is from a relative living in the same house. 

The current number of people with antibodies is six times higher than that registered during the pandemic, said Linda Laura Sabbadini, director of the National Institute for Statistics (Istat).  

More on the survey: The survey, carried out in collaboration with the Italian Red Cross, between May 25 and July 15, tested blood samples from 64,660 people from 2,000 villages and cities across Italy, split by sex, occupation and age groups. The survey did not include people living in health care facilities. 

In May, the government had said the survey would include 150,000 people, but "the health emergency made the survey procedure more complicated," but still "an incredibly useful source of data," Sabbadini explained during a news conference.