August 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020
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8:34 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Trump claims children are "virtually immune" to coronavirus 

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Trump argued on Wednesday that children should return to US schools because they’re “almost” or “virtually immune” from the coronavirus. Even though children are less susceptible to the virus, they can still transmit it to others in their household or within their communities.   

“If you look at children, children are almost — I would almost say definitely — but almost immune from this disease. So few — they’ve gotten stronger. Hard to believe. I don’t know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do, somehow, for this. And they don’t have a problem. They just don’t have a problem,” Trump said. 

Trump said he would get media criticism for using the term “totally immune,” adding, “but the fact is that they are virtually immune from this problem.” 

The President also brought up that only one minor had died from coronavirus in the state of New Jersey and that he suspected the child was diabetic. He also suggested that children under the diabetic child’s age were also even more immune. 

Remember: But at least two children have died from coronavirus in New Jersey and both were under the age of five. 

The President also said older teachers should wait out the pandemic before returning to work in classrooms. 

Last month, Trump asserted that children do not catch or spread the coronavirus easily and that he’s comfortable with his children and grandchildren returning to school. 

What we know about kids and coronavirus: CNN previously reported that researchers in South Korea have found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. They also found that children ages 9 and under transmitted the virus within their household at rates that were a lot lower. 

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CBS News last month that though the risk to children getting coronavirus is low, they can still transmit it to others.  

"We know the risk is low to the actual students. But we know they can transmit to others. … We need to take measures to make sure we protect those who are vulnerable either because they are older or they have chronic medical conditions," Adams said. 

8:32 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Jackson, Mississippi, mayor says he fears “we have yet to see the worst”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

In this Wednesday, April 1 photo, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announces a stay-at-home order for the city of Jackson to combat the spread of Covid-19.
In this Wednesday, April 1 photo, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announces a stay-at-home order for the city of Jackson to combat the spread of Covid-19. Barbara gauntt/Clarion Ledger/USA Today

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi, said he is worried that the state has “yet to see the worst” of the coronavirus pandemic as cases continue to grow. 

He said that the city’s hospitals and intensive care units are “overwhelmed” and asked for temporary hospitals to be set up during a recent meeting with the governor and Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force. 

“I fear that as we're seeing schools reopening, we have yet to see the worst,” Lumumba added in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves just implemented a two-week temporary statewide mask mandate, which Lumumba calls “necessary.” 

“I think that we failed to operate with a sense of urgency. We issued a … mandatory facial covering mandate in the city of Jackson nearly a month ago,” Lumumba said. 

“...We warned that we were opening up too soon and that communities were having their hand forced to do so. And so I think we're seeing the ill effects of that decision,” he said. 

Lumumba also spoke out against President Trump saying in an interview “it is what it is” when asked about the coronavirus death toll. “It’s simply not OK just to say that people will die, knowing that we haven't put our best effort forward,” the mayor said. 

Watch:

8:26 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Trump says he is "looking at" possibly using executive action on payroll tax cut

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Katie Lobosco

President Donald Trump answers questions from the press at the White House in Washington, on August 4.
President Donald Trump answers questions from the press at the White House in Washington, on August 4. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump reiterated on Wednesday that he may use executive authority to implement a payroll tax cut.

“I may do it myself. We’re negotiating it right now. I have the right to suspend it and I may do it myself,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “That’s an incentive for people and small businesses, and businesses generally, to hire back their workers.”

The President then went on to say that the leaders of Democratic states don’t want their states to reopen.

“The Democrats are standing in our way. They don’t want their states open, even if their state’s in good shape,” the President said.

Some context: Trump has been pushing Congress to include a payroll tax cut in the next economic relief package. Payroll tax cuts have had mixed results in the past, and some economists argue that it's not the best way to boost the economy right now.

A payroll tax cut would reduce the amount taken out of workers' paychecks to fund federal programs including Social Security and Medicare.

Congress would have to decide how much to reduce the rate and how long the tax holiday would last.

8:19 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

ICUs are full in more than 50 Florida hospitals

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30. 
Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30.  Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

In Florida, 52 hospitals have reached ICU capacity and show zero ICU beds available, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). 

Eight of the hospitals at capacity are in Miami-Dade County, eight in Hillsborough and six of them are in Broward County, AHCA data shows.

Another 38 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available, according to AHCA.

AHCA reports about 16% ICU beds are available across the State of Florida.

On Tuesday, Florida reported 5,446 coronavirus cases and 245 additional deaths in a single day, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health (DOH). 

There are now 497,330 total cases in the state, including out-of-state residents, and it has reported 7,402 resident deaths to date, according to DOH data.

8:15 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Google Doodle letters wear masks and social distance from each other

From CNN's Kiely Westhoff

Google
Google

Google is chiming into the Covid-19 discourse using a "Google Doodle" to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask. Their homepage is featuring a Google logo that shows each letter doing its part and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

In the short doodle scene, the letters are brandishing colorful masks. They sprout feet and shuffle away from each other to demonstrate their effort to social distance. The letter "e" sends "a" heart emoji into the air, depicting adherence to CDC guidelines as an act of compassion towards its fellow letters.

Clicking on the animation takes the viewer to Google's Covid-19 prevention page where there are additional safety tips. Google is also using other platforms to highlight this message including YouTube and Google Maps.

A PSA on YouTube reminds people that wearing masks is a simple way that can reduce Covid-19 transmission by 80%. It is imploring individuals to "Do it for them. Do it for you. Do it for all of us."

7:54 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

What you need to know about the pandemic today

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh

A version of this story appeared in the August 5 edition of CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

"It is what it is."

That's what President Donald Trump had to say about the staggering death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, which, at more than 150,000, is nearly a quarter of all global fatalities -- far outpacing that of any other nation.

In an interview with Axios on HBO, Trump claimed that the virus is "under control as much as you can control it" in the US, despite the fact that infection rates and deaths have been spiking. 

Nationally, the seven-day average of new daily cases is at about 60,000, while deaths, which typically lag several weeks behind, are steadily increasing, averaging 1,000 a day for a week straight.

Globally, more than 5,900 people are dying every day from Covid-19 on average, according to CNN calculations based on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data from the past two weeks. That is 248 people per hour, or about one person every 15 seconds.

"We're lower than the world," Trump said in an incomprehensible response when pressed on the climbing US death toll.

Read more in today's coronavirus newsletter.

7:51 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Florida starts Covid-19 antigen testing, as basketball courts shut in Miami Beach

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

From today, Florida will provide rapid Covid-19 antigen testing at two state-supported drive-thru locations in Miami-Dade County, according to Jason Mahon, communications director at the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The rapid testing sites will be located at Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park and will be available for symptomatic individuals and people over the age of 65.

These are the first state-supported antigen testing sites in the state, Mahon said. 

On the same day, the City of Miami Beach announced it has closed all basketball courts in city parks due to Covid-19, according to the city government. The order is effective immediately.

Miami Beach plans to remove the basketball rims across all city courts and all solo or group basketball activity, including dribbling or shooting basketballs, is prohibited.

On Tuesday, Florida reported 5,446 coronavirus cases and 245 additional deaths in a single day, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health (DOH). 

There are now 497,330 total cases in the state, including out-of-state residents, and it has reported 7,402 resident deaths to date, according to DOH data.

7:21 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Biden campaign will target Trump's pandemic response with ads across 15 states

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Getty Images
Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign says it has reserved $280 million in television and digital advertising that it plans to use largely to hammer President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's ads will often run 60 seconds rather than the more typical 30-second commercials, and will frequently feature Biden speaking directly into a camera, campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a memo Wednesday. The ads will air in 15 states the campaign believes will be competitive in November's election.

The ads will focus heavily on the pandemic, contrasting what Biden's campaign sees as Trump's failures with the former vice president's experience and empathy. Biden's ads are intended to allow voters to "hear directly from the vice president in his own voice, speaking to this moment that we're in," O'Malley Dillon told reporters in a call detailing the strategy.

Read the full story here.

8:16 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Bolivia cancels school for 2020

From CNN's Patrick Oppmann

Bolivia has made the stark choice to cancel school for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some 2 million students in the highland nation won't attend either online or in-person classes until at least 2021.

"The school year is cancelled because the vast majority of rural areas do not have internet," said Yerko Nunez, Bolivian minister of the presidency.

"The children do not have internet. The fiber optic system unfortunately only reaches the city."

UNICEF reports only 40% of Bolivian students are able to take classes online but, as other countries find creative solutions, some feel Bolivia is giving up too easily.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann has the full story.

Watch below: Bolivia cancels school year for 2 million children due to Covid-19