August 10 coronavirus news

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8:13 a.m. ET, August 10, 2020

US tops 5 million Covid-19 cases, with five states making up more than 40% of tally

From CNN's Christina Maxouris and Eliott C. McLaughlin

The US topped 5 million cases of coronavirus early Sunday -- and as experts have highlighted before, the true number of infections could be many times higher. 

The number means the country holds about a quarter of global cases of the virus and also tops the list with the most reported deaths in the world. Of the country's 5,044,821 estimated cases, 162,851 have been deadly, according to data collected by John Hopkins University. 

To put the number in perspective, that means the United States has had more Covid-19 cases than Ireland has people. The number of cases is also slightly higher than the entire population of Alabama. 

To put the speed in which the number is growing in perspective: It took the country 99 days to reach 1 million, 43 days to hit 2 million, 28 days for 3 million and 15 days to surpass 4 million on July 23. The number has jumped to 5 million in 17 days. 

"This is such a sobering number," said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.
"That's a huge number of cases and a very large number of hospitalizations and deaths -- and more to come," Schaffner said. "Because over much of this country, this virus is spreading unimpeded because so many folks are not getting with the program to contain it."

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2:37 a.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Top US health official meets with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in highest-level summit for decades

From CNN's Paula Hancocks and James Griffiths

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (left)l listens as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan on August 10.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (left)l listens as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan on August 10. Pool/AP

Alex Azar, the United States Health and Human Services secretary, met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen Monday, the highest-level meeting between Washington and the self-ruled island in decades.

The visit has been condemned by Beijing, which regards Taiwan as Chinese territory, and comes amid an all-time low in US-China relations.

Azar arrived in Taiwan Sunday, where he and his team were given coronavirus tests and were seen wearing face masks. The group was met by members of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the director general of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and the director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy.

Speaking Monday, Azar said his trip "demonstrates the robust US-Taiwan partnership on global health and health security, one of many aspects of our comprehensive friendship."

"We consider Taiwan to be a vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world," he added.
"There are three overarching themes for this trip. The first is to recognize Taiwan as an open and democratic society, executing a highly successful and transparent Covid-19 response. The second is to reaffirm Taiwan as a long partner and friend of the United States, and to highlight our history of broad collaboration on health and public health. The third is to note that Taiwan deserves to be recognized as a global health leader with an excellent track record of contributing to international health."

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2:41 a.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Australian state of Victoria reports highest daily total of coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media in Melbourne, Australia, on August 10.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media in Melbourne, Australia, on August 10. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 19 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday -- the highest single-day increase in fatalities since the outbreak of the pandemic, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said Monday morning. 

Victoria also reported 322 new cases of coronavirus from Sunday, the lowest daily increase in cases since July 29, according to the DHHS. 

“I want to start by expressing my sincere condolences to all the families of the 19 Australians in Victoria who have passed away because of the COVID infection,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday.

He added that the news is "devastating.” 

The numbers: Victoria now has 14,981 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while the death toll has increased to 229.

Australia has reported more than 21,000 coronavirus cases, including 313 deaths.

11:18 p.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Mexico surpasses 480,000 total coronavirus cases

From journalist Karol Suarez in Mexico City and CNN’s Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta

A worker wears personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat a patient infected with Covid-19 in Mexico City, on August 8.
A worker wears personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat a patient infected with Covid-19 in Mexico City, on August 8. Eyepix/Sipa USA

Mexico’s Health Ministry reported 4,376 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 480,278.

The ministry also registered 292 new deaths, raising the country’s death toll to 52,298.

Moment of silence: Earlier on Sunday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador paid tribute to the victims of the pandemic and healthcare workers by holding a moment of silence in the presidential palace in Mexico City.  

In a video posted on his Twitter account, Lopez Obrador can be seen walking down the halls of the presidential palace into an empty courtyard where he joins a soldier.

The President claps after the soldier blows a horn in honor of the victims.

Lopez Obrador said that was the best way to honor the victims of the “tremendous pandemic” and said his government would continue to improve the country’s health system. 

8:14 a.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Student in Georgia tests positive for coronavirus after 9 cases reported at high school

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

One student at Sammy McClure, Sr. Middle School in Paulding County, Georgia, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to parents by Principal Jaynath Hayes.

The student was in school "for at least some time last week" and reported to the school that they have tested positive, the letter said. 

The school is being cleaned by custodial staff and is following Georgia Department of Public Health recommendations, according to the letter.

The school is asking anyone whose child exhibits symptoms to have them tested as soon as possible and notify the school.

The district's high school has already announced that it will close for at least the next two days for cleaning after nine people tested positive. The school will move to digital learning Monday and Tuesday and announce the next steps Tuesday evening, a letter from the district said. 

11:03 p.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attacks lockdowns and the media

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has used an online post to criticize coronavirus lockdown measures and news coverage of the pandemic, in his first comments almost a full day after Brazil surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths.

In a series of tweets Sunday, Bolsonaro pointed to a story published by the UK’s Daily Mail that criticizes lockdown measures to address the spread of coronavirus.

It concludes that lockdown killed two people for every three with Covid in the UK. In Brazil, even without official data, the numbers would not be very different," Bolsonaro tweeted.

The Daily Mail article suggests “it is thought that as many as 16,000 people died because they didn't get medical care between March 23 and May 1.” The story claims -- without evidence -- that those people didn't go to hospital during lockdown because they feared catching the virus.

Bolsonaro went on to criticize Brazil’s biggest TV station without specifically naming it, saying the TV station “only spreads panic in the population and the discord among the powers” and “disdained, debauched and discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine."

Brazil surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths on Saturday the country has reported more than 3 million cases, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Bolsonaro's only mention of the 100,000 coronavirus deaths reached in his country on Saturday was to criticize the TV station's coverage of the topic.

“In a cowardly and disrespectful manner to the 100,000 dead Brazilians, this TV celebrated that date yesterday, as a true World Cup final, blaming the President of the Republic for all the deaths," he wrote.
He added that “misinformation kills even more than the virus itself. Time and science will show us that Covid's political use of this TV has brought us deaths that could have been avoided.”
10:56 p.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Lebanon records nearly 300 new coronavirus cases as hospitals near capacity from dual crisis 

From CNN's Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut

Lebanon recorded 294 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Public Health website. 

The country has now reported a total of 6,517 cases, including 76 deaths, as it continues to recover from a deadly blast that killed at least 158 people and wounded thousands more last week.

Some context: On Friday, Dr. Friass Abiad, the head of Beirut's Rafik Hariri University Hospital -- the main hospital battling Covid-19 -- told CNN that hospitals are at capacity. 

Abiad commended the country's health sector for how it handled the dual crisis of Covid-19 and the casualties and fallout of Tuesday's deadly explosion that rocked the capital.  

"The ability of the health sector to rise to the occasion during the explosion, and to absorb thousands of casualties, was impressive. But now, hospitals are full, their supplies are almost empty, and the capacity for their staff is depleted. Can they do more?” Abiad tweeted Saturday.