- Texas cases slow
- WHO reported another daily record on Saturday
- LA Mayor warns city "on the brink" of shutdown
- Florida reports another 12k+ cases
- Cali reports 9k+ new cases
- Deaths slow in Florida, Arizona
- US deaths eclipse 140k
- Deaths slow in Florida, Arizona
- Russia rejects vaccination theft accusation
- Global case count tops 14.5 million
- Georgia Gov sues Atlanta mayor over mask order
- Hong Kong suffers biggest daily jump in new cases yet
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Update (1740ET): Texas saw a slowdown in newly diagnosed cases on Sunday, reporting 7,300 new cases, which brought the statewide total to 325,030.
The number of deaths rose by 93 to 3,958, the Department of State Health Services said.
The Texas numbers capped off what was a mixed Sunday (though the weekend effect often skews data so the numbers reported on Sunday and Monday are slightly lower, with the backlog typically expressed by routinely higher numbers on Tuesdays). Though this isn't always the case: Florida reported its record-smashing 15k+ new cases on a Sunday.
US cases climbed 2.2%, surpassing the 1.9% daily average over the last week, according to JHU data shared with BBG.
Elsewhere, Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera unveiled a five-stage plan to reopen the economy as the coronavirus pandemic eases in the Latin American nation for a fifth week.
Finally, the World Health Organization reported early on Sunday that the totals reported from around the world on Saturday (remember, those numbers are reported with a 24-hour delay) marked the largest daily jump on record, and the first time a global daily total has surpassed 250,000. 259,848 cases were recorded, to be exact.
The US, Brazil, South Africa and India, which topped 1 million cases on Friday, saw the largest daily increases. The previous record was 237,743 cases. It was set a day earlier.
The WHO said the number of global deaths was approaching 600,000. It said 7,360 new deaths were recorded worldwide on Saturday, the biggest daily rise since early May. We expect the numbers for Sunday will be reported later in the US evening.
In Spain, 4 million people living in Catalonia, in Barcelona and the surrounding area, have been asked to return to lockdown-level restrictions.
Finally, circling back to the California news from earlier, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti - who said earlier that the city is on the verge of another shutdown - agreed with his interviewer that the decision to reopen the city so quickly was a mistake/
"I do agree those things happened too quickly,” Garcetti said. Though, to be sure, those decisions were made at the state and county level.
"We've had to do so much that is outside our lane because of the lack of national leadership," he said.
And it's not like the White House was any help, according to Garcetti: "We were left on our own," he said. There are more than 150,000 cases counted in LA County.
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Update (1444ET): In Arizona, parents are latching on to slogans like "freedom over fear" and a "REOPEN our SCHOOLS” protest has been set for July 30 in Phoenix in support of Gov. Doug Ducey’s mandate that in-person classes resume Aug. 17, after the Deer Valley Unified School District delayed their start until Oct. 14.
"All we want is our choices back,” said protest organizer Christina DeRouchey, the mother of four school-age children.
Meanwhile, in California, the United Teachers-Los Angeles have won an indefinite delay to in-person learning. Some red states, like Florida, are pushing back start dates and boosting funding for protective equipment.
But amid the chaos, teachers unions are seizing an opportunity to advance a 'social justice' agenda by trying to tie the return to classroom learning to "objectives" like 'defunding the police' that have nothing to do with learning. In a recent editorial, the Washington Examiner, a conservative-leaning outlet, no doubt, chastised the teachers union for putting "social justice warrior" politics above the welfare of children at a particularly delicate time.
On Sunday, the largest state in the US reported 9,329 new cases, larger than the 14-day average of 8,487. New cases brought Cali's total to 384,692, while deaths climbed by 90 to 7,685.
As the number of new cases accelerated once again day over day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the city is "on the brink of another stay-at-home order."
In international news, Russia’s ambassador to the UK rejected accusations that Russian hackers targeted British vaccine research and stole it via a cyberattack.
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Update (1415ET): With all the biggest US states having reported their daily numbers for Sunday (with the exception of Texas, which typically releases its numbers around 1700ET), it looks like Florida stole the show once again.
For the fifth day in a row, the state has reported more than 10k new infections. On Sunday, the total was 12,478 cases, the fourth-highest daily tally (the state reported more than 15,000 cases in a day earlier this month).
However, the pace of deaths in the state slowed, just as they did in Arizona when that state reported its numbers later in the day. The death toll from the virus in the US eclipsed 140k this weekend (either on Saturday, or Sunday, depending on whose numbers you use). Worldometer put the total number at 143,136 as of 1400ET.
Across the US, at least 14 states have reported record coronavirus hospitalisations so far in July, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas.
Globally, the number of confirmed cases topped 14.5 million on Sunday.
Circling back to Florida, 350,047 people have been infected statewide since the pandemic began. From Sunday to Sunday, the state posted a total of 80,236 cases, 740 deaths and 429,477 people tested, all record-breaking totals. By comparison, the state reported 69,700 cases, 511 deaths and more than 374,000 people tested during the prior week.
Sunday also saw a new record for hospitalizations reported in a single week, with 2,700. A total of 20,971 patients have been hospitalized in the state, which is 339 more than yesterday's total.
In spite of this, Republican Governors like Brian Kemp are foolishly pushing back against Democratic mayors who impose mandatory mask-wearing orders (all while insisting that they "strongly encourage" residents to wear masks). At the end of the day, there's evidence suggesting that mask wearing and other social distancing measures can greatly reduce the spread of the virus. And although we'd like to believe every person will make the intelligent, informed decision to wear a mask for their protection, doubling down on what can easily be construed as a politically motivated attack during a national crisis isn't exactly a good look. Now, Kemp is suing Bottoms and trying to win an injunction stopping her from imposing any new orders.
Meanwhile, Cuba celebrated a mileston on Sunday when it reported zero new cases for the first time in 130 days. Fortunately, the US trade embargo has helped shield the isolated Marxist-Leninist state, as it has largely been spared from the outbreak spreading across Latin America.
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Once praised as a shining example of viral-suppression for the early and strict measures it took to seal its borders and implement strict test-and-trace protocols, Hong Kong has suffered a second wave of the outbreak that has intensified with dizzying speed.
Hong Kong reported 108 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours on Sunday. Of these, 83 were locally transmitted and 25 were imported. The figure was its largest daily total since the start of the global outbreak late last year. Of the locally transmitted cases, 35 were tied to existing clusters or infected cases, including those who had dined at Windsor Restaurant in Tsz Wan Shan and at Tao Heung restaurant in Mong Kok.
Responding to the recent surge in new infections, which one of the city's leading epidemiologists attributed to a particularly virulent strain of the virus that's 30% more infectious, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that quarantine and isolation facilities will undergo a major upgrade to fortify the city's defenses against another resurgence.
Hong Kong was one of the first cities to report cases of the virus earlier this year. But it had pretty much suppressed local transmission by the beginning of June. But over the past 2 weeks, the virus has made a stunning comeback, facilitated, experts believe, by an influx of foreign travelers. Many fear the virus is now spreading undetected in the city of 7.5 million which is also one of the most densely populated places on earth.
During her speech on Sunday, Lam warned that more than 500 new infections had been confirmed over the past 2 weeks, bringing the city's total tally to 1,788 cases and 12 fatalities.
"I think the situation is really critical and there is no sign the situation is being brought under control," Lam said.
Hong Kong implemented new social distancing measures last week, ordering bars, gyms and nightclubs to close and making mask-wearing on public transit mandatory.
On Sunday, Lam laid out more restrictions. The city's 180,000 civil servants would work from home for a week beginning Monday. All Hongkongers would be compelled to wear masks in indoor public places, not just public transit. Most restaurants must remain closed for dine-in service from 6pm to 5 am until July 28. Only four people are allowed per table. Some 2,000 additional quarantine units will be built near Hong Kong Disneyland, while the AsiaWorld-Expo is being converted to house stable coronavirus patients. It can also be used to house vulnerable patients - like the elderly - should the virus find its way back into nursing homes and other care facilities inhabited by the most vulnerable.
The government also urged schools to hand out diplomas to graduates on-line.
Yesterday, the US counted a second straight record-breaking tally, while the WHO's global tally also showed a second straight global jump. Here's more on the situation in the US courtesy of Goldman's state by state heat map.