- Brian Kemp sues Keisha Bottoms
- Texas suffers record COVID-19 deaths
- Brazil passes 2MN cases
- Puerto Rico closes bars, beaches
- Rumor about impending Texas shutdown surfaces
- Colorado expected to issue statewide mask mandate
- Russia denies vaccine hacking
- New restrictions imposed Pennsylvania
- California deaths climb
- # of patients on ventilators hits new record
- New York reports latest numbers
- Arizona sees another decline in new cases
- Florida reports 156 deaths, new daily record
- Global cases top 13.5 mil
- HK reports 63 new cases for 3rd record in a week
- US reports 65k+ cases; 2nd highest daily tally
- Indonesia orders social distancing violators punished
- Tokyo suffers record jump
- Victoria reports more than 300 new cases Thursday
- ICU deaths moving lower around the world
- Texas reports daily record yesterday
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Update (2000ET): As Georgia's daily cases climb and pressure builds on governors to authorize more restrictions and enforcing social distancing rules, he is instead doing the opposite and has decided to sue Atlanta over Mayor Keisha Bottom's mandatory mask order.
In a tweet, Kemp claimed that he was acting on behalf of small business owners and hard-working employees.
This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times. (1/4) https://t.co/vxiOmteHaH— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 16, 2020
A week ago when Bottoms became one of the first to independently impose the mandatory mask order, Gov Kemp chimed in to insist that it was unenforceable and that individuals retained the right not to wear them, if they so choose.
Atlanta Mayor @KeishaBottoms' action today is merely guidance - both non-binding and legally unenforceable. As clearly stated in my executive orders, no local action can be more or less restrictive, and that rule applies statewide. (1/3) https://t.co/3pQdB0pI70— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 10, 2020
Kemp issued an order a few days ago "strongly encouraging" Georgians to wear masks and public and follow the social distancing guidance.
To flatten the curve, I urge all local elected officials to enforce the terms of this order. Together, we will keep fighting #COVID19, weather this storm, and emerge stronger than ever.https://t.co/CKFdrW4C3M— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 16, 2020
As lawsuits have been filed in red states, including Texas, by various parties, masks have become a major political flashpoint while Dr. Fauci urges Americans to abandon the polarizing partisanship and simply follow the guidelines.
He also said some states should reimpose a lockdown order, against the explicit wishes of the president, who fears lockdowns could cost him the election.
"We’ve got to regroup, call a time out,” Dr. Fauci said live in an interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In Asia, Japan’s agriculture ministry has decided to suspend bids seeking contractors for its "Go To Eat" campaign aimed at bolstering struggling restaurants as the number of new cases surges in Tokyo.
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Update (1755ET): One day after the Lone Star State posted a record jump in new cases and fatalities, it followed up with another record-breaking death tally of virus-linked fatalities on Thursday. The Texas death toll climbed by 129 to 3,561, eclipsing the jump of 110 from Wednesday.
While Hispanics make up 40% of infected patients in Texas, young people in their 20s and 30s comprise the largest age groups of patients.
Though the fatality data breakdown tell a much different story.
As deaths appear to be moving off their lows for the first time since the latest wave began last month, the positivity rate on Thursday came in at 17.8% (overall, the figure is 10.8%).
Hospitalizations remain near record highs.
Meanwhile, rumors are swirling about Gov Abbott potentially moving Texas back into Phase 1 of its reopening, or even a partial - or complete - lockdown.
In Puerto Rico, the island's governor just announced plans to close bars and other areas where the virus might spread.
- PUERTO RICO CLOSING BARS, MOVIE THEATERS, CASINOS, GYMS
- PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR: BEACHES CLOSED FOR GROUPS, SUNBATHERS
As the CDC rapidly falls out of favor in the West Wing, the agency said Thursday that it would be extending its "no sail" cruise ship order through September.
- CDC: CRUISE SHIP NO SAIL ORDER EXTENDED THROUGH SEPT 2020
And in Brazil, the number of new cases pushed the total passed 2 million.
- BRAZIL SURPASSES 2 MILLION COVID-19 CASES
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Update (1540ET): As we mentioned earlier, Florida has taken the lead for daily COVID-19 cases per capita from Arizona.
FLORIDA has taken lead for new daily COVID cases *per capita*— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 16, 2020
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Update (1520ET): Arkansas Gov Asa Hutchinson has just declared that mask-wearing will be made mandatory across the state.
The announcement was made during Thursday's briefing.
LIVE: Governor Hutchinson Provides COVID-19 Update (7.16.20): https://t.co/mmUfaR1Bgi— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) July 16, 2020
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Update (1445ET): We're hearing chatter that Texas Gov Greg Abbott is on the cusp of shutting down Texas following a surge in new cases yesterday and over the past week.
Rumor TX shutdown announcement tomorrow— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 16, 2020
TEXAS SHUTDOWN TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW : SOURCES— FXHedge (@Fxhedgers) July 16, 2020
Texas Gov Abbott has dismissed these rumors, yet they persist. A couple of days ago, the Texas Tribune reported that hospitals in the state were running low on everything, drugs, PPE, beds, ventilators, and even staff.
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Update (1430ET):The Denver Post reports that Colorado Governor Jared Polis is expected to issue a statewide mask mandate Thursday afternoon after facing pressure from several of his fellow Democrats. The Post cited several unidentified sources with knowledge of the governor’s decision-making. Roughly 40 cities and counties had already imposed the mask ban.
Additionally, PA Gov Tom Wolf declared an "alarming escalation" in virus cases and imposed new rule on Thursday, including shutting down nightclubs and bars while limiting indoor restaurant seating to 25% capacity.
Meanwhile, a Russian official denied accusations by the UK (along with US & Canada) that the country's state intelligence agencies are hacking international research centers that are working to develop the vaccine.
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Update (1415ET): California COVID-19 cases rise 8,544 (+3.3%), compared with 11,126 previously, recorded 118 deaths Wednesday, well above the 14-day rolling average of 84. The average positivity rate over the last 2 weeks has been 7.2%, which is little changed from yesterday. Thursday's increased pushed the state's total to 347,634, within striking distance of passing 350k. The state's death toll is 7,227. More than 5.75 million tests have been run.
Here's the rundown of cases by county:
The number of hospitalized patients declined by 9, after adding 41 the prior before. The number of patients confined to the ICU declined by 10 (from an increase of 21 from the prior day).
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Update (1334ET): Following the discouraging numbers out of Fla. earlier, Miami has just confirmed that the number of patients on ventilators has reached a new record.
- MIAMI-DADE HAS RECORD 257 COVID-19 PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS
- MIAMI-DADE COVID-19 ICU PATIENTS AT RECORD 472; PREV. 431
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Update (1145ET): New York Gov Andrew Cuomo released today's COVID-19 update....
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 16, 2020
72,685 tests were performed yesterday. 769 tests came back positive (1.06% of total).
Total hospitalizations fell to 813.
Sadly, there were 14 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/rg5UUJYl0L
....along with a tweet showcasing his state's generosity toward the people of Houston.
NY didn’t wait for Houston to call — we offered help to @houmayor and the City of Houston.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 16, 2020
We have teams on the ground to set up testing sites that are now up & running.
We are grateful for what people across the US did for NY. We’ll never forget it & we are paying it forward. pic.twitter.com/nuGiY7yPip
Houston is on the cusp of crossing the 70k threshold.
Cuomo added that NYC is still headed for 'Phase 4' to begin on Monday, though the final decision won't be made until Friday. He also warned about the risks of travelers from out of state hotspots reigniting the outbreak in his state.
For comparison, here are the numbers from yesterday.
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 15, 2020
63,598 tests were performed yesterday. 831 tests came back positive (1.30% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 831.
Sadly, there were 9 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/mvgTEFa7bj
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Update (1130ET): Arizona reported 3,259 (+2.5%) new cases on Thursday, compared with a 7-day average of 2.8%.
Hospitalizations were down 39 (-1.12%) from the prior day to 3,454; officials reported 58 (+2.4%) new deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 2,492. Total cases climbed to 134,613.
In Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and the worst-hit part of the state, there are now more than 86,000 new coronavirus cases, and more than 1,200 deaths.
The percentage of ICU beds occupied declined slightly to 89%.
The state's total positivity rate declined to 12.1%.
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Update (1040ET): Florida was one of the few silver linings yesterday. As California and Texas posted new records, the Sunshine State reported roughly 10k new cases, its lowest tally in days. But that reversed on Thursday as the state reported nearly 14k new cases, a near record daily total.
But that changed on Thursday, as Florida reported 13,837 (+4.6%) new cases over the last 24 hours, per the state Department of Health (that's compared with a 7-day average of 4.4%) and another record number of new daily deaths.
Florida's total case count surpassed 300k earlier in the week; presently, it stands at 315,775 following Thursday's increase (all cases are reported with a 24-hour delay).
But a more disheartening headline on Thursday was the death toll, which came in at a record 156 on Thursday, beating the last record by more than 30 cases. That brought the statewide death toll to 4,677, and comes as media warns about the risk of deaths surging in the coming days and weeks due to the 'death lag'. The percentage of tests that came back positive was 15.4%.
As Arizona's outbreak continues to slow (just as Goldman anticipated), likely due at least in part to Gov Ducey's aggressive action, Florida has cemented its position as coronavirus leader for the entire US.
Experts are blaming the spike on tourists in hot spots like Miami ignoring social distancing regulations, and spreading the virus from other parts of the US.
Whatever the cause or causes, this will undoubtedly ratchet up pressure on Gov Ron DeSantis to make mask-wearing mandatory in public.
* * *
Days after adopting its more restrictive measures to combat COVID-19 yet, Hong Kong has reported a record single-day jump in newly confirmed cases, its third record-setting tally in a week.
A record 63 local cases were reported on Thursday. Of these, 35 were of unknown origin, according to the city's health department. The city-state's new outbreak has infected 300+ people under two weeks, with more than a third of infections bearing no discernible connections to preexisting outbreaks.
Meanwhile, in the US, as the nationwide death toll topped 140k, the number of new cases reported yesterday (remember these numbers come with a 24-hour delay) was the second-highest yet, coming in at more than 65k.
Yesterday, both Texas and California reported new single-day records, which certainly helped drive the total higher.
As another wave of infections sweeps across southeast Asia, Indonesia is planning to fine violators of social distancing rules under a new law as President Joko Widodo scrambles to contain an outbreak that his government once deliberately tried to ignore and dismiss as nonexistent, despite the threat posed to his people.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Tokyo also reported another daily record of 286 new coronavirus cases as Japanese grow concerned about the outbreak in the capital, which is now under level 4 COVID-19 alert, the highest possible. The government is now trying to discourage travel and commuting, scrapping a campaign to promote domestic tourism. While the city's latest cluster was traced to nightclubs, officials believe it has now traveled much further.
Meanwhile, Australia's second-most-populous state, Victoria, also recorded 317 new cases, its biggest spike yet too, as the state struggles to clamp down on a sudden reemergence of infections that has threatened to spread across all of Australia. The jump comes one week after Melbourne and some of the surrounding area entered a new partial lockdown.
The 7-day average of COVID-19 deaths in the US as ticked higher to levels not seen in 2 weeks as the pattern appears to plateau. The US reported roughly 1,000 deaths on Thursday.
Globally, the US reported another 230k+ new cases, and just under 5k deaths, driving the global case total north of 13.5 million (exact total: 13,727,388 per Worldometer).
But while the numbers on the chart appear to show a slight tick higher, the deluge of MSM warnings that the death lag is very, very real have seemed almost unhinged in their authors' refusal to acknowledge several factors - including lower median age of those infected and more effective treatment strategies - that might constrain deaths from returning to their highs from the NYC peak. Or 3,000 deaths a day, as the NYT once predicted.
However, the latest data out of Bloomberg shows that overall mortality continues to decline. Overall ICU deaths have fallen to just under 42% at the end of May from almost 60% in March, according to the first systematic analysis of two dozen studies involving more than 10,000 patients spanning three continents. Such news is fortunate given the "unprecedented demand" that the virus has imposed on these services.