U.S. hits another record for new cases, as Fauci warns that a resurgence in the South and West ‘puts the entire country at risk.’
More than 48,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday, the most of any day of the pandemic. Officials in eight states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas — also announced single-day highs.
The record comes as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, testified before Congress on Tuesday that the rate of new coronavirus infections could more than double to 100,000 a day if current outbreaks were not contained. He warned that the virus’s march across the South and the West “puts the entire country at risk.”
Tuesday was the fourth time in a week that the United States posted a new single-day case record.
The number of new cases in the United States has shot up by 80 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
More than 4,600 new cases of the virus were announced in Arizona, by far its most in a single day, as Vice President Mike Pence planned to travel there on Wednesday. More than 7,800 new cases were announced across California and more than 6,800 in Texas.
The increase in infections came as the leaders of the most populous counties in Texas pleaded with Gov. Greg Abbott to allow them to issue stay-at-home orders. “We are having an experiment, a gamble, in the hopes that we can be the first community that suddenly flattens the curve without a stay-at-home order,” said Lina Hidalgo, the executive in Harris County, which includes Houston, the hardest-hit area of the state.
California’s case count has exploded in recent days — leading the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to tell travelers from California to quarantine for 14 days, joining the ranks of travelers from other hard-hit states.
And even states that had reported improvements are starting to see the number of new cases rise, causing governors to rethink their plans to get residents back to work.
Dr. Fauci offered his grim prediction while testifying on Capitol Hill, telling senators that no region of the country is safe from the virus’s resurgence.
“I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that,” Dr. Fauci said, “because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they are doing well, they are vulnerable.”
In parts of the Midwest, the numbers are rising again.
When June began, new case reports were dropping in Kansas. Detroit, hit hard early on, was continuing to show improvement. Wisconsin was finally looking better.
What a difference a month can make.
The Midwest, which had been a national bright spot, is now seeing the beginnings of a surge in coronavirus cases. Several in the region had increasing case numbers. And even in places where case numbers have remained mostly flat, like Illinois and Minnesota, new hot spots have emerged.
In Kansas, the governor on Monday ordered residents to wear masks as case numbers lurched back toward their peak levels. In Wisconsin, new cases in the Madison area have reached a new high. And in Ohio, the cases in counties that include Cincinnati and Cleveland have been doubling in the past two weeks. Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said the Ohio increases were not the result of more testing, contradicting the messaging from the White House and some other Republican governors.
“If the spread of this virus remained at a low level, more testing should show a lower positivity — there simply wouldn’t be as many cases to pick up with testing,” said Mr. DeWine, who asked for federal help responding to upticks in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas. “Instead, the creeping up of our positivity rate even as we are doing more testing means that we are likely picking up signs of broader community spread.”
The Republican Senate health committee chairman urges Trump to set a better example on masks.
Masks — and President Trump’s refusal to wear one — were a central topic of the Senate health committee hearing on Tuesday, as Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the committee chairman, called on the president to set a better example by occasionally covering his face.
At the outset of the hearing, Mr. Alexander, a Republican, lamented that wearing a mask had “become part of the political debate,” and said he had “suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, even though in most cases” Mr. Trump does not need to do so.
“The president has plenty of admirers,” Mr. Alexander said. “They would follow his lead, it would help end this political debate. The stakes are too high for this political debate about pro-Trump, anti-Trump to continue.”
The senator’s remarks, an echo of comments he made over the weekend, were a striking example of a Republican criticizing the president by name. As they have in the past, health experts emphasized that masks were essential to containing the virus, though they avoided direct mention of Mr. Trump.
Europe opens its doors — just not to Americans. What we know about the ban.
After months of lockdown, European nations are about to open their borders to nonessential travelers from a list of countries in which the pandemic has been deemed sufficiently under control. The United States is not on that list.
The State Department is still advising Americans to avoid all international travel, but many may be wondering what a newly reopening Europe might mean for them.
Here is what we know right now.
Who is allowed to enter?
As of July 1, all members of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, plan to begin opening their borders to travelers from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Residents of Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican will also be allowed entry.
Are there any exceptions?
The restrictions do not apply to health workers, seasonal farm workers, diplomats, humanitarian workers, transit passengers, asylum seekers, students and “passengers traveling for imperative family reasons,” among a handful of other exceptions. The full list of exceptions here.
So is Europe out for Americans this summer?
Americans can fly to Ireland and Britain. All visitors, however, are required to quarantine for 14 days. Even then, they will probably not be able to travel on to the rest of Europe, unless they can prove they have a residence or immediate family links there.
What about U.S. citizens who live in a country on the approved list?
The rules are based on the country in which travelers are residents, not their nationalities. So American citizens may be allowed to enter Europe if they live in a country on the approved list. At the same time, citizens of approved countries who reside in the United States may not be allowed entry.
Less than four hours before the Paycheck Protection Program was scheduled to close with $130 billion still available for loans to small businesses seeking to maintain their payrolls, the Senate approved extending the application period and allowing small businesses to receive aid until Aug. 8.
Travelers from California and other hard-hit states are told to quarantine in the Northeast, joining a growing list.
As infections surge in the South and the West, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — three former hot spots in the Northeast — called on Tuesday for travelers from California and several other states struggling to contain outbreaks to quarantine for 14 days upon reaching their states.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, said that visitors from an additional eight states — California, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee — would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state. People traveling to New York from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah had already been told to quarantine.
It was the latest example of how the shifting geography of the outbreak is once again upending travel regulations. The tristate area’s new restrictions now cover travelers from the nation’s most populous states, and from several of the busiest airports in the country, including those in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth.
In Massachusetts, which had previously required all visitors to quarantine for 14 days, Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, announced on Tuesday that beginning on Wednesday, the state would no longer require travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey to do so. “Due to lower infection rates across the Northeast region, our administration is updating our state’s travel guidance,” he said.
Other places are taking different approaches.
Starting July 15, people traveling to Puerto Rico will be required to bring proof of a negative test taken within three days of their arrival, the governor announced Tuesday. Anyone who doesn’t have one will be tested, and those who test positive will have to quarantine for two weeks, and must assume all medical and housing costs.
Over the past week, California’s case count has increased significantly: It now has 231,842 confirmed cases, which have resulted in 6,081 deaths. On Tuesday, in an indication that the state’s hopes of easing more restrictions may be moving further out of reach, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that four more of the state’s 58 counties would likely be added to a “watch list” of places where officials are monitoring troubling trends in hospitalizations and positive tests. Some of the 19 counties on the list as of Tuesday afternoon have already been ordered to shut down bars, and many have paused plans to reopen until they can rein in rising case counts.
In other news from around the United States:
More than 80 soldiers tested positive for the virus on Monday after three weeks of grueling survival training in North Carolina, according to a current Defense Department official and a former one, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The roughly 110-person class was quickly quarantined at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but those who tested negative for the virus were allowed to leave, the former official said. The former official said the virus was most likely spread by an Army instructor who tested positive but continued to teach the course, known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE school.
As college athletes have returned to campuses for voluntary, organized workouts in June, 33 Division I schools announced more than 200 positive tests from athletes. The outbreaks among football players at Houston, Kansas State and Boise State were deemed severe enough that workouts were shut down. The largest reported outbreak has been at Clemson, where 37 players — nearly one-third of the powerhouse football team’s roster — have tested positive.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, offered different assessments of how quickly the economy will recover during a congressional hearing on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Mnuchin said he expected a rebound in the second half of the year while Mr. Powell warned that a surge in cases could set the recovery back and “undermine public confidence, which is what we need to get back to lots of kinds of economic activity that involve crowds.”
A U.A.W. union local has asked General Motors to temporarily close an S.U.V. assembly line in Arlington, Texas, as a health measure after a surge of cases in that area. National union officials and G.M. said they were discussing the concerns raised by the local. The factory employs about 4,900 people.
‘We need a president’: Biden assails Trump’s response to the virus.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. opened a new round of attacks on President Trump on Tuesday, condemning the president’s response to the pandemic, his refusal to wear a mask, his handling of intelligence on reports that Russia targeted American troops, and even his “cognitive capability.”
Speaking in a high school gym in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said “we need a president” — not a “cheerleader.” And he accused Mr. Trump of failing to protect the American people from the virus.
The Biden campaign laid out a plan to fight the pandemic as cases rise in many states. It said Mr. Biden would reach out to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, “minutes after he is declared the winner of the election.”
“Dr. Fauci will have full access to the Oval Office and an uncensored platform to speak directly to the American people — whether delivering good news or bad,” the plan said.
Mr. Biden has made only sporadic in-person appearances since the pandemic upended American daily life, refraining from holding the kinds of rallies that have long been a staple of the campaign trail.
“The irony is, I think we’re probably communicating directly, in detail, with more people than we would have otherwise,” he said Tuesday, citing his many virtual appearances. “But I’d much rather be doing it in person.”
In the speech, Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump of having “surrendered” to the virus. He also stressed the importance of wearing a mask in public, something the president has refused to do.
“You have a moral obligation,” Mr. Biden said.
The virus was circulating in New York as early as February, a new study finds.
A new study offers the first physical evidence that the coronavirus was circulating at low levels in New York City as early as the first week of February.
The city confirmed its first infection on March 1. Mathematical models have predicted that the virus was making its way through the city weeks before then, but the new report is the first to back the conjecture with testing data.
The study found that some New Yorkers had antibodies to the virus as early as the week ending Feb. 23. Given the time needed to produce antibodies, those people were most likely infected with the virus about two weeks earlier.
“You’re probably talking about very early in February,” said Florian Krammer, an immunologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who led the study. “It looks like there was at least low-level circulation.”
The findings were posted online Tuesday and have not yet been vetted by other scientists in a formal review, but several experts said the work was rigorous and credible, if not entirely surprising.
Dr. Krammer is continuing to track antibodies in blood samples and plans to do so for at least a year.
California prison officials transferred inmates in an attempt to stop an outbreak. It backfired, badly.
An effort by California officials to halt the spread of the virus at a prison in Chino backfired and caused a massive outbreak inside San Quentin, the state’s oldest and best-known prison.
Late last month, 121 prisoners from the California Institution for Men in Chino, which had nearly 700 cases and nine deaths, were bused to San Quentin, where no inmates were known to have the virus.
When they arrived, prisoners’ temperatures were taken and they were placed in a holding area, but no Covid-19 tests were given. The men used the same showers and ate in the same dining hall as other inmates.
Now more than 1,000 of the 3,700 prisoners at San Quentin have been infected.
A hearing is scheduled on Wednesday in the State Senate, where lawmakers say they have become alarmed about the outbreak and what they describe as a haphazard response by prison officials.
Since the pandemic began, California has agreed to release as many as 3,500 inmates up to six months early and is considering more early releases, but the prison system remains at 124 percent capacity, according to state records.
Across the United States, the number of prison and jail inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 80,000, according to a New York Times database. Nine of the 10 largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are inside correctional institutions, The Times’s data shows.
In the town where Italy’s first virus victim lived, 40 percent of cases showed no symptoms.
Three days after a 78-year-old man, Adriano Trevisan, died on Feb. 21 and became the first registered victim of the coronavirus in Italy, the government imposed a 14-day quarantine on Vo’, the small town near Padua where he lived.
Backed by the Veneto region, scientists swab-tested nearly all of the town’s 3,275 residents, both at the beginning and at the end of the lockdown.
On Tuesday, the results of the study were published in the journal Nature. It found that 42.5 percent of the cases showed no symptoms, indicating that asymptomatic cases might have been important — if unwitting — spreaders of the pandemic, and confirming the importance of widespread testing.
The study also found that local outbreaks could be controlled “by combining the early isolation of infected people with community lockdown.”
Andrea Crisanti, the top scientific consultant on the virus in Veneto and a professor at the University of Padua and Imperial College London, co-led the study and has been a forceful advocate of widespread testing. He argued in the paper that the Veneto region’s testing and tracing approach had a “tremendous impact on the course of the epidemic in Veneto compared to other Italian regions.”
“The experience of Vo’ shows that despite the silent and widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2, transmission can be controlled,” the authors wrote.
The study showed that at the start of the quarantine, 73 residents of Vo’, or 2.6 percent of the population, tested positive for the virus. Two weeks later, that number had dropped to 29 people, eight of which were new cases, but in both rounds of testing, 40 percent of the positive cases had been asymptomatic.
Transmission in the absence of symptoms poses clear challenges for the control of Covid-19 without strict social distancing measures or epidemiological surveillance comprising, for instance, a test, trace and isolate strategy, the study noted.
In other news from around the world:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India announced on Tuesday that more than 800 million citizens would receive free food aid through the fall, in a move intended to mitigate hardship for those affected by the virus. Mr. Modi also said that the country’s restrictions, which were first put into effect in late March, would be further eased this week.
Airbus announced Tuesday that it would cut 15,000 jobs across its global work force, the largest downsizing in the history of the company. Citing a 40 percent slump in commercial aircraft business activity and an “unprecedented crisis” facing the airline industry, the company said the majority of the layoffs would come from plants in France, Germany, Spain and Britain.
Canada extended its ban on most travelers coming from places outside of the United States until July 31. A separate measure barring people coming from the United States is in effect until July 21. Citizens and permanent residents are among the people exempt from both measures.
Australia, which showed early signs of quashing the coronavirus, is now battling spikes in its second-most-populous state, Victoria, leading the authorities to announce lockdowns in the greater Melbourne area starting Wednesday night. On Tuesday, Victoria recorded 60 new cases, its 14th consecutive day of double-digit increases. Australia, with a population of 25 million, reported just seven cases in its other states on Tuesday.
A new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus that has been circulating in China should be “urgently” controlled to avoid another pandemic, a team of scientists said in a new study.
Airbus plans to cut 15,000 jobs as the pandemic takes a huge toll on air travel.
The pandemic continued to wreak havoc on global aviation as the aerospace giant Airbus announced Tuesday that it would cut nearly 15,000 jobs across its global work force, the largest downsizing in the company’s history.
Citing a 40 percent slump in commercial aircraft business activity and an “unprecedented crisis” facing the airline industry, Airbus said it would cut around 10 percent of its jobs worldwide, with layoffs hitting operations in France, Germany, Spain and Britain.
The chief executive, Guillaume Faury, had been preparing employees for hard times in a series of recent memos in which he warned it would be necessary to adapt to a “lasting decline” in the demand for airliners. The company said Tuesday that it did not expect air travel to return to pre-virus levels before 2023 and potentially not until 2025.
“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” Mr. Faury said on Tuesday. “We must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers.”
The layoffs are a stunning reversal of fortune for the world’s largest plane maker, which was founded 50 years ago.
The virus reaches an encampment on the Mexican border where migrants wait to apply for asylum in the U.S.
Stranded in a crowded encampment along the Mexican border, migrants waiting to apply for asylum in the United States have for months feared that the coronavirus would reach them. This week, the first known case was confirmed among the 2,000 camp dwellers.
A 20-year-old woman living at the tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico, has been transferred to an isolation area on the edge of the camp, according to Global Response Management, a nonprofit that runs a clinic there. Two other people at the camp were isolated on June 26 after presenting symptoms of Covid-19, the organization said. Test results are still pending.
“The presence of Covid-19 in an already vulnerable population exposed to the elements could potentially be catastrophic,” said Andrea Leiner, the director of strategic planning for Global Response.
The encampment sits at the foot of the bridge to Brownsville, Texas, where migrants must go for asylum hearings. They have been subjected to a U.S. policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, that requires asylum applicants to remain in Mexico while applying for asylum, entering the United States only on their court dates.
Families of four or five occupy tents intended for two people on a muddy strip of land, with many of the camp residents already weakened by respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments. Migrants bathe and wash their clothes in the Rio Grande.
After the coronavirus outbreak, Global Response had expressed concern that hospitals in Matamoros lacked capacity to care for migrants. To date, there have been 1,215 confirmed virus cases in Matamoros and 2,183 cases in Cameron County, Texas, which have both experienced spikes in the last week.
The organization’s doctors and nurses in February began distribution of vitamins to boost the immunity of migrants, added dozens of hand-washing stations and checked temperatures. They also erected a field hospital to care for those who fell ill.
Local officials in Texas implore the governor to let them issue stay-at-home orders.
As Texas reached a record number of cases on Tuesday, the leaders of its most populous counties have been imploring Gov. Greg Abbott to allow them to issue stay-at-home orders amid the rapidly spreading outbreak.
Lina Hidalgo, the executive in Harris County, whose county includes Houston, has issued an advisory to residents to stay at home, but said she needed tools to enforce it.
A joint letter sent Monday by the judge in Bexar County and the mayor of San Antonio urged the governor to restore county officials’ power to issue stay-at-home orders and workplace restrictions. Mr. Abbott, a Republican, took away those powers in late April, ahead of the state’s reopening.
Samuel T. Biscoe, the judge in Travis County, which includes Austin, sent a similar letter. “The rapid increase in cases has outstripped our ability to track, measure and mitigate the spread,” he wrote.
Mr. Biscoe also asked the governor to require face masks. Mr. Abbott has said Texans should wear masks, but he has stopped short of requiring them to do so.
The officials, who are all Democrats, also called attention to overloaded local hospitals.
The governor had already ordered the postponement of elective procedures in four counties to make room for virus patients. On Tuesday, he extended the order to include four additional counties, this time in south and southwest Texas. The virus has been spreading beyond the major metropolitan areas and into less populous parts of the state.
Texas has the fourth-highest case count nationwide, after New York, California and New Jersey, according to a Times database.
Also Tuesday, the Texas Medical Association called on the state Republican Party to reconsider its decision to hold an in-person convention in the middle of July in Houston. The state’s Democrats opted to hold their convention online this year.
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Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Ian Austen, Emily Cochrane, Michael Cooper, Jill Cowan, Stacy Cowley, Thomas Fuller, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Abby Goodnough, Rebecca Griesbach, Andrew Higgins, Shawn Hubler, Mike Ives, Miriam Jordan, Thomas Kaplan, Cao Li, Iliana Magra, Apoorva Mandavilli, Alex Marshall, Patricia Mazzei, David Montgomery, Ivan Nechepurenko, Elisabetta Povoledo, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Kai Schultz, Jeanna Smialek, Mitch Smith, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Matt Stevens, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Noah Weiland, Timothy Williams, Elizabeth Williamson, Carl Zimmer and Karen Zraick.