The FDA has expanded its list of hand sanitizer products to avoid because they may contain toxic methanol.
The death toll from COVID-19 was nearing 150,000 on Tuesday as congressional leaders delved into the details of a GOP stimulus package dismissed as too thin by Democrats and too fat by conservative Republicans.
Florida set a one-day record for deaths with 186; the virus has now killed more than 6,000 Floridians. In Tennessee, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, urged Gov. Bill Lee to shut down bars and limit indoor restaurant dining to help curb an explosion of infections among young people. Lee said no. Several states on Monday set seven-day records for virus deaths; others set records for new cases. Tennessee set records for both.
In the sports world, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Miami Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season, although he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he doesn’t believe games need to stop now. More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are some significant developments:
- Senate Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package Monday that includes another round of $1,200 payments, more help for small businesses and schools planning to reopen. But a major stumbling block is a proposed sharp decrease in the $600 weekly unemployment bonus Democrats consider crucial.
- The head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says he has been injected with an experimental COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to persuade the public to follow suit when one is approved.
- Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has tested positive for COVID-19.
- The U.N. says coronavirus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 children a month because of fears of contamination and movement restrictions, according to the Associated Press.
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State records fall amid struggles to contain virus
The record numbers of new weekly coronavirus cases that Arizona, Florida, Texas and California experienced a month ago are now playing out as record numbers of deaths in those states. Texas’ death toll continues to rise, with a record 1,607 deaths in the week ending Monday, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. That translates into a Texan dying every 6 minutes, 16 seconds, and no sign of any relief.
Texas’ weekly death toll is more than seven times its worst week through April.
Arizona’s is now more than five times worse than its worst week in the spring, while Florida at well over double. California is about 24% above its worst spring death toll.
An analysis of Johns Hopkins data released late Monday show eight state set records for new coronavirus counts — and eight set records for deaths. Many states that were seeing cases surge several weeks ago have stopped breaking records for new cases, including Alabama, Georgia, Nevada and South Carolina. But all of those states broke records for deaths on Monday night. Today’s totals
- The U.S. has more than 4.2 million confirmed cases and over 148,000 deaths.
- Worldwide, there have been almost 16.5 million cases and more than 654,000 deaths.
– Mike Stucka
Homeschool pods gain traction as pandemic hinders in-class education
Some families will pay several hundred dollars a month to hire teachers and tutors for small-group learning “pods” while awaiting an end to the pandemic that has brought upheaval to their kids’ schools. The parents hope to create a stable structure for their kids amid fears that a second COVID-19 wave could create more school shutdowns. Pods also allow their children to socialize with a small group of peers and provide parents with more stable work schedules.
Shauna Hill, 42, a single parent of twin 7-year-olds in Burlington, Vermont, is in discussions with other parents about setting up a pod. The goal, she said, “really is to build a little village.”
– Aimee Picchi
MLB commissioner: Miami Marlins coronavirus situation no ‘nightmare’
Major League Baseball is concerned about the Miami Marlins’ recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases, but it isn’t yet enough to consider shutting down the season, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday. Appearing on MLB Network, Manfred said officials knew there would be positive tests at some point. Rosters were expanded to allow for such issues, he added.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” warned that the outbreak could threaten the abbreviated season that began just a few days ago.
“I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis,” Fauci said.
After learning three players had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, the Marlins made the decision as a team to play their game in Philadelphia. The Marlins game scheduled for Monday in Miami and the Philly’s game in Philadelphia were both canceled.
– Steve Gardner
Baltimore ICU chief who led battle against COVID-19 dies from it
The head of critical care who worked on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic at a Baltimore hospital has died from the virus he helped fight. Dr. Joseph Costa, chief of the Division of Critical Care at Mercy Medical Center, died at age 56. The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun reported Costa died Saturday from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“I have profound admiration and the deepest respect for Joe as a clinician, colleague and friend,” hospital President and CEO Dr. David Maine said in a statement. “Mercy Medical Center and the Mercy family richly benefitted from Joe’s wisdom, compassion, insight and thought, ethical approach to his work and the families he served.”
– Jordan Culver
Tennessee rejects White House recommendation to shut down bars
Dr. Deborah Birx, a White House adviser who is among the top coronavirus officials in the nation, said Monday that Tennessee should close bars and limit indoor restaurant dining to prevent a looming escalation of the outbreak among young people. Moments later, Gov. Bill Lee said he “appreciates their recommendations” but won’t follow them or give county mayors the authority to do so locally.
“I’ve said from the very beginning of this pandemic that there’s nothing off the table,” Lee said. “I’ve also said that we are not going to close the economy back down, and we are not going to.”
Tennessee on Monday broke records for new coronavirus cases and deaths over a seven-day period, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows. New cases for the week leaped to 16,735 – more than five times the worst week seen in the spring. And deaths rose to 131, more than double the worst week of the spring.
– Brett Kelman and Mike Stucka
Head of China CDC gets injected with experimental vaccine
The head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says he has been injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to persuade the public to follow suit when one is approved.
“I’m going to reveal something undercover: I am injected with one of the vaccines,” Gao Fu said in a webinar Sunday hosted by Alibaba Health, an arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant, and Cell Press, an American publisher of scientific journals. “I hope it will work.”
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that a state-owned Chinese company injected employees with experimental shots in March, even before the government-approved testing in people – a move that raised ethical concerns among some experts. Gao did not say when or how he took the vaccine candidate, leaving it unclear whether he was injected as part of a government-approved human trial. He did not respond to requests for comment.
‘Large majority’ of Las Vegas casino employees will be fired, MGM says
Las Vegas casinos have notified their staff that if they weren’t recalled from furlough by Aug. 31, they would subsequently be fired. Major employers are required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) to notify their workers when there are expected to be mass firings. MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Tropicana and other casino operators sent out such notifications.
MGM told its employees that it had originally hoped the casino closures would be brief and full operations could be restored. But the pandemic has progressed, and based on currently available data, it doesn’t look like “it will be safe to restart shows prior to Aug. 31, 2020.” That means the “large majority” of employees in the entertainment and sports division will be fired on that date.
– Rich Duprey, The Motley Fool
FDA issues new warning to avoid nearly 90 hand sanitizers
The Food and Drug Administration issued another warning Monday to not use certain hand sanitizers that may contain methanol or wood alcohol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested. The FDA is continuing to update its “do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products,” which included 87 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided, some which have already been recalled, and other products being recommended for recalls as they may contain the potentially fatal ingredient.
“Practicing good hand hygiene, which includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, is an important public health tool for all Americans to employ,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. “Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products.”
– Kelly Tyko
GOP relief package, with stimulus checks, panned by both sides
Negotiations for a pandemic-relief plan began with both sides far apart as Senate Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion package – $2 trillion less than the proposal announced by House Democrats in May.
Almost immediately, the GOP package was criticized by conservative lawmakers as misguided and expensive and by Democrats as a late effort that falls short of the nation’s needs to weather the economic damage inflicted by a virus that has infected nearly 4.3 million Americans and killed more than 147,000.
The bill would include another round of $1,200 direct checks to millions of Americans, more help for small businesses and money to help reopen schools, but it would also reduce the $600 unemployment supplement that expires at the end of the month.
– Ledyard King and Nicholas Wu
More COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
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Contributing: The Associated Press
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