Coronavirus Live Global Updates – The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of showing disdain for American workers after he moved to end talks over a new stimulus package.
Credit…Ken Cedeno/Reuters

President Trump on Tuesday abruptly ended talks with Democrats on an economic stimulus bill, sending the stock market sliding and dealing a final blow to an intensive set of on-again-off-again negotiations to deliver additional pandemic aid to struggling Americans before the November elections.

Mr. Trump announced that he was pulling the plug on the effort in a series of afternoon tweets in which he accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California of “not negotiating in good faith” and urged Senate Republicans to focus solely on confirming his nominee to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

Instead, Mr. Trump said that he had instructed Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, to stop negotiating, sending the S&P 500 down as much as 1 percent in the immediate aftermath of his tweet. It had been up more than half a percent in the moments before. The index closed down 1.40 percent for the day.

“Our Economy is doing very well,” Mr. Trump tweeted as the market fell. “The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!”

Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin, who had previously been scheduled to speak later Tuesday afternoon, briefly spoke after Mr. Trump’s tweet, with Mr. Mnuchin confirming that the president had discontinued talks and Ms. Pelosi expressing disappointment “in the President’s decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, said on Twitter.

The president’s move came not long after Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, had made his latest urgent plea for additional stimulus, warning that a failure by Congress to inject more federal help into the economy would risk weakening the recovery.

The announcement came after the president had spoken by phone with Mr. Mnuchin, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

Ms. Pelosi had told lawmakers on a private caucus call moments before Mr. Trump’s tweets that Democrats were “waiting for them to approve our language to crush the virus and how we put money in the pockets of the American people,” according to a Democratic aide on the call, who disclosed her remarks on condition of anonymity.

In a statement after the president’s tweets, Ms. Pelosi accused him of showing “his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes — in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others.”

“Trump is wedded to his $150 billion tax cut for the wealthiest people in America from the CARES Act, while he refuses to give real help to poor children, the unemployed, and America’s hard working families,” Ms. Pelosi said.

Mr. McConnell, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, said he supported the president’s decision, adding, “I think his view was that they were not going to produce a result, and we need to concentrate on what’s achievable.”







‘Far From Complete,’ Powell Says of Fiscal Expansion

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell spoke about the role of the federal response to the economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fiscal response was truly extraordinary. The unanimous passage of the CARES Act, and three other bills passed with broad support in March and April, established wide-ranging programs that are expected to provide roughly $3 trillion in economic support overall — by far the largest and most innovative fiscal response to an economic crisis since the Great Depression. The expansion is still far from complete. At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric — too little support would lead to a weak recovery creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth. By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem for now to be smaller, even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed. They will not go to waste. The recovery will be stronger and move faster if monetary policy and fiscal policy continue to work side by side to provide support to the economy until it is clearly out of the woods. Since it appears that many will undergo extended periods of unemployment, there is likely to be a need for further support. Second, aid to firms, in particular, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the general boost to aggregate demand have, so far, partly forestalled an expected wave of bankruptcies and lessened permanent layoffs. Business investment appears to be on a renewed upward trajectory, and new business formation similarly appears to be rebounding, pointing to some confidence in the path ahead.

Video player loading
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell spoke about the role of the federal response to the economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Caroline Brehman
A Moderna vaccine production facility in Switzerland earlier this month. The F.D.A. on Tuesday released a summary of guidelines it has given to vaccine developers over objections from the White House. 
Credit…Olivier Maire/EPA, via Shutterstock

The Food and Drug Administration released updated, stricter guidelines on Tuesday for coronavirus vaccine developers — a step that was blocked for two weeks by top White House officials. The guidelines make it highly unlikely that a vaccine could be authorized by Election Day.

The move, which was cleared by the Office of Management and Budget, appeared to be an abrupt reversal a day after The New York Times reported that White House officials, including Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, were blocking the guidelines.

The new guidelines recommend gathering extra data about the safety of vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials, a step that would take more time.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the F.D.A. has said that it has been seeking ways to accelerate the development of vaccines without sacrificing safety. In June, the agency released an initial set of guidelines to give vaccine developers a better idea of how the F.D.A. would decide if a vaccine were acceptable, either for an emergency use authorization or for a full license.

Four vaccines have reached the final stage of testing, known as a Phase 3 trial, in the United States. A fifth is expected to start this month. President Trump has repeatedly suggested that a vaccine would be ready by Election Day, if not before.

But with public confidence declining in opinion polls about what could be a rushed coronavirus vaccine, the F.D.A. submitted a new set of guidelines to the White House for approval on Sept. 21.

Among the recommendations, the agency advised vaccine makers to follow volunteers for a median of two months after the final dose. The F.D.A. also expected vaccine makers to document five cases of severe infection in people who received the placebo instead of the vaccine.

The F.D.A. submitted the guidelines to the Office of Management and Budget for approval more than two weeks ago, but they stalled in part because of Mr. Meadows’s involvement, according to a senior administration official and others familiar with the situation.

The White House objected that the guidelines would add more time before a vaccine could be authorized. In a conversation with Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, days after the guidelines were submitted, Mr. Meadows said the recommendations amounted to changing the rules on drugmakers in the throes of clinical trials, according to one senior administration official. He also suggested that Dr. Hahn was overly influenced by career scientists, who had drafted the document, the official said.

Trump administration officials have the authority to intervene with such nonbinding documents, partly because of a 2019 executive order that tightened restrictions over their issuance.

The F.D.A., however, continued to share parts of this guidance with vaccine developers in response to questions they submitted to the agency.

“We’ve made it clear that we want to see a median of about two months of follow-up for any of the vaccines that comes in,” Dr. Peter Marks, the F.D.A.’s top regulator for vaccines, said in an interview on YouTube on Friday.

On Tuesday, the F.D.A. published the guidelines at the end of a document the F.D.A. prepared for the meeting on Oct. 22 of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. The committee will be discussing the development, authorization and licensing of Covid vaccines.

In a statement Tuesday, the drug industry’s largest trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said it supported “any efforts by F.D.A. to provide clarifying guidance.”

“We have engaged with the agency to support bringing greater transparency to the review process for COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement said. “We welcome the agency’s efforts to instill confidence in the rigorous safety of these potential vaccines.”







Cuomo Imposes New Restrictions to Curb Coronavirus Clusters

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced tighter restrictions on Tuesday aimed at curbing the surge in coronavirus clusters in parts of New York City and some suburbs.

The virus spreads in mass gatherings. We know this from our own experience, from what we’ve seen and from what every expert tells us, right? The outbreaks, which is when the virus is spreading out of control, it starts with a mass gathering and then it expands from there, especially indoors. So it’s to be taken very seriously. A mass gathering causes infections, infections cause a cluster, a cluster causes community spread. That is the natural evolution of things unless we intervene and we stop the cycle. What’s our strategy? Crush the cluster and stop the spread. And we’re announcing a special initiative to do just that — Cluster Action Initiative. Catchy name. Step 1, you take the most dramatic action within the cluster itself, where you have the highest density of cases. Understanding that the people in that cluster interface with the surrounding communities, take additional action in the communities surrounding the cluster. And then on a precautionary measure, take action in the communities that are outlying that area, right? So three steps.

Video player loading
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced tighter restrictions on Tuesday aimed at curbing the surge in coronavirus clusters in parts of New York City and some suburbs.CreditCredit…Mike Segar/Reuters

In a bid to contain coronavirus clusters in parts of New York City and its northern suburbs, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced new restrictions in those areas, including temporarily closing nonessential businesses and schools.

Starting as soon as Wednesday and no later than Friday, many stores, gyms, salons and other businesses will close in the hardest-hit places, where the rate of new cases has remained stubbornly high in the past week. Restaurants and bars would again be restricted to takeout and delivery only, as they were at the start of the pandemic.

Mass gatherings would be barred except at houses of worship, which would be limited to 25 percent capacity, with a 10-person maximum. And Mr. Cuomo, who on Monday closed schools in the city’s hot spots, said that schools in parts of Rockland and Orange Counties would also close.

In geographic areas around the clusters, less severe restrictions would be in place, including prohibiting indoor dining and closing businesses deemed “high-risk,” including gyms and personal care business.

The exact boundaries of all the new cluster zones began to emerge late Tuesday, with Mr. Cuomo posting on Twitter a map of the Brooklyn cluster zone, which appeared to include the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay and Sunset Park, and maps for the other cluster zones. The restrictions will be in place for at least two weeks.

The new measures marked a staggering setback in New York, once the center of the pandemic, where officials had seen months of declining or flat rates of positive test results after a devastating and deadly spring.

Officials have warned recently about clusters where the virus appeared to be spreading rapidly, including at colleges and universities.

In an effort to address hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens, Mr. Cuomo had already ordered all public and private schools in nine of the city’s ZIP codes to close as of Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio said that during testing at 35 schools in the nine ZIP codes, just two of 1,351 tests returned positive results between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5. But recent estimates of the spread of infections in city schools suggested that the city’s ambitious testing plans may be insufficient to catch outbreaks before they spread beyond a handful of students.

Officials in Orange County already closed all schools in Kiryas Joel, a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish village located in a ZIP code seeing some of the highest seven-day average positivity rates in the state in recent days. Schools in other parts of that ZIP code were not ordered to close.

On Tuesday, the governor said 705 virus patients were hospitalized statewide, up from 636 the day before.

Mr. Cuomo also said that travelers from New Mexico are now required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, joining a long list of other states and territories.

Travelers to Connecticut and New Jersey are also now subject to a 14-day quarantine if they are coming from those same places, though compliance is voluntary in New Jersey and there is a testing alternative in Connecticut.

Rocco Sapienza, 80, died after another man pushed him during a dispute at a bar in New York State.

In what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind in New York State, prosecutors have filed negligent homicide charges over a fatal confrontation in suburban Buffalo over someone who was not wearing a face mask.

Rocco Sapienza, 80, died five days after being pushed to the ground by Donald Lewinski, 65, a fellow bar patron, prosecutors say.

Mr. Lewinski plans to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer, Barry Covert. He is expected to enter the plea in an Erie County courtroom Tuesday. If convicted, Lewinski could face four years in prison.

In New York State, customers at bars and restaurants are required to wear face coverings when they are not seated, and according to John J. Flynn, the Erie County district attorney, surveillance video showed Lewinski walking around Pamp’s Red Zone Bar & Grill in West Seneca, N.Y., multiple times without wearing a mask. Flynn said the video shows Lewinski shoving Sapienza to the ground with both hands after Sapienza confronted him over his refusal to wear a face mask as required.

As he fell, Mr. Sapienza’s left arm knocked over a nearby stool and his head hit the floor, apparently losing consciousness. Flynn said preliminary autopsy results showed that Mr. Sapienza, who underwent brain surgery after the confrontation, died from blunt force trauma to the head.

“It’s beyond sad,” Mr. Flynn said. “These kinds of situations have continued to escalate, and this should cause everyone to pause and think twice now about how we as a society want to conduct ourselves during this pandemic.”







Trump Removes Mask Despite Coronavirus Infection

After President Trump arrived at the White House from the hospital on Monday, he climbed stairs to a balcony and took off his mask.

[no speech]

Video player loading
After President Trump arrived at the White House from the hospital on Monday, he climbed stairs to a balcony and took off his mask.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President Trump announced his plans on Tuesday to go on with the next presidential debate in Miami, against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The debate, set for Oct. 15 in Miami, would be two weeks after Mr. Trump tested positive for the notoriously unpredictable coronavirus.

According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr. Trump could still be contagious on Oct. 15, depending on how severe his case has been and exactly when his symptoms began.

People with mild to moderate cases, the agency says, probably are not infectious once 10 days have elapsed since symptom onset. But the timeline expands to about 20 days in more severe cases — and Mr. Trump might meet the criteria for being classified as a severe case, based on the treatments he received at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Eager to get back on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that he was “FEELING GREAT!” on Tuesday, and the doctor overseeing his care, Sean P. Conley, said in a written update made public by the White House that the president “continues to do extremely well,” adding, “Today he reports no symptoms.”

Dr. Conley said the president’s oxygen saturation level was normal on Tuesday, in the 95 to 97 percent range. At one point earlier in his illness, however, it fell to 93 percent. Many medical experts consider Covid-19 patients to have severe cases if their oxygen levels drop below 94 percent.

Before Mr. Trump left the hospital on Monday evening, he issued a message telling people not to be afraid of Covid-19 and saying, “Don’t let it dominate your life.” His comments drew outrage from scientists, ethicists, doctors and friends and relatives of the deceased, who had hoped the president’s own experience with the disease would lead him to take it more seriously.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump again compared Covid-19 to the flu on social media, a reprise of earlier false claims that the illnesses were comparable in lethality; experts say seasonal influenza is much less deadly than coronavirus.

“We are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” he tweeted.

Facebook later took down Mr. Trump’s post about the flu, saying in a statement that “we remove incorrect information about the severity of Covid-19, and have now removed this post.”

The post received nearly 570,000 likes and comments and was shared nearly 50,000 times before it was taken down.

Mr. Trump posted the same false claim that the flu was responsible for more deaths than the coronavirus on Twitter. On Tuesday morning Twitter added a label to the tweet that hides the message, saying that the tweet violated its policies by spreading misleading information about Covid-19.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


“We need all Wisconsinites to work together during this difficult time,” Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin said in a statement announcing new limits.
Credit…Kerem Yucel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

With the coronavirus raging out of control in Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers announced tight new limits on Tuesday on the size of public indoor gatherings in the state. But the order exempts some of the settings that have been of greatest concern for spreading the virus: schools and colleges, houses of worship, polling places and political rallies.

Wisconsin, a pivotal, sharply divided battleground state in the presidential election, has seen coronavirus cases explode. Three of the four metro areas in the United States with the most cases per capita last week were in northeast Wisconsin, and hospitals in the state are becoming overwhelmed. The state has recently been reporting about 2,400 new cases a day on average, according to a New York Times database.

The order by the state’s Department of Health Services limits public indoor gatherings to 25 percent of capacity; indoor spaces without an official occupancy limit will be restricted to 10 people. The order takes effect on Friday and is set to continue through Nov. 6.

“We’re in a crisis right now, and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” Governor Evers, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The governor’s previous efforts to fight the pandemic with statewide restrictions have repeatedly met stiff resistance from Republicans. A stay-at-home order he issued in March was struck down in May by the conservative-leaning state Supreme Court, and a court ruling is expected soon on a lawsuit challenging the governor’s mask mandate.

In other U.S. news:

  • Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania moved in the opposite direction on Tuesday, easing restrictions somewhat on gatherings in his state. Starting Friday, facilities with normal capacities of up to 2,000 people will be allowed to operate at 20 percent of capacity if indoors and 25 percent if outdoors. Larger facilities will have incrementally lower percentage limits. Until now, gatherings in Pennsylvania have been limited to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors, regardless of capacity. Case counts in the state have been climbing gradually since late August and have lately averaged about 1,000 a day.

A rapid coronavirus test developed by Abbott Laboratories on display at the White House in March. 
Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

After months of crowded events and often maskless encounters, a growing number of top government officials, including President Trump, and their close contacts have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The fault for the outbreak lies in no small part with an ill-conceived disease-prevention strategy at the White House, health experts said: From the early days of the pandemic, federal officials have relied too heavily on one company’s rapid tests, with little or no mechanism to identify and contain cases that fell through the diagnostic cracks.

“It seems the White House put all their eggs in one basket: testing,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency medicine physician at Brown University. “But there is no single strategy, no single thing we can do to be safe. It has to be multimodal.”

Other health experts noted that the tests deployed by the White House, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, were given emergency clearance by the Food and Drug Administration only for people “within the first seven days of the onset of symptoms.” But they were used incorrectly, to screen people who were not showing any signs of illness. Such off-label use, experts said, further compromised a strategy that presumably was designed to keep leading officials safe from a pandemic that so far has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

“It’s not being used for the intended purpose,” said Syra Madad, an infectious disease epidemiologist based in New York. “So there will be potentially a lot of false negatives and false positives.”

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the F.D.A., described these procedures as a misguided attempt at a “zero-fail testing protocol” in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, saying that officials “weren’t taking any precautions beyond testing people who are going to be in contact with the president.”

Although Abbott’s products are not cleared for asymptomatic testing, the company has told experts that it thinks such use is likely to pan out.

On Saturday evening, Andrea Wainer, Abbott’s executive vice president of rapid and molecular diagnostics, emailed a document to several public health experts containing preliminary results outlining the test’s performance in people without symptoms. Among an unspecified number of individuals, the test picked up about 88 percent of the infections found by laboratory P.C.R. tests, the company statement said.

“By studying the test in the asymptomatic people, Abbott knows it works in that population,” the document said. “It can’t say that for itself, because the test isn’t approved for that, but that data has been shared with others and the F.D.A. too.”

“Citizens have made huge sacrifices to contain Covid-19,” Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge of the World Health Organization said.
Credit…Pool photo by Alexander Astafyev

European countries that have again restricted residents’ movement in an effort to contain a second wave of the coronavirus are confronting a lack of adherence to the new rules that the World Health Organization attributed to “pandemic fatigue.”

“Citizens have made huge sacrifices to contain Covid-19,” Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the W.H.O.’s regional director for Europe, said in a statement to the news media on Tuesday. “It has come at an extraordinary cost, which has exhausted all of us, regardless of where we live, or what we do. In such circumstances it is easy and natural to feel apathetic and demotivated.”

Many have expressed their opposition to their countries’ restrictions through demonstrations. In Spain, where the capital Madrid has become the epicenter of a strong second wave, an initial selective lockdown brought out protesters and underscored the divisions between rich and poor.

In Germany, where cases are surging, thousands of people filled the streets over the weekend to protest the measures that have come into force.

Recognizing the apathy and backlash against some restrictions, Dr. Kluge recommended closer consultation with communities to understand their frustrations and said countries should be working with their citizens to form policies that will have their backing.

To combat the fatigue as the holiday season approaches, the W.H.O. advised balancing science, social and political needs and placing empathy at the heart of their approach.

General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with several of the Pentagon’s most senior uniformed leaders, are quarantining after being exposed to the coronavirus, a Defense Department official said on Tuesday.

The official said almost the entirety of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff, are quarantining after Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive for coronavirus.

“We are aware that Vice Commandant Ray has tested positive for Covid-19 and that he was at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement released by his office.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning,” he added. “No Pentagon contacts have exhibited symptoms and we have no additional positive tests to report at this time.”

The announcement represents an alarming development — as the virus extends its reach from the highest levels of civilian government to the operational heart of the country’s national security apparatus.

A military official noted that General Milley and the other senior officers have full operational capability from where they are working — most at home — and said there is no degradation to the country’s national defense.

Admiral Ray was in the Pentagon last week, attending meetings in the secure “Tank” with General Milley and the senior Pentagon uniformed leadership. Defense Department officials said the decision to quarantine complied with Defense Department guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.

General Milley and a number of senior Defense Department officials have also been getting tested frequently since Sept. 27, when many of the Pentagon’s senior leadership attended a White House reception for “Gold Star” families of fallen troops.

Both Mr. Trump and Melania Trump, the first lady, were at that event. Admiral Ray also was at the White House Gold Star gathering, a Defense Department official said.

On Tuesday, Defense Department officials said General Milley and the other leaders have, so far, tested negative for the virus.

The reaction at the Pentagon to the possible exposure of senior military leaders to coronavirus stands in contrast to the White House, where Mr. Trump has flouted the same guidelines established by the C.D.C. that the Pentagon is following.

White House officials, citing national security concerns, last weekend told Defense Department officials that they should no longer inform the public or the press about the coronavirus status of senior Pentagon leaders. But Defense Department officials have questioned the directive.

General Milley, 62, was appointed to his post as the most senior member of the military on December 8, 2018, by Mr. Trump.

The scene of a shooting in New York in July. Shootings and homicides are up this year in cities around the United States.
Credit…John Minchillo/Associated Press

Reported crime of nearly every kind has declined this year amid the pandemic. The exception to that has been stark and puzzling: Shootings and homicides are up in cities around the United States, perplexing experts who normally expect these patterns to trend together.

The president and others have blamed protests and unrest, the changing tactics of police officers, and even the partisan politics of mayors. But at least part of the puzzle may lie in sources that are harder to see (and politicize): The pandemic has frayed all kinds of institutions and infrastructure that hold communities together, that watch over streets, that mediate conflicts, that simply give young people something to do.

Schools, libraries, recreation centers and public pools have closed. Nonprofits, churches and sports leagues have scaled back. Mentors, social workers and counselors have been hampered by social distancing.

And programs devised to reduce gun violence — and that have proved effective in studies — have been upended by the pandemic. Summer job programs were cut this year. Violence intervention workers were barred from hospitals. Group behavioral therapy programs meant to be intimate and in-person have moved, often haltingly, online.

“This work is a pat on the shoulder, a touch on the hand, a handshake,” said Del McFadden, the director of the office of neighborhood safety and engagement for the District of Columbia. “All of those things are different now.”

Horace Mann, one of New York City’s most prominent private schools, has temporarily ended in-person learning, following several cases of coronavirus.

The closing was ordered after the school discovered three infections while tracing people who had come in contact with the school’s first case, according to Thomas M. Kelly, Horace Mann’s head of school. The news was first reported by The Riverdale Press.

“Two of the three new cases involve Middle and Upper Division physical education teachers/coaches, and the third involves a member of our college counseling department,” Mr. Kelly wrote in an email to parents and staff members that he shared with The Times. He said the school only became aware of the third case Monday night.

Dr. Kelly said that Horace Mann’s nursery and lower divisions, which are housed elsewhere, would continue in-person education.

The rapidity of Dr. Kelly’s decision — announcing the school’s Tuesday closure on Monday night — mirrors the tumult surrounding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to close public and private schools this week in nine ZIP codes that have seen an alarming rise in the prevalence of coronavirus.

Horace Mann’s middle and high schools, near Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, have about 1,200 students. Following a quarantine, in-person classes for those students are scheduled to resume Oct. 19. The additional three cases of “do have overlap with students and employees at a level that makes me uncomfortable moving forward with in-person instruction,” Dr. Kelly wrote.


Face masks must now be worn outdoors in Rome.
Credit…Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

Italy’s government is considering making face masks mandatory outdoors all over the country to curb a steady increase in coronavirus cases, the country’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, told the Senate on Tuesday.

“Together with Germany, we are the country that is better withstanding the second wave,” Mr. Speranza said. “But we should not be misled. It would be deeply wrong to think that we are out of it.”

The Lazio region, which includes Rome, made face masks mandatory outdoors last week.

Mr. Speranza said cases had been growing for nine consecutive weeks across the country, and were not limited to one area as they were early in the pandemic, when Italy became the first European country to lock down in the face of a strong first wave in the northern regions. “Today, no region can feel not at risk,” he said.

For the moment, intensive care units are seeing a manageable number of Covid-19 cases. Patients are on average in their 40s, not their 70s, like in the spring.

In the southern region of Campania, mostly spared by the first wave, cases have been growing so rapidly in recent weeks that the regional president has limited business hours for bars and restaurants, which must close by 11 p.m. Other regions may consider similar measures.

The government is drafting “measures of prudence” for the next month, Mr. Speranza said. Soldiers and policemen will patrol the streets to prevent gatherings of people outdoors, while dance halls and nightclubs remain closed in Italy. The government is also considering limiting the number of guests allowed to attend private parties or ceremonies.

In other news from around the world:

  • A top World Health Organization official said Monday that about 10 percent of the world’s population may have already contracted the coronavirus. That estimate — which works out to about 760 million people — far exceeds the confirmed global caseload of about 35 million. “This varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies between different groups,” the official, Dr. Mike Ryan, said at a special session of the agency’s executive board in Geneva. “But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk.” Another agency official said Monday that the 10 percent estimate had been calculated based on an average of antibody studies from around the world.

  • The leader of Scotland’s government, Nicola Sturgeon, said the country was facing “the most difficult decision point yet” as cases rise, but she ruled out another national lockdown on Tuesday. As Cabinet discussions continue over what new measures to implement, Ms. Sturgeon said the government must strike a balance between the public health toll and the wider costs of a lockdown to the economy and people’s lives. Scotland has recorded 5,108 cases over the last seven days, which works out to 94 cases per 100,000.

  • There’s a shortage of remdesivir, the anti-viral drug that is being used to treat the virus, in the Netherlands. On Monday, the government said that the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment had run out of the drug, which meant hospitals could not request doses. A new shipment was expected on Tuesday, the Dutch broadcaster NOS said, but it was unclear how much of the medicine was being delivered. Case numbers continue to climb in the Netherlands, with more than 25,000 cases in the last seven days, a rate of 149 cases per 100,000 people, according to a Times database.

  • Spain is heading for a deeper recession than initially predicted, the government said on Tuesday. Nadia Calviño, the Spanish economics minister, told a news conference on Tuesday that the government anticipated that the economy would shrink by 11.2 percentage points this year. But Ms. Calviño also forecast a sharp rebound of 7.2 percent for 2021, followed by growth of as much as 9.8 percent in 2022, by which point the country would significantly benefit from about 140 billion euros allocated as part of a European Union recovery fund.

A nurse practitioner administering a flu vaccine at a pharmacy in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Credit…Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump’s comparisons of Covid-19 to the flu stand in sharp contrast with months of data gathered by experts, who have repeatedly said that the coronavirus poses a far more serious threat than influenza viruses.

The president tweeted on Tuesday morning:

“Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Based on data gathered thus far, most flu viruses are less deadly and less contagious than the coronavirus. And while flu vaccines and federally approved treatments for the flu exist, no such products have been fully cleared by governing bodies for use against the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 24,000 and 62,000 flu-related deaths occur in the United States each year — substantially fewer than Mr. Trump claimed. In February, Mr. Trump stuck closer to the facts at a White House news conference. “The flu, in our country, kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. That was shocking to me,” he said at the time. On average, seasonal flu strains kill about 0.1 percent of the people they infect.

The coronavirus, on the other hand, has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, and more than one million worldwide, since the start of 2020. The virus’s true mortality rate remains unclear, as it is difficult to gather such data while the pandemic rages on. Inadequate testing has also made it hard to pinpoint how many people have been stricken by the virus, which can spread silently from people who never show symptoms.

Still, estimates from experts tend to put the coronavirus’s death rate higher than the flu’s. The virus’s death toll was especially high in late winter and spring, when hospitals were overwhelmed, clinically tested treatments were scarce and masking and distancing were even more intermittent than they are now.

Frequent encounters with past flu strains, in combination with effective vaccines, can also bolster the body’s defenses against new flu viruses. The coronavirus, however, has swept through a defenseless population of unprepared hosts at a dizzying rate.

And deaths also don’t reveal the entire picture. Researchers still don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of coronavirus infections, which have saddled a growing number of people, called long-haulers, with serious and debilitating symptoms that can linger weeks or months.

Twitter appended a note to Mr. Trump’s tweet, saying that it violated the company’s rules about spreading false or misleading information about the virus, and Facebook removed the post for violating its similar policy.

The funeral for Saul Sanchez, an employee at the meat-processing company JBS who died of the coronavirus in April.
Credit…Jim Urquhart/Reuters

After Saul Sanchez tested positive for the coronavirus at a hospital in Greeley, Colo., he spoke to his daughter on the phone and asked her to relay a message to his supervisors at work.

“Please call JBS and let them know I’m in the hospital,” his daughter Beatriz Rangel remembered him as saying. “Let them know I will be back.”

The meat-processing company JBS had employed Mr. Sanchez, 78, at its plant in Greeley for three decades. He was one of at least 291 people there who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

On April 7, Mr. Sanchez became one of at least six employees at the plant to die of Covid-19.

Now Ms. Rangel, 53, is in the middle of a new struggle. Hers is one of several families of JBS employees in Greeley seeking compensation for a death caused by Covid-19. The company has denied her family’s claim, as well as at least two others, according to lawyers representing the families who are now taking those claims to court.

Those denials, first reported by Reuters, offered a view of the difficulties faced by families of essential workers who have fallen ill or died because of the coronavirus, many of whom are struggling to cover medical or funeral costs.

“We just have a stack of bills, and I think it’s really taken a toll on my mom, because my dad used to be the one handling all the finances,” Ms. Rangel said.

Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and is in isolation.
Credit…Matt Masin/The Orange County Register, via Associated Press

The California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie is the latest prominent attendee at the Sept. 26 Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House to test positive for the coronavirus. He announced the test results Monday and said he was in isolation.

“If the president of the United States can get it, obviously anybody can get it,” Mr. Laurie said in a video posted on social media. In an interview with Christianity Today, Mr. Laurie said he was not sure he was infected at the Rose Garden event, and urged Americans not to blame the White House for his infection.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has become very politicized,” he said. “I wish we could all set aside our partisan ideas and pull together to do everything we can to defeat this virus and bring our nation back.”

Mr. Laurie was one of many high-profile Christian leaders who attended the ceremony. Another — the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame —  announced on Friday that he tested positive.

Several of the attendees have since preached in person at church services or have been photographed at other public events, suggesting that they are not following C.D.C. recommendations for quarantine after their exposure in the Rose Garden.

Jerry Prevo, the acting president of Liberty University, announced on Friday that he and his wife had both tested negative. He posted photographs the next day in which he and his wife are seen mingling closely indoors with people not wearing masks.

A representative for Robert Morris, a Dallas-area megachurch pastor who preached in person last weekend, said on Monday that he “does not have any Covid-related symptoms,” but he declined to say whether he had been tested.

Another Dallas-area pastor, Jack Graham, also preached in person at his church on Sunday morning. “I am ridiculously healthy,” he told his congregation, who responded with applause. “I don’t have Covid, let’s just put it that way.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Graham said that he has been tested twice since the Rose Garden event and that both tests have been negative. The spokeswoman said he has consulted with his personal physician about his activities since the event, but declined to offer information on the timing of his tests.

Mr. Graham said during the service that he flew to Atlanta last Wednesday to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke at an indoor event hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition that was attended by some of the same evangelical leaders. A spokeswoman for the group’s head, Ralph Reed, said he tested negative on Wednesday before the vice president’s arrival. The spokeswoman said seating at the event was arranged in consultation with local health officials, and that attendees were encouraged to wear masks.

Singapore’s fertility rate has fallen over the past four decades, despite financial incentives from the government.
Credit…Roslan Rahman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Singapore has been trying for years to bolster its low birthrate by offering new parents a “baby bonus” of more than $6,000 for each child. Now the country of 5.7 million people says it plans to further sweeten the incentive with a one-time payment to help couples “have more babies” during the pandemic.

“We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans,” Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a statement on Monday. “This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income.”

The amount of the newly introduced payment had not been announced as of Tuesday evening.

Singapore had initial success against the coronavirus, but its caseload soared in April, fueled by an outbreak among migrant workers. It has reported 27 deaths and at least 57,000 infections since the start of the pandemic, including 104 new cases over the past week.

Singapore’s economy posted its worst-ever performance in the second quarter and is expected to contract by 6 percent this year.

Over the years, Singapore’s government has organized speed dating and other matchmaking services in a mostly futile attempt to encourage procreation. It also provides dollar-for-dollar matching services for savings accounts that are set up for newborns.

But the city-state’s fertility rate has continued to fall anyway over the past four decades — from 1.82 to 1.14 births per woman. That does not include modest fertility spikes that coincide with the lunar Year of the Dragon, which comes every 12 years and is widely thought to be auspicious.

Singapore’s birthrate of 8.6 per 1,000 people ranked 214th in the world in 2017. Of the 12 countries that scored lower, three were in Asia: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Monaco scored last.

Columbia University in New York. Many American universities are hemorrhaging female faculty, partly because of the pandemic.
Credit…Jackie Molloy for The New York Times

The pandemic has laid bare gender inequities across the country, and women in academia have not been spared. The outbreak erupted during universities’ spring terms, hastily forcing classes online and researchers out of their laboratories.

Faculty with young or school-aged children — especially women — had to juggle teaching their students with overseeing their children’s distance learning from home.

Many universities struggled to put meaningful policies in place to help faculty, especially caretakers and women. During the summer break ahead of this fall semester, administrators at some institutions began to reassess and develop strategies that experts say are a palatable start to stymieing crises stemming from the pandemic.

But the issues that women in academia are facing are not new. Instead, they are more severe versions of longstanding gender gaps that already cause universities to hemorrhage female faculty, particularly women of color, and will require measures that go beyond institutional responses to the pandemic.

Multiple studies have already shown that women have written significantly fewer papers than their male counterparts during the pandemic. Reports showed that at least one-third of working women in two-parent households exclusively provided child care after schools and day cares closed and babysitters quit or were let go.

Years of research have proven that female faculty struggle to balance work and family, often causing them to exit academia — or what experts refer to as “leaking from the academic pipeline.” For those who stay, anecdotal reports and Twitter outcries during the pandemic indicate that female faculty are suffering reduced productivity, which could affect their ability to get tenure.

Some women faced harsher student evaluations during the outbreaks, too. Research shows that gender bias is rampant in end-of-term evaluations, with women and people of color more likely than men to get comments related to “their appearance or the tone of their voice — things that are less closely related to the ability to successfully teach,” said Jenna Stearns, an economist at the University of California, Davis.

An attendant at the entrance of the Great Mosque in Touba, Senegal, provides hand sanitizer as throngs of Senegalese Mouride Brotherhood pilgrims gather for the annual Grand Magal festival.
Credit…Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

DAKAR, Senegal — Huge throngs of people traveled in recent days to Touba, 120 miles west of Senegal’s capital of Dakar, for West Africa’s largest religious gathering — the Magal — which commemorates the exile of a Muslim spiritual leader. Many people wore masks. Many did not.

It is expected to be one of the biggest events to be held anywhere in the world since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In a typical year, as many as four or five million attend the Magal, though no estimates were yet available this year. The event is officially taking place on Tuesday but lasts about a week.

The leader of the Mourides, the Muslim sect that organizes the event, issued the annual call for pilgrims to come, despite the pandemic. The government of Senegal, which has been heaped with praise for its handling of the outbreak, did not try to ban it. And the levels of traffic suggested that most people were going ahead, despite the risks. Magal pilgrims do not book hotel rooms: Touba’s residents open up their homes and travelers bed down, many to each room. Lunch and dinner, in the Senegalese tradition, are usually eaten off a communal plate.

It has already been well documented that Magal pilgrims are particularly susceptible to viruses, because of the event’s inherent lack of social distancing. A study released last year showed that the prevalence of respiratory tract infection symptoms among pilgrims increased fivefold following the pilgrimage.

On a trip to Touba last Thursday, Senegal’s health minister told local journalists that he would be deploying 5,000 health ministry officials to Touba to monitor it and respond if necessary. He did not respond to calls or text messages requesting an interview, or answer questions about why the Magal had not been canceled and why many ministers were attending.

Ousmane Balde contributed reporting from Dakar.

Read the original article

Author: The Covid-19 Channel