Covid-19 Trump Live Updates: White House Outbreak Continues – The New York Times

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, speaking with the media on Sunday outside the White House.
Credit…Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that he intended to leave Walter Reed Medical Center, where he has been receiving treatment since Friday. His medical team is expected to brief the public on his condition at 3 p.m. Eastern.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates, or read on for more details from earlier Monday.

President Trump’s health status was unclear midday Monday as the drama around his treatment and the virus’s toll on the White House continued to mount after he was admitted Friday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Mr. Trump is eager to leave the hospital as soon as today, and preliminary discussions were underway about whether he would do that before Vice President Mike Pence departs for Utah ahead of Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate.

In the morning, the White House shuttled reporters to Walter Reed, where a briefing lectern had been placed, raising speculation about another update from Mr. Trump’s medical team. But as of the early afternoon, the White House had not indicated when another briefing might come and the lectern remained covered with a garbage bag.

Amid questions about whether Mr. Trump could relocate to the White House without endangering himself and others came a reminder that the virus may still be spreading through the West Wing and beyond: Mr. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, announced that she, too, had tested positive for the virus and would be quarantining. Ms. McEnany, who said she had previously tested negative several times, spoke briefly to reporters outside the White House on Sunday. She did not wear a mask.

Two more members of the press team, Karoline Leavitt and Chad Gilmartin, who is Ms. McEnany’s relative, also tested positive but learned about their diagnosis prior to Ms. McEnany, according to two people familiar with the diagnosis.

After Wednesday night’s debate, Mr. Pence plans to attend campaign events in Arizona and Florida later this week before stopping in his home state of Indiana to vote early.

Mr. Trump pushed to be discharged earlier on Sunday, according to people familiar with the events, motivated to leave out of a desire to show the country and the world that he is functional and not bedridden by a virus.

But Mr. Trump’s doctors on Sunday did not favor him leaving the hospital to return to the White House. Instead, a decision was made to allow Mr. Trump to be driven slowly by crowds of supporters across the street from the hospital so he could be seen.

Health experts have said the decision was highly unusual for a patient with an infectious illness who is being treated with a therapeutic drug that is administered intravenously.

In an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, Mr. Meadows, said a decision had not been made yet about whether Mr. Trump could be discharged on Monday.

“The doctors will actually have an evaluation sometime late morning,” Mr. Meadows said. “And then the president, in consultation with the doctors, will make a decision on whether to discharge him later today.”

Based on his doctors’ accounts on Sunday, Mr. Trump’s symptoms appear to have rapidly progressed since he announced early Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump had a “high fever” on Friday, and his blood oxygen levels dropped on two occasions, his doctors said, including to a level that can indicate that a patient’s lungs are compromised, a symptom seen in many patients with severe Covid-19.

His doctors said he is also undergoing a five-day antiviral treatment regimen for Covid-19 and that he had been prescribed dexamethasone, a steroid used to head off an immune system overreaction that kills many Covid-19 patients. This is also generally reserved for those with severe illness.

Two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed online guidance about airborne transmission of the coronavirus, the agency has replaced it with language citing new evidence that the virus can spread beyond six feet indoors, adrift in the air.

“These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation,” the new guidance said. “Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”

Notably, the new version is missing a previous statement that said the virus can be “airborne,” a term that would require hospitals to treat infected patients in specialized rooms and health care workers to wear N95 masks anywhere in a hospital.

The new version says the virus can be spread by both larger droplets and smaller aerosols released when people “cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe.” But while the virus can be airborne under some circumstances, this is not the primary way the virus spreads.

The C.D.C.’s revisions arrive as President Trump receives treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for what appears to be severe case of Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The administration is contending with a rising number of such infections among Mr. Trump’s inner circle. Kayleigh McEnany, the president’s chief spokeswoman, announced on Monday morning that she was positive for the coronavirus, the latest in a string of political figures heading into isolation following what may have been a so-called superspreader event at the White House earlier this month.

Despite the time former Vice President Joseph R. Biden spent with President Trump during the presidential debate, Mr. Biden is continuing to campaign because he did not meet the C.D.C. requirement for close contact — less than six feet of distance from an infected person.

But in a statement to the press accompanying the new guidance, the C.D.C. said, “People are more likely to become infected the longer and closer they are to a person with Covid-19.”

Mr. Trump talked loudly and at length during the debate, which experts said could have released ten times as much virus as breathing alone.

President Donald Trump arriving at Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump’s desire to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — and his impromptu limousine ride around Bethesda, Md. — has stunned health professionals. But even if he were not the president, his doctors would have to take extraordinary measures to keep him in the hospital against his will.

Under ordinary circumstances, a patient who wanted to leave the hospital against the recommendation of his or her doctor might be asked to sign a discharge form acknowledging that he or she was declining further treatment. At times, psychiatrists are called in to determine if the patient is capable of making such a decision.

In the medical lexicon, this is called leaving “A.M.A.” — against medical advice. Roughly 2 percent of all patients do so, for varying reasons, often because they need to juggle work and home obligations. If the patient leaving against medical advice had a contagious disease, he or she would be asked to pledge to follow public health guidelines to keep those around him or her safe.

“Having an infectious illness itself is not a reason to keep someone in the hospital,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a former commissioner of health for the city of Baltimore. “But if there is a suspicion that a patient will knowingly and purposefully endanger others, there would need to be a discussion had about keeping that patient in the hospital against his will.”

That discussion would be a complicated legal one, governed by state and local public health laws — and the Constitution. Both Dr. Wen and Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, raised tuberculosis — a highly infectious disease — as an applicable analogy.

In Baltimore, Dr. Wen said, the public health department routinely stepped in to ensure that patients in the hospital for tuberculosis treatment were kept there if “they gave us reason to believe that if they were to leave that they would not take the medications that were prescribed and then they would be at high risk for infecting others.” She said law enforcement often became involved.

In Tennessee, Dr. Schaffner said, doctors would be required to seek permission from a judge. The burden of proof is on the health care system, he said, “to document that the person is a substantial hazard to others and then they can be confined until they complete their therapy.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a handbook on tuberculosis control laws as a guide for medical professionals. “Courts have struggled to determine when government authority to promote the population’s health justifies encroaching upon established individual rights,” the handbook says.

In Mr. Trump’s case, experts have raised questions about why he would go home — even to the White House, which has a sophisticated medical unit — so soon after diagnosis, especially given the unpredictable course of Covid-19.

“I’m worried about in two days he might suddenly crash and then on an emergency basis he would have to be rushed back,” Dr. Schaffner said.

He also raised questions about the president’s ride through Bethesda. Ordinarily doctors want patients to self-isolate until they are 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and three days without symptoms.

“I’d be surprised if it were with medical concurrence,” Dr. Schaffner said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, pictured in September, said Monday that “I’m not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldn’t send my child.”
Credit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York refused on Monday to allow New York City to close nonessential businesses in nine hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens where the coronavirus has spiked, pre-empting a plan announced the day before by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The governor’s stance created more confusion over how the authorities intend to tackle early signs of a second wave of the virus in a one-time center of the pandemic.

Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, also accelerated the plan to close schools in the affected areas, moving the closure date up a day to Tuesday. “I’m not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldn’t send my child,” he said.

The governor’s announcement seemed to be yet another manifestation of his long feud with Mr. de Blasio. Mr. Cuomo has frequently second-guessed or overruled the mayor, also a Democrat, during their tenures.

Indeed, the governor also announced that the state would take over supervision of enforcement of mask and social-distancing rules in the hot spot clusters, presumably putting the State Police in charge of New York City Police Department officers. He added that local governments would need to provide personnel.

“Warnings are not enforcement. Put a mask on or I will ticket you is not enforcement,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We are past that. Everybody knows the rules.”

Mr. Cuomo said he spoke with Mr. de Blasio and Michael Mulgrew, the president of the city’s teachers’ union, among other local officials, on Monday morning and added that all were in agreement on the need for additional data on cases at specific schools.


ZIP codes with major restrictions

ZIP codes with lesser restrictions


ZIP codes with major restrictions

ZIP codes with lesser restrictions


ZIP codes with major restrictions

ZIP codes with lesser restrictions

Outside of New York City, the governor said that schools in Rockland and Orange Counties, other hot spots the state has highlighted, could close in the future, but he said that he would first speak with local officials in those areas to decide whether doing so was necessary.

He noted that one challenge of shutting down schools by ZIP code was that students who live in hot spot areas may be enrolled in institutions elsewhere, but said “right now, that’s the best we have with the New York City data.”

On Sunday, with fears growing in New York City of a second wave of the coronavirus, Mr. de Blasio announced an emergency crackdown, saying that he intended to impose new restrictions on schools and businesses in 20 hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens that have been experiencing rising positivity rates.

The announcements represented a major setback for New York City, amounting to the first significant reversal in the reopening and offering further evidence of the challenges in curbing the pandemic. The city over the last month had taken several strides forward, allowing indoor dining for the first time and becoming the first major school district in the country to bring children back into its public schools.

On Monday, however, Mr. Cuomo refused to allow the city to close nonessential businesses in nine ZIP codes as the mayor had proposed. He said that “there could be” a rollback of indoor and outdoor dining in hot spot areas in the future, but that whether and how to do so was still be reviewed.

“I believe we can draw better lines than a ZIP code,” he said, adding that closing nonessential businesses in the same manner as schools would be “arbitrary and capricious.”

The governor also addressed mounting concerns in the city about infections among Orthodox Jewish populations after gatherings like religious services, weddings and funerals, saying that if leaders of religious communities did not agree to follow and enforce rules at places of worship, they would be shut down.

A Covid-19 testing center in Milwaukee on Friday.
Credit…Alex Wroblewski/Reuters

As President Trump and some of his associates test positive for the coronavirus, the number of new cases reported each day across the United States has been slowly rising.

The country is at a key moment in the pandemic, and spread of the virus could worsen significantly through the autumn, experts fear, as colder weather forces people indoors. Every day, some 43,000 new cases are being reported — far fewer than during the surge in the summer, but still an uncomfortably large number.

Some of the country’s least populous states are now seeing their highest infection rates.

When coastal cities suffered in the spring, cases remained relatively scarce across most of the nation’s midsection. But since late summer, North Dakota and South Dakota have added more cases per capita than any other state.

Utah recorded 1,387 new cases on Sunday, a single-day record. Four states — Wisconsin, Indiana, Montana and Wyoming — have added more cases in the last week than in any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic.

One significant change from the spring and early summer has been the return of college students to campuses.

The New York Times has identified more than 130,000 cases at more than 1,300 American colleges since the pandemic began.

Some of the worst trouble spots have calmed. Florida is now averaging about 2,300 new cases a day, roughly one-fifth of what it was seeing at its worst. In Arizona, daily case reports have dropped to about 500 on average, down from more than 3,600.

New infections have also plunged in Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina. Mississippi and Alabama have made significant progress since midsummer as well, though case numbers there remain high.

California and Texas have also seen drops in case numbers. Both states, however, have recorded more than 800,000 cases.

“I’m actually disturbed and concerned about the fact that our baseline of infections is still stuck at around 40,000 per day,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading expert on infectious disease, said Monday on CNN. “That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic and get it to a very low baseline as you get into a situation where you’re going to be indoors more than outdoors.”

Though Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Congressional leaders were making progress toward a deal, the two sides remain far apart.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that President Trump’s positive test for coronavirus “changes the dynamic of stimulus talks.” But developments since suggest that the sides are still far apart on negotiating a new pandemic aid package, according to today’s DealBook newsletter.

Those pushing hard for a bill include the White House. Mr. Trump tweeted from the hospital on Saturday that the country “wants and needs” more stimulus. For Mr. Trump, a deal would serve as a sign of his authority, taking attention away from his health and unfavorable polls.

Congressional leaders, though, are still haggling. When asked Sunday whether Mr. Trump’s comments meant the two parties were closer to a deal, Ms. Pelosi demurred: “No, it means that we want to see that they will agree on what we need to do to crush the virus so that we can open the economy and open our schools safely.” She said that the parties were “making progress” toward a deal, but with Mr. Biden ahead in the polls, Democrats may feel they have the upper hand in negotiations.

On the Senate side, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is balancing competing interests among his Republican colleagues — some want a deal to bring home to constituents and others are worried about approving another large spending deal. Adding to the difficulties, the Senate has delayed its next sitting until Oct. 19, to account for positive coronavirus tests among Republican members.

Hanging in the balance are jobs and the economy. The longer people are out of the work, the harder it is for them to come back, suggesting that we may be entering the slow, grinding phase of a recovery that could tip into recession. There are still about twice as many people out of work now than before the pandemic, and without aid akin to what was in the first stimulus bill, weaker consumer spending, missed rent payments and other factors could ripple through the economy and the financial system.

A barbershop in Manchester, England, in July. British lawmakers on Monday reported a technical problem that left 16,000 virus cases in the country uncounted.
Credit…Jon Super/Associated Press

England’s perpetually troubled coronavirus testing system was recently felled by a technical problem involving an overly large spreadsheet, lawmakers said on Monday. The glitch caused nearly 16,000 positive test results to go unrecorded in the country’s official tallies.

Those unrecorded positive test results dramatically changed the picture of England’s widening coronavirus outbreak, pushing it closer to the brink of fresh restrictions on travel and socializing.

While the people who tested positive received their own results, their names were not fed into the country’s contact tracing system, leaving tens of thousands of people in the dark about their exposure.







‘Incredible What They’re Doing,’ Johnson Says of Vaccine Team

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain spoke of the incredible work the vaccine team is doing, and noted that the increase in coronavirus cases across England is not surprising.

The incidents that were seeing in the cases really sort of corresponds to pretty much where we thought we were. And to be frank, I think the slightly lower numbers that we’d seen, you know, didn’t really reflect where we thought the disease was likely to go. So I think it’s — these numbers are realistic. The crucial thing is that in the next few days, week, we will see more clearly whether some of the restrictions that we’ve put in, the extra enforcement of the Rule of 6, the extra enforcement of self-isolation, the rules en masse and so on — all the stuff that has come in, we’ll see whether that starts to work in in driving down the virus. But you know, this is all very much in our hands. I went to see the scientists at Oxford at the Edward Jenner Institute, the AstraZeneca team. Incredible what they’re doing. You really feel that they must be on the verge of it. But, you know, it’s got to be properly tested. It’s got to be properly validated, and we’re not there yet. Obviously, if and when we get a vaccine then the crucial thing will be to ensure that we have sufficient supplies in this country that we’re able to make it in this country, distribute it fast in this country. And clearly, the priority for a vaccine will be as I think Kate Bingham among others have said, will be those who are the most vulnerable groups.

Video player loading
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain spoke of the incredible work the vaccine team is doing, and noted that the increase in coronavirus cases across England is not surprising.CreditCredit…Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Because of the glitch, English health officials reported daily new infections in the middle of last week that were several thousand cases lower than they should have been. On Wednesday and Thursday, the country was reporting roughly 7,000 new daily cases, when the actual count was above 10,000.

“This isn’t just a shambles,” Jonathan Ashworth, the opposition Labour Party’s lead lawmaker on health issues, said in the House of Commons on Monday. “It’s much worse.”

Matt Hancock, the health secretary for the Conservative government, attributed the problem to a “legacy” data collection system used by England’s health officials.

Health authorities said that some files with positive test results exceeded the maximum size that its systems could handle. They said they were now splitting large files to ensure that they do not get stuck again.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, in Brussels on Thursday. She was exposed to someone who later tested positive during a trip to Portugal earlier last week.
Credit…Pool photo by Johanna Geron

The European Commission said Monday that 179 staff members had tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, while its leader continued to isolate after being exposed to the virus during an official visit to Portugal last week.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, was exposed to someone who later tested positive during her trip. While she had tested negative twice, Ms. von der Leyen was expected to continue quarantining until Tuesday, in accordance with local rules in Brussels.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, which is the other major E.U. institution, also based in Brussels, had to isolate in late September after a member of his security staff tested positive, leading to the postponement of an important E.U. leaders’ summit on foreign policy. He eventually tested negative for the virus.

The infections at the heart of the bloc’s bureaucracy, in offices primarily in Brussels, but also in Luxembourg and Italy, have driven home that the bloc, which runs on constant meetings, would need to change the way it does business.

Ms. von der Leyen, for example, came under criticism for traveling to Portugal last week, as her visit did not seem necessary. She announced Monday that she would cancel a planned visit to Greece to collect an award this week.

Patrons enjoying a drink on the terrace of a bar in Paris on Saturday.
Credit…Christophe Archambault/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Bars in Paris will close for two weeks starting on Tuesday, the authorities there announced on Monday, as France tries to stem a surge of coronavirus cases in its capital. The measure will also affect most cafes, which in many cases serve alcohol, but little or no food. Restaurants will be able to remain open if they follow a strict health protocol.

Paris joined a handful of other French areas that have been placed on maximum alert because of a continued rise in infections, especially among older people. Local health authorities said the capital had been above the thresholds for the top alert level — more than 250 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people generally, more than 100 per 100,000 in the elderly, and more than one-third of intensive care beds used for Covid-19 patients — since last Thursday.

On average, there are over 3,500 new infections a day in Paris and 203 active clusters, especially among young people for whom the incidence rate is over 500 infections per 100,000 people. In France generally, the seven-day average for new daily cases is above 11,000. The Paris region has as many patients hospitalized for coronavirus as it did in May, when the country was just exiting its two-month lockdown.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the head of the Paris police said at a news conference on Monday that the bar closures would apply to Paris and the surrounding suburbs. Gyms, dancing halls and enclosed swimming pools will be closed to adults, though minors will be allowed to use gyms and pools.

“The epidemic is going too fast,” said Didier Lallement, the Paris police chief. “We need to brake now before our health system is submerged.”

Restaurants will have to keep registers of customers for contact-tracing, distance tables by one meter, keep seating to no more than six per table and take payments at the table.

Those restaurant rules will also apply in other maximum-risk areas, including the southern cities of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, where the authorities had closed restaurants under a tightening of restrictions last month. But bars in those two cities will remain closed for at least another week.

Starting on Tuesday, new restrictions will also apply to universities in areas on high alert, with classrooms and lecture halls operating at half capacity or below. Retirement home visits will become appointment-only, and with a maximum of two people per visit.

“Living with it and protecting, that’s the goal we must have,” Ms. Hidalgo said, adding that she hoped she would be able to come back in 15 days with good news about “the epidemic’s front line.”

President Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Sunday.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and to many a trusted voice throughout the pandemic, said he has confidence in the doctor overseeing President Trump’s care, Dr. Sean P. Conley, a Navy commander and doctor of osteopathy who has been the White House physician since 2018.

“Personally, I have not been involved in the direct care of the president,” Dr. Fauci said Monday on CNN, a fact that has come as a surprise to many in medicine. “But I might comment that my colleagues that I know, including Sean Conley, are very good physicians and they’re very qualified, so I am really confident that the president of the United States is getting the optimal care that you can get with the team over at Walter Reed.”

Americans have been looking to Dr. Conley who, over a busy weekend of medical briefings, has at times delivered confusion and obfuscation about the president’s condition. Dr. Conley even confessed that he had misled the public on Saturday about Mr. Trump’s treatment to reflect the “upbeat attitude” of the White House.

On Saturday, he ducked questions about whether Mr. Trump had been on oxygen, then revealed on Sunday that indeed, the president had been on oxygen — an indicator that Mr. Trump’s illness may be classified as “severe.” On Sunday, Dr. Conley was similarly evasive, sidestepping questions about whether the president’s X-rays revealed any lung damage or pneumonia. “I’m not going to get into specifics of his care,” he said.

Caring for any president presents unique challenges. Like all doctors, Dr. Conley is bound by oath to respect his patient’s wishes for privacy and to keep secret that which “ought not to be spoken of outside.” He is also a Navy officer caring for the commander in chief, whose orders he is obliged to follow.

But all of that must be balanced against the public’s right to have information about the health of one of the world’s most powerful leaders. And this particular leader, Mr. Trump, is well known for not wanting to look weak.

Dr. Conley is supervising a team of medical experts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, including Dr. Sean Dooley, a pulmonologist, as well as an outside expert, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, the director of the biocontainment unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

No matter what Dr. Conley says or does not say, his colleagues in medicine agree on one thing: If he is going to put himself in the position of answering questions about the president’s care, he has to answer truthfully and to the fullest extent possible.

“You can’t both wear the white coat and lie, evade, obfuscate the situation,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, “because you are using the white coat to give yourself credibility.”

Police officers in plainclothes detaining a person as Israelis protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 0.6 miles from their homes.
Credit…Ammar Awad/Reuters

Israel was the first country to enter a second national coronavirus lockdown, but with new daily cases of the coronavirus reaching up to 9,000 recently, and with public trust in the government plummeting, there has been little letup in a growing sense of chaos and loss of control.

Several factors are complicating its struggle with a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths that, relative to the size of the population, is among the worst in the world.

Curbs on protests under the new lockdown — limiting gatherings to 20 masked people, two meters apart and no farther than about half a mile from their homes — have backfired. Israelis calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is standing trial on corruption charges and has been a focus of blame over the country’s handling of the pandemic, have staged hundreds of smaller demonstrations, even as protesters face an increase in attacks by their opponents and the police are also accused of violence.

The authorities are also struggling to prevent large gatherings in the country’s ultra-Orthodox communities during the Jewish High Holy Days, which began on Sept. 18 and extend until Oct. 11. Dr. Ronni Gamzu, Israel’s coronavirus czar, said last week that 40 percent of those testing positive came from the ultra-Orthodox community, even though it makes up only about 13 percent of the population.

Some Hasidic sects insisted on holding indoor prayers to celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish harvest holiday. Stormy confrontations broke out on Sunday in some ultra-Orthodox areas.

But the large weddings that were blamed for a surge of infections among Israel’s Arab minority over the summer have subsided, after Arab mayors acted to enforce restrictions on large gatherings. There has been a significant decline in new cases among Arab citizens of Israel.

Demand for Clorox wipes has surged 500 percent in the last few months.
Credit…Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Most shoppers these days are able to routinely buy common household items like toilet paper, paper towels, pasta and beans that were in short supply in the early weeks of the pandemic. But Clorox wipes remain stubbornly elusive.

With cleanliness on the minds of many guarding against the virus, the wipes have become the pandemic version of the must-have toy of the holiday season. Across social media, shoppers share where and when to find wipes made by Clorox, or Lysol — which is owned by Reckitt Benckiser Group — or wipes from other brands. (Only Clorox and a handful of other wipes have been approved by regulators to kill coronavirus.)

All of the hullabaloo around its disinfecting wipes has been a strange turn of events for Clorox, which started making and selling liquid bleach as a household cleaning product back in 1916, and presents a big challenge for Linda Rendle, a 17-year veteran of the company who took over as its chief executive officer in mid-September.

The company said it was struggling because demand for the wipes had surged 500 percent in the past few months. After increasing production, Clorox is making one million canisters of disinfecting wipes each day. (Executives wouldn’t say how that compared with before the pandemic.) It plans to further increase production early next year.

Before the pandemic, Clorox — which also makes Glad trash bags, Kingsford charcoal and Pine Sol cleaner — told Wall Street analysts that, at best, the company would see a 1 percent increase in sales for its fiscal year 2020.

A closed Regal Cinemas movie theater in Gainesville, Fla., in July. The chain had reopened in parts of the United States over the summer, but about 200 theaters, mostly in California and New York, have remained shut since the pandemic began.
Credit…Charlotte Kesl for The New York Times

The plight of the entertainment industry deepened on Monday as the British company Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas in the United States, said it would temporarily close all 663 of its movie theaters in the United States and Britain. The move was expected to affect 40,000 employees in the United States and 5,000 in Britain.

The chain had reopened in parts of the United States and Europe over the summer, but about 200 theaters, mostly in California and New York, have been shut since the pandemic began in the spring.

The news sent Cineworld’s stock spiraling. It fell as much as 60 percent when the stock market opened in London on Monday. It was later trading about 38 percent lower on the day.

The company said it could not entice viewers back without a pipeline of new films. The news came after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced on Friday it would push back the release date of the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” to April from this fall — the second time its release date has been delayed because of the pandemic.

Mooky Greidinger, the chief executive of Cineworld, said on Sky News that delays in the opening of many films — including “Mulan,” “Black Widow,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” as well as the Bond movie — meant the company “didn’t have the goods” for customers.

“It’s the wrong decision from the studios to move the movies in such a way,” Mr. Greidinger said.

He added that he felt the company had been able to reopen with enough health and safety precautions to welcome back customers, and cited “Tenet,” the Christopher Nolan film that opened in August and September, as the most significant release this year. It has made more than $300 million in the box office globally but just $45 million of that was in the United States.

The delays by studios in releasing what would have been before the pandemic blockbuster movies, is hurting theaters all over the world. Tim Richards, the chief executive of Vue International, said that the studios were being too U.S.-centric by not acknowledging reopenings in Europe and China. “We are struggling. We are absolutely struggling,” he said on Sky News.

Mr. Greidinger did not specify when Cineworld and Regal theaters might reopen. That “might be in two months, it might even a little bit longer,” he said.

In September, Cineworld reported a pretax loss of $1.6 billion for the first half of 2020. In total, the company operates 780 cinemas and is leaving about 100 locations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania open. Last year, 90 percent of the company’s revenue was generated in the United States and Britain.

In a memo to staff in Britain, Mr. Greidinger said: “Unfortunately, we cannot operate without a proper flow of products and sadly, you, like I, have seen audience numbers dwindle to tiny and unsustainable levels and the delay of Bond has been a huge blow.”

He did not say what would happen to workers’ jobs. The British government has announced a new job support program, in which employers and the government would share the cost of topping up the wages of employees whose hours were reduced. It will replace a more generous furlough program that ends later this month. Echoing critics of the government’s new plan, Mr Greidinger told staff that because it places a greater financial burden on employers it “cannot work for us when we have almost no income.”

Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.

The Appalachian State University campus in Boone, N.C., was quiet on Sunday.
Credit…Mike Belleme for The New York Times

The death of 19-year-old Chad Dorrill, a student at Appalachian State in North Carolina, has shaken the rural campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains, prompting questions about whether the college is doing enough to keep its students and faculty safe.

Young people have generally been at lower risk of developing severe Covid-19, and there have been only a few student deaths linked to the coronavirus. But Mr. Dorrill’s death has made the virus real for his classmates.

“It’s not a hoax, that this virus really does exist,” said Emma Crider. “Before this, the overall mentality was ‘out of sight, out of mind.’”

As if to underscore that point, cases at Appalachian State, part of North Carolina’s state university system, spiked sharply last week. On Thursday, the school canceled a football game and announced outbreaks in four residence halls, two fraternity houses, the volleyball team and the football program. The school’s dashboard shows more than 700 confirmed Covid-19 cases since early June, across a 20,000-student campus.

Appalachian State has not conducted the kind of costly, widespread mandatory testing and tracing of people with and without symptoms that has helped control the virus at some campuses. Rather, the school has offered voluntary testing at its student health center and at “pop-up” test sites where students can walk up and be tested twice weekly.

That approach, the school’s website says, is based on C.D.C. guidance, which has advised against testing all students upon arrival. Health experts have criticized that guidance as weak and confusing, but many large public colleges have used it as the basis of their approaches.

In the wake of Mr. Dorrill’s death and the spike in cases, tensions are rising over whether Appalachian State needs to take stronger measures to contain the virus.

“There has been polarization between those who say, ‘Just wear a mask, we’ll be OK,’ and the faculty who just don’t want to be in the room,” said Rick Rheingans, chairman of Appalachian State’s department of sustainable development, who has been tracking the school’s health measures. “My argument has been that we need rigorous testing and active tracing, quarantining and isolation. We can’t reopen if we’re not safe.”

Read the original article

Author: The Covid-19 Channel