WORLD NEWS
06/15/2020 09:20 EDT | Updated 06/17/2020 06:11 EDT

Coronavirus Live Updates: Read The Latest About The COVID-19 Outbreak

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effects across the world.

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 8.1 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 443,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Efforts to curb the outbreak led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Texas, Arizona And Florida See Record High In Daily Coronavirus Infections — 6/17/2020, 6 a.m.

After implementing and then lifting stay-at-home orders, Texas, Arizona and Florida all reported record increases in daily coronavirus infections on Tuesday.

The increases come as President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Republican leaders try to downplay the ongoing spread of the virus, using misleading talking points like saying the cases are only rising because of increased testing.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he wasn’t considering another shutdown because of the rise in cases.

— Nick Visser

U.S. Open Will Be Played Without Fans — 6/16/20, 12:48 p.m. ET

This year’s U.S. Open in New York City will be held on its usual dates, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, but without fans, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed at his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which administers the Grand Slam tournament held in Queens, is finalizing new procedures for players, including frequent coronavirus tests and a limited number of people on players’ support teams, The New York Times reported Monday night.

The pandemic has upended the tennis season. The French Open, normally held in late spring, was postponed to late September. For the first time since World War II, organizers of Wimbledon canceled the tournament altogether. 

— Marina Fang

Fauci Says He Hasn’t Spoken To Trump In 2 Weeks — 6/16/20, 12:05 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken with President Donald Trump in two weeks. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in several states.

“I spoke with him when we made the presentation to explain to him our vaccine development effort,” Fauci told NPR in response to a question about his last conversation with the president. “So it was two weeks ago.”

Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump appointed to lead the task force, said last month that the White House may wind down the group in early June. The task force isn’t gathering as often as it used to, Fauci said earlier this month, adding that the frequency of his meetings with Trump has been “dramatically decreased.”

Some of the states that have reopened haven’t followed the federal guidelines for doing so, likely causing a spike in cases in those areas, Fauci said Tuesday.

“Congregating together without wearing a mask, that clearly is a risky procedure,” he said. “That’s troublesome because that clearly is increasing the risk and likely explaining some of the upticks that you’re seeing in certain of those states.”

Against the advice of many public health experts, Trump’s reelection campaign has planned a rally in a 19,000-seat arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. The campaign included waiver language on the rally registration website that requires attendees to agree not to sue the campaign if they contract the virus.

― Hayley Miller

Beijing Closes Schools, Reimposes Some Restrictions As New Outbreak Emerges — 6/16/20, 11:41 a.m. ET

Officials in Beijing have ordered schools to close starting Wednesday and are encouraging people to work from home, in response to more than 100 new reported cases since Friday.

China’s capital city raised its COVID-19 emergency response from level 3 to level 2, Reuters and Bloomberg reported, citing Chinese state media. Residents living in medium- or high-risk areas will be barred from leaving the city, and anyone entering the city will be required to get tested and self-quarantine.

Just two weeks ago, officials had lowered the emergency response to level 3, which allowed schools to reopen.

Marina Fang

Low-Cost Drug Improves Chances Of COVID-19 Survival, Study Shows — 6/16/20, 10:55 a.m. ET

Researchers at Oxford University in England said they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 patients’ chances of survival.

A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one-third in severely ill hospitalized patients, according to the results of a study released Thursday. While the drug did not appear to help mildly ill patients, it reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen.

“This is an extremely welcome result,” Oxford researcher Peter Horby said in a statement. “The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

Read more from the Associated Press here.

— Hayley Miller

COVID-19 Patients With Underlying Health Conditions Are 12 Times More Likely To Die: CDC — 6/16/20, 8:42 a.m. ET

People with underlying medical conditions are 12 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than healthy people and six times more likely to be hospitalized, according to a federal health report released Monday.

The findings, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underscored the CDC’s earlier warnings that older adults and those with health issues are at greater risk of death and hospitalization. The most common underlying health conditions among those with more serious complications include cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), and chronic lung disease (18%).

The report also highlighted the disproportionate rate that the disease affects the country’s minorities.

Among roughly 600,000 cases with known race information, 33% were Hispanic or Latino and 22% were Black — despite the fact that Hispanics and Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population and Blacks make up 13%.

“These preliminary findings underscore the need to build on current efforts to collect and analyze case data, especially among those with underlying health conditions,” the CDC said.

― Nina Golgowski

New Zealand No Longer COVID-Free After Passengers Fly In From UK  — 6/16/20, 6:15 a.m. ET

New Zealand is no longer free from coronavirus after health officials said two women who flew from London to see a dying parent had tested positive. Before they were tested the women had been given an exemption to leave quarantine on compassionate grounds and had traveled from Auckland to Wellington by car.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that as part of their travel plan, the women had no contact with any people or any public facilities on their road trip. Nevertheless, the new cases have sparked a round of testing in New Zealand for anybody who might have been close to the women.

That includes passengers and staff on their flights, which arrived via Brisbane in Australia, other people at the Auckland hotel they initially stayed at in quarantine, and a family member they met in Wellington. The women remain in isolation in Wellington and have delayed the funeral of their parent until they have recovered.

Until Tuesday, New Zealand had gone more than three weeks without any new cases. The country has reported 22 deaths from the disease.

— Sara Nelson

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Father Dies From Complications Of COVID-19 — 6/16/2020, 5:45 a.m. ET

Rep. Ilhan Omar said Monday that her father, Nur Omar Mohamed, has died from complications of COVID-19.

“No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew him,” the Minnesota Democrat said in a statement.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 116,000 people in the United States. More than 2.1 million people have tested positive for the virus, which is still ravaging parts of the country as infections spike in nearly two dozen states.

— Nick Visser

There Have Now Been More Than 8 Million COVID-19 Cases ― 6/15/2020 8:02 p.m. ET

More than 8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University on Monday.

More than 2 million of those cases are in the U.S., where more than 116,000 people have died of COVID-19. Infections are surging in the U.S. and in Latin America, while China is starting to see a second outbreak. Globally, the disease has claimed more than 430,000 lives.

― Lydia O’Connor

Germany Gears Up To Launch Coronavirus Tracing App — 6/15/20, 4:26 p.m. ET

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Sunday that the country is ready to roll out its coronavirus tracing app sometime this week.

The app uses bluetooth to track and notify people who come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Proponents of the technology hope reliance on bluetooth helps address privacy concerns, as it circumvents the need for a centralized database. 

Public health officials hope the app will prove useful in combating a second wave of infections, which would lead to another wave of shutdowns. Many European countries, including Germany, lifted travel bans to other European Union members on Monday.

― Ryan Grenoble

FDA Revokes Emergency Use Authorization For Hydroxochloroquine – 6/15/20, 12:21 p.m. ET

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency use authorizations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, anti-malarial drugs that President Donald Trump has falsely touted as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

After reviewing data from recent clinical trials, FDA officials concluded the drugs “are unlikely to produce an antiviral effect,” and “the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks.” The risks can include increased heart problems.

Read the FDA’s memo here.

— Marina Fang

Beijing Braces For Resurgence Of Virus — 6/15/2020, 6 a.m. ET

More than 100 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in recent days in Beijing, after about a month of no local transmission, the Associated Press reported.

The cases have been linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, which supplies much of the meat and vegetables for the capital city. In response, Beijing has closed the market, put nearby neighborhoods on lockdown, and tested more than 76,000 people.

The resurgence in China, where the virus first appeared, underscores the difficulties countries around the world are having in containing the virus. More than 7.93 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 433,000 deaths attributable to the disease.

— Liza Hearon

Fauci: Ban On China, U.K. Travelers Likely To Last Months — 6/14/20, 3:25 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, said he believes restrictions on travel from the United Kingdom, China and other countries to the United States will likely continue for “months.”

“It’s going to be really wait and see,” he told the British newspaper The Telegraph. “I don’t think there’s going to be an immediate pullback for those kinds of restrictions. My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely measured in months rather than weeks.”

President Donald Trump restricted travel from China in later January, about a month after the first documented coronavirus case in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He followed up in mid-March with a ban on travel from the U.K., Ireland and 26 other countries in Europe. His delayed decision to shut down travel from Europe prompted criticism from many public health experts.

The virus could “go on for a couple of cycles, coming back and forth,” Fauci told The Telegraph. But a so-called second wave isn’t inevitable if local and state officials take the proper precautions, he said.

There have been more than 2 million confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 115,000 people have died nationwide.

—Hayley Miller

Health Expert Calls Trump’s Tulsa Rally An ‘Extraordinarily Dangerous Move’ — 6/14/20, 3:05 p.m. ET

As President Donald Trump prepares for his first campaign rally in months, health experts are warning the event could lead to a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

The upcoming rally, which is slated to be held in a 19,000-seat arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, could prove to be “an extraordinarily dangerous move for the people participating and the people who may know them and love them and see them afterward,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told the Associated Press.

Trump’s reelection campaign, in a recognition of the risk, has included a notice to those registering to attend the rally that essentially says you can’t sue the campaign if you contract the coronavirus during event.

“By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury,” the waiver states.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, cautioned Friday that attending rallies or protests at this time is “risky” and poses “a danger.”

He urged rallygoers to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible.

Read more from the Associated Press here.

― Hayley Miller

Oregon Governor To Halt Reopening As New Cases Rise — 6/12/20, 9:46 a.m. ET

Oregon will “press pause” on and reevaluate its reopening process for the next seven days “to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly,” Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday night.

On Thursday, the state reported a new single-day high in the number of new COVID-19 infections. It’s one of at least a dozen states that have seen a rise in cases, which many experts attribute to loosening restrictions.

— Marina Fang

For more on the pandemic, go here. 


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