Coronavirus Live News: World Updates

As states scramble to put out fires, Fauci and other top U.S. health officials will go back before Congress.

Two days after U.S. deaths surpassed 150,000, three familiar federal health officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, will return to Capitol Hill to testify in front of a new audience: the House’s special select committee investigating the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will be joined on Friday morning by Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Adm. Brett P. Giroir, the assistant secretary for health and the administration’s point person on coronavirus testing.

The hearing begins at 9 a.m. and will be streamed online by The New York Times.

The three witnesses last testified a month ago before lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Senate, when the subject was school reopening.

But the Democrat-led House select committee has had a hard time securing Dr. Fauci and his colleagues as witnesses. The Trump administration initially refused to make them available.

The hearing is taking place as states across the country are reimposing limits in response to a resurgence of cases — a turn of events reflected in the title lawmakers gave the hearing: “The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus.”

The session is expected to center on three overlapping subjects: testing, vaccines and the push in some quarters to send children back to school. On Thursday, the president, meeting with reporters, again stressed his desire for students to return to the classroom.

With President Trump clearly intent on announcing promising vaccine news, it has fallen to Dr. Fauci to offer reassurances that the federal government is moving quickly but safely.

Dr. Redfield will most likely be asked about the C.D.C.’s shift on reopening schools. The agency’s recently published guidelines tilt strongly toward reopening, listing numerous benefits of in-person education and playing down potential health risks.

For Admiral Giroir. the questions are likely to focus on delays in test results across the South, where local health officials have complained of excruciating wait times.

The rate of known cases in the eight counties with the largest populations of Native Americans is nearly double the national average, a New York Times analysis has found. The analysis cannot determine which individuals are testing positive for the virus, but these counties are home to one in six U.S. residents who describe themselves in census surveys as non-Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native.

And there are many other smaller counties with significant populations of Native Americans that have elevated case rates, including Yakima County, Wash. The Times identified at least 15 counties that have elevated case rates and are home to sizable numbers of Native American residents, ranging from large metropolitan areas in Arizona to rural communities in Nebraska and Mississippi.

The new restrictions affect Manchester and its surrounding towns and suburbs, plus areas in East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Different households aren’t allowed to meet at home or in a private garden, with potential fines of up to 100 pounds, about $130.

The authorities also discouraged people who don’t live with each other from meeting in restaurants or pubs, although this remains legal.

The announcement came just before Eid al-Adha, and several of the affected areas have large Muslim communities. Places of worship will remain open with social distancing measures but the authorities recommended praying outdoors.

Opposition lawmakers criticized the timing of the announcement. “No one would argue with putting in place local action,” Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, tweeted. “But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.”

Britain remains the worst-hit country in Europe, with nearly 56,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths.

Here are other developments from around the globe:

  • On Friday, Japan announced 1,305 new cases, breaking a record set the day before. As cases spike in Tokyo, Gov. Yuriko Koike has requested that karaoke venues and bars and restaurants serving alcohol close by 10 p.m. from Aug. 3 through the end of the month. Businesses that cooperate will be offered 200,000 yen, or about $1,900.

Many African countries are testing too little to track the virus, an aid group warns.

A stark lack of testing in many African countries has kept officials from being able to track the pandemic, prompting fears that a recent surge in cases across the continent may be just the “tip of the iceberg,” according to the International Rescue Committee.

Each country in Africa where the committee works has conducted fewer than 8,000 tests per million people, the group said. By contrast, Britain has conducted 205,782 tests per million, the United Arab Emirates 472,590 per million, and Singapore 199,904 per million, the committee said.

The committee cited Tanzania (63 tests per million), Niger (373 tests per million), Chad (383 tests per million), Democratic Republic of Congo (467 tests per million) and Burundi (563 tests per million) as having the lowest testing rates among the African countries where it works.

The committee, a global humanitarian aid organization, said that testing in many African countries was falling far short of the rate of at least one test per 1,000 people per week recommended by the World Health Organization.

The organization said many African nations needed international support to increase their testing capacity or the continent could face “an undetected and uncontrolled spread — and a response fighting with a hand tied behind its back.”

“The testing shortfalls make it nearly impossible to understand the extent of the pandemic — let alone put measures in place to stop it,” Stacey Mearns, a senior technical adviser on emergency health at the committee, said in a statement.

Reporting was contributed by Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Kate Conger, Robert Gebeloff, Michael Levenson, Eshe Nelson, Richard A. Oppel Jr., Richard C. Paddock, Elian Peltier, Matt Phillips, Motoko Rich, Eliza Shapiro, Neil Vigdor, Mihir Zaveri.



Source link