Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida and South Carolina Again Set Records as U.S. Cases Surge

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Florida and South Carolina break new-cases records for the third straight day.

For the third straight day, Florida and South Carolina broke their single-day records for new cases, while infection levels for Missouri and Nevada also reached new highs on Saturday.

And on Friday, the United States reported more than 30,000 new infections, its highest total since May 1, with cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest.

Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, breaking Friday’s record (3,822) and Thursday’s record (3,207). The state now has had 93,797 cases and 3,144 deaths.

South Carolina broke its record with 1,155 new cases; Nevada had 452 and Missouri had 375.

The new infections have skewed younger, with more people in their 20s and 30s testing positive, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said.

On Saturday, the Florida Department of Health issued an additional health advisory, recommending that people avoid crowds greater than 50 people, and encouraging social distancing and mask wearing for gatherings with fewer than 50.

President Trump is set to deliver his national convention speech on Aug. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla., inside an arena that holds 15,000 people.

Florida “has all the makings of the next large epicenter,” according to model projections by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Southern officials in particular are speaking out with increasing alarm about the large number of cases turning up in young adults.

In South Carolina, officials warned that some young people had become seriously ill from the virus and that those without serious symptoms could still infect family members and friends.

“The increases that we’re seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to Covid-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously.”

The clusters may be especially worrying to colleges and universities that plan to bring students back to campus in the fall, when the coronavirus and the flu virus are expected to be circulating simultaneously.

global roundup

Reopenings multiply around the world, as do resurgences in Turkey, the Palestinian territories, Australia and others.

Credit…Burhan Ozbilici/Associated Press

Gradual reopenings are continuing globally this weekend, including the lifting of a state of emergency that Spain imposed nearly three months ago. But a return to public life has been accompanied by rises in coronavirus cases — and sometimes a return of restrictions to curb the virus’s spread.

The Palestinian prime minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, announced on Saturday that the city of Hebron in the West Bank and its surrounding villages would be placed under lockdown for at least five days following a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections in those areas.

Medical professionals recorded 103 new virus cases in the Hebron region on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in the area to 356 since the pandemic first emerged in the West Bank in March, according the health ministry of the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Shtayyeh told a news conference in front of his office in Ramallah that movement into and out of the Hebron region would be barred with the exception of those transporting goods. He also said that people would not be permitted to move inside the city and its surrounding villages unless they are going to places such as supermarkets and pharmacies.

Since early March, there have been only three fatalities in the West Bank and 712 known cases of the virus. The prime minister also announced that movement into and out of the city of Nablus would be restricted for two days following an increase in cases there.

In Turkey, which has the world’s 12th largest known outbreak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged losing ground against the virus two weeks after the country allowed businesses to reopen and people to travel.

The daily rate of infection has now rebounded from below 1,000 a day to about 1,500. The government announced new lockdown periods for this weekend and next while high school students take specially scheduled exams. Masks were made compulsory in three of the largest cities, Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa, which have been hit badly.

Here are other developments around the world:

  • More than 1,029 workers in one of Germany’s largest meatpacking plants have been infected, according to Sven-Georg Adenauer, a regional commissioner in North Rhine-Westphalia. The plant is closing for 14 days, and all 6,500 workers are in quarantine, while contact tracers try to identify chains of infection. Schools and day care centers in the area have been closed, angering families who had just begun to return to a cautious normalcy after more than two months into Germany’s lockdown.

  • In Italy, Pope Francis held one of his first audiences for a group since the country lifted its lockdown. In his comments on Saturday at the Vatican, the pope thanked the attendees, who included masked health care workers from the hard-hit Lombardy region, for their work. He also warned against reverting back to individualism once the crisis faded.

  • In Australia, which has been widely praised for containing the virus, the state of Victoria said on Saturday that it was bringing back tighter restrictions on gatherings. The state, which includes Melbourne, on Wednesday recorded 21 new cases, its largest single-day increase in over a month. Premier Dan Andrews said in a statement that “the numbers are largely being driven by families — families having big get-togethers and not following the advice around social distancing and hygiene.” At least three cases also involved protesters who participated in recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

  • Beijing is scrambling to track and contain a new outbreak that has raised fears of broader contagion. While some limits were imposed, the authorities did not turn to the kind of widespread strict lockdowns introduced in January after the coronavirus emerged late last year in the city of Wuhan. The change is in part a recognition that it is not feasible to shut down societies for the duration of the pandemic, which shows no signs of disappearing.

  • In Afghanistan, which is grappling with a rapidly growing outbreak and a raging war, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said on Saturday that infections had spread among diplomats, contract workers and local employees. The spokesman offered no numbers, but The Associated Press reported up to 20 cases.

  • The removal of Spain’s state of emergency, which will officially take place at midnight, means that the country’s 47 million residents will be free to travel within the country. Spain is preparing to reopen its borders to almost all European Union member countries Sunday and travelers arriving from Britain will no longer have to quarantine starting on June 21. Other restrictions remain, including limits on the numbers of people allowed inside cafes and shops. Masks remain compulsory nationwide in public places, including on mass transit. Spain registered 40 coronavirus deaths and about 1,500 new infections in the past week, a huge drop from early April, when deaths rose by more than 900 a day.

  • Saudi Arabia is set to lift a nationwide curfew on Sunday morning, allowing “all economic and commercial activities” to restart, the state-run SPA news agency reported on Saturday, despite a resurgence in infections since the kingdom began reopening over the last several weeks. Nearly 4,000 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the total to 154,233. Large gatherings, international flights and land entries are banned.

Trump arrives in Tulsa amid worries that his rally will turn into a ‘superspreader.’

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transcript

Trump Supporters Gather in Tulsa for Rally

Crowds assembled in Tulsa, Okla., ahead of the president’s first campaign event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests for racial justice.

“I’m glad our Governor Stitt has opened up. We’ve reached out to him, got him here. He couldn’t have picked a better place, really.” “So I think it’s wise to wear it. I am a senior and I want to be protective and I want to be all right.” “I’ve never had the flu. I’m pretty dang clean. Never had the flu. If I get it, I think I’ll survive. And my wife’s concerned — she’s 15 years older than me. She ain’t come. But, you know, you’ve got to take a stand sometime, man.” “No Trump, no Pence! No Trump, no Pence! No Trump, no Pence!” “Black lives —” “— matter!” “Black lives —”

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Crowds assembled in Tulsa, Okla., ahead of the president’s first campaign event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests for racial justice.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Ignoring the health guidance of local officials in Tulsa, Okla., President Trump arrived for his first campaign-style rally in several months Saturday night.

Concerns that the event could spread the coronavirus were amplified hours before Mr. Trump took the stage when his campaign acknowledged that six staff members working on the rally had tested positive.

“Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented,” said a campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh. “No Covid-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials.”

Mr. Trump, made aware of the sick campaign aides before departing for the rally, was incensed the news was made public, according to two people familiar with his reaction.

The president had hoped to pack the 19,000-seat BOK Center, but it was sparsely filled. Mr. Trump blamed the media for reporting on health concerns ahead of the indoor rally.

Mr. Trump had originally been scheduled to address an overflow crowd of supporters outside before the rally, but those plans were scrapped at the last minute. The campaign did not make it clear why, although the outdoor area was only sparsely populated.

Inside the arena, most of the attendees were not wearing masks or social distancing.

There have been at least 10,037 cases of the coronavirus in Oklahoma, according to a New York Times database. As of Saturday night, at least 368 people had died. The state recorded 331 new cases on Saturday, its third-highest daily total, behind totals reached on Thursday and Friday.

Tulsa health officials have expressed concerns that the rally, in a large, indoor arena, has the potential to become a “superspreader” event. But Trump supporters gathered in Tulsa appeared less worried about the virus and more exuberant over the president’s return to the campaign trail.

“If it is God’s will that I get coronavirus, that is the will of the Almighty,” said Robert Montanelli, a resident of a Tulsa suburb. “I will not live in fear.”

“I don’t feel sick,” said Mike Pellerin of Austin, Texas, who wore a T-shirt saying “Are we dead yet?” and proudly noted his age, 68. “I don’t have the virus. I’m not going to give it to anyone.”

The campaign stressed that all rally attendees were receiving temperature checks before going through security, and were then given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizer. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said on Friday that using the masks would be optional. Mr. Trump has eschewed masks in public, and Ms. McEnany said that she would not wear one at the rally.

Earlier, local black leaders held a news conference to plead with Mayor G. T. Bynum, a Republican who has cast himself as supportive of the black community, to cancel the rally.

In the city’s historic Greenwood neighborhood, the leaders stood in front of a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 1921 massacre of black Tulsans by a white mob and made a two-pronged argument: The rally would wound a city that has worked hard at creating a shared language of racial reconciliation, and the city’s black community would bear the brunt of any coronavirus surge the rally might create.

Some businesses and residents had also sued, in vain, to block the rally unless social distancing guidelines were followed. But the city itself has been accommodating. City officials rescinded a three-night curfew after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he had spoken with Mr. Bynum, “who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters.”

In another setback for hydroxychloroquine, the National Institutes of Health halts two clinical trials.

Credit…George Frey/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The National Institutes of Health said on Saturday that it had stopped two clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that President Trump has promoted to treat the virus with scant evidence of its efficacy.

One trial, which had enrolled close to 500 patients, ended because the drug was unlikely to be effective and the other did not have enough patients enrolled. Both are the latest indications scientists are increasingly concluding that the drug’s promise has fallen far short of early expectations.

“In effect, the drug didn’t work,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said of the first trial, which the medical community had been watching closely because it was federally funded, placebo-controlled and run by respected investigators. “I think we can put this drug aside and now devote our attention to other potential treatments.”

Mr. Trump had called the drug a “game changer” and said he had been taking it.

The N.I.H. said Saturday that an oversight board that monitors safety met Friday and “determined that while there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with Covid-19.” Later on Saturday, the N.I.H. said it had closed another trial — of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin — because only about 20 patients had enrolled in the planned study of 2,000 people.

The initial trial, which was being run by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the N.I.H., was one of several placebo-controlled studies that had been organized to test the drug after a series of small, poorly controlled trials showed early signs of a benefit.

Since then, several other large trials have been halted or have not shown the drug to be effective against the virus.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency authorization it had given hospitals to give hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, to hospitalized patients. The agency said that the drugs were “unlikely to be effective” and could carry potential risks.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said it was stopping the hydroxychloroquine arm of a large clinical trial that was testing several treatments against the virus because evidence showed it did not reduce mortality rates of hospitalized patients.

And on Friday, the Swiss drugmaker Novartis said it was halting its clinical trial because it could not recruit enough patients to sign up.

Several U.S. states and cities will begin allowing indoor dining at restaurants.

Credit…Erin Clark/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images

Even as states like Texas and Florida have seen considerable spikes in new coronavirus cases in recent days, other corners of the United States where the virus has so far been mostly contained are planning to let patrons eat in restaurants again.

On Friday, the mayor of Baltimore said the city would join the rest of Maryland in allowing restaurants and bars to open for indoor dining with certain restrictions. Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., are enacting similar plans on Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers restaurants that allow indoor dining to be one of the riskier environments among those establishments that have opened so far. As scientists’ understanding of the virus has evolved, crowded indoor spaces with poor airflow have been identified as one of the likeliest situations in which the virus can spread, particularly as people laugh, talk and take off their masks to eat.

Businesses will still have to comply with restrictions. In both Massachusetts and Washington, dining establishments will have to keep tables six feet apart, and parties at any table cannot exceed six people. Washington will also limit restaurants to seating people at 50 percent capacity.

The C.D.C. has warned that even with these restrictions, indoor dining still brings together in tight spaces people who may not live with one another, and has urged individuals to take extra precautions.

Other cities are experimenting with novel ways to allow people to dine together more safely, such as encouraging them to stay in designated areas outside. This weekend, Grand Rapids, Mich., put in place four new “social zones,” where it planned to grant permits allowing people to congregate and eat outside on demarcated streets and sidewalks.

“The idea is simply to let restaurants serve more customers while allowing those who don’t want to go indoors yet to feel safe,” said Lou Canfield, the city’s acting assistant director of design, development and community engagement in a news release. “It’s a new concept for us and will be experimental in some ways.”

The favorite, Tiz the Law, wins a drastically altered Belmont Stakes.

Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

The favorite Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes, traditionally the last leg of the Triple Crown, as the race kicked off the series for the first time in history. Saturday’s race signaled the return of big-time sports to New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., but in the most small-scale way allowed.

Instead of 150,000 fans filling the grandstands on Saturday, there was only a skeleton crew of grooms, trainers and assistant starters — fewer than 100 in all, or just enough to get the horses and their jockeys through the day. The staff members wore masks or bandannas and gloves, making the paddock look like a cross between a medical center and a waiting room for desperadoes.

“If you do not have a shank or bucket in your hand, you can’t come in,” said Pat McKenna, a spokesman for the New York Racing Association. “Only essential personnel.”

Essential, included Sam “The Bugler” Grossman, who will sound the call to post before each of the 12 races.

There was no beer or hot dogs being sold; no buffets in the dining room to graze. No betting windows were open, either. But fans could still watch on NBC and bet online.

When the pandemic forced organizers to move both the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby to the fall, the Belmont Stakes was also delayed. And that was not the sole change it faced. The race was shortened, and the start was placed on the backstretch, which meant the horses and riders had to navigate only one turn.

Protesters douse France’s Health Ministry with red paint symbolizing ‘blood on their hands.’

Credit…Rafael Yaghobzadeh/Associated Press

Demonstrators in France on Saturday doused the entrance to the country’s Health Ministry with bright red paint symbolizing blood, in protest over inadequate resources and poor working conditions in the country’s public hospitals.

The group of about 30 protesters also placed a giant fake “Medal of Contempt” on the steps of the ministry, in central Paris.

“It’s been years, months that health workers have been mobilizing to denounce the lack of resources in terms of staffing, beds and equipment,” said Aurélie Trouvé, a spokeswoman for ATTAC, a left-wing activist group.

“This government, and the previous ones, are responsible for thousands of deaths during this crisis,” she said. “They have blood on their hands.”

Over 29,500 people have died from the coronavirus in France. President Emmanuel Macron has praised French doctors and nurses as heroes during the pandemic, and the government has given bonuses of 1,500 euros (about $1,680) to public health care workers. The government is also in talks with unions over an investment plan for hospitals.

But French health workers say the government has not made concrete promises on issues like pay raises, increased hiring and a moratorium on plans to downsize or close hospitals.

The protesters also expressed anger at the government’s handling of a much larger demonstration of health workers last week in Paris, where violence broke out and the police used tear gas.

Ines Pujol, a spokeswoman for L’Inter-Urgences, a group of emergency health care workers, said at Saturday’s protest that “it took a pandemic, a global health crisis for the government and its institutions to take a look at public hospitals” and “for our suffering to be heard.”

Early virus diagnostic tests failed because of contamination at C.D.C. labs, federal health officials say.

Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times

Federal health officials on Friday confirmed that the first batch of tests devised to diagnose the coronavirus and sent to 33 state public health offices were likely contaminated in laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the coronavirus began to spread.

The report by the Department of Health and Human Services echoed the findings of the Food and Drug Administration, which inspected the C.D.C. labs in late February after learning that the tests did not work. The F.D.A. reported in April that C.D.C. laboratories in Atlanta had violated their own manufacturing standards, rendering the test unusable. Researchers entered and left the laboratories without changing their coats, and assembled ingredients for the tests in the same room where researchers handled positive coronavirus samples, the F.D.A. reported.

The H.H.S. report released Friday confirmed the F.D.A.’s finding that one of the ingredients used in the test was likely contaminated in the Atlanta labs. The department said that because the state labs could not validate the tests, the tests were not used to diagnose patients.

In a statement, Michael Caputo, a department spokesman, acknowledged that the contamination might have delayed the C.D.C.’s ability to supply tests to public health labs, but added, “We never had a backlog of tests in this country.” His assertion is contradicted by the experience of state health officials around the country who complained for months about a shortage of diagnostics tests. S

The Yankees and Mets are moving their preseason training out of Florida as cases there continue to rise.

Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After several Major League Baseball teams reported positive coronavirus tests for players and staff members, the Yankees and Mets decided to move their preseason training from Florida, where cases have been spiking, to their home stadiums in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Saturday afternoon.

The announcement came soon after M.L.B. temporarily closed all of its spring training facilities, which are in Florida and Arizona, for deep cleanings and asked people to be tested for the virus before returning.

Five teams — the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Angels, the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros — have confirmed that players, other employees or people connected to them had tested positive or exhibited symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

M.L.B. suspended its spring training on March 12 and indefinitely postponed the start of the regular season. But as the league and its players’ union recently appeared to make progress in their protracted talks over returning to the field — with the regular season possibly starting in July — some players returned to the training facilities for limited, voluntary workouts.

The Yankees’ spring training facility is in Tampa, Fla., and the Mets’ is in Port St. Lucie.

While Florida has reported a record number of new cases three days in a row, including 4,049 on Saturday, the number of new cases in New York has tapered off since it peaked in April, with the governor reporting only 716 on Saturday.

Mr. Cuomo said Mets players would begin to train next week at Citi Field in Queens. It was unclear when the Yankees would arrive at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, but the team confirmed that the stadium would become its preseason training site.

Unlike other sports leagues, such as the N.B.A. or M.L.S., which planned to resume play in sequestered bubbles near Orlando, M.L.B. has been aiming to play its regular season at its home stadiums.

Recent reports of new cases of the coronavirus among professional and college athletes have heightened concerns about the resumption of competition.

On Friday, just over a week after the PGA Tour restarted, the golfer Nick Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Clemson University also confirmed on Friday that 28 people had tested positive across its athletics department, including 23 football players.

Latin America’s devastation is compounded by a wave of fraud.

Credit…Diario El Debate, via Reuters

As Latin America has emerged as an epicenter of the pandemic, with deaths and infections soaring, efforts to contain the virus have been undermined by several corruption scandals.

Investigations into fraud have reached the highest levels of government. The former Bolivian health minister is under house arrest awaiting trial on corruption charges after the ministry paid an intermediary millions more than the going rate for 170 ventilators — which did not even work properly.

Dozens of public officials and local entrepreneurs are accused of exploiting the crisis for personal enrichment by peddling influence to price-gouge hospitals and governments for medical supplies including masks, sanitizer and ventilators.

In Brazil, which has the second highest number of coronavirus deaths after the United States, government officials in at least seven states are under investigation over the misuse of more than $200 million in public funds during the crisis.

Peru’s police chief and interior minister resigned after their subordinates bought diluted sanitizer and flimsy face masks for police officers, who then began dying of infections from the virus at alarming rates.

In Colombia, the attorney general is investigating reports that more than 100 political campaign donors received lucrative contracts to provide emergency supplies during the pandemic.

“People are dying in the streets because the hospital system collapsed,” said Diana Salazar, Ecuador’s attorney general. “To profit from the pain of others, with all these people who are losing their loved ones, it’s immoral.”

The many uses for food scraps.

Feeling crafty? Want to have less waste? There are many things that can be done with the bottoms of carrots, beets, egg shells and even meat waste. Or start a compost bin. We’ll show you how.

Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Aurelien Breeden, Nancy Coleman, Joe Drape, Melissa Eddy, Tess Felder, Ben Fenwick, Carlotta Gall, Matthew Haag, Maggie Haberman, Astead Herndon, Sheila Kaplan, Tyler Kepner, Natalie Kitroeff, Iliana Magra, Mujib Mashal, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, Adam Rasgon, Mitch Smith, Mitra Taj, Katie Thomas, Anton Troianovski and Vivian Yee.

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