Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Sets Daily U.S. Record With Over 15,000 New Cases

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Credit…Zack Wittman for The New York Times

More than 15,000 new cases of the coronavirus were announced on Sunday in Florida, marking the highest single-day total of known cases in any state since the start of the pandemic.

Florida’s surge soared past the previous record, set in New York, of more than 12,000 cases in a day. That occurred in April, during the worst of the outbreak there, when testing was scarce. And Florida is reporting far fewer deaths than New York.

Florida also saw single-day records in the counties that include Florida’s largest cities, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Pensacola and Sarasota.

Florida has recorded more than 269,800 cases, with more than 4,200 total deaths, according to a New York Times database.

The increase has added strain on hospitals. In Miami-Dade County, Fla., six hospitals have reached capacity as virus cases spike. The increase in cases caused Mayor Carlos Gimenez to roll back reopening plans by imposing a curfew and closing restaurants for indoor dining.

“We’ve definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, the number of people in the I.C.U., and the number of people on ventilators,” he said. “We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern.”

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President Trump, who has regularly dismissed suggestions he should wear a mask and has mocked others for doing so, wore a face covering while visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.CreditCredit…Erin Scott for The New York Times

President Trump on Saturday wore a mask in public for the first time, after repeated urging from aides that it was a necessary message to send to Americans.

Mr. Trump wore a dark mask affixed with the presidential seal during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was surrounded by Secret Service agents and others also wearing masks.

The president had repeatedly dismissed suggestions that he should wear a face covering, frequently appearing in public spaces without one, mocking those who did and ignoring public health rules in several states.

But Mr. Trump had signaled recently that he was more open to masks and told reporters before the visit to the medical center that he planned to wear one.

“I think when you’re in a hospital, especially in that particular setting where you’re talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating tables,” Mr. Trump said. “I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask. I’ve never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place.”

In contrast to Mr. Trump’s reluctance, a growing number of governors, both Republican and Democratic, and even Vice President Mike Pence have taken up the cause in recent weeks.

Several Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah — have also said the president should wear face coverings, at least as a symbolic gesture.

In an interview this month, Mr. Trump said he “would wear one if I were in a group of people and I was close,” adding that he “sort of liked” the way he looked.

“It was a dark black mask,” he said at the time, “and I thought it looked OK. I looked like the Lone Ranger.”


Credit…Christopher Lee for The New York Times

As recently as early June, days went by with hardly anyone testing positive for the coronavirus in Corpus Christi, Texas, a popular beachfront vacation spot. A single case one day. Three the next. Then zero. Zero. Zero.

Now the city of 325,000 has one of the fastest-growing outbreaks in Texas, a state where records for positive cases were set for four straight days last week, with nearly 11,000 recorded on Thursday. Corpus Christi has seen more cases per capita than Houston and a rapidly mounting death toll: Of the 38 deaths it has recorded from the pandemic, 30 have come in July, including a baby less than 6 months old.

Local officials have been left scrambling to get ahead of an outbreak that went swiftly into overdrive. As recently as June 15, the city had tallied 360 cases during the entirety of the outbreak; on Wednesday alone, there were 445.

The city’s two dozen contact tracers are so overwhelmed that they are no longer able to seek detailed information about each new infection. Hospital beds have filled at an alarming rate, prompting pleas for additional staffing.

The surge in cases has forced local leaders, businesses and residents to grapple with the uncomfortable reality that the same out-of-towners who help the city thrive economically may have caused the outbreak. The feeling is less one of resentment than of frustration at a seemingly impossible dilemma.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be telling tourists, ‘Don’t come to our beaches,’” said Mayor Joe McComb, 72.

In other U.S. news:

  • Pittsburgh, which has an economy driven by the health care industry and is a sister city to Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first emerged, took the threat seriously and shut down early. But now Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, is experiencing an alarming surge in infections.

  • The New Mexico Environment Department ordered a Walmart in Las Cruces to shut down after four employees tested positive for the virus, and is urging anyone who visited the location since June 22 to get tested. “Walmart stated they do not require employees who test positive to self-quarantine for 14 days, nor do they notify individuals who came into close personal contact with such employees to get tested,” the department said in a statement. The company will be required to disinfect the store and test all of its workers.

  • The governor of Louisiana ordered on Saturday that bars close and most residents wear masks outdoors. The state had an early outbreak that receded, before a recent sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations. Louisiana now has more cases per capita than all but New York and New Jersey, and on Friday, the state recorded more than 2,600 positive tests, more than any day since April 2.

Credit…Kyodo News, via Associated Press

At least 60 people on two U.S. Marine bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus, according to Marine officials.

A spokesman for the Marines said that commanders had enacted “soft shelter-in-place orders” at the bases, Camp Hansen and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and that only essential personnel would be permitted to enter and leave those areas.

“Cleaning teams have been dispatched and thorough contact tracing is ongoing to identify and isolate those who may have come in contact with infected personnel,” the spokesman, Major Kenneth Kunze, said in a statement on Saturday.

In one month, cases in the U.S. military have more than doubled, according to Pentagon data, a disturbing surge that mirrors a similar trend across the country.

On Friday, Pentagon statistics reported 16,637 cases in the entire military. On June 10, that number was just 7,408.

A Marine familiar with the situation in Okinawa, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said that it was likely that the virus was transmitted to at least one of the bases after a unit deployed there in mid-June.

It is believed that some in the unit contracted the virus after sneaking off the base for Fourth of July celebrations, according to the Marine as well as a notice sent by a Marine official.

“Okinawans are shocked by what we were told” by the U.S. military about the outbreak, the Okinawa governor, Denny Tamaki, told a news conference, according to The Associated Press. He questioned disease prevention measures taken by the U.S. military.

The outbreak could inflame long-simmering tensions over the presence of American military bases on Okinawa, which dates to the end of World War II. Okinawans have complained about crime, noise and other problems associated with the bases, and have questioned why a substantial number of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.


Credit…Divyakant Solanki/EPA, via Shutterstock

On a day when India reported more than 28,000 new coronavirus infections, one case in particular caught the whole country’s attention: Amitabh Bachchan, a Bollywood star and one of India’s most revered figures.

Mr. Bachchan, known as Big B, announced on Saturday to his 43 million followers on Twitter that he had tested positive and urged his recent contacts to get tested themselves. His son, Abhishek, and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, both actors, have also become infected.

India is now racking up more new reported infections each day than any other country except the United States and Brazil. It also has the third-highest total number of infections after those same two countries, with about 850,000 confirmed cases and more than 22,000 deaths. Hospitals in India are overflowing to the point that pregnant women have died in labor after being turned away.

The surge has led officials around India to reimpose restrictions after attempting to loosen things up to stimulate a critically wounded economy. The borders between states are being rigorously patrolled, and international travel is still closed. But the density of India’s population makes it difficult to practice social distancing in cities like Mumbai, home to Mr. Bachchan.

It’s hard to overstate how famous Big B is, having appeared in more than 200 films over the past 50 years.

“He’s like god,” said Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, a filmmaker who has worked with him. “I’ve never seen a star having such power, such credibility. He’s the biggest superstar this country has ever, ever seen.”

Mr. Bachchan’s illness may create more fear across India. But Mr. Dungarpur predicted that many Indians would find his struggle inspiring and say to themselves: “If Amitabh Bachchan can fight this, so can we.”

Other developments around the world:

  • Australian citizens and residents returning from overseas to New South Wales, which includes the city of Sydney, will be charged for their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine starting July 18, the state premier said on Sunday. Mandatory hotel quarantines at a similar cost are already in effect in Queensland and the Northern Territory, and other parts of the country are likely to begin charging travelers as well amid a new outbreak in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city. The border has been closed to nonresidents since March.

  • Xu Zhangrun, a law professor in Beijing who has criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, was released from detention on Sunday, a week after the police took him away.

  • In Hong Kong, a Department of Health spokeswoman said that the latest outbreak in the semiautonomous Chinese territory was worse than a peak in March because of a growing number of cases with unknown origins and clusters linked to housing estates, homes for older people and restaurants. Hong Kong recorded 38 new infections and 20 preliminary positive cases on Sunday.

  • Voters in Poland are deciding a runoff between the presidential incumbent, Andrzej Duda, and his challenger, Warsaw’s mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski. Nationalism and populism have been more focal in their race than the coronavirus — the country has recorded more than 37,800 infections and more than 1,500 deaths — but precautions taken at polling stations, including social-distancing requirements, were a reminder of the lingering threat.

  • Spain is holding its first elections since it was hit by the pandemic, with voting on Sunday in two northern regions, Galicia and the Basque Country. Both votes were initially set for April, but were rescheduled when the country went into lockdown in March. A prime concern is that turnout could fall to record lows as voters fear getting infected while lining up at polling stations.

Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed ahead Sunday with the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on schools to resume in-person classes this fall, using a television show tour to downplay both the resurgence of the virus and guidelines issued by the administration’s own health officials.

“I think the go-to needs to be kids in school, in-person, in the classroom because we know for most kids, that’s the best environment for them,” Ms. DeVos said on the CNN program “State of the Union.

Ms. DeVos has increasingly become the face of the administration’s efforts to amplify calls for schools to fully reopen after President Trump railed last week against guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and threatened to cut off federal funding to schools that did not reopen their campuses.

On both CNN and “Fox News Sunday,” Ms. DeVos reiterated the administration’s stance that the C.D.C. guidelines, which call in-person classes the “highest risk” scenario and recommend a range of safety precautions to keep children and teachers safe, were not mandatory.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Ms. DeVos called them “common sense approaches,” but said “the guidelines are also that — guidelines.”

That drew a rejoinder from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who appeared on “State of the Union” after Ms. DeVos and said the C.D.C. guidelines “should be requirements.” “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus,” Ms. Pelosi said. “They ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen.”

When asked about Mr. Trump’s threats to federal funding, Ms. DeVos gave conflicting answers. She said on Fox that if schools did not reopen, “they shouldn’t get the funds,” while saying on CNN that “there’s no desire to take money away — in fact, we want to see schools open and have been committed to ensuring the resources are there to do that.”

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the Miami-Dade County public schools, the fourth-largest public school system in the country, said o

The hosts of both programs noted that she did not appear to have the authority to carry out the threat.

Credit…Alexey Malgavko/Reuters

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and other major oil-producing countries are likely to increase their output in August, as lockdowns ease and demand begins to rise again.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers are expected to modestly ease the record production cuts that they agreed to in April and extended through July. A committee of officials from the organization will meet on Wednesday by video to discuss their approach.

The oil-producing countries want to make sure that they maintain or increase their share of the recovering market. But analysts say that the actions by OPEC and its allies could be outweighed by the impact of the pandemic on demand.

The International Energy Agency said oil demand fell by more than 16 million barrels a day in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2019. The Paris-based group is forecasting a strong recovery, but said the spread of the virus in countries like the United States and Brazil “is casting a shadow” over the outlook by raising the prospect of further lockdowns that could discourage driving and other activity.

Total demand for gasoline in the United States rose in early July, the agency said, citing data from the research firm Kayrros, but fell in Texas, Arizona and Florida, which have seen surges in reported cases.

“We could be in for a second dose of falling demand,” said Bill Farren-Price, a director at RS Energy Group, a market research firm.

Credit…Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Beyond being the women who lead Michigan’s state government, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have a lot in common.

All three are accomplished Democratic lawyers and Gen-Xers who were elected as part of a wave that has flipped much of Michigan’s leadership from red to blue. And they’ve all tussled with President Trump.

Trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr. in polls of voters in Michigan, a key battleground state, Mr. Trump has taken aim at Ms. Whitmer and her colleagues over their mission to expand voting rights. He has taken to calling Governor Whitmer — who is seen as a potential running mate for Mr. Biden — “that woman from Michigan.”

The three women have responded forcefully to Mr. Trump, zeroing in on his virus response. Ms. Whitmer said on Tuesday that it was “incumbent on every one of us to mask up, from the White House to the State House,” and added, “The fact that we’re behind the rest of the world is a disgrace.”

Ms. Nessel has joined or filed dozens of lawsuits to reverse Trump administration policies, including one lawsuit filed against the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, over a new rule reallocating some virus relief money to private schools. Ms. DeVos is a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.

Ms. Nessel also called Mr. Trump “a petulant child” after he declined to wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Company plant in Ypsilanti in May. “I swear, some days I wake up and think Montgomery Burns is president,” she said, referring to the greedy boss in “The Simpsons.” Mr. Trump accused Ms. Nessel of scaring businesses away from Michigan with her language.

Credit…Rick Loomis for The New York Times

The idea of playing college sports this fall has felt shaky all along. Now, it is teetering with each bit of news, with this week bringing some of the most seismic moves yet.

The Ivy League shut down sports until at least Jan. 1. Ohio State and North Carolina each had enough coronavirus cases among the few athletes on campus that they suspended summer workouts. And the Big Ten Conference said that most of its fall sports, including football, would play only league games — if they played at all. The Pac-12 Conference did the same on Friday, later announcing that its commissioner had tested positive.

“Nobody wants to be the first one, but when somebody is, then it makes it OK for somebody to be the next one,” Buddy Teevens, the longtime football coach at Dartmouth, said of the Ivy League.

Through Wednesday, at least 426 college athletes had tested positive for the coronavirus among roughly 50 Division I programs, and the number of cases is probably much higher. About half of American universities either did not respond to requests for testing results from The New York Times or declined to provide numbers, under the auspices of protecting the privacy of student-athletes.

Ohio State, in suspending its off-season workout programs this week, did not reveal how many students tested positive. It said only that the shutdown affected seven sports, including football.

In pro sports, some competitions, desperate to salvage their seasons and profits, have cautiously reopened, with testing a crucial component. But there was no blueprint for screening athletes on such a scale, so a patchwork of businesses and labs, all with entirely different missions before the pandemic, converged to try to meet the need.

If you are longing for an international getaway, or simply to go farther than you’re willing to drive, you may have some anxieties about flying or even wondering where you are allowed to go. Let us help:

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, John Branch, Chris Buckley, Catie Edmondson, Jeffrey Gettleman, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, J. David Goodman, Kathleen Gray, Erica Green, Maggie Haberman, Jennifer Jett, Zach Montague, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Stanley Reed, Campbell Robertson, Rick Rojas, Mitch Smith, Lucy Tompkins and Karen Zraick.

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