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Coronavirus live updates: latest news and analysis

Pence and Azar attribute surges to further tests. Health experts and evidence say otherwise.

Vice President Mike Pence and the nation’s chief health officer, Alex M. Azar II, went on to say Sunday that reopening in many states was not causing the sharp increase in coronavirus cases, but rather that an increase in tests was always finding out more infections.

But their stance has been contested by other public health experts, who cited the growing rate of positive results from expanded tests. And New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said of the Trump administration: “They basically deny the problem. They don̵

7;t want to tell the Americans the truth.”

In “Fox News Sunday”, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that both the total number of cases and the percentage of tests that tested positive for coronavirus have increased in several states , saying, “There is no doubt that the virus has the upper hand.” He predicted that the explosive spread in some states would continue to worsen in the coming weeks.

While much of Sunday’s talk show was more focused on exploring news reports that Russia had offered and paid gifts to Taliban fighters for killing US soldiers, the country’s growing pandemic remained an important topic. And the comments of Pence, Azar and Frieden have exemplified the contradictory positions taken by the White House, which is pressing at full speed to reopen the economy and for Mr. Trump to resume the campaign in person for the autumn elections, and health experts, who are alarmed by the waves of cases across the country.

Mr. Pence, in CBS’s “Face the Nation” program, said: “I know there is a temptation to associate new cases in the Sun Belt with the reopening,” but denied that this is true, adding that many states with increased cases they had already reopened weeks ago.

When the show host, John Dickerson, cited the concerns of health experts that states had opened too early, Mr. Pence replied, “Allow me to disagree.”

Although residents of some states were turned away from test sites that reached capacity, Mr. Pence incorrectly claimed that anyone who wanted to be tested for coronavirus could be tested.

“Thanks to the public-private partnership initiated by President Trump, we are literally able to test anyone in the country who would like a test that comes forward,” said Pence.

First President Trump he made this claim in March, and leading health experts repeatedly contradicted him. Test sites in several states, including Texas, Florida and Arizona, have been invaded.

Other highlights from Sunday talk shows:

  • Mr. Pence downplayed the severity of the increase in new cases by stating that the virus mainly infected young people, who are less likely to be hospitalized. But Dr. Frieden noted that it took some time for Covid-19 patients who felt bad about being hospitalized and potentially dying, and that infected young people were also carriers was also significant. “What starts in young people doesn’t stay in young people,” he said. “Young people have parents, uncles, grandchildren. We will see a growing diffusion “.

US test sites in the West and South see long lines and sometimes unruly crowds.

Coronavirus test sites in Arizona, Florida and Texas have become a source of tension and risk, with numerous residents waiting in line, and others have been turned away when the sites have reached capacity. Crowding increases the risk of infection as people rush to the front lines in some centers.

Residents of these and other hard-hit states of the United States are proving in droves to be tested as the virus continues to spread across the South and West, threatening to overwhelm areas that have until recently been spared the worst of the pandemic.

“Pushing, screaming, ZERO forced social distance” a Houston resident wrote on Twitter. Two test sites in Houston stadiums reached capacity a few hours after opening on Saturday, second the local health department. The city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, said the intensive care units are almost complete.

Elsewhere in Texas, Stefano West drove for more than an hour from Killeen to Austin to find a test site, noting that few were available near him. He said he then waited about four and a half hours in the car on the spot.

“I was annoyed,” said West. “There was really no communication. Nobody explained the process.”

In Florida, the first car on Saturday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando found its place in line for rehearsals at 12:30, second the Florida Association of Public Information Officer, although testing did not begin until 9:00 am On a Jacksonville site, the test line was cut off early in the afternoon, before closing time, the association said on Twitter.

In Arizona, people seeking drive-up coronavirus tests in Phoenix faced lines of cars up to three miles long. On Friday, the largest laboratory in the state received twice as many samples as it could process.

Nationally, coronavirus cases have increased by 65% ​​in the past two weeks. On Saturday, over 42,000 cases were reported in the United States, including one-day records in Florida, Nevada and South Carolina. It was the third consecutive day with over 40,000 new cases in the country.

No mask? No vote.

Voters in Poland and France headed for the polls Sunday with caution for the first elections in their countries since the start of the pandemic. Polish voters – take part in the first round of presidential elections – they had to bring their pens to the polling stations. And the French voted in the second round of the municipal elections, with many eyes focused on the run of the mayors in Paris.

Both elections were delayed for months because of the pandemic. Fears of a possible rebirth in the infections had raised concerns about voter turnout and the increase in the number of cases elsewhere in Europe did little to allay those concerns.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • In Switzerlandauthorities ordered more than 300 people to go into quarantine after at least six people who visited a night club last weekend tested positive.

  • Officials in Czech Republic This weekend has seen 260 new cases, the highest daily number in the country since the beginning of April and almost triple that of a few days earlier.

  • Italy reported the lowest number of daily deaths since the beginning of March. And for the first time since the start of the pandemic, from Spain The capital region did not register a single virus death on Saturday, said Isabel Díaz Ayuso, regional leader of Madrid. According to the official death toll, Madrid accounted for 30 percent of Spain’s 28,341 victims.

  • The authorities in Great Britain he warned of possible new waves of infections as tens of thousands of people flock to beaches, parks and parties. Reflecting these concerns, neighboring Ireland said it would ask people arriving from Britain to self-isolate for 14 days, according to the Sunday Times in London.

Participation in the cathedral – seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York – will be limited to 25% of the capacity and those present will be subject to strict health and safety guidelines. Even the cathedral was sanitized to prepare the masses, scheduled for 10:30, 13:00 and 16 Eastern.

Closing houses of worship around the world during the pandemic has been painful for those who generally seek comfort and communities there, particularly during religious holidays.

It has also been hotly debated, with some arguing that closures violate freedom of religion and others who are wary of public health risk as closed spaces with large numbers of people in close contact have fueled outbreaks.

Many hosted online services and events during the pandemic, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral will continue to do so with its masses. When closed on Easter, Palm Sunday service attracted over 100,000 spectators.

“We miss the people on the pews,” said Jennifer Pascual, the cathedral’s music director. “It is strange to have a Mass and to do it in an empty cathedral. You look out there and nobody is there.”

US primaries prefigure the effect of the pandemic on general elections.

Including last week’s votes in New York and Kentucky, 46 states and the District of Columbia have now completed primary elections or party caucuses, addressing the great challenge of not only voting during a pandemic, but also voting in the mail. record numbers.

Despite weaknesses in some states, votes were counted and winners were chosen largely without incident – a remarkable feat, some argue, as many states only had weeks to eliminate decades of in-person voting habits to vote in the mail .

Yet the challenges – and the stakes – will be exponentially higher in November, when the Americans choose a president and much of Congress.

For beginners, electoral commissions are already running out of money in some areas. Postal and election workers overwhelmed by over 55 million primary election voters now face triple turnout in November.

States must recruit armies of pollsters to replace older ones deterred from working because of the virus: nearly six out of 10 survey workers were 61 years of age or older in 2018, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.

And the electoral offices will have to process millions of ballots packed in millions of special envelopes – which only a handful of companies are able to print.

The primaries “provided some sort of training camp for states to turn the corner in voting by mail,” said Barry C. Burden, director of the Electoral Research Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

November, he said, could be like the pandemic itself: manageable if done right, but vulnerable to unpredictable hot spots – “and we just need it to go wrong in places for the whole election to feel like it’s in trouble.”

One morning, Yemeni militants stumbled across a group of migrants in a settlement, firing their machine guns at the Ethiopians captured in the midst of someone else’s war. The militiamen shouted: take your coronavirus and leave the country or face death.

“The sound of bullets was like thunder that would not stop,” said Kedir Jenni, 30, an Ethiopian waiter who fled the settlement near the Saudi border in northern Yemen that morning in early April. “Men and women are hit near you. You see them die and move on. “

This scene and others have been told in telephone interviews with half a dozen migrants in Saudi prisons. Although their accounts cannot be independently verified, human rights groups have confirmed similar incidents.

The Houthis, the Iran-backed militia that controls most of northern Yemen, have driven out thousands of migrants under the threat of armaments in the past three months, blaming them for spreading the coronavirus and dumped them into the desert without food or water.

The community around the University of California, Davis, had a population of 70,000 and a thriving economy. Rentals were tight. Downtown was stuck. Hotels were booked months in advance to get started.

But when the campus closed in March due to the coronavirus, around 20,000 students and faculty members left the city. Around a third of the demand for goods and services went with them, from books to bicycles to brunches. And officials expect much of that request to remain gone even when the city reopens.

By relying on institutions that once seemed impervious to recession, the communities of “cities and clothes” that have evolved around rural campuses – Cornell, Amherst College, Penn State – are facing not only Covid-19 but also serious population losses , revenue and jobs.

For the cities involved, the prognosis is daunting. In most campus cities, college students, faculty and staff are a primary market. Local economies depend on their numbers and dollars, from sales taxes on football weekends to federal funds determined by the United States census.

Where business as usual has recently been tried, punishment is followed: last week, Iowa health authorities reported spikes of cases among young adults in its two major university cities after the reopening of the bars. And on campuses in the United States, attempts to bring football teams back to preseason have led to outbreaks.

“One of the things that makes a university city so wonderful is the vibrant young population,” said Davis’ incoming deputy mayor, Lucas Frerichs, who attended university and lived in the city for 24 years. “They are the lifeblood.”

How to use public toilets in the safest way possible.

As people begin to venture more publicly, here are some strategies to minimize the risk of being exposed to coronavirus in public restrooms.

The report was provided by Christopher Cameron, Rebecca Chao, Melina Delkic, Tess Felder, Rebecca Halleck, Chris Horton, Shawn Hubler, Sheila Kaplan, Sarah Kliff, Pierre-Antoine Louis, Raphael Minder, Tiksa Negeri, Elian Peltier, Michael Shear, Michael Wines, Vivian Yee and Carl Zimmer.

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