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A version of this story appeared in the June 26 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.
That’s 10 times more than official counts, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, reflecting the huge number of people who either had mild or no symptoms or could not get tested.
Redfield added that 90% of the American public still hasn’t experienced the virus yet: “This outbreak is not over. This pandemic is not over.”
Cases are rising in 30 states across the South and West, including Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott announced he would halt any further phases of reopening. The situation unfolding in the Lone Star State is a “warning shot” of what can happen when the pandemic isn’t taken seriously enough, Dr. Richard Besser, the CDC’s former acting director, told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
As states scramble to cope with widening outbreaks, the White House coronavirus task force is set to hold a briefing for the first time in nearly two months on Friday.
The meeting comes as President Donald Trump has tried to declare the pandemic “over,” and is planning to cut federal funding to some Covid-19 testing sites — including seven in Texas — by the end of the month. Officials warn the move could cause further spread, particularly in hotspots.
Earlier this week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned that the country would have to learn to live with “hotspots” popping up in places like Texas. But Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, argued the idea didn’t portray just how widespread the virus’ spikes are.
“Calling Texas, for instance, a ‘hotspot’ is like calling the sun a ‘hotspot,'” Reiner told CNN.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: When are people with coronavirus most contagious?
A: Some people infected with coronavirus never have symptoms. But it’s easy for these asymptomatic carriers to infect others.
“People can be contagious without symptoms. And in fact — a little bit strangely in this case — people tend to be the most contagious before they develop symptoms, if they’re going to develop symptoms,” CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.
“They call that the pre-symptomatic period. So people tend to have more virus at that point seemingly in their nose, in their mouth. This is even before they get sick. And they can be shedding that virus into the environment.”
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Why are Americans so resistant to masks
The perennial American struggle between government and the veneration of individual liberty is boiling again: Some citizens are balking at expert guidance for them to cover their faces, in order to check the spread of the coronavirus, Stephen Collinson and Caitlin Hu write.
The debate is playing out across the country. Several sheriffs in North Carolina have declared that they won’t enforce the state’s mask mandate, while Floridians erupted in anger after a unanimous vote to make masks mandatory in Palm Beach County.
What’s behind California’s massive surge in cases
California, the most populous US state and the first to implement a statewide lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak, is setting daily records this week for new cases as officials urge caution and dangle enforcement threats to try to curb the spikes.
The virus is spreading at private gatherings in homes, and more young people are testing positive, Governor Gavin Newsom said. “Many of us understandably developed a little cabin fever. Some of us, I would argue, developed a little amnesia. Others have just frankly taken down their guard.”
Hospitals in one of the world’s biggest cities are on the brink
Lakhjeet Singh had been running a fever for days when his son-in-law took him to a private hospital in Delhi for a Covid-19 test. A day later, an online report confirmed he was positive.
But as Singh’s condition worsened, his family found it impossible to find a hospital that would treat him, as the Indian capital’s healthcare system buckled under the pressure of the escalating epidemic.
After he was repeatedly turned away — despite government medical facilities in Delhi being legally bound to admit emergency patients — Singh died on the doorstep of a hospital.
England abandons lockdown with glee
Brits went to the beach, celebrated Liverpool Football Club’s Premier League win and partied in the streets of London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, all as if the pandemic didn’t exist.
Days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would further relax lockdown restrictions on July 4, with pubs opening their doors to serve pints once again, many people have thrown caution — and social distancing — to the wind.
ON OUR RADAR
- The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, despite thousands more Americans signing up since the pandemic began.
- Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a Coronavirus Town Hall, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Thursday the US was “not even close” to doing enough to fight the pandemic.
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has called Covid-19 a “little flu” and resisted economic shutdowns to combat the virus, paid a rare tribute to victims in a Facebook Live on Thursday.
- Coronavirus made Vietnam shut its borders. Now it’s allowing flights from Japan for the first time.
- The Australian state of Victoria has launched free testing in an effort to contain a local coronavirus outbreak.
- Singapore is revoking work passes for foreigners convicted of breaking social distancing rules.
- Coronavirus patients in Chinese hospitals who were taking statin drugs fared better than those who were not taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, researchers reported Thursday.
- Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has postponed her wedding in order to attend a Covid-19 meeting.
US health officials have updated the list of who is most at risk of severe complications from Covid-19. It now includes: People with mild obesity or moderate to severe asthma, pregnant women, as well as those with cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Those with conditions such as sickle cell disease, poorly controlled HIV infection, bone marrow transplants or an organ transplant are also at higher risk.
The list already included the elderly, as well as people with lung or kidney disease, and those with diabetes, but the CDC removed the specific age threshold, saying it’s not just those over age 65 who are at increased risk of severe illness.
“Back in the day… they had sound effects, the crack of the bat. They’d have someone in the background: ‘peanuts, hot dogs.'” — Bob Costas, American sportscaster
The pandemic forced nearly every league in the world to cancel or postpone games. But now, sports are slowly starting to return — without fans. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to legendary commentator Bob Costas about the forthcoming sporting season. Listen Now.