Covid-19 Live Updates: U.S. Nears Record, With More Than 75,000 Virus Cases

Covid-19 Live Updates: U.S. Nears Record, With More Than 75,000 Virus Cases

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Credit…Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

More than 75,000 cases of the coronavirus were announced in the United States on Thursday, the second-highest daily total nationwide since the pandemic began. Eight states set single-day case records, and 13 states have added more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch.

The bleak numbers came as President Trump declared at the final presidential debate on Thursday that, despite evidence, the virus was “going away,” while his challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr., warned of a “dark winter” ahead that required aggressive federal action.

When Mr. Trump said “we’re learning to live with” the coronavirus, Mr. Biden shot back, “we’re learning to die with it.”

The Midwest and the Rocky Mountains are struggling to contain major outbreaks, while new hot spots are emerging in other parts of the country. Officials in Kentucky announced more than 1,470 cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day jump in that state. And more than 1,300 cases were recorded in Colorado, setting another single-day record. In Chicago, which officials said is averaging 645 new cases a day this week, a nighttime curfew will be imposed on businesses starting on Friday.

The country almost surpassed its record in mid-July, when over 77,000 infections were recorded in one day. As of Friday morning, more than 8.4 million people in the country have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 223,000 have died, according to a New York Times database.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it had formally approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat Covid-19, the diseased caused by the coronavirus. The antiviral drug had been approved for adults and patients 12 years of age and older, and weighing at least 40 kilograms, for Covid-19 treatments requiring hospitalization, the F.D.A. said. The approval comes less than two weeks before the presidential election. Mr. Trump has been pushing for a vaccine to be approved before the Nov. 3 vote.

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Watch: Highlights From the Final 2020 Presidential Debate

President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. had a more subdued debate, but split over issues such as the pandemic, race relations and immigration.

“If we just wore these masks, the president’s own advisers have told him, we could save 100,000 lives. And we’re in a circumstance where the president, thus far, still has no plan, no comprehensive plan.” “You also said a vaccine will be coming within weeks.” “Yes.” “Is that a guarantee? Is —” “No, it’s not a guarantee, but it will be by the end of the year. But I think it has a good chance — there are two companies — I think within a matter of weeks. And it will be distributed very quickly.” “This is the same fellow who told you this was going to end by Easter last time. This is the same fellow who told you that, don’t worry, we’re going to end this by the summer. We’re about to go into a dark winter, a dark winter. And he has no clear plan, and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.” “President Trump, your reaction. He says you have no plan.” “I don’t think we’re going to have a dark winter at all. We’re opening up our country. We’ve learned and studied and understand the disease.” “He says that we’re, you know, we’re learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it. You folks home who have an empty chair at the kitchen table this morning. That man or wife going to bed tonight and reaching over to try to touch their — out of habit, where their wife or husband was — is gone. Learning to live with it? Come on. We’re dying with it.” “I take full responsibility. It’s not my fault that it came here. It’s China’s fault. And you know what? It’s not Joe’s fault that it came here either. It’s China’s fault. First of all, I’ve already done something that nobody thought was possible: Through the legislature, I terminated the individual mandate. That is the worst part of Obamacare. He’s talking about socialized medicine, and when he — and health care. When he talks about a public option, he’s talking about destroying your Medicare —” “Wrong.” “Totally destroyed. And destroying your Social Security. And this whole country will come down. You know, Bernie Sanders tried it in his state. He tried it in his state. His governor was a very liberal governor. They wanted to make it work —” “O.K, let’s hear, let’s let Vice President Biden respond —” “It’s impossible to work — it doesn’t work.” “He’s a very confused guy. He thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them. Joe Biden he’s running against.” “Mr. President, your administration separated children from their parents at the border, at least 4,000 kids. You’ve since reversed your zero-tolerance policy, but the United States can’t locate the parents of more than 500 children. So how will these families ever be reunited?” “Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels. And they’re brought here, and they used to use them to get into our country. We now have as strong a border as we’ve ever had. We’re over 400 miles of brand-new wall. You see the numbers. And we let people in, but they have to come in legally.” “These 500-plus kids came with parents. They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. Big, real tough — we’re really strong. And guess what? They cannot — it’s not, coyotes didn’t bring them over. Their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation. A black parent, no matter how wealthy or how poor they are, has to teach their child, when you’re walking down the street, don’t have a hoodie on when you go across the street. Making sure that you, in fact, if you get pulled over, ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘No, sir,’ hands on top of the wheel. Because you are, in fact, the victim, whether you’re a person making, child of a $300,000-per-year person or someone who’s on food stamps.” “I got criminal justice reform done and prison reform and opportunity zones. I took care of Black colleges and universities. I don’t know what to say. They can say anything. I mean, they can say anything. It’s a very — it makes me sad because I am, I am the least racist person. I can’t even see the audience because it’s so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience: I’m the least racist person in this room.” “He pours fuel on every single racist fire, every single one. He started off his campaign coming down the escalator, saying he’s going to get rid of those Mexican ‘rapists.’ He’s banned Muslims because they’re Muslims. He has moved around and made everything worse across the board.” “I have one final question —” “Would he close down the oil industry? Would you close down the oil industry?” “By the way, I would transition from the oil industry, yes.” “Oh, that’s a big statement!” “I would transition — it is a big statement.” “That’s a big statement!” “Because I would stop —” “Why would you do that?” “Because the oil industry pollutes significantly.” “Oh, I see!” “Here’s the deal.” “That’s a big statement.” “But you can’t do that — well, if you let me finish the statement — because it has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, over time. And I’d stop giving to the oil industry, I’d stop giving them federal subsidies.” “Ooh!” “He won’t give federal subsidies to the gas, excuse me, to the, to solar and wind.” “Yeah.” “Why are we giving it to oil industry?” “Imagine this is your inauguration day. What will you say in your address to America, to Americans who did not vote for you?” “We have to make our country totally successful as it was prior to the plague coming in from China. Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success. But I’m cutting taxes, and he wants to raise everybody’s taxes. And he wants to put new regulations on everything.” “What is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that. You haven’t been getting it the last four years.”

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President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. had a more subdued debate, but split over issues such as the pandemic, race relations and immigration.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivered starkly divergent closing arguments to the country in the final presidential debate on Thursday, offering opposite prognoses for a range of issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.

The debate was, on the whole, a more restrained affair than the first encounter between the two candidates last month, when Mr. Trump harangued Mr. Biden for most of an hour and a half and effectively short-circuited any policy debate. But if the tenor of Thursday’s forum was more sedate, the conflict in matters of substance and vision could not have been more dramatic.

From the opening minutes, the two candidates took opposing stances on the pandemic, with Mr. Trump promising, in defiance of evidence, that the disease was “going away” while Mr. Biden called for much more aggressive federal action for the “dark winter” ahead.

Mr. Trump, who badgered Mr. Biden with increasing aggression over the course of the debate, appeared determined to cast his opponent as a career politician who was, as he jabbed toward the end of the debate, “all talk and no action.”

Mr. Trump, however, did little to lay out an affirmative case for his own re-election, or to explain in clear terms what he would hope to do with another four years in the White House. He frequently misrepresented the facts of his own record, and Mr. Biden’s. And on his most important political vulnerability — his mismanagement of the pandemic — Mr. Trump hewed unswervingly to a message that happy days are nearly here again, even as polls show that a majority of voters believe the worst of the coronavirus crisis is still ahead.

Mr. Biden, for his part, stuck to the core of the argument that has propelled his campaign from the start, denouncing Mr. Trump as a divisive and unethical leader who has botched the federal response to a devastating public-health crisis. Though Mr. Trump pushed him onto the defensive repeatedly, the former vice president also laid out a fuller version of his own policy agenda than he managed in the first debate, calling for large-scale economic stimulus spending, new aid to states battling the pandemic and a muscular expansion of health care and worker benefits nationwide.

Credit…Daniel Gnap/EPA, via Shutterstock

As parts of Europe have been hit with a second wave of the coronavirus in recent weeks, hospitals are scrambling to prepare for an onrush of Covid-19 patients at a time when bed and intensive care capacity will already be under strain during the winter flu season.

Poland has turned its largest stadium into an emergency field hospital. In Belgium and Britain, the numbers of Covid-19 patients have doubled in two weeks. And in the Czech Republic, doctors and nurses are falling ill at an alarming rate.

Europe’s current wave of infection is due in part to the relative normalcy it experienced this summer. Unlike in the United States, where the epidemic rose to a second peak in July and a third peak this month, travelers moved around Europe, college students returned to campus and many large gatherings resumed, all while the virus kept spreading.

Data released Thursday shows that the pandemic’s grip on Europe is still dangerous, and measures to control the spread of the virus over the next few weeks will be crucial in preventing hospitals from becoming overrun for a second time this year.

Credit…Sam Wasson/Getty Images

More than 214,000 coronavirus cases have been identified at U.S. colleges this year, according to a New York Times survey that showed universities continuing to struggle to control major outbreaks. More than 35,000 cases of those cases have been identified since early October.

Though some colleges moved all their fall classes online, many campuses remained open even as positive tests accumulated by the hundreds or thousands. Of more than 1,700 institutions surveyed by The Times, more than 50 reported at least 1,000 cases over the course of the pandemic. More than 375 colleges have reported at least 100 cases.

The 214,000 cases at colleges account for 2.5 percent of all known cases in the United States. And that figure is an undercount because some colleges have refused to provide any case data or have stopped giving updates.

Large public institutions in the South and Midwest reported the highest case totals, including seven campuses where there have been more than 3,000 cases.

The virus has disrupted every sector of higher education, forcing quarantines and canceling plans at schools large and small, public and private.

In Ohio, the College of Wooster moved all classes online for the rest of the fall after dozens of cases emerged, including several tied to social events. The University of New Mexico canceled its season-opening football game with Colorado State because of spiking case numbers in the Albuquerque area. And at the University of Michigan, where more than 600 people have tested positive, undergraduates were told to remain in their homes for two weeks except when attending class, eating or working.

“The situation locally has become critical, and this order is necessary to reverse the current increase in cases,” Jimena Loveluck, the Washtenaw County health officer, said in announcing the stay-in-place order at the University of Michigan.

Global Roundup

Credit…Mary Turner for The New York Times

The first time the police came to the Body Tech Fitness gym in Liverpool, England, it was with a polite warning. But four hours later they were back, and this time in force.

As lunchtime gymgoers worked out, about half a dozen officers, some with Tasers, ordered the closure of the fitness center, which had been deemed in breach of England’s toughest coronavirus restrictions.

But even a show of strength like that doesn’t always work — particularly not in a city like Liverpool. While the main entrance was closed, the gym kept a discreet side door open for members to come in and work out.

But on Friday, in a head-snapping turn of events, the gym will operate legally for the first time in nine days, having forced the authorities into an unlikely retreat.

The Body Tech Fitness saga, with its combination of opaque rule-making, inconsistent enforcement and, ultimately, reversal, is in many ways emblematic of the British government’s overall performance since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Its handling of the pandemic has been in turns hesitant, halting, confused, secretive and contradictory.

That has generated confusion and distrust, along with growing resistance, to the diktats from Westminster. And if there was one place that was not going to suffer quietly, local people say, it was Liverpool, which finds itself in the highest tier of restrictions.

“Historically, we have shown that we are not going to lie down when something is unfair,” said Nick Whitcombe, 29, the owner of the gym, as he celebrated a victory achieved through concerted lobbying of politicians and slick outreach to the media.

The city has not been an easy testing ground for a new system of rules that divides England into three tiers, depending on the seriousness of coronavirus infection rates.

The system has left many frustrated and confused, even as they acknowledge the gravity of the worsening health situation in Liverpool.

In other developments around the world:

  • More than 170 Australians stranded in Britain will return home on Friday on a government-chartered repatriation flight. Upon arrival, they will be transferred to an isolation facility to quarantine for 14 days. The flight is the first of eight that will bring back up to 1,315 Australians from Britain, India and South Africa. More than 30,000 Australians are stranded abroad. Many have been trying to return for months but have faced difficulties because of caps on international arrivals imposed by the government.

  • Two senior Palestine Liberation Organization officials tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, as the virus spread among the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership. Azzam al-Ahmad and Ahmad Majdalani, members of the P.L.O. Executive Committee, tested positive before a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, who is in his 80s, Mr. Majdalani said. Mr. al-Ahmad, in his 70s, and Mr. Majdalani, in his 60s, entered self-quarantine after receiving the results and did not attend the meeting with Mr. Abbas. Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi, two other members of the executive committee, also tested positive for the virus this month. Mr. Erekat, who was hospitalized in Jerusalem on Sunday, is on a ventilator and is in critical but stable condition, according to the hospital.

  • Residents of Belgium will not be able to attend sporting events, theme parks will be closed, and cultural events will be limited to 200 people, the prime minister, Alexander de Croo, announced at a news conference on Friday. The measures will be re-examined Nov. 19. The restrictions come a week after Belgium shut all restaurants, bars, and cafes, and limited close social contacts to one person outside a household.

Credit…Cha Song Ho/Associated Press

North Korea urged its people to stay indoors this weekend with their windows shut because “yellow-dust” storms blowing in from China may help spread the coronavirus.

Yellow dust storms have been a recurring curse for Koreans for years, with many people complaining of burning eyes and sore throats and resorting to wearing masks when going outside. But the North’s main state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said on Thursday that North Koreans should be more vigilant this year.

“Given the fact that the coronavirus continues to spread around the world and given data suggesting that malicious viruses may spread through air, we need to deal with yellow dust with more vigilance and thorough countermeasures,” the newspaper said.

It urged North Koreans to refrain from leaving homes or traveling, to wear masks and to keep their windows shut.

In South Korea, where people also guard against yellow dust, health officials did not suggest a link between the dust and the virus.

The subject of airborne transmission of the virus has been fraught. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the coronavirus is most often spread through close contact, not airborne transmissions. “There is no evidence of efficient spread (i.e., routine, rapid spread) to people far away or who enter a space hours after an infectious person was there,” the agency says.

But North Korea has taken more aggressive measures against the virus than most other countries, shutting down its borders since January. In February, it said it was studying water samples from rivers, streams and lakes because it was hard to predict how the virus spread. The C.D.C. says it is not aware of any scientific reports of the virus spreading to people through lakes, oceans or rivers.

North Korea claims it has not found any cases of coronavirus in the country, though outside experts remain skeptical.

Credit…Fabio Bucciarelli for The New York Times

When the pandemic first hit Italy and masks became scarce, Myss Keta, the mysterious Queen of the Milan Night, came to the rescue. The Italian rapper, performance artist and L.G.B.T.Q. icon had amassed a vast collection of face coverings that she wore for years to hide her identity. So she began distributing them to her friends in need.

“I had so many,” she said. “Surgical, cloth, vinyl, silk, whatever material.”

This month, with a second wave of the coronavirus rising and Italy requiring the wearing of masks in public at all times, grandparents, politicians, middle-management businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, delivery people — just about everyone — is covering up. That has rendered Myss Keta — whose use of masks took her from underground clubs to the cusp of national, if incognito, celebrity — an improbable authority on life behind the surgical veil.

It has also threatened to strip her of her defining shtick.

“Before, it was a distinguishing characteristic. Now, it’s something we all have in common,” she said as she lifted a black surgical mask — the casual black T-shirt of her vast collection — to sip a Bloody Mary at Bar Basso in Milan. Under her trademark blond bangs, her eyes remained covered as usual in dark Givenchy sunglasses.

It used to be only the front-row fans at her concerts who emulated her by wearing masks. “Now, everyone seems like a Myss fan,” she said.

Reporting was contributed by Michael Levenson, Sheila Kaplan and Gina Kolata.



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