More than 6.4 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 381,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
As protests continue across the country demanding police accountability and justice for the death of George Floyd, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert is warning of the potential health risks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told WTOP about the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading during nationwide protests attended by thousands of people at a time.
“It’s a perfect set-up for further spread of the virus in terms of creating some blips that could turn into some surges,” he told WTOP. “There certainly is a risk.”
— Sebastian Murdock
Brazil’s coronavirus death toll surpassed Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours.
HuffPost Brazil reports (in Portuguese) that the country has now reported 34,021 deaths from COVID-19, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom. With 30,925 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections reached 614,941, according to Thursday’s bulletin. However, experts consider the tally a significant undercount due to insufficient testing.
The latest data was released three hours later than usual and after evening news bulletins had gone to air.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the threat of the disease, criticizing social distancing measures and urging regional governments to lift restrictions for the sake of the economy.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro told Brazilians that death is “everyone’s destiny.”
— James Martin
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday issued a stern warning to those planning to attend Black Lives Matter protests around the country this weekend amid fears the events could spread coronavirus.
“The health advice is very clear, that it’s not a good idea to go,” he told reporters. “Let’s find a better way and another way to express these sentiments, rather than putting your own health at risk, the health of others at risk, and the great gains we have been able to make as a country in recent months.”
People in the Australian cities of Perth and Sydney have protested this week against police violence and mourned not just George Floyd but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives lost at the hands of police.
“Stop Black Deaths In Custody” protests are planned in most major Australian cities for this weekend but Morrison has made it clear people should still be very wary of contracting coronavirus. Australia has not reported a death from coronavirus for more than a week. It has recorded 102 COVID-19 deaths and almost 7,200 infections.
— Carly Williams
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it will require coronavirus testing sites to collect demographic data from patients amid growing concerns that COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield cited healthy food as one of the many resources that communities of color often cannot access.
“There’s no question that the social determinants of health as pertained to access to quality food have enormous public health — health outcomes,” he said at a House Appropriations Committee hearing.
Gathering better data about the way COVID-19 affects those communities opens new doors, he said, calling it “the key first step that we need to do to address the health disparities.”
The development comes as protesters nationwide call out the systemic racism that the Black community faces, both in law enforcement and other facets of government, including public health. In April, data from the CDC found that nearly one-third of those who have died from the coronavirus are Black.
— Lydia O’Connor
Three of the authors behind an influential article that found that hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients retracted the study on Thursday, citing concerns about the quality of the data behind it.
The study’s authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the full data set for an independent review.
“As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer review process,” the authors wrote in a statement, adding, “Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”
President Donald Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, despite a dearth of scientific evidence to back up his claim. He has said that he’s taken hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against the coronavirus. However, results of a rigorous study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that using the anti-malarial drug to prevent COVID-19 proved ineffective.
— Hayley Miller
Florida recorded 1,317 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the state’s highest daily total of newly confirmed cases since April 17, the Florida Department of Health said. The state has now reported more than 58,000 cases and at least 2,500 deaths.
Florida was one of the earliest and largest states to ease coronavirus restrictions. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire on May 4. Miami-Dade County has the highest number of cases within the state, with more than 18,000 as of Wednesday.
At least 17 states, including California, North Carolina and Texas, have seen growth in newly reported cases over the last 14 days, in part because they’ve expanded their testing capability, The New York Times reported.
— Hayley Miller
President Donald Trump may move a planned speech for the 2020 Republican National Convention in North Carolina to a new state because coronavirus rules implemented by the state would mean Trump wouldn’t get to host a large rally.
“The night the president accepts the nomination will not happen in Charlotte,” an RNC official told CNN Wednesday.
The possible change-up has to do with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s refusal to pre-authorize a gathering of more than 19,000 people. Trump said last week that he was “forced” to find a new state to give his speech, one that presumably would allow him to host a large rally despite concerns about the deadly pandemic.
— Sebastian Murdock
Health experts are cautioning that protests against police brutality sweeping the United States could lead to more cases of coronavirus.
At least 75 cities have seen protests demanding justice for George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police. One officer is in custody and has been charged with third-degree murder.
“All things considered, there’s little doubt that these protests will translate into increased risk of transmission for COVID-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a computational epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, also told The Atlantic.
— Sebastian Murdock
More than 1.8 million people have now been infected with the coronavirus in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s death toll also continues to tick upward, now at more than 105,000 deaths.
— Sebastian Murdock
People are being asked to prepare for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which started Monday, in new ways because of the coronavirus outbreak.
In addition to stocking up on essential supplies ― now including face masks, hand sanitizer and soap ― authorities ask that people make a plan and register for weather and safety alerts.
Learn more here about what to expect over these next six months, including where people should go if forced to evacuate while sick.
― Nina Golgowski
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, said the frequency of his meetings with President Donald Trump has “dramatically decreased.”
“We used to have task force meetings every single day, including Saturday and Sunday, and about 75% of the time after the task force meeting we’d meet with the president,” Fauci told health-oriented news website Stat in an interview that published Monday. “So I was meeting with him four times a week back a month or so ago.”
“But as you probably noticed, that the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately,” he added. “And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased.”
Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump appointed to lead the coronavirus task force, said last month that the White House may wind down the group in early June.
“We’ve already begun to talk about a transition plan with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency],” Pence told reporters on May 5. “But it’s — it really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.”
The U.S. has by far the highest number of documented COVID-19 cases and deaths around the world. As of Monday, more than 1.7 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disease caused by the coronavirus and at least 104,000 have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
― Hayley Miller
Read more updates on the pandemic here.
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