Latest Morning Briefing Stories
The Republican National Convention initially was supposed to take place in North Carolina but the state’s governor refused to lift public health restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Now, after moving the event to Jacksonville, Florida, GOP planners are facing sky-rocketing case rates in the area while a number of high-ranking officials are balking at attending.
In Florida, 56 intensive care units are at or over capacity while 35 others are nearing it. And doctors in Texas and Arizona voice deep concerns about their ability to treat enough patients.
A new single-day record of 60,000 cases reported Tuesday pushed the U.S. over the dire 3 million mark. Texas — which reported its own new record of 10,400 cases confirmed in one day — and Florida are at the center of the spikes.
Over the weekend, four prisoners died at San Quentin, where there have been more than 1,500 confirmed infections. Other California news focuses on ICE detention facilities, rising hospitalizations, the Assembly’s recess and closures of more businesses, among other things.
As shootings increase in places like Atlanta, Chicago and New York City, local and state officials work to respond to multiple public health emergencies, including gun violence and the coronavirus crisis.
“All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools in August at least five days per week for all students,” state Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said — although some leeway was given to local jurisdictions as infections rise. New York and New Jersey schools are in the news, as well.
Food insecurity has surged over the last three months across all demographics, but has disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic households with children. And other news stories on how racial and income disparities impact health care cover evictions and homelessness; period poverty; immigrant caregivers; child care challenges; and the potential for tech companies to try to close the gap.
To wear a mask or not to? It’s a debate that marks the federal response as well as efforts at the state and local level to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is also a question that ignites deep political passions and personal reactions.
As the coronavirus outbreak spins “out of control,” according to some medical professionals, 10 states report daily records for confirmed cases. Only six days into July, nearly 300,000 Americans tested positive for the virus. In June, 820,000 cases were tallied.
Media outlets report on news from Texas, Florida, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Georgia and Michigan.
The state continues to report record highs in the number of hospitalizations, leading some officials to predict health systems could max out within the next two weeks. News outlets also report that Houston emergency room patients who have symptoms of the novel coronavirus are often sent home without being tested.
Some citizens continue to view the orders as signs of governmental overreach despite the rapid rise in cases in their states. Other news on masks is on confusion surrounding them, their role in saving lives, problems with makeup, potential health risks for some and mask hostility, as well.
States like Texas, Arizona, Florida and Georgia, which were the first to lift restrictions put in place to curb the disease’s spread, continue to report daily increases of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The U.S. death toll is nearing 130,000.
“These provisional findings are consistent with the hypothesis that arrest and jailing practices are augmenting infection rates in highly policed neighborhoods,” the authors of one study wrote. News on prisons is from Massachusetts, also.
On Tuesday, voters approved the ballot measure that amended the state’s constitution to make it possible for the Medicaid program to provide health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income residents. Support for the effort was concentrated in the state’s urban areas, while rural voters largely opposed it.
The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases rose by another 41,000 on Monday. In response to the surge, governors in California, Texas and Florida in particular are taking steps to slow or reverse reopening measures as cases in those states hit record levels. Meanwhile, New York and New Jersey — former hot spots — aim to protect their states from slipping back.
Local leaders voice frustration at the inconsistent or unsound reopening and health guidelines provided by state capitols that they say have contributed to the rapid resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Moves being made in cities or regions in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland and New York are in the news.
States like Florida, Texas and Arizona play a key role in professional sports’ effort to restart. But those are also the places where COVID-19 cases are surging. Meanwhile, motor racing and marathon organizers make decisions about upcoming events.
During the White House task force’s first public briefing in two months and during a public event in Texas on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence touted efforts by the Trump administration and the states to control the virus spread. He said recent spikes were primarily impacting young people and is now urging the wearing of masks.
U.S. District Judge Jill Otake will decide a case that challenges Hawaii’s strict COVID quarantine policy. Although the Justice Department weighed in against the policy, Otake said the agency doesn’t have the authority to amend the lawsuit in a case where it is not a plaintiff.