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US coronavirus deaths double to over 2,000 people

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It took about a month from the first report of a coronavirus death on February 29 to the number reaching 1,000 on Thursday. By Saturday, the number of reported deaths had doubled to 2,000.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the travel advisory Saturday, urging residents of the three states to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” The states would have “full discretion” on implementing the advisory, which exempts employees in critical fields.
With more than 121,000 cases and 2,046 deaths nationwide, the three states make up more than half of the cases and nearly half of the deaths.
President Donald Trump had contemplated issuing an enforceable quarantine for parts of those states, then later said it will not be necessary. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on Saturday that Trump’s suggestion of a two-week enforceable quarantine within the three states was not legal or plausible.
Patients wait for coronavirus testing outside Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York on Friday.

More than two thirds of the US population face restrictions

As of Saturday, at least 215 million Americans were under various stay at home or shelter in place orders, according to a CNN count based on census data. By Monday, that number will reach 225 million, meaning more than two thirds of the country’s population will be facing those restrictions.
Coronavirus symptoms: A list and when to seek help

And the growing numbers have also revealed new demographics facing severe illness.

Cases of young adults developing severe illnesses have been more widely reported, but children were thought to be avoiding the harshest effects.

On Saturday, state officials reported the death of an infant under age 1 who tested positive for coronavirus and is believed to be the youngest person to die of the virus in the United States.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.

A push for medical supplies grows

Medical staff nationwide have struggled to maintain an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, hospital beds and ventilators.

Trump approved four more emergency hospitals in New York. The facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx will provide 4,000 beds, along with 1,000 beds at a temporary overflow hospital that will open Monday and an additional 1,000 beds on the USNS Comfort set to arrive in New York the same day, Cuomo said.

America is ramping up Covid-19 testing, but a shortage of basic supplies is limiting capabilities

But officials believe the state will need 140,000 beds when it reaches the apex of the pandemic in 14 to 21 days, Cuomo said.

The administration will also facilitate the production or acquisition of “100,000 additional units” of ventilators over a 100-day period, Trump said.

“Maybe we won’t even need the full activation,” said Trump of the Defense Production Act, which he invoked Friday. “We will find out, but we need the ventilators.”

Large corporations are also stepping up to feed the supply gap. New Balance announced Friday on Twitter that its US factories will work on developing, manufacturing and delivering facial masks to hospitals. The same day, Delta Air Lines announced it will fly medical professionals for free to areas significantly impacted by coronavirus.

Police and nurses are falling ill

Those charged with treating patients and maintaining order are feeling the affects of the pandemic as well.

The shortage of personal protective equipment drove a group of New York nurses to protest outside the Jacobi Medical Center on Saturday, demanding the supplies to do their jobs safely.

“If we get sick, our patients will get sick. This is for our entire community,” said Kelley Cabrera, a registered nurse. “If you look at what we are wearing in comparison to others countries, it’s unacceptable.”

The medical center said that although the staff has adequate supplies, there is a nationwide shortage and conservation measures are in place.

Meanwhile, 12 nurses at the University of Illinois Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, the state’s nursing association said.

A 3rd NYPD member dies of coronavirus after hundreds of officers test positive

In New York City, the police department lost its first detective to Covid-19, marking the third death of an NYPD employee to the disease. It has infected at least 696 employees of the New York Police Department.

CNN’s Dakin Andone and Alta Spells contributed to this report.

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Trump Withdraws Controversial Nomination Of Anthony Tata To Pentagon

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WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general who has called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader,” to be undersecretary of defense for policy, the White House said on Monday.

The White House statement came a day after a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tata, who failed to secure a Senate confirmation hearing, had taken a different, less-senior policy role at the Defense Department.

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2020 election: Trump continues to lose ground as nation grapples with coronavirus

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Given the continuing widespread coronavirus pandemic, the persistent economic devastation millions of Americans are experiencing in its wake and President Donald Trump’s inability to wrest control of the crisis in the minds of a majority of Americans, it is probably not all that surprising that his reelection chances have taken a substantial hit.

From launching a law-and-order message in the face of mostly peaceful protests for racial justice, to Trump shaking up the campaign by demoting his campaign manager, to a short-lived attempt at having the President portray himself as a leader in command of the Covid-19 response, the race for the White House has continued to move in Biden’s direction.

While the cliché is true that the three months from now until Election Day is an eternity in American politics and the race is almost certain to tighten, it is also true that Americans are just six weeks away from beginning to cast ballots and the defining characteristic of this presidential race thus far is Trump’s failed leadership in managing the coronavirus pandemic and an inability to convince enough of the public that Biden is an unacceptable alternative.

Whatever thin cushion existed for Trump’s reelection prospects at the start of this election year has completely evaporated. The President’s path to 270 electoral votes is as narrow as it has ever been. For his part, former Vice President Biden is shoring up some traditionally blue-leaning battleground states, expanding the 2020 battleground map into what has recently been more Republican leaning terrain, and opening up multiple pathways to victory.

Based on public and private polling, where the campaigns are placing their strategic bets with millions of advertising dollars, where the candidates and their surrogates are spending time in person or virtually, conversations with Trump and Biden campaign advisers, Republican and Democratic political operatives, members of Congress, and political professionals involved with outside groups, our current Electoral College outlook reflects that substantial movement in Biden’s direction.

Since our last outlook, we have moved five states (and one congressional district) in the direction of the Democrat. Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states Trump won in 2016 that had been reliably blue for the better part of two decades in presidential elections, are being moved from battleground to lean Democrat, placing an additional 36 electoral votes to Biden’s total. We’ve also moved Virginia from lean Democrat to solid Democrat as the demographics and population shifts in the commonwealth continue to trend away from Republicans and both campaigns appear to be disinclined to spend substantial dollars competing there.

In addition, Georgia, Ohio and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District had all been leaning in Trump’s favor in our last outlook and have now all been moved to the battleground category, which reduces Trump’s electoral vote count by 35 votes.

In this new outlook, Trump starts with a solid base of 125 electoral votes from 20 states that are most likely to be uncontested in the fall. When you combine that base of solid states with the additional 45 electoral votes that are currently leaning in his direction, it brings Trump’s total to 170 electoral votes — 100 votes away from reelection.

Biden’s quest for the White House starts with a solid base of 203 electoral votes from 16 states and the District of Columbia. When you add in the 65 electoral votes that are leaning in his direction, it brings his total to 268 electoral votes — just 2 away from winning the presidency.

That leaves us with six states and a congressional district worth a total of 100 electoral votes that will likely prove decisive in selecting the direction the country heads in for the next four years: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

If Biden were to win everything in dark or light blue on this map, Donald Trump would need to run the table and win every single battleground to get reelected.

Solid Republican:

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3) (125 total)

Leans Republican:

Iowa (6), Nebraska 2nd Congressional District (1), Texas (38) (45 total)

Battleground states:

Arizona (11), Florida (29), Georgia (16), Maine 2nd Congressional District (1), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Wisconsin (10) (100 total)

Leans Democratic:

Colorado (9), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), Nevada (6), Pennsylvania (20) (65 total)

Solid Democratic:

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), DC (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (3), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12) (203 total)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan overrules county mandate for private schools to go virtual

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday revoked the authority of county officials to mandate schools close amid a clash with local health officials.

Local health officials in Maryland’s Montgomery County last week made the decision to keep private and parochial schools closed through October for in-person learning, arguing that having students in the classroom would present a danger to pupils and teachers as the state grapples with COVID-19.

But Hogan amended an emergency executive order, which he issued April 5, that allowed local health departments to have the authority to close any individual facility deemed to be unsafe. He called the Montgomery County mandate “overly broad.”

“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials,” Hogan said in a statement. “Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials.”

HOGAN CLASHES WITH OFFICIALS OVER MANDATE FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS TO GO VIRTUAL

Hogan added that “private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines.”

“The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer,” Hogan said, adding that the state’s recovery “continues to be based on flexible, community-based approach that follows science, not politics.”

“As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community,” he said, thanking parents, students and school administrators “who have spoken out in recent days about this important issue.”

TENNESSEE MAN, 27, RECOVERING AFTER CORONAVIRUS PNEUMONIA: ‘IT WAS PRETTY SCARY’

Hogan’s move Monday came after Montgomery County Health Officer Travis Gayles in a statement Friday said that opening those schools in any capacity would be unsafe, and as private and parochial schools had signaled their wishes to open for in-person learning, citing their classes, which are smaller in size than public schools, could make them more flexible to follow social distancing guidelines.

Montgomery County Public Schools, as well as most other public school districts across the state, have announced their decision to offer virtual-only instruction this fall.

“At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers,” Gayles said Friday, according to The Baltimore Sun. “We have seen increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, particularly in younger age groups, and this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of Montgomery County residents.”

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