Welcome to the newly revamped Key Developments, now twice weekly and with non-COVID news. Right now, it’s actually still just COVID news, but we’ll be slowly morphing it into something broader as we go.
There are over 9.3 million global cases. Cases have grown by more than a million in the last week. There have been over 478,000 deaths around the globe. There are over 2.4 million cases in the US. There have been over 123,000 deaths in the US. The US, Brazil, and Russia continue to lead global case growth. Cases are growing alarmingly in India.
Hospitalizations are surging in Texas and Arizona, and ICUs are getting close to capacity. Clinicians report feeling overwhelmed already, yet there’s no sign of cases tapering off. If anything, cases are anticipated to continue growing. Texas, Arizona, and California all reported record-breaking case growth today. The governor of Texas is worried about case growth but has yet to mandate mask-wearing. These are not the only states to be concerned about. The seven-day moving average of new cases is growing in 29 states.
Meanwhile in Arizona:
A day ahead of Trump’s visit to Arizona, GOP Senator Martha McSally proposes giving taxpayers *$4,000 each* to take a vacation.
Couples would get $8,000 in vacation tax credits, plus $500 per kid.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) June 23, 2020
Washington State follows California’s trend:
BREAKING: Washington Governor issues statewide public health order requiring people to wear facial coverings in public
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 23, 2020
When Apple closes its stores, you know something is up:
Apple says it is re-closing 11 stores across Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona amid Covid-19 spikes.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 19, 2020
Continued outbreaks in Germany have required additional lockdowns in two districts. One of the outbreaks occurred in a meatpacking plant.
Australians are panic-buying again. Cases are rising in Victoria and folks are stocking up. Shoppers are being asked to buy only what they need as the run on toilet paper starts anew.
Trump staffers have turned up positive both before and after the Tulsa rally. At least eight are now positive.
Multiple cruise lines are suspending operations into the fall. Those who had already booked may reschedule with a credit or opt for a refund.
Sweden continues to make horrible policy decisions. Parents may be forced to send their children to school or risk social service or legal battles. School attendance is apparently compulsory even when children have medical risk-factors.
When this came to the US, 90% of the cases were blue states, and blue states suffered more casualties than red ones. Now 2/3 of cases are in red states. The transition from urban to rural spread is happening now. It’s not just increased testing that is driving the surge, it’s increased transmission. States that locked down longer and were slower to reopen generally have less transmission. States that opened earlier are largely driving case growth. The widespread protests and riots that rocked the country recently are certainly going to impact transmissions rates as well.
Epidemiologists think that the COVID-19 infection rate was vastly under-counted at the outset. Cases may have been 80 times greater and may have doubled much faster than initially thought. These assertions are based on analysis of influenza-like illness (ILI) data from each state. Excess ILI compared to previous years correlates very strongly with COVID-19 spread.