What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
As Brazil and India struggle with surging coronavirus cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still smack in the middle of the pandemic, dampening hopes for a speedy global economic rebound and renewed international travel.
“Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s executive director.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— Georgia’s governor is offering his state as the host of the Republican National Convention — a day after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if that state’s Democratic governor didn’t assure Trump that the August gathering can go forward despite coronavirus fears. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site for the convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials.
— The author of a U.S. government report that found U.S. hospitals faced severe shortages of coronavirus test supplies says she is not intimidated by criticism from President Donald Trump. Christi Grimm, who has served as acting inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services since January, told a House panel that there was no “chilling effect” from Trump’s criticism of her and his move to replace her.
— The New York Stock Exchange reopened for in-person trading for the first time in two months. The trading floor in lower Manhattan opened with plastic barriers, masks and a reduced number of traders to adhere to the 6-foot social-distancing rule.
— Blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and dangerous blockages in the legs and lungs are increasingly being found in COVID-19 patients, including some children. Even tiny clots that can damage tissue throughout the body have been seen in hospitalized patients and in autopsies, confounding doctors’ understanding of what was once considered mainly a respiratory infection.
— Congress is wrestling over whether to “go big,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants for the next relief bill, or hit “pause,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists. It’s a defining moment for the political parties heading toward the election and one that will affect the livelihoods of countless Americans suddenly dependent on the federal government. Billions of dollars in state aid, jobless benefits and health resources are at stake.
— Sweden’s government defended its response to the COVID-19 global pandemic on Tuesday despite the Scandinavian country now reporting one of the highest mortality rates in the world with 4,125 fatalities, or about 40 deaths per 100,000 people.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 3,015: The S&P 500 was up 2% to 3,015 points on Tuesday. It’s the first time the benchmark index has been above the 3,000-point mark since March 5, before the widespread business shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the outbreak sent the U.S. economy into a sharp skid.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— STRANDED TOURISTS: Colleen and Marvin Hewson, retirees from Michigan, were first in line when the ancient ruins of Pompeii reopened to the public Tuesday following Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. Their long-delayed visit capped an unlikely adventure that had stranded them in the small tourist town of modern Pompeii since early March.
— EID IN CONFINEMENT: Instead of mass prayers and family gatherings, millions of Moroccan Muslims celebrated Eid Al-Fitr indoors.