What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
A Trump administration policy of quickly expelling most migrants stopped along the border because of the COVID-19 pandemic was indefinitely extended Tuesday, with a top U.S. health official arguing that what had been a short-term order was still needed to protect the country from the coronavirus.
The order issued by Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, authorizes Customs and Border Protection to immediately remove migrants, including people seeking asylum, as a way to prevent the potential spread of the virus while in custody.
President Donald Trump issued the initial 30-day order in March, and it was extended for another month in April. The new version has no fixed end date, though it says the CDC will review public health data every 30 days to ensure it is still necessary.
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:
— Republican political operatives are recruiting “extremely pro-Trump” doctors to go on television to prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible, without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
— Maseratis, Rolls-Royces and Mercedes-Benzes were back on Rodeo Drive on Tuesday — along with a few high-end buyers — as America’s most fashionable shopping street slowly got back to business. Just a few days after Beverly Hills officials announced the high-end boutiques lining its most exclusive street could reopen for curbside pickup, shoppers began tentatively making their way onto its wide sidewalks.
— The White House is defending President Donald Trump’s decision to take a malaria drug he’s been promoting as a treatment for the coronavirus, despite warnings from his own government that it should only be administered for COVID-19 in a hospital or research setting due to potentially fatal side effects. The drug has no proven benefits either in fighting the virus or preventing infection.
— Ford Motor Co. has told the White House that it requires everyone in its factories to wear face masks to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, but President Donald Trump did not commit to wearing one when he visits a Detroit-area plant Thursday. Trump, who is scheduled to tour a factory repurposed to make medical breathing machines near Detroit, has refused to wear a mask at the White House and in public appearances.
— Barbers plan to offer free haircuts on the Michigan Capitol lawn to protest the state’s stay-at-home orders, a defiant demonstration that reflects how salons have become a symbol for small businesses that are eager to reopen two months after the pandemic began. Third-generation hairdresser Scott Weaver, who owns five salons across Michigan, said his “forgotten industry” is getting much-needed attention after being initially dismissed as “just hair.”
— Coronavirus cases have been spiking in several populous nations, a clear indication that the pandemic is far from over. New cases are sprouting up from India to South Africa to Mexico, while Russia and Brazil now sit behind only the United States in the number of reported infections. Russia saw a steady rise of new infections Tuesday and new hotspots have emerged.
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.
— 4,577: A watchdog group says its review of death certificates in Mexico City shows the number of cases where doctors mentioned coronavirus or COVID-19 is more than three times the official death toll in the city. The Mexicans Against Corruption investigation revealed that in explanatory notes attached to 4,577 death certificates, doctors included the words “SARS,” “COV2,” “COV,” “Covid 19,” or “new coronavirus.” The federal government acknowledges only 1,332 deaths since the pandemic began.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— OLYMPICS LOGO PARODY: Tokyo Olympic officials are angry that the games emblem has been used in the cover design of a local magazine that combines the logo with the coronavirus. Organizers have requested that the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan “take down” the image.
— TUBE TABLES: A Baltimore company has unveiled inflatable inner tubes on wheels meant to allow diners to maintain proper social distancing while eating out. The “bumper tables” feature a hole in the middle for participants and wheels attached to the bottom for moving around.