Biden Struggles on Delta; French Protest Over Pass: Virus Update
White House officials have monitored the delta variant for weeks but appeared surprised by the extent of its spread. The U.S. weekly case tally reached the highest since mid-February, driven by a surge in Florida.
Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their homes starting Saturday, as the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass legislation that would have extended a national moratorium on renter evictions.
Thousands in France protested again over the coronavirus pass, with some clashing with the police. China and Germany reported increasing case numbers, while the number of deaths rose in Indonesia and Russia.
- Global Tracker: Cases top 197 million; deaths pass 4.2 million
- Vaccine Tracker: More than 4 billion doses administered
- States tracked breakthrough cases even as CDC stopped
- U.K.’s delta rollercoaster flips between virus horror and hope
- U.S. eviction risk is high in area with low vaccination rates
- Are Covid shots working? What the real world tells us: QuickTake
- Here’s what major U.S. companies have said about their latest policies
California’s Positive Test Rate Near Six-Month High (2:45 p.m. NY)
California’s test positivity rose to 6.4%, the highest since early February.
Hospitalizations climbed to the highest since early March. Still, availability of intensive-care unit beds remains at almost twice the level of mid-January, when several counties in the state were running out of ICU beds as cases peaked.
White House Caught Off Guard by Delta (2:00 p.m. NY)
White House officials have monitored the delta variant for weeks but were surprised by the extent of its spread, according to a senior White House official.
That prompted the urgent warning on the renter eviction ban, the reimposition of a masking recommendation, and Biden’s repeated pleas for Americans to get vaccinated.
From Biden’s perspective, the hope is that the delta surge will be short-lived, and that hospitalizations and deaths will remain relatively low even with more cases of minor and moderate illness.
N.Y. New Infections Top 3,000 (12:35 p.m. NY)
New York state’s new infections rose above 3,000, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, the first time since early May that it’s hit that level. New infections have more than quadrupled in the last month but remain far below the daily peak of almost 20,000 in mid-January, as some states are at or near records for the entire pandemic.
The positive test rate reached 2.55%, up from a low of 0.3% in mid-June but below the current national average of 7.8%. Deaths remain low, with 5 reported on Saturday.
U.S. Cases Jump, Driven By Florida (11:38 a.m. NY)
The overall U.S. weekly case tally was more than five times that of a month ago and the highest since mid-February, data released on Friday showed.
Florida made up about 1 in 5 of the U.S.’s total weekly cases, 544,569, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The state, which releases its virus data weekly, reported 110,477 cases on Friday.
Hospital admissions, while well below the peak of the last surge in January, increased more than 46% in a week. Fatalities rose more than 33%, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vietnam Stay-Home Extension (10:08 a.m. NY)
Vietnam authorities extended the stay-at-home order covering most of the nation’s southern region including the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City for two weeks.
The existing order for Ho Chi Minh City ends Aug. 1. The extension is directed at 19 localities and is part of the government’s aggressive anti-virus measures to contain the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreak that began in late April.
Cases Surge in Central Chinese City (10:01 a.m. NY)
The number of Covid-19 cases keeps rising in the city of Zhengzhou in central China, which recently suffered a deadly flood.
The city found 11 confirmed cases and 16 asymptomatic infections by Friday evening, local health officials said at a press briefing Saturday night, according a report by the state broadcaster CCTV.
Colleges Bring Back Masks (9:46 a.m. NY)
Yale and Cornell are reinstating requirements that all individuals wear masks in most indoor campus spaces, joining other colleges in efforts to combat the fast-spreading delta variant.
Third Weekend of Protests in France (8:32 a.m. NY)
Thousands of people protested France’s special virus pass with marches through Paris and other cities on Saturday, with sporadic clashes with riot police, the AP reported.
French lawmakers have passed a bill requiring the pass in most places as of Aug.9. In the past 24 hours, France reported 23,471 new coronavirus cases and 43 deaths.
China Vaccine Study (6:08 a.m. NY)
China is studying if it’s necessary to give booster vaccine shots to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with underlying diseases and those who work in high-risk areas.
There isn’t yet enough evidence to suggest that a third shot is needed for everyone, Wang Huaqing, an expert with Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press briefing Saturday.
Case in Central Chinese City (6 a.m. NY)
The city of Zhengzhou in central China has found one new case of Covid-19 as well as several suspected infections, according to a statement posted on the local government’s official WeChat account Saturday. The confirmed case showed no symptoms, it said. The government will speed up mass testing of potential infections and guide the public to go out less.
Separately, the local government said Fu Guirong, director of Zhengzhou’s health commission, was removed from her post on Saturday. The city is still recovering from a deadly flood resulting from record rainfall last week.
China Cases Surge (4:51 p.m. HK)
China reported a surge in Covid-19 cases in July as the highly contagious delta variant spreads. The country recorded 328 new locally transmitted cases this month, almost equaling the amount of cases reported in the previous five months combined, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a press briefing Saturday.
Russian Deaths Rise (4:30 p.m. HK)
Russia recorded 23,807 new cases of coronavirus in the most recent 24-hour period, according to the government’s virus response center. The number of deaths rose to 792, close to the nation’s all-time daily high of 799 reported three times over the past three weeks.
German Cases Increase (4:02 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded 2,400 new cases of coronavirus, a jump of a quarter since last week, according to the Robert Koch-Institut. The seven-day incidence rate continues to creep higher and stands at 16.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Compared with this time last year, average daily infections across a seven-day time span are more than three times higher.
Singapore Tightens Border Measures (3:23 p.m. HK)
Singapore will tighten border measures for travelers from Australia and China’s Jiangsu province after recent increases in Covid-19 cases there.
Travelers entering Singapore from Aug. 2 with a travel history to Australia within the past 21 days will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine at a dedicated facility, the health ministry said.
Tokyo Disneyland Cuts Hours (10:35 a.m. HK)
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will remain open but with shortened hours through August, operator Oriental Land Co. said Saturday. The decision comes as Chiba prefecture, where both parks are located and which borders Tokyo, prepares to head into a state of emergency following a surge in Covid-19 cases. The parks will not serve alcohol through the end of the month, Oriental Land said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.