A state health official is warning that President Donald Trump’s scheduled rally Friday night at a Virginia airport, with nearly 4,000 people expected in attendance, poses a “severe public health threat.”
“The rally poses a concerning public health risk,” Dr. Natasha Dwamena, a Virginia Department of Public Health district director, wrote in a letter to the private company that leases the aircraft hangar where the rally is set to take place. She said the rally would defy Gov. Ralph Northam’s public health order that bans gatherings of more than 250 people.
With the U.S. nearing 7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have agreed to talk about a new coronavirus relief package, the New York Times reported. Meanwhile, House Democrats are working on passing a $2.4 trillion measure next week.
Some significant developments:
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 6.9 million cases and 202,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been more than 32.2 million cases and over 983,000 fatalities. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Thursday shows seven states — Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and also Puerto Rico — set records for new cases in a week while North Dakota had a record number of deaths in a week.
📰 What we’re reading: Is it safe to travel this Holiday season? Or is this the year to skip it?
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.
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US hit 200K deaths on Tuesday. By Friday, almost 3,000 more have died — the number of lives lost on 9/11.
The United States surpassed 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, and by the end of the week, the country has already lost almost 3,000 more people, roughly the death toll of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
As of Friday morning, an additional 2,827 people in the U.S. had died since the country hit the grim 200,000 mark, according to Johns Hopkins data. On 9/11, 2,977 people were killed in the attacks.
According to a projection by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the U.S. death toll from the virus could almost double by Jan. 1, expected to reach approximately 371,500 by the end of the year.
New York City could see its first new COVID-19 shutdowns in months as the city’s health department said certain hot spot areas may have nonessential businesses closed if their case numbers continue to rise.
Parts of Brooklyn and Queens were facing a rollback in reopenings after the neighborhoods have seen a spike in cases in the past month. The city said it was considering closing nonessential businesses and private schools and banning gatherings of 10 or more in the areas if cases do not come down by early next week.
The city also planned to send more inspectors to the areas to monitor compliance of mask wearing and social distancing. Fines could be issues for those refusing to wear masks, the health department said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was considering a “bill of rights” for college students to counter disciplinary measures universities may hand down amid restrictions on campuses to slow the spread of COVID-19.
DeSantis said students at Florida’s state universities should be allowed to enjoy themselves without fear of reprisal. Florida State University said last week it would suspend students hosting or attending large parties and students who test positive for COVID-19 but don’t isolate.
“I personally think it’s incredibly draconian that a student would get potentially expelled for going to a party,” DeSantis said Thursday. “That’s what college kids do.”
The Pac-12 will join the Big Ten in attempting to play football this fall, the league announced Thursday, reversing a decision made in August to postpone until the winter or spring at the earliest due to the health concerns posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mountain West Conference followed a few hours later by announcing an Oct. 24 return, the ninth of 10 FBS conferences that now plan to complete their seasons by Dec. 20.
Pac-12 play will begin on Nov. 6 with a seven-game schedule consisting of only league games and culminating with the conference championship game on Dec. 18.
– Paul Myerberg
A Virginia health official is warning that President Donald Trump’s planned rally Friday poses a “severe public health threat” as 4,000 people are expected to attend.
Dr. Natasha Dwamena, a Department of Public Health district director, wrote a letter…