Two new tests will be able to detect COVID-19 and other winter viruses — including the flu — in just 90 minutes, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Monday.
In the U.S., President Donald Trump took a swipe at coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and her response to comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump and Pelosi are also among the principals involved as slow, grinding negotiations resumed between congressional leaders and White House officials on a proposed $1 trillion stimulus package after the $600 weekly unemployment benefit expired Friday.
Baseball's truncated season continued to run into trouble as 13 members of the St. Louis Cardinals — seven of them players — tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, the hits to retail keep coming: Lord & Taylor and Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank have filed for bankruptcy.
Here are some significant developments:
A rising high school senior in Georgia is mourning the loss of both his parents after they died of COVID-19 in the same week.
Did your bills go up during pandemic confinement? You aren't alone.
Wealthy parents are starting mini-schools with their kids stuck at home, a luxury most people can't afford.
Something to smile about: Alabama principal parodies MC Hammer ahead of students' return to school amid coronavirus concerns.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 155,000 deaths and about 4.7 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been about 690,000 deaths and more than 18.1 million cases.
📰 What we're reading: UV light is being touted as one way to sanitize. These are the facts.
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Donald Trump on Dr. Deborah Birx's response to Nancy Pelosi: 'Pathetic!'
Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, drew a rare rebuke from President Donald Trump on Monday for her response the day before to comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicating her lack of trust in Birx.
Speaking Sunday on ABC, Pelosi said of Birx, "I think the president is spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his appointee. So I don't have confidence there, no."
After expressing her respect for Pelosi and her years of public service in a CNN interview, Birx referenced a New York Times story that mentioned her positive messaging about the U.S. response to the virus and said:
"I have never been called pollyannish, or nonscientific, or non-data driven. And I will stake my 40-year career on those fundamental principles of utilizing data to really implement better programs to save more lives."
Birx also spoke in the interview about a "new phase'' in the pandemic, saying the virus "is extraordinarily widespread'' and warning those living in rural areas that they're not immune.
That appears to have irked Trump, who has persistently downplayed the threat of the virus and on Monday tweeted his displeasure with Birx, calling her response, "Pathetic!''
So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom: California is turning the tide against coronavirus
Gov. Gavin Newsom said California appears to be getting a grip on a resurgence of the coronavirus, though he warned the state is a long way from reopening some of the businesses it shuttered for a second time last month because of rising infections and hospitalizations.
The average weekly number of positive tests is down by a fifth, to 7,764 from its peak of nearly 9,900 a week ago. The seven-day rate of tests coming back positive statewide had peaked at nearly 8% late last month but has fallen to 6.1%, Newsom said Monday, though the rate remains much higher in some hard-hit counties.
“It’s not where it needs to be, it is still too high, but again it is good to see this number trending down, not trending up,” said Newsom, adding that hospitalizations have dropped over the last two weeks.
New 90-minute COVID tests in Britain also can detect flu
Millions of rapid coronavirus tests will be brought to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories starting next week, the United Kingdom's Department of Health and Social Care announced Monday. In just 90 minutes, the two new tests will be able to detect COVID-19 and other winter viruses – including the flu.
"We’re using the most innovative technologies available to tackle coronavirus," British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement. "Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly."
Up to 450,000 of the first new test – 90-minute LamPORE swab tests – will be available starting next week, supplied by Oxford Nanopore. In September, the second test – which uses DNA to detect the virus – will be rolled out with 5,000 DNA machines, supplied by DnaNudge, to provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months.
MLB's St. Louis Cardinals have 13 infections; four-game series postponed
The Major League Baseball season, already in jeopardy with a rash of COVID-19 cases, took another blow Monday when the four-game series between St. Louis and the Detroit Tigers was postponed after seven Cardinals players and six staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Cardinals have not played since July 29, as a trickle of positive tests has kept them off the field. The club remains quarantined at a hotel in Milwaukee and has seven games to make up, joining the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies with the most contests to play. The Marlins lost a week of their season after 21 players and staff tested positive, with the Phillies also missing seven games because of two positive tests among staff after their team’s series against the Marlins.
– Gabe Lacques and Bob Nightengale
Ohio rural counties see marked rise in COVID-19 infections, White House says
Weekly White House reports provided to Ohio state health officials confirm Dr. Deborah Birx's contention that rural communities are not immune to the coronavirus. Maps in those reports obtained by the Columbus Dispatch show the positivity rate in testing has crept upward in many rural counties that previously didn’t have enough known infections to even register.
The number of counties with too few cases to calculate the rate dwindled from 50 in early June to 18 in mid-July.
Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, raised a red flag about Ohio during a visit last weekend after putting Columbus and Cleveland on a list of potential COVID-19 hotspots.
– Rick Rouan and Max Filby, Columbus Dispatch
Coronavirus in Georgia: summer camp, schools, family heartbreak
Hundreds of employees in Georgia's largest school district have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, officials said. With schools scheduled to reopen Aug. 12, Gwinnett County Public School teachers gathered for in-person pre-planning Wednesday at 141 facilities across the county, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The next day about 260 employees were "excluded from work" due to coronavirus exposure.
As of Sunday, there have been 193,177 cases and 3,840 deaths from COVID-19 in Georgia, according to the state's department of public health. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 260 campers and staff tested positive for the virus shortly after one teen staffer began showing symptoms at a Georgia sleepaway camp.
Also in Georgia, a rising high school senior is mourning the loss of both his parents after they died because of COVID-19 in the same week. Justin Hunter, 17, said neither of his parents had any preexisting conditions and that they "were a regular family just trying to stay safe during the pandemic.”
– N'dea Yancey-Bragg, Adrianna Rodriguez
At least 2 Indiana schools shut down again after positive COVID-19 tests
In a worrisome sign of what may lie ahead in many parts of the country, at least two schools in Indiana are closing back down after students and staff tested positive for the coronavirus. Other school districts are also reporting infections.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Monday that schools should try to open for in-person learning if they're not in viral hot spots, but “to say that every child has to go back to school is not really realizing the fact that we have such a diversity of viral activity.”
By the numbers: 5 new death records
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Sunday shows five states set records for deaths in the week ending Sunday: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Idaho and Montana, and also Puerto Rico. No state records for new cases were set. The United States has reported almost 4.7 million cases and more than 155,000 deaths.
– Michael Stucka
COVID on cruise ships: Illegal NYC party busted, 40 infected in Norway
Authorities shut down an illegal party on a New York City cruise ship over the weekend, according to the NYC Sheriff's Office. In addition to violating the coronavirus social distancing provisions, the department said the party also violated liquor laws.
Empire Cruises' Liberty Belle ship was intercepted in Manhattan late Saturday and the owners and captain were arrested, the sheriff's department account tweeted.
Also, in Norway, 40 people (36 crew members and four former passengers) tested positive for the coronavirus after sailing together on Hurtigruten's MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship. All have since been admitted into a Norwegian hospital.
– Hannah Yasharoff and Morgan Hines
Want to get on the water?: What to know and how to go about renting a boat in the age of COVID-19
New COVID drug in Phase 3 trial
Eli Lilly announced Monday it’s working on a Phase 3 trial to study whether its candidate COVID-19 antibody can prevent spread of the coronavirus among staff and residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The study will enroll 2,400 residents and staff who live or work at these facilities who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are now at high risk of exposure.
The U.S. drugmaker will test whether a single dose of LY-CoV555, a treatment option developed in conjunction with Canadian biotech, reduces the rate of infection over four weeks as well as complications of COVID-19 over eight weeks.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Bankruptcy filings: Lord & Taylor; Men's Wearhouse join the list
Office workers aren't buying as many clothes. The retail industry is feeling the burn.
Lord & Taylor, one of America’s oldest department stores, has filed for bankruptcy. Separately, Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, filed too.
The forced closure of non-essential stores in March pushed them to the brink. These two chains join a growing list of retailers slammed by the pandemic.
Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival canceled, rescheduled for May 2021
Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival, the sold-out, three-day electronic dance music festival, will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event had been rescheduled from May to Oct. 2-4 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event has been moved to May 21-23, 2021. Founder Pasquale Rotella wrote on Instagram on Sunday that he concluded he couldn't safely handle an estimated 450,000 attendees.
– Bryan Alexander
Lowe's giving out COVID-19 relief grants for small businesses
Monday is the deadline to apply for Lowe's next round of small-business emergency relief grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. The nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also known as LISC, is giving away the mo thanks to the home improvement chain's $55 million contribution.
The company said the grants will "provide immediate relief for critical needs such as rent, payroll and operational expenses to keep businesses running." Of the $55 million, $30 million will focus on small businesses owned or led by minorities and women, and $25 million will support enterprises in rural communities, the company said in a news release.
– Kelly Tyko
What we're reading
The COVID economy in 6 charts: Rebounding from recession could prove tougher in months ahead.
More COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
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Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID updates: Trump-Birx tiff; Cardinals infected; new 90-minute test