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  • The Trump administration walked back a policy that would have stripped visas from international students if their classes were entirely online.

  • California, Florida and Texas together recorded at least 30,000 new cases on Monday.

  • Get the latest updates here, as well as maps and trackers for U.S. metro areas and vaccines in development.


The Trump administration, in a little-noticed document posted this week, has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning tomorrow, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington.

Officials say the change will streamline data gathering at the Department of Health and Human Services, and help the White House coronavirus task force track the virus and allocate scarce supplies like personal protective gear and the drug remdesivir.

But critics are sounding alarm bells. They worry that centralizing data within the administration would allow the White House to present information in a way that might be politically advantageous for the president, and that the data could be misused or withheld from the public.

Can the C.D.C. push back? The organization was already experiencing a loss of confidence after its botched response to the coronavirus crisis. Far more than other federal agencies, the C.D.C. is ill-equipped to fend off political attacks, argues the health news website STAT.

Former leaders speak out. Four former directors of the C.D.C. accused the president of undermining the agency with “partisan potshots,” in an op-ed published in the Washington Post.

Latest Updates: Global Coronavirus Outbreak

Updated
  • Florida breaks its record for most deaths in a day, and Texas and Arizona are readying refrigerated morgue trucks.
  • The Trump administration abandons a plan to strip visas from international students taking only virtual courses.
  • The administration orders hospitals to bypass the C.D.C. with key virus data, alarming health experts.

Turmoil inside the agency. More than 1,000 employees of the C.D.C. have signed a letter calling for the agency to address “a pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization” against Black employees.


As the spread of the virus accelerates in the United States, a sharp “V-shaped” economic comeback is in doubt. Though stock markets have largely ignored rising coronavirus infection rates, businesses of all sizes and workers across many industries face a deeply uncertain future.

Several of the largest American banks have reserved billions of dollars to cover potential losses on loans — a sign that they don’t expect companies and consumers to be able to pay back their debts in coming months.

The economic pain has been particularly acute for small businesses: Nearly 110,000 closed permanently from early March to early May, researchers at Harvard found. In states like Texas, Florida and California, the resurgence of the virus and reopening rollbacks have forced many small businesses to shut down a second time — and for some, that means for good.

Corporations are also facing steep challenges. Sales at Delta Air Lines plunged 88 percent during the second quarter compared with the same period last year. Major food brands like Coca-Cola and Lay’s have reduced the number of products they make during the pandemic, often leading to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers at grocery stores. Automakers may be forced to pull back production as some workers call on plants to close over fears of the virus spreading.

And laid-off employees will likely face more hardship after July, when the additional $600 a week they receive in unemployment is scheduled to end. About 5.4 million American workers have lost their health insurance during the pandemic because of job losses. Many essential workers may also see less in their bank accounts as retailers move to end “hero pay,” the raises and bonuses that rewarded employees who showed up to work during the pandemic.

The view from Europe. Retail sales in the eurozone surged nearly 18 percent in May compared with the previous month as consumers — many of whom remained employed thanks to government programs — left lockdown and made up for lost spending time. Their shopping spree offers hope for a stronger European recovery than expected, but the virus could cut that short.

The Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Updated July 7, 2020

    • Is the coronavirus airborne?

      The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • What’s the best material for a mask?

      Scientists around the country have tried to identify everyday materials that do a good job of filtering microscopic particles. In recent tests, HEPA furnace filters scored high, as did vacuum cleaner bags, fabric similar to flannel pajamas and those of 600-count pillowcases. Other materials tested included layered coffee filters and scarves and bandannas. These scored lower, but still captured a small percentage of particles.

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.




  • Oklahoma added 993 cases on Tuesday, a single-day record for the state, and three states broke their records for the most deaths in a single day: Florida (132), Utah (10) and Alabama (40).

  • Texas hospitals are flooded with patients and some are running out of drugs, beds, ventilators and staff.

  • New York is confronting the threat of a second wave of infections ignited by visitors from the Sun Belt and by New Yorkers letting down their guard.

  • In a policy reversal, people in England will be required to wear masks in stores and supermarkets starting next week.

Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.


  • Researchers are reporting what they say is the first confirmed case of the virus being transmitted during pregnancy from a woman to her baby.

  • The federal stockpile of personal protective equipment is running low amid the coronavirus surge, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News.

  • Some experts say a vaccine puffed in the nose would be better than an injection at protecting people from infection.

  • France celebrated public health workers as heroes for their role during the pandemic and granted them 8 billion euros ($9.06 billion) in pay raises.

  • There’s a partisan gap in how the pandemic is affecting the sex lives of Americans, with liberals significantly more likely than conservatives to report a slump in their sex lives, Politico reports.


Our family consists of four households in four states spread along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. We’re a close bunch, and in our Old Life, we all traveled often to see one another. Now that we can’t, my 12-year-old niece and I have been publishing a weekly online family newspaper to keep everyone posted on each other’s news.

— Sophia Kim, Los Angeles

Let us know how you’re dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.