Coronavirus Live Updates: Birx Says U.S. Underestimated Community Spread as Cases Top 3 Million

ImageA line of cars waiting outside a coronavirus test site in El Paso on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Texas added thousands of new cases.
Credit…Cengiz Yar for The New York Times

As the U.S. passes 3 million virus cases, Birx says that its spread among the young was unexpected.

As the United States surpassed three million cases on Tuesday, and some states that had hoped to be getting back to normal by now have instead been forced to reinstate restrictions and issue mandatory mask orders, a leader of the Trump administration’s virus response conceded that officials had been surprised by its recent spread, especially among young people.

“None of us really anticipated the amount of community spread that began in really our 18-to-35-year-old age group,” Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, said in a brief appearance on an Atlantic Council panel. “This is an age group that was so good and so disciplined through March and April. But when they saw people out and about on social media, they all went out and about.”

The rate of new cases was rising quickly as the nation hit the three million mark, according to a New York Times database. Half a million new cases have been reported since June 26. Cases have risen in 37 states over the past two weeks, and this week the nation has been averaging roughly 50,000 new cases a day — double what it did in mid-June. And though President Trump dismissed the severity of the outbreak over the weekend, falsely claiming that “99 percent” of cases were “totally harmless,” leading health officials remain concerned.

On Tuesday, at least five states — California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma — set single-day records for new cases. At least three — Arizona, Mississippi and Texas — reported their highest daily death totals of the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, cautioned on Tuesday that it was a “false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” something that Mr. Trump, top White House officials and several governors have stressed in recent days.

“By allowing yourself to get infected because of risky behavior, you are part of the propagation of the outbreak,” Dr. Fauci said at an event with Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama. “There are so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don’t get yourself into false complacency.”

People under 40 have made up a significant portion of new cases recorded in states with recent outbreaks, a sign of how the virus has spread in bars, restaurants and offices that have reopened.

Trump leans on local officials, who control schools, to reopen them in the fall.


Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Mr. Trump is pressing schools to physically reopen in the fall, pursuing his goal of reopening the United States even as the pandemic surges through much of the country.

In a daylong series of conference calls and public events at the White House on Tuesday, the president and other senior officials kicked off a concerted campaign to lean on governors, mayors and other local officials — who actually control the schools — to find ways to safely resume classes in person.

They argued that the costs of keeping children at home any longer would be worse than the virus itself.

“We hope that most schools are going to be open, and we don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons,” Mr. Trump said. “They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way. We are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools to get them open, and it’s very important. It’s very important for our country.”

The president brushed off the risks of spiking infection numbers.

Mr. Trump has been pressing more businesses to reopen, but it will be difficult for many parents to work if the schools do not reopen and they have no child care.

Beyond generalities, neither Mr. Trump nor his team offered concrete proposals or new financial assistance to states and localities struggling to restructure programs that were never designed to keep children six feet apart or cope with combating a virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans.

Before the White House event, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos castigated the nation’s school administrations for moving too slowly to reopen in the fall.

“I was disappointed frankly in schools and districts that didn’t figure out how to serve students or that just gave up and didn’t try,” Ms. DeVos told the nation’s governors, according to a recording of the conference call obtained by The New York Times.

Ms. DeVos was not impressed with school districts that want to experiment with a mix of part-time in-person teaching and online classrooms. She singled out Fairfax County, Va., as a district “playing both paradigms.”

“Here in the D.C. area, Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest districts in this region with a $3 billion budget, has offered families a so-called choice this fall, zero days or two days in school,” she said. “A couple of hours of online school is not OK, and a choice of two days per week in the classroom is not a choice at all.”

The Trump administration sends formal notification that the U.S. will withdraw from the W.H.O. next year.


Credit…Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that the United States is withdrawing from the World Health Organization, officials said Tuesday, cutting off one of the organization’s biggest sources of aid amid a pandemic that has infected more than 11.6 million people, killed more than a half a million, and upended life around the world.

“The United States’ notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, has been submitted to the U.N. secretary general, who is the depository for the W.H.O.,” said a senior administration official.

By law, the United States must give the organization a year’s notice if it intends to withdraw, and meet all the current financial obligations in the current year.

Mr. Trump, whose response to the pandemic has drawn criticism, first announced that he planned to halt funding to the W.H.O. in April, claiming that the organization had made a series of mistakes as it battled the coronavirus.

His move to withdraw drew immediate criticism. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a Republican who is the chairman of the Senate’s health committee, said that he disagreed with the president’s decision.

“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” he said in a statement. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”

The nation cannot withdraw until next year, after the presidential election. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, said on Twitter that he would rejoin the W.H.O. “on my first day as President.”

The president of the United Nations Foundation, Elizabeth Cousens, said in a statement that the administration’s “move to formally withdraw from the W.H.O. amid the greatest public health crisis that Americans and the world have faced in a century is shortsighted, unnecessary, and unequivocally dangerous.”

Mr. Trump turned on the W.H.O., the world’s premier global health organization, this spring, accusing it of doing too little to warn the world of the outbreak. In fact, the agency issued its first alarm on Jan. 4, just five days after the local health department of Wuhan, China, announced 27 cases of an unusual pneumonia at a local seafood market, and followed up with a detailed report the next day.

Lawrence Gostin, the director of the W.H.O.’s Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law, called the decision “among the most ruinous presidential decisions in recent history.”

“It will make Americans less safe during an unprecedented global health crisis,” he said. “And it will significantly weaken U.S. influence on W.H.O. reform and international health diplomacy.”

Experts acknowledged that the W.H.O. has made some missteps during the pandemic, but said that it has largely done well given the constraints under which it operates. The agency is coordinating clinical trials of treatments, as well as efforts to manufacture and equitably distribute the vaccine worldwide.

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, tests positive. He has been a skeptic of precautions.





‘It Was Positive’: President of Brazil Says He Has Coronavirus

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has repeatedly dismissed the danger posed by the coronavirus. On Tuesday, he disclosed that he had the virus.

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President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has repeatedly dismissed the danger posed by the coronavirus. On Tuesday, he disclosed that he had the virus.

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, who has repeatedly dismissed the danger posed by the virus, disclosed Tuesday that he has the virus, a development that turbocharged the debate over his cavalier handling of a pandemic that has killed more than 65,000 Brazilians.

Speaking to journalists shortly after noon on Tuesday, the president, 65, said he was tested after experiencing fatigue, muscle pain and a fever.

Mr. Bolsonaro said he was feeling well on Tuesday, which he credited to having taken hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria pill repeatedly promoted by Mr. Trump that has not been proven as a treatment for Covid-19 patients.

“I’m fine, I’m very well,” Mr. Bolsonaro said, standing a few feet away from journalists.

Mr. Bolsonaro has come under criticism for his handling of the pandemic, even as Brazil’s caseload and death toll ballooned in recent months. Brazil’s 1.6 million diagnosed cases make it the second hardest-hit country, trailing only the United States.

Though several of his aides have tested positive in recent months, the president has often eschewed precautions such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Most recently, he attended a luncheon hosted on Saturday by the American ambassador in Brazil to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

A photo taken during the lunch and posted on Twitter by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo shows the president sitting next to the American ambassador, Todd Chapman, giving a thumbs-up sign at a table decorated with an American flag design. The American embassy said on Tuesday that Mr. Chapman had tested negative, but would remain in isolation.

Mr. Bolsonaro is one of a number of world leaders who have contracted the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, who was also criticized for seeming to dismiss the risks of the virus early on, tested positive in March and spent three nights in intensive care. President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras was released from the hospital on Thursday after spending more than two weeks being treated for Covid-19 and related pneumonia.

In a rare rebuke last month, a federal judge admonished Mr. Bolsonaro for failing to wear a mask in public spaces in the capital, Brasília.

At least five Republican senators will skip their party’s convention.


Credit…Malcolm Jackson for The New York Times

As coronavirus infections surge, five senior Republicans have said this week that they do not plan to attend the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville, Fla., where President Trump will formally receive the party’s nomination.

Among them are two of the party’s elder statesman: Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and three moderates who have clashed with Mr. Trump during his first term, including Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Other lawmakers have indicated they may follow suit for health or other reasons.

Republicans have already significantly scaled back the convention because of the pandemic and moved major convention events, like Mr. Trump’s nomination acceptance, to Jacksonville. Florida is now experiencing one of the worst virus outbreaks in the country.

Mr. Grassley, 86, said on Monday that he would shun this year’s convention because of the “virus situation.” In a statement, Mr. Alexander, 80, did not mention the virus, but said he believed “delegate spots should be reserved for those who have not had that privilege before as he has had.”

Spokeswoman for Mr. Romney and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska did not cite a reason for their decisions, but both senators have been among Mr. Trump’s most vocal Republican critics. Mr. Romney was the only Republican to vote to remove Mr. Trump from office during his impeachment trial.

And an aide for Susan Collins of Maine said she had never planned to attend the convention, as has been her practice in the years when she is up for re-election.

Other Republicans in the House and Senate have indicated they may skip the occasion, as well, but have not made up their minds. Top party leaders, like Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, are still expected to attend.

As cases rise, some Florida hospitals are running out of intensive care beds.


Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

As cases surge in Florida, more than 40 hospitals in counties across the state reported having no more beds available in their adult intensive care units, according to the state’s health care administration website.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who pushed to reopen the state swiftly, announced Tuesday that he was taking steps to augment hospital capacity. The state has reported at least 213,786 cases, according to a Times database, and at least 3,840 people there have died. The average number of new cases in Florida each day has doubled since late June. On Tuesday, the state added more than 7,300 new cases.

Mr. DeSantis said the state would help create another nursing home for people with the virus, and would send 100 health care workers, mostly nurses, to Miami-Dade County’s public hospital network, Jackson Health System. Some patients seeking medical care for other problems were testing positive, he said, putting a strain on space and staffing as hospitals were forced to isolate them.

“We have abundant capacity, but I think that having some of the personnel support will be very very important,” the governor said.

Miami-Dade County has been hit particularly hard. Its mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez, said that the county’s positivity rate had risen above 20 percent, more than double what it was two weeks ago. And nearly 80 percent of its I.C.U. beds are filled with virus patients, the county reported.

Mr. Gimenez has sent conflicting messages in recent days about some of the steps he was taking to curb the spread in the Miami area. After announcing on Monday that he would close gyms and restaurants, except for takeout and delivery, he later amended his decision and said that he would allow outdoor dining at tables with no more than four people. On Tuesday, he added that he had reached a compromise to allow gyms to stay open as long as people wear masks.

The W.H.O. acknowledges airborne transmission may be important indoors.





W.H.O. Acknowledges Possibility of Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus

During a news briefing on Tuesday, W.H.O. officials said there was emerging evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted by air.

“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19, as well as droplet. We’ve looked at phone lines. We look at fecal-oral, we look at mother to child, we look at animal to human of course, as well. And so we are producing a scientific brief on summarizing where we are. We’ve been working on this for several weeks now, and we’ve engaged with a large number of groups — epidemiologists and clinicians, I.P.C. specialists, engineers, mathematical modelers to try to consolidate the growing knowledge around transmission.” “Those of the virus that these needed in particular in this route of transmission that the ozone or airborne transmission. So these are fields of research that are really growing and for which there is some evidence emerging but is not definitive. And therefore, the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings especially in very specific conditions crowded closed poorly ventilated settings that have been described cannot be ruled out.”

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During a news briefing on Tuesday, W.H.O. officials said there was emerging evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted by air.

After hundreds of experts called for the W.H.O. to review its guidance on the possibility of airborne transmission of the virus, the agency acknowledged on Tuesday that airborne transmission may be important in indoor spaces and said it planned to release updated recommendations in a few days.

Agency scientists said at a news briefing that W.H.O. expert committees are reviewing evidence on transmission. But the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings, cannot be ruled out,” said Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, who leads the committee on infection prevention and control.

Staff members fielded several questions about transmission of the virus by air, prompted by a widely publicized open letter from 239 experts calling on the agency to review its guidance. Many of the letter’s signatories have collaborated with the W.H.O. and served on its committees.

W.H.O. scientists said that for the past few weeks, the committee has been discussing new evidence on all the ways in which the virus spreads, including by tiny droplets or aerosols.

Agency scientists also offered an explanation for the agency’s seemingly slow pace on revising its recommendations. On average, the scientists review 500 new papers a day, many of which turn out to be of dubious quality. As such, said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the W.H.O.’s chief scientist, they have to review the quality of each paper before including it in their analysis.

Threatened with a new lockdown, angry Serbians take to the streets.

Thousands of protesters marched outside Serbia’s Parliament building on Tuesday, railing against the reintroduction of a lockdown set to begin this weekend.

A crowd of people held up signs and some tried stormed the building in Belgrade, videos from the news outlet Balkan Insight showed. Even after the police used tear gas, the protesters refused to disperse, Balkan Insight reporters said.

The protest came after President Aleksandar Vucic announced a curfew that will “probably” last from Friday night through Monday morning. Gatherings of more than five people will also not be allowed.

“We have probably relaxed too much,” Mr. Vucic said at a news conference. “Everyone thought it was all over.”

The immediate scope of the lockdown was not clear.

The president said he “would like” for it to apply to the entire country. He also said it was possible that the rules would not be put into effect if the country’s numbers turn around significantly in the next couple of days.

Mr. Vucic cited several cities with serious outbreaks, but singled out the capital as being in “critical” condition, with its hospitals full.

Serbia reported its highest daily death toll on Tuesday, with 13 people dying overnight, and 299 new cases. The total case count for the country is about 16,000.

The country reopened in May, and it even held parliamentary elections in late June. But since then, with cases rising, it put the brakes on sporting events and large gatherings. A state of emergency was declared in Belgrade last week, and masks are now required indoors there.


Out-of-work Britons fill farm jobs vacant because of travel restrictions.


Credit…Alex Atack for The New York Times

Fruit picking in Britain is traditionally done by seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Over all, 70,000 to 90,000 seasonal workers are needed to pick all the fruit and vegetables that grow in the country.

Because of travel restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, many of those workers haven’t been able to make the trip, have been delayed or have chosen not to come. By the time the pandemic hit Europe, most of the crops had been planted.

As a result of the looming labor shortage, the government started a “Pick for Britain” campaign in April to attract British workers. Prince Charles released a video in which he said the country needed “pickers who are stickers.”

Farmers say they have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in these jobs, but the placement of workers has its challenges. Four-fifths of the people who initially expressed interest drop out before moving to the next stage, according to HOPS Labour Solutions. Some realized that manual labor was not for them, or their furlough ended, or the contracts offered by farms were too long.

Still, many are enjoying the work.

“It’s been really fun, but it’s been tiring and hard work,” said Ella Chandler, 19, a cricket player whose season was cut short. On a recent day, she said, she picked almost 556 pounds of strawberries.

In other world news:

  • Greece on Monday saw an increase in new infections, reporting 43 new cases, 36 of them foreign arrivals, the highest number in three weeks. Most of Monday’s new cases were tourists from Serbia, prompting the authorities to ban arrivals from the Balkan country until July 15. Greece, which has done relatively well in containing the spread of the virus, opened its regional airports to international travel last Wednesday, keen to salvage what is left of its crucial tourism sector.

  • The virus death toll in India surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday, and, with more than 719,500 confirmed cases, the country has overtaken Russia to become the third hardest-hit, after the United States and Brazil. The country’s public health system is severely strained, and experts believe it may reach a breaking point as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government continues to ease a nationwide lockdown.

  • Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city, will be locked down for six weeks after a record number of daily cases, officials said on Tuesday. The state of Victoria reported 191 new cases on Tuesday, an “unsustainably” high number, said Daniel Andrews, the state’s premier. Most of the cases were in Melbourne, a city of 4.9 million people and the capital of Victoria. Starting late Wednesday night, residents will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential work, shopping and exercise.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain drew furious reactions from health care professionals and opposition lawmakers after he suggested that “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have,” while pleading for better organization and support for the sector. His comments came as virus deaths of nursing home residents in England and Wales approached 20,000, with the figure expected to become much higher.

  • A rule requiring everyone in Toronto to wear face masks or coverings within enclosed public spaces until at least late September was scheduled to take effect on Tuesday. The city is Canada’s largest and has about 15,000 confirmed infections. Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on its public transit network since July 2.

  • The governor of Veneto, Italy’s northeastern region which includes the city of Venice, introduced a regional order on Monday requiring hospitals to tell the public prosecutor’s office about anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus but refuses admission, the Reuters new agency reported. Under the order, anyone returning to the region must also be given two compulsory swab tests if they are coming from a business trip outside the E.U., and that employers could face a penalty of 1,000 euros “multiplied by the number of its employees, if it does not enforce the rule.”

New York Roundup

New York City will allow over 3,000 child care centers to open next week.


Credit…Andrew Seng for The New York Times

New York City’s Board of Health approved guidelines on Tuesday that will allow more than 3,000 child care centers to open next week with new limits.

The rules will allow no more than 15 children in a room, require children and workers to wear face coverings, limit the sharing of toys and allow for frequent disinfection.

At full capacity, 3,000 child care centers can accommodate 150,000 children.

“Folks need to get back to work, and the only way they can do it is with child care,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference, adding that “the data consistently shows a low infection rate among children when it comes to the coronavirus.”

The lack of child care options remains one of the biggest obstacles to a wider reopening of New York City, which just eased more restrictions after entering Phase 3 on Monday.

After public schools closed in March, the city opened centers for the children of essential workers. But child care has been limited during the pandemic.

It is still unclear what city schools will look like when they reopen in the fall, but it’s unlikely that children will be in school five days per week. Instead, there are likely to be staggered schedules mixed with remote learning.

Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s health commissioner, said that child-care centers will have to meet all state regulations, including daily health screenings and safety plans that include signage for social distancing.

“This decision is rooted in health as well as equity,” Dr. Barbot said in a statement after the vote, emphasizing that white and wealthy parents were more likely to have options that Black and low-income families, as well as other families of color, do not. “Every child deserves a safe place where they can learn and grow.”

During the virtual meeting, teachers and child care center owners complained about how short notice they were given of the changes. They asked questions about the safety of children and staff and questioned how they would pay to put all of the protocols in place.

Health officials said they planned virtual seminars for providers in the next few days.

The board vote rescinds a previous resolution closing child care centers. After the vote, each center would have to develop a safety plan and affirm they meet state guidelines before opening. The city’s Bureau of Child Care will provide technical assistance to centers that want to open and will also conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

Elsewhere in New York:

  • New York’s governor said the state will require travelers from Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma to quarantine for 14 days, bringing the list of such states to 19. The governors of New Jersey and Connecticut said they would also instruct travelers from those 19 states to quarantine.

  • Nurses who traveled from across the United States to work in New York City hospitals saw the horrors of the virus up close. Now that many of them have returned home to states in the South and the West, they’re facing a new challenge: persuading friends and family to take it seriously.

  • New York City is mired in its worst economic slump since the financial crisis of the 1970s, when it nearly went bankrupt. The losses have been particularly significant among people of color: About one in four of the city’s Asian, Black and Hispanic workers were unemployed last month, compared with about one of every nine white workers, the city comptroller’s office said.

W.H.O. scientists are headed to China to begin an investigation into how the pandemic began.

Two scientists from the World Health Organization will travel to China this weekend to begin preparations for a larger investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.

The epidemiologist and animal-health specialist will start in Wuhan, where the outbreak began late last year, and will collaborate with experts from the Chinese ministries of science, technology and health. Their purpose is to lay the groundwork for a later investigative expedition.

An international team of scientists has used genetic analysis to trace the likely origin of the novel coronavirus to horseshoe bats; the virus may have spread to humans with help of an intermediate species.

But Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the W.H.O.’s health emergencies program, cautioned it could take years to uncover the source. “The answers to these questions are sometimes elusive,” he said, “and it is quite a detective story to find the source and the intermediate pathways by which the virus breached that barrier to humans.”

While the Chinese government has faced criticism for its response to the outbreak, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general, noted that Chinese researchers have also begun to investigate its source. “We should not consider as if there has been no movement or no activity until now,” he said.


A presidential election shaped by pandemic may be the most litigious in history.


Credit…Erica Lee for The New York Times

A barrage of lawsuits and court rulings is starting to shape how the country will vote in the November elections against the backdrop of the virus, Michael Wines reports.

The election is already one of the most divisive in recent history, and it is on track to become the most litigious, as courts weigh policies for voting during a pandemic, voting rights and even who is responsible for paying the return postage used on absentee ballots.

Voting by mail is the prime battleground, with 34 states and the District of Columbia allowing excuse-free absentee voting, most likely ensuring that November’s election in those places will be conducted largely by mail if the pandemic persists.

Many of the remaining states loosened mail-balloting rules for primaries, and some have moved to do so for November as well. But Republicans — led vocally by Mr. Trump — have insisted, without evidence, that loosening absentee ballot rules invites widespread fraud.

Justin Levitt, an election scholar and associate dean at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, is tracking nearly 130 pandemic-related election lawsuits. The firm of Marc Elias, a lawyer who frequently represents the Democratic Party, is pursuing more than 35 voting rights cases, a number he calls an order of magnitude greater than in the past. And the Republican National Committee, which pledged this spring to spend at least $20 million fighting attempts to loosen voting rules, boasts of filing or intervening in 19 suits to date.

Elsewhere in the United States:

  • Officials in Arizona on Tuesday announced more than 3,500 new cases and a single-day record for the number of deaths, more than 90. More than 50 of those deaths were in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. Twenty were reported in Pima County, which includes Tucson. Relatively few deaths were reported in Arizona over the holiday weekend, which may have contributed to Tuesday’s spike.

  • Officials in Montana announced more than 70 new cases on Tuesday, a single-day record in that state. More than 50 of those cases were in Yellowstone County, which includes Billings.

  • On Monday, Texas added more than 9,100 new cases. On Tuesday, it added thousands of new cases.

  • Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi, a Republican, said his virus test came back negative. He was screened after his exposure last week to a member of the state’s legislature who tested positive. At least eight Mississippi legislators have tested positive for the virus, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, said Tuesday during a news conference.

  • Nearly 350 public health organizations and agencies released a letter Tuesday to Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, urging him to champion the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health agencies amid “increasing reports of resistance” to their recommendations for fighting the virus.

  • Ohio’s governor, a Republican, issued an order requiring residents to wear masks in public in seven counties that are seeing serious growth in cases, including the counties that contain Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. “This is aimed specifically at the seven counties where we are the most concerned,” he said.

  • All four of the large U.S. airlines have agreed to terms for loans from the federal government under the March stimulus bill, the Treasury Department said Tuesday. Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines signed letters of intent under that law, known as the CARES Act, Treasury said. Last week, the department announced that American Airlines had agreed to a five-year $4.75 billion loan.

Mexico’s president faces backlash over plan to visit Trump.


Credit…Mexican Presidency, via Getty Images

Mr. Trump has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “animals” and said that Mexico is “not our friend.” Then there is the matter of a pandemic and an economic crisis.

But the risks of public humiliation or the virus haven’t swayed Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador: He is planning to fly to Washington and greet Mr. Trump on Wednesday to celebrate a new trade deal between the two countries and Canada.

“President Trump’s discourse regarding Mexico has been more respectful than it was previously, for which we are very grateful,” Mr. López Obrador said in a recent news conference. “I am also going to give thanks for the U.S. government’s respectful treatment of us.”

The decision has attracted the opprobrium of Mexican diplomats and opposition figures, who say the visit is incomprehensible.

Bernardo Sepúlveda, a former foreign minister, wrote in an open letter to the government that the trip would “negatively affect national interests” in the long term, noting that Mr. Trump has been “stigmatizing, offending and humiliating Mexican immigrants.”

Emboldening critics is the fact that Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has declined to attend, citing scheduling conflicts. Political observers said Mr. Trudeau appeared intent on being a role-model-in-chief, following medical guidelines on virus prevention, including avoiding travel.

Some Mexican politicians and pundits view Mr. López Obrador’s visit as capitulation to a leader who has routinely disparaged their country. Arturo Sarukhán, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States, called the trip “a colossal error.”

But Mr. López Obrador insists there is much to gain, and some of his backers agree.

“Mexico needs to have a solid relationship with the United States, no matter who is the president,” said Erick Ordoñez, 29, a supporter who grew up in Chiapas.

Is a safe cookout possible?

With the virus raging in many parts of the United States, new restrictions have left many wondering about the safety of a backyard barbecue or picnic. Here are some tips to help.

Reporting was contributed by Geneva Abdul, Manuela Andreoni, Dan Bilefsky, Julia Calderone, Letícia Casado, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Melina Delkic, Caitlin Dickerson, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Michael Gold, Abby Goodnough, Erica L. Green, Jenny Gross, Maggie Haberman, Mike Ives, Niki Kitsantonis, Isabella Kwai, Ernesto Londoño, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jeff Mays, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Patrick McGeehan, Sarah Mervosh, Claire Moses, Aimee Ortiz, Elian Peltier, Catherine Porter, Dagny Salas, Michael D. Shear, Mitch Smith, Katie Thomas, David Waldstein, Noah Weiland, Michael Wines, Sameer Yasir and Karen Zraick.


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