What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, June 23


The two positive tests bring the total number of Trump advance team staffers in Tulsa who tested positive for coronavirus to eight. After Trump finished speaking, a person familiar with matter told CNN that two Secret Service agents had also tested positive for coronavirus.

The test results cast Trump’s risky decision to go ahead with an indoor rally that doctors feared would turn into a super-spreader event in an even worse light, Stephen Collinson writes.

They also show how the virus — now spiking in more than half of states despite Trump’s insistence that the US has already “prevailed” in the fight — is having a disastrous impact on the “Great American Comeback” narrative at the heart of his reelection bid.

Far from over, the pandemic is spreading at its fastest pace yet, infecting more than 9 million people worldwide. And the United States is one of the biggest global hotspots, the World Health Organization said Monday, pushing back against Trump’s claim that increasing numbers were due to more testing. They’re not, the WHO said, pointing to a simultaneous rise in hospitalizations.

The Tulsa rally is just one of many signs that the administration is putting politics ahead of science. The White House coronavirus task force, which once convened daily, has been relegated to the sidelines of the national response. And they’re not the only ones. Two dozen public health officials across the US have either resigned, retired or been fired. Most are leaving after receiving pushback from people who don’t like restrictions needed to control the pandemic, Lori Freeman, CEO of National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO), told CNN.
Today, all eyes will be on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House’s task force, as he testifies again before a House committee on the administration’s response to the pandemic. There are likely to be a lot of questions about Trump’s rally and requests that his team “slow down testing.”

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Is hand sanitizer as effective as soap and water in killing coronavirus?

A: Yes — as long as you use the right kind of sanitizer and use it correctly. Hand sanitizers “need to have at least 60% alcohol in them,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. And don’t just put a little dollop in your hand and smear it around quickly. “You’ve got to use enough and get it all over the surfaces,” Schaffner said. “Rub it all over your hands, between your fingers and on the back of your hands.” But it’s always better to thoroughly wash your hands, if you’re able to. “Alcohol is pretty effective at killing germs, but it doesn’t wash away stuff,” said Dr. John Williams, a virologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Trump temporarily suspends job visas

As Trump’s campaign flounders, he has returned to a familiar platform: Hardline immigration policy. On Monday, the President signed an executive order that further restricts legal immigration, in a move cast as opening up jobs while the economy continues to reel from the virus.

Countries hailed for Covid-19 response struggle to contain new outbreaks

South Korea, much hailed for its success in containing the virus, says that a “second wave” of infections is underway in the country. A top disease control official says it began around the May holiday period, after the easing of social distancing rules and the reopening of schools.
Meanwhile, Germany — considered the gold standard for its Covid-19 response — is grappling with a mass outbreak at a meat factory. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has reimposed a lockdown for the area in an attempt to contain the cluster, which has been linked to a spike in the country’s overall coronavirus reproduction rate.

Saudi Arabia closes borders to Hajj attendees

Saudi Arabia will strictly limit the number of people who can take part in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca because of the coronavirus, according to state-run media.

As Covid-19 cases continue to grow globally, and because of the risks of coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and from other countries, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that it would “take place this year with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia only, who are willing to perform Hajj.”

Fighting two pandemics: Rape and Covid-19

At the start of each day, Dr. Anita Kemi DaSilva-Ibru and her team put on gloves, facemasks and other personal protective equipment to see their patients.

They’re not treating people for Covid-19, but they are on the frontline of the pandemic, working at the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a rape crisis center in Lagos, Nigeria.
Earlier this month, Nigeria declared a state of emergency on rape following a spate of sexual violence against women — it’s a situation that has only gotten worse as women have been forced into quarantine with their abusers.

WHO urges increase in production of dexamethasone

Worldwide demand for the steroid drug dexamethasone has surged since a UK-based study last week found that it could help reduce the risk of death among hospitalized Covid-19 patients requiring ventilation or oxygen, according to the World Health Organization.

“The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.

These 9 hand sanitizers may contain a potentially fatal ingredient

The US Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA due to the potential presence of a toxic chemical.

The FDA has discovered methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through skin or ingested, in samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ hand sanitizers, both produced by the Mexican company. You can find a list of all nine hand sanitizers the FDA recommends avoiding here.

ON OUR RADAR

The Uceli Quartet perform for plants at the reopening of Barcelona's Liceu Grand Theatre on Monday.
  • Puccini for plants: A Barcelona opera reopened on Monday to an audience of thousands of house plants.
  • Ballrooms became disinfecting zones, and room service was swapped for meal boxes. How luxury hotels from the Four Seasons to Claridge’s swapped tourists for medical workers.
  • Hundreds of devotees are expected to participate in one of India’s most celebrated religious processions today, despite a major spike in cases.
  • Museums, galleries and cinemas will reopen in England from July 4, alongside pubs, restaurants and hair salons. But indoor gyms must remain closed.
  • An additional 120 million children in South Asia could be pushed into poverty due to the continuing spread of coronavirus, the UN says.
  • Sixteen Russian sailors have tested positive for Covid-19 onboard a ship docked in South Korea. Around 60 people who had close contact with the sailors, including South Koreans, are now in quarantine.
  • Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, closed since late February, will reopen on July 1.

TOP TIPS

Coronavirus isn’t just infecting young people. It’s killing young, healthy people as well. But many parents are finding it hard to get teens to take the virus seriously. If they won’t listen to you, maybe they’ll listen to Dimitri Mitchell, 18, who was hospitalized with Covid-19.

“I just want to make sure everybody knows that no matter what their age is, it can seriously affect them. And it can seriously mess them up, like it messed me up,” the Iowa teen said. “Four days in, the really bad symptoms started coming along. I started having really bad outbreaks, like sweating, and my eyes were really watery. I was getting warmer and warmer, and I was super fatigued. … I would start experiencing the worst headaches I’ve ever felt in my life. They were absolutely horrible.”

Mitchell is recovering, but still had a cough almost a month later. “It’s a real problem, and I want everybody to make sure they’re following social distancing guidelines and the group limits. And just listen to all the rules and precautions and stay up to date with the news and make sure they’re informed.”

TODAY’S PODCAST

“When folks thought they were social distancing for two weeks, the thought was everyone can be mindful of the reduced hours that parents might have. But many businesses now are just trying to survive.” — Dr. David Anderson, clinical psychologist

The uncertainty and lack of control brought on by the pandemic are a perfect combination for creating burnout. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks strategies for coping with it while working from home. Listen Now.



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