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Florida breaks its record for most deaths in a day, and Texas and Arizona are readying refrigerated morgue trucks.
After Florida reported a record 132 deaths on Tuesday, a group of mayors from Miami-Dade County, the center of the state’s crisis, warned Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, that local officials are running out of time to avoid another painful economic closure.
“There is a significant amount of pressure for us to shut down,” Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami told Mr. DeSantis at an event in the city. “We have between one week and four weeks to get this thing under control, or we will have to take some aggressive measures.”
The mayors took issue with messaging about the pandemic, which has been confusing and inconsistent, from President Trump on down, they said. Mr. DeSantis, who notably wore a mask while speaking indoors, tried to acknowledge how difficult the pandemic has been for Floridians, adding that “people are apprehensive.”
“We have to have a greater sense of urgency,” said Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who told the governor point-blank that he should endorse a mask order.
It was an unusual public chiding — though delivered with a light touch — for Mr. DeSantis. The death record in Florida comes as the number of U.S. deaths has begun to rise again after weeks of declines.
More than 900 coronavirus deaths were announced in the U.S. on Tuesday, including single-day records in Alabama and Utah; Oregon matched its daily death record.
The nation was averaging 724 deaths a day as of Monday, up from below 500 a day as July began. While deaths are up nationally, they remain far below the more than 2,200 deaths recorded each day during the deadliest phase of the outbreak in April. But 23 states are reporting more deaths each day than they were two weeks ago, according to a Times database.
By Tuesday evening, more than 65,500 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the United States, the second-highest daily total of the pandemic. California, Texas, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma all set single-day case records.
In some states, like Texas, where the death toll is sharply rising, local officials have responded by putting refrigerated trucks on standby, in order to increase morgue space.
The preparations have only just started, and officials said the situation has not reached the same level of urgency it did in New York City during the early stages of the pandemic, when the city had set up 45 mobile morgues and allowed crematories to work around the clock.
Officials in Texas said the refrigerated trucks were being readied because hospital morgues were filling up and nearing capacity, and additional space would be needed to store bodies.
Eight FEMA vehicles known as mortuary-support trailers were delivered to state officials in early April and 14 additional vehicles are en route, a FEMA spokesman said Tuesday. State and local leaders will determine where the additional trailers will be sent.
In Arizona, two hospital systems in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, also plan to use refrigerated trucks. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix has said that the county morgue is near capacity and officials are working to secure refrigerator trucks
In Florida, Republican officials are planning to move the three nights of their national convention in Jacksonville from an indoor arena to an outdoor venue, Maggie Haberman reports. It’s still unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the events, people familiar with the discussions said Tuesday.
After Mr. Trump pushed to move the convention to Florida from Charlotte, N.C., last month after North Carolina officials refused to guarantee a convention free of social distancing and other health measures, the fortunes of the two states have diverged. Since June 11, the day the convention was officially moved, the average number of cases reported daily in Florida has grown eightfold.
The administration orders hospitals to bypass the C.D.C. with key virus data, alarming health experts.
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.
The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Officials said the change should help ease data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and the drug remdesivir.
Hospital officials want to streamline reporting, saying it will relieve them from responding to requests from multiple federal agencies, though some say the C.D.C. — an agency that prizes its scientific independence — should be in charge of gathering the information.
“The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,” said Dr. Bala Hota, the chief analytics officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Public health experts have long expressed concern that the administration is politicizing science and undermining the disease control centers; four former C.D.C. directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.
“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”
The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
After Dr. Birx complained that hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated.
But news of the change came as a shock inside the C.D.C., which has long been responsible for gathering public health data, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. A spokesman for the disease control centers referred questions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which has not responded to a request for comment.
The dispute exposes the vast gaps in the government’s ability to collect and manage health data — an antiquated system at best, experts say.
The Trump administration abandons a plan to strip visas from international students taking only virtual courses.
The Trump administration has walked back a policy that would have stripped international college students of their U.S. visas if their coursework was entirely online, ending a proposed plan that had thrown the higher education world into turmoil.
The policy, announced on July 6, prompted an immediate lawsuit from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and on Tuesday, the government and the universities reached a resolution, according to the judge overseeing the case.
The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March amid the pandemic that gave international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.
“Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace” under the resolution, Judge Allison Burroughs said, adding that the agreement applied nationwide.
The initial guidance, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would have required foreign students to take at least one in-person class or leave the country. Students who returned to their home countries when schools closed in March would not have been allowed back into the United States if their fall classes were solely online.
The higher education world was thrown into disarray, with most colleges already well into planning for the return to campus in the fall. Two days after it was announced, Harvard and M.I.T. filed the first of several lawsuits seeking to stop it.
The attorneys general of at least 18 states, including Massachusetts and California, also sued, charging that the policy was reckless, cruel and senseless. Scores of universities threw their support behind the litigation, along with organizations representing international students.
On Tuesday, more than a dozen technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, also came out in support of the Harvard and M.I.T. lawsuit, arguing the policy would harm their businesses.
Tokyo raises pandemic alert level, days after new cases hit record highs.
Responding to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, the city government on Wednesday raised its pandemic alert level to “red,” its highest, although the caution appeared to change little in terms of behavior.
Tokyo recorded two consecutive daily records last week, with a peak of 243 cases Friday. So far, the sprawling metropolis of 14 million has reported a total of just under 8,200 cases and 325 deaths since February.
Officials had debated whether to raise Tokyo’s alert level, given that a large proportion of the new cases were among younger people who had only mild symptoms, Dr. Norio Ohmagari, director of infectious diseases at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, told reporters on Wednesday.
In April, when Tokyo was put under a state of emergency, more older people were infected and a higher proportion suffered serious illness and required hospitalization and ventilators. “This time is quite different from the last wave,” Dr. Ohmagari said.
He said that while 40 percent of the new cases were among people in their 20s, some infections were now being detected among people in their 60s and 70s, as well as in children under 10.
Dr. Ohmagari said that it appeared many people were becoming infected after visiting nightlife venues, but that infections were also being detected in offices, restaurants, nursing homes, day care centers and kindergartens, as well as in multiple wards around Tokyo.
“We cannot deny the fact that we have higher numbers,” he said. “We have to say the infection is spreading.”
Still, the government took no concrete action corresponding with the raised alert. Yuriko Koike and restaurants that “don’t take enough measures to prevent infections,” but made no mention of asking any businesses to close down as she had during the state of emergency.
Tokyo’s move came as the authorities in Okinawa reported an additional 36 infections at a United States Marine base on the southern island, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136 since March. .
Facing test processing delays, California once again gives priority to testing symptomatic patients.
As California grapples with a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases, officials announced a rollback on its testing guidelines that will now prioritize patients who display symptoms of the virus.
Though the state’s testing capacity has increased, “new national supply chain challenges and large volumes of specimens sent to commercial laboratories have resulted in growing delays in processing times,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s head of health and human services, said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said the new rules were needed “so that testing is readily available and affordable to those who need it, especially those communities experiencing the worst impacts.”
Under the new guidelines, people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms, as well as people who live and work in certain high-risk places — like nursing homes, prisons and hospitals — will have priority over people who work at other essential businesses like grocery stores and who don’t have symptoms.
Previously, state and local officials had encouraged anyone who wanted to get tested to sign up. In a virtual news conference, Dr. Ghaly said California was also exploring opportunities for pooled testing, a strategy that could help identify infections in large groups more quickly.
The rollback on testing comes as more states around the country have scrambled to ramp up testing, which has resulted in tighter supply chains and longer turnaround times in the nation’s most populous state. As of Monday, California was averaging 8,334 new cases per day over the past week, compared with 3,041 new cases per day, on average, a month earlier, according to a New York Times database.
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday the most sweeping rollback yet of reopening plans.
“I would tell parents and teachers that you should find yourself a new person, whoever’s in charge of that decision, because it’s a terrible decision,” he said.
In other news from around the United States:
North Carolina will allow schools to reopen in the fall, but at no more than half their usual capacity, the governor announced on Tuesday. He said districts could meet the capacity restriction by, for example, having students attend on alternate days. Everyone would have to wear masks. And districts could opt to continue with all-remote instruction, the governor said.
New York, grappling with how to keep the virus suppressed, will now require travelers from Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to also quarantine for 14 days. Delaware has been removed from the list of such states with accelerating outbreaks, which now number 22, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday. New Jersey and Connecticut are also asking travelers from those states to quarantine. Travelers arriving at New York airports starting Tuesday are required to fill out a form with their personal information and planned whereabouts, or face a $2,000 fine.
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. The pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated racial inequities in the United States. A C.D.C. spokesman said the C.D.C. director has already responded to the letter, but did not provide details.
For the third time in its 120-year history, Philadelphia is canceling its Mummers Parade as the city is banning all public events involving more than 50 people for the next seven months.
A Michigan man was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday after the authorities said that man got into a heated argument with a fellow customer over the man’s refusal to wear a mask inside a store as he was required to under a new state order.
Ireland’s new virus fear: American visitors who won’t obey the quarantine rules.
With a lengthy shutdown of her electric bike tour company in western Ireland only recently ended, Janet Cavanagh is not eager to turn away customers, but she found herself doing just that last weekend.
They were two visitors from the United States, she said, and they didn’t seem to think that Ireland’s quarantine rules for new arrivals applied to them. Ms. Cavanagh felt a responsibility to decline their business for the safety of her staff and community.
“You don’t want to be responsible for endangering anybody here, because you have to live here,” she said.
Americans may not be the only tourists ignoring the requirement that people arriving in Ireland isolate themselves for 14 days, but most of the public complaints about quarantine violators involve people from the United States.
And with the pandemic still raging in much of the United States, unlike in Europe, Americans are among those most likely to be infected.
While most European Union countries have barred travelers from the United States, the Irish government merely advises against nonessential travel to the country.
In County Clare, Simon Haden, the owner of Gregans Castle Hotel, said he had recently received a call from Americans who wanted to book a reservation in his restaurant soon after arriving. Like Ms. Cavanagh, he turned them away.
“The first thing I want to see is American guests return,” Mr. Haden said. “But not if it’s going to put the health and safety of our guests, our staff, the community under threat after the sacrifices we’ve made.”
In other news from around the world:
The authorities on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday confirmed 36 more infections at a United States Marine base, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136, the national broadcaster NHK reported.
In the Philippines, the Defense Department began a two-day lockdown on Wednesday after several employees tested positive for the virus, including the top aide to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
France celebrated its roughly 1.8 million public health workers as heroes during Bastille Day celebrations on Tuesday, a day after granting them 8 billion euros ($9.06 billion) in pay raises. President Emmanuel Macron also said on Tuesday that he wanted to make mask wearing mandatory in enclosed public spaces, perhaps as soon as August.
The Maldives, a nation composed of more than a thousand tiny, idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean, was scheduled to reopen its border on Wednesday to international tourists with confirmed bookings at resorts and hotels on otherwise uninhabited islands.
Researchers on Tuesday reported strong evidence that the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus. A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said the doctor who led the research team. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment, the doctor said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy. The virus appeared to have been transmitted through the placenta.
The virus complicates an ideological clash between China and the United States.
Relations between China and the United States are in free fall, laying the foundation for a confrontation that will have many of the characteristics of the Cold War — and the dangers.
The relationship is increasingly imbued with deep distrust and animosity as the two superpowers jockey for primacy, especially in areas where their interests collide: cyberspace and outer space, the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and even in the Persian Gulf.
And with the world distracted by the pandemic, China has wielded its military might, as it did by testing its disputed frontier with India in April and May. That led to the first deadly clash there since 1975.
Now the pandemic and China’s recent aggressive actions on its borders have turned existing fissures into chasms that could be difficult to overcome, no matter the outcome of this year’s American presidential election.
From Beijing’s perspective, it is the United States that has plunged relations to what China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said last week was their lowest point since the countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1979. Beijing accuses the Trump administration of attacking China to detract from its failures to contain the virus.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump referred to the pandemic as “the plague pouring in from China,” and said that the Chinese “could have stopped it.”
Dr. Fauci says: ‘You can trust respected medical authorities.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the United States was “unequivocally” seeing a rise in coronavirus infections, continuing to put him at odds with Mr. Trump’s reassurances that more cases are the product of increased testing.
“There is no doubt that there are more infections, because the percentage is increasing,” Dr. Fauci said at a digital event sponsored by Georgetown University, referring to the ballooning rate of positive test results in many states. He added that the spike in cases across the country would inevitably be followed by more hospitalizations and deaths.
But the younger average age of those infected in recent weeks, he said, would likely sustain mortality rates lower than those several months ago.
In a question about the politicization of coronavirus information, one of the event’s hosts mentioned the White House’s recent anonymously-attributed distribution of what it said were Dr. Fauci’s misjudgments in the early days of the coronavirus. (Several White House officials this week have denied any attempts to undermine Dr. Fauci, but Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications and one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted advisers, undercut that message by sharing an insulting Facebook cartoon. )
Dr. Fauci was asked whom Americans should trust.
“You can trust respected medical authorities. You know, I believe I’m one of them. So I think you can trust me,” Dr. Fauci said, grinning coyly. “For the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth.”
And he spoke about the importance of the World Health Organization, which Mr. Trump has criticized repeatedly and moved to withdraw from amid the pandemic.
“They are an imperfect organization,” Dr. Fauci said. “They have made mistakes, but I would like to see the mistakes corrected and for them to be much more in line with the kinds of things that we need.”
“There are some very good people at the W.H.O.,’’ he said. “So I hope this kind of tension between the United States and the W.H.O. somehow ultimately gets settled in a favorable way, because the world does need a W.H.O. for outbreaks like this.”
A vaccine maker reports more details of an early, encouraging study.
An experimental coronavirus vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna provoked promising immune responses and appeared safe in the first 45 people who received it, researchers reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Moderna’s vaccine, developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans, and the company announced on Tuesday that large, Phase 3 tests would begin on July 27, involving 30,000 people. The vaccine uses genetic material from the virus, called mRNA, to prompt the immune system to fight the virus.
The report Tuesday provided details on findings the company announced on May 18 in a news release that was criticized for lacking data. Moderna defended itself at the time, saying that as a publicly traded company it had a legal obligation to disclose results that could affect its share price, and that the actual data would be published later.
The results are from an early, Phase 1 study that was designed to test low, medium and high doses of the vaccine to gauge both its safety and its ability to create immunity. The participants were 45 healthy adults, ages 18 to 55, who received two vaccinations 28 days apart.
After the second shot, all the participants developed so-called neutralizing antibodies, which can inactivate the virus in lab tests.
More than half the participants had side effects, including fatigue, chills, headaches, muscle aches and pain at the injection site. Some had fever. One person who received the low dose developed hives and was withdrawn from the study. None of the side effects was considered serious.
Experts not involved with the study said that the results were encouraging, but that it was still early.
Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the neutralizing antibodies and other immune responses were a good sign, but that it was not known yet whether they would actually protect people against the virus, or how long they would last.
He said that only a large controlled study could determine whether the vaccine is truly safe and effective.
Otherwise, he said, “it’s reading the tea leaves.”
England will require face coverings in shops and supermarkets.
After months of equivocation over mandating face coverings to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain announced on Tuesday that people in England would be required to wear masks inside shops and supermarkets.
The reversal, set to take effect next week, caps months of dithering over face coverings in England that many scientists found mystifying — and uneasily reminiscent of delays in imposing a lockdown in March, a decision that cost thousands of lives and has left Britain with one of the highest death rates in the world.
More than 50,000 people in Britain have died from the virus, the third-highest total in the world, and the majority of the deaths were in England.
In mandating face masks, England followed the path of other European countries, like Germany and Italy, and other parts of the United Kingdom, like Scotland, which had already mandated face coverings. (Each country in the United Kingdom has power over its own public health measures and has moved at different speeds on matters like face coverings and reopening shops.)
Unlike in the United States, where feelings about masks often fall along political lines, England’s hesitation stemmed in part from a scientific debate among advisers about the masks’ usefulness.
Masks have been mandatory on public transportation in England since mid-June. The government had previously encouraged masks in enclosed spaces, but Mr. Johnson resisted wearing one himself until Friday.
The government has indicated that the police, rather than shop owners, will enforce the new rules, with anyone who refuses facing a fine up to 100 pounds, or $125.
139 clients saw 2 infected hair stylists. None got sick. Mask wearing may explain it, researchers say.
Vigilant mask wearing may have spared nearly 140 people in Missouri who unknowingly went to two infected hair stylists but did not themselves get the virus, according to a report published Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The authors of the study, which includes members of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, cannot said they could not be certain about all the factors that may have helped avert an outbreak. But they pointed to mask policies in the city of Springfield and at the salon where the stylists worked, Great Clips.
The findings reinforce what scientists have been saying for months.
“Face masks are essential,” said Juan Gutiérrez, a mathematical biologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio who models coronavirus transmission, but wasn’t involved in the study. “This gives us a path to move forward.”
Both stylists fell ill in mid-May and continued to work with clients for about a week after their first symptoms, before their infections were confirmed. They came into close contact with 139 people.
None of these clients reported feeling sick in the weeks after they had been exposed, though not all of them responded to interview requests for the study. Of the 100 or so who did respond, 67 voluntarily agreed to be tested for the virus, and were found to be negative.
The researchers reported that the clients and their stylists wore masks for the duration of almost all the encounters documented by the study, with most opting for cloth coverings or surgical masks.
These products are imperfect. But several studies, including some initiated long before the pandemic’s start, have pointed to their usefulness in stymieing the spread of viruses from the wearer’s airway, Julian Tang, a virologist at the University of Leicester who wasn’t involved in the study, wrote in an email. To a lesser extent, they may also protect the user from incoming, virus-laden droplets and aerosols.
Amazon, Kroger and other big U.S. retailers have ended some pandemic pay raises for essential workers.
Many retailers across the United States have quietly stopped paying their employees “hero pay,” despite surging virus numbers across the country. Their rationale is that the panic buying that flooded stores during the early days of the pandemic has waned.
Stop & Shop is the latest retailer to end the 10 percent pay raise it previously gave its 56,000 employees, as an acknowledgment that their work was essential and appreciated. Amazon, Kroger and Albertsons have also ended pandemic hourly pay raises, though some of them continue to give out bonuses. ShopRite said it planned to end its $2-an-hour raise early next month.
Infection remains a very real threat, especially in environments like retail stores where it can be difficult to maintain social distance. And as cases rise in dozens of states, many workers say the job of the essential retail worker has actually become even more difficult.
“What we are doing is still very risky,” said Eddie Quezada, a produce manager at a Stop & Shop store on Long Island who contracted the virus. “We should get at least something for that.”
But while health threats and other challenges for workers remain, the economics for their employers have changed. The surging sales of March, which allowed some retailers to pay for raises, have slumped at some stores.
One man is shot dead and another stabbed after a mask-wearing dispute in Michigan.
An argument over mask wearing in a dairy store near Lansing, Mich., turned violent early on Tuesday, ending with one man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy and another treated for stab wounds.
The Eaton County authorities said the dispute erupted before 7 a.m. when Sean Ernest Ruis, 43, was in the store and not wearing a mask, as he was required to do under a state order that took effect early Monday. An older customer argued with Mr. Ruis about it, and the store refused to serve him.
Officials said that Mr. Ruis pulled out a knife and stabbed the older man, and then fled the scene, but was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy, who shot Mr. Ruis after he walked “towards the deputy with knife in hand.” Mr. Ruis died during surgery at a nearby hospital.
People have been arguing over compliance with mask-wearing orders and guidelines since the pandemic took hold. Though health experts stress that wearing face masks in public can greatly retard the spread of the coronavirus, some people resent being told to wear them, and others resent their refusal. Tempers have often flared, and arguments have sometimes turned violent.
U.S. courthouses struggle to reopen as virus spreads.
As many U.S. courthouses try to reopen, people who work in the courts are coming down with the virus, forcing the buildings to close again.
In St. Louis, the federal courthouse closed Monday after a security guard tested positive and that person’s contacts had to be quarantined. In the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County, Ga., an employee came down with the virus, shutting the clerk’s office for two weeks. And in Kanawha County, W.Va., the court clerk’s office was shuttered abruptly on Monday after a worker tested positive.
“This emergency makes it unsafe for court personnel, attorneys, parties, and others to be at or near the Kanawha County Circuit Clerk’s office until negative test results are obtained for remaining employees,” the chief judge there said in an emergency order.
In Johnson County, Kan., where new infections are being reported at twice the rate they were two weeks ago, cases among court employees and their acquaintances prompted the chief judge to call off this week’s in-person hearings.
“We must be cautious and responsible to minimize exposure to ourselves, our staff and the public who use the courthouse facilities expecting to be safe,” court officials said in a statement. “We must remember we are still dealing with a highly contagious and unpredictable disease.
Researchers report the first case of the virus transmitted to a baby during pregnancy.
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 baby, born in a Paris hospital in March, developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, but recovered without treatment, said Dr. Daniele De Luca, who led the research team and is chief of the division of pediatrics and neonatal critical care at Paris Saclay University Hospitals.
The baby, now more than three months old, is “very much improved, almost clinically normal,” Dr. De Luca said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is now completely healthy.
Dr. De Luca said the virus appeared to be transmitted through the placenta of the 23-year-old pregnant woman.
Since the pandemic began, there have been isolated cases of newborns testing positive for the virus, but there has not been enough evidence to rule out the possibility that the infants became infected by the mother after they were born, experts said. In this case, Dr. De Luca said, the team was able to test the placenta, amniotic fluid, cord blood and the baby’s blood.
The testing indicated that “the virus reaches the placenta and replicates there,” Dr. De Luca said. It can then be transmitted to a fetus, who “can get infected and have symptoms similar to adult Covid-19 patients.”
Dr. Yoel Sadovsky, executive director of Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study, said he thought the claim of placental transmission was “fairly convincing.” He said the relatively high levels of virus found in the placenta and the rising levels of virus in the baby, along with the baby’s symptoms “are all consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Still, Dr. Sadovsky said, it is important to note that cases of possible coronavirus transmission in utero appear to be extremely rare. With other viruses, including Zika and rubella, placental infection is much more common, he said. With the coronavirus, “we are trying to understand the opposite: what underlies the relative protection of the fetus and the placenta,” he said.
Delta lost $5.7 billion in the second quarter, driven by a 93 percent decline in the number of passengers.
Revenue at Delta Air Lines declined by 88 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, reflecting what its chief executive described as the “truly staggering” toll the pandemic has had on the aviation industry. That decline contributed to a $5.7 billion quarterly loss, compared to last year’s $1.4 billion profit.
“Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The company’s quarterly losses were driven by a 93 percent decline in passengers, though they included a more than $2 billion write-down associated with investments in a trio of troubled foreign carriers: Latam Airlines Group, Grupo Aeroméxico and Virgin Atlantic.
More than 45,000 employees have taken temporary voluntary unpaid leave. Last week, United Airlines said it could furlough as many as 36,000 workers when federal stimulus funding for payroll runs out at the end of September. Delta has not yet detailed what impact the expiration of funds may have, though it did warn nearly 2,600 pilots last week that they could be furloughed.
Stocks fell on Tuesday amid a re-tightening of restrictions on businesses and fresh data showing slower-than-expected economic activity. The S&P 500 fell about half a percent in early trading. European markets were broadly lower, most by more than 1 percent and stocks in Asia also fell.
Does your nanny need an antibody test or an advanced degree?
As the pandemic continues, many parents, struggling to balance work and child care, are hiring nannies again. But some parents are looking for new qualifications, including whether a caregiver had the virus, is willing to relocate or has teaching experience.
Reporting was contributed by Liz Alderman, Sarah Almukhtar, Pam Belluck, Aurelien Breeden, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Michael Corkery, Jill Cowan, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Emily Flitter, Jacey Fortin, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Michael Gold, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Erica L. Green, Jason Gutierrez, Maggie Haberman, Shawn Hubler, Makiko Inoue, Mike Ives, Miriam Jordan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Benjamin Mueller, Azi Paybarah, Alan Rappeport, Dagny Salas, Nate Schweber, Michael D. Shear, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Mitch Smith, Megan Specia, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Lucy Tompkins, Hisako Ueno, Declan Walsh, Noah Weiland and Sameer Yasir.