Donald Trump has said he hopes the US is “starting to see light at the end of the tunnel” after New York, at the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, reported a dip in cases.

However, the president said the country will first reach an “horrific point” in terms of death as the virus nears its peak in the US this week after cases topped 330,000 on Sunday.

His optimistic comments came in stark contrast to those of US surgeon general Jerome Adams, who warned Americans to brace for levels of tragedy similar to the September 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbour in the week ahead.


New York state recorded 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday – compared to 630 the day before – but governor Andrew Cuomo said it was too soon to say whether the pandemic had reached its peak.

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Georgia governor panned by local leaders for order to re-open beaches

Scores of local leaders in Georgia have expressed outrage, confusion and desperation over the last several days after Governor Brian Kemp issued a statewide executive order last Thursday that re-opened the state’s beaches, superseding measures taken by many communities’ leaders to shut down public to their shores.

While most of the criticism directed at Mr Kemp has come from Democrats, some nonpartisan officials have let loose on the governor and have taken active measures to keep people away from their beaches despite Mr Kemp’s order to open them back up.

Griffin Connolly reports:


Arkansas, one of five states without stay-at-home order, closes schools for academic year

Though the state has not issued a statewide stay-at-home order, Arkansas schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2020 school year.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said other forms of shooling will be made available to students.

The governor said social distancing efforts and restrictions on large gatherings are having “some beneficial impact” in the state.

There have been 875 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, including 74 hospitalisations.


Breaking: Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen, Downing Street confirms
 


Report: India halts drug exports after Trump’s push for hydroxychloroquine sparks global stockpiling

India has banned exports of all forms of a controversial drug that Donald Trump has pushed as coronavirus treatment, which could alter the nation’s stockpiling, according to reports.

Nearly half of the US supply of the drug came from Indian manufacturers last year, according to Bloomberg. The president’s push for the anti-malarial medicine hydroxychloroquine has prompted global stockpiling efforts.

The president said the federal government has procured 29 million doses of the drug while American drug manufacturers have revved up production.


35 million Americans could be left without health insurance as former Fed chair warns ‘depression levels’ of unemployment

As many as 35 million Americans could lose their health insurance following unprecedented unemployment claims and business closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which already has cut thousands of workers from their health plans tied to their employers.

The latest projection from Health Management Associates shows the number of uninsured people in the US, including workers and their families who rely on employer-backed plans, could skyrocket.

On Monday, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen called the economic toll a “huge, unprecedented, devastating hit” as the nation’s unemployment rate reaches “depression levels”.

She told CNBC that unemployment may be as high as 21 per cent as the nation’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed 10,000.
 


New York ‘plateauing at very high level’ with death toll that is now hovering near 600 daily

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has suggested that the state could reach a “plateau” of new cases and hospitalisations as the latest projections show that the state’s need for thousands of hospitals beds for coronavirus patients is much lower than anticipated.

There were nearly 600 deaths reported on Monday, the second-highest single-day death toll thus fat, but the governor says the outbreak is beginning to slow in the epicentre of the US outbreak.

With the grim statistics showing more than 1,500 people dying within the last few days, the daily number of deaths has hovered near 600, while the number of new hospitalisations has slowed to single-digit percentages.

The figures could show that the virus is reaching an “apex,” Governor Cuomo said on Monday, but one that is still nearly overwhelming the state’s hospitals.

He said: “If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level and there is tremendous stress on the health care system.”

Nearly 4,800 people in the state have died.


‘I’m a social scientist’: Trump’s trade adviser claims he’s qualified to refute Anthony Fauci’s coronavirus advice

Donald Trump’s chief trade adviser claims he is qualified to measure the effectiveness of an anti-malarial drug against the novel coronavirus because he is a “social scientist” despite not having a degree in medicine.
 

Peter Navarro told CNN on Monday that he understands “how to read statistical studies, whether it’s in medicine, the law, economics or whatever”.
 

He has a master’s degree in public administration and a PhD in economics. He does not have a background in public health or medicine.
 


Health Department report finds hospitals ‘throwing best practices out the window’

An inspector general report from inside Donald Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services details “severe shortages” of coronavirus tests as well as critically needed and medically necessary supplies for health workers across the US.

The report is a stark contrast to the president’s repeated claims about his administration’s response and accusations that state’s should be more responsible with the supplies they have.

One hospital administrator reported that “we are all competing for the same items and there are only so many people on the other end of the supply chain.” Another administrator reported being concerned about poor quality products despite high-prices and “…wonder[ing] if you get what you paid for.”

Another said: “We are throwing all of our PPE best practices out the window.”


Ohio state legislator: Trump should be tried for ‘crimes against humanity’

Ohio lawmaker Tavia Galonski says she is referring Donald Trump to The Hague for crimes against humanity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one.”
 


US death toll hits 10,000

The death toll in the United States from the global coronavirus pandemic officially passed 10,000 on Monday, according to the latest data, with more than 337,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases having been reported across the country.

Chris Riotta reports:
 


Jared Kushner attacked as ‘alt-right Pinocchio’

The president’s son-in-law has been running his own team of coronavirus responders and would send ideas to the White House task force that distracted the members more than they helped, according to reports.
 


Coronavirus: New York faces ‘gruesome reality’ of burying dead in city parks

A member of New York’s City Council said the city could consider “temporary interment” of coronavirus victims in the city’s parks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said those plans are not in place. The city was “not at the point that we’re going to go into that.”

Oliver O’Connell reports:
 


Top health official warns against going to grocery store ‘every day’

Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, said on Monday that people should avoid running daily errands even if they live in regions of the US that have not yet seen a major outbreak of the novel virus.

“You really need to keep your contact with others and surfaces to a minimal,” the assistant health secretary, who serves on the White House coronavirus response task force, told NBC’s Today Show. “If you need to get groceries, do it, but don’t go every day to the grocery store like many people do, do it as infrequently as possible.”

Chris Riotta reports:


Trump on Biden requesting moving Dem convention: ‘Gee, I wonder why?’

Joe Biden called for postponing the Democratic National Committee’s nomination convention to August, the day before the party announced it was doing that. He also has called for a virtual convention, rather than endanger the massive crowds during the pandemic.
 


‘White House considering US Treasury coronavirus bond’

Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow has revealed White House advisers have been discussing the possibility of a coronavirus-related US Treasury bond.

Mr Kudlow said this is a time to sell bonds to raise cash for the coronavirus relief efforts and he thought a “war bond” was a great idea. 

He told CNBC: “This would be a long-term investment into the future of American health, safety and the economy.

“From my standpoint, technical considerations aside, I think the concept is exactly right.”


CVS ramps up drive-through coronavirus testing sites with faster kits 
 

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CVS Health Corp, called on by the Trump administration last month to help test Americans for infections from the new coronavirus, has said it is launching two offsite testing locations with Abbott Laboratories’ faster diagnostic kit and will be able to handle 1,000 tests per day. 

The two new drive-through Covid-19 testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island will use the new Abbott tests, which can work in 15 minutes, and up to four more locations are expected to follow. 

While more than 300,000 people in America have tested positive for Covid-19, officials believe a shortage of kits has under counted cases. 

Testing, including at drive-through sites like these, is seen as a key component for US workers and restarting the economy as most states have ordered many non-essential businesses to close. 

CVS chief medical officer Troy Brennan said the company expects to announce a third testing site in a different state on Tuesday and could launch up to three more sites after this. 


US pastor who criticised coronavirus ‘hysteria’ dies of virus 

A 66-year-old pastor and street musician who said media coverage of the coronavirus was overhyped died of the virus after travelling from Virginia to preach at Mardi Gras. 

Pastor Landon Spradlin died at a hospital in North Carolina on Tuesday, after eight days in intensive care.  

He was hospitalised having collapsed with pneumonia as he made the 900-mile return trip from Louisiana to Virginia. 


UN chief calls for countries to tackle ‘horrifying’ domestic abuse surge 

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called on governments to take urgent measures to tackle a “horrifying global surge” in domestic violence fuelled by worldwide lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

Calls to helplines have doubled or tripled in some countries amid increasing social and economic strains compounded by strict limits on movement, which have left many women isolated at home with abusive partners.

Mr Guterres called for all governments to make preventing violence against women a key part of their national response plans for Covid-19.

The UN secretary general said in a video: “For many women and girls, the threat [of violence] looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes.”

He called on governments to create safe ways for women to seek support without alerting their abusers, including by setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries – among the few places people are still allowed to visit.


US officials brace for ‘peak death week’ in coronavirus 

US officials are bracing the country for a “peak death week” from the coronavirus pandemic as the accelerating American death toll closes the gap with Italy and Spain – the countries with the most fatalities to date. 

Admiral Brett Giroir, a physician and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s Good Morning America programme: “It’s going to be the peak hospitalization, peak ICU week and unfortunately, peak death week.” 

He raised particular alarm for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Detroit, and reinforced the message from US surgeon general Jerome Adams who earlier warned this week will be the country’s “Pearl Harbour moment, our 9/11 moment”. 

Roughly twice as many people a day are dying in the United States compared to Spain and Italy, according to Reuters.  

The American death roll rose by 1,144 on Sunday, raising the total to 9,573.


Donald Trump is awake and has used his first tweet of the day to celebrate coronavirus “beating up” the Washington Post and New York Times.