Coronavirus News: August 3 – Trump Opposes Mandatory Masks on Flights, One Airport Goes to the Dogs

By Anna Breuer on 3 August 2020
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As the number of coronavirus cases crossed the 17.5 million mark worldwide, the Trump Administration came out against a measure under consideration in Congress that would make wearing masks mandatory on all U.S. passenger flights.  “This requirement is overly restrictive, and such decisions should be left to States, local governments, transportation systems, and public health leaders,” a spokesman said.

President Trump also rebuked Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, rejecting his testimony in Congress on why the United States has experienced a recent surge in coronavirus infections.  The nation’s leading expert on the pandemic had told a House subcommittee that the country has seen more cases than European countries because it only shut down a fraction of the economy amidst the pandemic. “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,00,000,” the president said.  “If we tested less, there would be less cases,” he added.

Meanwhile, if you are living with someone who is susceptible to the coronavirus, you might want to wear a mask at home as well according to Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus coordinator.  “If you have an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive if you have individuals in your household with co-morbidities,” Dr. Birx said on the CNN program “State of the Union.”

Lord & Taylor, which traces its roots back to 1826, filed Sunday for bankruptcy proceedings amidst the collapse of retail store sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The posh chain was acquired from Hudson’s Bay Company last year by Le Tote, a retail clothing start-up, which also sought protection from its creditors in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

One airport, to fight the coronavirus, is going to the dogs, literally.  Dubai Airport Authorities there are using specially trained canines to detect traces of Covid-19 by having them sniff swabs gathered from passengers. Another, Vienna International Airport, which was one of the first to offer arriving travelers on-site tests for the coronavirus, said it would lower the price of the test by a third.  Starting on August 8, the price will be €120 ($140.66).   Previously, the test cost €190.

Perhaps not surprisingly, officials in New York City reported that cars are inadvertently crashing into temporary outdoor dining areas on the city’s streets.  The New York Police Department said that eight people were injured in four accidents.  On-street dining became permitted six weeks ago as restaurants were allowed to offer outdoor dining as a result of a restriction on indoor dining amidst the pandemic.

A U.K. government report found that England has the greatest rate of excess deaths of any country there, with a surge that lasted longer and spread to more places than those in some of the hardest-hit nations on the continent, including Spain and Italy.

As the country experienced resurgence in new coronavirus cases, officials in the Philippines ordered Manila and its suburbs to return to lockdown mode for two weeks after the health department reported 5,032 new cases of the coronavirus.

Finally, U.S. lawmakers in Congress and White House officials remain at an impasse on a new coronavirus relief package intended to help people weather the crisis.  Enhanced unemployment benefits ended at the end of last month and some progress in the talks was reported on Sunday.  “The president’s determined to spend what we need to spend,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchi, speaking on the ABC program “This Week,” adding that “we’re acting very quickly now.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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