Coronavirus News: June 20 – WHO Sees ‘New and Dangerous Phase,’ Governator: People Who Politicize Masks Are ‘Morons’

By Anna Breuer on 19 June 2020
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The World Health Organization warned on Friday of a “new and dangerous” phase of the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of cases in 81 countries rose.  Only 36 nations saw a decline, and half of the new cases came from the Americas, the head of the group, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.  The number of new cases on Thursday – over 150,000 – set a record.  He added that, while people want to get out of the house, “the virus is still spreading fast,” adding that “[i]t is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”

The warning came as Florida and South Carolina set yet another record high.  Florida reported 3,822 new cases, while South Carolina said it had 1,081.  Both states set new highs multiple times in the past week.

The use of face masks continued to be a flashpoint   California’s last Republican governor, Arnold Schwarznegger, endorsed Governor Gavin Newsome’s new statewide mandate for facemasks on Thursday.

“It’s not a political issue. Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron who can’t read,” Schwarzenegger wrote.

New York City is poised to enter Phase 2 of its reopening on Monday, the city’s mayor announced.  Officials there urged residents to take things slowly and not make rash decisions after three months of shelter-at-home orders.

Governor Andrew Cuomo ended his run of over 100 consecutive morning briefings about the coronavirus in New York State on Friday by citing the low figures in new hospitalizations, infections, and deaths.  He warned New Yorkers that “Covid isn’t over” and urged caution as the state continues to reopen.

Washington, D.C. will also continue to reopen its economy on Monday. The mayor there announced that restaurants could offer a limited amount of indoor dining, and that playgrounds and fitness centers could reopen.  Gatherings of up to 50 people are now permitted.

“I’m so incredibly proud of what we all did together, and as a community,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We reopened the economy and we saved lives.”

Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings, which operates a chain of movie theaters in the United States,  quickly reversed itself Friday after announcing it would make face masks optional at its cinemas so as not to be drawn into a political controversy. Numerous critics quickly pointed out it was a public health issue and not a political one.

Meanwhile, people lined up outside the arena in Tulsa, Oklaholma, where President Trump is expected to hold a campaign rally on Saturday, while health officials are bracing are bracing for a surge in cases as a result of having attended the event.

The baseball season in the United States continues to remain in jeopardy after two major-league clubs, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays, shut down their training facilities in Florida after several players and trainers tested positive for the novel coronavirus and others presented symptoms consistent with the virus.  A hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, also shut down its training facility after players and staff tested positive.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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