Coronavirus Morning News Brief – June 6: Western U.S. Eclipses Northeast in Latest Surge, U.K. Prime Minister Faces Vote of No Confidence

By Jonathan Spira on 6 June 2022
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Macy’s Herald Square store on 34th Street in Manhattan

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 788th day of the pandemic.

Shoppers are fickle and clothing buyers are perhaps among the most mercurial.

Fashions that were all the rage in the first two years of the pandemic, namely casualwear and activewear items, are being left behind .  Now that there has been some movement in returning to the office and people begin to attend social functions, all bets are off, apparently.

Take Macy’s, for example.  In late May, the company’s CEO, Jeff Gennette, told the Wall Street Journal that the shift in buyer habits was dramatic and happened faster than had been expected.  Now, the department store chain is marking such items down in an effort to clear inventory.

Macy’s is far from alone.  The Gap, for example, which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, has too many joggers in inventory and saw company-wide inventories rise 34% compared to the same period one year earlier. Walmart, the nation’s biggest retailer, saw its inventories rise 33% after misjudging consumer demand.

“We were defining customer trends too early in the process and were unable to chase into the right fashion choices,” Gap’s CEO, Sonia Syngal, told Wall Street analysts recently.

In other news we cover today, the Western United States is starting to eclipse the Northeast in new cases, in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a vote of no confidence over his lockdown parties, and China’s reopening of major cities is sputtering.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours


Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the newest coronavirus wave to hit the United States is starting to move in a westerly direction, with some areas in the Northeast seeing lower case numbers.

The Western U.S. region, which includes mountain and coastal states, now has the highest rate of known cases per 100,000 people, CDC data shows.  Last week, Alameda County, which includes the city of Berkeley, reinstated an indoor mask mandate and 13 counties in the Golden State are now considered by the agency to have a high risk of community transmission.

The wave is fueled by highly-transmissible variants of the already highly-transmissible omicron variant.

“Putting our masks back on gives us the best opportunity to limit the impact of a prolonged wave on our communities,” Alameda county health officer Nicholas Moss told reporters last week.


In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a vote of no confidence that will take place Monday evening. The move comes amid claims that he deliberately misled Parliament about parties held at No. 10 Downing Street during the lockdown in violation of Covid restrictions.

Beijing began to reopen Monday as officials lifted most restrictions on dining in restaurants and many workers returned to their offices.

The reopening, however, could be short-lived.  Outbreaks of small clusters of cases across the country and new lockdowns in sections of Shanghai pose a threat to the Chinese economy.

The country faces a slow recovery. Its services activity contracted for a third straight month in May, according to the Caixin services purchasing managers’ index released on Monday

Just as Shanghai and Beijing were starting to return to a new normal, residents in the Inner Mongolian city of Erenhot were being told to stay home unless they had urgent business to attend to after reports of a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

The National Health Commission reported on Monday that there had been 16 new local cases in Inner Mongolia, the third day in a row of more than ten community cases.  The total there is now 41, in addition to a total of 49 asymptomatic cases.


Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron wants the Covid mask mandate at his aerodrome in the Australian Capital Territory lifted and issued an ultimatum to ACT’s health department to explain justification for  continuing the mandate, calling it unjustified and discriminatory.

Masks are no longer required at shops, pubs, and nightclubs but remain mandatory at the airport’s terminals.

The airport is the eighth busiest in the country and saw 3.2 million passengers cross its portals in the 2018-2019 financial year.


Now here are the daily statistics for Monday, June 6.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 535.5 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.33 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 506.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Monday is 22,649,946, a decrease of 124,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 22,613,265, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 36,681, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 16,479 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the previous day, compared to 43,611 on Sunday, 146,062 on Saturday, 111,323 on Friday, and 219,367 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to remain over 100,000 and is now 106,757.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 100,982, a 7%decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 267, a decrease of 14% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 28,970, a 16% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded 86.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.2 million, and a reported death toll of 524,705.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of April that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in the month of March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 667,056, and has 31.2 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 29.6 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 26.5 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.3 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, 258.8 million people in the United States – or 77.9% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.7%, or 221.5 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 588.9 million. Breaking this down further, 89.3% of the population over the age of 18 – or 230.7million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.6% of the same group – or 197.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 50.3% of that population, or 99.6 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 65.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Monday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.82 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.66 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 16.2% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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