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WHO officials worried about rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreaks in the Americas


The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it's worried about the rapidly worsening outbreaks in the Americas, as Brazil and the U.S. continue to face surges in coronavirus cases.

Without mentioning the United States by name, WHO officials indicated that they are worried about the country's current surge in coronavirus cases.

"Not only Brazil, but the whole Latin America doesn't look good. Cases are on the rise. Deaths are on the rise. And even North America, Mesoamerica, except for Canada. Canada is doing better," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the United Nation's health agency.  

Mesoamerica encompasses parts of Mexico and Central America. North America includes Mexico, Canada, Greenland and the United States. Greenland is the only nation out of those four that doesn't have any active Covid-19 infections. In fact, it had just 13 cases total, all of which have since recovered, according to WHO data. 

"We're concerned. In the rest of the world ... the virus is leveling off," Tedros continued, adding that some countries outside the Americas are showing progress in containing the pandemic. "But many countries are actually having more cases and deaths are on the rise."

Cases in the U.S. have more than doubled since mid-May, infecting more than 2.9 million people and killing at least 130,306 so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Several states including Florida, Texas and California have hit record highs in the daily number of new cases over the past weeks. The outbreaks continue to grow worse as the country grapples to reduce the infection rate. 

The WHO's situation report from Tuesday shows that the United States reported 43,686 new confirmed cases over the previous 24 hours. More than 25% of the total number of new cases reported worldwide came from the U.S., according to the WHO's data. The U.S. also accounted for more than 46% of the 94,711 new cases reported in the Americas. 

"We're concerned. In the rest of the world, although I say that deaths are leveling off because some countries are showing some progress, many countries are actually having more cases and deaths are on the rise. So it's very important to understand the seriousness of this virus and to be really serious," Tedros said during a news briefing at the agency's headquarters in Geneva. 

"No country is immune. No country is safe. No individual can be safe," he said.

Globally, the number of new confirmed cases reached an all-time high last Saturday at 212,326, according to a situation report from the WHO. As of Tuesday, the organization confirmed 172,512 new positive Covid-19 cases worldwide in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 11.5 million cases.

The WHO's data differs slightly from that collected by Johns Hopkins University, which is also frequently used to track the pandemic.

Brazil continues to deal with one of the world' worst oubreaks of Covid-19, second only to the U.S for the most confirmed cases. 

South America's largest country reported 26,051 new cases on Tuesday, which is the second-largest number of new cases in the Americas following the United States. The country has seen more than 1.6 million infected patients and 64,867 total deaths due to the virus, according to the WHO's data.

Earlier Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, shortly after the presidential palace said he had been displaying symptoms associated with the disease.

Bolsonaro reportedly also confirmed that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as a possible preventive treatment for the disease, as well as azithromycin. Neither drug has been proven to be an effective prophylactic or treatment for Covid-19, and the CDC has removed hyrdroxychloroquine's emergency use authorization to treat the virus. 

Tedros wished the president a fast recovery during the news briefing. "I hope the symptoms will be mild and his excellence will be back to office as soon as possible to support his country," Tedros said.


Source: WHO officials worried about rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreaks in the Americas

Column: Trump makes it clear: There are two Americas, and November is for choosing sides


The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team descends during a July Fourth event on the South Lawn of the White House. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Looking back on it now, Barack Obama had it all wrong in 2004.

“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America,” the Illinois state senator proclaimed in his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. “There is the United States of America!”

How quaintly aspirational that sentiment seems today.

As anyone who has been paying attention can see, there are indeed two Americas.

But to call them “conservative” and “liberal” is to miss the essence of the moment.

There is Donald Trump’s America, a world of white racial resentment where the Confederate flag proudly flew, where monuments to traitors are to be revered, where protesting racial injustice is an intolerable act of aggression, and where a pandemic that has killed at least 133,000 Americans and put millions out of work is a mere inconvenience that people will come to accept.

And then, there is what I like to think of as the real America, a deeply flawed country that is starting to come to grips with the wages of racism, a too-violent police culture, a wealth gap, an education gap, a health insurance gap. A country that believes in its better angels, a country that knows it can do better.

Trump, as many political observers have noted, has decided that his path to reelection will be paved with hatred and racial division. The outpouring of anguish that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and the subsequent, widespread embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement, has simply given him the foil he requires to rile his base.

Just this week, Trump seemed to demand that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, a Black man, take responsibility for a noose that was found in his garage. The FBI had concluded that the noose had been in the garage before it was assigned to Wallace, so its presence could not be construed as a hate crime.

“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?” Trump tweeted.

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A few days earlier, Trump declared that painting “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue next to his namesake New York City tower would amount to a “symbol of hate.”

He has declared that renaming the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians is a capitulation to political correctness. But could he just stop there? No, he could not: “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren,” he added, “must be very angry right now!”

And then there were his Independence Day speeches, delivered a day apart, one at the base of Mt. Rushmore and the other on the South Lawn of the White House.

At a time when most presidents applaud the American ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and often single out the branches of the military for praise, Trump’s words were notable for their divisive tone and ugly rhetoric.

In South Dakota, he warned of “a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for.”

"Our nation," he said, “is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

He spoke of “a new far-left fascism,” of a “left-wing cultural revolution,” of “angry mobs” who are trying to “unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities,” of “cancel culture” (as if he were not its foremost practitioner), of attacks on “our liberty,” and the need to “preserve our beloved American way of life.”

Back in Washington, he stuck to his theme of pitting Americans against one another: “We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters … .”

Trump’s response to America’s genuine outrage at the death of Floyd, and so many other men and women of color, has been so tone deaf and immoral that even James Mattis, the retired Marine general who became Trump’s secretary of Defense until they broke over the president’s Syria policy, could take it no longer.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a statement published by the Atlantic last month. “Instead, he tries to divide us.”

That judgment was harsh, but it pales next to something else Mattis wrote: “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that the Nazi slogan for destroying us ... was 'Divide and Conquer.' Our American answer is 'In Union there is Strength.'"

You understand how extraordinary that is, right? Mattis essentially compared Trump’s values to Adolf Hitler’s.

Over the past few days, in honor of our national holiday, I spent some time in the archives of presidential speeches.

I came across the 1964 speech that made Ronald Reagan, future governor of California, a national political star. It was a full-throated endorsement of Barry Goldwater’s doomed presidential campaign, a cry against big government, the welfare system, and it was pocked with racist dog whistles.

But Reagan did say something that struck me as relevant to the current moment.

“You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right,” Reagan said. “Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down.”

This November is another time for choosing. Will we go up or let Trump drag us down?

@AbcarianLAT

For the record:1:34 PM, Jul. 08, 2020: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Ronald Reagan was governor of California in 1964. He was elected in 1966.


Source: Column: Trump makes it clear: There are two Americas, and November is for choosing sides

WHO says it's worried about fast spreading coronavirus outbreaks in the Americas


The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it's worried about the rapidly worsening outbreaks in Latin America, indicating Brazil and the U.S. were big concerns. Without mentioning the United States by name, WHO officials indicated that they are worried about the country's current surge in coronavirus cases.

02:00

Tue, Jul 7 20203:01 PM EDT


Source: WHO says it's worried about fast spreading coronavirus outbreaks in the Americas



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