VOA news for Saturday, July 18th, 2020
This is VOA news. Reporting by remote, I’m David Byrd.
The number of Americans infected with the coronavirus topped a world-leading 3.6 million cases Friday as the number of new cases reported each day continue to rise sharply. An unpublished report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends that 18 U.S. states should impose more stringent lockdown measures.
The report identified the states as “red zone” areas because they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. Among the states are Florida, South Carolina and Texas Teams of military medical personnel have been deployed in Texas and California to help overwhelmed hospitals treat coronavirus patients.
The report’s recommendations are contrary to the position taken by President Donald Trump, who insists that states reopen even as infections continue to rise.
The United State’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is raising red flags about the recent surge in coronavirus cases, particularly in southern states.
Despite some hopeful areas, Fauci said leaders need to encourage their people to wear masks and to practice other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“I can say as a public health official that I would urge the leaders – the local, political and other leaders in states and cities and towns – to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks.”
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has warned the United States could soon endure 100,000 infections per day if it doesn’t more aggressively embrace social distancing, mask-wearing and other mitigation efforts.
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The U.N. humanitarian affairs chief warned that failure to address the social and economic impact of the coronavirus in the world’s poorest countries would risk an even worse tragedy in the future.
Mark Lowcock said the cost to protecting the poorest 10 percent of the world’s population is about U.S. $90 billion.
“The massive problems the world faces can be addressed with relatively little money with a modicum of imagination and if we power up the … to reflect today’s unique circumstances.”
Lowcock was addressing a World Health Organization news conference by video link on the day of the publishing of the third COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. The plan addresses the immediate Humanitarian needs caused or exacerbated by COVID-19 in 63 priority countries with existing humanitarian crises.
The U.S. Defense Department is banning Confederate flags displays on military installations. AP’s Sagar Meghani reports.
The AP has obtained the Pentagon’s memo and it’s carefully phrased, not mentioning either a ban or the Confederate flag.
Officials say the memo instead lists the types of flags that can be displayed, like U.S. and state banners. The Confederate flag is not on the approved list.
Officials described that is a creative way of banning its display without openly contradicting President Trump, who says displaying it is a free speech issue.
A Pentagon official says not naming a specific prohibited flag was aimed at ensuring the policy will be apolitical and can hold up to potential legal challenges.
Sagar Meghani, Washington.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is undergoing treatment for another bout with cancer. AP’s Ben Thomas reports.
The 87-year-old justice says she is receiving chemotherapy for a recurrence of the cancer. But she adds she has no plans to retire from the Supreme Court.
In a statement issued by the court, Ginsburg says, “I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that.”
Ginsburg says her treatment has so far succeeded in reducing lesions on her liver and she will continue chemotherapy sessions every two weeks.
Ben Thomas, Washington.
Britain’s Captain Tom Moore, who made headlines around the world for his fund-raising efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday.
The World War II veteran who is now 100 years old captivated the British public by walking laps in his garden in England and raising more than $40 million for the National Health Service in April.
Reporting by remote, I’m David Byrd.
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