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Coronavirus Live: Updates From Around the Globe

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ImageHarvard Yard was sparsely populated last week.
Credit…Tony Luong for The New York Times

The Trump administration abandons a plan to strip visas from international students if courses are virtual.

The Trump administration has walked back a policy that would have stripped international college students of their U.S. visas if their coursework was entirely online, ending a proposed plan that had thrown the higher education world into turmoil.

The policy, announced on July 6, prompted an immediate lawsuit from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and on Tuesday, the government and the universities reached a resolution, according to the judge overseeing the case.

The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March amid the pandemic that gave international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.

“Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace” under the resolution, Judge Allison Burroughs said, adding that the agreement applied nationwide.

The initial guidance, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would have required foreign students to take at least one in-person class or leave the country. Students who returned to their home countries when schools closed in March would not have been allowed back into the United States if their fall classes were solely online.

The higher education world was thrown into disarray, with most colleges already well into planning for the return to campus in the fall. Two days after it was announced, Harvard and M.I.T. filed the first of several lawsuits seeking to stop it.

The attorneys general of at least 18 states, including Massachusetts and California, also sued, charging that the policy was reckless, cruel and senseless. Scores of universities threw their support behind the litigation, along with organizations representing international students.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen technology companies, including, Google, Facebook and Twitter also came out in support of the Harvard and M.I.T. lawsuit, arguing the policy would harm their businesses.

“America’s future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students,” the companies said in court papers.


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The administration orders hospitals to bypass the C.D.C. with key virus data, alarming health experts.

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.

The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.

Officials said the change should help ease data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and the drug remdesivir.

Hospital officials want to streamline reporting, saying it will relieve them from responding to requests from multiple federal agencies, though some say the C.D.C. — an agency that prizes its scientific independence — should be in charge of gathering the information.

“The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,” said Dr. Bala Hota, the chief analytics officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Public health experts have long expressed concerns that the administration is politicizing science and undermining the disease control centers; four former C.D.C. directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.

“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”

The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.

After Dr. Birx complained that hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated.

But news of the change came as a shock inside the C.D.C., which has long been responsible for gathering public health data, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. A spokesman for the disease control centers referred questions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which has not responded to a request for comment.

The dispute exposes the vast gaps in the government’s ability to collect and manage health data — an antiquated system at best, experts say.

KEY DATA OF THE DAY

Florida breaks its record for most deaths in a day, and Republicans adjust their convention plans.

Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

Florida, where the virus has been surging, set a record on Tuesday for the most new deaths it has reported in a single day: 132, according to a New York Times database.

The record in Florida, and another set on Tuesday in Alabama, which reported 40 deaths, comes as the number of U.S. deaths has begun to rise again after weeks of declines.

The nation was averaging 724 deaths a day as of Monday, up from below 500 a day as July began. While deaths are up, they remain far below the more than 2,200 deaths recorded each day during the deadliest phase of the outbreak, in April. But 23 states are reporting more deaths each day than they were two weeks ago, according to the database.

Florida’s worsening outbreak is complicating plans to hold the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month.

Republican officials are weighing plans to move the three nights of the convention from an indoor arena to an outdoor venue, Maggie Haberman reports. It’s still unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the events, people familiar with the discussions said Tuesday.

Since President Trump pushed to move the convention to Florida from Charlotte, N.C., last month after North Carolina officials refused to guarantee a convention free of social distancing and other health measures, the fortunes of the two states have diverged.

While the average number of cases reported daily in North Carolina has grown to 1,831 from 1,066 since June 11, the day the convention was officially moved, the average number of cases reported daily in Florida has grown eightfold: to 10,855 from 1,269.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, wore a mask while speaking at an indoor news conference in Miami on Tuesday, a notable moment because he has been criticized for not mandating facial coverings statewide. He tried to acknowledge how difficult the pandemic has been for Floridians. “People are hurting,” he said.

He met with a group of local mayors, including the city of Miami’s mayor, who said it was “imperative” for people to hear the governor endorse mask use. Miami Beach’s mayor also urged the Mr. DeSantis to issue a mask mandate, and underscored the need for consistent messaging from the president to the governor to every other local official.

“We have to create a greater sense of urgency,” Miami Beach’s mayor said. “People will follow a path of least resistance.”

Texas officials are putting refrigerated morgue trucks on standby.

Credit…Callaghan O’Hare for The New York Times

The spike in coronavirus cases in Texas has reached a grim milestone: local officials in several cities and counties have started putting refrigerated trucks on standby to increase morgue space as the state’s death toll continues to rise.

The preparations have only just started, and officials said the situation has not reached the same level of urgency it did in New York City during the early stages of the pandemic, when the city had set up 45 mobile morgues and allowed crematories to work around the clock.

In Texas, where more than 3,300 people have died from the coronavirus, officials said the refrigerated trucks were being readied because hospital morgues were filling up and nearing capacity, and additional space would be needed to store bodies.

On Tuesday Travis County, which includes Austin, was in the process of procuring a refrigerated truck, and two hard-hit border counties in South Texas — Hidalgo County and Cameron County — planned to share a 53-foot morgue trailer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Corpus Christi, where cases and deaths have surged in recent weeks, the medical examiner in Nueces County also requested a mobile morgue unit from F.E.M.A., officials said.

Texas has still seen far fewer deaths than New York and California. But the speed of the spread of the virus in Texas since it started reopening has alarmed local officials.

Dr. Kenneth Davis, the chief medical officer in the South Texas region for a Catholic hospital system, Christus Health, said the trucks will be used to store bodies until “the morgue or funeral home can pick them up, which sounds terrible but it’s true.”

“People’s loved ones are dying,” he said. “In the hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies of the loved ones, and we’re out of space.”

Amazon, Kroger and other big U.S. retailers have ended some pandemic pay raises for essential workers.

Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Many retailers across the United States have quietly stopped paying their employees “hero pay,” despite surging virus numbers across the country. Their rationale: The panic buying that flooded stores during the early days of the pandemic has waned.

Stop & Shop is the latest retailer to end the 10 percent pay raise it gave its 56,000 employees at the height of the pandemic, as an acknowledgment that their work was essential and appreciated. Amazon, Kroger and Albertsons have also ended pandemic hourly pay raises, though some of them continue to give out bonuses. ShopRite said it planned to end its $2-an-hour raise early next month.

But while hoarding may be over, infection remains a very real threat, especially in environments like retail stores where it can be difficult to maintain social distance.

As dozens of states endure record levels of new cases, many workers say the job of the essential retail worker has actually become even more difficult than at the start of the health crisis.

The politicization of mask wearing has not helped. Store employees now risk heated and even violent confrontations when they remind customers and colleagues alike to cover their faces.

“What we are doing is still very risky,” said Eddie Quezada, a produce manager at a Stop & Shop store on Long Island who contracted the virus. “We should get at least something for that.”

But while health threats and other challenges for workers remain, the economics for their employers have changed. The surging sales of March, which allowed some retailers to pay for raises, have slumped at some stores.

England is mandating face coverings in shops and supermarkets, the government announced.

Video

transcript

Face Coverings to Become Mandatory for Shoppers in England

The new mask order will put England in line with other European countries and with some other parts of Britain.

“We do think that masks have a great deal of value. Obviously, they’re mandatory on public transport, on the tube. But they have a great deal of value in confined spaces where you’re meeting — coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet. I do think that in shops it is very important to wear a face covering if you’re going to be in a confined space, and you want us to protect other people and to receive protection in turn, yes face coverings, I think people should be wearing in shops.” “In recent weeks, we’ve reopened retail and footfall is rising. We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. Both of these can be done by the use of face coverings. We’ve therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Last month, we made face coverings mandatory on public transport, and in N.H.S. settings. This has been successful in giving people more confidence to go on public transport, and to a hospital setting when they need to.”

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The new mask order will put England in line with other European countries and with some other parts of Britain.CreditCredit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

After months of equivocation over mandating face coverings to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain announced on Tuesday that people in England would be required to wear masks inside shops and supermarkets.

The reversal, set to take effect next week, caps months of dithering over face coverings in England that many scientists found mystifying — and uneasily reminiscent of delays in imposing a lockdown in March, a decision that cost thousands of lives and has left Britain with one of the highest death rates in the world. More than 50,000 people in Britain have died from the virus, the third-highest total in the world, and the majority of the deaths were in England.

In mandating face masks, England followed the path of other European countries, like Germany and Italy, and other parts of the United Kingdom, like Scotland, which had already mandated face coverings. (Each country in the United Kingdom has power over its own public health measures and has moved at different speeds on matters like face coverings and reopening shops.)

Many scientists had pleaded for months with Mr. Johnson’s government to heed the growing evidence that masks could help stop the spread of the virus. Unlike in the United States, where feelings about masks often fall along political lines, England’s hesitation stemmed in part from a scientific debate among advisers about the masks’ usefulness.

Masks have been mandatory on public transportation in England since mid-June. The government had previously encouraged masks in enclosed spaces, but Mr. Johnson resisted wearing one himself until Friday.

The government has indicated that the police, rather than shop owners, will enforce the new rules, with anyone who refuses facing a fine up to 100 pounds, or $125.

U.S. roundup

One man is shot dead and another stabbed after a mask-wearing dispute in Michigan.

An argument over mask wearing in a dairy store near Lansing, Mich., turned violent early on Tuesday, ending with one man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy and another treated for stab wounds.

The Eaton County authorities said the dispute erupted before 7 a.m. when Sean Ernest Ruis, 43, was in the store and not wearing a mask, as he was required to do under a state order that took effect early Monday. An older customer argued with Mr. Ruis about it, and the store refused to serve him.

Officials said that Mr. Ruis pulled out a knife and stabbed the older man, and then fled the scene, but was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy, who shot Mr. Ruis after he walked “towards the deputy with knife in hand.” Mr. Ruis died during surgery at a nearby hospital.

People have been arguing over compliance with mask-wearing orders and guidelines since the pandemic took hold. Though health experts stress that wearing face masks in public can greatly retard the spread of the coronavirus, some people resent being told to wear them, and others resent their refusal. Tempers have often flared, and arguments have sometimes turned violent.

In other news from around the United States:

  • North Carolina will allow schools to reopen in the fall, but at no more than half their usual capacity, the governor announced on Tuesday. He said districts could meet the capacity restriction by, for example, having students attend on alternate days. Everyone, teachers and students alike, would have to wear masks. And districts would not have to reopen; they could opt to continue with all-remote instruction, the governor said.

  • Oklahoma added 993 cases on Tuesday for a single-day record, and Florida reported 9,194 cases, fewer the record reported on Sunday. According to a Times database, California, Florida and Texas had reported a total of at least 892,000 cases through Monday, when there were at least 30,000 new cases recorded across the three states.

  • New York, grappling with how to keep the virus suppressed, will now require travelers from Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to also quarantine for 14 days. Delaware has been removed from the list of such states with accelerating outbreaks, which now number 22, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday. New Jersey and Connecticut are also asking travelers from those states to quarantine. Travelers arriving at New York airports starting Tuesday are required to fill out a form with their personal information and planned whereabouts, or face a $2,000 fine.

  • More than 1,000 employees of the C.D.C. have signed a letter calling for the agency to address “a pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization” against Black employees. The pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated racial inequities in the United States. A C.D.C. spokesman said Dr. Redfield has already responded to the letter but did not provide details.

  • The pandemic stripped an estimated 5.4 million American workers of their health insurance between February and May, according to a new analysis. The study, to be announced Tuesday by the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group Families USA, found that the estimated increase in uninsured workers was nearly 40 percent higher than the highest previous increase, during the recession of 2008-9, when 3.9 million adults lost insurance.

  • The U.S. budget deficit grew to a record $864 billion for June as the federal government pumped money into the economy to prop up workers and businesses affected by the pandemic, the Treasury Department said.

  • Several White House officials this week have denied any attempts to undermine Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, for his stark analysis of the pandemic. But Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications and one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted advisers, undercut that message with an insulting Facebook cartoon.

  • For the third time in its 120-year history, Philadelphia is cancelling its Mummers Parade as the city is banning all public events involving more than 50 people for the next seven months. “It was not an easy decision to make. But as we continue to battle Covid-19 and try to restore some sense of normalcy in our city, we know there will be many difficult decisions to come,” the mayor said on Tuesday.

Global roundup

France celebrates health care workers and grants them $9 billion in pay raises.

Video

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The traditional Bastille Day parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris was canceled because of the pandemic, but France celebrated public health workers as heroes.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Christophe Ena

France celebrated public health workers as heroes during Bastille Day celebrations on Tuesday for their role during the pandemic, a day after granting them 8 billion euros ($9.06 billion) in pay raises.

The traditional Bastille Day parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, after a military parade on the Place de la Concorde, President Emmanuel Macron and his government watched from a platform as doctors, nurses and other workers in their white hospital attire were honored.

Mr. Macron also said on Tuesday that he wanted to make mask wearing mandatory in enclosed public spaces, amid growing worries over a possible new wave. He said the government would draw up the new mask-wearing rules in the coming weeks and suggested that they could be enforced starting in August.

Doctors, nurses, retirement home employees and others were widely praised, and the French government had promised to address longstanding requests for increased hospital funding, better pay and more staffing.

After seven weeks of intense negotiations with the government, most health care unions and the government struck a deal that gives nurses, aides and other hospital or nursing home workers over $200 in monthly raises, as well as new bonuses for overtime and night work.

The deal also provides 450 million euros for doctors, mostly to increase an existing bonus for those who choose to work only in the public sector. Over all, the deal affects about 1.8 million health workers.

In other news from around the world:

  • Researchers on Tuesday reported strong evidence that the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus. A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said the doctor who led the research team. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment, the doctor said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy. The virus appeared to have been transmitted through the placenta.

  • An Egyptian journalist who was jailed last month on charges of spreading fake news died from the virus on Monday, officials said, amplifying concerns that the pandemic is spreading inside Egypt’s crammed prisons. The reporter, Mohamed Monir, 65, was detained after appearing on Al Jazeera, the Qatari-owned channel that is banned in Egypt. He was released July 2 after falling ill, and last week he posted a video on Facebook saying he was struggling to breathe.

  • Revenue at Delta Air Lines declined by 88 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, reflecting what its chief executive described as the “truly staggering” toll the pandemic has had on the aviation industry.

The Daily Poster

Listen to ‘The Daily’: ‘It’s Like a War.’ Revisiting Dr. Fabiano Di Marco.

We spoke to a doctor in Italy about triaging care at the peak of the epidemic — and the discharge of his last coronavirus patient.

Europe’s economies reopen to consumers eager to spend.

Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

Consumers in Europe are going on shopping sprees as their economies reopen, offering hope that a fragile recovery from a deep recession may be taking hold.

Retail sales in the eurozone, which plunged to record lows while millions of people were confined, surged 17.8 percent in May from the month before, as consumers fanned out to buy furniture, electronics, clothing and computer equipment, Europe’s statistics agency reported this week. The biggest gains are in France and Germany, where spending has rebounded to near pre-confinement levels.

The current binge has doused some worries that Europeans may feel too shaken to spend again, as happened in China, where many chose to curtail expenditures after losing their jobs or having their pay slashed.

“Consumers are driving the rebound across much of Europe more than expected,” said Holger Schmieding, the chief economist of Berenberg Bank. “There is a relief that lockdowns are over.”

But whether people will keep opening their wallets remains to be seen. Spending is still around 7 percent lower than where it was before the pandemic.

Last week the European Commission warned that the economy would contract 8.7 percent in the eurozone this year, a significantly deeper recession than forecast just two months ago. The commission’s study assumed no second wave that closes Europe’s economies — a possibility it described as a “major risk.”

Does your nanny need an antibody test or an advanced degree?

As the pandemic continues, many parents, struggling to balance work and child care, are hiring nannies again. But some parents are looking for new qualifications, including whether a caregiver had the virus, is willing to relocate or has teaching experience.

Reporting was contributed by Liz Alderman, Sarah Almukhtar, Pam Belluck, Aurelien Breeden, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Michael Corkery, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Emily Flitter, Jacey Fortin, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Michael Gold, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Erica L. Green, Shawn Hubler, Miriam Jordan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Benjamin Mueller, Azi Paybarah, Alan Rappeport, Nate Schweber, Michael D. Shear, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Mitch Smith, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Lucy Tompkins, Declan Walsh, Noah Weiland and Sameer Yasir.

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