The Wider World

Coronavirus cases up across U.S.

BARS in Texas are ordered closed as numbers of new coronavirus cases are spiking (Flickr/Thomas Hawk)

Coronavirus pandemic numbers are surgimg across the nation, leading some states to retreat on some re-opening measures.

According to published reports, all bars in Texas have been ordered closed, and bars in Florida may remain open but are not allowed to serve alcohol.

The Associated Press is reporting that there’s been a surge in the number of new cases of 40,000 infections, the biggest since counting began. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed young people crowding bars and foregoing masks for the bad news.

“It is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans crowding in bars,” said Abbott.

Leading epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Friday that the surge in new cases was a “serious problem” and reminded people how a disease can spread.

According to United Press International, Dr. Fauci said “We can’t get away from it. It’s interconnected. Therefore, if we are an interconnected society we’ve got to look at what our role is in trying to put an end to this.”

According to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, over 126,000 Americans have died from the COVID-19 virus and 2.5 million infections have been reported. Some scientists have suggested that at many as 20 million Americans may be infected, with the vast majority not showing any symptoms.

Another effort to end “Obamacare”

SUPREME COURT building in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia).

The Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit by 18 states to end the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” The petition was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday.

The high court has ruled twice in favor of the constitutionality of the ACA, but this petition takes a new approach, arguing that new federal tax legislation passed by Congress in 2017 ­– eliminating the tax on those who refused to get health insurance – ended the legal basis for the program, which now provides coverage for tens of millions of Americans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the effort “unfathomable cruelty” to end medical insurance during a pandemic.

Stock markets not feeling well

The closing of bars – again – in Texas and Florida amidst sharp increases in new coronavirus cases nationally drove stocks down on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 730.05 points to 25,015.55, a drop of 2.84 percent. The S&P 500 declined 74.71 points to 3,009.05 (down 2.42 percent) and the Nasdaq declined by 259.78 points, a reduction to 9,757.22 (2.59 percent).

Gold rose by 0.80 percent while oil fell 1.45 percent.

Much cloudiness, a little bit of rain

Clouds with gradual clearing in the afternoon are the National Weather Service’s forecast for West Orange County for Saturday and most of Sunday. But by Sunday night and through Monday morning there’s a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain.  Highs will be in the 70s and overnight lows in the 58 to 60 degree range. Temperatures will be cooler towards the coast.

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