The Wider World

COVID cases dip, but deaths rise

A GUIDE to the basics of coronavirus. White “language” refers to a white-ish coating to the tongue (Shutterstock).

In a potentially encouraging sign, new cases of COVID-19 fell below the 50,000 mark in the United States for the third day in a row, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s the first time in over a month the daily count stayed that low that long.

On the other hand, the number of COVID-19 deaths increased to 1,300 on Tuesday after averaging close to 500 for the two days preceding.

In other coronavirus news:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his nation had developed the first “approved” coronavirus vaccine and said it had been administered to his daughter.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading American expert on infectious diseases, expressed doubts about that development. He has said that a vaccine would be ready sometime in early 2021 and would not be available to the general public until later in the year.
  • In Texas, the number of COVID-19 cases has passed 500,000. Gov. Greg Abbott said that new cases were gradually declining but there are still high rates of hospitalization in some parts of the state.
  • Several incidents have been reported of customers physically attacking employees at stores and restaurants over restrictions related to the coronavirus. In a Chili’s in Louisiana, a 17-year-old hostess was reportedly attacked by a group of women when she refused to seat 13 people at one table. In Pennsylvania, a worker was punched for reminding a customer at a theme park of the mask requirement.

Biden-Harris launch campaign; Trump responds

The new Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris kicked off their 2020 campaign Wednesday with a joint appearance at a gymnasium in Wilmington, Delaware, touching on the historical nature of her choice to be vice president and speaking of the importance of this campaign.

“This is a moment of real consequence for America. Everything we care about – our economy, our health, our children, the kind of country we live in – it’s all on the line,” she said.

President Donald Trump commented on the Democratic ticket. “The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me,” he said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood.”

Sean Hannity on his Fox News program called Harris “the most radical running mate ever.” The Republican National Committee commented “liberals revolt against Biden, Harris ticket.”’s average of recent presidential polls has Biden with the support of 49.1 percent, with Trump at 41.8 percent. Fivethirtyeight’s computer model has Biden with a 71 percent chance of victory.

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