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COVID-19 Totals Continue Upward Spiral

Employees dressed in maid costumes from several maid-themed cafes of Akihabara attend a prayer meeting and pray for protection from COVID-19 and for a thriving business at the Kanda Myojin shrine July 25, 2020, in Tokyo.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a BBC television interview Friday that “in the first few weeks and months” of the coronavirus outbreak his government did not understand the intricacies of the virus.

Johnson said “probably, the single thing that we didn't see at the beginning was the extent to which it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person."

“There are things that we need to learn about how we handled it in the early stages,” said Johnson, a recovered COVID-19 patient.

“Maybe there were things we could have done differently,” he said.

Britain has nearly 300,000 infections according to Johns Hopkins University, and almost 46,000 deaths from the virus.

Simple decisions that are made every day in nonpandemic times -- such as where to go, what to do and whom to see -- have become “life and death” choices during the outbreak, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned during a briefing in Geneva.

"It may not be your life, but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone you love or for a complete stranger," he said.

A child wearing a protective face mask, stands in line to receive a free meal in the Peronia neighborhood of Villa Nueva, Guatemala, July 24, 2020.
A child wearing a protective face mask, stands in line to receive a free meal in the Peronia neighborhood of Villa Nueva, Guatemala, July 24, 2020.

Tedros also pushed back on the remarks U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made this week, saying Tedros had been “bought” by China, causing the deaths of people in the coronavirus outbreak.

"WHO will not be distracted by these comments and we don't want the international community to be distracted. The biggest threat we face continues to be the politicization of the pandemic. Politics and partisanship have made things worse," the WHO chief said.

On Friday, the WHO reported that worldwide infections grew by 284,196 in 24 hours. WHO also said the global death count rose by 9,753 -- the most in one day since April 30.

Vietnam has imposed a ban on the import of wildlife and wildlife products. The ban also prohibits markets from selling the products. The measure is designed to avoid the outbreak of another pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak is widely believed to have originated in a wildlife market in China.

The top U.S. infectious disease expert called on U.S. states with a resurgence of COVID-19 infections to pause their reopening plans to prevent the further spread of the ailment caused by the novel coronavirus.

In an interview Friday with The Washington Post, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said states may not necessarily have to go all the way back to a complete shutdown but added, “You certainly have to call a pause and maybe even a backing up a bit.”

Fauci also said that for the other states, “Please take a look at the example of what happens when you open in a way that might be too quickly.” He said, “Everybody should be trying to reopen America again,” but that it should be done in accordance with set guidelines.

Fauci also said during the interview he and his family have been receiving death threats and have a security detail assigned to protect them.

The U.S. continues to lead the world with COVID infections with 4.1 million cases, followed by Brazil with 2.2 million and India with 1.3 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases around the world. There are more than 15.7 million global COVID-19 infections, according to Hopkins, and more than 639,000 deaths.

In California, eight prisoners on San Quentin’s death row have died. The outbreak has taken up residence in the prison population. Joe Garcia, a prisoner who is also a staff member of the San Quentin News and an editorial liaison for the Prison Journalism Project, has penned an opinion piece for The Washington Post entitled “Inside San Quentin prison, you sit and wait until COVID-19 comes for you.”

The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said he expects the coronavirus will have a huge impact on migration for years to come.

Jagan Chapagain told the French news agency Agence France-Presse that “people will feel compelled to move” when borders open because of lost livelihoods and food insecurity.