The United States has more COVID-19 infections than anywhere else, with nearly 2.8 million of the globe’s more than 11 million cases. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.
A recent surge in infections caused several governors to reinstate lockdown requirements that had been eased just as many Americans were poised to attend July 4 Independence Day celebrations.
As the U.S. struggles to contain the virus, President Donald Trump addressed a largely unmasked crowd Friday at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota as he kicked off the country’s observance of Independence Day. There were also no social distancing measures in place.
Public health officials had expressed concern that the South Dakota event would be the source of super spreading of the virus.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of one of the president’s sons, Donald Trump, Jr., has tested positive for the coronavirus. One of the president’s senior campaign officials, Sergio Gor, said she is asymptomatic and will be retested to make sure the diagnosis is correct. He also says the younger Trump has tested negative.
In Britain, a study by the National Health Service indicated that cleaners, porters and office staff have been super spreaders of the virus within hospitals. "If you think about it, these were the people moving around the hospital,” Sir John Bell, the head of the government’s antibody program, told The Telegraph newspaper.
Separately, bars and restaurants are reopening in Britain amid an easing of restrictions, but with safety measures in place.
Brazil said Friday it has approved clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine by China’s Sinovac.
Brazil follows the U.S. with an infection count of 1.5 million.
On Friday, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, approved a law requiring people to wear facemasks on streets and public transportation. However, he vetoed clauses that would have required wearing a facemask in enclosed spaces, including churches, schools and shops. The president, who has been widely criticized by health experts for downplaying the severity of the virus, says such a move could violate property rights.
In another development, the World Health Organization updated an account of how it learned of the coronavirus outbreak. The WHO said it was alerted by its own office in China, and not by Chinese government officials. The agency had earlier said that the first report of the virus had come from China without further specifying its source.
The Trump administration has strongly criticized the World Health Organization for its early handling of the pandemic and dealings with China and said it would withdraw from the group.