White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the White House is “routinely looking at COVID numbers” when asked what the administration is doing in response to the recent surge in cases in the United States. (Oct. 17)

AP Domestic

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe passed 40 million early Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The actual worldwide total is most likely considerably higher: Testing hasn’t been widely available, many have been asymptomatic, and certain governments have concealed numbers.

The U.S., Brazil and India are reporting the highest numbers of cases.

Meanwhile, in a Sunday night interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “absolutely not” surprised President Donald Trump contracted an infection after attending what he described as a “superspreader event” in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26. He also said the White House has blocked him from speaking to the media on a number of occasions.

In Washington, the clock is ticking for a stimulus relief bill ahead of the Nov. 3 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday set a 48-hour deadline for the White House, insisting that a second round of $1,200 checks for Americans, expanded unemployment benefits and additional financial aid for the Paycheck Protection program “depends on the administration.”

Some significant developments:

Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed the idea of a nationwide lockdown on “60 Minutes,” saying the U.S. is “fatigued” by coronavirus restrictions. He also said he’d take a vaccine upon approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.More than 6 million households failed to make their rent or mortgage payments in September, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America.Amid a surge in cases, Italy implemented a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions but stopped short of curfews such as those imposed in France.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.1 million cases and almost 220,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

📚 Read this: The latest in USA TODAY’s Deadly Discrimination series looks at how systemic racism in the San Francisco Bay area is making COVID especially lethal for Asian Americans. 

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefingnewsletter.


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Last SlideNext SlideLatinos only ethnic group to see increase in COVID-19 deaths over the summer

Latinos were the only ethnic group who saw a statistically significant increase of deaths from COVID-19 over the summer, according to a report published Friday by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An analysis of 114,411 COVID-19-associated deaths published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report found the percentage of deaths among Latinos increased from 16.3% to 26.4% from May to August. In the same time period, decedents who were white decreased from 56.9% to 51.5%, and the percentage who were Black decreased from 20.3% to 17.4%.

The report notes there was a geographic shift in COVID-19-related deaths from the Northeast to the West and South, where Latinos account for a higher percentage of the population. However, the shift alone doesn’t explain the increase in deaths as disparities among Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups have been well-documented during the pandemic.

More in the series:Racism is a pre-existing condition | Toxic neighborhoods | Segregated housing

– Adrianna Rodriguez

12 states set records for new cases in a week

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Sunday shows 12 states set records for new cases in a week while one state had a record number of deaths in a week. New case records were set in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming, and also Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Oklahoma. The U.S. has reported 8,154,594 cases and 219,674 deaths.

– Mike Stucka

Dr. Anthony Fauci talks national lockdown, vaccine on ’60 Minutes’

Things would have to get really, really bad” to suggest a national lockdown, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night. “First of all, the country is fatigued with restrictions. So we want to use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy.”

In the interview, Fauci also said the White House has controlled some of his media availability – “I certainly have not been allowed to go on many, many, many shows that have asked for me” – and said he was “absolutely not” surprised President Donald Trump contracted COVID-19 after attending what he described as a “superspreader event” in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26.

What about a vaccine? Fauci put his trust in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“If the final outcome is that the FDA approves it, I will take it,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is regarded as the country’s top infectious disease expert.

Twitter blocks Donald Trump adviser’s tweet downplaying use of masks

Twitter blocked a post Sunday from an adviser to President Donald Trump who suggested that masks do not work to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Scott Atlas, who joined the White House in August as a science adviser, had tweeted “Masks work? NO,” and said widespread use of masks is not supported.

The tweet violated a Twitter policy that prohibits sharing false or misleading misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to harm, the company said. The policy bans statements that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by experts such as public health authorities.

“I don’t understand why the tweets were deleted,” Atlas said in an email, calling Twitter’s actions censorship. He said his tweet was intended to show that “general population masks and mask mandates do not work,” and he clarified that the correct policy is to use masks when one cannot socially distance.

People wait in line to register for rapid COVID-19 testing at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday. (Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

Italy tightens COVID-19 restrictions amid surge but stops short of curfews

With coronavirus infections reaching new daily highs, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte on Sunday announced new restrictions that stopped short of a curfew like those imposed in Paris and other major French cities.

Under Conte’s measures, however, Italian mayors can close public squares and other gathering places after 9 p.m., permitting access only to reach homes or businesses. Restaurants and bars are restricted to table service only after 6 p.m., three hours earlier than previously allowed, but can maintain the current midnight closing time.

Local festivals have been banned. Gyms and public swimming pools may remain open – but Conte said they would be closed in a week if they don’t do a better job of following restrictions.

COVID resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press


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