Health

Why it matters: The U.S. faces a range of health care flashpoints — unaffordable drugs, opioids, vaping — as we debate whether to adopt universal care. For now, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but Republicans want to issue it a final death blow.

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Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,092,855 — Total deaths: 736,254 Total recoveries — 12,350,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,094,565 — Total deaths: 163,465 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
34 mins ago - World

Australia's Northern Territory extends coronavirus border restrictions to 2022

Monsoons Bar in Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, where borders have been open to residents not in coronavirus hot spots since July 17. Those from states under restrictions must undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine at their own cost. Photo: Shane Eecen/Getty Images

Chief Minister Michael Gunner told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Tuesday the Northern Territory would keep border restrictions in place for Aussie coronavirus hot spots for at least 18 months, stressing it's important to protect the NT's Aboriginal population.

Driving the news: Victoria declared a disaster last week. The state confirmed Tuesday another 331 infections, taking the total number of active cases to 7880, and 19 more deaths — equaling the national daily record it set the previous day. New South Wales (NSW) reported 22 new cases. The NT has three active cases. "We have got an indefinite ban on Victoria," Gunner said. He couldn't give a date on when the NT would ease restrictions on NSW capital Sydney as case numbers were "bubbling away."

Flashback: Australia and New Zealand reopen after coronavirus cases plummet

5 hours ago - Health

Georgia governor: It's up to schools to enforce wearing masks

Gov. Brian Kemp at a press conference on Aug. 10. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said the responsibility should be on schools to enforce a mandate on face coverings, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Why it matters: Georgia is reporting the fifth-most coronavirus cases in the country, per Johns Hopkins, and the risk of spread in the state is high.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Trump says executive order on pre-existing conditions would be a "signal" on GOP stance

President Trump told reporters on Monday that his executive order to support insurers covering pre-existing conditions would be a "signal" to show Americans where Republicans stand on the issue.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is currently arguing before the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act — which enforces the policy that Trump is referencing — should be struck down.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week.

Why it matters: This is the lowest number of states to see dramatic single-day increases since Axios began tracking weekly highs in June, and marks a continued decrease from late July.

10 hours ago - Health

The winter from hell

Photo: Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The hope and promise of May is gone, replaced by the realization that America is in for another miserable year of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Another winter — and another flu season — is on the way as the U.S. engages in a whack-a-mole strategy that slows down the virus in one region, but sees it flaring up in another.

11 hours ago - Health

At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.

14 hours ago - Health

Europe's CDC recommends new virus restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases"

Revellers enjoy an informal Bal des Pompiers next to the fire station at Point Éphémère on July 13, 2020 in Paris. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.

Why it matters: Many European countries, including former global hotspots Italy and Spain, were able to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 over the summer through stringent lockdown restrictions and a phased reopening. The ECDC warned that the "recent increase" in infections is a result of countries relaxing their social distancing and other mitigation measures.

16 hours ago - Health

German biotech company CureVac sets terms for IPO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CureVac, a German Phase 1 biotech company developing mRNA-based cancer therapies and vaccines as well as a potential coronavirus vaccine, announced terms for its IPO.

Why it matters: COVID-19 is the biggest story in the world right now and any company that can potentially contribute to the fight is a big deal.

Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new survey from CivicScience shows higher-income Americans are returning to dining and delivery at a higher rate than their less wealthy peers.

Why it matters: Wealthy Americans have a greater share of overall U.S. income than ever before and increased spending could be a boon to the restaurant and fast food sectors.

22 hours ago - Health

How to do smarter coronavirus testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With testing once again a huge vulnerability to America’s coronavirus response, public health officials are calling for a revamped strategy that features the use of more tests, even if they're imperfect.

Why it matters: The system is overwhelmed by the demand for tests, and yet prolific testing is key to identifying asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic coronavirus cases. Experts say the solution is smarter testing — which doesn't require perfect accuracy.

Aug 10, 2020 - World

Azar conveys Trump's "strong" support for Taiwan during historic visit

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen looks on during his visit to the Presidential Office in Taipei on Monday. Photo: Pei Chen/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised Taiwan during a visit Monday for being a "vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world."

Why it matters: The highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979 shows the increasing importance of the island state, which China considers to be part of its territory. It comes at a time of heightened tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese government.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S.

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

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