July 15 coronavirus news

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9:43 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Fauci says Navarro's op-ed was "a major mistake" by the White House

From CNN's Amanda Watts

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro enters the West Wing of the White House on July 8.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro enters the West Wing of the White House on July 8. Patrick Semansky/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the USA Today op-ed that was written by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was “a major mistake on their part.” 

Speaking to The Atlantic magazine on Wednesday, Fauci said, “I think if you sit down and talk to the people who are involved in that list that came out, they are really, I think, taken aback by what a big mistake that was.”

“If you talk to reasonable people in the White House, they realize that was a major mistake on their part, because it doesn't do anything but reflect poorly on them,” he said.

The op-ed did not go through the normal sign-off process of being edited and approved by the White House press office, a White House official told CNN on Tuesday.

Fauci doesn’t think that was their intention, but said, “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that. I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it’s only reflecting negatively on them.”

Fauci went on to say he has no explanation for Navarro: “He’s in a world by himself. So I don’t even want to go there.”

Clarification: Fauci spoke Wednesday with the Atlantic magazine.

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2:22 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Covid-19 parties make Fauci's "head spin," he says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Young people throwing "Covid parties" in the United States has been making Dr. Anthony Fauci's “head spin,” he said on Wednesday.

"When I hear about these Covid parties, it just makes my head spin. Because when you get infected, what you’re doing is you’re not in a vacuum. You are part of the propagation of the outbreak," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Atlantic's Ed Yong during a pre-recorded interview at The Atlantic Summit on Health Care.

"The chances are — we know statistically — that you’re going to infect someone else, who then is going to infect someone else, who then all of a sudden you’re going to infect somebody who gets sick and goes to the hospital," Fauci added. 

Some context: Covid-19 parties have been reported across the country. Earlier this month, Tuscaloosa City, Alabama, council member Sonya McKinstry told CNN that she was furious to hear from the city’s fire chief about such gatherings being thrown by young people for the purpose of catching Covid-19.

McKinstry said that tickets are sold to the party, and people who are Covid-19 positive are invited. The goal is to be the first person to be confirmed by a doctor to have coronavirus, and you win the money made off the ticket sales.

9:44 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Fauci says he was not consulted on new directive for some Covid-19 data to bypass the CDC

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the US government’s attempt to discredit him “is a bit bizarre. I don't really fully understand it.”

Fauci said there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t speak to some members of the White House Task Force, including Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Robert Redfield. Remember: Trump and Fauci are no longer on speaking terms.

“My input to the President is now a bit indirect. It goes through the Vice President. But clearly the Vice President, literally, every day is listening to what we have to say. There's no doubt about that," he said speaking to The Atlantic magazine on Wednesday,

When it comes to the US Department of Health and Human Services' directive for some coronavirus data to bypass the CDC, Fauci said he was not consulted. “I had not been involved in that," he said.

Fauci continued: “I'd like to give you a reasonable explanation, but I've just been removed from that aspect of the outbreak, you know, focusing as I do on developing vaccines and drugs and things. I have not gotten into that.” 

Clarification: Fauci spoke Wednesday with The Atlantic magazine.

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2:23 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen at the end of August

From CNN's Allison Gordon

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it plans to reopen to the public on Aug. 29.

"The Museum has been closed since March 13, 2020, and had previously not been closed for more than three days in over a century," the Met said in a statement announcing the reopening.

There will be members-only days on Aug. 27-28 before the full reopening.

When the Met reopens, its Fifth Avenue building will be open five days a week, Thursday through Monday. The building will be open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. local time on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday, and there will be later hours — 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. — on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Met Cloisters, its uptown museum in Fort Tryon Park, will open in September.

2:21 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

2021 Rose Parade canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Stella Chan

The Pasadena City College marching band participates in the Rose Parade on January 1.
The Pasadena City College marching band participates in the Rose Parade on January 1. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has already changed the look of New Year’s Day 2021 – the iconic Tournament of Roses Parade has been canceled.

In terms of why the 132nd parade was canceled, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade cited Gov. Gavin Newsom’s phase four reopening schedule, gathering of large groups in concerts and events, and consideration of health restrictions.

“While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO of the Tournament of Roses.

Planning for the Rose Bowl Football game is ongoing. 

“We continue to work with the college football playoff and our collegiate partners to explore what this year’s college football season will look like amidst Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines. While the safety and well-being of the student athletes, university personnel and fans is our top priority, we remain hopeful that the 'granddaddy of them all' will take place on New Year’s Day,” Eads said. 

The only time the show did not happen was during the wartime years of 1942, 1943 and 1945.

2:26 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

San Francisco public schools will begin fall with online-only learning

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Leanne Francis, a first-grade teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, conducts an online class from her living room in San Francisco on March 20.
Leanne Francis, a first-grade teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, conducts an online class from her living room in San Francisco on March 20. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Public school students in San Francisco will start the fall semester with classes completely online.

San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said that “after reviewing the best available evidence-based sources of guidance from health officials, and gathering input from staff, students, and families, we have determined that on August 17, 2020, our fall semester will begin with distance learning.”

Some context: The San Francisco district is the seventh largest school district in California, with more than 57,000 students. The announcement follows both the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School districts’ decision this week to also start the year with full remote learning. The three California school districts collectively enroll nearly 800,000 students.

 Matthews said they hope to provide a gradual hybrid approach with both in-person and distance learning when it is safe to do so.

“The health and safety of students and staff is paramount,” he said.
2:18 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Green Bay Packers to play preseason home games without fans

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

Jeffrey Phelps/AP
Jeffrey Phelps/AP

The National Football League’s Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday the team will not allow fans to attend their 2020 home preseason games and training camp practices. 

“The tremendous support of cheering fans at Lambeau Field motivates all of us in the Packers organization,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in the statement. “But after consulting with local health officials and reviewing League and CDC guidelines, we felt we needed to make this difficult decision. We will miss seeing so many of our fans, particularly the young ones, during this exciting time of year. We will continue to work on the protocols and logistics in the hope that we can welcome fans back to Lambeau Field for the regular season without jeopardizing the health of our players, team personnel and fans.”

Murphy also encouraged Packers fans to wear masks and maintain social distance while away from Lambeau Field. 

In addition the Packers said plans for regular season ticket holder attendance are being finalized, with details to be communicated in the near future and that season ticket holders have the option to “opt in” or “opt out” on the chance to reserve tickets. New policies and safety measures will be implemented for the games. 

2:05 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Trump says Navarro shouldn't have published op-ed critical of Fauci

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump speaks to the press outside the White House on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump speaks to the press outside the White House on Wednesday. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said his trade adviser Peter Navarro made a misstep by publishing an op-ed critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

"He made a statement representing himself," Trump said when questioned about the article while departing the White House. "He shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony."

Earlier the White House said Navarro broke protocol by submitting his article without clearance from the communications office. The concerns he expressed in the article were similar to those distributed by the White House over the weekend when officials questioned Fauci's record to reporters. Trump has made similar comments.

Yet on Wednesday, he had only positive things to say about Fauci.

"We’re all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci," Trump said on the South Lawn. "I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci."

2:29 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

When America opened up, "the inevitable happened," Fauci says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said that as the United States tried to reopen, he saw “pictures and photos and films of people at bars with no masks, congregating in crowds — the inevitable happened.”

Fauci, speaking to The Atlantic Council on Wednesday, said America’s “baseline” was hovering around 20,000 new cases a day when reopening started.

"The problem is, since we started off our baseline so high, as we tried to open up, you saw that there was a wide variation in how that was done,” he said.

Cases started to rise, “and now we're hanging around 60,000. That's untenable. We've got to turn that around, and that's really the issue we've got to address right now,” Fauci added.

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