July 21 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Ivana Kottasová, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:23 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
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4:53 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Health of children and teachers should guide school reopening policies, Fauci says

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

The health of children and teachers should guide school reopening policies, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview on Tuesday.

“I think you have to put that in the context that an important issue is to make sure you do whatever you can to safeguard the safety and the health of the children, as well as the teachers, and that should guide your policy,” Fauci said.

Fauci said there are different kinds of approaches under discussion to get schools reopened.

“But in order to safeguard their health and their welfare, as well as teachers, to do some sort of modeling, different versions and I've heard different versions from different multiple different superintendents, about the school scheduling, about morning, afternoons, about alternate days, about more outdoor than indoor if you possibly can, protecting the vulnerable.” 

Fauci discussed Covid-19 testing in schools and how it might be implemented.

“A more universal testing before you get in, and intermittent at different intervals, surveillance testing that clearly is being discussed at the level of universities and colleges.” Fauci said. "Whether or not that is even going to be discussed with regard to elementary and middle and other schools, I'm not sure.”

Fauci said it’s not true that the idea children don’t get as sick as adults or transmit the coronavirus like adults means there’s no danger in reopening school.

"In general, children who get infected — as we know from the statistics — clearly, for the most part, do very well and don't get seriously ill ... but there are exceptions to that. And I think we have to be realistic to realize that children who get infected, for the most part, don't get serious illness — but some children do get seriously ill and some pass it on to the adults,” Fauci said.


4:48 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

More than 1 in 5 US homes don't meet quarantine guidelines set by officials, research says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

More than one in five homes in the US, housing about a quarter of all Americans, do not have sufficient space and plumbing to meet quarantine and isolation recommendations set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, according to new research published Tuesday. 

Both the CDC and WHO recommend that anyone who has been exposed to or infected with Covid-19 should isolate in a separate bedroom, with a separate bathroom where possible. 

But Dr. Ashwini Sehgal of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at Case Western Reserve University and two experts from City University of New York found more than 20% of American homes did not have this kind of space.

“Isolation or quarantine was impossible in 25.29 million dwellings, accounting for 20.8% of all U.S. residential units, because they lacked sufficient bedrooms, bathrooms, or both,” they wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “This included almost 30% of the 88.2 million units with more than 1 occupant. Overall, about 81 million persons lived in units unsuitable for isolation or quarantine. “

They also found that Native American and Hispanic people were two to three more times likely than Whites and Black and Asian people were 1.7 times more likely than Whites to live in homes were isolation was not possible. 

This is “a pattern that mirrors both the high incidence of Covid-19 in those groups and racial discrimination in access to housing that was federal policy until the 1960s and, unfortunately, persists today,” the authors wrote. 

They make the suggestion that policymakers should consider offering space in underutilized hotels for isolation or quarantine, at no cost. Several Asian countries have done so, and this could decrease transmission of Covid-19, particularly in minority communities. 

The researchers looked at data for 57,984 occupied houses from the American Housing Survey, which were representative of 121.57 million houses or apartments nationwide, home to around 303 million people. 

There were some limitations to the research, the authors noted, such as the fact that people may have over or underreported occupants in the initial survey. 

4:40 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Canadian officials warn young people are fueling a spike in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Paula Newton

Canadian public health officials say they are concerned about a small but significant increase in cases of Covid-19 throughout the country, especially among younger people. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada now says more than 55% of new infections over the past week have been in younger adults under the age of 39. Earlier in the pandemic that group represented about a third of all infections.  

“There are lots of factors at play and we are certainly keeping an eye on it and I think across the country we need to redouble our efforts in terms of reaching all Canadians, including young folks. I think all Canadians have made tremendous sacrifices and we’ve succeeded overall in flattening the curve but that success if fragile,” said Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, during a news conference Tuesday. 

Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford was more blunt, telling young adults they are "hurting people."

"I just have a message for young people: Don't go to a party, simple. It might not be you, but it's going to be your parents or your grandparents," Ford said during a news conference Tuesday adding, "You've got to rein it in."

The latest numbers: Canada’s case count remains modest, with the country now averaging about 450 cases per day compared to about 350 per day in June. Many provinces have started reopening bars and restaurants and while that has contributed to the spike in cases, public health officials say private parties among young people are of particular concern.  

“Many of the clusters of cases that are among the young adults are also associated with indoor parties,” said Njoo. 

4:35 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Louisiana will stay in phase 2 of reopening for another two weeks due to Covid-19 resurgence

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Louisiana’s governor said the resurgence of coronavirus in his state is causing them to put their reopening plans on hold.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that the state will remain in its phase two plan for another two weeks as Covid-19 numbers increase.

“It is widespread all across our state," the governor said.

Edwards first extended the phase two plan nearly a month ago, and it was set to expire on Friday prior to his extension.

The governor added a new mask mandate early last week, and he said that rule also will be in place for an additional two weeks. 

Louisiana had another surge of Covid-19 in early May, but the governor warned that the disease is in more parts of the state now.

“This resurgence doesn't look like it did,” Edwards said, “when it was concentrated.”

The state Department of Health warns that hospitalizations also are growing at an alarming rate. “We've now clearly turned a corner in the wrong direction," said Dr. Alexander Billioux, assistant secretary.

4:37 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

We need to try to get children back in school, Fauci says

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

The US needs to try to get children back in school, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday.

“This is obviously a very important problem, you know, in general,” Fauci said.

Fauci said he has not specifically talked to President Trump or Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about reopening schools, but he said it has come up at the coronavirus task force meetings. 

“In general, when I think about that, I want to take a 40,000-foot look and say, as a fundamental principle, I do agree that we should try as best as I possibly can to get the children back to school because of the well-documented, you know, secondary downstream ripple effects that are negative on parents and on the children when you keep them out of school,” Fauci said.

4:30 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

US stocks finish mixed

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, as investors await more company earnings in addition to news about the economic recovery and efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

Here's how the market closed: 

  • The Dow finished 0.6%, or 160 points, higher
  • The S&P 500 ended up 0.2%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite, which closed at an all-time high on Monday, fell 0.8%.

4:35 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fauci: People should get a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as one becomes available

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says once a coronavirus vaccine is available and approved, people should not wait to see if another option is more effective.

"A vaccine will not be approved by the FDA unless it clearly shows that it's safe and it's effective," Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper. "I would not wait to see if one is better than another. Because the very fact that it gets approved by the FDA means that it's good enough to protect you."

"The relative percentage of how good it's going to be – you may get one vaccine that's a bit better than the other – but I would say that some protection by a vaccine is certainly better than no protection," he added.

Fauci said he hopes more than one vaccine gets approved because "we need a lot of vaccine, not only for people in the United States but for the rest of the world."

"When the first one comes out, if it's available, I would encourage people to get vaccinated," Fauci added.


4:22 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fauci says he is a "realist," not an "alarmist"

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Tuesday said he is more of a realist than an "alarmist" when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump on Sunday called Fauci "a little bit of an alarmist" in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

"People have their opinion about my reaction to things," Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead." "I consider myself more a realist than an alarmist, but people do have their opinions." 

4:28 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Fauci says "it's extremely important" that Trump is protected from coronavirus

The nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said "it's extremely important" that President Trump "stays protected."

Fauci was asked by CNN's Jake Tapper how often the President should be tested for coronavirus. He responded: "Well, it depends on the circumstances and to whom the person was exposed."

Fauci added: "When I go to the White House — you don't really go in particularly if you're going to see the vice president or the President without getting tested. So I went down there yesterday for a certain period of time, and I got tested. So, I mean, you get tested in order to make sure that you protect the President for the obvious reasons, he is the President of the United States. It's extremely important that he stays protected." 

More context: Earlier today, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump sometimes is tested for coronavirus multiple times each day.