The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 25, 2020
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3:31 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

São Paulo postpones Carnival 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic

From Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre

People participate in a Carnival parade in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2019.
People participate in a Carnival parade in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2019. Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

São Paulo’s Carnival has been postponed until May or June next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the city’s Mayor Bruno Covas announced during a news conference on Friday.

The decision involves both the parade of the samba schools and the street blocks that last year attracted 15 million people during three weeks, according to the mayor.

"We are still talking with the samba schools, the blocks and the other cities to define a new date. It is probably going to be between the end of May and the beginning of June," said Covas.

The mayor also announced two other events in the city were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The March for Jesus, a religious event that gathers the faithful of all Brazilian Christian churches, was initially pushed back from June to Nov. 2, and has now been canceled. Last year, the event attracted 3 million people, according to Covas.

The LGBTQ Pride Parade, São Paulo’s annual gay pride parade, was celebrated virtually in June with the actual parade postponed until Nov. 29, but that event was canceled, too.

About the numbers: São Paulo City reported a total of 202,571 Covid-19 cases and 9,168 deaths on Thursday afternoon. In the state of São Paulo, 44% of 20,532 registered deaths were reported in its capital, according to the last report released by City Hall. 

São Paulo’s mayor said on Friday the city has seen an improvement in the fight against the pandemic but the fight is not over yet.

3:25 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Public health officials need to "stick with the science," even in a political atmosphere, Fauci says

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

A pandemic may intensify the divisiveness that already exists in the country, but scientists need to stay firm with facts, even when people push back, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.

“We need to stick with the science and let everything we do, vis-a-vis recommendations, vis-à-vis recommendations, vis-à-vis guidelines, to be guided by the evidence and by the facts,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“And often the evidence and the facts are not readily acceptable by some people who push back against it. You just have to stick by your guns,” Fauci said during a Center for Strategic and International Studies online event. “Don’t get involved in any ideology. We are not politicians. We are public health officials.”

Fauci said throughout history, situations like the Covid-19 pandemic put a stress on society that can create a “supercharged atmosphere.” People have become confused and some fail to understand how the economy and public health are intertwined. 

“They perceive public health measures almost as the enemy of economic recovery and getting back to normal,” Fauci said. Instead, people should realize that public health measures will help the economy recover. “We should utilize those tools to help us rather than to interpret that these are obstacles,” he said.

Fauci said it is the duty of public health officials to help people understand their responsibility to society and to help change minds people’s minds if they refuse to wear masks or stay out of crowded bars.

“We’ve got to make sure people really understand the responsibility that they have to help out to get out of this predicament we’re in, as opposed to intensify it,” Fauci said.

3:17 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

More than 144,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Haley Brink

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there have been at least 4,073,243 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. At least 144,780 people have died in the US from coronavirus.   

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

As of 3 p.m. ET today, Johns Hopkins has reported 34,495 new cases and 476 new deaths. 

Here's a look at the pandemic across the country:

2:58 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Arizona reports more than 3,300 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Chandler Thornton

Arizona reported at least 3,349 new Covid-19 cases Friday, bringing the state's total to 156,301, according to state's Health Department. 

The state also added 79 new deaths from the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to at least 3,142. 

This comes after Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said on Friday that some states, including Arizona, were "starting to see some plateauing."

 Here's a look at new daily cases in Arizona for the past two weeks:

2:49 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

There have been 23,000 confirmed and probable Covid-19 deaths in New York City

From CNN's Rob Frehse

New York City has reported 18,836 confirmed and 4,629 probable coronavirus deaths as of July 24, according to the most recent data on the city website.

The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death “Covid-19” or an equivalent.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City since the start of the pandemic is 23,465.

There have been 219,641 coronavirus cases in the city, and 55,893 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

The data is from the New York City Health Department and was updated on July 24 at 1 p.m., according to the website.

To note: The figures may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

2:51 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Florida governor will meet with Trump at White House soon to discuss the pandemic

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leaves a news conference in Miami on July 13.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leaves a news conference in Miami on July 13. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As coronavirus cases rage in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has departed the major hotspot and traveled to the White House, turning his focus to drug pricing Friday afternoon.

DeSantis will attend a 3 p.m. ET event at the White House on drug pricing and will be meeting with the President separately to discuss the pandemic.

Florida has more than 402,000 reported coronavirus cases as of Friday afternoon and the state is on the cusp of overtaking New York in total cases, which would put it second behind California. 

“Gov. DeSantis is here. He’s here to be a part of the drug pricing event, but he will be talking and meeting with the President further to discuss Covid and other matters,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

2:44 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Universal Studios cancels Halloween Horror Nights due to coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

A look inside last year's Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando.
A look inside last year's Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando. Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Universal Studios announced it has canceled this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at its Orlando and Hollywood theme parks.  

“We are disappointed, too. But we look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021," the theme park tweeted.

Universal Orlando is focused on operating safely for daytime guests, the tweet said.  

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, now in its 30th year, is comprised of haunted houses and scary-themed attractions, according to its website. 

 

2:39 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

UK prime minister says government could have handled the pandemic differently

From CNN's Josefine Ohema

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a visit to the Tollgate Medical Centre in London on Friday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a visit to the Tollgate Medical Centre in London on Friday. Jeremy Selwyn/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged that the British government could have dealt with the early outbreak of coronavirus “differently,” he told the BBC in an interview Friday.

Johnson said the government followed the guidance of its scientific advisers in all its policy decisions. 

“There are things that we could have done differently, as I have said, and of course there will be time to understand what exactly we could have done or done differently,” Johnson said. "If you look at the timing of every single piece of advice that we got from our advisers, from SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), you will find that whenever they said we needed to take a particular step, we stuck to it."

Johnson said the UK needs "to make sure that we are prepared for the future and that is why we are getting on with our work for preparing for what could very well be a resurgence."

Asked whether the government response was too late, Johnson told the BBC that there were things the government did not understand about the virus in the early stages. 

“Everybody can see that this was something that was new, that we did not understand in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks,” Johnson said. “I think the single thing that we did not see at the beginning is that it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person."

4:41 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Pelosi urges Republicans to include unemployment provisions in stimulus package

From CNN's Haley Byrd

Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images
Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans to include a full extension of the $600 federal unemployment insurance provisions that are set to expire soon in the next round of coronavirus relief.

“This is central to the wellbeing of America’s families,” Pelosi said at a news conference with several other House Democrats Friday afternoon. “What do the Republicans and the White House have against working families in our country that they would begrudge them $600 of absolutely necessary sustenance?”

She also slammed Republicans for not introducing their proposal for the next round of stimulus this week. 

“They’re in disarray. And their disarray is causing great, great damage to America’s working families,” she said. “This is an alarm that needs to be sounded as loudly as possible about what are we doing here if we’re not addressing the needs of people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own?”

She said the idea of advancing a short-term extension of the unemployment provisions is “a fraudulent tactic” that Republicans are considering “in order not to honor our other responsibilities.” 

“Our house is burning down in terms of the economic security of America’s families and these people are fiddling wherever they may be this weekend,” Pelosi added.