October 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020
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3:05 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

UK government accused of ignoring scientists' advice to lock down 3 weeks ago

From CNN’s Nic Robertson

The UK government is accused of ignoring its own scientists, who three weeks ago suggested considering a so-called “circuit-breaker,” a short lockdown to bring coronavirus incidence levels down.

The governmental advisory body SAGE group -- the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies -- said in a document on September 21 that "a package of interventions will need to be adopted to prevent this exponential rise in cases."

The group also warned that other measures would be required if schools stayed open.

Its recommended actions included the circuit-breaker lockdown, widespread work-from-home practices, and the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and other personal services.

This document wasn't published until after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out new coronavirus regulations in parliament on Monday.

3:01 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Analysis: South Korea mandates mask-wearing, while face coverings remain controversial in West

Analysis from CNN's James Griffiths

People gather after getting off the train at the Seoul railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on September 29.
People gather after getting off the train at the Seoul railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on September 29. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea is introducing a new policy requiring the wearing of face masks at all crowded facilities, on public transport and at demonstrations, even as the number of local infections shrinks.

The East Asian nation is only the latest in the region to introduce a mask mandate, a sign of how vital face coverings have been found to be in controlling infections and preventing future outbreaks. And many in Asia watched in shock as Western governments did not encourage mask wearing and in some cases did the opposite.

Initially, the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) downplayed the value of mask wearing, in an apparent attempt to conserve supplies for medical workers. The US Surgeon General Jerome Adams even tweeted in late February -- in all caps -- "STOP BUYING MASKS!"

The CDC only issued clear guidance on the effectiveness of face coverings in July, months after the pandemic struck the US.

The initial confusion over masks in much of the West helped prevent mass adoption to the extent that even now, face coverings are still used inconsistently in many countries. The supposed "debate" over the effectiveness of masks, which did not reflect the largely settled science on the matter, also created space for conspiracies and disinformation, with covering one's face becoming an issue of freedom for some people.

In the US, the country worst hit by the pandemic, masks are especially contentious. At a large rally held by President Donald Trump in Florida Monday, few could be seen wearing masks, as is the norm at most of his events. Observers have warned that a planned tour by the US leader, who is only just recovering from his own bout of coronavirus, could well turn into a series of "super spreader" events.

Read the full analysis:

2:55 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Germany reports more than 24,500 cases in one week -- its highest weekly count since April

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

A medical assistant takes a throat swab sample from a man through the window of a medical practice for a coronavirus test in Berlin, Germany, on October 12.
A medical assistant takes a throat swab sample from a man through the window of a medical practice for a coronavirus test in Berlin, Germany, on October 12. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Germany has reported 24,584 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days -- the highest weekly count since April, according to the country's center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Tuesday alone saw 4,122 new infections.

To put it into perspective, Germany reported 16,283 new cases the previous week.

This past week, the country's infection rate reached 29.5 cases per 100,000 residents. There are currently 35 regions in Germany that exceed the threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000 residents within seven days. 

The country's total now stands at 329,453 cases and 9,634 related deaths. More than 279,000 people have recovered, and 40,495 patients remain active cases, the RKI said.

Government response: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet with the country's 16 state premiers on Wednesday to discuss and unveil new coronavirus measures.

Germany's armed forces also said in a tweet on Monday that 1,400 soldiers per day have now been deployed to support municipalities and districts in coronavirus contract tracing.

2:28 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

US reports more than 41,000 new Covid-19 cases

A medical worker administers a rapid Covid-19 test in Oakland, California, on October 12.
A medical worker administers a rapid Covid-19 test in Oakland, California, on October 12. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The United States reported 41,653 new Covid-19 infections and 317 virus-related fatalities on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

That raises the country's total to at least 7,804,197 cases and 215,085 deaths. 

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

See our live tracker of US cases:

2:18 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Analysis: Eric Trump may not *get* the whole Covid-19 vaccine thing

Analysis from CNN's Chris Cillizza

Eric Trump speaks at a campaign rally for his father, President Donald Trump, in Monroe, North Carolina, on October 8.
Eric Trump speaks at a campaign rally for his father, President Donald Trump, in Monroe, North Carolina, on October 8. Nell Redmond/AP

Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, is not a doctor. Or an infectious disease expert, And it shows.

Here's Eric Trump discussing his father's recovery from Covid-19 during an appearance on ABCs "This Week" on Sunday with host Jonathan Karl (bolding is mine):

Eric Trump: "Yes. Listen, that first day he got hit hard, first day Friday. And I can tell you as son, it's never fun watching your father fly off to Walter Reed on Marine One, right? I mean, that's something that -- it's a day that no son wants to, again, remember. It's -- that's no fun to watch.

"But I'm telling you I spoke to him three times that next Saturday. The guy sounded 100%. It was amazing. It actually probably goes to speak to how good some of these vaccines that are being created are and what my father's done on the vaccine front, no one could have done. No one could have done.

"I mean, literally, Biden was calling my father xenophobic for shutting down America from travel to China -- I mean, and the virus came from China. My father, literally, started day one creating this vaccine. He worked to push this vaccine. And now my father just took it. And you see how well he got over it --

Jonathan Karl: Wait, wait. Can you --

Trump: -- an inspiration. I think -- as Americans, Jon, we should be very proud of that.

Karl: Can you clarify that? You said your father just took a vaccine?

Trump: Meaning when he was in Walter Reed, the medicines that he was taking.

Karl: The therapeutics?

Trump: -- he felt horrible. And on Saturday -- again, I spoke to the man three times on Saturday and he sounded tremendous. And I think it goes to show the power of medicine in this country and how far that we've come on Covid in the last six, seven months.

Holy cow! There's a vaccine for Covid-19? This is great news!

Or, well, no. See, either Eric Trump let the biggest cat out of the bag ever -- that the President was given a "vaccine" for Covid-19 -- or he is simply confused about the difference between medicines designed to help mitigate the course of the virus and an actual vaccine.

(HINT: It's the latter.)

Read the full analysis:

2:17 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Fans attend a MLB game for the first time since spring training

From CNN's Jill Martin

Atlanta Braves fans and Los Angeles Dodgers fans cheer during batting practice before Game 1 for the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on October 12.
Atlanta Braves fans and Los Angeles Dodgers fans cheer during batting practice before Game 1 for the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on October 12. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/Sipa USA

Fans attended a Major League Baseball (MLB) game on Monday night for the first time since March, when the league shut down spring training due to the pandemic.

It was previously announced that MLB would make approximately 11,500 tickets available for each game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the site for the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the World Series.

And the fans came on Monday, for the start of the NLCS between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers -- making this the first 2020 playoff game with fans in the stands. No fans were allowed during the 2020 regular season. 

They were treated to a good game: The teams were tied at 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning when Austin Riley, on a 1-2 pitch, blasted a solo home run 448 feet to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. Atlanta would go on to win 5-1.

“We haven’t heard anything other than fake crowd noise,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said to reporters after the game.

“This was much needed. It was great. 11,000 people, it really felt like 50,000 people to us because we haven’t had any all year. It was just great to hear cheering for both sides of the teams. It’s just great to have baseball fans in the stands again. Hopefully they were very happy for the first game of the 2020 season and hopefully they come out tomorrow and get another good show.”

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Tuesday.

1:37 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Analysis: Trump mocks virus as he launches potential superspreader sprint to win reelection

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12. Zack Wittman/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump on Monday launched a three-week quest to save his presidency, behaving as though the pandemic that has killed 215,000 Americans was already a memory in front of a packed-in crowd -- even amid chilling new warnings about the resurgent virus.

In his first rally since his own bout with Covid-19, Trump painted a deeply dishonest picture of the nation's battle with the disease, mocked Joe Biden over social distancing and vowed victory on November 3 as he began a frantic push to Election Day, marked by multiple rallies a day that could act as superspreader events.

"I feel so powerful, I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there, I'll kiss everyone in that audience," Trump said in Sanford, Florida, showing his illness did not teach him to respect his own government's pandemic guidelines. "I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the -- everybody. I'll just give everybody a big, fat kiss."

While some supporters at the rally wore masks behind Trump in the camera shot, many people in the big, outdoor crowd did not.

Medical experts expressed despair at Trump's decision to gather huge crowds during a worsening pandemic, ahead of a swing that Trump aides said Monday would involve multiple rallies each day in the coming weeks.

"I promise you, the virus is there, whether it is an indoor event or an outdoor event in these large gatherings," said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of health policy and preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. "Some of those people will become sick, they will spread it to others when they get home and they will become sick. These are accelerator events that promote the distribution of the virus."

Read the full analysis:

1:06 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Pandemic worsens across the US as we count down to Election Day

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid

Just three weeks out from Election Day, the Covid-19 pandemic is making its feared fall comeback across the US -- and influenza season has not even kicked in yet.

Health officials have worried the virus would take hold again as Americans returned to school and as pandemic fatigue encouraged cities, counties and states to loosen restrictions.

Now it’s happening -- and the West, Midwest, and South in particular have seen numbers going in the wrong direction. 

Denver is reporting an “alarming” increase in coronavirus cases; Montana has counted as many cases in 11 days as it reported in the first five months of the pandemic; North Dakota has broken hospitalization records for three days in a row and Arkansas has broken them for five days straight; Wisconsin consistently reports one of the country’s highest weekly average positivity rates; and Georgia has averaged more than 1,000 new cases per day -- every single day -- for 114 days.

"This is a big deal," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday. "I get we're all tired of not being able to go out and do the things we want to do. We all want to go out to restaurants and spend time with our friends and families."  

But the city is paying for it, he said. "During the week of October 3, our seven-day average of hospitalizations was at 126. Today, just a week later, the average is 174 -- a 37% increase. We are at a fork in the road."

1:26 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020

South Korea reports more than 100 new Covid-19 cases after easing social distancing measures 

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

A woman wearing a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks near the social distancing signs at a park in Seoul, South Korea, on October 6.
A woman wearing a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks near the social distancing signs at a park in Seoul, South Korea, on October 6. Lee Jin-man/AP

South Korea reported 102 new Covid-19 cases and one new death in the past 24 hours, authorities said on Tuesday, after the country announced the easing of social distancing measures.

Of the new cases, 69 are locally transmitted and 33 are imported, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The new figures raise the country's total to 24,805 confirmed cases and 434 virus-related deaths.

This is the first time South Korea reported more than 100 new cases in six days and since easing its social distancing measures on Monday.

On Monday, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo announced social distancing restrictions would be eased to Level 1, the lowest level.