Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, is testifying Tuesday alongside other senior officials before the Senate’s health committee. The testimony by Fauci; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield; Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn; and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, is meant to focus on safely reopening schools during the coronavirus outbreak.
While the U.S. wrestles with safely reopening, the European Union confirmed Americans will not be allowed to travel to the bloc of 27 countries when it reopens to some foreign travel Wednesday. The United States is leading the world in both officially confirmed infections and fatalities as it continues to see surges in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in many states.
Nearly 10.3 million coronavirus cases have been detected worldwide, with roughly 2.6 million infections reported in the United States. At least 124,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States, and the global death count is hovering near 505,000.
Here are some significant developments:
More Republican leaders advocated for the use of face masks in public, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) — who encouraged President Trump to don one — and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the rise in cases can be stopped if Americans wear facial coverings in public, along with practicing social distancing and proper personal hygiene.
Social distancing will not be enforced July 3 at the Mount Rushmore fireworks display that Trump will attend, South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) said Monday. Noem also said masks will be provided to the 7,500 participants, but they will not be required to wear them.
The number of people hospitalized for covid-19 is surging in seven states, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. In Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Montana, Georgia and California, seven-day averages are up at least 25 percent from last week.
Chinese researchers announced the discovery of a new strain of swine flu among workers at a slaughterhouse and warned it should be monitored in case human-to-human transmission starts.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who last week ordered people in the city to wear masks in public amid a spike in cases, said a statewide policy should be a “no-brainer.” The mayor of Miami Beach also issued a penalty-bearing rule that requires that city’s residents to wear masks.
Los Angeles County has ordered all beaches to close over the Fourth of July weekend after reporting its highest single-day number of new cases on Monday. But L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he does not plan to enforce the order.