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With President Trump’s rally in Tulsa less than a week away, health experts warned that the indoor venue and potentially large crowd could help spread the coronavirus, putting attendees and others at risk.

“I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event,” Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa city and county health department, told the Tulsa World. “And I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”

The scheduled rally comes as new infections are trending upward in at least 27 states and territories, and hospitalizations have risen more than 10 percent in at least nine states since Memorial Day, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Officials nationwide are sounding the alarm about a resurgence of coronavirus cases amid reopenings, large protests and reports of people flouting social distancing.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Texas and its largest city, Houston, are reaching new peaks in coronavirus hospitalizations amid a wave of warnings from officials that infections in many states are surging.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, warned that waves of infection could come “back and forth” for months.
  • Citing thousands of complaints about social distancing violations, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Sunday threatened to reverse the reopening process in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
  • As states relax restrictions, public health experts believe wide-scale contact tracing is the price that must be paid to reopen safely. And time is of the essence.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put in place a review of Britain’s two-meter (six-foot) social distancing policy as businesses are desperate to reopen.
  • Beijing reported 36 cases on Sunday, the largest number of new daily cases announced in the Chinese capital since the outbreak began.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Which states are reopening | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

June 14, 2020 at 11:17 PM EDT

PGA Tour returns with no fans, cruel twists and a dramatic Sunday finish

FORT WORTH — The PGA Tour finished its first week of return after a spring largely without sports, and it did so without galleries because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and a quick day with a bustling leader board wound up in a two-man playoff at No. 17, where the crowd around the green numbered either 46 or 47, maybe a third of them aiming cameras.

They aimed at 23-year-old budding supernova Collin Morikawa and 27-year-old mainstay Daniel Berger, the two names left up there at 15 under par once an assortment of golf celebrities slid away. Without much of a crowd around to ramp up the pressure but with weirdness around to inject some, Morikawa stood for a good while over a three-foot putt that would extend the playoff to a second hole.

It hurried into the right edge of the cup, which then spat it out leftward to remind how golf’s viciousness remains eternal. Morikawa sank his hands into his knees, and Berger had his third PGA Tour win.

Read more here.

By Chuck Culpepper
June 14, 2020 at 10:26 PM EDT

Penn State announces plan for in-person fall classes

Penn State is the latest university to move forward with plans for in-person classes this fall as schools try to structure a fall semester within the coronavirus pandemic.

The semester will start Aug. 24 and end after finals Dec. 18, the school announced Sunday. Residential instruction will stop Nov. 20 at the start of the Thanksgiving break, and the rest of the semester will be taught remotely or online after the break, starting Nov. 30.

Students and employees will start returning to campus in phases this summer, according to the university, and classes will be held on Labor Day in an attempt to limit travel and decrease risk of infection.

“The Penn State experience may look somewhat different this fall, but I am very much looking forward to seeing our campuses busy with students, faculty and staff once again,” Penn State President Eric J. Barron said in a statement on the school’s website. “I know I speak for the leadership at each of our campuses when I say we are looking forward to welcoming our students back and greeting, for the first time, our new students.”

Universities nationwide have plotted different ways to address the pandemic that shuttered schools early this year, but there are common themes, including the move to limited classes post-Thanksgiving.

Similar to Penn State, the University of North Carolina will not bring students back after Thanksgiving. Its classes will start Aug. 10. And the University of Virginia will have some face-to-face classes starting Aug. 25 but finish in-person teaching by Thanksgiving, too.

The University of Wisconsin System said it will have students back on campus this fall and is making recommendations to its 13 institutions, but each will formulate its own plans. The University System of Maryland said it will allow its 15 universities and higher education centers to pursue different plans as schools combine “at least some on-campus, in-person instruction with remote learning.”

By Kareem Copeland
June 14, 2020 at 9:42 PM EDT

‘We opened too early,’ expert says, amid jumps in hospitalizations in many states

South Carolina and Alabama on Sunday hit single-day records in new confirmed coronavirus cases.

Hospitalizations related to the virus are up more than 10 percent since Memorial Day in at least 10 states — more than 120 percent in Arkansas and nearly 75 percent in Arizona.

Infectious-disease experts are worried about the trends they’re seeing, as some places in the United States experience their biggest tallies yet of coronavirus cases requiring serious medical care and more than half of states hit seven-day averages of new cases that are higher than a week ago.

“The evidence to me in the South and the West and some of the other places is that we opened too early in those states,” Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the special pathogens unit at the Boston University School of Medicine, said in a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That we didn’t have the ability to basically trace down those chains of transmission and stop them once people started mingling again.”

Bhadelia said she’s most worried by the uptick in hospitalizations, echoing White House coronavirus task force member Anthony S. Fauci. She pointed to Arizona, where state data show the share of adult intensive care unit beds in use has hovered near 80 percent in recent days. North Carolina is experiencing similarly high bed usage, Bhadelia said.

“And so it’s not just the cases, it’s the fact that, at this point, hospitals are at risk of getting overwhelmed,” she said. “And that is basically signaling to me that the states are already behind, and they should consider potentially whether they should be rolling back, at least not progressing with further reopening.”

The virus “is not going to rest” until it infects 60 percent to 70 percent of the country, Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on “Fox News Sunday.” That’s what many experts say is necessary for “herd immunity.”

By Hannah Knowles and Jacqueline Dupree
June 14, 2020 at 9:19 PM EDT

Lured by sunny weather, D.C. residents spill outside — social distancing at times forgotten

Almost every day since the weather began to warm, Tony Ponte had driven his taxi past the volleyball courts near the Lincoln Memorial, hoping to see the players he befriended across years of watching games.

No dice, for several long and boring weeks, until Sunday morning — when, Ponte, 67, spotted five men shouting, panting and scrambling in the sand, paying no attention to a sign that said, “Volleyball Courts Closed.”

The glorious weather, coupled with the first sustained period of relative peace and quiet since protests over the killing of George Floyd began, seem to have conquered the virus fear that kept many D.C. residents inside for months. They came out this weekend to sunbathe, celebrate birthdays, jog, sip mimosas over brunch — and few bothered to wear masks.

Read more here.

By Hannah Natanson
June 14, 2020 at 8:46 PM EDT

Ripple effects of economic downturn show early toll was just the start

John Dillivan would normally be breaking in new employees at this time of year, preparing for western Michigan’s summer tourist rush. Instead, for the first time in the 31 years that he and his wife, Sue, have owned their sandwich shop, he has no new servers or counter help to train.

Business is down about 20 percent at the neat white clapboard restaurant because its town’s biggest employer, Howmet Aerospace, recently laid off nearly one-quarter of its 2,800 employees — a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic that has grounded thousands of airplanes.

Even as the White House celebrates tentative signs of a labor market rebound, the ripples from Howmet’s decision show that the pandemic’s imprint upon the U.S. economy is hardening into a scar.

Read more here.

By David Lynch
June 14, 2020 at 8:17 PM EDT

Texas, Houston hit new highs in hospitalizations as officials sound alarms

Texas and its largest city, Houston — the fourth biggest in the country — are reaching new peaks in coronavirus hospitalizations amid a wave of warnings from officials that infections in many states are surging.

Hospitalizations in Texas have ticked up more or less steadily in June, according to data posted by Texas Health and Human Services, reaching a new high of 2,287 on Saturday. Houston has also reported record hospitalizations related to the virus for three days in a row, said Zach Despart of the Houston Chronicle.

Officials are taking heed.

“We’re starting to move in the wrong direction,” Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night. “What worked for us successfully in March and April are the same things that need to work for us as we move forward.”

“When you start to see increases in hospitalization, that’s a surefire situation that you’ve got to pay close attention to,” said White House coronavirus task force member Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, on Friday.

The Texas Medical Center in Houston has also charted an upward trend in its facilities’ covid-19 hospitalizations in the second half of May into June — an average increase of 3.7 percent per day, as of Saturday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced the state’s shift into the second phase of reopening, with increased capacity for restaurants and more business closures lifted, on May 18.

Harris County, which includes Houston, said that it is still experiencing a “significant and uncontrolled level” of coronavirus cases and that people should minimize contact and avoid all but small gatherings.

By Hannah Knowles
June 14, 2020 at 7:46 PM EDT

Nashville cites packed bar as leaders put the brakes on reopening

Nashville officials have cited a flurry of businesses for violating coronavirus public health rules, including a bar shown packed with people on Saturday night in images shared on social media.

Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk and Rock 'n' Roll Steakhouse was cited after people tweeted photos in which customers appeared to be socializing shoulder-to-shoulder. The city’s Metro Public Health Department issued 13 citations on Friday, spokesman Brian Todd said, as the city remains in the second phase of reopening.

Under that phase, residents are instructed to work from home if possible and wear masks in public. Only small gatherings — of up to 25 people — are allowed, and although restaurants and bars can open at 75 percent capacity, bar areas are supposed to remain closed. The Nashville health department also advises that people wear face coverings in community settings.

Officials say the recent citations were given out for violations of Order 4, which requires employees to wear face coverings, and Order 6, which focuses on social distancing and requires dance floors to remain closed.

People appeared to line the bar at Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk without social distancing, and it was cited for serving customers seated at the bar, Todd said.

Bar staff members could not immediately be reached Sunday.

Officials nationwide are sounding the alarm about a resurgence of coronavirus cases amid reopening, large protests and reports of people flouting social distancing. On Saturday, a dozen states had record-high seven-day averages in new, confirmed infections, while five states reached new single-day case records.

Tennessee reported its second-highest daily total of new cases Sunday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Nashville Mayor John Cooper said last week that he would delay moving the city to the third phase of reopening, which includes a return to full-capacity operations for restaurants and retailers. Bars would be allowed to operate at half-capacity.

By Kareem Copeland
June 14, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT

Head of Dallas Fed calls adherence to public health guidelines crucial for economic recovery but ‘uneven’

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas expressed concern Sunday that adherence to coronavirus public health guidelines that are critical to economic recovery has been “relatively uneven.”

Appearing on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Robert Kaplan, one of 12 regional heads in the federal reserve system, said: “It’s critical, based on my conversations with epidemiologists, that people widely wear masks, that we have good testing and contact tracing.”

“The extent we do that well will determine how quickly we recover,” he continued. “We’ll grow faster if we do those things well. And right now, it’s relatively uneven.”

Kaplan suggested that fears of the national unemployment rate reaching 20 percent are unwarranted, saying, “We’re on our way down right now. … We’re going to get positive job growth in June, July and from there.”

On June 5, the May unemployment rate was announced at 13.3 percent. Because of a “misclassification error,” however, the actual figure was estimated at 16.3 percent.

Despite his optimism, Kaplan conceded, “We’re going to end the year with an elevated unemployment rate … of 8 percent or more.”

He said Congress should continue taking an aggressive role in addressing the economic devastation that has accompanied the novel coronavirus and the shutdowns to slow its spread.

“It’s going to take continued, I think, unemployment benefits,” he said. “Now, they might be restructured to create more incentives for people to go back to work. That all makes sense.”

He also said that greater “benefits to state and local governments” would be necessary.

By Steven Goff
June 14, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT

Britain’s Boris Johnson seeks to reduce six-foot social distancing rule to boost reopening businesses

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put in place a review of Britain’s two-meter (six-foot) social distancing policy as the coronavirus crisis shows signs of easing in the country and businesses are desperate to reopen, the country’s finance minister said Sunday.

Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, told Sky News that a comprehensive review of the rule was underway in a meeting that would involve scientists and economists. Relaxing the rule would allow some businesses to be able to open and operate, he said. “It’s the difference between three-quarters and maybe a third of pubs opening, for example,” he said.

“Now that we have made good progress in suppressing the virus, we are at a different stage of this epidemic than we were at the beginning and that enables us to take a fresh look at this,” he added.

The World Health Organization recommends social distancing of at least three feet, or one meter.

Britain was one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic with — until it was surpassed Saturday by Brazil — the second highest death toll in the world after the United States, at 41,000 deaths.

The daily number of new cases, however, has been declining steadily for weeks, with 1,425 new cases announced Saturday compared to several times that every day during May. The United Kingdom also reported its lowest daily count of new, known deaths (36) since before the country’s shutdown in March.

Nonessential businesses are set to reopen Monday.

Britain’s economy has been one of the worst affected in Europe by the virus, showing a 20 percent contraction of the gross domestic product in April — the most severe on record.

By Paul Schemm
June 14, 2020 at 5:51 PM EDT

D.C. United cleared to resume regular training for first time since March

A day after revealing that a player had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, D.C. United announced Sunday that it had been approved to resume regular training Monday at Audi Field.

The MLS team had been limited in recent weeks to voluntary individual sessions and small-group practices. Permission from both the league and local health officials was required before workouts could be ramped up.

United has not conducted a regular practice since March 11, the day before the pandemic forced MLS to suspend its season.

Read more here.

By Steven Goff
June 14, 2020 at 5:25 PM EDT

Cuomo threatens to reverse reopening process in Manhattan and Hamptons

Citing thousands of complaints about social distancing violations, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Sunday threatened to reverse the reopening process in Manhattan and the Hamptons, the tony communities on the far-eastern edge of Long Island that swell with visitors in the summer.

“I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

Most of the 25,000 violation complaints the state has received concern health and safety issues in Manhattan and the Hamptons, the governor said.

If “local governments are not monitoring policing, doing the compliance, yes, there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening of those areas,” Cuomo said.

On the first Friday night after New York City’s lockdown began to lift, revelers were seen ignoring social distancing in the streets. A video retweeted this weekend by Cuomo — “Don’t make me come down there,” he wrote — showed a crowd, most of the people without masks, gathered at St. Marks Place, a stretch of the East Village of Manhattan.

New York City is in Phase 1 of reopening, while Long Island entered Phase 2 last week.

“We’re not going to go back to that dark place because local governments didn’t do their job” in enforcing social distancing, Cuomo said Sunday, adding that bars and restaurants hosting large crowds could lose their liquor licenses.

By Steven Goff
June 14, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT

French president announces full reopening of metropolitan areas

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday night announced a further easing of his country’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including a full reopening of metropolitan France, starting Monday.

The Paris region, where rules aimed at curbing the virus had remained stricter, will become a “green zone,” meaning that all businesses, restaurants and cafes can reopen, Macron said. Restaurants there had to serve patrons outside, for example, while others across the country were allowed to serve indoors with social distancing.

France will admit travelers from European countries starting Monday, and incoming travelers will not require a special travel certificate or be forced to quarantine upon arrival. International travelers from countries not heavily affected by the novel coronavirus will be welcome to return as of July 1.

A special agreement with Spain honoring that country’s regulations will mean that the present restrictions stay in effect for Spanish travelers until June 21.

Macron also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement, which has erupted in France in the form of “Justice for Adama” — a call for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died in French police custody in 2016. A top French court this weekend struck down a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people as protests drew thousands.

Macron waffled between acknowledging the racism in French society and opposing identitarian sentiment seen by some as “separatist” and hostile to France’s famous ideal of universal equality.

He also said he would tolerate no statues being torn down, although France has previously removed statues and street signs commemorating Philippe Pétain. Pétain was a World War I hero who later headed France’s Vichy government, which openly collaborated with the Nazis during World War II and facilitated the deportation of about 76,000 Jews.

By James McAuley
June 14, 2020 at 4:15 PM EDT

Betty Robinson, child of segregation who was ‘fierce about civil rights,’ dies of covid-19

Born in Baltimore in 1928, Betty Robinson entered into a world divided. A child of segregation, Robinson attended St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, which was, at the time, an all-girls Catholic school. There, she developed a strong will.

“She came out of segregation, and that’s why I think she was so fierce about civil rights,” said her son, Dana Robinson.

Robinson’s friends and family recalled her quiet power and independent spirit after she tested positive for the novel coronavirus and died April 5 in Silver Spring. Robinson was 91.

Read more here.

By Jessica Wolfrom
June 14, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT

Voice of America slams CDC for instructing staff to ignore their interview requests

The U.S.-funded international broadcaster Voice of America on Sunday condemned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for apparently instructing staff to ignore their interview requests, calling the move “shocking” and “troubling.”

The White House has accused VOA and other American news organizations of favoring the Chinese government during the coronavirus pandemic, issuing an April 10 news release titled “Amid a Pandemic, Voice of America Spends Your Money to Promote Foreign Propaganda.” VOA defended its coverage in a release the same day, citing its record of scrutinizing and debunking misinformation from Chinese officials and state media.

The VOA was responding to partially redacted documents posted on the national security forum Just Security. The nonprofit Knight First Amendment Institute said it obtained the internal guidance in response to a public records request seeking the CDC’s and Trump administration’s policies on allowing government experts to speak publicly amid the coronavirus crisis.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The documents named veteran news anchor Greta Van Susteren, a host with VOA: “NOTE: as a rule, do not send up requests for Greta Van [Susteren] or anyone affiliated with Voice of America,” reads one instruction, pointing to the April 10 White House release.

Van Susteren tweeted on Sunday that she was dismayed the CDC had “blackballed” her when no one had found factual inaccuracies in her virus reporting, while VOA Director Amanda Bennett said in a statement that “efforts such as those outlined in the CDC memo can result in the kind of chilling effect on our journalism that we regularly see in the markets we broadcast to that have no free press.”

Bennett had emphasized VOA’s independence in her response to the White House’s April 10 criticism.

“One of the big differences between publicly-funded independent media, like the Voice of America, and state-controlled media is that we are free to show all sides of an issue and are actually mandated to do so by law as stated in the VOA Charter signed by President Gerald Ford in 1976,” she said at the time.

By Hannah Knowles and Brittany Shammas