Coronavirus Newsbites

CNN Coronavirus Update
In his first virus-related briefing since April, delivered against the backdrop of tumbling poll numbers and plummeting public confidence, Trump acknowledged that the outbreak was bad -- while simultaneously peddling multiple untruths -- and finally urged Americans to wear face masks, though he did not wear one himself.

The same public health experts who have been pleading for Americans to wear face coverings for months were noticeably absent from the briefing on Tuesday. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, responded to Trump’s claim that he was an alarmist in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, just minutes before the President spoke. "I consider myself more of a realist," Fauci said.

Here is the reality of the pandemic in the US right now: More than 1,000 daily deaths were reported Tuesday for the first time in July, Covid-19 hospitalizations are nearing April's peak after falling for months, more than 20,000 members of the US military have contracted the virus and the number of cases in different parts of the US is probably 10 times higher than what has been reported.

But deep into the crisis that has seen nearly 4 million Americans infected and more than 140,000 dead -- close to one-quarter of the global total -- Trump offered no clear plan to lead the country out of its worsening viral nightmare, or even much comprehension of why things got so bad, Stephen Collinson writes.

And it didn't take Trump long to undermine his grave tone by re-upping his counter-scientific argument that one day the virus will just simply "disappear."

Axios-Ipsos poll: The skeptics are growing
A rising number of Americans — now nearly one in three — don't believe the virus' death toll is as high as the official count, despite surging new infections and hospitalizations, per this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Between the lines: Republicans, Fox News watchers and people who say they have no main source of news are driving this trend.

Why it matters: It shows President Trump's enduring influence on his base, even as Americans overall say they are increasingly dissatisfied with his handling of the virus and political support is shifting toward Joe Biden.

Three simple acts can stop Covid-19 outbreaks, study finds
These three simple acts could stop the Covid-19 pandemic in its tracks, even without a vaccine or additional treatments: Washing your hands regularly, wearing masks and social distancing.

That is according to a new study published in the journal PLoS Medicine, which created a new model to look at the spread of the disease and prevention efforts that could help stop it. The contact rates in the study were based on people's interaction in the Netherlands, but the model is appropriate for other Western countries, the researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht said.

"A large epidemic can be prevented if the efficacy of these measures exceeds 50%," they wrote.

Schumer: 'The President seems to think if we don't test,' Covid will 'go away'
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that President Donald Trump "seems to think if we don't test" the coronavirus pandemic will "go away," arguing Trump's opposition to additional federal funding for testing represents a "dereliction of leadership.

There is money there, but it's not close to enough. And we propose more, and many Republicans agree with us," he added.