By WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 520,000 people worldwide.Over 10.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 128,740 deaths.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:
8:57 a.m.: White House defends domestic trips as Secret Service agents test positiveThe White House is defending its domestic trips after yet another incident of Secret Service agents getting sick as a result of those trips.A senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “I hope it’s reflected that these trips have been an important way for the Task Force to get ground reports from states, provide states what they need when they need it, and to assure the American people that we’ll get through this together.”While Vice President Mike Pence’s trips this week to two hot spots — Florida and Arizona — took on a coronavirus focus, they were originally slated to include campaign activities as well. The campaign events were postponed.However, ABC News confirmed that Secret Service agents in Arizona who were preparing for a trip involving Pence tested positive for COVID-19 or showed signs of illness, which led to a postponement of the trip, according to a government official familiar with the matter.The delay was needed for the Secret Service to bring in a new team of healthy agents in to Phoenix to complete the trip, according to the official.
7:50 a.m.: Face coverings required in Myrtle Beach ahead of holiday weekendAnyone in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is now required to wear a mask or face covering, Mayor Brenda Bethune told ABC News’ Good Morning America.The mandate comes ahead of what Bethune expected to be a crowded holiday weekend, with more than 100,000 tourists visiting.Bethune said they should have enacted a mask order earlier, but didn’t have the authority until just last week. The order went into effect Thursday at 11:59 p.m. local time.”I wish we could have done it sooner, we acted on it as quickly as possible,” Bethune said.
7:36 a.m.: Penn State student dies of COVID-19 complicationsA student at Penn State University died of respiratory failure and COVID-19, according to a statement from the university.Juan Garcia, a 21-year-old College of Earth and Mineral Sciences student from Allentown, died June 30, the university said.He is the first known Penn State student death related to the coronavirus.“We are profoundly saddened to learn about Juan’s untimely death during this pandemic,” vice president for Student Affairs Damon Sims said. “While I did not know Juan personally, we have learned through conversations with those closest to him that this young man had a remarkable spirit and was greatly loved. I know our entire campus community sends our deepest condolences to his family and friends as they grieve this unthinkable loss. It is a poignant reminder that no one among us is immune to the worst consequences of this virus.”Garcia was living off campus when he began to feel ill, according to the university statement. He then traveled back home to Allentown on June 19 and was tested for COVID-19 on June 20.He died 10 days later.
7:18 a.m.: ‘Great news’: Trump says of increase in number of COVID-19 casesEven as Republican-led states roll back reopenings due to the significant rise in coronavirus cases and warnings from his own government that the pandemic is far from over, President Donald Trump continues to take an optimistic tone about the increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases.”There is a rise in Coronavirus cases because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country,” Trump tweeted late Thursday night. “This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!”However, Adm. Brett Giroir, the man Trump appointed to oversee testing, testified at a House hearing Thursday that “this is a real increase in cases” and not just attributable to increased testing.”There is no question that the more testing you get, the more you will uncover,” Giroir said Thursday. “But we do believe this is a real increase in cases because of the percent positives are going up. So, this is real increases in cases.”Giroir said the U.S. is not flattening the curve right now.
“The curve is still going up,” he testified.Trump’s positively also comes the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its coronavirus death toll projections for July. Forecasts indicate that between 140,000 and 160,000 total deaths nationally are expected by July 25. The CDC forecast also suggests that the number of new deaths will increase in 11 states.The U.S. reported 52,815 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. This week was the biggest week-over-week jump since the third week in March, when testing had just begun to increase in the United States.
5:55 a.m.: Arizona bar let COVID-19 positive workers continue working, officials sayThe state of Arizona has seen an incredible rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations recently, forcing the state to pause its reopening. And now one bar is under investigation after it allegedly allowed multiple employees known to have tested positive for the coronavirus to continue working.Varsity Tavern, located in downtown Tempe, allegedly permitted both employees and managers to continue working after being diagnosed, according to the State of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.After the state agency began its investigation, the business decided to close on July 1.Officials are still seeking to revoke Varsity Tavern’s license. The establishment has had its license suspended twice before, once in December 2018 and again in July 2019.The Department of Liquor also alleges that the bar management knowingly didn’t notify health officials that workers tested positive, didn’t enforce social distancing requirements and didn’t enforce mask-wearing requirements.Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing operators, last Sunday to pause their operations until July 27 in a renewed effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.For the fifth day in a row, Arizona has surpassed its record number of hospitalizations on Thursday, with 2,938 patients currently hospitalized. At least 89% of ICU beds are now in use in the state.There are more than 87,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, with at least 1,764 deaths. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.