ACROSS AMERICA — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, says a statement he made earlier during the coronavirus pandemic has been taken out of context, and used without permission, in an advertisement promoting President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
In the ad, which aired several times during early Sunday afternoon National Football League broadcasts, Fauci says “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.” The ad’s nature suggested Fauci was referring to Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
But in a statement to CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins, Fauci said “the comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials,” CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted Sunday.
On Capitol Hill, hopes for another coronavirus aid package are fading yet again as a new proposal by the Trump administration drew bipartisan opposition over the weekend.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called it “one step forward, two steps back” in a letter to House Democrats.
Talks on another package continued as the White House upped its offer, hoping to come to an agreement before Election Day.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought a more than $1.8 trillion offer to Pelosi on Friday and the two talked for more than 30 minutes, according to reports. The latest offer includes $300 billion for cities and states, another round of stimulus checks for Americans and extended $400 weekly unemployment benefits.
On a conference call with the White House on Saturday, Republicans were wary of the proposal’s price tag, and also expressed opposition to a number of specific provisions, the Washington Post reported, including an expansion of Affordable Care Act tax credits.
In her letter to House Democrats, Pelosi said the offer would be unacceptable without significant changes.
Meanwhile, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were poised to issue a nationwide order recently that would have required masks on all forms of public transit, but it was struck down by members of the Trump administration, according to a report.
The mandate would likely have been the toughest to date in the fight against the coronavirus, The New York Times reported.
Sources told the Times the order was drafted under the agency’s “quarantine powers.” While it was supported by Health and Human Services head Alex Azar, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, declined to even discuss it.
The order would have required face coverings on airplanes, trains, buses and subways, and in transit hubs such as airports, train stations and bus depots.
In other news, one area of the United States hit hardest by coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic is now seeing signs of what may become a second wave.
New virus clusters are emerging in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania, according to data by The New York Times. In New York City, the number of new daily cases now.
In the sports world, more National Football League games have been postponed due to positive virus tests. On Sunday, the league moved the Denver Broncos-New England Patriots game to another week and made a few other schedule tweaks to accommodate teams with players who have tested positive.
READ MORE: White House Ups Virus Aid Offer, Resumes Talks With Pelosi
Also, the World Health Organization on Friday reported its highest daily tally of new coronavirus cases to date.
At least 350,766 new infections were reported worldwide, surpassing Thursday’s record by more than 12,000, according to the WHO’s dashboard. Worldwide deaths related to the virus have passed 1 million, according to the WHO, but are no longer breaking daily records.
The agency recorded 6,339 new coronavirus fatalities Friday, about half the peak of nearly 12,500 reported one day in April.
At least 592 new coronavirus deaths and 51,094 new cases were reported in the United States on Saturday, according to a New York Times database. Over the past week, there have been an average of 48,256 cases per day, an increase of 12 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
As of Sunday, 31 states and Puerto Rico remained above the positive testing rate recommended by the World Health Organization to safely reopen. To safely reopen, the WHO recommends states remain at 5 percent or lower for at least 14 days.
More than 7.7 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Sunday evening, and more than 214,700 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Stay up to date on current coronavirus news via The New York Times or Washington Post.