New Zealand records zero new coronavirus cases
A break from the US now, to a country whose response to the pandemic could not have been more different.
New Zealand recorded no new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, as restrictions on much of the country were entirely removed, and measures imposed on Auckland, the largest city, were due to ease further.
There are 61 active cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand, 32 of them diagnosed as part of a community cluster in Auckland. The community outbreak prompted a second lockdown of the city last month, which is now easing.
There is no recorded community spread of the virus in the rest of New Zealand, where the government lifted all physical distancing restrictions and limits on gathering numbers overnight.
A further 29 cases of the virus are contained in managed isolation facilities for travelers returning to New Zealand.
The country has reported 1,464 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, with 25 deaths. Three people are currently in hospital.
Here is Trump dancing to YMCA by the Village People, which is what played when he was finished speaking:
The rally has ended with the following words from Trump – I’ll have a summary up soon:
“Together with the wonderful people of Swanton, Ohio we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great Again.”
Here is Trump falsely claiming coronavirus affecting ‘virtually nobody” young. “Take your hat off to the young,” he says. “By the way, open your schools. Everybody open your schools.”
These “First Lady” anecdotes are really something:
Trump has invited two young football players up onto the podium.
Trump has encouraged college football players to push for the opportunity to compete this season despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many football players, particularly those who play on the offensive and defensive lines, are in a higher risk category due to their body mass index, which may explain why linemen accounted for nearly half of the 66 NFL players who opted out of the forthcoming season before last week’s deadline. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of the player pool at the collegiate level are drawn from minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
Here is my colleague Bryan Armen Graham on the politicisation of college football in the US and especially amid the coronavirus pandemic:
The promise of a return to normalcy has been central to Trump’s reelection pitch from the earliest days of the pandemic, so it’s no surprise that he would seize on America’s second most popular sport – a signpost of autumn and a pastime regarded as a vanguard of conservative values – during the run-up to his showdown with Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Four years ago, Trump was able to win the electoral college and the White House despite receiving nearly 3m fewer votes by toppling the so-called blue wall of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – none of which had gone Republican in nearly three decades – by a combined total of fewer than 80,000 votes (or 0.06% of 137m votes cast). All three of those crucially important battleground states fall squarely inside the Big Ten’s geographical footprint, as do Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio, which also figure into scenarios that could swing the election.
Here is how some players have responded:
Trump says virus affects “virtually” no young people
On coronavirus, Trump says that it it only “really” affects people who have “other problems.”
He also claims that when it comes to children it affects “virtually nobody”.
“We’ve among the lowest case fatality rates of any country in the world,” says Trump.”
This is not true. The US has one of the highest fatality rates per 100,000 population, at 57.97.
“Our bold and early actions saved millions of live,” he says. The current death toll, the highest in the world and a fifth of the global total, is 199,816.
Here is footage of the rest of the crowd that shows that not many people (besides those standing directly behind Trump) are wearing masks:
A reminder that Trump is speaking as the US is on the brink of a devastating 200,000 coronavirus deaths.
Watch the event live here:
“This is the most important election in the history of our country in my opinion,” says Trump.
He is talking about his triumph in Ohio in 2016, in what we called a “stunning win”.
Ohio has voted for the victor in every presidential election since 1964. Trump won Ohio by a margin of 8.1 points in 2016, presenting a tough challenge for the Democrats, who will be hoping for a high turnout among black voters.
Here is the polling at the moment – the republicans are leading the swing state by 0.5%:
Here is more on the hopes placed on black voters by the Democrats:
Those in the crowd wearing masks are wearing MAGA masks: