Hong Kong court denies bail to first person charged under new law

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong court denied bail on Monday to the first person charged with inciting separatism and terrorism under the city’s new national security law after he carried a sign saying “Liberate Hong Kong” and drove his motorbike into police.

Tong Ying-kit, 23, was arrested after a video posted online showed him knocking over several officers at a demonstration last Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on its freest city.

The city’s government has said the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, connotes separatism or subversion under the new law, stoking concern over freedom of expression in the former British colony.

Tong, who was unable to appear in court on Friday as he was being treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the incident, appeared in court in a wheelchair.

In rejecting bail, Chief Magistrate So Wai-tak referred to Article 42 of the new law, which states that bail will not be granted if the judge has sufficient grounds to believe the defendant will continue to endanger national security.

The case was adjourned until Oct. 6 and Tong was remanded in custody.

Critics say the law – which punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison – is aimed at crushing dissent and a long-running campaign for greater democracy.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said it is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect the rights and freedoms that underpin the city’s role as a financial hub.

Also on Monday, prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong pleaded not guilty to inciting others to participate in an unlawful assembly during anti-government protests last year.

Fellow activist Agnes Chow pleaded guilty to a similar charge. Their case has been adjourned to Aug. 5.

Wong and Chow, who were both granted bail last year, led a pro-democracy group called Demosisto that they dissolved hours after Beijing passed the national security law.

The United States, Britain and others have denounced the new legislation, which critics say is the biggest step China has taken to tighten its grip over the city, despite a “one country, two systems” formula meant to preserve its freedoms.

(Reporting By Jessie Pang and Pak Yiu; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Robert Birsel)

WHO reviewing report urging new guidance over airborne spread of coronavirus

By Stephanie Nebehay and Julie Steenhuysen

GENEVA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report urging it to update guidance on the novel coronavirus after more than 200 scientists, in a letter to the health agency, outlined evidence the virus can spread in tiny airborne particles.

The WHO says SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.

Because those smaller particles can linger in the air, the scientists are urging WHO to update its guidance.

“We are aware of the article and are reviewing its contents with our technical experts,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday in an email.

How frequently the coronavirus can spread by the airborne or aerosol route – as opposed to by larger droplets in coughs and sneezes – is not clear.

Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-metre (3.3 feet) of physical distancing. Governments, which rely on the agency for guidance policy, may also have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

Although the WHO has said it is considering aerosols as a possible route of transmission, it has yet to be convinced that the evidence warrants a change in guidance.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, said the WHO has long been reluctant to acknowledge aerosol transmission of influenza, “in spite of compelling data,” and sees the current controversy as part of that simmering debate.

“I think the frustration level has finally boiled over with regard to the role that airborne transmission plays in diseases like influenza and SARS-CoV-2,” Osterholm said.

Professor Babak Javid, an infectious disease consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals, said airborne transmission of the virus is possible and even likely, but said evidence over how long the virus stays airborne is lacking.

If it can hang in the air for long periods of time, even after an infected person leaves that space, that could affect the measures healthcare workers and others take to protect themselves.

WHO guidance to health workers, dated June 29, says SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and on surfaces.

But airborne transmission is possible in some circumstances, such as when performing intubation and aerosol-generating procedures, the WHO says. They advise medical workers performing such procedures to wear heavy duty N95 respiratory masks and other protective equipment in an adequately ventilated room.

Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the report under review at the WHO “makes many reasonable points about the evidence that this mode of transmission can happen, and they should be taken seriously.”

But how often airborne transmission happens, which is unknown, also matters.

“If airborne transmission is possible but rare, then eliminating it wouldn’t have a huge impact,” he said in emailed comments.

Officials at South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control said on Monday they were continuing to discuss various issues about COVID-19, including the possibility of airborne transmission. They said more investigations and evidence were needed.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Julie Steenhuysen; Additional reporting by Sangmi Cha in Seoul; Editing by Alex Richardson and Tom Brown)

Facebook, Twitter suspend processing of government data requests in Hong Kong

By Katie Paul

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have suspended processing government requests for user data in Hong Kong, they said on Monday, following China’s establishment of a new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is “pausing” reviews for all of its services “pending further assessment of the National Security Law,” it said in a statement.

Twitter said it had suspended all information requests from Hong Kong authorities immediately after the law went into effect last week, citing “grave concerns” about its implications.

The companies did not specify whether the suspensions would also apply to government requests for removals of user-generated content from its services in Hong Kong.

Social networks often apply localized restrictions to posts that violate local laws but not their own rules for acceptable speech. Facebook restricted 394 such pieces of content in Hong Kong in the second half of 2019, up from eight restrictions in the first half of the year.

Tech companies have long operated freely in Hong Kong, a regional financial hub where internet access has been unaffected by restrictions imposed in mainland China, which blocks Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Last week, China’s parliament passed sweeping new national security legislation for the semi-autonomous city, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony’s way of life since it returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago.

Some Hong Kong residents said they were reviewing their previous posts on social media related to pro-democracy protests and the security law, and proactively deleting ones they thought would be viewed as sensitive.

The legislation pushed China further along a collision course with the United States, with which it is already in disputes over trade, the South China sea and the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Richard Chang)

Cuomo blasts Trump’s COVID-19 response as U.S. death toll tops 130,000

By Lisa Shumaker and Maria Caspani

(Reuters) – As U.S. coronavirus cases surge and deaths topped 130,000, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo harshly criticized the White House’s COVID-19 response on Monday, accusing President Donald Trump of “enabling” the virus and downplaying its threat.

Infections are on the rise in 39 states, according to a Reuters tally, and 16 states have posted record daily case counts in July. The surge has prompted many local leaders to slow or roll back economic re-openings despite Trump’s insistence that the epidemic is being handled.

At a news conference on Monday, Cuomo, a Democrat who has clashed with the president over his efforts to tackle the health crisis, said Trump was “enabling” the virus if he failed to address the severity of the situation.

“Acknowledge to the American people that COVID exists, it is a major problem, it’s going to continue until we admit it and each of us stands up to do our part,” Cuomo said, directing his comments at the president.

During a speech at the White House on Saturday, Trump asserted without providing evidence that 99% of U.S. coronavirus cases were “totally harmless.”

Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas, on Monday also criticized Republican Trump’s message.

“It’s incredibly disruptive and the messaging coming from the president of the United States is dangerous,” Adler told CNN.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Monday defended Trump, saying the president was not trying to play down the deaths.

“But it’s really to look statistically to know that whatever risks that you may have or I may have, or my, my children or my grandchildren may have, let’s look at that appropriately and I think that’s what he’s trying to do,” Meadows told reporters outside the White House.

RE-OPENINGS HALTED

Local leaders across the country are considering slowing down or rolling back business re-openings to curb spiking infection rates that are already overwhelming hospitals in some areas.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Florida’s Miami-Dade County, which currently has some 48,000 COVID-19 cases, issued an emergency order on Monday shutting down on-site dining at restaurants and closing ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals.

“We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks and stays at least six feet (2 meters) apart from others. I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy,” Gimenez said in a statement.

After the announcement, some Miami chefs and restaurant owners said they felt they were facing the impossible predicament of balancing their businesses’ survival against the safety of their employees and guests.

“We’re burned out emotionally, we’re burned out financially, and we’re burned out from the trauma of seeing everything that’s happening,” said Karina Iglesias, a partner at two popular downtown Miami Spanish restaurants.

Nationally, cases are approaching 3 million, by far the highest tally in the world and double the infections reported in Brazil, the world’s second most-affected country.

Florida confirmed a record high 11,000 new cases in a single day, more than any European country reported in a day at the height of the crisis there.

Gimenez imposed an indefinite nightly curfew in Miami-Dade County on Friday and halted the re-openings of entertainment venues such as casinos and strip clubs.

In New York City, where the percentage of people testing positive for the virus has dropped to 1%, residents were allowed to enter nail and tanning salons on Monday as part of the city’s Phase III of reopening, but Mayor Bill de Blasio delayed the resumption of indoor dining indefinitely.

Soaring case numbers and packed hospitals in Texas have prompted some mayors and other local leaders to consider launching a new round of stay-at-home orders. Cities are getting together and lobbying the state’s governor to restore the authority to impose local anti-coronavirus measures, Austin Mayor Adler said.

“It’s something that we’re considering. It’s only to be used as a last resort,” Adler told CNN.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker, Doina Chiacu, Peter Szekely, Gabriella Borter and Zachary Fagenson; Writing by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Howard Goller and Bill Berkrot)

U.S. trade groups urge China to increase purchases of U.S. goods, services

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and over 40 trade associations on Monday urged top U.S. and Chinese officials to redouble efforts to implement a Phase 1 trade agreement signed by the world’s two largest economies in January despite pandemic-related strains.

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the group said they were encouraged by the progress so far, but called for a significant increase in China’s purchases of U.S. goods and services.

The groups said combating the novel coronavirus pandemic and restoring global growth depended in part on successful implementation of the U.S.-China trade deal, which helped defuse a nearly 18-month trade war marked by tit-for-tat tariffs.

U.S.-China tensions have escalated in recent months over the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as China’s passage of a new national security law that critics say will limit Hong Kong’s autonomy.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said that “decoupling” the two economies remains an option, and his trade adviser Peter Navarro jolted markets last month when he said the U.S.-China trade agreement was “over,” although he quickly backtracked.

Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Monday the U.S. president was considering several executive orders targeting China and manufacturing, but gave no details.

The chamber and other U.S. industry groups urged both sides to accelerate implementation of the trade agreement, arguing that it would help both countries while paving the way for Phase 2 talks on other key issues such as subsidies, cyber security and digital trade.

“Amid increasing bilateral tensions across the relationship, working together to improve trade and grow commerce can provide important benefits to both economies and help to improve relations,” they wrote in the letter.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Franklin Paul and Richard Chang)

The world’s largest Confederate Monument faces renewed calls for removal

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South’s most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact.

Despite long-standing demands for the removal of what many consider to be a shrine to racism, the giant depiction of three Confederate heroes on horseback still towers ominously over the Georgia countryside, protected by state law.

The monument – which reopens on Independence Day weekend after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to close for weeks – has faced renewed calls for removal since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died during an arrest by a white police officer who pinned his neck to the ground with a knee.

The brutality of Floyd’s death, captured on cellphone video, triggered a national outcry against racial injustice, and revived a long-simmering battle between those demanding the removal of racist symbols from the public sphere, and those who believe the monuments honor Southern tradition and history.

“Here we are in Atlanta, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, and still we have the largest Confederate monument in the world,” said Gerald Griggs, a vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP civil rights group, which staged a march last week calling for the carving to be scraped from the mountainside. “It’s time for our state to get on the right side of history.”

The sheer scale of the monument makes its removal a daunting task to contemplate. Longer than a 100-yard American football field, it features the likenesses of Jefferson Davis, the president of the 11-state Confederacy, and two of its legendary military leaders, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, notched in a relief 400 feet above ground.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an organization that staunchly defends Stone Mountain and other Confederate statues and emblems. Dedicated to teaching the “Southern Cause,” according to its website, it believes their removal is akin to purging American history.

The Southern or “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” holds that the war was fought over a heroic, but lost, effort to defend states’ rights to secede from the Union in the face of Northern aggression, rather than the preservation of slavery.

Martin O’Toole, an official of the Georgia chapter, said the monument is not a totem of racism at all. It’s history, plain and simple, he says.

“It’s three men on horses,” O’Toole said. “What’s racist about that?”

Maurice J. Hobson, an associate professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University, counters this, describing the Southern Cause as “a false history” that downplays slavery’s role in the Civil War.

He said the Confederate leaders were traitors to the United States who fought to hold on to a Southern economy that depended on slavery.

All three men featured on the monument, Davis, Lee and Jackson, were slave owners.

“The whole of Stone Mountain was erected to show what some white Georgians revered,” he said.

Stone Mountain has long held symbolism for white supremacists. The Ku Klux Klan, a hate group that was formed by Confederate Army veterans and has a history of lynchings and terror against Black people, held its rebirth ceremony atop the mountain in 1915 with flaming crosses. Klansmen still hold occasional gatherings in the shadows of the edifice, albeit now met with protesters behind police tape. Many of those cross-burnings took place on or around July 4.

The monolithic monument was proposed more than a century ago and had numerous false starts over the years.

But with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, segregationist officials in the state pushed for the creation of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association in 1958 and purchased the park. The carving was completed in 1972.

“This debate has been going on for years, and we’re sensitive to it,” John Bankhead, a spokesman for the group, said. “We want to tell history as it is, not as some say it is.”

In the past, others have suggested putting more balance into the monument. There was a proposal to build a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr., the Atlanta-based civil rights icon, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as well the King family, rejected the idea.

Even though that idea floundered, Hobson advocates adding more carvings to the rock face, including African American historical figures and leaders.

“It needs to be put in a context that forces a conversation, a serious conversation,” he said. “The easiest way to rectify it, is surround it.”

Griggs of the NAACP said that the civil rights group has consulted with stone masons who said it would cost about $300,000 to $400,000 to remove the towering images.

“Take it down,” he said. “Restore the mountain to its original condition.”

(Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Frank McGurty and Aurora Ellis)

U.S. Supreme Court restricts ‘electors’ in presidential contests

By Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to free “electors” in the complex Electoral College system that decides the U.S. presidency from state laws that use penalties to force them to support the candidate who prevails in the state’s popular vote.

The justices unanimously declined to endorse the discretionary power of electors just months before the Nov. 3 presidential election. The justices ruled in favor of Washington state and Colorado, which had imposed penalties on several so-called faithless electors who defied pledges in 2016 to vote for the winner of their states’ popular vote, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

State officials have said faithless electors threaten the integrity of American democracy by subverting the will of the electorate and opening the door to corruption. The plaintiffs said the Constitution requires them to exercise independent judgment to prevent unfit candidates from taking office.

“The Constitution’s text and the nation’s history both support allowing a state to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee – and the state voters’ choice – for President,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote on behalf of the court.

Under the system set out in the U.S. Constitution in the 18th century, the winner of a presidential election is determined not by amassing a majority in the national popular vote but by securing a majority of electoral votes allotted to the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

In 2016, 10 of the 538 electors cast ballots for someone other then their state’s popular vote winner, an unusually high number that could have changed the outcome of five of the 58 previous U.S. presidential elections.

The justices on Monday upheld a decision by the Washington state Supreme Court that had found the $1,000 fines against three faithless electors to be lawful and did not violate the Constitution’s provisions that spell out the Electoral College process.

The justices also reversed a 2019 ruling by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against Colorado’s cancellation of a faithless elector’s vote. Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not participate in the Colorado case.

Republican President Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton by a margin of 304 to 227 Electoral College votes despite losing the popular vote nationally by about 3 million votes, is seeking re-election against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In the Electoral College vote held weeks after the general election, the electors – typically party loyalists – cast their ballots to formally determine the election’s winner. Colorado and Washington state are among the 48 states – only Maine and Nebraska excepted – with winner-takes-all systems awarding all electors to the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws intended to control how electors vote. Only a handful enforce them with penalties.

The two lead plaintiffs in the cases decided on Monday, Bret Chiafalo and Micheal Baca, were Democratic electors who sought to persuade Republican electors to disregard their pledges and help deny Trump the presidency. They cast their ballots for moderate Republicans and not Clinton even though she won the popular vote in both states.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York and Lawrence Hurley in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)

German prosecutor arrests head of Wirecard’s Dubai unit

BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) – German prosecutors said on Monday they had arrested the head of a Dubai-based subsidiary of Wirecard, widening the circle of suspects in a multi-billion-dollar fraud investigation into the collapse of the payments company.

The Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement it had questioned the chief executive of Cardsystems Middle East FZ-LLC earlier in the day and arrested him on the basis of a warrant.

The executive had traveled from Dubai and turned himself in, prosecutors said, without naming him. Unless defendants are publicly known, their identity can be protected under German law to avoid prejudicing legal proceedings.

The arrest was made on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted fraud and aiding and abetting other crimes, prosecutors said. Prosecutors fear there was a risk that he would flee or tamper with evidence.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last month owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.1 billion) hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

Investigative journalists, researchers and speculators had long highlighted Wirecard’s reliance on an obscure trio of third-party acquiring partners – one of which was Cardsystems – to generate the bulk of its reported revenue and profit.

The latest arrest came after police and public prosecutors raided Wirecard’s headquarters in Munich and four properties in Germany and Austria last Wednesday as they widened their investigation.

Prosecutors are treating Wirecard’s Chief Financial Officer Alexander von Knoop and Chief Product Officer Susanne Steidl as suspects, in addition to former Chief Executive Markus Braun and chief operating officer Jan Marsalek.

Braun, who was arrested and released after posting 5 million euros bail, remains a suspect. Marsalek’s whereabouts are unknown and his lawyer is declining requests for comment.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Joern Poltz; Editing by Arno Schuetze and Edward Taylor)

India tallies third-highest coronavirus cases but death rate low

By Alasdair Pal and Abhirup Roy

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) – India on Monday overtook Russia to record the world’s third-highest number of coronavirus infections at nearly 700,000, even as its hardest-hit state said it will allow hotels to reopen this week.

Health ministry data from the world’s second-most populous country showed more than 23,000 new cases on Monday, down slightly from Sunday’s record increase of almost 25,000. There have been almost 20,000 deaths in India since the first case was detected there in January.

India now trails only the United States and Brazil in the number of COVID-19 cases and it has recorded eight times as many cases as China, where the virus was first identified in late 2019.

But its death rate per 10,000 people is still a low 0.15, compared with 3.97 in the United States and 6.65 in the United Kingdom, according to a Reuters tally. Mainland China stands at 0.03.

Officials said they had reversed a decision to reopen the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous tourist attraction, in the city of Agra, on Monday, following a rise in new cases in the area.

Some other monuments in and around the capital New Delhi opened on Monday, albeit with very few visitors. India is pushing ahead with relaxations to its more than two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts.

New Delhi, along with Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, and the southern state of Tamil Nadu account for about 60% of the total coronavirus cases in the country.

Maharashtra – the worst-hit state with nearly 210,000 cases – said it would let hotels outside containment zones reopen at 33% capacity from Wednesday and issued guidelines for staff and guests.

India is also seeing an uptake in cases in states such as Kerala, Karnataka and Assam, which until recently had been relatively unscathed.

“This is showing up as an urban health challenge,” said Dr Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, noting it is exposing weaknesses in the public health system.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal and Abhirup Roy; Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav and Sunil Kataria; Editing by Nick Macfie)

U.S. tops 130,000 deaths from COVID-19 after record surge in cases

By Lisa Shumaker and Doina Chiacu

(Reuters) – The number of U.S. coronavirus deaths exceeded 130,000 on Monday, following a surge of new cases that has put President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis under the microscope and derailed efforts to restart the economy.

The overall rate of increase in U.S. deaths has been on a downward trend despite case numbers surging to record levels in recent days, but health experts warn fatalities are a lagging indicator, showing up weeks or even months after cases rise.

Nationally, cases are approaching 3 million, the highest tally in the world and double the infections reported in the second most-affected country Brazil. Case numbers are rising in 39 U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis.

Sixteen states have posted new record daily case counts this month. Florida confirmed a record high 11,000 in a single day, more than any European country reported in a single day at the height of the crisis there.

As health experts cautioned the public not to gather in crowds to celebrate Independence Day over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump asserted without providing evidence that 99% of U.S. coronavirus cases were “totally harmless.”

At least five states have already bucked the downward trend in the national death rate, a Reuters analysis showed. Arizona had 449 deaths in the last two weeks of June, up from 259 deaths in the first two weeks of the month. The state posted a 300% rise in cases over the full month, the most in the country.

Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas, on Monday criticized the Republican Trump’s comment over the weekend that the virus was mostly harmless.

“It’s incredibly disruptive and the messaging coming from the president of the United States is dangerous,” Adler told CNN. “One of the biggest challenges we have is the messaging coming out of Washington that would suggest that masks don’t work or it’s not necessary, or that the virus is going away on its own.”

Soaring case numbers and packed hospitals in Texas have prompted some mayors and other local leaders to consider launching a new round of stay-at-home orders. Cities are getting together and lobbying the state’s governor to restore the authority to impose local anti-coronavirus measures, Adler said.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Monday defended Trump’s comment over the weekend, saying the president was not trying to play down the deaths.

“But it’s really to look statistically to know that whatever risks that you may have or I may have, or my children or my grandchildren may have, let’s look at that appropriately and I think that’s what he’s trying to do,” he told reporters outside the White House.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has forecast between 140,000 to 160,000 coronavirus deaths by July 25 in projections that are based on 24 independent forecasts.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker, Doina Chiacu and Gabriella Borter; Editing by Howard Goller)