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Coronavirus deaths tick up in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona as states grapple with growing outbreaks

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Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

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Reported coronavirus-related deaths appear to be on the rise in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and some other states that are struggling to contain rapidly expanding outbreaks, a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows. 

After peaking at an average of more than 2,000 deaths per day just three months ago, primarily driven by New York and New Jersey, fatalities in the U.S. have been slowly declining — falling to an average of less than 600 fatalities a day from June 23 through July 8. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. have declined or remained relatively stable for weeks, even though cases have more than doubled since mid-May. But the daily death toll appears to be on the rise again in the U.S., epidemiologists say.

Covid-19 fatalities have steadily ticked up across the nation with the average number of fatalities a day rising over the last three straight days to over 600 on July 9, based on a seven-day average of daily reported deaths, driven by surges in several hot spots. Epidemiologists say it is cause for concern that deaths are beginning to accelerate again, even if it’s just a few days of data.

U.S. officials and the general public should have seen the rise in deaths coming, Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told CNBC. Deaths tend to lag new cases because it can take weeks for a patient to get sick enough to be hospitalized and eventually die. 

“This was predictable. We seem to have had difficulty in this country looking a few weeks in advance,” Levitt said. “But we know the pattern that as more people get infected, more people get hospitalized and ultimately more people die.”

Record highs

Florida, Texas, California and Arizona have all seen their daily death tolls rise to record highs over the past three days, according to Hopkins data.

California has reported an average of about 85 new coronavirus-related deaths per day over the past seven days as of Thursday, up more than 29% compared with a week ago, according to CNBC’s analysis of data compiled by Hopkins. The state’s Covid-19 death toll now stands at 6,859, according to Hopkins. 

Florida has recorded an average of 56 deaths per day over the past seven days, up over 35% compared with a week ago, CNBC’s analysis shows. Hopkins’ data shows more than 4,000 people have died of the disease in the state so far.

On Thursday, Texas reported an average of about 66 new deaths per day over the past seven days, up more than 106% over the past week, according to CNBC’s analysis. More than 3,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the state so far, according to Hopkins. 

To be sure, the fatality data is imperfect, epidemiologists say. If a Covid-19 patient has an underlying ailment, such as heart disease, and the virus worsens their condition and they die, the doctor can categorize cause as either. Elderly patients who die in nursing homes often have the coronavirus but aren’t often tested, they’ve said. 

“Record keeping can be all over,” said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, a professor of health policy and management at the City University of New York. 

The country, however, is much better equipped today to handle an influx of Covid-19 patients than it was at the beginning of the outbreak, epidemiologists said. That should help avoid the same kind of spike in fatalities that overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes in the Northeast and Washington state in March and April. Nonetheless, three epidemiologists in Florida and Texas all said they expect deaths to continue to rise for at least a few weeks.

“Our cases started to increase right around the beginning of June and now as I’m looking through, you can see that the deaths have started to trend upward a little bit as well,” said Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida. “Initially, a lot of people were saying, well, it’s flat, it’s flat. And the concern there was, well, we haven’t caught up with data, and now we are starting to see that increase, which is definitely a concern.”

Age shift

State officials in Florida and other states have noted that the recent surge in cases is driven largely by younger patients, which is significant because young people are less likely to become severely sick and die from Covid-19. However, the Covid-19 data shows that those infections are increasingly spreading to older, more vulnerable people, which could be driving the uptick in deaths, Prins said. 

“There is more testing now than there was then, so that may account for some of this, but I think we’re seeing a true increase in cases in older adults, which makes sense given the overall large increase in cases,” she added.

The shift from younger people to older people is beginning to show up in the data, said Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, an epidemiologist at Florida International University. Last month, the state reported that the daily median age of newly diagnosed Covid-19 patients hit a record low of 33. On Thursday, however, the median age of newly infected people had risen to 40, according to the state’s health department.

With that median age ticking upward, both Prins and Trepka said they expect deaths to continue to rise in the coming weeks. However, Trepka noted that deaths won’t likely rise at the same rapid pace as New York City, which was hit particularly hard early on in the U.S. pandemic. Public health officials have since instituted measures to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals have improved patient care since then.

“It doesn’t appear to be the same rates as back in April, and I think health care has dramatically improved. Care providers are much more skilled at caring for people with Covid-19,” she said. “Nevertheless, with these large numbers of cases, I do think that we’re going to be seeing continuously more deaths.”

‘It’s everywhere’ in Texas

Deaths caused by Covid-19 began to increase slightly in Texas about two weeks ago, according to Spencer Fox, associate director of the University of Texas-Austin Covid-19 Modeling Consortium.

“I don’t think it’s anything unexpected,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “I think it was more so a question of when we would start seeing an uptick, rather than if we would start seeing an uptick.”

His team’s model does not predict as rapid an increase in deaths as was seen in March and April in the Northeast and some other parts of the country, he said. But hospitalizations have risen at a worrying pace, he said, indicating that older and more vulnerable people are getting infected. He added that infections in younger people was a “leading indicator” of a worsening outbreak that was bound to affect the more vulnerable populations in the state.

“This resurgence might have started in younger populations; maybe they were the first to be infected. But clearly those populations aren’t insulated from older individuals,” Fox said. “This is a real resurgence in the epidemic. It’s not limited to just younger individuals who are more likely to survive it. It’s everywhere.”

Deaths to follow

He added that his team’s model predicts that deaths will continue to increase for two weeks “at least, if not longer, depending on really how the state reacts.”

It’s difficult to get an accurate understanding of the reality of the outbreak by looking only at the national numbers, Kaiser’s Levitt said, because the progress places like New York have made in combating the outbreak offsets the worrying numbers elsewhere. He added that the death toll is an especially difficult figure to track because of differences in reporting standards across states. 

He said now that there’s an observable increase in deaths, the trend is likely to continue for a number of weeks or even months as people who recently got infected fall ill, get hospitalized and eventually die.

“I think in the next week, the pattern of increasing deaths is going to become clear,” he said. “And it will no longer be possible to claim that the declining mortality is somehow a success.”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/10/coronavirus-deaths-tick-up-in-florida-texas-california-arizona.html

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eBay makes a dedicated portal for officially refurbished gear

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eBay launches a Certified Refurbished site for used goods
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eBay is taking on Amazon Warehouse with a new destination called Certified Refurbished, selling used goods from brands like Lenovo, Microsoft and Makita. The idea is that you can buy second-hand products at significant discounts over new, but still get a two-year warranty (from Allstate), a money-back guarantee and 30-day “hassle-free” returns, along with new accessories, manuals and manufacturer-sealed packaging.

eBay’s Certified Refurbished has five priority categories: laptops, portable audio,power tools, small kitchen appliances and vacuums. It offers several brand exclusives, including De’Longhi, Dirt Devil, Hoover, Makita and Philips, along with inventory exclusives from Dewalt, iRobot and Skullcandy. It’s also selling products from participating brands including Dell, Acer, Bissel, Black & Decker, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Lenovo, Microsoft, Miele and Sennheiser.

To make the cut, manufacturers must offer items in “pristine, like-new condition that has been professionally inspected, cleaned, and refurbished by the manufacturer, or a manufacturer-approved vendor,” according to eBay. It also must be in new packaging with original or new accessories.

For an example of the savings, the site is offering Dell’s best-equipped 2020 XPS 15 9500 for $1,950, or $650 off the current price at Dell. Samsung’s Powerbot R7040 robot vacum is $199 rather than $399, and if you’re looking for a drill, Dewalt’s 20V combo tool kit used costs $235, while a new version runs $399 on Amazon.

eBay Certified Refurbished doesn’t have as many categories or brands as Amazon Warehouse or Amazon Renewed, but it seems to offer free shipping on most items, along with the guarantee and other perks. It’s now available to users in the US, and eBay said that applications are now open to retailers in Australia.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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The Morning After: GMC’s Hummer EV, AOC on Twitch and iPhone 12 reviews

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The 5G iPhones are almost here. This time around, Apple is offering four models in its iPhone 12 lineup and while we haven’t tested all of them (the 12 mini and the 12 Pro Max are coming later), we’ve given the other two devices our full scrutiny. And we kind of had to — the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are remarkably similar phones in so many ways.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

No, seriously, if you didn’t spot the third camera (the telephoto one that does zoom), you’d struggle to tell them apart by eyesight alone. You can take this two ways: The Pro phones don’t warrant the extra money this time around, or the iPhone 12 is a well-priced phone where you make barely any compromises. Our full review combines both phones for these very reasons. 

If you’re looking for an even cheaper iPhone, wait for that iPhone 12 mini, perhaps. And if you want the very best imaging in an iPhone, wait for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has even better cameras than the smaller Pro model. Yes, it’s easy to get confused. Oh and the iPhone 11 is still on sale, too!

— Mat

GMC’s 1000HP Hummer EV is an ‘all-electric supertruck’

After a series of teasers dating back to the Super Bowl, GMC finally revealed the new Hummer. 

The GMC HUMMER EV is driven by next-generation EV propulsion technology that enables unprecedented off-road capability, extraordinary on-road performance and an immersive driving experience.

The four-door crew cab boasts AWD, 1,000 HP and 11,500 ft/lb of torque generated by three motors run from the vehicle’s Ultium battery pack. That’s enough oomph to reportedly propel it from standing to 60MPH in just three seconds, the same timing as the Rivian R1, and an announced range of 350 miles.

Ultium batteries come in sizes as large as 200kWh — double what you’d find in a Model S and 80kWh bigger than what the massive Bollinger B1 uses — however, GMC has not confirmed what the Hummer EV is sporting. Using the higher throughput recharge options and the fact that the Hummer EV utilizes an 800V power architecture, GMC estimates the Hummer EV will fill 100 miles worth of power in just ten minutes using DC at 350kWh.

The Hummer will also have something called Crab Mode, where the front and rear wheels rotate at the same tilt angle, so the vehicle moves diagonally — you know, like a crab. According to GMC, the Hummer EV will be able to scale “18-inch verticals and [drive] through water that is more than two feet deep,” and its open-air Infinity Roof consists of removable, transparent “sky panels.”

The 2021 Hummer EV Edition 1 is slated for release in fall 2021. It will have a starting MSRP of $112,595. The model year 2022 Hummer EV is expected to retail for $99,995, the 2023 should start at $89,995 and the 2024 model (which will not include a third motor) will start at $79,995.
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AOC’s ‘Among Us’ Twitch stream peaked at over 435,000 viewers

The stream encouraged viewers to make a plan to vote on or before Election Day.

AOC's 'Among Us' Twitch stream

Last year, Donald Trump joined Twitch — before enduring a two-week ban over hateful content — and now US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joined the service. Her first broadcast featured games of Among Us played with fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar and a few popular streamers. 

That proved to be a good strategy, as Twitch reports the concurrent viewer count peaked at 435,000. That’s the third highest count we’ve heard of, behind the Ninja/Drake stream in 2018 that topped 600k and Shroud’s return stream that crossed 500k.
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx successfully collected bits of an orbiting asteroid

After over a decade of planning, the $800 million mission achieved a major milestone.

OSIRIS-REx

NASA made history on Tuesday afternoon as its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully “tagged” the asteroid 101955 Bennu, and in doing so collected a small sample of regolith from the passing celestial body’s surface. This marks the first time a NASA mission has managed to intercept, interact with and collect samples from an asteroid.

Collecting those samples involved a never-before-tried technique dubbed the touch-and-go (TAG). Before beginning its approach, the OSIRIS unfolded and deployed its Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) while pulling its solar panels back into a Y-shape so that if the TAGSAM arm did accidentally overshoot and crunch into Bennu, the rest of the spacecraft would still have the necessary power to function. 

To ensure it has a sufficiently large sample, OSIRIS will first take a picture of the collector head to confirm the presence of regolith, and then on Saturday, will extend its TAGSAM arm and spin on its axis like a centrifuge to measure the mass of rock and dust in the collection bin. If all goes well, the collection capsule will return to Earth at the Utah Test and Training Range in 2023.
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The Department of Justice sues Google over antitrust concerns

This is arguably the biggest antitrust move since the government sued Microsoft in 1998.

On Tuesday, the US government’s Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The company, which is a part of Alphabet, is accused of having an unfair monopoly over search and search-related advertising. In addition, the department disagrees with the terms around Android, the most widely used mobile operating system, that forces phone manufacturers to pre-load Google applications and set Google as the default search engine. 

Rebutting the charges, Google’s chief legal officer Kent Walker wrote that “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.”
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Sony plans to optimize the PS5’s fan speed using game data

What a cool idea. Who’s a fan?

PS5 teardown

Sony will be monitoring the system and collecting data on individual games, so if a game really taxes the PS5, the fans could kick in at higher (and noisier) speeds to keep things running smoothly. These currently theoretical fan optimizations would presumably be delivered via software updates. PlayStation owners are used to firmware patches that change or add new features to their system. But an update that changes the physical performance of the hardware? That’s unusual.
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But wait, there’s more…

Windows 10’s October 2020 update is rolling out with a refreshed Start menu

Quibi chairman reportedly looked into selling its content library

Impossible Foods is working on plant-based milk that tastes like the real thing

DJI’s Pocket 2 handheld promises higher quality and mods

Photoshop’s new AI features include neural filters and sky replacement

‘Fortnite’ will host a Halloween ‘cross reality’ concert with singer J Balvin

Adobe’s tool to identify edited images comes to Photoshop

Cyberpunk 2077’s dialogue was lip-synced by AI

Novation and Aphex Twin’s limited-edition Bass Station II embraces the weird

In this article: themorningafter, newsletter, gear
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Vivo phones are coming to Europe

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Vivo has expanded its reach and announced its entry into the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. The Chinese tech manufacturer has also presented its first European line-up at an online media briefing broadcast from Dusseldorf, Germany, revealing that it’s hoping to win new fans in the region with the Vivo X51 5G. As Trusted Reviews notes, the flagship phone’s specs are almost identical to the X50 Pro with its micro gimbal camera that can keep videos stable. The main difference between the two is that the X51 5G has software modified for the European market.

Aside from the new flagship, Vivo is making its European debut with a series of mid—range smartphones: the Y70, Y20s and Y11s. It’s also releasing two Google Assistant-capable wireless earphone models in the region. First is the True Wireless Stereo Earphone Neo, which features AI noise canceling, while the other is Vivo’s Wireless Sport Earphone. The latter was designed for outdoor activities and hence boasts strong battery performance.

In its announcement, Vivo says its European launch followed extensive preparations, including research and interviews with 9,000 people across the continent. Vivo has a pretty decent share of the global smartphone market and is the sixth leading manufacturer in the world, according to Counterpoint Research. Like other Chinese OEMs venturing into Europe, though, it may see the continent as a market that promises even more growth, in part due to an opening left by Huawei after it was placed in the US entity list. The move prevents the manufacturer from offering Google’s services on its devices and from working with other US companies. Huawei used to be pretty popular in Europe until 2019, when it saw its sales drop in the region. The company was only able to prevent its numbers from slipping too much this year by re-releasing older devices, which can still use Google’s services, in the continent.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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