New ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; New Jersey bans smoking, drinking at casinos

As COVID-19 cases surge across the nation, more states are moving to combat the spread of the virus: Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.”

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced late Monday that the state would pause its planned reopening for indoor dining and banned smoking and drinking at Atlantic City casinos set to reopen this week.

And in China, researchers are concerned about a new swine flu strain in pigs that could have “pandemic potential.”

Here are some major developments:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials will testify before Congress today on the state of the pandemic. 

  • Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir that is shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill patients, said Monday it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the U.S. and other developed countries. 

  • The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are sticking to its July 15 deadline to file taxes. The IRS had postponed the tax-filing deadline from April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease

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Trump’s Twitch channel suspended, and Reddit bans pro-Trump online group

President Donald Trump and his followers took a double hit in online media Monday: Video streaming site Twitch suspended the president’s official channel, and popular website Reddit banned a group devoted to Trump.

Twitch, a video game-centric streaming site, suspended the official Donald Trump channel – launched in October 2019 – for violating its rules against hate speech. Among the violations were the rebroadcast of a presidential campaign rally in 2015, when Trump described immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.

“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

That video was removed, as well as the broadcast of Trump’s rally this month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he described concerns about “a very tough hombre” breaking into homes.

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“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” the company said in a statement sent to USA TODAY.

Reddit, which calls itself “the front page of the Internet,” banned the subreddit “r/The_Donald,” a pro-Trump group with more than 790,000 followers, according to The New York Times. Reddit said the group was banned for not abiding by its “content policy in good faith,” the site announced in an update to its content policy.

The group, which was sanctioned a year ago for “threats of violence against police

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