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Babbel is a fun and flexible platform offering 13 different language learning programs to English speakers. Right now get up to 50% off subscriptions for Fourth of July weekend.

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  • Babbel is a subscription-based app and website that offers affordable and flexible language learning classes in 13 different languages for native English speakers.
  • However, not all the language classes are designed the same, and some languages have better programs than others.
  • Today through July 6 you can save up to 50% on a subscription as part of Babbel's Fourth of July Sale.
  • Read more: The best cheap or free online resources to learn a new language

Many of us are spending more time at home right now due to the novel coronavirus and are looking for ways to stay entertained from baking bread and mixing up cocktails to taking up knitting and challenging puzzles. 

At the same time, the travel industry has been heavily impacted. While states and countries are slowly starting to reopen, many people are still wary when it comes to nonessential travel. If your overseas plans are on pause but you still want to prepare for post-pandemic travel, consider using this time to keep your mind sharp and learn a new skill, such as a new language. We recently wrote about the best cheap and free online resources to learn a new language, and Babbel was one of our top picks for its affordable language lessons and easy-to-use app. Courses are tailored to your native tongue and interests from food to travel, and Babbel builds on the grammar and vocabulary you already know, with programs created by experts and voiced by native speakers.

Even better, there's currently a Fourth of July sale available until July 6 and you can save up to 50% on a subscription. But before you dive into class and start saying "Hola" or "Bonjour," there are some key factors you'll want to know about and consider to decide if Babbel is the right language learning tool for your goals.

What is Babbel

Babbel is a language learning app that was developed in 2007 and among the first to pioneer online language learning. Babbel currently offers 13 languages English speakers can learn including:

  • Spanish 
  • French
  • German
  • Italian 
  • Portuguese (Brazilian) 
  • Polish 
  • Russian
  • Dutch
  • Turkish
  • Danish
  • Norwegian
  • Swedish
  • Indonesian

The app prides itself on turning to experts to create high-quality content and Babbel works with more than 150 linguists, language teachers, polyglots, editors, researchers, and instructional designers. It works on a subscription-based model and leads users through short daily lessons. You can customize your experience by choosing the level you're at, why you're interested in learning a new language, how many minutes you want to learn per day, and more factors.

However, it's extremely important to note that not every language course is the same, and some are far superior to others. Spanish, German, and French have the most robust and engaging programs, while other languages don't feel as comprehensive.

Where to access Babbel

While Babbel is primarily an app you can download and use on your Android and iPhone devices, you can also access lessons on your desktop computer. The app itself is free to download, though you will have to pay for the monthly subscription once you've created an account to access all the classes. You can also access all of Babbel's content offline through the app. 

To use Babbel on your computer, just visit babbel.com and login or sign up in the top right corner. You don't have to download any additional software and all you need is a reliable internet connection. You can also switch between using the app and using a computer as long as you're logged into the same account.

How Babbel works

You can customize Babbel to fit your specific needs by choosing how many minutes per day you want to learn (ranging from five minutes to over an hour), as well as by the level you're at. However, the classes are really best for new learners or those who want to brush up on their skills. If you are already an intermediate or advanced speaker, this might not be the right app for you.

The classes use a mixture of techniques to teach vocabulary and sentence structure, including quizzes and matching games, repeating phrases, audio lessons, and review sessions. Babbel also smartly uses real native speakers for all recordings instead of awkward computer voices for more authentic pronunciations. Some lessons include speech recognition to test users' pronunciation, too.

Babbel helps jumpstart learning by diving into key phrases beginners would need right away. For example, in part one of the first lesson of the Spanish language class, you learn standard greetings, as well as phrases like "I'm learning Spanish," "I don't understand," and "can you repeat that?"

However, surprisingly, not all of 13 language classes follow the same format. Course one of lesson one in Spanish uses a great mix of games and audio conversations to teach the most necessary beginner phrases in an engaging way. But the exact same course and lesson in Portuguese, for example, focuses far more heavily on learning masculine over feminine use and relies more on fill in the blank learning that feels harder to grasp right off the bat.

Even stranger, the same lesson in Danish is extremely short and also asks odd questions that don't have much to do with learning actual phrases, like having users guess how many native Dutch speakers there are.

Many users have noted that they find Spanish, French, and German to be the best languages worth the money on Babbel. I suggest trying out the short first lesson of a language you're interested in learning (which you can do for free) before committing to purchasing a subscription.

How much does Babbel cost?

You can try Lesson One: Course One for any language for free. After that, it's a subscription model with pricing that varies based on how many months you sign up for at a time. The best deal is a one-year subscription that starts at $6.95 per month, while one month starts at $12.95. Babbel also offers a 20-day money-back guarantee, so if you aren't happy after trying it out for a couple of weeks, you can receive a full refund.

Each language requires its own subscription, so if you want to learn multiple languages you will have to pay for each one.

Does Babbel have any deals?

Yes! Babbel's Fourth of July sale is currently running until July 6, 2020. Here's what the current sale is offering:

  • Save up to 50% on a 12-month subscription
  • Save up to 30% on a 6-month subscription
  • Save up to 10% on a 3-month subscription

Sign up for up to 50% off a Babbel subscription here

The bottom line

For beginners and those looking to brush up on language skills, Babbel offers an affordable way to access engaging lessons in 13 different languages. The ability to choose how long daily sessions are and go at your own pace is ideal for flexibility. Additionally, the use of native speakers for all spoken content and the pronunciation checks for learners makes for a more authentic experience than some other online language learning programs.

However, not all the languages offered have the same thoughtful level of programming and instruction, despite all costing the same amount. This app is at its best for Spanish, German, and French learners. While the other languages offered still have decent instruction and learning opportunities, users may not find them as engaging or worth the price.

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Presidents Of Mount Rushmore Look Highly Concerned On New York Daily News Cover

The four presidents carved into the face of Mount Rushmore look extremely concerned on the front page of the New York Daily News’ Saturday edition.

“HAPPY FOURTH?” the tabloid asked alongside the edited image in a dig at President Donald Trump’s Independence Day celebration at South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore National Memorial on Friday night.

“Don in Mt. Rushmore madness,” the newspaper wrote of Trump’s speech, during which he railed against “cancel culture” and “far-left fascism” in front of supporters, many not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

The Daily News has used multiple eye-catching front pages to call out the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic that’s now claimed the lives of more than 130,000 people nationwide.

The paper’s previous covers have called Trump a “bleach bum” for pondering injecting disinfectant to treat COVID-19 (which he later claimed was a sarcastic suggestion), muzzled him with a mask over his refusal to wear one in public and given him bunny ears over his plan to reopen the economy by Easter.

  • Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 7 essential pieces of relationship advice for couples in quarantine
  • What you need to know about face masks right now
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  • Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
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  • The HuffPost guide to working from home
  • What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
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Donald Trump’s ‘Put The Wrong Person In Office’ Warning Used Against Him In New Ads

President Donald Trump’s warning this week against putting “the wrong person in office” has already come back to haunt him in the form of two attack ads.

“You put the wrong person in office, you’ll see things that you would not have believed are possible,” Trump cautioned about the economy at the “Spirit of America” business showcase event at the White House on Thursday.

Trump’s rhetoric was turned against him in spots released separately Friday by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign and the progressive PAC MeidasTouch.

Both ads brought to attention the Trump administration’s fumbled handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with new cases spiking in multiple states, and the president’s vitriolic rhetoric about anti-racism protests that spread nationwide following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

The MeidasTouch ad also asked viewers to declare independence from Trump this Fourth of July:

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Why an early exec quit unicorn food delivery startup Deliveroo to launch a food business in the middle of a pandemic

  • A former Deliveroo exec has launched a market food hall startup in the middle of COVID-19.
  • Dan Warne was managing director of the unicorn startup until 2019, but has now launched Sessions Market as a community food hall concept to rejuvenate UK towns after the pandemic.
  • Warne says he hopes to bring his experience from Deliveroo, particularly about customer behavior, to the analogue world of food halls.
  • The first venue, Shelter Hall on Brighton seafront, launches July 4.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Saturday, the UK's bars, restaurants, and cinemas will fling their doors open to customers for the first time since a strict lockdown commenced in late March.

Given continued public health concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, it might be unwise to open a new food business right now.

But Dan Warne, a former high-level executive at British unicorn startup Deliveroo, has launched Sessions Market, a series of community-orientated food halls that will try to regenerate the UK's town centers. 

Warne joined delivery startup Deliveroo in 2014 as its twelfth employee, and he left in 2019. His job was to help scale the company, which was then only operating in the central part of London.

Over the five years Warne spent as Deliveroo's managing director, he helped to grow the startup into a tech unicorn worth billions. Deliveroo in 2019 raised $575 million in a funding round led by Amazon, and one source close to the food delivery startup estimates its valuation at more than $3 billion.

"From the moment I joined Deliveroo, I saw that as a stepping stone so ultimately being able to launch my own thing and that's this," said Warne. "There are lots of parallels to Deliveroo … It's a platform, albeit a physical one, but it's a platform that has to choose the very best restaurants and manage those restaurants in the right way."

Sessions Market's first venue, Brighton's Shelter Hall, is opening on July 4 and will bring together local restaurants to provide an upmarket dining experience.

Sessions will provide all the digital and capital infrastructure in exchange for a commission, so that the restaurants don't have to invest anything upfront. To comply with social distancing measures, customers will be able to order takeaway food from outside via an app, or served at the tables inside by staff. 

Having launched Deliveroo's Editions business — a network of delivery-only kitchens — in 2017, Warne understood the restaurant market and was well-versed in the capital infrastructure investments needed to build venues like Shelter Hall. But, launching a food hall has been a new experience.

"There is an incredible amount to learn in a short period of time … so we've had to bring in the right experience and the right staff in those areas," said Warne. "On the flip side of that, [coming from a different area], you bring perhaps a different perspective to the industry and you can apply some of the learnings that you get from working in the technology business to a bricks-and-mortar style business."

He hopes to leverage his experience of customer data at Deliveroo, bring a digital twist to the otherwise still-analogue food industry.

"We obsessed about customer data at Deliveroo," said Warne. In the restaurant industry, "of course they're obsessed by the customer, but they don't have the data to really model that customer behavior in quite the same way".

Warne wants to change that.

He hopes to track customers on the platform — from how they were acquired to what, where, and how they consume.

Over time, he believes this will help the startup evolve to reflect what customers want. That's why Warne tells investors he doesn't need to know what a food hall will look like in five years' time — often a question put to founders about their sector by venture capitalists.

"I don't need to know that because I'm going to enable this business with technology that affords me a deep understanding of consumer trends," he said. "I will flex it and move it with those trends in the same way that Netflix will serve the content before you really know that you want it."

He also hopes his experience helping to grow Deliveroo into a unicorn tech platform will help him to scale his new startup. 

"It's harder to figure out precisely how to scale it in the tech kind of way, where you don't need to be finding property," said Warne.

Warne plans to lease the Sessions brand out to third-party venues, in a similar way to successful pop-up gig startup Sofar Sounds. He likened this to Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and restaurants creating virtual restaurant brands that only serve delivery apps.

He said: "If you come up with brands that you want to run virtually across multiple different kitchens across the country, it helps if you can test them in front of a consumer in a live environment, which is something that we have." 

At a time when a lot of the hospitality industry is struggling, Warne hopes a venue that provides the necessary digital infrastructure to comply with social distancing measures and allows restaurants to avoid long-term lease arrangement will have a clear appeal.

"It's a model that's very well conditioned to this environment: it is highly supportive and conducive to helping some of these businesses get back on their feet," said Warne. "If you are concerned about keeping a distance from others, well you can order through our technology outside and just have it come to a window and pick it up and eat it on the beach a long way from anyone else."

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Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tests positive for COVID-19

  • Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle has tested positive for COVID-19, multiple media outlets reported.
  • Guilfoyle is currently dating President Donald Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and is a frequent surrogate and senior adviser for the Trump 2020 campaign.
  • Guilfoyle reportedly tested positive in South Dakota before she was slated to attend Trump's Independence Day fireworks celebration at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. She is currently self-isolating and will cancel all upcoming events.
  • Trump Jr. has tested negative for the disease but will self-isolate and cancel scheduled events as well as a precautionary measure.
  • The former Fox News host tested positive for coronavirus after attending two Trump rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Phoenix, Arizona, both of which had no social distancing or mask requirements.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News host and a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a person familiar with her condition told The New York Times.

Guilfoyle is currently dating President Donald Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and is a frequent surrogate for the president on the 2020 campaign trail. She is also the national chairwoman of the Trump Victory Finance Committee and oversees fundraising for the president's reelection campaign.

CNN reported that Guilfoyle tested positive in South Dakota before she was slated to attend Trump's Independence Day fireworks celebration at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. According to The Times, Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. did not travel on Air Force One, and she was reportedly the only person in the group who tested positive.

"After testing positive, Kimberly was immediately isolated to limit any exposure," Sergio Gor, the chief of staff for the Trump Victory Finance Committee, told CNN. "She's doing well, and will be retested to ensure the diagnosis is correct since she's asymptomatic, but as a precaution will cancel all upcoming events."

Gor added that Trump Jr. has tested negative for the disease but is self isolating and also canceling all public events as a precautionary measure.

A source told CNN that Guilfoyle has not recently been in contact with the president, but she attended his rally last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she stood backstage. She was also in Phoenix, Arizona, for Trump's event with Students for Trump. Both events were indoors, there was no social distancing, and masks were not required.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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Leaders Across The U.S. Urge Mask-Wearing Ahead Of July 4th Holiday

Leaders throughout the United States are urging Americans to don face masks as the July 4th holiday weekend approaches amid a surge in coronavirus cases across much of the country. 

“The virus does not take a holiday,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement this week. “The bottom line is be vigilant and stay safe while enjoying some time outside.”

Guidance from state and local leaders is largely the same: The coronavirus crisis is far from over. An even higher spike in cases is at stake if people flock to beaches, pools and July 4th parties without taking precautions, like wearing masks, practice social distancing, keeping gatherings small and holding them outdoors, where the virus is transmitted less easily.

Some are also calling facial coverings “patriotic” ― a response to a minority group of critics who say masks impede their American freedoms.

“As we talk about Fourth of July and independence, it’s important to understand that if we all wear these, we will actually have more independence and more freedom because more places will be able to stay open. We’ll have less spread of the disease,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Friday.  

“The patriotic thing for us to do is to take care of our fellow Americans,” Washington state Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib said on Twitter. 

“Lets help our neighbors and families and remain patriotic by wearing a mask for ourselves and others around us,” Florida Rep. Donna Shalala (D) wrote in a tweet.

In California, which has rolled back reopenings for bars and restaurants, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) launched a large, multilingual public awareness campaign around masks. “People can die. People like your mom,” says one video, showing a person struggling to breathe on a ventilator.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, issued an order shortly before the holiday instructing everyone in the state to wear a face covering, which came as a sharp reversal of his previous stance and one that indicates how bad the crisis has become there. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) warned July 1 that his state had already lost the ground it gained in the second half of June and risked even more COVID-19 cases if people do not wear masks. He even told Louisianans not to visit reopened businesses if they aren’t taking the appropriate precautions. 

“I’m urging the general public: Don’t patronize businesses that are not conducting themselves in a safe manner,” Edwards said. 

President Donald Trump ― who typically eschews face coverings even though officials say his wearing one could send a strong message to his supporters ― changed his tune on masks in the days before July 4th. 

“I’m all for masks,” Trump said on Fox Business this week before going on to falsely predict the disease will just “disappear.” 

The president is still averse to mask mandates ― worrying Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser due to the huge fireworks display he planned for the holiday weekend. Bowser, who lacks the authority to tell people what to do on federal land, where the display is taking place, urged people to practice social distancing and wear masks nonetheless.

While the efforts to contain the virus have been largely successful in areas that were hit hardest in the beginning of the crisis, other states that initially had few COVID-19 patients are seeing rapid increases in reported cases and hospitalizations as businesses have been allowed to reopen. Many Republican states have also shown reluctance to cross Trump, who has generally worked to downplay the threat of the virus.

Although messaging around mask use has varied around the country since the coronavirus crisis began, public health experts overwhelmingly agree that they are key to curbing the spread of COVID-19. When worn properly, masks intercept any tiny droplets ― which could contain the coronavirus ― that human beings expel from their mouths and noses when coughing or just simply talking. The droplets are now thought to be the primary way that the virus spreads.

People can start spreading virulent droplets in the days before they show symptoms, and many never experience symptoms at all, so the masks and distancing are important even if you feel fine.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control expanded the list of symptoms to look out for to include nausea, diarrhea and congestion or runny nose.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards as a Republican. He is a Democrat.

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Donald Trump Jr.'s Girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle Tests Positive for Coronavirus


Kimberly Guilfoyle, an adviser to to President Donald Trump's re-election campaign and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., has contracted the novel coronavirus, PEOPLE confirms.

Citing a source, The New York Times reported that Guilfoyle, 51, tested positive on Friday ahead the president's planned speech at Mount Rushmore for a Fourth of July celebration.

Though the former Fox News host flew with Don Jr., 42, according to the Times, they were not aboard Air Force One with the president. They are expected to drive back home.

In a statement, campaign aide Sergio Gor said: "After testing positive, Kimberly was immediately isolated to limit any exposure. She’s doing well, and will be retested to ensure the diagnosis is correct since she’s asymptomatic but as a precaution will cancel all upcoming events."

Don Jr. tested negative, said Gor, chief of staff to the campaign's finance committee.

Still, Don Jr. was self isolating as a precautionary measure "and is canceling all public events," Gor said.

(The Trump campaign did not provide further comment.)

The president's Mount Rushmore appearance was his first significant public event since a re-election rally on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents contracted the coronavirus.

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Watch Trump Advisor's Bonkers Rant Pushing COVID-19 Conspiracies

In an obvious attempt to deflect blame from President Trump’s dismal handling of the coronavirus pandemic in America, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro went on an extended rant on Friday, tossing out unproven conspiracy theories as if he were holding court in a QAnon forum.

Navarro, a now-infamous, bomb-throwing advocate of Trump’s more than suggested that China was somehow able to “weaponize” the virus to kill Americans, while at the same time allowing many other countries to contain the spread.

China “spawned the virus,” Navarro said. “They hid the virus. They sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals over here to seed and spread the virus before we knew.”

This prompted MSNBC host Ali Velshi to ask Navarro the obvious: “What are you talking about?”

Navarro repeated himself and tacked on another layer of conspiracy by including the WHO. “They spawned the virus,” he said. “They hid the virus from the world and the possibility of a pandemic behind the shield of the World Health Organization.”

The president’s advisor also claimed, again without providing any proof, that while China was purposely spreading the virus, “they vacuumed up the world’s protective equipment, including two billion masks.”

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Asked if China was acting deliberately, Navarro first said it didn’t matter. But then said they did, and said that his stated “fact” was “beyond reproach.”

“What they deliberately did—and this is beyond reproach in terms of a fact—they deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come to the United States, Italy and everywhere in between who were infected while they were locking down their own [domestic] transportation network,” he charged.

Navarro also found it suspicious that the virus did not disappear when the season changed as the president has promised many times.

“Everybody thought—and this was a reasonable presumption—that come summer, the heat and humidity would get rid of the virus. It doesn’t look that way. This looks more like a weaponized virus,” Navarro said.

Finally, given the chance to talk about Dr. Fauci’s insistence that Americans follow virus protocols and wear masks, Navarro took the opportunity to one-up the doctor and disparage him for not being on board when Navarro first pitched banning flights from China early this year.

“Let’s talk about Dr. Fauci just as to why he shouldn’t be viewed as the Oracle on this. On January 28, as is now known, I penned a memo which basically warned of a global pandemic from the China virus that could kill possibly millions. That was exactly the same time that the president of these great United States pulled down all the China flights,” Navarro said, adding, “You know who was fighting me in the Situation Room on that? It was Dr. Anthony Fauci. And just in that very same time period and even two a month later, Fauci was telling people that there was nothing to worry about in America.”

Navarro is correct about his early memo on the looming pandemic and his push for a travel ban from China. But according to the New York Times, his claim that Fauci did not agree for months is not true. “On the morning of Jan. 30,” the Times said in a report, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “got a call from Dr. Fauci… and others saying they had changed their minds” about travel restrictions.

Navarro’s blame China rant was a manic 12 minutes of television for sure. But who, other than the president’s most fervent supporters, are buying this kind of theater? The appeal seems limited. But, as Trump’s poll numbers continue to plummet and the coronavirus cases continue to rise, maybe there’s nothing left but to entertain the boss. Maybe Navarro’s act was a performance for one. If so, it surely wasn’t a first from too many of the president’s surrogates. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last.

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Hillary Clinton says she 'would have done a better job' at handling the coronavirus pandemic

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her administration could have saved more lives and modeled "more responsible behavior" during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • "I know I would have done a better job," Clinton told a Hollywood Reporter podcast on Friday. 
  • Her comments come amid mounting case totals in the US. The nation reported its highest number of daily coronavirus cases on Friday: more than 56,000. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hillary Clinton isn't relieved to be outside the Oval Office right now.

"I will tell you, it's frustrating to be on the sidelines in a pandemic," the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee told The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast on Friday. 

She added that her administration would have been more successful at handling the coronavirus outbreak in the US.

"We wouldn't have been able to stop the pandemic at our borders the way that Trump claimed in the beginning, but we sure could have done a better job saving lives, modeling better, more responsible behavior," Clinton said. "I don't think we necessarily should have had as deep an economic assault on livelihoods and jobs as we have. So I know I would have done a better job."

The US's initial response to the pandemic was hampered by testing delays, restrictive testing criteria, a lack of airport screenings, and a shortage of medical supplies. Advice from federal agencies has also been steadily plagued by inconsistencies. In January, President Trump insisted the outbreak was "totally under control." The next month, he said the virus would "go away" by April.

But 18 of the 30 states that started reopening as of May 7 were still seeing daily new cases rise, according to data from the New York Times. Some public-health experts believe this allowed the outbreak to swell even further.

Over the last week, the US has recorded its highest numbers of coronavirus cases to date: around 47,000 daily cases, on average. Friday marked the peak of the outbreak so far, with more than 56,000 cases. New cases are now rising in the majority of states.

The nation's death count has almost reached 130,000.

In recent weeks, public-health experts have amplified their call for a nationwide mask mandate to reduce coronavirus transmission. At least 21 states have instituted a statewide mask mandate so far, but the specifics differ state to state — and some cities and counties have implemented their own policies.

"More attention and commitment to a national directive and national policy for face masks is critically important," Dr. Howard Koh, former assistant secretary for health under President Obama, told Business Insider. "We have 50 states going in 50 different directions."

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said that he believed some Americans wear face masks to show their disapproval of him. The president has repeatedly been photographed without a mask at public events.

But Dr. Theo Vos, a professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told Business Insider that mask-wearing has "quite a potential to make a substantial dent in this epidemic."

IHME's coronavirus models, which are often cited by the White House, predict another 50,000 coronavirus deaths from July to October in the US. The researchers found that nearly half of those deaths could be prevented if 95% of the US population wore masks.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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Californians are banned from singing or chanting during religious services

  • As California continues to battle a spike in coronavirus cases, the state's Department of Public Health has banned people from singing or chanting in places of worship.
  • California was praised for its successful early response, but the state has recently experienced record-highs in new cases.
  • On May 25, the state started to allow churches to reopen with safety guidelines. This week, it updated its guidelines to advise against singing.
  • There is an increased likelihood of transmission from droplets contaminated with the coronavirus during singing and chanting, the department said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As California continues to battle a surge of coronavirus cases, the state is allowing places of worship to stay open — but those who attend religious services are banned from singing or chanting, according to state guidelines that were updated on Wednesday.

Convening in a congregational setting carried a "relatively higher risk" for COVID-19 transmission, according to the Department of Public Health.

"In particular, activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing," the guidelines released Wednesday said. "Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower."

California was initially praised for its successful early response to the coronavirus. As the virus started to spread in the state, places of worship were closed. After improved infection rates, the state announced on May 25 that congregations could reopen if they met safety guidelines.

At the time, those guidelines included setting parameters around singing and group recitations, including requiring choir members to wear face masks at all times. The state also recommended the activities be held outside, or that clergy consider eliminating them altogether.

In the last two weeks; however, there has been a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

The state reached a record number of new cases in a single day — more than 7,000 — on June 23, according to government data. As of Friday, there have been 6,265 deaths in the state, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In response to this uptick, the Department of Public Health revised its guidance for places of worship. The move came the same day California reversed its plan to reopen businesses by calling on over a dozen counties to halt indoor dining; and close movie theaters, museums, and other venues, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The Capital Christian Center, which can seat up to 4,000 people, told the Sacramento Bee that it would follow the new guidelines.

"We recognize that singing is a challenge," Jason Batt, the church's chief operating officer, told the newspaper.

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