Connect with us

World

Coronavirus Live Updates: Humanity Faces Gravest Challenge Since World War II, U.N. Says

Published

on

The United Nations warned on Wednesday that the unfolding battle against the coronavirus would lead to “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict.”

As Americans steeled themselves for what President Trump said would be a “very, very painful two weeks,” the scale of the economic, political and societal fallout around the world came into ever greater focus.

“We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering and upending people’s lives,” the United Nations declared in a report calling for global solidarity in the fight.

“This is much more than a health crisis,” the report added. “The coronavirus is attacking societies at their core.”

With more than 30,000 dead across Europe and the virus still spreading ferociously, millions across the continent resigned themselves to hunkering down for weeks more, and possibly months.

Britain, France and Spain all experienced their highest death tolls on Tuesday.

At the White House, the scientists charged with leading the battle against the virus made it clear that there were two distinctly different campaigns underway in the United States.

One was taking place in the New York metropolitan region, where more than half of the nation’s cases have been detected — the death toll in New York City alone surged past 1,000. More than 2,000 nurses, 500 paramedics and emergency medical technicians, as well as 250 ambulances from across the country, were converging on the city, joining the Navy and the National Guard in assisting the region’s front-line medical workers.

Adding to the warlike atmosphere, the home of the U.S. Open tennis championship in Queens was being turned into a triage center, and hospital tents were being set up in Central Park.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the nation’s coronavirus response, pointed to the exponential growth of cases in New York and parts of New Jersey as just the thing that national officials were trying to prevent in other parts of the country.

The charts — with multicolor lines representing the virus in each of the 50 states — looked like the maps used to track hurricanes. And as with the weather, there is a good deal of uncertainty in the predictions.

Dr. Birx said that there had been worrying outbreaks in other metropolitan regions, including Detroit and Miami, but that the second broad campaign at the moment was to keep the lines tracking the virus in the rest of the country from looking like those in New York and New Jersey.

The best tool at the government’s disposal, she said, remained strict adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Even if those guidelines are followed perfectly, officials said, the estimated death toll in the United States is 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.

Five weeks ago, when there were 60 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, President Trump expressed little alarm. “This is a flu,” he said. “This is like a flu.” He was still likening it to an ordinary flu as late as Friday.

By Tuesday, however, with more than 187,000 recorded cases in the United States and more Americans having been killed by the virus than by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the president’s assessment had rather drastically changed. “It’s not the flu,” he said. “It’s vicious.”

The grim-faced president who appeared in the White House briefing room for more than two hours on Tuesday evening beside charts showing death projections of hellacious proportions was coming to grips with a reality he had long refused to accept. At a minimum, the charts predicted that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans would die — and only if the nation abided by stringent social restrictions that would choke the economy and impoverish millions.

A crisis that Mr. Trump had repeatedly asserted was “under control” and hoped would “miraculously” disappear has come to consume his presidency, presenting him with a challenge that he seems only now to be seeing more clearly.

The numbers publicly outlined on Tuesday had forced him over the weekend to reverse his plan to reopen the country by Easter, but they were hardly new or surprising. Experts have been warning of a possibility like this for weeks. But more than ever before, Mr. Trump seemed to acknowledge them.

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” the president said, the starkest such effort he has made to prepare the country for the expected wave of disease and death. “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”

Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply on Wednesday, following a slump in global markets, as investors faced new projections of the potential scale and economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 fell nearly 4 percent in early trading, extending its losses from March — with a 12.5 percent drop — the worst month for stocks since 2008.

Though the panic-driven, stomach-churning market volatility of recent weeks had subsided in recent days, numerous signs point to dire prospects for the world economy as the pandemic continues its spread. President Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday that the United States would face a “very, very painful two weeks,” and government scientists projected that the outbreak could kill up to 240,000 people in the country. And on Wednesday, the United Nations warned of “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest and enhanced conflict.”

Economic readings continued to worsen. On Wednesday, a monthly measure of factory activity in Europe collapsed to its lowest level since at least 2012, while data showed that Japan’s factory activity had slowed to its lowest rate in a decade. Investors will get more data on the job market in the United States later this week, with the government reporting weekly jobless claims on Thursday and the unemployment rate on Friday.

A chorus of governors from across the political spectrum publicly challenged the Trump administration’s assertion that the United States is well stocked and well prepared to test people for the coronavirus and care for the sickest patients.

In many cases, the governors said, the country’s patchwork approach had left them bidding against one another for supplies.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, said on Tuesday that his state was “flying blind” in the fight against the coronavirus because officials did not have enough tests. When asked during an NPR interview about President Trump’s comments suggesting that a chronic lack of test kits was no longer a problem in the United States, Mr. Hogan did not mince words: “Yeah, that’s just not true.”

Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that it was “disturbing” to learn that a national stockpile of medical supplies was running empty.

“We are on our own,” he said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York — whose younger brother, Chris Cuomo, a CNN anchor, has tested positive for the virus — likened the conflicts to “being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator.”

The crisis has gripped the state with stunning speed. Thirty days ago, there was one detected case in New York City. By April 1, there were more than 40,000 infections, and 1,096 deaths from the virus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the numbers of cases and hospitalizations were expected to continue rising rapidly. The city’s need for equipment and medical workers remained vast and immediate, he said.

“This coming Sunday, April 5, is a demarcation line,” Mr. de Blasio said, zeroing in again on what he has called a critical date. “This is the point at which we must be prepared for next week when we expect a huge increase in the number of cases.”

The International Monetary Fund has declared that the world economy has now entered a recession and recovery is unlikely until 2021. As many as 25 million jobs could simply disappear and the world could lose some $3.4 trillion in labor income. More than 1.5 billion students are currently out of school or university, representing 87 percent of the world’s children and young people, and about 60 million teachers are no longer in the classroom.

That is just a sampling of the radical ways the virus and the fight to slow its spread are reshaping the world, according to a United Nations report.

“Covid-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said on Wednesday.

The report stated, “This is the moment to dismantle trade barriers, maintain open trade, and re-establish supply chains.”

“Tariff and nontariff measures, as well as export bans, especially those imposed on medicinal and related products, would slow countries’ action to contain the virus,” the study added. “Import taxes or restrictions on medical supplies need to be waived.”

The report called for “a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response amounting to at least 10 percent of global G.D.P.”

As the virus swept around the world, the first reaction of many nations was to retreat within their own borders, institute travel restrictions and nationalize the fight against the virus.

But the United Nations said that in this global fight, a global approach was needed.

And it is essential that developed countries immediately assist those less developed to bolster their health systems, the report found. Otherwise, the world faces the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire in the Global South, according to the report, with “millions of deaths and the prospect of the disease re-emerging where it was previously suppressed.

A month ago, a cough was just a cough. Now, in the anxious era of coronavirus, a cough can be a crime.

Coughing that is directed at others is increasingly being treated as a type of assault in Europe and the United States. And in some cases, like when health workers or emergency medical workers are targeted, it can now be classified in some places as an act of terrorism.

George Falcone, a 50-year-old New Jersey man, was charged with making a terroristic threat after he intentionally coughed near a supermarket employee and told her he had the coronavirus. Margaret Cirko, 35, was arrested in Hanover, Pa., when she intentionally coughed and spat at a supermarket’s fresh produce after she said she was sick — the charges against her included two counts of terrorist threats and one count of threatening to use a “biological agent,” the Hanover Township Police Department said in a statement last week.

The police in Spain have in the past weeks arrested people for coughing at supermarket workers and at members of the public, and the authorities in Greece have taken similar steps against people accused of spitting at police officers, according to local media reports. In Britain, common assault charges have been leveled against people accused of coughing intentionally at others.

The Crown Prosecution Service in Britain said that those found guilty of coughing to threaten emergency workers, specifically while claiming to have Covid-19, could face 12 months in prison.

Greater Manchester Police, a force servicing an area in northwestern England, charged a 33-year-old man with assault after he coughed at a police officer last week, and the force said it had also charged a 14-year-old boy with assault after he coughed and shouted “coronavirus” at a 66-year-old woman on March 17.

Warrington Police, another force in northwestern England, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that a group of teenagers who had coughed at health workers would be prosecuted, as would their parents.

Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions in Britain, said in a statement last week that he was “appalled” by reports of people claiming to have coronavirus and intentionally coughing on emergency and other key workers.

“Let me be very clear: This is a crime and needs to stop,” he said.

Laundry, grocery shopping, even walking the dog is fraught with challenges these days. The key to accomplish any essential task is a little preparation, levelheaded thinking and a lot of hand washing before and after. (A few anti-bacterial wipes can’t hurt either.)

While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history. Never before, researchers say, have so many experts in so many countries focused simultaneously on a single topic and with such urgency. Nearly all research, other than anything related to coronavirus, has ground to a halt.

Normal imperatives like academic credit have been set aside. Online repositories make studies available months ahead of journals. Researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences. More than 200 clinical trials have been started, bringing together hospitals and laboratories around the globe.

On a recent morning, for example, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that a ferret exposed to Covid-19 particles had developed a high fever — a potential advance toward animal vaccine testing. Under ordinary circumstances, they would have started work on an academic journal article.

“But you know what? There is going to be plenty of time to get papers published,” said Paul Duprex, a virologist leading the university’s vaccine research. Within two hours, he said, he had shared the findings with scientists around the world on a World Health Organization conference call. “It is pretty cool, right? You cut the crap, for lack of a better word, and you get to be part of a global enterprise.”

Dr. Duprex’s lab in Pittsburgh is collaborating with the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the Austrian drug company Themis Bioscience. The consortium has received funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, a Norway-based organization financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a group of governments, and is in talks with the Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world.

Nellie Bowles, who covers tech and internet culture from San Francisco for The New York Times, wrote about her losing battle with screens.

Before the coronavirus, there was something I used to worry about. It was called screen time. Perhaps you remember it.

I thought about it. I wrote about it. A lot. I would try different digital detoxes as if they were fad diets, each working for a week or two before I’d be back on that smooth glowing glass.

Now I have thrown off the shackles of screen-time guilt. My television is on. My computer is open. My phone is unlocked, glittering. I want to be covered in screens. If I had a virtual reality headset nearby, I would strap it on.

The screen is my only contact with my parents, whom I miss but can’t visit because I don’t want to accidentally kill them with the virus. It brings me into happy hours with my high school friends and gives me photos of people cooking on Facebook. Was there a time I thought Facebook was bad? An artery of dangerous propaganda flooding the country’s body politic? Maybe. I can’t remember. That was a different time.

A lot of people are coming around.

Walt Mossberg, my former boss and a longtime influential tech product reviewer, deactivated his Facebook and Instagram accounts in 2018 to protest Facebook’s policies and negligence around fake news. Now, for the duration of the pandemic, he is back.

“I haven’t changed my mind about the company’s policies and actions,” Mr. Mossberg wrote on Twitter last week. “I just want to stay in touch with as many friends as possible.”

On a day when the toll in Spain rose by yet another record amount, with 864 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the nation’s overwhelmed health care system has received a much-needed influx of emergency equipment as the authorities began distributing seven million sets of individual protection equipment to medical professionals.

The Spanish health minister, Salvador Illa, said his country had also received a new shipment of test sets, after 640,000 kits that proved substandard had to be sent back to China.

But even as the authorities scrambled to fill a shortage of protective equipment that has hobbled Spain’s hospitals — drawing outrage from medical professionals on the front lines — countless private initiatives have sprung up to help fill the gap, often financed by wealthy donors and grass-roots associations.

With more than 9,000 fatalities, Spain is No. 2 in deaths linked to the coronavirus. Only Italy has recorded a worse toll so far.

In Barcelona, homeless shelters and migrant collectives have volunteered to sew masks and medical suits, a local initiative that has been met by praise from health workers.

“I don’t know when the masks or the ventilators will come from China, and we need the equipment now,” Merce Guarro, a health professional at the Granollers hospital in Barcelona, said after she picked up 200 hazmat suits from the group last week. “It might be a drop in the ocean, but if they end up making 500 suits, that’s tremendously helpful.”

The actors Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, perhaps Spain’s most famous couple, sent 100,000 gloves and 20,000 masks to La Paz hospital in Madrid, using one of the cargo planes of Inditex, the clothing giant that has helped deliver several shipments of emergency gear to Spain. The Spanish Formula One champion Fernando Alonso announced on Tuesday a donation to fund 4,000 sets of protective equipment and 300,000 masks.

During a Tuesday evening news conference, President Trump offered a veiled criticism of the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain over the coronavirus response.

Mr. Trump said Britain had been facing “catastrophic” results if it had stayed on the initial course planned by the government in the early days of the crisis, appearing to reference the British government’s early suggestion that widespread exposure and “herd immunity” was the best way to ensure long-term protection from the coronavirus.

When Mr. Trump was asked about the measures in the United States to tackle the illness, he said that, at first, not everyone had been in agreement about the extensive lockdowns that have since swept the globe.

“A lot of people were saying: ‘Let’s just ride it out,’” he said.

“If you remember, they were looking at that concept — I guess it’s a concept if you don’t mind death, a lot of death — but they were looking at that in the U.K., remember?” he said.

Britain initially lagged behind much of Europe in shutting down nonessential businesses and ordering people to stay home. That response drew criticism from scientists and politicians, including members of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative party.

Noting that Mr. Johnson had himself tested positive for the disease, Mr. Trump said that Britain had now gone in the other direction. The nationwide lockdown in the country is now in line with the restrictions on movement across the rest of Europe.

And, with more than 29,000 people having tested positive for the virus and 2,352 recorded deaths by Wednesday, British officials have told the public to expect the restrictions to be in place for months to come.

Japan announced on Wednesday that it was extending a ban on entry to foreign travelers from 49 additional countries, including the Australia, China and the United States, to protect against the risk of imported infections of the coronavirus.

“With the explosive expansion of infection seen mainly in Europe and America, we decided to take stronger border measures,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said during a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force.

The island nation had previously banned entry to travelers from much of Europe as well as parts of China and South Korea. With Wednesday’s announcement, Japan will now ban travelers from 73 countries, about a third of the world. The new border controls go into effect at midnight on April 3.

Japan’s move aligns with a growing number of Asian countries and cities that are tightening their borders and imposing stricter containment measures to guard against a new wave of infections. Japanese citizens returning from any foreign country will be asked to quarantine themselves for two weeks after arrival.

The Health Ministry of Japan reported 225 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, including five detected at airports, bringing the country’s total to 2,187 cases. The Tokyo Metropolitan Education board also announced that it would close all middle and high schools citywide through May 6 and asked cities and towns across the region to close elementary and middle schools for the same period.

Reporting was contributed by Motoko Rich, Peter Baker, Sarah Mervosh, Katie Rogers, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Iliana Magra, Austin Ramzy, Keith Bradsher, Andrew Das, Michael D. Shear, Elian Peltier, Raphael Minder, David D. Kirkpatrick, Kate Kelly, Peter Eavis, Mujib Mashal, Matt Apuzzo and Chris Horton.



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Demonstrators Abroad Identify With the Cause of US Protests | World News

Published

on

By

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Demonstrators from Australia to Europe identified themselves with the cause of U.S. protests and urged their own governments to address racism and police violence.

An indigenous Australian lawmaker called on governments to use George Floyd’s death as an opportunity to reduce deaths of indigenous people in custody.

Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a police officer who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. His death in Minneapolis set off protests that spread across America.

Linda Burney, the opposition spokeswoman on indigenous Australians, said on Tuesday more than 430 indigenous people had died in Australian police custody since 1991.

“I think we should be using it as an opportunity,” Burney told Australian Broadcasting Corp., referring to Floyd’s death. “Whether we like it or not, it doesn’t take much for racism to come out of the underbelly of this country.”

“It seems to me that there are lots of things that state and territory governments could do, and the federal government could do to lower the number of Aboriginal people in custody,” she added.

While indigenous adults make up only 2% of the Australian population, they account for 27% of the prison population.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese backed Burney’s call. “There are far too many indigenous Australians who are incarcerated today. As a percentage of the population, this is a tragedy and it’s one that must be addressed as an absolute national priority,” Albanese told reporters.

European protesters carried similar messages. Thousands spilled across streets in Amsterdam to denounce police brutality, and those demonstrating in Paris urged the French government to take police violence more seriously and held up signs like “Racism is suffocating us.”

In Australia’s west coast city of Perth, hundreds of demonstrators who peacefully protested Floyd’s death sought to highlight injustices against indigenous Australians. Protesters carried banners with messages including “No Pride in Genocide” and tears appeared as the names of indigenous people who have died in Australian police custody were read to the crowd.

Some government leaders have seen the U.S. unrest as a chance to highlight what they see as American hypocrisy on protest movements at home versus abroad.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam She questioned the foreign criticism over an imminent national security law being imposed in the territory.

“They take their own country’s national security very seriously, but for the security of our country, especially the situation in Hong Kong, they are looking at it through tinted glasses,” she said.

Follow AP’s latest news about the protests at https://apnews.com/GeorgeFloyd

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

UK contact tracers not fully occupied, says coronavirus testing chief | World news

Published

on

By

Many of the 18,000 contact tracers recruited to find new cases of coronavirus are “not fully occupied”, the government’s testing chief has admitted, although he insisted people were reacting positively to being asked to isolate for 14 days.

Prof John Newton, who is coordinating the testing programme, said the new system was “working well”, despite numerous reports from the newly recruited contact tracers that they had nothing to do.

He said there was “a lot of capacity” and “many of them are not fully occupied” but he highlighted the fact that the number of new daily cases was coming down.

Speaking alongside Newton at No 10’s daily press conference, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said the test-and-trace system was “up and running”.

“It’s successful, I’m very glad to report that those who are asked to isolate by the contact tracers are expressing the willingness to do so and we track that very carefully.”

He added: “The level of incidence of disease has come down and so actually we have more capacity than we need; this is a good thing.

“I think to err on the side of having too many contact tracers is the right side to err on. I’d rather have too many people trained and ready to go.”

Contact tracing is one of the most basic planks of public health responses to a pandemic like the coronavirus. It means literally tracking down anyone that somebody with an infection may have had contact with in the days before they became ill. It was – and always will be – central to the fight against Ebola, for instance. In west Africa in 2014-15, there were large teams of people who would trace relatives and knock on the doors of neighbours and friends to find anyone who might have become infected by touching the sick person.

Most people who get Covid-19 will be infected by their friends, neighbours, family or work colleagues, so they will be first on the list. It is not likely anyone will get infected by someone they do not know, passing on the street.

It is still assumed there has to be reasonable exposure – originally experts said people would need to be together for 15 minutes, less than 2 metres apart. So a contact tracer will want to know who the person testing positive met and talked to over the two or three days before they developed symptoms and went into isolation.

South Korea has large teams of contact tracers and notably chased down all the contacts of a religious group, many of whose members fell ill. That outbreak was efficiently stamped out by contact tracing and quarantine.

Singapore and Hong Kong have also espoused testing and contact tracing and so has Germany. All those countries have had relatively low death rates so far. The World Health Organization says it should be the “backbone of the response” in every country.

Sarah Boseley Health editor

Neither Hancock nor Newton could say how many positive cases had asked for their contacts to be traced so far, how many people had been asked to isolate, how many of those had gone on to test positive or when those figures would be made public.

At the briefing, Hancock announced the lowest number of daily deaths, 111, since the lockdown began, although this did not include 445 extra deaths from 24 April to 31 May that were listed in an annexe.

The number of new daily cases confirmed through a positive test was 1,570, which is also the lowest since the start of the lockdown. However, scientists estimate that the number of new daily infections is still running at about 8,000 per day in the community, meaning many are going under the radar.

With concerns that the contact-tracing system is still not in a good enough state to be effective, Clive Betts, the chairman of the communities, housing and local government committee, wrote to Boris Johnson demanding more details on how it would work.

“We would like the government to set out the respective roles of all the different organisations involved and publish this online,” he wrote, asking for clarification on how the new joint biosecurity council (JBS) would be asked to advise local authorities.

Hancock acknowledged on Monday that the new JBS does not yet formally exist.

He told the Downing Street press conference: “We are getting it stood up, making sure that all the information flows come to it so it is able to analyse them and to make sure that it gets set up correctly. All that work is being done as we speak.”

He added that “it’s being formulated at the moment”.


Ed Davey, the acting Lib Dem leader, said it was “concerning” that the government was not yet making the testing, tracing and isolation data available to the public. 

“The government claims to be ‘led by the science’ but with members of Sage publicly warning against the government’s policy and little access to data about test, trace, isolate, a science-led approach is looking like a threadbare claim. The press conference today raised even more concerns about lockdown beginning to be lifted too early,” he said.

“The government approach to coronavirus is becoming increasingly confused and chaotic, whilst the majority of people just want clarity so they can keep safe.”

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Gilead drug helps patients with ‘moderate’ cases

Published

on

By

People across the U.S. gathered in mass protests against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, raising concerns of further virus spread through the demonstrations. More than 1.7 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus and over 104,000 have died due to Covid-19. Black Americans have made up a disproportionate share of the deaths as underlying conditions, income inequality and disparity in access to health care have exacerbated the outbreak in the community.

Some state and city officials have urged protesters to seek Covid-19 testing and to limit movements in the weeks following the demonstrations in an effort to prevent infections. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 6.19 million
  • Global deaths: At least 372,479
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.79 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 104,383

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Missouri casinos reopen in spite of protests

3:26 p.m. ET — Missouri’s governor and gaming regulators allowed casinos to reopen as scheduled, despite protests and civil unrest over the weekend.

Eldorado Resorts will reopen five properties in Missouri and Iowa, including Lumiere Place near the iconic St. Louis arch. Jeffries gaming analyst Jeffrey Katz anticipates fear over violence could keep away some visitors, in some places.

SunTrust gaming analyst Barry Jonas said guests who drive to casinos, rather than fly to their destinations, are typically more risk-tolerant than other kinds of leisure travelers, who aren’t traveling anyway because of coronavirus.

Eldorado President and COO Anthony Carano said in a corporate release, “We have been working very hard over the last two months to prepare for these reopenings and we look forward to providing the outstanding service and hospitality experiences our casinos in Missouri and Iowa are known for in a safe manner.”

Casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada are scheduled to reopen Thursday. But this weekend, the Reno mayor declared a citywide emergency, the governor ordered up the National Guard, and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters on the Las Vegas Strip. —Contessa Brewer

WHO says ‘if we let the virus go, it will transmit’

Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

2:45 p.m. ET — World Health Organization officials advised caution about reports that the coronavirus is “losing potency. They said “this is still a killer virus” and thousands of people are still dying daily.

“If we let the virus go, it will transmit. If we let the virus go, it will infect people and it will cause severe illness in about 20% of people,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

Last week, WHO officials warned that countries with declining coronavirus infections could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Protests are ‘counterproductive’ to NYC’s coronavirus battle, Gov. Cuomo says

Protesters gather at Barclays Center to protest the recent killing of George Floyd on May 29, 2020 in Brooklyn in New York City.

Kevin Mazur | Getty Images

2:26 p.m. ET — The George Floyd protests that rocked New York City over the weekend threaten to set back the city’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“We spent all this time closed down, locked down, masked, socially distanced and then you turn on the TV and you see these mass gatherings that could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people after everything that we have done,” he said.

Cuomo announced last week that he expected New York City to meet the state requirements for shifting into phase one of the state’s reopening plan on June 8. —Will Feuer

Tips for talking to your employer about making a permanent change to working from home

2:05 p.m. ET — Enjoying working from home? You’re not alone.

Prior to the pandemic, just 14% of employees in the U.S. worked from home five days a week. Now, as offices around the country remain shut down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, that share has swelled to more than 60%. And 3 in 5 workers say they don’t want to return to the old days, according to a Gallup survey. 

CNBC spoke to negotiation experts on how to best make the case to your boss that you can be as productive at home.

The first thing you need to do is to find out if your employer has taken a stance on working from home, said Deborah Kolb, author of Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins Into Big Gains. —Annie Nova

Pandemic sparks downward shift in tech deals

WHO wants to continue working with U.S.

12:42 p.m. ET — The World Health Organization hopes to continue its relationship with the U.S. despite President Donald Trump’s announcement that he plans to cut ties with the agency, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. reports. 

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has “long benefited” from the agency’s collaboration with the U.S., and that the organization wishes the partnership would continue

Trump said Friday that the WHO “failed to make the requested greatly needed reform” and criticized its response to the pandemic. —Hannah Miller

Gilead says remdesivir helped patients suffering from ‘moderate’ form of Covid-19

Empty vials of investigational coronavirus disease (Covid-19) treatment drug remdesivir are washed at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, U.S. March 18, 2020.

Gilead Sciences Inc | Reuters

Lowe’s launches new virtual home repair tool

12:09 p.m. ET — Think of it as telemedicine, but for a leaky pipe or broken toilet.

Lowe’s has launched a new video tool to make it easier for plumbers, electricians and other home professionals to virtually visit customers’ homes during the pandemic. It’s offering the video service for free for any professionals who join its new loyalty program.

With the video service, a home professional can consult with a customer and help troubleshoot a problem. The pro can use an on-screen laser pointer or a drawing tool to guide customers or help them make a repair – or capture a serial number and identify parts to order if an in-person visit is needed. —Melissa Repko

Why activists are pushing for rent forgiveness during the pandemic

A house for rent in California.

Getty Images

11:20 a.m. ET — With over 40 million Americans out of work due to coronavirus pandemic, calls to #CancelRent have proliferated on social media and at demonstrations across the country. Some politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), are joining progressive activists and calling for rent cancellation for those unable to pay during the pandemic.

“There should be rent forgiveness and there should be mortgage forgiveness now in the middle of this crisis,” Biden said earlier in the month on the Snapchat show “Good Luck America.” “Not paid later — forgiveness. It’s critically important to people who are in the lower-income strata.”

The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has hit renters especially hard, Tara Raghuveer, director of KC Tenants, a tenants rights group in Kansas City, tells CNBC Make It. Relative to homeowners, tenants typically have lower incomes and savings and less job stability, according to the Urban Institute, making them “more vulnerable than homeowners during this unstable time.”

As eviction moratoriums put in place at the beginning of the pandemic begin to lift, Raghuveer says the current situation could play out like 2008 — with landlords losing their properties and tenants facing eviction across the country — if broader relief does not come. “If rental assistance comes in three months, it’s too late,” says Raghuveer. “You’ll see thousands of families displaced with nowhere to go.” —Alicia Adamczyk

Budget airline Frontier starts taking travelers’ temperatures 

10:36 a.m. ET — Frontier Airlines became the first major U.S. airline to start checking passengers’ temperatures before they board, an attempt at calming concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in air travel.

The ultra-low-cost airline plans to use thermometer guns on travelers. If passengers have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they will be allowed to rest before getting a second check. If they still have 100.4F reading or higher they will be told “they will not be flying that day for the health and safety of others,” the airline said. “Frontier will work with that customer to rebook travel on a later date or otherwise accommodate the traveler’s preferences with respect to their reservation.”

Major U.S. carriers have said that it should be the government’s responsibility to check temperatures while labor unions have pushed for federal mandates, not just guidelines. The Department of Homeland Security, of which the Transportation Security Administration is a part, has said it’s considering traveler temperature checks but hasn’t yet provided a firm timeline. —Leslie Josephs

Officials warn protests could help virus spread

10:05 a.m. ET — As protests erupt across the U.S., officials are sounding the alarm that such mass gatherings could allow the coronavirus spread throughout the population.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of challenges coming out of the events of the past week,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an interview on “Squawk Box” on Monday. “One of them’s going to be that probably chains of transmission will have gotten lit by large gatherings. I don’t think there’s really a question about that.”

States have eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus in recent weeks, particularly as some studies indicate the virus doesn’t spread as easily outdoors. However, the protests present a significantly larger risk to increasing spread of the virus, Gottlieb said.

“This isn’t a day at the beach or going out to a picnic where you’re outside and you might be in larger groups but there’s some social distancing and you’re able to take some precautions,” he said. “In these kinds of gatherings, in these kinds of crowds, many of which lost control of the crowds, you’re not going to be able to take those kinds of precautions.” —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

Southwest offers employees voluntary separation packages in bid to avoid layoffs

Southwest airline planes sit on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport on February 20, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

9:47 a.m. ET — Southwest Airlines is the latest carrier to offer employees voluntary separation and partially paid leaves, an effort to reduce headcount and to avoid layoffs or furloughs.

While airlines are suffering from a plunge in demand because of the pandemic, they are prohibited from laying off or cutting the pay rates of their employees through Sept. 30 under the conditions of $25 billion in federal coronavirus relief dedicated to supporting payroll.

Southwest told employees they can take a minimum of six months off and receive partial pay, and all benefits and travel privileges. Another option is a voluntary separation that includes travel privileges for four years and a severance package.

“The voluntary programs are the most generous packages ever offered in Southwest’s history and will assist with matching staffing levels to the current decline in demand due to COVID-19,” the airline said. The low-cost airline, which employed just over 60,000 people as of the end of 2019, boasts that it has avoided laying off or furloughing workers and that it wants to keep its streak going.

American, United and Delta also rolled out voluntary leave, separation and early retirement programs last week to front-line workers as well as management and administrative employees. —Leslie Josephs

Dow drops 100 points at open as Wall Street aims for third monthly advance in June

9:40 a.m. ET — The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 130 points just after the opening bell while the S&P 500 lost 0.35% and the Nasdaq Composite shed nearly 0.2%. As June trading began on Wall Street, investors looked to extend gains seen since April.

Read updates on stock market activity from CNBC’s Fred Imbert. —Melodie Warner

Fauci concerned about new cases as states work to reopen

9:35 a.m. ET — Photos of crowded bars and packed beaches have made Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, concerned about a potential resurgence in coronavirus cases.

“If people want to get out, they’ve really got to gauge it with the level of the outbreak in their particular area,” Fauci said in an interview with STAT.

Fauci also spoke about vaccine development and said initial data from the first phase of the Moderna vaccine trial “looked very promising from the neutralizing antibody standpoint.” However, he said Moderna should have waited until it had all the data from the first phase before discussing it with the public. —Hannah Miller

New cases reported by region

Eli Lilly starts world’s first human study of potential antibody treatment

7:07 a.m. ET — Eli Lilly said it has begun dosing the first patients in a study of its potential antibody treatment for Covid-19.

The trial started ahead of that of rival Regeneron, which is also developing a potential antibody treatment. Eli Lilly said it expects results from the phase one study by the end of June. Phase one trials of the potential treatment, which uses antibodies from recovered patients to limit the virus’ ability to reproduce, aims to determine whether the treatment is safe for humans. A phase two trial would determine its efficacy in fighting the virus.

Antibody therapies could be used to prevent and treat Covid-19, said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly’s chief scientific officer. He added that the potential treatment was developed in partnership with AbCellera and researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We are privileged to help usher in this new era of drug development with the first potential new medicine specifically designed to attack the virus,” Skovronsky said in a statement. —Will Feuer

American Seafoods confirms 86 positive cases on vessel

6:46 a.m. ET — Seafood processing company American Seafoods has confirmed that a further 85 crew members of one of its vessels have tested positive for Covid-19.

The testing of the entire crew of the American Dynasty followed a positive test of one crew member while the vessel was in port at Bellingham, Washington.

Results are pending for nine outstanding tests, the company said in a statement Sunday. It operates six fish processing vessels

“The American Dynasty has returned to our home port of Seattle. All crew is being quarantined,” American Seafoods said. “American Seafoods is cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the CDC, the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle.” —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Global cases top 6.1 million; China says U.S. ‘addicted to quitting’ after WHO withdrawal

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending