Fauci on schools reopening, viral spread at protests and health care inequities

As the global death toll of Covid-19 surpasses 390,000, the spread of the virus continues to accelerate in parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to the World Health Organization. Daily new confirmed cases are pushing new highs, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with an all-time […]

As the global death toll of Covid-19 surpasses 390,000, the spread of the virus continues to accelerate in parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to the World Health Organization.

Daily new confirmed cases are pushing new highs, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with an all-time high of 130,400 new cases confirmed around the world on Wednesday.  

In the U.S., cases have been on a gradual rise since Memorial Day weekend, a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data shows. The country is nonetheless pushing forward with reopening. Some of the largest Las Vegas casinos reopened on Thursday, and New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, is slated to move into its first phase of reopening on Monday. 

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 6.75 million
  • Global deaths: At least 393,934
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.89 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 108,996

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro threatens to pull out of WHO

10:26 a.m. Singapore time — Reuters reported that President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to pull Brazil out of the World Health Organization. He told journalists the country would consider leaving the agency, unless it ceases to be a “partisan political organization,” Reuters reported.

On Thursday, Brazil reported a record number of daily deaths from the disease, taking the country’s death toll past that of Italy’s. Brazil now has the second highest number of confirmed cases and third highest death toll globally, according to Hopkins data.

Health officials have repeatedly that ideally countries would not ease lockdowns until coronavirus transmission rates fall. Bolsonaro has continued to push for lifting restrictions, arguing that the economic damage is greater than the health risks, Reuters reported.

An editorial in a local newspaper said, according to Reuters, that it has been about 100 days since Bolsonaro called the virus a “little flu” and now Covid-19 is “killing a Brazilian per minute.” — Christine Wang

Investors shrug off rough several months from Boeing and Airbus

6:40 p.m. ET — In March and April, shares of Boeing and Airbus were at multiyear lows, as orders for planes dried up and losses mounted amid the pandemic.

In two of the past four months, Airbus recorded zero orders for new planes, and for May some analysts expect Boeing to post a fifth straight month of no order growth, CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports. The order drought forced both companies to lower production schedules and to plan for thousands of job cuts.

The outlook still looks rough for the plane makers, but shares of Boeing and Airbus are both up more than 40% in the last month as air travel is showing signs of recovery. The Transportation Security Administration screened 391,882 people at airport security checkpoints in the U.S., the highest number of screenings since March 22. —Chris Eudaily

California to reopen schools, day camps and gyms

A man enters a Shoe City store as Los Angeles County retail businesses reopen while the COVID-19 pandemic continues on May 27, 2020 in Glendale, California.

David McNew | Getty Images

5 30 p.m. ET — California is set to lift major restrictions next week, include allowing schools and day camps to reopen statewide. Counties that have met certain health criteria can also reopen bars, gyms, campgrounds and professional sports, according to the Associated Press.

Most of the new businesses allowed to reopen are part of the third phase in the state’s reopening plan. —Hannah Miller

WNBA considering resuming season in late July

4:30 p.m. ET — The Women’s National Basketball Association is considering resuming a 22-game season starting July 24, according to a report from ESPN.

Players would receive 60% of their normal salaries under the plan, but details have not been released concerning player housing or play-off structure. The report follows the National Basketball Association’s approval of a plan that would include resuming the season on July 31 with 22 teams in Florida. —Hannah Miller

Jobs report further divides Republicans and Democrats on coronavirus relief

3:49 p.m. ET — A surprisingly strong May jobs report has widened the gulf between Republicans and Democrats on how to proceed with the economic recovery from the coronavirus.

After the U.S. gained 2.5 million jobs for the month, President Donald Trump outlined a fairly short list of priorities such as a payroll tax cut and more stimulus checks for Americans. Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC that the White House would be “open” to more relief for state and local governments to cover budget crunches created by the pandemic.

Despite the gains, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3%, a level still higher than at any point after the 2008 financial crisis.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said not injecting more money into the economy now would jeopardize the progress made in May. They want more aid for states and municipalities, additional direct payments and an extension of the enhanced federal unemployment benefit, among other provisions.Congress likely will not consider another economic rescue package for weeks. –Jacob Pramuk

Fauci says whether schools reopen in the fall is ‘complicated,’ will depend on the region

3:07 p.m. ET — White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC that the question of whether to reopen schools in the fall has a “complicated answer” and will depend on the coronavirus’ transmission in certain regions of the U.S.

“When you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality and school openings and things like that, it’s always related to the level of activity of the virus,” he said.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said new infections will begin to creep up in the fall and winter months. A second wave of infections later this year is preventable, he said, but it’s “the efficiency and effectiveness in which we put the manpower, the systems, the tests to identify, isolate and contact trace, that will determine how successful we are in preventing that wave.” 

Fauci also said he has “no doubt” that Americans who aren’t wearing face masks, especially in large crowds, are increasing the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

His comment came a day after the director of the CDC said he worried Americans aren’t following the agency’s advice, which includes wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

Coronavirus will change how film sets operate, industry experts say

2:55 p.m. ET — Hollywood is eager to get cameras rolling again, but the industry wants to ensure sets are as safe as possible. 

Until a vaccine is widely distributed, film production is going to need to establish a new normal. Making movies and television has always been a very collaborative endeavor. However, many of the on-set jobs are done in close proximity, and adding a 6 foot social distancing rule could make that work much more difficult.

CNBC spoke with four film industry experts to get a sense of how crews could adapt to temporary Covid-19 regulations and how film production as a whole, from script to final edit, could be altered forever. 

Ultimately, these restrictions could change the types of scripts that are written and optioned and could be a chance for independent projects to flourish. —Sarah Whitten

Bentley and Aston Martin cut jobs

2:46 p.m. ET — The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to take its toll on the global automotive industry – from U.S. automakers to famed luxury carmakers such as Bentley and Aston Martin.

Volkswagen-owned Bentley said it plans to eliminate up to 1,000 jobs, nearly a quarter of its workforce, through a “voluntary release” program as its business plans have been “clearly derailed by the impact of the pandemic.”

Bentley’s cuts come a day after fellow British automaker Aston Martin said it plans to cut up to 500 jobs, “reflecting lower than originally planned production volumes and improved productivity across the business.” It employs about 2,600 people globally. —Michael Wayland

New York reports lowest coronavirus deaths in eight weeks

2:29 p.m. ET — The number of fatalities from Covid-19 in New York state was 42 on Thursday, hitting an all-time low since the outbreak began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The state also reported the lowest number of total hospitalizations to date.

In late May, the number of lives lost from the virus fell below 100 for the first time since March 24. The daily death toll has been on a steady decline from the height of the state’s outbreak in March and early April when close to 800 people were dying every day, according to state data.

Cuomo said New York was able to make significant progress because of its residents, who “changed their fundamental behaviors” and followed social distancing guidelines.

“Eight weeks ago we had 800. Eight weeks. 800 people dying to 42 people dying in eight weeks. Amazing. ‘How did you do that?’ I did nothing,” he said. —Jasmine Kim

WHO updates guidance on face masks

People wearing masks and gloves wait to checkout at Walmart on April 03, 2020 in Uniondale, New York.

Al Bello | Getty Images

2:05 p.m. ET — The World Health Organization said it recommends that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public in hopes of reducing the spread of Covid-19, updated guidance released by the organization states, according to Reuters.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead expert on Covid-19, told Reuters the organization is specifically recommending a fabric face mask because it is a non-medical mask.

The WHO has previously said there was not enough evidence in support or against the use of face masks, though the organization has always recommended them for someone who is sick or who is caring for that person, according to Reuters.

The WHO continues to recommend that all health-care workers dealing with patients who have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having Covid-19 should wear medical masks, Reuters reported. The WHO now recommends, however, that any staff member in contact with patients or residents in clinics, hospitals, care homes or long-term facilities should also wear masks at all times. —Alex Harring

Jobs report points to possible V-shaped recovery

1:40 p.m. ET — The record gain in jobs last month is the latest data point that suggests a sharp recovery for the U.S. economy from the pandemic-induced recession.

Unemployment is still above 13%, but payrolls, along with travel demand and oil prices, have made big gains in recent weeks. —Jesse Pound

Reopened states doing ‘tremendous business,’ Trump says, but cases rise in some

1:26 p.m. ET — States that were among the earliest to reopen nonessential businesses and lift restrictions on households are doing “tremendous business,” President Donald Trump said, though daily new cases in some of those states are gradually rising.

Trump cited Florida, Georgia and South Carolina specifically, all of which had some of the earliest and most ambitious reopening plans. Some epidemiologists criticized plans in states like Florida and Georgia to reopen businesses even as the daily rate of coronavirus infection continued to climb, defying federal guidance.

Some reopened states, including Florida, have seen cases begin to rise. On Thursday, Florida reported 1,419 new coronavirus cases, its biggest single-day increase since Florida’s Department of Health began publishing data on the outbreak.

“Look at what’s going on in Florida, it’s incredible,” Trump said at a news briefing to discuss better-than-expected jobs numbers. “If you look at so many different places that have opened up … the ones that are most energetic about opening they are doing tremendous business and this is what these numbers are all about.” —Will Feuer

UK halts large-scale hydroxychloroquine trial

1:00 p.m. ET — Scientists in the U.K. stopped a large trial of hydroxychloroquine after initial results showed no evidence of the anti-malaria drug’s benefit in treating Covid-19.

Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial, said patients will stop being enrolled in the trial immediately as it is “not a treatment” for Covid-19.

“We reviewed the data and concluded there is no evidence of a beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized with Covid, and decided to stop enrolling patients to the hydroxychloroquine arm with immediate effect,” Landray said.

The decision comes one day after The Lancet retracted an influential study that raised alarms about the safety of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which have been considered experimental Covid-19 treatments.

The authors of the study requested the retraction as the data underlying the paper, which they were not directly involved in the collection of, was placed under scrutiny. –Alex Harring

NYC reports first day with no confirmed Covid-19 deaths since March

A medical worker wears a protective mask as he rides on a Citi Bike outside the Mount Sinai Hospital entrance in Manhattan during the the COVID-19 shutdown on April 26, 2020 in New York City.

Roy Rochlin | Getty Images

12:31 p.m. ET — Wednesday marked the first day of no confirmed coronavirus deaths in New York City since March, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The city’s first confirmed death from coronavirus came on March 11, with deaths peaking April 7 at a high of 590, according to the city’s data. Confirmed deaths have declined since then, falling below 100 on May 9, CNBC’s Will Feuer reports.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths account for patients who tested positive for the virus. There were three “probable” coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, meaning the individuals had symptoms of the virus but had not yet been tested, the city reported.

In New York City alone, more than 202,319 people have been infected by Covid-19, and the city has reported 16,992 confirmed deaths. New York City is set to enter phase one of reopening Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. To meet the state’s reopening criteria, the city still needs to increase its share of hospital beds available and expand its number of contract tracers deployed. —Suzanne Blake

U.S. already produced 2 million vaccine doses, Trump says

11:37 a.m. ET — The U.S. produced 2 million coronavirus vaccine doses that are “ready to go” once scientists figure out whether it is safe and effective, President Donald Trump announced from the White House.

The Trump administration has selected five companies as the most likely candidates to produce a vaccine for the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

Trump didn’t say Friday which ones have started vaccine production. The U.S. government has been working with biotech firm Moderna on a potential vaccine. The company expects to begin a late-stage trial in July. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.

Dow rallies more than 700 points after record surge in U.S. jobs

Apple is reportedly giving coronavirus tests to staff as they return to the office

Close-up of blue logo on sign with facade of headquarters buildings in background near the headquarters of Apple Computers in the Silicon Valley, Cupertino, California, August 26, 2018.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

9:32 a.m. ET — Apple is offering employees Covid-19 nasal swab tests as they return to work, according to a Bloomberg report which cited people familiar with the process.

Employees will also have their temperature taken and they’ll be required to wear masks around the office, the report stated.

Apple reportedly intends to keep many of its break-room kitchens closed and it will limit the number of people gathering in confined spaces like elevators.

Apple is one of the first big tech firms to start bringing employees back to the office and the company’s approach contrasts with other Silicon Valley firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter. —Sam Shead

Blood pressure drugs linked to lower Covid-19 mortality, study shows

9:21 a.m. ET — A new study revealed that widely used drugs to control high blood pressure may help protect against severe Covid-19. 

Overall, coronavirus patients with high blood pressure have an increased risk of death and a higher likelihood of needing mechanical ventilation, researchers in the European Heart Journal reported. 

The study found patients taking any type of blood pressure drug had a lower risk of death from the virus than those who were not taking any medicine for hypertension. The evidence so far is from observational studies rather than randomized trials.

“We were quite surprised that these results did not support our initial hypothesis; in fact, the results were in the opposite direction, with a trend in favor of ACE inhibitors and ARBs,” said coauthor Fei Li of Xijing Hospital in Xi’an, China. —Suzanne Blake

May unemployment rate comes in at 13.3%, better than the 19.5% expected

8:45 a.m. ET — The jobless rate declined to 13.3%, according to data from the Labor Department, far better than economists were expecting and indicated that an economic turnaround could be close at hand.

Employment stunningly rose by 2.5 million in May, by far the biggest one-month jobs gain in U.S. history since at least 1939. 

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to drop by 8.333 million and the unemployment rate to rise to 19.5% from April’s 14.7%. 

Read a full report on the U.S. jobless rate from CNBC’s Jeff Cox. —Melodie Warner

Spain set to relax lockdown measures in Madrid and Barcelona Monday

8:10 a.m. ET — Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference that lockdown measures in the cities of Madrid and Barcelona will be scaled back starting next week.

People will be allowed to eat and drink inside bars and restaurants starting Monday, with children able to play outside at any time of day.

Currently customers of bars and restaurants in the two major cities are only able to eat and drink on outdoor terraces, and children’s playtime is restricted to dedicated slots.

More than 240,000 people in Spain have contracted the coronavirus, with 27,133 dying of Covid-19 so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Spain has recorded the fifth-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide, behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia and the U.K. — Sam Meredith

Will likely take weeks to observe rise in cases from protests, former FDA chief says

7:30 a.m. ET — There is “no question” that the coronavirus will spread among the George Floyd protesters filling the streets in cities across the U.S., but it will take a number of weeks to detect an uptick in cases, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said. 

“It’s still a little early to see the impact. You probably want to wait two weeks and a couple replication cycles, or maybe three replications cycles, before you see it,” he said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It’s a younger crowd, more likely to have asymptomatic illness, so if it starts chains of transmission it’s going to take time for those chains to grow into the kinds of numbers where you could detect it.”

The U.S. is already beginning to see an uptick since about Memorial Day weekend, when some states eased restrictions on businesses and outdoor areas like beaches. Some states still have an “expanding epidemic,” Gottlieb said, adding that we’ll have to wait and see what the impact of the protests will be.

“There will be cases coming out of it. There’s no question about it,” he said. “Whether or not we see an epidemic in these states, that’s harder to tell.” —Will Feuer

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

WHO sees ‘upticks’ in countries around the world

Gravediggers carry the coffin of Avelino Fernandes Filho, 74, during his funeral who passed away from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 18, 2020.

Ricardo Moraes | Reuters

6:56 a.m. ET — Countries around the world that have eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus have begun to see upticks in infections, the World Health Organization said.

“On upticks, yes we have seen in countries around the world — I’m not talking specifically about Europe — when the lockdowns ease, when the social distancing measures ease, people sometimes interpret this as ‘OK, it’s over’,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, according to Reuters.

“It’s not over,” she said, according to Reuters. She added that U.S. protesters should take precautions when gathering. “It’s not over until there is no virus anywhere in the world.” —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Brazil’s death toll surpasses Italy’s, Lancet retracts hydroxychloroquine study

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