World leaders met virtually Monday at the World Health Organization’s 73rd World Health Assembly to discuss and set priorities for the next year.
At the assembly, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for greater authority to be vested in the WHO to deal with emerging diseases, while HHS Secretary Alex Azar called the WHO’s response to the coronavirus a failure that “cost many lives.”
Biotech company Moderna released data on its closely watched phase 1 human trial for its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The data appears to be positive and shares of the company skyrocketed, lifting the overall market.
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 4.8 million
- Global deaths: At least 318,303
- U.S. cases: More than 1.5 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 90,340
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Japan’s Abe ‘looks like a lame duck’ as his government comes under fire for its virus response
10:38 a.m. (Singapore time) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has seen his approval rating decline, with 55% of respondents in a recent Nikkei/TV Tokyo poll saying they do not have a favorable view of the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. That comes despite Japan’s “effective response compared with many other countries,” said Teneo Intelligence’s Tobias Harris.
Harris told CNBC that part of the reason behind the decline in Abe’s approval ratings has been due to the perception that he reacted “too slowly to the pandemic.” Unlike its peers in the region, Japan initially resisted declaring a nationwide state of emergency until the middle of April, when it reportedly had more than 9,000 infections and nearly 200 deaths in the country. — Eustance Huang
How some Asian economies managed to contain the virus outbreak
10:04 a.m. (Singapore time) — Taiwan hasn’t reported any new cases of the coronavirus disease for more than a week — that’s a feat that few globally have achieved even as more countries and territories prepare to roll back containment measures.
Part of Taiwan’s efforts includes the use of big data and technology, which helped authorities identity potential cases and isolate those with a higher risk of infection, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That allowed the self-ruled island, located just across a narrow strait from mainland China, to avoid locking down its economy.
Read here for more on what Taiwan did to contain its outbreak, and how Hong Kong and Vietnam managed to achieve similar results. — Yen Nee Lee
U.S. retail sales could drop more than 6% this year
8:51 a.m. (Singapore time) — Market research company Euromonitor said U.S. retail sales could be down at least 6.5% in 2020. Factors that can alter its forecast for the year include the duration of the pandemic, the government’s response, and the rate at which shoppers feel comfortable enough to return to malls and stores.
Euromonitor said companies that could fare best this year include grocery retailers, e-commerce names, third-party delivery platforms and big food brands. Those that are predicted to struggle most include apparel retailers, department store operators, luxury chains and direct-to-consumer brands. — Lauren Thomas, Saheli Roy Choudhury
Citi says Amazon grew job postings in April while Alphabet and Facebook cut back
8 pm ET — Amazon increased its job openings 19% year over year in April while other internet companies like Alphabet, eBay, Facebook and GrubHub cut back, according to an analysis by Citi analysts led by Jason Bazinet. At Amazon, growth in the number of job postings, a proxy for costs, slowed from 35% in March. —Jordan Novet
Coronavirus vaccine adviser Moncef Slaoui to divest $12 million of Moderna holdings
Former GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical executive Moncef Slaoui, who will serve as chief adviser on the effort to find a vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a coronavirus disease response event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, May 15, 2020.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
7:20 pm ET — Former Moderna executive Moncef Slaoui, tapped to lead the White House coronavirus vaccine project, will divest himself of approximately $12.4 million worth of stock options he has in the company.
Slaoui “directed the divestiture of his equity holdings in Moderna and that sale should be effective tomorrow morning,” an HHS spokeswoman said Monday. Moderna’s stock soared Monday on news of a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate, jumping from a Friday close of $66.69 a share to $80 at the conclusion of Monday’s trading. —Christina Wilkie
Small businesses get back to work, adapt to heightened safety measures
6:39 pm ET — Business owners in states that are reopening are dealing with a laundry list of questions. While worrying about safety issues for workers and guests, there is also liability concerns and hoping that consumers will come back.
CNBC’s Kate Rogers and Betsy Spring report that some business owners are getting creative to adapt to the new normal.
Daniel Halpern, who owns a number of TGI Friday’s restaurants across the country, is preparing to reopen his first store for dining in Georgia this Tuesday. Halpern said his locations will have personal protective equipment, sanitizing equipment and there will be temperature checks for workers and guests.
“I think we have a lot of repair to do,” he said. “Delivery sales and takeout certainly have grown significantly, and we hope that that continues, but I think we’re going to slowly but surely build our in-store guests through time and trust.”
For James Cummings, who has 46 Great Clips locations, that meant taking protective measures and creating a new position, the hair traffic controller.
“It’s like a receptionist on steroids or a bouncer at the club,” Cummings said. “It’s making sure we get this right — training our employees on the new processes, educating the customers on the new expectations — and doing that in a thoughtful, professional way. Moving forward through this together, not rushing and making a mistake.” —Chris Eudaily
Moderna plans to issue $1.25 billion in fresh equity following 20% stock surge
A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 18, 2020.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
5:30 pm ET — Biotech company Moderna announced plans to issue at least $1.25 billion in shares of common stock after releasing the results of its phase 1 clinical trial earlier today.
Moderna said it expects to primarily use the proceeds to fund the manufacturing and distribution of its vaccine candidate once it obtains necessary regulatory approvals. Morgan Stanley is running the deal and the company is giving the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $187.5 million in common stock. —Jasmine Kim
Trump says he takes unproven hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection
5:05 pm ET — President Trump said he’s been taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection even though it is not yet a proven treatment.
“I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.”
He added: “I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.” —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
States reopen gyms, expand retail services
A person disinfects an elliptical machine at a gym in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Louisiana entered its phase 1 of reopening on Friday after Governor John Bel Edwards loosened restrictions on certain business in the state.
Bryan Tarnowski | Bloomberg via Getty Images
5 pm ET — The governors of Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Kansas allowed gyms to reopen in their states on Monday.
With gyms often categorized as businesses with a high risk for virus transmission in recovery plans, reopening them signals a big step forward for these states. Other states expanded their retail services, with New Jersey stores now allowed to offer curbside pickup and Minnesota malls open to foot traffic. Louisiana also reopened its casinos at 25% capacity. For more on states’ reopening plans, click here. —Hannah Miller
California governor says pro sporting events without spectators, in-store retail could begin early June
People sit on a hill overlooking Dodger Stadium on what was supposed to be Major League Baseball’s opening day, now postponed due to the coronavirus, on March 26, 2020 in Los Angeles.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
4:40 pm ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state could continue easing its statewide stay-at-home order to allow for professional sporting events without spectators and in-store retail to resume as early as the first week in June.
He said the decision would be based on the state’s ability to maintain the rate of transmission of Covid-19 and no additional stress is added to hospitals and intensive-care units.Newsom previously lifted restrictions on curbside retail pickup as part of California’s phased reopening plan, but he said it’s up to local jurisdictions to decide whether it’s safe to follow the eased guidelines. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Detroit automaker plants cautiously reopen
Ford started resuming vehicle production in the U.S. on May 18, 2020 with new coronavirus safety protocols such as health assessments, personal protective equipment and facility modifications to increase social distancing.
4:20 pm ET —The Detroit automakers started producing vehicles in the U.S. for the first time since late-March, when their plants were shuttered to protect workers and assist in flattening the curve of Covid-19.
The reopening of plants for General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler is being closely monitored by other industries as well as government officials as a test of whether social distancing and coronavirus safety protocols for densely populated work areas such as assembly plants can successfully reopen without a resurgence of the disease.
The restart of production will test the automakers’ capital-strained supply chains, coronavirus safety protocols and consumer demand. All three must be in tact for any hope of a steady recovery for the U.S. auto industry.
The Detroit automakers and others have taken steps to assist with all three issues. They’ve implemented extensive safety protocols for workers and attempted to provide time for suppliers to come back online. For demand, they’re offering 0% financing of up to 84 months as well as big discounts on vehicles. —Michael Wayland
San Francisco lifts some retail restrictions
An Original Joe’s restaurant employee wearing a protective mask hands a take-out order to a customer through a car window in San Francisco, California, on Thursday, May 14, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg via Getty Images
3:53 pm ET — San Francisco has lifted some restrictions on retail locations. Shops can now offer curbside pickup, but won’t be able to allow customers inside stores for several more weeks, according to the city’s Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax.
Places of worship, theaters, personal care providers and restaurants are at least a month away from reopening, Colfax said at a press briefing. However, he did say that summer camps opening in the area could be a “real possibility.” —Hannah Miller
Dow gains 1,000 points on vaccine hopes
Santa Clara County moves into second phase of reopening
2:40 pm ET — California’s Santa Clara County issued a new health order allowing retailers to offer storefront pickup and manufacturing, warehousing and logistical operations that support retail to resume.
The new order allows the county, which is home to most of Silicon Valley, to move into the second phase of reopening. Residents are still required to stay home as much as possible and wear face masks. —Hannah Miller
Former White House economic advisor calls for more federal support
2:29 pm ET — The federal government should help cities, states and hospitals recover some of the money lost amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s former economic advisor.
“I’m not trying to help cities and states get back to a solvent financial position, [but] I would like to get hospitals and states back to a financial position they were in 60 days ago,” Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Cohn said that political leaders need to decide whether their goal at this point in the crisis should be to continue flattening the “curve” of coronavirus infections, or to focus on recovery efforts.
“I’m sort of in this camp – if we decide we’re solving for the recovery, a lot of the actions that can be taken to help solve for recovery again can fall on the states and the cities,” Cohn said, “and it may mean getting money to states and cities.”
Some Republicans, including Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have shown resistance toward sending money to states. House Democrats on Friday passed another round of massive coronavirus relief legislation, which would send nearly $1 trillion to cash-strapped state and local governments, among a bevy of other provisions. Republicans say the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. —Kevin Breuninger
As the pandemic pushes customers online, retailers face new challenges
2:26 pm ET — Instead of stepping into stores, customers are filling up virtual baskets – and that hasn’t been all upside for retailers.
The shift to online, through curbside or home delivery, is forcing companies to change how they operate and train employees. It’s also cutting into profits, as they have higher transportation costs, more returns and lower odds of up-selling customers or enticing them to make impulse buys.
Some companies, such as Walmart and Walgreens, have launched new online offerings. For others, such as Macy’s, Gap and Kohl’s, e-commerce has been a lifeline as stores stay shut or reopen slowly with curbside pickup.
“Curbside, at the moment, is kind of a contingency option,” GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders said. At the end of the day, he said, “it’s not as good as having people come in the store to buy.” —Melissa Repko, Lauren Thomas
Azar offers intense criticism of WHO Covid-19 response
2:08 pm ET — U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar had harsh words for the World Health Organization in terms of how it responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Azar said the agency failed to gather critical information about the virus, costing “many lives,” CNBC’s Sam Meredith reports. In an apparent reference to China, Azar added that one of WHO’s members did not fulfill transparency obligations, further putting the world in jeopardy. —Hannah Miller
Uber cuts another 3,000 jobs
2:02 pm ET — Uber is cutting another 3,000 jobs, less than two weeks after an initial round of 3,700 cuts, CNBC confirmed.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi relayed the news in an email to employees Monday. Khosrowshahi said Uber would also be closing or consolidating 45 offices around the world. He also warned of possible further measures to reduce expenses in the future.
Uber said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that members of its board would forego 100% of their retainers for the rest of the year. While the latest measures will cost the company $175 million to $220 million, according to the filing, mainly as a result of severance and termination benefits, the moves will save the company at least $1 billion annually, the company said. —Lauren Feiner
Routine kids’ vaccinations, including measles, fall during pandemic, CDC says
A nurse holds up a one dose bottle and a prepared syringe of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine made by Merck at the Utah County Health Department on April 29, 2019 in Provo, Utah.
George Frey | Getty Images
1:27 pm ET — Vaccinations for young children in the United States have fallen as more Americans skipped routine doctors’ visits and stayed home due to the pandemic, the CDC said.
The observed declines in vaccinations might leave young children and communities vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles, the CDC wrote in its findings.
“If measles vaccination coverage of 90%–95% (the level needed to establish herd immunity) is not achieved, measles outbreaks can occur,” the agency warned.
Late last month, the World Health Organization warned world leaders that children across the globe would die as the coronavirus pandemic forces some countries to temporarily halt vaccinations for other serious and deadly diseases. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
One-third of small businesses won’t reopen after the pandemic, Facebook survey finds
Businesses stand temporarily closed in the French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., on Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Bryan Tarnowski | Bloomberg | Getty Images
1:13 pm ET — Of the small and medium-sized businesses that have been forced to close up shop during the coronavirus pandemic, about a third believe they won’t reopen after the initial crisis passes, according to a new report.
The finding comes is from a Facebook survey of 86,000 small and medium-sized business owners, managers and employees. The survey is part of an ongoing data initiative between Facebook and the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The survey also found that less than half of the business owners who have closed shop believe they will rehire the same workers they had to let go. The findings indicate the path to recovery could extend even further than imagined beyond the date when businesses are allowed to reopen. —Lauren Feiner
New York governor asks major sports leagues to open seasons without fans
1:04 pm ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has asked major sports leagues to plan a reopening without fans, saying that they could televise the games instead.
He said this would include sports like “hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen” and state officials are a “ready, willing and able partner.”
Cuomo said the decision to return depends on whether franchises believe they will be able to make money without spectators.
“I think this is in the best interest of all the people and in the best interest in the state of New York,” Cuomo said.
New York is working toward reopening regions in the state in phases. Cuomo said that a sixth region, in western New York, will begin phase one of the state’s reopening plan on Tuesday. Entertainment and recreational activities wouldn’t be allowed until phase four. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Surgeon urges the public to wear masks so ‘we can shut down the virus’
Guests wearing face masks visit the Universal Orlando’s CityWalk as sections of the entertainment and retail district opened today for limited hours for the first time since Universal Orlando closed on March 15, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul Hennesy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
12:50 pm ET — If 60% of people wore face masks that were at least 60% effective, “we can shut down the virus,” Dr. Atul Gawande told CNBC.
“Yes, there are going to be people who don’t want to wear their mask, just like they don’t necessarily want to get their vaccinations,” said Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “But above a certain level, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, we can create the change.”
A double-layered, well-fitted cotton mask is likely at least 60% effective, according to Gawande.
“This is about us learning, not about becoming vigilantes with each other, but about building a way that we are actively interested in preventing infecting one another,” he said. —Kevin Stankiewicz
Flanigan’s chain of family restaurants and liquor stores gets $13.1 million in small business rescue loans
12:35 pm ET — Flanigan’s Enterprises, the operator of the Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill chain of family restaurants and Big Daddy’s Wine and Liquors retail liquor stores, announced in an SEC filing that the company and its entities got approximately $13.1 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
The company said it received $5.9 million in loans. Some $4.1 million was loaned to eight limited partnership stores, $2.6 million was loaned to five franchisees and $500,000 was loaned to the company’s managed store. Flanigan’s said it got the loans from Bank of America.
Flanigan’s did not immediately return CNBC’s request for comment and Bank of America declined to comment.
The company did not announce any plans to repay the loans. Flanigan’s said in an 8-K filing that the company has $29.8 million in cash on hand and $32 million in outstanding indebtedness, including the full funding of the loans.
The federal government issued guidance in late April suggesting that large publicly traded companies with liquidity that got the loans should return them.
Flanigan’s has 26 locations that are restaurants, liquor stores or a combination, mostly in Florida, according to its latest annual report. The company also has five franchisees and a market cap of nearly $30 million. —Jennifer Schlesinger
Germany and France propose EU recovery fund
12:14 pm ET — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a 500 billion-euro fund to help economies significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The European Union would borrow together on financial markets and use the fund to help specific sectors and regions that were particularly affected by the outbreak, The Associated Press reported.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke positively about the proposal and said it acknowledges the serious challenges faced by the EU.—Hannah Miller
Massachusetts lifts certain coronavirus restrictions
The “Teammates” statues of former Boston Red Sox players Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio wear makeshift masks made of Red Sox merchandise as the Major League Baseball season is postponed due the coronavirus pandemic on April 9, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Billie Weiss | Boston Red Sox | Getty Images
11:53 am ET — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released more details on the state’s four-phase reopening plan. Manufacturing and construction operations were allowed to resume Monday and places of worship can reopen under certain guidelines. Baker also gave insight into which businesses can reopen next week.
“This guidance asks people to change behaviors and it changes the way some of our favorite places look and feel,” Baker said at a press briefing.
Beginning next Monday, retailers will be able to partially reopen in the state with curbside pickup. Certain personal care services such as hair salons and barbershops can also reopen under restrictions. Office spaces will also be able to reopen at 25% capacity, except in Boston. —Hannah Miller
145 children in NYC have multisystem inflammatory syndrome
11:36 am ET — New York City health officials confirmed 145 cases of what was previously referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his daily news briefing.
Of 145 patients, 67 tested positive for Covid-19 or have the antibodies against the virus.
De Blasio said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the rare and potentially fatal illness an official definition, which is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.
The CDC also confirmed the link between the Kawasaki-like disease and Covid-19, and expanded the list of symptoms to persistent fever, irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, enlarged lymph node on one side of the neck, red cracked lips, or red tongue and swollen hands and feet. —Jasmine Kim
New York City to potentially begin reopening by mid-June
People wearing protective face masks are seen in a nearly empty Times Square during the Covid-19 pandemic on May 12, 2020 in New York City.
Ben Gabbe | Getty Images
11:30 am ET — New York City could begin to reopen by the first half of June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
The city has met three of the seven health indicators set forth by state, including experiencing a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations, CNBC’s William Feuer and Jasmine Kim report. Once all seven health indicators are met, the city can enter the first phase of reopening, which includes resuming construction and allowing retailers to reopen with restrictions, according to de Blasio. —Hannah Miller
How post-pandemic office spaces could change corporate culture
11:20 am ET — Shifts in corporate culture may be on the horizon because of the massive move to remote work and new safety protocols expected to take place in companies across the U.S.
Whether this shift will see a spike in employee morale is being widely debated. According to an April survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 2 in 3 employers say that maintaining employee morale during the pandemic has been a challenge. Yet according to the Q2 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey, workers are happier with their jobs than they were before the pandemic, even though more than half (54%) say their jobs have become increasingly more difficult.
What is agreed upon is that it will require bold, firm leadership to maintain a positive corporate culture during these uncertain times.—Jen Geller and Riley de Leon
Workers who still have their jobs are happier but working harder: CNBC survey
11:10 am ET — While the pandemic has abruptly upended nearly everything about the traditional workplace, job satisfaction and happiness measures have ticked up, according to the latest Q2 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Survey.
When asked directly about the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on their relationship to their employment, 38% of workers say they are happier to have their job now than they were before the outbreak — an indication that workers may be reevaluating their views and expectations on work in general, particularly in light of the 14.7% unemployment rate.
Just 11% say that now, more than before, they wish they had a different job. Nevertheless, while workers say they are happier with their jobs, many say the pandemic’s impact on their workplace has made it more difficult for them to do their job effectively, with 1 in 5 saying it has become much harder and 34% saying it has become somewhat harder. For some, the difficulty lies in homeschooling children while working full time; for others connectivity issues or not having easy access to certain programs or files has created work-related challenges; for essential workers, the stress of catching the virus and wearing the personal protective equipment and instituting safety procedures has been challenging. —Jen Geller
U.K. researchers should know by July if vaccine is effective
10:54 am ET — The U.K. could roll out 30 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as early as September, officials have said.
According to the British government, the U.K. will be the first country to be granted access to a vaccine being developed at Oxford University and distributed by AstraZeneca.
The pharmaceutical giant will work to make up to 30 million doses of the vaccine available to Britons by September, provided the vaccine is proven to be effective.
AstraZeneca said in April that Oxford researchers would know by July whether their vaccine, which began human trials on April 24, could prevent Covid-19 infections. —Chloe Taylor
The U.S. job losses may have hit bottom in mid-April, according to LinkedIn data
Luis Mora stands in front of the closed offices of the New York State Department of Labor on May 7, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
10:48 am ET — The U.S. decline in job hiring may have hit bottom in mid-April and could be on the verge of starting to recover, according to data gathered by LinkedIn and provided to CNBC.
The hiring rate in the U.S. declined steadily from early March until mid-April due to the coronavirus, but the U.S. hiring rate has been plateaued since then, LinkedIn chief economist Karin Kimbrough said. Hiring rate is a metric that indicates how many people have been hired in a region per day versus a year earlier, according to the Microsoft-owned professional social network.
Other regions that were hit earlier by Covid-19, including China and France, are already beginning to recover, although progress has been slow. That may be an indicator that hiring in the U.S. may soon start to pick up, but it will likely be a long process, Kimbrough said. —Salvador Rodriguez
Homebuilder sentiment bounces back in May
10:30 am ET — The nation’s homebuilders are seeing a faster-than-expected recovery, as buyers come back to the market and mortgage rates hit new record lows.
Builder sentiment bounced back more than expected in May, after the sharpest drop in the history of the National Association of Home Builder’s monthly survey in April. Sentiment was hammered last month by anxiety over how the coronavirus outbreak would affect the housing market. Builders now are seeing sales improve and expect much higher sales in the next six months, although buyer traffic is still quite low.
Consumers are facing high unemployment and high economic uncertainty, but demand for housing was incredibly strong at the start of this year and may be even stronger now as those living in cramped urban apartments seek more space in the suburbs. —Diana Olick
Confusion reigns over how many contact tracers the U.K. has hired
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock arrives for the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on 21 May, 2019 in London, England.
Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
9:49 am ET — The U.K. government, at the end of April, pledged to recruit an army of 18,000 contact tracers to keep tabs on Covid-19 patients and their contacts. Despite the large number of jobs apparently available in this area, it wasn’t immediately clear how members of the public should go about applying for either type of role. On Friday, a senior politician said only 1,500 had been recruited but on Sunday Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the number of people hired was in fact over 17,000. —Sam Shead
Dow soars 700 points for biggest jump in a month, boosted by coronavirus vaccine hope
9:40 am ET — Stocks opened higher, rebounding from losses last week, as news from Moderna stoked optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 700 points, or nearly 3%. The S&P 500 gained 2.5% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.7%.
Read updates on stock market activity from CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck —Melodie Warner
WHO chief says ‘long road to travel’
8:17 am ET — The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said there is still a “long road to travel” in the world’s response to Covid-19, with most countries showing a large portion of their population still uninfected.
Early serological tests in some countries show that no more than 20% of populations have contracted the virus, and “in most places less than 10%,” he said, according to Reuters.
“The risk remains high and we have a long road to travel,” he said.
Tedros also vowed to commission an independent and transparent review of the agency’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis at the “earliest possible moment.”
“We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organization must examine its response and learn from its experience,” Tedros said. —Sara Salinas, Chloe Taylor
Daily new cases, by region
Moderna vaccine candidate shows early signs of progress
7:58 am ET — Data from Moderna’s phase 1 human trial of its coronavirus vaccine shows early signs of progress as it produced antibodies in all 45 participants, the company announced.
The company said the vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace reports. Moderna’s vaccine candidate is among the furthest along in the world. The company has been working with the National Institutes of Health to fast-track development of the potential vaccine.
Shares of Moderna surged more than 30% in premarket trading on the news. —Will Feuer
Spain’s economy will see a further hit in second quarter, Bank of Spain warns
7:34 am ET — The economic impact from the coronavirus crisis in Spain will last longer than expected, the Bank of Spain’s governor warned, saying he foresees a “significant deterioration” in the second quarter.
The central bank’s Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos told Spain’s parliament that “what has been confirmed in the last few weeks is that the recovery will not be without difficulties, and, besides, more unfavorable scenarios cannot be ruled out,” Reuters reported.
De Cos said that scenarios envisaging a fall in Spain’s GDP of between 9.5% and 12.4% in 2020 now look realistic. —Holly Ellyatt
South Korea calls for an empowered WHO
In this photo illustration the World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is seen on a screen of pc and a coronavirus image displayed on a screen of a smartphone in Kiev, Ukraine.
Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | Getty Images
7:26 am ET — The WHO needs more legally defined power to combat emerging diseases in the future, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, Reuters reported.
“We must update the WHO International Health Regulations and other relevant norms and augment them with binding legal force,” he said at the World Health Assembly.
The WHO’s 194 member states have agreed to inform the United Nations agency quickly of new public health threats, but the organization lacks legal enforcement mechanisms. For example, representatives of the agency cannot enter a country to investigate without permission.
“Infection-related data should be shared among countries in a more transparent manner and an early-warning system and a cooperation mechanism must be jointly established,” Moon said, according to Reuters. —Will Feuer
Xi says China supports WHO-led review
Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People, on January 28, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Naohiko Hatta – Pool | Getty Images
7:05 am ET — China will support a review of the global response to Covid-19 led by the World Health Organization once the virus is under control, Chinese President Xi Jinping said.
“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to Covid-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up our experience and address deficiencies,” he said at the 73rd World Health Assembly. “This work should be led by science and professionalism, led by the WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.”
China has faced criticism for censoring doctors early to alert the public of the virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and of allegedly failing to share the magnitude of the outbreak in the country. China has pushed back against calls for an international investigation into the origins of the virus.
Xi added that China will contribute $2 billion over two years to support other countries and their response to the pandemic, CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng reports. —Will Feuer, Evelyn Cheng
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel to present joint initiative