Efforts to fully reopen the U.S. economy are faltering as 19 states pause or reverse plans to ease restrictions on business as new cases spike across the country. Despite the surge of infections, Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC the White House wants to press ahead with reopening after job numbers came in better than expected. Pence defended the administration’s position on masks, saying there’s no need for a national mandate. Nearly half of all states have implemented mask mandates in one form or another, though hotspots such as Florida and Texas have not done so.
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 10.76 million
- Global deaths: At least 517,647
- U.S. cases: More than 2.7 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 128,421
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Moderna vaccine trial reportedly delayed
1:52 p.m. ET — Shares of Moderna fell as much as 9.4% on a report the company’s late-stage trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine will be delayed.
Moderna, which is working with the National Institutes of Health, was expected to begin a phase 3 trial with 30,000 participants for its vaccine candidate later this month, pending the results from its mid-stage trial.
However, the company is pushing back the expected start date, according to health-care publication STAT News.
Moderna’s experimental vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA. It became the first candidate to enter a phase 1 human trial in March. —Berkeley Lovelace
These states are requiring people to wear masks
12:45 p.m. ET — Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C. are mandating people wear masks in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The regulations vary from state to state, with some governments requiring people to wear masks in all public spaces while other states require masks only in certain circumstances.
Here’s a list:
- Hawaii (essential businesses)
- Kentucky (employees in essential businesses)
- Maryland (indoor stores, public transit)
- Michigan (grocery stores, pharmacies)
- New Jersey (indoor businesses, public transit, construction)
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Oregon (indoor spaces)
- Rhode Island
- Virginia (indoor businesses)
- Washington D.C.
- Washington state
Vice President Mike Pence, in an interview with CNBC, reiterated the Trump administration’s position that a national mandate for people to wear masks is not necessary, even though coronavirus cases are surging. —Spencer Kimball
NIH says it’s possible Americans will be able to attend sports events this fall
12:23 p.m. ET — National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said it’s possible Americans will be allowed to attend sporting events in time for the fall football season.
Sports fans and players across the world have been frustrated by canceled games as public health officials urge event-based businesses to temporarily close as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread across the globe. Collins, speaking with a Senate committee, said rapid coronavirus testing, which can produce results in under an hour, will make sporting events feasible.
“We want to see Americans have a chance to have some normal experiences of enjoying life,” he told lawmakers. “I do believe this should be possible. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
In-person classes safer than virtual, school to spend millions on testing, Cornell president says
12:20 p.m. ET — Holding in-person classes this fall is safer for Cornell University students than conducting an all-virtual semester, President Martha Pollack told CNBC.
Pollack, appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” cited university research that found almost 50% of Cornell students intend to return to Ithaca, New York, where its campus is located, no matter how classes are held.
“If we are having residential instruction, we can mandate testing, and tracing and isolation, on a very aggressive regular basis,” Pollack said. “We will be much less able to do that with students who are online and just happen to be living in Ithaca, as opposed to Chicago or Atlanta or wherever.”
Cornell’s plan — which includes robust testing that will cost between $3 to 5 million — may not work for every college, Pollack stressed. “I want to be clear, it’s safer for our students at Cornell. We did the study with regard to the conditions in Ithaca.” —Kevin Stankiewicz
Amazon Air contractors face safety risks as new coronavirus outbreaks emerge
12:08 p.m. ET — Employees at Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), an Amazon Air subcontractor, say they continue to face an unsafe work environment during the pandemic.
WFS workers say managers aren’t enforcing mask requirements, and say hand sanitizer and soap are in short supply at facilities. At one WFS facility in Phoenix, safety concerns became so severe that a worker filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last month.
WFS is one of several companies that maintains lucrative contracts with Amazon Air. Workers load and unload cargo from Amazon planes at airports across the country, but they’re not considered Amazon employees. As a result, some WFS workers say it feels like Amazon turns “a blind eye” to working conditions there, especially amid the coronavirus crisis.
As Amazon was hit with a surge of coronavirus-related demand in March, WFS workers were on the frontlines, handling the Prime packages ordered by millions of Americans who were cloistered inside their homes. Demand has stabilized but the workers now face a new round of coronavirus outbreaks around the country. WFS workers say they feel just as vulnerable as the beginning of the pandemic, since they still lack the basic protections to be able to do their job safely. —Annie Palmer
Nashville reverts to a modified Phase Two reopening on Friday as cases soar
An employee wearing rubber gloves and a mask greets patrons at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant on April 27, 2020 in Franklin, Tennessee.
Jason Kempin | Getty Images
11:49 a.m. ET — Nashville will move back to phase two of its reopening process, with restaurants and bars reverting to phase one, beginning Friday, NewsChannel 5 Nashville reported.
Restaurants will go back to half capacity, down from 75%, while bars must now close for the next two weeks. Retail and commercial businesses can still operate at 75% capacity, while “high touch” businesses like beauty salons and gyms can remain open at half capacity.
Mayor John Cooper said in his weekly Covid-19 update that the city will remain in the phase for “at least a few weeks,” with no timeline given, according to NewsChannel 5 Nashville. —Alex Harring
American getting $4.75 billion federal loan, overstaffed by 20,000 employees for fall
11:35 a.m. ET — American Airlines warned employees that it expects it has 20,000 more employees than it needs for its reduced fall schedule and painted a weak picture of travel demand.
The Fort Worth-based carrier, which had 133,700 at the end of 2019, is urging employees to take voluntary options like buyouts, to avoid involuntary cuts once restrictions set by federal aid expire on Oct. 1. The carrier reached a deal for $4.75 billion in a separate federal loan, the Treasury Department said.
While booking trends have improved, American told staff that demand remains far below last year’s levels. For example, it flew 4.2 million people in June, up from just 965,000 passengers in April.
“But to be clear, even with traffic trending upward, the absolute numbers behind these improvements are quite somber: The customer count for the same period last year was between 17 and 19 million each month,” CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a staff note. They said cash receipts topped $1 billion in June up from $11 million in April, but that it brought in an average of $4.2 billion a month over that period last year. —Leslie Josephs
The worst of the U.S. outbreak to end by January, Gottlieb says
Dr. Scott Gottlieb
Cameron Costa | CNBC
10:49 a.m. ET — The U.S. coronavirus outbreak will come to an end by January “one way or the other,” thanks to a vaccine or because enough people will have already been infected and have some immunity to it, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.
“Either we’ll get to a vaccine or we’ll just have spread enough it’s just going to stop spreading efficiently, so we have a short period of time to get through,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We should do everything we can to preserve what we want of our way of life over that time period to just get through it.”
Gottlieb’s hopes for an effective vaccine or for the U.S. population to achieve so-called herd immunity to curb the outbreak both depend on what scientists learn about the role of antibodies. Unfortunately, there’s still no clear evidence that antibodies give people any protection against being reinfected. —Will Feuer
Pence says there’s no need for national mask mandate
10:35 a.m. ET — Vice President Mike Pence said the White House does not need to impose a national mask mandate requiring that all American citizens wear a face covering to protect against the coronavirus.
“There are some areas of the country, large areas of the country, where we have very low number of cases at all,” Pence said in on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “It’s not a one-size-all approach whether it be on testing or on supplies and on mitigation efforts. What we want to do is empower governors and local officials to give the guidance to the people in those communities that are most appropriate to those circumstances.”
Pence’s comments echoed President Donald Trump’s sentiments. “I don’t know if you need mandatory,” Trump said when asked whether he’d support a national mask mandate. —Yelena Dzhanova
New cases reported daily by state
Dow climbs more than 300 points after strong U.S. jobs report
9:35 a.m. ET — Stocks opened higher as investors cheered a bigger-than-expected rise in jobs during June as the economy tries to recover from the coronavirus shutdown, CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck reported.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 355 points higher, or 1.4%. The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high, climbing more than 1%. The S&P 500 gained 1.3%. —Melodie Warner
Britain to ease isolation measures for certain travelers
Passengers, wearing protective face masks, walk through the international arrivals hall after arriving at Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport in London, U.K., on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
8:51 a.m. ET — Britain will ease quarantine requirements for travelers from specific areas, Reuters reported Thursday.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters that self-isolation requirements will be scaled back for people arriving from certain countries or territories. More details are expected to come this week, according to the spokesperson.
The update comes as other nations and U.S. states impose stricter travel restrictions amid flaring outbreaks. —Alex Harring
U.S. private payrolls surge in June, but jobless numbers hold steady
8:35 a.m. ET — The U.S. added a staggering 4.8 million nonfarm payrolls in June, according to data released by the Labor Department, as the country seeks to recover from virus-related shutdowns and stave off further outbreaks amid reopening.
The reported payrolls came in well above the 2.9 million payrolls economists had expected. The unemployment rate sits at 11.1%, also better than expected, but still far higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The jobs market isn’t fully out of the woods, though. More than a million Americans each week file for initial unemployment benefits, with 1.427 million claims coming in for the week ended June 27. Continuing claims, representing those who have filed for benefits for at least two weeks, ticked higher on a weekly basis to 19.29 million. —Sara Salinas
Belgian retirement home uses ‘cuddle curtain’ to enable visits
7:13 a.m. ET — One of the hardest parts of the coronavirus pandemic for many people has been that social distancing measures have prevented them from visiting or comforting elderly relatives. But a retirement home in Belgium appears to have found a solution to the problem by creating a “hug curtain,” Reuters reported Thursday.
Visitors to the Jardins de Picardie nursing home, which is near Belgium’s border with France, can embrace relatives now by using the large plastic curtain that staff installed on June 14.
It has proved very popular, staff told the news agency, with one elderly resident saying the curtain was “the most beautiful invention” she had ever seen. She cried the first time she was able to hug her daughter again. —Holly Ellyatt
U.S. reports more than 50,000 new cases in a single day
People sit in their vehicles while waiting in line to enter a Covid-19 drive-thru testing site at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Marco Bello | Bloomberg | Getty Images
7:06 a.m. ET — The U.S. reported more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, setting a new record for single-day increases as outbreaks worsen in a number of states, prompting officials to rollback or pause reopening efforts.
The country reported about 50,700 new cases Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total number of confirmed U.S. cases to more than 2.68 million. The U.S. has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world, followed by Brazil, Russia, India and the U.K.
Earlier this week, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. could hit 100,000 new cases per day if the outbreak continues on its current trajectory without more severe interventions or major behavioral changes among the U.S. public. —Will Feuer
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: India’s cases cross 600,000; demand for China’s medical products surge