June 3 coronavirus news

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2358 GMT (0758 HKT) June 3, 2021
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7:40 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Former CDC director says US is entering the "slog-phase of the vaccination campaign"

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Tom Frieden
Dr. Tom Frieden CNN

The US is seeing a decline in daily Covid-19 vaccinations because most who want and can access the vaccine, have already gotten it, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Thursday.

“We're making a lot of progress, but frankly, we're entering kind of the slog-phase of the vaccination campaign, where the people who are most eager to have it and most able to get it, have gotten it,” Frieden told CNN.

More context: The seven-day average of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered has fallen below 1 million doses per day for the first time since January, according to CDC data published Thursday. 

Frieden noted that the US must now focus on improving access and education around the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Now we need to continue to make it easier to get, and to address people's concerns,” he said, adding that the vaccine is “astonishingly effective and very, very safe.”

7:10 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Realtor groups ask Supreme Court to block CDC's eviction moratorium

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on June 1 in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on June 1 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A coalition of realtor groups asked the Supreme Court Thursday night to block the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s order that prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting tenants who fail to pay rent amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The current moratorium is set to expire on June 30. 

A district court ruled against the CDC holding that the moratorium was unlawful, but then put its ruling on hold pending appeal. The DC Circuit declined to lift the stay. 

The realtors group asked the justices to step in —on an emergency basis-arguing that “Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims.”

They argue that the moratorium has resulted in “over 13 billion in unpaid rent per month.”

6:42 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Covid survivors are protected from a new infection for up to 10 months, study finds

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

People who have had a coronavirus infection once are protected from a second infection for at least nine months and possibly longer, a new study suggests.  

Long-term care facility residents who tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies had an 85% reduced risk of reinfection, and staff had a 60% lower risk, according to the study published on Thursday in the journal Lancet Healthy Longevity.

A team at University College London and other UK-based institutions analyzed data on 682 residents and 1,429 staff members from long-term care facilities in England between October and February. Some of the residents and staff were thought to have had Covid-19 in the past because they tested positive for antibodies in blood samples collected between June and November. 

Among residents who tested negative for antibodies, the researchers found that 93 out of 456 — or 20% — later tested positive for Covid-19 infections during the study. But just 2% of residents who tested positive for antibodies later tested positive for Covid-19. 

Among staff members who tested negative for antibodies, the researchers found 11% later acquired Covid-19 infections during the study. Among staff who tested positive for antibodies, only 2% did. 

"… the risk of PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 infection was substantially lower in residents and staff who were positive for SARS-CoV-2- specific antibodies at baseline," the researchers wrote in their study. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

"Our findings suggest that previous infection reduced the risk of reinfection by approximately 85% in residents and 60% in staff members. We identified only 14 cases of possible reinfection, mainly affecting staff, and although almost all of these individuals reported symptoms, none required hospital treatment," they wrote. "These findings suggests that previous SARS-CoV-2 infection provides a high degree of protection against a second infection and is broadly consistent with findings from longitudinal studies in hospital staff."

"It's really good news that natural infection protects against reinfection in this time period. The risk of being infected twice appears to be very low,” Dr. Maria Krutikov of the University College London Institute of Health Informatics said in a statement. 

More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger group of people from other regions of the world.

6:38 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

New Jersey passes bill to end Covid-19 public health emergency

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

New Jersey passed a bill Thursday to end the public health emergency initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ending New Jersey’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is one of the most significant steps we have taken in our recovery efforts to date. With our state’s public health metrics continuing to trend decisively in the right direction, we are confident that now is the right time to take this action,” the state’s Democratic leadership – Gov. Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney – said in a news release Thursday. 

The bill is expected to be signed into law Friday, the same day final limits on group gatherings across the state are lifted.

6:51 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

More than 30 House progressives push Biden to do more to distribute vaccines across the world

From CNN's Ryan Nobles

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus on June 2 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus on June 2 in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

A group of more than 30 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have signed onto a letter to the White House encouraging the Biden administration to do even more to help distribute vaccines across the world.

The letter comes right after President Biden announced a plan to immediately share 25 million Covid-19 vaccines with countries around the world, with a broader goal of sharing up to 80 million vaccine doses by the end of June. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state and the chair of the Progressive Caucus is the leading author of the letter and is joined by several of her fellow progressive members like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ritchie Torres of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Danny Davis and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Ro Khanna of California.

According to Jayapal, she and members of the caucus have been pressing the White House to get aggressive in distributing vaccines around the world as the situation became dire in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. Jayapal said she is regular contact with White House chief of staff Ron Klain and she was very glad to see the initial announcement, but said much more needs to be done.

"This is urgent, I mean, people need them right now. And so that is a good first step," Jayapal, whose parents live in India and both got Covid, said in an interview with CNN. "Our letter, however, calls for — and I've spoken to the White House about all of these things — but it calls for much more."

In addition to the initial vaccine distribution the lawmakers are pushing the White House to do the following:

  • Invest up to $25 billion to jump start the production of 8 billion vaccine doses.
  • Use US diplomatic influence to help facilitate the transfer of technology to help other countries produce vaccines on their own.
  • Support a new cost free International Monetary Fund reserve asset to help low-income countries strengthen their public health budgets.
  • Convene a global vaccine summit with world leaders to help coordinate development and distribution of vaccines.

Read the letter here.

4:36 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Average pace of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered falls below 1 million doses per day

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Natalia Dubom, of Honduras, gets the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Miami International Airport on May 28 in Miami.
Natalia Dubom, of Honduras, gets the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Miami International Airport on May 28 in Miami. Marta Lavandier/AP

The seven-day average of newly administered doses of Covid-19 vaccine has fallen below 1 million doses per day for the first time since January, according to data published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were about 808,000 new doses administered since Wednesday, bringing the total number of doses administered up to nearly 298 million. That’s about 81% of the more than 368 million total doses delivered.

More data: Overall, more than 169 million people – more than 51% of the US population – have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and about 136.6 million people – about 41% of the population – is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Among adults 18 and older, 63% have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and 52% are fully vaccinated.

Over the past week, an average of about 482,000 people initiated vaccination each day, including an average of more than 75,000 children between the ages 12 and 15 each day.

To note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been administered on the date reported.

2:27 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

UK records more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Nada Bashir

A total of 5,274 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the United Kingdom on Thursday, Public Health England (PHE) announced, marking the highest daily total since March 26. 

A further 18 fatalities within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test were also recorded Thursday, bringing the total national death toll to 127,812. 

“We are seeing some increases in case rates once again, particularly in younger age groups who are not yet being vaccinated and are having regular testing,” Dr. Mike Gent, incident director for the Covid-19 response at PHE, said Thursday. “This is to be expected as the country opens up and people start to socialize more together. But it provides a stark reminder that we must all follow hands, face, space, fresh air and importantly get vaccinated when it’s offered."

The UK Department of Health and Social Care said that “half of all adults in the UK have now had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.”

1:45 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

White House outlines three-pronged approach to sharing Covid-19 vaccines with the world

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House senior Covid adviser Jeff Zients speaks during a White House Covid briefing on June 3.
White House senior Covid adviser Jeff Zients speaks during a White House Covid briefing on June 3. White House

White House senior Covid adviser Jeff Zients outlined a three-pronged approach from the Biden administration to sharing more vaccines globally, expanding upon the Thursday announcement that the US will be scaling up its global vaccine sharing efforts.

  • First, the US will be donating surplus supplies and encouraging other countries with surplus supplies to do the same, Zients said, but, he added, “We know that won’t be sufficient.”
  • The second piece, he said, is working with US vaccine manufacturers to “vastly increase supply for the rest of the world in a way that also creates jobs here at home,” pointing to “aggressive actions” to accelerate manufacturing.
  • And third, Zients said, the US will “work with partner nations and pharmaceutical companies to facilitate global vaccine manufacturing and production capacity and capabilities.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan offered some details on how the first 25 million doses, which will include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna, will be allocated and where.

The US will be prioritizing “helping our neighbors,” Sullivan said, and working through the third-party COVAX coalition, which is funded by donations from governments, multilateral institutions and foundations.

The aim, Sullivan said, is to end the pandemic globally, save lives, and thwart variants, and, he said, “most important, this is just the right thing to do.”

The US will be sharing at least 75% of the first vaccines with COVAX, Sullivan said, which “will maximize the number of vaccines available equitably for all countries and will facilitate sharing with those most at risk.” The remaining 25% will be used for “immediate needs” and will be helping with surges around the world “in a flexible way.”

Sullivan said these first doses will be shared with a “wide range of countries within Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and across Africa in coordination with the African Union.” There will be prioritization for “our neighbors here in our hemisphere, including countries like Guatemala, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and many others.” It will also respect “existing regional networks for vaccine sharing."

Additionally, there will be doses allocated to Canada and Mexico, as well as US allies like South Korea. Sullivan added that there will be prioritization for countries with “urgent present crises, like the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Iraq, Haiti, and others.”

He noted that the US “will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries.”

Sullivan also said that there will be an effort to organize vaccine sharing among the G7 countries and teased additional announcements next week when the leaders meet in the United Kingdom.

Read more here about the US plan to share vaccines globally.

2:38 p.m. ET, June 3, 2021

These are the countries set to receive the first round of Covid-19 vaccine doses from the US

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

The Biden administration on Thursday announced a plan to share the first 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the rest of the world and an overall framework of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June.

At least 75% of these donated vaccines will be shared with the COVAX global vaccination program, and 25% will be shared directly with countries in need, the White House said.

As part of the first round of 25 million doses being distributed, 19 million will be shared through COVAX, which is an initiative led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Here's a breakdown of where the doses will be distributed:

  • Approximately 6 million doses will be sent to South and Central America — specifically to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti and other Caribbean Community countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.
  • Approximately 7 million doses will be distributed in Asia to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands. 
  • Approximately 5 million doses will be sent to Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union. 

The other 6 million doses from the first round of 25 million will be sent to Mexico, Canada, South Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen, and will be used to vaccinate United Nations frontline workers.

Read more about the US plan here.