3.8 million people filed for initial unemployment last week
From CNN’s Anneken Tappe
Another 3.8 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended April 25.
In total, more than 30 million people have filed first-time claims since mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing businesses to close and lay off workers.
8:25 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
It's possible to have a coronavirus vaccine by January, Fauci says
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard
The Trump administration's program to accelerate the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine, called "Operation Warp Speed," has the goal to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses by January — which is in the realm of possibility, according to the nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci said that he is part of the team involved in that project.
"We're in the early phases of a trial — Phase 1. When you go into the next phase, we’re going to safely and carefully, but as quickly as we possibly can, try and get an answer as to whether it works and is safe. And if so, we’re going to start ramping up production with the companies involved," Fauci said this morning during and appearance on the "Today" show.
"You don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing -- you at risk proactively start making it, assuming it’s going to work, and if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline," Fauci added. "So we want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective. I think that is doable."
Some background: Fauci previously has said that a coronavirus vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop. The United States currently has the timeline of developing its vaccine by the end of the year.
"Remember go back in time, I was saying in January and February that it would be a year to 18 months," Fauci said. "January is a year — so it isn't that much from what I had originally said."
8:40 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
Fauci says he expects FDA to issue emergency authorization for possible Covid-19 treatment
From CNN Health's Gisela Crespo
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expects the Food and Drug Administration to issue an emergency-use authorization for remdesivir soon to treat Covid-19.
Fauci said that while the FDA has not made a final decision yet, he projects "it’s going to be really quickly.
Speaking during an appearance on the Today show, Fauci said he believes Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, is committed to make the treatment available "as much as they can, as quickly as they can."
"I'm pretty confident that that will be the case because I believe they're committed to trying to get this out as quickly as possible," Fauci told NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
Yesterday, Fauci was optimistic about the results, saying "The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery."
However the World Health Organization said it's too early to comment on the remdesivir trial results released Wednesday.
7:12 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
US could be in for "a bad fall and a bad winter" if it's unprepared for a second wave, Fauci says
From CNN's Christina Maxouris
A second round of the coronavirus is "inevitable," the nation's top infectious disease doctor says, but just how bad it is will depend on the progress the US makes in the coming months.
"If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter."
So far, more than 1 million Americans have been infected and at least 58,965 have died. A leading model predicts more than 72,000 people will die in the US by early August.
8:36 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
Florida officials dispute Tampa Bay Times reporting and said they are following CDC guidelines
From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt
The Florida Department of Health has responded to scrutiny regarding the state’s Covid-19 death count, which was reported by the Tampa Bay Times and said the state is following CDC guidelines.
The Times article claimed that Florida’s Medical Examiner Commission reported a Covid-19 death tally that was 10% higher than the one made publicly available by the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH.) The newspaper further reported that the commission has not released a tally in nine days after state health department officials “intervened.”
According to the FLDOH, Covid-19 deaths currently reported to the public include Florida residents only. Currently, the state is reporting more than 1,200 deaths.
“Per CDC, people are listed according to their place of residence. This ensures cases are not inadvertently listed twice,” the FLDOH said in a statement.
For example, if a New York resident dies from Covid-19 in Florida, New York reports the death and Florida does not.
While Florida is not reporting the number of out-of-state Covid-19 deaths publicly, CNN asked the FLDOH for the number Wednesday and obtained the list via email, which includes 43 deaths from other states and other countries.
“Reporting deaths by residency is the appropriate method utilized to calculate disease rates, which allow for a more accurate analysis of disease impacts on populations through the incorporation of demographic data - a critical aspect of public health planning. Population size is determined using census data, which is based on residency,” the FLDOH wrote in a statement to CNN.
CNN corresponded with two medical examiner offices in Florida who confirmed that medical examiners report deaths within their geographic jurisdiction and not by place of residence.
Therefore, the state’s county-by-county Covid-19 death toll and the county-by-county death toll reported by medical examiners will not match.
For example, if residents of New York, New Jersey and Miami-Dade county die in Broward County from Covid-19, the Broward County medical examiner’s office would report a death toll of three. In that example, the Florida Department of Health, which says it is following CDC guidelines, would record a Covid-19 death toll for Broward County of zero.
When asked about the newspaper’s allegation that Florida’s Department of Health intervened with the disclosures of Covid-19 deaths by medical examiners, the FLDOH said the department had concerns about personal information being shared.
“The Florida Department of Health has spoken with counsel for Medical Examiners to explain concerns on disclosing personal identifiable information,” the FLDOH said in a statement.
CNN reached out to the Florida Medical Examiner's Commission and the governor's office and did not hear back.
4:46 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
Trump administration launches operation to speed up coronavirus vaccine development
The project, called "Operation Warp Speed," has the goal of manufacturing hundreds of millions of doses that can be made available to Americans by the end of the year, the official said. No vaccine has been created yet, though multiple projects are in the works around the world.
The effort aims to dramatically cut short the usual development time for a vaccine. It's not clear whether the project could realistically meet that goal.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly cautioned that a vaccine for the virus would take between a year and 18 months.
The official said pharmaceutical companies and government researchers would work together to beat that timeline, in what's described as a Manhattan Project-like effort.
The effort, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US surgespast 1 million, with researchers saying the number of deaths could rise in coming weeks.
8:36 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020
Florida will start to reopen May 4 but Miami-Dade and two other counties won't be included for now
From CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin, Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt
Florida will reopen certain businesses throughout much of the state on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
"We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart, and step by step," DeSantis said on Wednesday.
DeSantis said restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Restaurants can offer outdoor seating if tables are 6 feet apart.
"Outdoor transmission, as far as we've seen, has been more difficult than the indoor climate controlled transition," the governor said, adding that medical officials recommended the outdoor seating change.
Movie theaters can't reopen yet. The governor said it wouldn't be prudent, and it would be difficult to maintain social distancing. Bars, fitness centers and places that offer personal services, likes hair styling, also will open later.
People can schedule non-urgent surgeries again, he said, though it depends on a hospital's ability to handle surges in cases and availability of protective equipment.
DeSantis said the new measures he announced would not include three of the counties hit hardest by coronavirus. They are Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, which account for about 6.2 million of Florida's residents, according to US Census data.