Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020
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10:56 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

One of Trump's personal valets tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Peter Morris

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

A member of the US Navy who serves as one of President Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus, CNN has learned Thursday, raising concerns about the President's possible exposure to the virus.

The valets are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House and often work very close to the President and his family.

Trump was upset when he was informed yesterday that the valet had tested positive, a source told CNN, and he was subsequently tested again by the White House physician.

In a statement, the White House confirmed that one of the President's valets had tested positive.

"We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. "The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health."

A White House source said the valet, a man who has not been identified, exhibited "symptoms" yesterday morning, and said the news that someone close to Trump had tested positive for coronavirus was "hitting the fan" in the West Wing.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the senior staffers who regularly interact with them are still being tested weekly for coronavirus, two people familiar told CNN.

10:42 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Number of people admitted to New York City hospitals for Covid-19 are down, mayor says

The number of people that were admitted into the hospital for Covid-19 as of Tuesday are down, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

At least 79 people were admitted to hospitals. That number is down from 109 reported Monday, the mayor said.

At least 567 people were admitted into ICUs for Covid-19 treatment across the city and that number is down from the 599 reported on Monday.

10:43 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

More than 200 homeless people left New York subways for shelters and hospitals last night

Workers clean a train car as the New York City subway system is closed for nightly cleaning on May 7.
Workers clean a train car as the New York City subway system is closed for nightly cleaning on May 7. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Outreach workers and police engaged 361 homeless individuals in New York City last night into this morning, the second day the Metropolitan Transportation Authority closed its subways stations to disinfect trains during overnight hours.

At least 218 people accepted social services: 196 went to shelters and 22 went to hospitals, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference.

“When 218 come in at one night … that’s an extraordinary story,” he said.
10:22 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

JetBlue and Spirit's airline losses are even worse than expected

From CNN ‘s Chris Isidore

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

No one expected airlines to report good news for the first quarter. But Spirit's and JetBlue's losses were even worse than analysts predicted.

Spirit followed other airlines in announcing it will offer 12 million shares at an as-yet-undetermined price, and $150 million in debt to raise cash to weather the crisis. It also has reached an agreement to increase a credit line by $30 million by May 18.

That news, combined with Spirit's adjusted loss of $58.9 million, sent Spirit shares down 14% in early trading Thursday.

JetBlue lost an adjusted $116 million excluding special items, compared to a $51 million profit a year earlier. Shares of JetBlue were little changed in early trading.

10:18 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

140,000 New Yorkers will be tested for Covid-19 antibodies beginning next week, mayor says

Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images
Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

140,000 New Yorkers will undergo antibody tests beginning next week, as New York City is launching its own antibody survey in partnership with BioReference to understand the spread of the coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning.

Up to 5,000 people will be tested per day, he said, and test results are expected within 48 hours. Up to 70,000 people will be tested within the first two weeks.

Tests will be focused on people in the general area of test sites, de Blasio said, adding initial testing sites will be located in the Morrisania neighborhood in the Bronx, East New York, Upper Manhattan, Concord, and Long Island City.

Earlier this week, the city announced a separate 140,000 antibody tests for health care workers and first responders.

9:59 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Connecticut governor on Trump administration's decision to shelve CDC guidelines: "What do you got to hide?"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he’d like to hear from CDC experts about reopening the US economy, and he said he bases decisions about his states on scientific recommendations.  

“What do you got to hide? I think it would be very helpful for us,” Lamont said in response to the Trump administration’s decision to not implement the Centers for Disease Control’s 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America.

“Let us hear from the experts. I think we'll be able to make much better decisions accordingly. Don't politicize this,” he added.  

With Connecticut set to begin reopening on May 20, Lamont said the state is “making baby steps as we slowly reopen our economy.”

He outlined what businesses will be able to open at that time:

  • Nail and hair salons will be open by appointment only
  • Restaurants will be open for outdoor service only
  • Masks and proper social distancing will be required

Lamont also said the state will look at opening summer camps at an appropriate time, and those would also have an educational component. “I’ve got to continue to ramp up the education, so [by] September 1, kids are ready to go back to school,” he said. 

Ultimately, the reopening will be shaped by the residents of Connecticut themselves, and Lamont says he trusts them to do the right thing. 

“I put a lot of trust in the people of Connecticut and they really honored that trust. I can say I don't want groups of more than five or six, you know, clanging around there. I can't enforce that. I can't have police doing that. I have to trust people that they're going to use their good judgment, and overwhelmingly they have,” he said. 

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9:44 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

US stocks open higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

US stocks kicked off higher today, as investors chose to focus on the gradual reopening of the US economy.

As in previous weeks, the market shrugged off the bleak weekly jobless claims data, which showed that more than 1 in 5 Americans has now filed for first-time unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Here's how the markets opened:

  • The Dow opened 1.1%, or 256 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose 1.3%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened up 1.4%. The index is on track for its fourth day of gains in a row.
9:33 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

This coronavirus vaccine is moving to a second phase of trial. Here's what that means.

From CNN Health’s Jamie Gumbrecht and Amanda Watts

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Moderna — the company that announced earlier today the FDA cleared its vaccine for the novel coronavirus for a second trail phase — said a 600-participant phase 2 study is expected to begin shortly.

During an investor call this morning, Moderna said it added people older than 55 to the phase 2 study. It said the first batches of the vaccine are expected to be manufactured in July, with the goal to enable manufacturing of up to 1 billion doses per year.

What the phases mean: The first phase of vaccine trials examines safety. The second phase expands the number of participants. In the third phase, the vaccine is given to many more people and tested for efficacy and safety. 

According to the World Health Organization, there are 100 vaccines in preclinical evaluation globally, and eight vaccines in clinical trials. One other vaccine was already in phase 2, and several others are doing simultaneous phase 1 and phase 2 trials. 

Moderna’s vaccine, which was developed by the company and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, used a genetic platform called mRNA. According to the National Institutes of Health, the vaccine directs the body’s cells to express a virus protein that researchers hope will elicit an immune response. Moderna has never brought a product to market, or gotten any of its vaccine candidates approved for use by the FDA.

9:08 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Pandemic expert says coronavirus could last in the US for 3 years

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Science journalist Laurie Garrett has been warning about a pandemic like Covid-19 for decades and predicts the coronavirus pandemic could possibly last for three years. 

“Each community and each part of the country has to be ready and know, yes, maybe you got things under control right now in May. Maybe in June. But be ready. It's coming back again and again,” Garrett, author of “The Coming Plague,” told CNN’s John Berman in an interview. 

Garrett said we should look at places like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which have been able to stem the pandemic.  

“These places have figured out this virus will come in waves. It's not going to be a giant tsunami that just sweeps over America all uniform all at once, then retreats, then all comes back all at once across America again. It's going to be more like little brush fires popping up here, there, and everywhere,” she said. 

Garrett also slammed US coronavirus policies and the Trump administration’s decision to not implement the Centers for Disease Control’s 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America. "The CDC ought to be in leadership," she said.

“It’s just madness. We're acting as if you can wish away an epidemic. You can't just say, ‘I want the economy going and the virus will cooperate.’ It doesn't work that way,” Garrett said. 

She said that the pandemic has changed the world’s perception of the US. 

“Now, we're the laughingstock of the planet. We're the only one that refuses to engage with everybody else in a cooperative agreement on developing vaccines and drugs. We're the only one that says we won't work with the WHO. And we refuse to pay our dues. And we're the only one acting like whatever we do today may be different from what we do tomorrow, but it's what we do, so the heck with the rest of you,” she said. “I can't even tell you how upsetting this is. This is as if we stood on the sidelines and watched somebody else make the first landing on the moon," she said.

The idea of testing everyone is not realistic and possibly not necessary, Garrett said, but it needs to be targeted to be effective. 

“We're going to have to do testing that's really smart, that's targeted, that follows basic principles of science,” she said. “…We're not doing any smart testing. There's only a handful of places in the country where testing is following the kind of scientific principles that means that what the results of what the testing are are valid.” 

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