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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10:18 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. 

Watch more:

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.” 

Watch more:

8:51 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Trump administration won't implement CDC's recommendations for reopening

From CNN's Nick Valencia, Betsy Klein, and Kevin Liptak

People wait for a Journey's shoe store to open at the Yuba Sutter Mall in Yuba City, California, on May 6.
People wait for a Journey's shoe store to open at the Yuba Sutter Mall in Yuba City, California, on May 6. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Trump administration will not implement the Centers for Disease Control’s 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America, a senior CDC official confirmed to CNN.

What was in the document: The guidance provided more detailed suggestions beyond the reopening guidelines the administration had put forth last month, including specific suggestions for schools and churches.

A senior CDC official confirms to CNN that last night it was clear that the White House was not going to implement their 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America – after it asked for it.  

“We are used to dealing with a White House that asks for things and then chaos ensues. A team of people at the CDC spent innumerable hours in response to an ask from Debbie Birx,” said the source, referring to White House coronavirus task force official Dr. Deborah Birx. “The 17-page report represents an ask from the White House Task Force to come up with these recommendations. That’s our role. To put together this guidance.”

A task force official provided CNN with the following statement:

“On April 16, President Trump released guidelines for opening America up again. Those guidelines made clear that each State should open up in a safe and responsible way based on the data and response efforts in those individual states.

Another administration official told CNN that CDC leadership had not seen the document before it was leaked.

A senior administration official said the draft document obtained by CNN last week was the subject of heated internal debate over the last week, but ultimately, members of the task force felt it was too specific and might not be helpful as nationwide guidance given the vastly different situations in each state.

The White House has also been subject to an intensive lobbying effort from certain sectors who were looking to influence the guidelines, the senior official said.

At the White House briefing yesterday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated the White House’s initiative to let the nation’s governors implement their own guidelines.

“This is a governor-led effort. The president has said that governors make the decisions as to move forward and we encourage them to follow our phased approach,” McEnany said

The CDC official told CNN that this is part of the ongoing friction that has gone on between the top US health agency and the White House. 

The decision was then made by the CDC to pivot and try to get their recommendations implemented at the state level via state agencies. 

Part of the debate over the recommendation had to do specifically with what was recommended for businesses.

“The CDC, the White House task force and White House principles were in disagreement on how strongly a public health response should still be in place,” said the official.

According to the CDC official, the agency was told by US Department of Labor officials – who are all part of the government process – that under the agency’s proposed guidelines, some of the restrictions that would have to be placed on entities like churches, and businesses were too stringent, and businesses would be left vulnerable to legal liability if a worker contracts or dies from Covid-19 on the job.

“In the absence of law, it’s regulation, and in the absence of regulation, it’s recommendations. They think it’s left too much open to be interpreted by the courts if something happens on the job. It doesn’t matter if OSHA is playing ball or not,” the CDC source said.


8:45 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Another 3.2 million people filed for initial unemployment last week

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A closed barber shop is seen in Cleveland on May 6.
A closed barber shop is seen in Cleveland on May 6. Tony Dejak/AP

Another 3.2 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended May 2.

In total, more than 33.5 million people have filed first-time claims since mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing businesses to close and lay off workers.

That represents 21% of the March labor force. 

8:15 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

FDA clears coronavirus vaccine for phase 2 trial, company says

From CNN Health’s Jamie Gumbrecht and Devon Sayers

Moderna’s investigational vaccine for the novel coronavirus has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed to second phase of a study, the company said today in a press release.

The next phase of the trial is expected to begin shortly, it said. 

The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was the first US vaccine to start clinical trials in the United States. Moderna said it is finalizing protocol for a phase 3 study, which is expected to begin in early summer. 

CNN has reached out to the FDA.

8:03 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

It's 8 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

President Donald Trump, flanked by nurses, speaks at the White House on May 6 after signing a proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day.
President Donald Trump, flanked by nurses, speaks at the White House on May 6 after signing a proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

If you're just joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, here are the key headlines today:

  • 1.2 million cases: According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there are at least 1,228,609 cases of coronavirus in the US. At least 73,431 people have died in the US from Covid-19.
  • Experimental vaccine gets green lit for a new trial: Moderna’s investigational vaccine for the novel coronavirus has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed to phase two of a study.
  • Trump reverses on task force: US President Donald Trump said the White House coronavirus task force will now continue "indefinitely," one day after his administration said it would begin to phase it out. The focus of the group will shift from preventing the outbreak toward finding a vaccine for the virus, Trump said.
  • The President contradicts a nurse on PPE shortages: Trump insisted there are no personal protective equipment shortages in the US despite the nurse's account that availability could be "sporadic."
  • New unemployment figures likely to be high: Economists expect that another 3 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended May 2. That would bring the total of first-time filings since mid-March to more than 33 million.