Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:00 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
21 Posts
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10:54 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Abbott Labs receives second FDA emergency authorization for antibody test

From CNN's Amanda Watts

David J. Phillip/AP
David J. Phillip/AP

Abbott Laboratories received its second Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to produce a coronavirus antibody test, according to a statement by Abbott on Monday. 

Abbott said the company plans to ship its serology-based blood test on the Alinity i system with nearly 30 million antibody tests globally in May and “capacity for 60 million tests in June.”  

“Having more options of highly reliable tests across our platforms will help healthcare workers and health officials as they conduct broad scale testing for Covid-19," said Robert Ford, Abbott’s president and chief executive officer.

The first serology test by Abbott was approved for an EUA on April 26 and runs on Abbott’s ARCHITECT system. 

The EUA has not posted to the FDA website at this time. CNN has reached out to the FDA, but has not heard back.

10:49 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Americans' average spending picked up last month, Bank of America CEO says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan speaks during an event in New York on October 23, 2019.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan speaks during an event in New York on October 23, 2019. Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says consumer spending is picking up, with averages over the last four weeks equaling those of fall 2017.

"If you look at the spending by the consumers of Bank of America today, in the last four weeks, spending averaged about what it did in the fall of 2017," he said,

The Bank of America research team has predicted that the economy would be down this quarter by about 30% and then by 1% in the next quarter, he added.

"It starts to grow in the fourth quarter 2020. But it takes all the way to the end of next year to get an economy which is about the same size that was last year."

Comparing to a general fall in consumer demand which results in a crisis, this was a shutdown. But as states reopen, industries like medical services will recover faster but restaurants might take longer, he said, adding that a fourth stimulus bill should target people and institutions most affected during this crisis.

Moynihan also denied allegations in the lawsuit filed against Bank of America and other big banks, arguing that applications for higher loan amounts were prioritized over small players in the first round of Congress-approved funding for small business owners.

"We have now done 300,000 SBA loans for about 25 billion. So 7% of the program in terms of numbers of loans and less than 5% in terms of dollar amounts. So, we're doing smaller loans than the rest of the participants in the program."

Of the 300,000 small businesses that Bank of America provides to, 98% have less than 100 employees, and about 80% have less than 10 employees, he added.

10:42 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

At least 30 meatpacking workers have died in the the US from Covid-19, union says

From CNN’s Dianne Gallagher

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said Monday that it estimates at least 30 meatpacking plant workers have died, and more than 10,000 meat plant workers have been infected or exposed to Covid-19. 

The union also continued its call for the White House to make the current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for safe meat plant operations mandatory, especially in light of 14 plants reopening since President Trump announced his executive order. 

“Since the executive order was announced by President Trump, the Administration has failed to take the urgent action needed to enact clear and enforceable safety standards at these meatpacking plants. We are calling on the White House to end the delays and immediately mandate that all meatpacking companies provide the highest level of protective equipment, ensure daily testing is available for all meatpacking workers, enforce physical distancing at all plants, provide full paid sick leave for any workers who are infected, and establish constant monitoring by federal inspectors to ensure these safety standards are enforced. We cannot wait any longer," said UFCW President Marc Perrone in the statement. 
10:55 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

House Democrats are finalizing a new stimulus bill

From CNN's Manu Raju

Rep. Steny Hoyer wears a face mask as he walks out of the House chamber at the US Capitol in April.
Rep. Steny Hoyer wears a face mask as he walks out of the House chamber at the US Capitol in April. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

House Democrats are finalizing their new stimulus bill and could unveil their massive bill within the next day, according to Democratic sources, with one senior aide saying it’s more likely that the bill will be introduced tomorrow.

That means the House of Representatives could still vote later this week on the bill and a rules change to allow House members to vote on the floor remotely and allow committee action to proceed remotely. Democratic leaders have said House members would get 72 hours notice before any floor vote.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office said today the earliest a vote could happen is Friday 

Party leaders will have a call with their caucus at 4:00pm today to discuss their plans.

The bill would be an opening salvo in the debate about whether to add more stimulus to the economy, which the White House and Senate Republican leaders have so far resisted as they say they want to evaluate how nearly $3 trillion worth of rescue programs are being implemented.

10:22 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Online class to train contact tracers in New York available now

From CNN's Amanda Watts

An online course to train contact tracers in New York is now available through Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bloomberg Philanthropies and New York State, according to a joint statement released today. 

The free online course was launched to “help train a new cadre of contact tracers to reach and assist people exposed to the virus. Taking and passing this course will be a requirement for thousands of contact tracers being hired by the state of New York to fight the pandemic.” 

The course teaches the basics of interviewing people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, finding their close contacts and providing them support during their quarantine. 

“Contact tracing is a public health practice that has been successful in breaking the chain of transmission of other infectious diseases, including measles and tuberculosis,” the statement said.

The program hopes to have 6,400 to 17,000 tracers statewide, depending on the total number of coronavirus cases. 

It is available to anyone in the world, “whether they are interested in becoming a contact tracer or just want to understand the process” the statement said.

10:11 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Some in Pence's office are concerned others may be infected, source says

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Vice President Mike Pence attends a meeting in the Oval Office on May 7.
Vice President Mike Pence attends a meeting in the Oval Office on May 7. Evan Vucci/AP

People inside Vice President Mike Pence's office are concerned more staffers have been infected, but they are waiting to see if somebody comes back positive, a source close to the Vice President tells CNN.

This source added that some people in the Vice President's office are teleworking, but they didn't offer a concrete number. 

Some background: Administration officials spent the weekend scrambling as they attempted to do contact tracing for Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary who tested positive for coronavirus last week.

They had not identified who Miller contracted the virus from as of Sunday, raising concerns inside the White House about how to contain the outbreak.

10:37 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Amtrak passengers required to wear face masks starting today

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

An Amtrak passenger arrives in Orlando, Florida, on April 15.
An Amtrak passenger arrives in Orlando, Florida, on April 15. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Amtrak is requiring all passengers to wear facial coverings on board starting today. The national railroad service said in a news release that face masks can be removed while eating in designated areas or if a passenger is sitting alone or with a companion in a pair of seats.

Passengers must provide their own facial coverings.

The company is also increasing the frequency of cleaning onboard trains and posting physical distancing posters and floor stickers in high traffic areas to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus crisis.


9:56 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Ohio official: "We need to learn to live with" coronavirus

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

A woman walks past a closed barber shop in Cleveland on May 6.
A woman walks past a closed barber shop in Cleveland on May 6. Tony Dejak/AP

As Ohio begins to reopen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the unemployment crisis, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says that the state government is "very wary" of coronavirus but "there's a risk of not taking action" to abate unemployment as well.

"We believe that we can do two things at once. The coronavirus is going to be with us throughout the rest of the year. We need to learn to live with it," he said.

About 90% of the state of Ohio is set to open even after a recent uptick in new Covid-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine had announced on Sunday.

Husted says that the essential businesses that were open under strict safety protocols through the lockdown measures in Ohio paved the way forward.

"We have seen good outcomes with that," he said.

The reopening comes after a leading coronavirus prediction model upped its projected US death toll and said that more than 137,000 Americans could die by early August. A researcher said that it's largely related to increased mobility among Americans as states reopen.

"That mobility was already starting to happen long before we began to ease restrictions, because people's tolerance of staying at home is limited. And so as we often say, we got to learn to live with it. We got to learn to live safely with it," Husted said.
9:44 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

US stocks sink as investors grow concerned about reopening risks

From CNN’s David Goldman

A spike in coronavirus infections in South Korea, once thought to be in control of the pandemic, has given investors pause around the globe. Businesses’ cautious reaction to the United Kingdom’s reopening guidance has also worried investors.

Here's how the markets opened the week: 

  • The Dow fell 225 points at the open
  • The S&P 500 was down 0.8%
  • The Nasdaq fell 0.6%

More context: The market was optimistic over the past several weeks about the potential for reopening the economy. But if the US economy opens too quickly and infection rates start to rise again, that could extend this period of unprecedented joblessness and destruction for American business.