May 3 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:01 p.m. ET, May 3, 2020
54 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:24 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Massachusetts is still in the early stages of the outbreak, Boston mayor says

From CNN's David Wright

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Source: CNN via Cisco Webex

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he is concerned about reopening the economy and relaxing social distancing measures, saying it is still very early in the outbreak.

Massachusetts is “between the first and the fifth” inning in its fight against coronavirus, and that “we’re still very much in the beginning days of coronavirus," Walsh said.

“I think we're between the first and the fifth. I think that these numbers, we see, they are going up. We are watching our hospitalization. Our hospitals are doing a very good job of managing,” Walsh told CNN Sunday morning.

Walsh criticized the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak, saying “the mixed messaging is confusing.”

He responded to pictures of crowds on the national mall in Washington, DC, and New York's Central Park, saying, “whether it's Central Park or the Mall is the wrong message. We're still very much in the beginning days of coronavirus.”

Walsh said cities across the US still need mass testing and personal protective equipment for frontline workers.

"As we move down the road here, if there's a second surge, all of the equipment that they have now, they'll need more stuff. I think that's what the federal government should be focused on,” Walsh said.

10:11 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Birx says a coronavirus vaccine by January is possible "on paper"

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Fox this morning that having a coronavirus vaccine by January is possible “on paper” but will require the proper execution.

Birx was asked whether it was realistic to have a vaccine by the start of next year, given other estimates that it will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop.

“The way that it’s possible is if you bring forward five or six different classes of candidates, which the Operation Warp Speed has done,” Birx said. “And so it’s not relying on a single vaccine platform. It’s relying on several different candidates that are made differently and act differently.”

The vaccine would also require speeding up clinical trials, she said.

“And so, on paper it’s possible. It’s whether we can execute and execute around the globe, because you also, for phase three, have to have active viral transmission in a community in order to study its efficacy," Birx said.

CNN previously reported that the goal is to make 100 million doses of a vaccine available by November, 200 million doses by December and 300 million doses by January, according to a senior administration official.

On remdesivir: Birx described the investigational drug remdesivir as a “first step forward."

In early results from a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the drug was found to shorten the duration of illness in severely affected patients, but it had no statistically significant effect on mortality.

Birx said we’ve only seen “half the data,” but she said an independent monitoring board thought the improvement was significant enough to start giving remdesivir to patients who were previously receiving a placebo.

“So it’s a first step forward. In parallel, we have a whole series of therapeutics including plasma, and also monoclonal antibodies being worked through,” she said, referring to lab-made antibodies targeting the virus. 

10:15 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Chief economic adviser says there will be a pause before considering additional stimulus aid

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow listens during a roundtable with industry executives in the White House on Wednesday, April 29.
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow listens during a roundtable with industry executives in the White House on Wednesday, April 29. Alex Brandon/AP

Larry Kudlow, the head of the White House’s National Economic Council, told CNN there may be a need for additional stimulus aid because of Covid-19 but said there was a “pause” right now before money is sought.

Kudlow said the government still needs to execute the last package and “see what the results are.”

The President was “very keen” on a payroll tax holiday for workers and would like to see tax deductions for businesses/entertainment, as well as a shield on liabilities, Kudlow said.

Democrats have opposed such a payroll holiday.   

9:42 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Birx said Michigan protests were "devastatingly worrisome"

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, on Monday, April 20, in Washington.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, on Monday, April 20, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that the protests last week in the Michigan state legislature were “devastatingly worrisome to me, personally.”

In an interview on Fox today, Birx expressed her concern about protestors exposing elderly family members to the virus because if there was an “unfortunate outcome,” those people would feel guilty.

Birx called on Americans to “protect each other, at the same time we are voicing our discontent.”

About the protests: Protesters crammed inside the capitol building where the lawmakers were meeting on Friday, demanding an end to the state's state of emergency.

About 400 to 700 people stood on the Capitol grounds, according to Michigan State Police.

The state of emergency was set to expire on Thursday. On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed executive orders that terminated the old state of emergency and put in place a new one through May 28.

Last week, Whitmer had extended the separate stay-at-home order through May 15.

9:41 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Chief economic advisor addresses his coronavirus comment from February

From CNN's Elise Hammond

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended his initial response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "my quote then was based on the actual facts which at the time."

Kudlow said on February 25, "we have contained this. I won't say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We've done a good job in the United States."

At that time, the US had 53 confirmed cases, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was warning there would be "community spread in the country."

"My quote was, at that time, there were very few cases. Then, as the virus spread exponentially in ways that virtually no one could have predicted, of course we changed our mind," Kudlow told CNN Sunday morning.

"There was hardly any cases," he added.

Kudlow said the administration was dealing with the information they had at the time.

"When the information changes, you change. We changed our strategy. So did everybody else around the world change their strategy," he said.

Watch:

9:43 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Spain's coronavirus daily death toll lowest in 6 weeks

From CNN's Helena Cavendish de Moura in Atlanta and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

Spain reported 164 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the lowest number in six weeks, according to new figures released by the country’s Ministry of Health on Sunday.

“As sad as it is to speak about the deaths, the increase of 0.7 percent from the previous day is a good number” said Fernando Simón, Spain’s director for health emergencies, comparing the number to coronavirus fatality figures in recent weeks. 

The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic in the country stands at 25,264.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus technical briefing, Simón noted a “clear decrease of numbers” of new hospital and intensive care unit admissions, as well as a 0.39% rise in new infections since Saturday, which are about half of the numbers of those who have recovered in the same period.  

Simón cautioned that Sunday’s markedly improved numbers could be influenced by the delayed long weekend holiday reporting from Spain’s 17 regions. 

More data: A total of 42,111 health workers have been infected by coronavirus to date, Spain’s health ministry Sunday reported, representing nearly one fifth of all cases at 19%. 

As Spain gradually begins its de-escalation from strict confinement-in-place orders in place since March 15, four islands in the Canaries and the Balearics will be the first to transition to so-called "Phase One" on Monday. During this time, a further opening up of small businesses and further lifting of restrictions on movements is expected because the islands “have not had any new cases in many days, and very few, or no new infections." 

 

9:23 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

A speedy return to normal is "unrealistic," Dallas mayor says

​From CNN's David Wright

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. Source: CNN via Cisco Webex

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said his main priority is to keep people safe as some lockdown measures in Texas began to ease on Friday.

“What I have to do is do my job as the mayor of Dallas, which is to keep our people safe," Johnson told CNN.

People in Dallas are “putting their toe back in" and "aren't pouring back into these restaurants and into movie theaters and malls and things because they don't feel like it's safe to do so," Johnson said.

The mayor also expressed skepticism about the prospects of a speedy return to the “normal” of three months ago, as President Trump has suggested would be possible. Johnson called that prospect "unrealistic."

“It's impossible to say what we think is going to happen in the next few months. But I think this, I think it's unrealistic to believe that we're going to be able to be shoulder to shoulder here anymore soon," Johnson said.

"As much as we want to control things, to try to pick a date on the calendar and say we will be opened by this date and we will be shoulder to shoulder at baseball games by this date, it doesn't work that way," he added.
9:06 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Here's why you can't find flour in grocery stores

From CNN's  Zachary B. Wolf

Shelves in the flour section are largely empty save for a few organic options at the Hannaford supermarket in Scarborough on Friday, March 27.
Shelves in the flour section are largely empty save for a few organic options at the Hannaford supermarket in Scarborough on Friday, March 27. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Despite meat processing plants across the US shutting down due to coronavirus concerns, for now, you can still find plenty of meat in the grocery stores.

One thing you can't find on the shelves is flour. Stores are cleaned out and it's not currently available on most websites. But why is that?

Carey Underwood, who is director of mission-driven partnerships and programs at King Arthur Flour, said it's because people have been baking a lot.

"People who were baking monthly are now baking weekly, and people who were baking weekly are baking daily," she said. "We expect this increase in baking to continue for the foreseeable future as trends show more in-home eating compared to dining out and people choosing to bake the food staples they cannot find in their grocery stores."

Underwood said the shortage in grocery stores is because of the spike in demand for flour, not because there is a shortage of wheat.

"The demand for all signature flours, but especially all-purpose and bread flours, is simply unprecedented and is outpacing the inventory in our warehouses," she said.

Underwood added: "The wheat is available, but it must be milled, bagged, and transported to warehouses. These steps simply take time and the flour is selling out again as quickly as it reaches shelves."

Read more.

9:59 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

About $175 billion has been given out in the second round of small business loans, administration says

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, on Wednesday, April 29, in Washington.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, on Wednesday, April 29, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

The Trump administration announced Sunday that at least 2.2 million loans, worth about $175 billion, have been paid out in the second round of federal emergency relief aid for small businesses.

The second relief package was signed into law by Trump on April 24 and included an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The second round of PPP was distributed starting on April 27.

In a joint statement Sunday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said the average size of a loan made under the second round of the program was $79,000.

During the first round, there was criticism over how some large corporations and other entities like private schools had applied for, and were given, loans.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in the statement adding the average loan size indicated “…the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.”

The administration said since the launch of the PPP, about 3.8 million loans, totaling more than $500 billion, have been made.