Johnson & Johnson aims to produce 1 billion coronavirus vaccines for next year
From CNN Arman Azad
Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is looking to produce a billion coronavirus vaccines for next year, according to Dr. Paul Stoffels, the company’s chief scientific officer.
“We start clinical trials in September and hopefully have data by the end of the year,” Stoffels said Sunday on ABC, adding that the company is “now working towards one billion vaccines for next year.”
Johnson & Johnson is upscaling manufacturing and will start producing the vaccine later this year, he said.
Stoffels said “clinical trials will need to be done to show that it is effective, and that will take some time.”
He added: “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it will depend on the authorities – the FDA and others – to decide whether it can be used earlier, before efficacy data are available.”
10:28 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
There has been 38 cases of an inflammatory syndrome affecting children in New York City
From CNN's Sheena Jones
New York City is reporting at least 38 cases of a multi-system inflammatory syndrome in young children that could be related to coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday during a news briefing.
Of the verified cases, 47% have tested positive for Covid-19 and of those who tested negative, 81% of the children had the antibodies, de Blasio said.
There are nine other pending cases being investigated across the city, de Blasio said.
At least one child has died from multi-system inflammatory syndrome in New York City, which the mayor called “deeply, deeply troubling."
The mayor said Health and Hospital systems will be conducting antibody testing for all children who exhibit any of the symptoms related to multi-system inflammatory syndrome.
The guidance was also given to city pediatricians.
Statewide: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that three children died from this inflammatory syndrome in the state.
These children had symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic-shock like syndrome, more generally, inflammation that ultimately causes heart problems, Cuomo said.
10:25 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
Illinois governor: "I haven't been counting on the White House"
From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian
When it comes to aiding in Covid-19 testing, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told CNN that he has “not been counting on the White House.”
“We’re going it alone as the White House has left all the states to do and we’ve done well spinning up testing — we will continue to grow our testing,” Pritzker said Sunday. “The reason the COVID-19 positive numbers are going up in Illinois is because we’ve been testing a great deal more than ever before."
Illinois has the second most testing in the nation among the top 10 most populous states for Covid-19, Pritzker said.
“What we are focusing on is positivity rates — the rate at which people are testing positive — and that rate is going down in Illinois,” Pritzker added.
He said the state is keeping a close eye on the number of new people entering hospitals, which remains stable, and keeping an eye on the number of hospital beds that are available “in the event that there’s a surge.”
More context: Illinois is ramping up its Covid-19 tracing efforts and has hired a former Outbreak Intelligence Service expert from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention to have a “massive contact tracing effort up in the next few weeks,” Pritzker said.
10:15 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
NYC mayor asks federal government to speed up shipment of remdesivir
From CNN's Sheena Jones
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he has reached out to White House officials and sent a letter to the federal government to try to speed up the shipment of remdesivirto the city.
This comes after the city said the medicine seems to be decreasing the average hospital stay from 15 to 11 days in severely ill Covid-19 patients.
Some background: The federal government began shipping "tens of thousands" of treatment courses of remdesivir at the beginning of May.
Leaders of UK's devolved nations reject Boris Johnson’s "stay alert" guidance
From CNN's Nada Bashir
The leaders of the United Kingdom’s devolved nations – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have rejected Boris Johnson’s revised coronavirus guidance, which now advises citizens to “stay alert” as opposed to “stay-at-home” to control the outbreak, the Press Association (PA) reported Sunday.
According to the Press Association, the three leaders said they had not been consulted over the new government guidance ahead of a national security meeting on Sunday morning.
In a Tweet, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she had first seen the prime minister’s new “stay alert” slogan in the Sunday newspapers.
“It is of course for him to decide what’s most appropriate for England but, given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage,” Sturgeon added.
Her Welsh counterpart, Mark Drakeford, said that Wales will not be dropping the “stay-at-home” message from its policy on containing the spread of coronavirus, while Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster said she will continue to promote the “stay at home” message, according to the PA.
“We’re not out of the woods. It’s about steady progress, rather than making a dash for the exit,” Foster tweeted.
9:54 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
New data shows why Spain's 2 largest cities are not relaxing restrictions yet
From CNN’s Al Goodman and Claudia Dominguez
As just over half of Spain’s population prepares to move ahead with the next step in de-escalation on Monday, the latest figures on coronavirus cases indicate why the two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, will continue to enforce stricter movement and mobility measures for now, a top health official said Sunday.
The Health Ministry reported at least 621 new Covid-19cases across Spain since Saturday, and 64% of them are in the Madrid region, in Catalonia – where Barcelona is located, and in two other regions adjacent to Madrid.
“The regions with the greatest population, where the epidemic has occurred, have had a little different diffusion” from the rest of Spain, said Dr. Fernando Simón, Spain’s director of Health Emergencies. “They are Madrid, Catalonia and we also have some more cases in Castilla La Mancha and Castilla Leon."
Of the 143 new deaths reported since Saturday, 72% of them were in the same four regions that Simón mentioned at the government’s daily technical briefing andpress conference.
By the numbers: Overall, there are now at least 224,390 cases confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing, and approximately 26,621 deaths from coronavirus, the Health Ministry reported.
According to Simón, the latest increase in confirmed cases is 0.28%, while the increase in deaths is 0.5%, the lowest since early March, a continued weeks long decline for both categories.
He said that in thetwoCastilla regions, their close contact to Madrid and frequent movement of people between the regions and the capital city have led to more cases in those two regions.
The entire country remains under strict home confinement rules under a state of emergency that’s just been extended through May 23, for a total of 10 weeks.
9:44 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
Economic adviser admits that working in the White House is risky
From CNN's Kevin Bohn and Austen Bundy
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett admitted that working in the West Wing can be risky for his health.
Hassett told CNN on Sunday he has been tested repeatedly with the last one happening Saturday and so far has tested negative for Covid-19.
He said he did not have close contact with Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, who tested positive on Friday.
Several top medical officials of the administration are now self-quarantining because they had close contact with her last week.
“There was an emergency. They called me back in, and I built a giant data operation to help everybody track the ventilators and things like that. And I knew when I was going back in that I would be taking risks, that I would be safer sitting at home in my house than going into a West Wing that with even all the testing in the world and the best medical team on Earth, it's a relatively cramped place,” Hassett said.
Hassett, who had left a job in the White House for the private sector and became a CNN commentator, went back to work for the administration in March.
He told CNN that when he came back into the administration he was setting up a data operation in the basement of the White House “interacting constantly with people who were going to and from FEMA.”
He added some people “caught Covid at FEMA.”
“So we've all been exposing ourselves to risks, under the best guidance we could possibly have to keep us safe, but we're willing to take that chance because we love our country. There are things that have to happen in the West Wing even if the building is a little old and under-ventilated,” he said. “I absolutely have a mask in my pocket. I could wave it at you right now, and I practice social distancing, I wear a mask when I feel it's appropriate and so on."
9:39 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
Emergency funding for states might not happen right away, chief economic advisor says
From CNN's Elise Hammond
White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett said a new emergency relief bill that would provide funding to state and local governments might not be passed right away.
He said the White House wants to learn more about what is going on in the economy as money from previous relief bills is still being distributed.
"I think that it's just premature, given that the $9 trillion of aid that passed in the last three phases, given that that is still out there and there's still a bunch of it that's going to be delivered over the next month, we think we have the luxury of a moment to learn about what's going on so the next step we take can be prudent," Hassett told CNN on Sunday.
But he said that while a phase four deal might be on the back burner for now, President Trump would sign the right package.
"Of course if we go to a phase four deal, I think President Trump has signaled that while he doesn't want to bail out the states, he's willing to help cover some of the unexpected Covid expenses that might have come their way," Hassett said.
Some context: Capitol Hill has passed nearly $3 trillion in funding across several packages in response to the coronavirus already, including $150 billion for state and local governments.
The problem is because there are specific guidelines on what this money has to be used for, local governments can't use it for things they need most, like basic operational costs, such as paying police and firefighters, for example.
Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California have suggested that state and local governments could need as much as an additional $1 trillion in aid, but Republicans are wary about passing another huge relief bill.
Trump said on Friday that the White House is “in no rush” to pass additional stimulus funds in response to coronavirus.
9:10 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020
Elderly people in Turkey were finally allowed out of their house for the first time in 49 days
From CNN's Gul Tuysuz
Elderly people in Turkey were allowed out of their house on Sunday for the first time in 49 days.
The older Turkey citizens have been confined to their homes since March 21 when the government announced a lockdown for people over the age of 65 as a part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
They were allowed out for four hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time today during a general weekend lockdown that prohibits all but essential workers from going out.
Turkey has opted for an age-specific lockdowns, banning people over the age 65 and below the age of 20 from leaving their homes.
People over 65 years of age were seen in parks, coastal roads and in outdoor exercise areas.
Some context: Turkey will slowly start lifting restrictions on Monday. Hairdressers and barbers will begin providing services with new measures as well as limited reopening of malls.