May 29 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 9:49 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
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6:42 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Combinations of drugs may be needed to fight coronavirus, FDA scientists say

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Combinations of antivirals, anti-inflammatories and other drugs will likely be needed to treat people with coronavirus, a team of US Food and Drug Administration scientists said Friday.

It might even be necessary to customize treatment patient by patient, the FDA team said in a review of the treatments being tested against Covid-19.

“As the results of clinical trials become available, it may become increasingly clear that there is likely no single magic bullet to resolve the disease but a combination of several interventions that target different key factors of COVID-19 may well be required,” FDA drug researcher Montserrat Puig and colleagues wrote in a report published in Frontiers of Immunology. 

“Until vaccines and targeted drugs for COVID-19 are available, there may be a need to intervene with personalized therapeutic approaches. We are learning day after day, that patients may be affected by SARS-CoV-2 differently and that many factors influence the outcome of the disease.”

They reviewed 30 different drugs being tried out, including drugs designed to stop the virus from getting into cells, such as already-approved blood pressure drugs; drugs aimed at stopping the virus from replicating, such as the immune suppressors sirolimus and the antiparasitic drug ivermectin; drugs that control the immune system response, such as type 1 interferon; and drugs meant to block the overwrought inflammatory response to the virus, which include some rheumatoid arthritis drugs.

Different drugs could help people at different stages of the disease. Early on, it could be enough to stop the virus from getting into cells and replicating itself, Puig said. In patients with more severe disease, it will be more important to intervene in the body’s immune response to infection, which can include an overreaction known as the cytokine storm.

No drug is approved to specifically treat coronavirus infections although the FDA has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir. 

6:05 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Louisiana governor reports "big dip" in number of people hospitalized

From CNN's Raja Razek

Louisiana State Capitol
Louisiana State Capitol

The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 took a "big dip" Friday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in during a news conference.

"We do have some information for you, and that information is actually rather positive. The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 actually took a big dip over the last 24 hours, down to 714," he said. "Several weeks ago, we were well over 2000." 

Additionally, the state has less than 100 people on ventilators for the first time since March 23, the governor said. 

He did not give an update on the number of coronavirus cases today because of "technical issues."

The Louisiana Department of Health posted on its website: "Due to network technical issues, case and testing data could not be updated today. The data on deaths and hospitalization have not been impacted. Once resolved, LDH will update at the next noon update."

5:59 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Trump says US has conducted more than 15 million tests

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said the US has now conducted more than 15 million Covid-19 tests.

The President then teased an announcement on new tests for tomorrow.

“We’re gonna give you a big report on testing tomorrow. We have new tests coming out that are above and beyond anything that anybody would have thought even possible just a couple of months ago,” Trump said.

Trump said certain places have more tests available than people seeking them. He mentioned Florida as an example.

5:57 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Acute kidney injury may be higher than expected in Covid-19 patients, research finds 

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Patients hospitalized with Covid-19, especially in an intensive care unit, may suffer higher rates of acute kidney injury than previously thought, according to new research.

More than a third of patients treated at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center during the height of the outbreak there developed acute kidney injury, the researchers reported. And 78% of those admitted to an intensive care unit had kidney injury, Ruijun Chen of Columbia University and colleagues reported in the BMJ.

They said nearly 14% of those admitted to hospital and 35.2% of those in intensive care needed inpatient dialysis treatment. That is a higher percentage than seen in similar studies in China and Seattle, the researchers said.

Chen’s team looked at the first 1,000 Covid-19 patients who either went to the emergency department or were admitted to the hospital between March 1 and April 5. 

Patients with kidney damage can need intensive dialysis and may develop blood clotting. There could be a variety of reasons for the injuries, Chen’s team said. Sometimes doctors limit delivery of fluids when treating these patients, and that could damage the kidneys, they said. The virus could directly attack the kidneys, also. Plus many of the patients with severe coronavirus infections had other health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes or pre-existing kidney disease. 

5:48 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

WHO declines to comment on Trump’s decision to cut ties

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization said it has no comment regarding President Trump’s announcement that he would be cutting ties with WHO.

On Friday, a WHO spokesperson said in an e-mail to CNN, "We have no comment to offer at this point.”

Earlier this month, Trump sent WHO an ultimatum saying he would cut funding if WHO didn’t “commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days."

On Friday afternoon, Trump said WHO “failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms,” adding that the US would be “terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent global public health needs.”

5:31 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Hair salons and barber shops to reopen in Los Angeles

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Hair salons and barber shops will reopen in Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Drive-in theaters, flea markets and swap meets can also reopen.

"We are eager to bolster more businesses and reunify our community," Barger said.

6:15 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Infectious Diseases Society says they "stand strongly against" Trump's decision to cut ties with WHO

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House on Friday, May 29, in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House on Friday, May 29, in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Infectious Diseases Society of America said it opposes President Trump’s decision to terminate US relations with the World Health Organization. 

“As infectious diseases physicians on the front line of combating the current global crisis, we stand strongly against President Trump’s decision to leave the World Health Organization," IDSA President Dr. Thomas File said in a statement.

“This pandemic has demonstrated that neither national boundaries nor political positions can protect us from the spread of an infectious disease. We will not succeed against this pandemic, or any future outbreak, unless we stand together, share information, and coordinate actions,” the statement added.

WHO has not yet responded to request for comment by CNN.

Watch Trump's announcement here:

3:35 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

WHO launches global information access portal for Covid-19       

From CNN's Amanda Watts 

The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) is seen in Geneva on Friday, May 29.
The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) is seen in Geneva on Friday, May 29. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global portal Friday to share Covid-19 information around therapeutics and vaccines.

The Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) “will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community,” WHO said in a statement. 

The pool, first proposed in March by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, “will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity — vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response — must be made universally available as global public goods,” he said. 

“Science is moving with incredible speed. Almost every day there is more news about research into vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Friday briefing. 

Tedros said C-TAP has five priorities: Public disclosure of gene sequencing research, public disclosure of all clinical trial results, encouraging governments and research funders to have equitable distribution of trial data, licensing therapeutics and vaccines to both large and small producers and promoting open technology that increases supply capacity. 

WHO is encouraging companies that develop an effective therapeutic to “contribute the patent to the medicines patent pool, which would then sublicense the pattern to generic manufacturers.”

“Science is giving us solutions, but to make the solutions work for everyone - we need solidarity,” Tedros said. 


3:13 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020

Israel sees spike in coronavirus cases after reopening

From CNN's Amir Tal and Oren Liebermann

People sit outside a cafe in Israel's Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 27.
People sit outside a cafe in Israel's Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 27. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israel has recorded a sudden spike in new coronavirus cases after lifting lockdown restrictions, according to the country's Ministry of Health, mostly blamed on a lack of discipline in maintaining social distancing guidelines.

The country recorded at least 101 new cases on Friday and 79 new cases on Thursday, according to Ministry of Health data, after experiencing less than 20 new cases a day earlier in the week.

The wave of new cases comes just weeks after Israel made the decision to reopen schools and most commercial enterprises. 

"This a warning siren," Ministry of Health Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said during a news conference held Friday.

The decision to hold the news conference during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, when government offices are closed, was a clear indication of how seriously officials are taking the spike.

In another rare move, the government will meet tomorrow, on the Sabbath, to discuss the possible re-closing of school grades seven through 12, in an effort to prevent a second wave of infections.

As of Friday evening, Israel had at least 16,987 coronavirus cases, though the vast majority have recovered. The country has 1,927 active cases, according to the Ministry of Health. In total, 284 people have died as a result of coronavirus.