June 7 coronavirus news

By Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0258 GMT (1058 HKT) June 8, 2020
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12:37 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Mayor says NYC is within parameters to proceed with reopening on Monday

From CNN's Laura Ly

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City is within parameters regarding its Covid-19 data to proceed as planned with their phase one reopening on Monday.

The statewide thresholds to enter phase one include having less than 200 people admitted to hospitals per day, to have under 375 intensive care unit patients across the city, and to have less than 15% of city residents testing positive for Covid-19.

As of Sunday, NYC hospitals have admitted 72 people due to Covid-19, 324 people remain in ICUs, and 4% of the city is currently testing positive for Covid-19, de Blasio said.

“That is what you’ve achieved together, that’s another way we’re going to move forward in this city,” de Blasio said.
11:48 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

CDC says it's "monitoring closely" the protests across America

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday said it’s closely monitoring the demonstrations happening across America. The comments come amid concerns that the protests – like other gatherings – could spur additional coronavirus transmission.

“CDC and our federal partners are monitoring closely the demonstrations happening across America. Protests and large gatherings make it difficult to maintain our recommended social distancing guidelines and may put others at risk,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.

“It is too early to know what, if any, effect these events will have on the federal COVID-19 response. Every local situation is different. State and local officials will make decisions to protect public health and safety based on circumstances on the ground,” she said.

Earlier this week: CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said protesters should be evaluated and tested for coronavirus.

“We really want those individuals to highly consider being evaluated and get tested,” Redfield said Thursday at a House Appropriations hearing on the Covid-19 response.

 “I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” he said – especially in metropolitan areas where there has been significant transmission.

During an exchange with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Redfield also addressed the use of tear gas and similar chemical agents on protesters. Redfield said that in his experience, the agents can cause people to cough. 

“Definitely coughing can spread respiratory viruses, including Covid-19,” Redfield said.

Pocan asked Redfield if he had advised the President or worked with law enforcement to discontinue the use of chemical agents during the pandemic.

“I think you raised an important point. We have advocated strongly the ability to have face coverings and masks available to protesters, so that they can at least have those coverings,” Redfield said.

Pressed by Pocan on whether he would recommend against the agents, Redfield said he would “pass on this comment to the next Task Force meeting.”

7:41 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Here's what you need to know about coronavirus today

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

Latin America is losing its battle against coronavirus.

As the global number of Covid-19 victims tops 400,000, the region has become the pandemic’s hotspot.

Latin America has recorded nearly 1.2 million cases and more than 60,000 deaths. But these numbers may be superficial, Matt Rivers reports. That’s because in several countries, testing rates remain low and many Covid-19 deaths go unreported.

Brazil, the region’s worst-hit country, has reported a new record number of deaths in each of the past three days. One study released this week says Brazil will likely see 1 million cases and 50,000 deaths by June 20.

But tracking the toll has become more difficult. President Jair Bolsonaro’s government stopped reporting total numbers on Thursday, the day Brazil’s death toll surpassed Italy’s. It removed the cumulative data from the official tracker and said it would only report the number of new cases and deaths each day.

"The manipulation of statistics is a maneuver made by authoritarian regimes. It’s an attempt to hide the Covid-19 numbers to reduce social control of health policies,” said Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes.

Only a handful of countries in the region -- Uruguay, Belize and Costa Rica -- have so far managed to limit the disease from spreading. How? Early responses, quarantine measures, an efficient tracing-and-isolation system and randomized testing.

George Floyd protesters say it's worth braving coronavirus: "Obviously, people are a little bit closer together than is the recommended six-foot distance, but I think what we are doing is so important," says Sarah Foster, one of the thousands of protesters marching in Washington, DC yesterday. 

Health experts worry that the virus is spreading among protesters, even though most, including Foster, wear masks and try to keep their distance.  

Despite the unease, more than 1,000 health professionals have signed a letter expressing their concern that the protests could be shut down under the guise of coronavirus protections. And they offer tips on how safely to keep protests in place.

“White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19,” they write.

The pandemic jump-starts efforts to free American held by Iran: In a bizarre twist of fate, Michael White, the US Navy veteran released from Iranian custody this week, may owe his freedom to the coronavirus outbreak. 

When he and an Iranian being held in the US came down with the virus, it presented an opportunity to kick-start delicate negotiations that culminated in his release, Vivian Salama reports.

What coronavirus looks like if you don't have internet access: With much of the world locked down in recent months, billions have watched the coronavirus crisis unfold through a seemingly universal window: the internet.

Eliza Mackintosh reports on the billions who remain offline. For them, lockdown means missing out on immediate access to vital public health information, remote work opportunities, online learning, telemedicine appointments, digital grocery deliveries, live-streamed religious services -- weddings and funerals -- and the many other ways we are now living our lives online.

A version of this story first appeared in CNN's Coronavirus: Fact Vs. Fiction newsletter. You can sign up here.

7:08 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Delhi to re-open borders as India relaxes nationwide lockdown

From Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

The borders of India’s national capital will re-open on June 8, one week after they were closed in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, confirmed that the regional government has decided to open its borders with adjoining states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh from Monday.

Delhi will also allow shopping malls, restaurants, and places of worship to resume business with certain social distancing guidelines as issued by the central government, added Kejriwal.

While many businesses have re-opened, the Delhi government has decided to keep hotels and guest houses closed to tourists and guests in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the city, Kejriwal said. The government will use these facilities as makeshift hospitals if Covid-19 cases increase, the chief minister added.

The Delhi government has also decided to reserve those hospitals run by the state government and capital’s private hospitals for the residents of Delhi while allowing all central government hospitals to admit people from all over the country.

5:13 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

BREAKING: Global coronavirus deaths top 400,000

From CNN's Rob Picheta

More than 400,000 people have now died from coronavirus around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

The grim milestone was reached in the early hours of Sunday morning (eastern time).

The United States has suffered more than 109,000 of those deaths, with the United Kingdom, Brazil and Italy behind it in terms of total fatalities.

3:50 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Brazilians protest government for withholding coronavirus data, as deaths soar further

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

People walk through Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, as the region's lockdown is eased.
People walk through Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, as the region's lockdown is eased.

Brazil recorded 904 new coronavirus deaths and 27,075 new virus cases over the past 24 hours, the country’s ministry of health said Saturday, as the virus continued to ravage the South American nation.

The newly reported virus cases bring the total number of deaths Brazil has reported during the pandemic to 35,930 and the total number of reported cases to 672,846.

But Jair Bolsonaro's government has not reported official cumulative nationwide totals since Thursday June 4, the day the South American nation surpassed Italy in its reported Covid-19 fatalities. The ministry of health has instead only reported the number of cases and deaths newly recorded over the preceding 24 hours.

That move has drawn sharp criticism, with a top judge, an association of state health secretaries and the Brazilian media protesting the decision to pare down publicly available Covid-19 statistics.

Supreme Court Minister Gilmar Mendes wrote on Twitter on Saturday: "The manipulation of statistics is a maneuver made by authoritarian regimes. It’s an attempt to hide the Covid-19 numbers to reduce social control of health policies. The trick will not exempt [officials] from responsibility for an eventual genocide. #NoCensorship #DicatorshipNeverAgain"

CNN is reporting nationwide death and case totals by adding each day’s newly reported cases and deaths to the last cumulative death and case toll reported by the government. A spokesperson for Johns Hopkins University told CNN by e-mail on Saturday that its Coronavirus Resource Center map is employing the same methodology.

On Friday, a major Brazilian daily, O Globo, published an interview with the health ministry’s new secretary of science and technology, Carlos Wizard, in which he said Brazil’s health ministry will recount the country’s Covid-19 death toll, alleging that the number was “fanciful or manipulated.”

According to O Globo, Wizard said: “A lot of people died of other causes and the local health officials, solely out of their interest in having a larger budget for their municipalities, their states, were labeling every death as Covid. We are re-evaluating those deaths.”

A national council representing state health secretaries (CONASS) issued a condemnation of Wizard’s comments on Saturday.

“In saying that state health secretaries falsify data about Covid-19 deaths in a bid for a greater ‘budget,’ the secretary, in addition to showing his profound ignorance about the issue, insults the memory of all those helpless victims of this terrible pandemic and their families,” the statement said. 

3:47 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

China says it immediately notified the WHO of the coronavirus outbreak 

From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong

China says it immediately notified the World Health Organization and other relevant parties of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a report published Sunday outlining China's actions in fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic, the country’s State Council Information Office says “China immediately notified the World Health Organization and relevant countries and regional organizations of the outbreak.”

The report adds that China “shared the whole genome sequence and specific primers and probes for detection of COVID-19, and regularly notified the World Health Organization and relevant countries with Epidemic information.” 

China has been criticized by other countries, in particular the United States, for allegedly withholding information about the outbreak in its early days.

The report also outlines that the National Health Commission “preliminarily confirmed that the novel coronavirus was the pathogen of the epidemic” on January 8, and the Chinese government has been updating the WHO daily since January 11, sharing the genome sequence with the WHO on the following day, January 12.

3:24 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

What you need to know about coronavirus

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

A cemetery worker rides a bicycle to put flowers on the graves at El Angel cemetery on June 4, 2020 in Lima, Peru. Peru has the second-highest number of cases of Covid-19 in Latin America, after Brazil.
A cemetery worker rides a bicycle to put flowers on the graves at El Angel cemetery on June 4, 2020 in Lima, Peru. Peru has the second-highest number of cases of Covid-19 in Latin America, after Brazil. Raul Sifuentes/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has reversed course on face masks. It’s now encouraging people to wear them to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

The general public should use fabric masks in high-spread areas, the WHO said, or whenever social distancing is impossible. The global health agency also said that all health workers, not just those caring for Covid-19 patients, should wear masks in clinical areas.

In an effort to make more masks available for health workers, the WHO had previously advised the public to avoid wearing them if they were not sick or caring for someone who is ill. The policy shift is another reminder of the constantly evolving challenges faced in the fight against the virus.

Hydroxychloroquine provides another example. Initial studies suggested the malaria drug may help Covid-19 patients recover faster. But subsequent trials have disproved that research, with one study suggesting the drug might be harmful, prompting the WHO to suspend its trials.

While that study has since been retracted, and the WHO is now saying it’s safe to resume trials, the United Kingdom abruptly ended its trial on Friday. Its researchers found the drug doesn’t work against Covid-19.

In the rush to find a vaccine, mishaps are to be expected. But scientists warn there is little room for error if one is to be developed by January. “Everything will have to go incredibly perfectly if that's going to happen,” said Dr. Larry Corey, a virology and vaccine development expert.

Peruvians cry out for oxygen: People collapse on the street. Others drag desperately ill relatives to hospitals that won't admit them. Distraught children ask why their parents were left to die. The coronavirus outbreak in Peru is spiraling out of control and experts fear it will only worsen.

Oxygen tanks, an important weapon against the virus, are in short supply, and they have come to symbolize the chaos in Peru. Desperate citizens have turned to a burgeoning black market, with tanks listed for sale at exorbitant prices on social media and e-commerce sites, as Jack Guy and Claudia Rebaza report.

Cases rise faster than ever: The infection rate has slowed in most countries hit hard early on in the pandemic, including China, the US, UK, Italy, Spain and France. But global numbers show it’s far from over. 

In many countries, particularly in South America, the Middle East and Africa, transmission rates are accelerating, according to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

Globally, confirmed cases are now rising at a rate of more than 100,000 a day over a seven-day period. In April new cases never topped 100,000 in one day. But confirmed daily cases have topped that number in nine of the past 10 days, reaching 130,400 cases on Wednesday.

Bolsonaro echoes Trump: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to leave the WHO for what he calls “ideological” bias, citing US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that America will sever its relationship with the health agency. 

“We don't need foreign people having a say in our health here,” Bolsonaro said. 

Brazil has recorded 1,005 new coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 35,026. Brazil has recorded more than 600,000 cases, second only to the US.

A version of this story first appeared in CNN's Coronavirus: Fact Vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here.