June 11 coronavirus news

By Steve George, Joshua Berlinger, Laura Smith-Spark, Peter Wilkinson, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT) June 12, 2020
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4:47 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

US stocks have their worst day since March

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A view of New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, on June 01.
A view of New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, on June 01. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

US stocks plummeted on Thursday, recording their worst day since the big coronavirus selloff in March.

Investors were spooked by rising Covid-19 cases across the United States as the country is easing its lockdown restrictions. This comes after the Federal Reserve shared a dire outlook for the economy in Wednesday’s monetary policy update.

Here is where things stood at closing:

  • The Dow closed 1,862 points, or 6.9%, lower. It was its worst day since March 16 in terms of both point and percentage declines. The index fell back below 26,000 points for the first time since the start of the month.
  •  The S&P ended down 5.9%. It was its worst day since March 16. Only one S&P stock – Kroger – closed in positive territory.
  • The Nasdaq Composite, which hit all-time highs on the first three days of the week, closed 5.3% lower. That was its worst one-day drop since March 16. The index finished above 10,000 points for the first time in history Wednesday, but on Thursday it fell back to a level not seen since late May.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

4:09 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

White House staff sent email about returning to campus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

White House staff received an email today about making a "gradual" return to campus, according to an email viewed by CNN.

“We are excited to begin the gradual, safe return of staff to the EOP Campus,” the email from the White House management office read, referring to the Executive Office of the President, the agencies in the executive branch that support the President.

It instructed staff to contact their direct supervisors about when they'll return to campus and how. 

"For employees who have been teleworking, each component will incrementally begin to identify employees that should return to the office and when they should return," the email read. "Each component and supervisor has been advised to take into account many considerations that may impact who comes back, including office space, public transit, availability of childcare and staff who have or are taking care fo someone who has underlying health conditions."

Officials who have been working from home will also see changes in their work space, the email cautioned, noting there are physical distancing lines in areas where people congregate, "social distancing signage" and even plexiglass in areas of high traffic.

3:59 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Here are the various South Carolina beach towns that have canceled July 4 events

From CNN's Natasha Chen 

People wade in the surf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23.
People wade in the surf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A number of South Carolina beach towns have announced cancelations of July 4 events in an effort to prevent large crowds from gathering.

The following events include:

  • Patriots Point has canceled its July 4 fireworks, according its website
  • Folly Beach told CNN the city made a joint decision with the Folly Association of Businesses to cancel its July 4 fireworks
  • Myrtle Beach told CNN its weekly summer fireworks, including for July 4, have been canceled this year, due to coronavirus-related budget issues
  • Isle of Palms said on its website it has canceled its July 4 fireworks and will redirect that budget to offer a one-time hazard pay disbursement for city employees who are working during the pandemic
  • North Charleston tweeted that its fireworks are also canceled and wished everyone a socially distance Independence Day

The Lowcountry in South Carolina has seen a doubling of new daily Covid-19 cases since Memorial Day weekend, according to Rep. Joe Cunningham’s office. 

“I am incredibly concerned with the rise in coronavirus cases across our state, and in the lowcountry particularly. Yesterday, our state epidemiologist said she was more concerned about coronavirus cases now than she ever has been before, and that is something we need to take very seriously," Cunningham, who represents South Carolina’s 1st district from Charleston to Hilton Head, said.

Cunningham said he understands that folks want a return to normalcy, "but we are not anywhere near through this public health crisis yet."

"We must continue to wear masks and practice social distancing – for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors," he added.

3:47 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Colorado governor concerned about Covid-19 case spikes in neighboring states  

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver, on June 9.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver, on June 9. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that while his state is "in a stable trend," he is concerned about the spike in Covid-19 cases in neighboring Utah and Arizona "because there is a lot of travel back and forth."  

The governor, speaking today during a press conference, said he is also concerned about "the continued gatherings in the streets" and thinks it is likely the state will start to see evidence of "some transmission" in coming days.  

Polis encouraged Coloradans to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing to prevent the state "from backsliding." 

"Masks are really the passport to the Colorado we love," Polis said.  

3:23 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

More than 113,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 2,011,341 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 113,341 people have died in the country from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

On Thursday, Johns Hopkins reported 10,877 new cases and 417 reported deaths. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

2:51 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Sean Penn's organization is helping provide Covid-19 testing kits to protesters

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Sean Penn seen sevent benefiting Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts at Los Angeles Zoo, on March 08.
Sean Penn seen sevent benefiting Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts at Los Angeles Zoo, on March 08. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As ongoing national protests bring Americans physically closer together, actor and activist Sean Penn is helping to provide Covid-19 testing kits.

"The protesters themselves are that which protects our democracy, so we owe them to protect them, as well," Penn told CNN's Brianna Keilar.

Penn's organization CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) began by providing tests sites in Los Angeles, and has since moved the model across the county. 

"All of the people that work for CORE, throughout the country, are people from those communities who we train," said Penn, who noted that the fear of another Covid-19 spike on the heels of organized marches is very real.

"The scientists are very worried about that and I certainly am prone to align myself with their concerns," Penn said.

Penn, who started his organization following the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, sees helping protesters stay healthy as a way of supporting another critical cause.

He said they "hope to see a return on that in the sense that protesters participate, participate at six-feet distance in the lines with masks and that we're able to offer them the assistance that they're offering the greater republic."

As the Trump administration is hesitant to support and promote many of the health measures being encouraged by health experts, the two-time Academy Award winner quickly noted that examples of empowering change occur outside of Washington, DC.

"I think we should see by now that we're not going to get our lead from leadership," said Penn, adding "this is time for citizens to take the lead, and unfortunately in particular citizens of color are taking that lead, and we are looking to support, assist, coordinate with them in every way that is represented by peaceful protest and scientific, fact-based testing."

2:18 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Moderna expects to begin phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial next month

From CNN's Wes Bruer and Elizabeth Cohen

 

Moderna Inc. headquarters stands in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 25.
Moderna Inc. headquarters stands in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 25. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Moderna confirmed it expects to begin a phase three study of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in July, according to a statement on Thursday.

The final phase of the placebo-controlled study will include 30,000 subjects in the United States. Participants not in the placebo group will receive 100 micrograms of the vaccine candidate, which was determined to be “the optimal dose level to maximize the immune response while minimizing adverse reactions,” according to the statement. Phase three of the trial will be conducted with the National Institutes of Health. 

About the vaccine: Moderna said it is still on track to deliver about 500 million to a billion doses per year, beginning in 2021 and said its primary endpoint will be prevention of symptomatic Covid-19, with secondary endpoints to include the prevention of severe Covid-19 that leads to hospitalization. 

What the phases mean: While there is some overlap, phase one of a vaccine trial typically involve several dozen study subjects and looks at whether the vaccine is safe. Phase two is several hundred people and looks at safety, immune response and dosage, and phase three involves thousands of patients and looks at efficacy. In phase three, there is a placebo arm, so it can be determined if the vaccine worked better than no vaccine at all.

1:54 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

"Seasonality will be a very big driver" of possible second wave, health researchers say

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

The latest coronavirus forecast by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington takes into account seasonality predictions.

"Seasonality will be a very big driver of the second wave, we believe," Dr. Christopher Murray, IHME’s director, said today.

Late yesterday, IHME released a “third generation model” which forecasted nearly 170,000 deaths from coronavirus in the United States by October 1. 

“The increase in daily deaths really starts to gather more momentum from mid-September, onwards,” Murray said.

Contributing to that increase are two main factors: “The steady rise in contact rates, the steady rise in mobility and the likely continued reaction of mandates over the course of the summer, combined with the increasing clear signal that seasonality is important,” he said.

What the model suggests: The closely watched model — which is currently featured on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website — said the summer should remain in plateau. “We think, because there’s still some progressive protective effect from seasonality between now and August, that even if there are increases, they will not turn into exponential growth,” Murray said. 

“But once the protective effect of seasonality goes away, those same phenomenon may turn into much more rapid increases," he added.

The “biggest and most difficult choice” states will face in the fall is managing a potential second shutdown, Murray said. 

“Because of quarantine fatigue, because of the economic effects of quarantine, another round of shutdowns might have even larger effects on businesses that may be on the edge of not being able to stay solvent," he said.

1:45 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Texas health official on Covid-19 spike in state: "This is still a serious situation" 

From CNN's Ashely Killough and Gregory Lemos 

As Texas continues trending upwards in its average of daily new cases of Covid-19 and hospitalizations, an official from the health department said "this is still a serious situation." 

"We’re certainly still seeing COVID-19 spread in Texas, as evidenced by the increased number of hospitalizations, down about 150 today to 2,008, and it’s an important reminder that this is still a serious situation," Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, told CNN in an email Thursday.

He added: "People still need to be taking action to protect themselves and their communities by continuing social distancing, wearing a face covering in public, and continuing to wash their hands and disinfect surfaces frequently." 

Here are the numbers: Texas averaged approximately 1,700 new cases per day over the week ending June 10, according to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.  

Van Deusen said numbers out of Texas were notably large Wednesday because a few counties have changed the way they are reporting their numbers.  

He said hospitals around the state are prepared for a surge both in the way of beds and staff preparedness.