June 15 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 0016 GMT (0816 HKT) June 16, 2020
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10:06 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Former FDA head says he would "certainly counsel against" attending political rallies

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, speaks at the Newseum on March 6, 2019 in Washington.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, speaks at the Newseum on March 6, 2019 in Washington. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said he would advise against attending large political rallies.

“I would certainly counsel against it,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, as the President prepares to begin holding events again. “If I was giving advice to the administration on this, I would say they should withhold large political rallies right now.”

Gottlieb also said that as we are taking many infections with us heading into fall, that the government and the Trump administration should be setting an example by encouraging people to wear masks and social distance.

Setting this example would be “a powerful message to individual people across the country,” he said.

Gottlieb agreed with comments made by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx about the use of masks at nationwide protests being less effective due to things like shouting, saying that he had seen data that supported this.

“Obviously the risk is a little bit diminished when you’re outside versus indoors, but we know these large gatherings are going to lead to more spread,” Gottlieb said.

However, while there are things that can be done to reduce the risks, this is a shared responsibility for everyone. 

9:52 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Here's where coronavirus cases are increasing across the US

Weeks after lifting stay-at-home orders, some states are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations from Covid-19 as thousands more Americans get infected every day.

As of Saturday, coronavirus cases were still increasing in 18 states — several of which saw record or near-record highs. 

The map below shows how states' coronavirus numbers last week compare to the previous week.

Remember: Some states may see their number of new cases rise simply because they're testing more people. 

9:43 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Stocks tumble as investors continue to worry about a possible second coronavirus wave

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe 

stocks nosedived at Monday’s opening bell, as investors continue to worry about a potential second wave of coronavirus infections. Increasing case numbers in some reopened states as well as in Beijing, aren’t helping sentiment.

Here's what happened at today's opening:

  • The Dow opened 2.6%, or 660 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 fell 2.1%
  • The Nasdaq Composite declined 1.6%.
8:31 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

New Jersey governor: "All options on the table" if coronavirus spikes

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Trenton, New Jersey, on June 9.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Trenton, New Jersey, on June 9. Anne-Marie Caruso/The Record/Pool/AP

Shutting down businesses for not following social distancing practices have to be left “on the table as a consideration,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told NBC News Monday morning.

“You have to leave that on the table as a consideration. I hope to god we don't have to,” he said on the "Today" show.

“We now test more than any other state in America. We're building up our contact tracing and isolation plans. I hope that if we see this thing — god forbid — come back again, we can surround it, drive it back into the ground, but we have to leave all options on the table,” he added.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, warned in a press conference Sunday that high violations of Covid-19 restrictions could cause the state to roll back its reopening.

About 25,000 complaints have been filed against businesses across New York – mainly in Manhattan and the Hamptons – for violating that state’s reopening plan.

"If we have a high number of violations of the policy which is tantamount to a high likelihood of the spread of the virus, and the local governments are not monitoring policing, doing the compliance, yes there is a very real possibility that we would roll back the reopening in those areas. The only alternative would be to pause the entire reopening," Cuomo said.

8:02 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

It's just after 1 p.m. in London and 8 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

The novel coronavirus has infected almost 8 million people worldwide, and killed more than 433,000. Here's what you need to know about the spread of Covid-19:

China races to contain new outbreak: Beijing officials are attempting to track down 200,000 people after a fresh outbreak of cases linked to a wholesale seafood market.

England's stores reopen: Shoppers formed long, socially-distanced queues outside retail outlets across the country as the UK eases lockdown restrictions.

Global stocks plummet: Markets plunged as the US and China grappled with fresh outbreaks. Dow futures fell by 3.2%, while South Korea's Kospi lost 4.8%, closing out its worst day since March.

Germany lifts travel warning: The country eased restrictions for citizens travelling to 27 nations in continental Europe. Spain is not yet included in the list, but some German tourists can now travel to the popular Balearic island of Mallorca.

Guatemala's cases surge: The country has declared a state of "maximum alert" in four administrative regions. The restrictions in place include full-day curfews on Sundays. The country has recorded at least 9,845 cases of the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

7:31 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Man in Hong Kong sentenced to two weeks in prison for breaking quarantine

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu

A Hong Kong court has sentenced a man to two weeks in prison for breaching a compulsory quarantine order.

The 38-year-old had arrived in the territory after traveling abroad earlier this year. He was issued with the quarantine order upon arrival, instructing him to stay at home for 14 days.

But he was caught attempting to travel through the Shenzhen Bay Control Point into mainland China on March 7.

A spokesman for the city's Department of Health (DH) said: "From March 19, all persons arriving from countries or territories outside China are ... subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days.
"Breaching a quarantine order is a criminal offense and offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months."

Hong Kong has recorded 1,109 cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

6:58 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Beijing officials race to track down 200,000 people after new outbreak hits China's capital

From CNN's Isaac Yee and Shanshan Wang 

People who visited or live near the Xinfadi food market queue for coronavirus swab testing at Guang'an Sport Center in Beijing, on June 14.
People who visited or live near the Xinfadi food market queue for coronavirus swab testing at Guang'an Sport Center in Beijing, on June 14. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Health officials in Beijing are working to trace around 200,000 people who visited a wholesale seafood market which is at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese capital.

The city has reported more than 79 new coronavirus cases since last Thursday, most of which are linked to the Xinfadi food market.

Authorities are trying to trace all those who have visited the site since May 30. The market is a key source of food supplies in the city, and has been shut down in the aftermath of the outbreak.

At least 11 neighborhoods surrounding the area have also been sealed off.

"We have organized door-knocking activities, that means we will visit people [who have visited the market] at their doorstep, call them or contact them on WeChat and other apps," Xu Ying, a Beijing city government official, said on Monday.
"Now ... we are organizing the nucleic acid tests and at-home quarantine for them."

Xinfadi market makes up about 80% of Beijing’s entire farm produce supply. Some 18,000 tons of vegetables and 20,000 tons of fruit are at the market every day, according to Chinese state-run media organization CGTN.

Wang Hongcun, a Beijing city government official, said authorities were working to guarantee food supplies for the city in the wake of the market's closure.

China said on Monday that it was in close communications with the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the latest outbreak.

"China and the World Health Organization have been in close communication on the latest development of Covid-19," said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

Zhao said he did not have any information on whether Chinese health officials have shared the gene sequencing from the latest cluster of cases in Beijing with the WHO.

6:53 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

Former Florida data official creates her own Covid-19 site that shows more cases than state reports

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The data official behind Florida's Covid-19 dashboard says she has launched her own dashboard after being removed from the state's project.

Rebekah Jones was removed from the state's scrutinized dashboard project after she questioned other officials' commitment to accessibility and transparency, according to Florida Today.

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis contested Jones' claims. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) said she had "exhibited a repeated course of insubordination" during her tenure there.

Jones's website floridacovidaction.com "is paid for entirely by donations," the fundraising portion of the site says. "Florida deserves a community based dashboard that doesn't hide or fudge numbers," the page says. 

Jones' dashboard looks very similar to the DOH website

However, Jones parallels her data alongside DOH's coronavirus numbers, which are much lower, according to the website. 

Read more:

6:52 a.m. ET, June 15, 2020

BP warns of $17.5 billion hit, as coronavirus pandemic accelerates move away from oil

From CNN's Hanna Ziady

A customer fills up at a BP Plc station in Cambridge, England, on June 8.
A customer fills up at a BP Plc station in Cambridge, England, on June 8. Jason Alden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

BP is writing down the value of its assets by as much as $17.5 billion as a shift away from fossil fuels is accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK oil company said in a statement Monday that the health crisis could have an "enduring impact on the global economy," resulting in less demand for energy over a "sustained period."

It cut its assumed average price for Brent crude from 2021 to 2050 by 27%, to $55 per barrel.

As a result of the changes, BP said it would take a writedown of up to $17.5 billion in the second quarter -- roughly 6% of its total assets. The company may also stop developing some oil and gas fields as it invests in cleaner energy.

BP's management ... has a growing expectation that the aftermath of the pandemic will accelerate the pace of transition to a lower carbon economy and energy system, as countries seek to 'build back better' so that their economies will be more resilient in the future," it said in its statement.

Read more here.