June 17 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Luke McGee and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 0407 GMT (1207 HKT) June 18, 2020
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5:35 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Los Angeles County reaches another single day high in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Drivers in their vehicles wait in a long line at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles, California on June 10.
Drivers in their vehicles wait in a long line at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles, California on June 10. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles recorded 2,175 new coronavirus cases in the county, another single day high.

As in past reports, Health Director Barbara Ferrer attributed the spike to lagging test reports.

The daily case count is hard to interpret, Ferrer said, and indicated that the key metric for the county is hospitalization rates, which are steady at about 1,300 patients.

The average daily death rate is steadily decreasing and has gone from about 45 fatalities each day in early May to about 35 deaths now, Ferrer said. The rate in Los Angeles remains at about 8%.

While much of California continues to reopen business sectors, Los Angeles is lagging behind somewhat in a continued effort to mitigate new cases.

It is unclear if any of the cases might be linked to recent protests, but contact tracing efforts are continuing, Ferrer said.

5:30 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Fauci says he wouldn't attend Trump's upcoming rally

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci leaves after the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 10 at the White House in Washington.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci leaves after the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 10 at the White House in Washington. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he personally would not attend President Trump’s upcoming campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday.

“No,” he answered when asked whether he would attend the event during an interview Tuesday with the Daily Beast.

“I'm in a high risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

When pressed about Trump’s planned rallies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Fauci told the Daily Beast that “outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd” and “crowd is better than big crowd.”

Those attending the rally are not required to wear masks, and social distancing measures will be next to impossible in the arena setting.

This as Tulsa announced its highest daily number of coronavirus infections Wednesday, and cases are rising across the state.

Fauci warned in a CNN interview Friday that there’s a risk of either “acquiring or spreading” the deadly coronavirus for those who attend the rally.

“When you are in a large crowd, if you have the congregation of people that are much, much close to each other, you definitely increase the risk that you will either acquire or spread infections,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Fauci said people are going to gather, despite the warnings.

“But the issue is, if they do, please wear a mask, all the time, because the mask will give you some protection. The best thing to do is to avoid crowded areas, but if you're not going to do that, please wear a mask.”

4:58 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Gilead will begin testing remdesivir in children

From CNN's Wes Bruer

Gilead Sciences headquarters on April 29 in Foster City, California.
Gilead Sciences headquarters on April 29 in Foster City, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The company that makes the antiviral drug remdesivir, used to treat coronavirus, says it is about to start advanced trials of the drug in children. 

Gilead Sciences said it was starting a phase 2/3 trial in 50 pediatric patients with moderate to severe Covid-19 who are in the hospital. These trials are meant to assess safety and efficacy. Children from babies on up will be eligible for the trial, being run at 30 sites in the US and Europe. 

Remdesivir, which is infused, is the only drug that has US Food and Drug Administration emergency authorization for use in treating coronavirus infections.

Gilead has treated pediatric patients with remdesivir since February under compassionate use program.

“From the onset of the pandemic, Gilead has advanced the development of our investigational antiviral remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19, in parallel with emerging knowledge about the disease. While the novel coronavirus appears to disproportionally affect adults – especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions – concerning reports have been documented of children and young adults being hospitalized with COVID-19 and related autoimmune symptoms,” the company said in a statement. 

A recent study funded by Gilead found that moderately ill Covid-19 patients who received a five-day course of remdesivir were more likely to have clinical improvement after 11 days compared to those who received traditional standard of care alone, according to the company. 

4:47 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Kentucky to provide protective equipment for voters and poll workers at primaries

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

After the Kentucky Board of Elections asked Gov. Andy Beshear to help provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for the primary elections next Tuesday, the governor announced today that his administration will provide the equipment to keep voters and poll workers safe during the election.

The state will provide 5,000 masks, 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 5,800 face shields and 20,000 gloves for the June 23 election, and the PPE will be distributed to all 120 counties in Kentucky.

“I encourage every Kentuckian to vote, which is their duty as an American, but we must take every precaution available to protect voters and poll workers exercising that fundamental right,” Beshear said. “We continue to take action to allow people to safely exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, including ensuring our poll workers have this protective gear.”

While there will be in-person voting on Tuesday, Kentuckians will also allowed to vote via absentee ballot due to Covid-19.

Additionally, Beshear authorized plainclothes Kentucky National Guardsmen to assist at polling sites, where requested by county clerks.

4:42 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

US federal government is stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Wes Bruer

The federal government is stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine now that the US Food and Drug Administration has revoked permission for the drug to be distributed to treat coronavirus patients. 

The government started stockpiling hydroxychloroquine donated by pharmaceutical companies in late March, after President Trump touted it as “very encouraging” and “very powerful” and a “game-changer.” 

But Monday, the FDA revoked its emergency use authorization to use the drug to treat Covid-19, saying there was “no reason to believe” the drug was effective against the virus, and that it “increased the risk of side effects, including heart problems.”  

Before the FDA revoked its authorization, the stockpile had already distributed 31 million doses. That leaves the Strategic National Stockpile with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, plus another 2 million doses of chloroquine, a related drug, according to Carol Danko, a spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

“HHS is working with the companies that donated the product to determine the available options for the product that remains in the Strategic National Stockpile,” Danko wrote in a statement to CNN.

4:24 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Dow and S&P 500 snap three-day winning streak as Covid-19 cases rise in some areas

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe 

US stocks finished mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing lower. Both indexes snapped a three-day winning streak.

Momentum that had carried the stock rally over the past days faded on Thursday as the number of new Covid-19 infections rose in some areas.

Here's where the markets closed:

  • The Dow fell 0.7%, or 170 points
  • The S&P 500 ended down 0.4%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite was the only of the three main indexes to end the day higher, adding 0.2%. It was its fourth day of gains in a row.
3:23 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

New York City reports more than 22,000 confirmed and probable Covid-19 deaths

From CNN's Rob Frehse

Medical workers walk outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, on May 26.
Medical workers walk outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, on May 26. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City has 17,487 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 4,684 probable coronavirus deaths as of June 17, according to the most recent data on the city's website.

The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death “Covid-19” or an equivalent.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is 22,171.

There have been 207,821 coronavirus cases in the city and 54,170 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

The data is from the New York City Health Department and was updated on June 17 at 1:15 p.m., according to the website.

3:17 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

North Carolina reports record high for Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

North Carolina health officials reported that 846 patients are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Wednesday, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Services.

This marks the highest number of patients hospitalized since May 16; hospitalizations prior to that were not immediately available, according to the health department's website. The health department collected the hospitalization data from 86% of its hospitals, the website said.

More data: North Carolina averaged about 1,240 new cases per day over the last week, an increase of about 20% from the previous seven-day period, CNN reported.

There are currently 46,855 coronavirus cases in North Carolina, the health department said. 

 

3:32 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Catch up: Here are the latest coronavirus developments from around the US

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask window shops in the Diamond District in New York, on June 10.
A pedestrian wearing a protective mask window shops in the Diamond District in New York, on June 10. Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg/Getty Images

It's almost 3 p.m. ET on the East Coast and noon on the West Coast. If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the US:

  • Covid-19 cases increase in Tulsa ahead of rally: The number of coronavirus cases are increasing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ahead of President Trump's campaign rally on Saturday. Ninety-six Tulsa residents tested positive for Covid-19 in the past day, according to Dr. Bruce Dart of the Tulsa Health Department. This is a new daily record for the county, Dart said.
  • Schools allowed to resume in Michigan: Schools across Michigan will be allowed to resume in-person instruction this fall with strict safety measures in place, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced. The governor will release an executive order and the "Michigan Return to School Roadmap" on June 30 to outline details on what will be required and recommended for schools to reopen.
  • New York City to enter phase two of reopening: Phase two allows for a wider range of businesses to continue to reopen under Covid-19 guidelines, including retail businesses and offices, according to the state's reopening website. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that once the city enters phase two, restaurants will be able to open for outdoor seating, and convert parking spaces into seating areas.
  • Nation's top infectious disease expert's advice for the MLB: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said baseball season should not extend past October to avoid the risk of spreading Covid-19. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Fauci said Major League Baseball (MLB) should conclude the postseason in September over concerns of a second coronavirus wave in the fall.
  • WHO ends portion of trial: The hydroxychloroquine arm of the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Trial will end based on a recommendation from the agency’s Data Safety and Monitoring Committee, according to a WHO official. The decision was made based on preliminary information from a separate hydroxychloroquine study in the United Kingdom that showed no benefit of the antimalarial against Covid-19, and early data from the Solidarity Trial itself, WHO said.