June 19 coronavirus news

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 0644 GMT (1444 HKT) June 20, 2020
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5:10 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

North Carolina governor vetoes bill allowing indoor and outdoor fitness facilities to reopen

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Jennifer Henderson

Casey Toth/The News & Observer via AP/FILE
Casey Toth/The News & Observer via AP/FILE

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would have allowed indoor and outdoor fitness facilities to reopen in the state.

In his reasoning for the veto, Cooper said, “Tying the hands of public health officials in times of pandemic is dangerous, especially when case counts and hospitalizations are rising."

He continued: "State and local officials must be able to take swift action during the Covid-19 emergency to prevent a surge of patients from overwhelming hospitals and endangering the lives of North Carolinians. The bill could restrict leaders who need to respond quickly to outbreaks and protect public health and safety.”’ 

The bill will be sent back to the House. To override the veto, it must pass with a three-fifths majority of those present. 

4:54 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

DeKalb County asks to postpone certification of election results after employee tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Devon M. Sayers

An employee at DeKalb County Elections in Georgia has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a release from the county.

The County Board of Elections is seeking permission from the Georgia secretary of state to postpone the certification of the election results from June 9, which were scheduled to be certified Friday.

The offices of the DeKalb County Voter Registration were closed Friday after the employee tested positive Thursday.

The temporary employee began working on June 11, the statement said.

All employees who work in the office and who may have come in contact with the employee have been recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days.

CNN has reached out to the Georgia secretary of state’s office to see if the extension will be granted.

4:35 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Tampa Bay Lightning close team facilities after 3 players test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning closed their training facilities Thursday after three of the team's players and additional staff members tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement from the team's general manager Julien BriseBois. 

The team did not provide the names of any individuals who tested positive for Covid-19.

The infected players have been placed in self-isolation, and those who came in contact with the infected individuals have been notified. 

Team facilities will remain closed until the team can ensure a safe environment.

"The Lightning are steadfast in doing all that we can to ensure the health and safety of our players, staff, fans and the community," BriseBois said in a statement.

4:18 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine was a "black eye" for the FDA, health watchdog says

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

George Frey/AFP/Getty Images
George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Committee that hydroxychloroquine “turned out to be a black eye” for the US Food and Drug Administration.

Lurie called the FDA’s handling of hydroxychloroquine a “disappointment” and an “embarrassment.”

“I don't think it's because of the career officials at FDA, who I believe are completely committed to scientific integrity and proper regulatory procedures in this pandemic. But I do think that people have turned out to be susceptible to political pressure,” he told the panel on “Repurposing Therapeutic Drugs for COVID-19: Research Challenges and Opportunities.”

Lurie, who used to work at the FDA, said drug trials are conducted by the drug manufacturer themselves.

"Quite frankly, the process is infected with conflict of interest, and there's not very much that can be done about it.”

“It’s a given that there will be that kind of conflict of interest, in that the companies will come in with an interest in depicting the data in the way that best suits them. That's where the FDA comes in,” Lurie added.

The FDA will review the data itself, Lurie said. “That kind of insulating of the reviewers from the manufacturer is so important.”

Hydroxychloroquine has been used for many years to treat diseases such as malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. President Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19.

4:09 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Phoenix enacts mandatory mask order amid Covid-19 pandemic

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Phoenix City Council has enacted a mandatory mask order requiring everyone over the age of six to wear a face covering when leaving their home.

According to the mandate, people in the city are required to wear a face mask whenever they are within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household.

4:05 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Unions representing employees at California's Disneyland demand delay in reopening park

From CNN's Sarah Moon

David McNew/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
David McNew/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Unions representing Disneyland employees are calling for a delay in reopening the Southern California theme park, which is scheduled to open on July 17 with approval from the state and local government.

In a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom dated Wednesday, the Coalition of Resort Labor Unions (CRLU) expressed their concerns over the reopening of the park.

The CRLU is a group of dozens of unions of the Disneyland resort, representing approximately 17,000 service workers. 

“Unfortunately, despite intensive talks with the company, we are not yet convinced that it is safe to reopen the parks on Disney’s rapid timetable,” the CRLU said. “There are numerous questions about safety which Disney has not yet answered, including any serious discussion of ‘testing.’”

Some context: In a post last week, Disneyland announced a phased plan to being reopening parts of the resort as early as July 9.

On Thursday, Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel shared updates on health and safety guidelines.

Parks will be reducing capacity, checking temperature for guests, increasing cleaning and disinfecting, making changes to accommodate physical distancing and requiring face coverings for guests two and older, Hymel said.

CRLU is still waiting for a response from Disney on safety proposals made by the coalition, according to the letter.

4:03 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Oklahoma reports 352 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said that the state has 352 new positive Covid-19 cases today, just one day ahead of President Trump’s rally in Tulsa.

The state has 9,706 total cases, up 3.8% since Thursday’s report, Stitt said during a news conference today. He also said that 211 people have been hospitalized with symptoms.

Speaking about Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Stitt said there will be temperature checks for the attendees and he also expects most people to wear a mask.

3:56 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

If you don't wear a mask in public in California, you could face a misdemeanor and a fine

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

A shopper wears a protective mask at Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, on Thursday, June 18.
A shopper wears a protective mask at Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, on Thursday, June 18. Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Californians who don’t wear face masks in public settings can be fined after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order Thursday requiring residents wear the coverings when outside of home.

Newsom’s office today told CNN that the mask order is enforceable if necessary, as a misdemeanor carrying a potential financial penalty and other penalties. State agencies like the Division of Occupational Safety and Health could also take action over violations of the face mask order.

The governor’s order requires face coverings in "high risk" settings, including inside any indoor public space, taking public transportation, or seeking medical care.

“This is a statewide requirement and flows from the same legal authority as all of the other state orders,” California Department of Public Health spokesperson Ali Bay said. “Californians have done incredible work following those orders — saving lives in the process. We expect that will continue to be the case.”

3:41 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

The US is in process of notifying WHO that it is withdrawing, senior state official said

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

The US is “in process of notifying the WHO that we are withdrawing," Jim Richardson, the director of the Office of Foreign Assistance at the State Department, told reporters Friday.

“This is not a light switch moment, it's more like unscrewing a light bulb so it does take a little bit of time. But we are, the State Department, is working very hard to give the proper notice that we are withdrawing from WHO,” Richardson said.  

Some background: President Trump announced last month his decision to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization.

Richardson said the State Department and United States Agency for International Development have “alternative implementers” in the countries where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly encouraged the administration to continue funding WHO operations because there weren’t other options. Those countries are Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and Turkey.

“We still have a hard time finding implementing partners for polio, for instance, and so we're still working through an interagency process to come to a resolution on that issue, and see how we want to proceed as the government in those unique cases,” Richardson said.