June 22 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Nectar Gan, Steve George, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020
76 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:17 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

More than 120,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 2,291,353 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. 

At least 120,106 people have died in the US from the virus.

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 11,478 new cases and 137 deaths. 

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

2:05 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

White House says Trump has not directed a slow down in testing, claims he was speaking "in jest" 

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Source: Pool

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Trump was speaking “in jest” when he said during his rally Saturday that he asked administration officials to slow down testing for Covid-19 in the US.

McEnany was asked if the President actually made that request during a press briefing on Monday.

“He has not directed that, and in fact I would note that first we continue to test about 500,000 per day, about half a million people per day,” McEnany answered. “$1.8 billion dollars is invested in NIH to find new testing capabilities, any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact.”

“It was a comment that he made in jest,” McEnany added. “It’s a comment that he made in passing, specifically with regard to the media coverage and pointing out the fact that the media never acknowledges that we have more cases because when you test more people you find more cases.”

Asked if it was appropriate for Trump to joke about coronavirus when more than 100,000 Americans have died of the virus, McEnany denied it he was joking about the virus.

“He was not joking about coronavirus. I just said he was joking about the media and their failure to understand the fact that when you test more, you also find more cases,” she said.

Earlier Monday, Trump did not directly answer when asked by a Scripps reporter if he had requested to pare back testing.

“If it did slow down, frankly, I think we’re way ahead of ourselves if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “We’ve done too good a job.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins later asked McEnany about Trump’s comments. McEnany responded that “the President instead used that opportunity to extoll the fact that we’ve done 25 million tests.”

1:27 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence pressed by governors on Trump's "slow down testing" remark

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting on seniors with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington on June 15.
Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting on seniors with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington on June 15. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

During a morning phone call with governors, Vice President Mike Pence was questioned by Nevada's Democratic governor about President Trump’s claims about slowing down coronavirus testing, according to a person familiar with the call.

Pence said Trump made the remark as a “passing observation,” the person said. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told Pence the comment was unhelpful.

What this is about: At his rally in Tulsa on Saturday, Trump said: "When you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please."

On the call with governors, Pence repeated his assertion that more testing means more positive cases. He also called on the governors of certain states with an increase in cases to describe their response efforts.

1:09 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

There are now more than 9 million coronavirus cases worldwide

From CNN's Hira Humayun

The number of cases of Covid-19 worldwide has surpassed 9 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

So far on Monday, the number of coronavirus cases is at 9,003,042 and the worldwide death toll from the virus is 469,122, according to JHU.

1:07 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

DC restaurants resume indoor dining as District enters phase 2 

From CNN's From Alison Main

An empty restaurant serving only takeout due to the coronavirus outbreak is seen in Washington, DC, on March 18.
An empty restaurant serving only takeout due to the coronavirus outbreak is seen in Washington, DC, on March 18. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Although a spike in coronavirus cases in Washington, DC caused the data to reset backwards over the weekend — making Monday the 13th sustained day of a decline in community spread – Mayor Muriel Bowser said the District hit the metric of 14 sustained days on Friday, and therefore phase two of reopening is officially effective today.

Bowser urged residents to continue to exercise "good judgement" and adhere to public health guidance.

"We always know that we could have different experiences with the data. We always know that, and we have the ability to go up and down, so it is my decision that it wouldn't be worth it to wait a day after we have announced a start date on this Monday," Bowser explained.

Here's what's reopening in phase two:

  • Nonessential retail can open at 50% capacity.
  • Restaurants can have indoor dining at 50% capacity.
  • Fitness facilities may reopen with limited access (five people per 1,000 square feet), strong safeguards and physical distancing
  • Houses of worship are encouraged to hold virtual services, but are permitted to have up to 100 people, or 50% capacity. DC recommends that churches do not have choirs or singing.
  • Personal services, including nail care, tattooing and waxing will be permitted with certain restrictions in place.
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned.

The mayor was also asked about the announcement Friday that July 4 celebrations at the White House will include a fireworks display over the National Mall.

Bowser said the celebration will be a federal event held on federal property and that she has been in ongoing conversations with US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and it is not yet clear what the scope of the event will be. 

In response to a question about crowd control, Bowser said she expects there to be some traffic mitigation led by the federal government with possible assistance from local law enforcement. She noted that such efforts usually take place due to the holiday parade, which will not take place this year.

1:09 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Four hydroxychloroquine trials have been halted

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Dana Vigue

A pharmacy tech holds a pill of hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20.
A pharmacy tech holds a pill of hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

Two more clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine – the drug President Trump has touted as a “game changer” for Covid-19 – have been halted, bringing the total number to at least four.

The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases closed a hydroxychloroquine trial early after enrolling only 20 study subjects, according to a statement issued by the institute on Saturday.

That trial originally intended to enroll about 2,000 Covid patients, according to clinicaltrials.gov.

The NIAID statement said that they ended the trial because “the rate of participant enrollment has been inadequate for the trial to meet its objectives in a timely manner.”

The Veterans Health Administration Office of Research and Development denied funding for a proposed hydroxychloroquine study for Covid patients, Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, a researcher at the San Francisco VA Health Care system, told CNN Thursday.

“It seems [the VA] made the right decision given all the [information] on lack of efficacy and concern for safety,” Keyhani wrote in an email to CNN.

That trial was supposed to enroll 300 patients, according to clinicaltrials.gov. 

On Saturday, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute announced it had halted a trial of more than 500 study subjects.

After more than 470 participants were enrolled, a data and safety monitoring board recommended that the NHLBI stop the study because, “while there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with COVID-19.” 

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced Friday it would cancel its study due to challenges recruiting enough participants.

“The recruitment challenge facing our HCQ trial has made it unlikely that the clinical team will be able to collect meaningful data in a reasonable timeframe to determine the effectiveness of HCQ in treating patients with COVID-19,” according to the Novartis statement.

Novartis aimed to enroll 444 participants, according to clinicaltrials.gov.

1:12 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

University of Michigan plans for adjusted fall calendar

From CNN's Meridith Edwards

A cyclist rides through University of Michigan's central campus on October 25, 2017.
A cyclist rides through University of Michigan's central campus on October 25, 2017. Shutterstock

The University of Michigan is planning to launch its fall semester August 31 with a combination of in-person and remote classes, an adjusted academic calendar, and an emphasis on following public health measures.

Fall on the Ann Arbor campus will have a different feel this year, according to University President Mark Schlissel, who made the announcement in a video message released Monday.

“We now have the opportunity to begin a new journey together, equipped with the very best guidance and ideas from our leading scholars, innovative students and expert staff,” Schlissel said.

The university is planning an adjusted academic calendar, with on-campus classes ending at Thanksgiving in the fall to minimize student travel home and back to campus. Winter semester will start later in January, and both the fall and winter breaks will be eliminated.

According to Schlissel, students will be able to choose from courses in-person, remote and mixed instruction depending on curricular needs. Some students will choose or need to take all their classes remotely, and the university’s 19 schools and colleges will provide a robust set of fully remote classes that will enable most students to make that choice.

"Students also will see additional changes to their campus experience such as physical distancing requirements in libraries and other common spaces and buildings, limited access to certain areas, additional cleaning, boxed meals and staggered timelines for activities such as move-in and dining," according to the plan.

There are more than 47,000 undergrad and graduate students on the university's Ann Arbor campus. The university is one of the state's top five employers, and has an economic impact of more than $10 billion for Michigan annually.

1:02 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

At least 175 Covid-19 cases reported at poultry processing center in Wales

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Simon Cullen in London

Another 17 workers at a Welsh poultry processing center have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number to at least 175, according to Public Health Wales.

All workers and contractors at the 2 Sisters Food Group on the Isle of Anglesey have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days to curb the further spread of the virus.  

“The deployment of rapid test and trace facilities has helped identify this situation, and we will continue to keep control measures in place to bring the outbreak to a rapid conclusion,” said Christopher Johnson with Public Health Wales.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said the government is considering whether further steps need to be taken – including a local lockdown – to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“If there is a public need to do so, we will,” he said on Monday. “If a public health case isn't there to go beyond what we are doing already then we will take that advice equally seriously.”

The poultry plant has been closed since June 18.

12:51 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

New York City's contact tracing calls include personal questions that can be a turn-off, tracer says

From CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro

A contact tracer in New York City described that tracer calls last between 30 and 50 minutes and have extremely detailed personal questions that sometimes turn off callers. 

The tracer, who spoke to CNN on the condition on anonymity Sunday, said that the questions include specifics about ethnicity, origin and sexuality.

The tracer added that all information has to be reported anonymously, which can lead to snags.

For example, the tracer will tell the respondent that the he or she was in contact with someone who tested positive on a specific day — but won’t reveal the identity of the sick person the individual came in contact with. 

Sometimes the respondent declines to talk because of the anonymous nature of it, the tracer said. 

The tracer added that calls usually register as “Contact Tracer” on caller ID, but calls often take too long, which leads to skepticism.

“The plane is being built as it’s trying to fly,” the tracer said. While they are confident that tracing can work, they worry the system is too fragile and will be easily overwhelmed if there is a surge.