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
44 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:50 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Drug company plans to test inhaled version of remdesivir as potential Covid-19 treatment

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

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

Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the antiviral drug remdesivir, announced on Monday that it is about to start trials of an inhaled version of the medication. 

Remdesivir — which is currently administered intravenously through infusions — is the only drug that has an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to treat coronavirus infections.

"After receiving the green light from the FDA to move forward, Gilead is about to start trials of an inhaled version of remdesivir. We will screen healthy volunteers for Phase 1 trials this week and hope to begin studies in patients with COVID-19 in August," Daniel O'Day, Gilead Sciences chairman and CEO, said in an open letter on Monday.

"If the trials are successful, this could represent important progress. Remdesivir, our investigational antiviral medicine, is currently given to patients intravenously through daily infusions in the hospital," O'Day added. "An inhaled formulation would be given through a nebulizer, which could potentially allow for easier administration outside the hospital, at earlier stages of disease. That could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic."

The letter went on to explain how there are also plans to study remdesivir in treating Covid-19 earlier in the progression of the disease, in combination with other therapies and in additional patient groups. Last week, Gilead announced it would begin advanced trials of the drug in children. 

Remdesivir was originally studied as a potential treatment for Ebola, but lab experiments revealed that it could work against coronavirus. 

Monday's letter from Gilead noted that the company expects to have more than 2 million remdesivir treatment courses manufactured by the end of the year, and many millions more by 2021.

10:15 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Disneyland Paris announces a phased reopening starting on July 15

From CNN's Eva Tapiero, Frank Pallotta and Lilit Marcus

In this Monday, March 16 photo, Disneyland Paris
In this Monday, March 16 photo, Disneyland Paris Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP

Disneyland Paris announced a phased reopening as of July 15.

“We’re pleased to announce that we will begin a phased reopening of the resort starting with the Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel and Disney Village as of 15th July 2020,” the company said on Twitter.

This announcement comes as other Disney parks have announced their reopening plans in the US. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure — Disney's flagship theme parks in California — said they are reopening after months of being closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The original Disney resort — which is located in Anaheim, California — plans to begin a phased reopening on July 17, the company said in May, pending state and local government approvals. July 17 is the 65th anniversary of the opening day of Disneyland park.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company also said in May.

On June 18, Hong Kong Disneyland became the world's second Disney park to reopen.

One of the smallest Disney theme parks, it closed on January 26 due to the global coronavirus crisis and has remained shut since then, with a few exceptions — namely its hotels and a few on-site restaurants.

Shanghai Disneyland was the first park to reopen, welcoming guests back on May 11.

Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its parks

9:16 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Washington DC's Basilica reopens today as District enters phase 2

From CNN's Laura Robinson and Kevin Bohn

In this April 12 photo, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception stands empty in Washington, DC.
In this April 12 photo, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception stands empty in Washington, DC. Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

As Washington, DC, moves to phase two today, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will reopen this morning.

Entry will be limited to 100 visitors at a time.

The Basilica had been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus.

According to phase two guidelines, 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. Places of worship should have strong safeguards and physical distancing. 

9:10 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Rising number of coronavirus cases among young people "not surprising," Fauci says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told Axios that the recent high number of cases in young people is "not surprising."

Fauci was referring to how younger people are more likely to engage in riskier behaviors right now, Axios' Caitlin Owens reported today.

"They get infected first, then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals," Fauci told Owens. "The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate."

Some context: Officials in states across the South have warned that more young people in their 20s and 30s are now testing positive for the novel coronavirus. 

This recent rise in cases among young adults could lower Covid-19 death rates, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote on Twitter.


9:06 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Beijing can test nearly 1 million people a day, health commission says

From CNN's Shanshan Wang in Beijing

Beijing can test nearly 1 million people a day for the novel coronavirus the spokesperson for Beijing’s Health Commission said on Sunday. 

“The maximum daily testing capacity has been increased from 100,000 to more than 230,000 samples,” said Gao Xiaojun, a spokesperson for Beijing’s Health Commission. Gao explained that the tests can be carried out by collecting samples from five people, pooling them together, and testing them in one test tube.

Health authorities in Wuhan used a similar pool testing method which enabled the city to test over 9.8 million people in less than three weeks.  

9:13 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Netherlands reports no new Covid-19 deaths in past day for first time since March

From CNN’s Mick Krever

A health worker collects a sample during coronavirus screening in Maassluis, Netherlands on June 18.
A health worker collects a sample during coronavirus screening in Maassluis, Netherlands on June 18. Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

For the first time since March 12, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reported no new Covid-19 deaths in the past day.

At least 6,090 people have died from Covid-19 in the Netherlands, according to the RIVM.

The peak of deaths came on April 7, when 234 people died in a single 24-hour period.

Despite reporting zero new deaths today, the RIVM has in the past warned that patterns show a false dip in reported deaths on Mondays, owing to delayed reporting from the weekend.

9:05 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Outdoor dining begins today in NYC as city enters phase 2 of reopening

A restaurant in New York serves drinks to customers outside on June 20.
A restaurant in New York serves drinks to customers outside on June 20. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

New York City is entering its widest reopening phase today after Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the city approval to move forward.

Phase two allows for a broader range of businesses to continue to reopen under Covid-19 guidelines, including retail businesses, restaurants and offices.

One of the biggest moves is the reopening of outdoor dining. Restaurants must follow these guidelines:

  • In outdoor spaces, all tables with seats must be at least six feet from any other table, seat, patron or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor.
  • Restaurants must ensure an indoor capacity to accommodate patrons who may need to enter/exit through the indoor space to access the outdoor seating, restrooms, or payment location, and allow such access/egress in a socially distanced manner.
  • Employees must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Patrons must wear face coverings at all times, except while seated, provided that the patron is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate one. 

Indoor on-premise dining and bar service are not allowed.

Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen but they must limit the workforce and customer presence to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy.

Offices will be able to reopen, limiting the total number of occupants at any given time to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area. People must keep a distance of at least six feet at all times, unless safety of the core activity requires a shorter distance. 

Malls, specifically any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease, must remain closed to the public.

Large gatherings and event venues, including places that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience, must also remain closed to the public.

On Friday, Cuomo delivered his final coronavirus briefing with an address from his office in the state Capitol.

"Today, we have done a full 180, from worst to first," he said. "We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country and any nation on the globe."

8:53 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

President Trump's aides debate size, location and timing of futures rallies during pandemic

From CNN's From Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, June 20.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, June 20. Evan Vucci/AP

After the disappointing turnout in Tulsa, President Trump’s aides are debating what his signature campaign rallies will look like going forward, people familiar with the matter say.  

There had once been plans to announce another rally for the near future, perhaps as early as the next two weeks, but it now remains unclear when Trump will move forward with his signature political events. Some advisers suggested it could be weeks or even months before Trump attempts another rally, though as of this morning no decisions had been made on how to proceed. 

Few people around Trump believe rallies, the President’s political stock-in-trade, will be eliminated altogether. But the empty seats and vacant overflow lot in Tulsa were an indication to those around Trump that their formula needs rethinking during the continuing pandemic and an altered political landscape. 

There are discussions about finding outdoor venues where supporters might feel safer convening, the people familiar said. CNN reported Sunday a campaign source suggested holding more airport hangar rallies — a common feature of Trump’s last campaign. 

Other officials acknowledged that Tulsa was a sign even Trump’s supporters remain wary of large crowds as coronavirus continues to spread — a reality that may force his campaign to book smaller venues for greatly-reduced audiences. 

Whether Trump agrees to smaller rallies remains to be seen. One likelihood going forward: aides seem uniformly to believe that predicting massive turnout ahead of time is a mistake which only sets Trump and his team up for disappointment. 

Trump's schedule this week: When the President speaks Tuesday in Phoenix it will be to a group of young supporters, not a rally, though aides are now working to ensure that event appears full. And Trump will visit Wisconsin on Thursday in an official capacity. 

8:35 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Beijing locks down two construction sites after three workers test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Shanshan Wang, Eric Cheung and Nectar Gan

A medical worker collects throat swabs from construction workers at a construction site in Beijing on June 17.
A medical worker collects throat swabs from construction workers at a construction site in Beijing on June 17. Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Shutterstock

Beijing's government has locked down two construction sites after three workers tested positive for Covid-19, a city official told a press briefing Monday.

Three cases were identified after the city conducted nucleic acid tests on workers who either went to or had close ties with those who visited Xinfadi market, said Ding Sheng, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing.

Xinfadi market is at the center of a new cluster of infections in the Chinese capital.

Ding added that 1,622 construction workers, from 435 construction sites across the city, have undergone the tests. So far, three of them have returned positive, and the two unspecified construction sites where they work have now been locked down.

Since June 11, Beijing has reported 236 cases of Covid-19, according to a statement by the Beijing Municipal Health Commission Monday.

City on alert: For a while at least, Beijing seemed to have all but moved on from the coronavirus pandemic.

For 55 days, the Chinese capital had not reported any locally transmitted infections and life had been returning to normal. Businesses and schools reopened, people went back to work, and the city's public transports and parks were once again teeming with crowds.

But that facade of normality was shattered, when a new set of cases emerged from the sprawling wholesale food market.

The flare-up of infections in Beijing, the seat of Communist Party power and previously considered among the country's safest cities, is a stark reminder of how easily the virus can come back to haunt places where it was thought to have been tamed.