June 26 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim and Lindsay Isaac CNN

Updated 0003 GMT (0803 HKT) June 27, 2020
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12:49 p.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Oklahoma records 395 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Oklahoma has recorded 395 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the state’s Department of Health said Friday.

There is now a total of at least 12,343 cases, including 377 deaths, in the state, according to the agency.

12:34 p.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Soon: White House coronavirus task force holds first public briefing in nearly two months

Vice President Mike Pence is holding a public coronavirus task force briefing soon, the first formal public meeting since April 27.

The briefing comes a day after the US saw a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day with 37,077 reported Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday's total eclipsed the previous high on April 24, when 36,291 new coronavirus cases were reported across the country.

At least 32 states are seeing an increase in cases of Covid-19, and California, Oklahoma and Texas are seeing fresh high peaks.

The briefing will not take place at the White House, but at the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a schedule released by the White House.

Since Pence was tapped to lead the coronavirus task force on February 27, there have been a total of 47 briefings at the White House, most led by President Trump, and a few led by the vice president.

In recent days, Trump has tried to declare the pandemic "over" despite the rising numbers, and has instead focused his administration's energy on reopening the economy.

According to White House schedule update, Trump is no longer traveling to Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend.

CNN's John King explains where US Covid-19 figures stand now in comparison to the last public task force briefing on April 27:

12:25 p.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Tucson only has 10 ICU beds available as Arizona struggles with a surge in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a news conference in Phoenix on June 25.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a news conference in Phoenix on June 25. Ross D. Franklin/Pool/AP

As Arizona deals with a surge in Covid-19 cases, Tucson has only 10 beds in intensive care units available with a population of about 560,000 people, Mayor Regina Romero said.

“Arizona is in a state of crisis right now. One in five tests come back positive. It's 20% positivity in tests taken in Arizona,” she said. “It's very scary.”

Gov. Doug Ducey has put a pause on further reopening the state as the cases spike but Romero criticized his decision through this pandemic, starting with lifting the stay-at-home orders “way too early.”

“I don't know what he wants to pause on. He really went from lifting the stay-at-home [order,] and it went from zero to 60 in no time. So unless he wants to start pushing back the restrictions that he lifted, I don't see what else he needs to pause,” she said. "Thank God that Gov. Ducey untied the hands of mayors throughout Arizona so that we can do our own mandatory mask ordinances. I did that last Thursday.”

Romero added that experts say people from the ages of 20 to 44 are most being affected by Covid-19 in Arizona and Pima county, where Tucson is located.

“Those are the people that are actually out, working. Opening back up the state has really affected those workers that have a need to go back to work. And those are, you know, bartenders, waitresses, the people that have to work at their places of business,” she said.

Romero added that the longer it takes to flatten the curve, the lesser consumer confidence they have.

“It was a big mistake by Gov. Ducey to open up the state too soon, because it's still affecting our economy and consumer confidence is down and it's very unfortunate for our economy. It's very unfortunate for the lives of Arizonans," she said.

12:16 p.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Louisiana governor: "We've got some work to do" as coronavirus cases rise

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 8.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 8. Travis Spradling/Pool/The Advocate/AP

As the state of Louisiana continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, "We've got some work to do".  

During a Resilient Louisiana Commission meeting on Friday, Edwards said people became complacent because the state was reporting better numbers. The fact is the number of coronavirus cases "aren't getting better, they are getting worse," he said.

The Resilient Louisiana Commission is the group leading coronavirus pandemic strategy.

Edwards said the number of hospitalizations are also rising due to more Covid-19 infections. He said the state isn't anywhere close to not being able to deliver health care, but as cases climb they are heading in that direction.

"What we can not have happen in Louisiana is we threaten our ability to deliver health care," Edwards said. 

Edwards announced this week that the state of Louisiana would remain in phase two of the reopening guidelines due to the spike in cases across the state.

Edwards said there are businesses who he refers to as "bad actors" that are not in compliance with mitigation efforts.

Edwards added that well over 90% of positive cases in the state are coming from community spread especially among people between the age of 18 and 29. Edwards said within this group, those between the age of 18 and 21 are the largest concern because they don't appear to be following any social distancing guidelines. 

12:07 p.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Florida suspends alcohol consumption in bars statewide

From CNN's Rosa Flores 

Bartenders prepare a drink for a customer at Juana's Latin Sports Bar & Grill in Miramar, Florida, on May 18.
Bartenders prepare a drink for a customer at Juana's Latin Sports Bar & Grill in Miramar, Florida, on May 18. JLN Photography/Shutterstock

On-premise alcohol consumption has been suspended in bars in Florida, according to a tweet from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

The announcement came the same day the state announced the highest single-day coronavirus case increase of nearly 9,000. 

At least 64 counties in Florida were in phase two of reopening, which allowed restaurants, bars, and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, with the exception of nightclubs, to operated bars.

Read the tweet:

11:59 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

New York City wants as many students as possible in classrooms in September, mayor says

From CNN's Julian Cummings

A teacher collects supplies at the Yung Wing School in New York on May 14.
A teacher collects supplies at the Yung Wing School in New York on May 14. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

New York City is currently retrofitting public school classrooms to accommodate as many students as possible for the new school year starting on September 10, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

“We have a ways to go, well over two months until then. Everything is about health and safety, that is the first consideration.” de Blasio said.

The city will also keep distance learning going for parents who are not ready to send their children back to school this fall.

“Plan A is the maximum number of kids in schools," de Blasio said. “And if the disease situation gets better, there are more and more kids in schools, if it gets worse god forbid there will be more there more kids on distanced learning."

11:32 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Commerce secretary says consumer spending will still lead US recovery despite slowed reopening

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Wilbur Ross, United States commerce secretary, testifies in Washington, DC, on March 10.
Wilbur Ross, United States commerce secretary, testifies in Washington, DC, on March 10. Andrew Harnik/AP

Discussing Texas rolling back its reopening plan and the impact of stalled reopening plans will have on the economy, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said today that while there will be interruptions in reopenings, consumer spending will still lead the way to an economic recovery. 

“Well it’s natural that there will be some little interruptions as we come back out of the pandemic, but the key thing in my view is consumer spending will continue to lead the recovery,” Ross said.

He outlined the strong consumer spending numbers in May, and said it’s a matter of when, not if the full potential of consumer spending will be unleashed.


11:18 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

16 NBA players test positive for coronavirus, league says

From CNN's David Close

The National Basketball Association and the players union have jointly announced that 16 NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus.

The news comes as the NBA prepares to restart the season on July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

Here's what a statement released Friday said:

"In tests conducted of 302 NBA players on June 23, 16 players have tested positive for the coronavirus. Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician."
11:16 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

US needs to flatten curve to prevent potential drug shortages, health expert says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

The United States need to flatten its curve to avoid potential shortages of drugs that have shown potential as treatments for Covid-19, according to experts at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

“We’ve got to flatten the curve so that the supply of these drugs is not outstripped by the demand,” Dr. Rajesh Gandhi, a member of the IDSA Covid-19 Treatment and Management Guidelines Expert Panel and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said at a briefing on Friday.

Some of the drugs that there are concerns about include dexamethasone and remdesivir.

With dexamethasone, Gandhi said that he has seen an increase in demand for the drug, in part because of this promising data, but he hopes it can be manufactured rapidly since it is a drug that has been around for a long time.

When it comes to remdesivir, Gandhi said this was obtained directly from the manufacturer, which is ramping up production of the drug. Though there is a concern that “the supply room doesn’t keep up with the demand.”

Some hospitals, such as Massachusetts General where Gandhi works, have an adequate supply, as the number of hospitalized patients is decreasing. However, that is not the case everywhere.

“We know how to prevent those cases,” he said. “If we do testing and contact tracing and social distancing, we can bring down those cases so that supply of remdesivir is not outstripped by the demand.”