July 6 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Tara John, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:10 a.m. ET, July 7, 2020
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7:00 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

"We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this," Fauci says of Covid-19 pandemic response

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC. Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus task force member, told National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins on Monday that the current state of the country “is really not good” with respect to its battle against the pandemic, in part because the country tried to open up too quickly.

“In the sense that we have been in a situation we were averaging about 20,000 new cases a day, and then a series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up, in the sense of getting back to some form of normality has led to a situation where we now have record breaking cases. Two days ago it was at 57,500," he said.

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, made the comments during a Facebook/Twitter livestream event with Collins.

“So within a period of a week and a half, we've almost doubled the number of cases. So, in answer to your first question: We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. And I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline, Francis, that really never got down to where we wanted to," he said.

He added: "If you look at the graphs from Europe ... the European Union as an entity, it went up and then came down to baseline. Now they're having little blips, as you might expect, as they try to reopen. We went up, never came down to baseline, and now it's surging back up. So it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately.”

Watch:

4:56 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program loan disclosure puts politically connected media in the spotlight

From CNN’s Lauren Fox

The disclosure of companies receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans once again puts the politically well-connected in the spotlight as media companies and consulting groups on both sides of the aisle benefited from the loans.

Conservative media outlets like Newsmax, for example, received between $2 and $5 million from the program. 

The Washington Times received between $1 and $2 million in loans and the Daily Caller also received money. 

But, Democratically aligned groups like Media Matters received up to $2 million. And, the Messina Group, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Congressional Hispanic Institute and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation also received between $350,000 and $1 million.

5:00 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Top US health official's message to Americans: Coronavirus spread "could stop with each one of us"

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health testifies during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 2.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health testifies during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 2. Sauel Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Two top government public health experts tried to reassure Americans that the country will get through this pandemic soon – especially if they adhere to the basic precautionary measures outlined by science.

“We just need all of the people in America to have that confidence. Keep your optimism, keep your hope and do the right thing. Because again, it could stop with each one of us – the further spread of this,” National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said today during a Facebook/Twitter livestream event with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the NIH.

“So, stick with those recommendations: wearing your mask, that six-foot distance apart, frequent hand washing, trying not to get into any indoor circumstances where you’re packed together. All of those simple and straightforward things that I know you're a tired of. But the virus is still out there and needs all of us to keep this from getting any worse,” Collins said. 

While acknowledging that Americans are fatigued by these measures, and the country is still reeling from the economic shock of stay-at-home orders, Fauci sought to dispel the myth that the situation is either/or.

“Rather than looking at the public health effort versus economic opening as if they were opposing forces — they're not — we should use the public health effort as a vehicle and a pathway to get to safe reopening. It's not an obstacle. It's a pathway to do that. So we've got to make sure that we don't create this binary type thing of ‘it's us against them.’ It's not. We're all in it together,” Fauci said.

Fauci added that the public health community, as much as anybody else, wants to see the country open and wants to see the economy come back. “So the public health effort as you said very correctly, if done prudently and carefully, will facilitate the opening, not be an obstacle to the opening,” Fauci said.

4:21 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

International students may need to leave US if their universities transition to online-only

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

International students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday.  

The move may affect thousands of foreign students who come to the United States to attend universities or participate in training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies. 

Universities nationwide are beginning to make the decision to transition to online courses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At Harvard, for example, all course instruction will be delivered online, including for students living on campus. For international students, that now opens the door to them having to leave the US entirely.

In a statement Monday, ICE said that students who fall under certain visas “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.

“The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States," the statement read.

The agency suggested that students currently enrolled in the US should consider taking other measures, like transferring to a school with in-person instruction. There’s an exception for universities taking a hybrid model, such as a mix of online and in-person classes. 

Visa requirements for students have always been strict and coming to the US to take online-only courses has been prohibited.  

“These are not some fly by night universities, these aren't scams, these are legit universities who would normally have in-person curricula but for coronavirus,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

“The bigger issue is some of these countries have travel restrictions on and they can’t go home, so what do they do then?” she added. “It’s a conundrum for a lot of students.” 

4:28 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

How one group is using backpacks to bring hope — and help — to NYC's homeless during Covid-19

As New York City enters phase three of reopening and residents deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, one group in particular continues to be vulnerable — the homeless population.

Jayson Conner and Jeffrey Newman started "Backpacks For The Streets," a nonprofit organization that provides essential supplies to the city's homeless. In the months since the pandemic hit, they've handed out almost 5,000 backpacks filled with supplies.

"The whole idea of the program is that it gives hope to people," Newman told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "This is about giving hope and about saying hey, we see you, we care and somebody is out there trying to help you."

Conner, who was homeless at one point for two years, said that he helped co-found the group because he felt nobody was assisting those living on the streets.

Newman said the program was started two and half years ago. The backpacks are filled with 45 to 50 items that include toiletries, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, snacks, flashlights, a sewing kit, among other items.

"It is hard because so many people out there right now feel invisible and feel like nobody cares. And now with Covid, people are treating the homeless even worse than they did before," Newman said. "There just aren't people out there doing as much as they can to try to help the people out there."

Watch the full interview:

4:14 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Stock market closes sharply higher as investors ignore rising Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks finished sharply higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite closing at a fresh all-time closing high.

The upswing came on the back of a global stock rally that started during the trading session in Asia, where the Shanghai Composite recorded its best day in five years. 

Investors once again ignored rising Covid-19 infections in the United States even as economists are growing more concerned about how they could affect the recovery.

Here's where the market closed:

  • The Dow closed up 1.8%, or 460 points.
  • The S&P 500 finished 1.6% higher, and recording its longest winning streak since December at five consecutive sessions.
  • The Nasdaq closed up 2.2%, setting a new all-time high and also recording its best single-day gain since mid-May.
4:23 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Nearly 3,500 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Kansas in the past 2 weeks

From CNN's Molly Silverman

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday's new coronavirus case numbers in her state show an increase of nearly 1,000 reported cases to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment since Friday.  

There has been an increase of 14 clusters since last Wednesday, and seven of those active clusters are related directly to gatherings at bars and restaurants, Kelly said. This brings that state total of clusters to 235, with 118 of them considered active.

“There are no clusters at this time connected to barbershops, nail salons, or any other close contact service. That is not a coincidence,” Kelly told reporters Monday afternoon. “It is more proof that masks and hygienic business practices do indeed work."
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions from reporters about the coronavirus pandemic on July 2 at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions from reporters about the coronavirus pandemic on July 2 at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. John Hanna/AP

Kelly reported that Kansas has had nearly 3,500 new Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, which is the steepest rate of increase the state has seen since the pandemic began. This brings the state's total case count to more than 16,000 cases, Kelly said.

There have been about 280 deaths from Covid-19 in the state, Kelly said.

The governor said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommended the state remain in phase three of its reopening. 

4:00 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

MLS star opts out of soccer tournament due to health concerns

From CNN's David Close

Carlos Vela of LAFC looks on during the round 16 match between Leon and LAFC as part of the CONCACAF Champions League 2020 at Leon Stadium on February 18 in Leon, Mexico.
Carlos Vela of LAFC looks on during the round 16 match between Leon and LAFC as part of the CONCACAF Champions League 2020 at Leon Stadium on February 18 in Leon, Mexico. Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

Carlos Vela, last season’s leading scorer in Major League Soccer, has decided to opt out of the league’s upcoming MLS is Back Tournament. 

Vela said his decision to skip was based on the upcoming birth of a child. He said in a statement, "...it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy."

Vela's team, the Los Angeles Football Club, said they support the decision.

“LAFC fully supports and respects the difficult decision Carlos and his family have made to not participate in the MLS Is Back Tournament," the team said.

The MLS is Back Tournament is slated to kick off on Wednesday. LAFC is scheduled to play their first game on July 13. 

3:55 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Mississippi governor says he came in contact with state legislator who tested positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves speaks during a televised address at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Mississippi, on June 30.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves speaks during a televised address at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Mississippi, on June 30. Rogelio V. Solis/Pool/AP

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday he and his family have been tested for Covid-19 after a large number of legislators tested positive for the virus, including one of them who came in direct contact with him.

During a news conference in Jackson, Reeves said it was the “smart” thing to get him and family tested and that “hopefully, we will test negative.”

On the number of coronavirus cases in the state, the governor said 357 new cases were reported.