July 8 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0001 GMT (0801 HKT) July 9, 2020
50 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:38 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Trump threatens to cut funding to schools that do not reopen 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House on July 7.
President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House on July 7. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Wednesday his disagreement with the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for safely reopening schools, calling their recommendations "very tough" and "expensive."

He also threatened he "may cut off funding" to schools that do not reopen, though the bulk of public school funding comes from state and local governments.

"I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!" the President tweeted.

The CDC's guidelines encourage hygiene, the use of cloth face coverings and staying home when appropriate. It also suggests staggered scheduling, a back-up staffing plan, modified seating layouts to allow social distancing, physical barriers and closing of communal spaces.

Trump, who has advocated for reopening states as cases surge, said Tuesday he would pressure governors to reopen schools this fall during a discussion with educators, administrators, students, and parents.

"We hope that most schools are going to be open," Trump said at a White House event, baselessly claiming that some places will want to stay closed "for political reasons."

"They think it's going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed," the President alleged without evidence. "No way."

"We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open," Trump said, who has been anxious to reopen America to kickstart the economy and otherwise move on from the pandemic, despite its resurgence.

About school funding: Most funding for America's schools comes from the state and local level — over 90%, according to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, but schools do get some targeted funding from the Department of Education. That federal funding often affects the nation's most vulnerable students.

But educators and administrators have called on the federal government to supplement funding for personal protective equipment and other resources, such as additional school buses, to reconfigure classrooms in order to safely reopen.

Republicans in the Senate are planning to unveil a stimulus bill that includes federal spending to re-open schools and childcare facilities. Democrats have also included proposals to get schools re-opened in their stimulus proposals.

Trump told Nextstar in an interview Tuesday that he had time to consider school reopening.

"Well, we have a long time to think about the school stuff. Because, you know. But we want to have the schools open," Trump said. "I would say that when we talk about the fall, that seems like a long time. It's a long time."

But many school districts in the south, where coronavirus cases are rising, begin the school year in just a few short weeks.

And while the President is hopeful the pandemic will improve over the next month, a trusted model from the University of Washington is forecasting an uptick in deaths this fall and increased its death toll projection to over 208,000 deaths by November.

CNN's Sara Murray, Kristen Holmes, Maegan Vazquez, Ben Tinker and Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.


10:28 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

In May, Florida's governor called Jacksonville a success. Now, it's a Covid-19 hotspot.

From CNN's Sara Weisfeldt, Rosa Flores and Melissa Alonso

The federal government on Tuesday deemed Jacksonville, Florida a Covid-19 hotspot and said it will temporarily increase surge testing efforts there, according to a Department of Health and Human Services press release.

Jacksonville is one of three cities identified by the department as having "significant increases" in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, according to a HHS press release. The other two hotspots are Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Edinburg, Texas. 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is currently in quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

The current situation in Florida is a stark contrast from two months ago, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended the reopening of beaches and asked critics to send apologies.

At a press briefing on May 4th, DeSantis said this about Jacksonville: 

“The facts are that since this has happened hospitalizations, ICU, rate of positivity, ventilators that has all declined, those people were wrong, and the folks in Duval County behaved appropriately. I think apologies can be sent to city of Jacksonville attention Mayor Curry, you may want to CC the mayors of Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach, but I won't hold my breath on that happening.” 

Remember: Many Republicans are expected travel to Jacksonville next month for the GOP convention.

10:22 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Surgeon General says masks are "the most important thing," but still doesn't support a nationwide mandate

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds a face mask during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 22.
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds a face mask during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 22. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has called wearing a mask or face covering "the most important thing" that people can do right now to allow the nation to open and stay open.

"We have the ability to slow the spread of Covid if we wear face coverings. It's the most important thing in my opinion that we can do that will allow us to open and stay open," Adams told the local news station FOX 5 in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning.

"Coronavirus can get bad really quickly, but I want people to understand that we can improve the coronavirus rates really quickly in the course of two to three weeks," Adams said. "There are studies that show that you can decrease the spread of coronavirus by 60%, 70% if you can get 80-plus% of people wearing face coverings when they go out in public."

Yet Adams added that he still does not support a nationwide mandate for face coverings — he said that someone has to explain how such a mandate would "actually function" and he worries about "over-policing."

"Someone has to explain to me how a nationwide mandate would actually function. ... We aren't going to send in the National Guard or the Army to enforce a national mandate. We don't have an enforcement mechanism really to do that," Adams said.

"I support local and state mask mandates if governors and mayors want to do that, but I think we have to help educate people. We've got to make sure the enforcement mechanism is something that's not going to be overly onerous. People are more likely to cooperate if they know why they're doing that and if they actually know how they're going to benefit," Adams said. "I'd rather help educate you and have you choose to do it than to force people to do it."

10:23 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Australia's Melbourne goes into lockdown for 6 weeks as coronavirus cases increase

Police officers and health care workers are stationed outside a public housing tower that is locked down in Melbourne on July 8.
Police officers and health care workers are stationed outside a public housing tower that is locked down in Melbourne on July 8. James Ross/AAP Image/AP

It's just past midnight in Melbourne, which means the Australian city has gone into a six-week lockdown following a rise in coronavirus cases.

Melbourne has a population of almost five million people who will be affected by the measure.

Under the new "Stay at Home" stage three lockdown, the only reasons residents will be able to leave home is for grocery shopping, caregiving, exercise or work. Police and the army will monitor roadblocks to clamp down on people who do not need to be outside. 

Before today, 31 local government areas of Metropolitan Melbourne were already at stage 3, and a residential block housing around three thousand residents were in hard lockdown.  

Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews posted on his verified Facebook page that "I know people will be feeling a lot of different emotions tonight. No one wants to be in this situation. But in the absence of a vaccine, the only way to defeat this virus is to deprive it of what it needs to spread."

Andrews warned in a post that "for every restriction that you break and all the health advice that you ignore – the consequence maybe someone’s life.  Now more than ever, we need Victorians to play their part. Lives are counting on it."

10:02 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Scotland lifts quarantine for countries on UK list, except Serbia and Spain

From CNN's From Niamh Kennedy in Dublin

Scotland will lift the quarantine requirement for travelers arriving from the same countries on the British government’s exemption list, except for Serbia and Spain, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced at a news conference Wednesday.

Passengers who arrive in Scotland starting on July 10, traveling from any of the 57 countries on the green and amber lists, which includes the likes of Germany and Norway, will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.

A key criteria for inclusion on the list was having a prevalence rate of coronavirus “below or not significantly higher than Scotland,” Sturgeon explained, adding that it was on this basis the government took the “difficult decision” to exclude Spain and Serbia from the ease of restrictions. 

Sturgeon cited Joint Bias Security Centre data which stated that Spain has a prevalence rate of 330 cases per 100,000 people, while the Scottish coronavirus prevalence rate currently stands at 28 cases for every 100,000 people. This compares to a whole UK rate of 180 per 100,000 people.

Sturgeon said the Scottish Cabinet “cannot in good conscience at this stage lift restrictions for people arriving on Spain” and expressed her “concerns about Serbia” and its recent outbreak, which has prompted neighboring countries to close their borders. She affirmed that this decision is “evidence driven” and will be reviewed on July 20.

“[It] is motivated only by a determination to protect Scotland as far as possible from a resurgence of this virus in the weeks ahead,” she said.

Some background: Last week, Spain and Scotland were both included in a list of countries whose travelers would be allowed into England without having to quarantine for 14 days. The United States was not on the list.

The list, which comes into effect on July 10, will open foreign travel to English vacationers after four months of lockdown, just in time for the peak travel period, provided there are no restrictions in place at the destinations.

9:47 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Stocks inch higher as Covid-19 cases rise around the country

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks inched up at the opening bell in New York, but it's a rather quiet day on Wall Street. After Tuesday’s losses, no new records are on the horizon on Wednesday.

And with the second-quarter earnings season not properly starting until next week, and little data on the economic calendar, stocks are lacking an obvious catalyst. 

In recent sessions, a quiet news day has meant that investors worried about rising Covid-19 infections across America.

Here's how the market opened:

  • The Dow opened 0.2%, or 62 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 0.3% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%.
11:28 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Covid-19 patient who tested positive for the virus twice shares his story: "It just flat kicked my butt"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Adam Stadler on CNN's "New Day" on July 8.
Adam Stadler on CNN's "New Day" on July 8. CNN

A Texas man, Adam Stadler, said his second bout of coronavirus was “a hundred times worse than the first time.”

Stadler experienced muscles aches, fatigue, joint pains, shortness of breath and loss of sense and smell. 

“It just flat kicked my butt … It was like in my back so bad that I would cry,” he said. 

Stadler says he first got sick with coronavirus back on March 29. A month later, he got so sick that he was hospitalized for 10 days and developed a pulmonary embolism. He then tested negative twice, developed shingles, and tested positive for coronavirus again on June 21. 

Dr. Joseph Varon on CNN's "New Day" on July 8.
Dr. Joseph Varon on CNN's "New Day" on July 8. CNN

His physician Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of staff at Union Memorial Medical Center in Houston, said Stadler’s case shows that people still need to be vigilant. 

“Thinking that you're going to be invincible because you already have had corona once by no means is protective. People need to keep on being equally respectful of this illness. They need to keep their social distance, they need to keep their masks … even if they had the illness already,” Varon said. 

Asked if Stadler's two negative Covid-19 tests could have been false negatives and therefore he did not catch the virus again, Varon said it was a possibility.

Stadler's wife also developed symptoms, and she was diagnosed with double pneumonia. Stadler said his son still considers coronavirus a “hoax,” and he wishes his son would wear a mask and socially distance. 

“This has been the worst three or four months that I have ever experienced in my life,” Stadler said. 

He’s on short-term disability with his job, and he’s thankful he and his wife had a bit of money saved up to tide them over. Stadler said he is still feeling the cognitive effects of the virus.

“I continue to have blurry vision. I have had cognitive issues. I have a hard time focusing since the first bout of it. When I went to the doctor here, my primary care doctor, they gave me a test. I scored a 14 on it, which says I have dementia,” Stadler said. 
“It's messed up my brain,” he said. 

Important note: Doctors are still undecided on whether Covid-19 reinfection can occur this early in the pandemic.

While top infectious disease experts say it is likely that there is some degree of immunity from a prior infection, it is unclear how long that could last. So, what may appear to be "reinfection" could just be non-infectious traces of the virus, which have been known to linger in some patients for upwards of 6 to 8 weeks.

It is also possible that a patient may have had a false-positive antibody test, and that a later Covid-19 infection is in fact their first.

Watch the interview:

9:36 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

More people have died in Africa from coronavirus than during worst Ebola outbreak

From CNN's Amanda Watts

In Africa, more people have now died in the coronavirus pandemic than during the Ebola outbreak that lasted from 2014 until 2016, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

“In less than five months, [Covid-19] has claimed 11,959 lives, overtaking the 11,308 lives lost in the world’s worst Ebola outbreak in West Africa, between 2014 and 2016,” WHO said.

Coronavirus infections across Africa have topped 500,000 according to WHO.

“With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of Covid-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for Africa, said.

WHO said some countries are seeing a “sharp rise in cases,” while others are showing “some signs of progress,” as a handful of areas are seeing a downward trend over the last month.

9:35 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy

From CNN’s Jordan Valinsky

People walk past a Brooks Brothers store in Boston on May 11.
People walk past a Brooks Brothers store in Boston on May 11. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Brooks Brothers, the 200-year-old menswear retailer that has dressed 40 US presidents and unofficially became the outfitter of Wall Street bankers, has filed for bankruptcy. 

The privately held company had been struggling as business attire grew more casual in recent years. But it has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, which sent demand for suits plummeting. Many employees working from home have opted for far more relaxed looks of t-shirts and sweatpants rather than pinstripe suits and custom shirts.

Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 early Wednesday in a Delaware court. It had warned in June it would lay off nearly 700 workers in three states and is seeking a buyer because coronavirus destroyed its business. 

The company has been evaluating various strategic options, including a potential sale. But it has struggled to find a buyer.

The retailer is reportedly in the process of shuttering 20% of its 250 US stores. According to the bankruptcy filing, Brooks Brothers has secured $75 million in financing to continue operating.  

Background on the company: Brooks Brothers opened its first store in 1818 near Wall Street. Years later, it began making ready-made suits for men that couldn't wait for a tailor. In 1896, the retailer invented the original button-down polo shirt and has offered many other first of its kind clothing, including the madras prints and the chunky shetland sweater. 

Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks Brothers' owner, bought the brand in 2001 from Marks and Spencer for $225 million. He helped expand the brand's appeal beyond men, including women's clothing, kids and home items. He told the New York Times last month that its American factories "never made money" and planned to move some operations overseas to preserve cash.

Some more context: Brooks Brothers is the latest iconic retailer to go bankrupt. J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney have all filed in recent months, partly citing slumping sales from the virus. 

The pandemic hit Brooks Brothers especially hard because some workers were forced to work from home, eliminating the need for new suits and dressier clothes.

GlobalData Retail said in a note Wednesday that year-over-year sales of men's formal clothing fell by 74% between April and June. 

"While this deterioration will ease over time, demand will remain suppressed for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021 as office working, business meetings, and socializing are all reduced," wrote Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail. "This leaves Brooks Brothers very exposed to a depressed market."