July 10 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0015 GMT (0815 HKT) July 11, 2020
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2:40 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Michigan governor requests extension of National Guard use through December

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

In this file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on July 9.
In this file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on July 9. Michigan Office of the Governor/Pool/AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sent a letter to President Trump requesting he authorize the use of Michigan National Guard forces through December 31, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“The Michigan National Guard is a crucial part of the state’s emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the guard will be vital to our ongoing recovery as well," Whitmer said. “Beyond August 21, 2020, we will continue to require the Michigan National Guard to perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, testing, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, disinfecting public spaces and supporting public safety when required.”

According to the statement, an extension of authority would also mean that many Michigan National Guard members will qualify for federal retirement and education benefits made available under the GI Bill. 

2:19 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Florida governor: "School kids are not vectors of transmission"

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso

An exterior view of Country Club Middle School in Hialeah, Florida on July 07.
An exterior view of Country Club Middle School in Hialeah, Florida on July 07. Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, speaking at a news conference Friday, said the cost of "not giving kids an option to be able to have in-person instruction is enormous."

DeSantis said reopening schools "should not be a political issue, it should be based on the facts and if we see that this is very low risk, and we see, I think overwhelmingly, in every study that the school kids are not vectors of transmission."

Schools have opened in other parts of the world and "have not seen major problems but you can always have an outbreak," said DeSantis.

"In terms of the risk level to school kids is very low, the cost of not at least giving them the opportunity if their parents want to do it" is "very, very high," DeSantis said. 
2:11 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Texas' Harris County closes testing sites due to heat

From CNN's Kay Jones

A healthcare worker organizes Covid-19 tests that were just administered at a testing site in Houston, Texas.
A healthcare worker organizes Covid-19 tests that were just administered at a testing site in Houston, Texas. Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

Harris County Public Health closed testing at 12 p.m. local time due to a heat advisory in the area. 

According to their social media accounts, anyone who had an appointment for this afternoon can return Saturday to get tested. Normal testing hours will resume Saturday, according to a post on the HCPH website. 

Temperatures in the area are forecast to climb between 105 to 110 degrees today, according the National Weather Service in Houston.

Read the tweet:

2:10 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

New York governor to send remdesivir to Florida to assist with their Covid-19 battle

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a media briefing in New York on July 8.
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a media briefing in New York on July 8. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

New York state will send remdesivir, the drug used to fight Covid-19, to Florida to help the state fight the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The statement issued Friday said the drug should arrive in Florida on Saturday and that New York is sending enough of the medication to help state care for at least 280 Covid-19 patients while it waits for federal aid. 

"When New York was climbing the COVID mountain with no end in sight and resources were scarce, we were incredibly moved by the generosity of states around the country that stepped up to provide supplies and medical personnel in our time of need," Cuomo said.

"We will stand by our fellow Americans every step of the way as our nation fights COVID-19 together," he added.

Remember: In the US, remdesivir  — 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. Gilead originally studied remdesivir as a potential treatment for Ebola, but lab experiments suggested it might be active against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

According to a study published in May by the New England Journal of Medicine, data showed remdesivir shortened the course of illness from an average of 15 days to about 11 days. The maker of the drug, Gilead, later announced in a statement that claimed remdesivir could also be helpful in treating moderate Covid-19 pneumonia.

CNN's Nadine Schmidt contributed to this report.

2:05 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

West Virginia has highest rate of transmission of Covid-19 in the country, state official says

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

West Virginia currently has the highest rate of transmission of Covid-19 in the country, the state's coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during a news conference Friday.

Marsh said the state has a rate of transmission of 1.37.

"We have moved, unfortunately, from number two to number one. We now have the highest RT number in the country," Marsh said. "Per that calculation, the virus is spreading faster person to person in West Virginia right now than any other state in the country."

The daily positivity rate is now 3.86% in the state, which Gov. Jim Justice said is "not where we want to be."

Justice said people need to continue to wear masks and socially distance to help prevent further spread so that hospital systems in the state aren't overwhelmed by a potential surge. 

"I've warned you many, many, many times. And I told you mathematically how we could end up being Texas, with the most vulnerable. When we have the most chronic illnesses. We're the oldest, we're sitting right in the sweet spot. We don't have an ocean two thirds away around us like Texas does," Justice said. "I mean, for crying out loud. Absolutely, we have got to know just how much peril there could be right here in West Virginia. The only bullet ... in the gun right now is this right here, this little mask." 
2:04 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Fauci continues to contradict Trump on the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, continues to contradict President Trump on coronavirus, including sharing differing descriptions about the seriousness of the pandemic in the US.

While President Trump has pushed to reopen schools and downplay the surge of cases, Fauci warned in a Wall Street Journal podcast yesterday that states with resurging coronavirus cases "should seriously look at shutting down." Fauci later noted that states with spiking coronavirus cases still can contain them by pausing their reopening processes, rather than shutting down a second time.

In an interview published earlier today, Fauci said he's "trying to figure out" where President Trump got the number behind his claim that 99% of coronavirus cases were "harmless."

On July 4, Trump sought to downplay the surge in Covid-19 cases by falsely claiming that testing in the US shows 99% of cases "are totally harmless."

"I’m trying to figure out where the President got that number," Fauci said in an interview with the Financial Times, published Friday. "What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1%. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99% is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”

Fauci told FT that he last saw Trump on June 2 at the White House, and hasn't personally briefed him in at least two months.

Here's a sampling of how Fauci has contradicted the President's misinformation on-camera:

1:53 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Louisiana reports most positive cases in a single day since pandemic began

From CNN's Kay Jones

People line up at the Covid-19 testing site at Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 7.
People line up at the Covid-19 testing site at Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 7. Bill Feig/The Advocate/AP

The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 2,642 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, the single highest day of new cases since the pandemic began. 

According to the Department of Health, there was one other day that reported a higher number of cases, but many of those were backlogged cases from weeks prior.

The positivity rate for tests coming in on Friday is 10.52%. The agency reported that 97% of cases today are due to community spread and 39% of the new cases are for people who are under 29 years old. 

Hospitalizations increased by 75, bringing the total number of patients in the hospital due to Covid-19 to 1,117. Hospitalizations have been trending up since mid-June, according to data released by the agency. 

Note: These numbers were released by Louisiana Department of Health, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

1:48 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Florida governor says "there was no justification to not move forward" with reopening

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference in Miami on July 07.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference in Miami on July 07. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After Dr. Anthony Fauci said that new coronavirus hotspot Florida opened too soon, Gov. Ron DeSantis said "there was no justification to not move forward." 

DeSantis defended the move to reopen, saying Florida had a "very low prevalence" of Covid-19 in May and early June, "particularly in the 64 counties outside of southern Florida." 

"We did put southern Florida on a different pathway," DeSantis said at a Friday news conference in Orlando. 

DeSantis said cases are on the rise in other parts of the country as well, not just Florida. Across the Sunbelt, "this is something that we're dealing with," said DeSantis.   

The governor did not mention Florida's 11,433 new positive cases reported today during the news conference. This marks the second time the state's single-day tally of cases topped more than 11,000, according to CNN's count.

Florida health officials reported 11,458 cases on July 4, according to CNN's tally. 

1:35 p.m. ET, July 10, 2020

58 MLB players and 8 staff members test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced in a statement Friday that 1.8% of team personnel have tested posted for coronavirus in the final intake screening through the end of July 9.

According to the statement, there were 66 positive tests out of 3,748 total samples tested. At least 58 were players and eight staff members, and 27 of the 30 teams had an individual test positive.

With the intake process completed, individuals have moved on to monitoring testing, which will test tier one individuals every other day and tier two individuals multiple times per week. 

More about the intake screening: A total of 7,401 monitoring samples have been collected and tested to date. Seventeen samples, which is 0.2%, tested positive. Thirteen of the 17 positives have been from players, four were staff members.

Since the beginning of intake screening on June 27, there have been 83 positive tests (0.7%) out of 11,149 samples. Among the 83 positive tests, 71 were players and 12 were staff members. 

At least 28 different teams have had an individual test positive in intake screening or during monitoring testing.