July 21 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Ivana Kottasová, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:23 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020
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12:39 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

New York adds 10 more states to travel quarantine list 

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Savannah, Georgia, on July 20.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Savannah, Georgia, on July 20. CNN

New York state now has 31 states on their quarantine travel advisory list, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Ten more states were added today and Minnesota was removed from the list.

The states that were added today:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Virginia
  • Washington

More on this: Last month, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory that requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days.

The travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, according to a joint announcement from the governors of the three states.

Where New York stands: Cuomo said the state conducted 66,000 Covid-19 tests yesterday with a positivity rate of 1.2%. 

New York reported two additional deaths from Covid-19.

CNN's Eric Levenson contributed to this report.n CNN'sevenson y CNNs y 

1:50 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Vaccine makers hope to have Covid-19 vaccine by end of 2020, but timeline will depend on data 

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Representatives from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies working to develop Covid-19 vaccines said in a House hearing today that they are still on track to have a possible vaccine by the end of this year or early next year — one even hoping for possibly this fall.

Asked if they believe their Covid-19 vaccine candidates could be available in the US by the end of the year and be safe and effective, officials from vaccine makers AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer said the speed of the process will depend on the data and how well the vaccine's development goes.

Here's what some of the representatives told lawmakers:

AstraZeneca: Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of BioPharmaceuticals R&D of AstraZeneca, said providing a timeline is a “difficult question to answer,” but added that his company is “very encouraged” by the phase 1 and phase 2 trial study results.

Pangalos noted results of the two closely watched trials published in The Lancet suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by his company alongside University of Oxford are safe and induce an immune response. However, researchers stressed more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.

When asked if the vaccine candidate gets approved on an emergency basis, does he hope it will be available by the end of the year on an emergency basis, Pangalos said, "Yes we do. So if we have efficacy data we hope we’ll have it any time from September onward."

Moderna: Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, told lawmakers they are “cautiously optimistic” about their vaccine's next steps and are quite “encouraged” by the progress. Last week a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Moderna, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, found to induce immune responses in all of the volunteers who received it in a phase 1 study.

Now the vaccine is being developed further with a phase 3 trial planned for later this month.

Hoge said that presuming they are able to accrue cases quickly in their phase 3 study, they hope in the fall or towards the end of the year they’d have data they could submit to the Food and Drug Administration for them to make a determination if they were to approve the vaccine. Hoge said at that point they would hope to have millions of dosages of the vaccine ready for deployment.

Pfizer: John Young, chief business officer of Pfizer, also said his company is encouraged by the early data from their initial phase 1 study with regards to safety and effectiveness.

Young said they hope to complete the study by this month and submit the data to the FDA to be subject to their approval. He said the large phase 3 study will be "pivotal" in informing the safety and effectiveness profile of the vaccine.

Young said they have a "line of sight and a clear clinical path" to be able to deliver up to 100 million doses of commercial scale vaccine products in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses for a vaccine in 2021. Young said that despite the early encouraging signs, there is "a lot more work still to do."

Yesterday, Young's company and German biotechnology company BioNTech announced their Covid-19 vaccine candidate was shown to elicit "robust" antibody and T cell immune responses in an early phase 1/2 study.

The companies Johnson & Johnson and Merck appeared to have longer timelines. Representatives for those companies said in the hearing that their goals remain to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine next year if all goes well in trials.

12:29 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Kentucky governor says overturning mask mandate would be devastating for state

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear blasted the state’s Republican attorney general for his attempts to block the governor’s coronavirus emergency orders, including a mask mandate. 

“Our entire business community supports this facial covering requirement, and sadly, our attorney general isn't just opposing that — he recently went to court to try to overturn every single rule and restriction that we have, and to prevent me from putting any into place in the future,” Beshear said. 

Last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court stopped the efforts to block the governor’s Covid-19 orders until it can hear the cases.

Beshear said reversing the mask mandate would be "devastating."

"It would cost us the lives and health of our people. It would cause business shutdowns, hurting our economy, and it would make it very hard to get kids back into school, So I'm not in this to fight battles with my attorney general; I'm in this to protect the lives, the health, the economy and the education of our people," he said.

Beshear also discussed pulling out his son from a baseball game because he didn’t think Covid-19 guidelines were being followed.

“I believe low-touch sports can be played properly if done under the right guidelines. And I went to a tournament where the tournament director had tried. He put some rules into place, but they just weren't being followed, and I just saw too much,” he said.

Hear his message:

12:10 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Italy is "out of the storm" of coronavirus pandemic, health minister says

From Valentina Di Donato in Rome 

Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza speaks at the Don Diana National Award on July 4 in Casal Di Principe, Italy.
Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza speaks at the Don Diana National Award on July 4 in Casal Di Principe, Italy. Marco Cantile/LightRocket/Getty Images

Italy’s health minister commended the country for its work to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, saying that while Italy still has some way to go in eliminating the virus, it is “out of the storm” of the crisis. 

"I think Italy did it. I am not thinking of the government, but of the country as a whole,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said. 

"We are out of the storm, even if not yet in a safe haven,” he added.

The numbers in Italy: According to the latest data from Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, another 15 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded over the last 24 hours, while 128 new cases have been confirmed. 

“We were the first to be hit in the world after China. We didn't have an instruction manual, we had to learn about the virus,” Speranza said. 

"The international situation is worrying, we are in the worst moment of the epidemic in the world," he added, cautioning that the crisis will only "be a thing of the past" when a successful vaccine is developed.


2:54 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Arizona reports 134 Covid-19 deaths in last 24 hours

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

An ambulance parks at the emergency room entrance at Banner Estrella Medical Center on July 19 in Phoenix.
An ambulance parks at the emergency room entrance at Banner Estrella Medical Center on July 19 in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin/AP

At least 134 people have died from Covid-19 in Arizona over the last 24 hours, state data shows.

Arizona reported 147 deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday, state data shows. The previous record high was 117 daily deaths on July 7.

The state, which has been experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, has improved many of its metrics over the last week. Hospitalizations, ventilator use, and emergency room visits from those with the disease have all decreased from last week’s levels. 

One thing to note: These numbers were released by Arizona’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

This post has updated with the latest details on Arizona's record high death toll.

11:50 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Trump gets "multiple" coronavirus tests a day, White House says

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump receives multiple coronavirus tests every day, the White House said Tuesday.

Explaining his reluctance to wear a mask in public, press secretary Kayleigh McEneny described Trump as the "most tested man in America" who doesn't risk spreading the virus to others.

"He’s tested more than anyone, multiple times a day," she said. "And we believe that he’s acting appropriately."

Asked a follow up about the frequency of President Trump's coronavirus tests, McEnany would say only that he is tested often but would not get into further details.

“Sometimes it is more than one time a day," she said.

Previously, the White House had indicated Trump received regular coronavirus tests, as did people who come into close proximity to him. But the frequency of the tests — multiple per day — wasn't known.

The White House utilizes the Abbott rapid test, which has drawn scrutiny for high rates of false negatives.

McEneny said Trump has been "consistent" on masks, even though he refused for months to be photographed wearing one and downplayed their importance in containing coronavirus.

11:51 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

White House disputes administration is blocking money for testing in next stimulus package

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on July 21 in Washington, DC.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on July 21 in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany disputed that the administration is blocking additional funds for testing and contact tracing as part of the phase four stimulus package.

“No one is blocking any money from testing,” McEnany claimed at her briefing Tuesday morning.

McEnany said that there is currently $10 billion dollars is unspent funds for testing, and in the phase four negotiations, the administration wants to “make sure there is money that is targeted for money that makes the most sense.”

“We’re willing to put in money for targeted testing that makes sense, not just dumping money into a pot that already contains $10 billion dollars,” she added.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and others stressed to reporters on Monday that more money for testing is essential in the next stimulus, breaking with the White House posture that more money for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for contact tracing and testing shouldn't be included in the next round of aid.

11:42 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

Less than 16% of Florida's ICU beds are available

From CNN’s Randi Kaye

Ambulances line up outside of Broward Health Hospital on July 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Ambulances line up outside of Broward Health Hospital on July 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. MediaPunch/IPX

The ICU bed availability statewide in Florida now stands at 15.98%. These are “available adult ICU beds,” per the Agency for Healthcare Administration. 

This is a decrease in available beds. On Monday, the available ICU bed count was 18.1%.

There are 54 hospitals in 27 different counties that are now at 0% capacity — meaning they have no ICU beds left.

11:23 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

McConnell says he wants GOP stimulus proposal to include $105 billion to help reopen schools 

From CNN's Ali Zaslav, Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Phill Mattingly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with reporters as he departs from the Senate floor in the Capitol in Washington, DC, on July 20.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with reporters as he departs from the Senate floor in the Capitol in Washington, DC, on July 20. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Republican stimulus proposal will likely include $105 billion in funding to help reopen schools across the country.

“This majority is preparing legislation that will send $105 billion, so that educators have the resources they need to safely reopen,” McConnell said in a floor speech.

In comparison, Democratic leadership has proposed $430 billion as part of their next relief package to help schools reopen.

McConnel broadly outlined what will be in the GOP proposal of the next Covid-19 relief bill in a floor speech on Tuesday morning, which he said “are just some of the elements being discussed between Republicans and the administration” and will be released “very soon.”

He said it will likely include another round of direct payments to Americans and more targeted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.

“We’ll also be proposing a targeted second round of the PPP with a special eye toward hard hit businesses,” McConnell said.

“Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments,” he continued.

The sticking points: Direct payments to Americans continues to be be a point of dispute as President Trump continues to push for it, while many Hill Republicans are hesitant.

“Direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback,” he said. “Helping to create more American jobs is an urgent moral priority, and these are just some of the policies we're discussing that will help that happen.”

The Kentucky Republican did not mention in his floor speech whether a payroll tax cut would be included in the bill, which has also been a point of contention between Trump and Congressional Republicans.

Trump has continued to tout the idea, while most Republicans have expressed they don’t support a payroll tax cut.

McConnell repeated his red line for liability protections in his floor remarks. He also mentioned there would be funding toward a vaccine, hospitals and testing. Healthcare is the “third major focus” of the bill, he reiterated.

“The federal government will continue to support hospitals, providers, and testing,” McConnell said.