Florida reports more than 9,400 new coronavirus cases
From CNN's Tina Burnside
The state of Florida reported 9,440 new cases of Covid-19 and 134 additional deaths on Tuesday, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.
This brings the state's total cases to at least 369,834 according to the state department of health. The statewide resident death toll is now 5,206.
Take a look at the numbers:
10:37 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
Here's where the US stands on testing, according to CDC data
From CNN's Christina Maxouris
Americans are testing positive for coronavirus in record-breaking numbers across the US and the surge in cases is slowing down the time tests take.
Labs across the country are now facing what seems like an almost "infinite" demand, one expert says.
"We really do need to improve our turnaround times, primarily in areas and counties of outbreaks," Adm. Brett Giroir, a White House coronavirus task force member, said.
As the country approaches 4 million cases, Trump has repeatedly responded with the argument that the large number of US cases is evidence of the country's success with testing. But per CNN's fact check reporting, Trump's own officials and his Republican allies have acknowledged it's not true that a rising number of tests is the reason the number of cases has skyrocketed over the last month.
One telling piece of evidence that the spike is genuine: the percentage of people testing positive, a key measure of the true spread of the virus, has also spiked.
Giroir, who heads the US's testing efforts, said yesterday that there are probably fewer cases compared to April because of more testing, but “there is no question we are having a surge right now. We are approaching this with extreme seriousness.”
Giroir said yesterday that in June, states "really crushed" their testing goals of over 16 million tests, and now are routinely doing 750,000 to 800,000 tests per day.
Speaking in a hearing on Capitol Hill on July 2, Giroir told lawmakers that the US had performed more than 35 million Covid-19 tests and is now averaging "over 550,000 tests per day." With regards to the national stockpile, Giroir said he estimated the nation will have the capacity to perform 40 to 50 million tests per month by the fall.
But even these current numbers are well below the number of tests experts said the US should be doing now. In early May, a team at the Harvard Global Health Institute said the US should be testing at least 900,000 people a day by May 15.
According to a different group of experts, whose work was also supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the US needed to deliver at least 5 million tests per day by early June to begin reopening. It said as many as 20 million tests per day would be needed to fully remobilize the economy, ideally by late July.
The "Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience," published by Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, argues that without widespread testing, state and local officials will get caught in cycles of opening up and then clamping down again on commerce and free movement.
More than 48 million Covid-19 tests have been reported in the US. The CDC dashboard notes that the agency includes both viral tests and antibody tests in its testing data.
More than 4.5 million of those tests have been positive.
Remember: Viral tests tell you if you currently have an infection with the virus that causes Covid-19. Antibody blood tests check for antibodies, which show if you had a previous infection with the virus. Those numbers represent the number of tests performed, and a single person may have been tested more than once.
“We have 23,000 children that have been tested positive for Covid-19 here in state of Florida with a 13.4% positivity rate. … We cannot be guided by politics nor the economy. We must keep kids alive, we must keep them healthy and we must keep them safe,” says Fedrick Ingram, a teacher in Miami-Dade County and president of the Florida Education Association.
“There's a risk that we don't know. … One life lost is one too many for a child who goes back to a multi-generational home,” Ingram said.
“It's too early for us to find that out. And it's too early for Florida to be the Petri dish for America,” he added. “We cannot experiment with our public schools.”
Ingram said there is an open invitation for DeSantis to sit down with the union and develop a comprehensive plan for schools.
12:57 p.m. ET, July 21, 2020
SOON: Coronavirus vaccine makers testify in the House
At 10 a.m. ET, the House Energy and Commerce committee will hold a hearing on a "Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective and Accessible Covid-19 Vaccine."
Witnesses include officials from companies AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer which are developing Covid-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organization says there are 23 vaccines already in clinical trials around the world.
Why this matters: Results from trials involving three different coronavirus vaccines released Monday, all showed positive results, with evidence the vaccines can produce immune responses that would be expected to protect people against infection.
They all also appeared to be safe, although it will take studies with more people to show how safe they really are and whether they can prevent infection.
Early results of a closely watched Phase 1/2 trial published in The Lancet suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is safe and induces an immune response. However, researchers stressed more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.
With reporting from CNN's Christina Maxouris
10:00 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
City of Miami to close summer camps after several children test positive for Covid-19
From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Denise Royal
City of Miami summer camps will close this week after at least three children contracted Covid-19, Mayor Francis Suarez announced during a press conference Tuesday.
The closure will be effective this week, per Suarez.
9:49 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
US stocks open higher after European leaders reach a deal on Covid-19 recovery package
Back in the US, the Nasdaq Composite could hit yet another all-time high today, exceeding Monday’s record.
Here's how the market opened:
The Dow opened 0.7%, or 190 points, higher.
The S&P 500 kicked off 0.6% higher.
The Nasdaq rose 0.7%.
9:39 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
Mike Pence is heading to South Carolina today. Here are the state's latest coronavirus numbers.
From CNN's Jason Hoffman
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife are traveling to South Carolina today. He'll have a roundtable with Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife on safely reopening schools at 12:30 p.m. ET, according to his schedule.
Pence will then have a press briefing at 1:30 p.m. ET.
South Carolina has reported more than 71,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 1,000 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Each day for the past two weeks, the state has reported more than 1,000 new cases daily. Some days, the new case count has surpassed 2,000.