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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11:10 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

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

People wait in line at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in Dallas, Texas, on July 2.
People wait in line at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in Dallas, Texas, on July 2. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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.

According to Covid-19 testing data from The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last updated on Monday:

  • 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.

With reporting from CNN's Amanda Watts, Daniel DaleHolmes Lybrand

10:43 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

All key Covid-19 numbers remain below thresholds in New York City, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A man stands on the deck of a Staten Island ferry in front of the Manhattan skyline in New York on July 13.
A man stands on the deck of a Staten Island ferry in front of the Manhattan skyline in New York on July 13. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The daily Covid-19 indicators are all under desired thresholds, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

Here's where things stand:

  • The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 52, under the 200 threshold. 
  • The daily number of people at Health and Hospitals ICU’s is at 297, under the 375 threshold. 
  • The percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 is at 2% under the 15% threshold. 
“Well done, a credit to all new Yorkers who continue to stay focused on fighting our way through this crisis” the mayor said. 

Earlier he announced New York City reached a milestone in delivering $100 million free meals to New Yorkers in need. 

He also announced the city is investing $22 million to rebuild and restore New York City Housing Authority community centers.

10:14 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

House Speaker wants a deal on the next recovery package done by the end of next week

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to her office in the US Capitol on Monday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to her office in the US Capitol on Monday. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated she wants a deal done quickly — by the end of next week — with the GOP on the next recovery package.

From a source on the caucus call this morning, Pelosi said: “Yesterday, I had a conversation with Secretary Mnuchin more about housekeeping and timetables and the rest.”

She talked about the 3:15 p.m. meeting they will have today with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

“We will begin our conversations today. It is my hope that we can resolve our differences and have a bill by the end of next week,” she said.

10:05 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020

President of Florida teachers union: "One life lost is one too many"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

The president of Florida’s largest teachers union, which is suing Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state's mandate to open schools, says that the state cannot be a “Petri dish” for the rest of the country.

“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.

Florida’s education commissioner issued an emergency order earlier this month, requiring all "brick-and-mortar schools" to open at least five days per week for all students.

“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 

An American flag flies in front of the Capitol building in Washington, DC.
An American flag flies in front of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images/File

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

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A pedestrian passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
A pedestrian passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty Images

US stocks surged higher on Tuesday after Europe’s leaders reached a deal for a Covid-19 recovery package, boosting investor sentiment. 

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.