July 22 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Steve George, Tara John, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:10 a.m. ET, July 23, 2020
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2:29 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

As more people wear masks, key coronavirus model lowers number of US deaths projected by November

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

The University of Washington now projects there will be 219,864 US deaths from Covid-19 by November 1, based on the current scenario.   

Last week, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecast 224,546 total deaths by November. 

The latest update reflects a decrease of about 5,000 deaths in part due to increasing mandates for members of the public to wear masks, and the general increase in the number of people wearing masks and social distancing even without mandates. 

If the US universally adopted wearing masks, that number of deaths by November 1 would drop to 185,887, the model projects. However, if the mandates ease more, then the United States could see 231,012 deaths by that time.

Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at IHME, said that they’ve seen more people wearing masks in states that have seen a recent spike in cases such as in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona, but the states that have mask mandates have seen more universal adoption.

“So a mandate is very important and helping and a national mandate, of course, would do much better,” Mokdad told CNN. 

So far, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 3.91 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and at least 142,350 have died. 

2:25 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Here's the latest on some of the possible Covid-19 vaccines in development

Researchers in the US and across the world are working on possible coronavirus vaccines. Here's what we know about where some pharmaceutical companies stand in the process:


  • Early results 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.
  • AstraZeneca told a US congressional hearing on Tuesday that it is on track to have a possible vaccine ready as early as September. But hours later, the head of the UK vaccine task force warned a possible coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be made widely available before 2021.


  • A Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech was shown to elicit "robust" antibody and T cell immune responses in an early phase one/two study, the companies announced in a news release on Monday. That data has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced an agreement today with Pfizer for “large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States" after it is successfully developed and approved. If the vaccine is successful and receives EUA or licensure, nationwide delivery would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.


But will these vaccines be safe? A number of representatives from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies testified before Congress yesterday. When asked whether the speed at which they are moving to develop a Covid-19 vaccine could influence the safety of the vaccines, they insisted that was not the case.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, today said teams "are going as quickly as we possibly can” on vaccine development while still being safe. 

“If you want to do it correctly, with safety, and real attention to safety and efficacy, I think we are going as fast as we possibly can,” Fauci said.

2:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Judge denies blanket motion to release families from ICE custody due to the pandemic

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands

A federal judge denied a blanket motion to release families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Wednesday ruling. 

Immigration advocates and lawyers have urged the Trump administration to release families who are in federal immigration custody, given the confined setting and potential spread of coronavirus. In a separate lawsuit in California, a federal judge found that ICE’s Covid-19 protocols fell short and ordered the release of children. That case set up the potential that children could be separated from their families.

But the case before Judge James Boasberg in Washington, DC, called for the release of families, not just children. He didn’t agree with the plaintiffs' request to release everyone.

In a 26-page ruling, Boasberg detailed the precautions taken by the government, like mask use, and addressed issues raised by plaintiffs, like lack of social distancing and medical care. Despite recognizing steps taken by ICE and shortfalls alleged by plaintiffs, Boasberg said other options, outside of blanket release, need to be considered.

“Petitioners, fearful as we all are of contracting a novel and dangerous disease, understandably swing for the fences in seeking wholesale release,” Burroughs wrote. “Those fences are high and hard to clear, however, as Petitioners must demonstrate that no court-ordered remedy other than their release will do.”

Attorneys for the families are reviewing their options.  

1:49 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

New York's MTA: Covid-19 pandemic has created "the most challenging" budget crisis

From CNN's Sheena Jones

A person commutes on the subway in the Brooklyn borough on June 22 in New York City.
A person commutes on the subway in the Brooklyn borough on June 22 in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it needs more money from the federal government in order to continue operating. 

In a statement, the agency said the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated its revenue across all areas and has caused “the most challenging” budget crisis for the agency, a release says. 

The agency — which operates New York City's subway system as well as buses, commuter rails, bridges and tunnels in the area — is requesting the US Senate give it at least $3.9 billion to get through the end of the year and $10.3bBillion to get through 2021, the release says. 

“To say that these challenges are existential in scope isn’t an exaggeration,” MTA Chair and CEO Patrick J. Foye said. “Without further substantial assistance from the federal government, anything and everything must be on the table with respect to responding to financial damage from the pandemic. We are the lifeblood of the region’s economy and the fallout from Washington’s failure to act would have national consequences."

The agency plans on undertaking the largest cost-cutting actions in the agency’s history by reducing overtime, consultant contracts and non-labor expenses, the release said.

1:47 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Illinois reports highest daily total of new Covid-19 cases this month

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said today that the state is reporting nearly 1,600 new Covid-19 cases, its highest one-day total in the month of July. 

Illinois has reported a total of 165,301 cases since the pandemic began, according to the Department of Public Health (IDPH), and 7,347 total deaths. 

Pritzker said the state also set a new record for tests, surpassing 40,000 tests in three of the last seven days. Illinois has conducted over 2.3 million tests during the pandemic. IDPH said that positivity rate over the past week is at 3.2%

Pritzker urged residents of the state to wear masks, saying that it doesn’t take long to reverse the progress made in getting the positivity rate down. However, he said that the numbers appear to be gradually rising and that it’s a concern. 

 “This virus is not a blue state virus and it’s not a red state virus. The deadly nature of this virus is not a hoax. Choosing to go out in public without a mask is not a political statement,” Pritzker said. “It demonstrates a callous disregard for people in the community and in your country and in our state and our nation. The enemy is not your mask. If you’re not wearing a mask in public, you’re endangering everyone around you. So the enemy is you.” 

Pritzker said that he is counting on leaders throughout the state to do what they know is right to protect the residents. He also said they want local residents to hold elected leaders accountable as well to keep the numbers down. 

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


1:43 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

New Jersey reports nearly 400 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New Jersey reported 390 new positive Covid-19 test results on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 177,645 cases since the pandemic began in March, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday. 

However, Murphy noted that the state is still experiencing a data distortion due to the stress on labs to process test results, so that number could be higher. 

“The folks out there who think we’re in the endzone….we’re not there,” Murphy said. “We’re just not there.” 

The daily positivity rate in the state was 2.48% on Wednesday, and the reported rate of transmission was .9%, but Murphy said that both he and State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli believed that the transmission rate number was being impacted by the data issues and so could also be higher. 

The state reported at least 24 new Covid-19 related fatalities on Wednesday. The confirmed total of Covid-19 fatalities in the state is 13,787, and the state is also reporting an additional 1,920 probable Covid-19 deaths. 

Murphy kicked off his news conference Wednesday by issuing a sharp rebuke of the latest round of federal coronavirus aid as it currently stands.

“This is a slap in the face of every governor across the country, Republican and Democrat who have shouldered the responsibility of responding to this pandemic,” Murphy said. 

NOTE: The numbers listed were released by the New Jersey Governor’s office and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

1:35 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

More than 142,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There have been at least 3,919,550 cases of coronavirus in the US since the start of the pandemic, and at least 142,350 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

As of Wednesday at 1:00 p.m ET, Johns Hopkins has reported 20,339 new cases and 355 reported deaths.  

Hear more:

1:50 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Spain records the highest number of Covid-19 cases since May 8

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro in Madrid

A healthcare worker uses a swab to collect a sample at a temporary testing center for coronavirus in the Spanish Basque city of Getaria on July 15.
A healthcare worker uses a swab to collect a sample at a temporary testing center for coronavirus in the Spanish Basque city of Getaria on July 15. Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Spain recorded 730 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest number since May 8, data from the country's health ministry showed on Wednesday. The total number of cases in Spain has now reached 267,551.

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa confirmed on Wednesday that there were a total of 224 active outbreaks in the country, “most of them under control, including the one in Lleida which is now considered controlled.”

The director of the Center for Health Emergencies, Fernando Simon, explained last week that the new cases were increasingly associated with younger people.

The county's Covid-19 death toll rose by two in the last 24 hours and 12 in the last seven days. A total of 28,426 people have died from coronavirus in Spain.

Ignacio Aguado, the vice president of Madrid's regional government, said the regional government is considering making masks mandatory in all public places also in the capital. Madrid and the Canary Islands are the only two regions in the country where masks are not mandatory when the safety distance can be respected.

The regional government's health councillor will meet the health minister on Thursday to debate further measures to contain the spread of the virus, including measures for Madrid's airport.

"New measures in Madrid will depend on the outcome of that meeting," Aguado added.

1:19 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

FEMA chief says "no doubt" Covid testing capacity is stressed in some places

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor testifies before a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 22 on the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor testifies before a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 22 on the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Andrew Harnik/Pool/AP

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor acknowledged testing capacity is “stressed” in some places during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

He said there is no shortage of swabs or media for coronavirus testing, the items his agency is responsible for overseeing, but added that testing is "stressed in locations that have increased cases, increased hospitalizations."

"There is no doubt about it," Gaynor said when asked by Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat from New York.

He went on to describe the four activities needed to "crush Covid-19."

“There are some fundamentals that we all have to do, wear a mask, socially distance, stay away from large crowds, don’t go into bars and good hygiene. If we do those four things, we can continue to crush Covid-19,” Gaynor said.