July 28 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020
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6:01 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Trump to use Defense Production Act to turn Kodak into a pharmaceutical company

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Donald Trump speaks during his White House news conference on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump speaks during his White House news conference on Tuesday. Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said his administration will use the Defense Production Act to turn Kodak into a pharmaceutical company, an announcement he called “one of the most important deals in the history of US pharmaceutical industries.” 

“With this new agreement, my administration is using the Defense Production Act to provide a $765 million loan to support the launch of Kodak pharmaceuticals,” the President said at a news conference.

Trump called it a “different field” for the company known mostly for its cameras and film, saying they had “hired some of the best people in the world.” 

“It's a breakthrough in bringing in pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States,” Trump said. 

Some context: The move is the 33rd time the Trump White House has used the DPA after facing criticism for not enacting it earlier in the pandemic. 

“Remember when you were saying I didn't use it enough, I didn't use it enough?” he asked reporters rhetorically, “and now you heard it's the 33rd use. We don't talk about it all the time, we used it and we used it as a little bit of a threat, frankly, with certain companies that weren't doing as we were asking them to do, and it came through as both a threat and a usage. But this is our 33rd use of the Defense Production Act.” 

The company will produce generic active pharmaceutical ingredients, Trump said, “using advanced manufacturing techniques Kodak will also make the key starting materials that are the building blocks for many drugs in a manner that is both cost competitive and environmentally safe will be competitive with almost all countries and soon with all countries.” 

Watch more:

5:48 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

More than 148,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

From CNN's Haley Brink

There have been at least 4,330,437 cases of coronavirus in the US, and approximately 148,817 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins reported at least 40,178 new cases and 806 deaths.

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

5:38 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Pence touts "encouraging trends" in Sun Belt states

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Miami International Airport on Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Miami International Airport on Monday. Wilfredo Lee/AP

Vice President Mike Pence held another weekly governors call Tuesday, the focus of which ranged from school reopening to vaccine development to what he described as “encouraging trends” in states experiencing rising cases. 

Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Stephen Hahn, Adm. Brett Giroir, and Pete Gaynor were also on the afternoon call. 

Pence touted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “very strong position” on returning to schools. 

“Virtually every governor on this call has already published plans to safely reopen their schools in whole or in part, and I just want you to know we are here to partner with you to effectuate that,” Pence told the governors in opening remarks, according to audio of the call obtained by CNN. 

Redfield, Pence said, would address CDC recommendations to get kids physically back into classrooms. 

Pence said the task force is “beginning to see encouraging trends” in Sun Belt states with rising cases, praising the governors of Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California for their mitigation efforts, and calling their situations “a good learning opportunity for states that may see emerging positive cases.”

He said he spoke with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday night and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this morning.

5:32 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Flu vaccines are shipping to doctors' offices, but it's too soon to get one

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

A man gets a flu shot in Washington, DC, in January.
A man gets a flu shot in Washington, DC, in January. Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

At least two companies that make influenza vaccines have started shipping them out to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other customers in the United States, but it’s too soon for people to think about getting one.

GlaxoSmithKline said Tuesday it started shipping some of the more than 50 million vaccines it expects to supply for this US flu season. Sanofi Pasteur, another pharmaceutical company, said last week it also started shipments for the US market, but did not say how many doses it expected to make.

Why this matters: US health officials say it will be more important than ever to get a flu vaccine this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be hard enough for hospitals and doctors to deal with one fast-spreading and potentially deadly respiratory virus, let alone two. Plus, no one knows what might happen if people get infected with both viruses at the same time.

Because of this, Glaxo and Sanofi both say they are increasing their production to meet the expected growth in demand.

“GSK expects to supply more than 50 million doses of its influenza vaccines for the US market in the 2020-21 season, an increase from the 46 million it distributed during the 2019-20 influenza season,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

But people will need to wait to get vaccinated.

“While vaccine shipments to healthcare providers have begun, getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the concern that protection may be reduced if there is too much time between when a vaccination is given and peak flu season. According to CDC, September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later,” Sanofi said in its statement.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says while it takes two weeks for a flu vaccine to take full effect, people should not get one in summer.

“Getting vaccinated early (for example, in July or August) is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults,” the CDC says. 

The CDC recommends that just about everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine formulation changes from year to year to try to match the regular mutations of the virus and the changes in what’s circulating.

4:56 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Kentucky governor says he hopes state is "seeing a new plateau" in Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said today’s update in Covid-19 cases gives hope that the state “may be seeing a new plateau or stabilization.”

He added however that it is too early to come to that conclusion.

The state today reported 532 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, and a 5.08% positivity rate, which decreased for the first time in four days, the governor said.

“Again, too early to draw conclusions, but I hope I’ve said, I hope that this is us starting to see, because the time period is right, where the facial covering requirement is starting to kick in and help,” Beshear added. 

Beshear said the state is likely to extend its facial covering mandate, previously issued July 9 for a 30-day duration.

5:02 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Boston mayor says he's concerned about thousands of students returning to school in the fall

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Boston City TV
Boston City TV

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he’s concerned as thousands of young people come to Boston to start or continue their education in the fall.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Walsh said his administration has been working closely with educational institutions in Boston to understand new protocols and create plans of action in case anyone tests positive for coronavirus in various educational settings. 

“We’re helping colleges plan safe housing options for students to reduce their density on campus,” Walsh said.

The governor’s office issued guidelines in early July outlining for spaces like hotels to be used for temporary student housing to allow colleges the time and space to properly handle social distancing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.  

“We’re also working with the state on contract tracing efforts in partnership with all of our colleges along with testing,” Walsh said, emphasizing that these two elements will be “their most powerful tool in ensuring that the transmission rates remain low.”

Walsh said he’s meeting with several college presidents to discuss their opening plans and many of them have been planning different scenarios.

4:46 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

North Carolina reports record high number of Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

At least 1,244 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 in North Carolina– the highest number of hospitalizations in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday.

The state also reported at least 1,749 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, the governor said in a briefing today.

Cooper said there have been at least 1,820 deaths in the state since the start of the pandemic. 

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said today is the highest day of statewide hospitalizations, but hospital space is still available. North Carolina has averaged around 29,000 tests per day over the past week. 

Cohen said North Carolina is seeing a direct correlation with the start of the statewide mask mandate and the stabilizing of trends in the state.

“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up, it means it’s time to double down,” Cohen said.

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

4:43 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Miami-Dade mayor says Marlins should follow 14-day quarantine rule when team returns to Florida

From CNN’s Sharif Paget 

A foul ball sits inside Citizens Bank Park, where the Miami Marlins were playing the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
A foul ball sits inside Citizens Bank Park, where the Miami Marlins were playing the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Chris Szagola/AP

The Miami Marlins should follow the 14-day quarantine protocol when they return to South Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez said Tuesday.

His remarks came just before Major League Baseball announced multiple postponements of upcoming games out of an abundance of caution after multiple Miami Marlins tested positive for Covid-19. 

“They [Miami Marlins] should follow the medical protocol,” Giménez said at a briefing. “If somebody’s been exposed, just like any other person, they need to be tested and self-quarantine for a while, that’s the normal protocol, that’s what we would ask them to do.” 

“I would assume that they would follow the medical protocols and I would assume they also follow the law unless they have some kind of exemption,” he added. 

The mayor said he doesn’t see how MLB teams will be able to contain the spread of the virus among their ball clubs if players are allowed to go back into the community after their games. 

Giménez thinks the National Basketball Association has “the right formula” by putting teams in an enclosed environment, often referred to as a “bubble,” in which the participants live, practice and play all games. 

He also doesn’t expect the county to suffer additional economic hardship if the Marlins’ season were to get postponed.

“There’s no fans, so it’s all TV revenue,” Giménez said. “As far as the county is concerned, it has minimal impact on the county.”  

“They still owe us the rent, whether they play or they don’t,” he added. 

4:38 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

North Carolina restaurants ordered to stop selling alcohol after 11 p.m.

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a news conference on Tuesday.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a news conference on Tuesday. Pool/North Carolina Department of Public Safety

Starting Friday, restaurants in North Carolina must stop selling alcohol after 11 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper announced in a news conference today.

Bars will remain closed, Cooper said, adding that “we want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours."

“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” Cooper said in a statement. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption, according to the governor.