August 4 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020
50 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:48 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

5 people test positive after event attended by Florida governor

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted this photo of himself speaking at a conference hosted by the Florida Sheriffs Association on July 27.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted this photo of himself speaking at a conference hosted by the Florida Sheriffs Association on July 27. Gov. Ron DeSantis from Twitter

Five people at an event attended by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Nanette Schimpf, vice president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

DeSantis tweeted a photo of himself speaking at the July 27 event hosted by the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

One day after the gathering, an attendee told the association they had tested positive for Covid-19, according to Schimpf. All the participants were notified of the development, Schimpf said.

“There is no indication that Governor DeSantis came in close contact with the individuals who have since tested positive for COVID-19. As the Governor noted during a press conference yesterday, he is tested regularly and does not have nor has had any symptoms,” the governor’s press office said in a statement.

According to Schimpf, two sheriffs deputies, including Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, and two department of corrections leaders issued statements about positive tests.

About 60 people, mostly sheriffs deputies, attended the event. Schimpf said the group was following guidelines from the county, state and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of participants was reduced by 75% for the event, the trade show was eliminated and participants were required to wear masks in common areas of the hotel.

12:23 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 800 new cases

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Pennsylvania added at least 854 Covid-19 cases and reported 23 deaths, according to state health data.

Of the two counties of focus, Allegheny reported an increase of 132 cases, just above Philadelphia with an increase of 131 cases. 

The department continues to highlight the increase of cases among 19- tp 24-year-olds. 

Note: These numbers were released by the state’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

12:08 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

New York City health commissioner resigns

From CNN's Evan Simko-Bednarski

In this December 2, 2019 file photo, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot speaks on stage during Housing Works World AIDS Day at The New York Academy of Medicine.
In this December 2, 2019 file photo, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot speaks on stage during Housing Works World AIDS Day at The New York Academy of Medicine. Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works

In a letter sent to staff of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene obtained by CNN, outgoing commissioner Oxiris Barbot said she had submitted her resignation to the mayor this morning, without elaborating on her reasons.

"I have every confidence that you, the committed individuals of this agency, will continue to dedicate yourselves to protection the health of all New Yorkers during this unprecedented public health emergency," she wrote. "the moment demands it without distractions."

"I am proud that as a woman of color raised in public housing in this city, I always put public health, racial equality, and the well-being of the city I love first," Barbot wrote. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he received a resignation letter from Barbot in the last hour.

“I want to thank her for her service to the city and I want to thank her for the important work she did during this crisis," the mayor said.

The mayor and Barbot have reportedly clashed over the past several months during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor will announce Tuesday the appointment of a new Commissioner of the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygeine, according to a city release.

There was no mention of Barbot in the mayor’s press release.

Dr. Dave A. Chokshi will take Barbot’s place, according to de Blasio’s office.

“Dr. Chokshi has served at the highest level of local, state, and federal health agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, where he was in senior leadership roles over the past six years,” the release said. 

Dr. Chokshi also served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the release said. 

 

12:00 p.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Former Virginia Tech football player explains why he opted out of season: "My family had to come first"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Atlanta. John Bazemore/AP

Caleb Farley was one of the top college football players in the country and a projected first-round NFL draft pick. But the former Virginia Tech cornerback decided to opt out of his senior season over coronavirus fears.

“It was a moral decision,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “I didn't feel comfortable and I did have a lot of worries and doubts, you know, maybe giving it to my father, you know, who's always with me and always is around. And I just was so nervous and so scared to contract the virus.”

“I just had to go with what was in my heart,” he said. “My family had to come first," he said.

Losing his mother to breast cancer in 2018 was a “huge” part of his decision, Farley said. What made him uncomfortable was the safety procedures and protocols in place during the pandemic, saying he is not ready to risk his safety or the safety of his loved ones during this pandemic. 

“What I might be uncomfortable with, you know, somebody else may be comfortable with,” he said. “But the honest truth is, you know, the protocol that's going on in the NFL and the way they're taking care of guys is completely different than the NCAA. And I just didn't feel comfortable.”

Farley also acknowledged that this decision could hurt his draft prospects but seeing NFL players walk away from the season gave him courage. He also received words of support from his coach Justin Fuente. 

“If you're looking at it from a business side, you know, it could potentially hurt me. But I gained the courage, seeing guys in the NLF, you know, large-name guys walking away from millions of dollars,” he said. “Coach Fuente told me he loved me, shook my hand, he looked me in the eye, told me he would be pulling for me, rooting for me, that he was a fan of mine. It was great. That was very genuine to me ... That meant the world to me how he handled the situation."

“Once I got past the outside influences of you know, what people may think about me or what or how it might be perceived, I just had to make the decision that I felt comfortable in,” he added.

11:52 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Florida is reporting more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

People get tested for Covid-19 at a drive-thru testing site at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, on July 24.
People get tested for Covid-19 at a drive-thru testing site at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, on July 24. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

The state of Florida is reporting 5,446 coronavirus cases and 245 additional deaths in a single day on Tuesday, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health. 

There are now 497,330 total cases in the state, including out of state residents, DOH reports. Florida has reported 7,402 resident deaths to date, DOH data shows.

11:50 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Pelosi on stimulus bill price tag she's willing to settle for: "$3.4 trillion"

From CNN's Manu Raju

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 31 in Washington.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 31 in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Tuesday that she still wants a sweeping stimulus deal this week — but she made clear she is not budging so far on the price tag put forward by House Democrats, reflecting how far apart the two sides are despite days of talks.

Asked if she has an idea on the price tag she's willing to settle for, Pelosi said bluntly: “Yeah, $3.4 trillion."

That price tag has been rejected by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who last week put forward the Senate GOP plan that would cost roughly $1 trillion and has attacked House Democrats' $3 trillion-plus bill that passed their chamber more than two months ago.

Pelosi, when asked if it's really feasible to get deal this week given how far apart the two sides are, said in the interview: “At some point you just have to freeze the design."

Pelosi said that she hopes they can have a bipartisan agreement this week so there are votes in the House by next week, given that they will vote to hold a Rules Committee meeting to consider the parameters for the House floor debate and there would need to be time to hammer out the legislative language and get cost estimates.

Yet, Pelosi said that currently both sides are still talking to the other about how much money is needed for various programs that each side has proposed.

"We are just right now identifying the justification for what we're saying it costs — how the money would be spent," Pelosi said. "And we're asking the same for some of the things they are talking about, so that we have a clear understanding. So it's productive in that regard. And now we just have to negotiate what comes next."

Pelosi added: "You have to show how you would spend it, in addition to establishing the need, have it work, and why that much money, and once we come to an amount, and I think we'll come to an agreement."

Catch up on the latest coronavirus stimulus updates here.

11:30 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

Latin America and the Caribbean surpass 5 million Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias and Tim Lister in Atlanta

Heath workers take a break near their ambulances after moving potential Covid-19 patients to the HRAN Hospital in Brasilia on Monday.
Heath workers take a break near their ambulances after moving potential Covid-19 patients to the HRAN Hospital in Brasilia on Monday. Eraldo Peres/AP

Latin America and the Caribbean have reached over five million cases of Covid-19, according to a CNN tally based on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data.

As of Tuesday morning, the region has reported 5,021,760 coronavirus cases and 203,589 deaths, according to the data released by JHU.

Brazil continues to be second hardest-hit country worldwide following the US and the first in the Latin American region with 2,750,318 cases reported on Monday, according to JHU.

Among the top 10 countries with the most cases worldwide, five are from Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, according to JHU.

Several countries in Latin America, including Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru, have seen an acceleration in the number of new cases over the past two to three weeks.

11:13 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

New York City reported no Covid-19 deaths for the 3rd straight day

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A man wearing a mask walks a bike in New York as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening on Monday.
A man wearing a mask walks a bike in New York as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening on Monday. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

For the third straight day, New York City saw no Covid-19 related deaths, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a release.

Cuomo reported three people died of the virus across the state Monday.

The state added 746 cases, a 1.05% positivity rate as a result of tests reported to the state Monday. 

New York State also added Rhode Island to its Covid-19 travel quarantine advisory, and removed Delaware and Washington, DC, according to the governor’s office.

11:07 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020

McConnell blames Pelosi and Schumer for "obstructing any action for our country”

From CNN's Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on July 30 in Washington.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on July 30 in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again blasted Democratic leadership over inaction on the stimulus bill, which he called a “charade.”

He argued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are “obstructing any action for our country,” even as Pelosi and Schumer continue to meet with administration officials almost daily, all of which, McConnell has not been participating in.

“What did the Speaker of the House and the Democratic Leader do with yet another day of deliberations,” McConnell asked during a heated speech. “Yet again, it was the exact same refrain. It never seems to change."

"‘We're feeling optimistic,’ 'We spoke very politely to the administration, but we're still nowhere close on substance,’” McConnell said mockingly of remarks the Democratic leaders have made leaving meetings with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the last two weeks. 

He continued, “Here's the problem: Every day the Democratic leaders repeat the same actor in the Capitol they're letting down the struggling people who need our help.”

McConnell also pointed to the Republican’s HEALS Act and said “the Democrats are blocking it all.”

“It’s like they expect applause for merely keeping a civil tone with the President’s team, never mind they’re still obstructing any action for our country,” he said.

 McConnell added: “What American families need is an outcome.”