August 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020
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10:57 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Chicago schools to start school year entirely online

Fron CNN's Annie Grayer

In this Friday, July 17 file photo, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference in Chicago.
In this Friday, July 17 file photo, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference in Chicago. Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

Chicago Public Schools will start the 2020-21 school year with fully remote learning for all its students, the district announced in a press release Wednesday, a decision that could avoid a possible strike from the Chicago Teacher's Union. 

The district will implement remote learning through the first quarter, which ends November 9. At that time they will evaluate if it is safe to open in a hybrid learning model.

“As a district, we value parent feedback and we cannot overlook that a large percentage of parents have indicated they do not feel comfortable sending their students to school under a hybrid model for the start of the school year,” Dr. Janice K. Jackson, CPS CEO, said in a statement.

“I understand the uncertainty this pandemic has caused our parents, especially communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted. We are making every possible effort to provide a high-quality remote learning experience in the fall, utilizing live, virtual instruction for every student, every day, and we are committed to ongoing engagement and communication with parents," Jackson said.

Some background: The announcement comes a day after a source close to the Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU) told CNN that the CTU planned to convene their House of Delegates early next week to discuss taking a strike vote to demand remote learning for Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago, the nation's third largest school district, had previously hoped to start the school year with a hybrid learning model, and had prepared a scenario to do so.

"This hybrid model would allow students to follow proper social distancing guidelines by effectively cutting the number of students in a classroom and ensuring students can access high-quality in-person instruction from caring teachers," according to a preliminary framework released July 17.

“The decision to begin the 2020-2021 CPS school year remotely during the first quarter is rooted in public health data and the invaluable feedback we've received from parents and families,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

“As we build out this remote learning model and seek to establish a hybrid learning model in the second quarter, we will continue to support and collaborate with parents and school leaders to create safe, sustainable learning environments for our students,” Lightfoot added.

10:28 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

New York reports a .87% positivity rate after completing more than 70,000 tests in one day

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported 636 additional cases of Covid-19 and 4 deaths from the virus yesterday, a press release from the governor's office said.

The governor said the state tested 72,668 people yesterday — a 0.87% positive infection rate.

"Our progress is thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers — even after two and a half months of reopening, the numbers have continued to go down,"  Cuomo said
10:24 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Where things stand on Congress stimulus negotiations

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

The negotiators are, at long last, actually negotiating. After seven meetings, totaling more than a dozen hours, the top Democratic and White House negotiators are not just walking through their disagreements, but putting offers on the table, trading proposals and to a small degree, starting to make concessions.

They've even agreed on a deadline for a deal — the end of this week.

Bottom line: There is still a long way to go and an agreement to a timeline to reach an agreement — one that is already one week after the initial deadline — isn't much on its face. But what's happening behind the scenes is a signal things are actually starting to kick into gear.

What to watch: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will be back on Capitol Hill for negotiations.

What was put on the table: The Tuesday meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and the top White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, was by far the most productive of all the meetings up to this point, according to both sides.

Schumer said both sides made concessions and, most importantly, the talks had gone beyond identifying areas of disagreement or even topline points of overlap and have now moved to trading actual paper proposals between sides. It seems minor or just an obvious step in the process, but the trading of paper means things are getting real, finally.

That came in large part due to what the White House negotiators put on the table. To be clear, these proposals weren't agreed to and won't be accepted by Democrats (much to the frustration of the administration negotiators). But they represent tangible movement -- the type of movement that can draw out real concessions and counters.

Read more here.

9:56 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

US stocks open higher as investors watch stimulus negotiations

From CNN's Anneken Tappe 

Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday as investors keep a close eye on the stimulus negotiations in Washington.  

However, Wall Street also have a lot of economic data to digest ahead of Thursday’s weekly jobless claims and Friday’s July jobs report. The US private sector only added 167,000 jobs last month, ADP reported this morning — nearly 10 times lower than expected.

Here's how things looked at the opening:

  • The Dow 0.6%, or 160 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.4%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.2%. If the index closes in the green, it will set another all-time high today.
9:48 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

"We will have another big job number on Friday," Trump tells Fox

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

There are two days before the US government releases its July jobs report, but President Trump is already talking it up.

"You will have a big number on Friday. I don't know what it's going to be," the President told Fox & Friends in an interview on Wednesday.

Trump has spoken about previous monthly jobs reports in similarly vague terms before their release, breaking with years of presidential protocol.

In the "last two months we set a record on the job numbers. Now we will have another big job number on Friday, so it will be interesting to see what that is," he said in the interview.

Some context: Economists expect 1.6 million jobs were added to the US economy in July, markedly fewer than the 4.8 million added in June, which set a record for most new jobs in one month. But even if the July predictions hold true, the US economy will still be down some 13 million jobs since February. 

The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 10.5% in July, still above the Great Recession peak.

9:35 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

US private payrolls report was nearly 10 times lower than expected

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Only 167,000 new private sector jobs were added last month, according to ADP, while economists polled by Refinitiv expected a whopping 1.5 million.

This is the third month of job gains in a row for the private sector — 3.3 million in May and 4.3 million in June. But the low number doesn't bode well for Friday's government jobs report, which economists predict will be 1.6 million new jobs.

Economists glance at the ADP number to get an indication for the official numbers, but because the reports are based on different surveys, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

As per ADP, both small and large businesses added jobs, but mid-sized companies shed 25,000 positions.

Natural resources, construction, financial services and IT were among the sectors that lost jobs, while the professional and business segment added the most positions with 58,000.

9:31 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

43% of Florida's Covid-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt 

In Florida, 43% of all Covid-19 deaths are linked to long-term care facilities, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

To date, 3,155 out of 7,402 total deaths are associated with long-term care facilities in the state of Florida, according to the department's data.

The list of long-term care facilities with active Covid-19 cases is available here, and the list of long-term care facilities with deaths is available here, which is updated weekly.

9:30 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Moderna will price coronavirus vaccine between $32 and $37 per dose

From CNN Business's Paul La Monica

Tony Potts, a 69-year-old retiree living in Ormond Beach, receives his first injection as a participant in a Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna at Accel Research Sites on August 4, 2020 in DeLand, Florida.
Tony Potts, a 69-year-old retiree living in Ormond Beach, receives his first injection as a participant in a Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna at Accel Research Sites on August 4, 2020 in DeLand, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Moderna, one of the companies working on a treatment for Covid-19, said Wednesday that it's on track to finish enrollment for a phase three study of its vaccine by the end of September and plans to eventually price it below $40 per dose for most customers.

The biotech, which has received funding from the United States federal government's Operation Warp Speed program, also said it had about $400 million of customer deposits for a potential supply of its mRNA-1273 vaccine.

People have also been closely watching to see what drug companies plan to charge for treatments after biotech Gilead Sciences revealed in June that its remdesivir drug would cost $520 a vial, or $3,120 for a five-day course of six vials, for people covered by private heath insurance plans.

But Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel vowed during a conference call with analysts that its vaccine would be affordable. 

"We are working with governments around the world and others to ensure the vaccine is accessible regardless of ability to pay. And we will be responsible on price...during the pandemic," Bancel said, adding that deals for smaller amounts of the vaccine have so far cost between $32 and $37 per dose and that Moderna would charge lower prices for higher volumes of mRNA-1273.

Moderna made the announcement in its earnings release Wednesday morning. The company posted a loss that was smaller than expected but revenue that topped forecasts.

Shares of Moderna fell about 2% on the news, but the stock has soared more than 300% this year on hopes that it will be able to develop a successful coronavirus vaccine.

The company has also come under scrutiny from some investors as several insiders have sold stock as it has surged.

Moderna is just one of several companies racing to come up with a vaccine. Shares of another smaller biotech, Novavax, soared 20% Wednesday after it announced promising clinical trial results of its own.

9:32 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

HHS announces $1 billion agreement with Johnson & Johnson for potential Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Johnson & Johnson headquarters stands in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on Saturday, August 1.
Johnson & Johnson headquarters stands in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on Saturday, August 1. Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The US Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced it will own 100 million doses of the Covid-19 investigational vaccine Johnson & Johnson is developing. 

In a statement, HHS said the doses from the "large-scale manufacturing and delivery" agreement could be used in clinical trials or as part of a Covid-19 vaccination campaign under the guidance of the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is committing more than $1 billion for this agreement, Johnson & Johnson said in a separate statement. The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine candidate under a subsequent agreement, the company added.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the statement the federal government is assembling a "portfolio of vaccines" under Operation Warp Speed and this latest partnership will increase the chances the US "will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021."

"Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting Janssen’s vaccine candidate all the way through manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people," Azar said. Janssen Pharmaceuticals is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

Manufacturing will take place while clinical trials are underway to expedite the traditional vaccine development timelines, according to the statement.

The doses would be available to the American people at no cost if used in a Covid-19 vaccination campaign. However, health care professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine even if the doses are purchased by the government, according to HHS.

Janssen has received about $456 million for clinical trials and other vaccine development activities from BARDA, according to HHS.