Mexico reports more than 6,000 new cases in one day, as President calls for moment of silence
From CNN's Karol Suarez in Mexico City and Maria Ramirez Uribe in Atlanta
Mexico's Health Ministry reported 6,139 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the country's total number of cases to 456,100.
The ministry also registered 829 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 49,698.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a minute of silence for Covid-19 victims, that will take place every day at noon across government offices and Armed Forces facilities in the country.
Mexico has recorded the world's sixth highest total number of confirmed cases and third highest total number of deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
11:05 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
Twitter temporarily restricted Trump campaign's ability to tweet over false Covid-19 claims
From CNN's Rishi Iyengar, Donie O' Sullivan and Ryan Nobles
Twitter said on Wednesday it had restricted US President Donald Trump's campaign from tweeting after its account shared a video containing false claims about the coronavirus.
The tweet, a video of Trump's interview with Fox News in which he said children are "almost immune" to the virus, "is in violation of the Twitter Rules on Covid-19 misinformation," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
"The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again."
The account appeared to have the ability to tweet following Twitter's statement, suggesting the campaign had complied with the order and removed the video.
Just hours before, Facebook removed a post from Trump's main page featuring the same interview for similar reasons.
Campaign's response: Courtney Parella, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said the President was "stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus," echoing the statement she shared after Facebook's removal.
Parella accused Silicon Valley of being biased against the President and said "social media companies are not the arbiters of truth."
Last week, Twitter imposed a similar restriction on the account of the President's son, Donald Trump Jr., after he posted a video featuring a doctor making false claims about coronavirus cures and stating that people "don't need masks" to prevent the virus from spreading.
Twitter said at the time that some of the account's functionality, including the ability to tweet, would be restricted for 12 hours.
10:30 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
Argentina deaths top 4,000, as country reports highest daily jump in cases
From CNN’s Maria Ramirez Uribe in Atlanta
Argentina's Health Ministry reported 7,147 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday -- the highest one-day jump so far.
This is the second day in a row that Argentina has reported a daily high in new cases.
Wednesday's figures bring the country's total number of confirmed infections to 220,682.
The ministry also recorded 97 new related fatalities, raising the death toll to 4,106.
9:54 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for frontline responders by December, health expert says
From CNN's Leinz Vales
The head of the US company working on a Covid-19 vaccine said it's "possible" that it will be available for frontline responders in December.
"That's a goal," Dr. Gregory Glenn, the president of research and development at Novavax, told CNN. "People have set out that goal by the end of the year, maybe we'll be deploying these vaccines and changing all of this curse that we have right now in terms of this virus."
Some context: Novavax, Inc. released Phase 1 data Tuesday from 131 volunteers showing that after two doses of the vaccine, participants developed neutralizing antibodies at levels more than four times higher on average than the antibodies developed by people who had recovered from Covid-19. Neutralizing antibodies fight off the virus that causes Covid-19.
The study has been submitted to a medical journal, but has not yet been reviewed by scientists outside of Novavax or published.
"We see these really very robust antibody responses that we know are functional and could kill off the virus," Glenn said. "So that's got us excited and really ready to move on to the next stage of testing."
8:57 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
Houston City Council approves $20 million rental relief package
From CNN’s Sharif Paget
Houston City Council passed a second rental relief package for $20 million, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Wednesday at a news briefing.
The amount includes $15 million from the federal government through the CARES Act and $5 million from donors, the mayor said, who added that BakerRipley, a nonprofit based in Houston, will administer the relief program.
The mayor said the funds will not be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis, but rather on “vulnerability prioritization.” The second rental relief program will aim to help people who are paying the lowest amount in rent first, then move up, Turner explained.
“If you are at the lowest level, and you're not able to pay, the only place left is to the streets. So we want to make sure that people don't find themselves on the streets,” he said.
In order to qualify for the program, Turner said, a renter must live in Houston and be behind on rent payments for August or prior months because of economic challenges caused by Covid-19.
If only one tenant in an apartment complex qualifies for rental assistance, then the no eviction rule applies to the rest of the tenants on the property, Turner said.
8:15 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
Younger people are driving up the coronavirus infection rate in Los Angeles County
From CNN's Sarah Moon
Younger adults are the “hardest hit” groups in the community and continue to drive up the number of new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, health officials said at a news conference on Wednesday.
People between the ages of 18 and 49 make up nearly 60% of new coronavirus cases, according to health officials.
Since the beginning of June, the case rate for people in the age group of 30 to 49 nearly tripled and the case rate for people between the ages of 18 to 29 nearly quadrupled, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
“This is also the age group that is most likely to be attending the large parties that we keep seeing,” Ferrer said. "Gatherings of people from different households are such a bad idea at this point in time."
Residents should comply with the new “legally binding” health order prohibiting gatherings, including parties, Ferrer said.
“Violation of or failure to comply with the Health Officer Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both and the Department of Public Health works with residents, businesses, city officials and law enforcement to be sure residents are aware of and adhere to the life-saving directives in the order,” the public health department said in a statement.
In terms of enforcement, Ferrer said the department is “working hard” and responding to thousands of complaints related to non-compliance each week.
“We cannot just rely on enforcement,” she said. “The better strategy is for people to help us by taking responsibility.”
While Ferrer said she remains “cautiously optimistic” about the current situation, she said there have been significant issues with state reported data on cases leading to an undercount of cases.
The data: California reported 5,295 new Covid-19 cases and 202 deaths on Wednesday. The state's health department warned that cases are being underreported due to issues with the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system.
Ferrer said the missing data hinders "our efforts to monitor and reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
Los Angeles County reported 2,347 new cases and 68 new deaths on Wednesday. The county has a total of 197,912 positive cases and 4,825 deaths.
California has a total of 524,722 coronavirus cases and 9,703 deaths.
Note: These figures were released by California Department of Public Health/Los Angeles County 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.
8:04 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
GOP Rep. Rodney Davis tests positive for Covid-19
From CNN's Kyle Feldscher
Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois announced today he has tested positive for Covid-19.
“This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have taken my temperature twice daily because serving in Congress means I interact with many people, and it’s my duty to protect the health of those I serve. This morning, my temperature clocked in at 99 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than normal for me," he said in a statement.
“Because of the high temperature, my wife and I received a test this morning. While my test came back positive, my wife’s test came back negative. My staff who I’ve worked with in-person this week have received negative tests as well. Other than a higher-than-normal temperature, I am showing no symptoms at this time and feel fine," Davis said.
He added, “Having consulted with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) of Congress and local county health officials, our office is contacting constituents I have met with in-person within the previous 48 hours, per CDC guidelines.”
His statement continued, “My staff and I take COVID-19 very seriously. My wife is a nurse and a cancer survivor, which puts her in an at-risk category like so many Americans. My office and I have always followed and will continue to follow CDC guidelines, use social distancing, and wear masks or face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained.
I will postpone public events our office has planned for the coming days until I receive a negative test. I will continue to serve my constituents virtually from home while I quarantine. Our district offices throughout central and southwestern Illinois remain open for constituents as well. During these challenging times, protecting the public health is my highest priority. If you’re out in public, use social distancing, and when you can’t social distance, please wear a mask. All of us must do our part. That’s what it will take to get through this pandemic.”
CNN's Manu Raju noted that Davis has been wearing a mask on the Hill.
7:51 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
Fauci on coronavirus pandemic: "I don't think we're going to eradicate this from the planet"
From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman
The world is not going to be able to eradicate the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Wednesday in an interview with Reuters.
A vaccine can help get the pandemic under control, Fauci added.
“I don't think we’re going to eradicate this from the planet because it's such a highly transmissible virus that that seems unlikely,” Fauci said in the interview, posted on YouTube. “But what I think we can do with the combination of a good vaccine and attention to public health measures — by attention I don't mean shut down, I mean things that are just prudent — then I think we can get behind this."
After next year, the virus should be manageable, Fauci predicted.
“I hope and feel it's possible that by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle that we'll have this under control,” he said. “Is it conceivable that we won't? Of course. I would be unrealistic to say that. Do I think we're going to have much, much better control one full year from this winter? I think so.”
7:42 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020
McConnell: "We are a long way apart" on stimulus deal
From CNN's Ted Barrett
Asked if lawmakers will have a stimulus deal soon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said tonight, "I hope so."
The senior senator from Kentucky also acknowledged "we are a long way apart" while adding that the "American people need an outcome, it can only be done on a bipartisan basis."
McConnell responded to criticism from Democrats that he is not involved in the direct negotiations.
"I am involved. I've been involved continuously," he said on Fox News, citing the need to deal with unemployment insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program and other issues. "I haven't sensed the sense of urgency on the other side."
McConnell acknowledged that "15 to 20" of his members feel they already have spent enough to address the crisis.
"The only thing that gets an outcome is the speaker and the President of the United States reaching an agreement. Once they do that, I believe the majority of my members will support it, but not every single one of them," he said.