August 6 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 8:33 p.m. ET, August 7, 2020
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2:38 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

US State Department lifts worldwide "Do Not Travel" advisory

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

A airport employee performs an aircraft disinfecting demonstration during a media preview at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22 in Arlington.
A airport employee performs an aircraft disinfecting demonstration during a media preview at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22 in Arlington. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

The State Department lifted its global level 4 travel advisory Thursday after more than four months of warning US citizens against traveling abroad.

The State Department issued the level 4 "Do Not Travel" advisory – the highest level of travel advisory — on March 19, urging US citizens not to travel overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Department will return to its previous system of assigning country-specific advisories since health conditions are "improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others," according to a note from the department. This will "give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions."

“This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country,” the statement added. “We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.” 

Despite the lifted State Department advisory, American travelers continue to face travel restrictions in countries worldwide due to rising cases of the deadly disease in the United States.

1:56 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Trump says he wishes Ohio governor "the best" after coronavirus diagnosis

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

Pool
Pool

President Trump called Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine “a great guy” who’s “done a fantastic job” as he spoke about the governor’s Covid-19 diagnosis on Thursday.

“A very good friend of mine just tested positive, do you know that?” Trump asked a crowd in Ohio. “Our great governor, governor of Ohio DeWine just tested positive, just here.”

“We want to wish him the best, he’ll be fine, I guess he’s going for a secondary test,” he said.

The President also detailed how he found out about the diagnosis, saying he “just got on the phone to speak to the governor and they said, ‘sir he just tested positive.’”

“He’s a great guy, he’s done a fantastic job,” Trump added.

1:54 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Covid-19 "pushed the limits of health systems" and left "no country untouched," WHO chief says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference in Geneva on July 3.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference in Geneva on July 3. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Covid-19 has been “a tragic reminder to the world of the insecurity and instability disease can cause,” and has shown how critical it is to invest in health, the World Health Organization's director-general said on Thursday.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our world. It has stress tested our political, economic, cultural and social infrastructure,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the Aspen Security Forum.

“It has pushed the limits of health systems, both weak and strong, leaving no country untouched,” he said. “It has humbled us all.”

The world has learned the lesson that it needs to invest in pandemic preparedness and climate crisis the hard way, Tedros said, and that unless this happens, “we leave ourselves open to enormous harm.”

All countries have been hit hard, he said, high- and low-income alike, with the Americas remaining as one of the epicenters of the virus. 

“No single country can fight this virus alone. Its existence anywhere puts lives and livelihoods at risk everywhere,” Tedros said.

It is never too late to turn it around, though he said; using “science solutions and solidarity” together it is possible to overcome the pandemic.

The first coronavirus pandemic has shown how critical health investment is to national security, Tedros said, with universal health coverage being essential for global health security.

WHO’s highest priority is to support all countries in strengthening their health systems so that everyone can access quality services when they are needed, he said. 

“For all our differences, we are here, one human race, sharing the same plant – and our security is interdependent,” he said. “No country will be safe until we are all safe.”

Tedros finished by urging all leaders to choose the path of cooperation, and to act now to end the virus. “It’s not just the smart choice,” he said, “It’s the right choice, and it’s the only choice we have.”

1:36 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Illinois reports nearly 2,000 new Covid-19 cases today, highest single day since May 24

From CNN’s Brad Parks in Chicago and Kay Jones

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,953 new cases of Covid-19 today, bringing the state’s total to 188,424.

This is the highest single-day report since May 24, when 2,508 total cases were reported, according to IDPH’s dashboard.

The positivity rate for new cases over the past week is at 4%. IDPH also reported that 1,517 people are hospitalized with 346 patients in intensive care units.

The state also reported 21 new deaths, bringing the total to 7,594.

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.

1:10 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Florida governor pushes for return of student athletics

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a new conference on the surge in coronavirus cases in the state held at the Jackson Memorial Hospital on July 13, in Miami.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a new conference on the surge in coronavirus cases in the state held at the Jackson Memorial Hospital on July 13, in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday pushed for boys and girls athletics this upcoming school year.

Student sports stopped in Florida when schools transitioned to distance learning at the beginning of the pandemic.

“The cancelation of the sports, that has huge effects and so we don’t want to re-live that because I think that it would be depriving our students of opportunity,” he said during a roundtable discussion in Jacksonville, Florida.

DeSantis used himself as an example saying playing athletics made him a better student, not just in high school but in college.

There is an ongoing legal battle over the reopening of schools for in-person instruction in the state. Today, a Miami-Dade judge transferred the case to a judge in Leon County. 

DeSantis reiterated during the news conference that parents who want face-to-face instruction for their children should have that option.

1:00 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Student-athlete says uncertainty creates "super stressful environment"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Benjamin St-Juste (25) looks to the sidelines during the college football game between the Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 28, 2019, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Benjamin St-Juste (25) looks to the sidelines during the college football game between the Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 28, 2019, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

More than 1,000 Big Ten college football players released a letter Wednesday, writing that the NCAA “has had ample time to prepare for the safe return of its athletes to competition, yet it has done nothing.”

The letter goes on to outline five areas where athletes would like to see more regulations and enforcement amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“For a season where there's so many unknowns, having the unknown of playing against a different team where they could have different protocols and different regulations and a different way of handling the situation could just lead to…unsafe conditions for us to play in,” said Hunter Reynolds, defensive back for the University of Michigan Wolverines, one of the student-athletes spearheading the effort. 

The NCAA announced Wednesday that each division of school athletics will have to determine its ability to meet requirements to proceed with fall sports.

Benjamin St-Juste, defensive back for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, says the uncertainty “creates a super stressful environment for every student-athlete.”

“We’re about to start camp, and we still don't know really what's going to happen, what’s the clear protocol,” St-Juste said in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan. 

He said the athletes want a formal meeting with the head officials at the NCAA to find common goals. 

Reynolds said that while he doesn’t think the season should be canceled, it requires a “well-thought-out plan.” 

Watch:

12:46 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Ohio governor tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of meeting Trump 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

In this file photo, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks at a press conference about the state's preparedness to limit the spread of the coronavirus on Thursday, February 27 in Cleveland.
In this file photo, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks at a press conference about the state's preparedness to limit the spread of the coronavirus on Thursday, February 27 in Cleveland. Tony Dejak/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has tested positive for coronavirus and has no symptoms currently, according to a statement from the governor's office.  

DeWine "took a test for Covid-19 as part of the standard protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland," the statement said.  

"Governor DeWine is returning to Columbus where he and First Lady Fran DeWine, who also has no symptoms, will both be tested," according to the statement.  

DeWine plans to quarantine in his Cedarville, Ohio, home for the next 14 days, the statement said.  

12:46 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

WHO director-general hopes the US will reconsider its withdrawal from the organization

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said on Thursday that he hopes the US will reconsider its decision to withdraw from WHO – and that the problem the withdrawal creates is not financial, but the lack of solidarity between global leaders.

President Trump announced at the end of May that the US will end its relationship with WHO, the world’s preeminent health organization.

“Now, it’s time to work together. Now, it’s time to focus on fighting the virus. So I hope the US will reconsider its position,” Tedros said during a panel event at the Aspen Security Forum.

“When the US decided to withdraw, the problem is not about the money. It’s not the financing issue,” he said. “It’s actually the relationship with the US which is more important, and it’s leadership role.”

Tedros said he has said many times that “you cannot defeat this dangerous enemy in a divided world. We need a united world.” 

A united world needs cooperation and solidarity among major powers, he said.

“Multi-lateral organizations can only support, like WHO, the leaders always have been countries, and especially the major ones, who can bring the whole world together,” Tedros said. “So that is more important for WHO, the void, not the financial.”

He said there is still communication between WHO and the US, and that they are working together – but he hopes that the relationship will “return to normal, and a stronger relationship than ever before.” 

Tedros said the US has always been known for its generosity, support and leadership in global health. He detailed how during his time as a minister in Ethiopia, while HIV/AIDS was ravaging the continent and the rest of the world, US leadership and generosity gave hope to many.

He also said that if there were problems or issues with WHO or the UN system at large, they would be very open to any evaluations or assessments.

“The truth can be known, and this can be done from inside, without leaving the organization,” he said. “Knowing the truth is very important for the whole world.”

Lessons need to be learned from what is happening and what has happened, Tedros said, and the future needs to be built together.

“If there is any problem, we will find out and we will learn from it,” Tedros said. 

Later in the session, Dr. Mike Ryan, director of WHO’s health emergencies program, thanked the United States and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their continued contribution to global public health.

“The politics of these things will never shake the bonds that scientists have around the world, and the urge and the desire we have to work together to save lives,” he said.

 

12:46 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Trump tweets on possible executive action if stimulus deal not reached

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump tweeted that his staff is working on possible a possible executive order addressing some of the components of the stimulus negotiations.

He tweeted that an executive order could address “Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.” 

Some background: The President has repeatedly said he may address these issues through executive action and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that could happen if a deal can’t be reached by Friday.

But as CNN's Phil Mattingly has reported, lawmakers on Capitol Hill haven't been taking the threat of executive action seriously for a couple of reasons:

  1. It's been considered a leverage play the entire time (something administration officials have acknowledged), designed less as a policy fix as a way to force Democrats to start making concessions.
  2. Nobody is sure yet to what extent what they're looking through is legal.
  3. Even if they pull the trigger on something, and figure a way through any legal challenges, the actions won't go anywhere near far enough to address the scale of the current crisis.