August 8 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Laura Smith-Spark and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT) August 9, 2020
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6:03 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Texas reports its highest 7-day Covid-19 positivity rate since pandemic began

From CNN's Kay Jones

Health officials in Texas said the state's 7-day Covid-19 positivity rate has risen to 19.41% -- the highest average since the pandemic began.

The previous high of 17.43% was reported in July, according to data from the state's Department of State Health Services website.

At least 6,959 new coronavirus cases were reported on Saturday and 247 new deaths linked to the virus, health officials said.

There have been 481,483 cases statewide and 134,797 cases remain active. As of Saturday, 8,343 people have died due to the virus, the agency said.

Note: These numbers were released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN's database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.


7:28 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

"We don't have that money," state official says of executive action asking states to pay 25% of unemployment relief

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

An official from a northeastern state run by a Democratic governor laughed on Saturday when asked about President Donald Trump's executive action asking states to pay 25% of the $400 unemployment relief.

"We don't have that money," the official said.

The official went on to say they were not given a heads up on this executive action and that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, their funds are completely tapped.

5:22 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Trump says his administration is looking at additional income tax and capital gains cuts

From CNN's Jamie Crawford

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration was looking at additional income tax and capital gains tax cuts for American taxpayers besides the payroll tax holiday that would be instituted by his executive order.

“We are going to be looking at capital gains for the purpose of creating jobs and income taxes is self explanatory, and it will be income tax for middle-income and lower-income people but middle-income people who pay a lot of income tax, you have tax inequality. I’m saying that as a Republican and you do have tax inequality,” Trump said during a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The President did not provide further details.

7:18 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Trump signs executive actions after stimulus talks break down

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive actions, one of which would provide $400 a week in federal enhanced unemployment benefits after Democrats and the White House were unable to reach an agreement on a Coronavirus stimulus relief bill this week.

“I'm taking action to provide an additional or extra $400 a week and expanded benefits, $400. That's generous but we want to take care of our people,” Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump signed one executive order and three memoranda, one of which will enact a payroll tax deferment for Americans earning less than $100,000 a year. He also proposed to extend an eviction moratorium and defer student loan payments and forgive their interest.

Trump said the federal government will pay $300, leaving it up to the states to pay the remaining $100. He did not outline where the federal funds would be coming from. 

When asked by a reporter why $400 instead of the previous $600, Trump responded: “This is the money they need, this is the money they want, this gives them a great incentive to go back to work."

Trump went on to say, “there was a difficulty with the 600 number because it really was a disincentive.” 

Trump also took the opportunity to criticize the Democrats, saying, “We are doing that without the Democrats. We should have been able to do it easily with them but they want all of these additional things that have nothing to do with helping people.”

Democrats are likely to challenge the executive actions in court. Trump first laid out the executive orders at a hastily called news conference on Friday at his New Jersey golf club, where he said he wasn't concerned about the legality of the actions he promised.

4:28 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Ohio governor tests negative for Covid-19 a second time

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledges the media while entering his residence on Thursday, August 6.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledges the media while entering his residence on Thursday, August 6. Jay LaPrete/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran DeWine have tested negative for Covid-19 for a second time after getting a false positive, DeWine said in a statement. 

"The test results today follow the negative PCR test results for the Governor and First Lady on Thursday. The PCR tests taken Thursday were negative for the Governor, First Lady, and staff members, and were run on lab machines twice with results coming in negative both times," the statement said.

Some context: On Thursday morning, following the testing protocol established to be able to greet the President, "DeWine took a rapid antigen test and the results reported back for that test were a false positive," the statement said. 

3:52 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Wisconsin sets new daily record with 1,165 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The state of Wisconsin saw its highest single-day number of new coronavirus cases Saturday with 1,165 reported, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Service website.

A graph of daily new cases and 7-day average shows the previous highest single-day increase in cases was on July 21 when 1,117 new cases were reported.

There are now a total of 59,933 confirmed positives reported in the state and a total of 996 deaths, according to a tweet from the state's health department.

Read the tweet:

3:41 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Illinois reports more than 2,000 positive coronavirus cases for second day in a row

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Illinois' health department reported more than 2,000 new Covid-19 positive cases for the second day in a row.

The 2,190 new cases are the highest daily reported number since May 24, when the department reported 2,508 new cases.

There are now 192,698 total cases in Illinois and 7,631 total deaths, up 18 since Friday’s report, according to the department.

The positivity rate over the past seven days rose again, to 4.2%, while the number of patients hospitalized statewide due to the virus rose to 1,538 from Friday’s number of 1,486. 

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.

3:14 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Texas governor extends state disaster declaration for Covid-19

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to Covid-19, according to a statement released by his office on Saturday.

The disaster declaration, originally issued on March 13, provides the state a variety of resources to effectively mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the statement said.

"Renewing this Disaster Declaration will provide communities with the resources they need to respond to Covid-19," Abbott said. "I urge Texans to remain vigilant in our fight against this virus. Everyone must do their part to slow the spread of Covid-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. We will overcome this challenge by working together."
1:59 p.m. ET, August 8, 2020

Iraq reports more than 3,300 cases of coronavirus on Saturday

From CNN’s Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported 3,325 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

This brings the total cases in the country to 147,389. 

The health ministry also reported 74 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to 5,310.