August 9 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Steve George, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:03 a.m. ET, August 10, 2020
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1:42 p.m. ET, August 9, 2020

New York state sees lowest one day positive infection rate since start of the pandemic

From CNN's Sheena Jones

e York state has the lowest one day positive infection rate for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday during the state’s Covid-19 call.

New York has an infection rate of 0.78% which is normally around 1% or a little under, the governor said. 

“Congratulations New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “It’s really an incredible achievement."

At least 548 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 and seven New Yorkers died from the virus yesterday, the governor said. 

The intensive care unit number is the “lowest number of people we had in ICU units since the start,” Cuomo said. 

1:38 p.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Schumer: Trump's latest Covid-19 actions are "unworkable, weak, and far too narrow"

From CNN’s Aaron Pellish

eate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized President Trump’s latest coronavirus relief efforts as being “unworkable, weak, and far too narrow.”

“Unfortunately, the President’s executive orders described in one word, would be paltry. In three words, unworkable, weak and far too narrow," Schumer said.

Only one of the actions signed by the President was an order – the rest were memoranda.

Schumer specifically criticized the payroll tax deferral, saying he has already talked to companies who will continue withholding payroll taxes in case they will be forced to pay them when the deferral expires in December. 

“Employers are just going to continue, withhold the money – I have talked to some – because they don't want their employees to be stuck with a huge bill in December," Schumer added.

The Senator from New York also criticized the policy for depleting Medicare and Social Security funds. 

“If you're a Social Security recipient or Medicare recipient, you better watch out if President Trump is re-elected,” Schumer warned.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that there would be no cuts in benefits, because there will be an “automatic contribution from the general funds to those trust funds.”

CNN's Nicky Robertson contributed to this report

11:02 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

9 coronavirus cases reported at Georgia high school days after photo taken of crowded hallway

From CNN’s Chandler Thornton

Nine Covid-19 cases were reported at North Paulding High School, according to a copy of a letter sent from Principal Gabe Carmona to parents Saturday. 

A spokesperson for the Paulding County School District gave a copy of the letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“At this time, we know there were six students and three staff members who were in school for at least some time last week who have since reported to us that they have tested positive,” the letter from North Paulding High School Principal Gabe Carmona said. 

CNN is working to get its own copy of the letter to parents.

Some context: This news comes days after a North Paulding High School sophomore posted a photo on Twitter that showed her high school's hallways crowded with students and very few masks visible.  

The student, Hannah Watters, was later suspended for posting the photos but on Friday, the high school said in a statement that it had "rescinded" the suspension. 

11:13 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Florida reports more than 6,000 new daily Covid-19 cases for the thirteenth day in a row

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

The state of Florida has reported 6,190 new cases of Covid-19 among Floridians and 77 additional resident deaths on Sunday, according to data from the Florida Department of Health (DOH).   

This marks the thirteenth consecutive day the state has reported more than 6,000 cases in a single day, according to CNN's tally.    

There are now 527,036 cases among residents and 532,806 total cases in the state, which includes out of state residents, DOH reported. Florida has reported 8,186 resident deaths to date, according to DOH data. 

Note: These numbers were released by Florida'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  

10:50 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

US Treasury Secretary says Democrats must make the next move on stimulus talks

From CNN's Sarah Westwood, Nicky Robertson and Alison Main

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks to the press next to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on August 7.
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks to the press next to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on August 7. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNN that Democrats will need to be the ones to make the next move if stimulus talks between the administration and congressional Democrats are to restart. He said Democratic leaders need to accept a lower amount of assistance for state and local governments. 

“Anytime they have another offer to make, they can either call me or I’ll go up and see them,” Mnuchin said. “But they have to compromise.”

“I think we’ve been very clear that they need to come back with a compromise on the state and local from their trillion dollars, and the unemployment benefits, and if so we’ll respond. I think the majority of the other issues, we’ve reached a compromise on,” Mnuchin added at the White House on Sunday. 

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Mnuchin said that although governors are asking for money, they do not need $1 trillion.

“I’ve also spoke to many governors over the last few days. We offered more money for the states. They still have $150 billion from last time. Most of them haven’t even used half of the money,” Mnuchin said, “The governors are saying we need more money for education. We need help, and the President said, we’ll give it to you. But not a trillion dollars.”

10:25 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

US surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

There are now at least 5,000,603 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 162,441 people have died in the country from virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The university recorded the first case of coronavirus in the US on Jan. 21. It took the country 99 days to reach 1 million cases on April 28. 

It then took 43 more days to reach 2 million cases on June 10, and another 28 days to surpass 3 million cases on July 8.

Most recently, it took the US only 15 additional days to surpass 4 million cases on July 23. It has taken the US 17 days to go over 5 million cases. 

10:18 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Iraq reports more than 2,700 new coronavirus cases on Sunday

From CNN’s Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

On Sunday, Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported 2,726 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. This brings the total number of cases in Iraq to 150,115, the health ministry said. 

The health ministry also reported 82 coronavirus-related deaths. That brings the total number of deaths in the country to 5,392.

10:05 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Pelosi says Trump's executive action is asking states to contribute money they don't have

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN this morning that her advisers are telling her that President Trump's proposed executive actions are "absurdly unconstitutional."

Pelosi responded to comments made in an earlier interview on CNN with Larry Kudlow where the Trump economic adviser clarified that the President's proposal to give out-of-work Americans $400 a week is contingent upon states agreeing to provide $100. Kudlow said that the federal government would then kick in the additional $300.

Pelosi said these comments by Kudlow show the "weakness and meagerness in what the President proposed," adding that the states do not have this money.

"First of all he is saying states have the money. No, they don't," Pelosi said. "They have expense from the coronavirus. They have lost revenue. Because of that they are firing heath care workers, first responders, and the rest...Because they don't have the money."

9:28 a.m. ET, August 9, 2020

Trump's executive action on student loans has highest likelihood of fulfilling administration's aim

From CNN's Katherine Lobosco

President Donald Trump signs executive orders during a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8.
President Donald Trump signs executive orders during a news conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump’s directive regarding student loans seems to be the one executive action of the four he took Saturday which will deliver the results the administration hopes.

This is the only area of the four, the others being mortgage relief, unemployment aid and a payroll tax holiday, most under control of the Trump Administration and which doesn't need Congressional funding action, state governments or the private sector to fully implement.

The memorandum on student aid Trump signed Saturday directs the Education Department to extend the student loan relief granted in the CARES Act until the end of the year.

Some context: Currently, payments are paused and interest is suspended on federally held student loans until September 30.

Democrats have pushed for extending the relief for another year and making private student loans eligible.

In March, Trump waived student loan interest by executive order and the administration said borrowers could request a deferment on their payments. Congress later codified that policy into law and took it a step further by automatically suspending monthly payments.