August 11 coronavirus news

Trump Keilar Split August 11 2020
'That's a lie': Brianna Keilar fact checks Trump's wild claims
05:39 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • Russia says it has approved the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, despite fears that the country may have cut essential corners in its development. 
  • The United States is by far the worst affected country with more than 5 million Covid-19 cases and 160,000 deaths.
  • There’s been a 90% increase in the number of coronavirus cases among US children over the past four weeks, according to a new report.
  • College football teams are debating postponing their seasons altogether over the virus.

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Mexico reports nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths

Mexico identified 926 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total number of fatalities to 53,929, the country’s Health Ministry reported.

The country holds the third-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally. 

Mexico’s Health Ministry also recorded 6,686 new infections Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 492,522.

New Zealand closes off all retirement homes after new coronavirus cases emerge 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a news conference at Parliament on August 12, in Wellington, New Zealand. 

All retirement homes in New Zealand will be closed off in a bid to protect “vulnerable ” communities from the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a news conference Wednesday.

Ardern said all aged care facilities would be closed to everyone but staff and essential deliveries from noon local time Wednesday. 

“I realize how incredibly difficult this will be for those who have loved ones living in these facilities but it is the strongest way that we can protect and look after them,” Ardern said.

The announcement comes after New Zealand confirmed four new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases Tuesday, breaking the 102-day streak the country had gone without recording a local infection.

All four of the cases were found within one household in South Auckland, and none of them had recently traveled outside of New Zealand, according to New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

Elections in doubt: Ardern also announced Wednesday that New Zealand would defer the dissolution of Parliament “by at least a few days,” which would allow it to reconvene if needed.  

The dissolution of Parliament was scheduled to take place on Wednesday in a key step toward holding a national election on September 19. 

Ardern said that “no decision yet as you can imagine” has been taken regarding the postponement of the election. 

Mass testing: Speaking at the same news conference, Bloomfield said health officials have prepared “to test tens of thousands of people in the coming days, so we can see if there are anymore cases of Covid-19 in the community.” 

He added that New Zealand has over 270,000 coronavirus tests in stock, with the ability to process 12,000 tests per day. 

Back into lockdown: Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand, was placed under level 3 restrictions following the confirmation of the new cases Tuesday. All non-essential businesses, including restaurants and bars, are closed, and residents are only allowed to leave home for essential activities such as grocery shopping. Schools in Auckland will also be closed for three days.

The rest of New Zealand went into level 2 restrictions, where businesses can remain open as long as they follow public health guidelines.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Argentina has surpassed 5,000

A health care worker wearing PPE stands by an ambulance in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood on June 24, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Another 240 Covid-19 fatalities were reported in Argentina on Tuesday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 5,004 since the pandemic began, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Tuesday marked a single-day high for the number of deaths reported in the country.

More than 7,000 cases were also reported in Argentina Tuesday. A total of 260,911 cases have been identified since the pandemic began.

Argentina’s biggest hotspot remains the metropolitan area of Buenos Areas, where 207 out of 240 new deaths were reported on Tuesday. 

"I've taken it myself": Russian CEO says he has administered Covid-19 vaccine to his family

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) with CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. 

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is funding the coronavirus vaccine research approved in Russia said Tuesday the rollout of the drug “will be very gradual.”

“We’re not going to give it to 10 million people tomorrow,” Dmitriev told CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “It’s going to be a very gradual, careful rollout going forward.”

Developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has been named Sputnik-V, a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union. It has yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.

The announcement of the Russian coronavirus vaccine has been met with worldwide skepticism. 

The World Health Organization said in a statement about the Russian vaccine that “accelerating vaccine research should be done following established processes through every step of development to ensure that any vaccines that eventually go into production are both safe and effective.”

Cooper asked Dmitriev, “To those who are saying that this vaccine was rushed. You said it was proven. How has it been proven effective?”

“It’s been proven through phase one, phase two trial,” Dmitriev said. “We will have phase three trials in many other countries, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Philippines.”
“According to Russian law, when you have a pandemic, when you have epidemia like this, you can do phase three concurrently with launching to high-risk groups, which we are doing. We believe that’s exactly the right approach, and this approach makes sense. And the rest of the world knowing some of the science behind our vaccine really likes what they see. We received 1 billion doses preorder already for the vaccine. I think time will tell the success of the Russian approach.

Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine’s claimed safety or effectiveness. 

Fauci says he seriously doubts Russia has proven new vaccine is safe and effective

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 31.

After Russia said it had approved a coronavirus vaccine for use Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he seriously doubts Russia has proven its vaccine is safe and effective.

“I hope that the Russians have actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they’ve done that,” Fauci told Deborah Roberts of ABC News for a National Geographic event to broadcast Thursday. A portion of the interview was posted by National Geographic on Tuesday.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that having a vaccine and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things.

“We have half a dozen or more vaccines,” Fauci said. “So if we wanted to take the chance of hurting a lot of people or giving them something that doesn’t work, we could start doing this, you know, next week if we wanted to. But that’s not the way it works.” 

Fauci said that if and when Americans hear announcements from countries like Russia or China about vaccine development, they have to remember that the United States has certain safety and efficacy standards in place. Makers of the Russian vaccine have not yet released any data from human trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it will only approve a vaccine if it meets a 50% efficacy requirement.

In a statement emailed Tuesday, the World Health Organization said it is in touch with Russian scientists and authorities and looks forward to reviewing details of the trials. According to WHO, there are 28 vaccines in human trials around the world.

There are more than 5.1 million coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 5,139,920 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 164,502 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 45,520 new cases and 1,039 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

At least 103,000 people have died from coronavirus in Brazil

Brazil has reported 1,274 people have died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 103,026, according to the health ministry. 

The country’s health ministry also reported 52,160 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,109,630.  

Brazil continues to trail only the United States in terms of the world’s highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. 

Colombia's coronavirus cases surpass 400,000

Healthcare workers transfer a coronavirus patient to a hospital in Medellín, Colombia, on August 3.

Colombia reported 12,830 new cases Tuesday in what is a single-day record for the country, bringing the total number of cases to 410,453, according to the country’s health ministry.  

Another 321 new fatalities were also reported, bringing the total death toll to 13,475.

Colombia’s capital Bogota remains the biggest hotspot with 141,994 cases in the country. 

North Georgia State Fair canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

The North Georgia State Fair has been canceled, according to fair organizers in a statement. 

“With utmost regret, the decision has been made to cancel the Superior Plumbing Presents North Georgia State Fair this year,” the statement said.

“Every effort has been made to find a viable solution for bringing the fair to fruition this year. However, between Cobb and Douglas Public Health notifying us of continued use of Jim R. Miller Park for Covid-19 testing through the end of the year, the extension of Governor Kemp’s Public Health State of Emergency, and an abundance of caution for the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, the difficult and heartbreaking decision has been made to cancel,” the statement said. 

The fair was scheduled for Sept. 23 to Oct. 3.

The organizers are planning to hold a “Taste of the Fair” drive-thru experience giving people a chance to taste their favorite fair foods.

This is the first time the fair has been canceled since World War II. 

Trump tries to make the case the US is doing better than Europe

President Trump speaks at a news conference at the White House on Tuesday.

President Trump cited misleading statistics about coronavirus cases in Europe during a press briefing Tuesday, claiming inaccurately that right now the US is handling the pandemic better than other countries.

“Since the end of July, the seven-day average for cases in the United States has fallen by nearly 20%, but the virus continues to increase in nations across the globe,” the President claimed, speaking before taking questions. “Last week, France and Germany both recorded their highest daily number of new cases in three months.”

“Not that I want to bring that up,” he added, “but might as well explain it to the media.”

“The seven-day case average for Germany has increased by 62% since last week, unfortunately, and that is truly unfortunate. It’s increased 82% in France, 113% in Spain, and 30% in the United Kingdom. Those are big increases. Cases are also rapidly increasing in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovakia, Estonia and other European counties. And in our country, they’re going down. We will be seeing that even more rapidly as time goes by, short time,” the President claimed. 

It’s true that cases are rapidly rising in Europe, but the numbers are nowhere near the level of infection in the United States. 

The US added 49,536 new cases on Monday, a day that consistently sees lower numbers. The US is averaging 54,409 new cases over the last seven days, which is up slightly from the previous few days.

However, the percent change from the prior week in cases is down 10%, not 20% as the President claimed. This is also slightly lower than last week, when the US dipped down 16% compared to the prior week in this metric, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. 

US government strikes deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine

A nurse prepares a shot during a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y.

The Trump administration has reached a $1.525 billion deal with Moderna Inc. to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine once it is approved, according to a news release from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

President Trump announced the deal during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Moderna is one of several companies manufacturing the vaccine “at risk,” as the industry calls it, meaning the company is currently making the vaccine before it is approved. Clinical trials are currently underway to test whether it’s safe and effective.

Under this contract, worth up to $1.525 billion for 100 million doses, the doses would be owned by the US government and would be distributed and used as part of its Covid-19 vaccine campaign. If the doses are used, they would be provided to Americans at no cost. The government can also acquire up to an additional 400 million doses of this vaccine. 

The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, was developed by Moderna in collaboration with the US government. It had development help from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the US Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority, known as BARDA, supported late stage clinical trials and has helped scale up manufacturing. Moderna’s advanced stage clinical trial, which started July 27, is the first government-funded Phase 3 clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States.

This contract is a part of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed, the federal push to get vaccines and therapeutics to market as soon as safely possible. HHS said the goal is to get effective vaccines to the American people by the end of the year. 

The government has also reached a deal with Pfizer in July to produce 100 million doses of its vaccine. In August it reached a similar deal for 100 million doses with Janssen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arm, for its vaccine candidate. It has other deals with GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Novavax and AstraZeneca. 

There are 28 Covid-19 vaccines in human trials, according to the World Health Organization.

“In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in Tuesday’s news release. “Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate all the way from early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

Trump calls on colleges to allow football because student athletes will "be able to fight it off"

President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Washington.

President Trump insisted once again that colleges should play football and made the very dubious claim that student athletes are strong enough to withstand coronavirus, even though several major conferences have postponed or are considering postponing their football seasons.

“Hopefully we can watch colleges play football. We want to get football in colleges. These are young, strong people. They won’t have a big problem with the China virus. So, we want to see college football start and hopefully a lot of great people are going to be out there, they’re going to be playing football and they’ll be able to fight it off,” Trump said Tuesday at a news conference at the White House.

“And hopefully it won’t bother it one bit. Most of them will never get it, statistically. But we know we’ll see more cases at some point, and we will eventually develop sufficient immunity in addition to everything else that we’re doing,” he claimed. “So, college football, get out there and play football. People want to see it.”

Despite Trump’s assertions that college football players are somehow unlikely to get coronavirus or experience its severe effects, several colleges and universities have already seen a growing number of student athletes testing positive for the virus.

And though Trump insists that college football players are less likely to be severely impacted from the coronavirus because they’re “young, strong people,” research shows that 1 in 3 young adults (ages 18 to 25) are at risk of severe Covid-19, with smoking playing a big part in their level of risk.

And though earlier in the outbreak health experts underscored that older adults were most vulnerable to coronavirus, the proportion of cases in teens and young adults has gone up sixfold, according to the World Health Organization.

CNN reported earlier Tuesday that the Pac-12 has postponed all sports including football through the calendar year and the Big Ten conference has postponed the 2020 football season. Other universities and conferences have also announce a pause on college sports.

The President concluded by telling players to stand for the American flag and the national anthem, claiming that the NBA and NFL had had poor ratings for allowing players to protest during the song.

These 2 college football conferences will continue to monitor coronavirus developments

A detailed view of the trophy after the Clemson Tigers defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 64-17 in the ACC Football Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Following Tuesday’s announcements from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences on postponing their fall sports seasons, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) say they are continuing to monitor coronavirus developments.

The ACC said it will continue to make decisions based on medical advice and local and state health guidelines.

“The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administered on our 15 campuses. We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well,” the ACC said in a statement.

“We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves,” the statement added.

Commissioner Greg Sankey said the SEC looks forward “to learning more about the factors that led the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today.”

“I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols for a safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and care for our student-athletes every day,” Sankey added.

Medical organizations call for HHS to update Covid-19 testing prioritization guidelines

An urgent care worker wearing personal protective equipment is about to perform a COVID-19 test on a patient on August 10, 2020 in Winnetka, California. 

The American Medical Association and other health organizations urged US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to update Covid-19 testing prioritization guidelines, as resources are still limited and many patients are still waiting over a week to receive their results.

In an open letter on Tuesday, the organizations say that they are “increasingly concerned about the serious strains” being placed on testing services and the impacts of those strains on their ability to provide medical care and contain Covid-19. 

“We recommend that the Administration consider updating its testing prioritization guidelines to ensure that those with a medically-indicated need for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, such as those with COVID-19 symptoms, those with known exposures to COVID-19, and those in need of pre-procedure testing can have ready access to testing services and timely return of test results,” the letter said.

Along with significant surges in cases, there is also an increase in demand for testing of asymptomatic individuals who wish to return to activities such as going to work or returning to college. 

They urged the administration to consider using new testing prioritization guidelines, as without improvement in supply availability, “we simply do not have the resources to meet the huge demand for testing by asymptomatic individuals without exposure to Covid-19.”

The letter also said that they recognize the need for a surveillance strategy, and recommend that updated testing guidelines “include a well-designed surveillance strategy that achieves public health goals while appropriately managing testing resources.”  

Rapid screening tests could play a significant role in asymptomatic screening and surveillance efforts and help to reopen, the letter said.

Laboratories are struggling with supply chain shortages, access to personal protective equipment and staffing issues in many places, the organizations said. These are impacting both Covid-19 care and non Covid-19 care. 

Other associations that signed the letter include The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association for Molecular Pathology, Association of Pathology Chairs, College of American Pathologists and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

New Hampshire enacts mask requirements for gatherings of over 100 people

Fans wear masks and face coverings look on prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 02, 2020 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Anyone attending a gathering of more than 100 people in New Hampshire will be required to wear a face covering, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Tuesday.

“Effective immediately any scheduled gathering of over 100 people in the state of New Hampshire will require attendees to wear masks,” said Sununu during a news conference.

“New Hampshire citizens have been diligent. They’ve been doing a great job at social distancing and wearing masks and we continue to see very positive numbers,” Sununu added.

The latest numbers: The state announced at least 21 new cases of coronavirus during the briefing.  Thus far, approximately 6,861 New Hampshire residents have tested positive. The state is reporting no new deaths today.  

Note: These numbers were released by the state of New Hampshire 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.

Connecticut governor confident schools can reopen for in-person learning safely

A gymnasium sits empty at the KT Murphy Elementary School on March 17, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford Public Schools closed the week before to help slow the spread of the COVID-19.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont pushed for schools to reopen for in-person learning during a news conference Tuesday, saying he knows the state can bring students back safely.

“If Connecticut can’t get their kids back into the classroom safely, no state can,” the governor said, citing the state’s hard work in wearing masks and social distancing.