August 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 12, 2020
36 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:16 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Here's the latest on new coronavirus cases in Florida

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Medical staff prepare to administer rapid antigen coronavirus tests at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on August 5.
Medical staff prepare to administer rapid antigen coronavirus tests at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on August 5. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Florida again is reporting a record number of coronavirus-related deaths.

The state reported 276 additional deaths, breaking the previous record of 257 deaths on July 31, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

The state reported at least 5,831 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to 542,792. The statewide resident death toll is now at least 8,553. 

Note: These numbers were released by the (state’s/city’s/county’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.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported the number of new coronavirus cases in Florida. The number of new coronavirus cases is at least 5,831.

12:05 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

The Americas remain "under the grip of Covid-19," health organization director says

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, speaks during a virtual briefing on August 11.
Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, speaks during a virtual briefing on August 11. PAHO

Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said on Tuesday, “There have been more than 10.5 million cases and over 390,000 Covid-19 deaths reported in our region.”

The United States accounts for more than half of the new cases reported daily, she said during a news briefing.

“We are also observing an expansion of cases in Central America, where this week, Belize reported its highest-ever number of new Covid-19 cases. And in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is reporting more cases than all the other island nations combined,” Etienne said.

“Our region remains under the grip of Covid-19,” she said.

Etienne said efforts to fight communicable diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis have been impacted by Covid-19. This is also true for mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue Fever and malaria.

If Covid-19 continues at such a high level in the region, she warned that years of progress could be erased around in just a few months. “For diseases that are completely curable, this is not acceptable,” she said.

“Without testing or treatment, severe cases of mosquito-borne diseases could go from easily treatable conditions to death,” she said.

“We're beginning to see just that across our region, and indeed the world, that people are dying at higher rates than normal,” Etienne said. “Not just from Covid-19 itself, but because of the impact of this pandemic on essential health services.”

11:57 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

McConnell continues to blame Democrats over stalled stimulus negotiations

From CNN's Alex Rogers

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks to members of the press at the Hart Senate Office Building August 4 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks to members of the press at the Hart Senate Office Building August 4 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squarely blamed the Democrats for the stalled negotiations over another stimulus bill, saying that “struggling people” have “gotten nothing” due to their “absurd” demands and “hostage” tactics.

“Struggling people have waited, and waited, and gotten nothing,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “That has been the Democrats’ decision. Reporters can call it ‘hardball’ like this was some ordinary standstill. But families are suffering. Americans are dying. This is not a Washington game. It's a national crisis.”

“It would serve the nation better if the Democratic leaders would act like it’s a crisis,” he added.

In particular, McConnell lambasted the Democrats’ wishes to repeal the cap for the state and local tax deduction, extend the $600 weekly boost to federal unemployment aid and provide $1 trillion for state and local governments.

11:33 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

France maintains ban on mass gatherings until end of October

From CNN’s Benjamin Berteau and Barbara Wojazer in Paris 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex delivers a speech during a visit at the CHU hospital in Montpellier, France, on August 11.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex delivers a speech during a visit at the CHU hospital in Montpellier, France, on August 11. Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

The French government is extending a ban on mass gatherings of 5,000 people or more until Oct. 30, Prime Minister Jean Castex said Tuesday. 

Local authorities can request an exemption to the ban, Castex explained while speaking after a visit to a hospital in the city of Montpellier.

This decision comes as “the coronavirus epidemic has deteriorated over the last few days,” Castex warned. 

“For the past two weeks, the epidemiological situation has been trending in the wrong direction,” he added. 

Deploring a “weaker vigilance, weaker discipline and weaker solidarity” from a part of the population, the prime minister also called to extend the obligation to wear masks in outdoor public spaces. 

The decision on mass gatherings reverses a previous decision announced on Aug. 4 from the Culture Ministry, which said that cultural events in France of 5,000 people or more would be able to resume from Sept. 1.

11:18 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

New York City's key Covid-19 indicators remain below the threshold

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference in New York City on August 11.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference in New York City on August 11. NYC Media

New York City’s coronavirus indicators continue to remain steady, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

At least 61 individuals were admitted to hospitals on Monday, 297 individuals remain in intensive care united in the New York City health and hospital system, and the daily positivity rate in the city remains at 2%. 

All three of those indicators are below the threshold. 

Mayor de Blasio spent much of Tuesday’s news conference focused on new measures aimed at helping the cities economic recovery.

The city is launching a tenant protection portal that will help protect renters who can’t afford their monthly payments from being evicted.

Additionally, 30 of the largest employers in the New York City area are joining to create the New York jobs counsel — a group of CEO’s who have taken a pledge to join together to create 100,000 jobs for low income New Yorkers. 

11:03 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Mexico will start phase 3 trials of vaccines from US and Chinese companies

From Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Mexico has agreements with two Chinese companies and one American company for vaccine trials, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said during Tuesday morning’s news conference.

Mexico will be participating in trials of vaccines being developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (owned by Johnson & Johnson) and Chinese companies Cansino Biologics Inc and Walvax Biotechnology Co Ltd, bringing the number of vaccine trials in the country to four.

"We have agreements with three different companies, one from the US and two from China; it's called a memorandum of understanding, the goal is that the protocols for phase three will take place in Mexico. After this announcement, Mexico will participate in four protocols from September to January," Ebrard said.

In July, Ebrard announced Mexico will participate in phase three of a Covid-19 vaccine trial from the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur's Mexico branch.

 

11:14 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

What we know so far about Russia's vaccine

A lab technician works on production of the 'Medgamal' Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology on August 6 in Moscow, Russia.
A lab technician works on production of the 'Medgamal' Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology on August 6 in Moscow, Russia. Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine, claiming it as a "world first" — but there is continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.

If you're just reading in, here's what you need to know about the vaccine:

  • No phase three trial or data: Developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has been named Sputnik-V. It has yet to go through crucial phase three trials, where it would be administered to thousands of people. Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine's claimed safety or effectiveness.
  • Putin says one of his daughters has taken it: He said she had a slightly higher temperature after each dose, but that: "Now she feels well."
  • Some US experts say they wouldn't take it: CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said "of course" he wouldn't take the vaccine, adding, "I know nothing about this vaccine." And Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said “I wouldn’t take it, certainly not outside of a clinical trial right now."
  • Where other vaccines stand: There are 25 other vaccines in the clinical evaluation stage of development and a further 139 candidate vaccines in the preclinical evaluation stage according to the World Health Organization. Closely watched vaccines in development include one from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca and another from the biotechnology company Moderna and the US National Institute of Health. Both have showed promising results and are currently undergoing phase three testing.

Watch Putin's announcement:

2:12 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Celebrity chef says politicians need to act now to save restaurants 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Award-winning chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, said that Congress needs to pass a $120 billion grant to keep restaurants in business during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite bipartisan support, the Restaurants Act has not been taken up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Are we going to not have those favorite restaurants in our neighborhoods? Those are like the heart and soul of the neighborhoods, and really we need Congress to pass this $120 million bill,” Samuelsson said on CNN’s “New Day.”

The chef commended volunteers and community members for banding together to help restaurants, but he said that now it is time for political leaders and President Trump to act.

“I don't care if he signs the bill from the golf club, but we just need the bill to be signed,” he said. “Congress talk[s] about recess. We don't have vacations. This is the most crucial point in our history in terms of restaurants. And about 11 million people are going to be unemployed." 

As the pandemic has affected Americans’ jobs and the ability to feed their families, Samuelsson partnered with Audible's Newark Working Kitchens to deliver more than 200,000 meals since March. 

Samuelsson said it’s a model that can be implemented across the country. The meal delivery service works with the New Jersey city's government, restaurants and donors to get food out to residents and first responders, hire back workers and order food from farmers, he said. 

Watch more:

9:28 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Community spread driving big spike in new Covid-19 cases in US nursing homes, health group says

From CNN Health’s Andrea Kane

Austin-Travis County medics prepare to enter a nursing home on August 5 in Austin, Texas.
Austin-Travis County medics prepare to enter a nursing home on August 5 in Austin, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) published a report Tuesday showing that confirmed Covid-19 cases in US nursing homes are rising rapidly again after a steady decline in June, due to a jump in cases in the general population.

“As we feared and have been warning government leaders over the past couple months, the spike in COVID cases in the general population across the U.S. has led to increased cases in nursing homes,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the AHCA/NCAL, told CNN via email.

The report's findings: The report used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which in conjunction with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiles weekly statistics from nursing homes.

Those numbers show that Covid-19 cases in nursing homes rose to 8,628 for the week of July 19, from a low of 5,468 for the week of June 21, just a month earlier. (July 19 is the last week for which complete information is available.)

The report shows deaths are also trending up but, as of the week of July 19, not at the same rate.

Reasons for the spike: The AHCA/NCAL report attributed community spread to the rapid uptick in cases, pointing to the soaring number of infections among the general population in many states in late June and July.

Lack of rapid testing and an inadequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is compounding the problem.

“As the CMS data shows, the increase in new cases in nursing homes is being driven by the spike in cases in the surrounding communities and exacerbated by shortages in PPE and the significant delay [up to five days or longer] in obtaining test results for nursing home staff and residents,” Parkinson said.

Call to action: The organization, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities that care for approximately 5 million people, is asking federal and state public health officials to take immediate steps to protect those communities – especially in areas with significant rise in new Covid cases.

“Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will end up repeating the same mistakes from several months ago. We need public health officials to focus on reducing spread within the larger community and prioritizing long term care for resources, like PPE, testing, staff support and funding, so we can prevent the virus from coming in to nursing homes and help staff take targeted action if it does. With the proper resources, long term care facilities can better identify who has the virus and make tactical decisions to protect residents and staff,” Parkinson said.

He also urged Congress for an additional $100 billion for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund, and that a sizeable portion of the fund be dedicated to helping nursing homes and assisted living communities acquire resources associated with protecting vulnerable residents and staff from the virus, including constant testing, PPE and staff support.

“While we are making progress, we need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities in this upcoming legislation,” Parkinson said.