September 1 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020
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7:12 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Zoom profits skyrocket 3,300% thanks to remote working trend

From CNN's Laura He

Zoom's (ZM) revenue surged more than 350% in the second quarter, and profits rocketed by nearly 10 times as much, as companies signed up for the video conferencing app to connect staff working from home during the pandemic.

The California-based video communication service provider reported a net profit of $185.7 million for the quarter through July 31 -- up nearly 3,300% compared with a year earlier. Revenues in the quarter were $663.5 million -- up 355%.

Zoom's shares hit a record high on Monday ahead of the earnings statement, and then shot up by as much as 28% in after-hours trading once the numbers were out.

"As remote work trends have accelerated during the pandemic, organizations have moved beyond addressing immediate business continuity needs to actively redefining and embracing new approaches to support a future of working anywhere, learning anywhere, and connecting anywhere," Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said Monday in an earnings call.

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6:56 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

US response to racism and Covid-19 is "tragic embarrassment," says NFL team owner

From CNN's Ben Morse

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has criticized the US government's handling of the issues of systemic racism and the coronavirus pandemic, labeling them a "tragic embarrassment."

Protests have broken out across the country over the past few months, particularly after the police killing of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Meanwhile on Monday, the US topped six million cases of Covid-19, which has killed over 183,000 people.

Lurie, who called the racism that still afflicts the US one of the country's two "pandemics," said that change will not happen until we "realize we're responsible for it."

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6:51 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

What quarantine really looks like, around the world

From CNN's Stacey Lastoe

It's hard to remember a time when quarantine wasn't a regular part of our vocabulary, yet, for most of us, just six months ago we'd rarely heard the word used or spoken it aloud -- outside of describing a scene from an historical novel or a Hulu show.

Thanks to the pandemic, however, quarantine is not only a common household word, it's also a dismal reality for thousands of people returning to their home countries or dipping a toe in international travel.

As entire nations grapple with curbing the spread of Covid-19, many have implemented strict measures to keep their homelands and their residents and visitors safe.

Mandatory quarantines are one way of doing this.

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6:30 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

"People have died unnecessarily." Ex-Google CEO slams US government's coronavirus failure

From CNN's Matt Egan

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Tuesday blasted the "failure of leadership" in America's coronavirus response and warned of more hardship to come, unless dramatic steps are taken to crush the virus.

"People have died unnecessarily because government was slow to react to common and simple things like mask wearing and social distancing," Schmidt said during a podcast, according to a transcript first shared with CNN Business.

The billionaire, who led Google between 2001 and 2011, said the federal government was "confused" and "caught flatfooted" because the country lacked integrated data systems.

"Because there's a failure of direction, a failure of leadership at pretty much every level of our government, people are left to make their own calculations as to what they should be doing," he said in the "Reimagine with Eric Schmidt" podcast.

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5:59 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Germany can avoid second lockdown, says economy minister

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, pictured at a press conference in Berlin on June 24.
Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, pictured at a press conference in Berlin on June 24. John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

A second lockdown in Germany can and will be avoided, the country's Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Peter Altmaier said the worst of the pandemic was behind Germany, and that the country's economy had improved since May,

But he said the country's GDP was expected to decline by 5.8% in 2020.

The minister's comments come as officials in Germany grapple with anti-government protests.

On Saturday thousands marched in Berlin to protest against Covid-19 regulations, with some waving imperialist flags usually associated with the far-right "Reichsbuerger" group.

5:53 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

US FDA commissioner says he could consider resigning if asked to release a vaccine too early

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said "all options are on the table" when asked if he would resign if pressured to release a coronavirus vaccine before he feels it's ready.

I can tell you, our decision at FDA will not be made on any other criteria than the science and data associated with these clinical trials," Dr. Stephen Hahn told CBS.

US health officials and the public have expressed concern that the desire to have a vaccine to control the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 6 million people in the country could rush the development process with a less safe and effective result.

One emergency physician said shortcuts in vaccine approval would be a "slippery slope."

"We initially heard Dr. Hahn saying we need to wait until all the trials are in," Dr. Leana Wen told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday.

"Then we heard him say, well maybe we can do emergency use authorization right after Phase 3, and now we're hearing that we don't even need to wait until Phase 3 trials are complete."

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5:28 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Schools in France reopen as infection rate rises

by CNN's Melissa Bell

All French schools are reopening for the first time since March, with masks mandatory for students aged 11 and older.

Students and teachers alike are keen to meet once again in school and not just online.

Though many students and teachers will have to wear masks all day, CNN's Melissa Bell reports that the French are generally on board with the measures.

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5:15 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Past disasters show why rushing a coronavirus vaccine now would be "colossally stupid"

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Heather Lieberman, 28, receives a Covid-19 vaccination from Yaquelin De La Cruz at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on August 13.
Heather Lieberman, 28, receives a Covid-19 vaccination from Yaquelin De La Cruz at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on August 13. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Vaccine experts are warning the US federal government against rushing out a coronavirus vaccine before testing has shown it's both safe and effective. Decades of history show why they're right.

The Cutter incident: On April 12, 1955 the government announced the first vaccine to protect kids against polio. Within days, labs had made thousands of lots of the vaccine. Batches made by one company, Cutter Labs, accidentally contained live polio virus and it caused an outbreak.

More than 200,000 children got the polio vaccine, but within days the government had to abandon the program. Some 40,000 children got polio, several hundred were left with paralysis, and about 10 died, said Dr. Howard Markel, a pediatrician and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

The epidemic that never was: In 1976, scientists predicted a pandemic of a new strain of influenza called swine flu, and advisers urged President Gerald Ford to hastily prepare a vaccine.

The government launched the program in about seven months and 40 million people got vaccinated against swine flu, according to the CDC. That vaccination campaign was later linked to cases of a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can develop after an infection or, rarely, after vaccination with a live vaccine.

Rushing a vaccine could lose the public's trust: People's mistrust of the system makes the idea that the FDA would rush this process before late stage clinical trials are complete "colossally stupid," said Markel.

"All it takes is one bad side effect to basically botch a vaccine program that we desperately need against this virus. It's a prescription for disaster."

4:30 a.m. ET, September 1, 2020

A herd immunity strategy to fight the pandemic can be "dangerous," experts say. Here's why

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Member of the coronavirus task force Dr. Scott Atlas listens to US President Donald Trump during a briefing at the White House in Washington, DC on August 10.
Member of the coronavirus task force Dr. Scott Atlas listens to US President Donald Trump during a briefing at the White House in Washington, DC on August 10. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

After months of effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, herd immunity has emerged as a controversial topic.

White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Atlas responded to a report on Monday that claimed he is a proponent of a "herd immunity" strategy to combat Covid-19. "I've never advocated that strategy," Atlas said at a news conference in Florida.

Such an approach -- similar to what was pursued in Sweden -- would mean that many people nationwide would have to get sick with the coronavirus in order to build up a natural immunity across communities. As the virus spreads and sickens people, many could die in the process.

In the US, 2 million people could die in the effort to achieve herd immunity to the virus, according to emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen.

"If we're waiting until 60% to 80% of people have it, we're talking about 200 million-plus Americans getting this -- and at a fatality rate of 1%, let's say, that's 2 million Americans who will die in this effort to try to get herd immunity," Wen said. "Those are preventable deaths of our loved ones that we can just not let happen under our watch."

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response, said last week that "herd immunity" is typically discussed in the context of vaccinations -- not as a response to a pandemic.

"If we think about herd immunity in the natural sense of just letting a virus run, it's very dangerous," she said. "That means that many people are infected, many people will need hospitalizations and many people will die."

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