September 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
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11:12 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Ford will cut 1,400 salaried jobs and offer early retirement

From CNN's Chris Isidore

Ford Motor Co. world headquarters stands behind a sunflower patch in Dearborn, Michigan,  on Saturday, September 14, 2019.
Ford Motor Co. world headquarters stands behind a sunflower patch in Dearborn, Michigan, on Saturday, September 14, 2019. Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ford is looking to cut 1,400 white collar jobs in a cost-savings move.

The automaker sent out letters to employees Wednesday, saying that salaried staff eligible for retirement would be getting early retirement offers next week. Those who take the offer by Oct. 23 would be leaving the company by the end of the year.

"Our hope is to reach [cost cutting] targets with the voluntary incentive program," the letter from Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of the Americas, said. "If that doesn't happen, involuntary separations may be required."

The auto industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Car sales are down significantly as millions of US workers have lost their jobs, and millions more are working from home and not in need of a new car to get to and from work.

Ford posted a 50% drop in revenue in the second quarter, and it would have lost $1.9 billion in the period without a paper gain from its investment in Argo AI, a separate company working on self-driving car technology in which Ford and Volkswagen have a joint stake.

The company has 30,000 salaried US staff and 56,000 US hourly factory workers. It had 190,000 employees worldwide at the start of the year. It has not had any layoffs of hourly workers this year, unlike rival General Motors, in response to the drop in sales from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ford said its cost-cutting move is part of a five-year, $11 billion restructuring that was first announced two years ago. Most of the job cuts from that effort is expected to be focused on less profitable overseas operations.

Ford's stock was flat Wednesday morning.

11:07 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

First confirmed case of Covid-19 at Moria refugee camp in Greece

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London and Chris Liakos in Greece

This photo taken on August 24 shows a part of the makeshift camp next to the refugee camp of Moria, in the island of Lesbos.
This photo taken on August 24 shows a part of the makeshift camp next to the refugee camp of Moria, in the island of Lesbos. Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

The first confirmed case of Covid-19 has been reported at Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) said Wednesday.

The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum also said in a statement on Wednesday that the patient is a 40-year-old Somali refugee. The Ministry said he “returned illegally to Moria, where he had been staying in a tent outside the existing fence, despite being issued an exit decision” and leaving the camp on July 17. He is currently being treated at the hospital of Mytilene, Lesbos.

The entire Moria camp has now been placed under quarantine for 14 days, the Ministry added. A team from Greece’s Public Health Organization is going to Moria to track down the patient’s contacts, the statement said.

“The arrival of the coronavirus in the EU ‘hotspot’ refugee camp of Moria is a disaster for the people who are stranded there. ‘Social distancing’ and recommended hygiene practices to reduce risk are impossible,” said Evelien van Roemburg, Oxfam’s Europe migration campaign manager.

She warned “without immediate and drastic intervention, this will turn into a devastating health crisis that could cause the deaths of hundreds of already weakened people”.

At the end of August, Moria camp had close to 12,000 people – about 40% of them children – living in a space built for fewer than 3,000 people, the charity said.

“There are up to 160 people using the same dirty toilet and over 500 people per every shower. In some parts of the camp, 325 people share one tap and there is no soap. 15 to 20 people can live in a single shipping container, or in tents or makeshift shelters,” the statement added.

“Nearly six months into the pandemic, the emergency plan designed by Greece is still far from sufficient to properly protect people seeking asylum, staff in the refugee camps, and the wider population on the Greek islands. It almost exclusively focuses on restricting the movement of people, rather than adequate prevention and response," said Natalia-Rafaella Kafkoutsou, refugee law expert at the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR).

She called for everyone in Moria to be tested for the coronavirus, and for positive cases to be isolated immediately in proper facilities. "The Greek government and its EU partners need to take immediate action and transfer everyone out of the ‘hotspot’ to suitable accommodation on the Greek mainland and in other EU member states," Kafkoutsou urged.

Greece has so far registered 10,524 coronavirus cases and 271 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

12:09 p.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Public trust around coronavirus vaccines is dropping quickly, researcher says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Public trust around coronavirus vaccines is dropping quickly, according to Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former CDC disease detective, who is tracking this in real time.

“I have concerns about how the trials for vaccines are being communicated,” she said about her observations from her work on misinformation and disinformation particularly around vaccines.

In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci said a Covid-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results. Dr. Yasmin agrees, however, she points out that it will not lead to widespread usage if there is no public trust.

“What use is that if the American people are like, ‘Nope, I think you did this too quick, you named it Warp Speed, that’s really terrifying. Did you cut corners? How safe is this really?’” she said.

“My concern is that dropping credibility in science and scientists, in the FDA, which already this year has fast tracked two emergency use authorizations and very questionably,” she added.

Some background: Three Covid-19 vaccine candidates are in large-scale US trials. British drugmaker AstraZeneca said Monday it has started Phase 3 trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US, becoming the third company to start late-stage trials of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19.

The vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, has the backing of the US federal government. Rivals Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTec already have Phase 3 trials under way, also with federal government funding.

The World Health Organization cautioned countries Monday against rushing to develop coronavirus vaccines and advised taking great care in granting emergency use authorization — a quicker route to getting a vaccine in wide use than full approval, which can take many months.

With reporting from CNN's Andrea Kane


10:16 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Voter says she feels like her vote for Trump in 2016 "helped kill over 100,000 Americans"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Some voters who cast their ballot for Donald Trump in 2016 say the coronavirus pandemic has influenced their decision to vote for Joe Biden in November.

“I think it's one of, if not the biggest, mistake I ever made in my life. I feel like voting for him helped kill over 100,000 Americans,” said Ann Kupitz, part of a CNN panel of six white suburban women from swing states who voted for Trump in 2016. 

Lori McCammon said Trump “has not taken one ounce of responsibility” for the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“From day one, we should’ve a national mandate on wearing masks. We could’ve had this thing under control in six weeks if he had just done his job,” McCammon said on CNN’s “New Day.”

But L.A. Key, a Trump voter, thinks the President has done an “amazing job” responding to the virus and said that she doesn’t believe that 180,000 Americans have died of Covid-19.

“He did not cause the pandemic … No one could have done a better job in my opinion. No one,” she said. 

Voter Michele Morrow, a nurse, said the pandemic is Trump’s “greatest achievement,” citing his implementation of travel restrictions in February.

Trump has said that he “closed the border” from China and Europe. But according to a CNN fact check, that is misleading: 

Both policies contained multiple exemptions, including for US citizens and permanent residents; the Europe policy exempted entire countries. Only foreign nationals who had been in China, Europe's Schengen area, the UK or Ireland within the past 14 days were outright banned from entering the US. 

Watch more:

9:49 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

US stocks open higher as investors remain hopeful new stimulus deal will be reached 

Form CNN's Anneken S. Tappe

Wall Street opened higher today after starting the month off with records from both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

Investors are hopeful Congress will agree to a new stimulus package soon after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday "a bipartisan agreement still should be reached." 

Even a disappointing ADP employment report wasn't enough to taint the mood. Economists had predicted 950,000 new jobs in the private payrolls report for August, but ADP reported just 428,000 jobs were added last month.

The government's monthly jobs report is out this Friday. The ADP and government jobs numbers have differed widely throughout the pandemic, although many economists agree that the rebound is slowing down.

 Here is where things stood at opening:

  • The Dow opened 0.3%, or 96 points, higher.
  • The S&P climbed 0.5%.
  • And the Nasdaq was 0.9% higher.
9:46 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

3 soccer players test positive for Covid-19 at French team Paris Saint-Germain

From CNN’s Stephanie Halasz in London

A general view of the Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint-Germain, on Friday, April 24, in Paris.
A general view of the Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint-Germain, on Friday, April 24, in Paris. Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Three unnamed soccer players with European Cup finalists Paris Saint-Germain have tested positive for Covid-19, the club announced on Wednesday.

“Three players are confirmed positive after a Sars CoV2 test and have undergone the appropriate health protocols. All players and staff will continue to be tested over the next few days,” read the post from the club.

It comes after the club announced on Monday that two unnamed players tested positive for Covid-19 and had subsequently gone into quarantine.

The defending French champions are set to open their 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign away at RC Lens on Sept. 10 before facing Olympique de Marseille at home at the Parc des Princes in Paris three days later, on Sept. 13.

PSG only finished the 2019-2020 season on Aug. 23, losing to German champions Bayern Munich 1-0 in the Champions League final, the biggest club match in world soccer. Some of soccer's biggest stars, including Brazil's Neymar and France's Kylian Mbappé, play for the Qatari-owned club.

9:40 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

World's largest movie theater chain will reopen another 140 theaters by Friday

From CNN's Alison Kosik

An employee sanitizes the concession stand at AMC Town Square 18 on Thursday, August 20, in Las Vegas.
An employee sanitizes the concession stand at AMC Town Square 18 on Thursday, August 20, in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

AMC said that 70% of its theaters — or 420 total — will be open by this weekend, including the first AMC theater in San Diego, California.

AMC announced Thursday that it will reopen more than 140 theaters this week. This move comes right before "Tenet" comes out in the US this Labor Day weekend — one of the first big movies to hit theaters since the pandemic began. The Christopher Nolan film had a big international debut last weekend. The film was originally set to open in July, but was delayed because of “continued uncertainty.”

Major theater chains are attempting to reopen during the pandemic, but it’s difficult to entice audiences to return to theaters without a new major blockbuster to sell tickets.

Some background: AMC first reopened more than 100 theaters in the US on August 20. AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement that "the first two weekends of operations have exceeded our expectations in terms of guests returning to the movies." Aron added that the company will continue to reopen theaters in a way that is both "responsible and welcoming.”

The world's largest movie theater chain says it expects to make more announcements about additional theater reopenings in California, New Jersey and other areas of the country in the coming weeks.

9:32 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Iowa has the highest rate of Covid-19 cases in the US. Here's a look at the state's latest figures. 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

A health care worker in Waukee, Iowa, performs a Covid-19 test on July 14.
A health care worker in Waukee, Iowa, performs a Covid-19 test on July 14. Charlie Neibergall/AP

A White House coronavirus task force report sent to officials in Iowa this week warns of dire new case increases across rural and urban areas of the state and calls for a mask mandate, the closure of bars and a plan from universities as the pandemic intensifies in the Midwest.

CNN has obtained the nine-page Aug. 30 report for the state, first reported by the Des Moines Register, from the Iowa Department of Public Health. The task force releases state-by-state reports each week to governors' offices, and has so far declined to make them publicly available.

The report says that Iowa is in the task force-defined "red zone" and warns that the state has the highest rate of cases in the US, which increased by 77.4% from the previous week.

"Iowa is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, with the highest rate in the country. Iowa is in the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate above 10%, with the 5th highest rate in the country," the report says, an increase in both cases and test positivity over the last week.

The report offers recommendations to Iowa, including:

  • Strongly encourages a mask mandate across the state (Iowa does not currently mandate masks)
  • Bars "must be closed" and indoor dining "must be restricted to 50% of normal capacity in yellow zone and 25% of normal capacity in red zone counties and metro areas."
  • Comprehensive plan for college towns.

The three counties with the highest numbers of cases also have large student populations, including Iowa State University in Story County and the University of Iowa in Johnson County, as well as Polk County, which contains Iowa's largest metro area, Des Moines.

The report comes less than two weeks before Iowa State University will welcome crowds to its stadium for its season opener football game. Though social distancing will be observed, a letter from the school's athletic director estimated "there will be approximately 25,000 fans at the first game." The task force report suggests red zone counties should limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

Here is a look at how the percentage of new positive tests have grown over time in the state, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project:

9:06 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

ADP employment figures disappoint as government report looms

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The ADP employment report released today was worse than expected, as just 428,000 jobs were added last month. Economists had predicted 950,000 new jobs in the private payrolls report for August.

The report showed that large companies had the strongest job gains with the leisure and hospitality sector adding 129,000, the most of any. The spring lockdown decimated the industry as hotels and restaurants shut their doors while flights were grounded.

What this means: For those watching these figures as an indicator for Friday's government jobs report, disappointment could be on the horizon. Economists expect 1.4 million jobs to be added to the economy in August, bringing the unemployment rate to 9.8%. It would be the first time since April that the jobless rate is below the peak of the Great Recession.

July's job data showed the US labor market’s third straight month of solid improvement from the depths of the pandemic. However millions of Americans who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic remain unemployed.

Economists are worried that the tepid recovery in the US job market could run out of steam this fall should coronavirus cases surge again just as federal stimulus money runs out. The world's top developed economies are all officially in a recession. What happens next is far from certain.