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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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.

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

Covid-19 cases in US children have increased 17% over two weeks, report says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A child washes her hands at Educational Playcare, in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on Thursday, August 27.
A child washes her hands at Educational Playcare, in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on Thursday, August 27. Jessica Hill/AP

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic through Aug. 27, there have been more than 476,000 cases in children, according to an updated report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The report looks at publicly reported data from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. 

Children represented 9.5% of all cases, and there is an overall rate of 631 cases per 100,000 children in the population. Both of these numbers have increased since the previous report on Aug. 20, when children represented 9.3% of all cases and the overall rate with 583 cases per 100,000 children in the population. 

There were 70,330 new child cases reported since Aug. 13— that’s a 17% increase in child cases over two weeks. 

Of the nine states that reported testing, children make up between 4% and 13.3% of all tests. Between 2.8% and 17.4% of tested children were positive for Covid-19. 

For the 22 states and New York City that reported hospitalizations, children made up 0.6% to 4.1% of total reported hospitalizations. Between 0.3% and 8.5% of all child cases resulted in hospitalization. 

For the 43 states and New York City that reported on mortality, children made up 0% to 0.3% of all Covid-19 deaths and 19 states reported zero child deaths. In the states that reported, 0% to 0.7% of all child cases resulted in death. 

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to Covid-19 is rare among children,” the report says. “However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on Covid-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of Covid-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.” 
9:48 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Fauci calls for a full-court press on Covid-19 ahead of flu season

From CNN Health's Naomi Thomas

On NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked whether it was possible to get control of Covid-19 ahead of flu season, and whether he was concerned about a so-called “twindemic.”

“You know, I am,” Fauci said. “And what I would really like to see is kind of a full-court press to get us way down as a baseline, so that when you get these cases in the fall, they won’t surge up – they’ll be controllable.”

8:22 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

NIH director "surprised" by uproar around convalescent plasma statement

From CNN's Naomi Thomas and Maggie Fox

Dr. Francis Collins testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on July 2.
Dr. Francis Collins testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on July 2. Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said he was “surprised” by the media uproar on treatment guidelines for convalescent plasma for Covid-19, in a tweet Tuesday evening.

 “Surprised by media uproar on Treatment Guidelines on convalescent plasma for #COVID19,” the tweet said.

Collins went on to say that the guidelines mirror an emergency use authorization; that the EUA says “CP should not be considered new standard of care,” and provided a link to the EUA.

“No news here,” Collins concluded his tweet.

Some background: An NIH panel said yesterday there's no evidence backing the use of convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus patients and that doctors should not treat it as a standard of care until more study has been done.

"There are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19," the panel of more than three dozen experts said in a statement posted on the NIH website Tuesday.

The statement, which was posted quietly, contradicts the Trump Administration's characterization of the treatment as "historic" and a "major advance" and directly refers to last week's emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration.

8:20 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

"It’s the worst thing you could do," Fauci says of sending infected children home from college campuses

From CNN Health's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 23.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 23. Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images

College students infected with the novel coronavirus should stay on campus and isolate there as opposed to returning home, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A return to campus for the new academic year has colleges and universities struggling to both contain outbreaks of Covid-19 and enforce policies meant to prevent its spread.

“Keep them at the university in a place that’s sequestered enough from the other students, but don’t have them go home, because they could be spreading it in their home state,” Fauci said during a prerecorded interview on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday.

Asked if campuses should be shut down when there are infected students to send kids home, Fauci replied: “It’s the worst thing you could do.”

8:16 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

"You don’t want to be someone who’s propagating the outbreak," Fauci warns ahead of Labor Day weekend

From CNN Health's Naomi Thomas

Holiday weekends have led to surges in Covid-19 cases but practicing mitigation measures can help prevent these surges, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

“When you have a holiday like Labor Day – we have seen after the 4th of July, we saw after Memorial Day – a surge in cases,” Fauci said during a prerecorded interview on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday.

“Wear a mask, keep social distancing, avoid crowds. You can avoid those kinds of surges,” he said.

“You don’t want to be someone who’s propagating the outbreak. You want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Fauci said.

 

8:16 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Fauci reiterates optimism for a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

A person in Seattle receives a shot on March 16 in the first-stage clinical trial for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
A person in Seattle receives a shot on March 16 in the first-stage clinical trial for a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Ted S. Warren/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes there will be a vaccine for Covid-19 by the end of the year, but said he wouldn’t be comfortable with one unless it was shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective.

“I believe that by the time we get to the end of this calendar year, that we will feel comfortable that we do have a safe and effective vaccine,” Fauci said during a prerecorded interview shown on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday.
When it comes to an emergency use authorization, “I would not be comfortable with a vaccine unless it was shown in a clinical trial clearly to be safe and effective,” he said.

Fauci said he has been through a number of vaccine trials in which EUA’s have ultimately been issued, “but they’ve been done when there was enough data that you would really feel comfortable it was safe and effective for the American public.”

Here's some background: In an interview Tuesday with Kaiser Health News, Fauci said a Covid-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results.

7:51 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Pope Francis holds first public audience since March

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome and Sharon Braithwaite in London

Pope Francis arrives in the San Damaso courtyard, for his first public audience since March, at the Vatican on September 2.
Pope Francis arrives in the San Damaso courtyard, for his first public audience since March, at the Vatican on September 2. Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis has held his first public audience since the start of Covid-19 restrictions, using the event to address the people of Lebanon following the devastating blast in Beirut.

Francis has been holding his regular Wednesday audience online since March.  

"After the repeated tragedies that the people of Lebanon know, we become aware of the extreme danger that threatens the very existence of the country. Lebanon cannot be abandoned to itself," the Pope said.

Pope Francis also called for solidarity in battling Covid-19.

"The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all linked to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together, all of us, in solidarity," he said.

Members of the audience wore masks, as did some of the priests in attendance.