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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11:43 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

New York has reported an infection rate under 1% for 26 days

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York remains under a 1% coronavirus infection rate for its 26th day, the Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today, adding that there were 5 Covid-19-related deaths reported across the state. 

The additional 708 cases in the state bring its total to at least 436,218, the governor added.

Remember: These numbers were released by the state’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database, which is drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

11:27 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Common steroids reduce deaths among critically ill Covid-19 patients, new analysis confirms

From CNN's John Bonifield and Naomi Thomas

New research released on Wednesday confirms that common, affordable steroids can reduce deaths among critically ill Covid-19 patients.

The study, published in the medical journal JAMA, examined several randomized trials involving more than 1,700 patients. Patients who received the steroids were more likely to survive, and there was no suggestion of an increased risk of serious of adverse events among those who received the drugs.

Among 678 patients treated with steroids, 32.7% died. Among 1,025 patients who received usual care or a placebo, 41.5% died.

“The bottom line is that these are the sickest patients who are being treated with corticosteroids in these trials and mortality is very high, it's about 40% in the absence of treatment with corticosteroids,” said Jonathan A. C. Sterne of the University of Bristol, an author of one of the papers published Wednesday. “The treatment with corticosteroids reduces mortality of 40% to 32%, that's a 20% relative reduction, or if you like to a better way to think about it, an easier way to think about, it is that out of every hundred patients treated with corticosteroids, eight additional patients do not die.”

These results suggest steroids should be part of standard care for critically ill Covid-19 patients, the study says.

"These studies provide evidence and some hope that an effective, inexpensive, and safe treatment has been identified," Dr. Hallie Prescott of the University of Michigan and Dr. Todd Rice of Vanderbilt University wrote in an accompanying editorial.

The new analysis confirms preliminary results previously shared by researchers from the UK-based Recovery trial; results from that trial are included in the new analysis. In June, those researchers said a low-dose regimen of dexamethasone for 10 days was found to reduce the risk of death by a third among hospitalized patients requiring ventilation in the trial.

Steroids are widely available and already commonly used to treat seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

11:25 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

A travel company canceled trips to a Greek resort due to coronavirus spike

From CNN's Sharon Brathwaite

Tourists disembark at the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach on the Ionian island of Zante on July 18.
Tourists disembark at the famous Navagio (Shipwreck) beach on the Ionian island of Zante on July 18. Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Travel company TUI will cancel trips to Greek resort of Laganas, on the island of Zante, from Thursday due to coronavirus spikes, a TUI UK spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.

This follows a decision by the Welsh government to ask travelers returning from Zante to self-isolate for 14 days, after it had "identified multiple separate clusters linked to the Greek island of Zante/Zakynthos." 

On Tuesday the Scottish government announced that travelers returning from Greece would be required to follow quarantine restrictions.

"Following the recent positive cases from customers returning from Zante, we have taken the decision to no longer offer holidays in the resort of Laganas from Thursday 3 September," a TUI UK spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement.

About the resort: Laganas is "a popular resort with young people who traditionally holiday in large groups of friends. The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is our primary concern and recent cases shows that some customers are not following social distancing and Covid safety measures. It is therefore the right thing to do to protect and reduce a now identified potential risk to others by no longer offering holidays to this specific resort," the statement adds.

"The recent cases in Wales have highlighted a demographic of customers that have recently returned from Zante and subsequently tested positive. As the only airline that flies between Cardiff and Zante it has allowed us to understand trends that may also be seen in other areas of the UK."

The company spokesperson also said that customers impacted will be offered a full cash refund and "customers due to travel to Greece from Scotland will be able to amend or cancel their holiday in light of the recent quarantine announcement."


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.