September 3 coronavirus news

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

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020
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9:44 p.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine "unlikely" by October, despite CDC distribution guidance, NIH director says

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

The director of the National Institutes for Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said it’s “unlikely” that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by October. 

“But I defend the CDC in their effort to try to be sure people are prepared,” Collins said in an interview with CNN.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told public health officials around the United States to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October. It’s also provided planning scenarios to help states prepare. 

“This is like the Boy Scout motto, ‘Be Prepared,’” Collins said. “Even if it's very low likelihood, if everything happened to come together really beautifully and we had an answer by then and we knew we had a vaccine that was safe and effective, wouldn't you want people to be ready to figure out how to do the distribution? That's all that CDC is saying.”

“Now keep in mind that the likelihood of that is pretty low,” Collins added.

There are currently three vaccines in the US in phase 3 clinical trials.

9:38 p.m. ET, September 2, 2020

CDC documents say US states should prepare to distribute Covid-19 vaccines as soon as late October

From CNN's Jamie Gumbrecht and Maggie Fox

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told public health officials around the United States to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October. It also provided planning scenarios to help states prepare.

The documents were posted by The New York Times and the CDC confirmed to CNN it has sent them to city and state public health officials.

The scenarios offer details about distribution for two Covid-19 vaccines when supplies "may be constrained." The documents prioritize particular populations for the vaccines, including health care professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents and staff and national security populations.

CNN reported last week that CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asked states to speed through permits for medical and pharmaceutical supplies company McKesson to help distribute any eventual coronavirus vaccine. In a letter, Redfield asked them to waive any requirements that might get in the way of distributing vaccines by November 1 -- before Election Day -- and weeks, if not months, before most experts expect any vaccine to be fully tested.

The scenario documents do not necessarily mean a vaccine will be available by late October.

Read the full story:

9:36 p.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Biden: If Trump had done his job, "American schools would be open"

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said US President Donald Trump has "no real plan" for how to reopen schools safely this fall.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said US President Donald Trump has "no real plan" for how to reopen schools safely this fall. Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden criticized US President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus crisis, saying the administration "hasn't shown much grit at all."

"If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open and they'd be open safely. Instead, American families all across this county are paying the price for his failures and his administration's failures," Biden said while speaking in Delaware on Wednesday.

Biden said Trump has "no real plan" for how to reopen schools safely this fall.

"He's offering nothing but failure and delusions from the start to finish to American families and our children. They are paying the price for his failures," Biden said.

Biden laid out some of his school reopening plans, which he said were posted on his campaign website. The former vice president said the Trump administration is "starving schools of the needed funding."

"If I were president today, I would direct FEMA to make sure our kids K-12 get full access to disaster relief and emergency assistance under the Stafford Act. I'd make sure that PPE and sanitation supplies for schools qualify as emergency protective measures," Biden said. "On top of that, I would be working with leaders of Congress now, today to pass emergency packages for schools so they would have resources they need in order to be able to open safely."

Biden said that if elected president, he would also support additional funding for mental health in schools and funds to hire additional teachers as smaller classes mean "more educators are needed."