The French government will announce details of a 100 billion euro ($118 billion) economic recovery plan on Thursday, which Prime Minister Jean Castex says should generate 160,000 jobs by the end of next year.
“With the (Covid) crisis we are going to lose more or less 100 billion euros of wealth and with that we have an unemployment rate skyrocketing,” he told RTL Radio Thursday morning. “We want to inject massive amounts of money into the economy so that the economy and business activity pick up. If companies start up again, there is less unemployment. There are more jobs. It's as simple as that.”
The details of the stimulus plan will be announced in a news conference later on Thursday after a cabinet meeting.
3:14 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
Covid-19 vaccination won't be mandatory, Brazilian Health Ministry says
From journalist Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Vaccination against Covid-19 will not be mandatory when a preventive drug arrives in Brazil, the Brazilian Health Ministry said on Wednesday, though it stressed that immunization would be essential for the country to defeat the virus.
"As we have been doing so far and will continue to do so, we encourage the vaccine to immunize the population. Otherwise, we may have the risk of returning diseases that had already been eradicated from the country as happened with measles recently," said Elcio Franco, the ministry's executive secretary. "We also remember that the vaccine is not mandatory but it will be a great tool for us to return to normal."
Franco's statement confirms what President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday when responding to a supporter who asked him to ban Covid-19 vaccines.
"No one can oblige anyone to take a vaccine," Bolsonaro said. His statement was tweeted the following day by the Brazilian Government's Twitter account.
Vaccines in Brazil trials: There are three types of Covid-19 vaccines undergoing clinical trials in Brazil. One of them, from Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca, has been conducted with the support of the Ministry of Health and in partnership with the public health federal research institute Fiocruz.
According to Franco, the public may have access to an Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by January of next year.
2:46 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
Sanofi and Glaxo start Phase 1/2 trials of their coronavirus vaccine
From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox
Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday they are starting early stage trials of their experimental coronavirus vaccine, one of several being backed by the US federal government’s Operation Warp Speed.
The companies said they were recruiting 440 healthy adults at 11 trial sites to test out the vaccine in a randomized, double blind and placebo-controlled trial. Researchers will watch to see if the vaccine is safe and whether it induces an immune response.
“The Companies anticipate first results in early December 2020, to support the initiation of a Phase 3 trial in December 2020. If these data are sufficient for licensure application, it is planned to request regulatory approval in the first half of 2021,” Glaxo said in a statement.
The companies are working together using Sanofi’s flu vaccine technology and Glaxo’s adjuvant -- a compound that boosts the power of a vaccine.
In July, the companies won a $2.1 billion commitment from the US federal government. The deal commits them to produce up to 100 million doses of vaccine next year, with an option for 500 million more doses.
Several other experimental coronavirus vaccines have started human clinical trials in the US, including those made by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Inovio, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson.
1:53 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
US records nearly 40,000 new Covid-19 cases
The United States recorded 39,670 new Covid-19 infections and 1,056 virus-related fatalities on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The country's total now stands at 6,114,406 cases, including at least 185,744 deaths.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
Although his life was upended, Schwartz realized that senior citizens and veterans in his community were fighting greater battles against Covid-19. And he wanted to help.
Schwartz decided lawn mowing was a socially distanced service he could provide -- at no cost -- to those over the age of 65. And so, his free service "I Want To Mow Your Lawn" was born.
"I just love grandparents." Schwartz said. "I can only imagine the stress they're all going through. I realized a lot of them (senior citizens) are on fixed incomes, so I figured there's a creative way to help them out. Not just physically, but also mentally."
He got his first customer at the end of June. Since then, Schwartz, who had little landscaping experience prior to his new venture, has provided for more than a dozen seniors.
Don’t fast track a Covid-19 vaccine -- "follow the process," expert warns
From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman
A potential coronavirus vaccine should not get an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, said Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
In a series of social media posts on Wednesday, Hotez listed a dozen reasons why an EUA on a potential Covid-19 vaccine may be a bad idea.
“We haven't done this before for a vaccine, or at least a major vaccine released to a large segment of the population,” he tweeted, adding it’s been for “technicalities, but nothing like this.”
An emergency use authorization allows the FDA to greenlight unapproved medical products -- but this involves substandard reviews, and falls short of the lengthy process needed for full approval.
“How can you justify a substandard or lesser review for something that would be injected in tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of Americans?” he asked. “I understand EUAs for ventilators, or PPE, etc, but not for a widely administered vaccine."
Hotez urged federal health agencies to “follow that process" of a full FDA review.
He also argued that the White House’s lack of science communications strategy is another reason to follow the standard vaccine development process, saying the operation team has allowed "inadequate puzzling interviews" and "misleading press releases."
“In my 40 years as a physician-scientist or MD PhD student I've never seen more irresponsible science communications," he said.
12:28 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
Here's a look at the best face masks on the Venice Film Festival red carpet
From CNN's Jacqui Palumbo
The red carpet at this year's Venice Film Festival is proving to be unlike any before it, with celebrities arriving on the island of Lido in face masks and gowns to a muted reception.
The 77th edition of the festival is one of the first major cultural events to take place in Europe since the coronavirus pandemic took hold on the continent.
"We are not proud to be the first, after the forced pause, to be able to do so," said Roberto Cicutto, president of festival organizer La Biennale di Venezia, in an online statement. "But we are proud of having shown... that it can be done, putting in place all the safety measures and presenting a program that has little to envy those of the preceding years."
Those safety measures include mandatory face masks, temperature checks, physical distancing during screenings and a wall built around the red carpet to keep the public away.
Covid-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles are at their lowest since April
From journalist Topher Gauk-Roger
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in Los Angeles has fallen to its lowest level since early April, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Wednesday.
“Today, 1,062 Angelenos are in the hospital because of Covid-19. To put that in perspective, in just the last five weeks alone, we’ve cut our hospitalizations by more than half,” said Garcetti. “And that’s good news because our top public health goal is to keep hospitalizations low and beds and medical staff available for any emergency, including Covid-19.”
Garcetti thanked residents for continuing to do their part to combat spread of the virus, pointing out the “good news” that L.A. County ranks 19th in California in the number of confirmed cases per 100,000.
However, he also warned that residents should not confuse the improved hospitalization and infection rate with “going back to normal,” reiterating that county-wide restrictions will remain in place.
On Wednesday, L.A. County reported 1,457 new cases of the coronavirus, raising the total since the start of the pandemic to 243,935.
The county also reported 51 new deaths -- 12 of which were in the city of L.A. -- bringing the total to 5,878.
11:09 p.m. ET, September 2, 2020
Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame pitcher, dies at 75
From CNN's Jill Martin
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 12-time all-star, has died at the age of 75, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, citing Seaver's family, and Major League Baseball said Wednesday.
Seaver died Monday in his sleep of complications of Lewy body dementia and Covid-19, the National Baseball Hall of Fame said.
"We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away," said his wife, Nancy Seaver, and daughters Sarah and Anne, according to the Hall of Fame website. "We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you."
Seaver, known as "Tom Terrific," won 311 games and had a 2.86 earned-run average over a 20-year major league career that spanned from 1967-1986.