September 9 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 10, 2020
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12:15 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Trump called coronavirus "deadly stuff" in early February, according to audio recording from Bob Woodward

CNN has obtained audio recordings from some of Bob Woodward's interviews with President Trump for his new book "Rage."

According to the book, Trump knew in early February coronavirus was dangerous, highly contagious, airborne and "deadly."

Here's an exchange between Woodward and Trump on Feb. 7:

Woodward: And so, what was President Xi saying yesterday?  

Trump: Oh, we were talking mostly about the virus. And I think he’s going to have it in good shape, but you know, it’s a very tricky situation. It’s –  

Woodward: Indeed.  

Trump: It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so, that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus. You know, people don’t realize, we lose 25,000, 30,000 people a year here. Who would ever think that, right?  

Woodward: I know. It’s much forgotten.  

Trump: Pretty amazing. And then I say, well, is that the same thing-  

Woodward: What are you able to do for-  

Trump: This is more deadly. This is five per- you know, this is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent. You know? So, this is deadly stuff.

12:27 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Covid-19 deaths in Florida surpass 12,000

From CNN's Melissa Alonso  

A funeral home director and mortician assistants prepare a funeral service for a man who died of Covid-19 on August 12 in Tampa, Florida.
A funeral home director and mortician assistants prepare a funeral service for a man who died of Covid-19 on August 12 in Tampa, Florida. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Florida health officials reported 200 resident fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the resident death toll to 12,115, according to the Florida Department of Health.  

State health officials reported 154 non-Florida resident deaths as well, the department's data shows.

The health department reported 2,056 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the state’s total to 652,148.

There have been 40,517 Florida residents with Covid-19 hospitalized since the start of the pandemic, the department's data shows. 

One thing to note: These numbers were released by Florida’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

12:18 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

This Black doctor volunteered for a vaccine trial after losing her father to Covid-19

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Dr. Chris Pernell speaks with CNN.
Dr. Chris Pernell speaks with CNN. CNN

A sense of purpose has always driven Dr. Chris Pernell, which is why she became a doctor in the first place. But when she lost her father to Covid-19 and saw her sister, a breast cancer survivor, also struggling to fend off the impact of the virus, she volunteered to be a part of the coronavirus vaccine trial. 

“It's given me a sense of fire in my belly to be a part of the solution. It’s given me a deep and abiding resolve to help communities that are vulnerable and marginalized,” she said.

Reemphasizing how the pandemic is disproportionately impacting racial minorities, she said, “Black and brown communities — we've borne this disproportionate burden. And given my interest in racial equity and racial justice, this is personal. This is a personal fight for me.”

Dr. Pernell also said she understands the skepticism in the Black community given the “long history of exploitation that gives the black community a sense of pause, that broken trust.”

“But even with that being true, this opportunity is paramount,” she said. “Communities that have been disproportionately impacted should have that opportunity, should have that access to say I want to be a part of the solution.”

11:51 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine is a "critical" part of the solution to the pandemic, but not a magic bullet, expert says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

While a vaccine for Covid-19 is not a magic bullet, it will play a critical part in managing the pandemic, according the Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a health research charity.

“There are no magic bullets for infectious diseases,” Farrar said, during a news briefing by the Wellcome Trust on Wednesday. “It’s always a combination of public health, of treatments, of diagnostics, of behavior, of poverty, of course — and yes, in many cases where we’re lucky, with vaccines as well.”

Farrar used Ebola as an example, saying, “Yes, it’s fantastic to have an Ebola vaccine, but we all appreciate that it’s one part of the picture, and Covid-19 will be identical.”

He added that the vaccine will be a “critical” part of the picture. He said he is optimistic that of all the vaccine candidates that are in development, there will be vaccines showing safety and efficacy data that could make a big impact on the pandemic maybe during the later parts of 2020, but certainly in 2021.

“The first-generation vaccines will not be perfect, in my view, but an imperfect vaccine can have a major impact on reducing transmission and preventing severe disease,” he said. “And the second-generation vaccines will inevitably be better.”

As the coronavirus is a human endemic infection, Farrar said that societies around the world will have to learn to live with the infection, manage it and reduce its impact through vaccination, treatment and diagnostics, as is done with many other infections.

There is also the possibility that more than one vaccine will be needed if the virus mutates, and that new challenges could arise from new clinical syndromes or changes of the virus itself.

“This is with us for a very long time,” Farrar said. “With a vaccine or without a vaccine.”

11:44 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

US health official: "I am ready to roll up my sleeve" and get vaccinated once one is deemed safe

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, attends a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 9.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, attends a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 9. Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images

Both Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jerome Adams, surgeon general of the United States, said they would get the Covid-19 vaccine if and when one is deemed safe. 

Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, questioned the two during the Senate Health Committee's ongoing hearing on vaccines, asking, “Will you commit to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in public view” once one is available and is approved by the FDA.

“Absolutely,” Adams answered.

“I am ready to roll up my sleeve as soon as they say it’s effective,” Collins said.

Earlier in the hearing, Adams told Sen. Bernie Sanders, “I want the American people to hear me say this: There will be no shortcuts. This vaccine will be safe. It will be effective. Or it won't get moved along.”

“And when a vaccine is either approved or authorized by the FDA, I and my family will be in line to get it,” Adams said. 

11:30 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

One in five young adults hospitalized for Covid-19 need intensive care, research shows

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Coronavirus can hit may young adults hard, new research shows.

One in five young adults hospitalized for Covid-19 needs intensive care and 2.7% of them die, according to research published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers said that young adults with certain health issues could be just as susceptible to the virus as middle-aged adults without them.

A team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied 3,222 Covid-19 patients between 18 and 34 who were treated at 419 US hospitals. About 21% of these patients ended up in the intensive care unit and 10% needed a ventilator. 

Eighty-eight patients, or 2.7%, died. The researchers said that this in-hospital death rate is lower than the rate reported for older adults with Covid-19. For comparison, they note that the rate is about double the death rate for young adults with heart attacks.

Many patients had underlying health conditions, which put them at greater risk of negative outcomes. The team identified 24.5% of patients with morbid obesity, 18.2% with diabetes and 16.1% with high blood pressure. “Young adults with more than one of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them,” they wrote.

Black and Hispanic people accounted for 57% of the hospitalized patients, which is in line with reports of minority people of all ages being hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic. The researchers noted that odds of death or mechanical ventilation did not vary significantly among different races.

Research published in July found that one in three young adults is at risk of severe Covid-19. As rates of the virus increase among the younger population, the team says their findings highlight the importance of infection control among young adults.

11:28 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Risk of getting Covid-19 in the hospital is low, study finds  

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Although some patients have been avoiding essential care due to fears of catching Covid-19 in hospitals, new research published in JAMA Network Open on Wednesday suggests it’s rare for people to catch the virus while at the hospital.  

“Over the first 12 weeks of the pandemic in the US, our hospital cared for more than 9,000 patients, including approximately 700 with Covid-19 who were present for 8,656 hospital days,” researchers  from the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute wrote. “Despite the high burden of Covid-19 in our hospital, we identified only two patients who likely acquired the infection in the hospital.” 

There were 9,149 patients admitted to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital between March 7 and May 30, the first 12 weeks of the pandemic in the region.

The researchers reviewed all patients diagnosed with Covid-19 either on the third or later days of their time in hospital or who were diagnosed within 14 days of having been discharged from the hospital. 

There were 697 initial diagnoses of Covid-19, 12 of which came three or more days into the patients’ hospital stay.

The only patient who definitely acquired Covid-19 in the hospital was most likely infected by a presymptomatic spouse who visited daily before their own diagnosis, one week before the patient started having symptoms. The case occurred before implementation of visitor restrictions and universal masking, the researchers said. 

Community acquired infection was definite or likely for the other 11 patients. 

Of the 8,370 patients who were hospitalized with non-Covid related conditions and discharged through June 17, there were 11 positive tests within the health care system for Covid-19 in the two weeks after discharge. 

“Only one case was deemed to be likely hospital acquired, albeit with no known exposures inside the hospital,” the researchers said.  
11:39 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Pharmacists will be able to administer Covid-19 vaccine to anyone 3 and older, surgeon general says

From CNN's Allison Main

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams announced that the US Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing guidance to expand access to safe and effective coronavirus vaccines.

Adams said, per HHS, when Covid-19 vaccines are made available, state-licensed pharmacists will now be able to administer them to anyone age 3 and older.

"Now, more than ever, we need to help people understand vaccines are safe, vaccines are effective, vaccines are how we achieve health equity and social justice," Adams testified in a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday.


11:25 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

US surgeon general promises that vaccine cost will "not be an obstacle" for Americans

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams arrives for a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 9.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams arrives for a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 9. Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

The Surgeon General of the United States promises he will not let the cost of a potential Covid-19 vaccine get in the way of getting people vaccinated. 

“As Surgeon General of the United States, I promise you, we will use every federal tool that we have to make sure that cost is not an obstacle for people receiving what will perhaps be the most important and highly anticipated vaccine of our lives," Dr. Jerome Adams said.

Speaking at the same Senate Health Committee hearing, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, agreed with Adams, “100%.”