September 11 coronavirus updates

By Helen Regan, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT) September 16, 2020
40 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:55 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Florida's Broward and Miami-Dade Counties can move to phase 2 reopening Monday, governor says

From CNN’s Maria Cartaya

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Pool

During a Friday news conference in Miami, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Broward and Miami-Dade Counties will move to phase two starting Monday.

“Today I’m announcing that effective Monday both Broward and Miami-Dade counties will be moved into phase two,” DeSantis said.

“Of course, the most significant aspect of that is it really clears the pathway for in-person instruction to resume. Of course, at the parents’ discretion, and we want to continue to offer parents the ability to do remote learning if that’s what they want to do,” said DeSantis.  

“This is really, really important. I mean, we’ve had a very difficult six months, but it’s been very difficult for kids. They were taken out of class in March, going to remote learning. Many of them did a good job under the circumstances, but it’s just not the same,” DeSantis added.

DeSantis said that in Miami-Dade, “Covid-positive hospitalizations have decreased by nearly 75% since the July peak, and new admissions to the hospital for Covid are down 82% since the July peak.” 

“Broward has done phenomenal as well,” added DeSantis.  

“Their hospitalizations are down by over 75% since the July peak. Their daily admissions to the hospital for Covid-positive individuals is down 85% from the peak,” said DeSantis.  

DeSantis was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho.

Gimenez announced that on Monday his administration will “be looking at what businesses we can reopen that were forced to close in June because of the spike after Memorial Day.”  

“Those include entertainment venues, like movie theaters, bowling alleys, play houses and arcades operating at 50% capacity under strict rules to keep people safe,” Gimenez said. “Next week we’ll be opening more outdoor venues, like the zoo,” added Gimenez.  

“Let me be clear that Miami-Dade County will not be opening up bars and night clubs,” the mayor said. “We’re still not out of the woods yet,” Gimenez added.

Gimenez said next week his administration will have more details about phase two openings.  

1:30 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Fauci has “confidence” in Covid-19 vaccine approval process

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he has confidence that the vaccine approval process is going to be done correctly and without political pressure.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Fauci laid out the extensive process a vaccine has to go through before it can be approved. 

“The process whereby a vaccine is approved — either through an EUA to be distributed, or through a formal approval — is really based on data that comes into an independent body, called the Data and Safety Monitoring Board.”

“They have nothing to do with the company. They have nothing to do with the FDA. They're an independent group,” Fauci said. The board looks at the data and determines if there are any safety issues and if the product actually works.

Fauci said “that information would ultimately become public,” so if there was outside pressure, it would be “scrutinized very, very carefully.”

The next layer are the advisory committee “that advise the FDA, and they again, are [an] independent group,” he said.

 “And then you have the entire scientific community, including myself, that's looking very carefully at that,” he said. “We have great confidence in the FDA that they're going to do the right thing.”

There are “a lot of eyes on that. It's not something that can be snuck in in a political way,” he said. “And that's the reason why I feel really quite confident that this is going to be done correctly.”

Fauci doesn’t want to make any predictions on whether the AstraZeneca trial will resume, but outlined what generally happens when there is a pause. 

Most often, “You look at it, you investigate it, and then you just, with caution, proceed. Because a single adverse event like this could be a one-off that has nothing to do with the trial,” he said.

“So you would want to continue, but you continue with an additional degree of caution.” 

1:10 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Fauci says we may not get back to our normal lives until the end of 2021

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could be the end of 2021 before we get back to how our lives were before Covid-19.

He told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell he’s been saying all along, “I believe that we will have a vaccine that will be available by the end of this year, the beginning of next year.” 

But there is a caveat: “By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that's likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” he said.

“If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it's going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021.”

1:09 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Fauci disagrees with Trump that US has rounded the corner on Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Amanda Watts and Adrienne Vogt

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30. Al Drago/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he disagrees with Trump's remarks that the US has “rounded the final turn” of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Fauci was asked, “Thursday, you said it was time to hunker down, because the fall and the winter is ‘not going to be easy.’ The President says we’ve rounded the final turn. How do you square those two messages?”

Fauci replied, “I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with that because — if you look at the thing that you just mentioned — the statistics, Andrea, they're disturbing. 

He said he hopes we don’t see surges in cases after Labor Day, as the nation did following Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

“We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day, and the deaths of around 1,000,” Fauci explained.

“But when you have a baseline of infections that are 40,000 per day ,and you have threats of increased test positivity in certain regions of the country — such as the Dakotas and Montana and places like that — what we don't want to see is going into the fall season, when people will be spending more time indoors, and that's not good for a respiratory-borne virus,” Fauci said. “You don't want to start off already with a baseline that's so high.”

He warned that the country needs to get the levels down lower “so that when you go into a more precarious situation, like the fall and the winter, you won't have a situation where you really are at a disadvantage right from the very beginning.”

1:22 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Trump's vaccine chief says an approved Covid-19 vaccine will likely be given to older adults first

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed CNN

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's Covid-19 vaccine program, said on Friday that a Covid-19 vaccine will likely be given first to older adults and others at high risk of severe illness.

"Should it be reasonable to immunize college students at that moment, when we know that the mortality rate and the morbidity in that population is very low? I think no," Slaoui told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"I think the right population would be people over 70 years of age, or people with very clear morbidity and very high risk of acquisition," Slaoui said. "Those people will have a benefit risk."

Slaoui added that the National Academy of Medicine has looked into a framework for equitable allocation of a Covid-19 vaccine. Slaoui also told Gupta that vaccine trials have set conditions to have people at high risk included in their studies.

1:06 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Fauci says to get back to "normal" restaurant experiences, the community level must be lower

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Chairs are piled-up inside of a closed restaurant in Manhattan on August 31 in New York City.
Chairs are piled-up inside of a closed restaurant in Manhattan on August 31 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Responding to a recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said adults who test positive for Covid-19 were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those who test negative — and the fact that many restaurants across the country have opened up more of their indoor dining — Dr. Anthony Fauci said those statistics concern him.

“That's the simple reason why we're talking about — why I keep stressing about — getting the level of community infection down. Because if you go indoors in a restaurant — whatever capacity, 25, 50%, or what have you — indoors absolutely increases the risk," Fauci said, speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“If we want to get back to the normal existence of being able to enjoy being in a restaurant, the best way to do that is to get the community level of infection at the lowest level possible,” Fauci added.

Fauci expressed concern about events moving indoors into the fall and winter.

“I am concerned when I see things starting to move indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you get into the fall into winter season — when you essentially have to be indoors,” he said.

12:46 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

New York reports an infection rate under 1% for the 35th straight day

From CNN's Sgueglia, Kristina

New York State remains under the 1% infection rate for its 35th day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

The state reported 5 new Covid-19 deaths. The state added 880 new Covid-19 cases, and the total cases statewide is just over 440,000. 

The New York State Liquor Authority and Police Task Force visited more than 1,300 establishments and observed 7 in noncompliance, the governor said

1:21 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Trump's vaccine chief says it "would be unethical" to not put Covid-19 vaccine out quickly if proven to work

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Moncef Slaoui — chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's Covid-19 vaccine program, speaks during an interview on September 11.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui — chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's Covid-19 vaccine program, speaks during an interview on September 11. CNN

Dr. Moncef Slaoui — chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's Covid-19 vaccine program — said on Friday that "it would be unethical" to not move quickly to put out a Covid-19 vaccine if it is proven to work.

"If we know a vaccine is 70% or 80% or 90% effective, it would be unethical to hold it back," Slaoui told CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview Friday.

"I would frankly turn the question the other way around and say, 'What would be my ethical reason to withhold a vaccine that I could have developed faster from being developed faster?" Slaoui said.

"We are unable to control this pandemic," Slaoui said. "We know that vaccines have changed our life expectancy from 40 years to 83 or 86 years in a period of 100 years because they are truly effective in the long term against a pathogen. That's what we should do."


12:34 p.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Covid-19 school closings linked to increase in depression and suicide, study finds

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Primary school students in China experienced more depressive symptoms and made more suicide attempts after schools closed for the pandemic, a new study found.

When Covid-19 hit China in January, the ministry of education postponed the start of spring semester to late April. That closure separated children from their friends and their broader community network, and seems to have had an impact on their mental well-being.

The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, compared reports of mental health problems in November — before the pandemic started — to mid-May, two weeks into the new spring semester when schools had reopened.

Researchers from Anhui Medical University got results back from surveys for 1,241 students who were in grades 4 through 8, and in junior high. The kids lived in Chizhou, Anhui Province, an area that did not have a large number of Covid-19 cases.

Nearly 25% of the students reported depressive symptoms in May, when only about 19% did in November. Suicide attempts more than doubled — at 6.4% in May compared to the 3% who made suicide attempts in November. There were no similar increases seen in reports of children who reported feeling an increase anxiety.

Researchers hope school leaders will use this research to prepare the necessary mental health services to help children as they return to school following the lockdowns.

This study is consistent with others that have found that enforced social isolation can cause mental health challenges for children.