The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Zamira Rahim, and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:42 a.m. ET, September 19, 2020
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2:11 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

US reports more than 44,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Carma Hassan

The United States reported 44,360 new Covid-19 infections and 870 virus-related deaths on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 6,674,458 cases, including 197,633 fatalities, have now been recorded in the US.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking US cases here:

2:02 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Fact check: Biden ad misleadingly suggests Trump called Covid-19 a "hoax"

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

During his campaign's highest week of ad spending, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted out an ad Tuesday attacking President Donald Trump for comments he has made over the pandemic. Specifically, the ad suggests that Trump has called the virus a hoax.

The 25-second ad begins with a clip of Trump at a campaign rally on February 28 in South Carolina. The ad plays a quick clip of Trump saying "the coronavirus" then it cuts to him saying "and this is their new hoax." Text on the ad reads, "Trump in public: 'Hoax.'"

Facts First: This is a misleading attempt to suggest that Trump specifically called the coronavirus a hoax. While Trump's comments were a bit confusing, Biden's ad leaves out important context and dishonestly edits the two soundbites together.

Taken in totality, Trump's comments at the February 28 rally indicate that he is deriding Democrats for attacking his performance on the coronavirus. A full 56 seconds pass between the two clips the campaign ad edited together.

In this section of his rally speech, Trump began by saying that "the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus," ridiculing Democrats for attacking his administration's performance addressing the virus. The President then compared this attack to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and calling his impeachment a "hoax."

Trump then said, "They'd been doing it since you got in. It's all turning. They lost. It's all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax."

Read the full fact check:

1:28 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Chiefs fan who attended game tests positive for Covid-19 and now everyone who sat near them is in quarantine

From CNN's Allen Kim

A fan who attended the Kansas City Chiefsopening night game at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10 has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Kansas City Health Department said the individual that tested positive watched the game from the group's box in the lower level of the stadium and tested positive the following day. The positive test has prompted the Kansas City Health Department to direct 10 people there to quarantine after potential exposure to the coronavirus.

The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the few teams in the NFL that allowed fans into its stadium in Week 1.

All fans and personnel are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the stadium, and the team said that the stadium's "COVID protocol plan limited potential exposure to a single seating zone within the stadium."

The team said that its contact tracing mechanisms allowed staff to identify the individual, the individual's party, any service staff that came into contact with the individual and any other ticket holders that may have been near this person while entering the stadium.

"I want to remind everyone that COVID-19 is anywhere and everywhere. While we're all tired of it, frustrated and even angry at how it has altered and stricken our lives and livelihoods, we must continue to think of those who have not and will not survive it," said Dr. Rex Archer, Kansas City health director.

Read more:

1:10 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

Seoul plans to sue a church linked to an August coronavirus outbreak for $4 million in damages

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Seoul

Sarang-jeil Church pastor Jun Kwang-hoon speaks outside a detention center in Uiwang, South Korea, on April 20.
Sarang-jeil Church pastor Jun Kwang-hoon speaks outside a detention center in Uiwang, South Korea, on April 20. Ko Jun-beom/Newsis via AP

Seoul city on Friday announced plans to sue Sarang-jeil Church and its lead pastor Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon for damages relating to a coronavirus outbreak linked to the religious group in August.

In a news release, the city government said it will ask Jun and his church for 4.6 billion Korean won ($4 million) to make up for the cost of Covid-19 treatment, subsidy for self-isolation, and operating cost of treatment centers.

The city government estimates that the church's outbreak in Seoul cost national agencies and companies like Seoul Metro and National Health Insurance Service about 8.48 billion Korean won ($7.3 million).

What happened: The Sarang-jeil Church attracted widespread backlash in August when it became the center of a coronavirus outbreak. At least 1,168 Covid-19 cases in South Korea have been linked to the church, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CNN reached out to Jun's lawyer and the church for comment and has not heard back.

12:54 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

College issues stay at home order after 80 students test positive for Covid-19 in two days 

Providence College in Rhode Island is moving to remote learning for at least a week after more than 80 students tested positive for Covid-19 in the past two days, according to College President Reverend Kenneth Sicard.

A stay-at-home order will also come into effect during that period, Sicard said. All students living on campus will be tested for Covid-19 and may not leave campus, while off-campus students may not leave their apartments, Sicard said.

Remote learning and the stay-at-home order are in effect at least through Saturday, September 26, he added.

“We recognize how serious and difficult these directives are, but this is our last chance to remain together in person for the fall semester. Between these actions and the serious steps we already have taken – especially in the past few days – we have used virtually every tool at our disposal,” Sicard wrote in an email to students.
“We are out of options. If we are not successful, we will have no alternative other than to shut down our campus for the remainder of the fall semester. This also will likely affect our ability to reopen for the spring semester.”
12:08 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020

House passes resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiment

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The final vote was 243-164, with 14 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues.

Though the resolution is nonbinding, House Democrats said they hoped it would show support for the Asian community and send a message that such bigotry would not be tolerated.

"Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans have been forced to endure demeaning and disgusting acts of bigotry and hate, consisting of everything from verbal assaults to physical attacks," Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement after its passage.
"The House needed to take a strong and public stand against this appalling intolerance, discrimination, and violence that has taken place all across the country during this public health crisis, and today it did just that," she added.

The resolution calls on "all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form" and says that "use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID-19, such as the 'Chinese Virus', 'Wuhan Virus', and 'Kung-flu' have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma."

While the resolution doesn't name any individuals, Democrats called out the White House during the House debate Thursday and alluded to President Donald Trump's and their Republican colleagues' use of the terms.

Trump, some GOP lawmakers and administration officials have continued using terms like "the Chinese virus" or "the Wuhan virus," even after the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the official terminology for the virus in February. WHO has advised not to use geographic locations in naming diseases because it creates a stigma.

Read the full story:

11:14 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Global coronavirus cases surpass 30 million  

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  CDC

At least 30,067,758 cases of Covid-19 have now been recorded globally, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases at 11:10 p.m. ET Thursday. 

The bleak milestone comes nine months after initial cases were first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December, before continuing to spread across the globe.  

The world recorded 1 million cases more than three months later, on April 2. The tally hit 10 million cases on June 28 and took just twelve weeks to triple the figure. 

The global death toll stands at 944,856. 

Grim distinction: The United States has recorded the most Covid-19 infections and deaths worldwide. There are at least 6,674,411 cases and 197,633 deaths from the disease in the country, according to the university's count.

The US, India and Brazil together account for more than 50% of the world's coronavirus cases, the university's figures show. 

CNN is tracking worldwide coronavirus cases here:

10:20 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

What you need to know today about the race for a coronavirus vaccine

There's been a lot of news lately about a possible coronavirus vaccine, as researchers around the world continue their work.

If you're just reading in now, here's what we know about the race for a potential vaccine:

  • Vaccine concerns persist: Only 51% of Americans surveyed now say they would get a coronavirus vaccine, a 21 point drop from May, the Pew Research Center said Thursday. The survey found that 51% will "definitely or probably" get a Covid-19 vaccine if available today, down from 72% in May. 
  • It could be mid-2021 before the US sees vaccine results... Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a Senate hearing yesterday that the American public could expect to start seeing results from widespread coronavirus vaccination in the second or third quarter of 2021. Even if a vaccine for Covid-19 was released today, it would take six to nine months for enough people to receive it to create immunity, he said.
  • ...But Trump disputes that timeline: Later in the day, the President told reporters Redfield was "confused" when he said that. "I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information," Trump said.
  • Vaccine efficiency depends on how many people get it: If not enough Americans get a Covid-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available, it won't help reduce the spread of the deadly virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. Even a third of Americans getting vaccinated against the coronavirus won't be enough, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
  • Wealthy countries have already bought up the expected vaccine: For when a vaccine does arrive, rich nations including the United States, Britain and Japan have already bought up more than half the expected supply. That's about 51% of available vaccines for about 13% of the world's population.
9:58 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

CDC forecast now projects up to 218,000 total US coronavirus-related deaths by Oct. 10

From CNN's Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects there will be 207,000 to 218,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Oct. 10.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published Sept. 10, projected up to 217,000 coronavirus deaths by Oct. 3.

At least 197,615 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases and deaths: