September 27 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, September 28, 2020
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11:55 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

New York's positivity rate yesterday was just above 1%, governor's office says

New York’s Covid-19 test positive rate for Saturday is 1.02%, according to a statement released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. 

The state announced 866 additional Covid-19 cases, according to the release. 

11:25 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

The world is approaching 1 million coronavirus deaths

Across the world, more than 994,000 people have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The US accounts for about a fifth of those deaths, and is currently reporting more than 204,000 Covid-19-related deaths.

Brazil has the second-highest death toll with more than 141,000 deaths and India has reported more than 94,000.

10:53 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Pelosi expresses optimism for renewed coronavirus stimulus talks 

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks with CNN on Sunday, September 27.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks with CNN on Sunday, September 27. CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that House Democrats may offer their latest stimulus proposal as legislation if revived talks with the Trump administration do not yield a deal her party can get behind.

“Look, I have been willing to come below $3.4 trillion. We have come all the way down,” Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper, referring to the price tag of a stimulus proposal House Democrats passed in May. “I don’t know why the press decides that this is equivalent for me to come own further while they’re not going up any further. So we are having our conversations.”

Where things stand: Weeks after the last round of stimulus talks fell apart, where both sides were dug in behind topline funding numbers that were more than a trillion dollars apart, Pelosi expressed optimism Sunday that she could reach a deal in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. CNN has reported that some House Democrats have become anxious to get some kind of stimulus legislation passed before Congress breaks for the campaign season, fearing anger from voters if they fail to do so. 

“When I have a conversation with the administration it is in good faith. I trust Secretary Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we can come to an agreement,” Pelosi said. 

Although House Democrats have prepared a new proposal with a price tag of around $2.2 trillion, Pelosi said the stimulus her party envisions may end up costing more.

“The President’s denial of the virus and just resistance to doing anything to crush it has made matters worse in so many ways,” she said, citing restaurants, small businesses and American workers. “So we may need more money than that. We will reveal what that is in a short period of time.”

Pressed by Tapper on whether she would offer the proposal as a bill if a deal remains elusive, Pelosi did not rule out the prospect.

“That is definitely a possibility. But I’m hoping for a deal. I’d rather have a deal which puts money in people’s pockets rather than to have rhetorical argument,” she said. 

The Trump administration has floated $1.5 trillion as the highest topline figure it is willing to consider, meaning the two sides still don’t agree on the scope of the problem. 

10:55 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Jill Biden says her husband "will do more" as president for veterans during the pandemic

Jill Biden speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper
Jill Biden speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper CNN

Jill Biden said on CNN this morning that when her husband "is elected on November 3rd, the government will do more" to help veterans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden continued by saying if elected the former vice president "intends to build on the Affordable Care Act."

"We need to help our military by doing more for veterans hospitals. There's so much more we need to do to help our military," she said.

9:03 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

The US currently reports about 765 Covid-19 death a day. That could jump to 3,000 in December.

From CNN's Christina Maxouris and Nicole Chavez

The US could see an explosion of Covid-19 cases as fall and winter set in, one expert says, joining a chorus of health officials who have warned about the challenges of the coming months.

Two things will likely help drive that expected winter surge, according to Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME):

  • "First, as case counts have come down in some states, we tend to see that people become less careful, they tend to have more contact," he said.
  • "But then the most important effect is the seasonality of the virus, that people go indoors, transmission happens more," he added.

The IHME model indicates that the country is currently seeing about 765 daily deaths from Covid-19, but that number could jump to 3,000 daily deaths by late December.

More than 204,000 Americans have already died from the virus since the start of the pandemic and more than 7 million have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

7:34 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

UK scientist urges "mini-lockdown" approach to slow coronavirus infections

One of the UK government's scientific advisers has told the Observer newspaper that repeated "mini-lockdowns" could be one way to bring rising coronavirus infections back under control.

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said a short lockdown could be used alongside longer-term measures to stop the growth in infections.

"A circuit breaker, or mini-lockdown can be used to reset the clock. The idea would be to bring the incidence back to what it was a few weeks earlier. You replace two weeks of exponential growth with two weeks of a decline in cases," he told the Observer.
"This can have a big effect on the total number of cases, particularly if it is implemented shortly after the epidemic starts to grow."

The government imposed tighter coronavirus restrictions this week in a bid to slow sharply rising transmission rates.

Covid-19 cases in England increased by 60% in a week, according to a survey carried out by the UK Office for National Statistics and published Friday.

8:34 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Prominent Lebanese politician tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut and Charbel Mallo in Abu Dhabi

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images
Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Gebran Bassil, leader of Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement released by his office. 

Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and a former foreign minister, is also the leader of Lebanon’s largest parliamentary bloc and a Hezbollah ally.

Bassil "wishes all the Lebanese to adhere to the means of protection and treatment from the coronavirus and to take the matter seriously, as this virus has a lethal ability to strike and paralyze society,” the statement from his office said.

The politician will self-quarantine and continue to work remotely, it added. The statement did not say whether Bassil had met recently with 85-year-old Aoun. The last known official meeting between the two was on September 14.

Lebanon has recorded 35,242 positive coronavirus cases and 340 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

5:00 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

The US now has more than 7,078,000 coronavirus cases and at least 204,490 deaths

From CNN's Alta Spells

At least 7,078,089 people have been infected with coronavirus in the United States, including at least 204,490 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Saturday, JHU reported 45,377 new cases and 740 new deaths. 

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

The global death toll from coronavirus now stands at 994,216, according to JHU figures.

For the latest Johns Hopkins University US numbers, check hereCNN’s map, using JHU data, continues to refresh every 15 mins.

8:43 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Florida's bars and restaurants are fully open again. But Miami's mayor is worried.

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Patrons eat dinner at Irish 31 on the first day of full capacity seating on September 25 in Tampa, Florida.
Patrons eat dinner at Irish 31 on the first day of full capacity seating on September 25 in Tampa, Florida. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

As Florida restaurants and bars enjoyed their first full day of operation without Covid-19 restrictions in months, the mayor of Miami warned that the governor's decision to fully reopen such establishments and to limit local governments' ability to enforce their own restrictions could have devastating consequences.

"I think it's going to have a huge impact," Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN on Saturday about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to allow restaurants, bars and other businesses to open at full capacity and to suspend fines for all outstanding penalties issued to those who didn't follow Covid-19 restrictions -- such as not wearing a mask in public. "You know, I just don't know how many people are actually going to do it now."

DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday evening allowing restaurants and bars to immediately begin operating at 100% capacity. He cited the economic hardships of not operating businesses at full capacity, according to the order.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks with CNN on Saturday, September 26. 
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks with CNN on Saturday, September 26.  CNN

Suarez said mandating mask wearing in public and slowly reopening has helped to keep the coronavirus case count down in Miami.

There have been nearly 700,000 cases of coronavirus in Florida and the virus has killed more than 14,000 people in the state, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Nationwide, more than 7 million people have been infected and 204,497 have died.

Suarez said he's concerned that the changes in the state are coming as flu season ramps up and schools prepare for in-person learning to begin in mid-October.

"We'll see in the next couple of weeks whether he's right about his perspective. But if he's wrong about his perspective ... it's going to be very, very, very difficult for him and it's going to be a very difficult time, because it's in the middle of flu season," Suarez said.