October 8 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 1:12 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020
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2:12 p.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Florida reports more than 3,000 new cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through Covid-19 testing site in Orlando on October 1.
Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through Covid-19 testing site in Orlando on October 1. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The state of Florida is reporting at least 3,306 additional cases of Covid-19 on Thursday – the highest single-day jump in new infections since Sept. 18, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health. 

As of Thursday, there has been at least 726,013 total cases in the state. 

The state's death toll from Covid-19, which surpassed 15,000 on Wednesday, currently stands at at least 15,254 – about 15,068 of those are residents and 186 non-residents, according to the state's Department of Health dashboard. 

On Sept. 18, Florida reported at least 3,557 new coronavirus cases. 

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.

12:25 p.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Pelosi rejects standalone bill for airline aid

From CNN's Sam Fossum

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the notion of a standalone stimulus bill for airlines on Thursday, saying it would have to go along with a more comprehensive package including Democratic priorities.

“There is no standalone bill without a bigger bill,” Pelosi said. “The comment that I made to the administration last night was we’re happy to review what that standalone bill would look like as part of a bigger bill, if there is a bigger bill. But there is no standalone bill.”

During her weekly news conference, Pelosi slammed President Trump for ending negotiations for an aid package earlier this week, questioning whether Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and top congressional Republicans even knew about his decision beforehand.

“When the President did his strange tweet that said we’re walking away from the negotiations — it was like, what? We’ve all been working very hard to find our common ground, to agree on language so that we have an understanding of what the legislation will do,” Pelosi said.

“I think he surprised a lot of people,” she added.

She said she remains hopeful a deal can be reached, “because it has to be done.”

“We told the White House we’re at the table. We’re at the table,” Pelosi said. “We want to continue the conversation. We’ve made some progress.”

Some context: The airline industry is struggling during the pandemic, having to furlough thousands of workers.

Major US airline stocks fell sharply when Trump tweeted that the Senate would no longer consider the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill proposed by House Democrats. The bill included $25 billion for airlines—new relief that airlines say would have allowed them to bring the roughly 50,000 workers they furloughed on Oct. 1 back on the job.

11:41 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Notre Dame president faces university backlash following Covid-19 diagnosis

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins speaks during a press conference on October 11, 2019, inside the Morris Inn at the Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins speaks during a press conference on October 11, 2019, inside the Morris Inn at the Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune/AP

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins is facing a student petition pushing for him to resign and a possible "no confidence" by the faculty following his Covid-19 diagnosis.

Students are outraged at Jenkins after he was seen attending the nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26 without wearing a mask and not adhering to social distancing practices.

More than 200 students have signed a petition calling for Jenkins to resign, saying, "Fr. Jenkins’ public displays of disregard for public health directly contradict his commitment to the Notre Dame community, directly endanger the safety of students, faculty and staff, and also cast a negative light on the Notre Dame community as a whole."

Two days before Jenkins' diagnosis, an editorial titled "Frankly, this is embarrassing" was published in Notre Dame's student-run newspaper lashing out at Jenkins for breaking the rules he expects Notre Dame students to uphold.

"Jenkins leaving South Bend to flagrantly disobey his own rules while the community he is supposed to lead is suffering creates a sense of separation between himself and everyone else," the Notre Dame Observer editorial board wrote. "A 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality is not one a University president should have in a time of crisis."

Some background: After Jenkins announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 on October 2, he wrote a public apology to the university community.

"I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden," Jenkins wrote. "I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so."

On Tuesday night, Notre Dame's Faculty Senate debated a "no confidence" resolution of Jenkins, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times. The motion was narrowly voted 21-20 deciding to postpone further action on the resolution.

But the apology isn't enough for students, who noted that this is the second time Jenkins has had to apologize to the student body since the fall semester began. In early August, Jenkin issued an apology after he was seen engaging with students on campus and not following social distancing protocol.

11:37 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Italy records its most new coronavirus cases since since April 11

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo in Rome

Medical staff hold swabs for rapid COVID-19 tests at a high school in Rome, on September 28.
Medical staff hold swabs for rapid COVID-19 tests at a high school in Rome, on September 28. Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP

Italy has recorded another increase in the number of new coronavirus cases – the largest daily rise since April 11. 

According to the country’s Health Ministry, at least 4,458 new cases were reported on Thursday. That compares with 3,678 new cases on Wednesday.

Overall, the number of cases has reached at least 338,398 since the pandemic began. 

11:31 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

New York City closes 169 schools as part of new Covid-19 restrictions

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

A total of 169 public school sites are now closed in areas where there are clusters of Covid-19 cases in New York City, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

There were 108 initially closed on Tuesday in conjunction with the state. The new restrictions called for an additional 61 to be closed, he said.

“The school sites that were closed previously will remain closed for that two week period even if they don’t end up under the new state rules… were still keeping them closed because based on our data it was the right thing to do," de Blasio said.

Additionally, there are 308 school sites in the yellow zone that will begin mandatory weekly testing starting October 9.

The earliest the schools closed Tuesday could come back is Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

Here are some of the other restrictions in place:

  • All non-essential businesses in the “red zone” will be closed, restaurants will be takeout only, mass gatherings are prohibited, and houses of worship can operate at 25% capacity, and a maximum of 10 people in side, the mayor said.
  • Schools in the “orange zones” will be closed – both public and nonpublic. High risk businesses including gyms will be closed. Restaurants are permitted outdoor only with a maximum of 4 people per table. Gatherings indoor or outdoor must be 10 people or less. Houses of worship can function at 33% capacity, and a maximum of 25 people inside. 
  • Within the “yellow zones” schools will be open but subject to mandatory weekly Covid-19 testing. All businesses remain open. Both indoor and outdoor dining is permitted with a maximum of 4 people per table. Gatherings must be 25 people or less, whether they be indoor or outdoor. Houses of worship are allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
10:58 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

FDA won’t comment on status of Emergency Use Authorizations for two antibody treatments

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Vehicles drive in front of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, on August 25.
Vehicles drive in front of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, on August 25. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration told CNN Thursday morning that the agency doesn’t have any comments on the applications for Emergency Use Authorizations for Eli Lilly and Regeneron antibody treatments.

"Per policy, we cannot confirm, deny or comment on product applications," FDA spokesperson Chanapa Tantibanchachai told CNN via email.

Both Eli Lilly and Regeneron have already submitted requests to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization for their single monoclonal antibody therapies.

This comes after President Trump said on Fox Business Thursday morning that both Eli Lilly and Regeneron will both get EUAs.

"Regeneron, I view it as a cure, not just a therapeutic...and Eli Lilly has a great drug," Trump said. "Very much along the lines of Regeneron. It's great, and what I'm doing is I'm going to supply this drug."

10:31 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

One of Europe's largest airports gets ready to distribute potential Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

Brussels Airport is accelerating preparations to be ready to receive and ship the first Covid-19 vaccines, once one is approved for distribution, the airport said in a statement Wednesday.  

A taskforce at the cargo division of the airport, is working "full force on preparing scenarios" for the import and export of the various types of vaccines in a "safe and efficient way," the statement said.

The task force is running through "all scenarios for the various types of vaccines in close consultation with the pharmaceutical companies with which Brussels Airport works. Each type of vaccine demands a different form of transport, packaging and storage.

Some vaccines, for example, have to be shipped on dry ice, while others will demand refrigeration at the customary 2-8 degrees Celsius," the statement said.

Some context: Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling about 26,4 million passengers and 667,220 tonnes of freight annually, it says on its website.

 

10:30 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

US could have "tens or hundreds of thousands of doses” of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail this fall, Azar says

From CNN’s Amanda Watts and Shelby Lin Erdman

HHS
HHS

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Operation Warp Speed has applied “the same methods” to therapeutics as it has to support vaccines and there could be "tens or hundreds of thousands of doses" of Regeneron's antibody cocktail available soon.

“We've applied the same methods to supporting therapeutics too,” he said during a Goldman Sachs Healthcare virtual event on Thursday. “That includes, for instance, support for both development and manufacturing of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, of which we could have tens or hundreds of thousands of doses this fall, pending FDA authorization.” 

“OWS supported clinical trials continue for remdesivir in combination with other drugs. In addition to anticoagulants and other options,” Azar said. 

“We're also supporting several randomized controlled clinical trials to produce more data on convalescent plasma,” he added, noting “to which Americans have enjoyed broader access than anywhere else on Earth.” 

Some background: Regeneron's experimental antibody treatment is still in large-scale clinical trials, but has been available for compassionate use, something the FDA has to approve on an individual basis, like it did for President Trump.

The antibody therapy is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies that is designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to the company's statement.

A cocktail antibody therapy uses two or more lab-engineered antibodies. Regeneron's cocktail includes a monoclonal antibody that targets the spike protein the virus uses to drill into healthy cells, and another antibody that targets a different part of the novel coronavirus. With two, the hope is to trap and shut down viral replication.

10:25 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

UK nightlife “on the brink” of collapse under new restrictions, trade bodies say

From CNN's Amy Cassidy

Fabric nightclub is seen on October 1 in London.
Fabric nightclub is seen on October 1 in London. Peter Summers/Getty Images

Hospitality industry bodies are warning that any further Covid restrictions will be a “catastrophe” for UK nightlife.

Several organizations say the entire industry is already “on the brink” of collapse because of new restrictions such as the 10 p.m. curfew in England and other measures that would close bars and restaurants in much of the central Scottish regions.

The UK Hospitality and the Scottish Beer and Pub Association have said thousands of jobs could be lost and many businesses forced to shut down if more restrictions or a full lockdown come into effect.

"This is a total catastrophe. Scottish hospitality is already on the brink and is unable to look ahead with any degree of confidence," Willie Macleod of UKHospitality said.

“Forced closures will spell the end for many venues which have no cash flow and will have exhausted their reserves. Severe restrictions to those businesses not forced to close will amount to a closure for many. It is likely to be the final straw for many that were only just hanging on. We are going to see businesses fold and many jobs lost," Macleod added.

Scottish Premier Nicola Sturgeon announced $52 million in support of affected businesses, but this “will not even come close to covering the required furlough contributions for the period, never mind ongoing fixed costs and stock," Emma McClarkin of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association said.

Across the rest of the UK, industry bodies have expressed concern around the 10 p.m. curfew that is currently in effect in England and Wales, demanding the government publish scientific evidence to support its decision. 

In a letter addressed to Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week, Campaign for Real Ale chairman Nik Antona said "Publicans who have already spent thousands making their premises Covid-secure now face dwindling levels of trade as a result of these government decisions, which will undoubtedly lead to permanent closure.”