October 12 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton and Steve George, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020
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9:56 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Johnson & Johnson pauses coronavirus vaccine trial due to "unexplained illness" in volunteer

From CNN's Maggie Fox

In this undated photo provided by Johnson & Johnson in September, a woman receives an injection during phase 3 testing for the Janssen Pharmaceutical-Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States.
In this undated photo provided by Johnson & Johnson in September, a woman receives an injection during phase 3 testing for the Janssen Pharmaceutical-Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States. Johnson & Johnson/AP/FILE

Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson said Monday it was pausing the advanced clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers.

“Following our guidelines, the participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians,” the company said in a statement.

ENSEMBLE is the name of the study.

“Adverse events – illnesses, accidents, etc. – even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies," said the statement.

It’s the second Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial to be paused. AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was paused last month because of an a neurological complication in a volunteer in the UK. While the trial resumed there and in other countries, it remains paused in the United States while the US Food and Drug Administration investigates.

9:49 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Fauci says he won't walk away, despite efforts to drag him into politics

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he won’t give up on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, even with annoyances like the Trump campaign's use of his comments out of context in a political advertisement.

“I'm not going to walk away from this outbreak, no matter who's the President,” Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC.

“I mean obviously there are a lot of things that are going on that you would prefer did not happen, like the ad, which put me in a political context which I spent my entire career staying out of political context," he added. "That's not helpful, but I’m certainly not going to give up. This is too important a problem.” 

“I've devoted my entire professional life to fighting infectious diseases," he said. "This is an outbreak of historic proportions, the likes of which we have not seen in 102 years. There's no chance that I'm going to give up on this and walk away from it, no matter what happens."

Some context: Fauci told CNN he had not consented to being featured in the Trump team's new advertisement, and that his words were taken out of context. He said on Monday that the campaign should take down the ad, calling his presence in the spot "really unfortunate and really disappointing."

7:45 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

US is in a bad place with Covid-19, Fauci says

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in 31 states, according to CNN tracking data, and Dr. Anthony Fauci says the country has to “turn this around.” 

“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on CNBC Monday. 

New coronavirus infections are numbering between 40,000 and 50,000 a day in the US.

“That's a bad place to be when you're going into the cooler weather of the fall and the colder weather of the winter,” Fauci said.

The increase in the percentage of people testing positive for the virus is also going in the wrong direction, said Fauci, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force.

“So you combine an increase in test positivity, which is always a predictor of more cases, and ultimately more hospitalizations, and ultimately more deaths, and you combine that with a baseline of 40, 45, 50,000 new cases a day as you go into a weather system where you're going to be spending more time indoors rather than outdoors, which is a perfect setup for an acceleration of respiratory-borne diseases — that is unquestionably a problem,” he said. 

“So that's the concern that I have and so many of my fellow public health officials have,” Fauci added.

“We're in a bad place now. We've got to turn this around," he said. 
7:37 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

This chef is working to feed millions in India during the pandemic

From CNN's Vedika Sud

Chef Vikas Khanna is up late most nights connecting with colleagues in India from his home on the east side of Manhattan, New York.

The award-winning chef has been working across continents and time zones since April to organize what has become one of the world's largest food drives.

So far, his "Feed India" initiative has fed around 50 million Indians who have struggled to provide for their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

India has the second-highest number of cases worldwide, behind the United States. As of Monday, more than seven million Indians had been infected with the virus and more than 108,000 had died.

On Monday, Khanna spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper on "Full Circle" about his initiative.

Watch the interview:

7:25 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from New York

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif

New York state will be deploying additional community testing resources to areas with upticks in coronavirus cases over the next days, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

The state reported 12 new Covid-19 deaths and 122 new hospitalizations with 185 patients in intensive care, according to the statement.

New York's Covid-19 positivity rate is 1.12% while the "red zone" hotspot areas have a positivity rate of 3.70%, according to the statement.

"In New York our strategy is to identify micro-clusters. We do more testing than any other state, so we have more data. We also are obsessive about getting incoming case numbers from the hospitals. You map those cases and you find the greatest predominance of cases in a geographic area. That is a micro-cluster," Cuomo said. "So we are doing very targeted analysis because we have so much testing capacity, and we will continue to let the data and science drive our approach to keeping the virus in check."
5:24 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

More than 215,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Dave Alsup

There are at least 7,796,525 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 215,022 people have died from the virus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 33,979 new cases and 254 reported deaths.

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

7:43 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Covid-19 in the US is "on a trajectory of getting worse," Fauci warns

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard


Dr. Anthony Fauci , the nation's leading infectious disease expert, hopes the latest data on a rising number of Covid-19 cases and projections of more deaths "jolt" the American public into reality, he told CNN's Jake Tapper Monday. 

The latest data show that 31 states in America are seeing an upward trend of new Covid-19 cases — and the pandemic could get worse, as the latest forecast of the widely-used model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects another 181,000 deaths in the United States by February. 

"I hope these numbers that you're quoting, which are absolutely correct numbers, jolt the American public into the realization that we really cannot let this happen — because it's on a trajectory of getting worse and worse. And that's the worst possible thing that can happen as we get into the cooler months," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

"I think that people think that when we talk about public health, that we're talking about shutting down. Let's get that off the table. We are not talking about shutting down. We're talking about simple public health measures, as simple as they sound, are really quite effective — and that's what we say over and over again. Universal wearing of masks. Keep physical distance. Above all, avoid crowds and congregate settings," Fauci said.

He added: "Wash your hands as often as you can. Try to do things outdoors much more preferably than indoors. If we just do those five things, Jake — we don't have to do anything more complicated than that — and you would have a major impact on preventing surges, or even turning surges around that are ongoing." 

Watch here:


4:36 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

SEC football game postponed due to Covid-19 cases at Vanderbilt University

From CNN's Cesar Marin

Vanderbilt Commodores helmets are seen during a football game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 25, 2017.
Vanderbilt Commodores helmets are seen during a football game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 25, 2017. Tim Gangloff/Cal Sport Media/AP

Vanderbilt University announced on Monday that due to the quarantining of individuals with positive tests and those designated as close contacts, the Commodores’ game against Missouri scheduled for Oct. 17 will be postponed.

This is the first postponement of the Southeastern Conference’s 10-game football season.

“While we share in the disappointment that this Saturday’s game will be postponed, our program is deeply appreciative of the tireless efforts put forth by student-athletes, university officials, conference administrators and medical experts who have risen to the challenge of helping us navigate these unprecedented circumstances,” said head coach Derek Mason in a statement on the school’s website.

The decision is consistent with SEC Covid-19 management requirements, which includes a minimum threshold of at least 53 scholarship student-athletes available to participate.

The game has been tentatively rescheduled to Dec. 12.

7:44 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Reopening schools is not "one size fits all," Fauci says

From CNN's Andrea Kane


Some schools can safely reopen for in-person classes, while doing so at others could lead to an outbreak of infections, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Monday. 

It all depends on the level of community spread and, regardless, schools need to have a plan in place. 

“You really can reopen the schools and get going with the schools. You've just got to be careful, and you've got to have a plan. That's another thing that often gets misinterpreted — when people say, ‘Well, you want to shut down all the schools.’ No, not at all — if done correctly and carefully,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.    

“The thing that seems to be constant throughout that is that when schools are prepared, when they have a plan, when everyone is universally wearing masks, when they're testing people in a surveillance way to get people who are infected out of the system, [and] they know what to do when they're confronted with a person a child or older students who gets infected — it can work,” he said. 

Fauci was commenting on a study out of Brown University that found schools may not be hotbeds of infection. Brown’s data show that 0.13% of students and 0.24% of staff were infected in the last two weeks of September. 

As for how often schools should be tested, Fauci said, “It's not one size fits all.” 

“If you are in a green or a dark green zone with a level of infection that’s extraordinarily low, you probably can be less stringent in what you do in surveillance and even in other types of mitigation. If you're in an orange or in a red zone, where it really is likely that you're going to wind up getting infections because of the level in the community, you may have to do that more often,” he said. 

Watch here: