October 28 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Vasco Cotovio, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020
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10:42 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

French president will address the nation as Covid-19 cases spike

From Pierre Bairin in Paris and Niamh Kennedy in Dublin

French President Emmanuel Macron looks on as he waits for the arrival of Estonia's Prime Minister before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on October 28.
French President Emmanuel Macron looks on as he waits for the arrival of Estonia's Prime Minister before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on October 28. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron will announce this evening “a new stage in our fight against the virus which was decided this morning,” government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.

Local media, including France’s Le Monde newspaper, report that a new lockdown will be announced by the president in an address to the nation at 8 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET) on Wednesday. CNN affiliate BFMTV are reporting that the new measures may last four weeks and come into force as early as Thursday evening. 

This potential lockdown would be less strict than the first “confinement” in the spring, with the possibility of some schools and more businesses staying open.

The French Hospital Federation, a group representing 4,800 hospitals, said in a press release on Wednesday that a full lockdown was the "only solution" that would permit French hospitals to "successfully treat all French people, whether they have Covid, whether they have any other serious illness or are affected by a serious accident." 

President of the French Hospital Federation Frédéric Valletoux, speaking on French radio station France Inter, stressed that the French "hospital system will not hold without radical measures." Reiterating the federations call for a complete lockdown Valletoux said hospitals are struggling with lower numbers of medical personnel than during the spring.                                   

What the numbers look like: France may be seeing about 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day, Jean-François Delfraissy, who leads the scientific council that advises the French government, warned on Monday. Speaking to France's RTL radio, Delfraissy said, "There are probably over 50,000 cases per day, we are estimating at the scientific council that we are more around 100,000 cases per day, twice as many, because beyond diagnosed cases there are many not diagnosed and asymptomatic cases."

Delfraissy added that France is in a "very difficult, even critical, situation."

11:16 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

It could be 2022 "before we start having some semblances of normality," Fauci says

From CNN Health's Andrea Diaz

From University of Melbourne
From University of Melbourne

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that even though he's "very certain" we will have a coronavirus vaccine "in the next few months," we are unlikely to be able to go about our normal lives until at least the end of next year – or perhaps 2022. 

"If we get a vaccination campaign, and by the second or third quarter of 2021 we have vaccinated a substantial proportion of the people, I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality," Fauci said during a University of Melbourne panel.

However, Fauci noted that political division and the fear of economic loss has affected how the country is currently doing.

"When we were trying to open up the economy again, or open up the country … and I was very much involved with Dr. Deborah Birx and putting together these guidelines, which were a gateway of Phase 1, Phase 2 – to tell you how you can gradually safely and prudently open up the country." Fauci said. "If everybody had done that uniformly, I don't think we would be in the position we're in right now."

He continued: "Masks in the United States have almost become a political statement, and I know that was carried in the news globally, it was really ... very, very difficult. In fact, people were ridiculed for their mask, depending upon which side of a particular political spectrum you were at," Fauci said, adding that it has been painful to witness this divisiveness centered around a public health issue.

Dr. Paul Offit discusses on Newsroom:

10:08 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

New Jersey governor says Covid-19 is "pretty much up and down the state"

From CNN's Mirna Alsharif

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Trenton, New Jersey, on June 9.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Trenton, New Jersey, on June 9. Anne-Marie Caruso/Pool/The Record/AP

The Covid-19 virus is "pretty much up and down the state" said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Wednesday, adding that all options are on the table in terms of potential restrictions. 

"I continue to think it's more likely scalpel community-focused surging of capacities and enforcement, but we have to leave all options on the table," said Murphy to CNN affiliate WPIX.

He added that the state entered the surge in a "strong position," with more knowledge of the virus and the demographic shifting toward a younger population. 

"It's serious, there's no question about it," said Murphy. "It's really migrated from hotspots in particular communities or in higher education, now it's pretty much up and down the state. The big metro New York counties have the most cases."

Murphy said that New Jersey will rely on state executive orders and the same playbook used a couple weeks ago in hotspots like Lakewood to curtail spread of the virus in new hotspots like the East and North wards in Newark.

"Plusing up — surging testing, tracing, using the bullhorn including in languages other than English, so first is Portuguese in the East Ward of Newark," said Murphy. "And also cranking up compliance and enforcement."

Newark is under new restrictions this week following Covid-19 spread in the area. The new restrictions, in part, require non-essential businesses to close at 8 p.m. local time.

9:47 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

Stocks open sharply lower

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks tumbled again at Wednesday’s opening bell. The drivers for the selloff are the same as on Monday: rising Covid-19 infection in Europe are sparking worries about renewed lockdowns to stave off the pandemic’s second wave, and uncertainty about next week’s election and further government stimulus is keeping investors worried about the economy.

Here's how things opened this morning:

  • The Dow opened down 2%, or some 550 points.
  • The S&P 500 fell 1.8%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1.7%. 

On Monday, the Dow logged its worst day in more than seven weeks, while the S&P had its worst performance since late September.

9:47 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

Trump campaign official says he doesn't know who wrote document that promotes "ending" pandemic

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Despite spiking coronavirus cases in the United States, the White House touted that it ended the coronavirus pandemic on a list of the administration's accomplishments. When asked about the document today, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary Hogan Gidley said he did not know who wrote it and has not seen it himself.

A White House Office of Science and Technology Policy news release made the claim in announcing a document highlighting the administration's science and technology achievements over four years.

"Highlights include: ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC," the news release read. "From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease."

“I didn't write the document; I don't know who said that,” Gidley said on CNN’s 'New Day” when pressed about it by anchor Alisyn Camerota. 
“I’m not looking at the document. I don't know what the document says or how it characterizes the word ending but I'm not going to quibble over semantics,” he added.

When asked if he thinks the coronavirus pandemic has ended, Gidley said that “we’re moving in the right direction.” More than 480,000 new cases have been reported in the US since October 20.


8:39 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

Pope says he has to maintain distance because of "this lady called Covid"

From CNN's Livia Borghese & Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October 28.
Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October 28. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis told a group of faithful at the Vatican on Wednesday that he would not come down from the stage to greet them because of Covid restrictions.

“I would really like to come down to greet each one of you,” the Pope said, “but we have to maintain distance because if I come down it immediately creates a crowd and this goes against the precautions that we have to take before this ‘Lady’ called Covid who does us so much harm.”

Francis was speaking at his weekly general audience, when he usually greets some of the crowd face-to-face before and after the event.

The Paul VI hall is pictured as Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience.
The Paul VI hall is pictured as Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

The Pope, who was not wearing a mask, did greet some priests who came up to the stage after the event.

Francis has come under increasing criticism for not wearing a mask at public events.

A Vatican official told CNN on Tuesday that they were “trying to convince” the Pope to wear a mask.

Fr. Augusto Zampini, coordinator of the Pope’s Commission on Covid-19 said he “hopes the Pope will start to use the mask especially during his weekly general audiences when he is close to people.”
 “We are working on that,” Zampini said.
8:35 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

China reports 183 cases in Xinjiang after testing nearly 5 million people

From CNN's Beijing Bureau

A medical worker stands by as people line up to be tested for Covid-19, in Kashgar Prefecture, in China's far-western Xinjiang region, on October 26.
A medical worker stands by as people line up to be tested for Covid-19, in Kashgar Prefecture, in China's far-western Xinjiang region, on October 26. Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Shutterstock

Health officials in China's far-western Xinjiang region reported 183 Covid-19 infections after completing a mass testing program on Tuesday.

Of that total, only 22 exhibited symptoms, while 161 remain asymptomatic.

Authorities completed a mass testing program of 4.74 million people in the city of Kashgar in days, the Xinjiang Health Commission said in a statement.

The program was launched after a single asymptomatic case was identified over the weekend.

Xinjiang’s Health Commission said that patient is a 17-year-old girl who lives in a village in Kashgar, who has neither a fever nor cough, but tested positive for Covid-19. 

8:35 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

Record cases and rising deaths as Europe scrambles to save hospitals

A medical worker rests on the floor in the intensive care unit for novel coronavirus patients at the Casal Palocco hospital, near Rome, on October 22.
A medical worker rests on the floor in the intensive care unit for novel coronavirus patients at the Casal Palocco hospital, near Rome, on October 22. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Europe is edging closer to the brink as numerous countries report record new daily Covid-19 cases and its leaders take drastic steps to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Fears are also rising over the potential for hospitals to be overwhelmed as admissions surge and more patients enter intensive care, in a stark reminder of the scenes from the first peak in the spring.

Here's how the second wave is battering Europe today:

  • The Czech Republic, a country praised for its fast and effective response to the first wave of the pandemic, has more cases per capita than any European country. It reported a record 15,663 new cases Tuesday -- more than Germany, which has a population that is eight times larger.
  • Germany reported a record 14,964 new daily cases, taking it to 449,275 in total, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to discuss further measures in a meeting with Germany's state leaders. The number of patients in intensive care is five times higher than a week ago at 1,470. Deaths were up 85 to 10,098.
  • Belgium could run out of hospital beds in two weeks, top health officials said as the country grapples with Europe's second-worst infection rate after the Czech Republic. It reported a record 689 coronavirus hospital admissions on Tuesday, with 13,858 new cases per day on a seven-day average.
  • Poland reported a record number of cases Wednesday, with 18,820 new infections and a record 236 deaths, taking it to 299,049 cases and 4,849 deaths in total. It comes amid mass protests in the country against a new anti-abortion ruling.
  • Italy saw violent protests after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte introduced new restrictions on restaurants and gambling venues Sunday. "This is not the Italy we want,” Conte warned as he announced a €5 billion ($5.9bn) aid package and possible lockdown.
  • Switzerland also risks running out of hospital beds in 15 days and intensive care units in 11 days as the number of infections soar in the country, a Swiss health official said Tuesday. It has seen the sharpest rise in infection rate in Europe, from 59 per 1 million of the population on October 1 to 888 on October 25.  
  • France's President Emmanuel Macron will today announce new measures after it saw its highest death toll since April on Tuesday with 523 deaths in 24 hours. Experts warned intensive care units could be as busy as they were at the spring peak within two weeks, with almost 19,000 patients in hospital.
8:07 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

How Americans have changed their spending habits due to the pandemic

From CNN's Jeanne Sahadi

For millions of Americans, the economic effects of the pandemic have been devastating, resulting in job lossfood insecurity or threat of eviction.

But for many of those who are still employed -- or who have a spouse who still is -- it has changed how they use their money. Some have cut expenses and increased savings, paid off debt, or donated more to help those in need. Others have spent more on impulse purchases, made big life moves or postponed them.

CNN Business asked readers how the pandemic has changed their spending and saving habits. Here's what some of them had to say.

Out of work, using up savings

Paul Grim described himself and his wife, Michelle, as "more savers than spenders" before the pandemic struck.

Then Grim was laid off from his IT job. His wife, who is still working, has reduced her 401(k) contributions to free up some cash.

We have been dipping into our emergency savings to cover our bills where unemployment falls short," he said.

Slashing expenses, saving more

Sarah Way reworked her family budget when her part-time job in California was cut back to one day a week and her husband's employer temporarily cut his pay in half. Travel, dinners out and commuting expenses were eliminated by default because of the pandemic. But she went even deeper.

"We parked a car and took it off insurance. We cut cable TV. We slashed the grocery bill. After four months, my hubby's salary went back to normal, but we didn't adjust our budget back up," Way said.

Read the full story here: