November 9 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Zamira Rahim, Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger and Stephanie Halasz, CNN

Updated 1:41 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020
41 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:43 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden hails "positive news" on vaccine but says process must "be grounded in science"

From CNN's Michael Hayes, Jacqueline Howard, Artemis Moshtaghian and Schams Elwazer

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 9.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 9. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

US President-elect Joe Biden has hailed the "positive news in this fight" against coronavirus, after Monday's announcement of "progress made toward a successful vaccine" — but added the process must "be grounded in science and fully transparent."

"Soon, the expectation is the FDA will run the process of rigorous reviews and approvals. And the process must also be grounded in science and fully transparent so the American people can have every confidence that any approved vaccine is safe and effective," he said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, after being briefed by his newly-formed coronavirus advisory board.

Biden added that even if a vaccine is approved, it "will not be widely available for many months yet to come."

Drugmaker Pfizer announced Monday that an early look at data shows its vaccine is more than 90% effective -- a much better than expected efficacy if the trend continues.

Other responses:

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus posted on Twitter on Monday that the announcement was "encouraging" news.

"We welcome the encouraging vaccine news," Tedros tweeted, adding that WHO salutes all scientists and partners around the world who are "developing new safe, efficacious tools" to beat Covid-19.

Tedros said the world was experiencing "unprecedented scientific innovation" and "collaboration" to end the pandemic. According to WHO, as of last week, there are at least 47 Covid-19 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation around the world.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the US Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for health, also said he was encouraged, during a call with reporters.

"We are all very optimistic that this vaccine, and others also in clinical trials, can effectively end the pandemic. But until that vaccine is widely administered and distributed, we have much work to do," Giroir said. "Our nation is in a critical phase of the pandemic, with significant community spread, cases averaging nearly 100,000 per day."

Giroir emphasized that people in the United States must continue physical distancing, wearing masks and maintaining hand hygiene -- and said that testing remains important.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the results "great news," adding that she was proud to see that Pfizer, "a Michigan business … will produce the vaccine."

Whitmer cautioned that when the vaccine is ready "it will take time to distribute," saying everyone needed to "continue doing their part" to protect each other from Covid-19, and that was why it was "so important that President-Elect Biden has announced a team of medical experts to lead our country’s COVID-19 response."

"It is crucial that leaders across the country listen to science and the recommendations of health experts, and President-Elect Biden has made it clear that he shares that commitment," she added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada had signed a deal with the drug company in August to secure millions of doses, adding that other vaccine candidates were also progressing well.

"In Canada and around the world, scientists are working very hard and doing a great job. We hope to see vaccines landing in the early next year," he said. "Between now and then, it’s really, really important that we double down on our efforts."

He emphasized how important it was for Canadians to control the spread of Covid-19 in the coming months, so that when vaccines arrive the country can act quickly.

"We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful we are getting there because our scientists are working incredibly hard," Trudeau said. "But we need to do our part. We need to stay strong and hang in there a few more months – maybe more than that, but, we can see it coming."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that if the vaccine passes all the rigorous safety checks and is approved for use, "this country will be ready to start using it."

Speaking at a news conference at Downing Street, Johnson said the vaccine had been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggested it was 90% effective.

"But we haven’t yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed. So we’ve cleared one significant hurdle, but there are still several more to go before we know the vaccine can be used," he said.

He said the UK government had ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine -- enough for about a third of the population at two doses each "and that puts us toward the front of the international pack on a per capita basis." The UK has also ordered more than 300 million doses from five other vaccine candidates, he added.

Watch Biden's message on masks:

2:08 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

United States surpasses 10 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Amanda Watts

The United States has passed 10 million coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

There have been at least 10,018,278 cases of Covid-19 in the US and at least 237,742 people have died. 

So far today, Johns Hopkins has reported 50,123 new cases and 172 reported deaths. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

This is the fastest the United States has added one million new cases since the pandemic began. 

JHU recorded the first case of coronavirus in the United States on January 21. 

  • 98 days later, on April 28, the US hit 1 million cases
  • 44 days later, on June 11, the US hit 2 million cases
  • 27 days later, on July 8, the US hit 3 million cases
  • 15 days later, on July 23, the US hit 4 million cases
  • 17 days later, on August 9, the US hit 5 million cases
  • 22 days later, on August 31, the US hit 6 million cases
  • 25 days later, on September 25, the US hit 7 million cases
  • 21 days later on October 16, the US hit 8 million cases
  • 14 days later, on October 30, the US hit 9 million cases
  • 10 days later, on November 9, the US hit 10 million cases

 Eight other countries in the world have reported over 1 million total Covid-19 cases:

  • India has over 8 million total cases
  • Brazil has over 5 million total cases
  • Russia, France, Spain, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Colombia each have over 1 million total cases

Track Covid-19's spread across the US here:

1:58 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

NY Governor says micro-clusters will be "the constant," with coronavirus rates expected to go up in winter

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

People wearing protective masks wait in line for Covid-19 testing at a CityMD in New York, on Monday, November 9.
People wearing protective masks wait in line for Covid-19 testing at a CityMD in New York, on Monday, November 9. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said rates of coronavirus infection are expected to rise as winter approaches, and warned that micro-clusters will be "the constant for the foreseeable future.”

The rates will all go up. We expect the rates will continue to go up, through the fall and into the winter," he said in a briefing on Monday. "The best you can do is manage the increase, but it will be increasing.”

Cuomo said "the numbers are undeniable across the globe, across the country."

He said that overall, New York state was "doing much better than any state in the country," save for rural states such as Vermont and Maine, with a lower "relative index."

New York reported a positivity rate of 2.8%, 26 new deaths and 1,400 hospitalizations on Monday. The positivity rate was last at 2.5% in early June.

Cuomo said that watching a small increase and attacking that area was the best mode of operation.

In Brooklyn, red zones will be "eliminated" and become lower tier orange zones.

He said the numbers in Staten Island were of concern, but that no restrictions would be implemented at this time.

Cuomo said parts of Eerie County, Monroe County, and Onondaga County would become "yellow zones," with restrictions including a 25 person maximum for gatherings, four person maximum for dining, and bars and restaurants closing at midnight.

With reporting from Taylor Romine

1:52 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Crowded nursing homes linked to larger and more deadly outbreaks of Covid-19, study says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

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.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Crowded nursing homes were linked to larger and more deadly outbreaks of Covid-19 according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

"In this study of nursing home crowding across 618 nursing homes in Ontario, Canada, we found that residents of highly crowded homes were more than twice as likely to develop infection with and die of Covid-19," wrote authors Kevin Brown, from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. 

They looked at the nursing homes over the period from March 29 to May 20 and gave each a crowding index; homes with a value of two or greater were defined as high and those with a value below two were low.

The crowding index ranged from 1.3, where the homes mainly featured single occupancy rooms, to 4.0, for homes which were exclusively made up of quadruple occupancy rooms. 

The findings: Both Covid-19 cases and deaths were higher in crowded homes.   

Models suggested that "compared with a home with an index of 1.5, homes with an index of 3 had double the Covid-19 incidence." There was a similar association between crowding and Covid-19 mortality. 

While crowding didn’t change the probability that Covid-19 would be introduced to the home, outbreaks in more crowded homes tended to be larger.

Only one outbreak involved more than 100 residents in less crowded homes, compared with nine outbreaks in more crowded homes.

The researchers also ran simulation analyses, which suggest that 998 infections and 263 deaths could have been prevented in Ontario nursing homes if rooms with four beds were converted to rooms with two beds.  

"Insights from this study, and the experience of Ontario, suggest that interventions targeting crowding may reduce Covid-19 in nursing homes," wrote the authors. 
1:16 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Hundreds protest England’s new restrictions, but some say it "doesn’t feel like lockdown"

From CNN's Amy Cassidy in Glasgow 

Protesters gather at St Peters Square during an anti-lockdown protest in Manchester, England on Sunday, November 8.
Protesters gather at St Peters Square during an anti-lockdown protest in Manchester, England on Sunday, November 8. Kenny Brown/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

More than 600 people gathered in the center of Manchester, in northern England, at the weekend to protest a new national lockdown that requires the closure of bars, restaurants, and non-essential retail, and forbids household mixing until December 2. 

Greater Manchester Police condemned the demonstrations, on Sunday, which they said led to several officers getting injured. Four people were arrested.

"Both the organisers and attendees were irresponsible -- increasing demand on police who are also responding to calls regarding serious incidents and people who are in immediate danger," the police force said in a statement.

England is five days into its second nationwide lockdown, but with crowded parks, busy streets, and bustling markets, some residents told CNN it doesn't feel like a lockdown at all. 

The first lockdown, in the spring, saw deserted streets and strict enforcement of masks and social distancing in supermarkets. Not this time around, said Mhairi Fletcher, who lives in Essex, in southeast England.

"I went to the shop the other day, and I wanted to avoid it because of how it was last time. I genuinely went in thinking it was going to be militant. But it was honestly like there was no lockdown," Fletcher told CNN. "I’ve seen hardly any difference."

Fletcher, who is expecting her second child, noted that during the first lockdown, maternity wards took her temperature, asked about symptoms and required her to wash her hands.

"Today I just had to sanitize and that's it," she said. "It doesn’t feel like a lockdown."

Ross Lennox, a trainee lawyer, spotted a bustling street market in Clapham, South London, over the weekend.

"Everyone had masks on that I could see, but not much social distancing at all and no one was enforcing it," Lennox said. "Without masks, you wouldn’t know there was a pandemic."
12:54 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Minnesota Governor announces "a pretty massive expansion of testing" 

From CNN's Gregory Lemos

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to the press on June 3, in St. Paul, Minnesota. 
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to the press on June 3, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Scott Olson/Getty Images

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced "a pretty massive expansion of testing" in his state on Monday, and a new public-private partnership that will make results available in 24 to 48 hours.  

Walz said the Minneapolis Convention Center was open for testing, and that the state was partnering with the National Guard to open 11 additional sites in the next seven days. It is also opening a site at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.  

The governor said his state has "reached a very dangerous phase in the pandemic" and said his focus on testing is based on "proven infectious disease control by testing, isolation, contact tracing, containment." 

During the morning news conference, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm displayed the saliva test kit that will be used at the newly-opened testing sites and called it "easy, quick, pain-free."  

Malcolm said the state was partnering with private healthcare company Vault Health, which is opening a test processing site in Minnesota "to speed up the process."  

Walz highlighted the records on infection rates, hospitalization and deaths set in the state last week and called the deaths "avoidable."

He specifically implored 18-34 year-olds to stop gathering.  

Unfortunately, this virus is using that as the transmission method and where you are gathering, it is going," Walz said.  

Walz said 23 counties in the state are part of a pilot program for in-home saliva testing.  

12:45 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Ben Carson is latest Trump official to test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond and Betsy Klein

Ben Carson during a testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to examine housing regulations during the pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., on June 9, 2020.
Ben Carson during a testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to examine housing regulations during the pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., on June 9, 2020. Astrid Riecken/Pool/Getty Images

Ben Carson, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning, his deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker confirmed to CNN.

Carson attended the election night party where White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and nearly every other attendee was not wearing a mask. Meadows and four others in President Donald Trump's orbit subsequently tested positive for the virus last week.

Carson was also spotted maskless at a Trump campaign rally in Waterford Township, Michigan on October 30.

Carson's diagnosis was first reported by ABC News.

Read the full story here:

12:45 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Iraq tops 500,000 coronavirus cases; Iran remains the Middle East's worst-hit country

From CNN's Aqeel Najim, Ramin Mostaghim and Kareem Khadder

A health worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing facility in the central Iraqi city of Najaf, on July 15, 2020.
A health worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing facility in the central Iraqi city of Najaf, on July 15, 2020. AFP/Getty Images

Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported 3,184 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Monday, taking the total number of cases in the country to more than 500,000 -- a total of 501,733 have been recorded.

The health ministry also reported 53 Covid-19 related deaths, bringing Iraq's coronavirus death toll to 11,380.

Iran remains the worst-hit country in the Middle East, with 692,949 cases. It broke its daily record for infections again on Monday, with 10,463 new cases, according to the spokesperson for the Iranian health ministry.

The country recorded 458 deaths on Monday, bringing its death toll to 38,749, according to governmental statistics. On Sunday 459 deaths were recorded -- the highest number of deaths in the country since the outbreak began in February.

On October 12, the Iranian Supreme Leader Imam Ali Khamenei said that the country was going through its third wave of the pandemic.

12:31 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

FDA calls on drugmakers to increase diversity of clinical trials to confront health disparities

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday published guidance for drugmakers on how to increase the enrolment of under-represented groups in their clinical trials.

"One important step that researchers and medical product sponsors can take to confront health care disparities is to make sure that clinical trials for medical products are more inclusive of multiple populations," FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a written statement on Monday.

He said the guidance offered recommendations on how product sponsors can improve the diversity of trials by accounting for factors that could limit participation.

For example, logistical issues such as requiring frequent visits to specific sites "may place an added burden on participants," Hahn said in the statement.

The guidance also provides recommendations on:

  • Broadening eligibility criteria for trials of investigational drugs intended to treat rare diseases
  • Improving enrolment and retention of participants with rare diseases
  • Inclusion of other important groups, including but not limited to women, pregnant women, racial and ethnic minorities, children and older adults.

The guidance comes as trials for potential Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics continue across the United States, as well as globally.

In September, a group funded by the National Institutes of Health released a series of television ads asking Black and Latino volunteers to become study participants in clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines.