November 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jenni Marsh, Nectar Gan, Stephanie Halasz, Kara Fox, Ed Upright, Emma Reynolds and Roya Wolverson, CNN

Updated 0515 GMT (1315 HKT) November 12, 2020
34 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:34 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

Moderna expects to know by the end of the month whether Covid-19 vaccine works

From CNN Health's Elizabeth Cohen

A blood sample is prepared for analysis by a laboratory technician at Accel Research Sites on August 4, in DeLand, Florida, during the Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna.
A blood sample is prepared for analysis by a laboratory technician at Accel Research Sites on August 4, in DeLand, Florida, during the Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images/FILE

Moderna has finished accumulating data for a first analysis of its Covid-19 vaccine and expects to have an announcement on the vaccine’s efficacy by the end of the month, according to a company statement. 

Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective

How it works: Moderna is conducting a clinical trial of 30,000 participants, with half receiving the vaccine and half receiving a placebo, which is a shot of saline that does nothing. 

What they need: For Moderna’s vaccine to be considered for authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration, at least 53 study participants need to become ill with Covid-19. The trial hit that 53 mark Wednesday, but Moderna doesn’t know if the participants who became ill received the vaccine or the placebo.

What happens now: The company is preparing data to send to the trial’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent panel of experts. That board will look to see how many of the participants who became ill received the vaccine and how many received the placebo. If a statistically significant number received the placebo, that means the vaccine is effective against the virus. 

Moderna thinks the board will report their efficacy results before the end of the month. Moderna expects that by the time the announcement is made, more than 53 participants will become ill with Covid-19, since cases are rapidly rising in the US. 

Pfizer's interim analysis looked at the first 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among more than 43,000 volunteers who got either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo. Russia's Sputnik V vaccine interim analysis came after just 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that Moderna’s vaccine could soon follow in Pfizer's footsteps.

“Moderna has an almost identical mRNA,” Fauci told Financial Times correspondent Hannah Kuchler. “We hope we're going to see a similar kind of result from Moderna. If we do, then we'll have two vaccines in play.”

He said he would "really be surprised if we did not see a high degree of efficacy."

4:56 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

Indian court slams Delhi government for allowing surge in Covid-19 cases 

From CNN's Swati Gupta in Delhi

A medical worker along with a policeman sort out swab samples collected for Rapid Antigen Tests for Covid-19 at a dispensary in New Delhi on November 10.
A medical worker along with a policeman sort out swab samples collected for Rapid Antigen Tests for Covid-19 at a dispensary in New Delhi on November 10. Xavier Galiana/AFP/Getty Images

Delhi's High Court on Wednesday criticized the government's decision to ease more restrictions even as the capital region reported a steep rise in the number of Covid-19 cases for the past two weeks.

“That the infection has become rampant in Delhi, is stating the obvious. A city state like Delhi has been reporting far more cases than states like Maharashtra and Kerala. No household has been left untouched,” said the bench hearing the case. 

The Delhi government reported 7,830 new cases Tuesday evening. India recorded 44,282 new cases Wednesday morning, bringing the country’s total to more than 8.6 million cases, including 127,571 deaths. 

The court asked the Delhi government to propose a legislation making masks mandatory in the city.

“Strict compliance and deterrent action is the need of the hour. If Delhi Government is serious about implementing its policy/strategy to contain the infection, then we would have thought that by now, there would have been some sanctions through appropriate legislation for enforcing wearing of masks in public places,” stated the official order. 

In a statement last week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the city was experiencing a third wave of Covid-19 infections. 

4:17 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

White House political director tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Brian Jack, White House political affairs director
Brian Jack, White House political affairs director Patrick Semansky/AP/FILE

White House political affairs director Brian Jack has tested positive for coronavirus, an official confirmed.

The White House declined to comment on Jack specifically, but said in a statement:

"Any positive case is taken seriously. Contact tracing has been conducted by the White House Medical Unit consistent with CDC guidelines to stop further transmission. Appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made." 

Jack attended the White House election night party held indoors over a week ago. A number of people in Trump's orbit, including his chief of staff, have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days.

Jack's diagnosis was first reported by the New York Times. 

3:48 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

UK passes 50,000 Covid-19 deaths as England completes first week of month-long lockdown

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London

A public service notice encouraging people to stay home is displayed over Picadilly Circus on November 9 in London.
A public service notice encouraging people to stay home is displayed over Picadilly Circus on November 9 in London. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The United Kingdom has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19, as the British government reported an additional 595 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The total death toll in the UK now stands at 50,365, the UK government reported on Wednesday. 

The country reached the grim mark as England, where most deaths were reported, completed the first of four weeks of a national lockdown, which came into effect last Thursday, in an attempt curb the spread of Covid-19 across the country. 

British authorities reported 22,950 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, which bring the total number of cases in the UK to 1,256,725. 

The UK has the fifth highest number of deaths in the world, after the US, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. It has the eighth highest number of cases in the world, after the US, India, Brazil, France, Russia, Spain and Argentina.

2:10 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois report record numbers of Covid-19 cases in single day

From CNN’s Sahar Akbarzai, Taylor Romine and Amanda Watts

People in cars wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13.
People in cars wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois set records for their highest number of coronavirus cases reported in a single day so far in the pandemic.

West Virginia reported new 885 cases, according to its Department of Health website, bringing its total number of confirmed and probable cases to 30,201.  

There were seven reported fatalities yesterday, bringing the death toll to 553. The daily percentage of positive tests is 5.90% and the cumulative percent of positive is 3.11%.

Illinois on Wednesday reported its highest daily increase with 12,657 new cases, plus 145 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

As of Tuesday night, 5,042 people in the state were reported to be in hospital with Covid-19, including 951 patients in intensive care units and 404 on ventilators, the IDPH statement said. 

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from November 4-10, 2020 was 13.6%, the statement added. 

Illinois has seen 523,840 total cases, including 10,434 deaths, in 102 counties, according to IDPH.%. 

Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday its highest daily increase in cases at 4,711, according to a Department of Health news release.

Covid-19 cases trended higher in the state over the past several days, with a total of 243,368 infections to date. Pennsylvania also reported 59 new deaths, bringing it to 9,145 deaths linked to the coronavirus.

The Department of Health said it had seen a significant increase in cases among younger age groups, specifically i19- to 24-year-olds.

As of Wednesday, 1,948 people are hospitalized, with 417 people currently in intensive care. Most of those hospitalized are 65 and older, the department said.

CNN is tracking US cases here:

1:33 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"We can do this better," say doctors critical of Trump administration's antibody treatment rollout 

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Doctors from Harvard University have shared serious reservations about the Trump administration’s Covid-19 antibody treatment rollout, in an editorial published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The editorial -- written before the announcement that Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment won emergency use authorization on Monday and would be sent out to clinics as early as this week -- focuses on Regeneron’s treatment. It has not yet been given an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Dr. Robert Goldstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, said he believed Regeneron is likely to get the nod soon, and what he knows about the rollout plans for both could put a serious strain on the system and potentially worsen inequities in treatment.

Goldstein said doctors still don’t have a lot of detail about which patients best benefit from the treatments. Much of what doctors know comes from news releases. 

We don’t like to practice medicine by press release,” Goldstein told CNN.

News releases may reassure investors, he said, but they leave doctors with too many questions about who to treat -- especially in cases like this one, when treatments are in such limited supply. 

Goldstein is also concerned about how the antibody treatments need to be administered -- in a health care office with space for someone to be infused for an hour and observed for another hour. Many safety net and rural health care systems do not have this kind of capacity, he said.

The editorial’s final concern is that there is no obligation for doctors to document how well the therapy works. 

Goldstein said he understands the US needs to move forward quickly in a public health crisis, especially if treatments can reduce hospitalizations, which reached an all-time high Tuesday.

"But we can do this better," he said. "We know that we can do this better and we should be doing it better."

1:02 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"West Wing" actor Richard Schiff tests positive for Covid-19

From Marianne Garvey, CNN

Actors Richard Schiff, right, and Sheila Kelley attend For Your Consideration Event for ABC's 'The Good Doctor' at Sony Pictures Studios on May 22, 2018 in Culver City, California. 
Actors Richard Schiff, right, and Sheila Kelley attend For Your Consideration Event for ABC's 'The Good Doctor' at Sony Pictures Studios on May 22, 2018 in Culver City, California.  JC Olivera/Getty Images

Richard Schiff and his wife Sheila Kelley have both tested positive for Covid-19, the actor revealed on Twitter.

"On Election Day I tested positive for Covid-19. This has been the most bizarre week of our lives," Schiff wrote. "@thesheilakelley is also positive."

"The Good Doctor" and "West Wing" star ended the post with: "This is tough. We are determined to find a way to health again. We root for everyone out there who are struggling with this thing. Love from here."

The couple is currently in isolation at their home in Canada, where "The Good Doctor" is filmed.

Read more on this story here.

12:12 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

The UK, Italy and Portugal mark grim milestones

From CNN’s Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Vasco Cotovio in London

Medical workers at a triage check point that was set up to ease the pressure on hospital emergency wards, following a surge in Covid-19 case numbers, in Milan, on Tuesday, November 10.
Medical workers at a triage check point that was set up to ease the pressure on hospital emergency wards, following a surge in Covid-19 case numbers, in Milan, on Tuesday, November 10. Antonio Calanni/AP

The United Kingdom has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19, with the British government reporting an additional 595 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The official total death toll in the UK now stands at 50,365.

The country reached the grim milestone as England, where most deaths were reported, completed the first of four weeks of a national lockdown, which came into effect last Thursday.

British authorities also reported 22,950 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, which bring the total number of cases in the UK to 1,256,725.

In Italy more than one million Covid-19 cases have now been recorded, with 32,961 new cases reported on Wednesday.

The total number of cases stands at 1,028,424 according to the Italian ministry of health. 

The country also recorded its highest daily death toll since April today, saying that 623 people had died.

Health authorities in Portugal marked the worst daily increase in its death toll since the pandemic began, with 82 Covid-19 deaths reported in the past 24 hours,

There have been 3,103 fatalities in the country in total, according to the Portuguese Health Directorate. And the second wave is showing no current signs of slowing down, with 4,935 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Portugal introduced a two-week state of emergency on Monday in 121 municipalities which are mostly concentrated around the country's two largest cities, Lisbon and Porto.

In those areas, it's now compulsory to wear a face mask in public, including outside spaces if social distancing is impossible to maintain. A weekday curfew from 11pm and 5am local time is also now in force, with a 1pm-5am curfew in effect on the weekend.

The government said it doesn’t rule out stricter restrictions -- such as closing roads and railways -- if the situation does not improve.

11:59 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"Vaccination is not going to be a fairytale ending," says former CDC director

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an interview on November 11.
Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an interview on November 11. CNN

Even with a vaccine in sight, we're still going to be dealing with Covid-19 through most or all of 2021 and "quite possibly beyond that," the former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN Wednesday.

Dr. Tom Frieden, now CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, said that older people and those with underlying health conditions will continue to be at higher risk for severe illness or death from Covid-19, even if a highly effective vaccine comes available soon.

"I think it would be a misguided approach to think 'Well, if we just vaccinate those folks, we'll be OK' because roughly 40 to 50% of all adults in the United States have some underlying condition that puts them at an increased risk and it's somewhat unpredictable who is going to get particularly, ill," Frieden said.
"So, a vaccine is really important, and the news is very encouraging. But vaccination is not going to be a fairytale ending to the pandemic." 

However, Frieden said the pandemic plan from President-elect Joe Biden's team is encouraging.

"The President-elect is clear about three things that we've been lacking so far in this response," said Frieden. "First, base it in science, second, communicate clearly openly, honestly, and third, make sure that we have an approach that is organized, so that it's clear who's in charge, what the role of different parts of government is and how we can minimize deaths while also minimizing harm to education to our societal and economic progress."