December 3 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0508 GMT (1308 HKT) December 4, 2020
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4:21 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

US buys 650,000 more doses of Lilly's monoclonal antibody for Covid-19

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Lilly’s coronavirus treatment won emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in November.
Lilly’s coronavirus treatment won emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in November. Source: Eli Lilly and Co

The US federal government has bought 650,000 additional doses of Eli Lilly and Co’s monoclonal antibody treatment for coronavirus, bringing the total US purchase to 950,000 treatment courses. 

Lilly’s treatment, an engineered version of a human immune system protein, won emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration last month after clinical trials showed it could help prevent severe disease. 

“With Covid-19 cases on the rise, treating people with mild or moderate infections can help prevent hospitalizations, which will reduce that burden on healthcare systems,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Robert Kadlec said in a statement.

The HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority said that each treatment course was a single dose.

"Under the agreement announced October 28 and to meet Operation Warp Speed goals, the company is in the process of delivering the first 300,000 doses, and on November 10, HHS began allocating these doses to state and territorial health departments which, in turn, are determining which healthcare facilities receive the infusion drug,” the authority said.

In a separate statement, Lilly said that the purchase agreement was for $812.5 million worth of doses which would be delivered “through January 31, 2021, with at least 350,000 of the additional doses delivered in December 2020."

3:56 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

Russia reports more than 28,000 Covid-19 cases in new daily high

From CNN's Zahra Ullah

Russia reported 28,145 new Covid-19 cases Thursday, the highest number in a single day, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

The total number of infections confirmed in Russia is now at least 2,375,546, with an overall death toll of 41,607.

A CNN investigation previously revealed that official Russian coronavirus death figures may grossly understate the real toll by excluding people who are presumed to have Covid-19 post mortem and even those with pre-existing conditions that proved fatal due to the infection.

3:34 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

US states will make decisions about Covid-19 vaccines based on their own circumstances, former FDA chief says

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Scott Gottlieb testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on April 5, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on April 5, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Zach Gibson/Getty Images

When states begin receiving their share of the limited Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines, perhaps as soon as this month, they’re going to make some decisions about vaccinations based on their own circumstances, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the US Food and Drug Administration, said Wednesday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Tuesday to recommend giving the limited number of initial vaccines to healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities, but Gottlieb said states still have some leeway.

“States are going to do some things that are distinct to their state,” Gottlieb told CNBC.
“I’ve talked to a number of governors. You’ll see some states that deploy the vaccine in certain communities that are particularly hard hit where they have epidemics that they feel are under less control ... So, there will be decisions made by some states that are very particular to different states,” he added.

When it comes to distributions to healthcare workers, Gottlieb said the majority will be sent to hospitals, which will have to decide which staff get vaccinated first, “based on their exposure to Covid, their proximity to the virus.”

He said he expects the 3 million residents of long-term care facilities and staff there to get the vaccine quickly, given the high risk that they face.

3:07 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

US reports more than 200,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

At least 200,070 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

An additional 3,157 virus-related fatalities -- the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began -- were also reported Wednesday.

A total of 13,924,956 Covid-19 infections, including 273,835 deaths, have now been confirmed nationwide, according to JHU's tally.

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

See CNN's tracker:

2:55 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

Germany extends coronavirus restrictions until Jan. 10 

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media following her virtual meeting with the leaders of Germany's 16 states in Berlin, on Dec. 2.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media following her virtual meeting with the leaders of Germany's 16 states in Berlin, on Dec. 2. Pool/Getty Images

Germany has extended restrictive measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus until Jan. 10, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced late Wednesday following a meeting with the country's state leaders.  

"The states will extend their measures from Dec. 20 until Jan. 10," Merkel told reporters at a news conference, adding that another round of consultations would be held on Jan. 4.  

"In principle things will remain as they are," she said.  

Merkel said that infection rates throughout the country remain too high to allow reopening of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities. The nationwide partial lockdown also includes private gatherings to be kept to a minimum of only five people from two households. 

Last week Merkel announced that restrictions will be eased over the Christmas period in most parts of Germany to allow for people to meet in groups of up to 10 people, not counting children. 

Germany is struggling to contain an ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections. On Wednesday, the country's infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), reported 487 deaths due to the virus --- the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic. 

According to data published by the RKI Thursday morning, 22,046 new coronavirus infections were recorded in the past 24 hours. A total of 479 coronavirus fatalities also occurred in the past day -- the second-highest count since the pandemic began, bringing the total number of deaths to 17,602.

2:24 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

Japan reports highest increase of Covid-19 deaths since early May

From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo and Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong

Japan recorded 41 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, its highest daily increase of new deaths since May 8, the country’s Health Ministry announced today.

The country's death toll now stands at 2,226. 

The Health Ministry also reported 2,434 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing Japan's nationwide total to 153,539.

Japan reported there were 488 people in intensive care and on respirators on Wednesday, down five from the previous day when it had the highest such number since the pandemic began. 

Tokyo reported 500 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the capital's total number of infections to 41,811. 

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga described the next three weeks as an extremely crucial period and asked the public to cooperate with anti-virus measures.  

1:54 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

US reports highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

The United States reported 3,157 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The days with the highest number of new deaths according to JHU data are: 

  1. Dec. 2: 3,157
  2. April 15: 2,603
  3. Dec. 1: 2,597
  4. April 7: 2,570 
  5. April 21: 2,542
1:30 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

Hawaii couple arrested for allegedly traveling to island with child after positive Covid-19 test

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Wesley Moribe (left) and Courtney Peterson (right).
Wesley Moribe (left) and Courtney Peterson (right). Kauai Police Department

A couple returning home to Hawaii was arrested over the weekend after they allegedly flew on a commercial plane with a child despite testing positive for Covid-19.

According to the Kauai Police Department, Wesley Moribe, 41, and Courtney Peterson, 46, of Wailua were charged with second-degree reckless endangering.

Police spokesperson Coco Zickos said Moribe and Peterson boarded a United Airlines flight out of San Francisco on Sunday despite knowing they both had tested positive for the coronavirus.

A 4-year-old child traveled with them. Zickos said the child was released to the care of a family member following the adults’ arrests. The police department is not saying how the child is related to the suspects.

Following their arrests at the Lihue Airport, Moribe and Peterson were each released on $1,000 bail, said Zickos. 

“We continue to request visitors and residents alike to follow the Governor’s Emergency Rules and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck said in a news release.

CNN was not able to find contact information nor an attorney listed for the couple Wednesday evening.

12:44 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020

Former US presidents volunteer to take coronavirus vaccine publicly to prove it's safe

From CNN’s Jamie Gangel

From left to right, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, on April 25, 2013.
From left to right, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, on April 25, 2013. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three former United States presidents -- Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton -- are volunteering to receive their Covid-19 vaccines on camera in order to promote public confidence in the medication's safety.

The three former presidents hope an awareness campaign to promote confidence in the vaccine's safety and effectiveness would be a powerful message as American public health officials try to convince the public to get vaccinated once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes one. 

Freddy Ford, Bush's chief of staff, told CNN that the 43rd president had reached out to Dr. Anthony Fauci -- the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, to see how he could help promote the vaccine.

"A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated," Ford told CNN. "First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera."

Clinton's press secretary told CNN on Wednesday that he too would be willing to take the vaccine in a public setting in order to promote it.

"President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials. And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same," Angel Urena said.

It has been previously reported that Obama said in an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison, scheduled to air Thursday, that if Fauci said a coronavirus vaccine is safe, he believes him.