December 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 4:06 p.m. ET, December 15, 2020
10 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:18 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

US reports more than 190,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Alta Spells in Atlanta

The United States reported 190,920 new Covid-19 cases and 1,389 virus-related deaths on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The new figures raise the country's total to at least 16,253,219 cases and 299,168 deaths. 

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

CNN is tracking cases and deaths:

12:53 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

New Zealand commits to travel bubbles with Australia, Cook Islands

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth

A passenger from Auckland, New Zealand arrives at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 16.
A passenger from Auckland, New Zealand arrives at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 16. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

New Zealand has agreed in principle to establish a much-anticipated travel bubble with neighboring Australia -- although there's still no firm date on when the corridor would start.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on December 14 that a travel bubble can be expected in the first quarter of next year, meaning that people can travel between the two countries without having to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine at either end.

Since October, travelers from New Zealand have been allowed quarantine-free travel to certain Australian destinations, but they still have to quarantine when they return home.

Ardern's announcement means that the bubble -- which has been discussed for months and has been widely anticipated by people in both countries -- will finally allow for quarantine-free travel both ways.

It comes two days after New Zealand announced plans to roll out quarantine-free travel with the Cook Islands in the first quarter of next year.

Read the full story:

12:22 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

White House staffers to receive Covid-19 vaccine ahead of general public

From CNN's Jim Acosta and Kaitlan Collins

High-ranking White House officials are set to receive some of the first coronavirus vaccines in the United States, according to a White House official and a person familiar.

Those vaccinations, which could begin as soon as this week, would come while the vaccine is in extremely limited supply and only generally available to high-risk health care workers.

The President, however, tweeted Sunday evening that White House staffers should receive the vaccine "somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary."

"I have asked that this adjustment be made," he said. "I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time. Thank you!"

The New York Times first reported on the White House vaccinations. Other parts of the Trump administration will be vaccinated in the coming days.

Read the full story:

12:04 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Japan to consider new Covid-19 countermeasures as cases surge

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo and Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato attends a news conference in Tokyo, on Dec. 8.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato attends a news conference in Tokyo, on Dec. 8. Kyodo News/Sipa USA

Japan is set to hold a Covid-19 task force meeting on Monday evening to discuss additional countermeasures as new cases rise, the nation’s Chief Cabinet Secretary said.

This comes after Japan reported 2,387 new coronavirus cases and 23 additional virus-related deaths on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health.

The new figures raise the national total to 180,365 cases and 2,598 deaths. As of Sunday, 25,113 patients are still in hospital.

The government has a "very strong sense of crisis," Economic Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday.

He added that the focus to curb new infections remains on the four major hotspots with high infection rates -- Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hokkaido.

Tokyo, the nation's capital, reported 480 new cases on Sunday. Osaka, the country's third most populous prefecture, reported 308.

12:02 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

South Korea reported more than 700 new Covid-19 cases Sunday. It's now considering tighter restrictions

From CNN's Jake Kwon and Gawon Bae in Seoul and Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

A medical staff member wearing protective gear takes a swab from a woman to test for Covid-19 at a temporary testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 14.
A medical staff member wearing protective gear takes a swab from a woman to test for Covid-19 at a temporary testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 14. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea reported 718 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to a news release issued by the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) on Monday.

Among the new cases, 682 were locally transmitted, of which 473 were reported in the Seoul metropolitan area, the KDCA release said. This brings the nation’s total number of cases to 43,484.

Additionally, seven patients died on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 587, the release added.

Tighter restrictions warning: On Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that officials will begin reviewing the possibility of raising the social distancing measures to level 3, the highest level in South Korea's Covid-19 response, which will close most facilities and restrict gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

The government will additionally secure more than 10,000 hospital beds over the next three weeks, according to Health Minister Park Neung-hoo.

11:09 p.m. ET, December 13, 2020

Peru's Sinopharm vaccine trial suspended after patient reports a decrease in muscle strength in his legs

From CNNE’s Juan Paz, Mitch McCluskey and Tatiana Arias

A health worker prepares a syringe to inoculate a volunteer with a Covid-19 vaccine produced by Sinopharm during its trial at the Clinical Studies Center of the Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 9.
A health worker prepares a syringe to inoculate a volunteer with a Covid-19 vaccine produced by Sinopharm during its trial at the Clinical Studies Center of the Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 9. Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Peru’s clinical trials of China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine were temporarily suspended by the Peruvian National Institute of Health after a participant reported a decrease in muscle strength in his legs, German Malaga, the head of clinical trials at Sinopharm laboratories in Peru told CNN on Sunday.

The 64-year-old patient, with allegedly more than 20 years of badly-controlled diabetes, is in stable condition, Malaga said.

Malaga added that the reason for the symptoms cannot yet be determined and an investigation is ongoing.

11:09 p.m. ET, December 13, 2020

US sets new record for Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

A medical staff member checks an IV pump for a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, on Dec. 10.
A medical staff member checks an IV pump for a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, on Dec. 10. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

The United States reported 109,331 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is the 12th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.

 The US has seen record hospitalizations for eight days in a row.

 The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

  1. December 13: 109,331
  2. December 12: 108,487
  3. December 11: 108,044
  4. December 10: 107,258
  5. December 9: 106,705
9:39 p.m. ET, December 13, 2020

The coronavirus vaccine rollout will be messy. People will have to deal with that

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A vaccine kit sent to the wrong state. A hospital system in California expecting to get powdered vaccines instead of frozen vials. And tens of thousands of people expect to get vaccinated in the coming weeks, when in reality they are going to have to wait for months.

The rollout of the first coronavirus vaccine is already messy, and it has only been authorized since late Friday night.

The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine Friday, and it's widely expected to grant EUA to Moderna's similar vaccine next week. Vaccinations are expected to begin Monday.

The federal government's Operation Warp Speed has been gearing up and holding news conferences headlined by generals promising a military-style rollout. But jokes about military precision aside, experts are already expecting a lot of confusion, a fair amount of fear and more than a little outrage.

"The public has to be cognizant that there is going to be unfairness or error or sometimes just stupidity," said Juliette Kayyem, a security specialist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration.

Read about some of the problems the US public can expect to see with any mass vaccination effort:

11:42 p.m. ET, December 13, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine en route to every state as health officials say they hope immunizations begin Monday

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Eric Levenson

Thousands of vials of the long-awaited Covid-19 vaccine are slated to arrive in all 50 states Monday, as top US health officials express hope that health care workers can begin administering the injections immediately.

The news comes after the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine cleared its final hurdle: Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accepted an advisory committee's recommendation Saturday that the vaccine may be given to people 16 and older, meaning it can now be administered in the United States.

In a statement issued Sunday, Redfield announced he had accepted the recommendation from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The first vaccinations are "set to start as early as Monday," he said.

"This is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country," he said in a statement.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, too, said his "greatest hope and desire" is that the vaccinations begin Monday.

"My hope, again, is that this happens very expeditiously, hopefully tomorrow," Hahn told CNN on Sunday. "We've seen the vaccines go out. We've seen the press reports of hospitals waiting to vaccinate health care workers and those most vulnerable."

Vaccines roll out: The decision comes the same day that the first batch of vaccines was loaded onto trucks at a Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, and shipped out across the country.

Freight trucks carrying about 184,275 vials of vaccine departed the plant, and the combined 189 boxes of vaccine vials are expected to arrive in all 50 states Monday.

Read the full story: