June 3 coronavirus news

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 7:58 PM ET, Thu June 3, 2021
9 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:22 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

“The prognosis is good” for Covid-19 in US, Fauci says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

CNN
CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s New Day Thursday, that while the Covid-19 prognosis is good for the United States, vaccinations need to continue.

“The prognosis is good, if the patient continues to do what the patient is doing, and that is continuing as a country, if you want to make that metaphor go, continue to get vaccinated,” Fauci said, adding that the declining numbers of cases are “very encouraging.”

“The one thing we want to make sure is that we don’t declare victory prematurely and feel that because things are going in the right direction that we don’t have to keep vaccinating people,” he said. “We’re on a really good track now to really crush this outbreak. And the more people we get vaccinated, the more assuredness that we’re going to have that we’re going to be able to do that.” 

Reaching President Biden’s goal of having 70% of US adults with at least one shot by July 4 is something that he wants to happen – and potentially surpass – which is why there are actions now to reach as many people as possible.

“Whatever it takes, make it extremely easy for people to get vaccinated, give incentives, do whatever you can do to get people to get vaccinated, that’s what we really need to do, John,” he said.

When asked about concerns about upticks in cases following Memorial Day and as fewer people wear masks, Fauci said that it wouldn’t be uniform throughout the country because of differing levels of vaccination. 

“If you have a very high percentage of people vaccinated, you’re not going to see a substantial blip – you may see a little bit, not anything that even resembles a surge,” he said. 

“My concern is, is in those states in which you have relatively few compared to others’ people vaccinated, when you’re below 50% of the people being vaccinated, that’s when you’re going to have a problem," he added.

Having about 50% of adults fully vaccinated and about 62% of adults having received at least one dose across the US as a whole means “as a nation, I feel fairly certain you’re not going to see the kind of surges we’ve seen in the past,” Fauci said, but added “what I am concerned about are those states in which the level of vaccination is low, that you may continue to see higher levels of cases as we get into the summer.”

10:05 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Fauci says there's risk of considerable Covid-19 outbreaks on cruise ships if people are unvaccinated

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Cruise ships dock at PortMiami in Miami, Florida, on May 26.
Cruise ships dock at PortMiami in Miami, Florida, on May 26. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s New Day Thursday that there is a risk of people infected with Covid-19 spreading the virus when they are on cruise ships with unvaccinated people. 

“If you are on a boat with unvaccinated people, and you have a person who is infected, we know from experience with cruise ships what can happen,” Fauci said. “You can have considerable outbreaks because you are in a closed space where people are not going to be able to get away from each other because of what you see on a cruise ship.” 

“When there’s no problem, it’s wonderful, people are enjoying it, they’re having a great time,” he continued. “But if you have a couple of infected people there, you have a risk of spreading as we have seen historically with cruise ships.” 

Celebrity Edge is poised to be the first major cruise ship to sail from the US in over a year as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease in the country.

The ship, part of the Celebrity Cruises line owned by Royal Caribbean Group, has been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale with paying passengers in June 2021.

The CDC states that for cruise lines to recommence sailing in US waters, they must either complete "trial" cruises to replicate real-world cruising conditions or comply with the CDC vaccination requirements.

CNN's Lilit Marcus contributed reporting to this post.

9:35 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Knowing what he knows now, Fauci says "of course" he would have done some things differently

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

CNN
CNN

If Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, knew what he knows now about Covid-19, "of course" he would have done some things differently, he told CNN's John Berman during a New Day appearance on Thursday morning.

Among thousands of Fauci's emails that have been published online, one includes an exchange with Sylvia Burwell, former secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In an email sent early last year, she apparently asked Fauci whether she should wear a mask on a trip. Fauci responded at the time that he did not recommend wearing a mask since she was traveling to a low-risk location.

That exchange was on Feb. 5, 2020, before masks were widely recommended and before the coronavirus was considered a pandemic.

"A lot has transpired since then. If you had to go back and do it all over again, would you tell her something different? Do you regret that?" Berman asked Fauci.

"Let's get real here – if you look at scientific information as it accumulates, what is going on in January and February, what you know as a fact, as data, guides what you tell people and your policies. If March, April, May occur, you accumulate a lot more information and you modify and adjust your opinion and your recommendation based on the current science and current data," Fauci told Berman.

"So of course, if we knew back then that a substantial amount of transmission was asymptomatic people. If we knew that the data show that masks outside of a hospital setting actually do work when we didn't know it then. If we realize all of those things back then, of course," Fauci said. "You're asking a question, 'Would you do something different if you know what you know now?' Of course people would have done that. That's so obvious."
9:44 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

CDC revisits mask guidance in schools, says changes may come by fall

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Sabrina Werley works with her students during a math class in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania, on April 14.
Sabrina Werley works with her students during a math class in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania, on April 14. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said school guidance is being revisited as more and younger people get vaccinated — and there may be a change in school mask guidance in time for fall.

“We’ve said through the school year of ‘20 to ‘21 that our school guidance was not going to change,” Walensky said on Good Morning America Thursday when asked why children still need to wear masks. “What we really are doing now is looking at the evidence in the context of so many people getting vaccinated, in the context of disease rates coming down in certain communities and really looking at the evidence now."

“As we’re starting to get those people vaccinated, we will be revisiting this in our school guidance," she noted.

When asked if there might be a change to mask guidance in time for school in the fall, Walensky said, “I think we will. We are looking at the evidence now and we will be coming out with that guidance, soon to come.” 

She noted that early on in vaccination efforts, when older populations got vaccinated, more disease was seen in older teens and younger people in their 20s.

9:36 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Fauci responds to critics who say email from Wuhan lab funder was too "cozy"

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard)

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Thursday morning that an email he received last year from an executive at the US-based EcoHealth Alliance has been misconstrued.

In the wake of thousands of Fauci's emails publishing online, he has received some criticism for an email sent last April by an executive at the global nonprofit, which helped fund some research at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. The email thanked Fauci for publicly stating that scientific evidence supports a natural origin for the coronavirus and not a lab release.

CNN's John Berman read the email to Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during an appearance on New Day.

"There are some of your critics who say this shows you have too cozy of a relationship with the people behind the Wuhan lab research," Berman said. "What do you say to that?"

"That's nonsense," Fauci responded. "I don't even see how they get that from that email."

Fauci then emphasized that the email was sent to him — so he was on the receiving end.

"I have always said, and will say today to you, John, that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human, but I keep an absolutely open mind that if there may be other origins, there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak," Fauci told Berman. 

"I believe if you look historically, what happens in the animal-human interface, that in fact the more likelihood is that you're dealing with a jump of species. But I keep an open mind all the time. And that's the reason why I have been public that we should continue to look for the origin," Fauci said. 

"You can misconstrue it however you want — that email was from a person to me saying 'thank you' for whatever it is he thought I said, and I said that I think the most likely origin is a jumping of species. I still do think it is, at the same time as I'm keeping an open mind that it might be a lab leak," he continued.  

Hear Dr. Fauci's response to released emails:

10:22 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Fauci is "cautiously optimistic" all children will be able to get vaccinated by end of 2021

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

12-year-old Brianna Banuelos receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on May 14 in Los Angeles.
12-year-old Brianna Banuelos receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on May 14 in Los Angeles. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that children under age 12 will be able to get vaccinated by Thanksgiving.

“We are now doing studies that are ongoing as we're speaking, studies that are looking at what we call age de-escalation: children from 12 to 9 and then 9 to 6 and then 6 to 2 and then 6 months to 2 years. We hope as we approach the end of this calendar year, we'll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age,” Fauci told CNN’s John Berman.

Fauci also said he feels “fairly certain” that the US will not experience the kind of coronavirus surges that the country has seen in the past. 

“You're not going to see a substantial blip. You may see a little, but not anything that even resembles a surge” in states that have high vaccination rates, Fauci said. 

“What I am concerned about [is] those states in which the level of vaccination is low. That you may continue to see higher levels of cases as we get into the summer. That's what my concern is,” he said. 

Watch:

9:10 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

CDC director says she expects US to reach Biden’s July 4 Covid-19 vaccine goal

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Louis Evariste receives a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic in Immokalee, Florida, on May 20.
Louis Evariste receives a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic in Immokalee, Florida, on May 20. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday that she expects the country will reach President Joe Biden’s goal of 70% of US adults receiving one shot of Covid-19 vaccine by July 4. 

“I certainly expect we will, I certainly hope so,” she said. “I am really looking forward to this June month of action where we canvass America, we work together, we collaborate as a nation in all walks of who we are from mayors to colleges, from businesses to athletes, really working together to reach that 70% goal.”

President Biden on Wednesday announced a "National Month of Action" and outlined additional steps his administration is taking to meet that goal. Four of the nation's largest childcare providers will offer free childcare from now until July 4 to Americans who are getting their Covid-19 vaccine or recovering from the shot, Biden said.

Starting next week, thousands of pharmacies — including Albertsons, CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens — will stay open late every Friday in June in order to allow more Americans to get vaccinated.

The month of action includes a partnership with Anheuser-Busch that could also mean free alcohol for every American 21 years of age and older

CNN's Kate Sullivan, Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond contributed reporting to this post. 

8:01 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

Next phase of Covid-19 vaccine campaign will be harder, US surgeon general says

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

The next phase of the Covid-19 vaccine campaign in the US will be more difficult, but “we’re not giving up,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Wednesday.

President Biden announced a "National Month of Action" Wednesday to try to help meet the administration’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by July 4.

“I believe if we do everything that you know we have laid out today, if we have a great response from the community, I think we absolutely can still hit that goal,” Murthy said.

“Because we had so much success early on, we are now getting to the part of the campaign which is tougher,” Murthy added. “We've got to look further, if you will – convince more people, get to the right information, increase access even further.”

9:18 a.m. ET, June 3, 2021

After months of debate, White House prepares to announce next steps in global vaccination effort

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris, listens to questions from members of the press after speaking at the South Court Auditorium in Washington on Wednesday, June 2.
President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris, listens to questions from members of the press after speaking at the South Court Auditorium in Washington on Wednesday, June 2. Alex Wong/Getty Images

After months of deliberations, President Biden has finalized his plan to distribute millions of coronavirus vaccines worldwide. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted earlier that an announcement was imminent, and according to multiple sources familiar with the plans, officials could reveal it as soon as today or potentially Friday. 

This week, officials will detail which specific countries are getting vaccines while cautioning that this is expected to be a lengthy, complicated process, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. 

For months, administration aides and federal health officials have deliberated over the best way to share additional vaccines doses. The US has come under intense pressure to help other nations, and several of Biden's top aides have fielded requests from allies to help, including the President himself. Jeff Zients, whom Biden recently tapped to lead efforts to address the pandemic globally, has worked in close coordination with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, sources say. 

Administration officials are expected to lay out the criteria they've agreed on to determine which countries get doses. It remains to be seen whether the US will unilaterally decide which countries get which vaccines, or whether the international vaccine initiative known as COVAX will play a major role in deciding who gets them. It could also be a combination of both, officials say.  

One of the most complicated part of the decision-making process has centered on the enormous operational undertaking that sharing vaccines will require. Zients and Sullivan have worked with multiple federal agencies, including the Defense Department and State Department, to coordinate this, in addition to diplomatic counterparts. 

Two big factors that will matter are quality control and a country's public health infrastructure. 

Right now, only doses of vaccines made by Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson will be distributed, an official told CNN. 

Biden said in May the US would send 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to other countries by July Fourth. But, as of Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, those doses have not cleared a federal safety and efficacy review conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration, another official said.