May 14 coronavirus news

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9:33 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Losses for MLB club owners could reach $4 billion, commissioner says

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could put Major League Baseball franchises in a $4 billion hole, commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday night during CNN's global town hall.

"The economic effects are devastating, frankly, for the clubs. We're a big business, but we're a seasonal business. And unfortunately this crisis began at kind of a low point for us in terms of revenue. We hadn't quite started our season yet. And if we don't play a season the losses for the owners could approach $4 billion," Manfred said.

Season disrupted: The MLB season, which was set to start on March 26, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB owners and league management have agreed upon an 82-game regular season, down from the traditional 162 games, according to reports.

Spring training will begin in early to mid-June, and games would resume in early July in ballparks without fans, as long as state legislation and health officials allow, reports say.

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9:43 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

MLB commissioner confident an agreement will be reached with player's union over playing half a season

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is confident that the league will reach an agreement with the player's association over what they perceive as a pay cut if only half a season is played due to the pandemic.

"I think that whenever there's a discussion about economics publicly people tend to characterize it as a fight. Me, personally, I have great confidence that we'll reach an agreement with the players association, both that it's safe to come back to work and work out the economic issues that need to be resolved," Manfred said Thursday night during CNN's global town hall.

Some context: MLB owners have finalized a plan that may allow the 2020 season to start on Fourth of July weekend, according to multiple outlets, including the New York Times and ESPN.

The season, which was set to start on March 26, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB owners and league management have agreed upon an 82-game regular season, down from the traditional 162 games, according to the reports.

Spring training will begin in early to mid-June, and games would resume in early July in ballparks without fans, as long as state legislation and health officials allow, reports say.

In order to proceed with this unprecedented season, all the proposed ideas would need to be agreed upon by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). An MLB spokesperson told CNN on Monday night that the league plans to present a proposal to the players association Tuesday. No details of the proposal were provided by MLB.

League and team leadership reportedly gathered for their weekly meeting on Monday to discuss plans to get back on the field and the safety and economic conditions that would need to be met to do so.

A March agreement outlined key financial terms regarding how much players would be paid in a shortened season.

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9:17 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Coronavirus has arrived in Bangladesh camps home to 1 million Rohingya refugees

From CNN’s Bex Wright in Hong Kong

The first known Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Bangladesh's refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, said the United Nations on Thursday, citing the Bangladeshi government.

The camps at Cox's Bazar are home to nearly a million Rohingya refugees, many of whom fled across the border to Bangladesh to escape violence in neighboring Myanmar. 

One of the confirmed cases was a Rohingya refugee, and the other was a Bangladeshi citizen who lives in the surrounding area of the camps, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement.

Bangladesh currently has 18,863 confirmed cases of coronavirus cases with 283 deaths, a tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.

Government response: The Bangladeshi government has suspended most of the services within the densely populated camps in late March, including educational programs and other advocacy work.

Health officials have now begun to treat both patients while isolating and testing other refugees in the camps, the agency said.

Covid in the camps is "a nightmare": “The first positive case of Covid-19 in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh is the realization of a nightmare scenario,” said Daniel P. Sullivan, a senior advocate for human rights with the US-based organization Refugees International.

“In addition, the prevalence of underlying health conditions among refugees and the deteriorating sanitary conditions sure to come with the looming monsoon and flooding season make for a witch’s brew of conditions in which the virus is sure to thrive," Sullivan added.

Sullivan also stressed the importance of Bangladeshi government’s efforts to ensure open communication as well as more medical resources within the refugee camp to prevent and prepare for further spread.

CNN has reached out to the Bangladeshi government for a comment.

9:04 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Georgia is opening back up. Here's what eating out looks like there

One of the restaurants to reopen around the Atlanta area is Le Colonial, which allowed CNN inside to capture what dining looks like during the pandemic.

CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman took a tour of the restaurant during dinner hours to show the social distancing in place. He also spoke with general manager Jake Guyette about how the business is doing financially.

"We're approaching this from a standpoint of sustainability and not profitability. So for right now, if we can sustain our business and keep through the uncertainties of this world, we'll get to where we need to be," Guyette said.

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9:07 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

The US is no longer trying to eliminate the virus -- it's doing damage control, says ER physician

Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and former Baltimore health commissioner, joined CNN's ongoing town hall to discuss the United States' response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The US is no longer focusing on trying to eliminate the virus completely, she said.

"We know that that's what's going to be effective, but we are reopening before those capabilities are in place. So in essence, we're saying it's too hard. We're not going to be able to get there," she said.

Instead, the US has now shifted its strategy to harm reduction -- a strategy that asks, if we can't remove the risk entirely, how can we reduce it?

This means implementing social distancing guidelines during state reopenings, avoiding gatherings even in places like schools, changing ventilation systems and increasing our time outdoors, Wen said.

The term "harm reduction" is sometimes used in the public health response to illicit drug use -- for instance, if health officials can't stop people from taking drugs like heroin, then they can perform harm reduction by making sure the users at least have clean needles to lower the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

Of course, it's not a perfect metaphor -- a pandemic is not a choice individuals can make. "But if that's the hand that we're dealt, we should do our part and help each other," Wen said.

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8:57 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Participant in coronavirus vaccine trial shares his experience and why he did it

Neal Browning, a participant in an FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine trial, speaks during CNN's global town hall.
Neal Browning, a participant in an FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine trial, speaks during CNN's global town hall. CNN

Neal Browning saw the "pain that the world is suffering from" and felt he needed to act.

Browning recounted his experience as a participant in a US Food and Drug Administration-approved coronavirus trial Thursday night during CNN's global town hall.

"I can see the deaths and I feel like anybody else who is in my shoes and was close to the research facility and was a healthy person, I hope, would step up and do the same thing for mankind," Browning said.

Browning went on to describe the trial process in great detail, starting with how he was selected.

"I threw my name into the hat and was contacted by the research facility. They ran through my entire medical background, did interviews, blood draws to make sure I was healthy as possible. 
"The first phase of the study there was 45 people broken up into three groups of 15 where my initial group received a very small 25 microgram dose of the vaccine. 
"After two weeks and we showed no signs of any untowards behavior from the vaccination, the second group, which got four times that at 100 micrograms, was introduced to their dose of the vaccine. 
"Another two-week pause to make sure no ill effects were felt by that group, and then the final group of 15 which got 10 times my original dose of 250 micrograms got their doses," he said.

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8:45 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

We need to be ready for a second wave of infection, WHO health expert warns

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for coronavirus response at the World Health Organization, has warned the virus is resurging in several parts of the world.

Speaking during CNN's ongoing town hall tonight, she said places that have seen some success in suppressing transmission are now experiencing a second wave of infection, pointing to South Korea, Singapore, and Wuhan -- the Chinese city at ground zero for the pandemic.

There are different reasons we're seeing a resurgence of the virus in these places, she said; in South Korea, a new cluster in Seoul is linked to nightclubs, while Singapore's outbreak is largely concentrated within migrant worker dormitories.

"But what is really important is that in China, in Korea, in Singapore, they have systems in place to rapidly identify the virus again and rapidly start their contact tracing," Van Kerkhove said. 

"And they've never let up. This is a lesson for all countries. The virus likes to find opportunities to resurge, to increase again. And we just all need to be ready for that."

The US risks a second wave if it rushes into reopening: Though infection rates are slowing in the United States, individual states should conduct a thorough assessment before reopening, Van Kerkhove said.

"What is the risk of resurgence? Do we actually have this under control? Are we looking hard enough? Do we have surveillance in place? Do we have contact tracers in place? Do we have hospital beds? If the answer is no, then you need to really consider, are we ready to open this up?" she said.

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8:41 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

US Food and Drug Administration issues alert about 15-minute coronavirus test

From CNN's Arman Azad

The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued an alert about “possible accuracy concerns” with the Abbott ID Now coronavirus test, a rapid point-of-care test.

The device can return results in less than 15 minutes, but recent studies have raised concerns over the test’s accuracy – suggesting that it may provide an unacceptable number of false negatives, indicating somebody doesn’t have the virus when they do. 

“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public to early data that suggest potential inaccurate results from using the Abbott ID NOW point-of-care test to diagnose Covid-19. Specifically, the test may return false negative results,” the FDA said in a statement.

The FDA said the test can still be used and that it’s working with Abbott, the device and drug maker behind the test, to study data. It noted that any issues with the test are not yet understood. 

The agency said it was aware of studies reporting accuracy issues with the test, but said those studies may have had limitations, including small sample sizes and potential design biases. People also might not have run the tests properly, the FDA said.  

“The FDA has received 15 adverse event reports about the Abbott ID NOW device that suggest some users are receiving inaccurate negative results. The agency is reviewing these reports,” the FDA said. 

“Moving forward, Abbott has agreed to conduct post-market studies for the ID NOW device that each will include at least 150 COVID-19 positive patients in a variety of clinical settings. The FDA will continue to review interim data on an ongoing basis,” the agency added. “The information gathered from the post-market studies can further help the agency understand the cause or patterns of any accuracy issues and inform any additional actions the company or the FDA should take.” 

Abbott disputed the studies that found problems with its test, but said it was making adjustments. 

“While we understand no test is perfect, test outcomes depend on a number of factors including patient selection, specimen type, collection, handling, storage, transport and conformity to the way the test was designed to be run. ID NOW is intended to be used near the patient with a direct swab test method,” the company said in a statement.

Abbott said it was “clarifying our product information to provide better guidance to healthcare providers that negative results should be considered in the context of a patient's recent exposures, history and the presence of clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.”

If a patient gets a negative result but looks ill, another test should be run, Abbott said.

“We are also reinforcing proper sample collection and handling instructions. We are communicating this to our customers," the company said. 

8:43 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

WHO health expert doesn't know how long it will take to develop a coronavirus vaccine

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove. CNN

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the Covid-19 response at the World Health Organization, joined CNN's global town hall Thursday night to discuss a coronavirus vaccine and how it will take to develop.

"We've seen the global community come together. Manufacturers, scientists, leaders — to accelerate the development of a vaccine. Everybody wants to know exactly how long that's going to take. We can't give an answer to that because it takes time to do these studies, these clinical trials to see if it's safe and effective," Van Kerkhove told CNN.

Van Kerkhove added: "We need to ensure that there's access to that to everyone on the planet. And so this virus will be with us. We need to find a way to get to that steady state where we can suppress transmission enough, get back to our lives, to get back to living our daily lives."

The search for a vaccine: As the US sets forth on an unprecedented effort to come up with vaccines in record time — dubbed "Operation Warp Speed" by the Trump administration — scientists are choosing between two methods for testing the vaccine in thousands of people this summer.

One approach is more typical, and involves each company working independently on its own trial, according to two members of the Accelerating Covid-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines group, or ACTIV, which was organized last month by the National Institutes of Health. The second, they said, involves several vaccine developers working in one large trial — an unprecedented method for vaccine development in the US.

"There haven't been any final decisions as of yet on which approach ACTIV will take," Renate Myles, a spokesperson for National Institutes of Health (NIH), told CNN in an email.

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