Live Updates

May 14 coronavirus news

Greta Thunberg urges public to listen to the experts (2020)

What you need to know

  • The numbers: More than 4.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide, including more than 302,000 deaths.
  • In the US: More than 1.4 million cases have been recorded and the death toll stands at over 85,000.
  • Living with the virus: A WHO official said the novel coronavirus may never go away and may join the mix of viruses that kill people around the world every year.
  • Australia unemployment: Nearly 600,000 people have lost their jobs in the country as a result of the pandemic, PM Scott Morrison said.
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Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

CNN's global town hall has ended

CNN’s global town hall on the coronavirus has now concluded.

Guests on the show, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, included medical experts, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and children’s rights advocate Greta Thunberg.

Check the Town Hall tab above to catch up on what happened during the show.

CNN's Anderson Cooper responds to online criticism over Greta Thunberg's town hall interview

CNN’s Anderson Cooper spent the closing moments of the global town hall discussing some of the criticism the company had received online over climate activist Greta Thunberg’s appearance on the show.

Cooper referenced a Forbes article that discussed Thunberg being included in what some people online claimed was a studio panel when, in reality, the 17-year-old had conducted a taped interview aired during the town hall.

Other Twitter users questioned Thunberg’s qualifications for being included in the show.

“Everyone has to produce content these days. That’s what it’s all about. It’s like a tween on TikTok. You’ve got to produce content,” Cooper said. 
“Then someone who’s apparently a reporter at Forbes wrote an article about this alleged controversial booking and the concern about it. And the New York Post today wrote about it as well, claiming we were having her on a panel, which is what the first person on Twitter was claiming – which was made up.”


This pandemic is a children's rights issue too, says Greta Thunberg

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting children’s health and standard of living globally, said climate activist and children’s rights proponent Greta Thunberg during CNN’s coronavirus town hall.

“Children both do get this disease, and they also spread it on to others,” she said. “So, we need to be very careful that this misinformation that it doesn’t affect children becomes mainstream. We need to make sure that people understand that this also affects children.”

Even children who don’t get infected can feel the impact of the coronavirus in other ways, she said. For instance, school meals are many children’s main source of nutritious food – meaning school closures pose a food access threat.

“For many people in the world, they do not have access to clean water or sanitation, to soap, and they don’t even have a house to stay home in. And it’s very hard for many to keep social distancing,” said Thunberg.

She donated prize money to support children: Human Act, a Danish worldwide development organization, recently gave Thunberg $100,000 for her global activism, but she is now directing that money to the UN’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“We have launched a new campaign to help support UNICEF during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Thunberg said during the town hall. 

“And that is because during any crisis it is always the most vulnerable people who are hit the hardest, and that is children, especially in the global south, people in the poorest parts of the world.”

Read more about Greta Thunberg’s CNN town hall appearance:


Activist Greta Thunberg says she had coronavirus-like symptoms. She still hasn't been tested

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined a group of millions of people around the world who have been able to get a coronavirus test.

Despite being unsure if she ever had coronavirus, Thunberg decided to self-quarantine to protect her and her family, she said in an interview aired during CNN’s global town hall Thursday night.

“We still hadn’t gotten tested because here you don’t get tested unless you’re in need of medical help. So, of course, I don’t know if I’ve had it. But I isolated myself anyway and because it is the right thing to do. We all need to take these precautionary actions and do our part in supporting society,” Thunberg said from Sweden. “I haven’t been affected by this in a way many people have. But, yeah, it was just the obvious thing to do, the only right thing to do.”

Some insight on Sweden and the pandemic: Sweden has been an outlier during the coronavirus outbreak. The country has not joined many of its European neighbors in imposing strict limits on citizens’ lives, and images of people heading to work on busy streets, or chatting at cafes and bars have raised eyebrows.

Younger children have continued to go to school, although universities and schools for older students have switched to distance learning. Businesses — from hair salons to restaurants — have remained open, although people have been advised to work from home where possible.

On April 7, the government introduced a bill allowing it to act quickly and take decisions on temporary measures where needed. Care home visits were banned from April 1 and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs asked people to refrain from non-essential travel, adding: “Keep your distance and take personal responsibility.”


MLB is making plans to play in empty ball parks, commissioner says

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said this evening the organization is working on plans for a modified season in which games would take place in empty stadiums.

“It’s hopeful that we will have some Major League Baseball this summer,” Manfred told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper speaking during CNN’s global town hall. “We are making plans about playing in empty stadiums. But as I’ve said before, all of those plans are dependent on what the public health situation is.”

Manfred said he’d spoken to governors in 18 states where the game is played and most expressed hope they’d be able to use the empty parks this summer.

The US is "still way behind" on testing, former HHS secretary says

US President Trump “does not understand testing at all,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, during CNN’s town hall on the global coronavirus pandemic.

“First, it’s absolutely incorrect we’ve done more testing per capita than anyplace on Earth. We may have more tests, we have more people, but per capita we’re still way behind,” Sebelius said.

So how many tests should be conducted? “The goal with testing is try to identify every case that you can,” said Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Not every case will need to go to the hospital for treatment — but “every case that’s out there could be the spark that starts another outbreak in your community that gets out of control,” he said.

The US is clearly not at that point — and is even facing gaps in testing by race and ethnicity, said Besser, pointing to the difference in impact toward black, Latino, and Native American communities.


MLB commissioner: "Historically baseball's played a role in the recovery from difficult events"

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said based on the calls, emails and letters the organization is receiving, “people really miss baseball.”

Manfred said MLB is making plans to return to the field with empty stadiums, meaning no fans in the stands.

While that’s not ideal economically, the commissioner said, “our owners are committed to doing that because they feel it’s important that the game be back on the field and that the game be a sign of a beginning to return to normalcy, to American life the way we’ve always enjoyed it.”


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.


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.


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

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.

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.


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.

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.


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 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.

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.


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. 

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.


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

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. 

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

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.

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.


Whistleblower wants his original job back, attorney says

The attorney for Rick Bright, the federal employee who filed a whistleblower complaint after being removed from his position as the head of the agency in charge of pandemic response, said her client would prefer to return to his original job if possible. 

“Ideally he would like his job as BARDA director back,” said Bright’s attorney, Lisa Banks, using the initials for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which he led. “It’s what he’s best suited for, and it’s what would best serve the American public for sure.”

“He was extremely well suited to lead BARDA and he did that very well for a number of years,” she added, speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “So it’s truly unfortunate for him and for the American people that he’s no longer there.” 

Banks said that Bright would be willing serve in any capacity in which he can “roll up his sleeves to try to fight this virus and come up with drugs or a vaccine that will let us get back to some semblance of normalcy.”

Bright remains a federal employee and has been transferred to a position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services.


Whistleblower Rick Bright has been "preparing for a pandemic his entire career," his attorney says

Dr. Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Thursday, May 14.

Whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of the federal office charged with developing countermeasures to infectious diseases, testified before Congress earlier today.

He slammed the Trump administration’s coronavirus response and urged lawmakers to listen to the voices of scientists to prevent “unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

Bright’s attorney, Lisa Banks, joined CNN’s ongoing town hall to discuss his testimony.

“He’s been preparing for a pandemic his entire career,” she said. “And when faced with an environment in which politics trumped science, he had to push back. And as he said today, he’s never been a whistleblower before. He’s never had to push back like that or file a complaint. But here he had to because American lives were at stake.”

Here’s some context: Bright had previously led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an office under the Department of Health and Human Services. BARDA has been central to the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bright was removed from the post on April 21.

Since then, he’s been on a short-term medical leave, said Banks today. When discussing his future role within the National Institutes of Health, Bright learned yesterday he will no longer be working with vaccines, “so it was unclear what job they had in mind for him,” Banks said.

Read about Bright’s testimony here.


White House declines to have members of coronavirus task force on CNN's global town hall

For the first time in 11 weeks, there will be no member of the White House’s coronavirus task force on CNN’s global town hall.

“They have declined to allow any scientist or doctor from the task force to come on tonight. In the past as you remember, we’ve had Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, we’ve had Dr. (Deborah) Birx, Dr. (Robert) Redfield, Dr. (Stephen) Hahn, but not tonight,” CNN’s Sanjay Gupta said.

There hasn’t been a full White House briefing on coronavirus in 17 days, CNN’s Anderson Cooper said.

Cooper added that technology is not an excuse for why no task force member could attend the town hall since “nearly all the medical staff from the task force appeared remotely in front of the Senate on Tuesday.”

“So their computers work. This is just the latest example of the White House trying to put as much distance between the President and this virus as possible,” Cooper said.


CNN's global town hall on coronavirus will start soon

CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will join CNN’s global town hall tonight.

Richard Besser, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Kathleen Sebelius, former Department of Health and Human Services secretary, will discuss the coronavirus pandemic with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

The town hall starts at 8 p.m. ET.

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps, without requiring a cable log-in.

You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

We’ll also be covering it with live updates here.

Brazil tops 200,000 coronavirus cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil has risen to 202,918, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

For the second day in a row, Brazil posted a record number of new cases with 13,944 reported.

There were 844 new deaths registered in the last 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data. The total number of deaths in Brazil from Covid-19 is now 13,993.

What we know: Brazil is currently among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest number coronavirus cases ranking sixth, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is the country with the most cases and deaths in Latin America.

Catch up: Here are the top coronavirus headlines from today

If you’re just tuning in, here are the latest headlines from around the globe:

  • Global death toll: At least 300,074 people have died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of deaths across the world.
  • France’s tourism plan: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced an “unprecedented” 18 billion euro (or about $19.4 billion USD) plan to support the country’s tourism industry. Under the plan, tourism businesses will be eligible for grants of up to 10,000 euros (about $10,781 USD). There are also government-guaranteed loans totaling 6.2 billion euro (about $6.7 billion USD).
  • Coronavirus antibodies: Only 5% of people in Spain have developed coronavirus antibodies so far, according to preliminary results of an epidemiological study by the government.
  • Travel in Europe: It will be “months not weeks” before there is a return to normal travel within the European Union, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told parliament.
  • Japan’s state of emergency: Japan lifted its state of emergency for 39 of its 47 prefectures on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in a briefing.
  • Later on CNN: Join us for CNN’s global town hall on the coronavirus pandemic. It starts at 8 p.m. ET. Today’s guests are Richard Besser, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kathleen Sebelius, former US Department of Health and Human Services secretary, Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

More than 300,000 people have died worldwide from coronavirus

At least 300,074 people have died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of deaths across the world.

As of 1:55 p.m. ET on Thursday, Johns Hopkins is reporting 4,405,688 confirmed cases globally.

See CNN’s global case tracker here.

Northern Ireland announces first steps in easing lockdown

First Minister Arlene Foster at the Northern Ireland Executives daily press update on the response to the Covid-19 crisis in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, on March 25.

Northern Ireland will take its first steps in easing lockdown restrictions on Monday, First Minister Arlene Foster announced at a daily news conference in Belfast on Thursday.

From next Monday, “on the basis of the latest scientific and medical advice” garden centers and household recycling facilities can reopen with social distancing measures, with marriage ceremonies for the terminally ill also allowed to take place, Foster said.

“We are considering the lifting of other restrictions as we progress through our five point plan and we hope to unveil more about the implementation of stage one on Monday,” Foster said, following a meeting with the Executive – Northern Ireland’s cabinet ministers in the power-sharing government.

These changes come after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted some lockdown restrictions for England on Wednesday.

The first lockdown changes in the Republic of Ireland are due to be confirmed on Friday.