NASA and Fitbit have received FDA approval for ventilators designed to help Covid-19 patients
From CNN's Jen Christensen
NASA and Fitbit received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday for their ventilators designed to help Covid-19 patients.
NASA’s design, dubbed the VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), is a temporary piece of equipment that uses an internal compressor and is meant to last three to four months.
Because the VITAL runs on parts that are not typically in the medical device supply chain it shouldn’t have any impact on need for supplies for current ventilators.
The FDA also added the Fitbit Flow to its list of authorized ventilators. The device, which has quietly been in the works for some time, is a continuous respiratory support system that also includes an FDA-approved manual resuscitator as part of the machine.
The company calls it a “a high-quality, easy-to-use, and low-cost automatic resuscitator that is designed for emergency ventilation.”
“COVID-19 has challenged all of us to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, and use everything at our disposal to more rapidly develop products that support patients and the healthcare systems caring for them,” said Fitbit CEO James Park. “We saw an opportunity to rally our expertise in advanced sensor development, manufacturing, and our global supply chain to address the critical and ongoing need for emergency ventilators and help make a difference in the fight against this global virus.”
11:35 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Oklahoma State linebacker says he tested positive for Covid-19 after attending protest
From CNN's Jill Martin
Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said in a tweet on Tuesday that he has tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a protest.
"After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19," Ogbongbemiga tweeted. "Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe."
Top doctor's warning: US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in an interview with Politico on Monday to expect new outbreaks of the virus resulting from nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd that have seen thousands of people gather in close proximity.
"Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward," Adams said.
10:50 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Trump says GOP forced to find new state to host convention as North Carolina stands by coronavirus measures
From CNN's Dan Merica, Ryan Nobles and Paul LeBlanc
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Republican Party will be "forced" to find a new state to host their convention as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper stands by his demand that party leaders provide him with plans for a scaled-down event amid coronavirus concerns.
Cooper, the President tweeted, "is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State."
"Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention," he said.
The tweets come after the Democratic governor wrote in a letter to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly that he would like to continue the conversation with organizers, but unless they offer up a much different plan, the chances of Charlotte, North Carolina, being able to host the August event are "very unlikely."
"The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity," Cooper wrote. "We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled down convention would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that."
Two sources with knowledge told CNN that, despite the President's tweet, it appears the decision isn't final. But the sources say there have been tense conversations in the past 48 hours between the RNC and the governor's office ahead of Trump's self-imposed deadline, which is Wednesday.
Following Trump's tweet, Cooper said it was "unfortunate" no deal was made.
"We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and it's unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority," Cooper said on Twitter.
Officials from the Republican National Committee are considering Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Jacksonville and venues in Georgia to host their August convention if they fail to reach a deal with officials in North Carolina, two Republicans familiar with the planning tell CNN.
US surgeon general warns of coronavirus outbreaks from George Floyd protests
From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said to expect new outbreaks of the coronavirus resulting from the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd that have seen thousands of people gather in close proximity.
While a majority of protesters nationwide have worn masks and face coverings as they demand justice for Floyd, an African-American man who died last week while in police custody, the large crowds have made it difficult to social distance. The coronavirus pandemic has also disproportionately affected communities of color, an issue Adams has highlighted.
"I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism (and) people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities," Adams told Politico in an interview published Monday. "Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward," he added.
More than 31,000 people have died in Brazil during the pandemic
From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso and Taylor Barnes
Brazil registered a single-day highest total of 1,262 fatalities related to the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 31,199, according to its health ministry.
The country also recorded 28,936 new virus cases over the same time period, bringing its total to 555,383, according to the ministry.
The state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state and the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, also reported 327 virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing its death toll to 7,994.
On Monday, the World Health Organization warned the Americas are seeing a rapid increase in the number of new coronavirus cases
“I would certainly characterize that Central and South America in particular have very much become the intense zones of transmission for this virus as we speak,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program.
He added: “And I don't believe that we have reached the peak in that transmission, and at this point, I cannot predict when we will.”
2:42 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020
The US should have a "couple hundred million" doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by start of 2021, Fauci says
From CNN's Jen Christensen
The US should have 100 million doses of one candidate Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Tuesday.
“Then, by the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple hundred million doses,” Fauci said during a live question and answer session with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fauci said the first vaccine candidate, made by biotech company Moderna in partnership with NIAID, should go into a final stage of trials in volunteers, known in the industry as Phase III, by mid-summer. Preparations at national and international sites are already under way, he said.
“The real business end of this all will be the Phase III that starts in the first week of July, hopefully, “ Fauci said. “We want to get as many data points as we can.”
Phase III will involve about 30,000 people. The vaccine will be tested in people between the ages of 18 and 55, as well as in the elderly and in people who have underlying health conditions.
“It’s going to be the entire spectrum,” Fauci said.
Fauci said Phase II of the trial started a few days ago. A few hundred volunteers will be involved in that part of the trial.
The plan is to manufacture doses of the vaccine even before it is clear whether the vaccines work, making close to 100 million doses by November or December, Fauci said. That’s so if it does work, it can be deployed quickly.
Scientists should have enough data by November or December to determine if the vaccine works, Fauci said.
The AstraZeneca trial underway in the UK will follow a similar schedule. A handful of other vaccine studies should start just one to two months after that, he said.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that with the multiple candidates we have with different platforms, that we are going to have a vaccine that will make it deployable,” Fauci said. He is optimistic, he said, because, while the number of deaths from Covid-19 are “profound,” largely people recover from this disease. Recovery shows that there is an immune response that can clear the virus.
“Which tells us, that if the body is capable of making an immune response to clear the virus of natural infection, that’s a pretty good proof of concept,” Fauci said. “Having said that, there is never a guarantee.”
Fauci said he is a little more concerned about what the durability of the response will be. People develop antibodies to fight common colds caused by other strains of coronavirus, but that protection generally only lasts about a year. That might mean people would need a fresh vaccine every year, as is the case with influenza.
9:14 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Coronavirus task force members discussed possibility of virus spreading at George Floyd protests, source says
From CNN's Jim Acosta
The topic of the protests spanning across the United States came up at today's coronavirus task force meeting, a source familiar with the discussion said.
Members of the task force discussed the "increasing" risk that the virus is spreading among protesters at demonstrations across the country.
"It came up briefly in the context of increasing the risk of spreading infection," the source said.