June 24 coronavirus news

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11:08 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Florida reports more than 5,500 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 5,511 additional cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the state total to 109, 014. 

Wednesday's data released by the state marks the highest number of new and confirmed cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

This data comes as the state is experiencing a surge of Covid-19 cases, with younger Floridians accounting for a significant number of positive tests.

11:07 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic has "sharpened the divisiveness" in the US, Fauci says

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 23.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, testifies at a hearing in Washington, DC, on June 23. Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has attracted a large fanbase during the coronavirus pandemic — but he emphasized this week that Covid-19 has also led to more divisiveness in the United States.

 "It's created and maybe sharpened the divisiveness that we see both politically and even in our society about the role of science," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview with Wendy Zukerman, host of the podcast Science Vs, on Monday. The podcast episode was released on Spotify on Tuesday.

Overall, people are seeking truth and information during these difficult times, Fauci said.

"They're looking for consistency, for truth, for evidence, for transparency — and the stance I've taken with regard to Covid-19 has made me kind of the representative of that concept. And I think that's the reason why people flock to it," Fauci said. "It isn't about me. It's about the fact that I represent things that mean a lot to people, and what they need to hear is truth and science and getting things that are based on evidence."

11:02 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

The Dow falls more than 500 points

From CNN's Richard Davis

Stocks have extended their losses with the Dow falling more than 500 points, or 2%. 

Concerns about a second wave of Covid-19 infections coupled with trade tensions between the United States and the European Union are weighing on the market.

11:00 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New York City beaches will reopen for swimming starting next month, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A person walks along the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York, on May 22.
A person walks along the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York, on May 22. Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/Sipa/AP

New York City beaches will be reopen for swimming starting on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio officially announced today,

Social distancing and face coverings, when social distancing is unavailable, will still be required on the beach.

Patrons will need to refrain from group activities. Beach chairs and blankets must be 10 feet apart. He noted lifeguards are being trained in preparation for the opening.

“It will be a great day for NYC, another part of our comeback to have our beaches up again," the mayor said.

The city's latest figures: The daily Covid-19 indicators of the city are all under desired thresholds, de Blasio said.

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 75, under the 200 threshold. The number is up but not a “huge amount,” he noted.

The daily number of people at health and hospitals ICU’s is at 315, under the 375 threshold.

The percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 which is at 2% under the 15% threshold.

A “good number” and “consistent for a while now,” he adds.

10:50 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New York City may need to layoff 22,000 employees due to coronavirus pandemic, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A person walks past closed businesses in New York on May 21.
A person walks past closed businesses in New York on May 21. Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

New York City may need to layoff as many as 22,000 city employees to cover a billion dollar budget gap due to the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said today.

De Blasio opened his Wednesday presser addressing “tough” news discussing the potential option of furloughs and layoffs as the city addresses its revenue shortfall.

“We are dealing with the greatest economic crisis this city has known in almost 90 years,” on top of the healthcare crisis, he said. 

The city estimates a minimum of $9 billion of lost revenue, with the possibility that it may be more.

In a matter of days the city has to pass the budget. They have adjusted it down to an $87 billion budget — down from a $95 billion-plus budget in February.

De Blasio said it’s getting to the point where the city will have to make “very very difficult choices”

He continued: “The last resort would be layoff and furloughs,” of city workers, he said, adding he doesn’t want to do it but “we are running out of options here, that is the blunt truth.”

When asked which agencies would see layoffs the mayor said, “If we get to that level” it would “literally be every single agency, and the mayor’s office.”

He added that the city is in deep conversations with labor unions trying to find better alternatives.

10:33 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Study shows Black Lives Matter protests have not led to a jump in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Leah Asmelash

People sit by Tweed Courthouse, near New York City Hall, during an anti-racist protest on June 23.
People sit by Tweed Courthouse, near New York City Hall, during an anti-racist protest on June 23. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Despite warnings from public health officials, new research suggests Black Lives Matter protests across the country have not led to a jump in coronavirus cases.

A new study, published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, used data on protests from more than 300 of the largest US cities, and found no evidence that coronavirus cases grew in the weeks following the beginning of the protests.

The study comes as new data shows that more and more young people are testing positive for coronavirus, particularly in states that have opened back up.

In fact, researchers determined that social distancing behaviors actually went up after the protests — as people tried to avoid the protests altogether. But obviously, these demonstrations caused a decrease in social distancing among actual protesters.

"Our findings suggest that any direct decrease in social distancing among the subset of the population participating in the protests is more than offset by increasing social distancing behavior among others who may choose to shelter-at-home and circumvent public places while the protests are underway," the report reads.

Keep in mind: It's still possible that protests may have caused an increase in the spread of the virus among those who attended protests, according to the report.

Researchers also noted that the effect of protests on social distancing and stay-at-home orders may fade as the violence and scope of protests decline.

As the protests begin to lessen or become less intense, non-protesters will feel safer leaving their homes.

Read more about the study here.

10:27 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New York City Marathon canceled because of coronavirus

This year's New York City Marathon has been canceled because of coronavirus concerns, event organizers announced today.

The annual event, considered the world’s largest marathon, was scheduled for Nov. 1, but was called off "due to coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers, staff, and the many partners and communities that support the event," the New York Road Runners announced today.

"While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021." 

9:52 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Former Florida data official says her own Covid-19 site is more transparent than state reports

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Rebekah Jones, the data official behind Florida's Covid-19 dashboard, has launched her own dashboard, which reports more cases than the state reports.

She attributes these differences to including non-residents who test positive or die of coronavirus in Florida.

“If you were sick in Florida and you died in a Florida hospital, you should be included in that total," she told CNN.
“They're not people who got sick and then went home to Massachusetts and died,” she explained why she chose to include non-residents. “I think that people care more about where the virus is in their community than they do whether or not somebody has a permanent legal address in Florida.”

Another point of differentiation is including everyone who tested positive, regardless of the type of tests that they have received.

Some background: Jones was removed from the state's scrutinized dashboard project after she questioned other officials' commitment to accessibility and transparency, according to Florida Today.

She tweeted several tweets yesterday claiming that the the state’s health department officials have been instructed to change and delete numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths to make it looks like “Florida is improving next week in the leadup to July 4."

“I wouldn't come forward with anything unless I had vetted it myself fully. There was a lot of pressure when I was first fired for not changing the numbers,” she said. “There are a few brave souls at DOH who still talk to me and communicate with me. They’ve forwarded me emails, communications, other documentation. I have checked my numbers myself through the data and the information that the DOH publishes and unfortunately, that does seem to be what's going on.”

Watch the interview:

9:40 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020

US stocks open lower over rising Covid-19 cases and renewed trade fears

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks ticked lower on Wednesday as investors grapple with rising Covid-19 cases as well as worries about a second lockdown.

Trade wars are also worrying investors as the US weighs an additional $3.1 billion of European imports with tariffs.

 Here is where things stood at opening:

  • The Dow opened 0.9%, or 244 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 dropped 0.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4%. The index is now on track to break an eight-day winning streak, which was its longest since December.