June 25 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 1:47 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020
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9:30 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Another 1.5 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week as pandemic continues to hit economy

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

First-time claims for unemployment benefits have fallen in every report for the past 12 weeks. Still, the American jobs crisis is far from over: Another 1.5 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week.

That's emblematic of how contradictory the current pandemic recession is. Conditions in the US labor market are undoubtedly improving, but the road to recovery is long and littered with obstacles.

Last week's new jobless claims brought the total claims filed since the mid-March to 47.3 million.

And that massive number doesn't include claims filed under the pandemic program that Congress created to provide benefits to more workers who typically aren't eligible for unemployment benefits, including the self-employed.

At least 728,000 people claimed first-time pandemic unemployment assistance, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

Continued regular jobless claims, which count people who have filed for unemployment benefits for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 19.5 million.

8:50 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising in the 3 most populous US states

From CNN's Faith Karimi and Douglas Wood

Florida, Texas and California account for 27.4% of the 328 million people living in the US, according to the latest US Census Bureau estimates.

And while some politicians say the higher number of infections is due to increased testing, that is not the case, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota.

As new cases and hospitalizations skyrocket, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged people to stay home.

"Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."

Officials encouraged mask wearing and social distancing in places like bars that are often overcrowded. Further state actions could be announced if the virus continues to spread at this rate, Abbott said.

In the nation's most populous state, Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded with Californians to think of others by wearing masks, keeping a safe distance and washing their hands regularly.

He told residents to "love thy neighbors, like yourself, please" and urged younger people to be especially cautious.

"Be careful about Mom and Dad, and careful about your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, your grandparents," he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has attributed the rise to more testing but others say community transmission is playing a key role as the state reopens. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he'll ask the city commission to implement a civil fine of up to $250 for those not wearing a mask in public.

Miami implemented an order requiring masks or face coverings in public this week.

"Going out in public without a mask is like driving drunk," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University. "If you don't get hurt. You might kill somebody else."

8:44 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Younger people with Covid-19 is a "smoldering fire" that will hit vulnerable populations, expert says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Younger people testing positive for Covid-19 at a higher rate is a "smoldering fire" that will hit vulnerable populations, said Erin Bromage, a CNN medical analyst and a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Bromage said health experts didn't focus on younger people at the beginning of the pandemic because the priority was the older population and those with underlying health conditions who required hospitalization.

"We're now seeing what is really happening, which is those 18- to 44-year-olds are being affected at a really high rate. Their social networks, their employment, is allowing them to mix at a higher rate, and we're seeing the infection rate – especially in Texas, Florida and Arizona – just skyrocketing in that demographic," she said while speaking today on CNN’s “New Day,”

Bromage explained that while younger people with Covid-19 are not "as prone to severe disease as the elderly," they will still put this population at risk. 

"It's just that smoldering fire – but as more of them get infected, the chance of them interacting with the vulnerable population increases and hits that vulnerable population, and then the inferno just begins," Bromage told CNN's John Berman. "That's when we end up with lots of sickness and lots of disease."

8:40 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

This Florida county is reporting a 27% Covid-19 positivity rate

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt 

People visit Miami Beach, Florida, on June 22.
People visit Miami Beach, Florida, on June 22. Michele Eve Sandberg/Shutterstock

Miami-Dade County in Florida reported a 27% Covid-19 positivity rate on Wednesday, according to data released by the mayor’s office. The positivity rate is tracked daily by the county.

According to the Miami-Dade Mayor’s office, the goal is to not exceed 10% positivity rate. The county has exceeded the 10% mark for the past 10 days. The current 14-day average is 13.68%.

8:38 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

How Houston could potentially see coronavirus numbers like Brazil

From CNN's Faith Karimi and Douglas Wood

A health care worker takes a patient's information at a Covid-19 testing site in Houston on June 24.
A health care worker takes a patient's information at a Covid-19 testing site in Houston on June 24. David J. Phillip/AP

There are fears of "apocalyptic" surges in major Texas cities if current the coronavirus trends continue — and Houston could become the hardest hit city in the US, an expert warned.

Models show that Houston could have a four-fold increase in the number of daily cases by July 4, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN.

If the current case trajectory continues, the Houston numbers rival those in Brazil.

Infection numbers are also rising in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, Hotez added.

"The big metro areas seem to be rising very quickly and some of the models are on the verge of being apocalyptic," Hotez said.
8:20 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

NFL cancels Hall of Fame game due to pandemic

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

The National Football League's 2020 Hall of Fame game scheduled for Aug. 6 has been canceled, and its Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony scheduled for Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio, has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to league sources, reports ESPN.

The Hall of Fame, which serves as the preseason-opener, between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the first event to be canceled in NFL history.

It was reported last week that members of the Cowboys, including star running back Ezekiel Elliot, Buccaneers, 49ers and Texans organizations tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. 

Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that two team members had tested positive but have since returned to the team.

CNN has reached out to the NFL. 

8:16 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Europe records increase in Covid-19 weekly cases for first time in months, says WHO

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy 

Coronavirus is resurgent across Europe after restrictions were eased in many countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

There was an increase in weekly cases, last week for the “first time in months,” WHO Europe chief Henri Kluge said at a press conference in Copenhagen.

Kluge said he had warned of the “risk of resurgence” as countries eased lockdown measures.

Thirty countries in Europe have recorded increases in cumulative cases in the past fortnight, he said.

Kluge added that accelerated transmission in 11 countries “has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe."

“While the European region is reporting a decreasing proportion of global cases than earlier in the year, the region continues to report close to 20,000 new cases and over 700 new deaths daily,” he said.

Kluge cited Poland, Germany and Spain as examples of countries which responded quickly to new outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools, coal mines and food production facilities.

“Rapid and targeted interventions,” by those countries helped to control the transmission, the WHO official said.

Kluge also emphasised the role that digital technology can play in the suppression of outbreaks.

“We need to get smarter in using the evidence and information we have from our Covid-19 surveillance systems," he said.

Twenty-seven countries have released national solutions for digital contact tracing with solutions underway in places such as Portugal and Ireland.

Kluge also spoke of artificial intelligence projects being piloted including an Italian smartphone app which measures a person's heart rate, oxygen saturation rate and respiration rate in real time.

According to Kluge these digital technologies help health systems to “cope with the delivery of essential health care,” but cautioned that “integrating digital health must be done carefully and wisely in partnership with the public and patients.” 

8:04 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Chuck E. Cheese's parent company files for bankruptcy

From CNN's Jordan Valinsky and Chris Isidore

Chuck E. Cheese's parent company, CEC Entertainment, filed for bankruptcy Thursday, blaming the financial strain caused by Covid-19 and the prolonged closures of its entertainment centers from stay-at-home orders issued across the United States.

CEC, which also owns Peter Piper Pizza, said it will use Chapter 11 protection to "achieve a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that supports its re-opening and longer-term strategic plans."

The company expects to operate normally, which includes the reopening of its Chuck E. Cheese locations. So far, nearly half of Chuck E. Cheese's 555 locations have reopened, with plans to reopen more locations weekly. Unlike other bankrupt brands, it didn't immediately announce store closures.

In a release, CEO David McKillips, said that the past few months have "been the most challenging event in our company's history" and is "confident" about the future of the 40-year-old brand.

Read more here.

8:01 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020

It's just past 1 p.m. in London and 8 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 9.4 million people worldwide and caused the deaths of more than 480,000. Here's what you need to know today:

  • "Apocalyptic" virus surges feared in US cities: The three most populous US states are setting records for new coronavirus cases daily. In Texas, if the current case trajectory continues, Houston could be the hardest-hit city in the US with numbers rivaling those in Brazil.
  • Former leaders issue warning on authoritarianism: An open letter signed by more than 500 former world leaders and Nobel Laureates claims that the pandemic has led to an alarming uptick in authoritarian behavior by governments across the globe.
  • Trump open to further stimulus payments: A second round of stimulus payments is on the negotiating table in Washington, but the White House is pushing for a more limited approach
  • Australian state requests troops to help with Covid-19 response: The state of Victoria asked for 200 military personnel to assist in a medical capacity.
  • Japan suspicious of Kim Jong Un's health: Tokyo has “some suspicions” about the North Korean leader's health, Japan's Defense Minister said at a press briefing on Thursday.
  • Eiffel Tower reopens: Post-lockdown Paris is allowing people to climb the steps of the landmark. Its elevators however, will not be operational.