June 26 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim and Lindsay Isaac CNN

Updated 8:03 PM ET, Fri June 26, 2020
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8:19 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Millions more could die in a possible 2nd coronavirus wave, WHO official warns

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato

Crowds on the beach in Bournemouth, southern England, on June 25, 2020.
Crowds on the beach in Bournemouth, southern England, on June 25, 2020. Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Millions of people could die if the coronavirus pandemic sees a second wave of infections, a World Health Organization official warned Friday, adding that the deadly outbreak has so far unfolded much like officials at WHO had anticipated.

“The comparison is with the Spanish Flu, which behaved exactly like Covid: it went down in the summer and fiercely resumed in September and October, creating 50 million deaths during the second wave,” Dr Ranieri Guerra, WHO assistant director-general for strategic initiatives told Italy’s Rai TV. 

“The pandemic is behaving as we hypothesized,” he added. 

Guerra’s remarks come as several countries in Europe – and across the globe – begin to relax national confinement measures, originally introduced to limit the spread of coronavirus. 

EU officials today are set to decide which countries will be subject to travel restrictions after countries reopen their borders to international travel. With high rates of infection and mortality still being recorded in the US and parts of South America, it is expected that visitors from the region may still be subjected to travel restrictions in Europe. 

8:34 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Germany and France pledge hundreds of millions of extra funding to World Health Organization

German Health Minister Jens Spahn looks on during a press conference at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 25, following a meeting about the COVID-19 outbreak.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn looks on during a press conference at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 25, following a meeting about the COVID-19 outbreak. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Germany and France have pledged hundreds of millions in extra funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) just weeks after Donald Trump announced the US would terminate its relationship with the body.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced at a press conference in Geneva on Thursday that his government was set to provide an extra €266 million ($298 million) in funding to the WHO.

"We... are supporting WHO with an additional €41 million for its core mandate until 2023," Spahn said Thursday.

"Additional to this we are providing [an] additional €25 million for the implementation for the strategic preparedness response plan."

"And due to the still remaining major funding gap to implement the strategic preparedness response plan until the end of this year, the German government has decided to provide [an] additional €200 million to the WHO on top of the €110 million ... which we have already pledged."

Spahn said the funding had not been approved by the German parliament but added that the government was "very confident" it would be approved.

Germany will also provide medical masks and equipment, including ventilators, for countries in need.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter that the organization was "very grateful" for the country's pledge.

"All this with the previous pledge of €110M brings [Germany's] contribution to €500 million in 2020, its highest ever in a year," he said.

France will give €90 million to a WHO center, a further €50 million towards the WHO's coronavirus response effort and €100 million worth of masks.

The funding effort comes after President Trump said he would end the US' relationship with the international health organization on May 29.

The US was previously by far the agency's largest donor; in the two-year funding cycle of 2018 to 2019, it gave $893 million to WHO.

8:02 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

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

A University of South Florida Health administrator talks to a driver at a coronavirus testing site in Tampa, Florida, on June 25.
A University of South Florida Health administrator talks to a driver at a coronavirus testing site in Tampa, Florida, on June 25. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 9.6 million people worldwide and killed more than 489,000. Here's what you need to know about coronavirus today.

  • US spike: The United States saw its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases on Thursday, with 39,972 new infections and 2,425 deaths reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. Federal health officials warned that the number of people who have been infected is vastly undercounted.
  • Danish PM postpones wedding to attend Covid-19 meeting: Mette Frederiksen has delayed her nuptials to attend the European Council meeting next month, she said in an Instagram post Thursday.
  • Many Brits enjoying lockdown: A third of British people have enjoyed the country's coronavirus lockdown, according to a massive study that tracked the emotions of more than 70,000 people in the last 14 weeks.
  • Germany and France pledge extra WHO funding: The announcement comes just weeks after the US said it will terminate its relationship with the body.
  • Delhi cases surge: The Indian capital territory's chief minister said experimental plasma therapy at one Delhi hospital had reduced the number of deaths in half. Elsewhere in the city, hospitals are scrambling for beds and medics.

 

7:55 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

The Northeast leads the US in mask-wearing

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

Commuters wearing protective masks on a New York subway station platform on June 22.
Commuters wearing protective masks on a New York subway station platform on June 22. Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Scientific evidence suggests that wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of Covid-19. New polling confirms that some regions of the US are taking that message to heart more than others.

Specifically, residents of the Northeast (led by New York) said they're wearing masks at a significantly greater rate than the majority of the country.

That's the finding of an aggregation of more than 6,000 respondents from Ipsos Knowledge Panel polling done for Axios (Axios/Ipsos poll). Over the last month and a half (May 8 to June 22), a fairly stable 48% to 51% of Americans told the pollster that they wore masks at all times when leaving home. Other pollsters, who have asked analogous questions during the same period, have shown similar numbers overall.

In the Axios/Ipsos polling, you can clearly see how much ahead of the curve New York (among the 28 states for which we had at least 75 respondents) and the Mid-Atlantic (see here for all Census division subsets) portion of the Northeast are when it comes to mask wearing.

Of the over 750 Mid-Atlantic respondents, 64% say they are always wearing masks when they go out. As Ipsos did in a recent poll with the Washington Post, they were able to drill down to the state level in some instances too.

In New York, 67% say they're wearing a mask at all times when they leave their house. That's the highest percentage for any state for which there were at least 75 respondents polled.

Read more here.

7:41 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

"They sent them literally into a death trap": Families recall horror as Covid-19 ravaged Massachusetts veterans home

By Ryan Prior, CNN

An arial view shows the Holyoke Soldier's Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on April 30.
An arial view shows the Holyoke Soldier's Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on April 30. Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe/Getty Images

While serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Robert Blais once jumped overboard to rescue a fellow sailor.

"He gave his life jacket to save a man," his daughter Cheryl Blais said, recounting a favorite story of the man she so admired. Her father didn't drown that day in the Pacific. But he would drown by Covid-19 many decades later on the morning of March 30, when the disease flooded his lungs with fluid.

Blais, who was 90, spent his final months of life at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, 90 miles west of Boston. As the virus ravaged the facility, no fewer than 94 veterans lost their lives, at least 76 of those lost testing positive with Covid-19.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker commissioned an independent investigation, with the final 174-page report released Wednesday.

Read more here.

8:20 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Hating lockdown? A third of British people have actually enjoyed it

From CNN's Rob Picheta

A third of British people have enjoyed coronavirus lockdown, according to a massive study that tracked the emotions of more than 70,000 people in the last 14 weeks.

One in three respondents told researchers at University College London (UCL) that, on balance, they had enjoyed the period of restrictions.

But the survey highlighted the social inequalities that impacted people's experience during the lockdown, with those who earned more and those who did not have underlying mental health conditions more likely to enjoy it.

Read more here.

7:06 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Former boxing champ known as the "Hands of Stone" hospitalized with coronavirus

Former professional boxer Roberto Duran attends the New York Premiere Of "Hands Of Stone" in August 2016.
Former professional boxer Roberto Duran attends the New York Premiere Of "Hands Of Stone" in August 2016. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company

Former world boxing champion Roberto Durán has been hospitalized with Covid-19 in Panama City, his son said in an Instagram post on Friday.

"My father's exams just came back positive for Covid-19. Thank God he only has no more symptoms than that of a cold," Robin Durán wrote.

Durán’s son said his 69-year-old father was not in intensive care or using a ventilator, but is under observation. "We just talked to the doctor and he told us his lungs are ok and there are no signs of anything serious," he said.

Widely known as "Hands of Stone," Durán, born in Panama in 1951, is considered of one boxing’s greatest fighters. At one point Durán’s record stood at 71 wins and one loss. He retired from the sport in 2001.

Panama has had 29,037 cases of Covid-19 and 564 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country has implemented some of the toughest lockdown restrictions in its region.

6:57 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Plasma therapy may be key to reducing India's coronavirus deaths, Delhi Chief Minister says

From CNN's Esha Mitra

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, center, gestures as he speaks to medical professionals at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, June 25.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, center, gestures as he speaks to medical professionals at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, June 25. Biplov Bhuyan/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Plasma therapy has reduced the number of deaths in one Delhi hospital by half since medical trials began, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal said in a press briefing on Friday.

The experimental treatment uses antibodies from the blood plasma of patients recovered from coronavirus to help strengthen the immune response of others still battling Covid-19.

"We hope that through plasma therapy we can reduce deaths due to the virus," Kejriwal said, adding that while the treatment was not very useful for seriously ill patients, it prevented people with milder cases from deteriorating further.

Kejriwal also said that Delhi had provided oximeters for people being treated at home. Oximeters are devices that measure the saturation of oxygen carried in your red blood cells.

"Many times in mild or asymptomatic cases there are no symptoms but oxygen levels drop drastically and that leads to death, [so] we hope that people can be saved if they are consistently monitoring their oxygen level," Kejriwal said.

Nearly all patients being treated at home have been provided an oximeter by the Delhi state government, he added.

Delhi became India's worst hit city on Wednesday, as cases surged in the capital territory. Hospitals in the city are scrambling for beds and suffering from a shortage of health care workers.

India's Supreme Court has criticized Delhi over its handling of Covid-19 patients and the treatment of the dead. The court issued a notice earlier in June to a hospital in the city, the Delhi government, and four other states on the proper treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Following the Supreme Court notice, Home Minister Amit Shah met with Delhi state authorities at a meeting where officials decided to increase testing in the area to 18,000 tests a day.

Kejriwal admitted Friday that there was a shortage of hospital beds at the beginning of June but said the situation was now under control.

"We have 13,500 beds available of which only 6,000 are occupied, even though we are adding about 3,000 cases daily, people are recovering quickly so the number of beds occupied has remained roughly the same over the last week," he said.

Delhi officials have increased the number of ICU beds available for patients and are also using banquet halls and hotels to supplement hospital beds, the chief minister added.

As of Friday, Delhi has 73,780 confirmed cases of coronavirus including 2,429 deaths and 44,765 recoveries according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

6:43 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Millions may have had coronavirus in the past without knowing it, CDC says

From CNN's Faith Karimi

With infection numbers rising in more than 30 states, the US has set a daily record for new coronavirus cases. And federal health officials warn that the number of people who've been infected is vastly undercounted.

At least 37,077 coronavirus cases were reported Thursday, surpassing a previous one-day high on April 24, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The sudden spike in confirmed cases in recent days comes as no surprise, a health expert said.

"Every epidemiologist was telling, screaming as loud as we could that three weeks after Memorial Day, we'd have a peak in the cases and five weeks after Memorial Day we'd begin to see a peak in deaths, hospitalizations and deaths," epidemiologist Larry Brilliant told CNN's Don Lemon Thursday night.

"If you let everybody out without face masks and without social distancing in the middle of a pandemic, this is what was predicted."

Read more here.