July 20 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brad Lendon, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 12:40 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
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6:53 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Half of Americans wouldn't get a Covid-19 vaccine if it were available today, former US surgeon general says

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

A lab technician holds a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi in Thailand on May 23.
A lab technician holds a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi in Thailand on May 23. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

 

If a coronavirus vaccine were available today, half of all Americans wouldn’t get it because of a lack of trust, former US Surgeon Gen. Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday.

One of the most important assets government should have in a pandemic response is public trust, and it must be cultivated at all costs, Murthy said.

“Otherwise, when you need the public to follow guidance, they won't trust you enough to listen and that's actually the situation we may find ourselves in when it comes to vaccines, because already surveys are showing us nearly half of people are not inclined to take a Covid-19 vaccine, even if it was available today,” he said.

“That’s a shocking number and deeply concerning.”

President Trump has spent the past few months telling his supporters not to wear masks and questioning scientists and public health officials’ guidance on reopening the country.

“We know that distributing vaccines is going to be hard enough and if people aren't willing to take it because we haven't built enough public trust, that’s going to seriously impair our ability to build herd immunity,” Murthy said.

The former US surgeon general said leaders have to tell the truth, especially when mistakes are made, they need to lead with science and scientists, and communicate frequently and consistently.

Murthy said resumption of the White House coronavirus task force briefings might help improve trust. “That could really help the cause, because the truth is that how you communicate determines whether you build or destroy public trust,” Murthy said.

Trump ended the daily White House coronavirus briefings several months ago, but announced Monday he’s resuming them.

6:35 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Brazil's coronavirus death toll surpasses 80,000

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

Cemetery workers in protective suits carry a coffin at the Caju cemetery amidst the coronavirus pandemic on July 16, in Rio de Janeiro.
Cemetery workers in protective suits carry a coffin at the Caju cemetery amidst the coronavirus pandemic on July 16, in Rio de Janeiro. Luis Alvarenga/Getty Images

At least 80,120 people have died from coronavirus in Brazil since the pandemic started, according to new figures from the country’s health ministry on Monday.

Since yesterday, 632 people are reported to have died. The total number of infections in Brazil is now 2,118,646 – an increase of 20,257 since Sunday. 

Along with President Jair Bolsonaro, two members of his cabinet announced they tested positive for the virus on Monday. The Brazilian Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, announced he tested positive for Covid-19 and just hours earlier, Brazil’s Minister of Citizenship Onyx Lorenzoni tweeted that he had tested positive.

Some state health secretaries in Brazil have reported issues in sending local data to the national health ministry in recent days.

On Friday, Mato Grosso’s state health secretary said a systems migration of data did not affect its disclosure of the number of confirmed cases and deaths reported. On Saturday, Rio de Janeiro state did not register numbers for the national tally. Rio de Janeiro’s state health secretary said the issue has been fixed. 

The state health secretaries of Goias and Rondonia said difficulties in registering their data may have been caused by problems in the health ministry system.

6:30 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

NFL and players union agree on daily Covid-19 testing to start training camps

From CNN's David Close

The National Football League and the players union have agreed on a daily Covid-19 testing protocol that will commence at the start of training camps and last for two weeks.

Results from those weeks of testing will dictate a move to test every other day.

On Monday, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, outlined the guidelines on a conference call with select media including NFL.com and ESPN. Sills is quoted by ESPN as saying, “This is ongoing work. There's no finish line with health and safety, and I think these protocol are living, breathing documents, which means they will change as we get new information. They will undoubtedly be changing over time, which is what we usually see in medicine."

A league source confirmed to CNN that every player will need to test negative for Covid-19 multiple times before entering team facilities for the first time.

Teams will be reporting to training camp on July 28. 

Sills outlined some of the testing specifics on the media call. If after two weeks of daily testing the results for all team members are below 5%, testing will shift to every other day.

NFL.com reported that players will “wear proximity recording devices during all team activities.” The league will use the data gathered from the devices to help with Covid-19 contact tracing.

The National Football League Players Association confirmed the agreement in a statement on Monday.

“Our union has been pushing for the strongest testing and tracing protocols to keep our players safe. The testing protocols we agreed to are one critical factor that will help us return to work safely and gives us the best chance to play and finish the season," the players union said.

6:25 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

More than 2,400 new Covid-19 cases reported in Georgia

From CNN's John Murgatroyd

Georgia reported 2,452 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 145,575 statewide, according to data release by the state's Department of Public Health. 

The Department of Public Health also recorded three additional deaths, bringing the state's death toll to 3,176.

The state reported 37 additional hospitalizations and a total of 2,829 intensive care admissions. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Georgia Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

6:17 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

More than 140,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Haley Brink

A funeral worker pushes the coffin of a Covid-19 victim at St. John Cemetery in Queens on June 5 in New York.
A funeral worker pushes the coffin of a Covid-19 victim at St. John Cemetery in Queens on June 5 in New York. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 3,814,463 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 140,855 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. 

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 41,203 new cases and 321 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

6:00 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Health minister warns coronavirus circulation is increasing in France

From Pierre Buet in Paris

French Health Minister Olivier Veran arrives at the Grand Palais prior to a reception gathering 800 medical staff that helped during the novel coronavirus crisis in Paris, on July 13.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran arrives at the Grand Palais prior to a reception gathering 800 medical staff that helped during the novel coronavirus crisis in Paris, on July 13. Raphael Lafargue/AFP/Getty Images

The circulation of coronavirus in France is “increasing,” according to the Ministry of Health, with at least 400 active “clusters” of the virus reported across the country.

"This is reflected in an increase in the number of calls to SOS doctors, visits to the emergency room, the number of clusters and hospitalizations,” the French health ministry said Monday in a statement. 

“This moderate increase is due to the fact that a very insufficient proportion of patients with symptoms carry out a virological test and isolate themselves," the statement added. 

Speaking during a televised interview on Monday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said that there are concerns of a possible resurgence in the national health crisis, but affirmed that the country is “very far” from a second wave. 

"There are worrying signs of an epidemic resumption on national territory,” Veran said, adding that there have been “between 400 and 500 clusters" of coronavirus cases reported across the country, including the district of Mayenne, which he visited on Monday.

“We are on an increasing slope in the circulation of the virus, even if we start from low contamination rates,” Veran said. 

“We are very far from the [second] wave,” he added. 

According to Veran, the national reproduction rate of the virus is now "more than one,” meaning infection rates are likely to increase again following months of decline as a result of social distancing and confinement measures. 

As of Monday, a total of 176,754 coronavirus cases have been confirmed across France, with 30,177 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak.

At least 6,589 patients remain hospitalized with coronavirus, including 467 patients in intensive care. 

5:06 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

NBA says there's been no new positive Covid-19 test results since July 13

From CNN's David Close

The NBA and the players union have jointly announced that there have been zero positive Covid-19 test results from the 346 players tested since July 13. 

Back on July 13, the two sides announced that two players of the 322 tested had positive Covid-19 results within the Disney World Resort bubble.

Read the joint statement:  

"Of the 346 players tested for COVID-19 on the NBA campus since test results were last announced on July 13, zero have returned confirmed positive tests.  
In the event that a player on the NBA campus returns a confirmed positive test in the future, he will be isolated until he is cleared for leaving isolation under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association."
5:09 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Houston mayor says coronavirus has "taken a toll" on the city's workforce

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There are at least 884 new Covid-19 cases in Houston, Texas, and at least seven people have died from the virus in the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Houston stands at 36,985, and a total of 329 people have died from coronavirus, he said at a news conference.

The positivity rate in the city is at about 25.5%, according to the Houston Health Department.

The virus, Turner said, has “taken a toll on the city of Houston workforce.

At least 5% of employees from the Public Works Department are out due to testing positive, waiting for their test result or quarantining due to exposure to Covid-19, the head of the department said at the news conference.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said that 162 firefighters are in quarantine and 38 firefighters are currently positive. In total, 189 firefighters have tested positive and 151 are back at work. 

Peña went on to say that all fire stations are open and the fire department is doing all it can do to ensure they are there for the community. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Houston Heath Department, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:43 p.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Bill Gates will take questions at a CNN coronavirus town hall this week. Ask yours here.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates — whose foundation has pledged millions in Covid-19 relief efforts — will answer some viewers' questions during CNN coronavirus town hall this Thursday.

Leave your questions for Gates below, and tune in to the one-hour special on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.