July 27 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020
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4:49 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Researchers hope to have 15,000 volunteers enrolled by the end of the week in vaccine trial

From CNN’s Wes Bruer

Anthony Fauci speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington.
Anthony Fauci speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Researchers hope to have 15,000 participants enrolled in the Phase 3 trial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a call with reporters on Monday.  

“I'm not sure that we're going to get there, but hopefully we'll get as many as we possibly can in order to keep our timeline the way we want it to be,” he said. 

The first dose of a vaccine candidate in the Phase 3 trial took place Monday morning in Savannah, Georgia. The trial is expected to enroll about 30,000 adult volunteers. 

The start of Moderna’s Phase 3 vaccine candidate trial on Monday is “the best we in the United States have ever done,” Fauci said.

Fauci said it took 62 days from the time the virus sequence was made publicly available for Moderna to start a Phase 1 trial.

“And now six months later, we’re beginning a Phase 3 trial,” Fauci said.

4:41 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Kentucky will close bars and limit indoor dining, governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday additional steps to combat the coronavirus pandemic, including closing bars and limiting indoor restaurant capacity to 25%

Bars will be closed for two weeks, effective tomorrow, the governor said.

While the state will be reducing indoor restaurant capacity to 25%, outdoor seating can continue with social distancing.

“We are going to work with our cities and localities to do what we need to do administratively, to allow that outside seating to expand,” Beshear said.

Additionally, the governor has recommended that schools postpone in-person instruction until the third week in August.

“Now it’s time to do the things that we got to do, given the stage that we’re in, to control this virus. And I know there ended up being questions out there about ‘why didn’t you take this step four weeks ago, or six weeks ago?’ Listen, this virus doesn’t care about our schedules,” the governor added.
4:34 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

McConnell announces Senate GOP stimulus proposal titled HEALS Act

From CNN's Clare Foran

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a press conference following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on June 30 in Washington.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a press conference following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on June 30 in Washington. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in remarks on the Senate floor formally announced that Senate Republicans are rolling out their stimulus proposal plan today and that it will be titled the HEALS Act. 

“The American people need more help,” he said, “That is what this Senate majority has assembled, and that is what Chairman Alexander, Blunt, Collins, Graham, Grassley, Rubio and Shelby and Senators Cornyn and Romney are introducing today. They’ll be coming to the floor shortly to introduce their components. Together their bills make up the HEALS Act — that’s Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools.”  

“Just like in March with the CARES Act, Senate Republicans have authored another bold framework to help our nation. So now we need our Democratic colleagues to reprise their part as well,” McConnell said, calling on them to “put aside partisan stonewalling,” and “rediscover the sense of urgency that got the CARES Act across the finish line.”

McConnell said that the proposal will cut to the heart of three crises facing the country: getting kids back to school, getting workers back to work, and winning the fight against the virus. 

The Senate majority leader said that there will be “another round of direct-checks for households at the same amount as before, with even more support for families who care for vulnerable adult dependents.”

He said that there will be a “sequel” to the Paycheck Protection Program “to help prevent more layoffs of American workers.” 

On unemployment insurance, McConnell said, “Republicans want to continue a federal supplement to state unemployment insurance. In fact, we’ll propose a weekly dollar amount that is 8 times what Democrats put in place when they controlled the White House and Congress during the Great Recession. But we have to do it in a way that does not slow down re-opening.”

More on this: CNN’s Phil Mattingly reported earlier today that the Senate Republican relief package will include a cut of $400 to the enhanced unemployment benefit for Americans out of work from the Covid-19 crisis.

On healthcare, McConnell said that there will be “strong legal liability protections” included in the plan, a policy he has insisted on, but that Democrats have already pushed back against.

4:37 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Oklahoma reports more than 1,400 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Kay Jones

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 1,401 new Covid-19 cases and zero new deaths on Monday, bringing the state’s totals to 32,686 cases and 496 deaths. 

This is the second highest total number of new cases reported by the state, according to numbers published by the agency. The state had reported 1,714 total new cases on July 21, which included a number of backlogged cases.

The public health agency said 25,252 people have recovered from the virus and 625 people are currently hospitalized. 

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

4:23 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Trump wears mask while touring vaccine lab facility

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Trump visits a Fujifilm vaccine lab facility in North Carolina on Monday.
President Trump visits a Fujifilm vaccine lab facility in North Carolina on Monday. Source: Pool

President Trump is touring a Fujifilm vaccine lab facility in North Carolina and is wearing a mask, which are required at the facility.

As CNN has reported, Trump recently shifted to encouraging mask-wearing after months of refusing to be seen doing so in public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Trump tweeted an image of himself wearing a face mask and indirectly called the act "patriotic."

The move to publicly wear a mask has been primarily motivated by floundering poll numbers, a source familiar with the President's thinking told CNN.

4:10 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

US stocks finish higher on hopes of more stimulus

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Wall Street ended the day higher, with all three major stock indexes climbing as investors cheered the next potential round of pandemic fiscal stimulus from Washington.

Here's where the market ended up:

  • The Dow ended 0.4%, or 116 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 closed up 0.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.7%.

All three indexes snapped a two-day losing streak. 

4:11 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Trump says governors should be opening up states

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump talks to holds up his face mask during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on July 21 in Washington.
President Donald Trump talks to holds up his face mask during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on July 21 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Even as coronavirus cases increase across the country — and as members of his administration encourage some states to reverse their reopenings — President Trump said Monday that some governors need to loosen restrictions.

"I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they’re not opening," Trump said, without specifying which states should be opening. 

The message doesn't align with what members of the White House coronavirus task force have advised governors in states where cases are increasing. Health experts like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have said states with spiking case counts should close bars and indoor restaurants, among other restrictions. 

Trump offered a more optimistic view, saying that rapid development of a vaccine and therapeutics to treat coronavirus would help spur an economic resurgence.

"I think the recovery’s been very strong," Trump said.

4:04 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Coronavirus cases surge in California's Central Valley with state's highest infection rate

From CNN’s Sarah Moon

California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's McClellan Reload Base in Sacramento on Thursday, July 9.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's McClellan Reload Base in Sacramento on Thursday, July 9. Hector Amezcua/Pool/AP

Eight counties in California’s Central Valley, where the coronavirus positivity rate has surged up to 18% and caused a significant increase in hospitalizations, are seeing a disproportionate impact from Covid-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference on Monday.

The Central Valley, home to the state’s vast agricultural region, is seeing the highest transmission rates in the state, according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

The 14-day positivity rate in some counties has reached 18%, Ghaly said. This is more than 10% higher than the state’s positivity rate at 7.5%.

Newsom said a $52 million federal government grant will be dispersed to the eight counties to improve isolation protocols, testing protocols, and provide more support and personnel in the health care industry. The funds will help support and protect the essential workforce that work in large processing plants where community spread and the likelihood of Covid-19 transmission is relatively high.

New resources, including a strike team, will be deployed in all eight Central Valley counties. The teams will support efforts to unify engagement and mitigate the spread, Newsom said.

3:50 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Major League Baseball commissioner has not discussed canceling season with owners

From CNN's David Close

In this July 12, 2019 photo, Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
In this July 12, 2019 photo, Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Following Monday’s postponement of two games due to Covid-19 threat, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred did not discuss canceling the season with the league’s team owners.

Manfred held a previously scheduled conference call with the 30 team owners on Monday that did not include the prospect of stopping the 60-game regular season, a source with knowledge of the call told CNN.

The source also said to expect Manfred to address the Miami Marlins coronavirus situation and the subsequent game postponements at some point on Monday.

More on this: Eleven Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for the virus, ESPN reports. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said the team is staying in Philadelphia, where it just played a three-game series, pending the results of a new round of testing.

CNN's Wayne Sterling and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.