July 27 coronavirus news

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7:09 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Fauci: We're going to have further deaths and suffering "unless we get our arms around this"

Dr. Anthony Fauci and CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Source: CNN

Closing bars, avoiding crowds, wearing masks, and practicing hand hygiene and physical distancing can make a difference in the spread of coronavirus in the US, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert.

"The fundamental things of avoiding crowds, physical separation, universal wearing of masks, closing the bars, hand hygiene — those things matter and they can make a difference. Hopefully we'll appreciate that and do it in a very strict way," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer today.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed concern about the trajectory of deaths in the US.

Asked if tens of thousands of Americans could die in the next few months, he said, "Well, that is conceivable. I mean, that's something we hope to be able to avoid, but if you look at the deaths as they're occurring right now, about a thousand per day, unless we get our arms around this, get it suppressed, we're going to have further suffering and further death and that's the reason why as I have often said many, many times, there are things we can do right now in the absence of a vaccine that could turn us around."

Watch:

6:35 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Brazil records more than 23,000 new coronavirus cases

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

Health workers take residents' blood samples at a testing site for Covid-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, July 17. 
Health workers take residents' blood samples at a testing site for Covid-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, July 17.  Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Brazil's health ministry recorded 23,284 new cases of coronavirus Monday, bringing the country's total cases to 2,442,375.

The ministry also recorded 614 new fatalities, bringing Brazil's death toll to 87,618.

This comes as the world races to secure a vaccine, with São Paulo state's Gov. João Doria on Monday saying that he expects Brazilians to receive vaccinations against the virus in January if the current trials are successful.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro officially returned to work on Monday morning at the Planalto Palace after testing negative for Covid-19 on Saturday.

6:31 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

MLB commissioner says Marlins will not play their two games in Miami

From CNN's Jill Martin

In an interview on MLB Network, league commissioner Rob Manfred said that the Miami Marlins will not play their games that were scheduled Monday or Tuesday in Miami.

“We’re doing some additional testing,” Manfred said. “If the testing results are acceptable, the Marlins will resume play in Baltimore on Wednesday against the Orioles.”

Some background: A number of players and coaches on the Marlins tested positive for Covid-19.

The Marlins' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees game at the Philadelphia Phillies, both scheduled for Monday night, have been postponed, MLB said, as the league conducts more coronavirus testing.

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.

6:24 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

These are the Covid-19 guidelines for next month's Democratic convention

From CNN's MJ Lee and Jessica Dean

Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 7.
Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 7. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

The Democratic National Convention Committee has begun circulating a “COVID-19 protocol” memo that lays out ways to try to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in Milwaukee next month, including daily coronavirus testing, banning visits to bars and restaurants, and even recommending the use of goggles and face shields in addition to masks in and around the convention site.

According to the memo, which was shared with CNN, the DNCC is mandating that all participants of the convention in Milwaukee follow a number of protocols, including:

  • Being tested and getting a negative result for Covid-19 “through the DNCC’s testing system” before they can enter what they’re billing the convention’s “health and safety zone” for the first time.
  • Being tested every day for Covid-19 during the convention.
  • Obeying social distancing rules by staying six feet away from people at all times.
  • Self-isolating for at least 72 hours prior to arriving in Milwaukee (or prior to entering the “health and safety zone” if the person was already in Milwaukee.
  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) en route to Milwaukee.
  • Wearing PPE at the convention site, including a mask that overs both nose and mouth at all times. It is also recommending eye protection like goggles or a face shield.
  • Avoiding bars and restaurants, as well as other places in Milwaukee where social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Wearing a mask at all times outside the hotel.

The memo says that the “health and safety zone” will include the entire Wisconsin Center building and any workspaces in the immediate vicinity (which will be established by Secret Service). It also says that members of the media who are only working at the outdoor standup position are not subject to daily testing requirement, but will be required to do everything else.

A person familiar with convention planning also told CNN that the Covid-19 tests will be made available to anyone with a credential, including members of the press.

There will be two Covid-19 testing sites for participants requiring daily testing, according to this protocol memo — one inside this “zone” and another offsite. The memo says that attendees will need to release their test results to both the DNCC and the Milwaukee Health Department, and that they will not accept test results from other providers.

 

6:04 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

California sees more than 100 coronavirus deaths per day

From CNN's Sarah Moon

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, speaking at a news conference today, told residents to “wake up” to the reality of “how deadly this disease continues to be.”

“What more evidence do you need?” Newsom said as he referred to the state’s seven-day average of deaths, which is 109.

“Please, let's wake up to that reality,” he added.

California has the highest number of coronavirus cases across the nation with 460,550 confirmed cases. The state reported a total of 8,445 deaths on Monday.

5:55 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Pfizer's experimental coronavirus vaccine gets FDA nod for advanced trial in the US

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Drug giant Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said Monday they have approval to start an advanced trial of their experimental coronavirus vaccine in US volunteers.

The companies said the US Food and Drug Administration approved their plan for a phase 2/3 trial of the vaccine in the United States.

“Today, we are starting our late-stage global study, which will include up to 30,000 participants,” BioNTech founder Dr. Ugur Sahin said in a statement.

“Participants will be screened and dosed in the next few days,” a spokesperson for the company told CNN.

Earlier Monday, Moderna started a Phase 3 trial in the United States of its experimental vaccine. Pfizer’s vaccine is slightly different, but also uses an experimental approach that employs genetic material to stimulate an immune response against a key part of the coronavirus.

A Phase 2/3 study looks for a combination of safety, efficacy and optimal dosing of a vaccine or drug. 

Last week the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced an agreement with Pfizer for “large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval.” The $1.95 million deal also allowed the US government to acquire an additional 500 million doses. 

Preliminary data released in a pre-print paper earlier this month from Pfizer and BioNTech said the vaccine appeared safe and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses in a Phase 1/2 trial. The company had said it could start a Phase 3 trial of the vaccine in late July if it received regulatory approval.

“We selected BNT162b2 as our lead candidate for this Phase 2/3 trial upon diligent evaluation of the totality of the data generated so far. This decision reflects our primary goal to bring a well-tolerated, highly effective vaccine to the market as quickly as possible, while we will continue to evaluate our other vaccine candidates as part of a differentiated COVID-19 vaccine portfolio,” Sahin said. The companies have three other experimental vaccines in the works.

“By the end of the trial, the Phase 2/3 study is expected to be active at approximately 120 clinical investigational sites around the world, including 39 states across the United States and countries including Argentina, Brazil, and Germany. Investigator sites are selected based on factors including scientific expertise and capabilities, the epidemiology of the disease, and prior experience conducting clinical trials,” Pfizer said in the statement.

 

5:46 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Bolivia's interim president recovers from Covid-19

From CNN’s Abel Alvarado

In this November 15, 2019 file photo, interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Añez speaks during a press conference at presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia. 
In this November 15, 2019 file photo, interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Añez speaks during a press conference at presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia.  Gaston Brito Miserocchi/Getty Images

Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Añez said she was discharged from a hospital after recovering from coronavirus. 

“Thank you with all my heart for the love and support during my coronavirus disease,” Añez tweeted Monday. “Your displays of affection gave me strength to keep going. Bolivians, we are a great family. We will move forward.”

Añez announced on July 9 that she had tested positive for coronavirus.

At least 14 other government officials in Bolivia announced they also tested positive for coronavirus.

Bolivia reported a total of 69,429 Covid-19 cases on Sunday and 2,583 deaths, according to the country’s health ministry.

5:51 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from Brazil

From Rodrigo Pedroso and Ben Tinker

Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria speaks during a press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 21.
Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria speaks during a press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 21. Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

São Paulo state Gov. João Doria said he expects Brazilians to receive vaccinations against novel coronavirus in January if the trials in progress are successful. 

"At the end of the year, with no complications in the tests, we will be able to start production in December and have vaccinations in January, not only in São Paulo but in the country," Doria said during a news conference Monday.

Chinese firm Sinovac began trials last week in São Paulo, and US pharma giant Pfizer plans to do so soon, bringing a race among powers to prove their vaccine works first. Oxford is also entering phase three of trials for its vaccine in São Paulo City. 

Meanwhile, US President Trump said in a briefing that vaccine trials are progressing "under Operation Warp Speed." 

"Not only is operational warp speed accelerating the development of the vaccine, we are also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure its rapid delivery," Trump said. "America will develop a vaccine very soon, and we will defeat the virus. We will have it delivered in record time."

There are currently 25 vaccines in human trials around the world: four in the US, seven in China, two in the UK, two in Germany, one in South Korea, one in Russia, two in India, one in Japan, one in Canada, three in Australia, one in Singapore and 140 are in preclinical trial around the world, according to the World Health Organization.

5:20 p.m. ET, July 27, 2020

George Washington University will move to online instruction for undergraduates in the fall

From CNN's Hollie Silverman and Elizabeth Stuart

George Washington University.
George Washington University. Shutterstock.

George Washington University in Washington, DC, announced Monday that undergraduate courses will be given online for the fall 2020 semester, with limited exceptions.

In addition, most graduate programs will also be conducted online, except for a few in-person classes.

On-campus housing will be provided for a limited number of students with extenuating personal or academic circumstances, according to a letter sent by university president Thomas J. LeBlanc and other university leaders.

"We know just how much many of you were looking forward to being on campus this fall, and we understand that this news is disappointing," the letter said. "However, we must always make the decisions that best support the health, safety and care of our community while fulfilling our core academic mission."

GW will be giving a 10% tuition reduction to all undergraduate students who do not return to campus in the fall, recognizing both the financial difficulties that some students are under, and that students who remain at home "will not have access to certain in-person resources they would have had as residential students."

According to GW's website, it is the largest higher education institution in DC, with more than 26,000 students. GW is also one of DC's largest private employers.