July 28 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020
28 Posts
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9:08 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Fauci "cautiously optimistic" about phase 3 Moderna vaccine trial

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC. Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images)

Following the announcement that the phase three clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine – developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – has begun in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci again said he is "cautiously optimistic" there will be an answer on whether a vaccine will work in the late fall or early winter.

Speaking Tuesday on Good Morning America, the nation's leading expert on infectious disease explained the results from the phase one trial were "enough for us to see the kind of response that this vaccine induces in individual[s]. And it induced the level of antibodies – which are the proteins that fight the virus – at a level that was quite high, in the sense of what was comparable if not better than what we see in the recovery from natural infection.”

 "That's really one of the issues when you're dealing with vaccines. If you can induce a response that's least as good as natural infection, that is a good predictor that you're going to have a vaccine that works. Obviously, the proof of the pudding is you've got to do the trial," Fauci added.

The large Moderna trial "will give us the answer and, yes, I am cautiously optimistic that as we get into the late fall and early winter, we will have an answer – and I believe it will be positive," Fauci told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

More on the trial: The investigational vaccine was developed by the biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial is to be conducted at nearly 100 US research sites, according to Moderna. The first patient was dosed at a site in Savannah, Georgia.

The trial is expected to enroll about 30,000 adult volunteers and evaluates the safety of the Moderna/NIH vaccine and whether it can prevent symptomatic Covid-19 after two doses, among other outcomes.

Volunteers will receive either two 100-microgram injections of the vaccine or a placebo about 28 days apart. Investigators and participants will not know who has received the vaccine.

1:14 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Miami Beach mayor criticizes Florida governor over "unprepared" contact tracing

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a letter over what he calls an “unprepared and understaffed contact tracing operation.”

Only 17% to 18% of those testing positive with coronavirus in Miami-Dade County were contact-traced over the past two weeks, according to Gelber, adding that it was as low as 7% one day. 

Gelber said that while cases in the state seems to be leveling off, “they're leveling off at a very, very, enormously high level.”

Gelber told CNN’s John Berman that there’s a “concern for embarrassment” from state and national officials, so they downplay the facts. 

“When they hear the governor and they hear the President saying, 'Don't worry, this is fine, go out, you know, you don't have to wear a mask, open up the economy,' they believe that maybe this is a green light to do whatever you want, and that's, I think, one of the reasons why we've had such difficulty in constraining the virus,” Gelber said. 

Watch:

8:20 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

There are "signs of a second wave" in Europe, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says

From CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a visit to the Canal Side Heritage Centre in Beeston, England, on July 28.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a visit to the Canal Side Heritage Centre in Beeston, England, on July 28. Rui Vieira/WPA Pool/Getty Images

There are signs of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Tuesday. 

Speaking to journalists about the UK’s decision to impose a 14-day quarantine on people returning from Spain, Johnson said: “What we had to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risk is starting to bubble up again.”  

“Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” Johnson said. 

“We all remember what happened last time. It's absolutely vital therefore that we make the necessary preparations here in the UK as we are doing,” he added. 

Remember: At the start of the pandemic, the UK government was accused of acting too slowly to implement a lockdown or restrictions on travelers. 

Asked about the possibility that the length of the quarantine period may be reduced, Johnson said: “We are always looking at ways in which we can mitigate the impact of the quarantine, try to help people, try to make sure that science is working to help travelers and holidaymakers.” However, he added: “At the moment we've got to stick with the guidance we are giving.”  

8:10 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Fauci says hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating Covid-19

From CNN Health's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 30. Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US' top infectious disease expert, addressed a series of tweets by President Donald Trump which were taken down overnight on Monday -- one of which touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus.

I go along with the FDA. The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease,” Fauci said on Good Morning America Tuesday.

Fauci said there were other measures everyone should take to protect themselves, including wearing masks.

“We should all be wearing masks outside,” he said. “There are fundamental things we should be doing, particularly if you happen to be in an area where there’s viral activity.”

Fauci said that in addition to wearing masks, people should continue social distancing, avoid crowds and practice good hand hygiene.

The expert also said that officials should close bars in areas where there was evidence of viral activity.

8:00 a.m. ET, July 28, 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 16.4 million people worldwide and caused more than 654,000 deaths. Here's what you need to know today, from around the globe:

  • Viral video scrubbed: A video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus was removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube after going viral online Monday. The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured a group of people wearing white lab coats calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington.
  • Germany advises against travel to parts of Spain: Berlin has warned against travel to the Spanish regions of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarra. The UK has also warned against travel to the whole of Spain.
  • Bolivia declares "state of public calamity": The country's decree allows officials to release extra funds as concerns grow over the pandemic's economic impact.
  • Hong Kong battles third wave: The city reported 106 new cases on Tuesday. Officials will enforce strict social distancing measures from Wednesday, to try and limit the virus' spread.
  • Vietnam scrambles: All domestic passenger flights to and from the popular tourist destination of Da Nang will be suspended for 15 days, starting from Tuesday. Airlines have been asked to evacuate about 80,000 visitors stranded in the city before midnight Tuesday local time.
  • Australia moves elderly care residents: The government of Victoria state is transferring elderly care residents into public and private hospitals to protect them from Covid-19 amid fears over their safety, Premier Daniel Andrews said Tuesday. Around 200 patients have already been moved, where there are 769 active cases.
8:57 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Bolivia declares “state of public calamity” over pandemic's economic fallout

From CNNEE’s Gloria Carrasco and CNN's Maija-Liisa Ehlinger 

A man wearing a protective mask and suit walks down a street in La Paz, Bolivia, on Monday, July 20.
A man wearing a protective mask and suit walks down a street in La Paz, Bolivia, on Monday, July 20. Marcelo Perez del Carpio/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Bolivia's government has issued a decree declaring that the country is in “state of public calamity” due to the economic impact of Covid-19, according to a statement released late Monday.

"We declare a public calamity across the territory of Bolivia in order to attend the urgent economic needs caused by the negative effects of the coronavirus [pandemic]," it states.

The decree allows the country's government to ask for a loan from Bolivia’s Central Bank. It also allows the government to release more funds to help fight the pandemic. The additional funds have so far been blocked by the opposition-controlled Legislative Assembly led by former President Evo Morales’s party.

On Monday, Bolivia reported 71,181 Covid-19 cases, according to its health ministry. The death toll has reached 2,647. 

The virus has spread rapidly through the country's political class.

At least 15 government officials have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic started, including interim President Jeanine Áñez who announced she had recovered from the virus on Monday evening. 

8:57 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Major UK department store cuts 14% of jobs

From CNN's Eoin McSweeney

A woman is seen holding a Selfridges shopping bag in London, on June 15.
A woman is seen holding a Selfridges shopping bag in London, on June 15. Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Major UK department store chain Selfridges says it will shed 14% of its workforce as it faces its "toughest year" because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The retailer said it would axe 450 jobs as annual sales are set to be "significantly less" than last year.

"As a creative business at the forefront of retail, we have a proud history of leading the way, however the speed and magnitude of what is happening right now and the impact on trading, means we must make some more fundamental changes to our organisation to stay ahead and realise a more sustainable future," said group managing director Anne Pitcher. 

Selfridges is reviewing all non-essential expenses and has paused a number of projects and initiatives.

6:59 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

"I don't want to go to school and get Covid": Some children are fearful as adults debate reopening

From Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez

Teachers and parents who are currently weighing their options when it comes to school reopenings in the middle of a deadly pandemic may have one additional challenge ahead: children who are fearful of returning to school.

Like the rest of us, children in the US have been told to stay inside, to wash their hands and to wear a mask for months now. For some kids, the restrictions, what they've heard on the news and their own personal experience with Covid-19 have made the outside world feel like a dangerous place.

He is different now, I can see that," said Rose Israel, whose 6-year-old son Jeremiah Israel-James has refused to go outside in recent weeks.

On the rare occasion Jeremiah agrees to leave their East Harlem home, he must first peep through the window, declaring it safe when "there's not that many people outside."

Once out, Jeremiah wants to get back inside as quickly as possible. "Before when he was outside he wanted to explore, he wanted to see, now it's all, 'Let's go and come back, Mama,'" added Israel.

Read the full article here.

7:10 a.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Tennis star Grigor Dimitrov explains his struggles with side-effects of Covid-19

From CNN's George Ramsay

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria is pictured during the Adria Tour charity exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 14.
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria is pictured during the Adria Tour charity exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 14. Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Tennis player Grigor Dimitrov says he's unsure of competing at the US Open as he detailed the debilitating side-effects of catching Covid-19.

World No. 19 Dimitrov recorded a positive test in late June shortly after playing at an Adria Tour tournament in Croatia, an event organized by Novak Djokovic that was widely criticized after several players -- including the world No. 1 -- tested positive for coronavirus.

The Bulgarian has since returned to the court, competing at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France last weekend where he lost to Feliciano Lopez and Richard Gasquet.

"The virus was hard on me," Dimitrov told the Tennis Majors website.

"I stayed home for about a month ... I think it's different for everyone. I was not breathing well. I was tired. I had no taste, no smell. Everything you could possibly think of. So it was no fun.

Read more here.