August 7 coronavirus news

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11:58 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

All New York school districts are authorized to open for in-person learning, governor says

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

All school districts across New York state are cleared to open, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a telephonic news conference Friday.

“Today is the deadline to look at the infection rates and make a determination — by our infection rates all school districts can open everywhere in the state,” Cuomo said. “Every region is below the threshold that we established.”

Each school district across the state was required to submit their proposed plans for reopening by this week, and the plans differ across the state, but they are all authorized to open.

There are 749 school districts in New York state that are required to submit plans to the Department of Health and the state’s Education Department, Cuomo noted. He said 127 districts still have not submitted plans.

Cuomo added that they will watch the infection rates between now and the dates schools are scheduled to open, and if the rates spike, they will revisit the plans.

11:10 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Trump adviser dismisses idea of a slowdown: "These job numbers will go up and down"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

The latest numbers in the July jobs report show that the US will see unemployment drop “well into single digits as we move through the summer and fall,” White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow tells CNN's Poppy Harlow.

“To go through a tough month like that and still get 1.8 million new jobs and most importantly the unemployment rate back down to 10.2%, I would just say to you, Poppy, that the idea that we won't get a single-digit unemployment rate is off the boards now.”

The US added another 1.8 million jobs in July, which is a sharp slowdown from June and a small step for an economy that's still down nearly 13 million jobs. But Kudlow says it’s a “solid number beating expectations.”

He dismissed the idea of a slowdown and said the surge in coronavirus cases in July impacted the numbers.

“I don't know that there's a slowdown. These job numbers will go up and down."

11:00 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Illinois issues new emergency rules to enforce mask mandate compliance

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new rules Friday designed to better enforce mask requirements and give local authority guidelines to enforce compliance.

The new emergency rules were set up by the Illinois Health Department and consist of multiple steps to enforce wearing face coverings, including a warning and fines for non-compliance, Pritzker told reporters in Chicago. The rules are designed to provide local authority guidelines to enforce compliance.

“There’s still ever greater need for people to wear masks,” Pritzker said.

The governor also said he signed legislation to enhance workers’ rights and increase disability pay and paid leave when their pay has been altered due to Covid-19-related reasons.

10:49 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Florida reports another 7,600 new coronavirus cases

The state of Florida is reporting 7,686 additional coronavirus cases and 180 additional deaths, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health on Friday. 

There has been a total of 518,075 cases in the state since the pandemic began, including out-of-state residents, the department said. Florida has reported at least 7,927 resident deaths to date.

10:19 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Trump adviser says potential executive action on payroll tax cut "basically completed"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Trump could pick up "the slack" on unemployment benefits as stimulus negotiations in Congress are on the brink of collapse.

“The President is looking very, very carefully… about using executive authority to take up the slack” on unemployment benefits, a payroll tax cut, extending the eviction moratorium, and providing a benefit for reemployment, Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business. 

Trump said he could sign an executive order on these issues as early as this afternoon. 

Specifically, Kudlow said a draft of a potential payroll tax cut “is basically completed,” and he believes Trump will use executive authority to implement it. A payroll tax cut has faced bipartisan opposition on the Hill. 

Trump had been pushing for a payroll tax cut — which would reduce the amount taken out of workers' paychecks to fund federal programs including Social Security and Medicare — to be included in the congressional stimulus package. But many Republicans and most Democrats don't support it.

Kudlow said he can’t predict when federal unemployment benefits might be back due to the stalled negotiations on Capitol Hill. The $600 benefit expired last week.

9:55 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Stocks fall despite better-than-expected jobs report

From CNN’s Paul La Monica

The market opened lower Friday morning even though the US government reported a solid rebound in the labor market.

Continued fears about tension between the US and China may be weighing on sentiment after President Trump threatened to ban Tencent-owned WeChat unless it is sold.

Here's where things opened today:

  • The Dow fell 0.3%, or more than 75 points.
  • The S&P 500 was down 0.3%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite edged 0.3% lower.

About the jobs report: While the US economy added another 1.8 million jobs in July, it's a sharp slowdown from June and a small step for an economy that's still down 12.9 million jobs during the pandemic.

10:17 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

Americans could save 70,000 lives by wearing masks, official says

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Fans wearing face masks and face coverings enter the race track prior to the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 15 in Bristol, Tennessee.
Fans wearing face masks and face coverings enter the race track prior to the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 15 in Bristol, Tennessee. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

More than 160,000 have died of coronavirus in the US so far and that number could nearly double by December, the director of a leading model said Thursday.

But consistently wearing masks could save nearly 70,000 of the 295,000 people projected to die of the virus by December 1, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) director Dr. Christopher Murray said on CNN's Global Town Hall.

"It's rare that you see something so simple, so inexpensive, so easy for everybody to participate in can have such an extraordinary impact in the US and also all over the world," Murray said.

The latest on masks in the US: At least 39 states as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have implemented mask requirements of some kind. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear extended his state's mask mandate by 30 days yesterday, saying "It's working."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated mask recommendations on its website, urging people not use masks with valves or vents. While the one-way valve keeps people cooler by allowing air to escape, that also means respiratory droplets that carry the virus can escape and infect others.

Watch:

9:11 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

New York governor expected to announce plans for schools today

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce his decision today on whether or not New York state schools can reopen this fall. 

It will include New York City school district, which is the largest public school district in the country with more than 1.1 million students.

Some background: Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools will reopen in the fall.

However, ultimately, the decision will be made by the state as to whether schools will open in the fall.

It is state law that governs the opening and closing of schools during the pandemic, not local government, Cuomo's communications director Dani Lever said in a statement.

9:06 a.m. ET, August 7, 2020

How the US plans to use celebrities in coronavirus PSAs

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Dana Vigue

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens during a House Subcommittee hearing about the coronavirus on Friday, July 31, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Dr. Anthony Fauci listens during a House Subcommittee hearing about the coronavirus on Friday, July 31, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AP

New government public service announcements will use conversations between public health experts and actors, musicians and athletes to educate people about Covid-19.

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, wouldn’t release the names of the celebrities who will be featured in the new PSAs. 

He said there will be several government health experts involved, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

Messages will be tailored to specific cities and communities. Here's how Caputo described the ads:

“Maybe a football player in Houston will sit down and talk about Houston’s problems with Dr. Fauci ... Or the surgeon general will be sitting on the Capitol Hill steps. We’ll have two cameras, one on him and one over his shoulder. He’ll be eating a sandwich. His iPad rings. He puts the sandwich down and he picks it up. And that rapper or football player or celebrity or rock and roll star or whoever it is will have two cameras on them in Atlanta, and they’ll ask Dr. Adams questions about Covid-19.”

The conversations will be 45 minutes to an hour long, and they will not be scripted. Several minute-long PSAs will be cut from each conversation and will be placed on radio, TV, online platforms and digital billboards. 

“They will be conversations between trusted figures and trusted scientists,” Caputo said.

The topics will be varied and include prevention measures such as wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.

The other public health experts featured in the PSAs will be...

  • Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration
  • Alex Azar, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Rear Admiral Dr. Erica Schwartz, deputy surgeon general
  • Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, director of the Indian Health Service

“There will be no politicians. Zero politicians,” Caputo said.