August 10 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020
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3:43 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

The FDA will "not cut corners" to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, official says

From CNN's Jen Christensen

The US Food and Drug Administration will not compromise on the safety of a Covid-19 vaccine, even with the speed with which it must evaluate vaccine candidates, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told American Medical Association President Dr. Susan Bailey in an online conversation Monday.

Hahn acknowledged that because of the speed with which the agency is working, some experts have questioned if the FDA will compromise its scientific principles in reviewing clinical trial data.  

“Let me assure you that we will not cut corners,” Hahn said. “All of our decisions will continue to be based on good science and the same careful deliberative processes we have always used when reviewing medical products.”

Hahn asked the doctors listening to the conversation to urge patients to take the vaccine once it is approved. He said that he has seen surveys that report a significant part of the public will be reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccine. A CNN poll in May found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid-19, even if the vaccine is widely available and low cost.

“We hope that you will urge your patients to take an approved vaccine, so that we can seek to establish widespread immunity,” Hahn said.

More context: There are 26 vaccines in human trials around the world with four in the United States. There are also 139 in preclinical trials around the world, according to the World Health Organization. 

3:40 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

McConnell says Senate will be in session all week 

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Manu Raju

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed to CNN that the Senate will be in session all week.

Most senators are gone and no votes are scheduled — with no stimulus deal to vote on.

Senators will have 24-hours notice to return if they have to vote.  

McConnell wouldn’t answer when CNN asked if he will be negotiating with Democrats this week. 

3:27 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Lebanon records nearly 300 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut

Lebanon has recorded 295 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the day the country’s government stepped down.

The resignation of the prime minister comes less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed more than 160 people and sparked days of violent protests.

Lebanon has also recorded four new coronavirus deaths in the previous 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Public Health. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 6,812 and the total number of deaths to 80.

Some background: Shortly before the ministry reported the rise in cases on Monday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab addressed the nation, announcing his resignation and that of his government in the wake of the deadly blast last week, which he called a "disaster beyond measure."

In an impassioned speech, Diab berated Lebanon's ruling political elite for fostering what he called "an apparatus of corruption bigger than the state."

3:11 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Georgia election board passes emergency rule to extend time it can scan ballots

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

An absentee ballot for Cobb County, Georgia.
An absentee ballot for Cobb County, Georgia. Mike Stewart/AP

In a Georgia state election board meeting Monday, the board passed an emergency rule to allow election officials to open and scan absentee ballots two weeks before election day, beginning Monday October 19.

This means election officials will have more time to process the increased number of absentee ballots the state expects to receive due to more people voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Election officials will not be able to tabulate votes early, they will simply be allowed to open and scan absentee ballots before election day, according to the new rule. 

Originally, there was a one-week window where officials could begin processing ballots. This move could help the state tabulate results more quickly on election night. 

3:01 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Syria reports record number of new Covid-19 cases

From Eyad Kourdi in Gaziantep

Syria’s health ministry announced 67 new Covid-19 cases, according to state news agency SANA on Monday, the highest number of cases in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In a statement to SANA, the ministry said the total number of coronavirus cases in the country (in regime-held areas) have reached 1,255, of which 364 cases have recovered and 52 people have died.

The health minister of the Syrian interim opposition government, Dr. Maram al-Sheikh, said in a tweet Monday, "New decisions to be issued, the most important of which is the compulsory wearing of the masks and tightening the social distancing without there being limitation to the freedom of movement, except for the elderly who must stay at home." 

The first coronavirus infection was registered in Syria on March 22, a person who came from abroad, while the first death was on May 29.

2:49 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

New York, Kentucky governors call Trump’s executive order "unworkable"

From CNN’s Sonia Moghe

President Donald Trump signs executive actions on coronavirus relief in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8.
President Donald Trump signs executive actions on coronavirus relief in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that they believe President Trump’s executive actions on coronavirus relief are “unworkable.”

The extension reduced previous federal unemployment benefits to $400 from the $600 level that expired at the end of July after Congress failed to reach a deal on the benefits’ future. States are being asked to cover 25% of the enhanced unemployment benefits. 

“I hope this was just a tactic by the President. If he thinks this is a resolution, this only makes a bad situation worse,” Cuomo said, on a press call. “My advice to the president is when you are in a hole stop digging. This Executive Order only digs the hole bigger.”

Both governors said the order would increase the cost on states that are already struggling financially due to economic impacts of coronavirus lockdown and response to the pandemic, and would bankrupt some states.

“My motivation today is not to criticize or suggest that the President’s Executive Order wasn’t intended to help, but simply to make the point that it’s not workable in its current form,” Beshear said, on the call.

Beshear added that he wanted a congressional solution, and for an unemployment benefit “at the $600 level.”

Cuomo said it would cost the state of New York $4 billion between now and December to pay 25% of the unemployment insurance for New Yorkers.

Cuomo added that the executive order “will be challenged in court” and that there are “serious legal questions” about the authority Trump had to issue the order.

Cuomo said Congress would have to pass a federal law to allow a state to go bankrupt. He challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Beshear’s home state, to pass such a law.

“I challenge McConnell to propose the law to bankrupt states. And watch the markets plummet overnight. They think they’re going to help bring jobs back? That’s what you’re going to do? By proposing to bankrupt states? Then do it.”

Read more about Trump's orders here.

2:26 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

$96 million will be awarded to small businesses impacted by coronavirus in Pennsylvania

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he will be awarding $96 million dollars in grant money to 4,933 small businesses that were impacted by Covid-19 in the state, according to a statement released by his office on Monday.

More than 50% of the grants were awarded to historically disadvantaged businesses, the statement said.

“As we continue to address this public health crisis, it’s critical that we also focus on our state’s economic recovery and supporting our small businesses across the state, which continue to be impacted by our necessary mitigation efforts,” Wolf said.

The grant money may be used to cover operating expenses during the shutdown as a result of the global pandemic and to help businesses transition to reopening among other things, according to guidelines set forth by the governor’s office.

2:23 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

Long Beach mayor's stepdad dies from complications of Covid-19

From CNN's Stella Chan

Just weeks after losing his mother Covid-19, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is mourning the death of his stepfather, who also died from coronavirus complications, according to a statement from his office.

Greg O’Donnell, 58, died one day after the memorial service for his wife of 27 years, Gaby O’Donnell, Garcia’s mother. 

“We are incredibly saddened to share that my stepfather, Greg O’Donnell, has passed away due to complications from COVID-19. It’s a heartbreaking loss for our entire family, especially for my brother Jake," the mayor's office said in a statement.

"Greg was a kind and good-hearted man, an amazing father and grandfather, and the best husband our mom could have ever hoped for. He worked hard for his family and started his own successful small business as a contractor with his brothers. Our mom Gaby, and Greg were married for 27 years and he lived a happy life. Jake and I want to thank the heroic nurses and doctors who cared for him in his last days. My brother posted the following and I completely agree: ‘As my family is just broken with the loss of my parents—I find comfort in knowing that they are together again—free of any pain or suffering,'" the statement said.

At least 8,775 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Long Beach and at least 181 people have died from the virus, the city reported.

2:25 p.m. ET, August 10, 2020

NHL announces no new Covid-19 cases during past week

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets stand during the Canadian National Anthem before a game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on August 9.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets stand during the Canadian National Anthem before a game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on August 9. Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The National Hockey League announced that it has received no new positive Covid-19 test results during the past week inside the league’s two hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton. 

Every member of each team’s traveling party was tested on a daily basis between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8. 

Since entering its two hub city “bubbles,” the league has not returned a positive test from any of the 24 teams participating in the NHL’s return to play.