September 4 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:11 a.m. ET, September 5, 2020
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7:13 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Fauci is unsure what Trump means by saying the country is "rounding the corner" on the pandemic

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s not sure what President Trump is talking about when he told a White House news conference that the country is “rounding the corner” on the pandemic.

“I'm not sure what he means,” Fauci told CNN this afternoon. “There are certain states that actually are doing well in the sense of the case numbers are coming down.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said there are a number of states including Montana, Michigan, Minnesota and the Dakotas that are starting to have an uptick in the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive – an indication of spread of the virus.

Watch: Dr. Fauci respond to Trump saying the US is "rounding the corner"

6:32 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Fauci urges Americans to wear masks and avoid close contact over Labor Day weekend

CNN
CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, implored Americans to wear masks, avoid close contact and avoid crowds this weekend as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

"Doing whatever that you can possibly do outdoors as opposed to indoors. If we do that, we should get through the weekend okay," Fauci told CNN this afternoon.
6:28 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Atlanta is estimated to lose more than $640 million from canceled events in 2020

From CNN’s Natasha Chen

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images/FILE
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images/FILE

The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau told CNN that businesses in the metro area are estimated to lose more than $640 million in 2020, due to the cancellation of conventions. There were 39 citywide conventions planned for 2020, eight of which have actually occurred.

For Labor Day weekend alone, businesses around Atlanta are estimated to lose at least $151 million from the cancellation of two SEC kick-off games at Mercedes-Benz stadium and the Dragon Con Pop Culture Convention going virtual.

Dragon Con was estimated to bring in 87,000 people this weekend, and two SEC kick-off games scheduled for this weekend would have brought in around 72,000 people for each game. A third game scheduled for Sept. 12, would have brought around another 72,000 people, with an estimated economic impact of $33 million.

The SEC College Football Championship and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl currently still plan to host their events later this year and in early 2021. 

4:56 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Rhode Island governor says there will be school sports this fall

From CNN’s Ryanne Whyte

RI Capitol TV
RI Capitol TV

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced today that “there will be school sports in the state of Rhode Island this fall.” 

Schools will host a shortened sports season starting as early as Sept. 21 and ending with Thanksgiving. The sports in question were separated into categories based on perceived risk, with both football and volleyball not seeing a return this fall.  

More details: Raimondo also gave an update on the state’s Covid-19 numbers, citing that the state performed 8,870 tests yesterday with 58 new positive cases, bringing Rhode Island’s total number of cases to 22,243 and no new deaths. 

4:43 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Medical journal editor to CNN: Trump "simply wrong" that vaccine will be available to public by October

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta.

Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet
Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet CNN

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Friday that President Trump’s statement that a Covid-19 vaccine could be delivered by the end of October is “simply wrong.” 

“If we make a mistake and license a vaccine too early – just think – we have already got a growing anti-vaccine movement, which is extremely disturbing. We can't cut corners. There will not be a vaccine available for public use by the end of October. President Trump is simply wrong about that,” Horton said, adding: “I have no understanding why he is saying it. Because his advisers will surely be telling him that that's just impossible.”

Horton said the results of a Russian-developed vaccine are “encouraging” but that it would be “highly premature to think that this is the basis for a successful vaccine for public use,” in part since its study involved a very small number of volunteers.

Horton also lamented what he described as the “unfortunate” tone Moscow used when it presented its vaccine results on Friday, saying: “I think if we start setting nation against nation, vaccine against vaccine, company against company, this is completely going to undermine any kind of rationale response. This is a global crisis, Becky. A global crisis needs a global response and a global solution,” he said. “We do want lots of vaccines that are coming through into phase three trials because some are going to succeed and some are going to fail. But this isn't a war between countries. This should be about cooperation.”

Watch: Richard Horton say delivering the public a vaccine by October is 'impossible'

3:24 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Moderna slows enrollment of volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine trial and seeks more minorities

 From CNN's John Bonifield

In this image courtesy of the Henry Ford Health System, volunteers are given the Moderna mRNA-1273 Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE), on August 5, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. The first COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers in Michigan received their first shots August 5, in an effort to help find a safe, effective vaccine to the deadly coronavirus.
In this image courtesy of the Henry Ford Health System, volunteers are given the Moderna mRNA-1273 Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE), on August 5, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. The first COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers in Michigan received their first shots August 5, in an effort to help find a safe, effective vaccine to the deadly coronavirus. Henry Ford Health System/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

The pharmaceutical company Moderna, which is testing a vaccine for Covid-19, said Friday that it is encouraging its trial sites to work harder to recruit diverse populations, even if those efforts slow the speed of enrollment. 

"We believe these efforts will improve the quality of the study and confidence in the vaccine by building evidence for benefit in the communities at highest risk of COVID-19," a spokesperson for Moderna told CNN in a statement. 

The deceleration was first reported by CNBC.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told the network it is slightly slowing the enrollment of volunteers to ensure participation from minority communities. Specifically, trial sites that have not enrolled enough Black and African American volunteers are being told they need to increase enrollment among those populations. Bancel said the deceleration could delay the progress of the trial by about a week.  

Some context: The trial has been struggling to enroll enough minorities since at least mid-August. 

Researchers at two of the sites told CNN in August that the company had asked them to limit the number of participants they enroll to no more than 20 per day.

Part of the reason was so that care could be taken to recruit more minorities, they said.

"We need to take the time to evaluate the people who want to be in study to make sure they meet inclusion criteria," said Dr. Richard Novak, who's running the site at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

By the numbers: Current enrollment figures show 68% of volunteers are White, 20% are Hispanic or Latino, 7% are Black or African American, 3% are Asian and 1% are representative of other populations. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told CNN that phase three clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines should aim to include minorities at levels that are at least double their representation in the population to better reflect the population most affected by Covid-19.

2:57 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Fears about coronavirus' impact on malaria haven't been realized, WHO says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo
Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo World Health Organization

Fears that the coronavirus pandemic would wreck efforts to control malaria have not panned out, but disruptions will nonetheless mean more deaths, the World Health Organization said Friday.

WHO predicted in April that malaria in sub-Saharan Africa could double this year alone if access to malaria preventions was severely curtailed. It issued guidance to help countries in maintaining core malaria services during this time. Many countries have gone to great lengths to maintain these essential services, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“I’m glad to say that, so far, our worst fears have not been realized,” Tedros told a forum held with the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to End Malaria.

But the pandemic has disrupted health systems and services, Tedros said. A recent WHO survey of 105 countries showed that 46% of countries reported disruptions in malaria treatment and diagnosis. 

“Malaria has been with us for millennia. Covid-19 has only been with us for eight months. But many of the elements of our response to both diseases are the same,” Tedros said. “We must harness the power of science and technology. We must focus on prevention. We must protect the most vulnerable. We must come together in solidarity. And we must never accept the status-quo. We must do it through mobilization.”

Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said countries have struggled to obtain malaria treatments and diagnostics. “Today more than ever, we must sustain malaria investment, investments that have proved crucial in responding to Covid-19,” Diallo said. “I’m sure we’ll get back on track to achieve the ambitious malaria elimination goals we have set.”

 

2:19 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Connecticut suspends high school football this fall due to the pandemic

From CNN’s Anna Sturla and David Close

Full-contact high school football is suspended for the fall semester, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced Friday. 

The decision came about after discussions with the state's Department of Public Health, which said it was "unlikely to support higher risk athletic activities (including full contact HS football) during the fall semester," according to a press release from the CIAC.

"Without DPH support, the CIAC cannot move forward with a full contact season as it would place superintendents and boards of education in the impossible position of acting against the recommendation of a state agency," the CIAC said in the release.

Some context: The CIAC initially supported a return to team practice on Sept. 21, with games beginning Oct. 1, according to the statement.

The conference said it would work in conjunction with coaches to provide football players with “the best low risk and moderate experiences possible,” though it was not immediately clear what those would be.

There are at least ten other states to have previously announced the cancellation of HS football this year, CNN reported.

1:46 p.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Biden says he has been tested for Covid-19 and will continue to be tested on a regular basis

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told CNN's MJ Lee that he has been tested once for Covid-19 and will continue to be tested on a regular basis.

When asked by Lee about the President's comments mocking him for wearing a mask, he replied, "It's hard to respond to something so idiotic."