September 11 coronavirus updates

By Helen Regan, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 10:17 AM ET, Wed September 16, 2020
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12:07 a.m. ET, September 11, 2020

Time to "hunker down" to get through fall and winter, Fauci says

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Coronavirus is not going to ease up and is in fact likely to worsen again in the fall and winter in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday.

“I just think we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it's not going to be easy,” Fauci said in a talk with doctors from Harvard.

Fauci said that as fall approaches "and we do more indoor things, we're likely going to see upticks in Covid-19."

The US is still reporting about 36,000 Covid-19 cases a day right now, which is better than mid-August when the number was almost 80,000 a day. But it’s still too high, Fauci said.

“I keep looking at that curve, and I get more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I'd like,” he said.

Fauci predicted the US will continue to see coronavirus surges in some places. 

“I don't talk about second surges because we're still in the first surge,” he said. “We're going to see these surges that we've seen in the southern states, in the Midwest and now, if you look at the map, it's Montana, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa. Those are the ones that are surging.”

Fauci said it’s hard to predict at this point how influenza may play into the pandemic this winter. He pointed to Australia’s mild flu season this year because of Covid-19 mitigation efforts such as mask-wearing and social distancing. 

“What I would like to see is keeping the lid on, keeping the baseline down until we get a vaccine,” he said. Fauci, as he has said before, believes a coronavirus vaccine will be available by late this year or early in 2021.

“I think that’s going to be the thing that turns it around,” he said.

11:41 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

Mexico reports nearly 5,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Natalie Gallón in Mexico City and Samantha Beech in Atlanta

A worker gets his temperature taken prior to being tested for Covid-19 in Mexico City, on Thursday, September 10.
A worker gets his temperature taken prior to being tested for Covid-19 in Mexico City, on Thursday, September 10. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Mexico's Health Ministry reported 4,857 new Covid-19 cases and 554 new virus-related deaths on Thursday.

That brings the total number of cases confirmed in the country to 652,364, including at least 69,649 fatalities.

The latest figures come as Mexico’s government responded to the pausing of the AstraZeneca vaccine trial.

What happened: The company put global trials of its coronavirus vaccine on hold this week over an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. Mexico was a participant in the phase 3 trials of that vaccine candidate and is still offering volunteers for other vaccine trials. 

The reaction: Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said in a statement Thursday that Mexicans can be “assured” of a vaccine against the coronavirus in future. "We are not betting -- as we say -- all the eggs in one basket," he said, adding that Mexico is involved in several vaccine projects.

Mexico has the world's fourth-highest coronavirus death toll after the United States, Brazil, and India, according to Johns Hopkins University. It is ranked seventh by JHU, in terms of the highest Covid-19 case numbers in the world.

10:32 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

More than 28 million people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide

From CNN’s Samantha Beech in Atlanta

At least 28,054,396 people globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

JHU also reported that as of 10.30 p.m. ET on Thursday, 907,980 have died around the world. 

The United States is the worst affected country, with 6,397,132 cases. India, Brazil and Russia follow.

The US also leads the world in terms of the most deaths attributable to the coronavirus, reporting a total of 191,769 fatalities. 

CNN is tracking worldwide coronavirus cases here:

10:30 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

AstraZeneca says it could still have vaccine approval by end of this year, even with recent setback

From CNN's Jen Christensen

AstraZeneca should still be on track to have a set of data to submit for approval of a Covid-19 vaccine before the end of the year, despite having to pause the trial because of an illness in a volunteer, company CEO Pascal Soriot said Thursday.

“It depends on how fast the regulator will review and give approval,” Soriot told Britain’s Tortoise Media during an online event about the pandemic. “So we could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, maybe out next year. By the end of this year is still feasible.”

The company has been working with Britain’s University of Oxford to develop the vaccine. The trial has shown promising early results, but was paused Tuesday because of an unexplained illness in one of its volunteers.

Regulators will review the data to determine when and if the trial can proceed. Experts said it’s common for vaccine trials to pause for investigators to review results. The World Health Organization’s chief scientist said Thursday that it is a normal procedure that is good clinical practice.

Soriot said the company will be ready to resume manufacturing once the trial starts up again. He said he believes that the late stage trials being conducted by Pfizer and Moderna could also produce results quickly and that those vaccines also have the potential to be released before the end of the year.

10:29 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

White House coronavirus task force coordinator urges people to get tested after Labor Day weekend

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

People who may have relaxed social distancing precautions over Labor Day weekend should get tested for Covid-19, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Thursday.

“Our nature is to want to be with others and socialize,” Birx said at a media briefing at the University of South Carolina. “What we're asking people to do is to socialize smart.”

Birx said that much of asymptomatic spread is happening between and within families and in settings like neighborhood parties.

“Just because we know someone, we think that there's no way that they could have Covid, but I want to tell you, you can't tell,” Birx said.

Birx urged those who socialized closely with others over Labor Day weekend, especially without a mask, to get tested.  

9:46 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

CDC's ensemble forecast now projects up to 217,000 US Covid-19 deaths by October

From CNN's Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects there will be 205,000 to 217,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Oct. 3.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC's ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future.

The previous ensemble forecast, published Sept. 3, projected up to 211,000 coronavirus deaths by Sept. 26.

At least 191,769 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.