October 8 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 1:12 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020
13 Posts
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1:50 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Feed of VP debate cut in China during question on the country's pandemic response 

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, on October 7.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, on October 7. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

CNN's feed was temporarily cut in mainland China during the US vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris when Pence began to criticize China's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Answering a question on the US relationship with China and President Donald Trump’s recent comments that Beijing will “pay” for the pandemic, Pence said China was to blame for the coronavirus. 

The CNN feed was then cut for a few minutes during the remainder of Pence’s response. It came back on as Harris began her answer, which focused on the Trump administration’s approach to China that she said “resulted in the loss of American lives, American jobs, and America's standing.” 

Censors regularly screen live broadcasts on international media networks in China, ready to cut any segment from the air if it is deemed politically sensitive by the ruling Communist Party.

CNN stories on the allegations of detention centers in Xinjiang and the protests in Hong Kong have been regularly removed from the air by Chinese censors.

1:23 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

US reports more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases

At least 50,341 new coronavirus infections were reported in the United States on Wednesday, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to at least 7,549,682, according to Johns Hopkins University.

There were also another 915 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday. To date, at least 211,801 people have died in the US from the virus.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking the US cases:

1:07 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Analysis: Trump threatens China with big price "for what they've done to the world"

Analysis from CNN's James Griffiths

United States President Donald Trump has again hit out at China over the coronavirus, promising Beijing will "pay a big price for what they've done to the world."

"It wasn't your fault that this happened, it was China's fault," Trump said in a video from the White House Wednesday, in which he touted his own recovery from the virus that has infected multiple top administration officials, and touted a supposed cure. "China's going to pay a big price what they've done to this country."

While Beijing will have been expecting this type of rhetoric following Trump's infection, his aggressive language -- reminiscent of similar threats made toward Iran earlier in his presidency -- comes at a seriously volatile time between the US and China, both diplomatically and militarily.

Read the full analysis:

12:56 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine for limited use likely released under EUA by end of December, disease tracker predicts

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

A lab technician sorts blood samples inside a lab for a Covid-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on August 13.
A lab technician sorts blood samples inside a lab for a Covid-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on August 13. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

A Covid-19 vaccine for specific groups will likely be available by the end of December, Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, predicted Wednesday. 

“So, my guess is there's a probability that a vaccine will be released by EUA (emergency use authorization) by the end of the year for, for specific groups,” Lipsitch said during a coronavirus town hall hosted by the American Lung Association.
“Otherwise, I think in terms of a fully licensed vaccine, that is more likely in the late winter, spring of 2021,” he said.

Other health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have also said they believe a coronavirus shot could be available for the most vulnerable populations, including health care workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, by the end of the year.

There are 10 vaccines in late-stage clinical trials: Lipsitch believes the vaccine that has the best chances of crossing the finish line first is the one by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer with its partner BioNTech.

“So, the trials we’ve been hearing about, probably the two most prominent things we’ve been hearing a lot about are the two messenger RNA vaccines,” Lipsitch said.

“This is a new technology that's being used that’s being applied by both the company Moderna and the company Pfizer,” he said. “Those are both well into their Phase 3 trials and it looks like probably the Pfizer one would be the first to give an early answer about preliminary estimates of how well it works.”

Currently there are 10 Covid-19 vaccine candidates in late-stage, large clinical trials around the world.

12:23 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Regeneron asks FDA for EUA for its Covid-19 antibody therapy, the same one given to Trump last week

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals headquarters in Tarrytown, New York.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals headquarters in Tarrytown, New York. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Regeneron says it has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its experimental monoclonal antibody therapy, the same antibody cocktail given to President Donald Trump Friday after he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The biotechnology company confirmed it had submitted the EUA application in a statement on its website Wednesday night.

“Under our agreement with the US government for the initial doses of REGN-COV2, if an EUA is granted the government has committed to making these doses available to the American people at no cost and would be responsible for their distribution,” the statement said. 
“At this time, there are doses available for approximately 50,000 patients, and we expect to have doses available for 300,000 patients in total within the next few months.”

Regeneron's experimental antibody treatment is still in large-scale clinical trials, but has been available for compassionate use, something the FDA has to approve on an individual basis, like it did for Trump.

“REGN-COV2 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (REGN10933 and REGN10987) and was designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the company said in its statement.
“When you weigh the potential benefit versus the risks, the downsides are very low here because we have not seen any safety concerns,” Regeneron CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer told CNN in an interview last week after Trump received an 8-gram dose of the treatment, which includes two engineered versions of immune system proteins.

Some early data from trials of the antibody treatment released last week showed it worked fairly safely with few side-effects.

“This class of drugs is an extremely safe class,” Schleifer said.

12:04 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Harris rips Trump administration's response to pandemic in only debate with Pence

From CNN's Maeve Reston

Vice President Mike Pence listens as Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7.
Vice President Mike Pence listens as Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks during the vice presidential debate in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7. Morry Gash/Pool/Getty Images

California Sen. Kamala Harris delivered a swift condemnation of the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the opening of Wednesday's vice presidential debate, noting that some 210,000 people have died and more than 7.5 million people have contracted the disease.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," Harris said, arguing that frontline workers had been treated like "sacrificial workers" and that Trump had repeatedly minimized the seriousness of the virus, while discouraging people from wearing masks.

"Today they still don't have a plan. Well, Joe Biden does," Harris said. " We need to save our country" she said, adding that the current administration had forfeited its right to a second term through its mishandling of the pandemic."

Read the full story:

12:26 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Global coronavirus cases surpass 36 million 

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam

A health worker conducts a coronavirus test at a covered court in Metro Manila, Philippines, on October 6.
A health worker conducts a coronavirus test at a covered court in Metro Manila, Philippines, on October 6. Mohd Sarajan/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases across the globe surpassed 36 million on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 36,063,675 people globally are known to have been diagnosed with coronavirus as of 9:20 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University's data.

The United States, India, and Brazil are the three worst-hit countries with the highest coronavirus cases in the world. The United States is leading with at least 7,546,488 confirmed cases, while in India the confirmed infections are at least 6,757,131. Brazil reported at least 5,000,694 cases on Wednesday. 

The total number of people who are known to have died from coronavirus is at least 1,054,153, according to Johns Hopkins.

CNN is tracking the cases:

8:36 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Brazil surpasses 5 million Covid-19 cases 

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam

Brazil's Health Ministry recorded 31,553 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 5,000,694. 

The ministry also reported 734 new coronavirus fatalities, raising the total number of deaths to 148,228. 

Brazil has the world's third highest coronavirus cases after the United States and India, and the world's second highest death toll after the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's data.

4:01 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Trump returns to Oval Office and says coronavirus diagnosis was "blessing from God"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump said his coronavirus infection was a "blessing from God" because it educated him about potential drugs to treat the disease in a video meant to demonstrate his return to work after several days in the hospital.

The appearance, his first since returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, was taped Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden by White House staff. Trump seemed upbeat, but his voice still sounded breathless at points and he appeared to be wearing make-up.

Parts of the video looked edited. In it, Trump framed his ongoing bout with the virus as a net positive.

"I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. It was a blessing in disguise," he said, citing his first-hand experience with the experimental combination of drugs he was administered at Walter Reed.

He singled out in particular the high dose of an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron, saying he requested it from his doctors and attributing his recovery to its effects.

Calling the drug a "cure," Trump said he would work to make it available at no cost to other Americans.

"I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your President," Trump said, adding: "It was, like, unbelievable."

Read the full story: