October 8 coronavirus news

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

Updated 1:12 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020
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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:

12:24 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020

Canada's weekly average of new Covid-19 cases reaches new high

From CNN’s Paula Newton

A sign reminding people to follow social distancing guidelines is seen along a path beside Lake Ontario on Tuesday, September 29.
A sign reminding people to follow social distancing guidelines is seen along a path beside Lake Ontario on Tuesday, September 29. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/AP

Canada's public health officials are warning people to stay home as much as possible, saying the next few weeks will be "critical" to the country’s efforts to contain the virus.  

Public Health Agency of Canada says national daily case counts continue to increase steeply with an average of about 2,000 new cases every day for the past week. Government statistics indicate that’s a 40% rise in the past week alone. 

Hospitalizations and deaths continue to creep upward as well, with more than 600 Covid-19 patients currently in hospitals, and an average of about 18 deaths reported daily. 

More than 80% of new infections are from Ontario and Quebec, with 60% of cases detected in people under 40.

The province of Quebec is of particular concern with urban hotspots in Montreal and Quebec City. Dine-in restaurants and bars were closed in those cities last week as new daily cases continue to climb. 

Quebec reported 1,364 new cases of the virus on Tuesday alone, the highest daily case total since the pandemic began. That prompted a blunt warning to young people in Quebec to take the virus seriously and stay home. 

"The young people that are not respecting the rule, they will have an impact on the system.” said Christian Dube, Quebec’s health minister, during a news conference in Quebec City Tuesday, adding, “Don't take the risk, please don't test the hospital system. There are already nurses, the doctors, what they are asking you, what they are asking Quebecers, please stay home.”

More on this: Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Canadians to stay home even for the Thanksgiving holiday next week, saying if Canada can once again flatten the curve that the country can "turn things around for Christmas." 

“We are going in the wrong direction now, which is why it is so important for Canadians to do what is necessary, to wear a mask, to keep your distance, to understand that each of us has the power to end this by the choices we make,” said Trudeau during a news conference Monday. 

8:27 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020

The pandemic could push 150 million more people worldwide into "extreme poverty"

From CNN's Clare Duffy

The pandemic is upending more than two decades of progress on reducing extreme poverty around the globe -- and estimates of how many people will be affected continue to escalate.

An additional 88 to 115 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, in 2020 because of the pandemic and resulting economic recession, according to a report from the World Bank released Wednesday.

That estimate is up sharply from the bank's May report, when it projected that an additional 60 million people would likely be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020.

And the total number of people added to the world's extreme poor as a result of the pandemic could grow to 150 million by next year.

The report underscores economists' growing concern about the scale of the crisis and countries' ability to recover quickly, and it comes at a time when many areas of the world are bracing for a possible second wave of Covid-19 coinciding with flu season. Its results indicate that the goal of ending world poverty by 2030 could now be out of reach "without swift, significant and substantial policy action," the World Bank said.

"Global extreme poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic compounds the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress," the report added.

Read the full story:

8:30 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Green Bay Packers putting indefinite hold on fans at Lambeau Field after Covid cases increase

From CNN's Allen Kim, Jill Martin and Kay Jones

You may not get to enjoy any "Lambeau Leap" touchdown celebrations in person this season.

The Green Bay Packers announced Tuesday that they are putting an "indefinite hold" on having fans at Lambeau Field this season due to the "concerning increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations" around Green Bay and across Wisconsin.

That will put an end to zone celebrations in which Packers players leap into throngs of fans.

Wisconsin recently reported its highest daily case count, highest death toll and record-high hospitalizations. The state has a 19.98% 7-day positivity rate, which is currently the third-highest in the nation behind only South Dakota and Idaho.

The Wisconsin Department of Health reported 2,020 new cases of Covid-19 and 18 new deaths. The seven-day average of 2,346 daily cases is up from 836 a month ago, the DHS says.

In a statement, the Packers said that the area would need to see a "marked improvement" in hospitalization rates, community infection rates and positivity rates for them to have fans at upcoming games.

"We are very concerned with the rate of infection in our area," President/CEO Mark Murphy said in the release.
"We are trending in the wrong direction in terms of hospitalization and positive cases, and based on recommendations from community healthcare and public health officials, hosting fans at the stadium for games is not advisable at this time."

Read more: