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October 14 coronavirus news

CDC officials issue Covid-19 warning as holidays draw near

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Arizona family lost their business -- and eight family members -- to Covid-19

The Aguirre family was living the American dream. Then came the coronavirus nightmare.

Over a course of 10 years, the Arizona family built up its business. They went from selling tamales from the back of a minivan to running a popular food truck and a successful catering business in Phoenix – Tamales y Tacos Puebla – with a long list of corporate and wedding clients.

The trouble began when Arizona – like other states – began putting restrictions on businesses and asking people to stay home in an effort to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Almost overnight, Ricardo Aguirre said, business dried up in March.

With no way to make payments, the family’s food truck was repossessed, and Aguirre lost the prep kitchen, too.

And, despite all precautions against the virus, a family member got sick. Then another and another and another. Now, seven months after the shutdown, seven people in Ricardo Aguirre’s extended family and his father, Jesús, 67, have died of Covid-19 complications.

“I don’t want to cry, because I know God has something better for me,” said an emotional Aguirre, 42, while standing in a trailer containing everything that’s left of his business. “I feel so incompetent.”

Read the full story:

 Eli Lilly’s pause in antibody trial should be "reassuring to people," FDA official says

The pause in drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company’s trial of a monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 this week should be “reassuring to people,” said a top US Food and Drug Administration official on Wednesday.

“Most of the trials have an independent committee of experts and they watch over the trial,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told CNBC.

“They aren’t beholden to the investigators. They aren’t beholden to the company,” added Woodcock, who is currently working as the therapeutics lead for the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
“They watch over that trial and see if there’s any signal of concern that comes out and if there is, they may pause the trial and do a thorough investigation before continuing and that’s to protect both the safety of the patients and the integrity of the trial.”

Lilly said it paused the antibody trial for safety reasons, but clinical trials are usually paused after a volunteer becomes sick or suffers a side effect. Lilly, though, has not revealed what happened.

There have been more than 216,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the US

There have been at least 7,907,677 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 216,632 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

So far on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins has reported 51,072 new cases and 745 reported deaths.

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

Fauci says he's pleased Trump is doing well after catching Covid-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that he is pleased President Trump is doing well after contracting Covid-19, but warned that not everyone who gets the virus will have the same experience. 

“That’s sort of like saying somebody was speeding in a car at 95 miles an hour and didn’t get in an accident, so I can go ahead and speed and not get in an accident,” Fauci told CBS today.

Trump was fortunate, said Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We’re very, very pleased that the President did so well when he was infected with coronavirus, but there are also a lot of people who are his age and his weight who did not do as well as the President did,” Fauci said.

Americans may have to "bite the bullet" and sacrifice some Thanksgiving gatherings, Fauci says

Coronavirus precautions will result in a very different kind of Thanksgiving for many people this year, himself included, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. 

“It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of the American tradition, the family gathering around Thanksgiving, but that is a risk,” Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that given the current spread of Covid-19 and the uptick in infections, people need to be very careful about social gatherings, especially older people and those with underlying conditions.

“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected. Either they’ve been very recently tested, or they’re living a lifestyle in which they don’t have any interaction with anybody except you and your family,” he said.

He added that travel on planes and public transportation could increase exposure to the virus. 

“My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year,” Fauci noted.

He said he would love to spend the holiday with his children, but they would have to travel from out of state to come home.

“They themselves, because of their concern for me and my age, have decided they’re not going to come home for Thanksgiving, even though all three of them want very much to come home for Thanksgiving,” Fauci said.

Beverly Hills bans trick-or-treating due to Covid-19

The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to prohibit trick-or-treating this year, citing concerns over Covid-19.

According to an ordinance approved by the city council, Halloween activities including trick-or-treating and “spraying shaving cream on others” is prohibited this year. In addition, several high volume trick-or-treating streets will be closed to outside pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the night of Oct. 31. Violators of the law could be fined, the city said in a news release.

Some context: The news came the same day the state of California released its recommendations for Halloween festivities, noting that in-person trick-or-treating and related activities “pose a high risk of spreading Covid-19,” but was not explicitly banned. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies traditional trick-or-treating as a ‘”higher risk” activity.

In September, Los Angeles County had initially banned trick-or-treating, but after public outcry, downgraded it the following day to simply “not recommended.”

The decision places Beverly Hills among the first cities in the nation to prohibit in-person Halloween activities. 

“This is a fairly small price to pay to keep this trajectory down, keep the schools open,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman.

More than 151,000 people have died from coronavirus in Brazil

Brazil’s health ministry reported 749 coronavirus-related fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 151,747.  

The health ministry also reported 27,235 new cases from Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 5,140,863. 

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

California Democrat pleads for compromise on relief bill: "We have an obligation to get something done"

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna on Wednesday pushed back against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dismal of his call for her to make a deal on a stimulus bill.

“To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m probably not in the room where it matters, but I do have a constituency I represent,” Khanna told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “In my affluent district, the food banks are longer than they have ever been.”

On Tuesday, Pelosi spoke to Blitzer about the Trump administration’s more recent relief proposal and in that interview dismissed some of her colleagues’ call for her to compromise on a stimulus bill.

While the two men are “lovely,” Pelosi said, “they know nothing about” the specifics of the White House’s proposals and “they are not negotiating this situation — they have no idea of the particulars, they have no idea of what the language is here.”

Khanna, who represents California’s 17th congressional district, said he had a “moral obligation” to speak out for his constituents.

“This is why we’re elected to Congress,” Khanna said. “We have not given people the aid. They can’t wait for a few months. The stock market may be able to wait. They may be able to calculate expected value and three months from now they’re going to get something done, but what do you say to someone who says, ‘I can’t feed my kids?’”

Khanna told Blitzer that he would not except the White House’s most recent stimulus proposal.

“I have no doubt that if it’s around 1.9 trillion, if there are a few edits. I think we need a national testing plan. There have to be a couple of more provisions, but no doubt the parties are close and that a deal can be made and that would have the votes in the House. And then put the ball in McConnell’s court.”

College football coach Nick Saban says he has tested positive for Covid-19

Nick Saban, the famed head football coach at the University of Alabama, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement he released.

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for Covid-19. I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to Covid, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis. I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home,” Saban said in the statement.

"Safe and effective" Covid-19 vaccine may be widely available by April 2021, Fauci says

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a Senate committee hearing in September.

A Covid-19 vaccine may be widely available by April 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with CBS News Wednesday.

Fauci said researchers should know by “November or December” whether some vaccines trials have a safe candidate and that even in the event that a safe candidate is determined, initial quantities will likely only be a few million doses. 

Pushing back against an assertion made by the President that the US can expect 100 million doses by year’s end, Fauci said that the 100 million number is only possible if every vaccine candidate currently in trials is determined to be safe and effective. Even in the event that every tested vaccine is determined to be safe, the timeline for widespread vaccine administration would be toward the end of the first quarter of 2021, Fauci said.

Fauci said that the recent pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial should be a “good indication” that vaccine trials are working as they are intended to and protecting people’s safety. The trial was paused this week because of a possible adverse reaction in a volunteer.

“When that happens, we jump all over that,” Fauci said.

Fauci also discussed precautions needed as the United States heads into fall with increasing case numbers, telling people to “try and keep windows open” and “don’t be afraid to wear a mask in your house if you’re not certain that the persons in the house are negative.”

Tennessee governor will be tested for Covid-19 regularly after member of security detail tests positive

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee attends a NASCAR race in July.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said he expects to be tested “on a regular basis” over the next few days after a member of his Executive Security Detail tested positive for Covid-19.

The governor emphasized that he is feeling well, tested negative today, and said that his wife, first lady Maria Lee, will be tested later this afternoon.

Lee, speaking to reporters on a call Wednesday, said both he and his wife were last in contact with the security detail member yesterday. The governor’s security detail is tested for Covid-19 weekly, but the infected member was tested this morning after not feeling well, Lee said. While the source of the infection is currently unknown, contact tracing is underway, the governor said.

Lee said he will be moving his events to take place virtually during his quarantine.

It took AstraZeneca trial 1 month to get safety data to the FDA, source tells CNN

A volunteer in Johannesburg receives an injection while participating in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial in June.

AstraZeneca, whose phase 3 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial has been on hold for more than a month, did not get critical safety data to the US Food and Drug Administration until last week, according to a source familiar with the trial.

The FDA is considering whether to allow AstraZeneca to start its trial back up again after a participant became ill. At issue is whether the illness was a fluke, or if it may have been caused by the vaccine.

The source said the root of the delay is that the participant was in the United Kingdom and the European Medicines Agency and the FDA store data differently. 

But a former FDA commissioner said he didn’t think technology was to blame.

Dr. Robert Califf said he thinks the FDA could be asking for more information, such as test results and details about the participant’s illness before the agency decides whether to allow the trial to continue, as well as about another participant who was sick this summer.

“There’s a lot of judgement involved in these decisions,” said Califf, who was commissioner of the agency from 2016 to 2017.

West Virginia governor says coronavirus spread at schools is "very minimal"

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during a briefing on Wednesday.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the rate of spread of coronavirus in schools is “very minimal.”

He reported that there are 18 total active outbreaks and 50 confirmed cases reported in West Virginia’s public school system.

There have been 122 total cases reported among the total 39,074 school staff and service personnel, while there have been 49 Covid-19 cases among roughly 209,000 total students in the public schools system, Justice said.

“For crying out loud, nobody wants to do anything to endanger our children. But, if you look at it and you look at it fairly and you look at it mathematically, you would think that if a quarter of one hundredth of a percent is the number of positive kids that we have in our school system, really and truly today, it is one doggone safe spot to be,” the governor said during a news briefing. 

Justice also reported four more Covid-19-related deaths and 263 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 391 deaths and 18,818 cases. 

The state’s cumulative percent positivity rate stands at 2.81%, and the retransmission rate stands at 0.95, Justice said.  

NFL cancels 2021 Pro Bowl due to Covid-19 

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins is pressured by Denver's Von Miller during the Pro Bowl in January.

The National Football League announced Wednesday they are canceling the 2021 Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl was originally scheduled to played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Jan. 31, 2021. According to the league, Las Vegas will now be hosting the 2022 Pro Bowl.

In a statement, on Wednesday, the NFL said it will still hold a fan vote for the 2021 Pro Bowl roster in November and will announce the rosters a month later. Additionally, the league said it will work with the NFL Players Association and other partners “to create a variety of engaging activities to replace the Pro Bowl game this season.” 

The league’s cancellation of the Pro Bowl is the first time it won’t have a postseason all-star since the 1949 season.

Texas man charged with felony for giving "fraudulent" Covid-19 treatments

An El Paso man was arrested last week and charged with practicing medicine without a medical license for selling and administering fraudulent Covid-19 treatments, according to the Texas Department of Public Service (DPS). 

Texas DPS confirmed in an email to CNN that Hugo Chico was arrested on Oct. 5 by DPS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agents and Homeland Security Investigations during an undercover operation. 

Chico was charged with a third degree felony of practicing without a medical license and booked into El Paso County Jail. Records show he bonded out on Oct. 6. 

DPS said investigators, who were tipped off in July through an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip, found that he was giving medical treatments to try and prevent the virus and was charging patients hundreds of dollars. 

More details: Meanwhile, the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas announced through a news release on Oct. 9 that authorities have obtained a temporary restraining order against Chico to ensure that he and anyone else working with him will stop advertising and performing treatments for Covid-19. The release said the government “is employing a federal statute that permits federal courts to issue injunctions to prevent harm to potential victims of fraudulent schemes.”

CNN has been unable to confirm if Chico has an attorney. 

French president announces curfew for Paris and other cities

French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation during a televised interview from the Elysee Palace on October 14 in Paris.

Paris and other French cities will be subject to a nighttime curfew starting Saturday to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday. 

The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew will also apply to Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Toulouse, Saint Etienne, Lille and Lyon, he said. 

It takes effect starting at midnight Friday night into Saturday.

“The aim is to reduce private contacts, which are the most dangerous contacts,” Macron said.

Violating the nighttime curfew will carry a fine of 135 euros (about $160) for a first offense, and 1,500 euros ($1,760) if the offense is repeated, he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of two French cities that will be impacted by the curfew. The cities are Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

Puerto Rico governor cancels meetings after health minister tests positive for Covid-19

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced speaks during a press conference on June 30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Wanda Vazquez Garced, announced Wednesday that she has canceled all scheduled meetings after learning that the Secretary of Health, Lorenzo Gonzalez Feliciano, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a press release. 

The governor was tested Oct. 8, after returning from New York, and again Tuesday, each time testing negative, according to the release. The governor met with the Feliciano Tuesday prior to being tested.” 

The governor will be tested again in five days and is currently asymptomatic, working remotely, the release said. 

House Republican is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19

Rep. Bill Huizenga speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday, April 23 in Washington, DC.

House Republican Bill Huizenga announced that he tested positive for Covid-19. He was tested ahead of seeing Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Michigan. 

“Earlier today, I was expected to appear with the Vice President. While taking part in offsite testing protocols, I took a rapid test that came back positive for COVID-19. I am awaiting the results of a PCR test and I am self isolating until I have confirmed results,” Huizenga wrote on Twitter. 

Here’s his tweet:

Italy records its highest daily coronavirus case increase since the pandemic began

A medical staffer administers a Covid-19 test at the San Paolo Hospital Wednesday, October 14 in Milan, Italy.

Italy on Wednesday recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the latest figures from the country’s Ministry of Health show. 

Italian health authorities said there had been 7,332 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to at least 372,799 since the pandemic began. 

The number exceeds the previous record set during the first wave of the pandemic on March 21, when at least 6,557 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period. 

Over the past day, 43 people have died of coronavirus, bringing Italy’s total number of deaths to at least 36,289.

The number of patients in intensive care has increased by 25.

Some background: Italy was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe during the first wave of the pandemic and the country is battling to contain another outbreak.

Additional restrictions were announced on Tuesday by the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Health Minister Roberto Speranza making masks mandatory indoors except when at home and urging people to not gather in groups of more than six at home. 

Here's the latest on Florida's coronavirus numbers

The Florida Department of Health reported 2,869 new cases of Covid-19 and 66 deaths on Wednesday, which includes both residents and non-residents of the state, according to Covid-19 dashboard. 

This marks the 10th day in October that the health department has reported at least 2,200 new cases in a single day, CNN’s tally shows.  

The state now has a total of 741,632 coronavirus cases, the department’s data shows. The Florida death toll now stands at 15,788, the data shows.   

One thing to note: These numbers were released by Florida’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

Idaho college investigates reports of students intentionally contracting Covid-19 to sell their plasma

Officials at Brigham Young University-Idaho say they are looking into accounts of students intentionally contracting Covid-19 to sell their plasma with antibodies for profit.

The university said it condemns this behavior and is actively looking for students who might have engaged in this alleged activity.

“Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed,” a statement on BYU-Idaho’s website said Monday.

The statement went on to warn the student body that reckless activities and the rise in Covid-19 cases in Idaho could force the university to move to a fully-remote model.

“We urge all members of the campus community to act respectfully and responsibly by observing all public health and university protocols and placing the well-being of others above personal benefit or convenience,” the statement said.

A spokesperson for Eastern Idaho Public Health said that they have no evidence that this is happening. 

Based on what she has heard from their partners at the school, the school put out the statement as a pre-emptive measure to keep students from getting any ideas and to squash it if it was happening. 

Denver public schools are pushing back in-person learning for middle and high schoolers

In-person learning for middle school and high school students, which was expected to start on Oct. 21 at Denver public schools, is being pushed back for at least three weeks after a rise in Covid-19 cases in the Denver area, Mayor Michael Hancock and Superintendent Susana Cordova announced Tuesday night.

Elementary schools will still open for in-person learning next week as planned, according to the announcement, but middle and high schools will continue with all remote learning until at least Nov. 6.

“Older students have a higher COVID risk, and given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Denver, we have determined that most middle and high school students will continue with remote instruction for the first three weeks of the second quarter,” wrote Cordova in an email sent to family and staff.

Cordova said the situation will be re-evaluated in late October.

“This was not an easy decision to make. Yet given our overriding focus on health and safety and the current COVID conditions and guidance we are receiving, we feel this is the right decision,” Cordova said.

Catalonia will close bars and restaurants for two weeks as Covid-19 cases surge

Bars and restaurants in Catalonia will close for two weeks as the regional government imposes new restrictions to contain a surge in Covid-19 infections. 

“It is a painful but necessary measure if we do not want the pandemic to spread even faster than it is doing now,” Catalan Vice President Pere Aragonès said as he announced the new restrictions.

Hotel restaurants will still be allowed to open for their guests only but the remaining establishments can only operate on a take-away basis. Aragones also promised funds to help bars and restaurants affected by the measures, which are expected to be in effect by Friday.

The government also mandated that shops reduce the number of customers allowed to enter at a time to 30% and common areas in malls will remain closed. Amateur sports events will be suspended for two weeks and gyms must reduce the number of clients to 50%. Theaters and other cultural venues will must reduce their capacity to 50%.

Classes at universities will be held mostly online, with the exception of practical classes such as the ones in laboratories, and generally, the government in Catalonia is encouraging people to work from home if they can, as well as to reduce their movement and social contacts. 

“Most transmission is actually still happening in households,” WHO says

Maria Van Kerkhove speaks during a press conference on July 3 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday underscored that most transmission of Covid-19 is still happening in households.

Speaking during a social media Q&A, Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said if someone tests positive for Covid-19, that they should be cared for in a medical facility – but she said she understands that cannot always happen.

“We realize that that is not possible globally, with so many cases that we are seeing, but it is important that if you are in a high risk group – if you are over 60, if you have any underlying conditions – that you are cared for in a medical facility,” she said. “The reason for that is because you are at a higher risk of developing severe disease and of death.”

If an infected person is cared for at home, “There’s the possibility that the virus will spread within the household,” she said.

More than 216,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 7,864,910 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 216,060 people have died from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

So far today, Johns Hopkins has recorded 8,305 new cases and 173 reported deaths.

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

New York state will withhold funding to local governments not enforcing closures in cluster areas

The State of New York will withhold funding to local governments that have not enforced school and places of worship closures, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo cited local news reports where yeshivas were operating and religious gatherings exceeded guidelines as the reason for the threat of withholding funding.

“I don’t like to do that, budgets are tough across the board, I don’t know how else to get them to actually do the enforcement they need to do. So hopefully that will motivate them,” Cuomo said.

The areas that will be given notifications about the new enforcement rules include New York City, Orange, Rockland, Ramapo, and Spring Valley.

Additionally, a letter will be sent to all schools in the red-zones saying that if they do not follow the orders to close that they will also lose funding from the state.

Schools that the state has identified as already violating the closure order will be served with a notice to close today and will lose funding until the state is satisfied the matter is resolved, according to Cuomo.

“We do not know when that will be,” Cuomo added.

New York's positivity rate in "red zones" is at 6.2%, governor says

New York State reported a positivity rate of 6.2% in red zones where testing is being oversampled, and .95% excluding clusters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on a phone call with reporters. 

When the cluster areas and the state data is combined New York state reported a 1.1% positivity rate. 

“That number is lower than many states positivity rates right now. We call 6.2% a red zone,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo said that he expects clusters of Covid-19 to continue to flare up for at least a year.

“This could go on for multiple years unless you assume 100% of the population is vaccinated”, Cuomo said. 

New York reported 7 new deaths related to Covid-19, and 15 people were admitted to hospitals because of coronavirus. 

NOTE: These numbers were released by the Governor of New York and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

Pelosi and Mnuchin had a "productive" stimulus call, her spokesperson tweets

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin