October 23 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Tara John, Ed Upright, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 26, 2020
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4:32 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Covid-19 "could be here for years" if only half of Americans take the vaccine, NIH director says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A volunteer receives a COVID-19 vaccination from RN Jose Muniz as part of a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida.
A volunteer receives a COVID-19 vaccination from RN Jose Muniz as part of a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The percentage of Americans willing to take a Covid-19 vaccine appears to be falling – and if only half of the country is willing to get vaccinated, Covid-19 could stick around for years, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, warned on Friday.

"When I look at the attitudes that are out there now about this vaccine and about who would be interested in taking it – it's really, really troubling," Collins said, speaking at a National Press Club in a virtual event.

"I've been talking so optimistically about how we are likely to have a vaccine by the end of the year, but if only 50% of Americans are interested in taking it, we're never going to get to that point of immunity across the population where Covid-19 goes away. It could be here for years," Collins said.

Only 51% of Americans said they would try to get a Covid-19 vaccine once one is widely available at a low cost, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS earlier this month, and that percentage has dropped since May.

Watch:

4:03 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Colombia's vice president tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Jaide Garcia and Stefano Pozzebon

Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice President of Colombia, on May 14, 2019 in Bogota, Colombia.
Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice President of Colombia, on May 14, 2019 in Bogota, Colombia. Gabriel Aponte/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez confirmed she tested positive for Covid-19 on her Twitter account Friday.

"Yesterday I took the #COVID19 test," she tweeted. "I inform all Colombians that the test result was positive. Thank God, I am in a good state [of health] and I am complying with a thorough quarantine."

The vice president called on all Colombians to remain steadfast in following the biosecurity measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, adding that the "pandemic is a reality, which can affect us all."

Colombia has 990,373 confirmed cases and 29,637 deaths as of Friday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. This is the third highest case tally in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina.

3:49 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

France sets new record for Covid-19 infections​ with more than 42,000 new cases in 24 hours

From Fanny Bobille

French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) chairs a meeting with the medical staff of the René Dubos hospital center, in Pontoise, in the Val d'Oise, on October 23, 2020, as the country faces a new wave of infections to the Covid-19.
French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) chairs a meeting with the medical staff of the René Dubos hospital center, in Pontoise, in the Val d'Oise, on October 23, 2020, as the country faces a new wave of infections to the Covid-19. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

France reported a new daily record for coronavirus infections with 42,032 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to numbers released by country's health agency on Friday.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in France to 1,041,075, according to French government statistics, and marks the first time the government's coronavirus case tally has surpassed 1 million. 

France also recorded 298 additional coronavirus deaths, bringing the death toll to 34,508, according to the French Health Agency. 

According to government data, an additional 976 coronavirus patients have been admitted to the hospital, and a further 122 coronavirus patients entered intensive care in the last 24 hours. 

Speaking at a health center this afternoon, French President Emmanuel Macron said he expects France will have to live with the virus until at least the summer of 2021.

"When I listen to the scientists, and the Scientific Council, we foresee [living with the virus] at best until next summer," Macron said. "It is still too early to say whether we are moving towards wider local re-confinements, we will try each time to reduce the places, the moments when we have identified that the virus was circulating a lot. This is the strategy we will pursue."

Macron added that the government aims to implement new restrictions in the most targeted way possible. 

From midnight on Friday, France's nighttime coronavirus curfew will be extended more widely, with 46 million French people affected, announced French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday. 

To note: According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, France has recorded 1,048,924 coronavirus cases and 34,236 deaths. CNN's Paris Bureau is working on clarifying the discrepancy between state statistics and the university's numbers.

2:16 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

More than 100 Covid-19 cases tied to Charlotte church event

From CNN’s Tina Burnside  

The number of Covid-19 cases tied to a church convocation event in Charlotte, North Carolina, now stands at 101, according to a news release from the Mecklenburg County Department of Health. 

In the release, the county said 99 coronavirus cases are in Mecklenburg County and two additional cases in Iredell County are linked to convocation events at the United House of Prayer for All People on Oct. 4 through Oct. 11.

The county says at least three deaths and one cluster of 12 residents at a senior living community are also connected with this outbreak. 

Public health officials have also attempted to contact more than 137 close contacts of the 99 confirmed cases, the release stated. 

2:38 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

More than 223,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

A cyclist takes pictures of the public art project “IN AMERICA How could this happen…” on the DC Armory Parade Ground October 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The art piece, created by local artist Susanne Brennan Firstenberg, will be on display for two weeks with flags planted to represent lives that have been lost to COVID-19. 
A cyclist takes pictures of the public art project “IN AMERICA How could this happen…” on the DC Armory Parade Ground October 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The art piece, created by local artist Susanne Brennan Firstenberg, will be on display for two weeks with flags planted to represent lives that have been lost to COVID-19.  Alex Wong/Getty Images

There are at least 8,440,895 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 223,381 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

So far today, Johns Hopkins has recorded 33,193 new cases and 349 reported deaths.

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

1:27 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Canadian government will invest $214 million in Covid-19 vaccine development, Trudeau says

From Evan Simko-Bednarski

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arriving at a press conference to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arriving at a press conference to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/AP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $214 million Friday toward efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Of that money, Trudeau said his administration is providing "up to $173 million" toward Quebec-based Medicago Inc.'s vaccine candidate, and their Quebec City-based factory.

Trudeau also announced $18.2 million for Vancouver-based Precision NanoSystems, and an additional $23 million towards various early-stage vaccine candidates. 

The prime minister said the Canadian government had begun distributing hundreds of thousands of rapid Covid-19 tests to provincial governments. 

The investment comes as Covid-19 cases in Canada are on the rise. 

"Yesterday, Canada had the highest ever number of new cases of Covid-19," Trudeau said. "We have to get these numbers down. This is serious, and everybody must do their part."

"People's lives are at stake," Trudeau added. "We can't afford to be careless or think that this virus will just go away on its own."

 

1:12 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Trump and Mnuchin say differences still remain in stimulus talks

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Haley Byrd

US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2020.
US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2020. Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during an Oval Office meeting on Friday that some significant differences between the Trump administration and Democrats still need to be resolved before reaching a stimulus deal.

Asked for an update on the stimulus talks, Mnuchin told reporters, “The President’s been very clear in his instructions to me. That if we can get the right deal we’re going to do that.” 

“We’ve been speaking to the (House) speaker. I would say we’ve offered compromises. The speaker, on a number of issues, has still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal. But we’ve made lots of progress in lots of areas, but there’s still some significant differences that we’re working on,” he added. 

The President, speaking from the Resolute Desk for an announcement on the normalization in relations between Israel and Sudan, claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “wants to bail out poorly run Democrat states.” 

“We just don’t want that. We want Covid-related,” Trump said, later adding, “We don’t want to reward areas of our country who have not done a good job.” 

The President also asserted that Pelosi wants to wait until after the election to strike a stimulus deal. “I don’t think she wants the people to get the money before the election,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Pelosi on Friday continued to express optimism about a potential coronavirus stimulus package, saying negotiators “could be very close.”

“We’re writing the bill, and hopefully we’ll be able to resolve some of the differences,” she said during an interview on MSNBC.

“I think the President wants a bill. I really do,” she said, adding that it’s still possible lawmakers could approve the legislation before the election, depending on how the GOP Senate reacts.

“We could be very close,” Pelosi said. “As I say, we’re close enough to put pen to paper.” 

12:56 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Nashville-area hospitals report 40% increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Tina Burnside

As the number of active Covid-19 cases in Tennessee continue to rise, hospitals in metro Nashville are reporting a 40% increase in patients admitted for the virus.

In a joint news release, Vanderbilt Health, Ascension St. Thomas, Tristar Health and Meharry Medical College say new cases of coronavirus have increased by 50% over the last two weeks.

Over the same two-week period, hospitals in the Nashville area have experienced a 40% increase in patients admitted for Covid-19, the release stated. 

Hospital officials say a major surge of new Covid-19 cases could threaten their ability to serve patients with many diagnoses requiring hospitalization.

"Unless we act now to curb the transmission rates in Middle Tennessee, we expect this trend to continue," the release stated. 

Officials caution that the surge in cases along with the annual flu season would add more strain, potentially overwhelming hospitals. They are strongly urging residents to wear masks, wash hands, and stay socially distant. 

"We must do everything we can to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed and safeguard the reopening of our economy," Vanderbilt University Medical Center said in the release.

On Friday, Metro Nashville Health Department recorded 32,722 Covid-19 cases. The statewide total as of Thursday was 237,907, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. 

1:12 p.m. ET, October 23, 2020

Army-Navy game will be played at West Point for the first time since World War II due to Covid-19

From CNN's David Close

The famed football game between Army and Navy has been moved from Philadelphia to West Point, home of the United States Military Academy in New York.

The 121st edition will still be played on Dec. 12. Attendance limits within the state of Pennsylvania was the reason given for the move.

Both academies are planning on allowing the entire Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets to attend the annual “America’s Game.” 

"Every effort was made to create a safe and acceptable environment for the Brigade, the Corps and our public while meeting city and state requirements. However, medical conditions and protocols dictate the environment in which we live. Therefore, on to the safe haven of West Point on Dec. 12 and let it ring true that even in the most challenging of times, the spirit and intent of the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets still prevails,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk in a statement.

This will be the first Army-Navy football game played on a home campus since the early 1940s, when the two schools hosted consecutive years during World War II.

Navy leads the all-time series with 61 wins, 52 loses, seven ties. Army has won three of the last four games.