October 26 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Luke McGee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 5:50 p.m. ET, October 27, 2020
50 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:32 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

France reports most coronavirus hospitalizations since April

From Barbara Wojazer in Paris

A doctor makes a phone call in a corridor of the infectious diseases unit of the Gonesse hospital before visiting a patient in Gonesse, north of Paris, on October 22, 2020.
A doctor makes a phone call in a corridor of the infectious diseases unit of the Gonesse hospital before visiting a patient in Gonesse, north of Paris, on October 22, 2020. Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

France has had the highest number of new coronavirus hospitalizations since early April, according to the country’s health agency.

According to the health agency, 1,307 more hospital beds were occupied by coronavirus patients on Monday.

According to French health authorities, 26,771 coronavirus cases were registered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 1,165,278.

 “The situation is extremely serious,” warned Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist and member of the scientific council advising the government.

The realization that the virus spreads more easily in cold weather “will prompt us to rethink our strategy in the fight against the virus,” Fontanet added.

The French government will hold a defense council meeting on Covid-19 measures on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the increase in hospitalizations in the France. The number of patients in hospitals for coronavirus has increased by 1,307.

5:51 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

FDA commissioner promises to "make the absolute best decision" in developing a vaccine

From CNN’s Leanna Faulk

A volunteer takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida. 
A volunteer takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Safety and effectiveness are the top priorities for a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

"Our promise to the American people is that when we look at the science and data, we will make the absolute best decision for them in terms of safety and efficacy of a vaccine,” Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a two-minute video posted to the FDA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts Monday. 

Hahn said clinical trials are necessary to properly assess the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine.

“That takes time because at each step we want to analyze the data at the FDA,” said Hahn. “So this is an ongoing conversation between the sponsor or the developer of the vaccine and the agency.”

4:20 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Stocks tumble as Covid-19 cases surge and stimulus is nowhere to be found

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A woman with an umbrella passes the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
A woman with an umbrella passes the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Mark Lennihan/AP

Wall Street took a dive on Monday as coronavirus, Washington intransigence and earnings weighed on the market. All of this is creating a cocktail of uncertainty that the market doesn't like one bit.

US stocks sold off all day, from the opening to the closing bell, and the selloff just gathered pace during the trading session.

The Dow closed down 650 points, or 2.3%, after falling as many as 965 points at its low point. Not a single Dow stock closed in the green. It was the index's worst day since Sept. 3.

The S&P 500 — the broadest measure of the US stock market — closed down 1.9%, making it the index's worst day since late September.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which had briefly bounced back from its lows in the morning, finished down 1.6%.

Energy, industrials and financials stocks are the among the worst performers of the day. Those sectors that are more sensitive to the economy and the pace of the recovery felt more pain Monday, said Eric Freedman, CIO at US Bank.  But there were losses across all sectors.

3:53 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

US to ship 36.7 million rapid Covid-19 tests to states by end of the week, HHS says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Abbott Laboratories' BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 nasal swab test.
Abbott Laboratories' BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 nasal swab test. Abbott Laboratories/AP

The United States is on track to ship 36.7 million BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care Covid-19 tests to states by the end of this week, the US Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Monday.

"To protect seniors and to facilitate the continued re-opening of schools, businesses and the economy, the Trump administration prioritized scaling-up our state and national point of care testing capacity," Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, the department's assistant secretary for health, said in a news release on Sunday.

The BinaxNOW antigen tests, developed by Abbott, are intended to help governors with reopening their states, according to the news release. The federal government previously announced it wants to deploy 150 million BinaxNOW Covid-19 tests nationally; HHS confirmed to CNN on Monday that the 36.7 million tests are part of that total.

But Giroir added in the news release that testing does not replace following the guidelines of avoiding crowds, washing hands and wearing a mask.

"Combining personal responsibility with smart, targeted testing is a proven formula to prevent outbreaks — but we cannot 'test our way' out of this pandemic," Giroir said. "Public vigilance in adhering to precautionary measures is required — especially as we clearly see the onset of mitigation fatigue."

Giroir had said on Sept. 1 that the Trump administration would begin to send the low-cost antigen tests to states starting in mid-September. On Sept. 28, Giroir said the 6.5 million tests the government shipped to governors across the country that week were a “real step forward in our testing.” At that time, Giroir said that production and shipment of the tests “didn’t happen overnight.”

3:09 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Fauci says the "primary" goal of a Covid-19 vaccine is to prevent people from getting sick

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images

The main goal for a coronavirus vaccine is to prevent people from getting ill, and actually preventing infection is secondary, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday. 

“The primary thing you want to do is that if people get infected, prevent them from getting sick, and if you prevent them from getting sick, you will ultimately prevent them from getting seriously ill,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Yahoo Finance interview.

He said that a vaccine that prevents infection would be even better.

“If the vaccine also allows you to prevent initial infection, that would be great,” Fauci said. “But what I would settle for – and all of my colleagues would settle for – is the primary endpoint to prevent clinically recognizable disease.”

2:24 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

More than half of US states reported their highest single-day of new Covid-19 cases in October 

From CNN’s Amanda Watts, Virginia Langmaid and Haley Brink

University of Washington research coordinator Rhoshni Prabhu conducts Covid-19 tests in Seattle, Washington, on October 23.
University of Washington research coordinator Rhoshni Prabhu conducts Covid-19 tests in Seattle, Washington, on October 23. Elaine Thompson/AP

More than half of the states across the nation have reported their highest single-day of new Covid-19 cases during the month of October, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

So far this month, 27 states reported at least one record high day of new cases over the last few weeks. Here's the list of states:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Colorado
  4. Idaho
  5. Illinois
  6. Indiana
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Michigan
  10. Minnesota
  11. Missouri
  12. Montana
  13. Nebraska
  14. New Hampshire
  15. New Mexico
  16. North Carolina
  17. North Dakota
  18. Ohio
  19. Oklahoma
  20. Oregon
  21. South Dakota
  22. Tennessee
  23. Utah
  24. Washington
  25. West Virginia
  26. Wisconsin
  27. Wyoming 

11 states reported their highest single-day of new deaths during the month of October: Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah & Wisconsin. 

2:02 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Pelosi blames White House handling of virus as a key reason why they haven't reached stimulus deal 

From CNN's Manu Raju

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on October 22 in Washington, DC.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on October 22 in Washington, DC. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

In a letter to the Democratic Caucus, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cited the White House's resistance to meeting her demands on Covid-19 testing and tracing as a key reason why a stimulus deal has not been reached.

“The Republicans’ continued surrender to the virus – particularly amid the recent wave of cases – is official malfeasance," she wrote. 

“We must come to agreement as soon as possible. But we cannot accept the Administration’s refusal to crush the virus, honor our heroes or put money in the pockets of the American people," Pelosi wrote. 

3:07 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Fauci on current surge in US Covid-19 cases: "No matter how you look at it, it's not good news"

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on September 23 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on September 23 in Washington, DC. Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The current surge of coronavirus cases is not a second wave because the first wave never ended, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.

“I look at it more as an elongated and an exacerbation of the original first wave,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Yahoo Finance interview.

“It's kind of semantics,” Fauci added. “You want to call it the third wave or an extended first wave? No matter how you look at it, it's not good news.”

Fauci noted that the US never reached a low baseline of cases, which he would consider to be around 10,000 per day. Instead, cases have shot up and down throughout the pandemic, ranging from 20,000 to 80,000 per day. 

“We've never really had waves in the sense of up and then down to a good baseline,” he said. “It's been up and wavering up and down, until now we're at the highest baseline we've ever been – which is really quite precarious.”

1:07 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020

Pennsylvania health official warns against small family gatherings during holidays

From CNN's Anna Sturla

Pennsylvania's secretary of health warned against small family gatherings during the holidays during a press conference Monday.

"As we approach the holidays, we need to rethink those gatherings. We need to think about more and more gatherings being virtual, or only staying with the family that you live with," Dr. Rachel Levine said. "I think that's a sacrifice, but that sacrificed could mean people don't get sick in your family."

During part of the conference where she repeated the state's official guidance to avoid larger gatherings, Dr. Levine added that residents should "maybe also though, avoid smaller gatherings."