Live Updates

October 26 coronavirus news

US averaging nearly 69,000 new Covid-19 cases per day
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What you need to know

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US is “not going to control” the pandemic. Instead, he said the administration would focus on vaccines and treatments.
  • The US average of new daily infections is now at its highest point of the pandemic, with 481,372 cases reported in a week.
  • A mass testing program of more than 4.7 million people in China’s Xinjiang province identified nearly 140 asymptomatic cases over the weekend.

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

55 Posts

Pence is not essential personnel and he should be quarantining, says health expert

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22.

US Vice President Mike Pence is not essential personnel and he should be quarantining, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, said Monday.

Despite exposure to people who have tested positive for coronavirus, Pence is not quarantining. The White House said he is not subject to CDC quarantine guidelines because he is “essential personnel.” 

“The only way he is essential personnel is if the only mission in his life is to reelect Donald Trump,” Reiner told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “The essential personnel are the nurses that man our ICUs and the people that deliver our food, and most of those folks – almost all those folks – will quarantine and stay home.”

Reiner said that Pence is potentially exposing other people to the virus.

“The Vice President needs to be home. He needs to be following the rules. He’s placing people at risk. He’s not essential,” said Reiner.

Czech Republic announces ban on free movement to curb coronavirus surge

Healthcare workers transport a Covid-19 patient from an intensive care unit at a hospital in Kyjov to a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic on October 22.

Czech Republic Health Minister Roman Prymula has announced a ban on free movement in the country between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in an attempt to curb its coronavirus surge.

In a news conference Monday, Prymula said the restrictions would come into effect from this Wednesday, October 28 until November 3.

Those excluded from the ban are people commuting to and from work or seeking medical assistance.

Prymula also said between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., dog owners must walk their pets within a 500-meter radius from their home. During the day, people can walk their dogs freely. 

In the same news conference, Trade Minister Karel Havlicek added all retail stores must close between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sundays, except for gas stations and pharmacies.

Convenience food stores at airports, railways and bus stations can remain open.

Havlicek also made it mandatory for people to work from home where possible. 

The Czech Republic reported 5,474 new cases in 24 hours on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 263,572. 

The country’s death toll for the virus currently stands at 2,337. 

Australia's Victoria state reports no new Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row

People cross a pedestrian bridge in the Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda on October 26, as Australian health officials reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths in Victoria state.

Australia’s Victoria state reported no new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours for the second consecutive day, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a tweet Tuesday.

Monday was the first time since June 8 that Victoria has reported no new cases, statistics from the DHHS have shown. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria remains at 20,343, and the total death toll at 817.

The remarkable milestone of no new cases comes just months after Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews declared a “state of disaster” to stem an outbreak that saw as many as 725 people in the state test positive for the virus in a single day.

The steep decline in cases has allowed the government to lift major social distancing measures that have been in place for weeks, including moving the state capital, Melbourne, out of lockdown beginning Wednesday.

Ultrasounds point to potentially deadly heart damage in Covid-19 patients

Ultrasound scans of seriously ill coronavirus patients show many have serious types of structural damage to their hearts, researchers reported Monday. And that damage appears to raise their risk of dying.

The researchers found a startling number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 had heart damage and said the ultrasound scans might help doctors start early treatment to help them recover better.

“Early detection of structural abnormalities may dictate more appropriate treatments, including anticoagulation and other approaches for hospitalized and post-hospitalized patients,” Dr. Valentin Fuster, Director of Mount Sinai Heart, who worked on the study team, said in a statement.

Fuster and colleagues at hospitals across the Mt. Sinai system in New York, plus at a hospital in Italy, looked at the scans – called echocardiograms – of 305 Covid-19 patients in the hospital for treatment.

Nearly two thirds of them – 190 patients – had structural heart damage, the team reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Records showed 118 already had heart damage when they were admitted and another 72 developed injuries while they were being treated in the hospital.

Doctors routinely run a blood test checking levels of a protein called troponin in coronavirus patients. Higher levels indicate damage to the heart muscle.

But the researchers found the ultrasounds gave a much better indication of which patients were at highest risk of death.

Hospitalized coronavirus patients who did not have elevated troponin levels had a 5% rate of death in the study. Those with elevated troponin whose hearts looked normal in ultrasound scans had an 18.6% rate of death. But those who had high troponin levels and whose hearts showed physical abnormalities on ultrasound scans had a nearly 32% rate of death, the researchers said.

More than 225,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

There are at least 8,690,143 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 225,588 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases. 

So far today, Johns Hopkins has recorded 54,177 new cases and 359 reported deaths. 

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

France reports most coronavirus hospitalizations since April

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.

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.

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

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

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.”

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

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

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.

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

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

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.”

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

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington, DC.

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.”

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

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

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:

Alabama Alaska Colorado Idaho Illinois Indiana Kansas Kentucky Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon South Dakota Tennessee Utah Washington West Virginia Wisconsin 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. 

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

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

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. 

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

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on September 23 in Washington, DC.

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.

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.”

Pennsylvania health official warns against small family gatherings during holidays

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.”

Nurses make up most of the hospitalized Covid-19 cases among health care workers

Nearly 6% of all hospitalized patients with Covid-19 work in health care and most in that group were nurses, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 4% of health care workers who were hospitalized died.

The CDC-led Covid research team reviewed the charts of nearly 7,000 Covid-19 patients who were in the hospital between March 1 and May 31. 

Most were women. A large proportion were Black. These patients skewed much younger than the general Covid-19 patient population. The median age of a health care professional who was hospitalized was 49, compared to 62 for the country as a whole, the team reported in in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 

Nearly 90% of hospitalized health care professionals with Covid-19 had at least one underlying medical condition. The most common, reported at nearly 73%, was obesity. 

In addition to infection prevention and control efforts, the CDC researchers said there is a need for prevention and management programs to help people control their weight. Obesity significantly increases the risk for severe Covid-19 illness.

This research is in keeping with earlier studies. Research in China also found that people in nursing-related occupations accounted for the most cases among the health care profession.

Nurses may be most at risk of being exposed to the novel coronavirus because they have extended cumulative exposure time. Nurses have the most close and frequent contact with sick patients. 

New Mexico sets record for hospitalizations 3 days in a row

New Mexico has reported record numbers of people hospitalized for Covid-19 for three days in a row, state data shows.

On Friday, the state reported it had 229 people hospitalized for Covid-19, surpassing the previous record high of 223 set on May 15. 

Since then, the number has only climbed. The state reported 264 hospitalizations on Saturday and 287 hospitalizations yesterday, state data shows. 

The state’s dashboard does not specify how these numbers relate to the state’s overall hospital capacity.

New Mexico is currently reporting a total of 41,863 cases of Covid-19 and 967 deaths from the virus.

One thing to note: These numbers were released by New Mexico’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.

Dow drops more than 800 points

Stock losses accelerated on Monday with the Dow dropping more than 800 points or 2.8% following a record surge of new coronavirus cases and languishing stimulus talks in DC.

North Dakota has a 10.62% positivity rate over the past 14 days

North Dakota is reporting a 14-day rolling positivity rate of 10.62%, according to the state department of health’s dashboard.

The state is reporting at least 527 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, with a little over half of the newly reported cases previously testing negative, the dashboard shows. The positivity rate for Monday’s report is at 8.28%.

In total, there have been 38,241 positive cases in North Dakota since the pandemic began with a 13.44% overall positivity rate. 

The state’s health department also says that 256 patients are hospitalized statewide who have tested positive for Covid-19. The dashboard shows that 173 of those due to Covid-19 while the others were admitted for other reasons and tested positive after being hospitalized. 

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the state’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. 

Florida reports more than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases  

Florida health officials are reporting 3,377 new Covid-19 cases and 20 additional deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).    

To date, Florida has recorded a total of 782,013 Covid-19 cases statewide and 16,652 Floridian deaths, DOH data shows. 

A total of 48,281 Floridians have been hospitalized this year because of coronavirus, DOH reports. 

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.  

New research shows decline in non-coronavirus hospitalizations during pandemic

Medical workers load an ambulance outside of Mount Sinai Hospital on September 22 in New York.

Two studies released Monday reveal a decline in hospitalizations during the coronavirus pandemic, supporting concerns that people are delaying necessary medical care.

Researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine examined hospital admissions within the NYU Langone Health system comparing the March through May period for 2020, 2019 and 2018. They found a significant decrease in the number of hospitalizations for non-coronavirus conditions such as heart attacks and appendicitis during the peak of the pandemic. 

The number of non-Covid hospitalizations dropped to 3,657 in 2020 from 6,411 in 2019 and 5,368 in 2018, they reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The drop in hospitalizations was seen for various conditions, from complications of chronic health conditions to emergencies and injuries.

In a separate study, researchers from Stanford University and Weill Cornell Medical Center found a significant drop in hospitalizations across both systems for heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis and bleeding surrounding the brain during the pandemic. 

Their results included a 39% decrease in heart attack cases and 49% decrease in stroke cases at Weill Cornell Medical Center. The researchers note that their findings, in combination with an increasing number of non-coronavirus at-home deaths, reveal a discouraging pattern.

While the researchers note that the results of their respective studies may not be generalizable to the whole population, their findings match previous research showing a decline in hospitalizations across the country since Covid-19 took hold. The concerns they raise are in line with doctors who have been sounding the alarm that deferring care during the pandemic could cost some people their lives.

Multiple factors are likely at play, including loss of income or insurance and changes in patient lifestyle. Many health professionals have suggested that fear of catching Covid-19 has been a driving factor keeping people out of doctors’ offices and emergency rooms at times when they need in-person care. 

A Texas children's hospital is now taking non-Covid-19 patients to help overwhelmed medical center

As the University Medical Center of El Paso continues to be overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients as local cases surge, El Paso Children’s Hospital will begin taking non-Covid patients starting Monday hospital officials tell CNN.  

“It’s a banana sandwich here as I’m sure you’ve heard,” UMC Director of Public Affairs Ryan Mielke told CNN Monday.  “We are overwhelmed with patients at this point. However, we have a strong partnership with El Paso Children’s hospital.” 

Mielke said the ninth floor of Children’s is open for non-Covid patients from UMC and the transfers have already begun.   

Mielke said the hospital has received more than 100 additional medical staff and has set up emergency isolation tents in the hospital parking lots where Covid-19 overflow patients are being sent.

Mielke confirmed hospital staff are becoming infected as well.  

He said that while the hospital is adequately staffed at the moment, they have asked the governor for additional medical personnel, a service the Department of Emergency Management provides.  

“The bottom line is the coronavirus is spreading fast and it’s spreading fast throughout our city,” Mielke said.  

Dow drops more than 600 points

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange on October 14.

Stock losses accelerated on Monday with the Dow dropping more than 600 points or 2% following a record surge of new coronavirus cases and languishing stimulus talks in DC. 

New York City positivity rate is at 1.74%, mayor says

The percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 city wide is at 1.74%, under the 5% threshold, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The seven-day rolling average is 1.73%, he said. 

With regard to new reported cases on a seven-day average, with a threshold of 550 cases, NYC is slightly above the threshold with 551 cases. 

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 75, under the 200 threshold. The confirmed positivity rate for Covid-19 for those patients is 28%.

The positivity rate in New York city public schools is at .15%, according to the mayor.

New York City will begin adding public school testing data on it’s Covid-19 data page.

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the citys 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

The White House "surrendered to the virus" yesterday, Sen. Angus King says

Sen. Angus King speaks with CNN on Monday, October 26.

In response to the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying the US is “not going to control” the coronavirus pandemic, Independent Sen. Angus King said that’s “unconditional surrender.”

He cited the US CDC guidelines on wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing for stopping the spread of the virus, and he blamed the White House for inconsistent messaging.

“If that had been the consistent message from the White House from the beginning, when we knew those were [the things] we had to do, and in the meantime, had they developed a really strong testing program, there would probably be 50 to 100,000 fewer deaths. We would be looking like other countries that are having surges but nothing like what we’re having. And like I say, yesterday was the moment that the White House surrendered to the virus.”

Cases are surging across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus.

“Maine is a good example of how it can work. Our governor, Janet Mills, was very tough, took a huge amount of flack in terms of how we dealt with the pandemic,” Sen. King added. “Here’s the bottom line. And if the Trump folks had figured this out, they’d be in a lot better shape right now… We’re closer [getting] back our economy to normal because we did these simple things and our governor, as I say, took a lot of heat but stood up and did it right.”

Watch more:

Regional solutions can help Midwest control the coronavirus outbreak, Chicago mayor says

Members of the Wisconsin National Guard administer Covid-19 tests on October 9 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

With coronavirus cases surging across the US, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says regional agreements and solutions could help get the numbers under control.

“The Midwest has consistently been up for now for the last three weeks. So the virus obviously doesn’t respect geographic boundaries. Everywhere around Chicago is going up,” she said, citing Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa as examples. “When you see the mobility of people traveling throughout the Midwest for jobs, for schools and so forth, it’s not a total surprise but it is absolutely quite distressing and we’re trying to do everything that we can. But we have to all be in this together. Meaning as a region, we have to come up with a region-wide agreements and solutions. Otherwise we’re never going to be able to see this virus under control.”

There has been an uptick in hospitalizations but not in intensive care unit admissions, she reported.

As part of mitigation measures, businesses in Chicago will now have to shut down by 10 p.m. local time, following a new order that aims to curb the latest surge of Covid-19. However, with these measures in place as well as the winter approaching, Lightfoot says people are starting to gather indoors.

“Don’t invite people in that are not part of your immediate family or otherwise essential to be there, like a home care worker or something along those lines. That’s where we’re really seeing the spread. The case investigations, the contact tracing is pointing to home social settings as the primary area of risk now,” she said.

At the same time, the city is not considering canceling Halloween because “people are going to trick or treat anyway,” she said. Instead, the city has put some rules in place to encourage safety, including limiting the number of children grouping together.

“We’re asking no haunted houses, no house parties. We are also really encouraging people not to have hand-to-hand contact with children as they’re handing out candy,” she said.

Watch:

White House adviser on stimulus: "The talks have certainly slowed down. But they're not ending."

The U.S. Capitol is shown on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Monday that stimulus talks have slowed but haven’t ended as the negotiators have failed to reach a deal with just eight days to the election.

“The talks have certainly slowed down. But they’re not ending. One thing I will say is the committee chairmen on both sides, Senate and House, have been meeting and discussing various aspects,” he said during a remote appearance on CNBC from inside his White House office.

“We’ll get a report this morning. Sec. Mnuchin will be talking to them. I think he’s going to be talking to Speaker Pelosi,” he said.

He said the sides are “close” but “important policy issues” still separate them. “They’re still talking, but I acknowledge the clock is ticking.”

Kudlow reiterated that there is a “strong, V-shaped recovery,” and stimulus could help in certain targeted areas, going on to cast blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said the recovery is “self-sustaining.”

Kudlow was also pressed on comments from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on CNN about not controlling the virus. He reiterated best practices and said, “We get these pop-ups. I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it. We’re seeing it in Europe and all around the world, perhaps that’s what chief Meadows was referring to, but we know a lot more than we knew.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, he said, is on the road with CDC teams in a “number of hot spots,” where they are “emphasizing the need for these guidelines.”

“That’s the best we can do, and it has worked in the past and hopefully it will continue to work,” he said.

Read CNN’s latest reporting on the stimulus talks here.