November 7 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Brett McKeehan, Zamira Rahim and Jaide Timm-Garcia Timm-Garcia, CNN

Updated 2:50 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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1:44 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

US Covid-19 cases are going to “explode” in the coming weeks, former FDA commissioner says

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, then FDA Commissioner-designate, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 5, 2017.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, then FDA Commissioner-designate, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 5, 2017. Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Coronavirus cases are going to surge even higher over the next few weeks, former United States Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said during an interview on CNBC on Friday.  

Gottlieb was asked whether the US was heading for a national lockdown as Covid-19 cases surged to more than 125,000 Friday -- the country's highest single-day total since the pandemic started.   

“Whether or not we need a national lockdown, I think we can deal with this effectively with targeted mitigation on a state-by-state basis, but we're not doing that right now and so we're building up a lot of trouble for the future and I think that this is going to explode in several weeks,” Gottlieb said. “We're going to see these case numbers really start to explode."

The number of Covid-19 infections is actually much higher, he added. 

“We're probably at best diagnosing one in five cases right now, maybe a little bit less than that. So this is at least a half a million cases a day, probably more in terms of actual numbers of infections, and it's spread across the United States right now.”

Gottlieb said the current surge is different from last spring, when there were concentrated infections in small areas.

“We're building up a lot of trouble for the future,” he said. “You have to be really worried what January is going to look like, what December is going to look like right now given the way this is rising.
“It's not just the cases, it's the hospitalizations as well. That's really the number to watch, 53,000 people hospitalized, 10,500 people in ICUs. That's a lot and it's growing very quickly.”

Sixteen states reported record high Covid-19 hospitalizations on Friday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, and 22 states have reported at least one record-high day of coronavirus hospitalizations in November.

1:43 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Latvia preparing to enter four-week lockdown following Covid-19 surge

From CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins in Brussels, Belgium, on October 15.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins in Brussels, Belgium, on October 15. Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Latvia will enter a four-week lockdown on Monday, a government spokesperson told CNN, after a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

According to the spokesperson, Latvia reported 357 new cases on Friday -- bringing its total number of infections to 7,476. The country has also registered 95 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The vast majority of the country’s cases were recorded in the last month. Up until October 1, Latvia had only recorded 1,945 cases.

Starting Monday, social contact is being discouraged. Only indoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households will be allowed. Restaurants will only be allowed to serve takeout, and stores will limit the number of people inside at the same time.

Other restrictions include continuing distance learning for high school students, as well as professional, vocational and higher education institutions, while lower levels of school will remain open. Only stores selling basic necessities like groceries, medication and pet food will be allowed to stay open on weekends and holidays.

All public events are banned, including concerts and theatre performances. Museums, libraries and bookstores will remain open under strict safety measures.

1:42 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

White House chief of staff tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Jim Acosta 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks past Marine One at the White House on October 30, in Washington, DC.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks past Marine One at the White House on October 30, in Washington, DC. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, two officials confirmed to CNN.

Meadows traveled with United States President Donald Trump on Sunday and Monday. He was also at the White House election night party on Tuesday and in close contact with members of the President’s family. 

White House officials are now alarmed given Meadows has been around other staffers while potentially contagious, one aide says. The White House had invited people to watch the results roll in that night.

At the time, White House communications director Alyssa Farah said there would be temperature checks and precautions taken given the pandemic. Initial plans to hold an event at the Trump Hotel were scrapped because of local restrictions on indoor gatherings and fear there would be significant fines. 

The President delivered remarks from the White House press briefing room last night.

Read more here.