December 28 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, December 29, 2020
42 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:02 p.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Military personnel being deployed to California to combat coronavirus

From CNN's Ryan Browne

At least 75 US Army and Air Force medical personnel have been deployed to California to assist in the pandemic response.

“At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 75 U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force military medical personnel deployed to California as part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation,” a statement from the Army said on Monday.

The latest situation: Since the Thanksgiving holiday, California has faced a surge of Covid-19 infections unparalleled across the United States, leading to continued daily record highs in hospitalizations and deaths.

Most of the state remains under stay at home orders triggered by a region's intensive care unit capacity falling below 15%. According to the state Department of Public Health, intensive care unit bed capacity in both the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions are at 0%, and it's likely the stay home orders will be extended for most of the state.

12:03 p.m. ET, December 28, 2020

US House may pass $2,000 stimulus check provision on Monday

From CNN's Lauren Fox

The sun rises over the US Capitol on December 28 in Washington, DC.
The sun rises over the US Capitol on December 28 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The US House of Representatives could pass a provision Monday night that would increase the amount of money individuals and families receive in stimulus checks.

A Republican leadership aide tells CNN that while the Republican side is not whipping the bill, "there’s a good chance it can pass." It’s far from certain, but aides are warning it’s possible. 

The bill, which would require a 2/3 majority to pass because it is going to occur under suspension, would increase the amount of the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 per individual.

Eligibility for the checks is determined by a person’s most recent tax returns. Anyone who made under $75,000 as an individual, or $150,000 as a couple, would receive the full amount. The amount individuals receive decreases by $5 for every $100 a person makes over $75,000. In short, that means that individuals who make over $99,000 would not be eligible, nor would couples making more than $198,000.

If the bill actually passes the House with a strong Republican vote, it will put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a tough position of having to decide whether to bring the provision to the floor in the Senate as a standalone bill. 

While the President has been urging Republicans to up the payments, many Republicans in McConnell’s ranks have made it clear they don’t think an increase is warranted, given how much it would increase the price tag of the stimulus bill.

A vote on the checks would likely divide the GOP conference and force some members to endure President Trump’s ire in his final days in office.

Reminder: The Covid-19 relief legislation was passed by Congress last Monday and was flown to Mar-a-Lago on Thursday to await Trump's signature. But after sitting on the sidelines during the negotiations, Trump emerged with an eleventh-hour complaint that a separate provision in the deal, which the President's own White House helped broker, would only provide up to $600 in direct payments.

Trump wanted to send out $2,000 checks. 

Trump signaled in a statement Sunday night that he signed the coronavirus relief bill only after securing a commitment for the Senate to consider legislation to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, did not reference that commitment in his own statement Sunday night praising the President for signing the relief bill.

11:44 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

UK reports highest daily rise in Covid-19 cases since start of pandemic

From CNN’s Samantha Tapfumaneyi

The United Kingdom is reporting at least 41,385 coronavirus cases on Monday, breaking its daily record since the pandemic began.

A further 357 people have died from the virus.

A new coronavirus variant, that experts say can spread easier than others, has prompted the UK to lock down as other countries impose travel restrictions.

11:45 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Premier League match postponed between due to Covid-19 outbreak

From CNN's David Close

A big screen graphic announces the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City is postponed at Goodison Park on December 28 in Liverpool, England.
A big screen graphic announces the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City is postponed at Goodison Park on December 28 in Liverpool, England. Tony McArdle/Everton FC/Getty Images

Monday night's English Premier League fixture between Everton and Manchester City has been postponed following positive Covid-19 test results within the City squad. The game was slated to kickoff at 8 p.m. local time at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England.

Manchester City did not disclose how many cases the team has in total but in a Monday statement, the team said the additional positive tests are in addition to four cases previously announced on Christmas Day. 

"With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond," the statement read.

A make-up date for the match has not been decided.

The Premier League says further testing will be conducted on Tuesday.

11:16 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Five cases of UK Covid-19 variant detected in southern Spain

From CNN's Al Goodman in Madrid and Amy Cassidy in Glasgow

Five cases of the new coronavirus variant, first detected in England, have been found in southern Spain among travelers who returned to the region of Andalusia from the UK in recent days, according to local authorities.  

A statement released by the Andalusia regional government on Monday said these are the first known cases with the variant to be detected in the region. Three of these cases are patients in Malaga province and the other two are in Granada province. Four other cases are under study, it said.

This comes after Madrid’s health advisor Antonio Zapatero said Saturday that the city had detected four cases of the variant. One of the cases is a person who arrived from the UK, and the three others are family members, he said. 

Cases have also been detected in Finland and Sweden.

Here's what we know and don't know about the UK coronavirus variant.

10:53 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Pfizer to supply Europe with 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses by September 2021

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite

Phials containing doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are seen at the UZ Leuven Hospital, in Leuven, Belgium, on December 27.
Phials containing doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are seen at the UZ Leuven Hospital, in Leuven, Belgium, on December 27. Frederic Sierakowski/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The distribution of 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is "scheduled to be completed by September 2021," a European Commission spokesman told CNN Monday. 

"The Commission and the Member States are working to activate the additional 100 million doses," the spokesman added. 

In November, the European Commission concluded a contract with Pfizer for 300 million doses. The first batches were delivered to countries in Europe on Dec. 26, ahead of the first day of vaccinations in the European Union on Sunday Dec. 27.

The deliveries of this vaccine "will continue in December and on a steady weekly basis during the following months,” the spokesman told CNN.

"The distribution will start progressively. Vaccines will start to be given to priority groups identified by Member States," he continued, noting that vaccine supplies are expected to increase over time with the anticipated regulatory approval of additional vaccine candidates. 

"For most contracts concluded, the majority of delivery is foreseen to be completed in 2021. Under some contracts, first deliveries are expected to already start in the first quarter of 2021," the spokesman added. 

In addition to its contract with Pfizer-BioNTech, the European Commission has also established contracts with:

  • AstraZeneca (400 million doses)
  • Sanofi-GSK (300 million doses)
  • Johnson & Johnson (400 million doses)
  • CureVac (405 million doses)
  • Moderna (160 million doses)

The above information is according to the Commission’s website.

11:50 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Mexican composer and singer Armando Manzanero dies at 85 after battle with Covid-19 

From CNN's Fidel Gutierrez and Claudia Dominguez

Composer Armando Manzanero plays during the Authors and Composers Society 2019 awards on May 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Composer Armando Manzanero plays during the Authors and Composers Society 2019 awards on May 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. Pedro Martin Gonzalez Castillo/Getty Images

Famous Mexican composer and singer, Armando Manzanero, age 85, passed away Monday morning in a Mexico City hospital after battling Covid-19 for weeks, Mexico's Society for Authors and Composers confirmed to CNN.  

Manzanero was hospitalized in mid-December after testing positive for Covid-19, CNN reported at the time.  

Manzanero was a prolific composer with more than 600 songs to his name, according to the Mexican Society for Authors and Composers. Some of his songs were interpreted by artists from around the world such Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Perry Cuomo, Spanish singer Raphael, and fellow Mexican start Luis Miguel.  

The Latin Recording Academy & Latin Grammy expressed their sympathy for Manzanero's passing: "Armando Manzanero received the Award for Musical Excellence and was the winner of the Latin Grammy, he was also a great friend that is now gone. We celebrate his live and world. An irreplaceable loss for the Latin music world. We are with the Manzanero family in their grief."  

Manzanero won a Latin Grammy in 2001 for his album "Duets". He later went on to win a Lifetime Achievement award in 2014, becoming the first Mexican to receive this honor.  

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed condolences in the artist's passing.  

"Armando Manzanero was a sensitive man, a man of the people. That's why I lament his death. He was also a great composer. He also represented Mexican authors and composers," he said during a press conference on Monday.  

Mexico's Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, released a statement on Twitter, saying she mourns the death "of the Yucatecan musician Armando Manzanero, author of hundreds of songs performed by national and international artists, and a great connoisseur of the bolero tradition of Latin America. RIP."   

Manzanero will be cremated in Mexico City and his remains will be taken to his hometown of Merida, in Mexico's Yucatan state. 

10:22 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Russia extends UK flight ban until January 12

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina

Terminal C is seen at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on December 24.
Terminal C is seen at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on December 24. Leonid Faerberg/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Russia has extended a ban on flights to and from the UK until Jan. 12 in light of the new coronavirus variant circulating across the UK and several other countries, the Russian coronavirus task force said according to state-run news agency TASS. 

“In order to prevent the import and the spread of the new coronavirus infection the task force has decided to extend the suspension of flights with the UK," the statement said, according to TASS. “To ensure the protection of public health, the restrictions have been extended until 23:59 on January 12, 2021.”

Some background: Since the UK imposed a lockdown on Saturday, over 40 countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East have restricted travel from the UK and in some cases, also travel from other countries that have documented cases with the variant.

Experts say the new variants can spread faster than others.

10:11 a.m. ET, December 28, 2020

Stocks open higher after Trump signs stimulus bill

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

The New York Stock Exchange stands in lower Manhattan on November 24 in New York City.
The New York Stock Exchange stands in lower Manhattan on November 24 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Wall Street opened higher Monday after President Donald Trump signed into law a massive $2.3 trillion-dollar coronavirus relief and government funding bill. 

While Trump delayed the signing of the bill for days, it still comes in time to avoid a government shutdown and expands pandemic unemployment help, which millions of Americans need to make ends meet. But because of the signing delay, many already enrolled in certain government programs will likely not receive a payment in this last week of the year.

Here's how things looked at the opening:

  • The Dow opened up 0.6%, or 176 points.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened up 0.9%. 

Remember: This week is another shortened trading week due to the New Year’s holiday on Friday.