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Scientists call on WHO to recognize airborne virus risk, global cases near 11.5 million

Scientists call on WHO to recognize airborne virus risk, global cases near 11.5 million


Scientists call on WHO to recognize airborne virus risk, global cases near 11.5 million

Dr. Anthony Fauci says average age of U.S. coronavirus patients has dropped by 15 yearsWhite House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the average age of new coronavirus patients has dropped by roughly 15 years compared with only a few months ago as the coronavirus reignites in America’s Sun Belt. “The average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago particularly when New York and New Orleans and Chicago were getting hit very badly,” he said. Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a Q&A discussion with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, that the resurgence of cases in the U.S. is an extension of the outbreak first reported earlier this year, not a second wave. While young people are less likely to develop serious illnesses from Covid-19, Fauci warned that the virus could still “put them out of action for weeks at a time.” They should also remember that when they’re infected, there’s the likelihood that they could spread the disease to people who are at high risk of serious illness, Fauci said. — Noah Higgins-DunnShoppers are retreating again with Covid-19 cases on the rise in certain statesRetail was beginning to bounce back from its lows. But consumers are once again retreating from bricks-and-mortar stores, according to new data from ShopperTrak. Traffic at retail stores in the U.S. was down the most, on a year-over-year basis, during the week ended April 18, according to data from the retail consultancy ShopperTrak, falling 82.6%. Up until two weeks ago, there were slight improvements those and declines were lightening. But over the last 14 days, with coronavirus hot spots emerging in states including Florida and Texas, traffic declines have accelerated once again, ShopperTrak found. “It’s all about consumers feeling confident,” ShopperTrak senior director Brian Field said in a phone interview. Half of Nevada businesses didn’t follow mask order, state investigation findsA message on a sign placed in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, where tourists often line up to take photos, displays a message about social distancing due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus across the United States on March 22, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Ethan Miller | Getty ImagesFewer than 50% of Nevada businesses observed by state investigators on July 2 complied with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s face mask order, CNBC’s Contessa Brewer reports. Sisolak promised “swift and decisive action” against industries that were found in violation of the order.Casino owners told CNBC rumors of casinos closing again are baseless and they will not close voluntarily, but they are taking the governor’s notice seriously.MGM sent a memo to workers reminding them of social distancing and face mask requirements and asked employees to report any non-compliance from co-workers. Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said failure to wear a face mask at work could result in termination. —Alex HarringHarvard will allow some students on campus this fall so long as they take coronavirus tests every three daysHarvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Maddie MeyerHarvard University is welcoming freshmen and some other students back to campus this fall semester, but students will have to take coronavirus tests every three days, classes will still be taught online and it won’t discount its $49,653 tuition, the school announced Monday. The total percentage of on-campus undergraduates will be limited to around 40%.Princeton University also announced Monday it would bring freshmen and juniors to campus in the fall and sophomores and seniors in the spring, with Covid-19 testing upon arrival and “regularly thereafter.” —Michelle GaoMiami-Dade mayor recloses gyms, restaurant dining amid spikeMiami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez on June 18, 2020 in Doral, Florida.Jason Koerner | Getty ImagesGyms and restaurants – except for take-out and delivery – are among businesses that will reclose in Miami-Dade County beginning Wednesday amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Monday.In addition to restaurants and gyms, ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues and short-term rentals will also close.Beaches will remain open Tuesday, but Gimenez warned they could close if there is crowding and public health rules are not followed. Hotel and condominium pools, summer camps and other outdoor activities will remain open with capacity limits and requirements for social distancing and face coverings.Office buildings, retail and grooming will remain open, according to the press release. –Alex HarringGig workers nab bigger share of unemployment benefitsCertain workers, like the self-employed and gig workers, are getting an increasing share of unemployment benefits.Nearly 13 million Americans were receiving jobless aid through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program as of mid-June, according to most recent Labor Department data.That represents about 41% of overall unemployment recipients nationwide — up from a little over a third of the total a month earlier.The PUA program, created by a federal coronavirus relief law in March, expanded benefits to these workers, who are ineligible for unemployment aid in normal times. — Greg IacurciU.S. response still crippled by lack of testing, Gottlieb saysWhile the U.S. has managed to ramp up testing significantly on a national level, states with surging outbreaks still aren’t testing enough people, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.”We don’t have a national plan. We don’t have a national strategy. We don’t have a national pool of resources and swing capacity that we can move around when we have these epidemics, and so states start to get pressed very quickly,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It’s a bigger problem than we thought it would be at this point.”The testing capacity in states like Texas and Arizona is reportedly strained under the spike in demand that’s come as parts of those states experience severe outbreaks. The supply chain for diagnostic tests, which includes sample-collection swabs, chemical reagents and other materials, has been strained since the start of the pandemic. LabCorp and Quest, two of the largest test manufacturers in the world, have said they are experiencing a recent backlog of processing tests amid the recent spike in demand. —Will FeuerCuomo says President Trump is ‘enabling’ the coronavirus pandemicNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press briefing that President Donald Trump is “enabling the virus” and exacerbating the pandemic by downplaying the problem and telling Americans they don’t have to wear a mask. Cuomo said Trump “says a lot of things” and “they’re not necessarily facts, they’re not necessarily true.” He said Trump could help curb the outbreak in the U.S., the worst in the world, by simply acknowledging the problem and by wearing a mask in public. Cuomo ridiculed Trump’s claim that if the U.S. didn’t conduct more tests then it wouldn’t find additional cases. Last month at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump attributed the growing outbreaks across the country to increased testing, adding that he told officials to “slow the testing down, please.””We’re not the United States of denial. We have never been a nation that’s excelled because we refuse to admit the problem,” Cuomo said. — Noah Higgins-DunnHospitalizations grow in more than 20 statesThe number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 grew by 5% or more Sunday in 23 states, based on a seven-day moving average, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic.Texas had more than 8,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus on Sunday, a record high for the state since the beginning of the outbreak. Public health experts watch hospitalizations closely because it can indicate how severe an outbreak is in an area. California, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia have also seen growing Covid-19 hospitalizations. Florida only tracks the number of people who have been hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak and not those currently in the hospital with Covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  — Noah Higgins-DunnImmunity to the coronavirus is not a ‘safe bet,’ professor saysImmunity to the coronavirus is “rather fragile” and “short lived,” Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told CNBC. Altmann also said so-called herd immunity was “probably never going to work” in dealing with Covid-19. This strategy allows a population some exposure to the virus in order to build immunity among the general population, and has been implemented in Sweden, one of the only European countries which did not impose a lockdown. “Immunity to this thing looks rather fragile — it looks like some people might have antibodies for a few months and then it might wane, so it’s not looking like a safe bet,” the professor added. “It’s a very deceitful virus and immunity to it is very confusing and rather short-lived.” — Katrina BishopGOP’s Kevin Brady: I think it’s ‘important for states to reopen’Wearing masks and social distancing, not new business closures, are the best ways to fight rising coronavirus infections, Rep. Kevin Brady told CNBC.”The deadliest per-capita rates are in the ‘lockdown states,’ New Jersey, New York,” among others, the Texas Republican said. He added that “reopening states,” including his home state and Florida, have “some of the lowest Covid fatalities per person.”Texas and Florida are among the states currently experiencing record daily Covid-19 cases. Since they didn’t see huge early spikes like in the Northeast, possible fatalities in those states could go higher.Texas and Florida were among the first states to allow some businesses to resume operations in early May. However, as cases started to spike last month, the Republican governors of Texas and Florida also became some of the first to slow or reverse reopening plans.”I think it was important for states to reopen,” Brady said in a “Squawk Box” interview, though he acknowledged that the “next couple of weeks are critical.” —Matthew J. BelvedereAir travel surges during July 4 — now comes the hard partAn average of 661,811 people a day passed through U.S. airport security during the July 4 holiday weekend, up more than 90% compared with first five days of June. but the figures remain far below last year’s levels. TSA’s holiday weekend traffic was down more than 72% from the same period of 2019.Airlines now have to contend with a rising number of coronavirus cases during what is the peak period for air travel.Carriers scrambling to convince travelers it’s safe to travel, stepping up cleaning procedures and requiring masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.Airlines, however, are diverging on whether to physically distance passengers on board flights. Some airlines, including Delta and Southwest, have been limiting the number of seats they sell on flights to space travelers out more on their planes. Other airlines, such as American and United aren’t blocking seats but instead, say they notify travelers if the plane is filling up. —Leslie JosephsMajor private jet companies receive more than $200 million in government fundingAn airport ground crew prepares a Cessna 510 jet airplane for takeoff at Santa Fe Municipal Airport in Santa Fe, New Mexico.Robert Alexander | Getty ImagesMajor private jet companies, including Wheels Up and OneSky Flight, received more than $200 million in government funding through the payroll support program, CNBC’s Robert Frank reports.Some have criticized the decision to fund private jet companies, which have seen an uptick in new customers amid the pandemic, but the companies themselves said the funding would stave off layoffs.NetJets, the largest private jet company, did not apply for funding.According to the Treasury Department, the amounts given to each carrier were based on payroll expenses from September 2019 to April 2019. Funds from the program must be used for the continuation of employee wages, salaries and benefits, according to the department. –Alex HarringCompanies returned $30 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loansCompanies have returned or canceled more than $30 billion in loans approved through the government’s emergency Paycheck Protection Program, a senior administration official said. The multibillion-dollar sum shows that the vast majority of the returned funds came from private companies; public companies have only returned $430 million, according to data analytics firm FactSquared. The Small Business Administration also reported a partial list of the companies that received the PPP relief loans through June 30. President Trump on Saturday extended the deadline to apply to the PPP through Aug. 8. —Tom FranckGoldman cuts Q2 growth outlook amid virus resurgenceDavid Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, September 25, 2019.Shannon Stapleton | ReutersGoldman Sachs has lowered its second-quarter gross domestic product forecast as several states slow their reopenings due to coronavirus spikes. The bank cut its growth outlook to 25% from 33%, still easily the fastest quarterly gain since at least 1947. GDP dropped 5% in the second quarter but is expected to rebound amid record-breaking monthly payroll growth, and a return in manufacturing and building. However, coronavirus cases in the U.S. spiked 13.4% over the past week. —Jeff CoxCountries warn of HIV drug shortage, WHO saysMore than 70 countries warned they could run out of crucial HIV medicines and 24 countries said their supplies are already “critically low,” according to a new survey conducted by the World Health Organization.Land and air transportation closures, failure of suppliers to deliver the medication, and limited access to health services were among the causes of disruption to the supply of antiretroviral medicine, or ARVs, largely used as a therapy to treat HIV, cited in the WHO survey. In May, the WHO and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS estimated that AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan African could double in 2020 alone if the supply of ARVs is disrupted for six months.”The findings of this survey are deeply concerning,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. “Countries and their development partners must do all they can to ensure that people who need HIV treatment continue to access it. We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease.” —Will FeuerMylan plans to sell remdesivir in India below price it will charge rich nationsAn employee of Egyptian pharmaceutical company Eva Pharma holds a pack containing vials of Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral medication approved as a specific treatment for COVID-19, at the company’s factory, which started producing the drug this week with a production capacity of up to 1.5 million doses per month.Fadel Dawood | dpa | Getty ImagesMylan said it plans to sell a generic version of Gilead Sciences’ coronavirus antiviral remdesivir drug in India for 4,800 rupees, or $63.41, Reuters reported. At this price, the cost is approximately 80% below the price Mylan will charge wealthy nations for the drug.Mylan joins Indian drug makers Cipla and Hetero, which both launched generic versions of the treatment last month. Gilead has said remdesivir will cost $2,340 per patient in rich nations, with a majority of its supply going to the U.S.The 4,800-rupee price was listed for the 100 mg vials, but it is unclear how many vials will be required for a full treatment, according to Reuters.  —Alex HarringDow jumps more than 300 points as Wall Street shakes off a rise in virus casesStocks opened sharply higher as Wall Street continued to shake off the rise in coronavirus cases, CNBC’s Fred Imbert reported.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 370 points, or 1.4%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively. —Melodie WarnerBecton Dickinson granted emergency use approval for rapid antigen test Becton Dickinson said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for a  Covid-19 antigen test that can be administered at the point of care and produce results within 15 minutes, according to a Reuters report.Antigen tests work by scanning for proteins that can be found on or inside a virus. The FDA has touted the tests for combating the coronavirus pandemic because they can be produced quickly and can test patients in a variety of settings, Reuters reported. —Melodie WarnerRegeneron begins coronavirus antibody cocktail late-stage trialA technician at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals headquarters in Tarrytown, New York.Mike Segar | ReutersRegeneron Pharmaceuticals said it launched late-stage clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of its antibody cocktail in preventing and treating Covid-19, Reuters reported. The company’s joint trial with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will test the therapy’s ability to prevent infection in those who have had close exposure to a Covid-19 patient. —Melodie Warner WHO must fully recognize the risk of airborne virus, scientists sayA group of 239 scientists from around the world is reportedly set to push for the World Health Organization to give greater acknowledgment to the risk of the airborne spread of the coronavirus.The experts are due to publish an open letter this week, according to a report in The New York Times, outlining why they believe the global health body needs to revise its recommendations.The WHO’s current guidance states that Covid-19 is transmitted primarily between people via respiratory droplets and contact. However, the authors of the letter argue emerging evidence indicates airborne transmission could be more important than the WHO has acknowledged to date.A spokesperson for the WHO told CNBC on Monday that it was aware of the reported letter and technical experts at the organization were currently reviewing its contents. The WHO added it was likely to comment further on the report at its regular press briefing later on Monday. —Sam MeredithIndia’s total cases surpass that of RussiaA health care worker checks the temperature in the Dharavi slums during Covid-19 pandemic, on June 20, 2020 in Mumbai, India.Satish Bate | Hindustan Times | Getty ImagesThe total number of confirmed cases in India has surpassed that of Russia, placing the South Asian nation at third in the world for number of Covid-19 cases.India reported 697,413 total cases, topping Russia’s 686,777, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Adjusted for population, heavily populated India’s outbreak is magnitudes smaller than that of Russia.India has reported just over 51 cases per 100,000 residents, according to Covid-19 data from Hopkins and population data from the World Bank. Russia has reported nearly 475.7 cases per 100,000 residents, according to Covid-19 data from Hopkins and population data from the World Bank.The U.S. and Brazil have still reported more cases than any other countries in the world, with more than 2.88 million and 1.6 million, respectively, according to data collected by Hopkins. —Will FeuerRead CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Fauci says contact tracing ‘not going well,’ Texas and Florida roll back reopening plans

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