Health and Science

Projection estimates 135,000 US deaths by August; testing expanded for Fujifilm flu drug

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McDonald's says thanks to health care workers with 7 million free meals
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McDonald's says thanks to health care workers with 7 million free meals

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus outbreak, visit the live blog from CNBC's Asia-Pacific team.

Pharmaceutical companies continue to make headlines as governments and investors hang their hopes on a steady recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O'Day said Sunday the company would be donating its entire supply of remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients. Roche Chairman Christoph Franz said the drugmaker will invest more than $437 million in a German testing site. Another week of quarterly reports lies ahead, and more retail locations are reopening as U.S. states loosen lockdown restrictions.

All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Global cases: More than 3.5 million
  • Global deaths: At least 247,752
  • US cases: More than 1.1 million
  • US deaths: At least 67,686

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

8 pm: 'It's can or die' for Bay Area breweries, as beermakers reckon with bar and restaurant closures

Federation Brewing co-founder Aram Cretan
Camille Snell

Craft breweries across California are suffering along with the rest of the food services industry, with many reporting a drop of 50% or more in revenue. But they're finding a lifeline in aluminum.

Breweries like Cellarmaker and ThirstyBear in San Francisco and Federation in Oakland are canning as much beer as possible so they can keep their hoppy ales from expiring in the tank and so they can sell four-packs curbside to consumers. The Can Van, a mobile canning service based in Sacramento, is as busy as ever, driving around the region to help breweries can hundreds of cases at a time.

It's no substitute for kegs, which is how breweries make the bulk of their money. But unable to sell kegs to bars and restaurants or to offer draft beers inside their taprooms, cans are their only option.

"It's can or die right now," said Connor Casey, co-owner of Cellarmaker, which owns House of Pizza in San Francisco in addition to its brewery. "There's not even a choice." —Ari Levy

7:30 pm: United Airlines plans 30% cut to management ranks from October

United Airlines told employees in a memo that it expects a 30% cut in its management and administrative ranks starting in October, a company memo shows.

United accepted U.S. government payroll aid which bans job cuts until Sept. 30.

United released the following statement to CNBC:

"Travel demand is essentially zero for the foreseeable future and, even with federal assistance that covers a portion of our payroll expense through September 30, we anticipate spending billions of dollars more than we take in for the next several months, while continuing to employ 100% of our workforce. That's not sustainable for any company. And that's why we are doing everything we can to reduce costs in the near-term so we can bounce back quickly when demand starts to return and help ensure our company and the jobs it supports will be here when customers are flying again." —Phil LeBeau, Reuters

7:02 pm: New projection shows about 135,000 US deaths from Covid-19 by August with lockdown measures being lifted

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates nearly 135,000 coronavirus deaths in the US through the beginning of August, citing the easing of lockdown orders as the main driver of the new number, Reuters reports.

The forecast from the IHME puts the U.S. death toll through early August at 134,475, the midrange between 95,092 and 242,890.

The new projections reflect reopening measures underway across the country and the increase of social contact between people that will increase transmission, the IHME said, according to Reuters.

"This new model is the basis for the sobering new estimate of U.S. deaths," IHME Director Christopher Murray said about the reopening measures, Reuters reported. —Chris Eudaily

6:34 pm: Rising meat costs hit Shake Shack

Customers wait for to-go orders outside Shake Shack in South Beach on April 19, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Cliff Hawkins | Getty Images

Shake Shack, which regularly touts the quality of meat in its burgers, is facing rising beef costs due to meatpacking plant closures stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Over the last month, we've seen significant increases in beef, with the largest increase being realized over the last week," CFO Tara Comonte said on the company's first-quarter earnings conference call, CNBC's Amelia Lucas reports.

Shake Shack's same-store sales tanked in March after social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders across the U.S. went into effect that disrupted consumers' regular spending habits. —Chris Eudaily

6 pm: Updated world map shows more than 3.5 million cases worldwide

5:45 pm: People receiving SSI or VA benefits have until tomorrow to meet this stimulus check deadline

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Those receiving SSI or VA benefits from the government, and have children under 17, will need to wait until tomorrow to file information to the IRS to make sure their family gets its full stimulus payment.

Millions of stimulus payments are currently being deployed to Americans, including checks of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, plus $500 per child under 17, based on family income. —Lori Konish

5:12 pm: Economists say the way out of the recession depends on the level of consumer fear

Customers are seen at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant on April 27, 2020 in Franklin, Tennessee. Tennessee is one of the first states to reopen restaurants after the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Jason Kempin | Getty Images

Economists are looking for new ways to measure a rebound from a deep recession, suggesting that the recovery will depend on individual psychology, overall consumer confidence, and also whether the government was successful enough in filling the income gap for the workers who lost their jobs. 

"It's much more behavioral. It's not just driven by incomes. It's driven by fear," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. Economists have been looking to China as an example, since the disease started there. "Even a month after they reopened in Wuhan, people are still worried about going to public places and malls." —Patti Domm

4:30 pm: California Gov. Newsom says some businesses will reopen Friday, with conditions

People walk past a mural that is part of the campaign to create 1,000 murals on closed businesses, created by the company Beautify, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Santa Monica, California, May 4, 2020.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that some of the state's retailers, like those that sell clothes, books, sporting goods, toys and more, will be allowed to offer curb-side pickup starting Friday if they meet certain health guidelines set forth by stated officials later this week. His office later tweeted that this order would not include office spaces, dine-in restaurants and shopping malls yet.

Newsom also announced that individual counties that believe they have adequate testing and contact tracing capacity, proper sanitation practices and are able to provide security to those who are most vulnerable, including homeless, older citizens and the incarcerated, could begin moving even further into "phase two" of the state's reopening plan, which would include allowing some restaurants and businesses in the hospitality industry to reopen with modifications.

"This is a very positive sign and it has happened only for one reason: The data says it can happen," Newsom said at his daily press briefing. —Noah Higgings-Dunn

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4:11 pm: Stocks eke out a gain to start the week

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out small gains to start the trading week, finishing 0.4% higher and 0.1% higher, respectively. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posted an outsized gain in comparison, ending the session 1.2% higher. Read more on the markets from CNBC's Yun Li and Fred Imbert. —Sara Salinas

4:07 pm: Microsoft reports 75% increase in time spent on Windows 10

The humble personal computer is seeing a resurgence in the age of coronavirus. Time spent on Windows 10 is up some 75% year over year, Microsoft said.

The disclosure comes days after Apple said it saw a record Mac active installed base in the most recent quarter. —Jordan Novet

3:38 pm: New drug from Japan to be tested in more than 40 countries, including US

Avigan influenza tablets, produced by Fujifilm Holdings Corp., are arranged for a photograph at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. doctors are currently testing an influenza drug made by Fujifilm as a treatment for Covid-19. Tim Hornyak reports for CNBC that the drug, which is called favipiravir, has been shipped from Japan to 43 countries where it will be tested in clinical trials among patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Favipiravir previously saw promising results in a clinical trial in China where patients treated with the drug tested negative for Covid-19 after a median of four days. —Hannah Miller

3:31 pm: Car crashes recently started to increase, USAA CEO says

USAA has observed an uptick in car crashes in recent weeks, although coronavirus-related business closures remained in place, CEO USAA CEO Wayne Peacock said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." 

"The last couple of weeks we've seen a slight uptick in those rates, certainly not because stores are reopening," Peacock said, suggesting the rise could be attributable to "a spring fever or a cabin fever in the air." 

USAA, like many auto insurers, saw declines in accident claims as stay-at-home orders went into effect across the U.S. Peacock said that on average, USAA saw 40% to 50% fewer crashes during stay-at-home orders from pre-lockdown levels. —Kevin Stankiewicz

3:01 pm: US Treasury seeks to borrow a record $3 trillion this quarter

The U.S. Treasury announced plans to borrow $2.999 trillion this quarter, a record. 

"The increase in privately-held net marketable borrowing is primarily driven by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, including expenditures from new legislation to assist individuals and businesses, changes to tax receipts including the deferral of individual and business taxes from April – June until July, and an increase in the assumed end-ofJune Treasury cash balance," the statement said. —Jeff Cox

2:17 pm: NFL cancels international games for 2020 season

Jacksonville Jaguars' Gardner Minshew II (centre) fumbles the ball during the NFL International Series match at Wembley Stadium, London.
Simon Cooper | Getty Images

The five games initially scheduled outside the U.S. for the 2020 National Football League season will be played domestically, the league announced.

"After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK," said Christopher Halpin, NFL executive vice president and chief strategy and growth officer.

The NFL had one game set for Mexico City and four in London for the International Series.

The Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins were all set to be the "home" teams for the games and will now host the game at their own stadiums. —Chris Eudaily

2:14 pm: WHO to speak with US to make remdesivir more widely available

The World Health Organization is planning to speak with the U.S. government and biotech firm Gilead Sciences on potentially making antiviral drug remdesivir more widely available to countries across the globe.

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Gilead's drug to treat Covid-19 patients after results released last week from a U.S. government-run clinical trial showed some patients who took remdesivir recovered faster than those who didn't take the drug.

The drug has not been formally approved to treat the virus, and U.S. health officials caution new data on the drug has yet to be peer-reviewed. One top WHO official said he "welcomed" the recent data, adding there's "signals of hope there for the potential use of the drug." —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

2:02 pm: Apple, Google preview digital contact tracing system 

Apple and Google released sample code and screenshots of example software using the companies' contact tracing tools. The hope is this system can anonymously notify people who may have been infected with Covid-19 using Bluetooth signals from other phones.

Although the screenshots and code are not an example of the exact software that public health authorities will use, it's a base for them to start without building an entire software program from scratch. Take a look at the screenshots here. —Kif Leswing

1:54 pm: Tyson warns of more meat supply disruptions

A Tyson Foods pork processing plant, temporarily closed due to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen in Waterloo, Iowa, U.S., April 29, 2020.
Brenna Norman | Reuters

Tyson Foods warned of more disruptions to its meat supply chain, despite an executive order from President Donald Trump to keep plants open.

Tyson executives said that U.S. hog processing capacity has been nearly cut in half as the coronavirus closes slaughterhouses.

Trump deemed meat processing plants as critical infrastructure and ordered them to keep operations running under the Defense Production Act in an effort to protect the country's food supply and workers.

Tyson has already faced hurdles with reduced demand from restaurants and with hundreds of workers testing positive for the coronavirus. Those challenges will continue into the coming months, Tyson said.  —Amelia Lucas, Sara Salinas

1:39 pm: Online grocery shopping surge is whetting venture capital investors' appetite

Long wait times. Out-of-stock items. Incomplete orders.

The sudden popularity of online grocery shopping is not only frustrating customers and challenging grocers. It's also inspiring more grocery-related venture capital deals, FreshDirect co-founder and former CEO Jason Ackerman said.
"I'm seeing more deals in online grocery... than I've ever seen before," he said.

Ackerman said he's spoken to many grocery chains that can't keep up with the demand for online grocery pickup and delivery. "Over time, that will wear on customers," he said.

He said the struggles have highlighted the need for more investments in infrastructure that speeds up order fulfillment, lowers costs for grocers and improves the experience for customers. —Melissa Repko

1:28 pm: New York on 'other side of the mountain' as deaths and hospitalizations fall, governor says

Gov. Cuomo: New York continues seeing drop in coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations
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Gov. Cuomo: New York continues seeing drop in coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the daily number of hospitalizations and new deaths related to Covid-19 are declining, suggesting the state is on "the other side of the mountain." However, he added that officials are not seeing as steep of a decline as they hoped.

New York's so-called pause order ends on May 15, but local governments will need to show they meet the criteria before social distancing restrictions can be lifted, such as ensuring adequate health-care capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, a lower rate of new infections and the ability to conduct contact tracing.

The state reported 9,647 total hospitalizations on Sunday, down from 9,786, Cuomo said. An additional 226 people died from Covid-19 on Sunday, he said, which makes four consecutive days that daily figure has been below 300. The last time the number of deaths was below 300 was on March 31.

"You see that mountain that we went up, now we're on the other side of the mountain. You start to see the shape of the mountain, unfortunately, the decline from the mountain is not as steep as the incline," Cuomo said while referencing a chart of total hospitalizations in the state related to Covid-19. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

12:52 pm: New Jersey closes all schools for the rest of the academic year

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the state's schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. 

"As I have noted before, we are working with the principle that public health creates economic health, or in this case, public health creates educational health," Murphy said during his daily press briefing, The governor and the Department of Education have not made a decision on summer programs.

The announcement comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that schools and colleges in his state will be closed for the rest of the academic year. 

New Jersey reported 1,621 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 128,269. The state also reported 45 new deaths for a total of 7,910. —Jasmine Kim

12:36 pm: FDA clamps down on coronavirus antibody tests

FDA is tightening regulations on Covid-19 antibody tests