Health and Science

France's Macron and Germany's Merkel to present joint initiative amid coronavirus crisis

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How Covid-19 testing works

Approximately two months after the coronavirus outbreak caused a nearly nationwide lockdown, 48 states have eased shelter-in-place restrictions — only Massachusetts and Connecticut kept strict lockdown rules in place — in an attempt to reinvigorate their local economies. An NBC News survey of 33 states and Washington, D.C., found the lockdown will cost states hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. States that are projected to see the biggest drop in revenue include New York, California, Alaska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wyoming, NBC News reported.

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  • Global cases: More than 4.7 million
  • Global deaths: At least 315,225
  • Most cases reported: United States (More than 1.4 million), Russia (281,752), United Kingdom (244,995), Brazil (241,080), Spain (230,698).

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 1:40 p.m. Beijing time. 

UK adds loss of taste and smell to list of coronavirus symptoms

11:20 am (London time): People in the U.K. are now being told to self-isolate if they lose their sense of taste or smell.

Anosmia, a condition that can impact someone's ability to smell or taste, was added to the U.K.'s list of possible coronavirus symptoms on Monday. Until then, people were only urged to self-isolate if they had a fever or a new continuous cough.

In a statement, the U.K.'s four chief medical officers — representing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — said evidence suggested the new symptoms should be included. Individuals experiencing any one of the symptoms on the list should stay at home at least for seven days, the experts said. — Chloe Taylor

President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel to announce new 'Franco-German initiative'

09:00 am (London time): French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will present a new Franco-German initiative later on Monday, in a surprise move from Europe's most influential leaders.

Macron and Merkel will hold a video-conference at 13:30 London time and then a news conference around 15:00 London time. No details on the initiative have been released but a source close to the French government said "they will make a proposal on health, economic recovery, digital, ecological transition and industrial sovereignty."

Germany and France have had very different experiences of the coronavirus crisis. While both have reported similar numbers of confirmed cases (France with 179,693 cases, as of Monday and Germany with 176,551 cases) the number of fatalities differs widely.

France has reported 28,111 deaths while Germany has reported 7,975 fatalities. Germany has attributed its lower death toll to an initial outbreak among young, healthy people whose contacts could be traced, a comprehensive lockdown, a widespread testing regime and modern hospital infrastructure.  — Holly Ellyatt, Silvia Amaro

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and French President Emmanuel Macron commemorate the end of the First World War 100 years ago near the northern French town of Compiègne. The armistice was signed on 11 November 1918 in a converted dining car in the clearing. The memorial is located on this site. 
Kay Nietfeld | picture alliance | Getty Images

Apple's retail reopening plan includes temperature checks and mandatory masks

9:21 am (Singapore time): The iPhone maker released its blueprint for how it will reopen stores once it is safe to do so, per official health guidelines.

Visitors to the stores would be required to get their temperature checked and wear a mask before entering. Apple said it will provide masks to those who do not have one.  They will also be checked for other potential symptoms caused by Covid-19, such as having a cough.

Apple also said it will reopen several stores in the U.S. this week – some of them will allow visitors and others will offer curbside pick-up service. – Steve Kovach, Saheli Roy Choudhury

Japan slips into recession

8:57 am (Singapore time): Data showed Japan's economy slipped into recession for the first time in more than four years, Reuters reported.

Gross domestic product contracted an annualized 3.4% between January to March as private consumption, capital expenditure and exports fell, Reuters said, citing preliminary official data. In the three months that ended in December, Japan's economy saw a revised 7.3% decline. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

It is likely that the economic situation in Japan will deteriorate further due to lockdown measures undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, which declared a national emergency in April. Though it has now been lifted for most regions, the restrictions that kept many businesses closed remain in place for big cities like Tokyo, Reuters reported. – Saheli Roy Choudhury

Fed Chair says jobless rate could be over 30%, but doesn't see another Depression

8:07 am (Singapore time): Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that while the U.S. economy will avoid a Depression-like plunge, the decline in GDP "easily be in the 20s or 30s."

Powell explained factors that are different now compared to the Depression era include an activist Fed and a Congress that's already passed nearly $3 trillion in rescue funds.

He added the cause of the current economic downturn is a freeze in activities due to efforts to combat the virus instead of an asset bubble.  An earlier version of this post mischaracterized Powell's estimate on the economy. – Jeff Cox, Saheli Roy Choudhury

Dow futures rise 200 points after last week's losses

7:17 pm ET: U.S. stock futures rose at the start of the overnight session as investors weighed comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and last week's moderate losses. Dow futures, which rose 200 points Sunday evening, implied an opening gain of about 100 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.35% and 0.25%, respectively. The overnight moves come after the S&P 500's 2.2% slide last week, its worst weekly performance since March. -- Tom Franck

Trump calls into golf tournament, talks sports and coronavirus

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

5:14 pm ET: President Trump made an unannounced phone call into NBC's live broadcast of a golf tournament raising funds for coronavirus relief efforts. The TaylorMade Driving Relief golf tournament marks one of the first live professional sports events in over two months.

"It's a wonderful thing to see," Trump told NBC's Mike Tirico when asked how he felt watching pro golfers return to the links after the PGA Tour delayed its season amid the pandemic. 

Trump called the sports channel after returning to the White House from Camp David and stayed on the line for about 10 minutes.

Trump talked about his relationships with pro golfers, four of whom were competing in the charity match. Trump also touted U.S. testing efforts, continuing his efforts from the past week.

"Ultimately I believe we'll end up with a cure and/or a vaccine, probably both," Trump said. "Even before that, I think we'll be back to normal." —Kevin Breuninger 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo demonstrates coronavirus nasal swab test on live TV

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, receives a nasal swab Covid-19 test during a news conference in the Red Room of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, New York, U.S., on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

4:05 pm ET: In an effort to have more New Yorkers tested for the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo demonstrated just how "fast and easy" it is to take a test during his daily press briefing. New York now has more testing capacity and sites than they're using, a new problem for the state, Cuomo said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes coronavirus test 

The nasal swab demonstration, which was performed by Dr. Elizabeth Dufort and took no longer than 10 seconds, was in an effort to show why there should be no reluctance to get tested, Cuomo said.

"Get a test, it's up to you," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the state has over 700 testing facilities and encouraged residents who feel they have symptoms, have been in contact with a positive case, will be returning to work soon as part of the state's reopening plan or are currently an essential worker or health-care professional to perform a diagnostic test. —Noah Higgins-Dunn 

Ohio governor says he's asked schools to prepare plans for reopen this fall

3:40 pm ET: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told CNN's "State of the Union" that he's asked the state's schools to assume they will reopen in the fall, but he said they need to create specific plans tailored to recommendations from the health department that will allow students to continue social distancing, including in places like the cafeteria and on playgrounds. He said while the state hopes to open the schools this upcoming August, health officials "don't know yet, frankly."

DeWine said that while health officials still believe the risk of kids becoming seriously ill because of Covid-19 are low, he's concerned about their ability to spread the virus to their families. He said the state is also closely monitoring an uptick in pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids, although it has yet to determine how widespread the syndrome may be. —Noah Higgins-Dunn 

Elvis Presley's Graceland set to reopen Thursday

3:25 pm ET: Elvis Presley's Graceland says it will reopen Thursday after it shut down tours and exhibits in March, the Associated Press reported. 

The tourist attraction in Memphis, Tennessee, said it is reducing tours to 25% capacity, requiring employees and encouraging visitors to wear face masks, and limiting restaurant capacities to 50%.

Temperature checks for guests and employees will be implemented and hand sanitizing stations are being installed.

Presley's former home-turned-museum annually attracts about 500,000 visitors, including international travelers.  —Melodie Warner, Associated Press

New York investigating approximately 120 cases of coronavirus inflammatory syndrome, governor says

A paramedic wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), tends to a 10-month-old boy with fever while riding by ambulance with the infant's mother to Stamford Hospital on April 04, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut.
John Moore | Getty Images

1:49 pm ET: The New York Department of Health is now investigating approximately 120 cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a potentially fatal illness doctors suspect is being caused by Covid-19 infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing. He said that he doesn't think the number of kids with PMIS has been fully reported, however, and that the number will likely rise as health officials begin investigating. 

"I believe this is a syndrome that we are just discovering," Cuomo said. "I think the numbers are going to be much much higher."

When it comes to resuming school in the fall, Cuomo said that's a "lifetime away," but the disease has come into consideration when discussing summer camps in the state, which officials have yet to decide whether to open. —Noah Higgins-Dunn 

NY Gov. Cuomo says over 60 CVS pharmacies to offer testing 

A driver unloads merchandise in New Rochelle, New York, March 16, 2020.
Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

1:32 pm ET: More than 60 CVS pharmacies in New York will start conducting daily coronavirus tests, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference. Each of those locations will be able to conduct at least 50 tests per day, Cuomo said.

New York state now has more than 700 testing sites, according to the governor.

Tests are available for anyone who has symptoms of the virus or who has had contact with a Covid-19-positive person, Cuomo said. Health-care workers other essential workers, as well as anyone who would return to their workplace in the first phase of the state's reopening plan, is also eligible, he said.

"We just don't have enough New Yorkers coming to be tested," Cuomo said.

"It is so fast and so easy that even a governor can take this test," Cuomo said. He then received a test himself to demonstrate the speed of the procedure: A doctor clad in protective gear approached the governor, who stood up to allow her to insert a swab into his nostril. The process took less than a minute. —Kevin Breuninger 

The CDC 'let the country down' with coronavirus testing, White House advisor says

White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

1:11 pm ET: White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "let the country down" early in the nation's response to the Covid-19 crisis when it failed to provide the country with an adequate coronavirus test.

"Not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy, they had a bad test, and that did set us back," Navarro said.

When asked whether the White House still has confidence in the CDC to lead the country's response to the pandemic, Navarro said that "you should ask the president that question, not me."

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar later told CBS that the CDC, which is an agency under HHS, has had to "literally build this from the ground up" and that it was the private sector's role to expand the CDC-developed test. He said the initial contaminated tests that the CDC developed prevented some of the scale up "for a couple of weeks."

In response to Navarro's comments, Azar said that he believes the CDC didn't let the country down and has always had the critical role of getting the private sector to the table. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Full economic recovery may require a vaccine, Fed's Powell says

11:50 am ET: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS' "60 Minutes" that "you wouldn't want to bet against the American economy," though the central bank chairman hedged that bet a bit.

In an excerpt of an interview to be aired Sunday evening, the central bank leader said he sees the economy rebounding in the second half of the year, but said a full recovery "may have to await the arrival of a vaccine." The clip was played Sunday morning on "Face the Nation." —Jeff Cox

Pelosi says 'time is of the essence' for Senate to pass $3 trillion relief package

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks about the 'Heroes Act', a proposal for the next phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 12, 2020.
Saul Loeb | Pool via Reuters

11:35 am ET: When asked about arguments from Senate Republicans that the next relief bill could wait until this summer when states begin reopening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CBS that "time is of the essence" for the Senate to pass the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by the House on Friday.

Senate Republicans have pledged to block the legislation from moving forward, which includes $1 trillion to state and local governments, and a second round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he has no interest in taking up the proposal.

Pelosi said, however, that mayors and governors from both parties want this bill to happen because of its $75 billion investment in Covid-19 testing and its investments in local and state governments.

"We cannot take a pause. They may think it's OK to pause, but people are hungry across America. Hunger doesn't take a pause," Pelosi said. "People are jobless across America and that doesn't take a pause. People don't know how they're going to pay their rent across the country." 

When asked whether any negotiations have been made with Republicans on the bill, Pelosi said: "No bill that has been proffered will become law without negotiations." —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Public companies face little risk of punishment for taking PPP loans, legal experts say

11:20 am ET: Public companies that were criticized for applying for the government's small business relief loans are likely to avoid any legal ramifications, according to legal experts.

Companies that knowingly made false statements to get Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, but lawyers advising corporate boards said the certification companies had to make for the loans were so vague and open-ended that most legitimate businesses would qualify for the program, CNBC's Hugh Son and Thomas Franck reported

"I don't see anybody being convicted for this, honestly," said Scott Pearson, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. —Terri Cullen

'Delusional' Martin Shkreli is denied early prison release

A file photo of former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli.
Getty Images

10:40 am ET: A judge rejected a request by convicted pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, the so-called Pharma Bro, to be let out of prison early in order to research a coronavirus treatment, the Associated Press reported. The judge noted that probation officials viewed Shkreli's claim as the type of "delusional self-aggrandizing behavior" that led to his conviction, AP said.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said in a nine-page ruling Saturday that Shkreli failed to demonstrate any factors that would require his release under home confinement rules.

"Disappointed but not unexpected," Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told AP. —Terri Cullen

Some schools in California may not be able to open in the fall, Gov. Newsom says

10:25 am ET: Gov. Gavin Newsom said schools in some regions of California may not be able to open in the fall if the right conditions for reopening haven't been met.

"I think some schools will not be, many schools will be conditioned on our ability to keep our faculty and students safe," Newsom said in a CNN interview.

California is moving forward to start that school year strategically and methodically, Newsom said, adding that it is "difficult to answer in absolute terms" whether schools will be able to open up this fall.

Top White House health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testified last week said he didn't foresee a vaccine being available in time to "facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall term." President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been pushing for states to reopen schools. "I think the schools should be back in the fall," he said at the White House on Friday. —Kevin Breuninger

Tesla and Alameda County officials worked out health guidelines for production, California governor says

An aerial view of the Tesla Fremont Factory on May 13, 2020 in Fremont, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

10:20 am ET: Tesla met with Alameda County health officials and has worked out health modifications that its Fremont, California-based factory must implement in order to re-start production.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom told CNN the company could begin production as early as Monday.

Newsom lifted restrictions on manufacturing as part of California's phase 1 reopening plan on May 8, but he said local jurisdictions had the authority to move forward with their reopening if they chose to do so. Alameda County decided not to lift its restrictions immediately but intended to allow manufacturing to resume on Monday, Newsom said. Tesla had challenged the county's stay-at-home order, however, by reopening its factory before those restrictions were lifted.

"They were able to work out a framework of modifications to keep their workers safe that they believe will have this issue resolved by as early as Monday, and that's the spirit of cooperation," Newsom said. Newsom said Tesla is one of "hundreds of examples" of businesses challenging health orders set by local authorities all across the country, although the company has a higher profile. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

No spike in cases seen in places that are reopening, U.S. health secretary says

9:25 am ET: State health authorities are not seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in states that are reopening, though they are seeing a rise in cases in some areas that remain closed, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar told CNN.

"We are seeing that in places that are opening. We're not seeing this spike in cases," Azar said. "We still see spikes in some areas that are in fact close to very localized situations." 

Azar's comments flies in the face of statistics gathered by local health officials that show coronavirus cases are indeed rising in states that have taken steps to restart their devastated economies, most notably Texas. After new reported cases rose by about 1,000 per day in mid-April, they started to climb in May, reaching a new single-day high of about 1,450 on Thursday, CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and John. W Schoen reported.

Cases are "definitely increasing but it's not to the point where it's overwhelming our health care system," Dr. Brian Reed, professor and chair of the department of clinical sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine, told CNBC. —Terri Cullen

Auto supplier industry needs at least $20 billion to avoid widespread damage

A worker uses a hoist to assemble a car seat at the Lear Corp. manufacturing facility in Hammond, Indiana.
Jim Young | Bloomberg | Getty Images

9:00 am ET: The U.S. auto supplier industry was already under the gun heading into this year amid slowing sales and rising costs associated with keeping up with emerging technologies that come with electric and autonomous vehicles. When the pandemic hit, a difficult situation quickly turned into a dire one, CNBC's Michael Wayland reports.

As lockdowns kicked in nationwide, many auto suppliers weren't prepared for such an immediate and drastic downturn in the economy. Now, the Original Equipment Supplier Association says a cash infusion of $20 billion to $25 billion is needed to avoid bankruptcies, and mergers and acquisitions of small and mid-sized auto suppliers. —Terri Cullen

China's Wuhan nearly doubles the number of tests per day

8:45 am ET: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on May 16, Reuters reported, citing the local health authority. That is nearly double the number of tests from a day earlier.

The enhanced testing comes after the city last weekend confirmed its first cluster of Covid-19 infections since its release from a virtual lockdown on April 8, according to Reuters. —Terri Cullen

U.S. is reportedly expected to revise its aid program for small businesses

US Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.

7:35 am ET: The U.S. is expected to revise its funding program to help small businesses ride out the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Among changes being considered to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are loosening the restrictions on how businesses spend loaned funds, along with lengthening the time businesses are given to the money, the Journal reported, citing lawmakers.

Under the PPP, small businesses can apply for government-backed loans at local lenders, and those loans may be forgiven if at least three-quarters of the loan is spent on payrolls. —Terri Cullen

Read CNBC's coverage from Asia and Europe overnight: Spain's daily death toll drops below 100 for the first time in two months