Health and Science

Coronavirus updates: Amazon workers sue the company; Saudi cases top 100,000

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As the global death of Covid-19 nears 400,000, U.S. health officials are keeping a close eye on caseloads and hospitalization rates as states continue to relax their lockdown measures and reopen different types of businesses.

U.S. cases have been climbing since Memorial Day, but New York City this week reached an optimistic milestone: on Friday, the city, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, reported zero coronavirus deaths for the day. That hasn't happened since March. NYC is slated to move into its first phase of reopening on Monday. 

Still, the virus continues to spread quickly in parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to the World Health Organization. Brazil's caseload and death rate are particularly stark, even as Reuters reports that President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to pull his country out of the WHO.

CNBC's live coverage in this blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, find the latest updates here.

  • Global cases: More than 6.78 million
  • Global deaths: At least 396,100
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.9 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 109,200

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Saudi coronavirus cases top 100,000

A picture taken on March 26, 2020, shows a car driving on a road next to the King Abdullah Financial City in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after the Kingdom began implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew, on the day of an emergency G20 videoconference, to discuss a response to the COVID-19 crisis. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
FAYEZ NURELDINE | AFP via Getty Images

1:36 p.m. BST — Coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia passed 100,000 on Sunday, as the kingdom's health ministry announced 3,045 new cases on the day, bringing its confirmed total to 101,914. The kingdom of nearly 34 million has seen daily cases climb, with Sunday's count exceeding 3,000 daily cases for the first time.

Saudi Arabia enacted a strict 24-hour curfew during the Muslim holiday of Eid that marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan in the last days of May, and on Friday announced it was reimposing lockdown orders on the seaside city of Jeddah, the country's second-most populous after Riyadh. — Natasha Turak

Florida Senator Rick Scott accuses China of 'sabotage' in vaccine race

9:53 a.m. BST — Florida Senator Rick Scott (R, FL) accused China of sabotaging vaccine development in the race for a cure for the coronavirus during an televised interview with the BBC on Sunday. 

"We have got to get this vaccine done. Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down ... China does not want us ... to do it first, they have decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world."

Scott did not elaborate on the evidence behind his claim, but credited the U.S. intelligence community for the information.

"This vaccine is really important to all of us getting our economy going again. What I really believe is whether England does it first or we do it first, we are going to share. Communist China, they are not going to share," he said. — Natasha Turak

Some lawmakers want to send American families up to $10,000 per month

5:57 p.m. ET — Several lawmakers on Capitol Hill have come up with a generous proposal: sending individuals $2,000 per month to help them weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill – put forward by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ed Markey, D-Mass. – would include as much as $4,000 per couple, plus $2,000 for up to three children. In total, families could receive up to $10,000 per month.
The money would be sent for as long as the pandemic lasts. The idea is a spin on the concept of universal basic income, or the idea of indefinitely providing people with a guaranteed monthly amount of income.

It's an idea that Andrew Yang supported during his presidential campaign. This week, he said it's even more necessary now in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our problems have accelerated, where we've experienced 10 years' worth of displacement in 10 weeks," Yang said. "But we have a real chance here to alleviate poverty."

But naysayers say the plan is too expensive or does not target the families who need the money most. This comes as Washington lawmakers are poised to come up with another legislative package to help American families stave off the negative financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. — Lorie Konish

Sights and sounds of NYC protests

1:10 p.m. ET — Massive protests have rolled across New York City since George Floyd died at the hands of police on May 25. From shouts and angry chants to tearful hugs, New York City is steeped in the social unrest.

Although police and protesters have clashed violently at times and looters ransacked stores for several nights in a row, many people are marching peacefully, pleading for an end to police brutality against black Americans. 

CNBC's Spencer Kimball offers a timeline of photos and videos taken over three days in the city. — Elisabeth Butler Cordova

Black Lives Matter protestors march up 7th Avenue in New York City, June 2, 2020.
Spencer Kimball | CNBC

Djokovic calls US Open coronavirus safety protocols 'extreme'

12:45 p.m. ET — Novak Djokovic is not a fan of proposed coronavirus safety protocols for the 2020 US Open, should the Grand Slam tournament continue in New York City, as planned, starting Aug. 31, according to a BBC report citing Serbia's Prva TV.

"We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week," Djokovic said, according to the BBC. He decried the idea of bringing just one person into the tennis club, saying he would normally bring at least his coach, a fitness trainer and a physiotherapist as part of his support team.

Djokovic, the world's top-ranked men's tennis player, called the protocols "extreme" and "impossible," BBC reports. — Tom Huddleston Jr.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action against Milos Raonic of Canada during day fourteen of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Julian Finney | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Houses of worship in parts of NY now allowed to expand gatherings

12 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that churches, mosques and temples are allowed to re-open at 25% capacity for regions in Phase 2 reopening.

Regions currently in Phase 2 include the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Southern Tier and North Country and Western New York. The state previously allowed religious gatherings of 10 people or fewer to combat the spread of the coronavirus. — Emma Newburger

Lawsuit accuses Amazon of 'sloppy contact tracing' 

11:15 a.m. ET — A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by three Amazon warehouse workers accuses the company of engaging in "sloppy contact tracing" and failing to follow proper guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health agencies for tracking and preventing the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus among workers.

For instance, after an Amazon employee tests positive for Covid-19, the company reviews video footage to determine which other employees may have become exposed to the virus, but Amazon does not interview the infected individual to get a more complete picture, per CDC guidelines, the lawsuit alleges.

Last week, Amazon notified employees of multiple new cases at Amazon's Staten Island facility, known as JFK8 and where the plaintiffs are all employed, according to the lawsuit. In a statement, Amazon told CNBC the company has always followed the guidance of federal and local health authorities. Read Annie Palmer's full report for CNBC here. —Tom Huddleston Jr.

Amazon drivers begin their delivery routes as workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York prepare to walk off their jobs demanding stepped-up protection and pay after several workers at the facility were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Paul Hennessy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

Surprising jobs report has economists talking again about a V-shaped recovery

10:45 a.m. ET — Chatter about a V-shaped recovery has reignited following a surprise report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday showing a decrease in unemployment, contrary to expectations.Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said in a note that the report marks the "beginning of the labor market recovery," while Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, called May's job gains "only the beginning." 

Still, experts say there's a long road ahead. The 2.5 million jobs gained in May represent only a small portion of the jobs lost in March and April, and varying levels of social distancing restrictions remain in place around the country. Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, said the recent rally in stocks was the market anticipating a recovery in activity. "That seems to be coming more quickly than what anybody anticipated," he said. — Tucker Higgins

Post-pandemic, you might find a robot doing your job

10:22 a.m. ET — During downturns, companies usually invest in automation to save on labor costs. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, we'll see even more of that, according to futurist and author Ravin Jesuthasan, who's written four books on the future of work and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Steering Committee on Work and Employment. CNBC's Annie Nova has the full report— Kenneth Kiesnoski

Ravin Jesuthasan
Source: Ravin Jesuthasan

Please wait in your car until we call you

10 a.m. ET — Business owners are getting creative with their reopening strategies, trying to balance the need to protect staff and customers amid a pandemic and the desperate desire to get back to work. 

From treadmills surrounded by translucent plexiglass barriers to parking lot waiting rooms, here's what you can expect to see as America gets back to work. CNBC's Cory Stieg has the full report. — Elisabeth Butler Cordova

How and when professional sports can come back

9:50 a.m. ET — So many sports fans are ready for some semblance of pro sports to return. CNBC's Brian Clark and Jordan Smith explain how it might look when it happens in the video below. —Elisabeth Butler Cordova

How pro sports leagues plan to make a comeback during a pandemic
How pro sports leagues plan to make a comeback during a pandemic

Read CNBC's previous coronavirus live coverage here: India's cases top those of Italy; Brazil's Bolsonaro threatens to pull out of WHO.