Health and Science

Putin has a 'disinfection tunnel,' Sweden feels isolated over coronavirus

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The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world has now topped 8 million as the World Health Organization continues to warn that while the virus has slowed in parts of Europe it is gaining speed in other parts of the world, including parts of Africa and the Americas. 

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

  • Global cases: More than 8.15 million
  • Global deaths: At least 441,407
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.13 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 116,905

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Germany's CureVac to launch human trial of experimental vaccine, regulator confirms

11:00 a.m. London time: German biotech firm CureVac is to begin human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine, Germany's vaccines regulator said Wednesday.

The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Germany's Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, authorized the clinical trial of the potential vaccine developed by CureVac after "a careful assessment of the risk/benefit profile of the vaccine candidate." 

On Monday, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier confirmed that the German government would acquire a 23% stake for 300 million euros ($337.4 million) in CureVac. — Holly Ellyatt

Sweden says 'wounds' have been created by it being excluded from Nordic travel area

The decision to exclude Sweden, from the lifting of travel restrictions between Nordic countries Finland, Denmark and Norway, following the coronavirus pandemic, "has created wounds that will take time to heal," the country's Foreign Minister Ann Linde told CNBC.

A decision not to implement a strict lockdown like its neighbors has meant that Sweden, which has seen a far higher number of coronavirus cases and deaths, has been left out of an easing of travel restrictions between the countries.

Minister Ann Linde said "people that have been very used to working as if there were no borders, have been given a very clear wake-up call that different nations (are being treated differently) and I think this will, in many people, create wounds that could be difficult to heal." — Holly Ellyatt

Russia's President Putin has a 'disinfection tunnel'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a "disinfection tunnel" installed at his residence to protect him from contracting the coronavirus, Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported Tuesday.


The chamber has been installed at the president's residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, according to the news agency.  Anyone entering the residence has to pass through the chamber that uses a fine mist of disinfectant solution that covers clothing and exposed areas of the body. — Holly Ellyatt

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a Victory Day military parade marking the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Honduran president says he has coronavirus

12:48 p.m. Singapore time — Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said he has been diagnosed with coronavirus and will work remotely as he is being treated, Reuters reported. He is experiencing mild symptoms and his wife and two of his aides have also been diagnosed with the disease, according to Reuters.

Honduras has confirmed 9,656 cases of coronavirus and 330 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. — Christine Wang

Reemergence of coronavirus in Beijing highlights challenges ahead for China's economy

9:06 a.m. Beijing time — China's capital city had gone more than 50 days without domestically transmitted cases when a new cluster of cases emerged late last week, and were traced back to a major wholesale produce market in Beijing.

As of Tuesday, China's National Health Commission reported another 31 confirmed cases of local transmission in Beijing.

The city has started to reinstate some restrictions that had been relaxed in recent weeks. While these measures are less strict than the blanket bans imposed in February, they are still likely hit economic activity again. — Evelyn Cheng, Christine Wang

Beijing closes schools amid concerns of a resurgent second wave
Beijing closes schools amid concerns of a resurgent second wave

Amazon tests wearable device that notifies workers if they're violating social distancing rules

7:20 p.m. ET — Amazon is testing a wearable device at its Seattle-area warehouse that lights up and beeps if workers aren't following social distancing rules, according a memo obtained by CNBC.

Starting Wednesday, the device will be rolled out at Amazon's Kent, Washington facility. The device is a clear plastic sleeve with a clip that features an LED light and audio system, according to a memo seen by CNBC.

When workers are too close to one another, the wearable emits a loud beeping noise and the light flashes.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company recently began a small-scale pilot of the wearable device at one of its warehouses. The spokesperson added that the company will use feedback from teams testing the device "to continue to iterate." It comes as Amazon has also experimented with cameras equipped with social distancing software. On Tuesday, the company announced it's rolling out "Distance Assistants" at a handful of facilities across the U.S. A camera is hooked up to a monitor and a local computing device that alerts users as they walk by whether they're maintaining proper distancing. —Annie Palmer

Dexamethasone is a 'good first step,' lead researcher says

Dr. Martin Landray on steroid study that shows reduced Covid-19 deaths
Dr. Martin Landray on steroid study that shows reduced Covid-19 deaths

6:25 p.m. ET — Dexamethasone, a steroid that one study says effectively reduced death among Covid-19 patients, is a "good first step" to finding a cocktail of drugs that can treat the disease, Oxford University professor Martin Landray told CNBC.

"It's very likely that we'll end up with a situation where a combination of drugs are used, just as we see in HIV, just as we see in heart disease, in many other areas of medicine," said Landray, who co-led the study that found the drug to improve survival among patients. "But this is the first step. It's a good first step."

The drug is cheap, widely available in most countries and appears to be effective in treating some symptoms of the disease, Landray said. He said he hopes that researchers find other drugs that also attack other aspects of the virus and the disease it caused. —Will Feuer

Texas governor says residents who were not social distancing increased cases since Memorial Day

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Tom Fox | Getty Images

5 p.m. ET — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the state has seen an increase in coronavirus cases since Memorial Day most likely due to people who didn't follow recommended social distancing practices.

The state reported an additional 2,622 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, a new daily high, he said. Abbott pointed to an increase in testing in state nursing homes, correctional facilities as well as some reporting delays as reasons behind jumps in daily case numbers.

However, he added that some counties have reported higher positivity rates stemming from people under 30 years old, indicating they may be going to "bar-type settings" or were infected at Memorial Day celebrations, Abbott said. "We think we can also accurately say there has been an increase — especially beginning around the Memorial Day time period and going through a few weeks after that — an increase in people testing positive because they may not be practicing all these safe standards," he said. He reminded residents to continue wearing face masks, washing their hands and maintaining a distance from other people. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Missouri, Georgia make big strides in reopening

Tracy Collie styles Roberta Skivicki's hair at Three-13 Salon, Spa and Boutique, during the phased reopening of businesses and restaurants from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the state, in Marietta, Georgia, April 24, 2020.
Bita Honarvar | Reuters

4:20 p.m. ET — Both Missouri and Georgia have made major progress in easing coronavirus-related restrictions.

Missouri has lifted all statewide coronavirus restrictions to "be fully open for business," according to Gov. Mike Parson. However, local officials can still put health measures in place.

Georgia now allows gatherings of up to 50 people as long as guests remain 6 feet apart. Restaurants no longer have capacity limitations and bars can now have up to 50 people or 35% of their total capacity, whichever is greater.

For more on states' reopening progress, click here. —Hannah Miller

Van's U.S. Open of Surfing canceled in California 

People enjoy the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach, California on June 14, 2020.
APU GOMES | AFP | Getty Images

3:30 p.m. ET — The 2020 Vans U.S. Open of Surfing has been canceled this year in Huntington Beach, California and will return in 2021 because of safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, event organizers announced this week.

The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing brings together the international board sports community for the largest professional sports competition and festival in the world, the event website said. "The Vans US Open of Surfing has always been about bringing people together in a healthy, fun and interactive environment, and given the size and scale of the event, we can't see a way to do that this year without sacrificing the very thing that makes it so special," said Jennifer Lau, vice president of Action Sports at IMG in a press release. —Suzanne Blake

Apple to reopen New York City stores

Customers visit the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

1:49 p.m. ET — Apple will reopen 10 stores in New York City this week, but many of them will be "appointment only," meaning that customers need to schedule a time to buy products or get service for their computers.

It's the first time stores in New York City will be open since March, when the company shuttered its locations amid the pandemic, and a sign that business is picking up in the city.

By the end of the week, more than 200 of the company's 271 retail stores will be open. Apple requires customers to wear face masks inside its stores, and will provide masks to customers who don't have one. —Kif Leswing

U.S. Open to be held without fans

1:43 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the U.S. Open tennis tournament will be held on schedule but without fans in attendance.

Cuomo said players and staff will be subject to robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing and transportation.

While tennis fans may be happy to have a live sporting event to look forward to, some top players are voicing their concerns about their safety. 

"I'll get my hazmat suit ready," Nick Kyrgios tweeted, calling the push to hold the tournament "selfish."  The iconic Queens tournament is a big money generator for both New York state and the U.S. Tennis Association, generating $400 million annually. —Jessica Golden

New York to lift suspension on visitors at hospitals, group homes as outbreak eases

Cuomo: New York to allow hospitals, group homes to accept visitors at their discretion
Cuomo: New York to allow hospitals, group homes to accept visitors at their discretion

1:38 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will allow hospitals and group homes to accept visitors at their discretion after limiting access to the facilities at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March. The order does not apply to the state's nursing homes, Cuomo said.

Visitors will be required to follow state guidelines, which include limiting time with patients, requiring personal protective equipment and requiring symptom and temperature checks. On Monday, the state reported its lowest three-day average of Covid-19 deaths and its lowest level of hospitalizations since the outbreak began in mid-March, Cuomo said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Emerald City Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration canceled

Fans attend Emerald City Comic Con at Washington State Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.
Suzi Pratt

1:30 p.m. ET — With the coronavirus pandemic still looming, a number of prominent fan conventions have been canceled. 

ReedPop announced that the previously postponed Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle was canceled due to safety concerns related to Covid-19. All tickets that were transferred from ECCC's March 2020 date to the August 2020 date will be automatically refunded by June 29. 

The next ECCC will take place in March 2021.

Disney also revealed Monday that its upcoming Star Wars Celebration, which was set to take place in August, was canceled. The company cited public health guidelines and concerns over attendees' safety.

The next Star Wars Celebration will take place in August 2022 in California. —Sarah Whitten

Cisco offers solutions to customers as remote life continues

1:20 p.m. ET — Cisco said that after helping some customers deploy remote collaboration technology and other solutions to address remote work during the pandemic, it will now offer those products and consulting services to more of its clients as solutions for faster adoption.

Though some parts of the world have begun permitting companies to reopen their offices to employees, CEO Chuck Robbins said it's still early.

Cisco has solutions that prisons can use for virtual inmate visits and technology to monitor adherence to social distancing in offices, Robbins said. —Jordan Novet

Texas hospitalizations up 66% since Memorial Day

COVID unit nurse Anita Pedy (left) and medical student volunteer Alan Araiza (right) check bruises on the back of COVID patient Melquiades Cervantes. In Houston, Texas.
Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

1:04 p.m. ET — Texas Covid-19 hospitalizations are up roughly 66% since Memorial Day as the state continues to reopen.

There are now 2,518 patients hospitalized with a coronavirus infection across the state's hospitals, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. At least 10 states in total are showing a rise in hospitalizations, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project.

In recent weeks, some state and federal leaders have downplayed a recent rise in cases and hospitalizations across the U.S., tying it to an increased in testing. Infectious disease specialists note that the U.S. and other parts of the world will likely continue to see a rise in cases until there is a proven drug or effective vaccine. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Some Americans will get vaccine for free, officials say

12:28 p.m. ET — Americans who can't afford the vaccine to prevent Covid-19 will get it for free, Trump administration officials announced.

Some commercial insurers have also expressed "eagerness" to cover the vaccine without a co-pay, a senior administration official told reporters during a press briefing, meaning those with insurance may also not have to pay anything out of pocket.

U.S. health officials and researchers have been fast-tracking work on vaccine development, aiming to produce 300 million doses of a potential vaccine by January. Because of the pandemic, U.S. officials are investing in multiple stages of research even though doing so could be for naught if the vaccine ends up not being effective or safe. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Former FDA chief Gottlieb says new steroid treatment could have 'immediate impact'

Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb breaks down report on promising new Covid-19 steroid treatment
Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb breaks down report on promising new Covid-19 steroid treatment

11:40 a.m. ET — Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid, could have an "immediate impact" on how doctors treat Covid-19 patients, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.

A new study found the drug to effectively improve survival among severely sick Covid-19 patients.

"It's going to probably have an immediate impact on what doctors are doing in the ICU setting," Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" in response to the news. "This is an important finding. It's going to change dogma."

The researchers of the study said it is the first drug to appear to improve survival among Covid-19 patients. There are still no treatments approved by the FDA to treat the disease, though Gilead's remdesivir has received an emergency use authorization. —Will Feuer

Tenet Healthcare says new virus spikes are manageable

A medical worker puts a sample for COVID-19 antibody testing into a test tube.
Gavriil Grigorov | TASS via Getty Images

11:23 a.m. ET — Tenet Healthcare says the spike in Covid-19 cases in states like Arizona is not impeding the rebound in elective surgery at its hospitals, which are back to 95% of pre-coronavirus levels this month.

"We're busy with Covid, but we're not overwhelmed.... and we've put a lot of focus on really insuring Covid care zones are being separated from coded safe zones, and communicating that actively into the community and to the physician community, in particular, so they feel comfortable," said Tenet COO Saum Sutaria on an update call with analysts.

Sutaria noted that new Covid-19 patients in markets where cases are rising tend to be younger, in their mid-30s to mid-60s, and require less intensive care treatment.

Tenet shares rose nearly 6% in opening trade but gave up those gains late morning. —Bertha Coombs

Homebuilder sentiment surges, showing a rebound from lockdown

11:06 a.m. ET — Homebuyer demand is up following a sudden drop at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, CNBC's Diana Olick reports.

Homebuilder sentiment went up 21 points in June to 58, the biggest monthly increase ever in the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Readings above 50 indicate a positive market.

In April, the reading diminished 42 points to 30. Under the homebuilder index's three elements, current sales conditions rose 21 points to 63 in June meanwhile sales expectations rose 22 points to 68. Buyer traffic went up from 22 to 43.

"As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward," said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon, a homebuilder and developer from Shrewsbury, New Jersey. "Inventory is tight, mortgage applications are increasing, interest rates are low and confidence is rising." —Suzanne Blake

One in five people worldwide is at risk of developing 'severe' cases of Covid-19, scientists claim

Doctors wearing face masks and gloves as a preventive measure attend to a coronavirus patient at the intensive care unit of Albert Schweitzer Hospital.
Robin Utrecht | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

9:50 a.m. ET — One in five people worldwide is at risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19, scientists have estimated.

A team of researchers from the U.S., the U.K. and China estimated that 1.7 billion people — or 22% of the global population — are at "increased risk" of developing severe symptoms if infected with the coronavirus.

People were considered to be at increased risk if they had one or more chronic health conditions associated with greater vulnerability to the virus, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

In North America, 28% of the population, or 104 million people, had at least one underlying condition that put them at increased risk of developing severe Covid-19 if they caught the virus, according to the study. —Chloe Taylor

Steroid dexamethasone reduces deaths from severe Covid-19, trial shows

9:41 a.m. ET — Treating Covid-19 patients with the generic steroid dexamethasone cut death rates by about a third for those with the most serious cases of the virus, according to data from a UK-led clinical trial.

Scientists have called the results a "major breakthrough" and the study's researchers said the generic drug should become standard care in hospitalized coronavirus patients, Reuters reports.

There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the coronavirus. —Hannah Miller, Reuters

CNBC Disruptor 50 list features companies focused on coronavirus economy

Persephone Kavallines

9:22 a.m. ET — This year's CNBC Disruptor 50 list includes at least 18 companies that say demand for their core products has more than doubled since the coronavirus crisis unleashed itself across the world. That's because many use artificial intelligence and machine learning, which are speeding the development of medical treatments to fight the virus.

Others are in the health-technology field supporting at-home testing, such as, which provides FDA-approved remote urinalysis, and Heal, a six-year-old start-up that provides at-home doctor visits through telemedicine., a company that is so defined by artificial intelligence that it changed its name from C3 IoT a few years ago, has taken a leading role in using the technology to fight Covid-19.

The three-time Disruptor 50 company teamed up with Amazon Web Services in April to create a Covid-19 "data lake," which unifies data sets, updates them in real-time and offers researchers a clearer starting point for generating usable insights.

Tempus built a drug discovery-and-development platform designed to be disease-agnostic. So when the pandemic hit, it was in a strong position to pivot and support efforts to slow the spread and to find short-term and long-term treatments.

Tempus brought a test to market in April and launched a research project examining 50,000 coronavirus-positive patients to find the most effective treatments and other insights. —Lori Ioannou

AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine protects for one year, CEO says

AstraZeneca's building in Luton, Britain.
Tim Ireland | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

8:58 a.m. ET — AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine would provide protection from contracting Covid-19 for around one year, CEO Pascal Soriot told Belgian radio station Bel RTL Tuesday.

The company has contracts with France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Britain to provide doses of the vaccine, Reuters reported.

Soriot said the vaccine could be ready, beginning October, "if all goes well."

Soriot told the station, in an interview curated by Reuters, that the company has already begun a phase III trial and has a phase I trial ending soon. —Alex Harring

Coronavirus could usher in cashless casinos

Guests play roulette at Excalibur Hotel & Casino after the Las Vegas Strip property opened for the first time since being closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on June 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images

8:32 a.m. ET — Concerns around Covid-19 could soon usher in cashless payment technologies at Nevada casinos, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending "tap-and-pay to limit handling of cash" to decrease the spread of the virus.

A hearing on cashless payments will be held for Nevada gaming regulators on June 25, CNBC's Contessa Brewer reports.

Sightline Payments founder and CEO Kirk Sanford said contactless payments may even replace the chips at casino tables. While some say digital payments increase the risk of problem gambling, others see the benefit in increased hygienic practices in fighting the virus as well as the possibility to attract a younger generation of customers.

"Any customers uneasy about using cash on the gaming floor due to health or safety concerns should have an alternate payment option available to them," the gaming industry's trade group said. —Suzanne Blake

Ad spending decline won't be as steep this year as it was in 2009 financial crisis, GroupM forecasts 

8:27 a.m. ET — Though the advertising industry has seen spending decline drastically in recent months as a result of the pandemic, a new forecast from GroupM says the impact won't be quite as steep as it was during the 2009 financial crisis.

The new U.S. mid-year report from the media agency arm of advertising holding company WPP says it expects U.S. advertising to decline 13% during 2020 (excluding political advertising, which varies greatly on election years), compared with the 16% drop seen during the 2009 financial crisis. —Megan Graham

McDonald's U.S. same-store sales fell just 5.1% in May

8:21 a.m. ET — McDonald's U.S. customers are coming back to restaurants for their Big Macs and fries.

In May, the fast-food chain's U.S. same-store sales fell just 5.1%. That's in comparison with a 19.2% plunge in April, its steepest monthly drop during the pandemic.

Roughly 7% of McDonald's U.S. locations have reopened with reduced seating capacity, and only about 100 restaurants in the country remain closed entirely.

But outside of the U.S., widespread temporary closures shuttered even drive-thru and delivery service, leading same-store sales of its two international segments to plunge. As of Monday, 90% of its international restaurants are operating again. —Amelia Lucas

The latest on U.S. hot spots


Sanofi to invest more than $670 million in vaccine research centers

The logo of Sanofi is seen at the company's research and production centre in Vitry-sur-Seine, France, August 6, 2019.
Charles Platiau | Reuters

7:21 a.m. ET — French drugmaker Sanofi will invest $679.4 million in two French facilities to turn them into a "state-of-the-art vaccine production" site and a new vaccine research center, the company announced.

Sanofi said the investment was made possible by "close collaboration with French authorities" over the past few months and will help the company respond quickly to any future pandemic viruses. 

"Sanofi is a major healthcare player in France, in Europe, and worldwide," Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said. It is our responsibility to focus our resources and expertise against the current pandemic, but also to invest in preparing for future ones."

Sanofi and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline announced in April plans to join the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. —Will Feuer

German demand for potatoes down amid pandemic

A customer stands beside a chilled meat cabinet inside a Rewe supermarket, operated by the Rewe Group, in Berlin, Germany.
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

6:56 a.m. ET — The pandemic has hit German demand for potatoes and related products hard with around several 100,000 tons of products going to waste, the German Association of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry (BOGK) said. It also called for the German government, and consumers, to support the potato market.

"Due to the catastrophic drop in sales of frozen, chilled and dry potato products, mainly in the areas of gastronomy, canteen supplies, consumption at major events and in exports, several 100,000 tons of processed potatoes could not be used not only in Europe but also in Germany," the BOGK said.

"The consequences are serious," Horst-Peter Karos, managing director of the association said. "The damage for this goes into the millions. A significant improvement in the situation is also not foreseeable in the medium term," he added.

The association is asking both retailers and consumers "for a completely new appreciation for potatoes and potato products made from them. Retailers should therefore expand and promote the range of potato products overall." It also asked for more government support for the potato processing industry. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC's previous coronavirus live coverage here: China reports 40 new cases as Beijing cluster grows, San Francisco moves further into reopening