The U.S. continued to report rising numbers of new coronavirus cases, setting a fresh one-day record even as Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stressed that the U.S. could bring its outbreak under control if everyone wore masks.
Here are some of the biggest developments Thursday:
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 13.5 million
- Global deaths: At least 584,000
- U.S. cases: More than 3.49 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 137,000
Voters in six swing states overwhelmingly want schools to reopen, but many think holding in-person classes will be unsafe as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread through the U.S., according to a new CNBC/Change Research poll.
Asked in the CNBC/Change Research survey to pick which two institutions, businesses or activities the government should work hardest to reopen safely, 74% of respondents chose daycare and K-12 schools. Education trumped all other choices among the likely voters surveyed in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — states that will likely determine the outcome of November's presidential election.
The choice of whether to send students back to schools this year, whether some or all of the time, has become the latest U.S. political flash point as daily coronavirus cases hit new records. — Jacob Pramuk
Over 100 prominent scientists, including 15 Nobel laureates, have called for healthy volunteers to be deliberately exposed to the coronavirus to see whether vaccines against Covid-19 work.
The scientists signed an open letter to Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S., on Wednesday calling for human "challenge trials" that they say could "greatly accelerate" the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Challenge trials see healthy volunteers deliberately exposed to a virus, after being given a vaccine, to test whether the vaccine works to prevent infection. —Holly Ellyatt
CORRECTION: This blog post headline has been changed to accurately reflect how volunteers would be impacted and treated during the trials.
China will reopen cinemas in low-risk areas from July 20, the country's film administration said. This will be done in an orderly fashion, according to a statement.
Cinemas will have to implement strict virus prevention and control measures, added the China Film Administration. Cinemas in medium and high-risk areas will remain closed, the administration added. — Huileng Tan
Reuters reported Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical said that China has approved early-stage human trials of a vaccine candidate developed by Germany's BioNTech. The Chinese company has invested $50 million for a stake in the company and paid $85 million in licensing fees to use BioNTech's technology, Reuters said.
The news wire said it is one of two advanced candidates that the German company and Pfizer are working on together. Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted both potential vaccines a "fast track" designation. — Christine Wang
China reported that the country's GDP rebounded in the second quarter of this year, growing by 3.2% compared with a year ago. China's first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago.
The second quarter growth comes as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak in China eased, and as Beijing rolled out stimulus measures to prop up its economy.
"Generally speaking, the national economy overcame the adverse impact of the epidemic in the first half gradually and demonstrated a momentum of restorative growth and gradual recovery, further manifesting its development resilience and vitality," said China's National Bureau of Statistics in a press release on Thursday. — Huileng Tan
The National Basketball Association will use a general liability insurance policy and explore adding coverage to protect it as the league resumes games this month at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
The policy will protect the league from normal business interruption circumstances and also cover exposures involving bodily injuries, property damage resulting from services and operations. But if the NBA's bubble campus is canceled, the policy will not cover the league's expenses to resume.
With no Covid-19 or any other virus protection available, the NBA could also use self-insurance to protect itself from Covid-19 related concerns that could threaten the NBA finishing its revised calendar year. The NBA was first U.S.sports league to suspend its season on March 11 due to the pandemic. —Jabari Young
Kroger owns nearly 2,800 stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C. under its own name and other banners, such as Fred Meyer and Fry's. The company said it will require customers to wear masks or face coverings starting July 22.
"We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country," company spokeswoman Kristal Howard said. She referred to the rise of Covid-19 cases across the country.
She said the grocer understands some customers may have medical reasons that prevent them from wearing a mask. She said the company is asking them to wear another kind of face covering, such as a face shield or to use e-commerce services like pickup and delivery instead. —Melissa Repko
Personal services such as hair salons and massage parlors will not be allowed to reopen as San Francisco continues to pause its reopening process, the city's mayor and health director announced on Wednesday.
Other businesses previously scheduled to reopen, such as indoor restaurants, indoor museums and outdoor swimming pools, will continue to be closed, according to the press release.
San Francisco will resume reopening businesses when the city brings down its surge of cases and hospitalizations, the mayor and health director said. The city's number of new cases per 100,000 people has spiked to 7.7 and its rate of increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations has risen 33%. If the numbers continue rising, ICU capacity could quickly be overwhelmed, according to the press release.
San Francisco has confirmed 4,696 coronavirus cases and 50 deaths so far.—Michelle Gao
Low-wage workers and advocates see new opportunity to push for a higher federal minimum wage as the coronavirus pandemic coincides with the upcoming presidential election.
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 for more than a decade. Advocates would like to see that increase to $15 an hour — a policy change that's backed by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Tsedeye Gebreselassie, director of work quality at the nonpartisan think tank National Employment Law Project, said Americans have greater appreciation for low-wage workers after seeing them care for the elderly at nursing homes, deliver food and stock grocery store shelves during the pandemic. She said that may cause more people to get behind the effort.
Nearly 70% of Americans supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year.
Yet economists warn the pandemic adds a complication. Many hard-hit sectors, such as retail and restaurants, rely on minimum wage earners and may not be able to absorb additional costs.
"It is genuinely a tougher proposition to sell to businesses when they're already experiencing other sorts of difficulties," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics. — Melissa Repko
"We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance," an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. "Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until January 8."
It comes after Amazon in May said employees who could do their jobs remotely are permitted to do so until at least Oct. 2.
The company didn't specify how much of the company's workforce would be impacted by the order, but said the new policy is "global guidance." Amazon said it had 840,400 full and part-time staff at the end of the last quarter. — Annie Palmer
For the first time since the Second World War, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California will not be held as previously scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021 due to the pandemic.
The Rose Bowl, which is hosted by the same group as the parade, is still expected to take place and planning remains ongoing.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association announced it will be unable to host the parade in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening guidelines. The parade has taken place annually on Jan. 1 since 1891, with the exception of 1942, 1943 and 1945, when it was canceled due to World War II.
In making the decision, the association commissioned a report from public health experts at the University of Southern California that found even with social distancing and face coverings, the events before, during and after the parade could lead to people being in close proximity and possibly without their faces covered. This, paired with the likely travel that would take place for the parade, had the potential to make the parade a super-spreader event, the association said.
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing back against Trump administration efforts to discredit him, calling the campaign "bizarre" and saying he will not step down.
"I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that," Fauci told The Atlantic in an interview. "I think they realize now that that was not a prudent thing to do, because it's only reflecting negatively on them," he said.
Fauci's comments come after a White House official told NBC News over the weekend that several administration officials "are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro also published an op-ed in USA Today in which he said Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on." The White House said it did not approve Navarro's article.
"I can't explain Peter Navarro; he's in a world by himself. So I don't even want to go there," Fauci said. —Spencer Kimball, Kevin Breuninger
San Francisco Unified School District announced it's joining the Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified School Districts by welcoming students back this fall strictly online, according to a letter from Superintendent Vincent Matthews.
In the letter, Matthews said the school district hopes to gradually adopt a hybrid approach that will allow students on campus for in-person learning "when science and data suggest it is safe to do so."
"We know our entire community needs to make plans since we are not opening for in-person instruction, so we wanted to share this news now, even as we are still finalizing more details," Matthews said.
San Francisco United is California's sixth largest school district, enrolling more than 61,000 students for the last academic school year, according to the state's department of education. President Donald Trump has criticized the Los Angeles Unified School District during an interview with CBS News for deciding to welcome students online only, saying "it's a terrible decision." — Noah Higgins-Dunn
Taiwan has won worldwide praise for its quick and effective Covid-19 response, which included stringent quarantines, contact tracing and widespread distribution of masks, CNBC's Christina Farr reports as part of a series on how the world is fighting the coronavirus.
Taiwan has a population of 23.7 million and is just 100 miles from China but has confirmed only 451 coronavirus cases and seven deaths. Experts gave the territory a 9.25/10 for its handling of the pandemic.
Taiwan's government was prepared for Covid-19 because it learned from the SARS scare of 2003, experts said. Its digital health-care record system also enabled effective monitoring of potential high-risk patients based on travel history, and Taiwanese health officials also held regular briefings to inform the public.
Today Taiwanese society is mostly reopened. People are traveling internally for vacation and returning to the office, and the only signs of Covid-19 are frequent temperature checks and mask-wearing on the subway.—Michelle Gao
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a state-wide mask order beginning Thursday that will be in effect until July 31. The order will replace all local rulings on masks for the two weeks it is in effect.
Ivey's order requires people to wear a face covering within six feet of anyone from another household in any indoor space open to the public, an outdoor space with 10 or more people or in any vehicle owned by a transportation service. There are exceptions for "practical necessities," such as for children 6 or under, eating and drinking and people with certain medical conditions or disabilities, as well as some exceptions for exercising, religious worship, speaking to an audience and voting.
Ivey, a Republican, emphasized the importance of personal responsibility as the mandate will be hard to enforce. The order follows 40 deaths in Alabama on Tuesday, a record for the state. –Alex Harring
The tech sector has continued to invest and consolidate during the pandemic despite economic uncertainty and antitrust scrutiny.
Tech deals have outpaced those of other sectors in the U.S. by deal value and number, making up about a quarter of all M&A in the U.S. so far this year, according to data from Dealogic, which relies on publicly available M&A announcements. Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook have continued to move ahead with M&A plans even as they prepare for a congressional antitrust hearing at the end of the month.
Still, deal value has dropped far more than the number of transactions in the U.S. tech sector, suggesting some companies may be holding off on the biggest of deals.
Though the value of tech transactions has dropped so far this year compared to last, the industry continues to announce deals more rapidly than other sectors. While overall deal value in the U.S. has dropped 67% across sectors as of July 9 this year, computer and electronics deals have dropped about 62%, according to Dealogic, whose data includes deals that have yet to close. But the number of tech deals has dropped only 13% from the same period last year, compared to 22% for all sectors.
University of Michigan professor Erik Gordon said tech deals continue to move forward because the industry has an incentive to quickly offer users the next big thing. The industry has fared better than others during the pandemic as lockdowns have shifted work and social life increasingly online, accelerating companies' need to innovate. Tech has consistently used M&A as a growth tactic, far outpacing any other sector in the number of acquisitions per year in the U.S. since at least 2010, according to Dealogic.
However, employees are now working reduced hours and with lower pay, Gusto also found.
At this point, many business owners have used the bulk of the loans they received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program and more will have exhausted that money in the next few weeks.
"It's a little messier to see where things go from here," said Daniel Sternberg, Gusto's head of data science. — Jessica Dickler
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced he has tested positive for coronavirus and is isolating and working from home.
"I got tested yesterday for Covid-19 and the results came back positive," Stitt said. "I feel fine; I felt a little bit achy yesterday."
Late last month, Stitt said people in his state would "just have to learn how to live with" the deadly coronavirus, CNBC's Christina Wilkie reports. —Chris Eudaily
A new startup making it easy to add visual effects and presentations to video calls on services like Zoom or Google Hangouts is one of the first examples of a new Silicon Valley startup focusing on a consumer product inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mmhmm was developed by former Evernote CEO Phil Libin and it's raised $4.5 million from investors including Sequoia Capital. Videoconferencing software sees the app as a new "camera," and the app takes the video from the actual camera, adds graphics and other improvements, then passes it on to the software used to make the call. In the software's early days Libin said he joked that it was "Twitch for olds," referring to the Amazon-owned streaming platform
Libin told CNBC that the app was developed because he was spending so much time on video calls during the pandemic and wanted more control. "I don't think we could have come up with this idea in the before-time," Libin told CNBC. —Kif Leswing