Coronavirus updates: Texas governor says Covid-19 not conquered yet; U.S. cases jump by more than 68,000

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U.S. daily new cases of the coronavirus appear to be tapering off, on a 7-day rolling average basis, as states pull back reopening plans, more companies mandate public safety measures and widespread testing delays hinder data collection. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans will delay the release of their coronavirus relief plan until next week, all but ensuring that Congress will miss a deadline to extend a key unemployment insurance boost. Here's what we know so far to be included in the GOP plan for more virus relief. 

Here are some of the biggest developments Thursday: 

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Here's how one at-home saliva test for Covid-19 works

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 15.62 million
  • Global deaths: At least 635,086
  • U.S. cases: More than 4.07 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 144,780

Dr. Deborah Birx says California, other states ‘are essentially three New Yorks'

Deborah Birx, coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Joshua Roberts | Getty Images

White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, said during a TODAY Show interview that a spike in coronavirus cases in California and other hard-hit states resembles "three New Yorks," once the epicenter of the outbreak. 

"We're already starting to see some plateauing in these critically four states that have really suffered under the last four weeks, so Texas, California, Arizona and Florida, those major metros and throughout their counties," Birx said. "And I just want to make it clear to the American public: What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks with these three major states," referring to Florida, Texas and California.

California reported more than 12,800 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest reported daily tally the state has recorded so far, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

California has now surpassed New York in total confirmed Covid-19 cases — more than 409,500 cases as of Wednesday — making it the state with the most cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data. However, New York has reported more than four times the number of deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. —Riya Bhattacharjee

MLB's 2020 Opening Day averages 4 million viewers

Major League Baseball's Opening Day game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals drew a record 4 million average viewers, making it the most-watched regular-season MLB contest on any network since 2011. Sports fans have been eager for live content in the months since coronavirus concerns essentially halted competitive play. 

According to ESPN, who aired the opener, the Yankees' 4-1 win drew a 7.8 rating, the highest-rated MLB regular-season game in the network in the New York market since 2015.

ESPN's second game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers generated an average of 2.7 million viewers, making it "ESPN's most-watched MLB regular season late night ET game ever." MLB resumes its Opening Day contests Friday with 15 game scheduled. —Jabari Young

New Orleans bars prohibited from selling takeout alcohol

All New Orleans restaurants and bars will be prohibited from selling alcohol to go beginning 6 a.m. Saturday in an effort to stop community spread of the coronavirus, the city's mayor announced on Twitter. New Orleans has been known for its on-the-go cocktails long before coronavirus restrictions popularized the option in other major cities. 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell also said gatherings will be limited to 25 people inside and 50 outside.

Since moving into phase 2 of reopening, Cantrell said New Orleans has seen "unfavorable trends" concerning the coronavirus. The city currently has 9,752 reported cases and 548 reported deaths.

"We see clear indication that we have returned to widespread community transmission," Cantrell said. "We have a very narrow window to act and turn this around in order to get our kids back to school safely." –Suzanne Blake

Small business owners hope Senate GOP provides tax relief for PPP-covered expenses

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are expected to authorize another round of emergency loans for small business owners. Small business owners question whether it's sufficient.

GOP lawmakers expect to release their relief bill next week. Aside from stimulus checks and an extension of federal unemployment payments, the measure will include further aid for cash-strapped business owners who already borrowed from the federal Paycheck Protection Program earlier this year.

But acountants say that entrepreneurs will need more than a fresh infusion of cash to stay afloat. These business owners must be able to deduct business expenses covered by the PPP loan, or else face higher tax bills later, tax professionals say.

"Without deductibility, there's more taxable income generated by the business and it results in higher taxes," said Jeffrey Levine, CPA and director of advanced planning at Buckingham Wealth Partners in Long Island, N.Y. —Darla Mercado

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he and his family have been receiving ‘serious threats’

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he and his family have been assigned security detail after receiving "serious threats" from people who are angry over his advice on the pandemic.

"There are people who get really angry at thinking I'm interfering with their life because I'm pushing a public health agenda," he said during a podcast interview with CNN commentator David Axelrod. "The kind of, not only hate mail, but actual serious threats against me are not good."

Fauci is one of the most trusted infectious disease experts in the nation. Known for his candid advice, he has often opposed President Donald Trump in recommending public health measures. 

He said during the interview that the attacks are a reflection of the "divisiveness of our society at [the] political level." He asserted that the coronavirus pandemic is a public health issue that should not be politicized. —Jasmine Kim

DOD scouts contractors for mobile coronavirus hospitals in Florida as outbreaks continue

The Department of Defense is scouting Florida for potential contractors to set up emergency mobile coronavirus hospitals across the state, CNBC's Will Feuer reports.

According to a contract notice posted by the Army Corps of Engineers, the state does not know how many facilities are needed or in what locations, but officials want to know how quickly they can build additional hospital capacity.

"Since Covid has come about, we've been working with emergency management departments across the country just to make sure they have the resources they need to respond," said John Campbell, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman in Jacksonville, Florida.

Florida's coronavirus cases continue to surge, with 9,422 people hospitalized across the state on Thursday. Covid-19-related deaths are also increasing, and the state reported 173 new deaths on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Florida has reported more than 120 new deaths per day over the last week, up around 26% from a week before. –Suzanne Blake

McDonald's to require customers to wear masks

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McDonald's to require customers to wear facial coverings

McDonald's is joining the growing list of retailers and restaurants that are requiring customers to wear masks.

The fast-food chain's new requirement will go into effect Aug. 1, although nearly 82% of its locations are already located in states and localities that require employees and customers to wear face coverings.

McDonald's also said that it will extend its pause on reopening U.S. dining rooms for another 30 days. The company first halted reopenings on July 1 for three weeks. --Amelia Lucas

New York's ban from Trusted Traveler Program aggravated coronavirus spread at airports, governor suggests

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing that the state's ban from the Trusted Travel Program, which allows for quicker entry at airports for U.S. citizens returning to the country, caused increased airport congestion and could have aggravated the spread of the coroanvirus earlier this year.

He called on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to launch an investigation and said the state will also seek possible civil damages from the Department of Homeland Security. The state is trying to quantify the monetary damages, he said. 

"It hurt New Yorkers who would be traveling. It caused the Port Authority more money to run the airports and to administer the airports. It is at the exact same time that we know Covid is coming in on European flights and now you pack people in waiting rooms and on lines who didn't need to be on the line because you were playing politics," Cuomo said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Dr. Fauci says vaccine likely won’t be ‘widely’ available until months into next year

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said a coronavirus vaccine likely won't be "widely available" to the American public until "several months" into 2021.

Public health officials and scientists expect to know whether at least one of the numerous potential Covid-19 vaccines in development is safe and effective by the end of December or early next year, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during a live Q&A with the Washington Post. 

"It is likely that at the beginning of next year we would have tens of millions of doses available," he said. "I think as we get into 2021, several months in, that you would have vaccines that would be widely available."

Though scientists expect to have an effective vaccine widely available by next year, there is never a guarantee. While drugmakers are racing to make millions of doses of vaccines, there's a chance the vaccine will require two doses rather than one, potentially further limiting the number of people who can get vaccinated once a vaccine becomes available, experts say. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

WNBA commissioner says shortened coronavirus season is critical

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told CNBC that this year's coronavirus-induced shortened season is crucial for the WNBA as well as female athletes across the globe.

Engelbert said she hopes the WNBA can gain from this opportunity for more TV coverage, CNBC's Anjali Sundaram reports.

"This could move the numerator for women's sports," Engelbert said on "Squawk Box." "It's existential for us to have a season, economically."

WNBA games start Saturday. Players and staff are quarantining at the IMG Academy sports complex in Bradenton, Florida, and all games will be played without fans. –Suzanne Blake

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WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on restarting plan

Universal Studios cancels Halloween Horror Nights

A general view of the atmosphere during Halloween Horror Nights opening at Universal Orlando Resort on September 14, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.
Gerardo Mora | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Universal Studios, which has theme parks in California and Florida, has canceled its annual Halloween Horror Nights event

The company, which has faced ongoing business restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic has been unable to reopen its California park and has been forced to limit attendance at its Florida-based locations.

The Halloween Horror Nights, which features themed haunted houses, scare zones and live entertainment, has been a lucrative seasonal event for Universal. Its cancellation is another blow to Universal's theme park business, which has struggled during the outbreak. —Sarah Whitten

Disclosures: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

Signify increasing production of UV lights that can reportedly eradicate coronavirus

Евгений Харитонов

Eric Rondolat, CEO of the lighting firm Signify, said the company will begin an eight-fold production increase of ultralight lights that reportedly have been able to "degrade" coronavirus particles.

Rondolat said Signify will launch 12 new families of products by the end of the year, following word from scientists at Boston University that the company's UV lights are effective in eradicating 99% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in six seconds.

"We have laid down a plan to multiply by eight times our production capacity and that will come in two steps. One step in September and another step in December ... And we've acquired a small company that is specialized in (upper-room) air disinfection because these are products that we didn't have," Rondolat said on "Squawk Box Europe."

The new products will be targeted at offices, schools and restrooms to disinfect surfaces, Rondolat said. Signify also plans to make the lighting available to other companies. –Alex Harring

Texas outbreak is 'going to take a little while' to eliminate, governor says

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC that the state has not yet "conquered" the coronavirus and it's "going to take a little while" to eliminate, although some strides have been made. One of the challenges Texas faced as it reopened was that people thought the coronavirus had been "completely defeated" and that the state wouldn't experience the widespread infections first reported in New York earlier this year, he added. 

Texas hit a record-high average of daily deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, reporting nearly 138 additional deaths based on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New cases, however, showed signs of leveling off, with the state's seven-day average dropping more than 3% compared with a week ago, according to Hopkins data. 

"I feel like we have reached a plateau where we've contained the exponential growth of Covid at this particular time, but we have a lot more work to do in the coming weeks," Abbott said. "We don't have Covid conquered right now." —Noah Higgins-Dunn

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Gov. Abbott: It's going to take a little while to conquer Texas Covid-19 outbreak

Verizon beats estimates as lockdowns juice demand for internet services

Verizon Communications reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates, boosted by stronger demand as the coronavirus pandemic spurred lockdowns, forcing many people to work and learn remotely from their homes, Reuters reported.

While lockdowns restricted store visits, the increased demand for internet services helped Verizon add more phone subscribers, a total of 173,000 postpaid phone customers, blowing past analysts' estimates of 61,200, according to the news service.

Verizon's total operating revenue fell 5.1% to $30.4 billion, but it was still higher than analysts' expectations of $29.93 billion, according to Refinitiv. Verizon also posted earnings of $1.18 per share excluding some items, beating analysts' estimates of $1.15 per share. —Suzanne Blake

Surge in new cases may be flattening

In a possible sign that the new case curve is starting to flatten in the U.S., the seven-day moving average fell to 66,084 on Wednesday from 67,300 the day before, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. That is the eighth straight day the seven-day moving average has been stuck in a range between 65,500 and 67,300. —John W. Schoen

New poll shows half of Americans think jobs are lost forever

Hundreds of unemployed Kentucky residents wait in long lines outside the Kentucky Career Center for help with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky.
John Sommers II/Getty Images

Nearly half of Americans whose families experienced layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs will not come back, a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found.

Forty-seven percent think that lost job is definitely or probably not coming back, down from 78% in April. This comes out to approximately 10 million workers who will need a new employer.

The poll shows that 72% of Americans would rather have restrictions in place in their communities to slow the spread of the virus rather than not have them in order to reopen the economy. On the other hand, 27% want to prioritize the economy over closing efforts to stop the spread. –Alex Harring

U.S. daily new cases taper, fall below new cases in the rest of the Americas

U.K. PM Boris Johnson believes we will be past the virus by mid-2021

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Friday that a second spike in coronavirus cases could overwhelm the National Health Service over the coming months, but suggested the country would be through the crisis by the middle of next year.

Speaking to reporters, Johnson said the virus had been a "very, very nasty thing for the human race. And I think by the middle of next year we will be well on the way past it."

"This country is going to be stronger than ever before," he continued, before warning "we have still got the threat of a second spike."

To date, the U.K. has recorded nearly 300,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 45,639 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Sam Meredith

WTO says trade impact expected to be 'substantial'

The World Trade Organization said global trade has been hit with new and accumulated import restrictions, just as economies seek to rebuild during the crisis, according to a Reuters, citing a mid-year report issued by the organization.

"Although the full impact of the pandemic is not yet reflected fully in trade statistics, it is expected to be very substantial", WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said, according to Reuters.

The report said some export constraints imposed on surgical masks, medicines and medical equipment early in the pandemic are being rolled back. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

U.S. cases jump by more than 68,000 in a day

The U.S. reported 68,663 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday's jump brings the seven-day average to 66,084 new cases per day over the past seven days, up less than 1% compared with last week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Hopkins. Daily new cases are rising, on average, by at least 5% in 25 states and the District of Columbia as of Thursday, according to CNBC's analysis.

The new data comes as the Trump administration pushes for the public to adopt face coverings in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday, Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters that 90% of the public or more need to wear face coverings in order to curb the spread of the virus. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

Read CNBC's previous coronavirus live coverage here: U.S. cases surpass 4 million; GOP convention cancelled in Florida