Coronavirus live updates: Global infections top 17 million; Australia reports new daily record cases

This is CNBC's live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

The death toll in the United States has crossed 150,000, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. Across the country, cases are still increasing by the tens of thousands and the U.S. reports nearly 1,000 deaths, on average, every day. California, Florida, Texas and several other hard-hit states recorded record-high average deaths this week. President Donald Trump continues to publicly tout the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment, despite scientific research that has shown no benefit of the drug for coronavirus patients.


Here are some of today's biggest developments:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 17 million
  • Global deaths: At least 667,060
  • Top five countries: United States (over 4.4 million), Brazil (over 2.5 million), India (over 1.5 million), Russia (over 827,000), South Africa (over 471,000)

Number of coronavirus cases worldwide surpass 17 million

The total number of coronavirus cases globally have surpassed 17 million since the outbreak first emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

At least 667,060 have died from Covid-19, which has spread worldwide.

The economic toll from the pandemic has hit countries around the world as governments implement large-scale lockdowns and border controls to contain the transmission of the virus. —Huileng Tan

Australia reports daily record number of cases

Australia reported a daily record number of new cases on Thursday, with the second most populous state of Victoria reporting 723 cases and 13 deaths, according to local media. 

The country's previous daily record was 518 cases.

Australia is facing a second wave of infections in the state of Victoria which has forced authorities to lock down the state capital of Melbourne. The outbreak has been centered around aged care facilities.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said too many people were going to work even though they were sick, or while they were waiting for test results, Reuters reported. — Huileng Tan

Vietnam is fighting a renewed coronavirus outbreak

Vietnam is battling a renewed coronavirus outbreak that may have started in the coastal city of Danang, and authorities are warning that the disease could spread wider across the country. 

The Southeast Asian nation was once hailed as an example of how resource-scarce developing countries can fight against the coronavirus. Vietnam did not have any locally transmitted cases for more than three months, until a 57-year-old Danang resident tested positive for the virus over the weekend. 

The virus has spread beyond Danang. As authorities reported new cases in major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and attributed it to people who visited the coastal city in the past few weeks.

As of Wednesday, Vietnam has confirmed 450 cases and recorded no deaths — still a feat for a country with a population of around 97 million. But a resurgence shows how challenging it is for governments to remain vigilant as they  fight against the coronavirus. — Yen Nee Lee

Emmy Awards will go virtual for 2020, Variety reports

The 2020 Emmy Awards nominees were announced Wednesday, and the show's executive producers have notified some nominees that the presentation of winners will take place virtually, Variety reports.

The awards show, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is set for Sept. 20 and producers are making technical arrangements to film key nominees "at your home, or another location of your choice," according to Variety.

The Primetime Emmy Awards feature 26 categories. —Chris Eudaily

Speaker Pelosi announces mandatory mask policy for House floor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is requiring all members of Congress and their staff to wear masks on the floor of the House.

The new policy requires those people to wear face masks for the entire time they are in the chamber, except when they are recognized to speak, Pelosi said on the House floor.

Failing to do so will be considered a "serious breach of decorum," Pelosi said. 

The new policy comes just hours after Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. --Kevin Breuninger

Quest announces FDA clearance of testing change that will cut delays

Quest Diagnostics announced that the Food and Drug Administration has granted the company emergency authorization to use a new technique it says will cut its coronavirus testing turnaround time to two to three days for most people.

Commercial testing laboratories like Quest and rival LabCorp have struggled to keep pace with testing as Covid-19 outbreaks spread across the American South and West. On Monday, Quest said the average turnaround time for Covid-19 test results had slowed to more than two days for top priority patients, which include hospital patients, some pre-operative patients and symptomatic health-care workers. The company added that for all others, testing turnaround time was more than seven days.

But with the new FDA authorization, the company said it expects "to achieve average turnaround times of 1 day for 'Priority 1' patients and 2-3 days for all other patients in coming weeks." The new technique, which "speeds the process of extracting viral RNA from specimens," will also boost Quest's overall testing capacity, the company said. —Will Feuer

Trump says U.S. is sending Texas 500 cases of remdesivir

A lab technician inspects filled vials of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California.
Gilead Sciences Inc | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. government is sending Texas hospitals 500 cases of antiviral drug remdesivir as coronavirus deaths in The Lone Star State hit record highs. 

The cases of the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences, will be enough to treat 3,200 patients, Trump said during a press briefing from Midland, Texas. The drug has been "very, very successful," he added. 

On Tuesday, Texas reported 200 new deaths, hitting a record-high average. There are currently more than 9,500 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 across Texas' hospitals, a 62% increase from a month ago, according to updated data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Denver Public Schools to begin fall school year online only

Denver Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in Colorado, will welcome students back in the fall remotely until the end of the district's first quarter on Oct. 16, District Superintendent Susana Cordova announced in a statement. The school year is set to begin on Aug. 24, she said. Cordova added that the school district will try to bring some students back to the schools for in-person instruction as early as Sept. 8. 

In the statement, Cordova said the "uncertainty about what school will look and feel like is uncomfortable for all of us – particularly when health conditions and guidance change so frequently, and when the stakes are so high for our entire community of students, families and staff."

"We'll be working hard to safely and gradually welcome all students back into schools, when health conditions allow," she said. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

U.S. surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths

The United State has surpassed the grim milestone of 150,000 deaths from the coronaviurs, by far the worst death toll of any country across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The coronavirus has infected more than 4.39 million people in the U.S. and has killed at least 150,034, according to Johns Hopkins data. The U.S. first surpassed 100,000 deaths in late May and reported its first Covid-19 death on Feb. 29 in Washington state. 

New coronavirus cases in the U.S. appear to be leveling off after weeks of surging counts in states across the South and West. Nationally, there were an average of 64,683 daily new cases on Tuesday, a 3.2% decrease from the previous week, based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

California reports nearly 200 additional deaths, a single-day record

A nurse cares for a coronavirus (COVID-19) patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at El Centro Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Imperial County on July 28, 2020 in El Centro, California.
Mario Tama | Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a tweet that California reported an additional 197 deaths Tuesday, a grim daily record in the state's death toll. Tuesday's figure surpassed a previous record of 159 reported in a single day, according to the state's Department of Public Health. 

California is one of ten states, including Florida and Texas, that reported record-high average daily new Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, as determined by a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state reported an additional 8,755 Covid-19 cases Tuesday, bringing its total to more than 475,300, according to the Department of Public Health. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

WHO says waiting to achieve herd immunity will kill a lot of people

The World Health Organization advised public officials against trying to achieve so-called herd immunity to the coronavirus by allowing it to rapidly spread throughout their communities, saying it will overwhelm hospitals and kill a lot of people.

Herd immunity is necessary to really contain a virus, according to epidemiologists. That is generally achieved once enough people either get vaccinated or survive the virus so they have the antibodies to fight off new infections and the virus doesn't have enough new hosts to spread. 

Simply waiting for herd immunity to happen by allowing the virus to spread, as some opponents of social distancing measures have suggested, is dangerous, said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program.

"The idea that we would have herd immunity as an objective, in some sense, it goes against controlling the disease because if you were to say, 'We need to have a herd immunity of 70% and we should let the virus spread until we get to 70%,' we've seen what happens," he said. "Hospitals get overwhelmed. A lot of people die." —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Fed keeps rates steady with economy 'well-below' pre-pandemic level

US economy will be struggling against disinflationary pressures rather than inflationary, says Fed's Powell
US economy will be struggling against disinflationary pressures rather than inflationary, says Fed's Powell

The Federal Reserve is holding interest rates near zero as the economy struggles to make a comeback from the blow of the shutdowns implemented earlier in the year to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

The central bank, in its post-meeting statement, said growth had improved a bit since the height of the health, social and economic crises triggered by the pandemic, but still remains tepid. 

"Following sharp declines, economic activity and employment have picked up somewhat in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the statement said. "Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions have improved in recent months, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses." —Spencer Kimball, Jeff Cox

Mnuchin says GOP and Democrats are 'far apart' on coronavirus relief

Swing voters overwhelming support additional Covid relief proposals
Swing voters overwhelming support additional Covid relief proposals

Republicans and Democrats appeared little closer to striking a coronavirus relief bill agreement Wednesday as they entered a third day of talks. 

The sides are "very far apart" on more pandemic aid legislation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. As the GOP and Democrats stand at an impasse on issues such as unemployment insurance and liability protections for businesses, Mnuchin and President Donald Trump floated the possibility of passing a short-term bill to extend financial lifelines until Congress can craft a broader agreement.

Democrats have opposed the idea of passing temporary extensions of the enhanced federal jobless benefit and eviction moratorium. States stopped paying out the extra $600 per week unemployment insurance as of Sunday, and the safeguard to keep millions of people in their apartments expired on Friday. 

Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are set to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Other issues the parties still need to resolve include state and local government aid and rental, mortgage and food assistance funds. — Jacob Pramuk

Dr. Fauci says kids over 9 years old can transmit the coronavirus as well as adults

miodrag ignjatovic | E+ | Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned parents sending kids back to school that children over 9 years old can spread the coronavirus as well as adults. Speaking during an MSNBC interview, Fauci said that some areas of the country will have an easier time welcoming students back to school since the virus isn't spreading uncontrollably. 

"When you get to the real hot zones, I think you're going to have to take a really good look and examine the advisability or not because what likely would happen is that you would have parents that don't want to send their children to school or you're going to have teachers that not going to want to be there," he said. 

A recently published study in South Korea indicated that although kids under the age of 9 were less likely than adults to transmit the virus to their families, teenagers were at least as likely to transmit the disease as adults. Members of the Infectious Disease Society of America, a leading group of infectious disease experts, have previously pointed to the study and warned against reopening schools in states where coronavirus cases are surging. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Dr. Fauci says 'valid' data shows hydroxychloroquine doesn't work against virus

The drug hydroxychloroquine, is displayed by a pharmacist at the Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, May 27, 2020.
George Frey | Reuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said all the "valid" scientific data shows malaria drug hydroxychloroquine isn't effective in treating Covid-19.

Fauci told MSNBC that the public has "got to follow the science," adding, "if a study that's good comes out and shows efficacy and safety for hydroxychloroquine or any other drug that we do ... you accept the scientific data."

"Right now, today, the cumulative scientific data that has been put together and done over a number of different studies have shown no efficacy," he said.

The comment by Fauci came a day after President Donald Trump said he still thinks hydroxychloroquine works against Covid-19 and insisted the drug was safe. The drug generated excitement earlier in the year after a handful of small studies suggested it could be beneficial, especially when combined with antibiotic azithromycin. However, several larger studies later showed the drug was not helpful and caused heart issues in some patients.  —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

NBA reports zero coronavirus cases as season gets set to resume

Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during a scrimmage on July 28, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.
Garrett Ellwood | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

The National Basketball Association resumes its season Thursday and the league said that zero of the 344 players recently tested were positive for coronavirus. Test results were last announced July 20.

This marks a step forward for sports teams playing amid the coronavirus crisis. Major League Baseball this week saw several games postponed in the aftermath of an outbreak with the Miami Marlins, which had several players test positive for the virus.

The NBA season re-starts Thursday with the New Orleans Pelicans playing against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers facing the Los Angeles Clippers. –Suzanne Blake

Cyberattacks surge with the massive shift to remote work

Large-scale data breaches soared by 273% in the first quarter compared to the same time last year, according to a new study from cloud computing company Iomart. As of mid-June, the FBI said its Internet Crime Complaint Center said it recorded 12,377 Covid-related scams. 

This is largely because cybercriminals are taking advantage of the chaos of the coronavirus.

In mid-March, when the coronavirus started sweeping through parts of the U.S., businesses had to make the abrupt shift to remote work. In the rush to continue with business as usual, many had to take some shortcuts with security. Beyond that, more business, from online banking to online shopping, moved online. The industries most impacted by cybercrime, said Iomart, are the IT sector, manufacturing and health care.

The main targets: companies, both large and small, governments and individuals. And among the most common types of attacks seeing an uptick are ransomware, destructive attacks and island hopping. According to Al Pascual, Breach Clarity's chief operating officer, "Fraudsters come out of the woodwork ... in a bad economy or some kind of event people are concerned about." —Ellen Sheng, special to

Humana invests $100 million in telehealth startup Heal

Humana invests $100 million in telehealth start-up Heal
Humana invests $100 million in telehealth start-up Heal

Health insurance provider Humana has invested $100 million in the telehealth startup Heal under a partnership that will help the startup move forward in new markets, such as Chicago, Charlotte and Houston, CNBC's Riley de Leon reports.

The companies' partnership will also deliver primary-care services to Humana members in their own homes. Heal ranked No. 13 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list and currently operates in seven states.

"The partnership with Heal is part of Humana's efforts to build a broader set of offerings across the spectrum of home-based care, with high-quality, value-based primary care being a key foundational element," said Susan Diamond, Humana's segment president of home business. "We continue to see high levels of customer satisfaction and improved health outcomes when care is delivered in the home." —Suzanne Blake

U.S. stocks open slightly higher ahead of Fed decision and Big Tech testimony

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher as investors awaited a congressional hearing on antitrust in Big Tech as well as the Federal Reserve's latest policy decision, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Yun Li.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 38 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7%. —Melodie Warner 

Kohl's to close its stores on Thanksgiving, following Walmart, Best Buy

A Kohl's store in San Rafael, Calif.
Getty Images

Kohl's said it will be closing its doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, joining a number of other retailers including Walmart, Target and Best Buy that are making the same move amidst the coronavirus pandemic

"As we move into the holiday season of this very unusual year, we are adapting our plans in response to changing customer expectations and behaviors," Kohl's Chief Executive Michelle Gass said in a statement. 

Analysts agree the 2020 holiday season is going to look much different than it has in years past. Many retailers are expected to kick off deals in stores and online earlier than ever before. Amazon has also delayed its annual Prime Day shopping event, normally held in July, to later in the year. While a new date has not yet been set, that could end up eating into some other retailers' holiday sales, if they can't find ways to compete. 

Over the years, retailers have opened earlier and earlier on Turkey Day, ahead of Black Friday, to try to win customers with doorbuster deals. With the Covid-19 crisis, however, the trend appears to be reversing course. —Lauren Thomas 

GM, Boeing report losses as shutdowns hampered demand

Workers stand several feet apart and individually exit General Motors' plant near Detroit. Marks on the ground identify how far employees should be apart.
Michael Wayland | CNBC

Widespread shutdowns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic contributed to financial losses at General Motors and Boeing. Here's what a few firms reported ahead of the market open: 

Spotify's revenue was up 13% from a year earlier as music streaming demand rebounded from the coronavirus-related weakness it saw at the start of the quarter, Reuters reported. Premium subscribers, which accounts for most of the company's revenue, reached 138 million. —Melodie Warner 

Shopify sees 97% jump in second-quarter revenue on shift to online sales

Harley Finkelstein, COO, Shopify
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Shopify reported better-than-expected revenue for the second quarter as more brick-and-mortar retailers shifted to online sales.

Shares of the Canadian e-commerce company rose more than 7% in premarket trading after management said that revenue rose 97%  during the three months ended June 30. The shift to online sales has sent Shopify's stock up more than 100% over the last six months and established the company as Canada's largest based on market value. —Thomas Franck

California, Florida, Texas hit record-high average deaths

Ten states hit record-high average daily new Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, as determined by a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

California, Florida and Texas all reported record-high averages, according to CNBC's analysis. California reported 185 new Covid-19 deaths, pushing the seven-day average to 113, up almost 24% compared with a week ago. Florida reported 186 new deaths, with the state averaging about 130 new deaths per day over the past seven days, up 14.3% compared with a week ago. Texas reported 200 new deaths on Tuesday.

Other states, including Arkansas, Mississippi and South Carolina also reported record-high average deaths per day on Tuesday. —Will Feuer

France trying to avoid 'another lockdown,' health official says

France is urging people to comply with social distancing measures to avoid another lockdown, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

"We are not facing a second wave, the epidemic is continuing... Some people do not respect the rules. We must not let down our guard," Veran told LCI television, Reuters reported. "We do not want to resort to another lockdown, we are examining the situation on a case-by-case basis. The war is not over... People must understand that we are going to live with this virus for a fairly long time."

The coronavirus has infected more than 221,000 people in France and killed at least 30,200 people there, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Will Feuer

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