NY to allow bowling alleys and museums to reopen; California tops 600,000 cases

The coverage on this live blog has ended and our next live blog will begin on Monday 17th August.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that museums and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen, and gyms may be next. Cases in California topped 600,000 as the country reported an additional 51,443 new cases of the virus on Thursday. Negotiations around the next round of coronavirus aid look likely to drag on, potentially for weeks, after Democrats and Republicans described themselves as hopelessly far apart on a deal.

Here are some of the major developments on Friday: 

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 20.9 million
  • Global deaths: At least 760,300
  • U.S. cases: More than 5.25 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 167,200

Brazil reports 50,644 new cases, 1,060 new deaths

Emergency Rescue Service (SAMU) nurse Belisa Marcelino checks the lungs of Maria Geralda da Silva, 84, who is experiencing breathing difficulty and others symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as preparation is made to transfer the patient to a hospital amid the outbreak, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Amanda Perobelli | Reuters

Brazil's health ministry reported 50,644 new cases of Covid-19 and 1,060 new deaths Friday, according to Reuters.

The country has the second-highest number of total coronavirus cases and deaths in the world at 3,275,520 confirmed cases and 106,523 deaths, Reuters reported.

The United States remains the hardest-hit country globally, with 5,297,876 total cases and 168,181 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Chris Eudaily

California governor estimates over 90% of students will start school online

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a press briefing that the state estimates over 90% of its students will begin the school year distance learning, though the state is still preparing to return students back into the classroom eventually.

"You can argue it's closer to 95 (or) 97% of our students are likely to start the school year with distance learning, and that's what we're preparing for," Newsom said. 

The state has already started supplying schools with personal protective equipment, including more than 18 million masks and face shields, more than 58,000 thermometers and more than 1.5 million gallons of hand sanitizer, he said. California will distribute $5.3 billion in additional funding to schools to procure more PPE and to provide support for distance learning, among other initiatives, he said. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Why this recession has been different than any other

Stocks closing to record highs coupled with strong retail spending and a burgeoning housing market don't usually make for much of a recession, but these are not ordinary times.

The recession that started in February is unique both in the speed of its decline and the forcefulness of the policy response, Wall Street veterans tell CNBC. "I can't think of any other recession that essentially is going from a depression-like environment to a wartime boom in the matter of two quarters," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group.

In fact, Paulsen and Moody's Analytics economist Mark Zandi think the recession is already over. But economist Steve Blitz at TS Lombard warned that the danger has not passed. "We've seen the two negative quarters that the NBER uses to define a recession. But the real recession has yet to emerge," Blitz said. —Jeff Cox

Trump tries to get involved in coronavirus talks after Congress leaves town

Trump says he has directed Mnuchin 'to get ready to send direct payments' to families, states
Trump says he has directed Mnuchin 'to get ready to send direct payments' to families, states

President Donald Trump tried to get more involved in coronavirus relief discussions Friday after sitting out his administration's stalled talks with Democrats. 

A day after Congress left Washington for the month pending an aid deal, Trump pushed for more direct payments to Americans, state and local government relief, additional small business loan funding and rental assistance payments. Lawmakers have included all of those provisions in bills proposed over the last few months, and Congress needs to approve them for them to take effect. 

Republicans have opposed Democratic efforts to send more than $900 billion in assistance to states and municipalities. The Trump administration offered $150 billion for state and local government aid as part of the negotiations that collapsed a week ago. 

Trump also said he wanted to include payments for Americans to cover rent payments. Democrats included $100 billion for rent and mortgage assistance in their proposal, but the GOP did not initially include any funding for housing aid. 

A lack of additional relief threatens millions of Americans with financial ruin and could hamper the U.S. economic recovery. —Jacob Pramuk

Trump on Russia's approved vaccine: 'We hope it works'

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 13, 2020.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

President Donald Trump said that he hopes Russia's recently approved vaccine for the coronavirus works as scientists and public health officials worry whether it's safe.

"We don't know much about it. We hope it works, we do, we hope it works," Trump said during a White House press conference. "They've cut off certain trials and we feel it's just important to go through the process."

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russian health officials approved what he said is the first coronavirus vaccine in the world, adding that one of his daughters has already taken it. Russian health officials cleared it before going through a critical phase three trial.

Scientists and public health officials were immediately skeptical, saying the potential vaccine, named Sputnik V, still needs critical testing to determine whether it's safe and effective. They also worried it could place pressure on the U.S. to approve a vaccine before it is ready. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

As New York City restaurants wait for indoor dining, some permanently close

Natalie Freihon, co-owner of The Fat Radish and The Orchard Townhouse
Source: Steve Freihon

Operating a restaurant in New York has always been difficult, but some owners have found the new challenges introduced by the pandemic to be insurmountable.

Data from Toast found that average daily revenue for New York City restaurants is still down 68% from the year-ago period and lagging national declines of just 33%. Industry experts estimate that as many as one in three restaurants will not reopen.

The Fat Radish, located on Manhattan's Lower East Side is one of them.

"When [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo decided that restaurants indoors would stay closed indefinitely, we had to start thinking about what that means for us," managing partner Natalie Freihon said in an interview. "...How long can we stay closed for, where it's not going to hurt the restaurant's identity, the space and us financially?"-- Amelia Lucas

U.S. to make virus strain for possible human challenge trials

Government scientists have started efforts to manufacture a strain of the coronavirus that could be used in human challenge vaccine trials, Reuters reported. This is still at a preliminary state and will not be replacing ongoing Phase 3 trails being carried out in the U.S., the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, told Reuters in a statement. 

"Should there be a need for human challenge studies to fully assess candidate vaccines or therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2, NIAID has begun investigations of the technical and ethical considerations of conducting human challenge studies," the agency statement said. —Riya Bhattacharjee, Reuters

New York Gov. Cuomo says museums, bowling alleys to reopen, and gyms may be next

A person wearing a mask walks past the Guggenheim Museum as the city moves into Phase 3 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on July 16, 2020 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will allow museums, aquariums and other cultural centers in New York City to reopen in the coming weeks. He also said the state will release reopening guidelines for gymnasiums on Monday. 

Museums and other cultural events can operate at 25% capacity, but they have to issue timed ticketing with staggered entry. Face coverings also must be worn at all times, he said. Bowling alleys also will be allowed to reopen starting Monday at 50% occupancy with face coverings and every other lane closed, he said, adding bowling alleys must have cleaning and disinfectant protocols in place, especially for shared equipment. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Noah Higgins-Dunn

Rent the Runway is closing its stores for good

The fitting rooms at Rent the Runway's flagship store in New York City.
Source: Rent the Runway

The clothing subscription company Rent the Runway is shutting all of its stores for good, CNBC has learned. Instead, it will focus its investments on digital and adding more drop boxes for customers, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on its business and many others in the retail industry. Its New York City flagship will be turned into a permanent drop-off site, while stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are shuttered. 

"This has been an evolution over the past two to three years," Anushka Salinas, Rent the Runway president and chief operating officer, said in an interview. "We always knew we wanted and will continue to have a physical presence strategy. What we know now is the physical presence strategy is about drop boxes." 

A number of retailers have been slimming down during the pandemic, in part to cut costs as many have fallen into a sales slump. Others are using the opportunity to simply right-size and shift resources online. The tech company Microsoft in late June announced plans to permanently close its 83 retail locations. Kate Spade and Coach owner Tapestry said this week it is planning a wave of closures. The off-price chain Stein Mart also this week filed for bankruptcy and said it is closing all of its roughly 280 locations. More than 6,000 permanent store closures have already been announced by retailers this year, according to a tracking by Coresight Research. —Lauren Thomas 

Obama rips Trump administration for 'suppressing the vote' amid pandemic

Former U.S. President Barack Obama
Alyssa Pointer | Reuters

Former President Barack Obama slammed President Donald Trump's administration of undermining the U.S. Postal Service and attempting to suppress votes during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open," Obama said on Twitter in a series of posts. "They can't be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus."

Obama also urged eligible voters in states with early-voting options to "do that now."

Obama Tweet 1

Obama Tweet 2/3

The tweets marked the latest broadside against the Trump administration from Obama, who in the run-up to the 2020 election has grown more open in his criticism of the White House.

Trump has opposed House Democrats' efforts to include billions of dollars for the financially distressed Post Office as part of any coronavirus-related relief package. He has repeatedly and aggressively claimed that widespread mail-in voting would bring catastrophic levels of election fraud – even though election experts say voter fraud is a rare occurrence. -- Kevin Breuninger

New Jersey governor wants in-person class but sees 'legitimate reasons' for starting online

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on the state's back-to-school plans
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on the state's back-to-school plans

Gov. Phil Murphy told CNBC that New Jersey wants its schools to reopen for in-person class this fall but sees "legitimate reasons" for why it may not be possible to start. 

"Our hope and desire and objective is to get safely, responsibly, in-person instruction," the Democrat said on "Squawk Box." "The majority will be able to have some form of that on day one." 

But for districts that cannot, Murphy said they must present a plan explaining the barriers that exist and a potential timeline for some form of in-person classes resuming. "It can be … very simply, 'We have Plexiglas that's on backorder,' or, 'We don't have enough masks,'" Murphy said. "Or it can be all the way to more complicated things like ventilation in an old school building." 

Murphy said his administration intends to work with the districts to resolve issues. "We want in person but we want to make sure we're safe doing it." 

Murphy on Wednesday announced that some districts would be able to start the fall entirely online, following an intensifying backlash in the state. New Jersey previously suggested districts would need to have some in-person components in their fall plans. —Kevin Stankiewicz 

How biotech companies figured out testing to keep their employees safe

COVID-19 testing to keep employees safe
COVID-19 testing to keep employees safe

Developing new drugs isn't the kind of work you can do from home. So when it became clear that testing was the only way to detect asymptomatic cases of Covid-19, Sekar Kathiresan, CEO of biotech startup Verve Therapeutics, decided he needed to figure out a way to test his employees every week.

The result was a partnership with genome research giant the Broad Institute, and health tech company Color. They now have 50 small biotech companies participating in the testing consortium. Tests cost $80, and they get the results in a median of 12 hours. —Meg Tirrell

Novavax strikes deal to provide 60 million doses of vaccine to U.K.

Novavax shares rose 7% in early trading after the company said it reached a deal with the U.K. government to supply 60 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine.

Novavax did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement. As part of the deal, the U.K. will collaborate with the company on its phase three clinical trial, which is expected to begin this quarter. The potential vaccine, named NVX-CoV2373, will be tested on around 9,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 85, the company said. 

Last month, the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed initiative announced it would pay Novavax $1.6 billion to develop and manufacture the potential vaccine, with the aim of delivering 100 million doses by the beginning of next year. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Retail sales cool off in July

U.S. consumer spending cooled off in July, as Americans awaited potential more government stimulus and businesses across the country grappled with uncertain reopenings and reclosings.

Retail sales for the month rose by 1.2%, less than the 2.3% expected by economists polled by Dow Jones and considerably lower than the 8.4% rise in consumer spending in June. Electronics and appliance sales surged more than 22% and spending on clothing and on bars and restaurants jumped roughly 5% each. —Sara Salinas

Here's where U.S. vaccine deals stand

The Trump administration has already struck deals with a handful of pharmaceutical giants that have topped roughly $10.79 billion as part of Operation Warp Speed, a program led by several departments within the federal government to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus. 

The investments are part of the federal government's goal of providing at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January 2021. ModernaJohnson & JohnsonPfizer and BioNTechSanofi and GlaxoSmithKline; Novavax and AstraZeneca have all received funding from the operation for their vaccines. Here's where the deals stand so far. 

Most of the agreements say the vaccines will be given to the American people for free, but healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccines. —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Will Feuer

California tops 600,000 cases

California reported 6,608 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, becoming the first state in the country to top 600,000 cumulative cases since the outbreak began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The state, with a population of more than 39 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has reported a total of 602,997 cases, according to Hopkins data.

California is currently working through a backlog of up to 300,000 coronavirus records that were previously unreported due to a technical issue. Researchers at Hopkins previously warned that they anticipated "erratic fluctuations" in its Covid-19 data "that may result in very large spikes at the county and state level" as California reconciles its unreported cases. —Will Feuer

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