The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California said they will not follow controversial new coronavirus testing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even as the agency defended its new stance. The guidance says people without symptoms who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19 might not need to be screened for the virus, a reversal from the agency's previous guidance. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a new Covid-19 test from Abbott Labs that the company says costs just about $5 and produces results in 15 minutes, and the Trump administration has already signed on to purchase 150 million of the tests.
Here are some of today's biggest developments:
WHO says school settings are not a 'main contributor' to the spread of Covid-19The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 24.27 million
- Global deaths: At least 827,801
- U.S. cases: More than 5.85 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 180,380
European Union is working on signing more vaccine contracts, Merkel says
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the European Union is working on signing more coronavirus vaccine contracts.
Her comments, made at a press conference and reported by Reuters, come after the European Commission said Thursday that it had negotiated its first contract with British pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca.
A spokesman for the commission said a down payment of 336 million euro ($400 million) had been made to secure a minimum of 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"The contract will allow the purchase of a vaccine against COVID-19 for all the Member States of the EU as well as the donation to lower and middle income countries or the re-direction to other European countries," a statement from the Commission said.
— Katrina Bishop
Japanese Prime Minister Abe says country aims to secure vaccine for all citizens by mid-2021
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that the country is aiming to secure enough vaccines for all of its citizens by mid-2021, Reuters reported.
Abe also announced other measures to fight the virus, including increasing testing capability to 200,000 tests a day and allowing foreigners with residence status to enter beginning in September, Reuters reported.
Gap reports $130 million in face mask sales during second quarter
Gap's total sales may have been down year over year, but the company found another income source during the second quarter by making face masks as the pandemic took hold.
The company reported $130 million in face mask sales during the quarter, CNBC's Lauren Thomas reports.
Gap sells to individuals and in bulk to businesses and lists the city of New York, the state of California and Kaiser Permanente as some of its clients. —Chris Eudaily
Coronavirus aid talks are at a 'tragic impasse' after Pelosi-Meadows call
Democrats and the Trump administration made their first significant contact on coronavirus relief Thursday for the first time in weeks.
"The Administration's continued failure to acknowledge the funding levels that experts, scientists and the American people know is needed leaves our nation at a tragic impasse," Pelosi said in a statement after the call. She said the White House again did not meet Democrats' demand to roughly double the cost of its pandemic aid proposal to $2.2 trillion.
Talks between the sides collapsed earlier this month. They have tried to craft a plan to combat health and economic crises after lifelines including the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit and a federal eviction moratorium expired.
All of Congress will not return to Washington until next month. Lawmakers will not only consider coronavirus relief but will also have to pass funding legislation before the end of September to avoid a government shutdown.
— Jacob Pramuk
Kamala Harris says Trump 'has failed miserably' on coronavirus
Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, said President Donald Trump made "a deadly decision" in failing to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic early this year.
"All we needed was a competent president. One who was willing to listen, willing to lead, take responsibility, have a plan, do their job," Harris said in a speech delivered hours before Trump was set to address the Republican National Convention.
But "Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a president of the United States," the California senator said. "It's his obligation to protect us. Yet, he has failed miserably."
"President Trump, he got it wrong from the beginning and then he got it wrong again and again," Harris said. "The consequences have been catastrophic."
— Dan Mangan
United Airlines warns of job cuts without more federal aid
United Airlines warned in a memo to employees it will have to cut 2,850 pilot jobs by Nov. 30 if Congress doesn't pass more federal aid to help carriers through the virus-driven travel slump.
"It's important to note that our numbers are based on the current travel demand for the remainder of the year and our anticipated flying schedule, which continues to be fluid with the resurgence of COVID-19 in regions across the U.S.," United said in the memo. —Sara Salinas
CDC defends controversial new guidance for coronavirus testing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defended its controversial new guidance on coronavirus testing following outcry from various medical groups and allegations of political intervention.
Earlier this week, the CDC quietly revised its guidance on coronavirus testing, dropping its previous recommendation to test everyone who comes into close contact with a person infected with Covid-19 — even those who don't have symptoms.
The CDC, which referred calls to the Department of Health and Human Services all day Wednesday, defended the change in a statement from CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield released around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.
"Everyone who needs a COVID-19 test, can get a test. Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action," Redfield said, adding italics in the written statement for emphasis.
He added that "t