Coronavirus: Africa CDC urges all countries to join global vaccine initiative; Turkey seeing second peak

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The U.S. reported 43,253 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing the seven-day average of new cases passed 42,300, up 0.6% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. While the data is based on just over a week of data, epidemiologists warn it's a worrying sign as the nation heads toward a holiday weekend, colder months and flu season.

Here are some of the day's important headlines:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 26 million
  • Global deaths: At least 863,445
  • U.S. cases: More than 6.11 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 185,747

Africa CDC pushes for all countries to join global Covid-19 vaccine initiative

The head of Africa's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged all countries to take part in a global effort to procure and distribute potential Covid-19 vaccines.

"We are in this together. No country will be safe if any other country in the world still has cases of Covid," John Nkengasong, director at Africa CDC, said during an online conference, Reuters reported.

His comments came in response to reports the U.S. would not take part in a worldwide initiative to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine because of the involvement of the World Health Organization.

The Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, or COVAX, initiative includes more than 170 countries and is aimed at "working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines." — Sam Meredith

Turkey experiencing second peak of outbreak, health minister says

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca believes the country is now enduring the second peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are going through the second peak of the first wave of coronavirus. The carelessness at weddings and religious holidays has brought us to this point," Koca said at a press conference on Wednesday, Reuters reported. 

The health minister added the government had no immediate plans to impose lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. 

To date, Turkey has recorded 273,301 cases of the coronavirus, with 6,462 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Sam Meredith

India reports another record daily jump of Covid-19 infections

Girls wearing protective face masks wait to pray inside temple premises on the occasion of the annual harvest festival of Onam, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Kochi, India, August 31, 2020.
Sivaram V | REUTERS

India reported another record daily spike in the number of new Covid-19 infections, health ministry data showed, with a 24-hour jump of 83,883 cases taking the country's total to more than 3.85 million. 

It means Asia's worst-hit country is narrowly behind Brazil, the world's second most affected nation, when it comes to the number of confirmed coronavirus infections. 

India's health ministry also reported 1,043 related deaths, taking the nationwide toll to 67,376. — Sam Meredith

Biden advocates for using FEMA disaster funds to help schools reopen

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pushed for federal funding support to help schools reopen safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said the agency revised guidance for reimbursing states for the cost of PPE in places such as schools.

"This is an emergency, and Donald Trump and his FEMA should treat it as one," Biden said at a meeting with education and school safety experts.

The guidance issued by FEMA Tuesday narrowed the definition of measures that would be covered by the agency's public assistance funds, which excluded schools from the coverage, CNBC's Christina Wilkie reports. 

Some U.S. schools and universities have already reopened, with some reporting clusters of outbreaks. More than 1,000 students at the University of Alabama have tested positive for Covid-19 since the campus opened in August. —Chris Eudaily

CDC asks states to speed approvals so vaccine sites are ready by Nov. 1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to expedite the approval process for medical supply company McKesson so it can set up coronavirus vaccination sites by Nov. 1, CNBC has confirmed. 

"The normal time require to obtain these permits presents a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program,"  the CDC wrote in an Aug. 27 letter to state governors obtained by CNBC. "CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020."

The letter comes as drugmakers and public health officials race to find a safe and effective vaccine by the end of the year. It also comes as scientists are concerned health officials may be pressured by President Donald Trump to rush a vaccine to the market ahead of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.–Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Iowa State University says fans no longer allowed at stadium for home opener

Jamie Pollard, director of athletics at Iowa State University, said in a statement that the university will no longer allow approximately 25,000 fans in the stadium to watch its home-opening football game on Sept. 12. 

Pollard said the decision was made by Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen who initially approved of the department's plans but reversed course after "weighing feedback she has received from the community," according to the statement. 

"Although it is disappointing there won't be fans at the opener, our institution's leadership team is still committed to having spectators at future games, if it can done safely," Pollard said. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Governor defends Iowa State’s decision to host 25,000 fans at football stadium

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaks during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 26, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds defended Iowa State University's decision to host a football game in its stadium, which is expected to see 25,000 fans, even as Covid-19 cases are growing across the state. Iowa has seen a recent surge in cases as university students return to the state. Over the last week, 12.1% of tests conducted statewide were positive, Reynolds said. 

"If you have underlying conditions and you're part of a vulnerable population, maybe I wouldn't go to the Iowa State football game next week," Reynolds said during a press briefing when asked whether it's safe to host thousands of fans in the stands. 

Jamie Pollard, director of athletics at Iowa State University, said in the announcement that "every person has a unique perspective of the Covid-19 pandemic" and highlighted a number of mitigation efforts the university will undertake to hold the game. However, he said that implementing the steps to "a standard of absolute protection is simply not reasonable." 

"Don't go if you don't think it's safe. Don't go," Reynolds said at the news briefing Wednesday. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Fauci says U.S. cases are ‘unacceptably high’ going into Labor Day

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Dietsch | Pool via Reuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said that the number of daily coronavirus cases in the United States is currently "unacceptably high."

The U.S. is seeing roughly 40,000 new cases a day, but it needs to bring infections down to 10,000 or less per day, Fauci said. The public's behavior over the Labor Day holiday weekend will determine how the coronavirus spreads in the U.S. through the colder seasons, he added.

"We know from prior experience as you get into the holiday weekend, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, there's a tendency of people to be careless somewhat with regard to the public health measures," he told MSNBC. "I want to use this opportunity to almost have a plea to the people in this country to realize that we really still need to get our arms around this and to suppress these types of surges we've seen." –Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

What the CDC's eviction ban means for renters

Banners against renters eviction reading no job, no rent is displayed on a controlled rent building in Washington, DC on August 9, 2020.
Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images

Most renters in the U.S. are now protected from eviction until the end of the year, thanks to an order by the Center for Disease Control. 

Prior eviction protections during the Covid-19 pandemic pale in comparison to this one, which applies to all U.S. rental properties. 

"This is an extraordinary, wide-reaching order that protects the 30 [million] to 40 million adults and children at risk of eviction right now for non-payment of rent," said Emily Benfer, an eviction expert and visiting professor of law at Wake Forest University.

What does the ban do? Who's eligible?  CNBC spoke to housing experts to try to get answers to some of the most pressing questions.—Annie Nova

United to slash more than 16,000 jobs as soon as next month

United Airlines to furlough 16,370 employees starting Oct. 1

United Airlines is notifying more than 16,300 employees that they will lose their jobs next month, the latest mass layoff facing airlines struggling in the pandemic.

United in July warned 36,000 employees that their jobs are at risk after federal aid runs out at the end of this month, but the carrier reduced the involuntary workforce cuts thanks to thousands of volunteers who opted to leave the company outright or take a host of programs such as partially or unpaid time off or reduced schedules in exchange for health care.

United's announcement comes a week after American Airlines said it will slash 19,000 jobs this fall. Airline labor unions as well as carriers are pushing for another round of $25 billion in federal aid that would preserve jobs through the end of March, but Congress has failed to reach an agreement on a new, national coronavirus relief package that would include the additional relief for airlines. — Leslie Josephs

Call between Pelosi and Mnuchin yields no relief aid breakthrough

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is pictured after a television interview in Russell Building on Friday, August 14, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on Tuesday but failed to forge a breakthrough on the fifth congressional coronavirus relief package. 

In a statement Tuesday evening, the California Democrat said the pair talked on the phone for 36 minutes but still have "serious differences" over how much money to put into fighting economic and health-care crises. Democrats want the White House to increase its roughly $1.3 trillion proposal to at least $2.2 trillion. 

Congress returns this month after its August recess. Lawmakers have to figure out both how to curb the effects of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and extend government funding that expires at the end of September.

Democrats and Republicans have failed to break the impasse even after extra unemployment benefits, a federal moratorium on evictions and the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans ended.

As Congress struggles to pass legislation, Trump has taken several limited steps to offer aid. On Tuesday, his administration moved to halt evictions for the rest of the year using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority. —Jacob Pramuk

Inexpensive steroids reduce deaths of hospitalized patients, WHO analysis confirms

Cheap, readily available steroid drugs that were used to treat people hospitalized with Covid-19 cut the risk of death by one-third, according to an analysis encompassing seven different clinical trials, STAT news publication reported.

The analysis of the drugs was conducted by the World Health Organization and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, according to STAT.

Corticosteroids are the first treatment shown to improve the odds of survival for critically ill Covid patients, the report said. The WHO issued new guidelines calling for corticosteroids to become the standard of care for patients with "severe and critical" Covid-19. —Terri Cullen

Schools must be prioritized over reopening entertainment, Gottlieb says

Gottlieb: We must prioritize reopening schools over indoor entertainment

Reopening schools should be the top priority across the U.S. this fall, according to former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Gottlieb said reopening indoor entertainment businesses, such as movie theaters, may present risks of increasing transmission of the coronavirus, which could ultimately threaten in-person classes at schools. 

"I would have like to have seen more local communities open schools, do that successfully, and then we can incrementally open these kind of indoor entertainment venues if we're successful in keeping the infection rates down as the schools reopen," Gottlieb said. "That really needs to be our priority right now." —Kevin Stankiewicz 

Dow rises 100 points as Wall Street’s strong September start continues

U.S. stocks opened higher even after the release of disappointing economic data, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Jesse Pound. ADP said U.S. private payrolls grew by 428,000 in August, less than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8%. —Melodie Warner 

AMC shares leap as chain says 70% of U.S. theaters will be open for "Tenet"

Shares of AMC jumped more than 16% in premarket trading Wednesday after the company announced that more than 70% of its domestic locations would be open in time for the debut of Warner Bros.′ hotly anticipated Christopher Nolan film "Tenet" this weekend.

The largest cinema chain in the U.S. is expected to open around 140 additional theaters this weekend. This includes several theaters in California, which will be the first to reopen in the state since Covid-19 led to widespread closures.

AMC shares have made gains in recent weeks, as reopening plans bolstered investor confidence that the company will be able to withstand the pandemic's financial impact. —Sarah Whitten

Private payrolls rise 428,000 in August but miss estimates, ADP says

Private payrolls increased by 428,000 in August, about double that of July but well below Dow Jones estimates of 1.17 million, according to the latest count from ADP.

Big business was responsible for most of the job creation, with 298,000 new workers. At the sector level, leisure and hospitality led with 129,000 new jobs.

The ADP estimate and the Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls count have differed widely since the pandemic began, with the former consistently well below the latter. Economists expect Friday's official count to show a gain of 1.32 million. —Jeff Cox

The latest on U.S. hot spots


Macy's swings to a loss amid pandemic but online sales boost results in latest quarter

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 07: People wearing masks are seen in the crosswalk near Macy's Herald Square as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 07, 2020 in New York City. The fourth phase allows outdoor arts and entertainment, sporting events without fans and media production. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Macy's during its latest quarter had a stronger-than-expected showing online, boosting its overall results ahead of estimates. 

The department store operator's digital sales surged 53% from a year earlier, helping it report a narrower loss and higher overall revenue than analysts were expecting. Its stores, as they reopened from being temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, also recovered steadily, the company said. 

Macy's swung to a net loss of $431 million, or $1.39 a share, compared with a profit of $86 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, it lost 81 cents per share, better than the $1.77 loss per share forecast by analysts, using Refinitiv data. Macy's net sales dropped 35.8% to $3.56 billion from $5.55 billion a year earlier, but that outpaced expectations of $3.48 billion. 

Still, with so much uncertainty in the industry ahead of the all-important holiday season, CEO Jeff Gennette said Macy's is planning conservatively for the remainder of 2020. 

Macy's shares jumped 6% in premarket trading. —Lauren Thomas 

‘Winter is coming’: WHO expresses concern over a possible new wave

A man seen in a Moscow street during a snowfall.
Sergei Fadeichev | TASS via Getty Images

Health experts are wary about the potential for a new wave of coronavirus infections when the seasons change in the Northern Hemisphere.

It comes as countries try to navigate a delicate balancing act: Reopening their economies and societies while also achieving public health goals.

"Winter is coming," Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, said during an online press briefing last month, reflecting on the "worrying trend" of increased infections across the region. "People are traveling more, they are going back to work, schools are reopening — these are all factors that are going to increase the risk of community transmission and further transmission."

"As we approach the flu season and the winter months, there are additional factors that will conflate and add even more to that level of risk," she added, citing the increased likelihood that people would congregate indoors and in more crowded settings.

"We are very concerned that countries prepare adequately for that and we are very, very engaged in that at the moment." —Sam Meredith

China to resume direct international flights to Beijing

The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced that beginning Thursday, it will resume direct international flights from eight countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Greece, Denmark, Sweden and Canada, according to Reuters.

Back in March, the country ordered all international flights to Beijing to first stop in another airport, as Beijing sought to control a burgeoning outbreak of the coronavirus, which was largely attributed to imported infections.

The country's aviation regulator warned that it would reimpose restrictions if more than three passengers test positive for the virus upon arrival, Reuters reported. —Will Feuer

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