Coronavirus updates: France declares public health emergency; congressional relief deal remains elusive

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Daily new U.S. cases of the coronavirus, as a seven-day average, topped 50,000 for the first time in nearly two months on Tuesday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Average daily new infections are 16% higher than a week ago, and have been growing for the last nine days, CNBC's analysis shows. The nation's top health experts have repeatedly warned that new case tallies are too high heading into the colder months.

Here are some of the biggest developments on Wednesday:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 38.32 million
  • Global deaths: At least 1.08 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 7.88 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 216,323

Alabama head coach Nick Saban tests positive for coronavirus

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team onto the field prior to the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Oxford, Mississippi.
Collegiate Images | Collegiate Images | Getty Images

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and the university's athletic director, Greg Byrne, tested positive for Covid-19, the Associated Press reported.

Saban, 68, said he didn't have any symptoms by late afternoon, but "immediately left work and isolated at home," the AP reported.

Alabama is scheduled to host Southeastern Conference rival Georgia on Saturday. It is unclear if Saban will have to miss the game. —Chris Eudaily

Dr. Fauci says Americans might have to ‘sacrifice’ holiday gatherings

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans might have to consider sacrificing holiday gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

"Given the fluid and dynamic nature of what's going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. "You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned of the risks associated with Thanksgiving celebrations this year, especially if people are traveling to see family they don't live with. Fauci said his kids won't be coming home to celebrate Thanksgiving because they live out of his state. —Will Feuer

United posts $1.8 billion loss as travelers stay home

United Airlines lost $1.8 billion in the third quarter after the pandemic kept millions of potential customers at home during what is usually one of the busiest seasons of the year. A year earlier it profited $1 billion.

Revenue dropped by nearly 80% after the Chicago airline cut capacity 70% in the three months ended Sept. 30. United did cut its cash burn to $25 billion, from $40 million a day in the previous quarter, the metric that Wall Street analysts are closely watching as airlines struggle.

The report comes a day after rival Delta Air Lines posted a $5.4 billion loss for the quarter and pushed back its breakeven target to early next year from the end of 2020.--Leslie Josephs

President Trump’s son Barron tested positive for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump and his son Barron (L) speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 21, 2017. 
JIM WATSON | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump's youngest son, Barron, 14, contracted coronavirus at the same time as his parents, first lady Melania Trump wrote in a post.

"Naturally my mind went immediately to our son," Melania Trump wrote. "To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn't help but think 'what about tomorrow or the next day?' My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive."

"I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after," she added. "I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food." —Riya Bhattacharjee

YouTube expands misinformation policies to include Covid-19 vaccine theories

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.
Michael Newberg | CNBC

Google is expanding its medical misinformation policies on YouTube as a Covid-19 vaccine progresses toward public access.

The company said it will extend existing Covid-19 misinformation policies to include any content that makes Covid-19 vaccine claims that contradict expert consensus, which includes local health authorities and the World Health Organization. That means banning videos that claim a vaccine will kill people or cause infertility, or that microchips will be implanted in people who receive the vaccine, among others.

The company also said it will announce additional policies, such as how it plans to "raise authoritative sources" related to the vaccine in the coming weeks. —Jennifer Elias

WHO official warns Canada is facing its ‘second wave’

The Pan American Health Organization's top health official warned that Canada is facing a second wave of coronavirus cases as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario report the bulk of the country's Covid-19 death toll.

"Canada is currently facing its second wave, and areas that were not previously affected are now surpassing the numbers seen during the first wave," Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO and World Health Organization regional director for the Americas, said at a news briefing. 

During its peak in April, Canada reported roughly 1,700 daily new cases based on a weekly average but was able to suppress that figure to only a few hundred by mid-July. Cases have since surged across the country, which is now reporting over 2,200 daily new cases a day, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 80% of all of Canada's cases have stemmed from Ontario and Quebec, the country's two most populated provinces. The coronavirus has killed nearly 9,000 people combined in the two provinces, constituting roughly 93% of the country's total death toll, according to Canada's government data. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

France declares public health emergency as hospitalizations and cases spike

A bar in France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol.
Kiran Ridley | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The French government declared a public health state of emergency as the country saw hospitalizations from Covid-19 jump above the 9,100 threshold for the first time since June 25, Reuters reported.

The state of emergency gives officials more power to deal with the spread of Covid-19.

French President Emmanuel Macron said curfews from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Paris and other major cities will start Saturday and be in place for four weeks, Reuters reported.

New confirmed cases of coronavirus in France reached 22,951 in 24 hours, topping the previous day's number by about 10,000 cases. —Chris Eudaily

Healthy young people might not get vaccine until 2022, WHO says

The average healthy young person might not get the coronavirus vaccine until 2022, as public health officials focus on immunizing vulnerable groups first, top officials from the World Health Organization said.

Health workers, frontline workers and the elderly will likely be offered a vaccine first, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, said. She added that the world will hopefully have at least one safe and effective vaccine by 2021, but it will be available in "limited quantities."

"People tend to think that on the first of January or the first of April, I'm going to get the vaccine, and then things will be back to normal," Swaminathan said. "It's not going to work like that."

The WHO's strategic advisory group of experts on immunization, or SAGE, recently published guidelines for countries on how to consider prioritizing different groups of people.

"Most people agree that it's starting with healthcare workers and frontline workers, but even then you need to define which of them are at highest risk and then the elderly and so on," Swaminathan said. "There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine." —Will Feuer

Coronavirus relief deal remains elusive as Pelosi and Mnuchin continue talks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to come to a coronavirus stimulus deal after another conversation.

The pair would still need to resolve a range of disputes to strike a comprehensive agreement before Election Day on Nov. 3. Mnuchin said the White House and Democrats "continue to be far apart" on some issues, as the economy struggles to recover from the outbreak.

"Getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult," Mnuchin said at the Milken Institute Global Conference as he pushed for immediate, "targeted" relief.

Pelosi, who led House Democrats in passing a $2.2 trillion relief bill, has dismissed the White House's latest $1.8 trillion offer. Senate Republicans, who have opposed spending much more money to respond to the virus, plan to push forward with a more limited aid plan later this month.

The GOP has faced criticism for moving forward with Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination while individuals and businesses hurt by the pandemic await aid. —Jacob Pramuk

AMC faces looming cash shortage, looking into debt and financing options

AMC shares tumbled as much as 18% Wednesday as investors tried to gauge the likelihood of a bankruptcy filing.

The largest cinema chain in the world said Tuesday that it would run out of cash by late 2020 or early 2021 without additional financial aid. Its CEO Adam Aron says the company is currently focused on raising new capital, not bankruptcy.

The company is looking into additional debt and equity financing, renegotiating with landlords concerning lease payments, possible asset sales, a joint-venture with an existing business partner and minority investments in its stock. —Sarah Whitten

CDC may not recommend the vaccine for children at first

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it may not recommend the coronavirus vaccine for children at first.

That's because many of the early-stage clinical trials testing potential vaccines have only involved non-pregnant adults, the CDC said on its website. The trials will eventually include children, but researchers may not have enough data to make a recommendation on children before the vaccines are available.

Children, along with pregnant women, are often the last to get tested in clinical trials as researchers assess safety risks. Still, children were not expected to be the first to get a vaccine. A group advising the CDC has recently said the vaccine would go to those most at risk such as health-care workers and the elderly. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Russia approves second coronavirus vaccine

Russia President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the country's second Covid-19 vaccine, a shot that has not yet started a large-scale, Phase III trial, Reuters reports.

The peptide-based vaccine, called EpiVacCorona, completed early-stage trials last month and the results of those patients have yet to be released, according to the news service. The vaccine faced a placebo-controlled trial on 100 volunteers between 18 and 60.

"We need to increase production of the first and second vaccine," Putin said. "We are continuing to cooperate with our foreign partners and will promote our vaccine abroad." —Chris Eudaily

New York reports 923 coronavirus hospitalizations, the highest since June

Coronavirus hospitalizations in New York have more than doubled in the last month, with the state reporting 923 on Tuesday, the highest daily total since June 25, according to NBC New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said clusters are responsible for about 70 percent of the spike in admissions and warned that these hotspots will be the norm for a year or longer, the station reported.

"The virus, unlike what the president says, the virus is going to stay. The virus is going to flare up in places," Cuomo said Wednesday. "What states have to do, because the federal government is doing nothing, we have to develop a sophisticated capacity to find those mini-clusters where the cases are flaring up and immediately attack them." —Chris Eudaily

Another wave of retail closures could be looming, more trouble for malls, Morgan Stanley says

Source: CBL Properties

About 50% of all mall-based, specialty retailers' leases are coming up for renewal in the next three to four years, according to a new analysis by Morgan Stanley, at a time when tenants increasingly are in a position of power over their landlords. That means a wave of companies may be looking to either close up shop, or renegotiate their leases for cheaper rent terms, leading to more turmoil at America's malls.

Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients that about 30% to 35% of roughly 1,050 malls in the U.S. need to close, taking into account the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, including thousands of retail store closures. But, it said, it expects about 20% of retail sales at the shuttered malls to be redistributed back to the remaining malls, the majority of which are owned by real estate investment trusts like Simon Property Group and Taubman Centers.

Accelerated by the pandemic, e-commerce has also proliferated, giving way to store closures as companies no longer need so much real estate to attract customers. This year, about 44% of mall-based retailers' sales are expected to come from the web, according to Morgan Stanley, up from 26% a year ago. It expects that percentage to stabilize at about 34% in 2021, after the initial e-commerce surge during the Covid-19 crisis subsides.

"The good news for malls is that they should emerge much stronger post rationalization, but the bad news is every mall REIT needs to rationalize a portion of their portfolio," Morgan Stanley said.

The Tennessee-headquartered mall REIT CBL & Associates is expected to file for bankruptcy protection by Thursday, highlighting the stresses the industry has faced, including tenants not paying rent. Meantime, Brookfield Properties is cutting 20% of its retail arm, as it looks to trim its mall portfolio and leasing activity has dried up. —Lauren Thomas

NFL medical chief cites metal health for avoiding postseason bubbles

The National Football League's chief medical officer said the league doesn't feel adding postseason bubbles is the safest course despite its recent Covid-19 outbreak.

Dr. Allen Sills spoke to reporters following the NFL's two-hour virtual meeting with owners and team reps on Tuesday. He said the league had roughly 100 Covid-19 cases and is expecting more positive tests, but added the league isn't considering alternative locations to finish the season.

Reports on Tuesday said the NFL discussed moving playoff games to two locations. But Sills and Troy Vincent, the NFL's Executive Vice President of Football Operations, downplayed the idea.

Sills also factored in mental health as a reason, fearing players could suffer emotional distress if isolated, especially during the holidays. —Jabari Young

Bill Gates slams U.S. coronavirus response and anti-vaxxer conspiracies

Bill Gates criticizes U.S. Covid-19 response: Most governments listen to their scientists

Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates criticized the United States' handling of the coronavirus pandemic, telling CNBC that 'most governments take advantage of their scientists and listen to them." Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Gates added, "They don't undermine them and attack them." Gates wondered why some people in the U.S. are pushing back on masks so much. "We tell people to wear clothes. I don't think of it as some ultra-important, freedom thing, that there's another part of your body, at least for the duration of the pandemic, we're asking you to cover up most of the time."

Bill Gates on pushback against masks: 'We tell people to wear clothes'

In an interview that ran on "Squawk Box" on Wednesday, Gates also worried that anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories targeting him and Dr. Anthony Fauci may erode public trust as companies work on possible Covid-19 vaccines. Gates said he has not spoken to Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, about the online attacks because "neither he and I know how to stop that." However, he said that he and Fauci do "talk about the antibody studies. The scientific team at the foundation gets on the phone with him on a regular basis because he's seeing company innovations that we're not, we're seeing things that he's not because we have a global view." — Matthew J. Belvedere and Kevin Stankiewicz

Texas top state reporting new cases in U.S.

U.S. stock open higher as investors see hints of further coronavirus aid

Stocks opened slightly higher as traders pored through more corporate earnings and looked for clues on further coronavirus aid, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Pippa Stevens.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 47 points higher, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2%.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will vote on a limited stimulus bill later this month. —Melodie Warner 

'Coming 2 America' could be going to Amazon Studios

"Coming 2 America," the long-anticipated sequel to the Eddie Murphy classic, is being sold by Paramount to Amazon Studios, Variety reported Tuesday. The film is expected to arrive on the company's streaming service on Dec. 18.

The deal for the film is purportedly worth around $125 million and includes the transfer of two major marketing campaigns tied to the film, one with McDonald's and one with Crown Royal. Murphy, who stars in the film and acted as producer, must sign off on the deal.

Major movies have been fleeing the calendar as it has become clear that moviegoers are hesitant to return to cinemas. With "Coming 2 America" moving to streaming, there are now only three major films left on the slate: "The Croods: A New Age," "Free Guy" and "Wonder Woman 1984." —Sarah Whitten

Fed's Clarida says U.S. economy needs another year to recover

Richard Clarida, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, during the annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 23, 2019.
Gerard Miller | CNBC

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the U.S. economy will need another year to return to pre-pandemic GDP levels and maybe longer than that for employment.

The central bank official added that the outlook is "unusually uncertain" and noted that "the Covid-19 recession threw the economy into a very deep hole" and it will "take some time, perhaps another year" to get back to 2019 levels. — Jeff Cox

Anger seen in Liverpool, the UK's only city in full lockdown

As revelers enjoy their last night a sign supports canceling the curfew in the city center as tomorrow the "very high" risk lockdown regulations come into effect on October 13, 2020 in Liverpool, England.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Residents and businesses in the city of Liverpool — known for its tourism, nightlife and music scene as the birthplace of The Beatles — were put into a strict lockdown Wednesday, and a backlash has already been seen against the government's new rules.

The city region is now the only part of the U.K. that is deemed to be at a "very high" risk level due to the high number of infections there. A new lockdown that came into force today means that households can no longer mix indoors or outdoors, and gyms, leisure centers and casinos must close. Pubs and bars must also close unless they serve food.

Music venues and bars, key parts of Liverpool's culture and nightlife, are expected to suffer the most.

"It's all about getting through and coming out the other side," Jon Keats, director of the Cavern Club, the music venue that regularly played host to The Beatles in the 1960s, said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday.

A backlash against the measures has been seen on social media, with residents saying the restrictions don't make sense and resenting the London-based government imposing them. Crowds of young people seen dancing in the street Tuesday night, surrounding a police car, were criticized by the city's mayor who said the images "shame our city." —Holly Ellyatt

Walmart breaks up its Black Friday into three different shopping events

Bargain-hunters can still hit their local Walmart for Black Friday deals, but stores won't have the typical midnight rush and crowded aisles.

Walmart said it's breaking Black Friday into three separate events, staggered throughout the month of November. Each will begin on its website and hit stores a few days later.

Its first Black Friday event will start online Nov. 4 and in stores Nov. 7 and will feature toys, electronics and home products. The second event — focused on electronics such as TVs, smartphones, computers and tablets along with some items from other merchandise categories — will begin online Nov. 11 and in stores Nov. 14. And the third event will kick off online Nov. 25 and in stores Nov. 27 — the same day as the usual post-Thanksgiving shopping event.

The retailer is taking steps to keep customers who opt for shopping in person safe. Among the precautions, customers must stand in a single-file line before entering the store and employees, dubbed health ambassadors, will remind them to wear masks. —Melissa Repko

Germany's economic forecasts downgraded as daily virus cases top 5,000

A paediatrician wearing a protective suit takes a swab sample from a young boy for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in front of his medical office in Berlin, Germany.
Hannibal Hanschke | Reuters

Germany's economic prospects for 2020 are looking increasingly bleak, with the country's leading research institutes downgrading growth forecasts for this year and beyond.

Publishing a joint economic forecast Wednesday, Germany's prominent economists warned that the coronavirus pandemic is leaving "substantial marks" on the country's economy, the largest in Europe, adding that "its impact is more persistent than assumed in spring."

They revised their economic outlook downward by roughly one percentage point for both 2020 and 2021. They now expect GDP to fall by 5.4% in 2020 — lower than a previous -4.2% forecast — and to grow by 4.7% in 2021 — down from a previously forecast 5.8%. The group expects GDP to grow by 2.7% in 2022.

The downgrades come as coronavirus cases rise rapidly in Germany. On Tuesday, 4,122 new cases were reported, according to data from public health body, the Robert Koch Institute. On Wednesday, it was 5,132 new cases. —Holly Ellyatt

UnitedHealth sees slower-than-expected return to optional health care

UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest U.S. health insurers, saw a slower-than-expected return to optional health care during the summer, as the pandemic dragged on, Reuters reports.

The company reported third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates, in part thanks to deferred health care spending. Many of the large insurers expected optional care to return in the second half of the year, but UnitedHealth's results indicate fewer premiums paid out for medical services. —Sara Salinas

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