Coronavirus updates: AstraZeneca, J&J resume vaccine trials as U.S. nears record highs for new cases

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In the final U.S. presidential debate, President Donald Trump continued to tout his response to the coronavirus pandemic and praised efforts to reopen businesses that were shut down to slow the spread. Democratic nominee Joe Biden countered that America's Covid-19 cases are rising too fast and warned that it is headed for a "dark winter." As coronavirus restrictions returned to Europe, preliminary data released Friday showed economic activity in the euro zone shrunk in October.

Here are some of the biggest developments Friday:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 41.7 million
  • Global deaths: At least 1.13 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 8.41 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 223,059

Biden sets out plan to mitigate spread of Covid-19 in the U.S., reopen safely

With about a week and a half to go to Election Day, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden laid out specific steps he would take to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S. and reopen the country, and would start before the inauguration.

"I'll reach out to every governor in every state, red and blue, as well as mayors and local officials, during the transition, to find out what support they need and how much of it they need," Biden said during a campaign speech.

Other key elements of his plan include policies on masking, testing, personal protective equipment, reopening guidelines and treatment/vaccines, CNBC's Christina Wilkie reports. —Chris Eudaily

Long-term care facilities opt into CVS, Walgreens vaccine deal

A senior administration official said between 9,000 and 10,000 long-term care and assisted living facilities have already opted into the Trump administration's program with CVS Health and Walgreens to administer coronavirus vaccines to seniors.

"We will stand by and see what else happens, but a very robust early response to that offering," Paul Mango, a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters on a conference call.

Last week, HHS announced that it had struck a deal with the two pharmacy chains to administer vaccines to the elderly at long-term care and assisted living facilities free of charge. Officials said the deal would ensure that nursing homes, which have been hit hard by the virus, "are at the front of the line for the COVID vaccine and will bring their grueling trial to a close as swiftly as possible." –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson resume U.S. vaccine trials

A test tube labelled vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters

The FDA has permitted AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to resume their late-stage trials in the U.S. testing a potential coronavirus vaccine.

AstraZeneca's trial was halted in the U.S. on Sept. 6 after a participant in its U.K. trial developed a serious neurological illness.

Reuters, citing four sources, reported earlier this week that the FDA had completed its review and the trial could resume as early as this week. —Riya Bhattacharjee

Trump hasn't attended task force meeting in 'several months,' Fauci says

President Donald Trump hasn't attended a coronavirus task force meeting in "several months," even as Covid-19 cases rise across the U.S., White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

The task force, which is led by Vice President Mike Pence, used to meet every day in the first months of the pandemic, but that's been scaled back to virtual meetings once a week, he said.

"We certainly interact with the vice president at the task force meetings, and the vice president makes our feelings and what we talk about there known to the president," Fauci told MSNBC.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told NPR in an interview published Monday that Trump has primarily received his information from Pence and coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas.

"I definitely don't have his ear as much as Scott Atlas right now. That has been a changing situation," Fauci told MSNBC when asked about how often he briefs the president. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

New York City's iconic Strand Book Store pleads for help amid pandemic

People walk outside The Strand Bookstore in New York, June 27, 2020.
Noam Galai | Getty Images

One of New York's most famous bookstores is asking the public for help as it faces a dire financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Strand Book Store tweeted that its revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year, "and the loans and cash reserves that have kept us afloat these past months are depleted."

"We need your help. This is the post we hoped to never write, but today marks a huge turning point in The Strand's history," the tweet said, and included a note from the store's owner Nancy Bass Wyden outlining various ways the public could help. "We have survived so much in the past 93 years, and we are ready to fight against all odds to keep The Strand alive, but we cannot do it without book lovers like you." —Riya Bhattacharjee

WHO says some countries 'are on a dangerous track'

The World Health Organization's top official warned that some countries "are on a dangerous track" as coronavirus cases continue to surge and more hospitals begin to reach capacity.

"We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press briefing.

Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases and that's now leading to hospitals and ICU running close or above capacity and we're still only in October," he said.

Even for countries that have successfully suppressed their outbreaks, Tedros said "now is the time to double down" and to take quick action for arising clusters. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Black-owned restaurants in NYC struggle for survival as stimulus stalemate drags on

Black Restaurant Week comes to New York to help raise revenue for Black-owned restaurants
Black Restaurant Week comes to New York to help Black-owned restaurants

Black Restaurant Week is coming to New York City for the first time in its five-year history in November to help businesses who have lost revenue amid the pandemic.

The organization has helped Black-owned businesses in cities around the country increase revenue by as much as 20%.

Forty-one percent of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses, and Black-owned restaurants in the New York City area have seen their revenue fall as much as 70% to 80% since the start of the pandemic. —Riley de León

As stimulus talks drag on, Main Street awaits guidance on PPP loan forgiveness

The U.S. Capitol stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. Talks Thursday between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought no immediate breakthrough on a deal for a new pandemic relief package, while the House prepared to vote on a Democrat-only plan.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Millions of small businesses in the U.S. face a double whammy by year-end if Washington does not address key issues in any stimulus package they put together for Main Street. Besides another round of cash, businesses need clarity on how to receive forgiveness on the $525 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans received under the CARES Act. Companies also need to know the tax consequences that await if applying for loan forgiveness by year-end.

Guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration on this critical issue has not come yet. The SBA opened its forgiveness portal for PPP loans in August. Loans are forgivable if borrowers devote at least 60% of the proceeds to payroll costs. Even if a business fell short of the threshold, partial forgiveness may be an option.

One sticking point is whether PPP loans will be taxed as ordinary business income, or if they will be deductible as an expense. To date, 5.5 million small business owners received PPP funding.

Many are hoping Congress will offer blanket forgiveness on loans up to $150,000. The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act introduced by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, a Senate banking committee member, has widespread bipartisan support. It streamlines forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a simple, one-page form to the lender. —Lori Ioannou

U.S. reports more than 71,600 new cases, nearing record highs

The U.S. reported more than 71,600 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a daily count nearing record highs set in late July as outbreaks continue to take hold in the Midwest, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus cases grew by 5% or more over the past week in 38 states as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University that uses a weekly average to smooth out fluctuations in daily reporting.

Covid-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise: 13 states reached record high hospitalizations, based on a weekly average. Many of them are in the West and Midwest, including Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to a CNBC analysis of Covid Tracking Project data. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

A picturesque hilltop village in Italy will pay you to move and work there

The village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Abruzzo region of Italy has launched an initiative to attract new younger residents.
S. Vanni | De Agostini | Getty Images

Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Italian region of Abruzzo has devised an initiative to try to attract new younger residents to move to the village amid the pandemic.

The local council is offering applicants a grant of 8,000 euros ($9,485) a year for three years to become a resident of the village. In addition, it is offering a one-off grant of 20,000 euros to start a business, along with providing applicants with property, on which they will only pay "nominal" rent.

However, there are conditions to the scheme, including the fact that applicants must be aged between 18 and 40. —Vicky McKeever

Dow rises for a second day as investors await stimulus news

U.S. stocks opened higher as Wall Street awaits updates on additional fiscal stimulus talks, as well as news on the earnings and coronavirus treatment fronts, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%. —Melodie Warner 

Kansas, five other U.S. states set record highs in new deaths

Six U.S. states hit record highs of daily new deaths on a seven-day average Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Kansas reported a record seven-day average of 15 deaths, a 24% rise from last week. The record seven-day average of new deaths in Wisconsin was 21, up 16% and Oklahoma reported 11 new deaths, a 34% increase from the prior seven-day average.

New deaths in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming hit a seven-day average of 7, 6, and 1, respectively.

Thirteen states — including Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Kentucky — also set records for seven-day average hospitalizations.

This data provided by JHU is collected from dozens of state and local agencies that have varying reporting methodologies and levels of accuracy. Comparisons of the seven-day average help to smooth out inconsistencies in state reporting procedures. —Melodie Warner 

Senator Tom Cotton says next stimulus package should be more targeted

Insurance issues could radically change live shows, says music legend Nile Rodgers

Music legend Nile Rodgers on Covid impact
Music legend Nile Rodgers on Covid impact

Multi-Grammy award-winning Nile Rodgers told CNBC that he doesn't know if live shows can ever be the same again "because what are the insurance policies going to look like now?"

Rodgers said the highlight of performing live for him was bringing "all these strangers" up on stage to share the experience of what it's like to entertain "tens of thousands of people."

"Are they going to now take into effect that we may make somebody sick inadvertently, and we were just trying to give people a good time? So we have to think about all those sorts of things," he added.

Rodgers, who is also chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the first-ever chief creative advisor at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, recently headlined the virtually-held Festival of Marketing. —Melodie Warner 

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