Oxford readying a phase 2 vaccine trial; cases surge in India

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The U.S. coronavirus death toll is approaching 100,000 about five months after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the country. More than 1.57 million people across the country have been infected, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

On Thursday, President Donald Trump told reporters that “we are not closing our country” if the spread of the virus flares up again. States continue to chart a path forward, reopening nonessential businesses and easing restrictions on movement. Even the hardest hit states in the country, New York and New Jersey, are reopening beaches for Memorial Day weekend.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 5.12 million
  • Global deaths: At least 333,382
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.57 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 94,729

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Biden says he would make Covid-19 vaccine free for everyone in U.S.

9:00 a.m. ET — Apparent 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden said on CNBC that if he were president, a coronavirus vaccine would be free for everyone in the United States.

“I tell you what, if one is found, I would make sure that every single person in America is able to get a vaccine, period, without any cost,” Biden told “Squawk Box.”

“And I would do the same thing with testing right now.” The former vice president couched the health-care stance in economic terms, contrasting himself with President Donald Trump, who is pushing states to quickly reopen their economies.

“All this talk about reopening — people aren’t going to open until they have the confidence to know that if they gather together, they’re not going to get sick,” Biden said.

Trump said last week that he was “looking at” the possibility of making an eventual coronavirus vaccine available free of charge. —Kevin Breuninger

New cases boom in Africa 

Moderna shares rise following Fauci’s comments on Covid-19 vaccine data 

Oxford recruiting for expanded human trials of vaccine candidate

Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

7:06 a.m. ET — AstraZeneca and Oxford University have announced plans to move their vaccine candidate to human trials and have already started to recruit up to 10,260 adults and children for the next phase of trials, the university said.

On Thursday, AstraZeneca announced it received about $1.2 billion in funding from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to accelerate development of the potential vaccine. Human trials began last month with over 1,000 volunteers in the south of England. No trial data has been released.

The university said it’s now recruiting for a phase two trial, which will include older adults and children, to assess if the immune response varies in different age demographics. The phase three trial will assess how well the vaccine actually defends against infection from the coronavirus.

“The speed at which this new vaccine has advanced into late-stage clinical trials is testament to Oxford’s ground-breaking scientific research,” AstraZeneca executive Mene Pangalos said. —Will Feuer

India reports biggest one-day increase in cases 

Migrant labourers stand in a queue for medical checkup after reaching quarantine center at their hometown Allahabad during Government imposed nationwide lockdown as a prventive measure against the COVID-19 corona virus in Allahabad, India on April 27, 2020.

Ritesh Shukla | NurPhoto via Getty Images

7:00 a.m. ET — India’s health ministry reported the country recorded its highest single-day spike of new infections since the pandemic began.

The country of approximately 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 118,000 cases on Friday, a roughly 5% increase from Thursday’s figures.

To date, India has recorded 3,583 fatalities due to the virus, according to the health ministry. —Sam Meredith

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Russia reports record daily jump in deaths; Soros warns EU may not survive

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