White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress Tuesday that some parts of the U.S. are seeing a “disturbing surge” of infections and he’s concerned about the increased community spread. Top officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services are discussing what each agency has done in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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 9.11 million
- Global deaths: At least 472,541
- U.S. cases: More than 2.31 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 120,402
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Sales of newly built homes show big increase, but meeting demand is a challenge
1:18 p.m. ET — Sales of newly built homes increased nearly 13% annually, according to the U.S. Census.
But single-family housing starts in May were close to 18% lower annually and building permits were down about 10%, leaving builders trying to meet the demand for construction, CNBC’s Diana Olick reports.
Some homebuilders slowed operations in March, but saw a quick uptick of interest in April, despite still producing below demand levels. Homebuilders have added 226,000 jobs in May, according to Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, but there was already a shortage of skilled workers before the pandemic. —Alex Harring
Some colleges cutting academic programs as schools take financial hit from Covid-19 closures
The University of Alaska Anchorage campus is shown in Anchorage, Alaska.
Yereth Rosen | Reuters
12:24 p.m. ET — As colleges and universities across the country face extreme financial distress, some institutions are cutting the academic programs that were once central to a well-rounded education.
In early June, the University of Alaska system announced it will cut 39 academic departments in all, including degree programs in sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science.
In order to stay afloat going forward, more schools may have to shift their priorities away from the value of a liberal arts education and focus on degrees that have a direct return on investment, according to Robert Franek, editor in chief of The Princeton Review. —Jessica Dickler
As Trump blames rising cases on testing, data suggests the virus is spreading
Dr. Vincent Carrao draws blood from a patient for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at Palisades Oral Surgery, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S., June 15, 2020. Picture taken June 15, 2020.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
11:54 a.m. ET — President Donald Trump has continued to blame rising coronavirus cases on increased testing despite mounting evidence that the virus is spreading rapidly throughout some communities.
“Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday. “With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!”
Citing a rise in many states that the percent of total tests coming back positive is on the rise, public health specialists and some politicians have pushed back, saying that infections, not just confirmed cases, are accelerating.
“Even with the testing increasing or being flat, the number of people testing positive is accelerating faster than that,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, told reporters last week. “You know that’s evidence that there’s transmission within those communities.” —Will Feuer
Better care and younger patients could lower the mortality rate, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says
11:26 a.m. ET — As the coronavirus appears to infect mostly younger people in at least some states and doctors learn to provide better care for Covid-19 patients, the mortality rate of the disease will likely drop in the weeks ahead, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.
Young and otherwise healthy people are less likely to die of Covid-19, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, young people can still develop severe disease as well as die of the disease and scientists are still researching the long-term health effects of an infection.
“As the hospitals fill up with Covid patients, we’re going to see how much the mortality rate declines as a function of it’s a younger cohort, younger age cohort, but also we have better treatment,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There’s no question that we’re going to preserve more life now that we have these therapeutic opportunities available to us.” —Will Feuer
Delta CEO calls for a government mask-wearing mandate
10:01 a.m. ET — Major U.S. airlines now require passengers to wear masks on board in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, but enforcing it is tricky without a government mandate, Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian said. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends facial coverings like masks in places where it is difficult to socially distance, such as on airplanes.
“If you take your mask off, no … we will not forcibly remove you from the plane,” Bastian told Axios in an interview that aired Monday night. “If the government were to mandate it I think that would help. If the government mandated it then you can enforce it.”
The government has “left it to the airlines to make those decisions.” Last week, American Airlines said it is temporarily banning a passenger who refused to wear a mask, saying he can return when those face coverings are no longer required on flights. —Leslie Josephs
Tennis player Novak Djokovic tests positive after organizing exhibition series
A file photo dated June 5, 2016 shows Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns to Andy Murray of United Kingdom during the men’s single final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France on June 05, 2016.
Mustafa Yalcin | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
9:57 a.m. ET — Top-ranked Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus after playing in a tennis exhibition series he organized, the Associated Press reported.
Djokovic became the fourth player to test positive following matches in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia. Both Djokovic and his wife have tested positive.
There was no social distancing measures implemented at the matches as players were seen hugging each other, per the AP report. Djokovic has been criticized for hosting the exhibition amid health concerns with the pandemic.
Organizers of the Adria Tour confirmed to AP that the third stage of the series, originally planned next for next week in Bosnia, has been canceled. —Alex Harring
Stocks open solidly higher following brief China-U.S. trade deal scare overnight
9:38 a.m. ET — Stock futures recovered from earlier losses to trade higher at the open after White House trade advisor Peter Navarro clarified his remarks that suggested the U.S.-China trade deal is over.
Navarro quickly walked back his remarks. “My comments have been taken wildly out of context,” he said in a statement. “They had nothing at all to do with the Phase I trade deal, which continues in place.”
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up about 230 points at the start of trading. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also traded higher.
Stocks extended Monday’s gains, despite unease surrounding the growing number of Covid-19 “hot spots” across the country. —Terri Cullen
University of Michigan pulls out of hosting presidential debate, citing health concerns
9:30 a.m. ET — The University of Michigan said it will be pulling out of its agreement with the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a general election presidential debate on its campus in the fall.
The debate will still take place on Oct. 15, but will instead be held in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, according to a statement by the commission.
The University of Michigan’s decision to back out was rooted in concerns over the public health risks of bringing candidates, campaigns and the media to campus during the pandemic, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
University President Mark Schlissel wrote in a letter to the committee that hosting the debate is no longer feasible, given the public health and safety issues which accompany bringing so many visitors to the Ann Arbor, Mich. campus. —Alex Harring
Daily new cases in the U.S. trend upward
Sanofi CEO says the company could contribute two successful coronavirus vaccines
8:56 a.m. ET — Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson told CNBC both of the French drugmaker’s vaccine pursuits could be successful in preventing Covid-19.
“The world needs billions of doses. We want to make sure every country, everybody that needs that protection, can get it,” Hudson said on “Squawk Box.” “We think we’ll definitely play a part with one, and maybe even both of our vaccines.”
Hudson’s comments come after Sanofi announced a potential $2 billion deal with U.S. biotech firm Translate Bio to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. Sanofi has already entered a vaccine partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company.
Hudson touted Translate Bio’s experience working on therapeutics using mRNA technology, which tells human cells to produce specified proteins in order to produce an immune response to a particular disease. The vaccine candidate from Sanofi and Translate Bio could be ready “later in 2021,” Hudson said.
“One of the reasons why we went deeper into this collaboration was because they’ve been on mRNA for 10 years. They know how it make it scaled, which has never been done before with any other company. Once we’ve cracked it, which we think we will, we’ll be able to get to large volumes very quickly,” he said. —Kevin Stankiewicz
England pubs, restaurants and hotels to reopen on July 4
People are seen buying takeaway pints at a pub on Wandsworth Common on May 28 2020 in London, England.
Peter Summers | Getty Images
8:05 a.m. ET — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced England’s pubs, restaurants and hotels will be permitted to reopen on July 4 as part of the country’s next phase of a resumption of business, according to a Reuters report.
“All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact,” he said in parliament, according to Reuters. “We will ask businesses to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks by collecting contact details from customers.” —Sara Salinas
German district goes back into lockdown after outbreak at meat processing plant
A man speaks to foreign labourers inside an area secured by local police forces within an apartment complex used by the Toennies meat company to house labourers from eastern Europe during the coronavirus pandemic on June 20, 2020 in Verl near Guetersloh, Germany.
7:13 a.m. ET — A district in Germany that has seen an acute outbreak of coronavirus cases at a meat-processing plant is being put back into lockdown, the premier of North Rhine-Westfalia said.
State premier Armin Laschet said he was putting the district of Guetersloh, home to around 360,000 people, back under lockdown until June 30. The move comes after at least 1,000 workers at a meat processing plant in the area contracted Covid-19.
Germany has been lauded throughout the coronavirus crisis in Europe as a country that had seemingly managed to control the virus’ spread, largely through an organized and early contact tracing system. Now, however, the country has seen a resurgence of cases due to several localized outbreaks in different parts of the country.
As well as the outbreak in Guetersloh, a large Covid-19 outbreak in the district of Goettingen in Lower Saxony was traced to family gatherings and another, in Magdeburg in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, emerged in several schools that are now closed. In Berlin, an outbreak of 85 cases has been linked to members of a religious community. —Holly Ellyatt
AstraZeneca’s potential vaccine shows promise in pigs with two shots
AstraZeneca’s building in Luton, Britain.
Tim Ireland | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
7:03 a.m. ET — AstraZeneca’s potential coronavirus vaccine showed some promise in a trial of pigs, which found that two doses of the shot produced more antibodies than one dose.
The research, which was published by The Pirbright Institute, suggests that a two-shot approach of the Oxford University-developed vaccine candidate might be most effective in preventing Covid-19 infection.
“The researchers saw a marked increase in neutralizing antibodies, which bind to the virus in a way that blocks infection,” the Pirbright team said in a statement. However, the potential vaccine still must prove it’s safe and effective in humans as well.
The potential vaccine, also known as AZD1222, is being developed in partnership between researchers at Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The candidate is already in human trials and the company previously said it hopes to have data on whether it’s effective in preventing Covid-19 later this year. —Will Feuer
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Chinese firm gets approval for potential vaccine trials; euro zone downturn eases