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NYC to enter next phase of reopening Monday

The coronavirus outbreak continues to expand in some states across the U.S., with Arizona on Tuesday reporting a record high number of new confirmed cases. On Wednesday, Texas reported an 11% daily spike in hospitalizations for patients with Covid-19, setting an eighth new high in less than two weeks. Some state and federal officials, including Vice President Mike Pence continue to downplay the outbreak, calling it “overblown.”

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 8.21 million
  • Global deaths: At least 445,012
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.14 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 117,129

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says federal government is making ‘historical mistake’ with handling of outbreak, reopening

2:22 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily press briefing that the federal government is making a “historical mistake” with its handling of the Covid-19 crisis and allowing states to reopen too quickly.

Cuomo voiced concern over other states that are reopening rapidly and seeing increases in Covid-19 cases. New York reported that less than 1% of tests came back positive on Tuesday, among the lowest rates in the U.S.

“If those states are going up, they could spread the virus to New York. They have a higher rate of infection than New York,” Cuomo said. “What happens when those people get on planes and fly to New York?”

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that many states have identified new cases through testing facilities like nursing homes, meatpacking plants and prisons. However, Cuomo pointed to rising hospitalizations in states like Florida and Arizona as signs the Covid-19 outbreak is worsening in other parts of the nation.

“The number of people going into hospitals is going up. How do you explain that?” Cuomo asked. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

WHO drops hydroxychloroquine study

Researcher Cody Hoffmann checks the results of an automated liquid handler as researchers begin a trial to see whether malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. March 19, 2020.

Craig Lassig | Reuters

2:07 p.m. ET — The World Health Organization announced it is dropping hydroxychloroquine from its global study looking for potential treatments for the coronavirus after data from its trial and another study suggested it would not be beneficial.

The announcement is likely to further dampen hopes about the malaria drug. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was ending its emergency use authorization for the drug after concluding it was “unlikely to be effective.”

The drug generated excitement earlier in the year after a handful of small studies suggested it could be beneficial. President Donald Trump promoted it as a potential treatment for the virus and said he personally took the medication as a preventive measure against the disease. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

Inside the NBA’s plan to keep players safe during its return

2:00 p.m. ET — When NBA players return to play in Orlando, they will be given a swag bag of tools to help monitor their health, according to a memo sent to all players, teams and executives.

Those tools include a wearable smart ring, that can help detect symptoms related to the coronavirus and provide players with a probability score to indicate if they may be showing signs of infection.

A Disney MagicBand will serve as players’ key to open doors and also help with contact tracing should an athlete get sick. The league will also be issuing special alarms that will be attached to credentials and set off a noise when two people break social distancing rules. —Jessica Golden

Coronavirus deaths in U.S. projected to surpass 200,000 by October

1:52 p.m. ET — A coronavirus model once cited by the White House projects more than 200,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus by Oct.1, as new cases reach record highs in parts of the country.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington says that deaths from Covid-19 in the U.S. could reach anywhere between 171,000 and 270,000, with a likely estimate of about 201,129. The number of daily deaths is expected to rise again in September after reaching a plateau in June.

The research institute forecasts higher mobility in at least 20 states by October, which increases the risks of transmission and widespread resurgence. As states across the country move further into their reopening guidelines and relax social-distancing measures, many are seeing spikes in new cases and hospitalizations. —Jasmine Kim

WHO warns research on dexamethasone in early stages

1:15 p.m. ET — Research on the use of dexamethasone for Covid-19 is still in the early stages, the World Health Organization said, urging the public to be cautious.

While the results from the University of Oxford were “very significant,” scientists still need to see the full data from the trial, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said during a press conference.

Earlier this week, scientists at Oxford said results from a trial showed the steroid reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Besides dexamethasone’s approval in the U.K., there are currently no other approved treatments for the virus, which has infected more than 8.1 million people worldwide. —Berkeley Lovelace

New York City to move further into reopening, more businesses allowed to return, governor says

People look at the Manhattan skyline before watching a movie at the Skyline Drive-In NYC cinema experience on June 16, 2020 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

12:50 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that New York City is scheduled to reopen some in-store retail, hair salons and select office spaces with health precautions on Monday.

The phase two reopening will allow for in-store retail businesses to open at no more than 50% maximum occupancy, according to the state’s reopening guidelines. 

Hair salons, barbershops and office spaces for businesses in the professional services, nonprofit, technology, administrative support and higher education administration industries will also be allowed to reopen with modifications.

The phase two reopening order does not allow some businesses, like malls, gyms or indoor restaurants and bars to reopen yet. However, restaurants will be allowed to offer outdoor seating in phase two.

Cuomo said hospitalizations in the city have declined for weeks and the positivity rate for Covid-19 tests fell to 1.4% on Wednesday, down from a high of 57% reported on April 1. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Health officials, including Dr. Fauci, warn of coronavirus risks at Trump’s Tulsa rally

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

12:15 p.m. ET — White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health officials are warning that Trump’s upcoming rally in Tulsa could become a site of spread for the coronavirus.

The rally is scheduled for Saturday and slated to be held in a 20,000-person indoor arena. In an interview published late Tuesday by the Daily Beast, Fauci expressed concern that indoor gatherings are higher risk than outdoor gatherings.

Asked whether he would attend the rally, he answered “of course not.”

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb echoed Fauci’s concerns, telling CNBC that “…all these large gatherings are going to lead to spread. There’s just no question about it.” —Will Feuer

How recent college grads can find jobs during the coronavirus pandemic

12:02 p.m. ET — Entering the job market certainly hasn’t been easy for recent college graduates.

It was just a few months ago when the economy was booming. Now they are facing an unemployment rate of 13.3%, rescinded job offers and little or no response to applications for work. 

Experts suggest a number of strategies to kick start careers, like being flexible in the jobs they are looking for. If they can’t find work in their desired field, they should look for a job that can build sought after skills like communication and teamwork. 

Grads should also reach out to former coaches, teachers, peers or parents’ friends to start building their network and make sure they understand how to do a virtual job interview. That includes making sure the technology works well and the setting is professional and quiet. —Michelle Fox

Texas hospitalizations jump 11% in a day, up 84% since Memorial Day

A medical student treats a COVID-19 patient, in Houston, Texas at United Memorial Medical Center.

Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

11:18 a.m. ET — Texas Covid-19 hospitalizations hit another new high, surging about 11% in a single day. The new total marks the eighth new high in less than two weeks as the state continues to reopen.

Hospitalizations in the state are now up more than 84% since Memorial Day.

During a press briefing Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott defended the state’s reopening plan by pointing to the total available hospital beds and the ability to create surge capacity if necessary. However, the total number of available beds fell further Wednesday, down to 13,815, according to state data. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Tulsa officials ask Trump to cancel rally as virus spikes in Oklahoma 

10:45 a.m. ET — Tulsa officials are asking President Trump’s campaign to cancel, or at least move outdoors, the rally planned for Saturday over concerns that it will become a “super spreader” event that worsens the state’s recent spike in coronavirus infections, the New York Times reported.

The rally is currently scheduled to take place in a 20,000-person indoor arena. “It’s the perfect storm of potential over-the-top disease transmission,” said Bruce Dart, the executive director of Tulsa’s health department, to the Times.

The coronavirus can spread through respiratory droplets that hang in the air, so lengthy periods spent in a densely packed indoors area — such as would happen during a Trump speech, many of which last over an hour — raise the risk of infection, according to the Times.

The Trump campaign said Monday that it would take people’s temperatures and hand out masks and hand sanitizer. It has also required attendees to waive their right to sue the campaign if they do catch the virus at the rally. —Michelle Gao 

Cinemark to reopen all U.S. theater locations by July 17

Front facade of Cinemark Paradise 24 movie theater in the style of an Egyptian temple in Davie, Florida, USA

Holly Guerrio

10:37 a.m. ET — The third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. is looking to reopen all of its more than 500 cinemas by July 17.

Cinemark announced that its phased reopening plan would see locations in Texas begin to open on June 19. The remaining locations are set to open between July 3 and July 17.

While the theater chain awaits new releases from Hollywood, it will show classic titles like “Ghostbusters” and “Jurassic Park” at discounted prices. Adult tickets will cost $5 and children’s tickets will be $3. Concession prices will also be discounted.

Like its rivals, Cinemark is implementing more stringent cleaning rules, staggering seating and requiring its employees to wear masks and gloves. —Sarah Whitten

Google offers nonprofits $200 million in ad grants

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

10:11 a.m. ET — Google is offering an additional $200 million in advertising grants for nonprofit organizations and releasing several new ad features for small businesses to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The internet giant said it would expand its annual commitment of free advertising for nonprofits fighting things like Covid-19 and racial injustice. It’s also adding new features to its platforms, including a tool that lets users search and book local services through its Local Services Ads offering.

A big focus of the new ad updates centers on e-commerce, with Google looking to rival Amazon in the space. Its Shopping tab for instance will now feature information about product availability and the option of curbside pickup. Google Vice President of Ads Jerry Dischler said e-commerce is a “huge opportunity for us.” —Ryan Browne

Target increases minimum hourly wage to $15, gives bonuses

A Target store employee collects shopping carts to bring back into the store on August 21, 2019 in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

10:01 a.m. ET — Target is permanently raising its minimum wage from $13 to $15 an hour, following a temporary pay increase offered in March because of the pandemic.

The retailer said the starting rate will apply to all store and distribution center workers, beginning July 5. It will give all hourly employees a $200 one-time bonus to recognize their work during the coronavirus pandemic and extend special benefits, such as free counseling and backup childcare.

Target had previously committed to raising its minimum hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020. In March, it increased pay by $2 an hour – effectively bringing many employees up to $15 or more. —Melissa Repko 

Daily report of new cases by region 

Stocks rise for a fourth straight day 

9:37 a.m. ET — Stocks opened higher, aiming for a four-day winning streak, fueled in part by a growing belief the worst may be over for the world’s largest economy, reports CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Maggie Fitzgerald. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 47 points higher, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5%. —Melodie Warner

Digital-bank Current gets boost as essential workers sign up for accounts

9:24 a.m. ET — Digital-bank Current has taken off with the essential workers who “have kept this country going” during the pandemic, said founder and former Wall Street trader Stuart Sopp in a telephone interview.

The New York-based start-up founded in 2015 has seen customer growth surge during the coronavirus pandemic, adding more than 100,000 users a month in April and May, Sopp said. The company recently exceeded 1 million active accounts and expects to double in size before the end of this year, he added.

“Everyone who was tagged as an essential worker happens to fit our profile, just by dumb luck,” Sopp said. “They work at Walmart or Amazon, they’re Door Dash-ers, Instacart-ers, Uber and Lyft drivers, UPS workers, nurses or military. Our growth in the last two months has been insane.”

Current has offered fee-free mobile checking accounts since the start of last year. Users spend about $1,100 per month, almost entirely on necessities like groceries, he added. —Hugh Son

GM ‘cautiously optimistic’ about economic recovery

9:04 a.m. ET — With consumer demand being better than expected for new vehicles and a continuing ramp-up of North American production, General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barra is “cautiously optimistic” regarding an economic recovery.

The automaker is “hopeful that we’ll have a strong recovery” overall but is planning for multiple scenarios “to make sure the company is strong from a business perspective and can weather any outcome,” she said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Her comments come a day after the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where she promised the company will remain steadfast on its plans to invest $20 billion in all-electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025. GM, according to Barra, remains committed to ride-sharing, specifically when it comes to autonomous vehicles.

Some have speculated consumers won’t want to utilize ride-sharing such as Uber and Lyft, which the company has a stake in, in the future due to the coronavirus pandemic. —Michael Wayland

The latest with U.S. hot spots

Belgium had the worst response to the coronavirus crisis among OECD countries, EIU says

A STIB/ MIVB worker disinfects a bus as transport vehicles are disinfected several times a day during stage 1A of the deconfinement, on May 4, 2020.


8:12 a.m. ET — Belgium’s response to the coronavirus crisis has been ranked the worst out of 21 OECD countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

In a new report, EIU analysts gave 21 nations an overall score that weighed risk factors against how well their governments reacted to the pandemic.

With a “poor” score of 2.11 out of 4, Belgium received the lowest point total in the index. New Zealand, with a total score of 3.67, was ranked highest for its government’s handling of the health crisis. The U.S. received a “good” overall score of 3.11.

To date, 9,663 people in Belgium have died of Covid-19, making it the country with the highest death rate per capita in the world, according to Our World in Data—Chloe Taylor

Firm says UV light can ‘degrade’ coronavirus 

8:04 a.m. ET — Dutch lighting firm Signify says one of its ultraviolet lights can “degrade” the coronavirus in just a few seconds.

The company, which is the world’s biggest lighting maker, tested its latest technology with researchers at Boston University and found that the exposure of the virus to UV light helps to destroy it.

Eric Rondolat, Signify CEO, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” that the company’s UV light is able to eradicate 96% of the coronavirus with three seconds of exposure. That goes up to 99% for six seconds of exposure. —Sam Shead

Denmark to cull mink following outbreak at farm

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

7:20 a.m. ET — An outbreak of the coronavirus at a farm in Denmark means that the whole stock will now be culled, Denmark’s Veterinary and Food Administration said Wednesday. 

The administration had analyzed samples from 34 animals at a mink farm in northern Jutland, after discovering that an individual with Covid-19 was associated with the farm.

“Since this is the first time a coronary infection has been found in a Danish mink herd, the government has decided as a precaution that the infected mink herd must be killed, in order to minimize the risk of possible spread of infection,” the administration said on its website.

Similar coronavirus outbreaks have been discovered previously in the Netherlands, and the Dutch government also proceeded with culls of tens of thousands of mink, which are bred for their fur, after infections were detected. —Holly Ellyatt

Germany’s CureVac says vaccine candidate could hit the market by mid-2021

A man pipettes a blue liquid in a laboratory of the biopharmaceutical company Curevac.

Sebastian Gollnow | picture alliance | Getty Images

7:14 a.m. ET — German biotech firm CureVac has received regulatory approval and plans to “promptly” start a phase one human trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate, the company announced. 

The phase one trial will be conducted in Germany and Belgium and include 168 health participants, the company said. CureVac added on a conference call that the potential vaccine could hit the market by mid-2021, Reuters reported, though it will first have to prove to be safe for humans and effective against the virus.

“We are convinced that we are on the right track with our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate,” Dr. Mariola Fotin-Mleczek, CureVac’s chief technology officer, said in a statement, adding that early evidence from animal experiments has been positive. “We now look forward to confirm these results in humans.” —Will Feuer

Disagreement over WHO is reportedly delaying UN Security Council meeting

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

7:03 a.m. ET — Disagreements between Russia and other countries over the role of the World Health Organization have delayed a meeting of the UN Security Council, Reuters reported, citing the Russian RIA news agency. 

The meeting would be to discuss the global response to the pandemic, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there remains disagreement among members over the role of the WHO, according to Reuters.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S., a permanent member of the Security Council, will cut ties with the WHO. In the announcement, Trump alleged that the UN agency is beholden to Chinese interests and failed to hold the country accountable for its early response to the coronavirus, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Putin has a ‘disinfection tunnel,’ Sweden feels isolated over coronavirus

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