People across the U.S. gathered in mass over the weekend and into Monday morning to protest police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, raising concerns of further virus spread through the demonstrations. More than 1.7 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus and more than 104,000 have died due to Covid-19. Black Americans have made up a disproportionate share of the deaths as underlying conditions, income inequality and disparity in access to health care have exacerbated the outbreak in the black community.
Some state and city officials have urged protesters to seek Covid-19 testing and to limit movements in the weeks following the demonstrations in an effort to prevent infections.
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 6.19 million
- Global deaths: At least 372,479
- U.S. cases: More than 1.79 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 104,383
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Officials warn protests could help virus spread
10:05 a.m. ET — As protests erupt across the U.S., officials are sounding the alarm that such mass gatherings could allow the coronavirus spread throughout the population.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of challenges coming out of the events of the past week,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an interview on “Squawk Box” on Monday. “One of them’s going to be that probably chains of transmission will have gotten lit by large gatherings. I don’t think there’s really a question about that.”
States have eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus in recent weeks, particularly as some studies indicate the virus doesn’t spread as easily outdoors. However, the protests present a significantly larger risk to increasing spread of the virus, Gottlieb said.
“This isn’t a day at the beach or going out to a picnic where you’re outside and you might be in larger groups but there’s some social distancing and you’re able to take some precautions,” he said. “In these kinds of gatherings, in these kinds of crowds, many of which lost control of the crowds, you’re not going to be able to take those kinds of precautions.” —Will Feuer
Southwest offers employees voluntary separation packages in bid to avoid layoffs
Southwest airline planes sit on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport on February 20, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
9:47 a.m. ET — Southwest Airlines is the latest carrier to offer employees voluntary separation and partially paid leaves, an effort to reduce headcount and to avoid layoffs or furloughs.
While airlines are suffering from a plunge in demand because of the pandemic, they are prohibited from laying off or cutting the pay rates of their employees through Sept. 30 under the conditions of $25 billion in federal coronavirus relief dedicated to supporting payroll.
Southwest told employees they can take a minimum of six months off and receive partial pay, and all benefits and travel privileges. Another option is a voluntary separation that includes travel privileges for four years and a severance package.
“The voluntary programs are the most generous packages ever offered in Southwest’s history and will assist with matching staffing levels to the current decline in demand due to COVID-19,” the airline said. The low-cost airline, which employed just over 60,000 people as of the end of 2019, boasts that it has avoided laying off or furloughing workers and that it wants to keep its streak going.
American, United and Delta also rolled out voluntary leave, separation and early retirement programs last week to front-line workers as well as management and administrative employees. —Leslie Josephs
Dow drops 100 points at open as Wall Street aims for third monthly advance in June
9:40 a.m. ET — The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 130 points just after the opening bell while the S&P 500 lost 0.35% and the Nasdaq Composite shed nearly 0.2%. As June trading begins on Wall Street, investors looked to extend gains seen across both May and April.
Read updates on stock market activity from CNBC’s Fred Imbert. —Melodie Warner
Fauci concerned about new cases as states work to reopen
9:35 a.m. ET — Photos of crowded bars and packed beaches have made Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, concerned about a potential resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“If people want to get out, they’ve really got to gauge it with the level of the outbreak in their particular area,” Fauci said in an interview with STAT.
Fauci also spoke about vaccine development and said initial data from the first phase of the Moderna vaccine trial “looked very promising from the neutralizing antibody standpoint.” However, he said Moderna should’ve waited until it had all the data from the first phase before discussing it with the public. —Hannah Miller
New cases reported by region
Eli Lilly starts world’s first human study of potential antibody treatment
7:07 a.m. ET — Eli Lilly has begun dosing the first patients in a phase one study of its potential antibody treatment for Covid-19, the pharmaceutical company announced.
The trial has started ahead of that of rival Regeneron, which is also developing a potential antibody treatment. Eli Lilly said they expect results from the phase one study by the end of June. Phase one trials of the potential treatment, which uses antibodies from recovered patients to limit the virus’ ability to reproduce, aims to determine that the treatment is safe for humans. A phase two trial would determine its efficacy in fighting the virus.
Antibody therapies could be used to both prevent and treat Covid-19, said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly’s chief scientific officer. He added that the potential treatment was developed in partnership with AbCellera and researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We are privileged to help usher in this new era of drug development with the first potential new medicine specifically designed to attack the virus,” Skovronsky said in a statement. —Will Feuer
American Seafoods confirms 86 positive cases on vessel
6:46 a.m. ET — Seafood processing company American Seafoods has confirmed that a further 85 crew members of one of its vessels have tested positive for Covid-19. The testing of the entire crew of the American Dynasty followed a positive test of one crew member while the vessel was in port at Bellingham.
Results are pending for nine outstanding tests, the company, which operates six fish processing vessels, said in a statement Sunday.
“The American Dynasty has returned to our home port of Seattle. All crew is being quarantined,” American Seafoods said. “American Seafoods is cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the CDC, the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle.” —Holly Ellyatt
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Global cases top 6.1 million; China says U.S. ‘addicted to quitting’ after WHO withdrawal