Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world passed 5 million early Thursday as infections continue to accelerate in the Americas. Drugmaker AstraZeneca said it received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to develop a vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford. The company said it will begin first deliveries of doses by September 2020, but it must first prove its potential vaccine is safe for humans and effectively prevents the infection.
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 million
- Global deaths: At least 328,471
- U.S. cases: More than 1.5 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 93,439
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Summer driving season is starting, but it’s unclear how many people will hit the road
A customer gets ready to fill his car with gasoline at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, California.
9:15 a.m. ET — Memorial Day is the traditional start to summer, but it’s unclear whether drivers can, or will, take to the road as states reopen.
Gasoline demand is still down about 30% even as all 50 states resume some level of activity. How much drivers fuel up is an important indicator that has been closely tied to employment. U.S. gasoline use is also very important for oil prices, since American drivers normally count for about 10% of world oil demand each day.
Analysts who are watching the gasoline market are tracking mobility data and traffic congestion data, in addition to traditional supply and demand metrics. The uneven reopening of the economy has made it difficult to assess what fuel demand will be like.
AAA, which normally projects Memorial Day travel, has said it would not make a forecast this year. 43 million people traveled last year, according to AAA. —Patti Domm
A vaccine might be ready in 2021. It’s far from guaranteed
9:08 a.m. ET — U.S. officials and scientists are hopeful a vaccine to prevent the virus will be ready early next year. But it’s far from guaranteed, scientists warn. The fastest-ever vaccine development, mumps, took more than four years and was licensed in 1967.
Additionally, scientists still don’t fully understand key aspects of the virus, including how immune systems respond once a person is exposed. The answers may have large implications for vaccine development, including how quickly it can be deployed to the public. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
More than half of small businesses are looking to have PPP funds forgiven, survey says
9:00 a.m. ET — The National Federation of Independent Business finds in a new survey of its membership that 80% of businesses polled have applied for PPP loans and 90% have received funding. But while more than half believe they will have all loan expenses forgiven, many are struggling to comply with the law as written.
Nearly half say using the loan in the eight-week window is difficult and the same amount say its challenging to get employee headcount back to where it was pre-crisis. This comes ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives next week on potential changes to PPP around forgiveness and usage guidelines. —Kate Rogers
Weekly jobless claims rose 2.438 million, seventh straight week of a declining pace
8:52 a.m. ET — Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 2.44 million last week, representing the seventh straight week of a declining pace following the record peak of 6.9 million in late March. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 2.4 million claims.
In the nine weeks since the coronavirus-induced lockdown shut down large parts of the U.S. economy, some 38.6 million workers have filed claims.
Read more about the U.S. weekly jobless claims from CNBC’s Jeff Cox. —Melodie Warner
Most Americans will be vaccinated by summer 2021, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst predicts
7:17 a.m. ET — Most Americans will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the middle of next year, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst Matthew Harrison told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.”
“We’ve talked about spring to summer of 2021 as when we would expect to see the vast majority of the U.S. population vaccinated,” he said, adding that he’s watching Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, CanSino and GSK–Sanofi as major players in the race for a vaccine.
A vaccine could be approved for broad distribution sooner, he said, but it will take time for any company to ramp up manufacturing and distribution capacity. Moderna, which is leading the pack, is already building manufacturing and could produce tens of millions of doses by the end of 2020, with that increasing to a rate of 1 billion doses per year by the middle of 2021. —Will Feuer
‘The worst is behind us,’ Italy’s prime minister says
A rider of delivery food Just Eat runs in Piazza Duomo on April 23, 2020 in Milan, Italy.
Pier Marco Tacca
7:09 a.m. ET — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy, which was the first epicenter of Europe’s epidemic, has overcome the worst part of its crisis.
“We can say that the worst is behind us… we cannot stop to wait for a vaccine, otherwise we would find ourselves with an irreparably compromised society and production system,” Conte told the Italian parliament, Reuters reported, as the country looks to lift more lockdown measures.
He also warned the public that “now is not the time for parties” after scenes of young people gathering at night in some cities, and also appealed to the public to take their vacations in Italy. —Holly Ellyatt
Graceland is set to reopen
6:42 a.m. ET — Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, reopens Thursday. The rocker’s home-turned-museum is running tours at 25% capacity, requiring employees to wear face masks and encouraging visitors to do the same. It will also limit restaurants to 50% capacity. “We’re going to lose money for the foreseeable future, but we need to show a path forward,” Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland Holdings, told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.” Weinshanker also said that Graceland’s workers are ready to return. “People were crying they were so happy” when they found out they were coming back, he added. —Matthew Belvedere
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Euro zone downturn eases; US gives AstraZeneca $1 billion for vaccine