New York City to offer free antibody testing


Governments and health officials are trying to strike a balance between reopening economies and staving off a second wave of infections. Drugmaker Moderna received a “crucial” Food and Drug Administration approval for phase 2 trials of its vaccine candidate. Another 3.17 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 3.7 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 264,111
  • US cases: More than 1.2 million
  • US deaths: At least 73,431

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

12:43 pm: Trump valet tests positive

A valet who assisted President Trump with his food, clothes and other personal needs has tested positive for coronavirus. The White House said Trump and Vice President Pence have since tested negative. 

The valet, a member of the military, did not a wear mask around the president, according to a White House official who spoke with NBC News. 

The White House declined to state whether Trump would self-quarantine and also would not comment on whether the First Lady, their son Barron, and Pence’s wife Karen have since been tested. —Spencer Kimball, Dan Mangan

12:28 pm: Cargo carriers are reaping the benefits of Covid-19 travel collapse 

The Covid-19 epidemic has all but destroyed air travel demand but things are looking up for cargo airlines.

They’re reaping the rewards of strong demand to speedily get medical supplies, perishable food and a host of other goods around the world quickly, while capacity falls.

Passenger airlines have parked about two-third’s of the world’s fleet as they cancelled thousands of flights, removing that aircraft-belly capacity from the cargo market.

Shares of cargo carriers Atlas Air and ATSG are up 50% and 17% respectively so far this quarter, while the largest U.S. passenger airlines have each lost more than 20%. —Leslie Josephs

12:10 pm: How the US can learn from South Korea and Hong Kong’s successful fight to contain the outbreak

This photo illustration shows a man holding her phone showing emergency alert text messages announcing locations that confirmed COVID-19 patients have visited, among others, in Seoul on March 10, 2020.

Jung Yeon-Je | AFP | Getty Images

As American states grapple with the complexities of balancing the reopening of businesses and combating of the coronavirus pandemic, the varying results of countries across Asia to fight the virus offers insight into proven methods of driving down the spread and returning to a semblance of normalcy.

From travel restrictions and data sharing to targeted testing and tracing, each country pursued its own strategy. While South Korea and Hong Kong have been hailed for their success, Singapore, Japan and China continue to grapple with re-surging outbreaks.

Public health specialists and epidemiologists across the region who spoke with CNBC expressed concern that U.S. policymakers are not taking advantage of the opportunity to glean lessons from Asia. Each of them predicted a long and persistent struggle with Covid-19 in the U.S. —Will Feuer

11:58 am: NIH sets moonshot goal to have millions of high-tech tests available by summer’s end.

The National Institutes of Health has set an ambitious goal to make millions of “accurate and easy-to-use” coronavirus tests available by the end of summer. 

NIH Director Francis Collins cautioned this is a “stretch goal that goes beyond what most experts think will be possible.” Still, Collins told a Senate committee hearing that Americans need tests which can accurately deliver results in hours and can also integrate with mobile devices to transmit data. 

“Such tests sound like science fiction but are scientifically possible,” he said.

The NIH has called on scientists to develop rapid testing technology that can scale quickly across the nation. Collins said promising technologies will move into Phase I, in which the NIH will award funding to the inventor and help with technical clinical experts.  —Spencer Kimball, Berkeley Lovelace

11:25 am: New York City to offer free antibody testing to thousands of residents, mayor says

A health care worker prepares to administer a drive-through coronavirus (COVID-19) antibody test at Belmont Medical Care in Franklin Square, New York on April 30, 2020.

J. Conrad Williams Jr. | Newsday via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will offer 140,000 free antibody tests to residents, in addition to 140,000 anitbody tests to health-care workers, to determine the prevalence of Covid-19 in the area.

He said that priority will be given to people in communities near five testing sites initially, although the city plans to add more sites soon. “This is to benefit you as an individual but also to get us information on what has been happening with this disease so we can fight it,” de Blasio said.

He said the testing is in partnership with BioReference. Residents will be able to schedule an appointment through a dedicated hotline starting Friday. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

11:15 am: Experts to answer your questions about contact tracing on Facebook Live

How will contact tracing work during the coronavirus pandemic? What are the privacy implications?

At 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Live, CNBC will be talking to two experts in the field: Ed Bugnion, former founder and chief technology officer of VMWare and a professor at EPFL in Switzerland, and Aneesh Chopra, former CTO for the Obama administration and the president of health-care analytics firm CareJourney.

Have a question on contact tracing? Leave it in the comments of the Facebook post, and we’ll get to ask many as we can. CNBC’s health-tech reporter Chrissy Farr hosts. —Laura Edwins

10:59 am: Former NASA scientist wants to fight virus with UV light

After President Donald Trump was mocked mercilessly for suggesting that ultraviolet light could be used to kill Covid-19, one former NASA scientist says now he’s found a way to do it.

Fred Maxik, founder and chief scientific officer of Healthe, claims he has created the first UV light technology that can be used to combat coronavirus. Far-UVC is a type of UV light, and exposure to ultraviolet light at specific frequencies has been known to cause harmful side effects as skin cancer and blindness.

But a study by Columbia University showed that Far-UVC’s narrow band of wavelengths is short enough to stop it from damaging human cells, but still penetrate and kill small viruses and bacteria on surfaces and in the air.

Maxik believes this technology could be radiated from doorways in hospitals and other places that tend to the sick, decontaminating the hair, skin and clothes. —Terri Cullen

10:24 am: Signs that non-emergency patients avoiding hospitals may have bottomed

Hospitals saw a decline of more than 60% in patient volumes in early April, due to the cancellation of non-emergency procedures, but analysts at Transunion say there are signs last month may have marked the bottom.

Payment data shows outpatient hospital visits rose 4% during the first two weeks of April, the modest bump marks the first increase in patient volumes since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

“We’re starting to see that tick back up because of the states opening up their economies, the shelter-in-place orders being lifted, and elective procedures start to be put back on the box,” said Jonathan Wiik, a principal in TransUnion’s health care strategy unit. He said it could take three months or more for hospitals to work through the backlog of delayed procedures and get back to normal non-Covid patient volumes.

Four out of 10 patients Transunion surveyed say they plan to reschedule procedures as soon as providers resume operations, while nearly one in four say they’ll wait until they believe the risk of contracting the coronavirus has passed. —Bertha Coombs

10:08 am: Colleges consider a tuition freeze amid pandemic 

Pedestrians walk through Harvard Yard on the closed Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 20, 2020.

Adam Glanzam | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As the economic strain on families worsens, some colleges have vowed to keep tuition for all students unchanged for the coming year.

The College of William & Mary, Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania, Kansas City University and Central Michigan University, among other schools across the country, recently announced measures to freeze undergraduate tuition and fees.

Still, a tuition freeze may not be enough to entice students as financial concerns become paramount. A growing number of undergraduates are saying that remote learning is just not worth the cost. –Jessica Dickler

10:00 am: Reports of new cases spread in the East Coast 

9:57 am: Trump administration shelves detailed CDC guide to reopening the country 

A 17-page report created by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team with step-by-step advice to authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places was shelved by the Trump administration, the Associated Press reported.

The document was supposed to be published last Friday, but scientists were told the report “would never see the light of day,” a CDC official told AP. Generally, it is the CDC’s role to offer state and local officials guidance and science-based information during public health crises.

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief and CNBC contributor Dr. Scott Gottlieb that the shelving of the report was ironic, saying, “Irony around CDC not issuing it’s reopen guidance, whatever the reason, is a lot of business literally can’t reopen without it because CDC is a de-facto regulator in a public health crisis. CDC must publish its umbrella document to publish more detailed industry specific guidance.” —Terri Cullen

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

9:45 am: Nasdaq Composite turns positive for the year, Dow jumps 300 points 

Stocks rose in early trading as investors bet on the U.S. economy reopening soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 304 points higher, or more than 1%. The S&P 500 gained 1.5% along with the Nasdaq Composite. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also turned positive for 2020.

Read updates on U.S. markets activity by CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck. —Melodie Warner

9:22 am: Curve of reported cases show signs of flattening 

8:58 am: European airlines warn it could take years for demand to bounce back

IAG — the parent company of British Airways, Vueling and Iberia — and AirFrance-KLM withdrew their earnings forecasts for the year because of uncertainty about when travel will return to normal.

“We are planning for a meaningful return to service in July 2020 at the earliest, depending on the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world,” IAG CEO Willie Walsh said in a statement.

“However, we do not expect passenger demand to recover to the level of 2019 before 2023 at the earliest.” 

AirFrance-KLM also warned that it will take “several years” to return to pre-coronavirus passenger demand. 

Read more on AirFrance-KLM and IAG’s quarterly results from CNBC’s Silvia Amaro. —Melodie Warner

8:30 am: Another 3.17 million Americans file for unemployment 

Another 3.17 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment support last week, bringing the total number of claims across seven weeks to more than 33 million. 

Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a tally of 3.05 million. Read more on the jobless claims data from CNBC’s Jeff Cox. —Sara Salinas

8:12 am: Kohl’s begins reopenings, on pace to have 25% of stores back by next week

Kohl’s announced it will reopen stores across an additional 10 states on Monday, having reopened already in four states — Arkansas, South Carolina, Utah and Oklahoma — earlier this week. CEO Michelle Gass said about 25% of Kohl’s stores will be open by next week if everything goes as planned.

Operating hours until further notice will be reduced to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the company said, and there will be dedicated shopping hours in place for at-risk individuals, including pregnant customers, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to noon. The retailer will be shutting all fitting rooms until further notice.

Kohl’s also said it will still be accepting Amazon returns — a program it rolled out to all locations last year — in a separate part of each store.

Kohl’s joins a growing list of retailers including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Gap that are putting plans in place to get stores back up and running shutdowns in mid-March. It remains to be seen if shoppers are ready to get back. —Lauren Thomas

7:41 am: FDA approves Moderna vaccine for phase 2 study

The Food and Drug Administration approved a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from drugmaker Moderna to enter a phase 2 trial. 

The trial will involve 600 participants and is a “crucial step” toward potential full clearance of a first batch as early as 2021, the company said. Shares of Moderna surged on the news. 

Read more about Moderna’s announcement and forthcoming trial from CNBC’s Will Feuer. —Sara Salinas

6:20 am: German officials caution the crisis is not over yet

German officials have warned that the coronavirus crisis is not over yet, despite efforts to increasingly open up the economy and public life as the number of new infections trends downward.

“We are not living after the pandemic now — rather we are living in the middle of a pandemic, one that will be with us for a while — at least for this year and that’s being very optimistic,” Helge Braun, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, told Deutschlandfunk radio, according to a Reuters report.

Germany has recorded 168,162 cases of the virus, and 7,275 deaths, far fewer fatalities than other Western European countries including France, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

Lars Schaade, vice president of the Robert Koch Institute, warned that it’s possible that the country could see a second wave of infections as restrictions are lifted and “when human behavior becomes relaxed again so that there is a higher number of transmissions.”

Germany started to lift restrictions several weeks ago, allowing smaller shops to reopen. Schools reopened earlier this week. Merkel has launched an “emergency brake” mechanism allowing for renewed restrictions in case infections pick up again. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Russia posts record daily new cases, UK economy could shrink 14% this year



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