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 and Texas reporting a record number of people in the hospital with Covid-19. 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 8.19 million
- Global deaths: At least 444,111
- U.S. cases: More than 2.13 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 116,963
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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 Now they are facing an unemployment rate of 13.3%, rescinded job offers and little or no response to applications for work.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
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
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