As U.S. states push deeper into reopening, several that were among the first to reopen have reported surges in cases and hospitalizations. Confirmed cases across the U.S. have been on a gradual rise since Memorial Day weekend, when packed beaches and crowded gatherings prompted warnings from officials.
Some officials have pointed to increased testing as the cause for rising case numbers, but hospitalization data isn’t nearly as dependent on testing. Texas has reported three consecutive days of record-breaking Covid-19 hospitalizations and hospitalizations are on the rise in Arizona, too, the state’s biggest health-care system, Banner Health, told CNBC earlier this week.
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 7.28 million
- Global deaths: At least 413,058
- U.S. cases: More than 1.98 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 112,402
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Fed sees rates near zero for next two years
2:51 p.m. ET — The Federal Reserve is forecasting that interest rates will remain near zero through 2022 as the economy recovers from the closing of non-essential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
The central bank expects the economy will shrink by 6.5% this year, but will bounce back and grow 5% in 2021 followed by 3.5% growth in 2022. The Fed sees unemployment at 9.3% for 2020, 6.5% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. —Spencer Kimball
Facebook clears the way for non-medical mask ads
1:54 p.m. ET — Facebook is set to allow advertisers to promote non-medical masks after previously banning ads for masks in March.
In March, Facebook prohibited ads for medical face masks like N95 respirators. It also prohibited masks that resemble medical masks, like face covers and bandanas.
The company said this was an effort to protect against scams, misleading medical claims, medical supply shortages, hoarding and inflated prices, practices that proliferated as people tried to buy masks to protect against the virus.
“… We’re scaling back this temporary ban to allow people to promote and trade non-medical masks, including those that are homemade or handmade, in organic posts, ads and commerce listings on Facebook and Instagram,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, said in a blog post Facebook planned to publish Wednesday. —Meg Graham
United Airlines will now ask passengers health questions before check-in
A United Airlines ticketing agent checks the mobile device of a passenger as he tries to check in for a flight in the main terminal of Denver International Airport.
David Zalubowski | AP
1:33 p.m. ET — Passengers on United Airlines are now required to answer several health questions when they check-in for flights as part of an effort by the airline to stop the spread of Covid-19, the airline said.
Travelers must confirm they have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 21 days and have not had symptoms of the virus, CNBC’s Leslie Josephs reports.
United Airlines is also asking passengers to declare that they have not been denied boarding by another airline because of medical screening results and have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in two weeks. Travelers will also have to agree to wear a face-covering on board.
“Customers that are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flight,” United said in the news release. “Customers may also choose to check-in at the airport for further review.” —Suzanne Blake
PGA Tour set to return in Texas
12:56 p.m. ET — The top golfers in the world tee off Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas as the PGA Tour resumes its season after a nearly three-month-long hiatus due to coronavirus.
A total of 148 players from all over the world are returning to a very different round of golf. Players will be tested for Covid-19 ahead of every tournament and there will also be no spectators for the first four tournaments on the tour.
Despite this, the PGA Tour remains optimistic that its return will be good for business. With the absence of other major sports, the live sports event could draw in new viewers. Other professional sports leagues will also be watching closely and taking notes as they plan their own return. —Jessica Golden
Texas reports steady rise in coronavirus hospitalizations after reopening
12:32 p.m. ET — There are 2,153 Covid-19 patients in Texas hospitals, marking a third-straight day of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations for the state, according to health authorities.
The increase in coronavirus hospitalizations may draw further scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and health experts who are concerned that some states reopened too early, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. reports.
Texas was among the first wave of states to ease coronavirus-related restrictions. —Hannah Miller
WHO says ‘we can always do better’ following confusing comments on asymptomatic transmission
12:12 p.m. ET — World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference that the agency “could always do better” following confusing comments made Monday about asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus.
The WHO drew criticism from the scientific community and others across social media Monday after Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, one of its top scientists, said the asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus was “very rare.”
“Communicating complex science in real-time about a new virus is not always easy, but we believe it’s part of our duty to the world and we can always do better,” Tedros said.
Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, walked back those comments Tuesday, saying, it was a “misunderstanding” and “we don’t actually have that answer yet.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Major League Soccer will restart on July 8 at Disney World
Alexandru Mitrita #28 of New York City tries to work his way around Toronto FC defenders during 2019 MLS Cup Major League Soccer Eastern Conference Semifinal match between New York City FC and Toronto FC at Citi Field on October 23, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Ira L. Black – Corbis | Getty Images
11:50 a.m. ET — Major League Soccer will restart its season on July 8 at Walt Disney World with its “MLS is Back Tournament” featuring all 26 clubs.
Games will be played at the ESPN complex in Orlando without spectators. Clubs will be appointed to one of six groups during a live draw that will take place on Thursday. The tournament will include 16 consecutive days of group stage play.
The winning team will move onto the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, and players are eligible for bonuses as part of a $1.1 million prize pool.
The MLS, which is celebrating its 25th season, said it would have “extensive medical protocols” and players and staff will be tested regularly for Covid-19. The league suspended its season on March 12 due to the pandemic. —Jabari Young
American CEO says the airline burning less cash but demand outlook is still uncertain
11:48 a.m. ET — American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told shareholders that cost-saving measures taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic have lowered his forecast of the company’s daily cash burn from $50 million to $40 million per day, Reuters reported.
Parker also said at the annual meeting, which was held virtually, that demand is returning slowly but the airline remains unsure of flight volume in fall 2020 or summer 2021, according to the wire service. —Michelle Gao
Ford plans to return to normal North America production levels
10:55 a.m. ET — Ford Motor expects to have its North America plants back to pre-coronavirus production levels by July 6, Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley said. That includes production of its highly-profitable Ford F-Series pickup trucks.
Since restarting U.S. production on May 18, the automaker has slowly been increasing output at its North American plants. The slower pace is meant to allow time for its suppliers to build inventory and employees to get accustomed to new safety protocols in the plants to lower the spread of Covid-19.
“We’re seeing great, very strong demand. We have for more than a month now,” Farley said during CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “On production, we’re adding second and third shifts now.”
Nearly all of Ford’s plants, Farley said, will be on three shifts or overtime. Ford, according to a company spokeswoman, is continuing to add shifts and production to individual plants ahead of the early-July target. She declined to provide a plant-by-plant schedule.
Ford’s timeline for returning plant employees to work comes a week after GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said the automaker expects to return to near pre-coronavirus levels by the end of June, if not sooner. Fiat Chrysler, according to a company spokeswoman, expects employment at its North American plants to return to pre-coronavirus levels the week of June 22. —Michael Wayland
J&J to begin vaccine trial earlier than forecast
The human trial will start in the second half of July after strong preclinical data and “interactions with” regulatory authorities helped accelerate the timeline, the company said.
The company is using the same technologies it used to make its experimental Ebola vaccine, which was provided to people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019. The company said it is committed to the goal of supplying more than one billion doses globally through the course of 2021, provided the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
Fauci says ‘no evidence’ to support WHO’s asymptomatic comment
Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing on “An Emerging Disease Threat: How the U.S. Is Responding to COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus” on March 3, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Sarah Silbiger | Getty Images
10:32 a.m. ET — There is “no evidence” to support a comment made by the World Health Organization that transmission of the coronavirus by people who never developed symptoms is “very rare,” White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
“In fact, the evidence we have given the percentage of people, which is about 25% [to] 45%, of the totality of infected people likely are without symptoms,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “And we know from epidemiological studies that they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they are without symptoms.”
An asymptomatic person is someone infected with Covid-19 but never develops symptoms. It’s not the same as a pre-symptomatic patient, who later goes on to develop symptoms.
The WHO drew criticism from the scientific community and others across social media Monday when one of its top scientists said the asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus was “very rare.” The remark has since been walked back. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
Starbucks loses as much as $3.2 billion in revenue in latest quarter due to virus
10:03 a.m. ET — Starbucks said it lost between $3 billion to $3.2 billion in revenue during the fiscal third quarter thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the virus spread across the world, the global coffee chain temporarily shuttered many of its cafes, although most in the U.S. and China have reopened.
Starbucks, which pulled its prior outlook in April, expects to swing a loss for the quarter ending June 28. Store closures, as well as paying baristas while cafes were closed, weighed on profits. But it is forecasting a return to profitability by the fiscal fourth quarter. And by the end of June, Starbucks expects weekly cash flow to be positive. —Amelia Lucas
Regional report of new cases reported daily
Nasdaq Composite hits fresh record high ahead of Fed update
9:40 a.m. ET — Stocks opened slightly higher as investors waited for an update from the Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and status of any further stimulus from the central bank, reports CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Maggie Fitzgerald.
The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.7% to a fresh all-time high. The S&P 500 climbed 0.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 15 points higher, or 0.1%. —Melodie Warner
UK wouldn’t have coped with coronavirus without tech giants, official says
9:10 a.m. ET — Britain couldn’t have dealt with the coronavirus crisis if not for the help of tech giants, Health Minister Matt Hancock said.
Last week, contracts agreed to by the National Health Service and a number of tech firms were published online. One of the contracts showed that Palantir was charged just £1 ($1.27) for access to health data.
“There is no way we would have been able to cope with this pandemic, and deal with it in the way that we have been able to, without the support of tech companies,” Hancock said in an online talk at the CogX U.K. tech conference.
The government has been roundly criticized for its handling of the outbreak given that Britain is among the worst-affected countries. According to data from John Hopkins University, the country’s death toll is nearing 50,000, while more than 290,000 Brits have contracted Covid-19. —Ryan Browne
Best Buy customers can walk into stores, browse aisles again
A view of a Best Buy retail store on August 29, 2019 in San Bruno, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
8:50 a.m. ET — Best Buy will soon phase out a requirement that customers make an appointment before they visit a store. The company said in a news release that more than 800 of its stores will allow customers to walk in and shop starting June 15.
During the pandemic, the big-box retailer has changed how it operates. In late March, it closed stores to customers and switched to curbside pickup only. Starting in May, it allowed customers to shop in stores – but by appointment only.
Now, the company said customers can shop when they choose but they may have to line up outside. It will limit the store to about 25% of capacity or roughly 60 or more customers. Signs on the floor will encourage social distancing and all employees must wear masks.
The company furloughed about 51,000 employees in April. It said it’s bringing back more than 9,000 store employees and Geek Squad agents to help serve more customers. —Melissa Repko
AMC theaters to reopen in July
Theaters will reopen with limited capacity and blocked seating to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when customers return, Reuters reported. The company shuttered all of its theaters in mid-March as the pandemic set it in the U.S. —Sara Salinas
Indonesia reports consecutive days of highest one-day spikes in cases
Students, wearing face masks amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, sit by a mural depicting the Indonesian flag at an Islamic junior high school in Banda Aceh on June 10, 2020.
Chaideer Mahyuddin | AFP | Getty Images
7:13 a.m. ET — Indonesia reported 1,241 new infections, its highest one-day increase for the second day in a row, bringing total confirmed cases in the country to 34,316, Reuters reported. On Tuesday, the country of more than 260 million reported 1,043 new cases, according to Reuters, which was then a record spike.
The spikes come after some regional officials in the Southeast Asian country began to ease restrictions last week. On Monday, the country resumed domestic air travel with some modifications.
The country also reported 36 new deaths caused by Covid-19, bringing the total to 1,959, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Will Feuer
No-deal Brexit would ‘significantly damage’ U.K.’s post-virus recovery, Moody’s says
Pro Brexit supporters gather ahead of the Brexit Day Celebration Party hosted by Leave Means Leave at Parliament Square on January 31, 2020 in London, England.
Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images
6:57 a.m. ET — A no-deal Brexit would “significantly damage the U.K.’s potentially fragile recovery from its deepest recession in almost a century” following the coronavirus pandemic, Moody’s ratings agency warned in a report.
Although such an outcome is not Moody’s current baseline forecast, “it is becoming increasingly likely,” it said. The report comes as negotiations over the U.K. and EU’s post-Brexit relationship continue to yield little in the way of mutual agreements. The U.K. has so far refused to extend the current transition period beyond the end of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic throwing its economy, and the EU’s, into uncertainty.
“By the end of 2020, when a no-deal Brexit would occur, the size of the UK economy would still be significantly below the level expected in Moody’s pre-virus forecasts. Its resilience would also be diminished, with higher public debt and unemployment, and lower investment than expected prior to the pandemic,” Moody’s said.
Moody’s said that its base case scenario continues to assume that the U.K. and the EU will reach an agreement by the end of the year, “albeit a limited one focused on goods trade. But the risks of a no-deal outcome are rising.” —Holly Ellyatt
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Cases spike again in California; SF restaurants can offer outdoor dining starting Friday