South Korea reported a jump in cases that are largely attributed to an infection cluster in Bucheon, fuelling worries over a second wave of outbreak.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said guidelines for reopening gyms and related businesses could be released within “a week or so” while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Republicans to “stop abusing” states hit hardest by the coronavirus.
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 5.62 million
- Global deaths: At least 353,000
- U.S. cases: More than 1.68 million
- U.S. deaths: More than 100,000
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
American Airlines plans to cut 30% of management and support roles
12:45 p.m. (Singapore time) – American Airlines is planning to reduce about 5,000 jobs because of the pandemic – that’s about 30% of its management and support staff.
American Airlines also began offering buyouts to those employees and is aiming to offer new voluntary leave and buyouts for frontline personnel, including flight attendants.
The virus outbreak has hammered the travel and tourism sectors, pushing airlines into survival mode as numerous flight routes have been temporarily suspended. Though more travelers are starting to fly again, demand is still down more than 80% compared to a year ago. – Leslie Josephs, Saheli Roy Choudhury
South Korea reports largest daily increase in cases for more than a month
11:09 a.m. (Singapore time) – The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 79 new reported cases of infection on Thursday.
That was the largest increase since April 5, according to Reuters.
Many of the new cases were attributed to an infection cluster in Bucheon, where at least 69 cases have been traced to a logistics facility operated by e-commerce company Coupang, Yonhap News reported.
Concerns over a potential second wave of infection have risen as health officials worry more cases linked to the logistics center are likely to follow, Yonhap said. – Saheli Roy Choudhury
Testing on ship indicates high rate of asymptomatic infections
8 p.m. EST — Eight out of ten infected people on an expedition cruise ship did not exhibit any symptoms, indicating the share of infections that are asymptomatic could be higher than previously thought, a new peer-reviewed study says.
The study, which was published in the journal Thorax, said that of the 128 infected people aboard the ship, 108 never exhibited symptoms. The researchers emphasized the need for further research into how many people infected with Covid-19 around the world remain asymptomatic.
If more people have already been infected with the virus than previously thought, that could mean more people have developed antibodies to defend against the virus. However, the World Health Organization said earlier Wednesday it’s still not clear whether people who have antibodies are immune against the reinfection. —William Feuer
Quest Diagnostics hopes to nearly double daily coronavirus test capacity by end of June
7:20 p.m. ET — Quest Diagnostics CEO Steve Rusckowski told CNBC on Wednesday that the company continues to ramp up its coronavirus testing capacity as more workers begin to return to the job.
Black Americans bear a disproportionate share of Covid-19 deaths
Transporter Morgan Dean-McMillan prepares the body of a COVID-19 victim at a morgue in Montgomery county, Maryland on April 17, 2020.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
6:50 p.m. ET — Black Americans make up a disproportionate share of the more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus, according to an analysis of data from the CDC.
African Americans account for nearly 23% of reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. as of May 20, even though they are roughly 13% of the U.S. population, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace reports.
Factors like higher incidences of certain health conditions, income inequality and a lack of access to health care could be contributing to more Covid-19 deaths among African Americans. —Hannah Miller
U.S. death toll surpasses 100,000
6:36 pm. ET — The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The death toll in the U.S. is significantly higher than that of any other country, CNBC’s Sam Meredith reports.
The U.S. accounts for roughly 30% of the world’s more than 5.6 million coronavirus cases. Brazil and Russia are the countries with the second and third most cases, according to JHU data. —Hannah Miller
California could release guidelines for reopening gyms ‘within a week or so,’ governor says
An empty parking lot is pictured in front a Planet Fitness gym and fitness club in Alhambra, California on May 12, 2020 after Stay-at-Home orders in Los Angeles County were extended unitl July amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
6 p.m. ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a task force meeting with representatives of the state’s fitness industry that guidance for reopening gyms and related businesses could be released within “a week or so.”
Newsom warned that the fitness sector is multi-faceted and officials “don’t want to be naive and just put out something that’s bland” and doesn’t meet specific health criteria for the industry.
Newsom announced on Tuesday that the state would allow many counties to reopen barbershops and hair salons as California continues to move forward with its phased reopening plan. However, some of California’s larger counties, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, have continued to maintain stricter stay-at-home orders that have kept those businesses from reopening. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
American Airlines CEO on bankruptcy: ‘We’re not going to do that’
5 p.m. ET — American Airlines CEO Doug Parker brushed off the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, even as the airline business continues to suffer because of the coronavirus.
“Bankruptcy’s a failure, we’re not going to do that,” he told an investor conference. “I think our job is to preserve shareholder value, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Parker added that “while some like to play the game of who might be in trouble … I think we’re all going to be fine.” Parker’s comment came weeks after Boeing’s CEO Dave Calhoun told NBC’s “TODAY” show that a major U.S. airline would “likely” go bust, which ruffled feathers at major customers American and United.
American, like its rivals, is starting to see an uptick in demand as the peak spring and summer travel season ramps up, but Parker cautioned that even with the improvement revenues are down 90% from a year ago.
American and other airlines have started requiring travelers to wear masks on board and are capping the number of seats they sell on each flights, an effort to get travelers worried about catching the virus more comfortable.
American on Wednesday said it would start alerting travelers if their flights look to be crowded and that they’ll allow them to book other flights. —Leslie Josephs
Tesla cuts prices to stimulate sales amid pandemic
Vehicles pass the Tesla Inc. assembly plant in Fremont, California, U.S., on Monday, May 11, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
4:48 p.m. ET — Tesla is cutting the price of its Models 3, S and X vehicles for customers in the U.S. and S and X for customers in China, prompting mixed reactions. Shares dipped as much as 4% in the first half of the day and recovered by close nearly flat at $820.23.
Tesla’s price cuts were seen as a necessity by Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, who said such discounts could stimulate sales in the US especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. He also said increasing prices for features like Tesla’s automated driving features, marketed as Full Self-Driving, make it more tenable for Tesla to slash car prices now.
Roth Capital managing director and analyst Craig Irwin said the price cuts suggest that Tesla is experiencing weaker than expected demand in the US, its home base and historically its largest market. Irwin asked, “Is this all COVID, or does market saturation play a role? We think market saturation is starting to play in Tesla’s North American demand.” —Lora Kolodny
Companies that took PPP loan may have to report workers to unemployment
4:31 p.m. ET — Laid-off workers who turn down an offer of rehire may end up reported to their state unemployment office if their employer took a Paycheck Protection Program loan.
The federal loan program covers up to eight weeks of wages, mortgage interest and other expenses for business disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify for forgiveness, at least 75% of the proceeds must go toward payroll, according to the Small Business Administration. No more than 25% may be used for other expenses.
An interim final rule released by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration addressed a key question for employers: Will PPP forgiveness be reduced if a laid-off worker refuses an offer of rehire.
Employers won’t have their forgiveness reduced – if they document the offer and the rejection, as well as report the employee to the state unemployment office.
It will make for a tense discussion between employers and low-income workers who might be faring better on state unemployment, plus $600 in additional federal benefits via the CARES Act. —Darla Mercado
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rebuffs warehouse safety concerns at annual meeting
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, pictured on September 13, 2018.
Bloomberg | Getty Images
3:42 p.m. ET — Amazon held its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, where it addressed shareholders virtually due to the pandemic.
CEO Jeff Bezos defended Amazon’s response to the coronavirus, saying Amazon has taken worker safety “seriously from the very beginning.” Amazon repeated this message throughout the meeting when it showed a set of videos of warehouse and delivery workers, clad in face masks, who touted the coronavirus safety measures at their facilities. Bezos was also asked whether recent criticisms of Amazon’s labor practices could hurt the company’s reputation. He said Amazon “welcomes” continued scrutiny of the company and doesn’t believe the scrutiny will influence consumer opinion of Amazon. —Annie Palmer
Cuomo tells Republicans to ‘stop abusing’ states hit hardest by coronavirus
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo shows his masks during a press conference at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 26, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images
2:45 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Republican lawmakers to “stop abusing” states like New York, New Jersey and California that have born the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak and are in need of federal aid.
Cuomo said that New York has put more money into the “federal pot” for years while many Republican-led states, such as Kentucky and Florida, have taken more in federal dollars than they’ve contributed. He has repeatedly called on the federal government to provide greater financial assistance to New York and other states responding to the crisis and facing billions in revenue shortfalls.
Some Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, have opposed allocating federal funds to the states hit hardest by the pandemic. New York is facing a $13.3 billion revenue shortfall from the state’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak that has left a record number of people unemployed and businesses shuttered for almost two months.
In a statement, Scott accused Cuomo of pushing a “lie” about the amounts spent and received by the states. “What we won’t do, as long as I am a member of the U.S. Senate, is use a health crisis and taxpayer money to bail out poorly-run states like Governor Cuomo’s New York,” he said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
WHO says no evidence hydroxychloroquine helps treat Covid-19
2:01 p.m. ET — The World Health Organization warned there is no evidence the anti-malarial drug that President Donald Trump said he took to prevent Covid-19 is actually an effective treatment or preventative against the virus.
The WHO suspended its trial of hydroxychloroquine on Monday while it reviews data on whether the drug is safe for use by Covid-19 patients. Recent studies into the drug have shown that it could exacerbate health conditions of Covid-19 patients and increase the risk of death.
“There is no empirical evidence at this point that these drugs work in this case either for treatment or for prophylaxis,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program. “We do not advise the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 outside randomized control trials or under appropriate close clinical supervision subject to whatever national regulatory authorities have decided.” —William Feuer
WHO says risk of re-infection is still unclear
Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 6, 2020.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters
1:53 p.m. ET — The “jury is still very much out” on whether people who have been infected with the coronavirus are at risk of becoming infected again, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program.
He said there is some evidence that former Covid-19 patients with virus-killing T cells may be able to mount a more “rapid response” against the virus. But there is no empirical evidence that previous coronavirus infections protect patients from re-infection, he said. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
California gives update on reopening schools
1:37 p.m. ET — California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond gave insight into what reopening the state’s schools will look like.
He said reopening dates will look different for schools across the state and it will be up to local districts to develop their own reopening plans. “We have 10,000 schools — there is no one size fits all,” Thurmond said at a press briefing Wednesday.
Thurmond said that students and staff should wear face coverings and that there will smaller class sizes and fewer students on buses. He also said that students will have their temperatures taken at school. —Hannah Miller
New York City planning for how to reopen bars and restaurants safely
A travel direction sign is seen in Bryant Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 20, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
1:26 p.m. ET — New York City is working on when and how to reopen restaurants and bars safely with social distancing guidelines, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“We are looking very intensely at what we can do with bars and restaurants, but again with a safety-first attitude,” he said at a news briefing.
The city has met five out of seven health indicators outlined by the state for reopening, which includes a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations and the percentage of available hospital beds. De Blasio said New York City remains on track to reach phase 1 of reopening by early June.
City officials have to figure out how much space and capacity restaurants would need in order to make it worth reopening their businesses, according to de Blasio.
“Bar and restaurant owners have been really clear that they need a certain level of capacity for it to be economically viable. We are working on that,” he said. —Jasmine Kim
Pandemic restrictions could create a ‘lockdown generation,’ UN group says
A woman wearing a protective face mask sits inside an empty metro train, on the third day of an unprecedented lockdown across of all Italy imposed to slow the outbreak of coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, March 12, 2020.
Remo Casilli | REUTERS
1:18 p.m. ET — The multiple shocks facing young people from the coronavirus pandemic could result in them being scarred throughout their working lives, creating a “lockdown generation,” the International Labour Organization has warned.
The United Nations’ agency said that more than four in 10 young people, aged 15-24, employed globally were working in hard-hit sectors when the crisis began and nearly 77% of this cohort were in informal jobs, compared to 60% of adult workers aged 25 and above. —Vicky McKeever
Goldman sets timeline for bringing traders back to offices in New York and London
12:54 p.m. ET — Goldman Sachs is making plans to bring back traders and other markets personnel to offices in the U.S. and London in the next few weeks, top executive John Waldron said.
Goldman sent New York-area employees home in March as lockdowns began in the U.S.
Now, some of the bank’s employees working from home will begin to return to the company’s offices in Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Waldron said that the firm has already set its return-to-work plan in motion overseas with the goal of “approximately 50% of our people working in our offices in Hong Kong, China and Korea, and approximately 10% in our offices across continental Europe.”
He didn’t specify a percentage of employees expected to return in the U.S., but the figure likely won’t climb above 50% in the near future as social distancing rules will still be in effect.
A Goldman spokesman said it would likely be a “small group of people” and that employees who don’t feel comfortable returning will be allowed to continue to work from home. —Hugh Son
Boeing starts laying off thousands as virus devastates demand
The Boeing Co. manufacturing facility stands in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Monday, May 4, 2020. Boeing is restarting its 787 operations at the plant for the first time since April 8, including all operations that were suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic, ABC News reported.
Sam Wolfe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
12:43 p.m. ET — Close to 7,000 Boeing employees are losing their jobs this week, just a portion of the layoffs the aircraft manufacturer is planning as the virus devastates travel demand. More than 5,000 other Boeing employees are separating from the company voluntarily.
The Chicago-based company is planning to reduce 10% of its headcount, which numbered around 160,000, according to its 2019 annual report.
The virus has sapped demand for new jetliners and cancellations are piling up, depriving Boeing of much-needed revenue.
“I wish there were some other way,” CEO Dave Calhoun said. “For those of you who are notified, I want to offer my personal gratitude for the contributions you have made to Boeing, and I wish you and your families the very best.”
While air travel demand has perked up from lows hit in April it is still less than 20% of the norm. —Leslie Josephs
Stay-at-home stocks getting wrecked amid economic reopening
A monitor displays Peloton Interactive Inc. signage during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) across from the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
12:13 p.m. ET — The stay-at-home trade that thrived during the pandemic market turmoil is getting clobbered on Wednesday as investors rotated out of red-hot technology names amid the reopening of the economy.
Amazon and Netflix dropped more than 2% each Wednesday, after both hitting record highs last week. Peloton fell 6%, while video game companies Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts both dipped 3%. Zoom Video also tumbled 8.5% Wednesday.
The leadership shifted to the hardest-hit areas of the market. Some of the biggest gainers on Wednesday were cruise-ship operators, retailers and airlines whose profitability is directly tied to the economic reopening. —Yun Li
Disney to start reopening Florida-based theme parks July 11
The entrance to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World is seen on the first day of closure as theme parks in the Orlando area suspend operations for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Paul Hennessy | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
11:52 a.m. ET — On Wednesday, Disney received approval from the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Disney will now need to gain approval from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Disney plans on limiting the parks’ capacity and will require guests to purchase tickets in advance of arriving at the parks. Parades and other events that cause crowds to gather will be temporarily suspended and contactless payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Disney Magic Bands will be encouraged.
The company will be adding additional hand-washing stations, have temperature checks and will require social distancing throughout the parks. —Sarah Whitten
MLB proposes tiered player salary system for pandemic-shortened season
General view inside of the Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility, American Family Fields of Phoenix on April 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Christian Petersen | Getty Images
11:38 a.m. ET— Major League Baseball presented its long-awaited economic proposal to its player’s union, which calls for the highest-paid players to lose the bulk of their salaries.
The plan calls for players to retain their salary via a tier system, and the more a player is scheduled to earn for the 2020 season, the less he retains under the proposal.
A player making in the range of $563,501 to $1 million can keep more than 70% of his pay. That number decreases to only 50% for salaries in the $1 to $5 million range, 40% in the $5 to $10 million tier and players making more than $20 million per year could only keep 20% of their salaries.
In a statement, the MLB called the proposal “consistent with the economic realities facing our sport. We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA,” the league said. —Steve Kovach
Dr. Fauci warns of ‘leapfrogging over’ reopening guidelines
People enjoy sunshine at a beach near the Golden Gate Bridge amid the coronavirus outbreak on May 25, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Liu Guanguan | China News Service | Getty Images
11:08 a.m. ET — White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned states about “leapfrogging over the recommendations” for reopening as the coronavirus outbreak slows in some parts of the U.S. He said a second wave of the coronavirus in the United States “could happen” but is “not inevitable.”
The U.S. can prevent a second wave as long as states reopen “correctly,” Fauci said during an interview on CNN.
Fauci’s comments came days after he told CNBC that stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long. “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said Friday. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.
Walmart says it could gain market share as apparel retailers struggle
10:40 a.m. ET — As the pandemic forces some retailers to file for bankruptcy protection and permanently close stores, Walmart is seeing opportunities to step up its fashion offerings and gain market share in apparel.
The big-box retailer has launched exclusive clothing lines and added popular brands to its website and stores. Starting today, customers can shop secondhand clothing, shoes and accessories from brands such as Nike and Marc Jacobs through a new partnership with ThredUp, which bills itself as the largest online thrift store.
Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart’s e-commerce business in the U.S., said the retailer has been in talks with ThredUp for about a year. But because of the pandemic, she said more customers may turn to Walmart as they shop for clothes and buying fashionable, yet budget-conscious items may have even more relevance. “We are absolutely seeing this as an opportunity to support a bigger portion of our customers’ closets,” she said. —Melissa Repko
New cases surge in Latin America
Ford puts virus-fighting computerized disinfecting in police cars
8:59 a.m. ET — Ford Motor is assisting police departments in disinfecting their Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility vehicles with a software update designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The automaker announced that the software enables a temporary rise in interior temperatures upward of 133 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes to help reduce the viral concentration inside the vehicle by more than 99%.
The software update is available immediately on all 2013-2019 Police Interceptor Utility vehicles, according to Ford. It can be installed at a dealership or by departments with their own service departments.
Once activated, the vehicle’s powertrain and climate control systems work together automatically to elevate passenger compartment temperatures. The software warms up the engine to an elevated level, turning heat and fan settings to high. The software automatically monitors interior temperatures until the entire passenger compartment hits the desired level.
Ford said it worked with Ohio State University to determine the temperature range and time needed to help reduce the spread of the virus. It started researching the project in late March.
Ford conducted software operational trials in vehicles owned by police departments in New York, Los Angeles, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio and Florida. —Mike Wayland
Here’s a look at the pandemic by world region
A vaccine for the general public is a ‘2021 event’
7:17 a.m. ET — Widespread availability of a vaccine for the general public probably won’t arrive before 2021, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.
“We might have it available in the fall for emergency use authorization for certain populations, and we’ll certainly have the doses by the end of the year,” he said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “I just don’t think we’ll have the data to support widespread inoculation at that point.”
The space of companies vying to produce a successful vaccine is increasingly crowded. It includes large and small drugmakers and biotech companies, such as Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Novavax. —William Feuer
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.
Virus could topple Brazil’s Bolsonaro, analysts say
The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro appears on the ramp of the Planalto Palace to wave to his supporters amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the Planalto Palace on May 15, 2020 in Brasilia.
Andressa Anholete | Getty Images
7:10 a.m. ET — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is facing an intensifying political crisis over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with the South American country recording more new Covid-19 infections over the last week than any other period since the epidemic began.
It comes shortly after the country confirmed it had reported the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
Analysts told CNBC that growing pressure on the right-wing president, an ideological ally of President Donald Trump, could make him and his government the first to be toppled by the global public health crisis. —Sam Meredith
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: More states reopen bars, CA says hair salons and barbershops can reopen in most counties