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U.S. Cases Rise 1.2%; Florida’s Theme Parks Reopen: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
U.S. Cases Rise 1.2%; Florida’s Theme Parks Reopen: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. cases rose 1.2%, matching the weekly pace, as fatalities climbed less than 1%. A small study of an AstraZeneca cancer treatment suggests benefits for Covid-19 patients with immune reactions.

Florida theme parks opened to thin crowds, and wait times for rides were less than five minutes. A U.S. study showed a third of Americans are using bleach and disinfectants in a dangerous way.

Latin America’s cases have topped 1.1 million, with Brazil and Mexico posting among the fastest growth rates and setting daily death records. Viral illness is rising in Peru, Colombia, Chile and Bolivia.

Key Developments:

Virus Tracker: Cases pass 6.7 million; deaths exceed 393,000Fauci, virus task force vanishes with Trump all-in on reopeningNew evidence shows social distancing is on the waneThe tiny firm at the center of the hydroxychloroquine stormA short road trip is the answer to coronavirus stir crazinessU.S. hiring rebounds, defying forecasts for joblessness surge

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.

Trump Signals Further Stimulus (4:30 p.m. NY)

President Donald Trump said he’ll ask Congress for more economic stimulus to boost changes of a recovery from the pandemic, even after the surprise improvement in U.S. unemployment in May.

House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion stimulus bill last month, aimed at assisting states and hospitals. But Republicans leading the Senate rejected that proposal. Trump administration officials increasingly expect to spend up to $1 trillion on new relief.

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, told Bloomberg Television some sort of return-to-work cash incentive is a possibile. “We may reward the workforce for going back to work, we’re looking at a number of options on that score,” Kudlow said.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.2% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.2% as compared with the same time Thursday, to 1.89 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. Deaths rose 0.9% to 108,708.

New York cases rose 0.3% to 376,208, in line with the average increase over the past seven days, according to the state’s health department. The state had 42 new deaths, the lowest reported since early March.Florida reported 61,488 cases, up 2.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 2,660, an increase of 2%.California cases increased 2.6% to 122,901 while deaths rose 1.4% to 4,485, according to the state’s website.

Few Crowds as Theme Parks Reopen (3:20 p.m. NY)

Universal’s theme parks in Florida drew few guests for their reopening Friday, suggesting consumers are reluctant to travel and gather in crowds after nearly three months of virus-related shutdowns.

Visitors to Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure resorts shared photos of near-empty streets in the parks, and Universal’s app showed wait times of as little as five minutes for rides.

Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest park operator, will wait until July to reopen Disney World and its other Florida resorts.

U.K. Transmission Rates ‘a Challenge’ (2:30 p.m. NY)

U.K. authorities said virus transmission rates are close to critical levels in some regions, as the death toll passed 40,000, raising fresh questions over the government’s policy of easing the lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said northwestern and southwestern England have become “a challenge” as rates of transmission are particularly high, after an analysis pointed to evidence that the disease is again spreading more quickly.

U.K. deaths reached 40,261, trailing only the U.S. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been battling claims that his administration botched its pandemic response by failing to prepare and moving too slowly to lock down the country.

Astra Cancer Drug Shows Early Promise (2:20 p.m. NY)

A small study in 19 people suggested a drug from AstraZeneca Plc’s arsenal of cancer treatments may be repurposed to help Covid-19 patients experiencing extreme immune reactions.

Many patients suffer from an inflammatory condition, sometimes called cytokine storm, when the immune system overreacts to the virus. Astra’s drug, Calquence, belongs to a class known as BTK inhibitors that target a protein that affects inflammation, and may help quell the complication.

France Deaths Increase 0.2% (1:35 p.m. NY)

France reported deaths rose by 46 to 29,111 on Friday, based on hospital data, with reporting on nursing-home fatalities delayed to Tuesday. Hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care continued to decline. Cases increased by 611 to 190,460.

Canada Offers Cash to Provinces (1:30 p.m. NY)

Canada will make another C$14 billion ($10.4 billion) available to the provinces to help the economy restart as restrictions ease.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said the new plan will have money for expenses such as personal protective equipment for health care workers as well as more funding for businesses, daycare, public transport and community programs. Trudeau said the support is part of a safe restart agreement with provincial premiers to help cover the cost of reopening the economy over the next six to eight months.

The country has provided C$260 billion in direct emergency response funding since the outbreak began, though Trudeau didn’t provide further details.

Ireland Reports 0.1% Rise in Cases (1:15 p.m. NY)

Ireland reported 28 new cases, with seven more deaths, as the government prepares to further loosen the lockdown. Ireland has seen fewer than 100 cases per day for all but one of the past 21 days. Nonessential retail outlets can open from Monday, while domestic travel restrictions will be eased. Ireland has had 25,163 infections and 1,670 deaths.

CDC Finds People Bleaching Food (1 p.m. NY)

A startling number of Americans are using bleach on food or misusing household cleaners in attempts to protect themselves from the coronavirus, according to a survey published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An internet panel of 500 people found more than one-third of respondents “engaging in nonrecommended high-risk practices” such as applying the cleaners to the skin or inhaling or ingesting them. “These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided,” CDC researchers wrote.

The report doesn’t directly reference President Donald Trump’s widely denounced suggestion on April 23 that researchers should study using light or disinfectants on human bodies as potential interventions against the coronavirus.

WHO Calls for Broader Mask Use (12:25 p.m. NY)

The World Health Organization called for broader use of medical masks, including by doctors who aren’t treating known Covid-19 patients and for at-risk groups.

People over age 60 and those with pre-existing conditions should wear the masks where physical distancing isn’t possible, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing. WHO also sharpened its recommendation on fabric masks used by the public in shops, public transport or other places where it’s not possible to stay apart from others.

WHO studies show home-made masks should have three layers of material, Tedros said. “Masks alone will not protect you from Covid-19,” he said. “Masks are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach.”

Italy’s New Deaths Up 0.3% (12:10 p.m. NY)

Italy registered 518 new cases Friday, the most in more than a week, up from 177 a day earlier, as testing surged. Tested individuals jumped to 40,470 from 27,451 Thursday and an average of about 27,000 in the past week.

Daily deaths fell to 85 from 88 Thursday; a total of 33,774 fatalities have been reported since late February. Total cases reached 234,531.

N.Y. Deaths Fall to 42 (12 p.m. NY)

New York State’s daily coronavirus death toll was the lowest since early March, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

There were 42 virus-related fatalities on Thursday, Cuomo said at his daily briefing, noting that it’s down from almost 800 just eight weeks ago. The number of hospitalizations was also the lowest to date, he said.msg1 from

New cases rose 0.3% in the state, in line with the seven-day average. Deaths climbed to more than 24,100.

NYC Hospital Admissions Spike (11:55 a.m. NY)

New York City’s coronavirus hospital admissions spiked June 3 to 84, after weeks of steady declines, including 48 the previous day.

The increase probably came too soon to be tied to crowds filling city streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Admissions remain below the city’s metric of 200 a day, allowing it to continue toward the first phase of reopening Monday, he said.

The city’s health department released data Thursday showing no deaths of virus-carriers for the first time since March, with three fatalities likely attributable to Covid-19 in untested patients.

U.K. Passes 40,000 Deaths (11:52 a.m. NY)

The number of confirmed U.K. deaths passed 40,000, more than double the number Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief scientific adviser said in March would represent “a good outcome.”

There were 357 more deaths reported Thursday, taking the total to 40,261, the Department for Health and Social Care said.

The U.K. is gradually lifting its lockdown, and starting on Monday international travelers arriving in the U.K. will be quarantined for 14 days. People using public transport in England will have to cover their faces from June 15, when non-essential shops are also due to be allowed to re-open.

South Africa ‘At War’ on Covid-19 (11:50 a.m. NY)

South Africa is “at war” against the coronavirus and will need additional resources to limit casualties, with the worst of the pandemic yet to come, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

The disease has continued to spread despite a national lockdown in place since March 27. Although most businesses reopened this month, forecasts of an exponential rise in cases have been borne out by the latest statistics that show a record 3,267 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 40,792 cases. Almost 850 people have died.

Hydroxychloroquine Shows No Benefit: Oxford (11:15 a.m. NY)

A U.K. study evaluating malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with Covid-19 was stopped after preliminary analysis found it didn’t have any benefit, adding to setbacks for a treatment touted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

About 26% of patients in the trial using the drug died, compared with about 24% receiving the usual care. “Hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment,” Peter Horby, an Oxford professor and chief investigator for the trial, said.

Oxford released the data a day after The Lancet medical journal retracted a study that had showed increased heart and death risks in patients taking the drug.

Florida Cases Rise More Than Average (11:10 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 61,488 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 2.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 2,660, an increase of 2%.

Trump Reports Progress on Vaccines (10:45 a.m. NY)

U.S. President Donald Trump said “tremendous progress” is being made on producing a Covid-19 vaccine and predicted some “positive surprises,” without providing details.

“I think we’re doing really well,” Trump said Friday during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House called to discuss the May jobs report. “We’re doing incredibly well with vaccines.” Trump said the U.S. could have more than 2 million doses “if it checks out for safety.”

Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, last month said the U.S. has “a good chance” of getting a vaccine ready by the end of the year, “if all of the things fall into the right place.”

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