Covid-19 Live News – The New York Times


Cuomo is forming a panel to review federally authorized vaccines, citing concerns the process has become politicized.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that New York would review coronavirus vaccines that are approved by the federal government, giving the state a potentially contentious new role in the process a day after President Trump raised doubts about tougher F.D.A. guidelines.

“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news briefing.

New York officials do not play a role in the approval process for a possible vaccine, but under the current plan they would help determine how it would be distributed throughout the state. In theory, officials could delay such distribution if they believed the vaccine was not safe.

Officials in the state and in New York City have said that for months they have been discussing a vaccine rollout plan.

The governor’s remarks, which echoed earlier calls for state oversight of any vaccine, threatened to further complicate a vaccine process that has become mired in political debate and for months has faced mistrust from the American public.

Mr. Cuomo said that he was alarmed when, on Wednesday, Mr. Trump suggested that the White House might reject new F.D.A. guidelines that would toughen the process for approving a coronavirus vaccine.

Mr. Trump said the F.D.A. plan sounded “like a political move,” a comment that yet again threatened to undermine government officials who have been working to boost public faith in a promised vaccine. Just hours earlier, four senior physicians leading the federal coronavirus response strongly endorsed the tighter safety procedures, which would involve getting outside expert approval before a vaccine could be declared safe and effective by the F.D.A.

Polls have shown a remarkable decrease in the number of Americans who would be willing to take a vaccine once it is approved. A survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans would either probably or definitely take a vaccine, a significant drop from 72 percent in May.

The chief concern among those surveyed was that the vaccine approval process would move too quickly without taking time to properly establish safety and effectiveness.

The development and quick production of a vaccine is seen as crucial to ending the pandemic, which has claimed more than 202,000 lives in the United States, 32,000 of them in New York State.

Mr. Cuomo’s stated concerns echoed comments made by Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee for president, who last week pushed the issue of a potential vaccine into the center of the 2020 race. Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump of exerting political pressure on the vaccine process and trying to speed up the approval of a vaccine to help him win re-election.

To vet a vaccine, Mr. Cuomo said that he would assemble a panel of scientists, doctors and public health experts who would review its safety and effectiveness, after the federal government approves it.

The governor wants the group, led by the state Department of Health, to advise him, “so I can look at the camera and I can say to New Yorkers that it’s safe to take.”

Mr. Cuomo also said that he would create a second panel to determine how to implement and distribute the vaccine, including who to prioritize in the vaccination process. The governor seemed wary of the logistics involved in administering a two-shot vaccine, saying such a treatment would require 40 million doses to fully inoculate the state’s population, which is nearly 20 million.

The action by the governor, a third-term Democrat, is just his latest clash with Mr. Trump and his administration, including recent threats by the Department of Justice to withhold federal funding from New York City. The president suggested that the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio had allowed “anarchy” to take hold in the nation’s largest city.

In an early look at fall enrollment, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported Thursday that undergraduate enrollment in the United States has dropped 2.5 percent from last fall, as the threat of the coronavirus has forced education to move increasingly online and sent unemployment rates soaring.

The decline was particularly sharp for community colleges, where enrollment went down by 7.5 percent from last September, the preliminary data shows. In past economic downturns, community colleges have typically seen enrollment increase.

The overall decline so far is more modest than many education experts had projected. But the survey shows enrollment has fallen at all types of institutions, including private, nonprofit four-year colleges, which report a 3.8 percent drop, and for-profit colleges, where enrollment is down nearly 2 percent, despite intensive marketing.

Public four-year colleges also reported a small overall decline, of less than 1 percent, with the steepest losses — 4 percent — at rural institutions. Public four-year institutions in urban areas were the one undergraduate bright spot, with a very slight gain of one-half of one percent.

International undergraduate enrollment also has dropped, marking an 11 percent decline from last year, reflecting the Trump administration’s heightened scrutiny of those students and the pandemic’s impact on travel.

But the red flag is community colleges, said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of government relations for the American Council on Education, a higher education trade group. The nation’s community college system is where most Black, Latino and low-income students enter the higher education system — members of groups that all have been disproportionately hit by the virus.

“In the 2009 recession, community college enrollment rose by more than one million students,” Mr. Hartle said. “Under normal circumstances, we’d expect community college enrollment to go up. Clearly these are not normal times.”

Doug Shapiro, the executive director of the research center, a nonprofit organization that studies enrollment trends, cautioned that the survey reflects data from only 138 of the nation’s approximately 5,000 colleges. The center expects many more to report data in its October report.

Novavax enters the final stage of coronavirus vaccine trials.

The vaccine maker Novavax said Thursday that it would begin the final stages of testing its coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom and that another large trial was scheduled to begin next month in the United States.

It is the fifth late-stage trial from a company supported by Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to speed a coronavirus vaccine to market, and one of 11 worldwide to reach this pivotal stage. Novavax, a Maryland company that has never brought a vaccine to market, reached a $1.6 billion deal with the federal government in July to develop and manufacture its experimental vaccine, which has shown robust results in early clinical trials.

Although Novavax is months behind the front-runners in the vaccine race, independent experts are excited about its vaccine because its early studies delivered particularly promising results. Monkeys that were vaccinated got strong protection against the coronavirus. And in early safety trials, published early this month in The New England Journal of Medicine, volunteers produced strikingly high levels of antibodies against the virus.

It is not possible to make a precise comparison between early clinical studies of different vaccines, but John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, said that the antibodies from Novavax were markedly higher than any other vaccine with published results. “You just can’t explain that away,” he said.

Studies hint at why men are more likely than women to die from complications of the coronavirus.

Problems with the body’s inborn response to infection may explain severe illness and death from the coronavirus in roughly 14 percent of patients, according to two studies published on Thursday in the journal Science.

These problems occur more often in men than in women, offering a potential explanation for why the virus seems to affect men more severely.

Both studies focused on Type I interferon, a set of 17 proteins that appear when the body is confronted with a virus. Interferons are produced within hours of exposure and signal to the rest of the immune system that there is an intruder.

Genetic flaws in some people hobble the Type 1 interferon response, according to one study. The virus provokes the production of “auto-antibodies” — molecules that misguidedly attack and destroy Type I interferons, instead of the virus, which buys the virus crucial time to gain a foothold and wreak havoc.

The researchers found auto-antibodies in 101 of 987 people with severe Covid-19, but in none of the 663 people with mild or asymptomatic illness. And they were found in only four of 1,227 healthy control participants.

The auto-antibodies were seen predominantly in men: 95 of the 101 patients in the study were men.

The findings have implications for treatment. People with auto-antibodies should be excluded from donating convalescent plasma, for example, and they may benefit from therapies that strip them of the harmful antibodies.

A second study analyzed DNA from 659 severely ill patients and 534 with mild or no symptoms. The researchers found that 3.5 percent of the severely ill group harbor mutations in eight genes that prevent the body from making Type I interferons.

None of the patients with mild or asymptomatic illness had these mutations.

While the two studies describe different errors in the immune response, ”the mechanism at the end is the same,” said Jean-Laurent Casanova, a pediatrician at Rockefeller University who led both studies. “It is insufficient interferon.”

Infected young people begin waves of the virus that sicken older people, a C.D.C. report says.

As millennials mingled in bars and restaurants over the summer, and students returned to college campuses, coronavirus infections surged among young adults.

From June through August, the incidence of Covid-19 was highest among adults aged 20 to 29 years old, according to research published on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young adults accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases.

But the infections didn’t stop with them, the researchers found: Young adults also seeded waves of new infections among the middle-aged, and then in older Americans.

The new data show that outbreaks linked to parties, bars, dormitories and other crowded venues are hazardous not just to the 20-somethings who are present, but to more vulnerable people with whom they are likely to come into contact.

College campuses have become a particular threat. According to a database maintained by The New York Times, there were more than 88,000 coronavirus infections reported on nearly 1,200 campuses as of early September.

At a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned against sending home students from colleges experiencing outbreaks.

Speaking about ill students, Dr. Fauci said colleges “should be able to accommodate the students in a facility, maybe a separate dorm or a separate floor so they don’t spread among the student body,” he said.

“But do not send them home to their community because of the likelihood of them bringing infection in the community,” he said.

The C.D.C. report examined positive test results and emergency department visits for Covid-19-like illnesses from May to August in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The incidence of Covid-19 cases was highest among those in their 20s, but the spike in cases in this age group was quickly followed by increases in infections among people 60 and older, the researchers found.

In the South, where cases rose dramatically over the summer, a clear pattern emerged. Within nine days of a rise in cases among those in their 20s and 30s, cases rose among those aged 60 and older.

In states like Alabama, Florida and Georgia, transmission was more sequential. The increase among those aged 20 to 39 was followed by a bump in cases among those in aged 40 to 59 nine days later, and then another rise in cases among those 60 and older 15 days later.

The top spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services who recently took a leave of absence to “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family” after accusing federal scientists of “sedition,” has learned he has cancer, according to a person briefed on his condition on Thursday.

Doctors gave the spokesman, Michael R. Caputo, a diagnosis of “squamous cell carcinoma, a metastatic head and neck cancer which originated in his throat,” a spokesman for Mr. Caputo’s family told CNN. He was given the diagnosis after surgery last week at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., the outlet reported.

Mr. Captuo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April as the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, was resting at his home in Western New York with his family, where they will “decide next steps in Michael’s care and recovery,” the family spokesman, David DiPietro, told CNN.

Mr. Caputo went on leave last week after posting a bizarre and inflammatory Facebook video in which he accused government scientists of working to defeat President Trump and urged his followers to buy ammunition ahead of what he predicted would be an armed insurrection after the election. Mr. Caputo later apologized to his staff and to Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, for his Facebook soliloquy. Among other things, he spoke to his followers of his declining mental health and his fear that he might be killed by an anti-administration zealot.

About 4 percent of cancers in the United States originate in the head and neck, usually starting in squamous cells that line the mouth, nose and throat. They are more than four times common in men than women, according to the American Cancer Society. More than half of patients are older than 65 when their cancer is first detected.

Treatment can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and one of the newer targeted therapy drugs or immunotherapy.

Fauci warns of the threat from aerosol transmission.

Days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and then withdrew significant new guidance on airborne transmission of the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Thursday about the threat of aerosol transmission of the virus as cooler weather approaches and many people spend more time indoors.

“I think there’s good enough data to say that aerosol transmission does occur,” Dr. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said in a live Facebook discussion with Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey. “Aerosol means the droplets don’t drop immediately. They hang around for a period of time.”

Dr. Fauci’s assessment comes at a time when state and local authorities are trying to find reliable guidance for what mitigation efforts are needed indoors and how indoor spaces should be ventilated.

The C.D.C. said its updated guidance was published “in error,” before a full scientific review, but its sudden withdrawal raised concerns about the agency’s credibility. Senior Trump administration officials, and the president himself, have tried to undermine C.D.C. scientists.

Regarding aerosol transmission, Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told New Jersey’s governor that people should “act like it’s occurring” and keep wearing masks and maintaining a six-foot distance from one another.

Dr. Fauci also criticized the partisan divide that has propelled many people around the United States to resist wearing masks to curb the spread the virus. “The only way we’re going to end this is if everybody pulls together and put aside this divisiveness nonsense,” Dr. Fauci said.

Amid a second wave in Europe, hospitalizations remain lower than the first time. But for how long?

In Munich, normally brimming with boisterous crowds for Oktoberfest this month, the authorities just banned gatherings of more than five people. In Marseille, France, all bars and restaurants will be closed next Monday. In London, where the government spent weeks encouraging workers to return to the city’s deserted skyscrapers, it is now urging them to work from home.

Summer ended in Europe this week with a heavy thud amid signs that a spike in virus cases might send another wave of patients into hospitals. Officials across Europe fear a repeat of the harrowing scenes from last spring, when the virus swamped intensive care units in countries like Italy and Spain.

But just how imminent is the peril?

As they try desperately to curb a second wave of the virus, European leaders are dealing with a confusing, fast-changing situation, with conflicting evidence on how quickly new virus cases are translating into hospital admissions.

In Spain, where new cases have surged to more than 10,000 a day, hospitals in Madrid are close to capacity and the government said it was preparing to reopen field hospitals in hotels and in the city’s largest exhibition center. Yet in France, which reported 66,000 new cases over the last seven days, hospital admissions and deaths, while also rising, are going up much more slowly.

Some experts argue that this shows the virus has lost potency since it first arrived in Europe, or that it is now infecting mostly younger people, who are less likely to experience severe symptoms. Others say it is a testament to social distancing, the widespread use of face masks, greater precautions for more vulnerable people and better medical treatment.

“It’s not going to be like the first time when we needed to stop everything,” said Dr. Karol Sikora, an oncologist and professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School. “It’s going to be a slow burn.”

Other experts, however, warn against being lulled into complacency: the gap between case numbers and hospital admissions, they say, is mainly a reflection of the fact that more people are being tested, and more quickly.

Public health officials in Houston made a startling disclosure this week: New virus cases in Harris County, the third-most populous county in the United States, had jumped sharply.

But it turns out the vast majority of the cases — 13,110 of the 13,875 reported on Monday — weren’t recent at all. They were at least 28 days old, yet another anomaly in virus data surfacing around the country.

All of the anomalies raise red flags about relying heavily on daily case counts to assess where the virus is surging or ebbing. Looking at a longer stretch of time offers a more clear and accurate picture, statisticians say.

Texas has had repeated virus data problems, but it is not alone. Sudden backlog dumps are complicating the picture of what the virus is doing in one state after another. A day after Houston’s data surge, South Carolina reported about 2,000 positive test results, some of them dating to March.

Officials in South Carolina laid the blame on an out-of-state laboratory. But public health authorities say such spikes often reflect various factors such as incomplete, erroneous or duplicative testing information — sometimes meaning employees need to manually re-enter data — as well as a reluctance to stop using outmoded technology like fax machines.

(The Times has been tracking cases in an extensive database, and excludes anomalies from its seven-day averages when possible.)

“We’re never going to get ahead of this unless we work towards data reconciliation and automation,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, director of Harris County’s public health department.

Dr. Shah, who is also a former president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said the sharp increase in cases reported on Monday involved efforts to work through Harris County’s backlog.

An accumulation of testing data is not the only kind of inconsistency that can cloud virus-tracking efforts. Some counties in Texas, for example, only count cases as confirmed based on polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., tests, conducted in a laboratory. Other counties hew to C.D.C. guidance by also reporting probable cases based on a doctor’s assessment of a patient’s symptoms, or on less sensitive rapid tests.

As a new wave hits Iran, emergency pandemic funds have gone missing.

Iran has complained that in combating the pandemic, its hands are tied because its pockets are empty — the result of a punishing U.S. sanctions.

But there may also be another reason. Emergency government funds set aside to battle the virus are unaccounted for, according to health ministry officials.

The Iranian health minister, Saeed Namaki, said Wednesday that his ministry had received about 27 percent of the money from the country’s emergency funds but that nobody seems to know where the rest of it, about $800 million, has gone.

“I don’t know what other important cause this money went to,” said Mr. Namaki, according to Iranian media on Wednesday.

Health officials said that the country’s stockpile of medical gear is emptying out and that health workers had not been paid for two to three months. They warned that both doctors and patients were exhausted — and fed up.

The disclosures about the missing funds and the unpaid health workers came as Iran is being battered by another third surge of the virus.

Earlier in the week, the health ministry said the entire country was now considered a red zone as hospitalizations and deaths spiked, but singled out the capital, Tehran, as an “extra red zone” area. In Tehran, at least 70 to 100 people are dying each day, according to a report from the City Council.

In April, as Iran experienced its first wave of the pandemic, President Hassan Rouhani requested to withdraw about $1.2 billion from the National Development Fund savings meant for development projects. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, approved, and the government announced that the money would go toward purchasing medical equipment, training, treatment and the domestic production of equipment and gear.

Six months later, a big chunk of the money has yet to be delivered.

“You can’t fight coronavirus with empty hands,” the deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, said in a television interview on Wednesday.

The governor of Missouri has canceled campaign events in his bid for office and is isolating himself.

With only weeks to go before Election Day, Mike Parson, the Republican governor of Missouri, has canceled campaign events in his bid for office and is isolating at the governor’s mansion after he and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.

It is only the latest example of how the pandemic is complicating politics and the voting process, even as the virus has become a central issue in political races.

Mr. Parson, 65, announced on Wednesday that he and his wife, Teresa, had tested positive for the virus, bringing renewed attention to Mr. Parson’s own handling of the outbreak during an election year.

Mr. Parson initially resisted issuing a stay-at-home order this spring, and has declined to issue a statewide mask mandate even as new cases in Missouri average about 1,600 per day, a threefold increase from the beginning of July, according to a Times database. He has faced questions about his decision to appear in public and shake hands on the campaign trail without a mask.

Mr. Parson’s Democratic opponent, Nicole Galloway, on Thursday criticized Mr. Parson for downplaying the virus’s threat by saying that children would “get over” the virus in a push to “move on” and reopen schools.

“Missourians haven’t gotten over this,” said Ms. Galloway, who is trailing in the polls. “We don’t need to move on. We need action now.”

The two were scheduled to debate on Friday, but the event and others in Missouri have been rescheduled. Mr. Parson said he was not showing any symptoms and that he and his wife were feeling “fine.”

Mr. Parson, a lieutenant governor who was elevated after the elected governor resigned in 2018, is the second governor known to have tested positive for the virus. Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, a Republican who has also resisted a mask mandate, contracted the virus in July.

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican who became known for his careful and aggressive approach to the virus, initially tested positive as part of a screening to meet President Trump in August, but it turned out to be a false positive. He later received a negative result from a more precise test.

Americans have lost more than $145 million to virus-related fraud.

Americans have lost more than $145 million to fraud related to the coronavirus, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which said it had fielded more than 200,000 complaints from consumers.

Schemes related to the pandemic peaked in the spring, and they focused on federal stimulus payments and other forms of financial relief, as well as unemployment and other government benefits, the commission reported.

The data was compiled by the commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, which tracked nearly 206,000 reports of coronavirus-related fraud that were submitted to the F.T.C. from Jan. 1 through Sept. 22.

The median loss was $300. The losses could be higher for older Americans, who are often the targets of this kind of fraud, said Lucy Baker, a consumer defense associate at the United States Public Interest Research Group, which shared the data this week.

Many scammers posed as sources of coronavirus stimulus relief or marketed a cure or preventive treatment for Covid-19. They were crafty, experts said, sending out robocalls, text messages and emails to consumers.

Increased stress can cause people to make impulsive decisions rather than stopping to think about whether they should avoid clicking a link in a phishing email, said Stacey Wood, a psychology professor at Scripps College in California who studies consumer fraud.

AARP has recommended that consumers avoid sites promising coronavirus-related vaccines or cures. They should also be wary of emails, calls or social media posts advertising coronavirus tests, or claiming to be raising money for victims or research.

U.S. ROUNDUP

The ranks of jobless workers in the U.S. seeking aid rose last week.

Applications for jobless benefits in the United States remained at staggeringly high levels last week as employers continued to lay off workers six months after the coronavirus pandemic first rocked the economy.

About 825,000 Americans filed for state unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is up from 796,000 a week earlier, though it is far below the more than six million people a week who were filing for benefits during the peak period of layoffs in the spring. Those numbers do not reflect adjustments for seasonal fluctuations. (On an adjusted basis, last week’s total was 870,000, up from the previous week.)

In addition, 630,000 initial filings were recorded for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency federal program that covers freelancers, self-employed workers and others left out of the regular unemployment system. That program has been plagued by fraud and double-counting, and many economists say the data is unreliable.

By any measure, hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing their jobs each week, and millions more laid off earlier in the crisis are still relying on unemployment benefits to meet their basic expenses. Applications for benefits remain higher than at the peak of many past recessions, and after falling quickly in the spring, the number has declined only slowly in recent weeks.

“Compared to April, they’re trending down, but if you’re comparing to the pre-Covid era they are still so high,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist for the career site Indee.

The World Bank predicted in April that money transferred by immigrants to their homes in Latin America and the Caribbean would plunge by almost 20 percent this year, as the pandemic led to layoffs or reduced work hours.

But their forecast of the “sharpest decline in recent history” seems unlikely to materialize if current trends hold.

After weathering the worst months of the lockdown, many immigrants are back on the job and sending their relatives even more money than before the downturn, according to newly compiled estimates.

“Everybody was talking about how remittances would drop, yet they have remained remarkably strong,” said Matt Oppenheimer, the chief executive of Remitly, a digital money-transfer company based in Seattle.

Remittances to Latin America, about three-quarters of which are sent by immigrants working in the United States, dropped precipitously in March and April but have rebounded. The money transferred to some of those countries in the first half of 2020 actually eclipsed the amount sent during the same period in 2019, according to official data.

Remittances from Indians, Filipinos and Nigerians in the United States have also continued to grow relative to last year, according to executives at money-transfer companies.

“It’s counterintuitive to most Americans,” Mr. Oppenheimer said. “But for immigrants, supporting their families back home is the fundamental reason they came here in the first place.”

Jason Go, a Filipino cardiologist in Grand Forks, N.D., said that not only had he continued to transfer money monthly to his 71-year-old mother in the Philippines, he was now sending her even more.

“Part of my motivation to come here was to help support my mom who put me through med school,” said Dr. Go, 46, who arrived in the United States 17 years ago.

“Given that there are extraordinary circumstances during the pandemic, I send extra so she can buy her medicine ahead of time,” he said. “She also has needed money to buy masks and groceries in bulk, because she can’t keep going out.”

The Israeli government said on Thursday that it was tightening its second national lockdown after coronavirus cases soared to about 5,000 per day in the last week, the highest rate per capita in the world.

The new measures, which go into effect on Friday, will remain in place at least until the end of the Jewish High Holy Days in mid-October. Most businesses will have to close, and all gatherings, including protests and communal prayers, will be restricted to groups of up to 20 people outdoors within about 1,100 yards of home.

An exception has been made for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, which begins at sundown on Sunday.

The government was still mulling whether to halt outbound flights allowing Israelis to travel abroad from Ben-Gurion International Airport.

The new restrictions were largely meant to address a heated dispute roiling Israel. On one side are those who say they have the right to hold mass protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the protests have been taking place weekly in the streets near his official residence in Jerusalem. On the other are Orthodox politicians who oppose restrictions on prayer as long as the protests are allowed to continue.

The Israeli Parliament must approve any measures limiting the freedom to protest, which is anchored in law.

In other developments around the world:

  • Suresh Angadi, 65, on Wednesday became the first high-ranking official to die from the coronavirus in India. He was a junior minister for the Indian Railways and was the fourth Indian lawmaker to die from Covid-19. Mr. Angadi was a powerful politician from the southern state of Karnataka, where he worked to strengthen the base of Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu nationalist party that rules India. With 5.7 million confirmed cases, India has the world’s second-highest caseload after the United States.

  • China National Biotec Group, a front-runner in developing a coronavirus vaccine, will donate 200,000 doses of its vaccine to health care workers in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged nine months ago, the chairman of the company said on Thursday. The vaccine, which is developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has only cleared two phases of clinical trials but has been approved for emergency use. It is currently in the final stage of trials in more than 10 countries.

  • Germany on Thursday added the cities of Copenhagen, Dublin and Lisbon to a list of high-risk areas in the European Union that travelers are being encouraged to avoid. Germany has a seven-day average of about 1,700 new cases a day. The country’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has also gone into quarantine after a person on his staff tested positive for the virus.

Reporting was contributed by Matt Apuzzo, Pam Belluck, Aurelien Breeden, Ben Casselman, Choe Sang-Hun, Melissa Eddy, Michael Gold, Maggie Haberman, Christine Hauser, Mike Ives, Miriam Jordan, Isabel Kershner, Gina Kolata, Mark Landler, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jeffery C. Mays, Jesse McKinley, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Christina Morales, Eshe Nelson, Benjamin Novak, Richard C. Paddock, Azi Paybarah, Elian Peltier, Monika Pronczuk, Roni Caryn Rabin, Simon Romero, Adam Satariano, Anna Schaverien, Christopher F. Schuetze, Dera Menra Sijabat, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sui-Lee Wee, Sameer Yasir and Elaine Yu.





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