Experts call on FDA to improve testing accuracy

Experts call on FDA to improve testing accuracy

With multiple drugmakers in a push for a Covid-19 vaccine, countries are preparing for when it is finally available and putting deals in place with companies to prepare for the eventual distribution. AstraZeneca, which has a vaccine under development at Oxford and is expected to complete the experimental phase by the fall, agreed to deals with multiple countries for the distribution of its vaccine.

Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands signed a contract with the company to supply 400 million doses of the vaccine, according to a Reuters report. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the drugmaker is also in talks with Japan, Russia, Brazil and China.

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 7.81 million
  • Global deaths: At least 430,605
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.07 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 115,436

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Reopening states seeing rise in daily new cases

12:15 p.m. ET — States that are reopening are reporting a rise in daily new coronavirus cases, with some of the hardest-hit states having lifted lockdown restrictions on or before May 8.

The daily number of new cases across the country seems to have leveled out, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, but more than 20 states are seeing increasing numbers of new cases recently, the New York Times reports.

Texas and North Carolina reported a record number of virus-related hospitalizations Saturday.

The surge in cases in some states may be tied to the increasing availability of tests, but there are also reports that residents in reopened states have returned to salons and parks and stopped wearing masks and following social distancing recommendations. —Emma Newburger

Experts call on FDA to improve Covid-19 testing accuracy

A person gets a swab test for coronavirus at a free pop-up testing location, for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, in Boston’s Roxbury on June 10, 2020.

David L. Ryan | Boston Globe | Getty Images

11:26 a.m. ET — Early in the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration used emergency powers to clear the way for tests to be quickly put in use, but recently preliminary findings have found potential problems with some tests, the Associated Press reports.

“In the beginning, the FDA was under a lot of pressure to get these tests onto the marketplace,” said Dr. Steven Woloshin of Dartmouth College. “But now that there are plenty of tests out there, it’s time for them to raise the bar.”

The FDA said it has already asked multiple test makers to do additional accuracy studies and that it is tracking reports of problems. The agency did not say how many of the more than 110 authorized screening tests it has asked for additional studies, according to the AP.

Most COVID-19 tests in the U.S. don’t currently give data on real-world performance, including how often there are false positives or negatives. That information is lacking for all but a few of the roughly 80 commercial screening tests available, according to an Associated Press review.

Many commercial test makers submitted results from 60 samples for initial clearance, the minimum number required, and mostly used lab-produced specimens of the virus. But most actual tests are carried out in hospitals, clinics and even parking lots, which are sometimes imperfect conditions that could throw off test performance.

Experts say larger studies are needed to get a true measure of a test’s accuracy. —Chris Eudaily, Associated Press

PPP funding is about to dry up for these small business owners. Here’s what’s next

10:50 a.m. ET — Some entrepreneurs who applied for the Paycheck Protection Program are close to exhausting their funding, which was originally intended to cover eight weeks of payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities.

It’s a particularly scary time for entrepreneurs in the leisure, hospitality and restaurant industries, as they begin to emerge from lockdown and face lower revenues.

Lisa Hess, owner of Lucy’s Coffee in San Luis Obispo, California, has about two weeks of funding left after borrowing about $23,000 from the PPP.

“We’re a college town, and February through June are our busiest months,” said Hess, who’s had her café for three years. “The timing was terrible: We literally started breaking even three weeks before the shelter-in-place order.”

Senate Democrats have proposed legislation that will allow cash-strapped businesses to get more funding from PPP, provided they are close to exhausting their original loan and their revenues have fallen by at least 50%.

In the meantime, businesses are preparing themselves for uncertainty. They’re looking into grants and other small business loans to get through the months ahead. —Darla Mercado

UK could ease social distancing rules on July 4

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson buys a coffee from Freddy Staple, operations manager for Caffe Concerto at Westfield shopping center in east London on June 14, 2020 as visits the centre to see the coronavirus measures in place in advance of the reopening tomorrow. From Monday, non essential shops such as clothes shop will be allowed to open to the public as long as they take Covid safety steps. (Photo by John NGUYEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN NGUYEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

John Nguyen | Pool | AFP | Getty Images

10:30 a.m. ET — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Britain could ease its social distancing rule requiring people to keep a two-meter distance apart on July 4, according to Reuters.

Britain is scheduled to potentially let up on some of its lockdown measures on July 4 as the number of Covid-19 cases decline.

“As we get the numbers down, so it becomes one in 1,000, one in 1,600, maybe even fewer, your chances of being two meters, or one meter, or even a foot away from somebody who has the virus is obviously going down statistically, so you start to build some more margin for maneuver,” Johnson said. “We’ll be looking at that and keeping it under constant review as we go forward to the next step in our plan, which is, as you know, July 4.” —Lorie Konish, Reuters

Kudlow says U.S. economy is in ‘recovery stage’

Aides wearing masks stand behind White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow as he speaks to reporters about the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the White House in Washington, May 15, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

10:02 a.m. ET — White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that the U.S. economy is now in the “recovery stage” after saying last week that the economy appeared to reach its lowest point.

The unemployment rate declined to 13.3% in May from April’s 14.7%, a largely unexpected gain as states begin to lift restrictions and people start returning to work.

The $600 enhanced unemployment benefits created by the CARES Act to help people who lost jobs during the pandemic are set to end July 31.

Kudlow said the extra benefits are a “disincentive” for people who may not want to return to work because the unemployment aid pays more than their regular salary, and mentioned there will be “some kind of bonus” for those who return to work. —Emma Newburger

Some U.S. industries see improvement amid reopening progress

9:25 a.m. ET — Key sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus are seeing improvement as the U.S. makes further reopening progress. Consumers are eating out more at restaurants, buying more homes and even traveling more.

To check out charts that illustrate signs of recovery in these sectors, click here. —Hannah Miller

European countries reopen travel with patchwork of different rules

Swimmers on a beach in Palma during the first day of Phase 2, when it is possible to access beaches in the same province, island or territorial unit of reference established in the de-climbing plan, and when the town halls may establish limitations on access, which in any case will be free, and on capacity to ensure that the interpersonal distance of at least two meters between swimmers is respected.

Isaac Buj | Europa Press News | Getty Images

8:54 a.m. ET — Travel restrictions are being lifted across Europe, but travelers from the U.S., Asia, Latin America and the Mideast aren’t clear yet, the Associated Press reports.

Many European countries are opening back up and allowing travel from the EU, Britain and the other countries in the passport-free Schengen area, according to the AP.

One notable holdout to the travel reopening push is Spain, which still has another week under domestic travel restrictions and will open up to foreign travel on July 1, the news service reports. The country is, however, having a two-week trial for visitors on Monday when thousands of Germans are flying to Spain’s Balearic Islands.

Germany, along with France and others, is lifting border checks Monday and rolling back a worldwide warning against nonessential travel to exempt European countries, according to the AP. Nonessential warnings are expected to remain in place for countries where there are still travel restrictions like Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden. —Chris Eudaily, Associated Press

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: European nations sign deal with AstraZeneca for 400 million vaccine doses.



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