U.S. Cases Increase 1.3%; Trump Adviser Infected: Virus Update

A renewed increase in coronavirus cases around the world is presenting challenges from China to Germany. In the U.S., National Security AdviserRobert O’Brien testedpositive, while an outbreak in Major League Baseball underscored the difficulties of restartingsports.

Senate Republicans rolled out a $1 trillionplan to bolster the U.S. economy with a series of bills that would trim unemployment benefits, send $1,200 payments to most Americans and shield businesses from lawsuits tied to the virus. President Donald Trumpsaid a number of governors are moving too slowly to open their states’ economies.

Moderna Inc. received a second round of U.S. funding for an experimental vaccine and kicked off its late-stagetrial, while Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said they would begin a later-stage study for their topcandidate. A British researcher said the effectiveness of vaccines will probably depend on annual doses.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases exceed 16.3 million; deaths pass 650,900
  • EU maybacktrack on loosening curb on foreign visitors
  • Google to let employeeswork from home until next July
  • Building owners revamp systems to scrub virus fromindoor air
  • Warner Bros. to open summer blockbuster ‘Tenet’abroad
  • Even trading floor diehards are nowembracing remote work

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis teamhere. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Pfizer, BioNTech Start Late-Stage Study of Vaccine (5:28 p.m. NY)

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said they would begin a later-stage trial for their top coronavirusvaccine candidate, with a goal of submitting it for regulatory review as soon as October.

The drugmakers said Monday that they had selected a lead vaccine candidate from within a broader development program and will proceed with a late-stage safety and efficacy trial of the experimental shot in a two-dose regimen.

Trump Back to Criticizing Governors on Reopening (4:57 p.m. NY)

President Donald Trumpsaid a number of governors are moving too slowly to open their states’ economies amid the coronavirus pandemic — a shift from last week when he praised social distancing measures and state executives.

“I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they are not opening,” Trump told reporters Monday at an event in North Carolina. “And we’ll see what happens with them.”

The comments are similar to those the president made earlier in the pandemic when he frequently lashed out at governors. Trump didn’t single out any states or governors for criticism Monday.

California to Send $52 Million to Hard-Hit Area (4:30 p.m. NY)

California plans to spend $52 million to ramp up testing, treatment and infected-person isolation in eight counties of the Central Valley, one of nation’s most important agricultural regions. Virus cases there are growing rapidly, with testing positivity rates topping 17% in Tulare and Stanislaus counties, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press briefing. The money comes from a $499 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California reported new 6,891 confirmed infections on Monday, less than the two-week daily average of 9,316, according to state health data. There were 29 new deaths, well below the 14-day average of 95, for a total of 8,445. New cases and deaths have tended to be lower on Mondays because of delayed reporting over the weekend.

Hospitalizations rose 0.3% to 6,935, while still down from a record of more than 7,100 last week. Newsom said the pace of hospitalizations has slowed.

“It is not where we need to be, but it is progress indeed,” he said.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.3% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.3% as compared with the same time Sunday to 4.27 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was below the average 1.7% daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose 0.3% to 147,209.

  • Florida reported 432,747 cases, up 2.1% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 2.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 5,931, an increase of 77, or 2.3%.
  • Arizona cases rose 1.1% to 163,827, trailing the seven-day average of 1.7%, and the state reported no new deaths.
  • Missouri reported a 4.5% increase in the number of cases from the same time yesterday, bringing the total to 43,445, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg.

EU May Backtrack on Loosening Visitor Curbs (1:50 p.m. NY)

The European Union appears set to keep itsexternal borders shut to travelers from most countries — including the U.S. — for at least two more weeks amid spikes in coronavirus cases, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

The EU is leaning toward shortening a list of 13 states — Canada, China, Japan and South Korea among them — whose residents have the green light to visit the bloc, the officials said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because deliberations on Monday among experts were confidential.

Warner to Open ‘Tenet’ Overseas (1:15 p.m. NY)

Warner Bros. is aiming to open its big summerblockbuster “Tenet” internationally on Aug. 26 and a week later in the U.S. for the Labor Day holiday, following numerous delays for the $200 million film.

AT&T Inc.’s film division initially planned to release the sci-fi thriller from director Christopher Nolan widely on July 17, but has delayed the opening repeatedly as coronavirus cases surge and force U.S. movie theaters to stay shut. Under the new plan announced Monday, “Tenet” will debut in 70 countries, including the U.K., Canada, France and Japan. It’s expected to open in the U.S. over the Labor Day weekend, and remain in theaters longer than a normal, giving more people a chance to see it.

Germany Warns of Rising Infection Rates (12:30 p.m. NY)

German officials are stepping up calls for people to stick to containment efforts after an outbreak among migrant workers at a farm in Bavaria provided the latest warning that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over.

Germany plans to make testing, rather than self-isolation, mandatory for travelers returning from high-risk areas as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to limit the number of infections being brought back from vacation.

“Rising infection numbers are reason for concern,” Helge Braun, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, told reporters in Berlin.

Two Baseball Games Canceled After Outbreak (12:11 p.m. NY)

Two Major League Baseball games were canceled after at least 12 Miami Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for Covid-19, according to ESPN. The Marlins delayed their home opener, while the Philadelphia Phillies — the Florida team’s opponent this past weekend — postponed their Monday game against the New York Yankees. The outbreak comes just days after the season started.

Google Extends Work From Home to 2021 (11:30 a.m. NY)

Google will let employees work from home until July 2021, once again pushing back the reopening of its offices. The company had previously said workers could stay home until the end of this year. The change was made to help them plan ahead and applies worldwide, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai wrote in an email sent to employees on Monday.

LabCorp Cuts Test Turnaround Times (10 a.m. NY)

U.S. laboratory giant Laboratory Corp of America Holdings said it has been able to reduce turnaround times for Covid-19 test results to two to three days on average from about three to five days the week prior, thanks to additional screening capacity. The company said it’s working to keep reducing how long patients wait for results, and that it expects that to happen “as additional equipment and supplies become available.”

The shift represents the first sign of improvement as people with and without symptoms flocked to get Covid-19 tests as states reopened, straining infrastructure and leading to weeks of complaints about long delays. Last week, rival Quest Diagnostics Inc. reported that turnaround times had increased to two days on average for even high-priority cases, while other patients faced average waits of seven or more days.

First Cat in U.K. Tests Positive (9:08 a.m. NY)

The U.K. confirmed its first case of a pet cat testing positive for coronavirus, after the animal apparently caught the disease from its owners. There is no evidence pets can pass the virus on to humans, and the case should not be cause for alarm, officials said. No details of the location of the cat were given, but both the animal and its owners have fully recovered.

Trump Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Has Virus (8:48 a.m. NY)

President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for Covid-19.

O’Brien has been out of the office since late last week, one of the people said. He came down with the coronavirus after a family event and has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council, doing most of his work by phone,according to a person familiar with his situation.

— With assistance by Kara Wetzel

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