Coronavirus live updates: Fauci predicts US could have 300-400k COVID-19 deaths

By MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1 million people worldwide.

Over 35.9 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 211,108 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 838,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 798,000 cases and over 720,000 cases, respectively.

More than 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least seven of which are in crucial phase three trials.

Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:

Oct 07, 8:28 pm
Marine general tests positive for COVID-19 after Pentagon meeting

The second-highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Marine Corps has tested positive for the coronavirus, the military branch said in a statement.

Assistant Commandant Gen. Gary L. Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. He had been quarantining since Tuesday after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus, the Marine Corps said.

The announcement comes a day after Adm. Charles Ray, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, tested positive for the virus.

Nearly all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining following a meeting with Ray at the Pentagon last Friday. Thomas attended the meeting in place of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger, who was traveling overseas.

Thomas will continue to quarantine at home and is experiencing mild symptoms, the Marine Corps said.
 
There have been no other positive cases so far among the Joint Chiefs who are quarantining, according to chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.

ABC News’ Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 7:27 pm
Trump wants antibody cocktail available to everyone, calls getting COVID ‘blessing in disguise’

In a nearly five-minute video posted to Twitter Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump said he thought the monoclonal antibody cocktail he received from Regeneron on a compassionate-use basis “was the key to his recovery,” and that he wants everyone to have access to it.

“I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president. Because I feel great. I feel, like, perfect,” the president said in his latest video update on his health. He wasn’t wearing a mask in the video.

Trump said his administration is trying to get Regeneron’s therapy, as well as a similar one from Eli Lily, authorized on an emergency basis, a process up the Federal Drug Administration.

“I want to get for you what I got — and I’m gonna make it free — you’re not going to pay for it,” he said, adding that it was his suggestion that he take the antibody cocktail.

So far, fewer than 10 people have received access to the Regeneron treatment outside of clinical trials, Regeneron CEO George Yancopoulos told ABC News on Friday.

During the video, Trump also called getting COVID-19 a “blessing from God” and “a blessing in disguise,” because he was then able to try the therapy.

“For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later I was feeling great,” said Trump, who left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday after he was hospitalized Friday.

Trump’s doctors said Monday the president “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” but they are using a “multi-pronged approach” in his treatment, which will continue as he recuperates at home.

ABC News’ Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 7:27 pm
Trump wants antibody cocktail available to everyone, calls getting COVID ‘blessing in disguise’

In a nearly five-minute video posted to Twitter Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump said he thought the monoclonal antibody cocktail he received from Regeneron on a compassionate-use basis “was the key to his recovery,” and that he wants everyone to have access to it.

“I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president. Because I feel great. I feel, like, perfect,” the president said in his latest video update on his health. He wasn’t wearing a mask in the video.

Trump said his administration is trying to get Regeneron’s therapy, as well as a similar one from Eli Lily, authorized on an emergency basis, a process up the Federal Drug Administration.

“I want to get for you what I got — and I’m gonna make it free — you’re not going to pay for it,” he said, adding that it was his suggestion that he take the antibody cocktail.

So far, fewer than 10 people have received access to the Regeneron treatment outside of clinical trials, Regeneron CEO George Yancopoulos told ABC News on Friday.

During the video, Trump also called getting COVID-19 a “blessing from God” and “a blessing in disguise,” because he was then able to try the therapy.

“For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later I was feeling great,” said Trump, who left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday after he was hospitalized Friday.

Trump’s doctors said Monday the president “may not entirely be out of the woods yet,” but they are using a “multi-pronged approach” in his treatment, which will continue as he recuperates at home.

ABC News’ Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 6:31 pm
Montana cases have doubled: Governor

Over the last two weeks, the number of weekly reported COVID-19 cases in Montana has doubled, Gov. Steve Bullock said Wednesday, as the state set records in cases and hospitalizations.

There were 2,451 new cases this week, up from 1,249 last week, Bullock said at a briefing. Eighteen counties had “significant increases” in new cases this week, he said, with about 800 combined from Yellowstone and Flathead counties. The last coronavirus-free county, Petroleum County, reported its first infection this week, Bullock said.

On Wednesday, Montana also reported record numbers of new daily cases, with 733, and current hospitalizations, with 235.
 
 ABC News’ Lauren Botchan contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 4:57 pm
Utah sees record hospitalizations ahead of VP debate

Utah recorded a record high of 226 coronavirus hospitalizations on Wednesday, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

The numbers were released hours before the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City.

Utah recorded 1,007 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the Tribune reported. The state’s goal was to keep weeklong averages under 400 daily new cases.

Utah now has over 80,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 496 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins.

Oct 07, 3:53 pm
Cases expected to continue rising in Northeast, Oregon among ‘most concerning’ spots in US

Much of the Northeast is expected to see coronavirus infection rates rise in the next four weeks, according to new weekly projections from PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
 
Cases are forecast to more than double in Boston in the next month if social distancing and other conditions stay as they are, PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) said in a statement.

In New York City, the forecast is worse for all five boroughs for the first time since spring, according to PolicyLab at CHOP.

Hospitalizations are on the rise in the Midwest and Northeast. Hospitalizations doubled in Wisconsin over the last month and have increased nearly 50% in Massachusetts since mid-September, the group said.

Meanwhile, Oregon is showing to be among “the most concerning” spots in the U.S., due to “explosive growth in case counts and quickly rising testing positivity rates that have more than doubled in some areas,” PolicyLab at CHOP said.

ABC News’ Brian Hartman contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 2:52 pm
France reports record daily rise in cases

France has reported 18,746 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, a record one-day increase. An additional 80 coronavirus-related deaths also were recorded.

The nation’s cumulative total now stands at 653,509 cases and 32,455 deaths, according to the latest data from country’s public health agency.

France’s positivity rate stands at 9.1%.

In Ile-de-France, the region surrounding Paris, COVID-19 patients now take up more than 40% of all intensive care unit beds in hospitals, according to a spokesperson for the regional health agency.

France is among several countries in Europe seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections as a second wave of the pandemic hits the region.

Earlier this week, Paris and its inner suburbs were placed on the maximum COVID-19 alert level. Bars and cafes will be closed for two weeks from Tuesday under new measures to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the French capital. Restaurants will remain open, so long as they adhere to new safety measures, including providing sanitizing hand gel, limiting patrons to six per table with at least 1 meter (slightly more than 3 feet) between seats and allowing diners to remove their masks only for eating.

ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfound contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 2:43 pm
Italy will mandate masks

Wearing a mask will become mandatory in Italy beginning on Thursday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

The rule applies to indoor and outdoor spaces, and violators could be fined.

Italy has experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases recently, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. On Wednesday health authorities reported 3,678 new cases, the highest one-day rise since mid-April, according to the Health Ministry.

Italy now has more than 333,900 cases and at least 36,061 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Oct 07, 12:50 pm
Scotland bans indoor alcohol sales in pubs, cafes and restaurants

Pubs, restaurants and cafes in most of Scotland will be prohibited from selling alcohol indoors to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, according to the Press Association.
 
The ban begins on Friday and will end Oct. 25.

Without taking action, the country risks “returning to the peak level of infection by the end of the month,” Sturgeon warned.

According to the BBC, after months of maintaining a positivity rate below 5%, it climbed to more than 10% by the end of September.

Scotland, which has recorded 1,054 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, has seen at least 2,533 total fatalities.
 
Select areas also will be closing bowling alleys, pool halls and casinos, and suspending outdoor live events, contact sports and adult indoor exercise classes. Those closures will be in effect for two weeks beginning Oct. 10.

ABC News’ Dimitrije Stejic and Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 12:03 pm
Committee for Tokyo Olympics cutting costs

The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, looking to simplify the postponed 2021 Games, on Wednesday announced new initiatives that will help save an estimated $280 million.

The new initiatives include spending less on venues in the Olympic and Paralympic Village and optimizing the Olympic torch relay.

ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.


Oct 07, 11:31 am
Boston pauses school reopening plans as cases rise

Boston is pausing its school reopening plan as coronavirus cases rise in the city and across Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Wednesday.

Fourth through eighth grade classes were set to transition to a hybrid learning model the week of Nov. 5, and ninth through 12th grade classes the week of Nov. 16 — but now in-person start dates will be determined at a later date.

Preschoolers and kindergartners set to return to the classroom on Monday now will have to wait until at least Oct. 22.

Boston Public Schools began its first full week of hybrid learning last week for students with special needs, English language learners and for students who are homeless. These 1,300 high-need students will continue with in-person learning should their parents so choose.
 
The decision comes after Boston’s rate of positivity climbed over 4%. Coronavirus cases have been steadily rising in Massachusetts since early September, with the state’s seven-day average rising 109% over the last month.
 
The city will re-evaluate reopening schools later this month based on the data in the coming weeks.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.

Oct 07, 9:10 am
COVID-19 patients fill 40% of ICU beds in Paris region

COVID-19 patients now take up more than 40% of all intensive care unit beds in hospitals across Ile-de-France, the region surrounding Paris, according to a spokesperson for the regional health agency.

“I can confirm that the occupancy rate of intensive care beds for COVID patients is 40.1% in Ile-de-France,” the spokesperson told ABC News on Wednesday.

France registered 10,489 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. An additional 65 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded. The cumulative total now stands at 634,763 cases with 32,365 deaths, according to the latest data from country’s public health agency.

The country’s positivity rate of COVID-19 tests is currently at 9%.

Over the last week, 4,486 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in France, including 911 patients in intensive care, according to the public health agency data.

France is among several countries in Europe seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections as a second wave of the pandemic hits the region.

Earlier this week, Paris and its inner suburbs were placed on the maximum COVID-19 alert level. Bars and cafes will be closed for two weeks from Tuesday under new measures to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the French capital. Restaurants will remain open, so long as they adhere to new safety measures including providing sanitizing hand gel, limiting patrons to six a table with at least 1 meter between seats and allowing diners to remove their masks only for eating.

Oct 07, 7:49 am
Fauci warns US could have 300-400k COVID-19 deaths

Between 300,000 and 400,000 people could die from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the nation’s top expert on the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, offered the grim prediction while speaking at a virtual event hosted by American University on Tuesday.

“The models tell us that if we do not do the kinds of things that we’re talking about in the cold of the fall and the winter, we could have from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths,” Fauci said. “That would be just so tragic if that happens.”

More than 210,000 people across the nation have died from the disease so far.

Oct 07, 7:25 am
Germany sees highest single-day rise in cases since April

Germany confirmed 2,828 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, its highest daily caseload since mid-April.

An additional 16 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded Tuesday. The cumulative total now stands at 306,086 cases with 9,562 deaths, according to the latest data from the country’s public health institute.

The number of daily cases recorded in Germany reached almost 7,000 during the height of the pandemic at the end of March and in early April. Although the figures have fallen significantly since then, Germany’s infections have been on the rise in recent months amid a second wave across Europe.

Oct 07, 6:17 am
Cases rising in Czech Republic at fastest rate in Europe

The Czech Republic identified 4,457 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, its highest single-day rise yet.

It’s the first time the central European nation has registered more than 4,000 new cases in one day.

An additional 13 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded Tuesday. The cumulative total now stands at 90,022 confirmed cases with 794 deaths, according to the latest data from the Czech health ministry.

More than 40,000 cases were active Tuesday, including 1,387 patients who remained hospitalized for COVID-19, while nearly 49,000 have recovered from the disease, according to the health ministry data.

The Czech Republic now has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in Europe. Over the last past weeks, the country of 10.7 million people has reported 346.1 cases per 100,000, surpassing Spain for the first time, which has seen 305 cases per 100,000, according to data published Tuesday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Earlier this week, the Czech government declared another state of emergency due to the rapid increase in infections, with strident restrictions ranging from limitations on public gatherings to closures for some schools. Officials had relaxed almost all coronavirus-related restrictions over the summer.

The Czech Republic is among a handful of European countries, including France, Spain and the United Kingdom, that are grappling with an uptick in COVID-19 cases as a second wave of infections hits the region.

Oct 07, 4:55 am
Analysis shows cases rising in 32 US states and Puerto Rico

An ABC News analysis of COVID-19 trends across all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico found there were increases in newly confirmed cases over the past two weeks in 32 states plus Puerto Rico.

The analysis also found increases in the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in 25 states plus Washington, D.C., increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 36 states and increases in daily COVID-19 death tolls in 19 states.

Six states — Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming — hit a record number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations in a day.

The trends were all analyzed from data collected and published by the COVID Tracking Project over the past two weeks, using the linear regression trend line of the seven-day moving average.

Oct 07, 4:36 am
US case count tops 7.5 million

There were 43,563 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Tuesday, driving the country’s cumulative total past 7.5 million, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily tally is far less than the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 705 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Tuesday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 7,501,816 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 210,909 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has hovered around 40,000 in recent weeks.

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night shows that the number of new cases recorded in the United States as well as the number of new deaths are both down in week-over-week comparisons.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Share this Story: