Trump threatens to withhold funding from schools if they don’t reopen
U.S. President Donald Trump hosts an event on reopening schools amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 7, 2020.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funding for schools if they do not reopen for in-person classes in the fall.
Trump criticized CDC guidelines for reopening schools as tough, expensive and impractical. Those guidelines include keeping students six feet apart in classrooms, closing common areas and updating ventilation systems.
On Tuesday, the president said he would pressure governors to open schools.
“We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open. It’s very important. It’s very important for our country,” Trump said during a White House event. “It’s very important for the well-being of the student and the parents. So we’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told governors on a conference call Tuesday that partial re-openings combined with in-person classes were unacceptable.
“Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how,” DeVos said “School(s) must reopen, they must be fully operational.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the nation’s largest school system would not fully re-open in the fall. Most students will attend in-person classes two or three days a week and learn the rest of the week from home. —Spencer Kimball, Christina Wilkie
‘We should do better’ — Phoenix mayor calls for federal government to increase testing as hospitals reach capacity
Signs direct arriving cars to a coronavirus (COVID-19) screening area at a testing site erected in a parking lot at Mayo Clinic on June 19, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 20% of Arizona’s COVID tests reported Friday came back positive.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is calling for the federal government to support increased testing in the nation’s fifth largest city as a surge in coronavirus cases in the Arizona capital overwhelms hospitals and health-care workers there.
Gallego said Phoenix is the largest city in the U.S. where the federal government hasn’t opened up a large testing site yet. The mayor said the city is struggling to keep with demand even as it limits testing to the sickest patients and health-care workers.
“This weekend I went to a testing site where people had waited over eight hours,” Gallego told MSNBC. “I saw a man who was sweating and struggling to breathe, try to refill his gas tank because he’d run out of fuel on our city street. If anyone looks at that and doesn’t want to do better for him, then I just don’t understand it.”
Gallego said she asked for increased testing months ago, but the federal government told her Phoenix did not have enough cases to justify opening a mass testing site at the time. Today, Maricopa County where Phoenix is located has more than 70,000 positive cases total, the overwhelming majority of the more than 108,000 cases reported in Arizona. At least 1,963 people in Arizona have died from the virus. Gallego said Phoenix has already run out of hospital beds and nurses and doctors are exhausted.
“They would like more resources,” she said. “They didn’t go into medicine to decide who lives and who dies. This is the United States of America, we should do better.”—Michelle Gao
‘This was really driven by young people’ — Miami-Dade mayor blames spike in cases on Memorial Day, protests and reopenings
People stand in queue to enter a restaurant on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on June 26, 2020.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
The mayor of Florida’s most populous county is blaming the surge in coronavirus cases there on young people ignoring social distancing guidelines and meeting up in groups as the region reopened its economy.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told MSNBC the percentage of people testing positive for the virus has jumped from 8% to more than 20%. Gimenez pointed to the Memorial Day holiday, young people socializing in groups and recent protests as contributing factors to the spike.
“This really was driven by young people going back to being young people, and partying, getting together, and it started to spread really fast among the young, and then it started to spread obviously with their parents and their grandparents,” Gimenez said.
Gimenez said people flouted rules aimed at ensuring a safe reopening of the economy. Miami-Dade ordered everyone to wear masks in public spaces last week in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, but Gimenez said some people still are not listening.
“People are still going out, they’re still socializing, they’re still getting together with people that are maybe friends, but with a high degree of positivity that we have here in this county, you’re more than likely to encounter somebody who has Covid-19, doesn’t even know they have it, and is spreading it to other people,” Gimenez said. “That’s why we need to keep our masks on, keep our distance, and follow the rules.”
Gimenez’s remarks come as Covid-19 cases have surged in recent days in Florida. On Saturday, Florida reported 11,445 new cases, the highest single day total for the state since the pandemic began. —Alex Harring
NYC public schools will not fully reopen this fall, de Blasio says
A teacher collects personal belongings and supplies needed to continue remote teaching through the end of the school year at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 on June 09, 2020 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano | Getty Images
New York City public schools, the nation’s largest district, will not fully reopen for in-person class this fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
De Blasio said the “vast majority” of the district’s 1.1 million students will go to class two to three days each week, while participating in remote instruction on the other days.
“Basically, this blended model — this kind of split schedule model — is what we can do under current conditions,” de Blasio said, citing the need to maintain social distancing.
“We all know remote learning is not perfect, but we’ve also seen a lot kids benefit gratefully from it during these last months, and we know we’ll be able to do it even better in the months ahead.” —Kevin Stankiewicz
‘The anxiety is high’: Going back to school won’t be the same this year. Here’s what that means for retailers
The retail industry is grappling with what the back-to-school and back-to-college shopping season might look like in 2020.
For many companies, this can be the second-largest selling opportunity annually, behind the winter holidays. But the coronavirus crisis has entirely disrupted that. Now, 66% of parents are anxious about sending their kids to crowded classrooms again this fall due to the pandemic, according to an annual back-to-school survey by Deloitte, which surveyed 1,200 parents online from May 29 to June 5. Meanwhile, only 43% of parents polled felt the recent at-home education their children received during the crisis prepared them for the next grade level.
Total back-to-school spending in the U.S. is expected to amount to $28.1 billion, or $529 per household, according to Deloitte. That would be relatively flat from 2019. Parents are expected to spend more on tech, like computers, and less on apparel and traditional school supplies.
Many parents, teachers and students still don’t know what going back to school is going to look like themselves, and so they could be holding off on any big purchases, analysts say. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that the system’s public schools — which educate more than 1.1 million kids — in September will welcome most students back just two or three days a week, to ensure social distancing. —Lauren Thomas
U.S. stocks open slightly higher
Stocks opened slightly higher as investors weighed the latest U.S. coronavirus data and its impact on the economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 66 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6%, reports CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Maggie Fitzgerald. —Melodie Warner
Brazilian president uses hydroxychloroquine after testing positive for coronavirus
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gestures before a national flag hoisting ceremony in front of Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil June 9, 2020.
Adriano Machado | Reuters
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he tested positive for coronavirus but expressed optimism he will recover by using hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug previously promoted by President Donald Trump that has not been proven effective against Covid-19.
Bolsonaro said in a press conference that his fever subsided, which he attributed to the hydroxychloroquine, the Associated Press reported. Brazil has had more than 1.5 million infections and 65,000 deaths from the virus, and Bolsonaro has been criticized for his approach to the virus as he has been seen shaking hands and at times without a mask. —Alex Harring
Walgreens to open doctor offices in hundreds of drugstores
Walgreens and VillageMD
Hundreds of Walgreens stores will soon have a doctor office, along with a pharmacist. The pandemic has inspired the drugstore chain to focus on another feature of the expanded health-care offering: Telemedicine.
Walgreens and primary-care company VillageMD struck a deal to open doctor offices in 500 to 700 stores over the next five years. Patients can visit the clinics in person — or they can request a virtual visit around the clock. The two companies are integrating their technology.
Even before the pandemic, Walgreens was experimenting with new business models. For example, it’s testing a small-format pharmacy. It piloted the new primary-care model in the Houston area. VillageMD CEO Tim Barry said use of telehealth surged from single-digits to more than 80% because of the pandemic. He said it’s now about 50%. —Melissa Repko
Total number of confirmed cases in Africa now over 500,000
The continent of Africa has recorded more than 500,000 coronavirus cases, according to data compiled by Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with nearly 12,000 related deaths.
Across the continent of approximately 1.2 billion people, South Africa has recorded by far the highest number of Covid-19 infections, accounting for over 215,000 cases, while Egypt has confirmed more than 77,000 cases.
The World Health Organization has previously expressed concern that Africa has seen a rising number of coronavirus cases and fatalities as a result of the pandemic. The global health body has since urged governments across the continent to take effective measures to contain the spread of the virus as countries resume commercial flight operations. —Sam Meredith
U.S. reports another record single-day spike
The U.S. reported about 60,021 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, an all-time high single-day increase, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Daily new cases fell below 50,000 in recent days, though some public health officials have warned there could be a backlog of reporting due to the July Fourth holiday weekend. The U.S. has reported about 51,383 new cases on average over the past seven days, up nearly 24.5% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by Hopkins.
The country is now nearing 3 million cases and has passed 131,000 deaths since the first U.S. case was reported in January. Outbreaks continue to accelerate in a number of states, especially Texas, Florida, California and Arizona, which collectively reported nearly half of all U.S. cases on Tuesday. —Will Feuer
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: San Francisco delays reopening of indoor dining as U.S. nears 3 million cases