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California Theme Parks Stay Shut; Cuomo Rips Trump: Virus Update

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 10/20/2020 Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York blamed President Donald Trump for the more than 33,000 coronavirus deaths in the state, calling him a liar and “super-spreader.” San Francisco moved to California’s lowest tier of restrictions.

The head of Roche Holding AG warned that a widespread vaccine this year is unlikely, adding to a chorus of caution from industry leaders. The first trials to deliberately infect people to accelerate development of shots could occur in the U.K. next year, while China defended giving people jabs still in clinical trials.

Europe’s leaders intensified efforts to slow the contagion, reviving lockdowns in some areas after piecemeal curbs made little impact. New cases hit daily records in Germany and the Netherlands, and Spain is weighing a curfew in Madrid. Britain’s Boris Johnson forced the Manchester area, a hot spot in northwest England, into the country’s strictest measures.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 40.4 million; deaths exceed 1.1 millionU.S. Hot Spots: Southern states are the seething center of pandemicSee the latest on the race for a vaccine with Bloomberg’s trackerU.S. discord deepens over vaccines, immunity as virus reboundsRecord drop in U.S. fares shows how far airlines have to climbHow do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say: QuickTake

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

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California Theme Parks Must Wait to Reopen (5:19 p.m. NY)

Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland and other large theme parks in California must wait to reopen until their county hits the state’s lowest tier for coronavirus case statistics.

Local counties have to hit the yellow, or tier-four, status for parks to operate, Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary for health and human services, said in a press conference Tuesday. Smaller parks, such as amusement piers, may reopen when their counties hit the less-stringent orange tier.

Industry leaders have been pressing Governor Gavin Newsom to let them reopen, especially after Florida attractions began operating again in June. Disney called Tuesday’s guidelines “arbitrary” and Legoland said they were “unacceptable.”

McConnell: Senate Would Hold Stimulus Vote If Deal Reached (4:30 p.m. NY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber would take up a comprehensive coronavirus stimulus package if Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are able to resolve the final areas of disagreement and get a bill through the House.

McConnell didn’t say whether he would support such a deal, or encourage GOP members to back it, however. He spoke after Pelosi said in a Bloomberg Television interview that while there are areas where more work is required to get an agreement, progress was being made on key provisions and legislative language is being drafted.

San Francisco Moves to Least-Restrictive Tier (3:40 p.m. NY)

California moved San Francisco to its “yellow” tier, the least-restrictive for business. That means the city can reopen non-essential offices at a limited capacity later this month. It also plans to increase capacity for indoor restaurants, museums and places of worship to 50%.

San Francisco is the only county in the Bay Area to move into the yellow tier, and the only major urban area in California to do so. The county has a 0.8% test positivity rate, according to state data, compared with a 3.3% rate statewide.

Hungarian Justice Minister Tests Positive (3:30 p.m. NY)

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga became the first government member to test positive for coronavirus. Varga said she’s self isolated and is suffering mild symptoms, according to a post published on Facebook Tuesday.

Infections have jumped in recent weeks with Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledging to avoid the lockdown measures that helped the eastern European nation avoid wider contagion earlier in the year.

Cuomo Blames Trump for N.Y. Deaths (2:40 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed President Donald Trump for coronavirus-related deaths in the state, calling him a liar and “super-spreader.”

Cuomo said Tuesday that Trump has repeatedly lied to the public, including earlier this year when he suggested the virus was a hoax and that it would be gone by Easter.


Gallery: From Wuhan to the White House: A timeline of COVID-19’s spread (Stacker)

“I hold Donald Trump responsible for every death in New York state from Covid, because Trump lied,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters.

More than 220,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, including more than 33,000 in New York.

North Macedonia Sees New Spike (1:35 p.m. NY)

North Macedonia’s government cut the working hours of restaurants and pubs until 11 p.m. The capacity of the public transportation vehicles will be reduced by 50%. The Balkan country had some of Europe’s toughest restrictions in the spring, but is now seeing a new spike in positive cases along with the other countries on the continent.

N.Y.’s Cuomo Warns on Tri-State Travel (1 p.m. NY)

New York is unable to stop coronavirus spreaders coming from Connecticut and New Jersey and will try to quell the rise in cases in those states, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

There’s “no way to quarantine” due to all the connections in the tristate area, Cuomo said during a virus briefing. “It would have a disastrous effect on the economy.”

Cuomo said he will speak with the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey to devise a plan. “To the extent travel among the states or between the states is not essential, it should be avoided,” he said.

New York has 43 states on its travel advisory list, the most to date. Travelers coming from hot spots on the list are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Greece Cases Hit New Daily High (12 p.m. NY)

Greece reported 667 cases in the last 24 hours, a new daily high since the beginning of the pandemic. The authorities called Greeks -- and especially those between 18 and 40 years -- to be very careful, wear masks and implement the measures already taken. The new total of confirmed cases stands at 26,469, while 528 people have died during the pandemic.

Italy Cases Jump (12 p.m. NY)

Italy’s coronavirus cases rose again on Tuesday to 10,874, from 9,338 a day earlier, as daily fatalities increased to 89. Patients in intensive care jumped by 73 to 870, compared with the early April peak of more than 4,000.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said during a press conference in Rome that Italy’s strategy will be focused on localized restrictions rather than the national lockdown measures taken at the beginning of the outbreak in March. Lombardy, the region around Milan, is expected to order an 11 p.m. curfew from Thursday. Campania, which includes Naples, will get 100 soldiers to do checks on local Covid-19 measures.

Citi’s Mann: Virus Will Crimp Firms for Years (11 a.m. NY)

Catherine Mann, Citigroup’s global chief economist, fears the pandemic has left so much slack in the economy that firms won’t be in a position to demand higher prices for some time. That, not just rising wages, is ultimately necessary for generating inflation.

In the euro area, consumer prices are falling, while a key measure of U.S. inflation rose in September at the slowest pace in four months.

“We get back to a trajectory for growth, but we do not return to the trajectory of global GDP that we had in place in January, pre Covid,” Mann said during a panel discussion hosted by the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

Ireland to Fine Party Hosts (10:05 a.m. NY)

Ireland is set to introduce a system of fines for those found holding house parties in breach of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters. The move comes a day after the government announced the country was moving back to a national lockdown, including closing all bars.

Johnson Forces Manchester Into Strictest Curbs (9:36 a.m. NY)

Boris Johnson forced Greater Manchester into the U.K.’s strictest restrictions on Tuesday after his noon ultimatum for the region to accept a deal passed without agreement. The move includes the closing of pubs and bars and bans on all mixing of households.

The government’s ultimatum shows how far Britain’s response to the pandemic has fractured along political and geographical lines.

Bulgarian Leader Cancels Estonia Visit (9:01 a.m. NY)

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev interrupted his official program in Estonia planned for Tuesday on concern he had been in contact with a person infected with Covid-19 before his arrival. Radev self-isolated at a hotel after the information reached the Estonian authorities, the office of Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said.

Netherlands Adds Over 55,500 Cases in Week (8:33 a.m. NY)

A total of 55,587 Covid-19 patients were confirmed in the week ending Oct. 20 in the Netherlands, up from 43,903 in the previous week, according to Dutch health agency RIVM. A record 8,182 new cases were reported in the past day, Dutch news agency ANP said, citing RIVM.

Spain Weighs Curfew in Madrid to Contain Virus Outbreak (8:33 a.m. NY)

The Spanish government will look at implementing a curfew for Madrid, following a plea from the regional administration.

“The curfew is a measure that has been applied in other European countries with infection rates comparable or even lower” than Madrid’s, Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s a measure that requires a state of emergency, and we’re going to analyze it,” along with other options.

Roche CEO Warns Against Hopes for Speedy Vaccines (7:51 a.m. NY)

Many people’s hopes for a speedy vaccine are still too high, Roche Holding AG Chief Executive Officer Severin Schwan warned.

It is “completely unrealistic” to expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be widely available by the end of this year, and most people probably won’t have access to a shot until the second half of 2021, Schwan said in an interview with Bloomberg TV anchor Francine Lacqua.

Finnish Premier Ends Quarantine After Negative Test (7:36 a.m. NY)

Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin has tested negative for the coronavirus twice after her abrupt departure from the European Union summit last week when it emerged she had been exposed to a lawmaker carrying the virus.

China Defends Giving Experimental Vaccines to Thousands (7:32 a.m. NY)

China said giving vaccines still in clinical trials to hundreds of thousands of people is justified given the risk of Covid-19 returning through its borders and the lack of any significant side effects so far.

The country authorized the emergency use of three vaccines developed by local firms China National Biotec Group Co. and Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in July to frontline workers and border officials. But that has since been widened to include employees of state-owned companies, and the government is also considering offering experimental jabs to students heading overseas to study. Sinovac is allowing members of the public in at least two Chinese cities to register to receive the vaccinations as well.

China is still seeing “enormous pressure” from imported cases, Zheng Zhongwei, a director overseeing coronavirus vaccine development at the National Health Commission, said at a briefing in Beijing.

Iran Records Highest Daily Cases (6:58 a.m. NY)

Iran recorded its highest number of daily new cases yet at 5,039, up significantly from 4,251 a day earlier, bringing the total to 539,670. The death count reached 31,034 with 322 more fatalities in the past 24 hours, down from a record 337 deaths reported Monday.

Singapore Trials Free Tests for Large Gatherings (6:41 a.m. NY)

Singapore will trial coronavirus tests for participants in large gatherings in a further step toward normal social activity as new daily cases dwindle to near zero.

The trial will use antigen rapid tests, or ARTs, which can return “fairly accurate” results within half an hour, the government said. Pre-event testing trials starting mid-October at business gatherings, wedding receptions, live performances and sports events will enable the Ministry of Health to identify a model that can be implemented more widely, it said.

Rogue Demographer Says Russia May Top Europe in Deaths (6:36 a.m. NY)

A former employee of the Kremlin’s statistics agency says Russia’s daily coronavirus mortality figures understate the real toll from the disease in a country where excess deaths could soon be the highest in Europe. Alexey Raksha worked as a demographic forecaster at the Federal Statistics Service for more than six years until he left in July amid a dispute over the virus data.

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