U.S. hospitalizations on the rise, former FDA chief says

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Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise around the country, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Thursday, as states push forward with plans to reopen the economy and mass protests engulf the country. The convergence of events could become a problem in the fall, when hospitals around the country begin to fill with flu patients. As the two outbreaks coincide, health systems risk becoming strained. 

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 6.53 million
  • Global deaths: At least 386,392
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.85 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 107,175

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Las Vegas casinos reopen with new safety measures

10:20 a.m. ET — Las Vegas casinos reopened with The D and Golden Gate welcoming gamblers just after midnight. Dealers are wearing masks; hand sanitizer is widely available; guests and workers are having their temperature checked. 

Steve Hill, president and COO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said demand is surprisingly strong with the city’s overall occupancy at 20% in spite of a number of resorts remaining closed.

MGM Resorts capped its hotel occupancy at 30%, but reservations came in so fast that it decided to open the MGM Grand, in addition to Bellagio and New York, New York. The Bellagio fountains will start up again at 9:30 a.m. PT.

While most of the business is coming from tourists who can drive to Las Vegas, McCarren International Airport officials told CNBC they see 2,000 to 6,000 more airplane seats scheduled for this weekend compared with mid-May.

Group business also looks to be on the rebound, with the Consumer Electronics Show confirming its January 2021 conference.

“We have, interestingly, the largest book of conventions in our history for the next 12 months. They start right now. And toward the end of August, we are hopeful that in some way, we can start bringing conventions back to town,” Hill said. —Contessa Brewer

CDC guidance against mass transit sparks concern over congestion and a carbon emissions surge

Early morning traffic in the northbound lanes of Interstate 93 in Boston, MA on May 19, 2020. Gov. Baker announced phase one of reopening on May 18, including allowing manufacturing and construction to being.

Craig F. Walker | Boston Globe | Getty Images

9:53 a.m. ET — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendations for returning to work have raised concerns over unbearable congestion and a surge in carbon emissions.

It’s not yet clear what commuting will look like as more people return to offices during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are already signs that they are driving cars instead of using mass transit.

“Promoting private vehicle use as public health strategy is like prescribing sugar to reduce tooth decay,” said Lawrence Frank, a University of British Columbia urban planning and public health professor.

“The level of vehicle dependence created by urban sprawl is a primary cause of [carbon] emissions and climate change, which has arguably even larger threats to life,” Frank said. —Emma Newburger 

Biggest U.S. mall owner Simon Property sues Gap over skipped rent

Shoppers ascend and descend escalators at the King of Prussia Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, United State’s largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Mark Makela | Reuters

9:43 a.m. ET — Major U.S. mall owner Simon Property Group has sued apparel retail Gap for not paying rent, highlighting mounting tensions between landlords and their tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Simon is asking the court to order Gap to pay up to $66 million, in addition to future rent payments, according to a lawsuit filed in Delaware state earlier this week.

Many companies have either skipped paying rent or are paying less rent, as their stores were forced temporarily shut during the crisis. But Simon CEO David Simon has previously said: “The bottom line is, we do have a contract and we do expect to get paid.”

Real estate experts have said they expect more litigation to ensue. Gap is set to report quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday. —Lauren Thomas

Stocks slip as jobless claims rise more than expected

9:37 a.m. ET — Stocks fell slightly as the Labor Department said 1.877 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 88 points lower, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.3%.

Read stock market activity updates from CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck. —Melodie Warner

View of reported cases by region

American Airlines looks to fly 55% of scheduled flights in July

Passengers board an American Airlines flight to Charlotte, North Carolina at San Diego International Airport on May 20, 2020 in San Diego, California.

Sandy Huffaker | Getty Images

9:12 a.m. ET — American Airlines is set to fly 55% of its scheduled domestic flights in July, as it has seen a steady rise in passengers since concerns of contracting or spreading Covid-19 diminished travel. In May, the airline flew 20% of its schedule from a year earlier.

American has gone from averaging 32,154 passengers a day in April to 78,178 travelers in the first three weeks of May. The airline also reached an average of 110,330 passengers – more than three times the number on a normal day in April – from May 24 to May 29.

American is restoring service at a faster pace than United Airlines, which will fly a quarter of the fights that it did during May 2019.

OAG, which tracks the airline industry and flight schedules, says the four biggest U.S. carriers — United, American, Delta and Southwest — are boosting their June schedules by 27% from May, though most of this increase stems from additional domestic flights.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, the number of passengers and airline crew members screened at U.S. airports is down more than 85% from a year earlier. —Alex Harring 

Another 1.877 million Americans file for unemployment 

8:30 a.m. ET — Another 1.877 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week, according to data released from the Department of Labor, as coronavirus shutdowns continue to hamstring employment. 

Continuing claims, or those who have filed for unemployment for at least two weeks, totaled 21.5 million, a tick higher than the previous period. Last week’s report from the Labor Department showed continuing claims decline for the first time since the economy shuttered. Read more on U.S. employment from CNBC’s Jeff Cox—Sara Salinas

European Central Bank ups pandemic bond buying 

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde addresses a news conference on the outcome of the meeting of the Governing Council in Frankfurt, Germany, January 23, 2020.

Ralph Orlowski | Reuters

8:07 a.m. ET — The European Central Bank announced it will up its bond buying through the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme by 600 billion euros ($672 billion). That’s on top of 750 billion euros in government bonds announced in March. 

The central bank will also extend its crisis bond-buying program, previously set to expire at the end of the year, until June 2021. Read more on the ECB’s announcement from CNBC’s Silvia Amaro—Sara Salinas

Hospitalizations continue to rise, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says

7 a.m. ET — Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus are on the rise across the country, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.

He added that hospitalizations are a “lagging indicator” that represent infections that occurred weeks ago, “but are more objective” than diagnosed cases, which are tied to how much testing is being done.

“In fact, they’re going up,” he said of hospitalizations on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Arizona hit 1,000 hospitalizations yesterday. Florida hit a high number of hospitalizations. They turned over about 1,400 cases, the highest number since April 17. We’re seeing hospitalizations go up in Tennessee, in Texas, in Georgia, in North Carolina, Minnesota, obviously.”

Hospitalizations are increasing in Wisconsin and Ohio as well, he said. 

“We’re heading into the fall with a lot of infection in this country,” he said. “That’s going to create risk to the fall and the winter.” —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

UK’s FTSE 100 set for ‘far-reaching’ reshuffle due to virus crisis

Members of media gather at the Diamond Princess cruise ship, operated by Carnival Corp., docked in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg Getty Images

6:56 a.m. ET — Budget airline easyJet and cruise operator Carnival are among the biggest names set to drop out of Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index, with worldwide shutdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic ravaging travel stocks.

Following a quarterly review by index provider FTSE Russell, British Gas owner Centrica and engineering firm Meggitt will also be relegated to the FTSE 250, in a reshuffle that one expert called “one of the most far-reaching” in the index’s history.

The four vacant spots will be taken by gambling company GVC Holdings, computer software firm Avast, emergency repairs provider Homeserve and multinational retailer Kingfisher. —Elliot Smith

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: LVMH says Tiffany deal being looked at; Mexico’s daily deaths exceed U.S.′


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