Coronavirus Live Updates: Despite Safety Concerns, Trump Again Teases Vaccine By Election Day

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

French Prime Minister To Quarantine After Tour De France Boss Tests Positive — 9/8/20 7:30 a.m. ET

The prime minister of France will go into quarantine and undergo a coronavirus test after sharing a car with the director of the Tour de France cycling race, who has since tested positive.

Jean Castex traveled with race director Christian Prudhomme during the eighth stage of the Tour on Saturday. Tour de France organizers confirmed on Tuesday that Prudhomme had tested positive for coronavirus.

HuffPost France reported that Castex has been confirmed as a contact case for Prudhomme and will now attend a government seminar on Wednesday by video conference.

Castex’s entourage said that both men “wore a mask and respected distancing barriers. The prime minister will be tested again just in case.”

Despite the race director testing positive, all 22 teams will start the 10th stage of the Tour de France after their riders tested negative for COVID-19, organizers said on Tuesday, adding that four members of staff had returned positive tests.

France has recorded nearly 31,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

— James Martin

Trump Again Teases Vaccine By Election Day Despite Safety Concerns — 9/8/20, 6 a.m. ET

When asked about a coronavirus vaccine, President Donald Trump said Monday that Americans “could have a very big surprise coming up,” implying that a vaccine was imminent despite public health officials warning that the distribution of a vaccine could take many months.

At a meandering Labor Day news conference, Trump said a vaccine could arrive “maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I’m talking about.”

Several vaccine companies are planning a joint pledge to not seek approval for a vaccine until it passes vigorous safety standards amid public concern that Trump will rush a vaccine for political reasons. “With me, it’s the faster the better,” Trump said Monday in response to those concerns.

The U.S. has recorded 6.3 million cases of COVID-19 and is nearing 190,000 deaths from the disease.

— Ja’han Jones and Liza Hearon

Richer Young People Driving U.K. Coronavirus Spike Says Minister — 9/7/20 11:55 a.m. ET

Richer young people are one of the biggest drivers of the recent spike in coronavirus, the U.K.’s health secretary said, as he urged people “don’t kill your gran.”

Matt Hancock appealed to younger people to stick to social distancing measures, saying that under-25s, particularly those aged 17 to 21, accounted for a large number of positive cases.

He admitted that it was “concerning” that nearly 3,000 new cases of coronavirus were counted in the U.K. in the 24 hours up to 9 a.m. Sunday, the biggest jump in new cases since May 22.

He said younger people could still get seriously ill and pass the disease on to more vulnerable people, HuffPost UK reported.

The revelation could also pose questions about the imminent return of students to universities in Britain.

— Arj Singh

New York State Infection Rate Stays Below 1% For 30 Straight Days — 9/7/20, 8:30 a.m. ET

The coronavirus infection rate in New York state — once the epicenter of the virus in the U.S. — has remained below 1% for 30 consecutive days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Sunday.

“New Yorkers can help us keep that streak going by wearing masks, socially distancing and washing their hands,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Our actions today determine the rate of infection tomorrow, so as the Labor Day weekend continues, I urge everyone to be smart so we don’t see a spike in the weeks ahead.”

The state recorded 410 hospitalizations on Sunday, the lowest number since mid-March, Cuomo said.

New York had the highest rate of infection of any state during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis. In late March, more than half of the country’s confirmed cases were in New York; the majority of the state’s cases were in New York City. The state’s drop in cases is largely attributed to strict measures implemented by state and local officials, including mask mandates and restrictions on various businesses. As of Monday, New York trails behind California, Texas and Florida as the states with the most recorded infections.

Reports of COVID-19 cases could climb over the next few weeks as some New York school districts reopen for in-person instruction, Cuomo warned last week. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) delayed the reopening of schools in the city by 10 days as part of a deal with teachers unions, who worry classrooms are not adequately equipped with personal protective equipment and proper ventilation. In-person instruction is now slated to begin Sept. 21 in New York City.

 Hayley Miller

Former FDA Head: COVID ‘Fatigue’ Threatens To Boost Cases, 9/7/20, 7:30 a.m. ET

Americans who are tired of wearing masks, staying home and social distancing threaten to spark a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday.

He also warned that the chances of a vaccine becoming widespread this year are “extremely low.”

“I think we need to think of that [a vaccine] as largely a 2021 event,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And if we do have a vaccine available in 2020, it’s likely to be used in a much more targeted fashion.”

The U.S. has tallied more than 6 million cases of COVID-19, with nearly 189,000 deaths.

— Mary Papenfuss

For more on the pandemic, go here.

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