(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said the White House could veto any tightening of Food and Drug Administration rules for emergency clearance of a coronavirus vaccine, a move that could increase concerns that the race to find a shot is being politicized.
Singapore will allow more people who are presently working from home to return to office as the number of community cases has remained low. China eased restrictions on some foreigners’ entry into the country almost six months after it nearly sealed its borders.
France imposed new restrictions on bars and public gatherings in several cities as it tries to tamp down a resurgence of the coronavirus. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio said “urgent action” is needed after an uptick in cases in some neighborhoods.
Global Tracker: Cases top 31.7 million; deaths exceed 973,000Lockdown Lite is the new strategy for fighting Covid-19Airlines face desolate future as attempts to reopen crumbleTrump redirects testing, mask funds to boost vaccine effortCovid ski victims sue Austrian government for “chaotic” responseLetting guard down hammers support for former EU virus standoutHow do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say: QuickTake
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South Korea Has Biggest Case Gain in 6 Days (8:45 a.m. HK)
South Korea added 125 more coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours compared to 110 a day earlier, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. The total number of confirmed cases rose to 23,341, and the death tally rose by five to 393.
Bank of Japan Sees Virus Responses Working (8:35 a.m. HK)
Most board members of the Bank of Japan said responses to the pandemic have been having their intended effects on the economy and financial markets, according to minutes of the July policy meeting. All board members agreed to keep watching the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and that there would be no hesitation to add easing if necessary
Trump Says White House Could Veto Vaccine Rules (6:45 a.m. HK)
President Donald Trump said that the White House could veto any tightening of Food and Drug Administration rules for authorizing the emergency use of a coronavirus vaccine.
“That has to be approved by the White House,” Trump said at a news conference on Wednesday. “We may or may not approve it.”
The FDA is expected to issue final rules in coming days for issuing an emergency-use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine. Companies including Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc have vaccine candidates in late-stage trials. Some of the studies could produce data on their efficacy as soon as October.
Texas Deaths Top 15,000 (5:33 p.m. NY)
Texas deaths from Covid-19 rose by 135 Wednesday, pushing fatalities past 15,000 to 15,129, according to state health data. The Lone Star state is running close to California, with about 15,200 confirmed deaths, for the third-most in the U.S., after New York and New Jersey.
Texas reported 3,045 more cases of the virus, bringing the total to 719,252 confirmed cases. Hospitalizations resumed their decline — interrupted by two days of increases this week — falling by 12 to 3,195.
U.K. Weighs Exposing Healthy People for Vaccine (5:29 p.m. NY)
The U.K. government is considering carrying out studies that would deliberately expose healthy people to the coronavirus in a bid to accelerate the development of a vaccine.
The idea of challenge trials has gained momentum as the pathogen has spread around the world, sparking a debate over what kind of sacrifice is acceptable and the benefits the tests could bring. A growing number of volunteers have signed up to take part in such studies should researchers decide to proceed.
Missouri Governor, Wife Test Positive (5:07 p.m. NY)
Photographer: Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who has resisted calls for a mask mandate in his state, said he and his wife have tested positive for Covid-19 and are in quarantine.
Teresa Parson was tested today after she started showing symptoms, the Republican governor said in a video posted on Twitter. He has no symptoms but tested positive in a preliminary result that is awaiting confirmation. They both are “fine,” he said.
France Cracks Down on Gatherings, Bars (4:30 p.m. NY)
France introduced new steps to fight the rapid resurgence of the coronavirus, including closing bars earlier in the evening and limiting public gatherings in Paris and several other cities. But the government isn’t considering a new nationwide lockdown.
The latest steps will force bars in the Paris region and other cities to close at 10 p.m. at latest, starting Monday, while gyms will be shut for at least two weeks. The government also reduced crowd-size limits for public events and added new restrictions on private gatherings beginning on Saturday.
U.S. Cases Rise 0.6% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.6% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 6.91 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase matched the average daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.5% to 201,319.
Florida reported 690,499 cases, up 0.4% from a day earlier, in line with the average increase in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 13,618, an increase of 1.5%.California reported 3,146 new virus cases, a 0.4% increase and slightly less than the 14-day average of 3,425. Deaths jumped by 133 — above the daily average of 97 — to a total of 15,204.North Dakota experienced a 2.6% increase in the number of cases from the same time yesterday, bringing the total to 18,981, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
Ireland Outbreak Worsening (1:05 p.m. NY)
The number of new coronavirus cases in Ireland will double every 12 to 14 days at the current rate, the nation’s health ministry said. Ireland reported 234 more cases on Wednesday, with two deaths.
“We are unfortunately seeing continuing increases in all metrics of the disease,” Health Ministry advisor Philip Nolan told reporters in Dublin, adding it was too early to see the impact of new restrictions imposed on the country last week.
Metropolitan Opera to Cancel Season (12:09 p.m. NY)
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City will cancel the entire 2020-2021 season based on the advice of health officials, according to a statement posted on its website.
U.K.’s Sunak Cancels Fall Budget on Covid (11:24 a.m. NY)
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak canceled his planned fall budget and prepared to set out a fresh round of job-support measures as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Sunak will announce his blueprint to protect jobs from the economic fallout from Covid-19 in a statement to the U.K. Parliament on Thursday, days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed new restrictions on the British public to bring the resurgent virus outbreak under control.
De Blasio Says Brooklyn Clusters Need Action (10:33 a.m. NY)
New York City is investigating big increases in several south Brooklyn communities with large Orthodox Jewish populations. De Blasio said the clusters demand action, including stepped-up testing, education and enforcement.
Since the first week of August, the city has seen a 4.71% increase in Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst; 3.69% in Edgemere-Far Rockaway; 2.24% in Kew Gardens and 2% in Williamsburg.
The four areas make up 20% of all cases reported citywide as of Sept. 19, according to the city health department. Across New York City, fewer than 1% of residents tested positive on Sept. 21.
Banks Lead U.K. Office-Return Reversal (10:15 a.m. NY)
Banks were in the vanguard of a government-led push to return staff to offices in the U.K. They’re now among the most prominent companies reversing or halting those policies after Johnson urged Britons to work from home to contain the coronavirus.
Firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. had made concerted efforts to boost London office attendance in recent weeks. They found themselves issuing fresh guidance Tuesday after the government backtracked on its own calls to help revive financial and shopping districts where workers were trickling back.
Scotland Cases Rise by Record (7:42 a.m. NY)
Scotland recorded 486 new cases, the biggest daily tally since the outbreak began, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told reporters in Edinburgh. The government unveiled restrictions Tuesday to halt a resurgence of the virus. The rules went further than Boris Johnson’s and included a nationwide ban on people visiting each other’s homes.
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