U.S. Cases Rise 1.2%; N.Y. Says It Beat Outbreak: Virus Update

New York reported the lowest daily death toll and hospitalization rate since its outbreak began, leading Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare victory over the virus in the U.S. epicenter.

In Asia, Singapore and China agreed to ease quarantine requirements for business and officialtravelers, while Japanreportedly debates scaling back its Olympics to avoid cancellation. Germany reached a deal on a $146 billion stimulusplan to revive its economy.

A malaria drug that was touted and then taken by President Donald Trump in hopes of preventing coronavirus infection failed to offer patients any protection in a significantstudy. The World Health Organization said it would resume a study of the drug after questions arose about data linking it to increased death and heart risks.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases pass 6.4 million; deaths exceed 383,000
  • U.S. protests will test theories of viral spreadoutdoors
  • Europe’s scarred economy starts aslow recovery
  • Teststampede bypasses 10,000 U.S. urgent-care facilities

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, clickhere.

28,936 in BrazilMost new cases today

-8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​9916 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May

China Reports One Imported Case (7:55 a.m. HK)

China’s only additional coronavirus case on June 3 was reported in Guangdong province, according to astatement from its National Health Commission. Four so-called asymptomatic cases were also reported, with all of them found in people who had come from abroad, it said.

The country, where the virus first emerged late last year, now has 326 asymptomatic cases under medical observation. It has 83,022 total cases, with its death toll standing at 4,634.

Japan Mulls Scaling Back Olympics: Yomiuri (7:22 a.m. HK)

The country is weighing options to scale back the delayed games -- set to be held in summer 2021 -- including limiting spectators and reducing the size of ceremonies, Yomiuri reported, citing several unidentified government and organizing committee officials.

It’s also considering mandatory PCR testing for all athletes, officials and spectators, the outlet said, as well as limiting the movement of competitors to the Olympic Village. The report cited an unidentified government official as saying avoiding cancellation, which would be the the “worst case scenario,” was of the utmost importance.

More Than 40% May Not Have Symptoms: Study (5:50 p.m. NY)

As many as 45% of people who contract the virus don’t show any symptoms, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Scripps Research Translational Institute reviewed studies of 16 different populations infected with the new coronavirus and examined how many showed no signs of illness. They concluded that asymptomatic people may account for 40% to 45% of infections. They also found that those individuals can transmit the virus to others for an extended period, perhaps longer than 14 days.

Answering the question of how many people don’t show any symptoms is crucial for policymakers to get a sense of just how widespread -- and how deadly -- the virus really is.

White House Works With Seven Drugmakers in Vaccine Push (4:45 p.m. NY)

The White House is working with seven pharmaceutical companies as part of its “Warp Speed” coronavirus vaccineprogram. They include Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc, as well as two other firms, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Operation Warp Speed seeks to compress a vaccine process that is typically years long into a matter of months, in part by spending as much as $10 billion on research, manufacturing and agreements to guarantee purchase of the vaccines, one of the people said. The effort is being led by General Gustave Perna, who directs the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and former GlaxoSmithKline Plc executive Moncef Slaoui.

Germany Agrees to $146 Billion Stimulus Plan (4:40 p.m. NY)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed to a 130 billion-euro ($146 billion) stimulus package to help Europe’s biggest economy recover from the coronavirus crisis. Thedeal includes tax relief for companies, money for families, car-sales incentives and aid to municipalities.

California to Expand Mail-In Voting (4:15 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom doubled down on his efforts to use mail-invoting for the presidential election, ordering counties to set up drop boxes for ballots nearly a month before election day to expand accessibility during the pandemic.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.2% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.2% as compared to the same time yesterday, to 1.84 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s in line with than Tuesday’s rate as well as the average over the past seven days. Deaths rose 1% to 106,696.

  • New York had 49 deaths, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. That was the first time in 10 weeks that daily deaths fell below 50. Cases rose 0.3% to to 374,085, compared with an average 0.4% in the past seven days.
  • Florida reported 58,764 cases on Wednesday, up 2.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.4% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 2,566, an increase of 1.4%.
  • California cases rose 2.1% to 117,687, while deaths rose 1.7% to 4,361.
  • Texas infections climbed by 2.6% to 68,271, surpassing the seven-day average of 2.4%, according to state health department figures. At the same time, hospitalizations dropped by 16%, the biggest one-day decrease since the pandemic began.

Chicago Begins Reopening (3:50 p.m. NY)

Chicago began the reopening of its economy on Wednesday under overcast skies and the despair from recent violent protests and looting of businesses, particularly in already hard-hit neighborhoods. Personal-service shops, restaurants and other businesses opened with limitations as the city entered Phase 3 of Illinois’s five-part reopening.

Many businesses that were preparing to reopen after closing due to the stay-at-home order since mid-March were also cleaning up debris from several days of unrest in the city.

The city has set up a personal protective equipment marketplace for local businesses to purchase goods to promote a safe restart of commerce.

Trump-Touted Drug Provides No Protection in Study (3:27 p.m. NY)

A malaria drug that was touted and then taken by President Donald Trump in hopes of preventing coronavirus infection failed to offer patients any protection in the first scientifically rigorousstudy of its potential to ward off the pathogen.

The study involved 821 health-care workers, first responders and people living with infected patients. Half were given hydroxychloroquine for five days, while the other half received a placebo pill that contained the vitamin folate. After two weeks, 12% of those taking hydroxychloroquine had developed an infection, compared with 14% given placebo, a difference the researchers said could have been due to chance.

The latest and most definitive study of the drug was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dutch Ease Travel Restrictions (2 p.m. NY)

The Netherlandslifted travel restrictions from mid-June for most countries in the region, joining other nations in the European Union that are easing limits.

The government lowered its travel warning to yellow, meaning passengers are advised to pay attention to safety risks, Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters Wednesday. Dutch authorities had advised against all unnecessary trips as the pandemic was sweeping across Europe in March.

Florida to Reopen Bars, Cinemas (1 p.m. NY)

Florida will enter the next phase of its reopening Friday, allowing businesses including bars, movie theaters and bowling alleys to reopen in most parts of the state for the first time since the pandemic triggered a shutdown.

WHO to Restart Hydroxychloroquine Study (12:44 p.m. NY)

An international trial using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients will be restarted after questions arose about a study linking the antimalarial drug to increased death and heart risks.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that it will resume recruiting patients for the hydroxychloroquine arm of a global trial called Solidarity. The agency had paused the branch of the study, which compares the impact of a number of treatment regimens, after the drug was linked to heart risks in a study published in The Lancet, a medical journal.

Cuomo Says N.Y. ‘Beat’ the Virus (12:34 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared victory over the coronavirus pandemic, touting the lowest daily death toll and hospitalization rate since it began.

“We’ve overcome the greatest challenge that this state has faced in my lifetime with this Covid virus,” Cuomo said Wednesday at his daily briefing. “This was the beast that we didn’t know if we could beat, but so far, we’ve beaten it.”

More than 374,000 people have tested positive in New York state, and the death toll has topped 24,000, as of June 2.

There were 49 virus-related fatalities on June 2, the lowest the state has had since March, when the outbreak began, Cuomo said.

— With assistance by Kara Wetzel, Karen Leigh, Lily Nonomiya, and Lulu Shen

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