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.
The U.S. recorded more than 150,000 new Covid cases on Thursday for the first time since the pandemic took hold in the country roughly nine months ago. The seven-day average of daily new infections now stands at 131,445 — 32% higher than this time last week — according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. State and local leaders are again imposing tough restrictions in an effort to tamp down spread ahead of the colder holiday season.
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 52.89 million
- Global deaths: At least 1.29 million
- U.S. cases: More than 10.56 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 242,477
Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden's Covid-19 advisory board, urged Americans to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread nationwide.
"Right now we have a fire blazing and to me traveling and spending time with people over the holidays is sort of like pouring gasoline on a fire," she told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's just not a good idea in the middle of a pandemic, especially at this juncture."
The CDC has been warning about the risks of celebrating Thanksgiving this year, saying small household gatherings, especially with people you don't live with, are an important contributor to the rise in Covid-19 cases. The agency said celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses the lowest risk for spread.
–Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "a number of factors" are driving the U.S. outbreak, which continues to grow more severe by the day. He said people growing tired of following public health measures is one cause and urged people to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and to follow other public health measures.
"If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down," he said on "CBS This Morning." "You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile."
Fauci added that "we need to pull more testing into the community" in order to identify people who don't have symptoms but are infected and spreading the virus. Testing has increased substantially across the country, but as infection becomes more prevalent, many epidemiologists say even more testing is needed.
The latest vaccine news have boosted the prospects on the U.S. economy, a UBS economist told CNBC.
UBS had originally projected that the number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. would approach zero by the end of 2021, but the vaccine news has made the bank bring that forecast forward by six months.
"We might get a situation where reported cases of Covid in the United States fall very close to zero in Q2 (second quarter) of next year. That six month difference, that two-quarter difference matters a lot, it means an extra 1 to 1.25 percentage point gain in GDP next year," Seth Carpenter, chief U.S. economist at UBS, told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche on Thursday.
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it does not appear the effectiveness of Covid vaccines will be impacted by a mutated version of the disease discovered in Denmark's mink farms.
Earlier this month, the Danish government ordered a mass cull of all 15 million minks in farms nationwide after it was discovered a new coronavirus strain had passed from the animals to humans.
The government later halted that plan after public outrage, but the discovery raised questions about the efficacy of a future vaccine.
"It does not appear, at this point, that that mutation that's been identified in the minks is going to have an impact on vaccines and affect a vaccine-induced response," Fauci said on Thursday, referring to Denmark's outbreak of Covid in mink farms.
"It might have an impact on certain monoclonal antibodies that are developed against the virus, we don't know that yet. But, at first cut, it doesn't look like something that is going to be really a big problem for the vaccines that are currently being used to reduce an immune response."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk questioned the efficacy of rapid antigen tests for Covid-19, claiming he took four coronavirus tests on the same day: two showed positive results and the other two were negative.
"Rapid antigen test from BD," may be referring to Becton Dickinson's rapid antigen test, Reuters reported. The company did not respond to a Reuters request for comment late on Thursday.
The company has said it was investigating reports from U.S. nursing homes that its rapid coronavirus testing equipment was producing false-positive results, according to Reuters.