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Biden Blames Trump for Deaths; France Cases Soar: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden opened their final debate by blaming Donald Trump for the deaths of more than 220,000 Americans in the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president doesn’t deserve re-election. The seven-day average of U.S. deaths on Wednesday hit the highest in a month as Illinois, Ohio, Utah and North Dakota reported daily records.The surge in U.S. cases mirrors those seen in the Europe, where governments have started deploying curfews and other restrictions more widely. The outbreak gained momentum with France reporting more than 40,000 new cases for the first time, as well as record infections in Italy, Germany and at least eight other nations. In Asia, South Korea reports the biggest increase in new cases in more than six weeks.Remdesivir, given to President Donald Trump as a Covid-19 treatment, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Meanwhile, U.S. vaccine advisers questioned whether safety and efficacy standards set by Food and Drug Administration officials were high enough to warrant emergency authorization of a shot.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 41.5 million; deaths exceed 1.1 millionCovid-19 deaths are increasing in the U.S. after months of declineGovernments around Europe began to deploy curfews more widelyPelosi, Mnuchin to talk stimulus again as Trump hints at failureEurope facing dearth of medical staff in test of virus readinessInvestors brace for barrage of Covid vaccine data to roil marketSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.Biden Blames Trump for 200,000 Covid Deaths as Last Debate Opens (09:22 a.m.)Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden opened their final debate by blaming Donald Trump for the deaths of more than 220,000 Americans in the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president doesn’t deserve re-election.“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” Biden said. “We’re about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter. And he has no clear plan.”Unlike their first debate, in which Trump repeatedly talked over Biden and Biden called him a “clown” and told him to “shut up,” the candidates initially complied with rules of the debate that called for them to allow each other time to speak.Biden said he would encourage all Americans to wear masks, contrasting himself with Trump, who has seldom covered his face before or after contracting Covid-19 himself. Trump defended his response to the pandemic to begin the debate, saying that spikes in cases in states including Florida and Texas have come down, his administration has directed the production of ample medical supplies, and the country is “rounding the turn.”South Korea Has 155 More Coronavirus Cases (08:38 a.m. HK)South Korea reports 155 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours versus 119 a day earlier, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. That was the biggest increase in more than six weeks.Brazil’s Bolsonaro Escalates Feud Over China-Backed Vaccine (08:12 a.m.)Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stepped up criticism of a Chinese vaccine being developed in partnership with a renowned research institute in Brazil, saying the Asian country lacks credibility to come up with solutions for the coronavirus crisis.|“We won’t buy it from China, it’s my decision,” Bolsonaro said in a radio interview late Wednesday, adding that people wouldn’t feelsafe with Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s vaccine “due to its origin.”Bolsonaro said Brazil spent 2 billion reais ($359 million) to develop a vaccine with AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University, which is in a similar trial stage. China’s Sinovac is partnering with the country’s prestigious Butantan Institute locally, which is under the watch of one of the president’s main rivals: Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria.Mexico Reports 6,612 New Covid-19 Cases (08:10 a.m. HK)Mexico reported 6,612 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 874,171, according to data released by the Health Ministry Thursday night. Deaths rose 479 to 87,894.FDA Vaccine Rules Challenged (07:53 a.m. HK)U.S. vaccine advisers questioned whether safety and efficacy standards set by Food and Drug Administration officials were high enough to warrant emergency authorization of a shot.About two dozen outside advisers to the FDA with expertise in infectious diseases met Thursday to weigh in on agency standards that require a vaccine to work in at least 50% of people and for drugmakers to collect two months of safety data on at least half of clinical trial volunteers.Many panel members and outside researchers who commented during the hearing worried that if a vaccine is rushed out that later turns out to have safety problems or to be less effective than promised, it could backfire in a big way, undermining public confidence in Covid-19 vaccines for years to come.Blood Plasma Didn’t Benefit Covid-19 Patients (07:13 a.m. HK)A trial found that infusing hospitalized Covid-19 patients with blood plasma from people who had recovered had no effect on whether they got sicker or died, Stat reports, citing a study published in the medical journal BMJ.The study was the first completed randomized trial of the treatments. An earlier study by the Mayo Clinic showed some benefit, leading the FDA to give the therapy emergency approval in August, but that trial didn’t have a control arm, the report said.WeWork Default Is a Real Possibility, Fitch Warns (06:44 a.m. HK)Fitch Ratings downgraded troubled co-working company WeWork and warned that the once high-flying startup could default on its obligations.On Thursday, the agency said it lowered the company’s long-term issuer default rating to CCC from CCC+. That indicates “substantial credit risk” and suggests “default is a real possibility,” according to Fitch’s rating scale.Fitch cited the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on WeWork’s already struggling business model. The startup tried and failed to go public late last year. The spread of the coronavirus worsened WeWork’s predicament as people opted to work from home, rather than in the communal offices the company rents out.Almost 60 Infected at Canadian Pork Plant (6:13 a.m. HK)A total of 58 people have tested positive for Covid-19 at an Olymel pork processing plant in the Canadian province of Quebec, but the plant remains fully operational, spokesman Richard Vigneault said on Thursday.“All those people have gone home and are on recovery, we hope,” he said. The pork plant, which processes roughly 37,000 hogs each week, employs 1,240 people.Illinois, Ohio, Utah and North Dakota reported daily records (5:17 p.m. NY)Utah reported a record 1,613 cases as Governor Gary Herbert warned that the medical system is near or at capacity. Texas is sending almost 500 medics, nurses and other personnel to the worst of the state’s hot spots in El Paso.The Dakotas — the two states with the highest number of cases per capita — broke more records Thursday. Ohio passed another record number of infections, prompting Governor Mike DeWine to take to Twitter to give statistics county by country and to beg cooperation from citizens.Chicago will implement a night-time curfew for non-essential businesses starting on Friday for at least two weeks to try to stop the rapid rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, calling it a “critical inflection point” for the city.New Jersey logged 1,182 new cases, for its fifth straight day surpassing 1,000, among the daily data that Governor Phil Murphy called “not pretty” at a Trenton news conference. Florida posted 5,558 new Covid-19 cases Thursday, the most since mid-August, excluding two days affected by technical issues.FDA Approves Remdesivir (4:21 p.m. NY)The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral therapy remdesivir on Thursday, granting broad clearance for the coronavirus treatment.Regulators had granted an emergency-use authorization for remdesivir earlier this year, and since then the drug has become a widely used therapy in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. It was given to President Donald Trump this month when he was diagnosed with the virus.Gilead shares rose 0.8% to $60.67 at 4 p.m. in New York.France’s Cases Top 40,000 as Curfews Widen (2:08 p.m. NY)France reported more than 40,000 new cases for the first time, as the government prepares to expand curfews beyond Paris and some other big cities as the virus gained momentum.Confirmed coronavirus cases jumped by a record 41,622, French health authorities reported on Thursday. The weekly pace of infections has been rising for 20 days.Daily virus cases are hitting records around Europe, including new highs in Hungary, Romania, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Greece. In France, authorities will expand a curfew to more regions, with 46 million people ordered to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Friday at midnight, as hospitalizations and deaths climb.U.K.’s Johnson Says Testing System Must Improve (12:45 p.m. NY)Boris Johnson said he’s frustrated at the performance of the U.K.’s Covid-19 test and trace system, which he has repeatedly billed as “world-beating,” and said it needs to improve to help defeat the virus. A total of 189 more deaths were recorded on Thursday.The prime minister was speaking after official figures showed only 59.6% of contacts of people who tested positive in England were reached by tracers in the week ending Oct. 14 — the lowest proportion since the system began.Separately, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak increased the generosity of the U.K. aid package for businesses, his third push in less than a month to stop a wave of job losses sweeping across the country.Greece Places Athens Under Curfew as Cases Hit Record (12:28 p.m. NY)Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Thursday a ban on nighttime movement from 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. in high-risk areas including the capital Athens and the second-largest city of Thessaloniki. Mitsotakis also said that the wearing of masks is now also compulsory in indoor and outdoor spaces.Greece recorded a third straight record daily increase with 882 new coronavirus cases bringing the total to 28,216 in a country of just under 11 million people. It recorded 15 more deaths in the past 24 hours with the total number of dead at 549.Italy Reaches Record (11:24 a.m. NY)Italy’s daily virus cases reached a record 16,079, up from 15,199 Wednesday as daily fatalities rose to 136. Patients in intensive care units rose by 66 to 992, the most since early May, while below the April peak of more than 4,000.Lombardy, the region around Milan, reported 4,125 new cases, ahead of a night-time curfew starting Thursday.Portugal to Limit Travel Between Municipalities (11:17 a.m. NY)Portugal said it will limit travel between municipalities from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3.The government on Thursday reported the biggest daily increase in confirmed virus cases since the start of the outbreak: 3,270 new infections, more than the previous record of 2,608 on Friday. The total is now 109,541.Sweden Clamps Down on Nightclubs (10:28 a.m. NY)Sweden will cap the number of club-goers at 50, after images of people partying in Stockholm sparked outrage in the country.Sweden, which has stood out for its hands-off strategy in tackling the Covid-19 crisis, registered a higher death rate than most other European countries during the spring. The country had hoped that higher levels of infections would give some protection against a second wave, but recent numbers show a steady increase in the number of cases.“It’s time for partying in nightclubs to stop,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.Spain Warns Pandemic Out of Control (4:19 p.m. HK)The spread of coronavirus is out of control in certain parts of Spain, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa.“We are in the middle of a second wave, it’s no longer a threat but rather a reality,” Illa said in an interview on Madrid-based Onda Cero radio. “In some parts of our country the epidemic isn’t under control, so we need to take more drastic measures.”Spain on Wednesday became the first country in Western Europe to surpass 1 million coronavirus infections, as authorities struggle to control fresh outbreaks and contemplate a curfew for the capital Madrid and its surrounding area.Germany’s New Cases Jump to Record (1 p.m. HK)Germany reported 12,331 new infections in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, the first time since the outbreak started that the daily increase exceeded 10,000. The number of new cases was up from 8,523 a day earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That took the total to 397,922.Germany has added the U.K., Ireland, Switzerland and Poland to a list of coronavirus risk areas, the country’s RKI public health institute said Thursday. Twelve Italian regions and five Austrian regions were also added to the list, which determines who must quarantine upon arrival.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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