AstraZeneca approached Gilead about merger
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appears to be going in “the right direction” despite a few “blips.” New York saw its lowest daily death toll in eight weeks on Thursday and the number of daily deaths related to Covid-19 have been on a slow, steady decline from a high of nearly 800 people every day.
All 50 states eased some quarantine restrictions ahead of the Memorial Day holiday on May 25, and crowds of people, some without masks, have been seen at protests in recent weeks. U.S. cases are just now starting to rise as research shows that it can take anywhere from five to 12 days for people to show symptoms from the coronavirus.
Fauci said he has “no doubt” that Americans who aren’t wearing face masks, especially in large crowds, are increasing the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
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.
- Global cases: More than 6.92 million
- Global deaths: At least 400,243
- U.S. cases: More than 1.92 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 109,802
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Despite coronavirus, most travelers not buying trip insurance
9:58 a.m. ET — More than half of Americans planning travel won’t be buying trip insurance, according to a survey by ValuePenguin. That’s despite the havoc Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide wreaked on spring and summer getaways this year.
Most of those planning and booking travel will visit family and friends, and trips may, therefore, be shorter, cheaper and less pressing to protect. But even 23% of planners buying coverage is good news for travel insurers. —Kenneth Kiesnoski
AstraZeneca approached Gilead about a potential merger
A Gilead Sciences office is shown in Foster City, California, U.S. May 1, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
AstraZeneca reportedly asked Gilead last month about a merger but did not provide specifics on the transaction, according to anonymous sources.
The companies are not in formal discussions and Gilead is apparently not interested in selling or merging with another large pharmaceutical firm. An AstraZeneca spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company does not comment on “rumors or speculation.”
AstraZeneca is valued and $140 billion and Gilead, which is working on an antiviral drug called remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients, is worth $96 billion. —Emma Newburger
New York City Mayor de Blasio lifts curfew
9:32 a.m. ET — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is no longer under curfew after peaceful protests on Saturday.
The city was initially put under curfew last Monday from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and has since been under an 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew amid ongoing demonstrations over the death of George Floyd while being subdued by police officers in Minnesota last month.
“Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” the mayor wrote in a tweet. “Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart.”
De Blasio had initially said the curfew would remain in place throughout the weekend.
The city enters phase 1 of reopening on Monday after the coronavirus outbreak shut down the city in March. Some retail, construction and manufacturing businesses are authorized to reopen with under 50% occupancy and social distancing measures. Businesses like salons, gyms and restaurants will not reopen until phase 2. —Emma Newburger
More hospitals could go bankrupt until they get patients back in the door
An employee and a patient at an intensive care unit at the Republican Clinical Hospital treating patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection.
Yegor Aleyev | TASS | Getty Images
9:18 a.m. ET — Hospitals across the United States are desperately trying to ramp up volume after seeing far fewer patients than usual for months.
Many hospitals canceled or delayed elective procedures in March and April to make space for Covid-19 patients. Because of that, hospitals were losing millions of dollars per day by just staying open. In April, the American Hospital Association estimated that hospitals were bleeding more than $50 billion per month.
The situation is improving as patients are starting to reschedule their procedures and overall volumes are increasing as the country reopens.
Some health systems can afford the hit, particularly if there aren’t major flareups of Covid-19 in the fall and winter that will force them to suspend normal operations again. But others won’t make it and industry experts expect to see more bankruptcies and consolidation in the months to come. —Christina Farr
Malaysia to allow interstate travel starting June 10
9:01 a.m. ET — Malaysia said it would reopen nearly all economic activity and allow interstate travel starting June 10, Reuters reported.
The government will ease restrictions on social, education and religious activities in phases with health guidelines in place, and businesses will be allowed to return to normal operating hours. Entertainment centers, sports that involve close contact and events involving a large gathering of people will also not be allowed.
Malaysia had gradually reopened businesses over the past month with social distancing protocols, after shuttering all non-essential businesses and schools, banning public gatherings and restricting travel on March 18. —Melodie Warner
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Amazon workers sue the company; tennis star Djokovic chafes at US Open restrictions.