Coronavirus live updates: New US cases outpace world, J&J eyes human vaccine testing

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 732,153
  • Global deaths: At least 34,686
  • US cases: At least 143,055
  • US deaths: At least 2,513

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

8:54 am: Stock futures rise as investors brace for another volatile week 

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Monday morning, following sharp gains last week, as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to rise at an alarming rate over the weekend.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 135 points higher, indicating an opening gain of about 70 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also rose slightly. Earlier, futures had pointed to opening gains.

A 6% drop in crude prices capped gains for the stock futures as big declines in oil has triggered selling in other areas of the markets. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were last seen at $20.28 per barrel. —Fred Imbert

8:44 am: Amazon workers plan strike at Staten Island warehouse to demand coronavirus protections 

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island plan to strike on Monday to call attention to the lack of protections for employees who continue to come to work amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Nearly 100 workers at the facility, known as JFK8, plan to participate in the work stoppage. The employees will walk out Monday morning and “cease all operations” until their demands are heard by site leadership, said Chris Smalls, a management assistant at JFK8 and a lead organizer of the strike.

Smalls and other associates said they’ve grown increasingly concerned about coming into work after an employee tested positive for the virus there last week. An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC it was supporting the individual who is in quarantine and asked anyone who was in contact with the individual to stay home with pay for two weeks. The facility has remained open. —Annie Palmer

8:32 am: Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 US coronavirus deaths

The White House coronavirus response coordinator said that she is “very worried about every city in the United States” and projects 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths as a best case scenario.

In an interview on “TODAY,” Dr. Deborah Birx painted a grim message about the expected fatalities, echoing that without doing any measures they could hit as high as 2.2 million, as coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the U.S.

“I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5000 cases very quickly,” Birx said.

“I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines” she added. —NBC News

8:21 am: UK’s Prince Charles, 71, out of self-isolation and in good health

British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation after seven days and is in good health, his spokesman said.

After consultation with his doctor, he is now out of self-isolation, his Clarence House office said. He will resume meetings and take exercise in accordance with government and medical guidelines.

However, his wife Camilla, who tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in self-isolation until the end of the week in case she too develops symptoms. —Reuters

8:16 am: Tokyo Olympics get a new date

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.” —Associated Press

8:12 am: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to go into quarantine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he will enter self-quarantine after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.

The office said that Netanyahu has undergone a test and will remain in quarantine until he receives results or is cleared by the health ministry and his personal doctor. His close advisors are also isolating. His office says the step is a precaution prior to the conclusion of an epidemiological investigation. Netanyahu’s adviser for parliamentary affairs, Rivka Paluch, tested positive.

More than 4,300 Israelis have been infected with the new virus and 15 have died. —Associated Press 

8:01 am: New US cases outpace world

7:59 am: Johnson & Johnson says human testing of its coronavirus vaccine to begin by September

Johnson & Johnson said human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus would begin by September and that it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

J&J also said it has committed more than $1 billion of investment along with U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research. —Will Feuer

7:28 am: Trump extends distancing guidelines

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Sunday evening, extending the national social-distancing guidelines to April 30 in an effort to keep the projected death toll in the U.S. from reaching 100,000. 

Trump’ previously said he wanted the country to reopen for business by Easter. Public health experts have warned that loosening restrictions by Easter, on April 12, would result in unnecessary death and economic damage. Trump had suggested that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak within two weeks.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won,” Trump said at an evening press briefing. The president claimed Sunday that Easter was just an “aspiration” and he hopes the country will “be well on our way to recovery” by June 1. —Emma Newburger

7:25 am: Virgin Atlantic asks UK for financial help

Sir Richard Branson

Getty Images

Virgin Atlantic asked the U.K. government for emergency financial help in addition to the coronavirus package made available to all British companies, a source familiar with the situation said.

Britain-based Virgin Atlantic, which is 51% owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group and 49% by Delta Air Lines, made a proposal to the government’s advisor Rothschild and is hoping to get a response by  early next week, the source told Reuters on Monday.

It was not clear whether Virgin could receive commercial loans and guarantees or whether the government could take a stake in the airline. British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said in a report of a transport committee meeting published on Friday that everything was on the table. —Reuters

7:21 am: Spain’s health emergency chief tests positive

A healthcare worker dressed in protective gear takes samples from a driver at a drive-through testing point for the COVID-19 disease at the University Hospital in Burgos on March 28, 2020.

Cesar Manso | AFP | Getty Images

Spain’s health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who leads the country’s response to the coronavirus epidemic and maintains regular contact with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has tested positive for the virus, a top health official said.

Speaking at a daily news conference where she replaced Simon, Maria Jose Sierra said the trend in daily infections had changed since the introduction of lockdown measures, with new infections now rising at roughly 12% a day, compared with around 20% before March 25. —Reuters

7:18 am: Italy’s death toll surpasses 10,000 as prime minister warns of rising ‘nationalist instincts’

Italy is the worst-hit country by the pandemic so far in Europe, with the highest number of deaths and cases among its 60 million citizens. Now, it’s prime minister is warning that Europe is not doing enough to help Italy.

“If the EU does not live up to its vocation and its role in this historical situation, will citizens have more confidence in it or will they permanently lose it?,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte asked during an interview with El Pais.

He added that the risk of a higher anti-EU sentiment was “obvious” as a result. “Nationalist instincts, in Italy, but also in Spain and elsewhere, will be much stronger if Europe is not up to the task,” he said. —Silvia Amaro

7:15 am: Apple supplier Foxconn’s profit down 24% in last quarter of 2019

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn reported a 23.7% fall in profit in the last three months of 2019 as it braces for the impact from the coronavirus pandemic that has hit demand from key customers such as Apple.

Foxconn, which assembles iPhones at factories in China, reported net profit of $1.6 billion, according to Reuters calculations, slightly above average consensus estimates compiled by Refinitiv. The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer did not give any explanation for the decline in the same period a year earlier.

Foxconn is among manufacturers worldwide grappling with the fallout from coronavirus restrictions that have disrupted supply chains and hurt demand. —Reuters

6:55 am: US crude dips below $20 as lockdowns hurt demand

Oil prices fell sharply, with U.S. crude briefly dropping below $20 and Brent hitting its lowest level in 18 years, on heightened fears that the global coronavirus shutdown could last months and demand for fuel could decline further.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was down $1.92, or 7.7%, at $23.01, after earlier dropping to $22.58, the lowest since November 2002. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $1.03, or 4.8%, to $20.48. Earlier in the session, WTI fell as low as $19.92.

The price of oil is now so low that it is becoming unprofitable for many oil companies to remain active, analysts said, and higher-cost producers will have no choice but to shut production, especially since storage capacities are almost full.

“Global oil demand is evaporating on the back of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and social-distancing measures,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo. —Reuters

6:43 am: Carnival’s Cunard extends suspension of cruises to May 15

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is among the ships registered in Bermuda.

Source: James D. Morgan | Cunard Line

Carnival’s luxury cruise ship operator Cunard said it will extend the suspension of all voyages by a month to May 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Carnival, also the operator of two coronavirus-stricken Princess cruises, already temporarily suspended several of its ships due to concerns over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 crisis.

Cunard, which extended the suspension from April 11, said it would provide a 125% credit for future cruise to travelers impacted by the suspension. The credit can be redeemed against a new booking before the end of March 2022.

Theme park operator Walt Disney and several other retailers have also extended temporary closures as the health crisis worsens. —Reuters

6:08 am: Sweden defends its more relaxed coronavirus strategy

While the rest of Europe imposes severe restrictions on public life and closes borders and businesses, Sweden is taking a more relaxed approach to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike its immediate neighbors Denmark, Finland, and Norway, Sweden has not closed its borders or its schools. Neither has it closed nonessential businesses or banned gatherings of more than two people, as the U.K. and Germany have.

The country’s lead epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told CNBC on Monday that although his country’s strategy to tackle the virus was different, the aim was the same.

“My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much as possible to keep health care and society working … and we have shown some different methods to slow down the spread,” he told CNBC.

“Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working,” Tegnell added. “And we have a long tradition that it works rather well.” — Holly Ellyatt

5:53 am: Boris Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings has coronavirus symptoms

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, has symptoms of coronavirus and is self-isolating at home, Sky News said Monday.

He started developing symptoms over the weekend and will be staying in contact with the rest of the Downing Street team during his quarantine period, No. 10 has confirmed, Sky reported.

Johnson and his health minister, Matt Hancock, announced on Friday they have tested positive for the virus. Prince Charles also has COVID-19. — Holly Ellyatt

5:02 am: UK lockdown could last six months; US and Europe prepare for longer restrictions

The lockdown in the U.K. to stop the coronavirus outbreak could last six months, government officials warned on Sunday, as the U.S. and other European nations also announced prolonged restrictions on public life.

Speaking at the U.K.’s daily press conference on the latest coronavirus news, the U.K.’s deputy chief medical officer said a lockdown could last, in some form, for months.  “Over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review,” Jenny Harries said, “We will see where we’re going.”

“We need to keep that lid on and then gradually we will be able to hopefully adjust some of the social-distancing measures and gradually get us all back to normal. So I think three weeks for review, two or three months to see whether we’ve really squashed it. But about three to six months ideally,” she said. — Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s full coverage from the Asia-Pacific team overnight: Australia plans $80 billion more stimulus as global cases cross 700,000

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