NPR Coronavirus Updates

Coverage of the Coronavirus Crisis from NPR.org

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October, according to a series of planning documents sent to public health officials last week.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the documents in an email to NPR on Wednesday. The documents were first published by The New York Times.

The pandemic is taking a big toll on the government's bottom line.

The federal government's accumulated debt burden is projected to be larger than the overall economy next year for the first time since 1946. Debt is expected to reach an all-time high of 107% of gross domestic product in 2023.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit to reach $3.3 trillion in the fiscal year ending this month. That's about 16% of GDP — a level not seen since the end of World War II in 1945.

Three new studies strongly support using inexpensive and widely available drugs to treat people who are seriously ill with COVID-19. The drugs are steroids, and the research published Wednesday confirms they are proving to be the most effective treatment found to date.

United Airlines will be putting 16,370 workers on involuntary, indefinite furlough at the start of October unless more aid materializes from the federal government, the company announced Wednesday.

Together with some 7,400 voluntary departures, the airline is cutting its workforce by more than 25%. It's hardly alone. American Airlines recently announced 19,000 furloughs and layoffs, while Delta cut its workforce by 20% through buyouts.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokeswoman.

Berlusconi, 83, will continue working in isolation at his home in Arcore, near Milan, his staff said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Pages