GM restarts most vans


Across the United States, states continue to chart their own course, trying to squeeze the needle between public health issues and efforts to restart the economy amid mass unemployment. Another 2.1 million people filed for unemployment last week, while continuing claims, or those that have been collecting for at least two weeks, reached 21.05 million, a clearer picture of the number of workers who remain without work.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus epidemic. This blog will be updated throughout the day as news becomes available.

  • Global cases: more than 5.83 million
  • Deaths worldwide: at least 360,800
  • Cases in the United States: more than 1.72 million
  • Deaths in the United States: at least 101,600

The above data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

GM increases production of pickup trucks in the United States after coronavirus shutdown

Trucks exit the assembly line at GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana on July 25, 2018.

John Gress | Reuters

10:29 am EST – General Motors will bring back American factories that produce pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Silverado to pre-coronavirus levels of three teams. GM is expected to have the vast majority of its roughly 48,000 hourly workers back in work in US factories by Monday.

Since the start of vehicle production in the United States on May 18, the automaker has slowly increased production at its North American plants. The slower pace should allow suppliers to have inventory and employees to get used to new factory security protocols to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

GM will also start reopening a factory in Texas on a shift that builds large SUVs such as the Chevrolet Silverado and Cadillac Escalade. These are all very profitable products for the company and not very available on dealership lots.

GM spokesman Jim Cain confirmed on Friday that some employees were positive for Covid-19. He declined to comment on the exact number of positive cases and the number of employees tested.

GM rival Crosstown Ford Motor has suspended production or sent workers home after workers test positive for Covid-19 at least four times since production restarted on May 18. —Michael Wayland

Prescriptions for Trump’s touted drug increased in March

The drug hydroxychloroquine, pushed by US President Donald Trump and others in recent months as a possible treatment for people infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is on display at the Rock Canyon pharmacy in Provo, Utah, May 27, 2020.

George Frey | Reuters

10:21 a.m.ET – A new JAMA study found that doses prescribed for hydroxychloroquine jumped nearly 2,000% in March when President Donald Trump presented it as a potential treatment for coronavirus.

According to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 45,858 short-term prescription drugs were administered for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine during the week of March 15. The researchers said they used data from U.S. pharmacies from 58,332 chains, independent pharmacies, and mail-order houses in more than 14,000 zip codes in the 50 states.

The results come a week after a study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that inpatient Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death than those who had not taken it. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.

Chinese airlines operate more passenger flights than American carriers for the first time

9:40 am EST – Chinese airlines are on track to operate more passenger flights than their US counterparts for the first time this month in a turn caused by coronavirus. Chinese airlines cut their flights sharply in January as the virus began to spread to China. US airlines took similar action in March and April, when the wave of infections hit America.

Chinese carriers have operated nearly 200,000 jet passenger flights until May 27, while US airlines have operated fewer than 170,000 flights, according to aeronautical data consultancy Cirium. Chinese carriers are now operating 35 percent below last year’s levels, and schedules for US airlines have dropped by almost 75 percent, the firm said.

Carriers had reduced flights after the virus, travel restrictions and on-site shelter orders have reduced demand to the lowest level in decades. As bookings resume from the low point as the peak travel season in spring and summer begins, US demand is still down about 87% from a year ago, according to federal data. —Leslie Josephs

Dow slips 100 points before Trump press conference on China

9:34 am EST – The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 148 points, or 0.6%, as traders prepared for President Donald Trump’s press conference on US-China relations. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite rose only 0.1%.

Read updates on the stock market activity of Fred Imbert of CNBC. —Melodie Warner

US savings rate hits record as coronavirus drives Americans to store money

9:13 a.m.ET The personal savings rate hit a record high of 33% in April, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. This rate – how many savers as a percentage of their disposable income – is by far the highest since the department started tracking in the 1960s.

The increase in savings came as spending fell a record 13.6% for the month. The deadly virus, which has led more than 40 million Americans to apply for unemployment, has paralyzed consumer habits. —Maggie Fitzgerald

New cases continue to increase in Latin America

Lock-free Sweden posts economic growth in first three months of the year

People walk at Strandvagen in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the new COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. – Sweden, which remained open to business with a milder approach to limiting the spread of COVID-19 than most European countries, on March 27, 2020 limited gatherings to 50 people, up from 500 previously.


7:55 a.m.ET Sweden’s economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4% in the first three months of the year, official data released on Friday revealed following the government’s opposite decision not to impose a complete ban coronaviruses.

The Nordic country released stronger than expected GDP data for the first quarter, although many other European countries experienced a sharp economic contraction during the same period.

On Friday, Sweden reported more than 35,000 infections, with 4,266 deaths in the country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It has the highest Covid-19 death rate per capita of any country in the world, based on a moving average over the past seven days. —Sam Meredith

Russia records daily increase in death toll at Covid-19

An employee and a patient in an intensive care unit at the Republican Clinical Hospital treat patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection.

Yegor Aleyev | TASS | Getty Images

7:28 am EST – Russia has reported 232 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, reflecting the highest day-high peak in Covid-19 deaths in the country since the start of the epidemic.

This means that the official number of coronavirus deaths in the country has risen to 4,374.

Only the United States and Brazil have recorded more cases of coronavirus than Russia, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Sam Meredith

Expect delays in non-Covid clinical trials, says former FDA chief

7:20 am EST – Clinical trials of drugs, treatments and vaccines unrelated to Covid-19 will likely face delays in the future as the agency focuses its resources on the virus, said the former Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

“Many pharmaceutical companies have suspended clinical trials,” he said, adding that some companies had not advanced the planned trials and others were suspending the ongoing trials. “The agency has followed suit” so far, added Gottlieb.

The FDA issued new guidelines dated May 26 that indicated that the agency may need to prioritize resources because its staff are very limited.

“With many staff working on COVID-19 activities, we may not be able to maintain our current performance level by meeting target dates indefinitely,” the agency said. —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer and the biotechnology company Illumina.

EU promises rapid review of remdesivir as a potential treatment

A laboratory technician inspects vials filled with remdesivir, a drug for the experimental treatment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, United States, March 11, 2020. Photo taken March 11, 2020.

Gilead Sciences Inc | Reuters

6:59 am EST – The European Union will conduct an expedited review of Gilead’s remdesivir as a potential treatment for Covid-19, the European Medicines Agency announced, according to Reuters.

Health regulator says committee on drugs for human use will review drug “minimized”, adding biopharmaceutical company Gilead has yet to apply for treatment , Reuters reported.

The United States Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization earlier this month to use remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients. This means that doctors can use the drug on patients hospitalized for the disease even if the drug has not been officially approved by the agency. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous live coronavirus coverage here: San Francisco releases reopening schedule, Boston Marathon canceled


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