Gottlieb sees U.S. hospitalizations ticking up; Merck joins the vaccine race

Gottlieb sees U.S. hospitalizations ticking up; Merck joins the vaccine race


U.S. coronavirus deaths are approaching 100,000, more than double that of any other country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Across the country, Americans observed Memorial Day weekend with some states reopening beaches and other outdoor areas. Meanwhile Merck has entered the vaccine race, announced early Tuesday it has teamed up with research non-profit IAVI to develop a potential candidate. 

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 5.5 million
  • Global deaths: At least 346,632
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.6 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 98,223

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Hospitalizations tick up after states reopen, former FDA chief says

7:16 am ET — U.S. hospitalizations are on a gradual upswing now that every state has begun to reopen nonessential businesses and ease restrictions, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC. 

“We now see a trend in an uptick in hospitalizations. It’s a small uptick, but it is an uptick and it’s unmistakable and it is probably a result of reopening,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We are going to have to watch it.”

Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, Minnesota and others have all seen an increase in hospitalizations since beginning to reopen, Gottlieb said. He added that the “national trend is a small uptick.” —Will Feuer

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

Merck announces plans to develop coronavirus vaccine

7 am ET — Merck announced that it has teamed up with research non-profit IAVI to develop a potential vaccine against the coronavirus.

The vaccine candidate for Covid-19 is currently in preclinical development, the U.S. drug maker said in a statement, with clinical studies expected to start later in the year.

If the vaccine is approved, Merck and IAVI said they would work together to make it “accessible and affordable” to people across the globe. Shares of Merck were up more than 3.5% in premarket trading. —Sam Meredith

Global fund for vaccine, drug development raises $10 billion

6:54 am ET — A global fund established to support and accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine and effective treatments has raised about $10.4 billion, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.

The fund was established at a virtual conference on May 4, which the U.S. did not participate in. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Russia reports record daily rise in deaths; Spain calls for EU border rules


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