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Italian PM says ‘worst is behind us;’ Elvis Presley’s Graceland to reopen

Italian PM says 'worst is behind us;' Elvis Presley's Graceland to reopen

Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world passed 5 million early Thursday as infections continue to accelerate in the Americas. Drugmaker AstraZeneca said it received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to develop a vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford. The company said it will begin first deliveries of doses by September 2020, but it must first prove its potential vaccine is safe for humans and effectively prevents the infection.

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 million
  • Global deaths: At least 328,471
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.5 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 93,439

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Most Americans will be vaccinated by summer 2021, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst predicts

7:17 a.m. ET— Most Americans will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the middle of next year, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst Matthew Harrison told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.”

“We’ve talked about spring to summer of 2021 as when we would expect to see the vast majority of the U.S. population vaccinated,” he said, adding that he’s watching Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, CanSino and GSK-Sanofi as major players in the race for a vaccine.

A vaccine could be approved for broad distribution sooner, he said, but it will take time for any company to ramp up manufacturing and distribution capacity. Moderna, which is leading the pack, is already building manufacturing and could produce tens of millions of doses by the end of 2020, with that increasing to a rate of 1 billion doses per year by the middle of 2021. —Will Feuer

‘The worst is behind us,’ Italy’s prime minister says

A rider of delivery food Just Eat runs in Piazza Duomo on April 23, 2020 in Milan, Italy.

Pier Marco Tacca

7:09 a.m. ET— Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy, which was the first epicenter of Europe’s epidemic, has overcome the worst part of its crisis.

“We can say that the worst is behind us… we cannot stop to wait for a vaccine, otherwise we would find ourselves with an irreparably compromised society and production system,” Conte told the Italian parliament, Reuters reported, as the country looks to lift more lockdown measures.

He also warned the public that “now is not the time for parties” after scenes of young people gathering at night in some cities, and also appealed to the public to take their vacations in Italy. —Holly Ellyatt

Graceland is set to reopen, and workers were ‘crying they were so happy’

FILE — This Aug. 2010 photo shows tourists viewing the dining room at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis, Tenn. Graceland opened for tours on June 7, 1982. They sold out all 3,024 tickets on the first day and didn’t look back, forever changing the Memphis tourist landscape while keeping Elvis and his legend alive.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey

6:42 a.m. ET— Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, reopens Thursday. The rocker’s home-turned-museum is running tours at 25% capacity, requiring employees to wear face masks and encouraging visitors to do the same. It will also limit restaurants to 50% capacity.

Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland Holdings, told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” that Graceland’s workers are ready to return. “People were crying they were so happy” when they found out they were coming back, he said. —Matthew Belvedere

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Euro zone downturn eases; US gives AstraZeneca $1 billion for vaccine

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