Germany pledges support to WHO; LabCorp launches new antibody test

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The U.S. reported more new coronavirus cases on Wednesday than on any single day before, according to a tally by NBC News, as the virus spreads to new communities and sparks outbreaks mostly across the American South and West. Almost half of all new cases came from Florida, Texas and California, where the outbreaks appear to be expanding.

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 9.44 million
  • Global deaths: At least 482,923
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.38 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 121,979

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

LabCorp launches new antibody test

Adam Schechter, president and CEO of LabCorp, speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, April 27, 2020, in Washington, as President Donald Trump and Stephen Rusckowski, CEO of Quest Diagnostics. listen.

Alex Brandon | AP

7:35 a.m. ET — LabCorp announced a new test that can be used to assess the capacity of antibodies in patients’ plasma to combat the coronavirus.

The plasma from recovered patients is being explored as a potential treatment for the disease. Information from the new test could be used in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, the diagnostics manufacturer said. LabCorp said the antibody test will be available to bio-pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, blood banks and other plasma-screening facilities.

“By leveraging our drug development and diagnostic capabilities, we are working tirelessly to find solutions to prevent and treat Covid-19,” Paul Kirchgraber, head of LabCorp’s drug development business, said in a statement Thursday. “The launch of this neutralizing antibody assay is the latest effort in our company’s commitment to accelerate the evaluation of vaccine candidates so that a successful candidate may reach patients sooner.” —Holly Ellyatt

WHO has ‘all the support we need,’ chief says

Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland February 11, 2020.

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

7:12 a.m. ET — The World Health Organization said it is getting all the political and financial support it needs. The comments came at a news conference in Geneva, where France and Germany expressed support for the United Nations agency and Germany announced more than €250 million ($280 million) in new funding for the agency.

Germany also said it would donate medical equipment to the WHO for distribution to countries with shortages, Germany’s minister of health Jens Spahn said, though the new funding and donations are still contingent on Parliamentary approval.

“Including this medical equipment, the German Ministry of Health will be providing more than 500 million, more than half a billion euros, to WHO this year,” Spahn said. “This is the highest amount ever we have contributed to the WHO in one year.”

The announcement comes nearly a month after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S., the WHO’s biggest funder, would cut ties with the WHO out of discontent with its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re getting today all the support we need, political and financial, as has been said,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Eiffel Tower reopens to tourists; Disney delays reopening for California parks

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