NBA Says 5% of Players Tested for Coronavirus Have Covid-19

Verizon Joins Facebook Ad Boycott

Verizon joined an ongoing advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram, that was organized against the social media giant’s handling of objectionable posts as well as its moderation approach.

The telecom company is the largest till date to join the “Stop Hate for Profit” boycott organized by the Anti-Defamation League or ADL. The campaign is seeking advertisers to suspend their spending on Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July 2020.

ADL, in an open letter, pointed out that Facebook’s hate speech, incitement, and misinformation policies, as well as harassment victim services are inadequate.

Between May 22 and June 20, 2020, Verizon reportedly spent nearly $1.5 million on Facebook and nearly $500,000 on Instagram.

Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s and various sports and outdoor lifestyle companies have already joined the boycott.

Meanwhile, Facebook vice president of Global Business Group, Carolyn Everson, reportedly said the company is in ongoing talks with advertisers and trying to improve its moderation approach.

Citius: FDA Issues Guidelines To Study IPSC-derived MSCs To Treat COVID-19 Patients

Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CTXR) said it has received a written response from the FDA with respect to the company’s pre-investigational new drug application for induced mesenchymal stem cells to treat and reduce the severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with COVID-19. The FDA acknowledged that the company could apply for fast track designation. The FDA also provided specific guidelines to study iPSC-derived MSCs.

Citius Pharma plans to follow up with the FDA with an Investigational New Drug application under the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program.

UK COVID-19 death toll rises to 43,414, up 186

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s official death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 186 to 43,414, the Department of Health said on Friday.

The total included a revision in which two deaths had previously been counted twice.

Including deaths from suspected cases of the disease, Britain’s toll is over 54,000. (Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by William James)

FTC Warns 30 More Firms Against False Claims About Covid-19 Treatment

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it has sent letters warning 30 more marketers nationwide to stop making false claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19.

The regulator said it is the seventh set of warning letters that it has sent as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams.

In total, FTC has sent letters to 250 companies and individuals.

Most of the letters target “treatments” the FTC has warned companies about previously, including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C and D infusions, supposed stem cell therapy, vitamin injections, essential oils, and CBD products. Other letters sent recently challenged claims that infrared heat, oral peroxide gel, and oxygen therapy can treat or cure COVD-19.

However, currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure the disease.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has increased to 2191200, as per Johns Hopkins University’s latest update on Friday. The last time a figure higher than this was reported on May 9. The total death toll in the U.S. rose to 118,435.

Stock Alert: NIKE Drops 4% After Reporting Quarterly Loss

Shares of NIKE, Inc. (NKE) are falling more than 4% Friday morning after the company reported an unexpected loss in the fourth quarter as its sales were hurt by the pandemic.

Nike reported net loss of $790 million, or $0.51 per share, during the fourth quarter compared with net income of $989 million, or $0.62 per share, a year ago.

Total revenue was down 38% to $6.31 billion from $10.18 billion a year ago as the majority of NIKE-owned and partner stores in North America, EMEA, and APLA were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company’s digital sales increased 75% percent in the quarter.

NKE stock is currently trading at $96.92. It has traded in the range of $60- $105.62 in the past 52 weeks.

Florida Suspends Consumption of Alcohol at Bars Statewide

Florida has suspended consumption of alcohol at bars effective immediately, the state’s first major policy shift in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases this month.

The office of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed the move in an email Friday.

Florida reported 122,960 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.1% in the previous seven days. The one-day increase of 8,942 was the most ever.

NBA Says 5% of Players Tested for Coronavirus Have Covid-19

The NBA and NBA Players Association said that 16 of 302 players tested positive for Covid-19 as the league ramps up screening before the resumption of professional basketball next month.

“Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician,” said the joint statement.

The 5% positive rate is slightly below the 6.1% national 7-day moving average, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Two Phoenix Suns players were reported by the Arizona Republic to have tested positive on Tuesday. Since then players on teams including the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets have been reported to have tested positive.

The NBA is scheduled to restart its season July 31 in Orlando, with training camps beginning July 11 at Walt Disney World. It was the first league to be affected by the global pandemic. The Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive in March, resulting in the postponement of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and, eventually, the entire NBA season.

— With assistance by Derek Wallbank, and Timothy Annett