Former President Barack Obama took aim at President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response at a rally in Philadelphia for Joe Biden.

Associated Press

Moderna announced a crucial step Thursday in its progress toward winning approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, saying it has secured all 30,000 participants for its Phase 3 study, more than a third of whom are of color. Meanwhile, the FDA approved the antiviral medicine remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19. 

“Completing enrollment of the Phase 3 COVE study is an important milestone for the clinical development of our vaccine,” CEO Stéphane Bancel said. “We are indebted to all of the participants.”

A vaccine can’t come fast enough. Blood supply agencies warn that demand is outstripping supply, and that things could get worse when flu season kicks into high gear later in the fall.

“A month or two ago we were at probably a good place … because so many heard that message to come out (and donate),” said Kate Fry, CEO of America’s Blood Centers. “But now it’s lost that momentum. We see the blood supply steadily decrease.” 

In Massachusetts, Salem is known as “Witch City” and draws big Halloween crowds. Not this year. Officials have announced stricter guidelines for Halloween to prevent gatherings. Businesses will shut down early, city officials will triple fines over the Halloween weekend, and streets will be closed.

Some significant developments:

  • Spain is the first country in western Europe to reach 1 million cases of COVID-19.
  • Boston public schools are switching to all-remote learning starting Thursday in response to a rise in coronavirus cases.
  • Former President Barack Obama, in his first campaign event for Joe Biden, slams President Trump’s response to the pandemic. 

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.3 million cases and 222,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 41 million cases and 1.1 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

Worked to death: Latino farmworkers have long been denied basic rights. COVID-19 showed how deadly racism could be. Read the latest installment in USA TODAY’s series, Deadly Discrimination

When will there be a COVID vaccine? In general, scientists and public health experts say a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved at the earliest by December, but that doesn’t mean it will be widely available to most Americans. The federal government is developing a distribution plan that would get vaccine to various populations first, such as essential workers, those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and the elderly. See what USA TODAY’s expert panel has to say.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.


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FDA approves remdesivir as treatment for COVID-19 patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalization.

As an antiviral drug, remdesivir works to stop replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes