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Coronavirus Update: Kodak's Loan Is Frozen Pending SEC Probe

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Good morning, it’s Monday, August 10. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

There are over 19.8 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 731,000 deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5 million cases with over 160,200 deaths.

According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 51,291 new cases reported Sunday. 711,984 new tests were reported. And 616 deaths were reported yesterday.

U.S. officials froze a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak amid allegations of wrongdoing and a reported investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corp., known as the DFC, said it will not proceed with the loan, which was granted last month to the photographic equipment-maker to help it transition to producing pharmaceuticals for the U.S. government, until 'serious' allegations of wrongdoing were addressed.

The loan would help Kodak make ingredients for drugs such as hydroxychloroquine--the drug that has been touted by President Donald Trump and other officials to help treat COVID-19. Scientific studies, however, have not back these claims and Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the data shows that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective against COVID-19.

"Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns," the DFC said over the weekend. "We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared."

In recent days, Kodak has been soaring higher. But the surge in the stock prompted a second look at the loan details from the chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, who also urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to examine details of stock options granted to Kodak executives in the days prior to the DFC loan.

President Trump also echoed some of that concern. He told reporters in Washington that the White House would "do a little study" on the terms of the agreement, which senior trade adviser Peter Navarro described as "the beginning of American independence from our pharmaceutical dependence on foreign countries." 

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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