Argentina extends nationwide quarantine through April
From CNN's Claudia Dominguez
Argentina's nationwide quarantine will continue through April, Argentina's president Alberto Fernandez announced in a televised interview today. Fernandez said the decision was made in order to contain the spread of the virus because the number of infections is expected to peak sometime in mid-May. The government had previously decreed "mandatory preventive social isolation until April 12. However, the president said he met with governors and that they agreed that everyone should continue with the quarantine. Argentina has recorded 1,715 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 60 deaths, according to the Argentine Ministry of Health.
10:38 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020
276 NYPD officers who tested positive for coronavirus have returned to work, mayor says
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph At least 276 New York Police Department officers who had tested for positive for coronavirus have returned to duty, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference this morning. At least 1,310 New York Fire Department EMTs, paramedics, and firefighters who tested positive for were exposed to or were suspected of having coronavirus have also returned to duty, he added.
“I’m not for a moment forgetting we have lost some of our first responders – their families are grieving – but thank god for the vast majority. They’ve come through quickly, and they come through well,” de Blasio said.
10:30 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020
Here's the racial breakdown of coronavirus victims in New York
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
The New York State Department of Health’s Covid-19 website has been updated to include data on the victims, including their race, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Wednesday. The preliminary data, last updated yesterday, includes information on 90% reporting for New York State, excluding New York City, and information based on 63% reporting for New York City, as provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Here's the breakdown of deaths across New York state, excluding New York City: Hispanic – 14% (11% of the population)Black – 18% (9% of the population)White – 62% (75% of the population)Asian – 4% (4% of the population)
And here's the data from New York City, with 63% reporting: Hispanic – 34% (29% of the population)Black – 28% (22% of the population)White – 27% (32% of the population)Asian – 7% (14% of the population)
13 min ago
New York City mayor says the city needs fewer ventilators than initially projected
New York City needs fewer ventilators than initially projected, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters today during a press conference. There has been a reduction in the number of new ventilators needed each day in New York City, he said, saying 100 or fewer new ventilators are needed each day this week, compared to 200-300 new ventilators that were needed each day last week. There are 5,500 ventilators, including 500 from New York State delivered from New York state Tuesday, available throughout the city’s hospitals. There is a small emergency reserve of 135 ventilators “in case something has to be quickly moved to a place where the need is greatest,” according to de Blasio.
“The fact that we can say with confidence that we will get through this week is a good sign,” he said.
26 min ago
JetBlue will stop operating at multiple airports in the same city
From CNN's Greg Wallace
JetBlue appears to be the first US airline to use new rules finalized yesterday that allow airlines operating at multiple airports in the same city to cut back on flights.
The rules: The Department of Transportation rules allow airlines to serve multiple airports in the same geographical area to consolidate service at a single airport. That allows airlines to cut back on duplicative ground operations such as customer service agents and restocking planes while remaining eligible for federal stimulus funds. To receive the funds, an airline must continue to provide at least one flight each week to the areas they currently serve. JetBlue will use that approach in five of its markets:
In Washington, DC, JetBlue will suspend operations at the Baltimore-Washington, and operate flights only from Reagan National. In New York City, JetBlue will use two New York-area airports and suspend operations at LaGuardia, Westchester County and Stewart. In the Boston area, the airline will continue operations at Logan International and suspend operations at Providence's T. F. Green International Airport (PVD)Around Los Angeles, flights will still take off from LAX and Long Beach, but service will stop at Hollywood Burbank and Ontario International. And around San Francisco, JetBlue will operate at San Francisco International, but not San Jose. The airline said it would apply for waivers that would allow it to stop flying into other airports with very limited passengers. Other airlines are expected to make similar announcements. JetBlue has cut its schedule by about 80%.
25 min ago
Fauci: "It’s going to be a bad week for deaths"
From CNN's Amanda Watts
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “It’s going to be a bad week for deaths.” Speaking on Fox News, Fauci said in New York there is a decrease in hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care and intubations, but warned the increase of deaths is “sobering.” “The number of deaths on a given day continues to increase, at the same time seemingly paradoxically, but not we’re saying that we are starting to see some glimmers of hope because the deaths generally lag by a couple of weeks behind what’s fueling the outbreak,” Fauci said. Fauci added, “Driving that and ahead of that is that fact that we are going to start to see the beginning of a turnaround, so we need to keep pushing on the mitigation strategies because there is no doubt that’s having a positive impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.” “As we get further on, beyond this week, we should start to see a turnaround which is a good sign,” he added.
45 min ago
US stocks jump at the open
From CNN’s David Goldman
The Dow rose 330 points at the open after giving up all of a 900-point rally yesterday. An absence of economic data has continued to make the stock market extremely volatile. Despite yesterday's topsy-turvy session, the S&P 500 still has a chance today at entering a bull run. But it'll remain unclear for quite some time if the bear market is over.
36 min ago
The next 2 to 3 weeks are crucial, Putin says
From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the next two to three weeks will be defined for the course of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. "We carefully study the experience of all countries that also faced the coronavirus threat, and that experience says the first four to five weeks into the epidemic are the most difficult,” Putin said in a televised government meeting today. He added: "This means that the next two to three weeks will be defining ... This is the period when the maximum concentration of all resources is required of us as well as strict compliance with medical recommendations and the preventive measures that are being introduced in every region today. Russia has officially reported more than 8,600 cases and more than 60 deaths so far, according to the country’s health authorities.
53 min ago
Twitter struggles to combat coronavirus misinformation, according to study
From CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan
Twitter is struggling to combat misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, a new study from Oxford finds. Researchers tracked 225 pieces of misinformation rated false or misleading by fact-checkers and found a majority, 59%, of those false claims had not been removed by Twitter – that’s despite pledges from the company to tackle potentially dangerous misinformation about the virus. Facebook and YouTube fare better with only 24% of the false claims still on Facebook and 27% on YouTube. CNN has reached out to Twitter for comment.
56 min ago
New Jersey governor urges residents to stay home during Passover and Easter holidays
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy again stressed the importance of staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, after he slammed “jackasses” this week who aren’t practicing proper social distancing. Murphy told residents to avoid holding family gatherings during Passover and Easter. “People who are not complying and not cooperating … who I think sees this as something abstract, they don't think it could touch them, and the problem is we now know enough to know it can touch anybody,” he said. Murphy said the $2 trillion CARES Act is a start for the unemployed, but the state needs cash to allay the effects of the pandemic. “God knows, we need the Feds to come in in a big way,” he said. “We’re going to need another big slug of money to make sure we can stay above water and continue to serve the folks who need us most.” Murphy said the state doesn’t have enough beds and equipment right now, but is sourcing supplies from around the world and has opened a 500-bed field hospital.
57 min ago
Nearly 300 crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested for Covid-19
From CNN's Ryan Browne
There are 286 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for Covid-19, a US defense official tells CNN. More than 90% of the crew have now been tested. There are 2,329 sailors who have been moved ashore. However, that is still behind the April 3 target of 2,700.
1 hr 7 min ago
Global trade decline could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis, World Trade officials say
From CNN’s Chris Liakos
World trade is expected to fall by between 13% and 32% in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world, the World Trade Organization said in its annual trade report and outlook. WTO economists believe the decline will likely exceed the trade slump brought on by the global financial crisis of 2008. Trade volume had already dropped by 0.1% in 2019 as a result of tariffs and slowing economic growth. The organization said that nearly all regions will suffer double-digit declines in trade volumes in 2020, with exports from North America and Asia hit hardest, warning that trade will likely fall steeper in sectors with complex value chains, particularly electronics and automotive products. WTO added trade volume could recover in 2021 but uncertainty remains as it will depend largely on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of the policy responses. "The unavoidable declines in trade and output will have painful consequences for households and businesses, on top of the human suffering caused by the disease itself. These numbers are ugly – there is no getting around that. But a rapid, vigorous rebound is possible. Decisions taken now will determine the future shape of the recovery and global growth prospects,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said as he urged countries to work together.
1 hr 18 min ago
White House coronavirus official says they're investigating when social distancing can be relaxed
From CNN's Gisela Crespo
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said officials are looking at areas in the United States where mitigation efforts seem to be working to determine if the social distancing guidelines currently in place could be relaxed at the end of April. "We're doing a series of clear investigations of what happened in Washington and L.A. and what does that mean and how you keep the number of cases down," Birx said today during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America.” Birx also said officials expect to roll out an antibody test in the next 10 to 14 days "so we can really tell how many Americans were asymptomatic and infected." "This makes a big difference in really understanding who can go back to work and how they can go back to work, so all of those pieces need to come together over the next couple of weeks," Birx told ABC's, George Stephanopoulos.
1 hr 21 min ago
Mother of 27-year-old who died of coronavirus: "It’s like a hole in my heart"
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
A 27-year-old Maryland grocery store clerk with cerebral palsy died of the coronavirus in her mother’s arms. “I was able to hold my baby's hands for the last time … It was my baby. It’s like a hole in my heart, like a hole in my heart because all she wanted to do was just help people. She just wanted to help,” Leilani Jordan’s mother, Zenobia Shepherd, said. Her mother said Leilani helped older people load groceries into their carts and into cars, but she wasn’t given any masks or hand sanitizer. “Management, leadership needed to kick in and help make sure those that are vulnerable, seniors, other people, have the help and assistance that they need so they're not put into situations where they can lose their lives. You can't see Covid virus. You can't see Covid-19. You don't know where it's at. You don't know when it's going to hit,” Shepherd said. “We got to take this seriously. It is no time to cut back on the supplies and the resources. We need more help. Grocery stores are where everybody goes,” she added. Once Leilani was admitted to the hospital, her mother said the drug hydroxychloroquine was administered to her, but it didn’t help. Leilani’s stepfather said that before she died, she recorded a video on her phone saying goodbye to her family and friends. They found it once they got back from the hospital. Her mother said Leilani was selfless, never judged anyone and was nicknamed “Butterfly.” “I’ll always miss my baby. Forever. Forever. Forever,” Shepherd said.
1 hr 40 min ago
About 85% of Portugal's hotel workers will be furloughed
From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio
About 85% of hotel workers in Portugal will be placed on furlough in the month of April, according to research by the Portuguese Hotel Association. Under a plan supported by the Portuguese government, the workers will still receive most of their pay. The numbers are based in a study done with members of the association, which represents more than two-thirds of the sector in Portugal.
1 hr 47 min ago
It's too early to say when UK coronavirus cases will peak, government official says
From CNN's Luke McGee
It’s still too early to say when the number of coronavirus cases in the UK will peak, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson says. Boris Johnson who remains in intensive care after testing positive for coronavirus — announced an initial three-week set of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. They are due to be reviewed on Monday. His spokesman says the government will provide updated guidance on the restrictions before they expire. “(It’s) too early to say when the peak is going to be,” the spokesman said. “Our focus now needs to be on stopping the transmission of this disease while building capacity in the NHS. While this is difficult, the public needs to stick with it.”
2 hr 3 min ago
New York City mayor: "We’re not out of the woods"
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
New York yesterday reported its deadliest day yet during the coronavirus pandemic. While New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says officials have seen some progress in fighting the virus, he cautions against relaxing social distancing guidelines. “As much as we all want to get back to normal, as much as we’re all feeling like we just want to get outside and socialize again, it's not that time yet,” he tells CNN’s, John Berman. “In fact, what this says…is that social distancing, the shelter in place is working. We got to stick to it to make sure we really defeat the coronavirus and to absolutely be careful it doesn't rebound back on us.” “We surpassed the number of people who died in the World Trade Center in the last couple of days. … We've got to realize just how destructive this is,” he added. The mayor said the city has enough ventilators to last for the week, but he’s not sure about next week due to the “unpredictable” nature of the virus. “For the first time, we got a bit of breathing room. I can tell you we can get through this week, we got great help from the federal government and the state government. But also the number of people who need them finally is leveling off a little,” he said, but advises “we’re not out of the woods.” De Blasio also said his administration is looking to further educate and support minority communities regarding the dangers of coronavirus, which is affecting black and Latino Americans at a higher rate. “This disease, unfortunately, it amplifies the horrible health disparities that already exist,” he said.
1 hr 51 min ago
Boris Johnson is "responding to treatment," says spokesman
From CNN's Luke McGee
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is responding to treatment for the coronavirus and remains in a stable condition in hospital, according to his official spokesman. “The Prime Minister is receiving oxygen treatment and is breathing without support,” he said. Johnson has spent three nights in St. Thomas’s Hospital in central London – two of which have been in intensive care. Johnson revealed he was suffering from coronavirus on March 27, as did health secretary Matt Hancock, who has since recovered. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputizing for Johnson while the Prime Minister is in intensive care. There is no codified line of succession at the pinnacle of British politics, but Johnson has nominated Raab to deputize for him while he is in hospital. The UK's coronavirus restrictions are due to be reviewed on Monday, but won't be relaxed until it’s clear the peak of infections has passed, said junior health minister Edward Argar on Wednesday. He has urged people to stay home over the Easter weekend.
2 hr 25 min ago
UK soccer stars pictured flouting social distancing rules
From CNN's Ben Church
The coach and some star players from the UK soccer team Tottenham Hotspur have been pictured flouting social distancing regulations by training in a north London park. Pictures appeared on social media of coach Jose Mourinho holding a makeshift training session for midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were seen running together in breach of the two-meter requirement. The club did not respond to CNN for comment, but a statement released to the BBC read: "All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors. We shall continue to reinforce this message."
2 hr 23 min ago
HHS announces contract to produce 30,000 ventilators for US national stockpile
From CNN's Delano Massey
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $489.4 million contract with General Motors (GM) to produce 30,000 ventilators under the Defense Production Act The ventilators will be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August with a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1, according to a press release. HHS said the move follows President Trump’s direction to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to invoke the Defense Production Act which was passed in 1950 in response to production needs during the Korean War with regard to GM’s production of ventilators on March 27. By using the Defense Production Act, Azar said HHS is "helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are routed through the Strategic National Stockpile to where they’re needed most." "The Trump Administration has deployed thousands of ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile that have helped save lives in hotspots such as New York so far," he said. "We’re grateful to the GM team for working with the federal government to expand our nation’s supply of ventilators as the pandemic evolves.”
2 hr 31 min ago
NYC mayor unclear if the city will have enough ventilators next week
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN’s John Berman that the city has enough ventilators to get through this week, but cautions future needs are unclear. “We can get through this week … We're good for this week, but the future is still unknown," he said. The city reported 806 new coronavirus deaths Tuesday, as well as 5,825 new cases, according to the New York City website. It has reported a total of 3,544 deaths and 74,601 coronavirus cases to date. Tuesday was the deadliest day of the outbreak so far. “The toll that this virus has taken on families and New Yorkers across the city is truly sad,” said the city’s Health and Hospitals spokesman Christopher Miller in a statement.
2 hr 36 min ago
Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 4,000
From Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Deborah Bloom
Iran recorded 121 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 4,003, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor said Wednesday on state TV. There were also 1,997 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 64,586, said Jahanpoor. He added that 29,812 patients have so far recovered at home or been released from hospitals across the country. Of those hospitalized, 3,956 are in critical condition. Though the death toll continues to rise, the past few days have seen a slowdown of new coronavirus cases in Iran. On Sunday, the country saw a 4.5% increase in Covid-19 cases. This fell to 3.2% on Wednesday.
2 hr 48 min ago
Switzerland records 547 new cases
From CNN's Stephanie Halasz
A further 547 people tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 22,789 cases, the Swiss Federal Office for Health said Wednesday. The country has also recorded 705 coronavirus-related deaths, and the incidence rate is 266 per 100.000 inhabitants, the office said. Public and private events are banned in Switzerland until April 19, and the country has moved to restrict non-essential travel. Only Swiss residents and citizens and those of neighboring Liechtenstein or people traveling for work-related or emergency reasons are permitted to enter the country.
3 hr 24 min ago
Officials in Michigan order four portable refrigeration units to store bodies
From CNN's Joe Sutton
Officials in Wayne County, Michigan, have ordered at least four portable units -- equivalent to the size of a semi-trailer -- to help increase capacity to accommodate bodies. The county morgue has space for 300 bodies, and Wayne County Spokesman Bill Nowling told CNN each portable unit will hold about 40 bodies, increasing storage capacity to 450 total. "Based on current projections of the number of expected cases and potential deaths, we think this will be enough," said Nowling. "We monitor daily and will order more portable units as necessary." Wayne County is the 13th most populous in the US and contains the city of Detroit. Excluding Detroit there are at least 3,513 cases of coronavirus in the county, and 180 deaths, according to county data. Michigan has at least 18,970 cases of coronavirus and 845 deaths, according to the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services as well as Johns Hopkins University.
3 hr 42 min ago
First coronavirus patients being treated in temporary London hospital
From Simon Cullen
The first coronavirus patients are being treated in the temporary Nightingale Hospital in London, which was set up to deal with the pandemic. “Our first patients have now been admitted to the NHS Nightingale London, as planned," said a spokeswoman for NHS Nightingale. "There is also treatment capacity available in other hospitals across London to complement the care being provided at the London Nightingale.” The facility at the Excel Centre in east London will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen. It was officially opened by Prince Charles on Friday last week. The spokeswoman declined to say how many patients were currently being treated there.
3 hr 14 min ago
Covid-19 cases surpass 10,000 in Africa, WHO says
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the continent of Africa has climbed to more than 10,000 and caused more than 500 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday. Africa's first Covid-19 case was reported in Egypt in February and the novel coronavirus has spread since then. However the number of cases has grown "exponentially" in recent weeks, according to WHO officials. "COVID-19 has the potential not only to cause thousands of deaths but to also unleash economic and social devastation. Its spread beyond major cities means the opening of a new front in our fight against this virus," said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's regional director for Africa, in a written statement Wednesday. "This requires a decentralized response, which is tailored to the local context," Moeti said. "Communities need to be empowered, and provincial and district levels of government need to ensure they have the resources and expertise to respond to outbreaks locally." The statement noted that WHO has been working with governments across Africa to "scale up" their response capacities when it comes to coordination, surveillance, testing, isolation, case management, contact tracing, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement during the coronavirus pandemic.
3 hr 10 min ago
Tesla furloughs staff and slashes salary until June
From CNN’s Sherisse Pham and Peter Valdes-Dapena
Tesla is telling staff to brace for pay cuts and furloughs as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts operations and cripples demand. Starting next Monday, US employees at the electric car company who hold director and vice president-level roles and above will see pay reductions of 20% to 30%, and "everyone else" will receive a pay cut of 10%, according to an internal email obtained by CNN Business. The reductions are expected to be in place until the end of June. Pay rises and equity grants will also be put on hold. Non-US employees will also face similar reductions, according to the email. Tesla is running "minimum critical operations" at the moment, and expects to resume full operations at US plants in early May "barring any significant changes," the email said. But until then, the company needs to manage costs, and implement what it calls "a shared sacrifice ... during these challenging times." Tesla did not respond to a request for comment outside of working hours. Employees who can't work from home and haven't been assigned to critical work on-site will be furloughed, and the majority of furloughed staff will receive unemployment benefits "roughly equivalent to take-home pay," the email said. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted major automakers' operations around the world. Volkswagen, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and others have had to close plants or suspend operations across Europe and Asia. Tesla recently opened a factory in Shanghai, where the production of its Model 3 car was delayed earlier this year because of the outbreak. In the United States, the current epicenter of the pandemic, car sales have plummeted as millions across the country have been told to stay at home except for essentials such as shopping for food, drugs or seeking medical care. Other major corporations, including automakers like Ford, have also announced executive pay cuts to mitigate the consequences of the outbreak.
3 hr 57 min ago
US stock futures retreat on coronavirus caution
From CNN Business
US futures lost ground Wednesday as economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic continues to mount. Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures were all down by just under 0.2%, and US stocks were slightly lower after declines Tuesday on Wall Street. The caution has once again taken hold as investors weigh the effects of the pandemic, said Jingyi Pan, a strategist for IG Group. US crude settled sharply lower at $23.63 a barrel Tuesday, down 9.4% from the previous day. Futures rebounded 2.8% on Wednesday to trade at $24.29 a barrel. The moves come ahead of an OPEC meeting with Russia on Thursday to discuss oil production cuts in response to plummeting demand and to deescalate a price war.
3 hr 7 min ago
Pet cats in coronavirus-infected or self-isolating households should be kept inside if possible, says UK vet association
From CNN's Lindsay Isaac in London
Cats from coronavirus-infected households, or those with owners self-isolating, should be kept indoors as a precaution, said the British veterinary association. But cats should not be forced to stay inside if it causes them stress, it added. There have been a “tiny” number of Covid-19 cases in animals but it appears the transmission was human to animal, said the association in a statement. “There is no evidence that pets can pass Covid-19 to their owners,” it added. So far, dogs have not shown any symptoms but cats have displayed “clinical signs of the disease.” The association warns that the virus can sit on pet fur in the same way as on other surfaces. Handwashing is the best line of defense, it advises. “As a precaution, for pet owners who have Covid-19, or who are self-isolating, we are recommending that you keep your cat inside during that time, if possible,” it said.
3 hr 17 min ago
Spain coronavirus deaths rose for the second day in a row
From CNN’s Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Madrid
Spain has recorded its second consecutive daily increase in the number of deaths from coronavirus following a week-long decline, according to data from the Health Ministry released Wednesday. Figures show 757 people died in the past 24 hours, an increase from 743 deaths recorded the previous day. However it was only 5.5% in relation to the total number of deaths, a slight slowdown compared to Tuesday’s 5.7% rise in the total. According to the Health Ministry 14,555 people have now died from the novel coronavirus in Spain. The number of active cases has also gone up from 83,504 to 84,111, an increase of 610, which is the lowest in nearly a month. Percentage-wise, there was a growth of 0.7% on Tuesday’s numbers, the lowest since the outbreak began. The Health Ministry also reported 48,021 people have now recovered from the virus, 4,813 more than the number reported Tuesday. Spanish officials did not report the number of patients in intensive care (ICU), the first time this has been left out since reporting began. This is because the Health Ministry wants all of Spain's 17 regions to report the accumulated cases of such patients, but it says that five regions have been reporting only the current number of patients in ICU rather than the accumulated number. The Ministry said it would report the ICU figures again once all regions are reporting them the same way.
4 hr 40 min ago
French President Emmanuel Macron to address the nation Thursday
From Pierre Bairin in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation Thursday regarding the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The country has now seen more than 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths and has moved to tighten local confinement measures. The city of Paris has prohibited any individual sporting activity outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local as of Wednesday, while authorities in the city of Biarritz have prohibited sitting on benches for more than two minutes. "It is important that everyone understands that we absolutely need strict compliance with confinement," said French health authority director Jerome Salomon Tuesday. "A slackening would be extremely dangerous for the patients, for the caregivers.”
4 hr 27 min ago
At least 399,929 coronavirus cases in the US, with 12,911 deaths
From CNN's Joe Sutton
There are at least 399,929 cases of coronavirus in the US, with 12,911 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. This includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state not to report a death from coronavirus. The US hit another record for most deaths from coronavirus in a single day Tuesday, but President Donald Trump said he would love to start the economy back up “with a big bang,” opening the entire country back to business all at once. "We’re way under any of the polls or any of the models as they call them,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Tuesday night. “We are way under, and we hope to keep it that way, in terms of death.”
4 hr 42 min ago
China reports 62 new cases of coronavirus and two deaths
From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong and Sophie Jeong in Seoul
China reported 62 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, with all but three of them imported, according to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC). There were also two new coronavirus-related deaths. The 62 newly confirmed cases raise the national case total to 81,802, with 3,333 dead. Doctors have successfully treated 77,279 patients who have now recovered and been discharged from hospitals. This Monday was the first time China saw no daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths since the NHC began releasing daily updates in late January.
4 hr 45 min ago
Pope says Covid-19 pandemic could be nature's "response" to climate change
From CNN's Delia Gallagher in Rome
The coronavirus outbreak is one of “nature’s responses” to human beings ignoring the ecological crisis, said Pope Francis Wednesday. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?" the Pope told British Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh in an email interview published Wednesday in The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines. “I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.” Pope Francis also said he is recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more from his residence in the Vatican during this "time of great uncertainty." Francis revealed he goes to confession every Tuesday to ask forgiveness for his own selfishness. “I take care of things there,” he said. Francis said the homeless should be quarantined in hotels and not in parking lots. “A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel,” the Pope said. “This is the moment to see the poor,” he said, whom society often treats as "rescued animals." The Pope warned against the rise of populist politicians, who he said are giving speeches reminiscent of Hitler in 1933, and others who are focusing solely on the economy. “I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons,” he said. “Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world." The Pope encouraged people at home on lockdown to find creative ways of being at home. “Take care of yourselves for a future that will come,” Francis said.
5 hr 3 min ago
The German economy will shrink by 4.2% in 2020, according to forecasts
From CNN's Stephanie Halasz
The German economy will shrink by 4.2% this year, according to Timo Wollmershaeuser, a senior economist at IFO Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys. Economies around the world are bracing for major damage due to the coronavirus outbreak, and data coming out of China, where the virus was first detected, has revealed how the economy was devastated in the first two months of the year. The collapse in activity affected every sector of the world's second-biggest economy, as the epidemic and draconian measures designed to contain it delivered an unprecedented shock that is now being replicated around the world.
5 hr 12 min ago
Eurozone finance ministers suspend talks on an aid package
From CNN's Stephanie Halasz
The Eurogroup, an informal meeting point for Eurozone finance ministers, has suspended talks on an aid package for countries affected by the coronavirus, according to a tweet from group president Mario Centeno. Talks lasted 16 hours and will continue Thursday, said Centeno, who added "we came close to a deal but we are not there yet." The plans are designed to defend the Eurozone and the European Union and would come in addition to measures implemented by national governments. "We have to be as comprehensive as possible for the different sectors of our economy," said Centeno in an interview with German outlet Sueddeutsche Zeitung, outlining plans for a safety net of around half a trillion euros.
5 hr 38 min ago
The UK is "nowhere near lifting lockdown," says London mayor
From CNN's Simon Cullen in London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the United Kingdom is still some way off being able to ease the restrictions introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus. "We’re nowhere near lifting the lockdown," Khan told BBC Radio on Wednesday. "I speak to experts regularly. We think the peak which is the worst part of the virus -- is still probably a week-and-a-half away." Khan said there is still spare capacity in the city’s intensive care units, but added that "too many people are losing their lives."
Junior health minister agrees: Edward Argar told BBC Radio that the restrictions will be reviewed "when the scientific advice is such that we appear to have gone over the peak and when it is safe to do so." "Now is the time to hold firm to what we’ve been telling people to do -- to stick to the guidance, stick to the regulations -- and not put at risk all the progress we have made." He also urged people to stay home over the Easter weekend. The lockdown restrictions were introduced by the UK government nearly three weeks ago. They were initially due to be reviewed on Monday. There are at least 55,949 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, including 6,171 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
5 hr 23 min ago
Chaos rocks Trump White House on virus' most tragic day
Analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson
The chaos and confusion rocking President Donald Trump's administration on the most tragic day yet of the coronavirus pandemic were exceptional even by his own standards. Trump set out Tuesday to cement his image of a wartime leader facing down an "invisible enemy" at a dark moment as the country waits for the virus to peak and with the economy languishing in suspended animation.
"What we have is a plague, and we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel," the President said, on a day when a record number of Americans succumbed to the wicked respiratory disease.
But instead of putting minds at rest, Trump's wild performance put on display many of the personal and political habits that have defined his tumultuous presidency. It was a troubling spectacle coming at such a wrenching chapter of national life, the kind of moment when presidents are called to provide consistent, level leadership.
What went down: To begin with, Trump sparked concern that he will prevent oversight of the disbursement of economic rescue funds by removing a watchdog official responsible for overseeing the $2 trillion package. The move, coming after Trump ousted an intelligence community inspector general last week, was yet another sign that an already impeached President is using the cover of the worst domestic crisis since World War II to further erode constraints on his power. Then Trump insisted he hadn't seen January memos by a top White House official warning about the pandemic at the same time the President was dismissing it as a threat. He also announced he was placing a "very powerful hold" on funding for the World Health Organization, even though it correctly identified the scale of the virus and he didn't. Then moments later, he insisted he did no such thing.