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"We've got to get the country open," Trump says as coronavirus cases top 300,000 nationwide

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President Trump emphasized the need to "get back to work" at a Coronavirus Task Force meeting as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country topped 300,000. "The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, we've got to get our country open," Mr. Trump insisted. 

Health experts have warned that stay-at-home orders are the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus, but Mr. Trump said he is not in favor of enacting such an order nationwide. Eight states, all of which have Republican governors, have not yet implemented stay-at-home orders. 

With large gatherings essentially banned, Mr. Trump said there is "no contingency plan" for the Republican National Convention, currently scheduled for August 24-27. He said he expected the country to be "in good health" by that time. 

Mr. Trump said he spoke to the heads of professional sports leagues, and while he said "I can't give you a date" about when various leagues would start up again, he said he "absolutely" wanted fans back in the arenas. "Sports weren't built for this," he said. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Saturday that he is not anticipating professional sports would start up anytime soon in the state. He warned he would move "very cautiously in that expectation. Our decision on that basis will be determined by the facts, the health experts, by our capacity to bend the curve, testing to confidently determine whether that's appropriate."

In New York, the current epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he expected the crisis to peak in 4-8 days. But, he warned, the state is "not ready" for the apex. 

The number of U.S. cases is more than double the amount of the next-highest country, Spain, which has more than 124,000 confirmed cases. In Spain, meanwhile,  Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday the country is "close to passing the peak of infections" as the number of coronavirus deaths fell for the second day in a row. In one day, 809 died, the lowest death toll in Spain in a week. 

Read latest:

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

Mobile Morgues Set Up Outside Brooklyn Hospital As Coronavirus Outbreak Hits New York
Medical workers stand outside a refrigerator truck being used as a morgue outside of Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 3, 2020 in New York City. Getty Images

Contributing: The Associated Press 

 

N.J. governor: "We're going through hell together"

New Jersey reported more than 200 new coronavirus deaths Saturday, bringing the state's total to at least 846.

"Let me put this in a proper, yet very sobering context: We have now lost nearly 100 more of our fellow New Jerseyans to COVID-19 than did on the September 11 attacks," Governor Phil Murphy said during his daily coronavirus press briefing.

"We're going through hell together," Murphy added.

New Jersey has more than 34,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., it is second only to New York in terms of both number of confirmed cases and death toll.

By Jordan Freiman
 

Florida's tourism industry heavily impacted by coronavirus pandemic

Florida's tourism industry heavily impacted by coronavirus pandemic
 

Thousands of Americans stuck abroad during pandemic

Thousands of Americans stuck abroad during pandemic
 

President Trump says he won't wear face mask

Trump says he won't wear face mask
 

U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 8,000 as hospitals struggle to treat patients

U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 8,000 while hospitals struggle to treat patients
 

Birx expects New York, Detroit and Louisiana to hit their peaks in 6-7 days

US-health-VIRUS-BRIEFING
Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House on April 4, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Getty

Dr. Deborah Birx said Saturday that the three hardest-hit parts of the country, New York, Detroit and Louisiana, are still on the upside of the peak of mortality. 

Citing healthdata.org, Birx said she expects the peak in those areas to be in six to seven days. 

"If mitigation in New York works, and we believe it's working, the cases will start to go down but mortality will be a lag because of comorbidity and other conditions," Birx said. "That's why all the predictions are that this next week … and it's difficult, and we try to prepare Americans to understand, as much as you go up, you have to go down the other side."

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump says he "may take" hydroxychloroquine

President Trump continued to push the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that has been experimented with as a treatment for coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine has not been approved by the FDA, and Dr. Anthony Fauci warned earlier this week that it is not a "knockout drug."

Although Mr. Trump repeated an unproven claim that people with lupus, which is also treated by hydroxychloroquine, don't get coronavirus, Fauci said "we don't have an answer" on that. But Mr. Trump said he hopes they are taking hydroxychloroquine. 

"If it were me, I may do it anyway, I may take it. Have to ask my doctors, but I may take it," Mr. Trump said. 

Mr. Trump has tested negative for coronavirus twice. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump says "this will probably be the toughest week" yet

Virus Outbreak Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. From left, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator. Patrick Semansky / AP

President Trump emphasized the need to "get back to work" as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country topped 300,000 at Saturday's Coronvarius Task Force briefing, although he warned the upcoming week could be the "toughest week" so far. 

"This will probably be the toughest week between this week and next week, and a lot of death, unfortunately," Mr. Trump said at the beginning of the briefing. He quickly pivoted to slamming the media, calling media outlets "fake news."

Mr. Trump also reiterated his complaint that certain states were requesting more equipment from the federal government than they needed, saying that these states "inflated" the demand.

"Some states have more ventilators than they need. They don't even like to admit it. They'll admit it when this thing is over," Mr. Trump said, without providing evidence. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters Saturday that the state had not yet received an order of 17,000 ventilators.

Mr. Trump did say that 1,000 military personnel would be deployed to New York to assist with the crisis.

"We have given the governor of New York more than anybody has been given a long time," Mr. Trump said, arguing that Cuomo isn't "gracious.

The president repeated his argument that the country should reopen its economy as soon as possible, adding that he wanted to see sports fans packing arenas "sooner rather than later." He also said that he was "thinking" about creating another task force to oversee the reopening of the economy.

By Grace Segers
 

Trump says there is no "contingency plan" for Republican National Convention

Virus Outbreak Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. Patrick Semansky / AP

President Trump said at a Coronavirus Task Force briefing Saturday that he expected the Republican National Convention to go on as planned. The convention is currently scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"We have no contingency plan," Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump said he expected the country to be "in good health" by then. 

The Democrats are postponing their convention, originally planned to start July 13, to the week of August 17. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Spain says its peak is almost over, as cases fall again

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday that the country is "close to passing the peak of infections," as coronavirus cases continue to fall. 

The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain fell for the second day in a row, the BBC reports. In one day, 809 died, the lowest death toll in Spain in a week. 

Spain went under a country-wide lockdown in mid March, when it had over 6,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and at least 191 deaths . Sánchez said the lockdown has been extended until April 25, saying the restrictions have been "saving lives."

By Audrey McNamara
 

Ohio reports 3,739 confirmed cases and 102 deaths

 

Puerto Rico discovers protective supply cache

Health Secretary Lorenzo González said Saturday that officials discovered a cache of urgently needed personal protective equipment at a hospital in the nearby island of Vieques that remains closed since Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory in September 2017. He said the equipment includes face masks, gloves, gowns and face shields that were in good condition and would be distributed to health institutions.

"They're very useful at this moment," he said.

Puerto Rico has reported 18 deaths related to COVID-19, including that of a nurse, and more than 450 confirmed cases, including several police officers who join health workers in demanding more personal protective equipment.

The discovery in Vieques outraged many on an island still struggling to recover from Maria and from a series of strong earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico's southern region in recent months. González said he has ordered an investigation into why those supplies were abandoned in Vieques.

— The Associated Press

 

New Jersey reports 34,124 COVID-19 cases and 846 deaths

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Saturday that 846 people have died in the state due to COVID-19. He said there have been more than 34,000 confirmed cases – the second highest number of reported cases of any state in the country after New York state.

He paused for a moment of silence on Saturday during his briefing on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims is docking in Florida

Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, is docking in Florida. Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said in an email Saturday the Coral Princess ship is docking in Miami. 

The ship with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members has been in limbo for days awaiting permission to dock. As of Thursday, Kamali said seven passengers and five crew members had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Anyone in need of hospitalization will disembark first, the cruise line said, although it wasn't immediately clear when that would happen. Those who are fit to fly will begin leaving on Sunday, while others who have symptoms of respiratory illness will remain on board until cleared by ship doctors. 

— The Associated Press

Read more here.

 

Cuomo says state never received 17,000 ventilators

Cuomo says China and Oregon will be sending ventilators to New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had put in an order for 17,000 ventilators. "We had signed documents. We placed the order," Cuomo said. "But then you get a call saying we can't fill that order."

The governor said the unfilled order was likely due to global shortages and intense competition for ventilators.

Cuomo said that New York was also doing business with Chinese companies, as China was the "repository" of most personal protective equipment. Cuomo said the Chinese government had facilitated a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive in New York on Saturday. 

He also said the state of Oregon is sending 140 ventilators.

By Grace Segers
 

New York governor says state is not yet ready for peak

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state has not yet reached its peak number of coronavirus cases. "We're not at the apex," Cuomo said, adding that New York is "not yet ready for the high point."

Cuomo said there have been 3,565 deaths in New York from COVID-19 as of Saturday. There are currently over 113,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and over 15,000 hospitalizations.

Cuomo also announced he is signing an executive order to allow medical students who were slated to graduate in the spring to begin practice.

"We need doctors, we need nurses. So we're going to expedite that," Cuomo said.  

By Grace Segers
 

Pink reveals she tested positive for coronavirus

Pink revealed on social media Friday night that her family has been quarantined for weeks after she tested positive for coronavirus. The superstar singer said she and her 3-year-old son Jameson were already self-isolating when they started showing symptoms several weeks ago. Her primary care physician "fortunately" had access to tests, she said, and she tested positive. 

After continuing to shelter at home for the last two weeks, Pink said they were re-tested and no longer have COVID-19. The 40-year-old slammed the government for failing to provide widespread access to testing as the virus spreads across the country. 

Read more here.

By Sophie Lewis
 

Britain is temporarily releasing about 4,000 inmates

Britain is temporarily releasing about 4,000 inmates to ease crowding and try to slow the spread of the coronavirus in prisons. The Ministry of Justice says "low-risk" offenders will be freed with electronic tags. People guilty of violent or sexual offenses or terrorism will not be eligible for release.

Pregnant prisoners or those with infants have also been approved for release.

Britain has one of the largest prison populations in western Europe with more than 80,000 people behind bars. Many prisons hold far more inmates than they were built for.

According to official figures, 88 inmates and 15 prison staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Three prisoners are reported to have died.

— The Associated Press

 

California launches initiative to place homeless in hotel rooms

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an initiative Friday to place homeless people in hotel and motel rooms around the state in partnership with FEMA. California counties and FEMA have identified 6,867 rooms that are now in state possession, and they're looking to identify up to 15,000 rooms as an initial goal.      

The "Project Roomkey" initiative is the first of its kind in the nation, in which the federal agency would reimburse state and local governments up to 75 percent of the costs of the rooms, including services such as meals and security and custodial services, for the next three months, CBS SF Bay Area reports.

Read more here.

 

Maryland governor announces statewide moment of reflection and prayer

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a statewide moment of prayer and reflection to take place at noon Sunday "so that Marylanders can join together in honor of those we have lost, those who are sick, and the doctors, nurses, clinicians, health care workers, and first responders on the front lines," he tweeted.

"Together, let us give strength and comfort to one another. Let us pray for each other. Let us pray for the great State of Maryland, for the United States of America, and for all the people around the world," he said.

Maryland has reported more than 2,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases and says 42 people have died. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Confiscated supplies will be sent to medical professionals

Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus battle in New York and New Jersey will receive nearly a million medical supplies confiscated by the FBI, CBS New York reports. Earlier this week, federal authorities seized a huge stockpile from a hoarder in Brooklyn and at a warehouse in New Jersey.

The supplies included 192,000 N95 masks, 130,000 surgical masks and nearly 600,000 gloves.

 

Medics at Egypt's main cancer center test positive

At least 17 medics in Egypt's main cancer hospital have been quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said Saturday, raising fears the pandemic could prey on health facilities in the Arab world's most populous country. 

Egypt has reported around 1,000 confirmed cases and 66 fatalities from the global pandemic. Authorities have closed schools and mosques, banned public gatherings and imposed a nighttime curfew to prevent the virus from spreading among the population of 100 million, a fifth of whom live in the densely-populated capital, Cairo. 

The government has not yet imposed the kind of total lockdown seen in other countries in the region, but officials have said there are plans for stricter measures if needed. 

The worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East is in Iran, where the Health Ministry on Saturday reported another 158 deaths. That brings the overall number of fatalities there to 3,452, amid 55,743 confirmed cases.

— The Associated Press

 

5 things to know about the virus pandemic from Dr. Tom Inglesby

President Trump on Friday announced new voluntary guidelines that Americans should wear non-medical cloth masks when out in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, joined the "CBS Evening News" to speak about the benefit of masks for the general public and a possible vaccine.

Click here for the five major takeaways from the discussion, and watch the interview below:

Dr. Tom Inglesby on coronavirus pandemic
 

Barr tells BOP to focus on three prisons most impacted by COVID-19 when considering home confinement

Attorney General William Barr on Friday instructed the Bureau of Prisons to focus their assessment of eligibility for home confinement on the three prisons most affected by coronavirus: Louisiana's FCI Oakdale, Connecticut's FCI Danbury and Ohio's FCI Elkton.

The announcement comes after he issued a directive last week requesting that the BOP prioritize home confinement for inmates that qualify, including the elderly and those with preexisting conditions.

"We have to move with dispatch in using home confinement, where appropriate, to move vulnerable inmates out of these institutions," Barr wrote.

As part of the directive, he told the BOP to assess all inmates at risk of contracting the virus at the three institutions.

"You should begin implementing this directive immediately at the facilities I have specifically identified and any other facilities facing similarly serious problems," Barr wrote.

Even if chosen, inmates will still be subject to a 14 day quarantine.

Despite the directive to expedite the process, Barr maintained that public safety is paramount. "We cannot simply release prison populations en masse onto the streets," he wrote. "Doing so would pose profound risks to the public from release prisons engaging in additional criminal activity, potentially including violence or heinous sex offenses."

By Clare Hymes
 

"We're all in this together": Food bank teams up with online marketplace to provide jobs and feed families

Thousands of people in Dallas, Texas, lined up on Thursday for free meals provided by the school district. In many places, there aren't enough helping hands to keep pace with the demand for food. But one program is hiring workers laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic to help feed families in need in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Texas. 

Typically, volunteers at the North Texas Food Bank prepare the 77 million meals the bank distributes each year — but COVID-19 has kept them away. The solution? A partnership between the food bank and Shiftsmart, an online marketplace connecting workers with employers. 

One of those workers is Anna Morris, who lost her bartending job a few weeks ago. 

"This is great money, and a good opportunity to— to keep my spirits high," Morris said. 

Read more here.

By Mireya Villarreal
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