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Coronavirus updates from April 5, 2020

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N.Y. hospitals stretched thin amid apex
New York hospitals stretched thin as governor says state may be nearing coronavirus apex 02:28

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President Trump said Sunday that more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests had been conducted in the U.S. so far, as he warned the "toughest week" yet in the crisis is coming. Mr. Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be delivering 1,700 critical ventilators to five states battling COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

There are currently more than 337,000 confirmed coronavirus patients in the U.S., the most of any country, out of 1.27 million worldwide. Italy still has the highest death toll with nearly 16,000. On Sunday, Italy reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in more than two weeks, a sign it may have passed the apex of its crisis.

In the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth gave a rare televised address about the crisis, telling Britons and the world that "better days will return. We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again."

The queen's speech came as 10 Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been hospitalized due to persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Throughout the world, there were empty churches for Palm Sunday services. Pope Francis livestreamed Mass from an empty St. Peter's Basilica, which would normally be packed with worshipers. In New York, bells rang from an empty St. Patrick's Cathedral.

In New York City, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus, according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Officials say this is the first report of a tiger becoming infected with COVID-19.

The total number of cases worldwide topped 1.2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll is more than 68,000.

Read latest:

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.


Another death among passengers from ocean liner that docked in Miami over weekend

Authorities say 14 people have been taken to hospitals from a cruise ship that docked in Florida with coronavirus victims aboard and that one of them has died. Two fatalities were reported earlier aboard the Coral Princess, which docked Saturday in Miami. The ship had more than 1,000 passengers and nearly 900 crew members.

Authorities didn't immediately disclose whether any of the 14 people removed for immediate medical attention had confirmed coronavirus links.

The Princess Cruises line ship began disembarking fit passengers cleared for charter flights Sunday. The cruise line said it was delayed by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy preventing passengers from being placed on commercial flights.

Anyone with symptoms of the disease or recovering from it was being kept on the ship until medically cleared. 

-- The Associated Press


2020 Democrats adapt campaigns to coronavirus pandemic

2020 Democrats adapt campaigns to coronavirus pandemic 01:55

Trump says 1.6 million Americans have been tested for coronavirus as nation faces "toughest" week yet

President Trump and Vice President Pence voiced optimism Sunday about the coronavirus pandemic and said cases of the disease appear to be leveling. "The U.S. will reach a horrific point in terms of death, but it will be a point where things will start changing for the better," Mr. Trump said.

Trump says 1.67 million Americans tested for coronavirus and touts drugs to fight disease 03:07

The president said that by Tuesday, 3,000 military and public health workers will have been deployed across the country. He said the U.S. has conducted and received results of more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests. He also said that treatments for coronavirus — including erythromycin — be looked at closely. Mr. Trump said the U.S. has stockpiled some 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, which has not been clinically proven to be safe or successful in treating coronavirus.

"It would be a shame if we didn't turn to these drugs early if it turns out they are helpful," he said during the briefing.

Mr. Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delivered critical ventilators to several states battling COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus:

  • 500 to New Jersey
  • 200 to Louisiana
  • 600 to Illinois
  • 100 to Massachusetts
  • 300 to Michigan

New Jersey has become a hot zone, Mr. Trump said, and said the news that the fatality rate in New York has dropped is "maybe a good sign." 

On Monday, the government is sending some 600,000 N95 masks to medical personnel in New York state, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., according to the president. The U.S. will also send some 200,000 N95 masks to Suffolk County, Long Island. 
Read more here.

By Peter Martinez

Texas sets up checkpoints for drivers from Louisiana

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has begun screening drivers heading west into Texas from Louisiana, according to CBS affiliate KFDM-TV.

The station said DPS is conducting the screenings in Texas counties that border Louisiana, including those intersected by Interstate 10. Officials say drivers must fill out an official state document required under Texas Governor Greg Abbott's executive order, named GA-12.

KFDM-TV reports that Louisiana State Police have signs posted on their side of the border alerting drivers to move into specific lanes for screenings to take place in Texas.

Sergeant Stephanie Davis of Texas' DPS told KFDM-TV that no one will be told to turn around and return to Louisiana.

"GA-12 does not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response and critical infrastructure functions," DPS said in a statement, obtained by KFDM-TV.

By Peter Martinez

Some religious leaders still holding services and putting communities at risk

Some religious leaders still holding services, putting communities at risk 02:21

Los Angeles woman celebrates 110th birthday amid coronavirus pandemic

Los Angeles woman celebrates 110th birthday amid coronavirus pandemic 01:37

Washington governor says state will return 400 ventilators

Trump praises Washington state for returning 400 ventilators to U.S. stockpile 00:51

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Sunday that the state will return 400 ventilators it received from the U.S. stockpile to help states hard-hit by coronavirus.

"These ventilators are going to New York and other states hardest hit by this virus," Inslee said. "I've said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks." 

Washington had some of the earliest cases of coronavirus, and recently purchased 750 ventilators that are expected to arrive in the coming days.

By Caroline Linton

Tiger contracts coronavirus at New York City zoo, officials say

A Malayan tiger seen in an undated photo provided by the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Handout / Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo

A 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at a zoo in New York City has tested positive for coronavirus, according to results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Officials say this is the first report of a tiger becoming infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

USDA said samples from the tiger, named Nadia, were taken and evaluated after several lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo presented symptoms of respiratory illness. The zoo said Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions had developed a dry cough. They are all expected to recover.

Health officials said the large cats got sick from being exposed to a zoo employee who had COVID-19, but was asymptomatic. The Bronx Zoo has been closed since mid-March; the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27, according to the USDA. No other animals in the zoo are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, officials said.

"We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world's continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," the zoo said in a statement.

Read more here.

By Peter Martinez

NYC mayor says there are enough ventilators to "get to Tuesday or Wednesday"

Trump describes U.S. response to coronavirus as "all out military operation" 08:00

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that the city's hospitals now have enough ventilators to "get to Tuesday or Wednesday." De Blasio had previously said Sunday would be the make-or-break point. 

"We thought as early as tonight there was the possibility of running out of crucial equipment like ventilators," de Blasio said. "Now I can tell you – and this is certainly good news here – we have bought a few more days here. We believe now we can get to Tuesday or Wednesday with the supplies that we have."

The mayor said his order to his team is to always prepare for the worst-case scenario.

"The ventilators that we've gotten are going to stretch farther than we originally projected," de Blasio said.

De Blasio said he saw a "few signs" that are "hopeful," but it was too soon to say if the hard-hit city was turning a corner. The mayor said the city has distributed 2,865 ventilators to hospitals and 1,780 BPAP machines, which can be of help for some patients, CBS New York reports. The city is holding 135 ventilators in its reserves for deployment as needed.

"That's the entire reserve we have left for all of this city of 8.6 million people," he said. "So to get through next week… we believe we'll need between 1,000-1,500 more ventilators for the period roughly Wednesday through Sunday."

By Caroline Linton

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to hospital

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized for testing, 10 days after he tested positive for coronavirus, his office said Sunday. He "continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus," including a high fever, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

It was described as a "precautionary step" taken on the advice of his doctor, the spokeswoman said.

Johnson will still be in charge of the government.

Read more here.

By Caroline Linton

Irish prime minister returns to medicine

FILE PHOTO: News conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dublin
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks during a news conference on the coronavirus situation at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland, on March 24, 2020.  Reuters

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has reregistered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help during the coronavirus crisis, his office said Sunday.

"Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way," a spokesman for Varadkar told the Reuters news agency.

Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before becoming a politician and was removed from the medical register in 2013, according to Reuters.

There are currently nearly 5,000 cases of coronavirus in Ireland, and more than 150 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

By Caroline Linton

Queen Elizabeth gives rare televised address

Queen Elizabeth gives rare public address about coronavirus 02:13

In a rare televised address Sunday night, Queen Elizabeth urged the United Kingdom to practice "self-discipline" in "an increasingly challenging time."

"I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge," she said. "And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any."

She urged everyone to remember "better days will return. We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again."

The queen thanked National Health Service workers and said the moments when people applauded health care workers will be remembered for generations. She also thanked "those who have stayed at home. If we remain united and resolute, we will overcome it," she said.

Queen Elizabeth wrote the remarks herself based on her own life experiences, according to BBC News royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell. It was recorded with one camera operator at Windsor Castle, where she is quarantined, Witchell reported.

Her eldest son, Prince Charles, has recovered from coronavirus. 

According to BBC News, the last time she gave this type of address was in 1940 during the Blitz when she was still Princess Elizabeth. As queen, she has only given four national addresses. 

Britain's death toll on Sunday rose to more than 4,900. There have been more than 48,000 cases across Britain, the eighth-highest toll of any country, according to Johns Hopkins University. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of those who tested positive.

By Caroline Linton

Biden says Democrats may have to hold virtual convention

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden said Sunday the Democratic National Convention may not be held in person due to the coronavirus.

"We may have to do a virtual convention," Biden said on ABC's "This Week." "I think we should be thinking about that right now. The idea of holding the convention is going to be necessary, but we may not be able to put 10, 20, 30,000 people in one place, and that's very possible."

The convention was delayed a month, from mid-July to mid-August, last week because of the coronavirus, and convention organizers said they were exploring changes to its format, size and schedule.

Biden also said he intends to wear a mask in public, as the Centers for Disease Control has begun recommending people do voluntarily.

"I think it's important to follow the science, listen to the experts, do what they tell you," Biden said.

Mr. Trump said Friday he does not plan to wear a mask.

By Melissa Quinn

Millions hold vigils across India to dispel coronavirus "darkness"

Millions of people across India switched off electric lights in their homes and lit candles and oil lamps on their balconies on Sunday night in a show of solidarity against the coronavirus.

The vigil started at 9 p.m. local time and lasted 9 minutes. It came at the urging of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who asked Indians in a video message on Friday to "dispel the darkness spread by the coronavirus crisis."

People lit diyas, traditional oil lamps made of earthen pots, and candles outside their houses, and on balconies. Some also set off firecrackers, blew conches and clapped amidst chants of "long live India" in Hindi. 

The vigil comes after more than a week of people clapping, ringing bells and banging utensils on their balconies and outside their homes for 5 minutes at 5 p.m. to show appreciation for health care workers and those in other essential industries, again at the urging of Modi.  

There are more than 3,500 cases of COVID-19 across India and more than 80 people have died. The country of 1.3 billion people instituted a 21-day lockdown on March 25 to fight the spread of the viral disease. Experts have warned that India could see hundreds of thousands of cases. 

— Arshad R. Zargar


Cuomo says New York may be hitting apex as hospitalizations dip

Cuomo says New York may be hitting coronavirus apex as hospitalizations dip 04:47

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the number of deaths in the state has been decreasing over the past few days. Although he said it's too early to tell whether the pattern will hold, he said "we could be very near the apex, or the apex could be a plateau, and we're on it right now."

At his daily press briefing, Cuomo noted an "interesting blip" in the data: the total number of new hospitalizations over the past 24 hours stood at 574, which was "obviously much lower than previous numbers."

More than 302,280 people in the state have been tested for the coronavirus and at least 122,031 were positive, Cuomo said. There are 16,479 patients currently hospitalized and 4,376 people in intensive care. At least 12,187 patients have been discharged.

Cuomo warned that while the state has opened up facilities and has more beds, additional staffing and ventilators are still needed.

As the number of cases in New York City has decreased, new cases have shifted east to Long Island. Upstate New York has remained flat, he said. On Saturday, the governor said it was impossible to tell if the increase in cases on Long Island is the result of New York City residents leaving the city for second homes or rental properties.

By Caroline Linton

Head of New York's largest health care provider says state is "well-prepared"

Michael Dowling, the president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider in New York state, said Sunday he believes the state is prepared as it approaches the projected peak in coronavirus cases.

"We are well-prepared at the moment, and we will be well-prepared no matter when that apex comes," Dowling said on "Face the Nation."

New York is currently the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and Governor Andrew Cuomo tasked Dowling with boosting hospital capacity statewide.

While Dowling said New York is "as prepared as we can possibly be," he said the state would welcome additional help from the federal government.

"If another resource comes in from the federal government, that is great, as long as it is a resource that can help us," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Gottlieb says "aggressive surveillance" needed to track future outbreaks

Gottlieb says "very aggressive surveillance" needed to track future coronavirus spread 05:55

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration FDA), said Sunday that a return to normalcy in the United States once the spread of the coronavirus slows would need to be accompanied by "aggressive surveillance" that allows for case-based intervention if there are future outbreaks.

"Nothing is a home run here, but we don't need a home run," Gottlieb said on "Face the Nation." "What we need is a better toolbox, a good medicine cabinet coupled with very aggressive surveillance. That could be enough to really change the contours of the risk in the fall and allow people to feel comfortable going back out again." 

Gottlieb, who led the FDA under President Trump until 2019, said a "massive surveillance system" would allow infections to be detected quickly and said the country should have such a system in place.

"We'll be able to identify cases when there are small outbreaks in the fall and use case-based intervention," he said. "It's basically isolating people with the infection and their close contacts."

Read more here.

By Melissa Quinn

Fauci: U.S. deaths will keep rising as number of new cases stabilizes

Fauci says coronavirus deaths will keep rising even as new U.S. cases stabilize 08:40

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Sunday that the coming week is going to be "bad" as the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise in the U.S., even as the number of new cases is beginning to stabilize in certain areas.

"Even though you're getting really improvement in that the number of new cases are starting to flatten, the deaths will lag by one or two weeks or more, so we need to be prepared that even though it's clear that mitigation is working, we're still going to see that tail-off of deaths," Fauci said on "Face the Nation." "So the first thing we want to look for is to see on a daily basis are the number of new cases starting to stabilize?"

Fauci said that the number of new cases has begun to stabilize in Italy and said "hopefully" New York, currently the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., will follow.

"We haven't yet reached that peak and when you do, you'll start to see a bit of a flattening and come down," he said. "Where we are right now is really approaching that apex, and that's why what [Governor Andrew Cuomo] and what we're saying is that this next week is going to look bad because we're still not yet at that apex."

Read more here.

By Melissa Quinn

Surgeon general: Coming week will be a "Pearl Harbor moment"

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams urged governors of states that have yet to issue stay-at-home orders to take steps to ensure the U.S. health care system is not overwhelmed, saying the coming days are going to be a "Pearl Harbor moment."

"The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It's going to be our 9/11 moment. It's going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part," Adams said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Just eight governors have yet to issue stay-at-home orders for residents as the nation works to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Adams said the vast majority of Americans are "doing their part," even those who live in states without stay-at-home orders.

"If you can't give us 30 days, governors, give us, give us a week, give us what you can, so that we don't overwhelm our health care systems over this next week," he said. "And then let's reassess at that point. We want everyone to understand you've got to be Rosie The Riveter. You've got to do your part."

By Melissa Quinn

Understanding the record jobless numbers

The outlook for record unemployment numbers 03:02

The economic casualties from the pandemic are starting to add up.

The March jobs report was a disaster. In the last full week of that month, more than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. That's on top of more than 3 million the week before. Keep in mind the previous high was in 1982, when just under 700,000 people filed.

"The numbers are just shocking," said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard, who has written about the last eight centuries of economic crises, "This Time Is Different: "Eight Centuries of Financial Folly."

"We've been hit by what is almost an alien invasion. It's a natural catastrophe," he said.

Read more here.


New Jersey 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 01:59

Thousands of Americans stuck abroad during pandemic

Thousands of Americans stuck abroad during pandemic 01:52
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