February 25 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:50 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020
50 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:52 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Italian authorities identify first known patient to have caught coronavirus in Lombardy 

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo

Italian authorities have identified what they believe is the first known patient to have caught coronavirus in Italy's northern Lombardy region as a 38-year-old man called Mattia.

Mattia was originally in intensive care for respiratory problems at a hospital in Codogno, but is now at the Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia, about 35 kilometers south of Milan, Italian Civil Protection press officer Juri Pittaluga told CNN. 

Authorities don't believe that this is the case that imported the virus to the region, however. 

Mattia's pregnant wife, called Valentina, has also tested positive for coronavirus and is in the Sacco hospital in Milan, but her health condition is "not worrying at all" Pittaluga told CNN.

11:09 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Trump and Schumer are criticizing each other on Twitter about coronavirus

As he prepares for a state banquet in New Delhi, President Trump is lashing out against Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, for criticizing his coronavirus response.

Here's Trump's tweet:

Moments later, Schumer responded, saying: "I didn’t just criticize Pres. Trump’s pathetic, inadequate funding request I noted his incompetence, how he has no plan to deal with coronavirus. He’s dismantled NSC’s global health security team, wants to cut CDC by 16%, hasn’t appointed 1 person to oversee coronavirus response."

What this is about: Democrats have begun criticizing the Trump administration's coronavirus response, with Sen. Schumer charging the President is "asleep at the wheel" as the threat builds.

On Twitter yesterday, Schumer repeatedly took aim at Trump and his team's response.

Here are a couple of his tweets:

10:53 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Iranian official tests positive for coronavirus after appearing ill on TV

From CNN's Mostafa Salem and Ramin Mostaghim

Iranian Presidency Office/AP
Iranian Presidency Office/AP

Iran’s deputy health minister Iraj Haririchi, who appeared on television sweaty and ill to warn Iranians of coronavirus yesterday, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.

In a news conference on national television, Haririchi coughed and wiped sweat using tissues on several occasions. He was later diagnosed with coronavirus, according to state media.

He was standing next to the government spokesman Ali Rabiei to speak about the latest cases of coronavirus in Iran.

Iran is facing the largest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, with the second largest number of deaths after China.

Watch the moment:

11:10 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Trump privately vents over his team's response to coronavirus — even as he says the virus is under control

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump has expressed frustration in recent days about some of the ways his administration is confronting a spreading coronavirus outbreak, according to people familiar with the conversations.

Here are two instances:

  1. Trump was initially upset that some Americans who tested positive for coronavirus were allowed back into the US for quarantine instead of remaining in Asia, though today he acknowledged it was ultimately the right thing to allow them back into the country.
  2. And he's sided with officials in Alabama who have protested a federal government plan to quarantine some patients in the state, despite federal officials insisting it wouldn't pose a threat to residents. 

After both incidents, Trump told people around him he wants to fire those responsible for the decisions, though it doesn't appear anyone has been terminated. Trump hasn't specified particular individuals, venting instead at the broader situation. 

The President's frustration reflects a growing sense among Trump administration officials the coronavirus outbreak will present a greater challenge than previously understood. Trump's instinct is to seal the US off entirely from people who could have the virus, according to people who have spoken to him.

But remember: Trump continues to publicly express confidence in his administration's handling of the crisis and optimism that it will be short-lived.

“I think that whole situation will start working out. A lot of talent, a lot of brain power is being put behind it,” he said during a news conference on Tuesday in New Delhi. 

Privately, however, he’s lashed out against decisions made by his team and insisted stricter controls be put in place to prevent those with coronavirus — even Americans — from entering the United States.

About the economy: One of the barometers Trump relies on most, the Dow Industrials, plunged 1,000 points yesterday, undercutting Trump’s public downplaying of the potential for crisis. Administration officials have been studying for weeks how the virus could affect the American economy, officials said, though their projections have shown only a minor impact. 

Trump has heard a somewhat different story from some wealthy donors and business leaders. As early as mid-January, US CEOs were conveying worry to Trump during the World Economic Summit in Davos at how the virus might affect their supply chains and businesses. He mostly shrugged off those concerns, saying the disease was contained to China.

Trump's administration requested $1.25 billion in emergency funding to address the coronavirus, as well as the ability to tap an additional $535 million in emergency funds already appropriated. The White House requested the funds after initially declaring they weren’t necessary. Officials have been receiving calls from concerned lawmakers in recent weeks. 

One administration official said it's possible there could be further requests once the scale of the outbreak is better understood.

10:54 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Italian prime minister: "Our precautionary measures are of the utmost rigor"

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite

Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images
Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was optimistic today that the Italian health system could stand up to the coronavirus.

“Our health system is excellent, our precautionary measures are of the utmost rigor and we trust that by virtue of the combined provisions, a health system of excellence and a policy line of health policy of the utmost rigor we will promote a containment effect of the spread of the virus," he said. 

Italy is the site of Europe's biggest outbreak. At least seven people have died and more than 280 people have been infected, with lockdowns in place for some areas.

10:54 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Paris-to-Milan trains will now change crew at the Italian border

From CNN's Antoine Crouin in Paris

 Trains running from Paris to Milan will stop in the French commune of Modane on the Italian border to change crew, French rail operator SNCF has announced, as European countries race to stop the spread of coronavirus following an outbreak in Northern Italy. 

Italian train crew members will board French trains in Modane and finish the journey to Milan, replacing all the French staff including ticket inspectors.

Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 7 have died and more than 280 have been infected, with lockdowns in place for some areas.

8:31 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Iraq bans travelers from these 7 countries because of coronavirus fears

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi and Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

The Iraqi government extended a travel ban as fears of a coronavirus outbreak rise, the government said in a statement today.

Travelers from five other new countries were included in the ban, which already included Iran and China. The new countries are:

  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Singapore

The government said in a statement: "The committee decided to extend the suspension of the direct or indirect entry of foreign arrivals from China and Iran until further notice, and [also] stop the direct or indirect entry of foreign arrivals from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore."

11:10 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Austria, Italy's neighbor, confirms first cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

Two people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Austria, the Tyrol Region government press office confirms.

The two people, whose genders and nationalities have not bee released, tested positive in the city of Innsbruck.

Austria shares a 404-kilometer-long border (that's 251 miles) with Italy. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 7 have died and more than 280 have been infected, with lockdowns in place for some areas.

8:00 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Holidaymakers locked down in Spanish hotel as Italian man tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Laura Perez Maestro in Madrid, Spain and Niamh Kennedy in London

A view of a hospital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, where an Italian national has been isolated.
A view of a hospital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, where an Italian national has been isolated. Credit: Desiree Martin/AFP/Getty Images

People have been asked to remain in their rooms at the Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in Tenerife, Spain, as a male Italian guest tested positive for coronavirus in a first test Monday night.

“Following the report of a possible coronavirus case detected in a customer from Italy, staying at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace, H10 Hotels has implemented all health and operational recommendations from the health authorities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of customers and employees," a communications representative for the H10 hotel group said in a statement.

"Additionally, we are providing customers and hotel staff all the necessary care and attention so that, despite the inconveniences this situation may cause, they are taken care of in the best way possible," they added.  

A spokeswoman for the Canary Island health department told CNN: "We are not calling it a quarantine, we are monitoring and undertaking health checks on all people that might have had a contact with the coronavirus patient -- that includes people from the hotel, not all of them."

"The regional government will hold a meeting this morning to evaluate the situation," she added.