Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:15 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020
21 Posts
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11:17 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

US, Mexico and Canada will extend non-essential travel restrictions, US official says

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

 

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks about the coronavirus on Wednesday, April 1, in Washington.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks about the coronavirus on Wednesday, April 1, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

The Department of Homeland Security will extend travel restrictions with US, Mexico, and Canada an additional 30 days.  

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced the extension today, saying the decision was made in "close collaboration" between leaders in the US, Mexico, and Canada. 

"As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing the phased opening of the country,” he said. 

11:16 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Why Shake Shack is returning its $10 million government loan

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Shake Shack announced that it’s returning the $10 million loan from the US government under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), after it received backlash for applying for the loan at all. Shake Shack has around $100 million in cash on hand.

Randy Garutti, Shake Shack's CEO, said the loan was intended to “take care of our team and employ as many people.”

“The good news for us is as a larger public company, we also have access to capital in different ways,” Garutti said about the company’s decision to return the loan.

He added that the burger chain was able to fundraise last Friday “to ensure long-term stability.”

“That $10 million now can go back in the pot, can go to the people who deserve it and we hope can go help inspire the next round, as you’re seeing the Treasury and everyone talking today about how to make the next round better," he said.

About the loans: The emergency program was touted as a way to help small businesses pay workers and keep their operations running during the coronavirus crisis but it ran out of the $349 billion stimulus last week. Several media reports showed that large chunks of the package, overseen by the Small Business Administration (SBA), were taken up by chain restaurants, hoteliers and publicly traded corporations, rather than small, local businesses.

WATCH:

11:02 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Florida lawmakers: There must be more testing before the state reopens

People walk up a public access to the beach on Sunday, April 19, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. 
People walk up a public access to the beach on Sunday, April 19, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.  Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Florida representatives are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to expand testing for Covid-19 cases before reopening the economy. 

During a press call, state Rep. Donna Shalala said paying attention to the public health experts and a strong testing regime is Florida's first line of defense against coronavirus. Those steps are vital to getting the economy up and running again.

"Gov. DeSantis can not be weak. He has to be a leader, and that means he has to lay out very strong procedures and you can not open up the beaches. Opening up the beaches is the most dangerous thing you can do." Shalala said. 

Some background: On Friday, beaches in Jacksonville reopened for certain hours under some restrictions. The city said group activities and sunbathing are not allowed. DeSantis supported the idea of reopening beaches, parks and other public spaces as long as social distancing is practiced, WJXT reported.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Laurie Berman who also attended the morning presser said without widespread diagnostic and antibody testing, reopening the state and relaxing social distancing will jeopardize the health and safety of residents.

Berman is urging officials to use scientific data before making any decisions.

"If Florida fails to rise above the dangerous passions of this President's politics and doesn't adhere strictly to those educated we risk a second deadly wave right here in our state." Berman said.

10:53 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Hospital admissions are down in New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the number of people being hospitalized and the percent of people testing positive for coronavirus are down. 

 Here are the latest figures, according to the mayor:

  • People admitted to hospitals for suspected Covid-19: 212, down from 317 on April 17
  • People currently in NYC Health + Hospitals ICUs for suspected Covid-19: 853, up from 849 as on April 17
  • Percentage of people tested who are positive for Covid-19: Citywide: 34%, down from 38% on April 17

WATCH:

10:59 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

NYC cancels all non-essential June events

CNN
CNN

New York City has canceled all non-essential permitted events in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference this morning.

This includes:

  • Parades
  • Concerts
  • Rallies
  • Large gatherings
10:26 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Former CDC officials says "pieces are not in place" to reopen the US

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Former Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Richard Besser speaks at a conference in Buffalo, New York, on Monday June 8, 2009.
Former Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Richard Besser speaks at a conference in Buffalo, New York, on Monday June 8, 2009. David Duprey/AP

Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the US economy is not ready to reopen.

He detailed what needs to be in place before reopening the economy, including:

  • Adequate capacity in hospitals
  • Enough protective equipment for all essential workers
  • A plan to do contact tracing
  • Money in people’s pockets to care of themselves and their families in case they need to quarantine and isolate
“Every plan that’s been developed out there calls on certain things being in place,” Besser said. “In America right now, the pieces are not in place.”

He also emphasized on the need for a federal effort on getting more testing and bolstering the US public health workforce.

“Most people are going to have no symptoms or mild symptoms and if we don’t have the capacity to test people with mild symptoms, we’re not going to be able to shift gears and open up," he said.

10:04 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

There are coronavirus cases at more than 20% of California's skilled nursing homes

From CNN's Stella Chan

More than 20% of the California’s skilled nursing facilities have reported at least one coronavirus case, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health.

Brier Oak on Sunset in Los Angeles reports 80 patient cases and 62 staff cases. The Redwood Springs Healthcare center in Tulare County has 91 cases among patients and 46 among staff. And the Gateway Care & Rehabilitation Center in Alameda County reports 69 patient cases and 33 staff cases.

The point-in-time data of 86% of reporting facilities in the last 24 hours as of Friday. California has a total of 1,224 nursing homes

 

9:45 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

US stocks open sharply lower

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks dropped sharply at Monday’s open, as oil prices once again headed lower.

US oil prices crashed below $11, dropping to its weakest level since December 1998. Oil is selling off as the May crude contract is set to expire, and suppliers are running out of places to store barrels.

Meanwhile, earnings season is roaring on, with companies pulling their forecasts during the coronavirus uncertainty.

 Here's where things stand:

  • The Dow dropped 1.9%, or 460 points, at the opening bell.
  • The S&P 500 fell 1.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened down 1.1%. 

You can follow live updates on the markets here. 

10:20 a.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Trump adviser on the economic impact of coronavirus: "We’ve basically stopped the economy"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Trump advisor Kevin Hassett talks to reporters outside the White House, on Monday, June 3, 2019.
Trump advisor Kevin Hassett talks to reporters outside the White House, on Monday, June 3, 2019. Evan Vucci/AP

Special adviser to the president Kevin Hassett discussed the impact coronavirus has had on the economy this morning on Fox Business.

He was asked if he was expecting a recession this year. Hassett said it will depend on how each economic quarter responds. 

“I think that it’s quite likely that the second quarter is going to be one of the biggest negative numbers we’ve ever seen because we’ve basically stopped the economy. I think the question is what happens to the quarters around that,” Hassett said.  

Hassett added, “ultimately I think what’s going to happen is it’s going to depend on the bounce back."

On reopening the economy, Hassett said that it’s the governors' decision because local conditions vary.

However, Hassett added that the economic conditions of the pandemic are “pretty much uniform across the country.” He added that “the gradual opening up of the economy will happen place by place, based on the judgment of local officials."