Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 10:39 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020
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11:58 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

New York governor: Tests on group of New Yorkers show 13.9% have coronavirus antibodies

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said preliminary results of an antibody testing study showed 13.9% of people tested positive for antibodies.

The survey included 3,000 people in 19 counties and 40 localities. The tests came from people in grocery and big box stores. Cuomo said this was important because it came from people who were out — not people isolating at home.

"They were not people who were in their home, they were not people who were quarantined," Cuomo said.

12:12 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

A possible second wave in the fall could overwhelm the testing system, New York governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a possible second wave of the coronavirus in the fall could overwhelm the testing and health care system.

He said a resurgence of the virus at the same time as flu season would be "problematic" because then health professionals will be testing for the flu at the same time they are testing for Covid-19.

"That could be a possible overwhelming of the testing system," he said at a news conference Thursday.

"If people could have the flu or could have Covid in the fall and they don't know which it is, they could get nervous and start going into the health care system, which could then bring back a capacity issue in the health care system. That's something we have to worry about and watch," he added.


12:03 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

At least 438 people died from coronavirus in New York yesterday, Gov. Cuomo says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

The number of deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday was at least 438, which is "still breathtakingly tragic," according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"That number is not coming down as fast as we would like to see that number come down," Cuomo said.

The number of people who died in the state on Tuesday was 474.


11:56 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

New York governor says hospitalization rate is "down again"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the hospitalization rate continues to fall across the state.

"The hospitalization rate is down again, so that is good news," he said at a news conference.

The number of intubations is also "clearly down," although the day-to-day numbers vary slightly, he said.

Cuomo added that the number of new cases remains flat.

"That is not great news, we'd like to see that going down, but it's not going down either," the governor said.


1:51 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Georgia senator says she supports both Trump and the governor as they disagree on reopening

From CNN's Alex Rogers

Sen. Kelly Loeffler
Sen. Kelly Loeffler Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images/FILE


President Trump’s remarks yesterday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp acted “too soon” in allowing some businesses to reopen has put the states’ two Republican senators running for reelection — Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — in the uncomfortable position between their top party allies at home and in Washington.

Both senators have said they support Kemp’s order even though Trump “strongly” disagrees with the decision.

Loeffler today tried to minimize any disagreement between the federal and state governments, saying she supports both Trump and Kemp, who appointed her to the Senate in December.

She said this in a statement:

“My focus is on protecting lives and livelihoods—I’m not going to play politics ... Of course I support President Trump and I’m proud to serve on his Task Force to re-open America. And obviously, I support Governor Kemp and his efforts to begin to get Georgians back to work safely. We have to continue following the guidelines to stay safe. Both President Trump and Governor Kemp are showing strong leadership during these unprecedented times—and I’m honored to be working with them to reopen our economy based on a measured, data-driven approach.”

On Fox News this morning, Rep. Doug Collins, Loeffler’s Republican opponent, sided with Trump, noting that his district is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases.

Collins claimed that the governor's plan to reopen the economy has “made people nervous.” He said Kemp was “not communicating clearly” in keeping a stay at home order in place while allowing certain businesses to open.  

"The President wants the country open. I want the country open. The governor wants the country open. The problem is, how do you do it? And I think that's the problem with leadership," Collins told "Fox & Friends."

Perdue recently told NPR’s Atlanta affiliate that governments need to find a “measured way” to reopen businesses. “There’s a human cost to shutting down the economy, just like there’s a human cost to the disease,” said Perdue.

When asked if he’d be going to a barbershop or a restaurant in the coming days, Perdue joked, “If you could see my hair, you’d know the answer to that.”

 “At the end of the day, we have responsibility for ourselves,” he added. “We need to be responsible for how we affect people around us and how they might affect us.”

Meanwhile Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is running for Senate in Georgia against Perdue, said Kemp’s actions violate the US Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines. 

“If Governor Kemp continues down this path, he risks accelerating the outbreak in Georgia, further delaying the day we can safely re-open without loss of life and economic devastation,” said Jon Ossoff. “I call on Senator David Perdue to reject Kemp’s incompetent policy and join me, the CDC, and President Trump in demanding a responsible re-opening of our state."

11:42 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

ER doctor describes watching patients' last moments: "Their eyes pierce your soul"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Arabia Mollette
Dr. Arabia Mollette CNN

Emergency room physician Dr. Arabia Mollette teared up while speaking about the number of deaths from coronavirus at her hospital, which she says has been simply overwhelming for doctors and nurses. 

“When they look into your eyes and they give that last breath, what makes you think that I'm going to be OK after this, or any health care workers that are on front line? Their eyes pierce your soul,” said Mollette, who works at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“This has been a very traumatizing experience for many of us. You don't understand how many times we take breaks and we cry,” she added. 

Mollette also addressed the impact of the coronavirus on her community, which is largely black and Latino.  

“This is hard. This epidemic has revealed the ugliness of our health care system. It revealed the ugliness of our socioeconomic system, it also revealed the social inequalities, especially against the communities that are underserved,” she said. 

Watch more:

11:20 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

New home sales plummeted in March

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Sales of newly built single-family homes plummeted 15.4% in March, totaling just 627,000 last month, according to data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The revised rate for home sales in February was 741,000.

Year-over-year sales for March fell 9.5%. The last time that figure was so low was in May 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to shelter in place, and a stalling economy with tens of millions of job losses is leading consumers to avoid big-ticket purchases.

And it's likely to get worse.

"Given the widespread nature of the shutdown during April, it is probable that new home sales activity will drop much further when the April figure is reported," said Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide, in emailed comments.
10:58 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Elizabeth Warren's oldest brother dies from coronavirus

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said her oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday.

She said her brother was an Air Force veteran who spent five and half years off and on in combat in Vietnam.

"He was charming and funny, a natural leader," she wrote on Twitter.

In other tweets, Warren said, "What made him extra special was his smile—quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him."

She said she is grateful for the nurses and hospital staff who took care of him.

"But it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say 'I love you' one more time—and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close. I'll miss you dearly my brother," another tweet said.

11:01 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

What it's like inside the US House ahead of today's coronavirus relief vote

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in white, arrives at the US Capitol on April 23.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in white, arrives at the US Capitol on April 23. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House is expected to vote on a new coronavirus relief package today.

Members will begin debating that bill after they finish debate on hour of debate on establishing a select committee on the coronavirus crisis.

Now, inside the chamber, there are about two dozen lawmakers seated. Most of them are wearing masks and face coverings, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is wearing a white face covering while sitting at the back of the chamber.

She removed it to speak on the floor, then wiped down the lectern after she spoke.

While most members and aides on both sides are wearing masks, there are some exceptions, including GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and James Comer, who aren’t wearing masks.

There are signs on the chairs where members are allowed to sit, ensuring they are spread out on the floor.

The galleries are empty and remain closed to visitors.