At least 438 people died from coronavirus in New York yesterday, Gov. Cuomo says
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
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
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
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.
“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.
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
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.
10:54 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020
NYC Health commissioner: Coronavirus cases so far are "the tip of the iceberg"
From CNN’s Mark Morales
New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said she thinks the city’s 138,000 positive cases so far is just “the tip of the iceberg.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if at this point in time we had close to a million New Yorkers who had been exposed to Covid-19,” she said in a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning.
“I don’t think any of us have any misconceptions of how wide spread this virus is,” Barbot added.
“If we don’t protect people’s health, we’re not going to be liberated,” de Blasio said. “They’re actually going to be chaining their people to a painful reality," he added.
10:24 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020
Hospitalizations and ICU patients have decreased in New York City, mayor's office says
The number of hospital admissions for suspected coronavirus cases in New York City are down, the mayor's office said in a press conference Thursday.
On Tuesday, 227 people were admitted to the hospital, down from 252 the day before.
The number of ICU patients in public hospitals has also decreased to 796 on Tuesday, compared to 821 the day before.
The mayor's office also gave a breakdown of the percentage of positive coronavirus tests: The percentage of positive cases citywide decreased from 33% to 32% on Monday, but increased at Public Health Lab to 57%.