Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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6:57 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Trump says he "never even thought" of changing date of election

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Trump said he “never even thought” of changing the date of the upcoming presidential election on November 3, despite former Vice President Biden suggesting Trump would attempt a delay.

“I never thought of changing the date of the election. November 3. Good number,” Trump told reporters at a press briefing when asked whether he has considered such a move. 

Trump also added that Biden never said he would try to delay the election — despite Biden saying those words exactly during a virtual fundraiser last week, according to a pool report.

"Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held," Biden said on the call.

Trump cannot unilaterally change the date of the election in November, as it has been set into law by federal statute and Congress would have to approve such a move. 

However, that has not stopped some Democrats from worrying that he will try to do so, and voters asked the previously large field of Democratic presidential candidates if they had concerns that Trump would try to delay the election or refuse to leave office if he were defeated in November.

Watch:

6:58 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

American Airlines requires masks for attendants flight attendants

From CNN's Jessica King

An American Airlines airplane is seen at gate at Washington National Airport (DCA) on April 11, in Arlington, Virginia.
An American Airlines airplane is seen at gate at Washington National Airport (DCA) on April 11, in Arlington, Virginia. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

Face masks will be required for flight attendants during every mainline and regional flight starting May 1, American Airlines said in a statement Monday.

The airline will also begin distributing personal protective equipment, including sanitizing wipes or gels and a face mask to customers in early May “as supplies and operational conditions allow.”

6:51 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Lakers receive and repay a Payroll Protection Program loan

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The Los Angeles Lakers logo is shown on the floor of the UCLA Health Training Center on May 29, 2018 in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Lakers logo is shown on the floor of the UCLA Health Training Center on May 29, 2018 in Los Angeles. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers received and repaid an approximately $4.6 million Payroll Protection Program loan, a source told CNN.

The L.A. Lakers qualify as a small business because the organization only has 303 part-time and full-time employees. 

The organization repaid the loan "within days" of receiving it after realizing that the government's funds had been depleted.

A source told CNN the team is not planning to furlough or lay off any of its employees and that its top executives agreed to defer 20% of their salaries to ensure team employees could be paid.  

The Lakers have contributed to a fund, along with the L.A. Clippers and L.A. Kings, to provide financial support to employees of the Staples Center. Last week the Lakers joined other Los Angeles area professional sports teams to create "Teams for LA" to benefit the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles.

6:53 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Trump deflects question about retweeting conspiracy theory on coronavirus numbers

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

 

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington DC.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump was asked about his retweet of someone who claimed Democrats had inflated the coronavirus mortality rate, deflecting from addressing the actual claim by suggesting China was not accurately reporting coronavirus infection numbers.

“Do you believe that’s true, that there’s some sort of conspiracy theory regarding the number of infections states are reporting?” a reporter at Monday’s Rose Garden news conference asked.

Trump replied, “Well I can only say what we’re doing. We’re reporting very accurately.”

“If you look at other countries, other countries are not. You could look at China. You could look at numerous countries where I don’t think those are right numbers. I can only say what we’re doing. It’s very important to us to accurate reporting. And that’s what we’re doing,” he added.

CNN’s Daniel Dale has fact-checked the claim in Trump’s retweet.

The tweet alleged that people had tried to oust Trump through illegitimate means before the pandemic, then added: "Do you really think these lunatics wouldn't inflate the mortality rates by underreporting the infection rates in an attempt to steal the election?"

However, there is no basis for the suggestion that Trump opponents are inflating the coronavirus mortality rate to try to "steal the election." 

Watch:

6:41 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Trump: "No, I don't" take responsibility for spike in people using disinfectants

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington DC.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, on April 27, in Washington DC. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump says he takes no responsibility for a spike in people using disinfectants improperly after he suggested ingesting disinfectant as a cure for coronavirus last week.

When asked about the increase, Trump said, "I can't imagine why."

He answered, “No, I don’t" when asked if he takes any responsibility for the numbers.

Some context: Trump asked his medical team to look into the possibility of using disinfectants as a way to cure the virus inside the body during a coronavirus briefing last Thursday.

He has since claimed that the comments were “sarcastic.”

As CNN has previously reported, Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday his state experienced hundreds of calls from people across Maryland asking whether injecting or ingesting disinfectants was an effective way to combat coronavirus.

“I think it is critical that the President of the United States, when people are really scared and in the middle of this worldwide pandemic, that in these press conferences, that we really get the facts out there,” he told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation on Sunday.

Watch:

6:30 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Trump says governors are "as thrilled as they can be" with the administration's coronavirus response

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Trump described governors as “as thrilled as they can be” over the administration's response to the coronavirus, hours after a meeting with state leaders on Monday.

“We had a fantastic call with the governors today,” the President said during a Rose Garden briefing. “And I would say that today are as thrilled as they can be considering that to the fact is that there has been so much unnecessary death in this country.”

“It could have been stopped,” Trump added, “and it could've been stopped short, but somebody a long time ago it seems decided not to do it that way, and the whole world is suffering because of it, 184 countries at least.”

The President has made similar statements about the Chinese government’s response to the virus at briefings in recent weeks.

Trump added that his administration “has encouraged the governors to leverage unused testing capacity in states.”

“Very few understood that we have tremendous capacity,” he said adding that the administration, “provided each governor with a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of the labs where they could find additional testing capacity in their states."

6:39 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Trump defends HHS secretary: "A lot of people didn't get that right"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on Covid-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on Covid-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump defended Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who downplayed the impact of coronavirus in the early stages of the pandemic.

“I think it’s a very unfair question because you have many great professionals, some of them you have great respect for, and you have many people in the other party… that have said the same thing and with even more confidence,” Trump said when asked about Azar's role. “So a lot of people didn’t get that right."

Trump's comments come after Trump denied in a tweet Sunday he was about to fire Azar.

He wrote in the tweet, “Reports that H.H.S. Secretary @AlexAzar is going to be ‘fired’ by me” are false.

A senior administration official told CNN Saturday evening that White House officials were discussing plans to replace Azar following a spate of criticism of the early response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Watch:

6:25 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Here's what is in the White House's reopening plan

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Assistant Secretary for Health admiral Brett Giroir speaks during a news conference on Covid-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27.
Assistant Secretary for Health admiral Brett Giroir speaks during a news conference on Covid-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on April 27. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force released additional guidance on how states should proceed with the reopening their economies and scale up testing.

Dr. Deborah Birx and Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Brett Giroir presented the eight-part plan at a press briefing on Monday.

Giroir said the eight parts are grouped into three distinct phases. He said the US has accomplished all parts of the first two phases, and are now working to fulfill stage three by supporting reopening state economies.

Here's what the blueprint suggests:

Stage 1: Launch

  • Build the foundation for diagnostic testing
  • Mobilize the private sector to develop tests
  • Issue Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for tests
  • Galvanize commercial and research laboratories and professional associations to ramp up testing capacity
  • Facilitate state efforts to access and utilize all available testing capacity

Stage 2: Scale

  • Identify and expand public and private-sector testing infrastructure
  • Strengthen testing supply chain

Stage 3: Support opening up again

  • Coordinate with governors to support testing plans and rapid response programs
6:22 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Gov. Brian Kemp calls on "all symptomatic Georgians" to get tested 

From CNN's Lindsay Benson

Walmart pharmacist Shama Sarangi times a motorist doing a self swab to ensure a good sample at a new mobile COVID-19 drive-through testing site to serve rural stretches of Georgia in communites without access to testing at Diamond Lakes Regional Park on Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Hephzibah, Georgia.
Walmart pharmacist Shama Sarangi times a motorist doing a self swab to ensure a good sample at a new mobile COVID-19 drive-through testing site to serve rural stretches of Georgia in communites without access to testing at Diamond Lakes Regional Park on Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Hephzibah, Georgia. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp called on residents to "take advantage" of the state's resources and get tested.

Kemp said Monday that they've "given a total of 127,169 tests." While Kemp acknowledged an increase in their testings numbers, he said, "We realize we have to continue to do more."

"We have the tests, we have the physicians, we have the sites, and we have the bandwidth. What we need now is more Georgians to participate. Right now, all symptomatic Georgians can take advantage of this resource. And I'm calling on anyone who is experiencing symptoms consistent with Covid, consistent with Covid-19 to take us up on this offer," Kemp said. 

At least 23,773 cases of coronavirus and 942 deaths have been reported in Georgia, Kemp said.