Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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5:57 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Los Angeles mayor calls states competing for supplies "an embarrassment"

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a press conference on the novel coronavirus, on March 4, in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a press conference on the novel coronavirus, on March 4, in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said it is “an embarrassment" that the city has to find its own kits and processing facilities and laboratories.

Garcetti told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he believes the federal government should be securing supplies and spaces to test for coronavirus.

“I do believe that a strong national government should be the one securing things so we’re not competing against each other,” Garcetti said.

“We need probably double the amount of testing before we can begin to think about reopening,” Garcetti said.

He said some spaces and places in Los Angeles will begin to reopen once the current stay-at-home order ends on May 15.

Garcetti said three elements will be key to reopening: the economic and psychological need, the risk of reopening and how to reopen safely.

Watch:

5:45 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Relationship expert to appear on CNN coronavirus town hall

The coronavirus pandemic may be putting stress on some of the relationships in our lives. This is especially true for families quarantining together.

A relationship expert joins this week’s coronavirus town hall to answer your questions about navigating relationships during the lock down. What questions do you have?

5:32 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

There will likely be more money for state and local government relief, McConnell says

From CNN's Ted Barrett, Ali Zaslav and Manu Raju

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news briefing at the U.S. Capitol April 21, in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news briefing at the U.S. Capitol April 21, in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today there would likely be more money approved for state and local government relief in the next legislative package Congress passes to address the coronavirus outbreak.  

That’s a shift in the messaging for McConnell who last week said he wasn’t sure if more money was needed and indicated he was reluctant to provide billions to some state governments he believes have mismanaged their debt.  

Getting funding to state and local governments has been a key priority for Democrats and many Republicans.

“There probably will be another state and local funding bill,” McConnell conceded in an interview with Fox News Radio, “but we need to make sure that we achieve something that will go beyond simply sending out money.”

The GOP leader also defended his remarks last week that laws should be changed so states can declare bankruptcy to help the shed some of their debt.  

“I wasn’t saying they had to take bankruptcy. I think it’s just an option to be looked at that unfortunately states don’t have that option now, cities do," McConnell said.

"I wasn’t necessarily recommending it. I was pointing out they have their own fiscal problems that predate the coronavirus and I was not interested in borrowing money from future generations to fix age old problems that states have unrelated to the virus,” he added.

5:31 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

White House document says federal government is a "supplier of last resort" for coronavirus tests

From CNN's Ryan Nobles, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins

The White House said the federal government should act as the "supplier of last resort" for coronavirus tests as it works with states to ramp up a testing regime that health experts say is necessary before a national reopening.

In a new set of documents, which President Trump plans to unveil during an early evening press briefing, the administration will offer a blueprint laying out where it sees the boundaries between federal and state responsibilities.

A White House official said the goal was to help each state reach the ability to test at least 2% of its residents, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations and emergency workers.

The documents will also lay out what the administration has done so far to ramp up testing, including strengthening the US supply chain for supplies and testing kits.

Trump has come under withering scrutiny for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, particularly testing missteps early on that hampered the country's ability to detect outbreaks.

Hear more:

5:18 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Louisiana governor extends stay-at-home order until May 15

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Gov. John Bel Edwards talks at a news conference at the on April 24, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Gov. John Bel Edwards talks at a news conference at the on April 24, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Bill Feig/The Advocate/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in statement the state's stay-at-home order will be extended until May 15

He added that the state does not meet the White House's criteria for phase one of reopening.

“While this is not the announcement I want to make, I am hopeful, and all of Louisiana should be hopeful, that we will enter into the next phase of reopening soon, in mid-May," he said in a statement. "I am anxious to get all areas of our economy reopened, but if we accelerate too quickly, we may have to slam on the brakes. That will be bad for public health and for businesses, bad for our people and bad for our state.”

The governor's announcement comes after the White House laid out criteria for states for phase one of reopening, which includes the declining of new cases and hospitalizations, which Louisiana has not met yet.

5:14 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Illinois processed about 800,000 unemployment claims

From CNN's Chris Boyette

Illinois has processed about 10 times the number of unemployment claims it did this time last year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference Monday. 

The state has processed about 800,000 unemployment claims, he said.

Pritzker said the phone lines are overwhelmed, so they are training more people to take calls to address the problem.

"We can't fix this overnight, he said. “It's absolutely true but we are fixing it."

5:06 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New York City doctor who treated coronavirus patients dies by suicide

 From CNN's Taylor Romine

A New York City emergency room doctor who recovered from Covid-19 and continued to treat coronavirus patients has died by suicide, her father confirmed to CNN. 

Dr. Lorna Breen died Sunday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia, her father, Philip Breen, said. She was 49.

“She died a hero,” her father said. “She was in the trenches, she was a hero.”

Breen worked in the emergency department in the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian hospital system. She had been on the frontlines for weeks handling the onslaught of cases, her father said.

"She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the frontline," her father said. "She loved New York and wouldn't hear about living anywhere else. She loved her coworkers and did what she could for them." 

Her father, a retired trauma surgeon, said they would speak frequently about work. Lorna told her father that people at work were putting in 18 hour days and sleeping in the hallways, and that the ambulances couldn't even get in because it was so busy. 

She got Covid-19 and took a week and a half off to recover but when she went back to work, she couldn't even last a 12-hour shift, her father said. She felt like she had to return to work to help her colleagues, he added.

“Words cannot convey the sense of loss we feel today,” the hospital said in a statement. “Dr. Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department. Our focus today is to provide support to her family, friends, and colleagues as they cope with this news during what is already an extraordinarily difficult time.”

How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

CNN's Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.

5:31 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Rural California counties ask governor to lift stay-home orders

From CNN’s Stephanie Becker

California Sen. Jim Nielsen, adjusts his face mask during a hearing of the special subcommittee on Covid-19, at the Capitol in Sacramento, California on April 16.
California Sen. Jim Nielsen, adjusts his face mask during a hearing of the special subcommittee on Covid-19, at the Capitol in Sacramento, California on April 16.

Lawmakers in six rural northern California counties say they’re ready to get back to work and are asking the governor to lift the state’s stay-home orders.

While the stay-home directive could be extended in the state’s more populous areas, the lawmakers say the rural counties in the state’s northern interior have reached benchmarks that make it worthy of getting back to business.

In a letter sent to the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office on Saturday, mayors, county supervisors, and state legislators from Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter, and Colusa counties point out that of the 500,000 residents in the area, there are only 69 confirmed cases and 50 of those people have recovered, with just one person still in an intensive care unit.

“We believe that the local public health data, in addition to our area’s ability to continue monitoring cases, should allow our counties to soon begin a science-based, thoughtful reopening of our economy, consistent with national guidelines, which would allow our residents to get back to work,” the letter states.

State Sen. Jim Nielsen, who helped draft the letter, said the rural counties often struggled economically before the outbreak of Covid-19.

“The economy is going to be just devastated, where the counties and cities are short for revenue and the services, they provide… and it can’t come back,” Nielsen told CNN.

The governor, he said, “Needs to focus on areas where there are low incidences and the comfort level of safety is higher and we can assure that businesses can resume.” 

In response to the letter: The governor’s press secretary reiterated Newsom's position that “any decision to modify the state’s Stay at Home order will be driven by science and data at the appropriate time.”

4:48 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Arizona plans to test 10,000 to 20,000 people for coronavirus on Saturday

From CNN's Andy Rose

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the Covid-19 pandemic response, on April 14, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the Covid-19 pandemic response, on April 14, in Phoenix, Arizona. Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic/Pool/AP

Arizona is planning to test 10,000 to 20,000 people for coronavirus each Saturday for the next three weekends.

The state is working with more than a half-dozen testing sites and offering online registration for people who think they may have been exposed as part of its “testing blitz.”

The Department of Health Services said it will be up to each site to determine who qualifies to be tested.

“As our healthcare partners develop a more reliable supply of testing materials, we’re working together to take testing availability to the next level,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement Monday.

“We know that rapidly identifying cases, conducting case follow-up, and performing contact tracing will help slow the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in the statement.