Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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1:28 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump says administration working with airlines to conduct coronavirus tests on international travelers

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Donald Trump speaks at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28.
President Donald Trump speaks at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28. Mandel

President Trump said Tuesday that his administration is working with airlines to conduct temperature checks and coronavirus tests on international passengers coming into the United States.

Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that the US is “setting up a system where we do some testing and we’re working with the airlines on that, testing on the plane, getting on the plane.”

The President also said his team is “looking at” and will “probably” require testing and face masks on international flights.  

The President claimed he did that “with China” and Europe, but coronavirus tests haven’t necessarily been administered to passengers from those areas traveling into the US Health screenings, including temperature checks, have been conducted on international travelers.

At one point, the President raised the possibility of travel restrictions on Latin America but appeared to back off.

1:36 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Cuomo: New Yorkers need to "protect and respect" essential workers

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state needs to prioritize testing for frontline essential workers for the coronavirus.

He added that New Yorkers need to "protect and respect" them.

“They do have a higher rate of infection because they are putting themselves in harms way and we want to make sure they have the testing so we have an earlier alert system,” Cuomo said.

The governor said that essential workers make sure everyone is protected, “they have to be at the top of the list.”

1:11 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Businesses in Massachusetts will stay closed until May 18, governor says

From CNN's Joe Sutton

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker looks on during a press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on April 27.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker looks on during a press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on April 27. Chris Van Buskirk/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Nonessential businesses in Massachusetts will stay closed until May 18, Gov. Charlie Baker announced today at a news conference.

“We are extending the timeline for all nonessential businesses to keep the physical workplaces and facilities closed to all workers, customers and the public until May 18, and the state-at-home advisory also remains in place during this time," Baker said.

Baker said the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people will also be extended until May 18.

“I know pushing these dates back a couple of weeks is probably not what many people want to hear," he said.

In the meantime, the state is forming a reopening advisory board to create a phased plan.

The state's lieutenant governor and the secretary of housing and economic development will lead the board, the governor announced. 

The advisory board has been asked to produced their plan by May 18.

1:07 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump says he will "check" on whether he received coronavirus warnings earlier this year

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said Tuesday he would "check" on whether he received warnings about the coronavirus outbreak during briefings in January and February.

“I’d have to check. I would have to check. I want to look to the exact dates of warnings,” Trump said during a meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Oval Office. 

He cited the China travel ban as a sign he took the threat of the virus seriously.

“But I can tell you this, when I did the ban on China, almost everybody was against me, including Republicans. They thought it was far too harsh, that it wasn’t necessary. Professionals, Republicans and Democrats: almost everybody disagreed, and that was done really early,” he said.

Some background: The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump received more than a dozen warnings about the coronavirus outbreak in daily briefings in January and February, but continued to downplay the virus' threat and severity. 

Citing current and former US officials, the paper reported that the warnings came in the President's Daily Brief, a summary of intelligence reports from the various agencies, which tracked the virus' proliferation, highlighted China's inaccurate characterization of the disease and its death toll and warned of potential widespread ramifications related to the pandemic.

Officials told the Post that the President, who frequently forgoes the briefings and has become impatient with the summaries of the brief he now receives a couple of times per week, did not seem to absorb the warnings. They added that focused efforts tracking the virus were on par with prior instances of monitoring security threats, including active terrorism and international clashes.

An official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which manages the briefing, told the Post that "the detail of this is not true" and declined to explain or elaborate. CNN has reached out to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for comment. 

12:54 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

New York will monitor two "danger signs" during reopening, governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

People ride the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between Staten Island and Manhattan on April 27, in New York City.
People ride the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between Staten Island and Manhattan on April 27, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will be measuring two key data points while reopening businesses in the coming weeks.

One of the "danger signs" is if hospitals exceed 70% capacity.

"Don't overwhelm the hospital system," Cuomo said at a news conference today. "If you ever hit 70%, you can expect the number to go up for the next two weeks as people who just got infected actually get ill and some of them come into the hospital."

The other sign the state will monitor during reopening is the rate of transmission of the virus.

"If the transmission rate hits 1.1d that's what they call outbreak. That means it is going to spread much, much faster," he said.

Cuomo said if the transmission rate "hits 1.1, that means you are in trouble."

See more:

12:38 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Cuomo on death toll: "Every day, I think maybe today's the day the nightmare will be over"

A white hearse stands outside the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center on April 27, in the Brooklyn borough in New York City.
A white hearse stands outside the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center on April 27, in the Brooklyn borough in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 335 people across the state died of coronavirus yesterday.

"This is the worst news," Cuomo said of reporting the daily death count. "Every day, I think maybe today's the day the nightmare will be over, but it's not."

Monday's death total is down slightly from the 337 people who died on Sunday.

Watch more:

12:13 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Military jets flyover New York City to honor frontline workers

US Navy and Air Force jets flew over New York City at noon today to pay tribute to health care workers, first responders and essential workers on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus.

US Air Force Thunderbird F-16 jets and US Navy Blue Angel jets participated in the flyover near Manhattan.

Watch the moment:

12:12 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 1,200 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says there are 1,214 additional positive cases of Covid-19, bringing the statewide total to 43,264. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases. The state is now reporting 1,716 deaths. 

“As we see the number of new Covid-19 cases continuously change across the state that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release.

“We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but others. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”
12:02 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Waffle House CEO outlines how the chain is implementing social distancing 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Ron Flexon sits at the counter for dine-in service while other seats are marked off for social distancing protocol at Waffle House on April 27, in Brookhaven, Georgia.
Ron Flexon sits at the counter for dine-in service while other seats are marked off for social distancing protocol at Waffle House on April 27, in Brookhaven, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Waffle House’s CEO Walt Ehmer said that he has seen “a little bit more traffic” in restaurants that have opened limited in-dining operations, but people are still largely practicing social distancing guidelines. 

“Even though we didn't really reopen, we just added some limited in-house dining to what we were already doing, I'm seeing so far that our customers…are still behaving according to what they've been instructed to do in terms of social distancing,” Ehmer told CNN’s John King. 

Ehmer said Waffle House, which is headquartered in Georgia, is following CDC and state guidelines on reopening. They’ve cut down capacity in restaurants so people can sit at least six feet apart, he said. 

Waffle House is famous for almost never shutting down its restaurants. It typically only closes during major disasters like hurricanes or storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency even coined the term "Waffle House Index" to measure the effect of a natural disaster on an area. 

Ehmer noted that customers have been placing to-go orders for the past six weeks.

“People do seem to value a little bit of a sense of normalcy and a hope that maybe better days are ahead, but it is definitely a gradual process that will take us to the next stage of this,” he said. 

But Ehmer said that while he is pleased with unemployment help given to Americans so far, he is uneasy about the long-term economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Long-term is what we're pretty concerned about at this time in terms of what will the ultimate impact to the economy be with so many people being out of work for so long,” he said.