Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 9:07 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020
58 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:14 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

New Jersey has lost more people during coronavirus than these wars and tragedies combined

From CNN’s Sheena Jones

Pool
Pool

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took a brief moment of silence during today's news conference for the more than 6,000 people who have died from coronavirus across the state.

The governor said the 6,770 people who died from the virus in New Jersey is more than the number of residents who died in World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, both gulf wars — Afghanistan and Iraq — Superstorm Sandy and 9/11 combined.

Murphy also announced the state will create its own face masks and gowns, and that the state has distributed more than 21 million pieces of personal protective equipment statewide.

New Jersey will send 200,000 surgical masks to New York and 50 ventilators to Massachusetts, the governor added. 

2:08 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Nevada governor says stay-at-home order will be extended

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference on the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 17.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference on the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 17. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said that he is planning on easing some of the state's restrictions as part of his state's reopening plan today on an ABC special about the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governor said that his plan, Nevada United Roadmap to Recovery, will "ease some of the restrictions that we had previously as it relates to retail, curbside pickup, some of our outdoor activities." 

However, Sisolak noted that "we're going to have to extend the stay-at-home order a little bit." He did not give details as to how long the order will be extended. 

Sisolak also explained that the reopening of the state's casinos is still a long way off.

"The opening of the casinos and the gaming enterprises will probably come into third or fourth phase of what we're going to end up doing," Sisolak explained.

"We're just not quite ready yet to handle that type of a volume," he added.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has drawn attention and scrutiny with her calls to allow casinos and most other local businesses to reopen immediately.

"It's not something as simple as flipping a switch and suddenly everybody's going to come back to Las Vegas," Sisolak said after being asked about her remarks. "We've got to work on the travel part of this."

Sisolak said that he will formally unveil his state's reopening plan tomorrow.

2:10 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

There are more than 4,000 coronavirus cases in Washington, DC

From CNN's Alex Marquardt and Nicky Robertson

Pool
Pool

There have been 4,106 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Washington, DC, and 205 deaths, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced at a news conference today.

The DC government is also looking to hire contact tracers. Contact tracers use a variety of methods, including phone calls, emails and social media messaging.

Bowser announced last week that the city will likely eventually need up to 900 contact tracers. The three types of positions they are currently hiring for are: investigators, lead investigators, and program managers.

1:53 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Remdesivir is not a cure, but appears to help

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed optimism regarding a study of the antiviral drug remdesivir for treatment of coronavirus.

CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen cautioned: “This is not a cure.”

“Terribly sick people did not jump out of their hospital beds and start walking around. That didn’t happen. This is not a cure, but it does appear to help and it does appear to have a proof of concept and we can go from here to expand on that,” Cohen told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin.

According to the study, the mortality rate for patients on remdesivir was 8% compared to 11% to for those on a placebo.

The duration of illness was 11 days for those on remdesivir compared to 15 days for those on the placebo.

“Remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Dr. Fauci said about the drug. “It is a very important proof of concept because what it is proving is that a drug can block this virus.”

About the trial: Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences said today it is "aware of positive data emerging from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' (NIAID) study of the investigational antiviral remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19."

Remember: The World Health Organization said it’s too early to comment on the remdesivir trial results released today.

1:50 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Trump says US coronavirus cases are high because of testing capabilities

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump commented on the United States reaching 1 million coronavirus cases, the most in the world, and said that the number is so high because of the testing capabilities in this country.

“So we reached a million cases, that’s a tremendous amount, and the reason is because of testing, because other countries don’t test. If you don’t test you’re not going to find cases,” Trump said. 

Trump said that other countries “don’t have the ability to do what we’re doing” and that while the 1 million cases sounds bad, it is “an indication that our testing is so superior.”

The President again cast doubt that the US has more cases than China and said that the difference between the countries lies not only in testing, but also in transparency.

“The transparency is much different. Transparency is like from day and night. We are totally transparent, whatever it is, it is,” Trump said.

Trump concluded by saying that if other countries did the type of testing that the US does, “you’d see numbers that would be much different.”

1:40 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

White House looking at Trump traveling in the near future

From CNN's Kristen Holmes and Sarah Westwood

President Trump has been telling advisers he wants to get out of Washington soon, according to two sources familiar.

White House planners have been instructed to look into potential travel for Trump in the near future, where he could showcase economic recovery and the White House’s pandemic response efforts. 

According to a senior administration official, advisers last week had been thinking the President should not hit the road any time soon, as a general advisory against non-essential travel remains in place for most Americans. 

However, aides knew it would be hard to keep him off the road due to his growing desire to leave the White House halls where he has been confined for weeks.

Outside allies have been appealing to the President directly to leave Washington, arguing that it would amplify his message in the weeks ahead that some of the county is opening for business.

Some are arguing the President could help restore a measure of public confidence in resuming travel and public outings if people saw him personally get back on the road. Vice President Mike Pence has begun to resume a travel schedule, hitting the battleground states of Minnesota this week to tour the Mayo Clinic and Wisconsin last week to tour a ventilator plant. 

Sending the President into those crucial states for limited official events could also allow the White House to score attention in key local media markets. And it could allow the President to focus more fully on the economic recovery side of the pandemic response rather than the medical side; his attempts to message the science behind his administration’s efforts have recently caused stumbles, and aides have said they expect Trump to shift his focus to the economy in the days ahead.

Trump has been signaling publicly and privately for weeks that he wants to leave the White House. As far back as a month ago, he was lamenting the fact that he could not travel to New York for the opening of the field hospital in the Javits Center — something he really wanted to do but was advised against.

Pence’s recent travel is a potential model for what Trump’s travel could look like: visits to factories or plants, roundtables, and no crowds.

1:57 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Louisiana reports 350 new Covid-19 cases as hospitalizations continue to decline

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

The Louisiana Department of Health reported today that the total number of Covid-19 cases in the state rose by 350, bringing the total there to 27,636. At least 1,802 deaths were reported.

The total number of hospitalizations have continued to decline and Jefferson Parish, one of the hardest hit in the state, reported no new deaths in the past day.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards met with President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force earlier today to discuss the state's response to the pandemic. 

"We’ve turned the corner in Louisiana," Edwards said. "We’re in a much, much better place than we were five-six weeks ago."

1:53 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Trump says meat processing companies are "so happy" with his executive order

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said that meat processing companies are “so thrilled” and “so happy” about an executive order he signed last night that compelled meat plants to remain open and absolved the companies of some legal liabilities.

“I just got off the phone with the big companies that you’ve been reading about. They’re so thrilled, they’re so happy, and we’ve solved their problems. We’ve unblocked some of the bottlenecks,” the President said from the Oval Office Wednesday.

“They were so happy, they’re like, it’s like a new business for them,” he continued. “They were being very unfairly treated. Very unfairly treated.”

“So, the farmers are very happy, the ranchers, and the companies that we’re talking about. You know the ones I’m talking about because they’ve all become very well known. They were well known anyway, they’re big companies, but they’re now being treated fairly. They’re thrilled,” Trump said.

But, contrary to the President’s comments about the companies “being treated unfairly,” many plant closures across the country were due to thousands of employees becoming infected with coronavirus.

In addition to other dangers for workers in the industry, efforts to speed up processing has led to workers standing closer together — about 3 or 4 feet apart from each other while working.

Officials say that people should stand about 6 feet apart in order to maintain social distancing practices that could help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Major meat processors such as Smithfield, Tyson and others say they've put measures in place, like temperature checks and plexiglass to encourage social distancing in some areas and to help keep their workers safe. But some workers say their employers aren't doing enough to protect them.

Asked about what protections will be in place for workers, Trump said they will have “good form of protection through quarantine.”

“We’re going to have a report on that probably this afternoon, and we’re going to have good form of protection through quarantine,” Trump said. “When we find somebody that’s not, we’re going to be very, they’re going to be very careful, they are, as to who’s going into the plant, and the quarantine is going to be very strong, and we’re going to make people better when they have a problem.”

“We’re going to get them better,” he said. “Hopefully they’re going to get better.”

1:52 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

WHO is tracking recovered patients to learn about long-term effects of Covid-19

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for the coronavirus response
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for the coronavirus response Martial Trezzini/Keystone/AP/FILE

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is working to follow up with patients who have recovered from novel coronavirus to learn more about what future consequences the disease can lead to.

On Wednesday, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for the coronavirus response said, “Our clinical network is following those individuals who have recovered to trace them over time and see how they're doing and see if there's any long-term effects from infection.”

“I don't know the exact numbers but it's in the hundreds of thousands of people if not over a million people so far that have recovered from infection,” she said

Van Kerkhove added: “We need to follow individuals over weeks and months to measure the level of antibodies. “That will take us some time to really understand if they have protection, how strong that protection is, and for how long that protection will last.”