Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:00 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
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10:37 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Amtrak passengers required to wear face masks starting today

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

An Amtrak passenger arrives in Orlando, Florida, on April 15.
An Amtrak passenger arrives in Orlando, Florida, on April 15. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Amtrak is requiring all passengers to wear facial coverings on board starting today. The national railroad service said in a news release that face masks can be removed while eating in designated areas or if a passenger is sitting alone or with a companion in a pair of seats.

Passengers must provide their own facial coverings.

The company is also increasing the frequency of cleaning onboard trains and posting physical distancing posters and floor stickers in high traffic areas to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus crisis.


9:56 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Ohio official: "We need to learn to live with" coronavirus

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

A woman walks past a closed barber shop in Cleveland on May 6.
A woman walks past a closed barber shop in Cleveland on May 6. Tony Dejak/AP

As Ohio begins to reopen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the unemployment crisis, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says that the state government is "very wary" of coronavirus but "there's a risk of not taking action" to abate unemployment as well.

"We believe that we can do two things at once. The coronavirus is going to be with us throughout the rest of the year. We need to learn to live with it," he said.

About 90% of the state of Ohio is set to open even after a recent uptick in new Covid-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine had announced on Sunday.

Husted says that the essential businesses that were open under strict safety protocols through the lockdown measures in Ohio paved the way forward.

"We have seen good outcomes with that," he said.

The reopening comes after a leading coronavirus prediction model upped its projected US death toll and said that more than 137,000 Americans could die by early August. A researcher said that it's largely related to increased mobility among Americans as states reopen.

"That mobility was already starting to happen long before we began to ease restrictions, because people's tolerance of staying at home is limited. And so as we often say, we got to learn to live with it. We got to learn to live safely with it," Husted said.
9:44 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

US stocks sink as investors grow concerned about reopening risks

From CNN’s David Goldman

A spike in coronavirus infections in South Korea, once thought to be in control of the pandemic, has given investors pause around the globe. Businesses’ cautious reaction to the United Kingdom’s reopening guidance has also worried investors.

Here's how the markets opened the week: 

  • The Dow fell 225 points at the open
  • The S&P 500 was down 0.8%
  • The Nasdaq fell 0.6%

More context: The market was optimistic over the past several weeks about the potential for reopening the economy. But if the US economy opens too quickly and infection rates start to rise again, that could extend this period of unprecedented joblessness and destruction for American business.

9:42 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

American Hockey League cancels its remaining season and playoffs

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The Belleville Senators face off against the Cleveland Monsters on February 29. The American Hockey League has canceled the remainder of its season.
The Belleville Senators face off against the Cleveland Monsters on February 29. The American Hockey League has canceled the remainder of its season. Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The American Hockey League announced today that the league is canceling the remainder of its regular season and its Calder Cup Playoffs due to the Covid-19 public health crisis. 

The AHL is the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League.

"After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions," American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews said in a statement. "The League’s operational focus has turned toward actively preparing for the 2020-21 season."

9:11 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

United said it would implement social distancing. Days later, this doctor documented a "full" flight.

From CNN's Gregory Wallace

A UCSF doctor tweeted about his ​May 9 trip ​from New York back to San Francisco on board a “full” United Airlines flight. Dr. Ethan Weiss tweeted a photo that shows nearly every seat on the flight was filled. Weiss said in a Twitter thread that he was part of a group of “25 nurses and doctors who have been working in NYC hospitals for the past 2-4 weeks.”  

Weiss said United flew them for free, saying, “They got a lot of great PR for taking great care of us on the way out including from me.”

He tweeted, “This is the last time I’ll be flying again for a very long time” and said that a lot of passengers on the flight are “scared/shocked.”

“I have to be tested anyway but this is insane. 6 hours like this,” he tweeted to someone who commented on his thread.

​Weiss tweeted a screenshot of what he said was an email from United on April 30 assuring passengers that the airline would be "automatically blocking middle seats" on upcoming flights. 

Last week, United said it would make some middle seats unavailable for customers to select. But the company also said it was not reducing capacity on flights, so a passenger could be given a middle or adjacent seat. 

A spokesperson for United told CNN the airline is not guaranteeing that travelers will sit next to an empty seat. 

Here's the full statement from the spokesperson:

“We’ve overhauled our cleaning and safety procedures and implemented a new boarding and deplaning process to promote social distancing. Our flight to San Francisco had an additional 25 medical professionals on board who were flying for free to volunteer their time in New York - we’ve provided complimentary flights for more than 1,000 doctors and nurses in the past few weeks alone - and all passengers and employees were asked to wear face coverings, consistent with our new policy.” 

CNN has reached out to Weiss twice, but we have yet to hear back.

CNN’s Alta Spells contributed to this report.

9:22 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

White House adviser suggests China should face economic consequences for coronavirus response

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House economic adviser Peter Navarro speaks during a White House coronavirus briefing on March 27.
White House economic adviser Peter Navarro speaks during a White House coronavirus briefing on March 27. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House economic adviser and supply chain point man Peter Navarro appeared on CNBC and Fox on Monday morning. On Fox, Navarro suggested there should be economic consequences for China due to its lack of transparency.

“I think the American people strongly believes that China inflicted trillions of dollars of damage on this country and there should be — some form of compensatory damages,” Navarro said, later repeating, “I think there should be some form of compensatory damages and I think there’s a lot of discussion on Capitol Hill about that.”

Navarro was asked about a Washington Post report on an offer from to manufacture millions of N95 masks turned down by the administration.

He called the Texas company in the article, Prestige Ameritech, “very difficult to communicate with” and said they were “having their own problems,” then pivoting to praise Trump’s response. 

He disputed economic comparisons to the Great Depression (some of which have come from other administration officials), saying that anyone making that comparison “doesn’t understand either history or economics.” He laid out the circumstances leading to the Depression and said, “This ain’t that.” 

On CNBC, Navarro largely evaded questions, declining to weigh in on the West Wing outbreak or to say anything of substance regarding China trade, at one point drawing the ire of the hosts, who told him he had a “way of never answering” their questions.

He did complain about the opening of Disney World in Shanghai: “I woke up this morning, I put on Squawk Box and the first person you put on – at the damn Disney World in Shanghai. And I come from Orange County, right, that’s the land of Disneyland, and my American people can’t go to Disneyland in Anaheim because the Chinese Communist Party inflicted a pandemic.”

He defended the administration’s response during the month of February, noting the memo he sent on January 29 raising concerns about the virus. After Trump halted travel from China, he said, “We began to move on different vectors of attack,” he said, including vaccine development, therapeutics, and N95 mask production.

Navarro also touted executive orders signed by the President last week and repeatedly pivoted to bringing supply chains back to the US.

9:05 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Air traffic for Mother's Day weekend hit highest level since March

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Travelers make their way through Pittsburgh International Airport on May 7.
Travelers make their way through Pittsburgh International Airport on May 7. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The number of air travelers this Mother’s Day weekend climbed to levels not seen since March, according to Transportation Security Administration figures.  

More than 215,000 people passed through airport security checkpoints on Friday, the data show. The last time TSA screened more than 200,000 people was on March 26. 

How it compares to last year: The rate of people traveling compared to last year’s figures peaked on Saturday, when the agency screened 8.5% of the approximately 2 million it screened on the equivalent day last year.  

The rate of people screened at TSA checkpoints compared to 2019 has climbed nearly every day since mid-April. 

The checkpoint data includes passengers, crew members and some airport personnel who work in secure areas of airports.  

8:52 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

White House spent the weekend trying to figure out how virus spread to staffers

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak

Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, helps prepare for a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on March 10.
Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, helps prepare for a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on March 10. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Administration officials spent the weekend scrambling as they attempted to do contact tracing for Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary who tested positive for coronavirus last week.

They had not identified who Miller contracted the virus from as of Sunday, raising concerns inside the White House about how to contain the outbreak.

Some aides expressed concern at how today would proceed without greater clarity on how the virus had originated and spread. One official said it wasn’t certain which colleagues would stay home. Some officials who had extended contact with Miller announced they would self-quarantine, while others who had similar contact with her did not.

Meanwhile aides were also trying to determine who came into contact with the military valet who tested positive last week. It appeared the valet’s contacts with other members of the West Wing staff were limited — but there remain some concern among other valets and staff. 

President Trump’s top aides were repeatedly tested throughout the weekend and a trip to Camp David was called off in part because of concerns about coronavirus, two people familiar with the situation told CNN. One official said the weather also played an additional factor in scrapping the trip. A slew of officials, including the President, were at Camp David the weekend before with Katie Miller. 

10:38 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

It's Monday morning. Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

It's Monday morning in the US. If you're just catching up, here are the biggest updates to start your morning:

  • More projected deaths: A leading coronavirus prediction model has upped its projected US death toll as more states inch toward resuming normal activities. The model now forecasts more than 137,000 Americans will die by early August, a rise they say is due to more people traveling and interacting with each other.
  • Where the country stands on reopening: States began setting reopening plans in late April — with governors in South Carolina and Georgia leading the way with some of the most aggressive plans — and by this week, nearly every state has begun relaxing restrictions.
  • White House officials in quarantine: Several prominent government figures are self-quarantining after being exposed to a person at the White House who tested positive for Covid-19, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is engaging in what he calls a "modified quarantine" and will work from home.
  • Who has tested positive around Trump: Recently, President Trump's personal valet, the vice president's spokeswoman, Katie Miller, and Ivanka Trump's personal assistant (who has been teleworking for nearly two months) all tested positive for Covid-19 as well