Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Elise Hammond, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:17 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
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11:27 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

White House reporters will be tested daily, administration says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

A reporter approaches a microphone to ask as question of President Donald Trump during a briefing about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 11 in Washington.
A reporter approaches a microphone to ask as question of President Donald Trump during a briefing about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 11 in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

In addition to daily temperature checks and questioning, members of the restricted in-house press pool will be given a rapid coronavirus test daily, the White House said Tuesday. 

“Out of an abundance of caution and to further protect your health and safety as well as the entire complex, members of the restricted in-house pool should be ready in the briefing room at call time for a COVID-19 test to be administered in Lower Press by the White House Medical Unit. Moving forward, we expect to test members of the restricted in-house pool daily,” deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement. 

White House reporter Noah Bierman, of the LA Times, described today how the tests are being administered to reporters:

Your pooler has just taken a Covid test requiring a swab in each nostril for three to five seconds. The two men administering it in lower press said I would get the result in about 15 minutes. The results will be given to White House staff — I signed a waiver allowing this. The fact sheet they gave me indicates it is an Abbot NOW test. 
 Before taking samples, the men asked the standard set of questions about symptoms and exposure. Other members of the pool waited in line behind me, with distance between them. Temperature checks were also done before I entered security gates.  
11:26 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Boeing delivered only 6 new planes to customers in April — the smallest total in 11 years

From CNN’s Chris Isidore

The Boeing regional headquarters is seen on April 29 in Arlington, Virginia.
The Boeing regional headquarters is seen on April 29 in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing suffered a double blow in April as deliveries of new planes ground to a near halt due to the suspension of work at its factories in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and order cancellations continued to climb because of the crisis in the airline industry.

The company delivered only six planes to customers in the month, the smallest total in 11 years, since the company was coming back from its last strike. Deliveries are important to the company's finances since it gets most of the money from airlines when the plane is actually delivered. Boeing reported a $1.7 billion loss from its core operations in the first quarter announced plans to cut 16,000 jobs, about 10% of its staff, in an effort to save cash.

Boeing halted in deliveries of its best-selling 737 Max in March of 2019 following the grounding of the jet in the wake of two fatal crashes. But the company had been able to continue to deliver other jets. During the last year its lowest month for deliveries was January, when it delivered 13 jets. It averaged nearly 24 deliveries a month during the last 12 months.

But on March 23 it announced it was being forced to halt production in Washington state after an employee in one of the factories died of Covid-19. It stopped production at its other commercial airplane factory in South Carolina on April 8. While it did restart production later in the month, it is building at a slower pace due to the drop in demand from its airline customers.

US air travel has plunged more than 90% from year ago levels, forcing airlines to park most of their planes and cut back on plans to buy new ones. When asked if it's possible that a major US airline could be forced to go out of business, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said that was possible.

"I don't want to get too predictive on that subject, but yes, most likely," said Calhoun when asked about the chance of an airline going out of business in an interview on the Today Show Tuesday. "Apocalyptic does accurately describe the moment."

Still Calhoun said that believes air travel will resume, even if here agrees with forecasts that it will take three to five years for travel to again reach 2019 levels.

"As people begin to relive their lives, we expect that they will also get back to traveling," he said. 

But the near-term drop in demand for planes was evident as the airline reported 108 canceled orders in the month. Most of those canceled orders came from aircraft leasing customers, who buy jets and lease them to airlines. 

GE Capital announced it was canceling orders for 69 jets on April 17, and the China Development Bank canceled 29 jet orders. The other 10 cancellations were by an unidentified customer. 

That brings total canceled orders so far this year to nearly 300, far more than what was canceled all of last year in the wake of the 737 Max crisis.

The company also reclassified 101 other orders, removing them from what it counts as firm orders for jets. Many airline customers are delaying deliveries of jets, as roughly two-thirds of planes around the globe have been parked due to plunge in demand for air travel. 

Southwest Airlines (LUV), one of Boeing's best customers which flies on the 737 jet, announced it was deferring at least 59 of the 107 737 Max it had planned to buy from Boeing by the end of 2021.

"We don't need the Max right now. We don't need all the airplanes that we have," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told investors last month as the company reported its first operating loss in 11 years.

11:17 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

116 New York transit workers have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

A train arrives at a subway station on May 11 in New York City.
A train arrives at a subway station on May 11 in New York City. Rob Kim/Getty Images

116 employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have died from coronavirus, according to Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye.

Foye said the organization has taken the temperatures of about 18,000 employees and employees have embraced the test.

“We have had in that group about 46 employees who have been directed to go home because they had a fever above 100.4. I think that’s likely to continue,” Foye said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal podcast host Kate Linebaugh.

The MTA is working with the business community on a plan to stagger hours for employees. He cited the 1918 pandemic as an example when he said staggered hours were put in place by the city and the state. 

“I think it’s an easy way; it’s a common sense way to do that. My sense is talking with employers, large and small, I think that will be welcomed. Obviously no decision has been made on that and I am certain that Governor (Andrew) Cuomo will weigh in on that,” Foye said.

Foye said he is donating plasma in hopes of helping an MTA employee. CNN previously reported he had coronavirus. Foye said his case was mild.

6:21 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

House Democrats to move ahead with historic rules change allowing for remote voting

From CNN's Manu Raju

The House Rules Committee plans to move forward with a plan that will allow the chamber to operate remotely for the first time in history, capping weeks of talks to change House rules and allow committees to conduct business virtually and members to vote on the floor while away from Washington during the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a notice sent to members, the panel is scheduling a Thursday committee meeting to approve the rules change and send it to the full House for full consideration by the chamber on Friday.

The chamber is also expected to approve on Friday a sweeping rescue package called "The Heroes Act," amounting to the Democrats' latest efforts to respond to the economic and public health crisis even as Republicans are calling for a pause to Washington's intervention.

The rules change would last during the course of the current crisis and would allow members to vote on the floor "by proxy" — in other words to designate individual members to vote on their behalf on legislation on the floor. It would also provide for procedures so committees can conduct their business remotely.

11:05 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Federal Reserve official says Fed will need to take further action due to pandemic

From CNN’s Alison Main

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles speaks to the Senate Banking Committee on May 12.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles speaks to the Senate Banking Committee on May 12. Senate.gov

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles told the Senate Banking Committee the Fed may need to take further actions to support the US financial sector amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We at the Federal Reserve are seeking to play our role responsibly and effectively. The tools we have are ones no country should ever hope to need; the hour of their use is one no country should ever hope to face. More may be required of us before the current crisis ends. We can only pledge to do what this moment demands," Quarles told the committee in a remote hearing.

Quarles said in his opening remarks that "banking organizations have been well-positioned to serve as a source of strength," but later admitted that "profound economic disruption persists" and that the "storm is not over."

This came after Ranking Member Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told the committee's financial sector witnesses that he believed they were failing in their duty to keep the nation's financial system strong and to make sure banks are getting money to support Americans.

"We may not be in a financial crisis in a technical sense, but for tens of millions of families this is already an economic crisis," Brown said.

10:32 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

211 homeless people in NYC left subways and accepted social services last night, mayor says

From CNN's Taylor Romine

A train enters the station as the New York City subway system closes for nightly cleaning on May 7 in New York City.
A train enters the station as the New York City subway system closes for nightly cleaning on May 7 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

362 homeless individuals in New York City subway stations were engaged by outreach workers and the NYPD Monday night into Tuesday morning, the seventh day the MTA closed its subway stations to disinfect trains during overnight hours.

211 of those individuals accepted social services – 176 went to shelters, 33 went to hospitals, Mayor Bill de Blasio said today in a press conference.

10:24 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Department of Transportation: Airlines not required to provide credits, refunds for Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Pete Muntean

Planes are seen at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on March 29 in Arlington, Virginia.
Planes are seen at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on March 29 in Arlington, Virginia. Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

In a new three-page document, the Department of Transportation is outlining new guidelines for airlines that clarify that customers in many cases are not entitled to refunds or even credits due to Covid-19 concerns. DOT says during the month of April it received more than 15 times the normal level of complaints. The document says that airlines must give refunds within 7 days if a flier paid with a credit card.

But the guidelines fall short of calls from some Democrats that airlines be required to issue more refunds instead of credits. In fact, the guidelines say passengers who purchase non-refundable tickets but want to make a change due to Covid-19 are “generally not entitled to a refund or travel voucher.”

DOT says some airlines are voluntarily offering credits, but that it will monitor any airlines that are misleading passengers.

“Although not required, many airlines are providing travel credits or vouchers that can be used for future travel for those passengers electing to cancel their travel due to health or safety concerns related to COVID-19. In reviewing refund complaints against airlines, the Department will closely examine any allegation that an airline misled a passenger about the status of a flight to avoid having to offer a refund.”

DOT is also issuing a waiver allowing airlines to further draw down flights to small-city airports. A DOT spokesman says “this is another step to help minimize the number of very ‘empty’ flights for the short term as air demand comes back.”

TSA screening numbers show that air travel demand is ticking up slightly, now exceeding 200,000 passengers each day, but still well below normal levels.

10:21 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

New York City now has 52 cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, one child has died

New York City now has 52 cases of the pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, with an additional 10 cases pending, de Blasio said Tuesday.

25 of the children tested positive for Covid-19, 22 children had antibodies. One child has died, de Blasio said.

10:08 a.m. ET, May 12, 2020

NYC will open 12 new testing sites over the next few weeks

Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing at the Brightpoint Health and UJA-Federation of New York free pop-up coronavirus testing site on May 8 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing at the Brightpoint Health and UJA-Federation of New York free pop-up coronavirus testing site on May 8 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

New York City aims to increase its Covid-19 testing capacity in the next few weeks by opening 12 new public testing sites across the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday morning.

Currently, the city conducts approx. 14,000 tests per day, with around 5,000 of those tests administered at NYC public hospitals and clinics (which are run by NYC Health + Hospitals), de Blasio said.

Two new testing sites are scheduled to open during the week of May 18 (one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn) with the aim of increasing the public hospital/clinic testing capacity to 6,300 tests per day, de Blasio said.

During the week of May 25, an additional ten testing sites — three in Staten Island, one in Queens, one in Manhattan, three in Brooklyn, and two in the Bronx — will open with the aim of increasing the NYC public hospital/clinic testing capacity to 10,700 tests per day, de Blasio said.

By May 25, de Blasio estimates that there will be approximately 20,000 tests available citywide per day. De Blasio said more information about the criteria for who gets tested will be revealed in the coming days.