March 13 coronavirus news

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6:31 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Iran rejects Trump’s offer of coronavirus help as "hypocritical" and "repulsive"

Iran has rejected an apparent offer by US President Donald Trump to help the nation in the fight against coronavirus, calling it “hypocritical” and “repulsive” and accusing the US of “economic and medical terrorism.” 

“Instead of hypocritical displays of compassion and repulsive bragging, you should end your economic and medical terrorism so that medicine and medical supplies can reach medical staff and the Iranian people,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Friday, according to state-run Press TV. 

“We do not need American doctors,” Mousavi said on Friday, adding that Iran has “the best, bravest and most component medical staff in the world.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on January 5.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on January 5. Credit: Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/Getty Images

During a meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister at the White House on Thursday, Trump said the US was offering “assistance” to Iran. 

“We have the greatest doctors in the world, we offer Iran assistance,” Trump said. 

There are 10,075 confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran and 429 deaths, according to the latest Health Ministry numbers. 

6:31 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

English Premier League side Everton self-isolating after player reported symptoms

Everton merchandise is seen on display outside Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, on March 1.
Everton merchandise is seen on display outside Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, on March 1. Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

English Premier League side Everton confirmed on Friday that their entire first-team squad has been placed into self-isolation following medical advice after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

The football club said it was in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff and had closed down all of its workplaces, including its Goodison Park stadium and USM Finch Farm training ground.

Everton joins Premier League sides Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City in having players tested or in quarantine. 

Premier League side Watford confirmed on Friday that one player is awaiting test results on his symptoms.

“We've had players who have had symptoms of not being well," manager Nigel Pearson said at a news conference. "We've got one player awaiting tests results on his symptoms. We are trying to be proactive and hopefully the Premier League will make a strong decision based on what is good for everybody.”

With the exception of Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Arsenal, which has already been postponed, all games in the English Premier League this weekend are currently due to go ahead as planned.

6:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

London tube driver tests positive for coronavirus

People wait to board an underground train in London, England, on March 4.
People wait to board an underground train in London, England, on March 4. Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

A London Underground driver has tested positive for coronavirus, Transport for London has confirmed.

A TfL spokesperson said: “A train driver on the Jubilee line has tested positive for COVID-19. They are receiving support from health services and are self-isolating. 

"Their duties mean they were not working in a customer facing area. The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions. 

"The areas where the driver worked are being cleaned, including the depot and the trains, in line with guidance from Public Health England with whom we are working closely.”

This is the second confirmed case among TFL workers, after an office worker tested positive on Monday.

5:59 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

At least 1,666 coronavirus cases and 41 deaths confirmed in US

A cleaning crew takes disinfecting equipment into the Life Care Center on March 12, in Kirkland, Washington, where coronavirus deaths have been reported.
A cleaning crew takes disinfecting equipment into the Life Care Center on March 12, in Kirkland, Washington, where coronavirus deaths have been reported. Credit: John Moore/Getty Images

There are now at least 1,666 novel coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are 70 cases of repatriated citizens who have the coronavirus, according to the CDC.

CNN Health’s tally of US cases that have been detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems shows there are 1,596 cases in 47 states and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of cases to 1,666. 

In total, 41 people have died. 

This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and cases confirmed by the CDC.

5:46 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Singapore restricts entry to cruise vessels

The cruise ship Costa Fortuna is seen docked in Singapore on March 10, after the vessel was turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand amid fears of the novel coronavirus.
The cruise ship Costa Fortuna is seen docked in Singapore on March 10, after the vessel was turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand amid fears of the novel coronavirus. Louis Kwok/AFP/Getty Images

Singapore will cease port calls for all cruise vessels, effective immediately, according to the country's Maritime and Port Authority.

In a news release today, the Maritime and Port Authority said that the new measure barring cruise ships was implemented to minimize the risk of community spread of the coronavirus. 

Singapore has 187 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization.

The measure comes after several cruise ships, most famously the Diamond Princess, were docked under quarantine with infected cases found on board.

Just this week, the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the California coast had cases confirmed aboard and all passengers were sent to government quarantine centers.

8:15 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Missed CNN’s latest coronavirus town hall? Here are 5 important questions that were addressed

CNN
CNN

1. Will the outbreak end during the summer?

Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore Health Commissioner, echoed what many experts have said at the town hall: we just don't know yet.

2. If you had the coronavirus and recovered, can you still can still transmit the disease?

Just because someone who had the coronavirus is feeling better does not mean they can't spread the disease, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"You can become infected, get symptomatic, resolve the symptoms, feel well, and still share the virus. You can go back to your normal life when you have two consecutive tests for the coronavirus that are negative, separated by 24 hours. That is an excellent question. Just because you feel better or feel well does not mean you are not sharing the virus," Fauci said.

3. If you get the coronavirus once, can you contract it again?

The answer to that is not yet clear, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with the World Health Organization.

"Studies are ongoing now. Across a number of countries. We'll have to get back to you on that," she said.

4. Should you travel?

Fauci said he "certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent."

"I'm a pretty healthy guy for 79," Fauci said. "If it (the trip) had to do with the public health and I needed to do something for the public health, I might do that because I'm quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun -- no way I would do it." 

And here's the CDC's latest coronavirus advice for travelers

5. What does the Trump administration's latest travel ban mean for me?

The restrictions will ban travel to the US from 26 European countries -- a group in Europe called the Schengen Area -- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

The ban will be in effect for anyone who is transiting through the listed countries, not just arriving from them, according to CNN correspondent Richard Quest -- meaning, for instance, someone in Paris could not travel to London and then go to the US.

The ban does not apply to US citizens in Europe. They are allowed to return, but the procedure is not exactly clear. They will need to go to designated airports to fly back. It's unclear whether they will have to immediately self-isolate once they arrive, or whether that may only apply to symptomatic people.

WATCH:

5:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

First women’s golf major of the year postponed due to coronavirus 

Angel Yin of USA hits her tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the Bank Of Hope Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club on March 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Angel Yin of USA hits her tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the Bank Of Hope Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club on March 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The next three tournaments on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour -- including the first women’s golf major of the year -- have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The LPGA is the American organization for female professional golfers.

The Founders Cup in Arizona, the Kia Classic and the ANA Inspiration in California – which were due to take place in March and early April – have been suspended. The LPGA says it hopes they can be rescheduled for later in the season.

“This is a difficult situation and as we navigate these uncertain times, we appreciate the support of all those involved with the LPGA. I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.

Men's tournaments have also been postponed: The men’s PGA Players Championship in Florida was canceled after one round, with organizers saying it was “the right thing to do” during the coronavirus outbreak.

The event is not a major championship but is often referenced as “The Fifth Major” given its status in the golfing calendar.

The PGA Tour has also stopped all play until the Valero Texas Open, which is scheduled to begin on April 2.

The Masters – the first men’s major of 2020 – is due to start a week later at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

5:15 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Formula E temporarily suspends its season after Formula One cancels opener

Antonio Felix da Costa drives for DS Techeetah in a DS E-Tense FE20 on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco.
Antonio Felix da Costa drives for DS Techeetah in a DS E-Tense FE20 on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images

Organizers of the all-electric Formula E racing series confirmed on Friday that they will be temporarily suspending the 2020 championship because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Races in Sanya, China and Rome had already been postponed, while Indonesian capital Jakarta delayed a race scheduled for June 6 over concerns about the virus.

“This decision has not been taken lightly, but we feel it is an essential one to protect the health and well-being of staff, teams, partners and suppliers - as well as their families - who travel together with Formula E,"  said a Formula E statement. 
"As an international events-based series that races in the heart of city-centres, we also have a moral and social responsibility to protect the people and citizens in the locations we race and we do not want to exacerbate the already concerning situation.”

Formula E said it would remain under “red flag” conditions in March and April, meaning that the Paris race on April 18 would also be postponed. Then, it would move to a "yellow flag" in May, meaning the Seoul race on May 3 would also have to be postponed while keeping the option open to rearrange races later that month.

It said it hoped to host races in June and July and potentially add additional rounds depending on the situation.

Formula One cancelation: The Formula E announcement comes after Formula One's season was thrown into turmoil earlier today, with the cancelation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The race was canceled after a McLaren team member tested positive in Melbourne.

5:05 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

US testing logjam symbolizes the administration's struggle to handle the coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening coronavirus crisis on March 11, in Washington, DC. 
President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening coronavirus crisis on March 11, in Washington, DC.  Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool/Getty Images

As America effectively shuts down, failures over coronavirus testing kits and President Donald Trump's disastrous bid to calm the markets are coming to symbolize a federal government that increasingly seems outmatched by the global pandemic.

Shuttered sports leaguesdarkened Broadway theatersmass school closures, packed grocery stores, shrinking 401(k)s amid a stock market meltdown, and emptying cities hint at social disruption perhaps not seen since World War II.

How bad is the outbreak?

The administration's public health experts have no idea how bad the US coronavirus outbreak will get, since bottlenecks in lab testing and faults with diagnosis kits mean they can't know how many infections there really are.

"We are flying blind," warned Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, one of many lawmakers of both parties who emerged furious from a Capitol Hill briefing Thursday with government officials about the situation.

A source inside the meeting told CNN that lawmakers were told that only 11,000 tests had been conducted, prompting many to ask why South Korea can manage to test 10,000 in a single day.

Contradictions on testing

The administration has been boasting for several weeks that it is sending millions of testing kits to states and local authorities. But those officials say long waits for kits and issues with the reagent used in diagnosis mean they are able to test only the most high-risk patients. They are left in the dark about the true extent of the coronavirus' spread through the community.

But after his European travel ban announced in an Oval Office address on Wednesday night and mix-ups in his speech over how much virus treatment will cost, Trump stuck to happy talk and falsehoods.

"Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the right agency, if you go to the right area, you get the test," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

The President's comments contradicted his own government's head of infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who admitted on Thursday that protocols under which doctors request tests for patients were not working.

"The system does not, is not really geared to what we need right now," Fauci said. "It is a failing. Let's admit it."

Read the full analysis here.