March 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Steve George, Amy Woodyatt, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:04 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020
155 Posts
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7:01 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump says his priorities are "life and safety and then the economy"

President Trump laid out his top priorities for tackling the coronavirus pandemic in the US during a press briefing on Friday.

"Life and safety and then the economy. Life and safety," Trump said.

Trump also addressed how Americans are eager to get out of their homes and back to their normal routines.

"It's life and safety, and it's our country, but we have to take care of people the same time we want to get them out. They want to get out. Our country was built on that. But, we have to make sure it's safe," he added.

Watch:

6:51 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump says he'll hear recommendations on new coronavirus guidelines next week

From CNN's Kevin Liptak 

President Trump says he’ll hear recommendations from his team early next week on new national coronavirus guidelines as he works to reopen parts of the country.

“We’ll be sitting down on Monday or Tuesday, depending on which is best for everybody, and we’ll be making that determination,” Trump said, pointing to “brilliant” Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx and saying he’d hear out their options.

Trump acknowledged that places with serious outbreaks, like New York, would be unlikely to reopen anytime soon. But he said he would be discussing “possibly other parts of the country that really aren’t affected.”

Trump suggested that the health experts on his team may not suggest any easing from the current guidelines.

“Maybe at the advice of a lot of very talented people that do this for a living, they won't want to do that,” he said.

“We want to flatten the curve,” Trump said, adding: “I certainly want to get it open as soon as possible.”

Watch:

6:51 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump tells Pence not to call governors who "don't treat you right"

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters during Friday's coronavirus briefing that Vice President Mike Pence is calling Democratic governors, such as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, he doesn't agree with on coronavirus concerns.

"I want them to be appreciative," he said about the governors. "I don't want them to say things that aren't true. I want them to be appreciative. We've done a great job. And I'm not talking about me, I am talking about Mike Pence, the task force, I am talking about FEMA."

He added that he wouldn't talk to governors if they "don't treat you right."

Trump continued: "He calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean I'm a different type of person. I say Mike, don't call the governor of Washington, you're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan. Doesn't make any difference what happens. You know what I say, if they don't treat you right, I don't call. He's a different type of person. He will call quietly anyway, okay. But he's done a great job. He should be appreciated for the job he's done."

Watch:

6:36 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump now says he may decide not to invoke the Defense Production Act for General Motors

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Pool
Pool

President Trump said Friday that he may not invoke the Defense Production Act after saying earlier today that he had activated it to order General Motors to make ventilators.

Trump said during a White House coronavirus press briefing that he believed a deal had been reached between GM and the federal government to produce the ventilators, but the deal had fallen through. 

He says he decided to use the powers in the DPA to order GM to produce the needed medical equipment saying, “This invocation of the DPA should demonstrate clearly to all that we'll not hesitate to use the full authority of the federal government to combat this crisis.” 

“We thought that we had a deal with as an example General Motors and I guess they thought otherwise. They didn't agree, and now they do. They do agree and I think we might be able to pull it. We let them know the way we felt. They can't be doing that," Trump said.

 

6:35 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump names Peter Navarro as Defense Production Act czar

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump named Peter Navarro as the new National Defense Production Act Policy coordinator for the federal government, or the DPA czar. 

Trump said Navarro has been doing the job over the past few weeks but said today's announcement makes it official.

Navarro came under criticism Thursday when multiple health care workers debunked a claim he made on CNN in an interview that media reports are overstating the need for personal protective equipment in hospitals amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Navarro, who has been serving as the White House trade adviser, has also become a regular at many of the coronavirus briefings. 

6:33 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump says the US will obtain 100,000 ventilators in next 100 days

From CNN's Sarah Westwood 

President Trump said his administration would procure 100,000 ventilators in the next 100 days, amid fears that parts of the US are facing a looming shortage of the life-saving devices.

The President said the administration would facilitate the production or acquisition through other means of “100,000 additional units” of ventilators over that 100-day period.

“We delivered thousands, as you know, to New York, and they didn’t know they got them, and we also had thousands put in a warehouse and that was also for New York,” Trump said. “So we have to make sure that when we deliver things, they get distributed."

Some context: Speaking to CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disputed the suggestion by Trump that the ventilators were sitting in storage needlessly.

"So the point is, 'well they're in a stockpile, you must not need them' is just ignorant -- of course you don't need them today!" Cuomo told CNN. "You need them when you hit the apex, which is 30,000. We're not there yet."

Earlier Friday, the President had tweeted: “Thousand of Federal Government (delivered) Ventilators found in New York storage. N.Y. must distribute NOW!”

 

6:24 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Social distancing was visibly absent at Oval Office bill signing

From CNN's Jason Hoffman, Manu Raju and Kevin Liptak

Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As President Trump signed the largest economic stimulus ever bill into law, social distancing was visibly absent. 

Fifteen people, including several Republican members of Congress, Trump’s Cabinet, and members of the coronavirus task force, were tightly packed behind the resolute desk in the Oval Office as Trump signed the CARES Act.

The close contact goes against guidelines from both the President and the entire medical community that says gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus. 

In addition to the large grouping, their ages could put them at greater risk.

According to a tabulation by CNN, the average age of the 16 people in the Oval Office was 65.8. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that anyone over 65 is at high-risk for suffering severe symptoms from exposure to the Covid-19 virus. 

Proper social distancing has been one of the most talked about ways people can work to slow the spread of coronavirus and the practice has been implemented to some extent at the White House. 

The number of reporters and correspondents allowed to cover White House briefings has been restricted to allow members of the press to sit far apart, and the number of people gathered on the podium behind the President during those briefings has dwindled in the last few days. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, the two most visible medical professionals preaching social distancing, were both at the signing ceremony.

At the Capitol earlier Friday, lawmakers made a point to stand with some distance between them during their signing ceremony. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hand out ceremonial pens, a common occurrence after passing important legislation, because of fears of spreading germs. 

However, back at the White House, Trump individually handed pens to many of the attendees after he signed the bill.

6:28 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

450 NYC inmates will be released by Friday night because of coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Laura Ly

NYC MEDIA
NYC MEDIA

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 450 inmates will be released by Friday night in his city because of coronavirus concerns.

He also said that as of Thursday night, 375 inmates have been released.

CNN has previously reported that those eligible for release are city inmates convicted of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, all with less than one year left on their sentence.

There are some inmates within that category with domestic violence or sexual offense charges that the city has determined they will not release at this time, de Blasio said.

6:09 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

There are now more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

CDC
CDC

There are at least 100,013 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through public health systems.

So far, 1,545 people have died in the United States from coronavirus. 

Today, there have been at least 359 new deaths reported. That is the most deaths reported in the US in a single day.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.