April 1 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:37 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020
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6:58 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Grand Canyon National Park closes because of coronavirus

Grand Canyon National Park announced its closure “immediately” in a press release Wednesday evening.

The National Park Service said it is closing the park based on the recommendation of the chief health officer in Coconino County, Arizona. 

The park had been operating with very limited services, but resisted a call from the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks and other groups to close entirely.

"The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will continue to follow the guidance of state and local health officials in making determinations about our operations," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.
7:04 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Trump says "severity" of coronavirus changed his view on the disease

By CNN's Sarah Westwood

President Trump said learning about the “severity” of the novel coronavirus led to his recent shift in tone away from comparing the virus to the flu as he did in the early days of the pandemic. 

“I think also, and looking at the way — the contagion — it is so contagious. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this, where large groups of people all of a sudden, just by being in the presence of somebody, have it,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing Wednesday.

The President was asked about the unnamed friend whose struggle with the virus Trump has cited at least twice in previous briefings. Trump has said this friend slipped into a coma.

“Also the violence of it — if it hits the right person, and you know what those stats are, if it hits the right person that persons in deep trouble. And my friend was the right person,” Trump said.

The President stopped short of saying his friend’s condition was a turning point in his view of the virus, saying his view shifted due to the data he was presented.

“But it hit him very hard. He’s strong, very strong kind of a guy, but he’s older, he’s heavier and he’s sort of central casting for what we’re talking about,” Trump said.

Watch:

7:03 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Trump says he will not issue a national stay-at-home order

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump at a briefing about the coronavirus pandemic at the White House on Wednesday, April 1.
President Donald Trump at a briefing about the coronavirus pandemic at the White House on Wednesday, April 1. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said he won't issue a national stay-at-home order because different states have different levels of coronavirus cases.

“States are different and I understand that the governor of Florida, great Gov. Ron DeSantis issued one today and that’s good, that’s great. But there are some states that are different. There are some states that don't have much of a problem,” Trump said Wednesday afternoon.

The President said there should be some sort of flexibility among the states depending on how bad individual states situations might be.

“You have to look — you have to give a little flexibility. If you have a state in the Midwest, or if Alaska for example doesn't have a problem, it's awfully tough to say close it down. We have to have a little bit of flexibility,” Trump said.

Some context: Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the 30 days to slow the spread guidelines should be viewed as a national stay-at-home order on Wednesday morning. 

“My advice to America would be that these guidelines are a national stay-at-home order. There are guidelines that say, look, the more we social distance, the more we stay at home, the less spread of disease there will be,” Adams said. 

Watch:

6:52 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Trump says the administration may cut off air travel to coronavirus hot spots

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Trump said the administration is considering cutting off coronavirus “hot spots” from air travel, but added that such a move would be “very tough.”

 “We’re thinking about doing that, at the same time we just, you know, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over is very tough,” the President said. “And you have them going in some cases from going to hot spot to hot spot."

“Once you do that,” Trump added, “you really are clamping down an industry that is desperately needed.”

Trump said the calculation between keeping the industry afloat and spreading the virus, “is a calculation we’re looking at right now. We’re looking at it very strongly.”

Watch:

6:38 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Canadian officials say medical stockpiles were low going into the pandemic

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Canadian officials say the government is telling them the stockpile for medical supplies may not be enough to combat the novel coronavirus.

"To your question about whether we had enough — no, we likely did not have enough. I think federal governments for decades have been under-funding things like public health preparedness," Patty Hajdu, Canada’s health minister, said during a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.

"I have heard those stories myself from frontline workers, I know provinces and territories are developing different sets of rules for frontline workers around the dispersement, and use of personal protective equipment," Hajdu added.

Several hospitals in Ontario and Quebec, the worst affected provinces in Canada, are now telling medical staff to ration their supplies of protective equipment.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government continues to work to find supplies around the world and he says he is working hard on "made in Canada" solutions.

“We recognize the challenges frontline health workers are facing in different parts of the country. We are working very closely with the provincial authorities in charge of those healthcare systems to try and meet the needs that they’re facing," Trudeau said during a press conference Wednesday. "We are facing – looking at a global demand for these supplies that is unprecedented. Countries around the world are trying to get more of these supplies. We are expecting to see some shipments coming in very shortly that will help in Canada."

6:36 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Trump says US Strategic National Stockpile is nearly depleted

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

When asked if the US Strategic National Stockpile is nearly depleted, President Trump told reporters “It is. We are sending it directly to hospitals.”

Trump went on to echo statements he made yesterday that the federal government wants supplies to be directly shipped where they are needed, rather than sitting in a warehouse. 

“We don't want it to come to the stockpiles because then we have to take it after it arrives and bring it to various states and hospitals,” Trump said Wednesday during a coronavirus task force briefing. “We have asked states where they have large manufacturers of different types of equipment to use those local factories, local plants and have it made directly, ship it right into the hospitals."

Some context: The Strategic National Stockpile is deploying the last round of shipments in its inventory, depleting the bulk of its protective gear, a source familiar told CNN earlier today.

The official added that the stockpile was never meant to serve as the only source of protective gear for the entire coronavirus response and they said the states would need to get more supply from the private market.

 

6:25 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York City has 45,707 coronavirus cases and 1,374 deaths

New York City has 45,707 coronavirus cases and 1,374 deaths, according to the city’s website.

Today there has been 3,936 new cases and 278 new deaths.

New York state as a while has 83,712 coronavirus cases and 1,941 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

6:21 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

At least 869 US coronavirus deaths reported in a single day

There have been at least 869 coronavirus deaths reported in the US on Wednesday, according to a count by CNN Health.

This is the most reported deaths in the United States in a single day since the novel coronavirus outbreak.

There have been a total of 4,703 deaths reported in the US since the outbreak. 

6:34 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Colorado governor speaks with Chinese factory owners and others to purchase medical equipment

From CNN's Raja Razek

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks at a news conference in Centennial, Colorado, on Wednesday, April 1.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks at a news conference in Centennial, Colorado, on Wednesday, April 1. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced in a press briefing on Wednesday that the state has been talking to Chinese factory owners, and others, to purchase medical equipment.

"We know that not having gotten nearly enough from the federal government, we have really taken it upon ourselves as a state to engage in the purchasing of medical equipment," Polis said.

According to the governor, Colorado has a "monumental task" at hand to build medical capacity at this critical time. And the state is not just facing a healthcare crisis; it is also facing a supply chain crisis, Polis added.

"We simply do not have the medical capacity, the beds, hospital beds, ICU units, ventilators, personal protection equipment to treat everybody who might get sick and have the potential to get better," the governor said. "We placed a number of purchase orders, and we have a number of supplies that are in transit or in the supply chain, all subject to verification. We want to verify that the masks work and that they are not counterfeit."

By the numbers: Colorado has ordered 2.5 million N95 Masks, 750 ventilators, 1.5 million gloves, one million surgical masks, 25,000 face shields and 250,000 gowns, according to the governor. 

Colorado has a total of 3,338 coronavirus cases with 77 deaths, according to CNN's tally.