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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1:35 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

20 million US workers are likely to be laid off or furloughed by July, according to think tank

From CNN’s Christine Romans

A nonpartisan think tank believes that 20 million US workers will likely be laid off or furloughed by July.

In a blog post on Monday, the Economic Policy Institute estimates that this will bring unemployment rates “into the mid-teens.”

The estimates account for the recently enacted CARES Act and assumes a fourth coronavirus relief bill, EPI said.

Some more perspective: Goldman Sachs has significantly downgraded its outlook for the US economy between April and June. The investment bank now expects an annualized rate of contraction of 34% compared to the previous quarter. The last estimate was an already-shocking 24%.

Goldman revised its forecast because it thinks the US labor market collapse will be even worse than anticipated. It now sees the unemployment rate rising to 15% by the middle of the year, compared to 9% before.

The bank has also updated its predictions for an economic rebound between July and September, which it thinks will be stronger than what it had last penciled in. But in the interim, Wall Street is clearly bracing for pain.

1:27 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

US surpasses 200,000 cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

The United States has now surpassed 200,000 cases of coronavirus.

The current CNN case count is currently at 202,336 cases in the US with 4,454 deaths.

1:28 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Kevin Durant and other Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive for coronavirus now symptom-free

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Chris Elise/NBAE/Getty Images
Chris Elise/NBAE/Getty Images

The four Brooklyn Nets players, including superstar Kevin Durant, who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus are now symptom-free, a spokesperson for the team confirmed to CNN on Wednesday. 

Nets general manager Sean Marks, in a conference call on Wednesday, said the team had no intentions of retesting the players, unless they were asked to do so by the government or the NBA in order to return to play. 

"As it pertains to the team, I sense like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe, we're trying to deal with this as best we can," Marks told reporters.

Some context: The Nets announced on March 17 that four of the team's players had tested positive the for the virus, seven days after playing the Los Angeles Lakers. The positive tests prompted the Lakers to test their players, resulting in two of its team players testing positive. 

Both teams have since announced that all players are now symptom-free after completing a two-week quarantine period. They will also, as a measure of safety, continue to adhere to the government-issues social-distancing guidelines 

New York, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, has reported nearly 84,000 positive tests for coronavirus as of midday Wednesday. 

1:26 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New Jersey has procured about 10 million pieces of protective equipment for healthcare workers

From CNN's Sheena Jones

The state of New Jersey has procured roughly 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, Gov. Phil Murphy said today.

The equipment will be hitting the warehouses in the next couple of weeks, the governor said.

The state has at least 800 ventilators, including the ones received from Federal Emergency Management Agency, Murphy said.

By the numbers: New Jersey has 22,255 coronavirus cases and 355 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

1:29 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York governor says a “new normal” will emerge after coronavirus

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the coronavirus has changed the state and society forever. 

“I don't think we get back to normal. I think we get back or we get to a new normal,” Cuomo said. "...Our challenge is to make sure that transformation and that change is positive and not negative.”

Cuomo stressed that this pandemic is preparing us for the inevitable next disaster and how we respond to it. 

“You will get knocked on your rear end. You will deal with pain. You will deal with death. You will deal with setback. You will deal with suffering. Question is, how do you get up?”

Cuomo said that there’s a lot to learn from this pandemic when it comes to tele-medicine, tele-education, local supplies and research.


1:12 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Democrats detail priorities for infrastructure in fourth coronavirus response bill

From CNN's Haley Byrd and Manu Raju

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that Democrats are aiming to pass a fourth coronavirus response bill when — “God willing, coronavirus willing” — Congress returns at the end of April.

“When we come back, we’ll be ready, and that will be when we have the debate and go forward, and hopefully that will be soon,” Pelosi told reporters on a phone call. 

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they want a potential fourth coronavirus response bill to include their infrastructure framework, which would cost $760 billion over five years. This money would go to community health centers, clean water upgrades, expanded broadband access, roads and bridges, and rail and other forms of public transit. 

“We must take bold action to renew America’s infrastructure,” Pelosi said. “We need to invest in our infrastructure to address some of the critical impacts and vulnerabilities in America that have been laid bare by the coronavirus.”

Democrats said they are especially concerned about rural, low income areas that may be hit hard by the pandemic and economic fallout. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Democratic Whip, said that Covid-19 has “exposed some significant faults,” like how many Americans do not have access to internet, which many kids need to continue their studies during the pandemic.

President Trump has recently called for a $2 trillion infrastructure package to boost the economy, a move Democrats have praised as they seek to craft the next pandemic-related infrastructure package.

“Actually, he’s right,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, said of Trump’s comments. "For once I agree with him on a step he wants to take.” 

1:04 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York governor says he's "frightened" for his brother who has coronavirus

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he's "frightened" for his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I'm frightened for my brother, I'm worried about my brother," the governor said.

The governor added, "It's frightening because there's nothing I can do."

Cuomo said that his brother is self-isolating at home.


12:56 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York City playgrounds will be shut down, governor says

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City playgrounds will soon close.

The decision came after he repeatedly warned young people to follow social distancing guidelines and not congregate in public areas.

"I've said this 100 different ways, but compliance is still not where it should be," Cuomo said. "So, we're going to take more dramatic actions. We are going to close down the New York City playgrounds. I've talked about this for weeks."

He added that he's working with Mayor Bill de Blasio on the closures. Open areas in parks will stay open, he said.


12:49 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Doctors and local officials call on Tennessee governor to mandate stay-at-home order

From CNN's Gregory Lemos

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on March 16
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on March 16 Mark Humphrey/AP

A growing number of doctors and local leaders are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to issue a stay-at-home order in their state or, they warn, Tennessee "will become the next epicenter" of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Dr. Aaron Milstone, a Franklin County based acute care pulmonologist, and nine other medical leaders who represent thousands of doctors, sent a letter to Lee urging him to "act swiftly."

"It is our estimation that we have little time to “flatten the curve” on the current situation," the letter reads. "China and South Korea have made great progress by imposing restrictive measures. We ask that Tennessee do the same."

Milstone's letter was accompanied by a letter from the Members of the Middle Tennessee Delegation urging the governor to listen to the outcry from the medical community.

 "Our ability to manage the pandemic at the local level is limited and varied," the letter read. "We feel strongly that the quickest path to recovery is a uniform response to this challenge." 

Milstone joined with the Tennessee Medical Association to organize an online petition that, as of Wednesday morning, had over 30,000 signatures of both doctors and residents in support of the governor issuing a stay at home order. Nearly every medical association and over 100 mayors across the state have endorsed this cause as well, according to Milstone.