April 2 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:23 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020
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6:48 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump approves NY Gov. Cuomo's request for NYC's Javits Center to become coronavirus hospital 

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Rob Frehse

A temporary hospital is set up at the Javits Center on March 27 in New York.
A temporary hospital is set up at the Javits Center on March 27 in New York. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said New York City's Javits Center will be turned into a coronavirus treatment center, following a request from the state's Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

“Gov. Cuomo has asked that the facility ... be converted to a Covid hospital. We had not done that yet. We had not thought in terms of doing that," Trump said during the White House press briefing Thursday. "But their use is the real demand is for that. And we had meetings on it with the task force. We had meetings with the military. And I decided to say yes, I am going to do that.” 

The Army Corps of Engineers along with civilian staffers from the federal government have been working around the clock to convert the convention center into a working hospital.


6:55 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump says he's invoked the Defense Production Act "against 3M for face masks"

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez


President Donald Trump said Thursday in additional to the issuance of a memorandum invoking the Defense Production Act to supply ventilator supplies to manufacturers, he has also invoked the act against 3M for face masks. 

“I just signed against 3M for face masks,” Trump said during the White House press briefing. “We signed an element of the act against 3M. Hopefully they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to do.”

3M, which is the largest maker of medical face masks and more specifically the N95 respirator mask, said in a statement earlier this week that it already doubled its global output in January, and also plans "to double our capacity once again, to 2 billion globally within the next 12 months – and some of that additional capacity will begin to come online in the next 60-90 days." 

In the US, 3M said it expects to produce 50 million 95 respirators per month in June, a 40 percent jump from current levels.

Even with accelerated production, the company's CEO Mike Roman acknowledged in a statement that "the reality is that demand for N95 respirators is much higher than the industries’ ability to deliver. That is why we continue to explore innovative partnerships and solutions to help protect our healthcare workers in this extraordinary time."


6:35 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

American Airlines makes cuts to its summer and winter schedules

From CNN's Greg Wallace

American Airlines planes sit on a runway at Pittsburgh International Airport on March 27.
American Airlines planes sit on a runway at Pittsburgh International Airport on March 27. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

American Airlines is making multiple cuts to its schedule for this coming summer and winter — another sign from the aviation industry that it expects a long-lasting drag from the coronavirus and economic slump.  

The cuts include suspending plans for new service additions until 2021, and suspending about 60% if its international capacity this summer, the company said in a news release.

Projections from industry groups have indicated the decline in demand for air travel will likely extend into next year.  

6:26 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Medical supplies seized from seller accused of hoarding get redistributed

From CNN's Evan Perez

The Health and Human Services Department said Thursday it used its authority under the Defense Production Act to distribute roughly 192,000 N95 respirator masks and a large haul of other scarce medical supplies that the FBI seized during the arrest of a Brooklyn man. 

These supplies were distributed to healthcare workers in New York and New Jersey, HHS said.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested Monday after he allegedly coughed on FBI agents and told them he had the coronavirus. Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Feldheim sold the N95 masks to doctors and nurses at inflated prices; in one instance at as much as a 700% markup.  

Justice Department prosecutors in Newark charged him with assaulting federal officers and making false statements to law enforcement.  

Feldheim kept the items in a repair shop in Irvington, New Jersey, which contained enough materials to outfit an entire hospital, a doctor who purchased masks from Feldheim told authorities.  

FBI agents, as part of the Justice Department's Covid-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force, seized the items, which in addition to the N95 masks also included: 598,000 medical-grade gloves, 130,000 surgical and other masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, and bottles of hand sanitizer and spray disinfectants, the Justice Department and HHS said in a press release. 

6:21 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

NYC mayor says he told Trump to mobilize the military

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks in New York on March 31.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks in New York on March 31. Frank Franklin II/AP

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he told President Trump during a phone call Thursday that “a full mobilization of the military is needed" in New York City.

“I just think this is the only way we are all going to be able to get through this, and save as many lives as possible, is to use the military much more deeply,” de Blasio added.

Calling the coronavirus pandemic a wartime dynamic, de Blasio said, “Everyone in Washington has to understand that right now, too much of what’s happening is on a peacetime basis.”

De Blasio says he also told the President that it’s time to enlist medical personnel on a national basis.

“We don’t have the same kind of draft we used to have. But we’re gonna have to create something new, right now, at this moment in history, to enlist all available medical personnel from around the country with medical training — and I mean civilians — anyone with medical training, anywhere in the country, who can be spared by their city, their town, their state, to come to to the front,” de Blasio added. “And right now it’s New York City.”
6:25 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Healthy passengers of cruise ships can get off at Port Everglades; passengers showing symptoms will remain onboard 

From CNN's Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt and Jennifer Henderson

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said they will allow passage of 1,200 guests from the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships who are fit to travel per CDC guidelines. The guests will go straight from the port to the airport tarmac to a chartered flight home.

There will be four charter flights leaving on Friday and a fifth flight on Saturday. The passengers will go through two sets of screenings and be cleared by Customs and Border Protection.

Approximately 38 passengers that live in Florida will be provided private transportation to their home. All individuals will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at their home.

About 26 passengers who are displaying Covid-19 symptoms will stay on board the ship until they are able to travel. Thirteen passengers and one crew member will be taken to Broward Health.

“We have taken every precaution necessary to protect and the well-being and health of the people of Broward County while at the same time being humanitarians,” Holness said.

6:10 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump announces new guidelines for nursing homes

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced a new set of guidelines for nursing homes to combat coronavirus in addition to previous guidance from the administration that instructed nursing homes not to allow medically unnecessary visitors.

Trump said the administration would recommend “all nursing home facilities assign the same staff to care for the same group of residents consistently” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, the President said the administration would recommend that nursing homes “designate separate areas for healthy and sick residents.”

Trump said this is a practice that health agencies were likely to continue recommending “long into the future.”

His guidelines come after more than 140 nursing homes across the country have been hit by Covid-19.


6:01 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Louisville fairgrounds to be turned into 2,000-bed field hospital

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a media conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on March 29.
Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a media conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on March 29. Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state is working on plans to convert the fairgrounds in Louisville into a 2,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus patients.

He said the state is working on doing this with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers.

He also issued a new executive order Thursday that requests visitors traveling to Kentucky to quarantine for 14 days.

5:38 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Javits Convention Center will now treat coronavirus patients, New York governor says

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

The temporary hospital facility at the Javits Convention Center will now treat Covid-19 patients, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon. 

“The state-owned Javits Center has been turned into a 2,500-bed emergency medical facility being run by the US Army. The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-Covid patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds,” Cuomo announced. “However, the number of Covid positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept Covid positive patients."

Cuomo added: "I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York's request. I thank the President for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making."