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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7:27 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

California coronavirus cases top 9,000

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles Fire Department officials wearing protective gear administer coronavirus tests at a drive-up testing site in Elysian Park, Los Angeles on April 2.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials wearing protective gear administer coronavirus tests at a drive-up testing site in Elysian Park, Los Angeles on April 2. Damian Dovarganes/AP

With more than 1,000 cases added in one day, there are now 9,191 people in California with coronavirus and 203 have died as a result of Covid-19, according to a release from the California Department of Public Health.

Nearly 2,000 people in California are hospitalized, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Of those, 816 people are in intensive care units. Despite the 5.4% increase in the past day, Newsom says those numbers are well within California’s current capacity to treat.

More than 92,400 people in California have been tested, but results for at least 59,500 are still pending, the state health department says. 

Cases in Los Angeles alone have climbed to over 4,000. 

There are 4,045 people who have been infected with coronavirus in Los Angeles County and a total of 78 deaths, according to Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Roughly two-thirds of those hospitalized with coronavirus have been otherwise healthy individuals with no underlying health conditions. Ferrer emphasized that they are seeing people suffering very serious illness due to the coronavirus.

Announcing 534 new cases on Thursday, Ferrer points out that more than 1,000 cases have come in just the past two days.

7:25 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump says a new guideline on masks is coming

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Jim Acosta

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump tonight was asked whether Americans should wear masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus and again suggested scarves, saying "If people wanted to wear them they can. In many ways, the scarf is better. It's thicker."

Trump also said a new guideline on masks is coming. 

"I think they're going to be coming out with regulations on that. And if people want to abide by them, frankly, I don't think they'll be mandatory. Because some people don't want to do that. But If people want to — as an example on the masks — if people wanted to wear them they can," Trump said. 

Two people familiar told CNN that upon recommendation from the Coronavirus Task Force, the President was expected to more forcefully encourage all Americans to wear face coverings outside their house.

Some more background: The administration was working Thursday to complete the recommendations, which would advise Americans to use a face covering when leaving their homes.

However, Trump said Thursday night, "A recommendation is coming out. We'll see what that recommendation is but I will say this: They can pretty much decide for themselves right now.

CNN reported on Wednesday that most members the task force have come to agree that Americans should begin wearing face coverings in public and could issue formal guidance on the matter soon.


6:47 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Navarro previews additional Defense Production Act action

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

Peter Navarro said President Donald Trump will sign an additional order that will crack down on price gouging related to personal protective equipment.

“There is a black market which you have described, where we’re having people bid against each other, brokers come in, they’re bidding and bidding on all this different (personal protective equipment),” Navarro, the White House’s Defense Production Act policy coordinator, said during the White House briefing. “It’s driving the price up and guess what? You know where it’s going? The domestic sources here are being exported.”

Navarro said the order will “empower Customs and Border Protection with the help of the people at the post office and express mail consigners like UPS to basically deal with that issue.”

“We are going to crack down unmercifully,” he added.

6:45 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

New York City has 49,707 coronavirus cases and 1,562 deaths

A medical staff member works at the Samaritan's Purse field hospital in New York's Central Park, on April 1.
A medical staff member works at the Samaritan's Purse field hospital in New York's Central Park, on April 1. Mary Altaffer/AP

New York City has 49,707 coronavirus cases and 1,562 deaths, according to the city’s website.

So far, there have been 4,000 new cases today and 188 new deaths.

New York City needs 1,000 nurses, 300 respiratory therapists and 150 doctors by Sunday, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The city has received 400 ventilators from New York State, the mayor said, and will need roughly 3,000 ventilators for the next week and 15,000 overall, according to de Blasio.

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.”