April 2 coronavirus news

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4:03 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump invokes Defense Production Act to "facilitate the supply" of equipment to build ventilators

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 1.
US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 1. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump says he is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to clear up supply chain problems encountered in the manufacturing of medical ventilators. 

“Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives," Trump said in a statement.

The statement also said this order will help domestic manufacturers “secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus.”

The use of the DPA will remove supply chain obstacles that threaten the production of ventilators, the statement added.

“Today’s order will save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators,” the statement said.

The order directs Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to "use any and all authority available under the Act to facilitate the supply of materials to the appropriate subsidiary or affiliate of the following entities for the production of ventilators:  General Electric Company; Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.; Medtronic Public Limited Company; ResMed Inc.; Royal Philips N.V.; and Vyaire Medical, Inc." 

3:50 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

There are now more than 1 million coronavirus cases around the world

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

There are at least 1,002,159 cases of coronavirus globally, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

The total includes confirmed cases from 180 countries and regions.

So far, 51,485 people have died worldwide from the virus.

3:57 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

California governor on churches: “It’s essential that we practice physical distancing everywhere. Period. Full stop.”

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was stern when asked today about California churches remaining open during the pandemic.

“With all due respect,” he said, “it’s essential that we practice physical distancing everywhere. Period. Full stop.”

Newsom asked those not practicing physical distancing to reconsider and indicated social pressure is the first step to adherence.

As far as enforcement goes, the governor deferred to local authorities, but promised specific offenders would be addressed.

3:51 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Louisiana governor extends stay-at-home order until end of April

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he will extend the state's executive order to stay at home until April 30.

In the order, Edwards listed all businesses and services that should be closed; he did not mention anything about religious services.

Some context: Earlier this week, the pastor of a Louisiana church was charged with misdemeanors for holding church services despite the order on gatherings from the government. 

Edwards did say that there should be no gatherings in groups of more than 10.

Schools will remain closed through April 30 and new guidance will come from the Department of Education in the coming days on what the rest of the school year will look like, Edwards said.

3:52 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Connecticut reports 267 new coronavirus cases

Members of the Connecticut Air and Army National Guard unload supplies at a temporary field hospital in New Haven, Connecticut on March 31.
Members of the Connecticut Air and Army National Guard unload supplies at a temporary field hospital in New Haven, Connecticut on March 31. Kathy Willen/AP

Connecticut has 267 new coronavirus cases and 27 new deaths, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday afternoon.

The state now has a total of 3,824 confirmed cases and a total of 112 deaths.

A total of 827 patients are currently hospitalized.

3:42 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

California unemployment climbs to nearly 2 million people

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Rancho Cordova, California on April 1.
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Rancho Cordova, California on April 1. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Job loss in California is climbing rapidly and stands at 1.9 million unemployment claims, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference today.

Over the past week, claims have been coming in at a rate of about 111,000 per day, Newsom said.. 

Unemployment checks usually take about three weeks to turn around in California. Through reorganization, about 1,000 workers are being brought in to administer the claims surge.

Providing more support: The governor outlined a few of new programs for small businesses and independent contractors.

The first is a one year reprieve on sales tax payments, a bridge loan with no penalties or interest. 

Another program – the Paycheck Protection Program – starts Friday and will lend up to $10 million to small companies in order to pay their employees. Those loans will be eligible for a federal repayment grant, but at least 75% of the money must be used for payroll.

Additionally, the governor said $50 million is being added to the state’s infrastructure bank for micro loans – those would be payable to people not eligible for small business loans.

Newsom also noted a partnership between Fresno company Bitwise and Silicon Valley giants LinkedIn and SalesForce. That group has created onwardca.org, a website that matches unemployed workers with open jobs. It is specifically focused on healthcare, agriculture, logistics and grocers.

3:21 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Michigan reports more than 1,400 new coronavirus cases

People are tested for coronavirus in Dearborn, Michigan on March 26.
People are tested for coronavirus in Dearborn, Michigan on March 26. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Michigan has 1,457 new coronavirus cases and 80 new deaths, according to the state's website.

There are now 10,791 total cases in the state.

So far, 417 people have died from coronavirus in Michigan.

3:13 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Arkansas governor defends decision to not issue stay-at-home order for state

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP
Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP

Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended his decision not to issue a stay-at-home order for the state of Arkansas this afternoon during a press conference.

Hutchinson said that the aggressive measures that he has taken — including closing schools, closing restaurants and bars (except for delivery or takeout), closing salons, barbershops, massage parlors, movie theaters, bowling alleys — have helped curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state. 

"So the strategy of a targeted response to this emergency virus situation Arkansas is proven to be successful in bending the curve, lowering the apex of the curve and reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said if he was to issue a stay-at-home order, it would put a 100,000 people or more out of jobs.

Arkansas has 624 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

2:58 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

UK considers "immunity certificates" for those who have recovered from coronavirus

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Sarah Dean

The United Kingdom is “looking at” the idea of an “immunity certificate” — or passport — for people who have had coronavirus and have got the antibodies, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday.

People with the passports would be able to show them “and get as much as possible back to normal life," he said.

Asked if an immunity passport is a possible way out of the lockdown, Hancock said: “That is an important thing that we will be doing, that we are looking at.”

However, he cautioned: “It's too early in that science to be able to put clarity around that. I wish that we could but the reason that we can't is because the science isn't yet advanced enough.” 

Hancock said the "number one thing people can do to get out of this as fast as possible" is to stay at home and follow social distancing measures.