April 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:02 a.m. ET, April 4, 2020
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5:50 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Trump announces new face mask recommendations

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump announced new guidance from the White House on Friday afternoon, saying the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were advising the use of "non-medical cloth based" face coverings.

Trump emphasized the recommendations were voluntary and that he, for one, would not partake.

"I don't think I'm going to be doing it," Trump said.

After weeks of insisting Americans should not wear face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus — and even suggesting their use could increase the chance of infection — administration officials this week engaged in a heated internal debate over reversing course, according to people familiar with the matter.

Behind the scenes, officials were divided about the wisdom of advising Americans to cover their faces in public, which some fear could cause a lapse in the social distancing efforts that remain officials' best hope of preventing further spread.


5:40 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Trudeau to Trump on blocking 3M mask shipments to Canada: "It could hurt Americans as much as anybody else"

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the coronavirus pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on April 2.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the coronavirus pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on April 2. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a blunt warning to the Trump administration on Friday saying that forbidding 3M from shipping crucial supplies of N95 masks to Canada "could hurt Americans as much as anybody else." 

“We’ve been working very closely with the Americans to highlight what Canadians know very, very well; that the level of integrations between our economies goes both ways across the border," he said during his daily press conference. "That we are receiving essential supplies from the United States, but the United States also receives essential supplies and products and indeed healthcare professionals from Canada very single day." 

The United States and Canada mutually agreed to close the border to all except essential traffic and commercial trade in March. 

5:34 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Delta Airlines CEO: "We still haven't seen the bottom" of current crisis

From CNN's Chris Isidore

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines expects revenue over the next three months to be down 90% with no end of the industry's troubles in sight.

"Even as Delta is burning more than $60 million in cash every day, we know we still haven't seen the bottom," CEO Ed Bastian warned employees in a memo on Friday.  

He said April's schedule will be "at least 80% smaller than originally planned, with 115,000 flights canceled."

As an example of the drop in traffic, Bastian said that on March 28, Delta carried only 38,000 customers. Normal late-March Saturday traffic is 600,000.

"I wish I could predict this would end soon, but the reality is we simply don't know how long it will take before the virus is contained and customers are ready to fly again," Bastian said.

He confirmed that on Friday, Delta filed for its share of $25 billion in federal grants allocated to the airline industry and approved by Congress last week.

5:32 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

NYC mayor asks Trump to start national enlistment effort for medical personnel

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called upon President Trump during a Friday press conference to start a “national enlistment effort” for medical personnel across the country and to have the US military coordinate that effort.

“Right now there are doctors and nurses and other medical professionals all over the country going about their normal lives and they’re doing good work. But a lot of them could be freed up in a crisis to help save lives. And the lives to be saved are right here in New York City,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio called for an effort “to recruit doctors, nurses, and medical professionals from all over the country, send them rapidly where they're needed most and then move them rapidly to the next biggest problem, the next biggest challenge. And what we will do, and I know every other city and state will do the same, is we will then offer our personnel to go to the next front to help as well.”

De Blasio said the US military could organize the effort because they have “the ability to put together a national structure to mobilize these medical personnel and ensure they get where they need to go rapidly and to make sure the priorities are right.”

De Blasio said: "It's time for the commander in chief to give the order. If we’re fighting a war, let’s act like we’re fighting a war. Right now, there’s a peacetime approach in Washington and that won’t cut it."

5:31 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Trump approves disaster declaration for Arkansas

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein 

Nurses administer coronavirus tests at New Life Church in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 1.
Nurses administer coronavirus tests at New Life Church in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 1. Thomas Metthe/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP

President Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Arkansas in response to coronavirus.

This is the 39th such declaration he has made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including 34 states, the US Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Arkansas has at least 687 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 12 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

5:26 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

South Carolina prohibits short term rentals to travelers coming from hotspots

From CNN's Stephanie Gallman

Short term rentals in South Carolina — including hotels, motels, rental houses, Airbnbs and time shares — are now prohibited to travelers coming from Covid-19 hotspots, the state’s Gov. Henry McMaster announced today.   

The state had 147 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours for a total of 1,700 total cases. 

McMaster has also announced the closing of more non-essential businesses including furniture and clothing stores, florists, book stores, craft and music stores, effective Monday, April 6, at 5 p.m.  

Grocery stores, home improvement stores, gas stations and firearm retailers will remain open, McMaster said. 

McMaster was pressed by several reporters about his decision to not order a stay-at-home order and he said the orders he’s already put in place address many of the things that would make them stay home.

“South Carolina is unique,” he said. “We are doing what we feel is the most aggressive thing we can do to combat this virus.”   
5:23 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Alabama governor issues stay-at-home order

From CNN's Lindsay Benson

Office of Gov. Kay Ivey
Office of Gov. Kay Ivey

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a statewide stay-at-home order effective Saturday afternoon. 

"My fellow Alabamians, I want to get straight to the point. Effective tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m., I am mandating a stay-at-home order for the entire state," Ivey said during a press conference Friday afternoon in Montgomery.

Before Friday, Alabama was one of the few states that had yet to issue a stay-at-home order.

Alabama has at least 1,349 cases of coronavirus and at least 34 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

5:16 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Illinois governor on coronavirus tests: "There’s no federal plan"

From CNN's Jessica King


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said his state does not have enough tests for coronavirus.

“We do not have enough tests. The federal government said they were going to provide millions of tests, and all the states relied upon that promise, and it still hasn’t happened,” Pritzker said when asked about the levels of coronavirus testing in his state in a press conference Friday afternoon.

He said that Illinois is doing about 5,000 tests a day, but hope to get to 10,000. The increase on tests would provide better data and hone in on testing potential outbreak areas, Pritzker added.

“Right now, the testing supplies, the swabs, everything about the tests are very difficult to come by and there’s no federal plan for this so every state is on their own – as I’ve said it’s the wild west out here,” he added. 
5:01 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Massachusetts reports 1,436 new coronavirus cases and 38 new deaths

From CNN's Rob Frehse

Massachusetts has reported 1,436 new coronavirus cases and 38 new deaths today, according to the state website.

The state now has a total of 10,402 cases and 192 deaths.