April 4 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 6:32 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020
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4:49 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Billionaire donates medical supplies to New York

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci

Billionaire co-founder of Alibaba Joe Tsai and his wife Clara Wu Tsai have donated 2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2,000 ventilators to New York. The donations came in two separate shipments. One arrived at Newark on April 2 and has already been distributed.
Billionaire co-founder of Alibaba Joe Tsai and his wife Clara Wu Tsai have donated 2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2,000 ventilators to New York. The donations came in two separate shipments. One arrived at Newark on April 2 and has already been distributed. Tsai Family

Joe Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese technology and e-commerce company Alibaba, and his wife Clara Wu Tsai have donated 2.6 million masks (both surgical and KN95), 170,000 goggles and 2,000 ventilators to New York.

The donations came in two separate shipments: The first arrived at Newark International Airport on April 2 and has already been distributed.

The second shipment, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo referenced at his most recent press conference, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.

The Tsais have considerable ties to the New York City-metropolitan community. Joe Tsai owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn.

“We kept hearing cries for PPE from our community and wanted to help,” said Clara, who said New York state authorities will allocate the second shipment, but “it’s our intention to help the most under-served institutions.”

Clara cited Jacobi Medical Center and Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens as the institutions she and her husband thought might need the supplies the most.

The 2,000 ventilators that were donated are noninvasive, so they are not the type that can be used on patients who are unconscious.  

5:33 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Trump says he used Defense Production Act as 'retaliation'

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump said his use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) was in part “retaliation” on companies that have not given the government what they have asked for.

“You could call it retaliations because that's what it is. It's a retaliation. If people don't — if people don't give us what we need for our people, we're going to be very tough, and we've been very tough,” Trump said during a briefing today.

Some context: Last night, Trump invoked the DPA to “to ensure that certain health and medical resources are allocated for domestic use” according to a statement released by the White House announcing the action.

Trump specifically mentioned 3M and said he wants that company to provide masks to America instead of sending masks to other places. 

“FEMA and HHS have ordered 180 million — think of that — 180 million. Who ever heard of 180 million N95 masks, and we're working now with 3M to see whether or not that all works out, but we want them to help our country, and I think it's going to be okay. We're going to soon let you know, but we need the masks. We don't want other people getting it, ” Trump said.

Watch more:

8:22 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Trump says he's moving some ventilators to New York

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump announced moments ago that some ventilators will be sent to New York from a stockpile of 10,000 the government has amassed.

"We have now 10,000 in our pipeline and stock piled. 10,000, close. And we're moving some into New York. We're going to need some additional. We're moving some into New York City and state, separately. And we're bringing them to the point where they'll need them. I can also report that at my direction 1,000 military personnel are deploying to New York City to assist where they are needed the most. That is the hottest of all the hot spots," Trump said.

Trump added: "New Jersey is right there right next to it and I don't know if that is overflow but New Jersey is a great state and a crowded state also."

There are 113,806 coronavirus cases in New York and 3,565 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

5:46 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Trump says there will be 'a lot of death' over the next two weeks

From CNN’s Jason Hoffman

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump said that this week and next will probably be the toughest in the fight against coronavirus and that “there will be a lot of death.”

While speaking at the coronavirus task force briefing on Saturday, Trump painted a grim picture of the next two weeks, but added that there will be less death than if certain mitigation steps were not taken.

“This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately, but a lot less death than if this wasn't done but there will be death,” Trump said.


4:12 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

More than 12,000 people in California have tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

California Gov. Gavin Newsom provided the following data on coronavirus cases in the state in a press conference Saturday:

  • 12,026 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 (a 12.4% increase over the previous day)
  • 2,300 people have been hospitalized due to coronavirus in the state
  • 1,008 people with coronavirus are currently in ICUs across the state (that’s a 10.9% increase in ICU beds compared to Friday)
4:08 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Trump approves disaster declarations for Wisconsin and Nebraska

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein 

President Trump has approved disaster declarations for Wisconsin and Nebraska in response to coronavirus.

These are the 40th and 41st such declarations he has made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including 36 states, the US Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Washington, DC, Guam and Puerto Rico.

5:36 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Arkansas governor issues occupancy guidelines for out of state travelers

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has directed vacation rental properties, motels and hotels not to issue occupancy to "out of state recreational travelers" in an executive order issued Saturday.  

It's been a challenge as "people leave New Orleans or they go from another hot spot, they see the opportunity to come to Arkansas," Hutchinson said at a press briefing. 

Occupancy should only be issued to health care workers, first responders, airline crew, journalists, Covid-19 patients or work related travelers, Hutchinson says.

Hutchinson has not issued a stay-at-home order "primarily because most people are making responsible choices," Hutchinson said in a statement Friday.

4:47 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

California governor says 126,000 people have been tested for coronavirus statewide

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

A medical technologist catalogs samples at the UCLA clinical microbiology lab in Brentwood, California, on March 28.
A medical technologist catalogs samples at the UCLA clinical microbiology lab in Brentwood, California, on March 28. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that 126,700 individuals have been tested for coronavirus statewide, according to a press conference he held on Saturday

“That testing number may sound high to some. It is low to many others and certainly to me,” Newsom said.

Out of the 126,700 tests that have been administered, the state is still waiting on results for 13,000 individuals.

"We have substantially reduced that backlog, a lot of that had to do with the commercial labs stepping up,” Newsom said. 

The governor admittedly "owned up" to the largest county in the state not providing data collection in real time to Californians saying, “you deserve better and more and we are going to do just that.”

What else is being done: In the last week or so, Newsom’s office created a newly formed task force led by private and public sector leaders tasked with handling coronavirus testing headed by co-chairs Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, and Dr. Charity Dean, an Assistant Director at California Dept. of Public Health.


3:44 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

JP Morgan Chase still having issues processing Paycheck Protection Program applications

From CNN’s Christina Alesci

JPMorgan Chase is still having issues processing the thousands of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications it received through the online portal that went live Friday, according to an executive familiar with the process.

The problem isn’t tied to JPM’s system—it stems from the lack of clear guidance from the government about the program’s requirements and the lack of a streamlined way to transfer information from the bank’s customers to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on day one, said the person.  

“The biggest struggle so far has been in locking down the SBA on what information we need to send them in order to get a loan number,” said the person. “And that loan number is the most important thing because that’s what allows us to then fund the customer.”

It’s becoming clear that the government didn’t plan this out well and that the volume is greater than it expected, the person said.

Officials at the Treasury Department and SBA pushed back on the criticism, citing the fact that smaller lenders have been able to process the application.

“Billions of dollars in loans have been registered on the very first day of activity. We are continuing to update guidance and work with lenders to ensure that all eligible borrowers and lenders are able to participate in this critical program to provide much-needed relief to hardworking Americans and businesses,” said a Treasury spokesman.

But it appears the administration rolled out the program before providing the larger lenders the tools they need to process large volumes, said the person familiar with JP Morgan Chase’s progress in processing the PPP applications.

A bottleneck: Right now, on the front end, the bank’s online portals are taking thousands of applications, but the applications are getting stuck because the back-end requires bank representatives to call each applicant for more information.

That’s because the front-end online application has been streamlined to the most basic questions, which don’t give the bank enough information to complete the SBA form. As a result, a bank rep has to call each applicant. 

“The volume is going to be small in the beginning,” said the person.