April 7 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Amy Woodyatt, Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 9:24 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020
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1:36 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Coronavirus hits black communities harder than others

From CNN's Elise Hammond

FDNY paramedics bring a patient to Wyckoff Hospital in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn on April 5, in New York.
FDNY paramedics bring a patient to Wyckoff Hospital in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn on April 5, in New York. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Numbers show a disproportionate number of black Americans are dying due to the coronavirus, doctors and officials say.

Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, a family physician and epidemiologist, said structural segregation and inequality in US society has positioned black Americans and other minorities to be more exposed to the virus, and have more severe cases because of other health issues.

"The residential segregation that turns it into employment segregation, educational segregation, environmental hazard segregation, all of those insults on our bodies have given us more of these so-called pre-existing conditions," Phyllis Jones said. "Once we are infected, we have more severe outcome from the disease."

She said this same segregation also means that black people work jobs that are seen as less valuable, and as a result, they are not as protected. Phyllis Jones pointed out another reason cases are resulting in death could be the limited access to health care."What's happening is black folks are getting infected more because they are exposed more and once infected they're dying more," she said.

Here's a look at some of the numbers: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a press briefing yesterday about 70% of coronavirus deaths in the state have been black residents who make up only about 32% of the overall population.

In Illinois, about 42% of deaths have been black patients, who make up only about 15% of the population there. In Michigan, black residents make up about 14% of the statewide population, and account for more than 40% of the deaths

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said yesterday that 72% of all Chicago deaths related to Covid-19 have been black Chicagoans.  

WATCH:

1:01 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

US Treasury Secretary is talking to Congress about more money for small businesses

From CNN's Manu Raju

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been in touch with the top four congressional leaders — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — about passing additional funding for the emergency small business loan program, a source with knowledge tells CNN. 

12:57 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

New Jersey city councilman dies from coronavirus

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

 Michael Yun speaks during a news conference on December 3, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Michael Yun speaks during a news conference on December 3, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Julio Cortez/AP

Jersey City councilman Michael Yun has died from complications from coronavirus, according to his chief of staff Vernon Richardson.

Yun first elected to the City Council in 2013. He received more than 30 community service awards and citations over the past three decades, according to his bio on the City of Jersey City website.

12:41 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

About 100 American Airlines flight attendants have coronavirus, union says

From CNN's Gregory Wallace

 Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
 Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The union representing flight attendants for American Airlines says about 100 flight attendants have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing more than 27,000 flight attendants, disclosed the figure in a message to its membership and said the airline has “agreed to start providing face masks for frontline team members while at work should you choose to wear one.” The union said masks are being distributed this week. 

The APFA president said Tuesday the union has “been pushing the Company since January” to provide personal protective equipment for flight attendants.  

“We have consistently advocated for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all of our Flight Attendants to be available on every aircraft, for social distancing between passengers and crew jump seats, for thermal scanning in the airports, and to receive immediate notification of Flight Attendants who have tested positive for the virus,” said Julie Hedrick. “Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders who are transporting medical personnel and supplies into COVID-19 hotspots, and they need to be treated and protected as such.”

In another message to its membership, the union indicated it expects only about one in four of its flight attendants to be flying in May, due to major cuts in the airline’s schedule. 

12:36 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Egypt will keep mosques closed during Ramadan because of coronavirus

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

El Sayeda Zainab Mosque is seen closed at the time of Friday Congregational prayers in Cairo, on April 3.
El Sayeda Zainab Mosque is seen closed at the time of Friday Congregational prayers in Cairo, on April 3. Gehad Hamdy/DPA via ZUMA Press

Egypt will keep its mosques closed even during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as a precautionary measure due to the spread of the coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Religious Endowments said today in a statement.

The ministry said it will also suspend all Ramadan activities and group iftars, which are congregational breakfast tables that offer food to the poor and passers by at sundown in Ramadan. 

Ramadan is set to start on April 23.

"Mosques are to remain closed until no new coronavirus cases are registered across the nation and until the Ministry of Health certifies that gatherings would no longer pose a threat to public health," the ministry said. 
12:25 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

UK official on Boris Johnson's health: "He is a fighter"

From CNN's Seb Shukla

Dominic Raab, the UK's foreign secretary
Dominic Raab, the UK's foreign secretary Pool

Dominic Raab — the UK's foreign secretary, who Prime Minister Boris Johnson deputized as he was hospitalized for coronavirus — said the prime minister is stable and called him a fighter.

“The Prime Minister is receiving the very best care from excellent medical team at St Thomas Hospital. He remained stable overnight. He is received standard oxygen treatment. He is breathing without assistance. He has not required any mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support. He remains in good spirits” Raab said at the daily Downing Street news briefing.

Raab added that Johnson, “is not just the Prime Minister, for all of us in cabinet he is not just our boss – he is also a colleague and also our friend.”

Raab ended his update on Johnson's health saying, “if I know one thing about this Prime Minister, he is a fighter.”

12:18 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Lufthansa further reduces its fleet size and grounds Germanwings operations

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images
Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Lufthansa is further reducing its fleet size and will discontinue the services of its low cost airline Germanwings as part of a broad overhaul amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The German airline is cutting its Lufthansa and Eurowings fleet and will reduce capacity at Frankfurt and Munich airports.

This is the first permanent capacity reduction — roughly 10% of its fleet according to a Lufthansa spokesperson — the airline has made in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Lufthansa said in a news release that the restructuring programs already initiated at Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines will be further intensified and both companies are working on reducing their fleets. 

“The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG does not expect the aviation industry to return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels very quickly. According to its assessment, it will take months until the global travel restrictions are completely lifted and years until the worldwide demand for air travel returns to pre-crisis levels," the statement read.

Lufthansa said talks with unions and workers will be arranged to discuss new employment models in order to keep as many jobs as possible. 

12:10 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

1,310 FDNY employees have returned to work

More than 1,300 New York City fire department personnel who either tested positive or were suspected of being exposed to Covid-19 have returned to work, the FDNY said on Twitter today.

“FDNY members are responding to a record number of medical calls, and they continue to meet this unprecedented challenge head on,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro in a tweet posted by the department.

12:03 p.m. ET, April 7, 2020

How to help medical efforts during the pandemic

From CNN's Mayra Cuevas, Chris Dawson, Jennifer Grubb and AJ Willingham

The coronavirus pandemic is overwhelming, and one of the most excruciating parts for many people is the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of widespread suffering and hardship.

Here's how to help medical efforts in your community during the coronavirus pandemic.

CNN’s Impact Your World has compiled a list of donation opportunities and tips to help those affected by the crisis. You can read the full list here.