April 8 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Fernando Alfonso III, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:35 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020
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5:59 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

At least 399,929 coronavirus cases in the US, with 12,911 deaths

From CNN's Joe Sutton

There are at least 399,929 cases of coronavirus in the US, with 12,911 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

This includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

Wyoming is the only state not to report a death from coronavirus.

The US hit another record for most deaths from coronavirus in a single day Tuesday, but President Donald Trump said he would love to start the economy back up “with a big bang,” opening the entire country back to business all at once.

"We’re way under any of the polls or any of the models as they call them,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Tuesday night.

“We are way under, and we hope to keep it that way, in terms of death.”

5:44 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

China reports 62 new cases of coronavirus and two deaths

From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong and Sophie Jeong in Seoul

China reported 62 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, with all but three of them imported, according to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC).

There were also two new coronavirus-related deaths. The 62 newly confirmed cases raises the national case total to 81,802, with 3,333 dead. Doctors have successfully treated 77,279 patients who have now recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

This Monday was the first time China saw no daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths since the NHC began releasing daily updates in late January.

5:41 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Pope says Covid-19 pandemic could be nature's "response" to climate change

From CNN's Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis delivers a homily during Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors at St. Peter's Basilica on April 5, in The Vatican.
Pope Francis delivers a homily during Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors at St. Peter's Basilica on April 5, in The Vatican. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak is one of “nature’s responses” to human beings ignoring the ecological crisis, said Pope Francis Wednesday.

“We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?" the Pope told British Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh in an email interview published Wednesday in The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines.

“I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.”

Pope Francis also said he is recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more from his residence in the Vatican during this "time of great uncertainty."

Francis revealed he goes to confession every Tuesday to ask forgiveness for his own selfishness. “I take care of things there,” he said.

Francis said the homeless should be quarantined in hotels and not in parking lots.

“A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel,” the Pope said.

“This is the moment to see the poor,” he said, whom society often treats as "rescued animals."

The Pope warned against the rise of populist politicians, who he said are giving speeches reminiscent of Hitler in 1933, and others who are focusing solely on the economy.

“I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons,” he said.

“Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world."

The Pope encouraged people at home on lockdown to find creative ways of being at home.

“Take care of yourselves for a future that will come,” Francis said.

5:22 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

German economy will shrink by 4.2% in 2020, according to forecasts

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

The German economy will shrink by 4.2% this year, according to Timo Wollmershaeuser, a senior economist at IFO Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys.

Economies around the world are bracing for major damage due to the coronavirus outbreak, and data coming out of China, where the virus was first detected, has revealed how the economy was devastated in the first two months of the year.

The collapse in activity affected every sector of the world's second-biggest economy, as the epidemic and draconian measures designed to contain it delivered an unprecedented shock that is now being replicated around the world.

5:14 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Eurozone finance ministers suspend talks on aid package

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

The Eurogroup, an informal meeting point for Eurozone finance ministers, has suspended talks on an aid package for countries affected by the coronavirus, according to a tweet from group president Mario Centeno.

Talks lasted 16 hours and will continue Thursday, said Centeno, who added "we came close to a deal but we are not there yet."

The plans are designed to defend the Eurozone and the European Union, and would come in addition to measures implemented by national governments.

"We have to be as comprehensive as possible for the different sectors of our economy," said Centeno in an interview with German outlet Sueddeutsche Zeitung, outlining plans for a safety net of around half a trillion euros.

4:48 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

UK is "nowhere near lifting lockdown," says London mayor

From CNN's Simon Cullen in London

Police officers patrol outside St Thomas' Hospital  in London on April 7.
Police officers patrol outside St Thomas' Hospital in London on April 7. Peter Summers/Getty Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the United Kingdom is still some way off being able to ease the restrictions introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"We’re nowhere near lifting the lockdown," Khan told BBC Radio on Wednesday.
"I speak to experts regularly. We think the peak -- which is the worst part of the virus -- is still probably a week-and-a-half away."

Khan said there is still spare capacity in the city’s intensive care units, but added that "too many people are losing their lives."

Junior health minister agrees: Edward Argar told BBC Radio that the restrictions will be reviewed "when the scientific advice is such that we appear to have gone over the peak and when it is safe to do so."

"Now is the time to hold firm to what we’ve been telling people to do -- to stick to the guidance, stick to the regulations -- and not put at risk all the progress we have made."

He also urged people to stay home over the Easter weekend.

The lockdown restrictions were introduced by the UK government nearly three weeks ago. They were initially due to be reviewed on Monday.

There are at least 55,949 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, including 6,171 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

5:03 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Chaos rocks Trump White House on virus' most tragic day

Analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 7, in Washington, as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, listens.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 7, in Washington, as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, listens. Alex Brandon/AP

The chaos and confusion rocking President Donald Trump's administration on the most tragic day yet of the coronavirus pandemic was exceptional even by his own standards.

Trump set out Tuesday to cement his image of a wartime leader facing down an "invisible enemy" at a dark moment as the country waits for the virus to peak and with the economy languishing in suspended animation.

"What we have is a plague, and we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel," the President said, on a day when a record number of Americans succumbed to the wicked respiratory disease.

But instead of putting minds at rest, Trump's wild performance put on display many of the personal and political habits that have defined his tumultuous presidency. It was a troubling spectacle coming at such a wrenching chapter of national life, the kind of moment when presidents are called to provide consistent, level leadership.

What went down: To begin with, Trump sparked concern that he will prevent oversight of the disbursement of economic rescue funds by removing a watchdog official responsible for overseeing the $2 trillion package. The move, coming after Trump ousted an intelligence community inspector general last week, was yet another sign that an already impeached President is using the cover of the worst domestic crisis since World War II to further erode constraints on his power.

Then Trump insisted he hadn't seen January memos by a top White House official warning about the pandemic at the same time the President was dismissing it as a threat.

He also announced he was placing a "very powerful hold" on funding for the World Health Organization, even though it correctly identified the scale of the virus and he didn't. Then moments later, he insisted he did no such thing.

Read the full analysis here:

4:36 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

North Korea says it has developed nano-antibiotic masks 

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

A North Korean research institute has developed nano-antibiotic face masks, according to a report by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday.

"Amid a nationwide emergency anti-epidemic campaign to prevent Covid-19, the Medical Instrument Institute under the DPRK Ministry of Public Health recently developed a nano-antibiotic mask with domestic materials," KCNA reported. 

Unlike all of its East Asian neighbors, North Korea has not reported any coronavirus cases.

In the KCNA report, vice director of the institute Ri Jae Dok said that "the newly-developed mask fully confirms (sic) with the technological specifications of masks recognized by the World Health Organization.”

The masks are reportedly treated with a nano-antibiotic solution that helps sterilize and remove germs and viruses, and filters fine dust, according to the report. The masks are being produced at the Pyongyang Medical Appliances Factory, according to KCNA.

5:04 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

People in this German state have been asked to stay at home over Easter

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

Cyclists pass Lake Riegsee in Bavaria, Germany, on April 5.
Cyclists pass Lake Riegsee in Bavaria, Germany, on April 5. Andreas Gebert/Getty Images

Residents of the southern state of Bavaria in Germany are being asked to stay at home over Easter to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Please stay at home over the Easter holidays as well,” Bavaria’s State Minister of Transport Kerstin Schreyer said in a statement.

The statement also asked people not to go to lakes, into the mountains or visit relatives -- even though good weather is forecast over the holiday weekend.