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
73 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:08 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

White House coronavirus official says they're investigating when social distancing can be relaxed

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus at the White House, Tuesday, April 7.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus at the White House, Tuesday, April 7. Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said officials are looking at areas in the United States where mitigation efforts seem to be working to determine if the social distancing guidelines currently in place could be relaxed at the end of April.

"We're doing a series of clear investigations of what happened in Washington and L.A. and what does that mean and how you keep the number of cases down," Birx said today during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America.”

Birx also said officials expect to roll out an antibody test in the next 10 to 14 days "so we can really tell how many Americans were asymptomatic and infected." 

"This makes a big difference in really understanding who can go back to work and how they can go back to work, so all of those pieces need to come together over the next couple of weeks," Birx told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. 

9:05 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Mother of 27-year-old who died of coronavirus: "It’s like a hole in my heart"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

 Leilani Jordan
 Leilani Jordan Courtesy Zenobia Shepherd

A 27-year-old Maryland grocery store clerk with cerebral palsy died of the coronavirus in her mother’s arms. 

“I was able to hold my baby's hands for the last time … It was my baby. It’s like a hole in my heart, like a hole in my heart because all she wanted to do was just help people. She just wanted to help,” Leilani Jordan’s mother, Zenobia Shepherd, said. 

Her mother said Leilani helped older people load groceries into their carts and into cars, but she wasn’t given any masks or hand sanitizer. 

“Management, leadership needed to kick in and help make sure those that are vulnerable, seniors, other people, have the help and assistance that they need so they're not put into situations to where they can lose their lives. You can't see Covid virus. You can't see Covid-19. You don't know where it's at. You don't know when it's going to hit,” Shepherd said.

“We got to take this serious. It is no time to cut back on the supplies and the resources. We need more to help. Grocery stores are where everybody goes,” she added.

Once Leilani was admitted to the hospital, her mother said the drug hydroxychloroquine was administered to her, but it didn’t help. 

Leilani’s stepfather said that before she died, she recorded a video on her phone saying goodbye to her family and friends. They found it once they got back from the hospital. 

Her mother said Leilani was selfless, never judged anyone and was nicknamed “Butterfly.” “I’ll always miss my baby. Forever. Forever. Forever,” Shepherd said.

8:45 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

About 85% of Portugal's hotel workers will be furloughed

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

About 85% of hotel workers in Portugal will be placed on furlough in the month of April, according to research by the Portuguese Hotel Association.

Under a plan supported by the Portuguese government, the workers will still receive most of their pay.

The numbers are based in a study done with members of the association, which represents more than two thirds of the sector in Portugal.

8:43 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Have you lost a loved one to coronavirus? CNN wants to hear from you

8:39 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

It's too early to say when UK coronavirus cases will peak, government official says

From CNN's Luke McGee

Doctors unload a patient outside St. Thomas' Hospital in London, on April 7.
Doctors unload a patient outside St. Thomas' Hospital in London, on April 7. Peter Summers/Getty Images

It’s still too early to say when the number of coronavirus cases in the UK will peak, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson says.

Boris Johnson — who remains in intensive care after testing positive for coronavirus — announced an initial three-week set of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. They are due to be reviewed on Monday.

His spokesman says the government will provided updated guidance on the restrictions before they expire.

“(It’s) too early to say when the peak is going to be,” the spokesman said. “Our focus now needs to be on stopping the transmission of this disease while building capacity in the NHS. While this is difficult, the public needs to stick with it.”
8:23 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

New York City mayor: "We’re not out of the woods"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


New York yesterday reported its deadliest day yet during the coronavirus pandemic. While New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says officials have seen some progress in fighting the virus, he cautions against relaxing social distancing guidelines. 

“As much as we all want to get back to normal, as much as we’re all feeling like we just want to get outside and socialize again, it's not that time yet,” he tells CNN’s John Berman. “In fact, what this says…is that social distancing, the shelter in place is working. We got to stick to it to make sure we really defeat the coronavirus and to absolutely be careful it doesn't rebound back on us.” 

“We surpassed the number of people who died in the World Trade Center in the last couple of days. … We've got to realize just how destructive this is,” he added. 

The mayor said the city has enough ventilators to last for the week, but he’s not sure about next week due to the “unpredictable” nature of the virus. “For the first time, we got a bit of breathing room. I can tell you we can get through this week, we got great help from the federal government and the state government. 

But also the number of people who need them finally is leveling off a little,” he said, but advises “we’re not out of the woods.”

De Blasio also said his administration is looking to further educate and support minority communities regarding the dangers of coronavirus, which is affecting black and Latino Americans at a higher rate. “This disease, unfortunately, it amplifies the horrible health disparities that already exist,” he said.

8:35 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Boris Johnson is "responding to treatment," says spokesman

From CNN's Luke McGee

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a coronavirus news conference inside number 10 Downing Street on March 19 in London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a coronavirus news conference inside number 10 Downing Street on March 19 in London. Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is responding to treatment for the coronavirus and remains in a stable condition in hospital, according to his official spokesman.

“The Prime Minister is receiving oxygen treatment and is breathing without support,” he said.

Johnson has spent three nights in St. Thomas’s Hospital in central London – two of which have been in intensive care.

Johnson revealed he was suffering from coronavirus on March 27, as did health secretary Matt Hancock, who has since recovered. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputizing for Johnson while the Prime Minister is in intensive care.

There is no codified line of succession at the pinnacle of British politics, but Johnson has nominated Raab to deputize for him while he is in hospital.

The UK's coronavirus restrictions are due to be reviewed on Monday, but won't be relaxed until it’s clear the peak of infections has passed, said junior health minister Edward Argar on Wednesday. He has urged people to stay home over the Easter weekend.

8:01 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

UK soccer stars pictured flouting social distancing rules

From CNN's Ben Church

The coach and some star players from UK soccer team Tottenham Hotspur have been pictured flouting social distancing regulations by training in a north London park.

Pictures appeared on social media of coach Jose Mourinho holding a makeshift training session for midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were seen running together in breach of the two-meter requirement.

The club did not respond to CNN for comment, but a statement released to the BBC read: "All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors. We shall continue to reinforce this message."

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

HHS announces contract to produce 30,000 ventilators for US national stockpile

From CNN's Delano Massey

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $489.4 million contract with General Motors (GM) to produce 30,000 ventilators under the Defense Production Act

The ventilators will be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August with a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1, according to a press release. 

HHS said the move follows President Trump’s direction to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to invoke the Defense Production Act -- which was passed in 1950 in response to production needs during the Korean War -- with regard to GM’s production of ventilators on March 27.

By using the Defense Production Act, Azar said HHS is "helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are routed through the Strategic National Stockpile to where they’re needed most."

"The Trump Administration has deployed thousands of ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile that have helped save lives in hotspots such as New York so far," he said. "We’re grateful to the GM team for working with the federal government to expand our nation’s supply of ventilators as the pandemic evolves.”