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
95 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:22 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

There are more than 400,000 coronavirus cases in the US

There are 401,166 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins is currently reporting 12,912 deaths in the United States from the disease.

12:24 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Pennsylvania is reporting 70 new coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, April 7.
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, April 7. State of Pennsylvania

There are 70 additional deaths in Pennsylvania, bringing the statewide total to 310, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

There are also 1,680 new cases, which the state says brings its total to 16,239.

“Now more than ever, as we continue to see Covid-19 cases and deaths rise in Pennsylvania, we need Pennsylvanians to take action,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

She continued: “Those actions should be to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. If you must go out, please limit it to as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but other people as well. We need all Pennsylvanians to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and our healthcare workers and frontline responders.”

12:18 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Canada's Trudeau says coronavirus measures will be in place for many more weeks

From CNN’s Paula Newton

CTV Network
CTV Network

Canada’s national lockdown will continue “for many more weeks” as the nation studies how best to resume some economic activity, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

He added that things "won’t be back to normal."

"The current measures will be in place for many more weeks so we have time to get that right and to look what other countries that might be earlier in their phase do that is successful,” he said.

Trudeau said his government is looking at different scenarios, but it's still too early to think about relaxing any social distancing measures.

“It’s going to be very, very, important to do it in a measured, graduated way that allows for economic activity to begin while preventing severe spikes in COVID transmissions.”

By the numbers: Canada has reported 17,984 cases of Covid-19 and 391 related deaths. Per capita, Canada has less than half the reported coronavirus cases than in the United States and a lower death rate. Testing for the virus in Canada has been rigorous, although testing per capita has slipped in recent days.

12:15 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Coronavirus death toll in UK tops 7,000

The UK on Wednesday reported 938 deaths in hospitals from Covid-19 – its highest death toll in a single day so far – taking the total deaths to 7,097.

Of the 232,708 people who have been tested, at least 60,733 people have now tested positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Twitter.

12:15 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Boris Johnson is sitting up and engaging with medical team while in intensive care

Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak Pool

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who remains in intensive care with Covid-19, “has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak said. 

The prime minister's situation is improving.

"The news about the prime minister reminds us how indiscriminate this virus is,” Sunak added.

12:11 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Bernie Sanders says coronavirus shows how "absurd" US health care system is

Sanders campaign
Sanders campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders said today that the "horrific" coronavirus crisis "has exposed for all to see how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is." 

Speaking during a live-streamed address where he announced he was dropping out of the presidential race, Sanders pointed out that "the current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance."

Sanders continued:  

"While Americans have been told over and over again how wonderful our employer-based private insurance system is, those claims sound very hollow today as a growing number of unemployed workers struggle with how they can afford to go to the doctor or not go bankrupt with a huge hospital bill." 

"Health care must be considered as a human right, not an employee benefit," he added.

12:09 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Trump criticized WHO's handling of the crisis. The organization just spelled out the steps it took.

From CNN's Amanda Watts

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus AFP/Getty Images/FILE

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus laid out the organization’s response to the coronavirus since early January.

"Tomorrow marks 100 days since WHO was notified of the first cases of ‘pneumonia with unknown cause’ in China,” Tedros said. 

Here's the timeline he laid out:

  • Tedros said, on Jan. 1, “just hours after we were notified of the first cases, WHO activated its Incident Management Support Team, to coordinate our response at headquarters, regional and country level.”
  • Days later, on Jan. 5, WHO notified all member states about the new outbreak and published news of the outbreak on its website, Tedros said.
  • Then, on Jan. 10, WHO issued a “comprehensive package of guidance to countries” on how to detect and test potential cases. 
  • In late January, after the first cases of community spread were reported outside of China, WHO “declared a public health emergency of international concern, our highest level of alarm,” Tedros said. Adding, at the same time, “an international team of experts from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and the United States of America visited affected provinces in China,” in an effort to learn more about the virus. 
  • In early February, the United Nations crisis management team was activated, Tedros outlined. 

Some context: During a White House press briefing yesterday, President Trump criticized WHO, saying it had mishandled the coronavirus.

Tedros did not mention President Trump in his initial comments about WHO’s response.

11:29 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

New York City needs more military medical help in hospitals, mayor says

NYC Media
NYC Media

Nearly 300 military medical personnel have been deployed throughout New York City’s public hospitals, but additional help is needed “quickly,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press briefing today.

“We just need more help, particularly when it comes to personnel,” de Blasio said, reiterating his request of 1,450 medical military personnel from the federal government.

“The front line healthcare workers have gone through hell, but they’ve held the line, they’ve been heroes in every way.”

There are 291 highly trained and effective medical personnel, “many of them with the kind of military experience that makes them very, very ready to handle the toughest situations” are deployed in the city’s public hospitals. 

The Navy has deployed personnel to Elmhurst, Bellevue, Woodhull and Kings County hospitals, and the Air Force has sent members to Lincoln, Jacobi, and Queens hospital.

“Very grateful that our armed forces have come forward to help our public hospitals, but we will need more help and we need it quickly,” de Blasio said.

11:09 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Dick's Sporting Goods is furloughing a "significant number" of its 40,000 employees

From CNN’s Jordan Valinsky

Al Bello/Getty Images/FILE
Al Bello/Getty Images/FILE

Dick's Sporting Goods is furloughing a "significant number" of its roughly 40,000 employees beginning Sunday. Affected employees will still continue to receive their benefits. 

Dick's said in a regulatory filing that because of coronavirus, it's "increasingly evident" that its more than 800 stores aren't going to reopen anytime soon. 

It will keep on a small number of employees to fulfill online orders and curbside pickups.

"It is our goal that when this crisis subsides, we will welcome back our teammates, open our doors and get back to the business we love of serving athletes and our communities," the company said. 

The closure of gyms, social distancing rules and most state governments telling people to stay at home has zapped demand for what Dick's sales of athletic goods.

Dick's stock is up 5% in Wednesday trading. It has lost half of its value so far this year.  

A number of retailers have put their employees on furlough because of the coronavirus pandemic has forced stores to temporarily close.