April 9 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT) April 10, 2020
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7:28 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Pence says coronavirus task force is looking into guidance on recycling gowns

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Vice President Mike Pence holds his notes in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 9.
Vice President Mike Pence holds his notes in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 9. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Vice President Mike Pence suggested the task force is looking into reassessing guidance regarding disposable gowns as many hospitals across the country face shortages of personal protective equipment. 

“We tasked the (the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) to review the feasibility of allowing hospital workers to use cloth gowns for performing procedures. It was observed that 20 years ago, most physicians and most surgeons used cloth gowns and laundered them, but it’s transitioned to disposable gowns,” Pence said Thursday.

Pence continued: “And we’re working very rapidly in the next 24 hours and we’ll have guidance for hospitals and healthcare workers about the ability to, in effect, recycle gowns and make sure that we have the supplies that we need.”

7:10 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Missouri schools to remain closed and use online learning until end of academic year

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

All public and charter schools within the state of Missouri will remain closed through the rest of the school year, Gov. Mike Parson said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

All schools should continue to use online learning and end the school year on the previously set date for each district, Parson said.

Food service options will remain available for those who need them, Parson said.

7:10 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Trump says funding for hospitals should be saved for "next phase" of stimulus

From CNN's Sarah Westwood 

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said he does not believe additional funding for hospitals and states should be attached to a proposed influx of cash to the Paycheck Protection Program, which is providing loans for small businesses struggling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump was asked at the coronavirus task force briefing Thursday whether he supports sending additional funds to states and hospitals that need the money.

“I do, but I support it for the next phase,” the President said.

Some context: Senate Republicans and Democrats sparred Thursday over dueling proposals to add to the stimulus bill Congress recently passed.

Republicans aimed to funnel $250 billion of additional funds into the Paycheck Protection Program available for small businesses, but Democrats said support for hospitals and states should be included with the small business support.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill remain locked in a stalemate.

6:59 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Mexico governor is "disturbed" by people not social distancing

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a press conference Thursday that she was "disturbed" by images she's seen on social media of people participating in large social gatherings despite the state order.

"I am really disturbed by the notion that any New Mexican would highlight the fact that they are in direct violation of our efforts and orders," Lujan Grisham said.

Data gathered by the state shows that too many people are congregating too long in places like grocery stores, hardware stores and convenience stores as well as parks, Lujan Grisham said.

She showed a picture of her mother, who she said is in an assisted living facility in Albuquerque, and said she is one of the vulnerable people that could be threatened by others failing to social distance. 

Lujan Grisham said she hasn't seen her mother in six weeks and is concerned that if people aren't acting responsibly she, and others, could suffer. 

"The life that you could destroy could be mine because I could lose my mother," Lujan Grisham said. 

7:03 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Trump says more than 2 million coronavirus tests completed in the US

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Betsy Klein 

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said there have been more than 2 million coronavirus tests conducted in the US.

“I’m reporting today that we passed 2 million tests completed in the United States,” Trump said during the White House press briefing, adding that the tests are “highly sophisticated and highly accurate.”

Earlier in the briefing, the President said, “Other countries are looking to what we are doing, and our testing operation has now become, far and away, the most sophisticated and the best anywhere.”

However, Trump conceded there will not be mass coronavirus testing for all Americans as the country goes back to work, but also claimed it was not needed.

"We want to have it and we’re going to see if we have it. Do you need it? No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes. We’re talking about 325 million people and that’s not gonna happen, as you can imagine, and it would never happen with anyone else, either. Other countries do it but they do it in a limited form. We’ll probably be the leader of the pack," Trump said.

Trump also suggested there would be "massive testing" in "certain areas" of the country. 


6:46 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

ACLU and civil rights organizations file class-action suit over jail conditions in Dallas due to Covid-19

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organizations have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of nine people in the Dallas County Jail against Dallas County and Sheriff Marian Brown asking for those over the age of 50 to be immediately released during the coronavirus pandemic, a joint press release from the ACLU and other organizations said Thursday.

The legal team involved in the suit has asked the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas to remove those who are medically vulnerable and ensure the jail is adopting protocols including testing, physical distancing.

They also want the jail to provide free access to masks, soap and other sanitation supplies to those in the jail, a release said. 

Plaintiffs have described a lack of access to medical care and a lack of concern for those with underlying health conditions, the release said. 

6:25 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Mexico is struggling to get supplies for coronavirus testing

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

New Mexico is working to get more reagent and other supplies needed for coronavirus testing, secretary Kathy Kunkel, who oversees the New Mexico Department of Health, said during a Thursday press conference.

Labs within the state are working to complete coronavirus tests but do not have enough supplies, including reagent, Kunkel said.

The state is working in conjunction with other states to share supplies and has also requested supplies from the federal government.

Kunkel said the state received rapid test kits from the federal government but did not receive additional resources to implement those tests

The tests will be made available to hospitals to test healthcare workers and possible coronavirus patients, Kunkel said.

6:22 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Trump approves disaster declarations for Alaska and Idaho

From CNN's Betsy Klein, Nikki Carvajal and Jason Hoffman 

President Trump approved disaster declarations for Alaska and Idaho due to Covid-19. 

These are the 53rd and 54th federal disaster declarations approved by the President in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

So far, 49 states, the US Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have all received a federal disaster declaration. 

Wyoming is the only state that does not have a federal disaster declaration. However, Gov. Mark Gordon has asked for the federal government to approve his request for one.

The declaration would provide "the opportunity for assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of temporary medical facilities, if needed," Gordon said.

"It also opens up our opportunity to receive additional federal resources and services for individuals," Gordon added.

The US has never had all 50 states under federal disaster declarations simultaneously.

6:16 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Mexico governor wears handmade face mask during press conference

From CNN's Andy Rose

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham began her weekly address to the state on coronavirus wearing a colorful homemade mask Thursday afternoon. 

“We are wearing them… to demonstrate that we take this very seriously," she said

Government officials participating in the press conference were also wearing face masks.