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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12:26 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Number of airline passengers has dropped nearly 96%

From CNN's Greg Wallace

A worker walks through a baggage claim area at a nearly-empty O'Hare International Airport on April 2,  in Chicago.
A worker walks through a baggage claim area at a nearly-empty O'Hare International Airport on April 2, in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The number of people traveling by plane has dropped by about 96%, according to multiple metrics reviewed by CNN. 

One is the number of people screened by the Transportation Security Administration at airports. That number is about 96% lower than it was this time last year. 

On Wednesday, TSA officers screened just shy of 95,000 people, a dramatic drop from the 2.3 million who passed through checkpoints on the equivalent day in 2019. 

Airlines for America, a major industry group, also reports a 96% drop in passengers. It said its US airline members have cut 71% of their capacity. Only about one in every 10 seats on the US domestic planes that do fly are occupied, according to the group. On the limited number of international flights that are operating, about one in five seats are occupied. 

With fewer flights, airlines need fewer planes. US airlines currently have about 1,800 planes, or 1,500 more than in December, parked, representing about 30% of the US fleet, according to Airlines for America. 

The numbers are similarly significant worldwide. At the beginning of the year, about 111,000 commercial flights were operated daily, according to Airlines for America. In the most recent week, it said there were only 31,000 flights. 

Several regional airlines have been forced to suspend operations or close because of the dramatic drop in bookings. 

The Federal Aviation Administration says employees at 38 of its air traffic control facilities have tested positive for the virus, prompting altered operations and cleanings. Most recently, it said employees in Orlando and Newark tested positive. 

At TSA checkpoints, officers now wear masks and – in some cases – face shields. The agency says 327 employees have tested positive for the virus and two have died. TSA employees at the Dulles airport outside Washington, D.C. created a food pantry for their colleagues in the aviation world. 

12:19 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

There are more than 432,000 people in the US with coronavirus

Volunteer Charlotte Xia wears a mask as she shows instructions to drivers during drive-through coronavirus testing at Malibu City Hall on Wednesday, April 8, in Malibu, California.
Volunteer Charlotte Xia wears a mask as she shows instructions to drivers during drive-through coronavirus testing at Malibu City Hall on Wednesday, April 8, in Malibu, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally, there are at least 432,579 cases of coronavirus in the US.

At least 14,830 people have died from the virus. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state or territory that is not reporting a death from coronavirus.

So far on Thursday, Johns Hopkins has reported 447 cases and 13 reported deaths.

12:12 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York has received more than 800,000 unemployment claims

Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo

About 810,000 unemployment claims were filed over the past three weeks in New York, Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo told journalists Thursday.

So far, 600,000 of the applications were successfully processed, she said, adding the other 200,000 or so are in partial status.

The state is working with Google this evening to help streamline the situation, she said.

Officials said the state is struggling to find the budget for the claims.

"Over 800,000 new unemployment claims in the past three weeks. We don't have the money to make these," New York State Budget Director Robert F. Mujica said.

"I know we don't haves money to pay the bills that we are incurring right now," Cuomo added.


12:56 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York governor says coronavirus has killed 4,000 more people than 9/11

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt 

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it’s “so painful and breathtaking” to see how many people have died from coronavirus.

The state has about 4,000 more people than in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation,” Cuomo said in a press briefing. "We lost 2,753 lives on 9/11. We've lost over 7,000 lives to this crisis. That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking, I don't even have the words for it.”

Cuomo says that while the coronavirus cannot be seen with the eye, its affects are tangible and tragic. 

“There was no explosion, but it was a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11,” Cuomo added.


12:42 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York will have new testing sites in primarily black and Latino communities

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

New York will be doing more coronavirus testing and have new testing sites in "primarily in African American and Latino communities," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday to address disparities along racial lines in COVID-19 fatalities. 

"Let's learn how and why this virus kills, especially why we have higher fatality rates among African Americans and Latinos and what we do about it. Let's understand it, but also address it," he said.

Some context: Black Americans have more existing medical issues, less access to health care, and are more likely to work in unstable jobs — all factors that have made the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately hurt black people more.

While everyone is susceptible to Covid-19, black Americans are at higher risk, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said during an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday.

That racial disparity has been evident in early data on coronavirus deaths in Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. The federal government has not tracked coronavirus by demographic groups, but Adams and American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris suggested they begin to do so.


12:37 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York governor: We won't be able to handle high projections if social distancing stops

From CNN's Elise Hammond

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said now is not the time to back off social distancing.

"Well, we're flattening the curve, that's good news. It is good news. Well, 'now I can relax.' No, you can't relax," he said at his daily coronavirus press briefing today.

There are about 18,000 people in New York state hospitalized with coronavirus, Cuomo said, marking a lower hospitalization rate. ICU admissions and intubations are also down, he said.

"This is all a direct consequence to our actions. If we stop acting the way we're acting, you will see those numbers go up," Cuomo said.

"You are not out of the woods. Now is not the time to misunderstand what's happening," he added.

The state has a 90,000 bed capacity throughout its healthcare system right now, he said. That is up from a 53,000 bed capacity system.

Cuomo said it is important to continue social distancing because even with an increase in hospital capacity, the state is not in a position to handle the worst or even moderate predictions.

"It is essential that we keep that curve flattened because we don't have an option of handling the curve if it goes higher," he said.


11:50 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

More than 7,000 people in New York have died from coronavirus

State of New York
State of New York

At least 799 people across New York died of coronavirus yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, noting that was the highest single-day death rate so far.

"We lost more lives yesterday than we have to date," he said.

Previously, Tuesday recorded the highest death rate, with 779 deaths.

So far, at least 7,067 people have died in New York during the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo compared that to 9/11, when 2,753 people at the World Trade Center died.

11:36 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

President Trump on social distancing: "Keep going!"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

In his first tweet of the day Thursday, President Trump urged Americans to “keep going” with social distancing as a new model projects far fewer US deaths from Covid-19.

Some background: The main model used by the White House and pretty much everyone else was updated Wednesday to show far fewer projected US deaths from Covid-19 — down to 60,415 people by August, from the 82,000 the model showed on Tuesday (which was already lower than previous projections).

New data on the pandemic's trajectory -- from the United States and around the world -- has been fed into the model almost every day, driving the changes. And the downward adjustment suggests that social distancing may be working better than expected in some places.

11:43 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Fed chairman expects a "robust" economic recovery

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

The US economy should rebound fairly quickly when businesses reopen after the coronavirus lockdown ends, said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this morning.

Just how quickly the economy can reopen following the outbreak, however, is dependent on the path of the virus, Powell said on a Brookings Institute webinar this morning.

One way or another, the second quarter will be a weak one, he said: "We do expect to see very low economic output and big increases in initial claims and unemployment."

While the Fed has no influence on the government's fiscal policies, Powell said we are likely to see more fiscal support from Washington.

This is what the great fiscal power of the US is for, to protect the people the best we can from the hardships they're facing," Powell said. "At the Fed, we do all we can to shepherd the economy through this difficult time."

This morning, the central bank announced another $2.3 trillion loan package.

The Fed is flexible on when all of its support programs will end, Powell said. Once they get wound down, this would be done gradually.