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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12:42 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.

11:31 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Epidemiology expert on keeping restrictions in place: "This is frustrating, but lives are at stake"

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Anne Rimoin, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA
Anne Rimoin, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA

Some experts are worried that reopening the economy and relaxing restrictions on stay-at-home orders would cause the number of coronavirus cases to rebound.

This is because the population does not have immunity to the virus yet, according to Anne Rimoin, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA.

"We've made so many gains by having a really good national effort at social distancing and doing everything we can to flatten the curve. But if we start to open up, we're going to see these numbers rebound. We don't have a population immunity to this virus," Rimoin said to CNN's John King.

Other factors that make it dangerous to relax guidelines right now is the lack of a vaccine, other therapeutics and the ability to conduct wide-spread testing, Rimoin said.

"This is frustrating, but lives are at stake. We're seeing the impact of the lack of social distancing and the lack of early action throughout the country at this point and throughout the world. We have to let the global data speak," she said.

11:12 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Florida will begin drive-through testing at the Daytona Speedway

From CNN's Pamela Kirkland

Beginning tomorrow, AdventHealth Centra Care will test for Covid-19 at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, the company announced in a press release Thursday.

The tests will be available to anyone who meets the criteria for testing, as set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the release said.

A doctor’s order in not required for testing.

“Making tests available is one of the most important things we can do to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe,” said Dr. Scott Brady, president and CEO of AdventHealth Centra Care. “We’re asking people to stay home and practice social distancing, so bringing testing closer to where they live is essential.”
11:01 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Trump preparing to announce second task force focused on economic recovery

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Jim Acosta and Vivian Salama

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE

President Trump is preparing to announce a second coronavirus task force solely focused on reopening the nation's economy, multiple sources tell CNN.

Senior aides such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow have been solely focused on the issue of restarting a wounded American economy for weeks, along with a coterie of aides.

But in recent days, inside and outside advisers have appealed to Trump to formally create a separate task force in order to streamline the process so it can focus primarily on reopening the economy. This task force would likely include senior staff from the Treasury Department, the National Economic Council, the Labor Department and the Department of Commerce.

But it wouldn't only have administration officials involved. There has been outreach to figures such as Gary Cohn, Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, Art Laffer and even major sports teams and well-known athletes.

Other Trump allies have proposed naming a recovery "czar" from the private sector to oversee efforts to revive the consumer economy and address unemployment after coronavirus forced the closure of businesses across sectors.

Influential conservatives have floated Laffer as the leader of the task force, and he has presented some ideas to senior White House aides on a plan to revive the economy. His plans have included a proposal to tax nonprofits, cut the pay of some public officials and offer a payroll tax holiday.

Trump awarded Laffer a presidential medal of freedom last year, but the White House hasn't yet offered him a position on a new panel, according to a senior administration official.

10:45 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Pennsylvania schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

 "Although schools are closed, teaching and learning may continue: schools are strongly encouraged to provide continuity of education for all students in the most appropriate and accessible ways possible," a release from the governor’s office said. 

Students and families may continue to pick up meals at designated sites, according to the release.