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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9:49 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

16.8 million jobless claims were filed over a 3-week period in the US

From CNN’s Annalyn Kurtz 

City of Hialeah employees hand out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on Wedndesday,April 08,  in Hialeah, Florida.
City of Hialeah employees hand out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on Wedndesday,April 08, in Hialeah, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Over the last three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed jobless claims with the Department of Labor.

Here's the breakdown of the last three weeks:

  • Week ending April 4: 6,606,000
  • March 28: 6,867,000 (was revised higher)
  • March 21: 3,307,000

Those add up to 16.8 million claims.

The US labor force had 155.8 million people in it as of March, so 16.8 million is roughly 11% of that.

Important: To be clear that's 16.8 million people who filed initial claims. These are applications. Not everyone ends up getting benefits. As of last week, 7.5 million workers filed for their second week of unemployment benefits or more. Those are people who have been approved and are actually obtaining benefits.

9:33 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Germany could ''gradually return to normalcy'' after Easter if measures are followed, official says

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt and Fred Pleitgen in Berlin

German Health Minister Jens Spahn gives statements on the novel coronavirus pandemic in Berlin on Thursday, April 9.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn gives statements on the novel coronavirus pandemic in Berlin on Thursday, April 9. John MacDougall/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

 

Germany has seen some positive developments over the last few days and is ready to ''gradually return to normalcy'' after Easter if current restriction measures are adhered to over the holidays, Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Spahn spoke of positive developments in recent days.

''The number of newly reported infections is flattening out. We are seeing a linear increase again rather than the dynamic, exponential increase we saw in mid-March."  

Spahn said that the restrictive measures are taking effect, adding that Germany is currently conducting 100,000 coronavirus tests per day. He praised Germany’s health care system, saying 40% of intensive care beds are currently vacant. 

However, Spahn called on German citizens to be vigilant and disciplined over the weekend, pointing out that the Easter holidays would determine if Germany is able to gradually start lifting anti-coronavirus measures after the holidays.

''We want to gradually return to normality -- but we are still far from an everyday life as we knew it before Corona. Not everything will go back to the way it was. We will continue to live in and with the pandemic in Germany," he said.

Spahn added that it would take weeks and months before it would be possible to attend festivals and nightclubs so that chronically ill patients or elderly citizens could be protected.

9:19 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

More than 400 crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Ryan Browne

 The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Philippine Sea February. 29.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Philippine Sea February. 29. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Lynch/U.S. Navy

A US Navy official tells CNN that 416 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Ninety-seven percent of the crew has now been tested.

9:55 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Coronavirus won't go away with warmer weather, scientists tell White House 

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen

NIAID-RML
NIAID-RML

It doesn't look like coronavirus will go away once the weather warms up, a prestigious scientific panel told the White House on Tuesday.

Remember: Trump has claimed that "when it gets a little warmer [the virus] miraculously goes away."  

In their letter to the White House, members of a National Academy of Sciences committee said data is mixed on whether coronavirus spreads as easily in warm weather as it does in cold weather — but that it might not matter much given that so few people in the world are immune to coronavirus.  

"There is some evidence to suggest that [coronavirus] may transmit less efficiently in environments with higher ambient temperature and humidity; however, given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread without the concomitant adoption of major public health interventions," according to the letter.  

The letter noted, for example, that a study of the outbreak in China showed that even under maximum temperature and humidity conditions, the virus spread "exponentially," with every infected person spreading it to nearly two other people on average.   

The scientists sent the letter to Kelvin Droegemeier at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

9:55 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York's coronavirus outbreak came from Europe and other parts of US, research suggests

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Madeline Holcombe

A patient is transferred from Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance during the coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 7, in New York.
A patient is transferred from Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance during the coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 7, in New York. Kathy Willens/AP

Two separate datasets suggest that the earliest infections of the novel coronavirus in New York City most likely originated in Europe and other parts of the United States.

New data from NYU Langone Health suggests that the novel coronavirus has been spreading in New York for a couple of months now and a genetic analysis of viral samples in the city indicate that they originated in Europe, according to an announcement from the academic medical center today.

This early data was based on a genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus taken from 75 patients in New York City. The data has not been described yet in a report, pre-print paper, study or peer-reviewed journal. 

“We’re just starting this project, but will soon be sequencing 192 viral samples per week with the goal of offering thousands of sequences for analysis in the near future," Adriana Heguy, leader of the research team and director of the Genome Technology Center at NYU Langone Health, said in the announcement.

Separately, a pre-print study from Mount Sinai — which was published online today at medRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed — involved sequencing and analyzing 90 complete coronavirus genomes from 84 Covid-19 patients who sought care in the Mount Sinai Health System between Feb. 29 and March 18.

"With increased testing, we observed the emergence of community acquired infections with the majority of the community cases caused by viral isolates from clades that are of European origin," the researchers wrote in the Mount Sinai study.  

"Taken together, we provide a first analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genotypes collected from patients seeking medical care," the researchers wrote. "We find that New York City, as an international hub, provides not only a snapshot of the diversity of disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 at the global level but also informs on the dynamics of the pandemic at the local level."

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

18-year-old who had coronavirus warns other teens: "It's nothing to joke about"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dimitri Mitchell and his mother, Laura Yoder
Dimitri Mitchell and his mother, Laura Yoder CNN

An 18-year-old grocery store worker who recovered from coronavirus cautioned others to follow social distancing guidelines and group limits. 

“I just want to make sure everybody knows that no matter what their age is, it can seriously affect them, and it can seriously mess them up like it messed me up,” Dimitri Mitchell told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “I just hope everybody’s responsible, because it’s nothing to joke about. It’s a real problem.” 

Mitchell said he thinks he caught the virus while working as a cashier at his Iowa grocery store. He became sick in the middle of March and progressively got worse — with a high temperature, fatigue, difficulty speaking and “horrible” headaches.

His mother, Laura Yoder, said she took him to the emergency room but he couldn’t get tested at first because the hospital said he was too young to meet the criteria for testing. He admitted he didn’t think he could get coronavirus because the virus at the time seemed to be mostly affecting older people. 

“I just never expected myself to get it, and I never expected it to even reach my community,” he said.

Watch more:

8:45 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

6.6 million people in the US filed for unemployment last week

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Eddie Rodriguez, who works for the City of Hialeah, Florida, hands out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles on April 8.
Eddie Rodriguez, who works for the City of Hialeah, Florida, hands out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles on April 8. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Another 6.6 million people filed claims for unemployment benefits in the week that ended on April 4.

It was the second largest number of initial unemployment claims in history, since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967.

9:07 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

At least 100 Italian doctors have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Hande Atay Alam

Doctors treat a coronavirus patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Rome, Italy, on March 26. ROME, ITALY - MARCH 26:
Doctors treat a coronavirus patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Rome, Italy, on March 26. ROME, ITALY - MARCH 26: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

At least 100 doctors have died from coronavirus in Italy, the Italian Association of Doctors said Thursday.

Eighty of them worked in the north of Italy, the hardest-hit area of the country. 

As of Wednesday, 13,522 health workers have been infected in Italy, according to the Italian Institute of Health.

“We have seen unprecedented levels of overwork by nurses, particularly those specialized in intensive care units, those in management or those most directly involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, oftentimes without adequate time for rest and recuperation, without support and assistance, with limited considerations for their mental health and well-being.” said Giorgio Cometto, the coordinator of Human Resources for Health Policies and Standards at WHO’s Health Workforce Department.

As Italy enters its eight week of restrictions, it has the highest death toll in the world, with at least 17,669 deaths, Johns Hopkins University.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Italy reached 95,262 on Wednesday, with 3,693 people in intensive care units. It is the fifth day in a row that the intensive care unit numbers have fallen, with 99 fewer patients than the day before. 

8:27 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Chinese government after US criticism: "Accusations won't get rid of the virus"

From CNN's Steven Jiang in Beijing 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks at a daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks at a daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China responded to criticism of its handling of coronavirus Thursday, as the situation worsens in the US.

"Smearing and accusations won't get rid of the virus," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a press conference in Beijing Thursday. "We hope to see the American people win its fight against the outbreak as early as possible."

Some background: The US and China are fighting to shape the narrative about the pandemic's origins.

Trump and senior members of the administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have attempted to brand the outbreak as the result of a "Chinese virus" as they ramp up accusations that Beijing failed to identify, stop or warn about the virus early on.

Zhao refrained from naming Pompeo or Trump in his rebuke, added that "we hope that the American people will reject certain politicians' actions to politicize the pandemic, stigmatize China, shift public attention and deflect blame."