April 10 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0138 GMT (0938 HKT) April 11, 2020
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5:34 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Texas governor will issue executive order next week on reopening of businesses

From CNN’s Anna-Maja Rappard

Gov. Greg Abbott gives an update on the coronavirus outbreak at the Texas Department of Public Safety warehouse facility in Austin, Texas on April 6.
Gov. Greg Abbott gives an update on the coronavirus outbreak at the Texas Department of Public Safety warehouse facility in Austin, Texas on April 6. Eric Gay/AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he plans to issue an executive order next week with guidelines on reopening businesses in the state. 

“We will focus on protecting lives, while protecting livelihoods. We can do both,” Abbott said at a news conference in Austin today.

Asked whether testing would be increased in the state in order to open up the economy, Abbott said, “Testing will be a component of it. We want to open up, but we want to open up safely.” He said more detail would be announced next week.

4:01 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Texas reports at least 221 coronavirus-related deaths

From CNN’s Anna-Maja Rappard

A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing center in Houston, on April 2.
A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing center in Houston, on April 2. David J. Phillip/AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday there have been 11,449 positive coronavirus cases across the state and 221 fatalities.

As of Friday afternoon, about 116,000 people have been tested for Covid-19 in Texas, and there have been 1,532 hospitalizations, Abbott announced at a press conference. 

The governor said 1,366 people recovered from Covid-19, having been symptom-free for a 14 day period after contracting the virus, a statistic the state has begun tracking as well.

3:25 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Some GOP governors are concerned about opening the US economy too soon

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

Conversations around reopening the economy are ramping up. Behind the scenes, many Republican governors are expressing concern on how they will navigate a scenario in which President Trump reopens the economy before their states are ready, according to multiple sources in and around these discussions.

Modeling suggests a slew of red states will not hit their worst points until later this month, making reopening the economy in those areas by early May nearly impossible.

Most Republican governors have sought to align with Trump during this outbreak, and a demand from the White House to reopen the economy would complicate that mission. If there appears to be viable movement towards reopening too early — the administration will face some pushback from their allies. 

According to one source familiar with the conversation among GOP governors, the hope overall right now is that “this is all Trump talk” and that cooler heads — such as his well-known coronavirus advisers Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx — will prevail. 

Some background: Trump's aides have begun intensive discussions on a plan to reopen the US economy as soon as the start of May, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

This morning on CNN's New Day, Fauci was asked if he thought social distancing guidelines should be relaxed by May 1, and responded "the virus kind of decides whether or not it's going to be appropriate to open or not." 

Fauci added that prior to re-opening the country, he would like to see a "clear indication" that reported cases are going down. 

"One thing you don't want to do is you don't want to get out there prematurely and then wind up — you're back in the same situation," Fauci told CNN adding, "we're looking for the kinds of things that would indicate that we can go forward in a gradual way to essentially reopen the country to a more normal way." 

In Friday’s White House briefing, Trump said he listens to everything that both Drs. Fauci and Birx say. 

3:34 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Trump says businesses should get paid out for coronavirus interruption claims

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump suggested Friday during the White House briefing that insurance companies should pay out business interruption claims related to the coronavirus, even if coverage for a pandemic is not explicitly included in their policy.

“If I had it, I’d expect to be paid,” Trump said of interruption insurance. “All of the sudden they need it … and I don’t see the word pandemic mentioned. Now in some cases, it is. It’s an exclusion. But in a lot of cases, I don’t see it. I don’t see reference and they don’t want to pay up. I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay, if it’s fair."

Trump added: "You have people that have never asked for business interruption insurance (payouts) and they’ve been paying a lot of money for a lot of years for the privilege of having it. And then when they finally need it, the insurance company says ‘we’re not going to give it.’ We can’t let that happen."

The President also said that his administration has already suggested to credit card companies that they should reduce their fees.

Watch:

3:13 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

More than 18,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Medical personnel transport a body from a refrigerated container at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on April 8.
Medical personnel transport a body from a refrigerated container at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on April 8. Mary Altaffer/aP

At least 18,002 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

There are at least 486,490 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins.

So far on Friday, Johns Hopkins has reported 20,740 new cases and 1,318 reported deaths. 

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

 

3:10 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

"There is no doubt you're going to see cases" when distancing restrictions are relaxed, Fauci says

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Dr. Anthony Fauci said there “is no doubt you're going to see cases” when some of the current social distancing restrictions are relaxed.

“Don't let anyone get any false ideas that when we decide at a proper time when we're going to be relaxing some of the restrictions, there’s no doubt you're going to see cases, I would be so surprised if we didn’t see cases. The question is how you respond to them” Fauci said.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said when restrictions are lifted and cases emerge, “that's where you want your resources to be able to very efficiently in real-time identify, isolate, and contact trace.”

President Trump said that while he is hoping to reopen the country by a certain date, he won’t do anything until he knows the country will be healthy. He added that he doesn’t want to have the country “go back” and then have to implement restrictions again. 

“We are looking at a date. We hope we are going to be able to fulfill a certain date, but we are not doing anything until we know that this country is going to be healthy. We don't want to go back and start doing it over again, even though it would be in a smaller scale,” Trump said. 

3:12 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Massachusetts hits a record with more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Medical workers spray a bag containing a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing site in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on April 5.
Medical workers spray a bag containing a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing site in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on April 5. Steven Senne/AP

Massachusetts had its single biggest day for confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday with 2,151 new cases reported, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Friday.

The state conducted “well over” 7,000 coronavirus tests on Thursday, the governor added.

The percent of people testing positive for the virus has increased over the past few weeks, the governor said. It reached a new high on Monday of 30%, and has remained in that range throughout the week. On Thursday, 29% of the tests were positive.

“At this time we see evidence that we’re still on the upwards slope of this pandemic,” Baker said.

There were 70 new fatalities in the commonwealth on Thursday. Overall, the governor said, Massachusetts has roughly a 2.7% case fatality rate.

Following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other states, Massachusetts Department of Public Health is issuing an advisory recommending people wear a mask or cover their face in public.

3:06 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Trump: "I will certainly listen" to experts when deciding to reopen US economy

President Trump said he will "certainly listen" to health experts when it comes to returning to normalcy and removing social distancing guidelines.

Trump's aides have begun intensive discussions on a plan to reopen the US economy as soon as the start of May, according to people familiar with the deliberations — though health experts warn it's far too early to declare mission accomplished and begin removing social distancing protocols.

CNN's Jim Acosta asked Trump if he'll listen to health officials if they advise him it's too soon to open.

"If they come back to you, sir, and say 'Before May the 1st — we can't open on May the 1st,' will you listen?" he asked.

"I will certainly listen. I will certainly listen," Trump said, noting that there are "two sides" to every argument.

"Remember, I understand the other side of the argument very well. Because I look at both sides of an argument. I will listen to them very carefully, though," Trump added.

Watch:

2:37 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Health expert: US coronavirus curve is leveling, but we haven't reached the peak

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Dr. Deborah Birx said for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, she is seeing a leveling of the curve in the United States.

“You can see for the first time that in the United States, we are starting to level on the logarithmic phase like Italy did about a week ago. And so this gives us great heart, that not only in specific places, but we are starting to see that change,” Birx said.

Birx, an HIV researcher and the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that a lot of this is due to an improvement of the situation in New York and mitigation steps individuals took in the New York metro area. 

However, she cautioned that the US has "not reached the peak" of coronavirus infections.