April 11 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT) December 27, 2020
49 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:18 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

NYC mayor wants homeless residents in hotel rooms and out of homeless shelters by April 20

From CNN's Sheena Jones

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country at the Jacob K. Javits Center on April 5.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country at the Jacob K. Javits Center on April 5. Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans on having at least 6,000 vulnerable single homeless residents in hotel rooms by April 20, the New York City mayor said at a press conference Saturday.

Homeless seniors will be prioritized and any homeless person with symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19 will be moved to a hotel, de Blasio said.

The mayor will also put homeless individuals in hotels if they can’t practice clear social distancing guidelines.

5:09 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

New York City public schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year

A view of the P.S. 116 Manhattan school playground in New York on April 4.
A view of the P.S. 116 Manhattan school playground in New York on April 4. Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City public schools will remained closed until the end of this school year due to coronavirus concerns, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference early Saturday morning.

De Blasio said reopening schools for a few weeks is unrealistic because of the amount of preparation that is needed to do it safely. He said bringing students back until June does not provide much reward academically, and if buildings did reopen, many of them would have to close again because of individual coronavirus cases.

City officials will be working with the state of New York to meet state regulations of how many hours students have to be in the classroom. Student classrooms hours will be consistent with social distancing guidelines, the mayor said.

The mayor laid out a five point plan to help students: 

  1. Complete deliveries of internet enabled digital devices by the end of April. The city distributed about 66,000 devices already, but will need to get 240,000 more devices in the children hands over the next few weeks, the mayor said.
  2. Expand parent help line and tech support hours and staffing. De Blasio said the city will be adding more educators to provide more coaching for parents.
  3. Launch new online activities and programs. This includes free programing to help families get through this, de Blasio said. He also mentioned they are working with New York media companies to accomplish this.
  4. Graduate our seniors. There are about 75,000 students set to graduate. The mayor said he doesn’t know if there will be a ceremony, but want to make sure they graduate on time –– a full plan will be out next week.
  5. Be ready to reopen in September and combat learning loss. The mayor said the city is working now on a comprehensive plan to reopen schools. This includes focusing on mental health, de Blasio said.

Attendance is being taken once a day at virtual schools, the New York City chancellor said, as he cautioned they are getting in contact with students that have not been in contact with them.

When asked if summer school would happen this year, de Blasio responded, officials won’t know about summer school “until we have a lot more answers.”  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged the mayor's position on schools in a press conference hours later but added “there has been no decision on schools.”

“There has been no decision, that’s the mayor's opinion, I value it” along with all the other county executives but “the decision will be coordinated among all of them," Cuomo said.

Regarding the mayor’s position of closing schools until June, Cuomo said “we may do that, but we're going to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities,” including the counties in New York.

When asked if de Blasio's decision was invalid, Cuomo said “that’s his opinion, but he didn’t close them and he can’t open them, it happened on a metropolitan wide basis and we’re going to either; we’ll act on a metropolitan wide basis."

Some context: The New York City school system is the largest school district in the US with 1.1 million students, according to the city's Department of Education.

9:52 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

United Kingdom's coronavirus death toll rises by 917

From CNN's Simon Cullen

The United Kingdom's death toll from coronavirus has risen by 917 to reach 9,875, according to new figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The numbers are current as of 5 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) April 10.

Overall, the department says 78,991 people have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began.

Read a tweet from the department:

5:10 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Senate leaders call for more funding for American workers

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill on April 9.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill on April 9. Patrick Semansky/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are pushing for Congress to pass more money for the Payroll Protection Program –– a program for small business aid in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

McConnell and McCarthy issued a statement today supporting the continued funding of the program without any other provisions. So far, Democrats are demanding money be added for states and hospitals before they will support the effort.

“Republicans did not ask to change any policy details that were negotiated by both parties and passed unanimously. All we want to do is put more money into a popular job-saving policy which both parties designed together," the statement said.

McConnell and McCarthy's statement also said they would, “continue to seek a clean PPP funding increase. We hope our Democratic colleagues familiarize themselves with the facts and the data before the program runs dry.”

The state of the economy: Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 4.

Altogether, more than 16 million Americans have sought aid in the form of jobless benefits in just the prior three weeks alone.

8:47 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Attorney Michael Avenatti released from jail temporarily over coronavirus concerns

From CNN’s Kara Scannell

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti walks out of a New York court house on July 23, 2019 in New York City.
Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti walks out of a New York court house on July 23, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A federal judge released celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti from a federal jail due to coronavirus concerns.

The judge said Avenatti will have to return to custody in 90 days. The temporary release came after Avenatti’s lawyers said he was at risk for contracting coronavirus because he had pneumonia last year.

Avenatti will be required to be held in quarantine at the jail facility for 14 days to ensure he doesn’t have the virus and can’t spread it into the community, the judge said.

Once jail officials determine Avenatti doesn’t have the virus, he will be released to home confinement at his friend’s house in Los Angeles and will not be allowed to use the internet. A second friend posted a $1 million bond securing his release. 

Some context: The attorney has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan after a California judge revoked his bail earlier this year finding he engaged in suspicious financial transactions. The MCC has reported cases of the virus among inmates. 

Avenatti was convicted earlier this year of attempting to extort over $20 million from Nike.

He has been charged in two separate indictments with embezzling $300,000 from his former client Stormy Daniels and with tax fraud and stealing several million dollars from other clients. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to those charges. His trials have been set for later this year.

5:10 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Japan prime minister calls on citizens to avoid nightlife entertainment spots

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Stringer/Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images
Stringer/Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on citizens to refrain from visiting nightlife entertainment venues as the country sees increasing spikes in coronavirus infections.

Speaking at a meeting of the national coronavirus task force on Saturday, Abe asked people to avoid going to evening spots such as nightclubs and bars and follow the social distancing guidance.

Abe also urged businesses in seven prefectures, including Tokyo, to cut down the number of people going to the office by at least 70% and implement work from home systems.

The prime minister on Tuesday said Japan needs to reduce 70-80% of human contacts in the next two weeks to reverse the increasing trend of new coronavirus cases.

Despite Abe’s plea, urban cities in the country haven’t seen a drastic reduction in the number of commuters.

State of emergency declared: Japan issued a state of emergency on April 7 for a month across seven virus-hit prefectures but it carries no penalties for people venturing out for non-essential work.

Earlier on Saturday, Japan’s health ministry reported 658 new confirmed coronavirus cases and six deaths by the end of Friday.

5:11 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Nurses describe the emotional pain of Covid-19

From CNN’s Ivana Kottasová and Sharon Braithwaite

For Lucia Dario, a nurse caring for Covid-19 patients at the Gemelli hospital in Rome, it is the emotional side of this epidemic that has been particularly draining. 

Yes, the full body suit gets sweaty and wearing three pairs of gloves on top of each other — a necessary protection against the virus — makes her feel clumsy. 

But it's the feeling of not being able to do more that is the toughest, she says. For the first few days of Italy's coronavirus crisis, she'd finish her shift, get into her car and cry. She felt useless. 

Lucia Dario has been caring for Covid-19 patients at the Gemelli hospital in Rome, Italy.
Lucia Dario has been caring for Covid-19 patients at the Gemelli hospital in Rome, Italy. Courtesy Lucia Dario

"The isolation rooms are like bunkers, they are parallel realities," she said, describing the eerie atmosphere on the ward as "silence that screams."

Dario and her colleagues are the only human contact these patients' rooms get.

"We ask them what they need, almost everyone says nothing, at most they ask for water," she said. Some lock eyes with her, she said, almost to signal that they will meet again one day, without the masks. She hears people sobbing, coughing and praying through the night.

"Some turn the TV on at a very high volume to stop their thoughts," the nurse said. 

Hospitals around the world have been on strict lockdown, banning visitors and limiting contact between patients, due to the highly infectious virus. 

Oli Pohlová is a part-time nurse at the pulmonology ward of a hospital in the Czech town of Mladá Boleslav. With more than 600 beds, this hospital plays an important role in the region. It's normally buzzing with activity, but since Covid-19 hit, its doors have been shut to all visitors. 

"It's very hard for the patients, many of them have not seen their families for a really long time," she said. So, as well as all the other tasks, nurses have also found themselves trying to give patients some company and relief from not being able to see their loved ones. "It's up to us now to chat with them, try to make them laugh for a bit, ask questions... you can't substitute the families, of course, but hopefully you can help a bit," Pohlová said.

Dario has been a nurse for 20 years, but she said she has never witnessed anything like this crisis.

This experience will mark all of us,” she said.

One dying patient has recently asked Dario to read her the last rites. "We are not priests of course, but we tried to do our best," Dario said. She prayed with the elderly woman. She passed away later, alone, far from her family. 

READ MORE: The nurses risking it all on the frontline of Britain's coronavirus outbreak

8:17 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

It's just past 8 a.m in New York. Here's what you need to know

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

US cases top half a million: Half a million Americans have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The grim statistic means that almost one in three cases worldwide is found in the United States. New York state alone has more cases than any other country except the US.

As the country recorded the biggest single-day jump in Covid-19 deaths, President Donald Trump announced he will create an "opening our country" taskforce. But as health experts study China and other countries that are starting to lift some of the harshest restrictions, they warn that "opening" the US should not be rushed.

European countries cautiously consider easing lockdown: Earlier this week, China started allowing healthy people to leave Wuhan, where the outbreak emerged in December. In Europe, several countries are now cautiously following in China's footsteps.

Though mass gatherings and international travel remain largely off limits, some shops, outdoor exercise centers and schools are beginning to reopen in some countries including the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark and Norway.

Austria will gradually lift its lockdown after Easter, but quarantine in prominent ski resorts has been extended by more than two weeks after coronavirus tests showed the virus is still widespread in the Alpine province of Tyrol.

Boris Johnson's brother criticizes PM's pre-hospitalization treatment: Max Johnson, the half-brother of Boris Johnson has described the Prime Minister’s pre-hospitalization treatment as a “shambles.”  On Saturday, a Downing Street spokesperson said the Prime Minister “continues to make very good progress” after he was released from intensive care Thursday. Johnson remains in hospital.

Nearly 60,000 people have recovered from coronavirus in Spain, but the number of deaths recorded in Spain has risen by 510 in the past 24 hours -- an increase of 3.2%.

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

Boris Johnson's brother says PM's treatment before hospital a "shambles"

From CNN's Bianca Nobilo

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his daily COVID 19 press briefing at Downing Street on March 22, London, England.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his daily COVID 19 press briefing at Downing Street on March 22, London, England. Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The half-brother of Boris Johnson has described the Prime Minister’s pre-hospitalization treatment as a “shambles.”

In a statement to CNN, Max Johnson said while he grateful for the care his brother received from the NHS (National Health Service), he is critical of the events leading up to his hospitalization.

Boris Johnson was moved out of intensive care after receiving treatment for coronavirus, Downing Street confirmed Thursday.

The Prime Minister, 55, was taken to hospital on Sunday because he was displaying "persistent" coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive. His condition deteriorated and he was taken into intensive care on Monday, causing a ripple of shock across the UK.

“From what I gather -- and I wasn’t there -- no-one asked a doctor to mask up and physically examine him the whole time - more than 10 days,” Max Johnson said.
“He’d tested positive so there was no doubt what he was dealing with. The word ‘shambles’ comes to mind. 
“What’s the point of bodyguards when you can’t have a doctor? The Office of Prime Minister needs better protection.”

In response to Max Johnson’s comments, Downing Street described the Prime Minister’s health as a “private matter” adding it would be “inaccurate” to suggest Boris Johnson hadn’t been physically examined by a doctor before entering hospital. Max Johnson said he’s “massively relieved” by his brother’s recovery and hopes he can now take time off to full recover.

He added that the coronavirus pandemic is a good reminder of the need to ensure all frontline workers -- including the NHS, police, bus drivers, and care workers -- get access to proper safety equipment and testing.

“And we can play our part by just staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives,” Max Johnson said.

Since the outbreak began, the government has faced intense criticism over lack of testing and protection for frontline workers.