April 12 coronavirus news

By Amir Vera, Fernando Alfonso III, James Griffiths, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 9:36 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020
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4:30 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New Jersey's coronavirus peak could still be ahead, governor says

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks on April 11.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks on April 11. Chris Pedota/The Record via AP

New Jersey's governor said the peak of the state's coronavirus cases could still be ahead.

Phil Murphy spoke to CNN this morning, saying some studies project that the state is in its peak, while a more "sobering reality" has New Jersey peaking many weeks from now, and in higher numbers. 

Murphy emphasized that the recovery of health care workers takes priority over economic recovery.

"I fear if we open too early without making that recovery we could be pouring gas on the fire," Murphy said.

The governor said he's working with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to agree on a regional testing strategy.

"Not only did we bring our states to a closure together in harmony, but when we re-open we're doing so in broad harmony as well," Murphy said. "Including testing and other healthcare infrastructure that we'll need to make sure we don't see another round two of this."
10:43 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

City workers must wear face coverings starting Monday in New York City

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5. Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Starting Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is requiring all city workers who come in contact with the public while on duty to wear face coverings.

De Blasio said the city has already provided 1.4 million face coverings to city workers and will provide more as necessary. 

Addressing the economic hardship that the city is facing, New York City is establishing a new initiative to hire New Yorkers to do “absolutely crucial and heroic work in our hospital systems,” and that will be expanded to voluntary and independent hospitals as well, the mayor said.

To all New Yorkers looking for work, de Blasio said, “join a team of heroes.”

New York City Health & Hospital will be hiring 500 non-clinical staff for roles like patient transport, clerical staff and cleaning staff.

These will be temporary jobs beginning with a 90 day assignment, the mayor added.

10:42 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New York City mayor says coronavirus testing could happen in communities by next week

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5. Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wants to have community testing for coronavirus available by the end of next week.

De Blasio said at a press conference Sunday he will be asking for 110,000 individualized tests from the federal government to make this a reality while setting up new testing centers in targeted communities.

By the end of next week, de Blasio intends to set up Health and Hospitals testing centers in East New York, Brooklyn; Morrisania Bronx; Harlem, New York; Jamaica, Queens and Clifton, Staten Island.

This push for widespread community testing is part of "phase two," de Blasio said.

He said communities of color, lower income communities, immigrant communities, and vulnerable “folks who haven’t had the healthcare they needed and deserved throughout their life” have been impacted.

“We cannot accept this inequality we have to attack it with every tool we have," de Blasio said.

These new testing centers also provide an opportunity to put some people back to work. De Blasio said the new sites, as well as public hospitals, and eventually private and voluntary systems, are hiring temporary, non-clinical staff.

These will include things like helping to transport patients, cleaning and maintenance of facilities.

"I want to do everything I can to give people back their livelihood," de Blasio said.

11:05 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Fauci: If Covid-19 mitigation efforts started earlier, "you could have saved lives"

From CNN's Kristen Holmes


Dr. Anthony Fauci said some lives would have been saved if mitigation efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic had been instituted earlier.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious doctor, was responding to a question after reports that he and other federal health officials were recommending mitigation efforts like social distancing to President Trump as early as mid-February.

“I mean, obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Fauci told CNN this morning. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decision is complicated. But you’re right, I mean obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”

When asked why the President didn’t recommend social distancing guidelines until mid-March – about three weeks after the nation’s top health experts wanted to recommend they be put in place – Fauci said, “We look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes it’s not. But we – it is what it is. We are where we are right now.”

10:41 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New York City will have enough ventilators to get through this week, mayor says

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5. BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 5. BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images) Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “based on everything we know” the city will have enough ventilators to get through this coming week.

The rate of increase this past week in ventilator use has slowed with an average of 70 more intubations daily, down from 200 to 300, the mayor said.

De Blasio said he thought this week was going to be “much worse," saying it was a “different” week than the one expected.

Once this crisis hit he said the city went into a “crisis standard." Based on this standard, the city will have N95 surgical masks and gloves for the week ahead. He said, however, there will be barely enough face shields and surgical gowns for the week ahead, said de Blasio.

 “No one can tell you truthfully that were providing what would be the peace time standard – true abundance of PPEs of every kind that can be used once and thrown away, we would love to be in that situation," de Blasio said. “Were not in that situation over these last weeks”
9:53 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New York governor returns ventilators to a nursing home amid coronavirus pandemic

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo started his Easter morning by returning ventilators to the Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niskayuna, New York.

The governor said earlier in the coronavirus crisis, the state needed ventilators and at least 35 of them came from an unexpected place, the nursing home.

Cuomo went on to thank the nursing home for its generosity during a rough time and proceed to walk up to the window of the nursing home to put his hand on the glass.

You could hear Cuomo in the background saying, “in my heart, you made a difference.”

"When things are at their worse sometimes people are at their best," Cuomo said.

By the numbers: New York now has 181,825 confirmed coronavirus cases and 8,650 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Cuomo said at a press conference Saturday morning that while the curve is beginning to flatten and the hospitalization rate is down, there is still a high number of people getting infected.

9:55 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Fauci expresses some "cautious optimism" regarding Covid-19 outbreak

From Kristen Holmes and Kevin Bohn


Citing numbers from the New York metropolitan area, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN he has "cautious optimism" the nation may be seeing a decrease in the rate of hospital admissions, patients admitted to intensive care and those needing intubation – resulting in the curve of cases decreasing.

Fauci did say the nation is still seeing some hot spots in various locations. 

White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx had said Friday officials believed the nation had its peak, but more data was needed to confirm the status.

“If you look at the pattern of the curves in other countries, once you turn that corner, hopefully you’ll see a very sharp decline. And then you start thinking about how we can keep it that way and prevent it from resurging,” Fauci said.

As the President debates when to recommend the guidelines instituted by governors across the nation should be relaxed, Fauci told CNN there has to be a “gradual re-entry” or a “rolling re-entry.”

“You’re trying to balance two things: you wanna make sure you don’t do something prematurely and precipitously, at the same time you pay attention to the need to get back to normal,” he said.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious expert, added the nation cannot at one time drop the various restrictions put in place or there is an “extraordinary risk” of another major outbreak. He said different parts of the country will have to do it in different ways, partly depending on whether those locations have seen major outbreaks already or are facing future ones.

9:34 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Reopening the US will not be "one size fits all," Fauci says

From CNN's Elise Hammond


The top infectious disease doctor in the US says reopening the country will be a gradual process and restrictions will be lifted depending on where you are in the country.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN this is not a "one size fits all" decision.

"It is not going to be a light switch that we say, okay, it is now June, July or whatever, click, the light switch goes back on," Fauci said. "It's going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you have already experienced and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced."

Fauci said he believes this approach is needed to try to prevent a "rebound" or second wave of coronavirus cases. He said there will be people who do get infected after restrictions are loosened, but by reopening gradually, there will be time to identify those cases and isolate them.

"If you start, and when one starts, to relax some of the restrictions, we know that there will be people who will be getting infected. I mean, that is just reality," Fauci said.

Fauci said "it's so difficult to make those kinds of predictions" regarding when these measures will begin, but he hopes to reassess the situation at the end of April.

"We are hoping that at the end of the month, we can look around and say, okay, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on? If so, do it. If not, then just continue to hunker down," he said.

9:02 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Italian prime minister offers message of hope, saying "we will be able to recover soon"

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato in Rome

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 4.
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 4. Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says this Easter is like none other because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Conte shared his sympathy to those affected by the crisis in an Easter message on Facebook.

“To those who suffer today, to those who have an empty chair in front of them, to those who struggle in the hospital wards to remove tears and pain from their community,” he said.

“We miss the smiles of relatives, the hugs of friends, the beautiful traditions of our country, the handshakes in the church, in the square, at the bar. The sacrifices that each of us makes on this important Sunday are a gesture of authentic commitment to what really matters and that we will be able to recover soon," Conte added.

He said that while this Easter is different, we will get through this together.

“Today will not be like the other times, and tomorrow won’t be either, when we hold on to what we care about. Together we will do it," Conte said.

Italy has reported more than 19,000 coronavirus deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.