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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11:56 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New York governor signs executive order that expands antibody testing

Governor Cuomo's Office
Governor Cuomo's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is signing an executive order to expand the number of people who are eligible to conduct the coronavirus antibody test.

This test will determine if someone had and got over the virus, Cuomo said, and would determine if the person theoretically has immunity to the virus for an undetermined period of time.

“That is an important test, and we have to get that test to scale, and this executive order will help do that," Cuomo said.

The governor is also signing an executive order directing all employers to provide essential workers with a cloth or surgical face mask when they are interacting with the public. The masks should be provided cost free, Cuomo said.

11:47 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Roughly 758 people have died in a 24-hour period, New York governor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Governor Cuomo's Office
Governor Cuomo's Office

There are roughly 758 people in New York who have died in a 24-hour period across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this morning.

This is “terrible” news, Cuomo said.

A total of 9,385 people have died from Covid-19 across the state, the governor added.

Cuomo said there continues to be a flattening in the number of lives lost “at a terribly high rate.”

“That’s the one number that look forward to seeing drop as soon as I open my eyes in the morning,” he said.

He said “in the context of 9/11 which was supposed to be the tragedy of my life time,” 2,753 lives were lost then, and the state is now at 9,385 lives lost due to the virus.

He referenced this “distorted” holiday time with the closure of temples and churches and in the context of the holy season, this continues to be “truly tragic news.”

The governor noted that these aren’t just numbers, but people, and every family who has experienced loss is in “our thoughts and prayers.”

“New Yorkers did everything humanly possible to be there for their loved ones and try to save those lives," Cuomo said.

11:44 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Total number of hospitalizations are down in New York, governor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Governor Cuomo's Office
Governor Cuomo's Office

The total number of coronavirus hospitalizations are down to 53 across the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

This is the lowest number since the pandemic started, Cuomo said today during a press conference.

There are roughly 18,707 people who have been hospitalized so far in New York. ICU admissions are now at 189, Cuomo said.

11:31 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

United Kingdom's coronavirus death toll is a "somber" milestone, health secretary says

From CNN's Simon Cullen

The United Kingdom's coronavirus death toll is another reminder of how serious the situation is and why everyone needs to continue following social distancing rules, the country’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

“Today marks as somber day in the impact of this disease as we join the list of countries that have seen more than 10,000 deaths related to coronavirus,” Hancock said at the daily coronavirus update. “The fact that over 10,000 people have lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone is engaged in is so important.”

Hancock said that despite the growing death toll, the UK health system has not been overwhelmed by the number of patients.

He said there are currently 2,295 spare critical care beds.

“There is more spare capacity for critical care than when coronavirus hit our shores,” Hancock said.

There are now 9,775 ventilators and “record amounts” of personal protective equipment available in the system for health workers, Hancock added.

11:17 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Fauci is hopeful the November election won’t be impacted but "can’t guarantee"

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman


Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that he “can’t guarantee” that it will be safe for people to vote in person during the general presidential election in November.

“I believe that, if we have a good measured way of rolling into this, steps towards normality, that we hope, by the time we get to November, that we will be able to do it in a way which is the standard way,” Fauci said.

Fauci, the top infectious disease doctor in the US, added that he doesn’t want to be a “pessimistic person” but “there is always the possibility… as we get into next fall, and the beginning of early winter, that we could see a rebound.”

10:48 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

United Kingdom coronavirus death toll passes 10,000

From CNN's Simon Cullen

Another 737 people have died from coronavirus in the United Kingdom, taking the country’s death toll to 10,612 according to new figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.

These figures are current as of 5 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) April 11.

The update shows that 84,279 people have tested positive since the outbreak began.

Read a tweet from the department:

10:38 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

UK prime minister: "It’s hard to find the words to express my debt"

From CNN's Simon Cullen

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 25.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 25. Peter Summers/Getty Images

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he finds it hard to find the words to thank those who saved his life, saying “things could have gone either way” while he was in hospital.

Johnson was discharged from hospital on Sunday after being treated for coronavirus, including three nights in intensive care.

“I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question,” Johnson said in a video released online. “It’s hard to find the words to express my debt.”

He said health care worker's courage and devotion stood out.

“I have seen the personal courage not just of the doctors and nurses but of everyone, the cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers of every description — physios, radiographers, pharmacists — who have kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking this deadly virus," Johnson said.

Johnson used the message to personally name some of the health care workers who looked after him, including two nurses – one from New Zealand and one from Portugal – who stood by his bedside.

Johnson will now spend some time recovering at the prime minister’s countryside retreat.

Watch the address on Twitter:

10:37 a.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Global health official warns that Covid-19 may stalk "the human race for quite a long time to come"

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

David Nabarro in 2017
David Nabarro in 2017 Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on Covid-19, warned that the virus will not necessarily come in waves like influenza.

In an interview on NBC, Nabarro said the WHO thinks “it is going to be a virus that stalks the human race for quite a long time to come,” until a vaccine is developed.

Moving forward, he said there will be small outbreaks “sporadically,” and it is crucial that every community has a “defense shield” to isolate cases and prevent a large outbreak.

When asked if the world’s curve of coronavirus cases is flattening, Nabarro said that although there are signs of the flattening the curve in Europe and the US, the WHO is “still very worried and still very much on high alert,” particularly for countries with weaker health systems.

Nabarro emphasized the global nature of the coronavirus problem, and called for greater cooperation between world leaders, saying, “I would like leaders to be a little more cooperative, yes please.”

Some context: President Trump last week accused the WHO of not confronting the virus aggressively enough in its early stages, being too friendly towards China in its work and said there would have been fewer deaths if the organization had given “correct analysis.”

Nabarro defended the WHO saying it must work with the information it is given by governments, and that “we believe what we’ve got, we work with what we’ve got.”

He also mentioned how China allowed the WHO to investigate inside the country in February, and there were no restrictions placed on the team there, which included some American doctors, he noted.

Nabarro further said that he “loves” the WHO’s partnership with the United States, and that the director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has spoken directly with Trump.

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."