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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9:36 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

8:49 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas jail more than doubles

From CNN’s Andy Rose

There are now 25 inmates in Harris County, Texas, who are confirmed to have coronavirus, which more than doubles the previous count of nine within the jail population, according to a tweet Sunday evening from the sheriff’s office. 

The sheriff’s office says "dozens more inmates with symptoms are still awaiting test results." Harris County is home to Houston and is most populous county in Texas.

7:58 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Ivanka Trump: 'Wear a mask or face covering when out in public'

From CNN’s Jessica Durando 

Ivanka Trump took to Twitter Sunday to urge people to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to "wear a mask or face covering when out in public."

6:43 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

More than 170,000 sign petition rejecting UK Parliament's 'work-from-home' allowance

From CNN’s Robert Iddiols 

A petition calling for British parliamentarians to be stripped of an additional £10,000, or almost $12,500, work-from-home allowance has gathered more than 170,000 signatures online.

The one-off sum is designed to cover increased costs as members of parliament and their staff work from home during the coronavirus lockdown.

"We are requesting that Parliament discuss this allowance and identify whether the funds could be put to better use," wrote Lucy Pearson, the petition's author.

Pearson cited personal protective equipment for frontline health workers as an example.

As of Sunday night, more than 170,000 people had signed the petition on the Change.org website.

6:42 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

18% of the New York Police Department out sick

From CNN’s Laura Ly

On Sunday, 6,522 uniformed members of the New York Police Department, 18% of the department’s uniformed workforce, were out sick, according to a daily NYPD coronavirus report.

Currently, 2,344 uniformed members and 489 civilian members have tested positive for coronavirus, the report said.

6:16 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

NJ law school grads can temporarily practice law without passing bar, state Supreme Court rules

From CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia 

The New Jersey Supreme Court is allowing 2020 law school graduates to temporarily practice law after the July 2020 bar exam was postponed to the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to an order signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, court rules will be relaxed so that 2020 graduates who haven’t completed the bar exam can practice under supervision of an attorney in good standing with a three-year license.

"At this challenging time, the public has a continuing and growing need for legal services in many critical areas," Rabner stated in the order Monday. “Newly admitted lawyers can help meet that need.”

The graduates must apply to take the first exam scheduled after graduation, or qualify for an extension, and must also earn certification from the Supreme Court Committee on Character before they can practice.

Under the order, 2020 law school graduates will be able to:

  • enter appearances.
  • draft legal documents and pleadings.
  • provide legal services to clients.
  • engage in negotiations and settlement discussions.
  • provide other counsel consistent with the practice of law in New Jersey

"The temporary ability to practice law will lapse if the graduate does not sit for the first bar exam scheduled after graduation, unless granted an extension, or if the graduate does not pass the exam," the release said.

5:52 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Wisconsin governor seeks to open second facility for Covid-19 patients

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has asked FEMA to begin the development of a second alternative care facility to prepare for a potential surge in Covid-19 cases, Evers said in a statement.

The facility would be housed in the Alliant Energy Center, a large multi-venue complex in Madison. 

"Dane County is proud to partner with Governor Evers and make our facility available to the state," says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, who oversees the space.

"This second alternative care facility will be an essential backup facility to ensure our healthcare system in the south central region is not overwhelmed," Evers said. "Hopefully this second site will not be needed, but we must prepare for it now so we are ready."

6:00 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Turkish president rejects interior minister resignation after problematic coronavirus lockdown

From CNN’s Gul Tuysuz

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference on April 6 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference on April 6 in Istanbul, Turkey. Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the resignation submitted by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu after the minister came under heavy criticism for his implementation of a surprise lockdown in Turkey.

In a written statement about his resignation, Soylu said the scenes created after the lockdown announcement did not fit into the "perfectly managed process" by the government against the spread of Covid-19.

After the announcement of the curfew, people rushed out to markets to stock up on goods before the start of the lockdown leading to close contact between people.

In his statement, Soylu took near complete blame for the chaos and asked for "forgiveness from my dear nation, which I have never wanted to harm, and my president to whom I will be loyal till the end of my life."

The responsibility for the implementation of the decision for the weekend belongs to me in all aspects," he said in the written statement.

The offer of resignation was submitted to the president and was rejected, according to a written statement by the Turkish presidency.

"The decision to offer a resignation rests with the office holder but to accept it is the decision of the President. The resignation has not been accepted and the minister will continue his post," the statement said.

The statement praised Soylu's past performance across a wide range of policy issues as well as more recently on the Covid-19 measures.

Soylu has been a pivotal figure in Turkey’s fight against terrorism and is known as a nationalist hardliner. 

5:46 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Ammon Bundy hosts Easter service despite state order against mass gatherings

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Ammon Bundy makes his way from the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Burns, Oregon, on January 6, 2016.
Ammon Bundy makes his way from the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Burns, Oregon, on January 6, 2016. Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images

As he promised, Idaho rancher Ammon Bundy – who once led an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon – organized an Easter Sunday church service in violation of a statewide order on mass gatherings.

A livestream of the service showed dozens of people in folding chairs sitting together in Bundy’s industrial warehouse in the small city of Emmett, about 30 miles northwest of Boise, where a handmade sign reading "Defy Martial Law" was placed in front of the speaker’s podium. 

After the group watched a precorded praise video, Bundy briefly addressed the group, saying, "When you believe in Christ ... you will never infringe upon your neighbor's rights."

There were no signs on the livestream of anyone attempting to challenge or interrupt the service. Wayne Hoffman with the conservative Idaho Freedom Foundation – a group that has called the ban on gatherings unconstitutional – also was invited to speak. 

We certainly don't have to continue to live in a world where a church service is considered a big church service in America," Hoffman said. "That's not who we are. Americans don't in fear. They don't give up their rights."

Bundy did not officially announce the venue for the service until just hours before it started. He told CNN last week he wasn’t concerned about getting coronavirus.

"I'm healthy, my family is healthy. I'd rather have it now so my body is immune to it," Bundy said.