April 13 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Amy Woodyatt, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:11 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020
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9:04 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Sailor from the USS Theodore Roosevelt dies of coronavirus

From Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne

Tony Azios/AFP/Getty Images
Tony Azios/AFP/Getty Images

A sailor who tested positive for Covid-19 on the USS Theodore Roosevelt has died from the virus, the US Navy said in a statement Monday. 

The sailor was admitted to an intensive care unit in Guam on Thursday and died today, the Navy said.

As of Sunday, 585 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt had tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the US Navy. About 92% of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers have been tested for coronavirus, the statement said.

Some background: The commander of the Roosevelt was ousted earlier this month by the now former acting secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly for his “poor judgement," Modly said. 

Captain Brett Crozier had written to Navy leadership flagging his concerns about the Roosevelt's crew of more than 4,000, alerting them to the challenges of trying to contain the disease aboard the ship and urgently requesting that sailors be allowed to quarantine on land.

"We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset: our Sailors," Crozier wrote in a memo that three US defense officials confirmed to CNN.

 

8:37 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

CDC director: US reopening will "be a step-by-step, gradual process" 

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this morning on the "Today" show that the US needs to reopen carefully and gradually when asked about concerns of a second wave of coronavirus infections.  

"There's no doubt we have to reopen correctly," Redfield said. "It's going to be a step-by-step, gradual process." 

Redfield thanked the American people for following social distancing guidelines.

"As you've seen with the original models we had in terms of the potential mortality of this virus on our nation, it could have easily been 250,000, 500,000, a million," he said.  

"I think the social distancing that the American people all embraced to the reality we see overall mortality, while sadly too high, was far less than we anticipated," Redfield said, adding that relaxing guidelines "has to be done very carefully." 

8:22 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested negative for coronavirus before leaving hospital

From CNN’s Luke McGee in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at 10 Downing Street after being discharged from hospital in London on April 12.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at 10 Downing Street after being discharged from hospital in London on April 12. Pippa Fowles/Handout/No 10 Downing Street/Xinhua/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested negative for coronavirus before being discharged from hospital, his official spokesman said Monday.

No update on his health has so far been issued on Monday, but his spokesperson said that on the advice of his medical team, he is not immediately returning to work.

Johnson spent a week in the hospital for persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Upon leaving hospital on Sunday, Johnson released a deeply personal video message thanking his nurses, saying “things could have gone either way.”

His words painted a much starker picture of his battle with Covid-19 and his fiancée referenced a “very dark week” in a post on her Twitter account.

As we set out, his condition did worsen over the course of last Monday afternoon and he had to be moved to the intensive care unit. If someone is moved to intensive care they need a level of specialist treatment,” the spokesperson added.

Asked why the public was told Johnson was in “good spirits” while in ICU, his spokesman said: “All the information we gave to you was provided by St. Thomas’ hospital. Anything which we released to you was cleared with St. Thomas’.”

Johnson is now recovering at the PM’s official countryside residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire. This is considered to be “a suitable place for the PM to continue his recovery,” his spokesman said. He noted that there are no scheduled visitors. 

8:38 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

300,000 people return to work in Madrid as some restrictions lift across Spain

From Laura Perez-Maestro, Al Goodman, Ingrid Formanek and Max Ramsay

Around 300,000 non-essential workers have gone back to their jobs Monday in the Madrid region, a spokesman for Madrid's regional government told CNN.

Despite still reporting hundreds of new infections every day, the Spanish government announced it would begin rolling back some of its tough lockdown restrictions after the Easter holiday.

Spain’s General Workers Union, GTU, a major trade union, raised concerns over the safety of those returning to work. The union, which has 940,000 members according to its website, called for employers to be responsible for providing personal protection equipment.

Here's some background: The country has now recorded more than 17,400 total deaths, with more than 87,000 active cases. Today, Spain recorded its second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks: 517 in the past 24 hours.

A partial lifting of restrictions came into effect today. Workers who cannot work from home, such as those working in construction and other industries, were permitted to return to work. However, shops, bars, and restaurants and other businesses considered non-essential, remain closed.

8:18 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Lebanese army to distribute coronavirus aid parcels

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut

A military vehicle patrols in Beirut, Lebanon, amid the coronavirus pandemic, on March 22.
A military vehicle patrols in Beirut, Lebanon, amid the coronavirus pandemic, on March 22. Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

Lebanese Army units deployed throughout the country will on Tuesday begin distributing aid packages to citizens who have lost their income because of coronavirus, the army says.

The Lebanese government had earlier pledged to allocate 75 billion Lebanese Liras (about US$4.97 million) in social aid to those in need.

Lebanon has recorded 630 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry.

8:09 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

The US is "nearing the peak right now," health official says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the United States is "nearing the peak right now" of the coronavirus pandemic.  

"I think we'll sometime, hopefully this week, we'll be able to say — you'll know when you're at the peak when the next day is less than the day before," Redfield said this morning during an appearance on the "Today" show.

"We are stabilizing across the country in terms of the state of this outbreak," he added.

8:12 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Could the US reopen by May 1? Here's what the CDC director says.

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 8.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 8. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday "it's important to look at the country as many different separate situations" when asked on the "Today" show if it was conceivable to relax social distancing guidelines by May. 

"This pandemic has affected different parts of the country differently," Redfield said. "We're looking at the data very carefully, county by county by county, and we will be assessing that." 

Redfield told NBC's Savannah Guthrie that in his view, a number of things need to happen before reopening the country, including increasing public health capacity to do early case identification, isolation and contract tracing.  

He added officials also need to "start working to rebuild confidence in the community, so the community has confidence to reopen." 

7:53 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Good news on coronavirus makes it harder for Trump to hold the line

Analysis by CNN's John Harwood

President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters following a meeting of his coronavirus task force at the White House on April 6.
President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters following a meeting of his coronavirus task force at the White House on April 6. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump urged Americans eight days ago to brace for the "toughest week" of the coronavirus pandemic -- but for Trump himself, the week ahead may well be tougher.

That's because, even as the death toll keeps rising, so have signs that social distancing restrictions have begun tempering the crisis. Good news makes it harder to hold the line on those restrictions as the outcome of America's war against coronavirus remains uncertain.

That paradox has produced intense cross-pressures inside the White House. Business interests, economic advisers and Republican conservatives seek an end to the shutdown that has halted normal life and thrown 16 million Americans out of work; public health authorities warn that moving prematurely risks a second tsunami of infection with escalating loss of life and deeper economic damage.

"Now is no time to back off," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease specialist, told CNN on Friday. "Now is the time to actually put your foot on the accelerator, because we're going in the right direction."

Read the full analysis here:

7:47 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Swiss coronavirus numbers rise

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

A medical worker treats a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Rennaz, Switzerland, on April 8.
A medical worker treats a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Rennaz, Switzerland, on April 8. Laurent Gillieron/Keystone/AP

At least 25,580 people have so far tested positive for the virus in Switzerland, according to The Swiss Federal Office for Health -- an increase of 280 in the past 24 hours.

885 people have so far died. Switzerland's coronavirus incidence rate is one of the highest in Europe, the office pointed out, with 298 cases recorded per 100,000 inhabitants.