April 19 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Laura Smith-Spark, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:02 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020
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8:47 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Trump admits he excluded Mitt Romney from congressional task force because he still holds a grudge against him

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump admitted Sunday that he excluded Sen. Mitt Romney from the bipartisan congressional task force focused on reopening the country because he maintains a grudge against Romney who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment.

When asked at Sunday’s coronavirus task force briefing if the decision to shut Romney out of the task force shows that he still holds a grudge against Romney, the only Republican senator left off the congressional task force, Trump said yes.

“Yeah it does. I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney at all,” Trump said. “I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney, I don’t want his advice.”

Romney voted to convict Trump on the first article of impeachment -- abuse of power. Romney was the only Republican Party senator to vote in favor of either articles of impeachment.

8:25 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Nursing homes required to report coronavirus cases to families, patients and CDC

From CNN’s Nicky Robertson

Seema Verma, administrator for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has announced that nursing homes will be required to report to patients, their families and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when they have any coronavirus cases.

Verma added that the government will be paying labs to go to nursing homes to collect samples.

"It's important that patients and their families have the information that they need, and they need to understand what's going on in the nursing home," Verma said. "This will support CDC's efforts to have surveillance around the country and contact tracing so we can mitigate the spread of the virus in the communities that show spread starting in the nursing homes."
8:23 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

New guidelines discussed for reopening non-coronavirus health care services

From CNN’s Jason Hoffman

Hospitals that want to move toward reopening for elective surgeries and other non-covid medical procedures still need to be able to handle potential surges from coronavirus infections, according to new guidelines announced Sunday by Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Verma said that since some hospitals said they have unused capacity, the new guidelines will be folded into phase one of reopening the US.

“Every state and local official has to assess the situation on the ground. They need to make sure they can still address surges, they need to make sure that they have adequate supplies and a plan for conserving supplies. They need to be able to screen patients and healthcare workers for Covid virus. And they need to make sure that patients feel safe when they come in to seek healthcare services by assuring that they have the appropriate cleaning in place and they observe social distancing inside the facilities,” Verma said.

Verma said that this will be a “gradual process” and that “health care officials across the country and health care systems need to decide what services should be made available, and ultimately doctors and patients need to make decisions about their health care services.”

8:29 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

President Trump defends playing 'self-congratulatory' clips at briefings

From CNN's From Jason Hoffman

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

When pressed by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond as to why he was taking time during the daily coronavirus task force briefing to discuss praise he has received while more than 22 million Americans are currently unemployed and more than 40,000 people have died from coronavirus, Trump said he was “standing up for the men and women who have done such an incredible job,” not for himself.

“I'm sticking up for those people," Trump said. "I am also sticking up for doctors and nurses and military doctors and nurses.”

When further pressed by Diamond, Trump said “those people have been excoriated by the fake news.”

“It's not about me. Nothing is about me," he said. "You are never going to treat me fairly, many of you, and I understand that.”

The clips Trump played at the briefing praised himself and not health care workers.

8:08 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

White House orders Puritan to make swabs under Defense Production Act

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced Sunday that he will compel a US company to make swabs under the Defense Production Act.

Two people familiar with the decision told CNN that company is Puritan Medical Products, which is based in Maine. It is known for making "flocked swabs," which it says are better at collecting specimens than other types.

Trump said the administration had experienced "difficulty" with the company, but did not elaborate further. Puritan did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

"We’ve had a little difficulty with one so we'll call in -- as we have in the past as you know -- we are calling in the Defense Production Act and we'll be getting swabs very easily,” Trump said.

8:06 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Pence says New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Detroit are past their peak

From CNN's Dylan Wells

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that the White House task force overseeing the coronavirus pandemic believes several large metro areas continue to stabilize and see progress. He also said there are several cities the task force is watching.

“Areas that we continue to watch carefully on the task force include the Chicago metro area, Boston metro, and the Philadelphia metropolitan area,” Pence said.

As for the areas that have made progress he listed several:

“The New York metro area, including New Jersey, New York, Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island all appear to be past their peak. The Detroit metro area also appears to be past its peak and is stable, New Orleans metro area actually is the most stable of all areas where we had a major metropolitan outbreak. The Denver metro area is stable,” Pence said.

The rates of California and Washington states remain “low and steady," Pence said

7:49 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Chile’s coronavirus cases surpass 10,000

 From CNN's Gerardo Lemos

Chile has reported 10,088 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, Paula Daza, Chile’s public health undersecretary, said in a televised statement on Sunday. 

In the past 24 hours, 358 new cases and seven new deaths have been recorded, according to Daza.

As of Sunday, there have been 133 coronavirus deaths in Chile. 

7:46 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Trump says US wants investigators to go to China

From CNN's From Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump said Sunday the US still wants investigators to go to China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak.

The US has previously made requests, which have been rebuffed. The White House has continually accused China of withholding accurate information about the extent of the virus within the country.

“We are talking to China. We spoke to them a long time ago about going in. We want to go in,” Trump said Sunday at a coronavirus task force briefing.
7:41 p.m. ET, April 19, 2020

Report: 14% of the NYPD are out sick

From CNN's Laura Ly

John Nacion/NurPhoto/Getty Images
John Nacion/NurPhoto/Getty Images

About 14% of the New York Police Department were out sick on Sunday -- that’s down from a high of 19.8%, according to a daily NYPD report.

To date, 4,371 members of the NYPD have tested positive for Covid-19. Of those, 2,270 members have recovered and returned to work, and 2,073 are still out sick, the report said.

Those out sick include 1,706 uniformed members and 367 civilian members.