April 14 coronavirus news

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2:44 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

The IMF has approved a debt-relief plan for 25 countries battling the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's David McKenzie and Maija Ehlinger

An exterior view of the IMF building in Washington seen on March 27, 2020.
An exterior view of the IMF building in Washington seen on March 27, 2020. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund will provide immediate debt relief to 25 member countries that have requested financial assistance as they deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said Monday.

The countries receiving the grants are among the IMF's "poorest and most vulnerable members."

They are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

The funds will be used "to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts," Georgieva said.

The IMF trust responsible for the funds can provide $500 million in "grant-based debt service relief." In her statement, Georgieva urged donors "to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries.”

2:25 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

China is giving cash to car buyers to revive sales crushed by the pandemic

From CNN Business' Laura He in Hong Kong

Workers assemble cars at the Dongfeng Honda Automobile factory in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on April 8.
Workers assemble cars at the Dongfeng Honda Automobile factory in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on April 8. Ng Han Guan/AP

In a normal year, China would have sold more than 6 million new cars by now. This year, the number is closer to 3.7 million, and now the government is handing out cash to help the world's biggest auto market get back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic.

Car sales declined 42% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to last year, according to data released late last week by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

While that is largely because of a whopping 79% plunge in February -- when the country of 1.4 billion people recorded just 310,000 sales -- the market remains very weak. Only 1.43 million vehicles were sold in China last month, a 43% decline over March 2019.

Crucial economic role: More than 40 million people in China rely on the auto sector for jobs, either directly or indirectly. And the more than $1 trillion in revenue the industry generates each year contributes to nearly 10% of China's manufacturing sector.

A healthy Chinese car market is also important to the rest of the world. Global automakers like Volkswagen and General Motors sell millions of cars in China -- each of those companies, for example, depend on the country for roughly 40% of their total sales.

Read more about China's automobile market:

2:07 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

WWE deemed an essential service, returns to live televised shows

From CNN's Amanda Jackson

Professional sports in Florida are getting the green light to resume production after the Florida Governor's Office deemed them "essential services."

This is being added to the same list that includes services such as grocery stores, hospitals, banks, utility companies and restaurants.

The order that was signed on Thursday states that employees at professional sports and media production with a national audience can continue only if the location is closed to the general public. This essential service was added because it is critical to Florida's economy, officials told CNN.

World Wrestling Entertainment resumed live televised shows on Monday after weeks of taped matches, including their biggest event of the year, WrestleMania. The organization is producing new content for fans with the use of their training facility in Orlando.

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," WWE said in a statement to CNN. "We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff."

Read more:

1:48 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Trump rages at criticism while governors craft their own plans to reopen the economy

Analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 13.
President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 13. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

With 23,000 Americans dead and millions without a paycheck, President Donald Trump dimmed the lights in the White House briefing room, fired up a misleading propaganda video and boiled over.

In one of the most unchained presidential tantrums ever captured on television, Trump's Monday display flouted every notion of calm leadership by the commander in chief in a crisis.

He claimed powers never envisioned by the Constitution and insisted his "authority is total" to order states and cities to get moving again to break out of the frozen economy. His warning came as two blocs of Eastern and Western hot-spot states banded together in an implied challenge to his vow to get people back to work soon, setting off a brewing confrontation over the power of the federal government.

During the news conference, Trump moaned that the press was not giving him credit because "everything we did was right" in the coronavirus pandemic.

Raging at reporters, the President used the campaign-style video to mislead the nation about his sluggish recognition of the threat from the virus, after once predicting a "miracle" that would make it go away. He called up his top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to publicly repudiate his own words Sunday on CNN, which had been interpreted as criticism of early administration actions.

When the Category Five presidential storm had blown out, Trump had offered no new guidance on the key issues -- for instance, the continued inadequacy of testing, which will hamper the nation's economic opening. He vowed that the economy would fire up "ahead of schedule" but did not explain how, when many states are at or are approaching their peak infection rates. And he appeared to warn he would try to force open state economies, including shops, schools and restaurants closed by governors and mayors. He did not explain, either, how he would convince the public to get back to normal if people did not feel confident they were safe.

"The President of the United States calls the shots," Trump said.

Read the full analysis here:

1:27 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Japan reports 311 new coronavirus patients

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Japan's health ministry said that 311 new infections and seven coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the country on Monday.

As of the end of the day yesterday, Japan has identified 8,357 coronavirus patients, including 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

At least 121 people have died, 12 of whom had been on the ship.

1:24 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

BREAKING: India will extend its nationwide lockdown until May 3

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation in a pre-recorded message on Tuesday.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation in a pre-recorded message on Tuesday. @narendramodi/Twitter

The world's second-most populous country is extending its nationwide lockdown until May 3 to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised speech that aired Tuesday.

“India didn’t wait for the problem to escalate. Instead, as soon as the problem appeared, we tried to stop it by making swift decisions. I can't imagine what the situation would have been had such quick decisions not been taken,” he said.

Modi also advised people to be careful about new coronavirus hotspots that could pop up throughout the country.

“We have to be very careful about hotspots. We will have to keep a close watch on the places that are expected to become hotspots,” he said.

1:03 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

The US health and human services secretary discussed the pandemic with his South Korean counterpart

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Seoul, South Korea

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 3.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 3. Alex Brandon/AP

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar spoke by phone Monday with South Korean health minister Park Neung-hoo to discuss South Korea's response to the virus, the country's health ministry said in a statement.

South Korea has been hailed by many for its response to the pandemic, specifically its decision to conduct widespread testing and thorough contact tracing.

"Minister Park explained that early detection and stopping of infection is important considering the high early contagious nature of coronavirus and that PT-PCR testing method is necessary, which is accurate and reliable," the South Korean health ministry said.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency said that South Korea is supplying the United States with 750,000 coronavirus tests.

1:29 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Indian PM Narendra Modi thanks citizens for abiding by lockdown in address to nation

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked citizens for abiding by lockdown restrictions in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked citizens for abiding by lockdown restrictions in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday. @narendramodi/Twitter

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed a scarf covering his mouth and nose to speak in a pre-recorded message to the nation today.

He began by thanking citizens for abiding by lockdown restrictions and said he appreciated the difficulties they’ve faced.

"You have faced difficulties to save yourself and the nation," Modi said.

"I understand the great difficulties you are facing regarding food, the lack of movement. Some had to stay away from their families. You are fulfilling duties as disciplined soldiers for the sake of the nation."

April 14 marks the last day of the three-week nationwide lockdown that was implemented on March 25.

Several states have already extended the lockdown, as numbers of coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

Maharashtra, Punjab and Odisha were all originally scheduled to come out of lockdown along with the rest of the country on Tuesday.

So far, there has been no announcement from Modi as to whether the nationwide lockdown will be extended.

12:29 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

US Navy carrier to stay at sea to avoid coronavirus

From CNN's Brad Lendon

The USS Harry S Truman transits the Atlantic Ocean on April 11.
The USS Harry S Truman transits the Atlantic Ocean on April 11. US Navy photo

Stung by seeing one of its Pacific fleet aircraft carriers stuck in Guam with almost 600 coronavirus cases, the US Navy said an Atlantic fleet carrier will extend its time at sea to keep it virus free.

The USS Harry S Truman will delay its homecoming to its Norfolk, Virginia, homeport, after a deployment to the Middle East, Navy officials said.

The carrier, which left on its current deployment in November, will complete what the Navy calls the “sustainment” phase of its operation at sea, the officials said. Sustainment, during which the ship can quickly get underway to respond to any emergency, is normally conducted pierside, so sailors can get some time ashore with families and friends.

“The Navy is taking this measure to maintain the strike group’s warfighting capability while ensuring the safety of the crew,” the Navy statement said.
“In the face of COVID-19, we need to protect our most valuable asset, our people, by keeping the ship out to sea,” Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the US 2nd Fleet, said in the statement.

In a Facebook posting, Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, commander of the Truman’s carrier strike group, told families of the crew that he would update them on the status of the deployment in three weeks.

Loiselle said he was certain there were no coronavirus cases among the approximately 5,000 sailors on the Truman or the crews of its escort ships.

“It has been over 40 days since our last port call, and no one has been allowed to come aboard our ships since then, so we are sure we are COVID-free,” Loiselle said.

Meanwhile in Guam, the Navy reported the first death among the nearly 600 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read more here: