April 14 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020
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4:40 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

ICE releases nearly 700 people due to coronavirus concerns 

From CNN's Geneva Sands

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released nearly 700 people from custody after conducting medical reviews stemming from concerns about coronavirus, according to Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli.

The move comes amid lawsuits calling for the release of ICE detainees, as well as newly introduced legislation to require the release of most people in ICE detention during a national emergency related to a communicable disease. 

ICE reviewed its cases to identify people who would be eligible for release, including detainees who are 60 years old and over and those who are pregnant. The agency later expanded its review to include all people in ICE custody to assess those who have “medical fragility," Cuccinelli said.

As of April 10, ICE has identified 693 people for release after evaluating medical history, as well as other factors such as criminal records, flight risk and national security concerns. When the assessments for release began, ICE had around 37,000 people in detention, according to Cuccinelli. 

There are now fewer than 34,000 people in detention. However, that decrease is due to a slower pace of intake and ongoing deportations, not just medical releases. 

Detainees who are released are put on "alternatives to detention," which could include an ankle monitor, but not always. 

 When individuals rooms aren't available, ICE separates detainees by group following exposure to someone with an infectious disease, said Cuccinelli. This could include asymptomatic detainees for the duration of the incubation period. 

ICE has also made changes to its enforcement operations, legal and family visitation and detention operations due to Covid-19.  


4:44 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

FDA tightens standards on Covid-19 antibody tests

From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen and Devon Sayers

Mirimus, Inc. scientists work to validate antibody tests in Brooklyn, New York, on April 10.
Mirimus, Inc. scientists work to validate antibody tests in Brooklyn, New York, on April 10.  Misha Friedman/Getty Images

After loosening restrictions on antibody tests, the US Food and Drug Administration has decided the government will review data on lab tests that claim they can detect if someone has antibodies to Covid-19, according to the CEO of a lab association who was on a call with FDA officials this morning. 

On March 16, the FDA loosened its standards and allowed companies to sell antibody tests without submitting any evidence that they worked. 

That led to “crappy” tests flooding the market, according to Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

Becker said he hopes the scientific review of the tests, which will be performed by the National Cancer Institute, will lead to the distribution of tests that actually work properly.

Why this matters: A false positive — telling someone they have antibodies when they don’t — could have grave consequences, since that person would then think they’re immune to Covid-19 when they’re not.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has talked about the need to review the tests.

“I am concerned that some of the antibody tests that are on the market that haven’t gone through the FDA scientific review may not be as accurate as we’d like them to be,” Hahn said on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I can assure the American people that what we’re doing is using data and science to look at those tests to make sure they’re valid, they’re accurate, and they’re reproducible.”

The FDA did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

4:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Rio de Janeiro's governor tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Flora Charner in Atlanta and journalist Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota

Wilson Witzel speaks during a press conference on March 30.
Wilson Witzel speaks during a press conference on March 30. Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro state governor Wilson Witzel confirmed Tuesday that he tested positive for coronavirus.

In a video on his official Twitter account, Witzel said he hadn’t been feeling well since last Friday and decided to get tested.

“I had a fever, my throat was hurting, weakened sense of smell and, thank God, I am feeling okay,” he said in the video message.

Witzel reiterated his call for people to stay at home, emphasizing anyone can fall ill to the virus. 

More than 25,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Brazil and at least 1,532 people have died, according to the latest statistics released by the Brazilian Health Ministry Tuesday.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has the second highest number of cases, with at least 3,410 cases and at least 224 deaths.

4:30 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

New Hampshire will give workers at long-term care facilities a weekly stipend

From CNN's Taylor Romine

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed an executive order that will provide a $300 a week stipend to frontline health care workers, specifically at long-term care facilities.

The money for the program will come out of the state fund originally but will be backfilled by federal dollars, according to Sununu.

The money will go to health care providers, but 100% of the money has to be given to frontline workers. The program is designed to try to retain workers in this area and so these older populations have continuity of care.

The program, which will go through June, will hopefully be taken over by the federal government, Sununu added. 

4:33 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Trump meets with hospital executives at White House

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images
Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

Just a few hours after meeting in person with recovered COVID-19 patients, President Trump on Tuesday hosted a small group of hospital executives in the Cabinet Room. 

Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, Jared Kushner and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, were also present, among others, for what Trump described as a “big discussion today having to do with costs and hospitals” and a partnership to establish the “dynamic ventilator reserve.”

“Hospitals throughout the country currently have more than 60,000 unused ventilators,” Trump said, adding that while “we’re building thousands of them right now,” many hospitals have made commitments to lend unused, surplus ventilators to hospitals with immediate needs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services are supporting the initiative, he said. 

“Other countries,” Trump said, have also been asking the US for ventilators, noting that he just got off the phone with French President Emanuel Macron and the US has been asked by “everybody” for ventilators. He said the US has an “obligation” to help other countries, including, Italy, France, Spain, “and a lot of other countries” acquire ventilators. 

He acknowledged that there is a “need” for ventilators and he had heard “fears” from the nation’s governors about shortages.

"When the virus struck our nation, governors raised fears that people who needed ventilators would not get the ventilators. My administration has used the Defense Production Act and that’s really had a big impact on companies and companies wanting to get them done and get them done quickly. We're preparing ventilator capacity for any and all scenarios. Initiatives like the dynamic ventilator reserve will help us to achieve that goal. We need ventilators, but now we're pretty well stocked,” Trump said.

All of the executives went around the table. Trump asked one of the attendees, Rick Pollack of the American Hospital Association, about the differing qualities of ventilators.

4:25 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Louisiana will move its elections to July and August, governor says

From CNN's Jennifer Henderson 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to the media on April 10.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to the media on April 10. Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today that he has signed a proclamation moving the state's elections due to coronavirus concerns.

The June 20 presidential primary election will be moved to July 1 and the July 25 election is being moved to Aug. 15.

Edwards said the secretary of state will present a plan on how to move forward with the elections to both the House and Senate government affairs committee tomorrow.

4:17 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Maine extends state of emergency until at least May 15

From CNN's Janine Mack.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has extended the state's "State of Civil Emergency" until May 15.

"I sure wish that this proclamation were not necessary, but the continued spread of this, demands our sustained response," the governor said.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is currently reporting at least 734 cases of Covid-19 in the state, which is an increase of 36, of which the bulk remains in Cumberland County.

Maine's CDC said at least 20 people have died statewide because of the virus. 

4:12 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

The coronavirus curve has started to flatten in Idaho, health official says

From CNN’s Renee Baharaeen

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said he will make an announcement on the status of state's stay-at-home order tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. 

The current order is set to expire tomorrow. 

Idaho has seen the curve begin to flatten, according to Dave Jeppesen, director of the Department of Health and Welfare. 

The state has at least 1,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 33 deaths. Of the confirmed cases, about 156 are health care workers. 

The state has tested 15,000 people, Jeppesen said.

4:19 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

US stocks finish higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Kena Betancur/Getty Images
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday after better-than-expected trade data from China. 

Here's where things ended:

  • The Dow finished 2.4%, or 559 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 closed up 3.1%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite staged its longest winning streak – four days – since early February. The index closed up nearly 4%. It has now bounced back more than 20% from its low-point on March 23. But whether the Nasdaq has fully emerged from a bear market won’t be clear for another few months.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.