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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1:19 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

US is "not there yet" in regard to reopening the country, Fauci says

From CNN’s Michael Nedelman

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing at the White House on Monday, April 13.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing at the White House on Monday, April 13. Alex Brandon/AP

The United States doesn’t have the capacity to test and trace Covid-19 cases — a key measure the country will need to start the process of reopening, according to the nation’s top infectious disease doctor.

“We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Fauci’s comments come the day after President Trump promised guidelines “soon” aimed at governors to reopen the economy. 

He added that opening the country on May 1, after federal social distancing guidelines are set to expire, is “a bit overly optimistic” for many places in the US. This process, he said, would likely have to occur on a “rolling” basis and not simultaneously across the country. A key worry, he said, was that the US would see new outbreaks in places where officials may not be able to swiftly test and trace contacts of those who are infected. 

“I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back, there will be infections. It’s how you deal with the infections that’s going to count,” Fauci told The Associated Press, adding that we need ways to get people "out of circulation if they get infected, because once you start getting clusters, then you’re really in trouble." 

These concerns reflect those New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Monday – that states lack sufficient capacity to test on their own.

"It's not as simple as saying states should test,” Cuomo said. They can't do it without the federal government. There are not enough tests now, and there's not enough reagents, and there's not enough medical equipment.”

Referring to other governors joining over the phone from states including Connecticut and New Jersey, he added, “Any one of these governors would tell you ... they don't have the testing capacity, and they can't gather it themselves.”

Fauci stopped short of telling The Associated Press that a second wave of infection isn’t inevitable but said, “If you mean it goes way down and then come September, October, November, we have another peak – I have to say I would not be surprised. I would hope that if and when that occurs, that we jump all over it in a much, much more effective way than we have in these past few months.”

 

1:04 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Covid-19 measures will significantly impact UK economy — but only temporarily, official says

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac and Nada Bashir

Pool
Pool

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak played down a report from the country's independent public finances watchdog that indicated the economy could shrink by 35% in the second quarter in the scenario there is a three-month lockdown.

Sunak, speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus press briefing, said the report is not a “forecast or a prediction.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility also forecasts that the economy will bounce back quickly, leading to an annual drop in GDP of 13%. 

“It is important to be clear that the OBR’s number are– they simply set out what one possible scenario might look like, and it is not even the most likely scenario. The OBR’s figures suggest that the scale of what we are facing will have serious implications for our economy here at home," he said.

But Sunak conceded “these are tough times and there will be more to come.” 

The British government, he said, is “not just going to stand by and let this happen.” Measures put in place to help unemployed people and businesses impacted by coronavirus “can significantly mitigate that impact.”

Sunak said the British economy will bounce back from stay-at-home measures.

1:01 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

New line of ventilators for coronavirus patients to be made in the US

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

Hamilton Medical, a manufacturer of critical care ventilators, is launching a brand new product and production line of ventilators for coronavirus patients with the help of General Motors. 

The critical care ventilators will be made in Reno, Nevada, through a contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

“The best approach is to create a new production line with a new supply chain — so that we could avoid diverting from existing production needed around the world or worsening the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks,” said Bob Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Medical.

The company says it has already been making critical medical supplies at their production facility in Switzerland. This new line is the first in the United States.

Since late March, GM and Hamilton Medical have working to establish a new supply chain for hundreds of parts and the design of a new manufacturing operation. Hamilton Medical says it has hired several hundred workers in Reno and production on the first ventilators is scheduled for the end of April. 

“GM has donated their expertise, and their people work side-by-side with Hamilton Medical teams from Switzerland and Nevada,” Hamilton said. 

12:59 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

US may have to keep social distancing until 2022, scientists predict

From CNN's Maggie Fox

 

The US may have to keep social distancing measures — such as stay-at-home orders and school closures — in effect until 2022, unless a vaccine becomes available quickly, researchers projected today.

Their findings, published in the journal Science, directly contradict research being touted by the White House that suggests the pandemic may stop this summer.

Instead, the team at the Harvard School of Public Health, used what’s known about Covid-19 and other coronaviruses to create possible scenarios of the current pandemic.

“Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available,” they wrote in their report.

One important factor: Whether people become immune to the new coronavirus after they have been infected. That’s not yet known. 

12:49 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

New Zealand reports 4 coronavirus deaths, the worst day on record

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey in Atlanta and Julia Hollingsworth in Hong Kong

New Zealand reported four deaths from Covid-19 today, bringing the death toll to nine and making it the country's largest number of novel coronavirus deaths reported in a single day.

According to the health ministry, three of the newly reported fatalities are linked to a cluster of cases in Rosewood Resthome and Hospitals, an assisted living facility in Christchurch.

The other death is a Wellington man in his 70s associated with overseas travel.

“I want to acknowledge all these families and offer New Zealand’s sympathy and support,” New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said. “Whether husbands, partners, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, cousins or friends — wherever they fit in their wider whanau, we are thinking of them and of you.”

The New Zealand government reported 17 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country's total to at least 1,366. Government officials also extended the national state of emergency by seven days.

The country's low death toll has led some to regard it as a potential model country for how to combat coronavirus. 

Public health experts have credited widespread testing and tight border restrictions for New Zealand's ability to contain the outbreak. 

12:55 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

There are more than 584,000 coronavirus cases in the US

Workers wearing personal protective equipment gather the tests administered from people's cars as Mend Urgent Care hosts a drive-thru testin at the Westfield Fashion Square on Monday,April 13, in Los Angeles
Workers wearing personal protective equipment gather the tests administered from people's cars as Mend Urgent Care hosts a drive-thru testin at the Westfield Fashion Square on Monday,April 13, in Los Angeles Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There are at least 584,073 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 23,709 people have died in the from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

12:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Two of the world's biggest drug companies team up to develop Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Nada Bashir in London

Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi have announced they will collaborate to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, with clinical trials expected to begin in the second half of 2020, according to a statement released on Tuesday. 

“Sanofi and GSK today announce that they have signed a letter of intent to enter into a collaboration to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic,” the two companies said in the joint statement. 

“The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful and subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021,” the statement added. 

The unprecedented pairing between two of the world’s largest vaccines companies will see the establishment of a “Joint Collaboration Task Force,” which will seek to mobilize resources from both companies to accelerate the development of a vaccine. 

“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone. That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus,” Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said Tuesday. 

“By combining our science and our technologies, we believe we can help accelerate the global effort to develop a vaccine to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley added. 

In their joint statement, GSK and Sanofi both affirmed that they are committed to ensuring that any vaccine that is developed through their collaboration would be made “affordable to the public and through mechanisms that offer fair access” in all countries.

12:32 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Trump offers to send medical aid to Russia, country's foreign minister says

From CNN’s Nathan Hodge

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a meeting in Moscow on August 28, 2019.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a meeting in Moscow on August 28, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said President Trump has offered medical supplies to Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a mutual cooperation between Washington and Moscow to fight Covid-19.

Earlier this month, Russia sent a plane load of medical supplies to New York to aid hospitals and communities battling the pandemic. In a video conference with reporters, Lavrov said Russia was open to additional requests for aid.

“If there are further requests from the American side about the supply of one type of protective equipment or another, then of course, we will consider them,” Lavrov said.

“President Trump also stressed that if Russia has additional requirements, then the United States, when they have production of the relevant equipment in sufficient volumes up and running, will be prepared to send such supplies to our country. I think that it's a typical, cooperative approach and one that deserves support."

12:30 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Denmark will speed up lifting coronavirus measures

From Susanne Gargiulo in Denmark

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen addresses a press conference about the novel coronavirus in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 6.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen addresses a press conference about the novel coronavirus in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 6. Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

Denmark will speed up lifting Covid-19 restrictions after the latest numbers of new cases proved lower than expected, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said today.

Speaking at a press conference, Frederiksen said because the numbers of admissions is “better than expected,” they will expand the so-called phase 1 of re-opening, that starts tomorrow, with the partial reopening of schools for younger students.

Denmark has said before it plans to send children back to school and kindergarten from April 15 if coronaviruses cases remain stable.

It is not yet clear what other restrictions will be eased. Prime Minister said she will discuss this with other government leaders this evening. 

Denmark is one of the few western countries that is gradually easing the restrictions. Read more on how they are doing it here.