Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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10:38 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Dr. Fauci on a second wave of coronavirus: "I'm almost certain it will come back"

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House on April 22.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House on April 22. Alex Brandon/AP

Top US infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said today "I'm almost certain it will come back" when he was asked about the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 hitting later this year.

"In my mind, it's inevitable that we will have a return of the virus," Fauci said while speaking to the Economic Club of Washington on a Zoom call.

He said that the virus has "globally spread" — noting that we are starting to see cases in parts of Southern Africa. "It's not going to disappear from the planet," he said.

Fauci said that if the virus returns later this year, "how we handle it...will determine our fate."

He said that if "countermeasures" that are being discussed are executed, "we should do reasonably well," otherwise the country could see a "bad fall" and "bad winter."

10:22 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Farmers are "in peril" as plants close due to coronavirus concerns, pork producer says 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

The Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is seen on April 20.
The Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is seen on April 20. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

Farmers are facing a crisis as meat plants close during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Iowa pork producer and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council Jen Sorenson. 

“We're in complete peril. … We need help, we need direct payments, we need support, and we need indemnification and support as we look to euthanizing a large number of hogs, which is inevitably what we have to do if we can't keep our plants open,” Sorenson said. 

As plants producing 33% of the nation’s pork supplies have closed, Sorenson said farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy.  

“We’re in a downward spiral. If we don't do something quickly, we'll see further consolidation and loss of thousands of family farms,” she told CNN’s Jim Sciutto. 

Three of the nation's largest pork processing plants have been temporarily shut down because of coronavirus concerns among workers. House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson said yesterday that farmers now have a huge overstock of pigs that must be euthanized — estimating that there are roughly 60,000 to 70,000 pigs a day that could be killed in order to make space at farms. Peterson said the country could see pork shortages in grocery stores by next week, but Sorenson says the biggest crisis is on farms right now.  

 “The crisis is our hogs that are backing up, they have no place to go, we have new hogs coming into our barns. And we need a solution, we need our county, state and federal, local officials to work together and wrap our arms around the food chain and try and keep these plants open,” she said. 

9:59 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Farmers are concerned about the US meat supply. Here's what it means for consumers.

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher, Pamela Kirkland and Dan Shepherd

Shelves normally stocked with meat sit empty at a Giant grocery store in Dunkirk, Maryland, on March 13.
Shelves normally stocked with meat sit empty at a Giant grocery store in Dunkirk, Maryland, on March 13. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Concerns about the health of the US meat supply continue to grow, as more meat processing plants shut down due to coronavirus outbreaks. 

Hog farmers are sounding the alarm: They have too many hogs and nowhere to send to them due to the plants closing down. House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson said Monday that farmers will have to kill roughly 60,000 to 70,000 pigs a day in order to make space at farms.

What this means for shoppers: Experts still tell CNN that, while the food supply chain is vulnerable, consumers will be the least impacted — a lack of variety and some temporary scarcity in certain types of meat, but do not predict not an overall "meat shortage"

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Occupational Safety and Health Administration, published new, interim guidelines on Sunday advising meat and poultry processing facilities to create a Covid-19 assessment and control plan, along with suggestions for what that plan should include. 

The CDC said that these workplaces should identify an on-site coordinator who is responsible for Covid-19 assessments and control planning, be knowledgeable in virus prevention, while also making sure all employees know how to contact them with any concerns.

9:48 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Military hospital at NYC's Javits Center will end its mission around May 1

From CNN's Ryan Browne

A temporary hospital is set up at the Javits Convention Center in New York on March 27.
A temporary hospital is set up at the Javits Convention Center in New York on March 27. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

The US military field hospital at the Javits Convention Center in New York City will end its mission "on or about May 1," according to the Defense Department.

"The Javits Center is in the process of transferring patients to local hospitals with an expected completion of mission on or about May 1," the Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday.

About the hospital: The field hospital at the Javits Center has treated 1,093 patients and is still treating 74 of last night, according to Northwell Health spokesperson Terry Lynam.

The Army Corps of Engineers converted the Javits Center to treat coronavirus patients but the field hospital along with the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort have been operating significantly below capacity as the absence of hospital bed space has not been as much of a challenge as was originally anticipated. 

Hundreds of military medical personnel have been assigned to the Javits field hospital. 

The USNS Comfort has already discharged its last patient and is expected to depart New York in the coming days.

9:42 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

US stocks open higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks opened higher for a second day in a row as investor confidence remains high in this earnings-heavy week.

Here's how the markets opened on Tuesday:

  • The Dow opened up 1.5%, or 365 points. The index could tack on a fifth-straight day of gains today, which would be its longest winning streak since January. 
  • The S&P 500 opened 1.5% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.1%.

You can follow live updates on the markets here.

10:09 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Treasury Secretary says any companies taking loans over $2 million will face audits

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looks on as President Donald Trump signs the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looks on as President Donald Trump signs the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin criticized big companies – including the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team — taking loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, and warned that others following suit will undergo a full audit. 

“I never expected in a million years that the Los Angeles Lakers, which, I’m a big fan of the team, but I’m not a big fan of the fact that they took a $4.6 million loan. I think that’s outrageous and I’m glad they returned it or they would have had liability,” Mnuchin said during an appearance on CNBC.

He continued, “And let me just say I’m going to be putting out an announcement this morning that for any loan over $2 million, the SBA will be doing a full review of that loan before there is loan forgiveness, so we will make sure that what was the intent for taxpayers is fulfilled here.”

He later described that review as a “full audit of every loan over $2 million,” noting that the “certification was very clear in saying that if people had other sources of liquidity they could not take this loan.”

Mnuchin said it was “unfortunate” that a “small number of companies,” including Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, have “created a lot of publicity.”

“I think it was inappropriate for most of these companies to take the loans. It was clear that there was a certification,” he said, noting that Treasury is “encouraged” by the businesses that have paid those loans back.
9:11 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

It's Tuesday morning in the US. Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

As of this morning, more than 988,469 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Here's the latest news on the pandemic:

  • Texas reopening this week: Gov. Greg Abbott said yesterday he will allow his stay-at-home order to expire on Thursday. The move comes after other states across the country have already started reopening, including Georgia, Michigan and Alaska.
  • Other states are waiting: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he won't lift his state's stay-at-home order until after May 15. New York state also won't lift restrictions this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said — the earliest the state will begin its first phase of reopening is May 15, but only in places that have seen a 14-day decline in hospitalizations.
  • New York cancels election: New York has become the first state to outright cancel its presidential primary due to the pandemic. The state's board of elections says, with the candidates basically already set, it would be nothing more than a risky "beauty contest."
  • Where the US stands on testing: The White House has released new guidelines on coronavirus testing, but they appear to fall short of the level recommended by the nation's top disease experts. The goal of the initiative is to help each state reach the ability to test at least 2% of its residents, with a focus on vulnerable populations and emergency workers. However, experts have said the US should be testing millions of people a day in order for the country to start getting back on its feet.
8:54 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Expert answers your financial questions during coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Personal finance journalist Jean Chatsky on CNN's "New Day" on April 28.
Personal finance journalist Jean Chatsky on CNN's "New Day" on April 28. CNN

Personal finance journalist Jean Chatsky appeared on CNN’s “New Day” to discuss some of viewers’ most pressing financial concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of her answers:

Q: Do you have a choice between PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] and unemployment wages? Are you allowed to receive both? 

A: You can't double dip. You can't take both, so it’s up to you whether you want to go back to work if your employer receives PPP and offers you your job back. But from the employer's perspective, they need to use this money for payroll. And so if you're not going to come back to work, they can use that money to hire somebody else. 

Q: I have a retirement pension from the state that I applied for due to start next month. Since my retirement is tied to the market, am I in danger of losing it? 

A: It is definitely a concern, however, these pension plans have other ways of meeting their obligations. They will either increase contributions or they'll reduce spending in other ways.

Q: Are businesses that reopen in Georgia and other states still entitled to those PPP funds? Are they going to generate enough business considering the new spacing rules and the fact that the majority of us won't venture into their businesses until science says it is safe?

A: The purpose of this PPP money is to sort of bridge the employers through this time period. … So they are still eligible. … If you're a business that has not been able to put your application through, don't wait. We do expect that this money will go quickly. 

Q: What rights do landlords have during this pandemic?

A: If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you are eligible for several months of forbearance, several months of pushed- off payments during this period of time. If you're not backed by Fannie or Freddie, talk to your lender. … Your tenants still owe you this money. They may need some sort of payment plan, they may need some sort of leniency, but they do owe you the money and you should try to work out the terms under which they're able to pay it.

Watch more:

8:40 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

What coronavirus does in the summer will "define how we do in the fall," Dr. Birx says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks at the White House about the coronavirus pandemic on April 27.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks at the White House about the coronavirus pandemic on April 27. Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, said how the coronavirus acts in the summertime will "define how we do in the fall."

"Normally, Northern Hemisphere respiratory diseases move into the Southern Hemisphere during the summer because it's their fall," Birx said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

"It will be very interesting to watch Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa, and Chile and Argentina to see what happens to the virus in the summertime and what's happening with the virus here," she added.

Birx said the White House is working "to ensure that we are ready for anything that happens in the fall. Whether it's testing, whether it's PPE, whether it's ventilators, whether it's a complete surveillance system that understands that we have to track for asymptomatics as well as symptomatic individuals. All of those pieces need to accelerate -- expand to be ready for the fall."