Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:37 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020
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5:04 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Pence says he didn't wear a mask at Mayo Clinic because he wanted to look personnel "in the eye"

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

 

Pool
Pool

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Tuesday that he didn’t wear a face mask while touring the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota because he’s tested for coronavirus regularly.

“As Vice President of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus. And when the CDC issued guidelines about wearing a mask, it was their recognition that people that may have the coronavirus could prevent the possibility of conveying the virus to someone else by wearing a mask,” Pence said.

“Since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it’d be a good opportunity for me to be here … and look (personnel) in the eye and say thank you,” he continued.

CNN previously reported that while Pence didn’t wear a mask, everyone around him did. Pence was told of the new rules before he visited, the clinic said on Twitter, a post that was subsequently deleted.

5:03 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Fauci: Federal government and states need to have "productive partnership"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury 

Oliver Contreras/SIPA/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Oliver Contreras/SIPA/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper today that there needs to be a “productive partnership” between the federal government and states on testing.

“The federal government has to provide strategic guidance as well as technical assistance,” Fauci said.

He added that one of the problems has been getting the test to people who need them, “we’re not connecting the dots.”

He said states can’t be left on their own on the one hand and on the other hand “the federal government can’t do it by its self.”

Watch:

4:48 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Connecticut reports its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in weeks

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Connecticut reported an increase of 315 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the lowest number of new infections reported “in weeks,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a news conference.

There are at least 26,312 cases of Covid-19 in the state.

Hospitalizations were slightly down on Tuesday. There were 1,732 hospitalizations in the state, a decrease of 26 since Monday.

The big curves in the state — which occurred mostly in the southern portion — are continuing to “bend down,” the governor said, though he, and the state's Public Health Department’s top epidemiologist, Dr. Matthew Carter, stressed that the numbers are still high. 

Lamont also noted that the unemployment rate in Connecticut is currently north of 20% — the likes of which the state hasn’t seen “since the Great Depression.”

4:51 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump says he thinks coronavirus is "going to go away"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, on April 28, in Washington DC.
President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, on April 28, in Washington DC. Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump said the worst of the coronavirus is over in the United States during an event at the White House Tuesday, and when pressed by reporters, once again said he thinks the virus is going to “go away.”

In remarks at an event celebrating the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, the President said, “our experts believe the worst days of our pandemic are behind us.”

He was asked later how he could be so sure when the country is only beginning to reopen. 

“I think what happens is it’s going to go away. This is going to go away,” the President responded, “and whether it comes back in a modified form in the fall we’ll be able to handle it. We’ll be able to put out spurts. And we’re very prepared to handle it.”

Trump significantly walked back his certainty that a vaccine would be developed quickly.

“I think that like other things, we’re going to hopefully we’re going to come up with a vaccine. You never know about a vaccine,” he said. “Tremendous progress has been made we think on a vaccine. You always have to say think, and then you have to test it, and that takes a period of time.” 

Watch:

4:24 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Utah to provide free masks for residents

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears a mask as a plane filled with personal protective equipment arrives at the Delta Hanger on April 15, at the Salt Lake International Airport.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears a mask as a plane filled with personal protective equipment arrives at the Delta Hanger on April 15, at the Salt Lake International Airport. Rick Bowmer/AP

A new program would provide masks to as many Utah residents as possible, the state's Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said at a news conference today.

The “mask for every Utahan” program will allow residents to request a mask from the state free of charge.

The masks will be manufactured by Utah-based businesses, according to Cox. He said in addition to providing masks for residents, the program will save at least 200 jobs in the state.

Cox said that once the initial mask order is placed, it could take up to three weeks to have them delivered.

4:37 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump says he's lost three more friends to coronavirus

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

 

President Trump said Tuesday that in addition to his friend Stanley Chera, he’s lost three other friends to coronavirus.

The President also said he’s spoken to at least three families of other individuals who have died from coronavirus.

“I’ve spoken to three, maybe four families (of individuals who have died of coronavirus) unrelated to me. I lost a very good friend. I also lost three other friends,” Trump said during an event in the East Room of the White House.

He added: “Two of them I didn’t know as well, but they were friends, people I did business with.”

Watch:

4:28 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Illinois reports its most Covid-19 deaths in 24-hour period

From CNN's Chris Boyette

A runner, and two women wearing protective masks take advantage of a break in cold, damp weather and temperatures reaching the 60s on April 27, in Chicago.
A runner, and two women wearing protective masks take advantage of a break in cold, damp weather and temperatures reaching the 60s on April 27, in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

The past 24 hours have seen more people in Illinois die due to Covid-19 than any other day yet, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced at a news conference Tuesday.

Ezike announced 144 new Covid-19 related deaths, bringing the state death total to 2,125.

The state has seen 2,219 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. This brings the state total to 48,102 cases, Ezike said.

4:13 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

US stocks end day lower

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

The Fearless Girl statue stands alone in front of the New York Stock Exchange near Wall Street on April 25, in New York City.
The Fearless Girl statue stands alone in front of the New York Stock Exchange near Wall Street on April 25, in New York City. Justin Heiman/Getty Images

US stocks lost steam after a buoyant market open, finishing the day lower.

Here's what happened today:

  • The Dow snapped a four-day winning streak, its longest since February. The index finished down 0.1%, or 32 points.
  • The S&P 500 fell 0.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite was the worst performer of the three major benchmarks as tech stocks fell. It ended down 1.4%.

 

4:23 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

"Every situation is different" when reopening schools, Dallas superintendent says

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

T.W. Browne Middle School food service employee Keke LaFayette, prepares to distribute food to a Dallas Independent School District family in Dallas, on April 16.
T.W. Browne Middle School food service employee Keke LaFayette, prepares to distribute food to a Dallas Independent School District family in Dallas, on April 16. Tony Gutierrez/AP

Michael Hinojosa, the superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, said that despite the President Trump's comments suggesting schools should open for just a few weeks, “we really have to listen to our local businesses our local leaders and how we work together here in Dallas. Every situation is different.” 

He told CNN's Kate Bolduan he is grateful to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for closing schools.

Hinojosa said he is very concerned about a potential spike in the virus.

“Parents will forgive us for a few things, but they won’t forgive us if something happens to the health of their students under our care, custody and control," he said.

The district is considering a split schedule for students, staggering arrivals and classroom lunches among the changes.

Plan A is everyone shows up with no restrictions, but Hinojosa admitted, “it’s very unlikely that Plan A will ever happen.”

Requiring all students and teachers to wear masks is another option, he said.

Watch: