Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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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."

8:27 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Things did not go well for the small business loan program yesterday

From CNN's Lauren Fox

 Let’s just say it: The second launch of the Paycheck Protection Program didn’t go smoothly yesterday.

In fact, lenders and small business owners who had hoped the kinks had finally been worked out in the intervening weeks since PPP ran out of money, ended the day exasperated.

System-wide slowdowns left lenders taking to Twitter to vent frustrations. Small business owners who have been waiting weeks to get their applications approved, may still be in the queue after some small lenders failed to get even a few dozen applications uploaded. 

The Scene: Within minutes of the program launching, sources were sending screenshots of errors received by lenders trying to upload applications to the E-TRAN system. The system kept freezing. 

“It seems like the pace of this is slower than the last time around,” one industry source said. 

The numbers: The Small Business administration touted yesterday afternoon that it “processed more than 100,000 PPP loans” and those loans came from “more than 4,000 lenders.”

So what happened? By the end of the day, SBA argued “unprecedented demand” was responsible for glitches to the system lenders use to upload applications. The agency also noted that unlike the last time they launched PPP, this time they set a pacing mechanism in the system to ensure that no one lender – especially larger institutions– could enter thousands of applications within an hour and outpace smaller banks. What that meant was if a bank was trying to enter more than 350 applications within an hour, the system would time out. 

But even smaller banks said they were struggling to get in many applications at all. 

One source who represents community banks said they heard from bankers around the country who’d spent weeks getting their files ready for the relaunch only to be stalled at the start. 

Several industry sources pushed back that the pacing mechanism was the sole reason the system was unreliable. Instead, arguing the issue was that SBA’s system was simply not equipped to handle the volume despite multiple promises to congressional aides and industry that the system would be ready to go this time.

A reminder about SBA: It is worth repeating, SBA has never in the history of the agency lent the kind of money they are responsible for getting out the door right now.

It would normally take SBA years to lend the more than $660 billion they are kicking out right now. Aides on the hill hearing about frustrations from constituents and bankers are keenly aware of the fact that the system has not worked smoothly, but at the end of the day, the entire U.S. Senate present to vote for the program, did.

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

DC mayor says members of Congress are essential workers and should return to city

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, DC, speaks at the Kennedy Center in Washington on September 7, 2019.
Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, DC, speaks at the Kennedy Center in Washington on September 7, 2019. Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said that while the nation's capital is not ready to open businesses yet, she supports members of Congress returning to DC because they are essential workers.

“We know essential workers and hospitals and grocery stores, our sanitation workers are all reporting to work because they have essential jobs to do. And the work of the Congress is essential, especially now,” Bowser told CNN’s John Berman. “When workers need relief, when small business need relief, and when state and local governments need relief. So the Congress has to get to work.” 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would reconvene on May 4. Nearly a third of senators are age 70 or older.

In March, when House members were required to return to Washington in person for the historic stimulus bill vote, many expressed concerns over traveling.

Bowser said she assumes some congressional employees will be able to telework from home.

8:27 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Just testing at hospitals and clinics "was not going to be enough," White House coronavirus coordinator says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A man walks by a CVS in Los Angeles on March 31.
A man walks by a CVS in Los Angeles on March 31. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Having private retailers such as CVS and Walgreens offer Covid-19 testing will help bring more tests to communities across the United States, White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said during an appearance on Fox & Friends this morning.

"We've really understood that you've got to bring the tests to the community — whether it's drive-thru, whether it's walk-thru — the community has to feel like tests are available to them," Birx said. "Just having it at hospitals or clinics was not going to be enough and so that part of this is critically important to expand community testing."

Some background: On Monday, CVS Health announced plans to offer drive-thru testing at up to 1,000 locations across the country by the end of May, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month. 

Walgreens on Monday announced plans to expand its drive-thru testing locations to 49 states and Puerto Rico. Walgreens has already opened 18 drive-thru testing locations across 11 states.