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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1:07 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump says he will "check" on whether he received coronavirus warnings earlier this year

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 28. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said Tuesday he would "check" on whether he received warnings about the coronavirus outbreak during briefings in January and February.

“I’d have to check. I would have to check. I want to look to the exact dates of warnings,” Trump said during a meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Oval Office. 

He cited the China travel ban as a sign he took the threat of the virus seriously.

“But I can tell you this, when I did the ban on China, almost everybody was against me, including Republicans. They thought it was far too harsh, that it wasn’t necessary. Professionals, Republicans and Democrats: almost everybody disagreed, and that was done really early,” he said.

Some background: The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump received more than a dozen warnings about the coronavirus outbreak in daily briefings in January and February, but continued to downplay the virus' threat and severity. 

Citing current and former US officials, the paper reported that the warnings came in the President's Daily Brief, a summary of intelligence reports from the various agencies, which tracked the virus' proliferation, highlighted China's inaccurate characterization of the disease and its death toll and warned of potential widespread ramifications related to the pandemic.

Officials told the Post that the President, who frequently forgoes the briefings and has become impatient with the summaries of the brief he now receives a couple of times per week, did not seem to absorb the warnings. They added that focused efforts tracking the virus were on par with prior instances of monitoring security threats, including active terrorism and international clashes.

An official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which manages the briefing, told the Post that "the detail of this is not true" and declined to explain or elaborate. CNN has reached out to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for comment. 

12:54 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

New York will monitor two "danger signs" during reopening, governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

People ride the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between Staten Island and Manhattan on April 27, in New York City.
People ride the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between Staten Island and Manhattan on April 27, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will be measuring two key data points while reopening businesses in the coming weeks.

One of the "danger signs" is if hospitals exceed 70% capacity.

"Don't overwhelm the hospital system," Cuomo said at a news conference today. "If you ever hit 70%, you can expect the number to go up for the next two weeks as people who just got infected actually get ill and some of them come into the hospital."

The other sign the state will monitor during reopening is the rate of transmission of the virus.

"If the transmission rate hits 1.1d that's what they call outbreak. That means it is going to spread much, much faster," he said.

Cuomo said if the transmission rate "hits 1.1, that means you are in trouble."

See more:

12:38 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Cuomo on death toll: "Every day, I think maybe today's the day the nightmare will be over"

A white hearse stands outside the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center on April 27, in the Brooklyn borough in New York City.
A white hearse stands outside the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center on April 27, in the Brooklyn borough in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 335 people across the state died of coronavirus yesterday.

"This is the worst news," Cuomo said of reporting the daily death count. "Every day, I think maybe today's the day the nightmare will be over, but it's not."

Monday's death total is down slightly from the 337 people who died on Sunday.

Watch more:

12:13 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Military jets flyover New York City to honor frontline workers

US Navy and Air Force jets flew over New York City at noon today to pay tribute to health care workers, first responders and essential workers on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus.

US Air Force Thunderbird F-16 jets and US Navy Blue Angel jets participated in the flyover near Manhattan.

Watch the moment:

12:12 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 1,200 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says there are 1,214 additional positive cases of Covid-19, bringing the statewide total to 43,264. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases. The state is now reporting 1,716 deaths. 

“As we see the number of new Covid-19 cases continuously change across the state that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release.

“We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but others. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”
12:02 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Waffle House CEO outlines how the chain is implementing social distancing 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Ron Flexon sits at the counter for dine-in service while other seats are marked off for social distancing protocol at Waffle House on April 27, in Brookhaven, Georgia.
Ron Flexon sits at the counter for dine-in service while other seats are marked off for social distancing protocol at Waffle House on April 27, in Brookhaven, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Waffle House’s CEO Walt Ehmer said that he has seen “a little bit more traffic” in restaurants that have opened limited in-dining operations, but people are still largely practicing social distancing guidelines. 

“Even though we didn't really reopen, we just added some limited in-house dining to what we were already doing, I'm seeing so far that our customers…are still behaving according to what they've been instructed to do in terms of social distancing,” Ehmer told CNN’s John King. 

Ehmer said Waffle House, which is headquartered in Georgia, is following CDC and state guidelines on reopening. They’ve cut down capacity in restaurants so people can sit at least six feet apart, he said. 

Waffle House is famous for almost never shutting down its restaurants. It typically only closes during major disasters like hurricanes or storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency even coined the term "Waffle House Index" to measure the effect of a natural disaster on an area. 

Ehmer noted that customers have been placing to-go orders for the past six weeks.

“People do seem to value a little bit of a sense of normalcy and a hope that maybe better days are ahead, but it is definitely a gradual process that will take us to the next stage of this,” he said. 

But Ehmer said that while he is pleased with unemployment help given to Americans so far, he is uneasy about the long-term economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Long-term is what we're pretty concerned about at this time in terms of what will the ultimate impact to the economy be with so many people being out of work for so long,” he said. 

4:37 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Economist for National Pork Board estimates 1.5 million hogs will have to be killed in coming weeks 

From CNN's Gregory Lemos  

A Berkshire hog stands in a pen on a farm near Clear Lake, Iowa, on April 17.
A Berkshire hog stands in a pen on a farm near Clear Lake, Iowa, on April 17. Charlie Neibergall/AP

As the meat supply chain and hog farmers continue to suffer from Covid-19 outbreaks in processing plants, an economist at Kerns & Associates, the firm employed by the National Pork Board, estimates more than 1.5 million hogs will have to be destroyed in the coming weeks as farmers simply run out of space to maintain them.  

"We're going to have to destroy those pigs to get them out of the way," Dr. Steve Meyer told CNN Tuesday. "And next week we will have some more." 

Meyer said there were around 600,000 hogs last week that did not go to slaughter and around 900,000 this week. Meyer estimates the cost of raising each hog is around $140, a total loss if the animal doesn't go through processing.  

"The real issue is that nobody wants to be here and do this," Meyer said of the toll the pandemic is taking on hog farmers. "There's no way to plan for something like this. You can't plan for a once in a 100 year event." 

CLARIFICATION: The headline has been updated to clarify that an economist from the National Pork Board estimated 1.5 million hogs will have to be killed in coming weeks.

 

11:28 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

There have been at least 56,000 coronavirus deaths in the US

A person wearing a face shield and a mask walks in the streets in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens on April 28, in New York City.
A person wearing a face shield and a mask walks in the streets in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens on April 28, in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 989,357 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 56,386 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States,

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

 

11:17 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

House reverses plan to come back to DC next week

From CNN's Haley Byrd

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speaks to members of the media on March 13, in Washington, DC.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speaks to members of the media on March 13, in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on a phone call with reporters today that Democratic leaders came to the judgment late Monday that the House will not come back next week, a reversal from the plan they advanced yesterday afternoon.

Hoyer said the attending physician's points that the numbers in D.C. are still going up and the surrounding area is a hotspot, as well as the fact that the next coronavirus relief package will “not be definitely ready to be considered next week” contributed to the decision.