California has conducted more than 1 million coronavirus tests
From CNN's Elise Hammond
California has conducted more than 1 million coronavirus tests, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet on Tuesday.
"This is an important milestone but we will have work to do," the tweet said.
"We must continue to ensure everyone has access to COVID-19 testing -- regardless of their zip code," the tweet continued.
In an effort to continue to expand testing, the Office of the Governor of California account tweeted that the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Board of Pharmacy will issue waivers that allow pharmacists to order FDA-approved coronavirus tests.
Read Newsom's tweet:
5:04 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
Los Angeles County will keep stay-at-home orders through July, L.A. Times reports
From CNN's Jon Passantino
Los Angeles County’s stay-home orders will with all certainty be extended for the next three months to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer predicted Tuesday during a Board of Supervisors meeting, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Ferrer’s comments came as the county board debated whether to extend its temporary ban on evictions for one to three months and one day before the county reopens beaches to the public for physical activities.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom first issued a statewide stay-home order, including Los Angeles, effective on March 19, but on Friday allowed the loosening of some restrictions around businesses.
Local jurisdictions in the state, however, still retain the ability to enforce stricter health orders as needed to reduce coronavirus infections.
3:22 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
US posts record $738 billion budget deficit in April
From CNN’s Tami Luhby
The United States posted a record $738 billion budget deficit in April, according to a Treasury Department report released Tuesday, as federal spending soared to address the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the nation.
Federal spending climbed to nearly $980 billion last month as the federal government began doling out funds from the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed at the end of March. Lawmakers then added to it last month with roughly $480 billion in new funding for small businesses, hospitals and other priorities.
Meanwhile, the federal government only took in less than $242 billion in revenue, a 55% decline from last April, reflecting the fact that the Internal Revenue Services pushed back the tax filing and payment deadline to July 15 to provide some relief to consumers and businesses.
The nation has racked up a $1.5 trillion deficit from the start of the fiscal year in October, according to the Treasury Department report. The federal budget deficit could hit $3.7 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office said last month.
CNN’s Katie Lobosco contributed to this report
3:49 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
White House press secretary defends not wearing a mask at the podium during briefing
From CNN's Allie Malloy
Asked why she wasn’t wearing a mask at the briefing podium, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that she was an “appropriate distance away” from others in the room.
“It’s because I’m distanced from you. You’d probably have a hard time hearing from me right now should I have a mask on and be muffled. I’m delivering information to the American people. I’m an appropriate distance away,” McEnany told reporters.
“I had a negative test today. I had a negative test yesterday. And I’m in an ok place," McEnany added before moving on to the next question.
Pool reporters in the briefing room note that Principal Assistant Press Secretary Chad Gilmartin and White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah were seated in masks with one vacant seat between them.
Reporters in the briefing room seats were all wearing masks.
2:59 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
Pence decided to stay away from Trump, White House says
From CNN's Jason Hoffman
Vice President Mike Pence made the decision to stay away from President Trump, after Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, tested positive for the coronavirus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said today.
“The vice president has made the choice to keep his distance for a few days and I would just note that that’s his personal decision to make that, as to how many days he does it," she said.
CNN reported earlier on Tuesday that Pence is "maintaining distance [from Trump] for the immediate future" after consulting with the White House medical unit, a senior administration official said.
Trump said yesterday that he has not seen Pence since Miller tested positive on Friday, a fact that was underscored by the vice president's absence from Trump's news conference Monday.
Trump noted that he could speak with Pence by telephone. Pence was spotted arriving at the White House wearing a mask this morning.
6:20 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
Sen. Lindsey Graham: New coronavirus relief bill is "dead on arrival" in Senate
From Lauren Fox, Ali Zaslav and Ted Barett
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that House Democrats’ new coronavirus relief bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.
“It’s got so much unrelated to coronavirus, it’s dead on arrival here,” he said pointing to a tremendous price tag and too many unrelated provisions as the reason.
The 1,815 page bill announced today has a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion — an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history.
2:52 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
New York City reports more than 15,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths
The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death “COVID-19” or an equivalent.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is at least 20,237.
There have been 184,319 coronavirus cases in the city and approximately 48,939 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.
6:20 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
Pennsylvania governor "frustrated" with growing division over reopening
From CNN's Carma Hassan
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf denied claims that he is infringing on people’s rights by not reopening the state as fast as others want.
“I'm not infringing on liberty. What I was trying to do was make it clear as I possibly can, and I’ll continue to do this, that we're all fighting a common enemy. And the enemy is not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it's not me, it's not Donald Trump, it's not the General Assembly. It's this virus,” Wolf said.
“We're all trying to do the best we can and admittedly, with information that is limited by the lack of experience, this is the first time we've ever faced a pandemic like this," he added.
Wolf said the state had nearly 4,000 deaths in two months and tens of thousands of cases coronavirus.
“That's huge…We have got to fight this to the end and make sure that we're doing everything we can to keep people safe,” the governor said.
When questioned whether he was concerned about the growing division in the state, Wolf said, “I'm frustrated.”
“What I'm trying to do is keep people safe and I think that should be something that everybody in Pennsylvania should rally around, including politicians. And to the extent that they don't, I think they're doing a disservice to the people they serve,” the governor said.
2:29 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
Massachusetts governor authorizes $1 billion supplemental spending bill
From CNN's Alec Snyder
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker filed a supplemental budget bill Tuesday to authorize $1 billion in spending to cover the costs incurred by the state during the pandemic, he said.
The money will be used to fund purchases of personal protective equipment, rate adjustments for essential human service providers, temporary field hospitals and shelters and the state's contact tracing program.
Baker said he anticipates the majority of the funding will be reimbursed by the federal government through reimbursement and other federal funding sources including the CARES Act.