March 13 coronavirus news

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11:53 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Brazil's president says he tested negative for coronavirus

From CNN’s Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo and Helena DeMoura in Atlanta

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for the novel coronavirus, according to a statement on his Facebook page.

The test comes after Bolsonaro’s press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

Bolsonaro and his team met with US President Trump at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. The group had dinner together with President Trump and his team.

The aide was seen in a photograph standing next to President Trump.

11:45 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

White House calculus on testing President Trump is changing, officials say

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a diner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, March 7.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a diner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, March 7. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

White House officials were urgently assessing as-yet-unconfirmed reports Friday that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had tested positive for coronavirus after meeting with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

The White House had said a day earlier that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence would be tested themselves, despite coming into contact with an aide to Bolsonaro who did test positive.

But the calculus in the White House is changing, one official said. Aides are currently weighing whether Trump should be tested, but it was still not clear whether he will.

Officials said the White House was constantly evaluating whether to test the President and take measures to prevent the virus’s spread further among Trump’s close confidantes, according to one senior official, who said aides are keenly aware of the optics of testing the President.

Others close to the President said they believed he would eventually be tested — if he hadn't already been so — despite denials from the White House. The decision would likely be closely held.

The White House did not respond on the record to a question about whether their Thursday statement that the President had not been tested still stood.

The White House said on Thursday that neither Trump nor Pence had displayed any symptoms, though asymptomatic people can still spread the virus and some studies have shown symptoms can begin displaying only after five days. Trump and Bolsonaro met last Saturday at Mar-a-Lago.

Some inside the White House have privately wondered why Trump isn't being tested, according to officials, who said those people believe it would be a prudent step as Trump continues to meet with people, including a meeting scheduled for later Friday with laboratory industry officials.

Some of Trump’s closest congressional allies — including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Doug Collins and Mark Meadows, his new chief of staff — have all taken precautionary self-quarantine measures after coming into contact with people who tested positive for the virus.

One White House official noted Trump is always technically "working from home" when he's at the White House and doesn't have any public plans to leave in the next few days.

Pence, meanwhile, is not going to be tested unless something changes in the coming days, according to a person familiar with the matter. He did not attend the dinner with Bolsonaro or interact closely with the press secretary, so they have been advised again by his doctor that he doesn’t need it.

11:20 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Americans flee Spain as country declares state of emergency

From CNN's Laura Perez Maestro in Madrid

The scene at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport on March 13.
The scene at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport on March 13. Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

US citizens are waving goodbye to Spain as the country declared a state of emergency and President Trump sharply restricted travel to the United States from more than two dozen European countries.

After three days of quarantine measures, Madrid's public transport was deserted, main roads were traffic-free and department stores in the city center were almost empty.

Schools, libraries and theaters were closed, with even outdoor playgrounds sealed off.

Sarah Nagy and Graham Owen, from Montana, told CNN they were "thinking of leaving while we still can."

“Our parents back home think it will be the same there soon, they would like us around,” they added.

Courtney Seeley, a 21-year-old student from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been doing an internship in Madrid, told CNN at the airport: “I was calm until the school told us we had to go home, they even bought the flights for us, they were very expensive.

"My parents are very worried, I hope to be able to come back soon and finish my internship."

Puerta del Sol in Central Madrid, normally extremely busy, was quiet on day three of quarantine measures.
Puerta del Sol in Central Madrid, normally extremely busy, was quiet on day three of quarantine measures. Laura Perez Maestro/CNN

James Donoghue, 21, was studying in London and in Madrid visiting Seeley. “My school wrote to me saying we had to go back home and leave Europe so here we are trying to leave Spain," he said.

David and Lucenda Presnall, both 71, told CNN their son had helped them change their tickets before the ban was announced, but they had heard others spending $1,400 to get out before Friday's deadline.

“We had a whole month planned in Spain, we had nine wonderful days," said Lucenda, from St. Louis, Missouri. "Then we saw what is happening to Italy and thought the same would happen here. My son really wanted us to come back.

“In Granada, where we were, people weren’t taking precautions, that worried us."

There have been more than 4,000 cases and 120 deaths in Spain. More than 62 countries have placed restrictions on flights from Spain, and Morocco suspended all air and sea travel to the country. 

El Corte Inglés in Madrid, a popular department store, was deserted.
El Corte Inglés in Madrid, a popular department store, was deserted. Laura Perez Maestro/CNN

11:13 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

There are now nearly 1,700 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

There are at least 1696 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, there are 70 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems, there are 1626 cases in 48 states and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 1696. In total, 41 people have died. 

Currently, Idaho and West Virginia are the only two states with no cases.

This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and confirmed cases that have received positive results from the CDC.

11:01 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

President Trump will have a coronavirus news conference at 3 p.m. ET

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Trump just announced he'll hold a news conference about coronavirus at 3 p.m. ET today.

11:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

New York governor says he's pushing Trump administration to let states handle testing

CNN
CNN

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he spoke to Vice President Mike Pence yesterday and told him, “I think the federal government should decentralize testing,” rather than trying to control it all through Washington, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration.

The “volume is just too high,” Cuomo said.

“We do have a crisis in testing, we’re not up to scale,” Cuomo said speaking at the drive through testing site in New Rochelle, New York.

He suggested 500 to 1,000 labs could open overnight if the responsibility is returned back to state. There are dozens of labs in NY that could start testing tomorrow, Cuomo said

He hopes the federal government takes the recommendation seriously.

Cuomo has been pushing in recent days that automated tests be approved by the FDA which would significantly increase testing capacity.

10:50 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

White House is planning to have a coronavirus briefing today

From CNN's Jim Acosta

A White House official tells CNN they are planning for a coronavirus briefing today. 

Vice President Mike Pence's current public schedule says he will attend a meeting with industry executives at 1:30 p.m. ET and will then lead a coronavirus task force meeting in the situation room at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Pence has been leading the coronavirus response efforts.

There is not a briefing yet on the public schedule. 

10:47 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

New York City suburb will test for coronavirus at drive-through facility, governor says

Employees of Metro-North Railroad disinfect parts of the New Rochelle Metro-North station in New Rochelle, New York, on Thursday, March 12.
Employees of Metro-North Railroad disinfect parts of the New Rochelle Metro-North station in New Rochelle, New York, on Thursday, March 12. Seth Wenig/AP

The drive-through testing facility for coronavirus in New Rochelle, New York, can handle 6 lanes and up to 200 cars a day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.

He said its “faster, easier” as well as “smarter and safer” especially since this doesn’t expose people who would otherwise go into an office.

He said officials are prioritizing people in New Rochelle — the New York City suburb which is the site of a containment zone — first as well as vulnerable populations. But people all throughout Westchester County can be served.

The medical staff will take the swabs and send it to Bioreference lab, which will do the testing.

10:49 a.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Spain declares state of emergency over coronavirus

From CNN’s Mia Alberti

 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gives a press conference on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Madrid, Spain, on March 10.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gives a press conference on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Madrid, Spain, on March 10. Credit: Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press/Getty Images

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has declared a 15-day state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.