April 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:02 a.m. ET, April 4, 2020
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9:40 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Fauci: This will "get worse, much worse, before it gets better"

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the Covid-19 pandemic in the US is going to "get worse, much worse, before it gets better," but that social distancing is working to mitigate the spread of the virus.

"There's no doubt in my mind or anyone who knows anything about this, that the mitigation activities, the physical separation that we're doing clearly is having a positive impact," he said this morning on on "Fox & Friends."

"You don't see it dramatically yet, because there's the dynamic, with the virus doing what the virus wants to do, and we're trying to suppress it with mitigation," he added.

Fauci urged the country to continue to follow social distancing recommendations.

"That is the answer and quite frankly that is the only tool that we really have that we know is effective," Fauci explained. 

9:32 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

N95 manufacturer says they're making as many masks as possible for the US

3M N95 particulate filtering face masks are seen at a store in East Palo Alto, California,  on January 26.
3M N95 particulate filtering face masks are seen at a store in East Palo Alto, California, on January 26. Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto/Getty Images/FILE

3M, which manufacturers much-needed N95 respirator masks, said in a statement Friday its employees have “gone above and beyond” to manufacture “as many N95 respirators as possible for the U.S. market.”

The statement was released after the Trump administration formally invoked the Defense Production Act, requiring 3M to prioritize orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its N95 respirators.

3M said it has been working closely with the administration and will continue do so, adding that it appreciates the authorities in the DPA because it provides a framework to expand their work while responding to the pandemic.

The statement noted that the administration also requested that 3M stop exporting respirators that are manufactured in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets, which has “significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators.”

“In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” the company said. “If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek.”

9:26 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Fauci says it's too soon to call malaria medicine "knockout drug" against Covid-19

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

 A Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate pill is displayed on March 26,  in London, United Kingdom.
 A Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate pill is displayed on March 26, in London, United Kingdom. John Phillips/Getty Images

Even though some early data out of Wuhan, China, suggests that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine could “significantly” shorten the time it takes for Covid-19 patients to recover from illness, US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that more research is needed to determine that drug's effectiveness against Covid-19.

That early data is not "very robust," Fauci said on "Fox & Friends."

"Granted that there is a suggestion that there is a benefit there, I think we've got to be careful that we don't make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug," Fauci said this morning.

"We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitively prove whether any intervention — not just this one — any intervention is truly safe and effective," Fauci said. "But when you don't have that information it's understandable, and I grant that, it's understandable why people may want to take something anyway even with the slightest hint of it being effective and I have no problem with that."

9:20 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Navy official on NYC hospital ship: "We are actively working to refine the process" for bringing patients on board

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The USNS Comfort navy hospital ship sits at Pier 90 on Thursday, April 2, in New York City.
The USNS Comfort navy hospital ship sits at Pier 90 on Thursday, April 2, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The US Navy Hospital Ship Comfort is “actively working to refine the process,” as the ships takes on more patients, a Navy official on the ship tells CNN. 

As of Thursday night, there was only about 20 non-Covid-19 patients on board. 

The Navy official said:

“We are conducting data analysis to see how we need to change our configuration— bottom line we’ve been here 48 hours, and this is a scenario no one has ever seen before... no one wants to get this wrong. We hear the feedback from medical professionals, and are fine tuning" but the Comfort will still only treat non coronavirus patients.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN that he’s spoken to the US Navy about reports of only 20 patients on board the USNS Comfort.

“There's no question in my mind that’s going will get very resolved quickly and you’re going to see that number grow,” de Blasio told CNN’s John Berman on New Day.

“I don't have a doubt in my mind the Comfort’s going to be filled up soon, the Javits Center will be filled up soon, that's the easy part,” he said, adding the “the hard part” is going to be New York City hospitals dealing with “a massive surge in the coming days” of COVID-19 cases and patients requiring ICU care.

CNN's Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report

9:19 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Queen Elizabeth has recorded a televised statement on coronavirus

From CNN's Max Foster

The Queen has recorded a televised address in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, Buckingham Palace says. It will be broadcast this Sunday. 

Here's the statement from the palace:

“Her Majesty The Queen has recorded a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak. The televised address will be broadcast at 8pm (3pET) on Sunday 5th April, 2020. The address was recorded at Windsor Castle.”
9:14 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

The US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March — the worst report since 2009

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A sign saying that the Jobs Center at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development office in midtown Anchorage, Alaska, is closed through the end of April is shown Monday, March 30.
A sign saying that the Jobs Center at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development office in midtown Anchorage, Alaska, is closed through the end of April is shown Monday, March 30. Mark Thiessen/AP

The American economy lost more jobs than it gained for the first time in a decade.

In March, the economy shed 701,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the first time the economy lost jobs in a month since September 2010. Last month was the worst for American jobs since March 2009.

The unemployment rate inched up to 4.4%, from a near 50-year low of 3.5%. It was the highest unemployment rate since August 2017.

The labor market survey concludes in the middle of the month, so the March report didn't count the worst of the coronavirus effects on the economy, including many of the stay-at-home orders around the country. 

In the second half of last month, nearly 10 million Americans filed for first time unemployment benefits as the outbreak forced businesses to close and people to stay home. This development will be reflected in the April jobs report, which is due on May 8.

The Congressional Budget Office expects the unemployment rate to climb past 10% in the second quarter, it said Thursday.

9:47 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Here's what health experts say about face masks

A woman wearing a mask walks her dog on the boardwalk on Thursday, April 02, in Miami Beach, Florida.
A woman wearing a mask walks her dog on the boardwalk on Thursday, April 02, in Miami Beach, Florida. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Should you or shouldn't you wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic? Here's what health organizations and top experts say.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The organization recommends that if you are not sick, "you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick." However, if you are sick, "You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office," the CDC said.

The World Health Organization: WHO is standing by its recommendation to only wear a mask if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. "Mask wearing by the general public is not among the WHO’s recommendations," the organization said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy: Moments ago, he said masks should not be used as a substitute for social distancing, but rather can be used as a supplement. "Because of some recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing, the better part of valor is that when you're out and you can't maintain that six-foot distance to wear some sort of facial covering." has said that the White House Task Force is actively discussing guidelines on masks.

CNN's Sanjay Gupta: He explained that masks could help people who have coronavirus but not have symptoms from spreading the virus. "The way to think about this mask issue is that it's not really, still, for people who are not infected. This is more for people who might be infected and don't know it, and to try and lower the likelihood that they will spread this to somebody else." He stressed that social distancing is the best best way to fight the spread of coronavirus, and said that N95 respirators should be reserved for health care workers.

8:46 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Fauci: Masks should not be a "substitute" for social distancing

(From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci takes part in the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, i at the White House on April 1.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci takes part in the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, i at the White House on April 1. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

As US officials continue to re-examine whether the general public should wear masks, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, emphasized that masks should not be viewed as a substitute for continuing to practice social distancing.

"The most important thing is to keep this six-foot physical distance from individuals, but it's become clear that even when you try to do that with certain necessities of life — going out to get food or going to a pharmacy to get your medications — that you may inadvertently come into closer contact," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on "Fox & Friends" Friday morning.

He added:

"Because of that and because of some recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing, the better part of valor is that when you're out and you can't maintain that six-foot distance to wear some sort of facial covering ... So this is an addendum and an addition to the physical separation, not as a substitute for it."
8:55 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

If you're sick, wear a medical mask — but not an N95, world health official says

A person wearing a protective mask walks in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 2. (
A person wearing a protective mask walks in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 2. ( Matt Rourke/AP

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the World Health Organization's Covid-19 response, said people who are sick and their caretakers should wear face masks — but stressed that N95 masks need to be reserved for health care workers.

"What we recommend is that people who are sick wear masks — medical masks, not N95 masks with respirators. Those must be reserved for our frontline workers who are caring for patients," she said at a CNN town hall on coronavirus last night.

"We also need people who are caring for those who are sick to be wearing the masks," she added.

She said right now, it's crucial that personal protective equipment in short supply be reserved for medical workers.

"We have to prioritize the use of masks for frontline workers, if that is one thing I can stress. Medical masks, respirators, gloves, gowns, these are people who are putting their lives on the line to help us, to care for other people and they must be protected," she said.

Some background: The WHO has been one of the strongest holdouts when it comes to recommending the widespread use of masks. US health officials recommended the same — but they may be shifting course.

On Monday, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, told NPR that his organization was reviewing its guidelines and may recommend general mask use to guard against community infection. Trump said the US plans to release new recommendations on face masks in the coming days.

When asked about President Trump's suggestion that people use facial coverings like scarves, Van Kerkhove said the WHO is investigating.

"We are constantly looking at evidence, all the time, for the use of masks for anything that is related to this and related to health issues. We are talking with scientists around the world, including US CDC scientists," she said.