April 3 coronavirus news
The US military will convert three temporary medical facilities in New York, New Orleans, and Dallas into facilities capable of treating patients with the coronavirus, the Pentagon announced Friday.
“At the request of FEMA, the Department of Defense will expand its medical support to include Covid-19 positive patients at the Javits Federal Medical Station (FMS) in New York City, the Morial FMS in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Kay Bailey Hutchinson FMS in Dallas, Texas,” the statement said.
“These three DoD-supported locations will now provide support to Covid-19 positive patients in convalescent care, as well as low-acuity patients. These patients, who require a lower level of medical care, must first be screened at a local hospital,” the statement added.
What's this about: Originally all three facilities were intended to treat non-coronavirus patients in order to free up capacity at civilian hospitals.
On Thursday President Trump confirmed the Javits Center would be converted into a facility capable of treating coronavirus patients, a move that has been requested by New York’s governor.
Jim Baumbick, Ford Vice President of Enterprise Product Line Management, said the company would not be giving its ventilators to the highest bidder, but instead rely on the expertise of partner GE Healthcare and the Trump administration to decide where to send them.
“They are very well experienced in the distribution of this critical ventilator equipment. And we're going to leverage all of their expertise to get it where it needs to go and, certainly, we're coordinating with the administration and other really critical sources through GE Healthcare's expertise,” Baumbick told CNN’s Julia Chatterley.
Some context: Ford and GE Healthcare are planning in partnership to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days.
Germany's largest football stadium — the Westfalen stadium — will be a coronavirus treatment center starting tomorrow, the Borussia Dortmund football team confirmed in a statement.
“Starting tomorrow, Saturday, the focus in the area of the north stand of SIGNAL IDUNA PARK will not be on football, but on the treatment of suspected cases of coronavirus and patients with corresponding symptoms,” the statement said.
Dortmund managing directors Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer said the facility is an "ideal place to actively help people."
“Our stadium is the figurehead of the city, a fixed point for almost everyone in Dortmund and the surrounding area and, thanks to its technical, infrastructural and spatial conditions, is the ideal place to actively help people who are potentially infected by the coronavirus or who complain about corresponding symptoms such as respiratory diseases and fever," they said in the statement.
They said it is “our duty and our desire” to do everything possible to help.
The club said it transformed the stadium in conjunction with the local health care service in North Rhine-Westphalia.
US stocks kicked off modestly lower on Friday, as investors digested a worse-than-expected March jobs report.
In premarket trading, stock index futures came off their lows following the report, as much of the bad economy news is already priced into stocks.
- The Dow opened down 0.3%, or 60 points.
- The S&P 500 fell 0.3%.
- The Nasdaq Composite opened down 0.4%.
Modelo Group, the Mexican brewer of Corona, announced it was halting production and marketing of its beer, according to a statement released on the company’s Twitter page Friday.
The Mexican beer company said it was taking the steps to “comply with the measures adopted by the Federal Government” of Mexico.
They also expressed their “total commitment to be part of the fight against the SARS-Cov2 virus”, the statement reads.
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.
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.”
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."
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