April 6 coronavirus news

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5:30 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Louisiana governor says hospital admissions in state for coronavirus are trending downward

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks about the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the state during an interview with the Associated Press in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on April 3.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks about the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the state during an interview with the Associated Press in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on April 3. Gerald Herbert/AP

Hospital admissions in Louisiana for the novel coronavirus are trending downward, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday.

Edwards, a Democrat, said more than 70% of the deaths are African American patients, describing it as a “big disparity” because African Americans make up about 32% of the state’s population.

“We're going to try to figure out what that is attributable to and what we can do about that is as quickly as possible,” Edwards said.

5:59 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Italian Prime Minister announces "biggest ever" $400 billion economic aid package

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a press conference in Rome, Italy, on March 4.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a press conference in Rome, Italy, on March 4. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the government is allocating a record $400 billion euros to help families and businesses tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"This is the most powerful intervention of the story of our country," Conte said during a televised statement. "200 billion to finance the internal market and another 200 billion to strengthen the export market."

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Conte said the government approved the suspension of various tax payments and contributions for the months of April and May.

"We are giving to the country a very efficient instrument to protect all businesses that have even the slightest strategic role in our country," he said. "This is not only a health emergency but also economic and social at the same time. The April law decree will contain social protection tools, to support families and workers."

Italy has 132,547 cases of coronavirus and has had 16,523 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

5:14 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

There are now 356,942 coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 356,942 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 10,524 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state or territory that is not reporting a death from coronavirus.

4:57 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

NFL will hold a virtual draft this month, commissioner says

The National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that all league and club facilities will remain closed indefinitely and that the upcoming three-day NFL Draft, set to start on April 23, will be conducted in a "fully virtual format" with coaches and team personnel making picks from their individual homes.

In a league-wide memo, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Goodell said that all teams will be required to “conduct their Draft operations remotely, with club personnel separately located in their homes.”

Goodell acknowledged the challenges the league is currently facing by saying in part, “we are operating in an environment unlike anything we have experienced before.”

4:57 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Missouri governor waives in-person notary requirements 

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs executive order waiving state law requirements that notaries be physically present to authenticate documents. 

“To help protect the health & safety of Missourians who wish to execute changes in their important documents.  Today, I signed an Executive Order waiving that requirement,” tweeted Parson.  

4:51 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Illinois governor says White House sent a "mere fraction" of the medical equipment the state asked for

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker wasted no time at today's press confernence in going after the federal government’s response to Covid-19, specifically as it pertains to personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). 

The governor, who entered the briefing room wearing a face mask per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, immediately called out the White House for changing the stated purpose on the SNS website from an entity that “support states” to one that will “supplement states” in the short-term during a public healthcare emergency.  

Pritzker said what his state was sent from the SNS is a “mere fraction of what we asked for.” He went on to explain the tedious, sometimes difficult process of trying to obtain PPE from all over the world and “by whatever means necessary” saying he’s often competing against other states and the federal government for the same supplies.   

To anyone who wants a response to some of the blame shifting coming out of the White House, Pritzker said, “look at the numbers.” His state’s own procurement efforts are what is keeping their first responders outfitted with what they need, he said.  

With the state expecting its warmest day of the year so far on Tuesday, the governor and other health officials are urging residents to “stay at home” and not “congregate in the parks.” 

Illinois reported 1,006 new cases of Covid-19 and 33 deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours, according to an announcement by the Department of Health at the governor’s press briefing Monday. The state has a total of 12,262 cases and 307 deaths. 

5:03 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Alaska Airlines cuts flights by 80% for next 2 months

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max flies above Paine Field near Boeing's manufacturing facility in Everett, Washington, on March 23.
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max flies above Paine Field near Boeing's manufacturing facility in Everett, Washington, on March 23. Ted S. Warren/AP

Alaska Airlines is cutting flights for the third time since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Seattle-based carrier said the latest cutbacks will mean an 80% drop compared to its typical number of flights for April and May.

The new filing says “sizable cuts will be necessary for the coming months” beyond May, although Alaska Airlines says it will wait before making specific decisions that far into 2020. 

The company also confirmed it has asked for payroll support grants under the CARES Act, one of the stimulus measures passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last month. 

4:33 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Chicago mayor says 72% of city's Covid-19 deaths are black patients

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks after being sworn in as Mayor of Chicago during a ceremony in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2019.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks after being sworn in as Mayor of Chicago during a ceremony in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 2019. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that 72% of all Chicago deaths related to Covid-19 have been black Chicagoans.   

While presenting statistics on how Covid-19 is affecting black residents more severely than white residents, Lightfoot announced a new Covid-19 patient data order to help combat the virus' effects on Chicago, including in the hardest hit African-American neighborhoods. 

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady joined Lightfoot at Monday's press conference and said that 52% of the city's Covid-19 diagnoses have been in black Chicagoans.

"72% of our Covid deaths here in Chicago have been in black Chicagoans" even though they make up 30%, Arwady said.

"Those numbers take your breath away," Mayor Lightfoot said.  

Lightfoot criticized health care providers for not providing needed information on Covid-19 effects demographically. 

She's announcing the launch of a Covid-19 patient data order that requires healthcare providers to report the race and ethnicity of those they treat. This is "not negotiable," Lightfoot said, while announcing the new strategy in an effort to understand the full Coronavirus impact on the city.

5:25 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020

UK Foreign Secretary will deputize for Prime Minister Boris Johnson

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on February 8.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on February 8. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Before he was moved to the ICU, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab — who is the most senior Cabinet minister after Johnson — to deputize for him where necessary, according to a statement from 10 Downing Street.

CNN correspondent Bianca Nobilo said Raab stood in for Johnson at the daily briefing on coronavirus and chaired the coronavirus "war cabinet" meeting today.

At a press conference about four hours ago, Raab said the prime minister was comfortable, in good spirits and was continuing to lead the country. Now, Johnson's symptoms are being called "persistent."

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