April 13 coronavirus news

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9:10 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

8:29 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Governor says it is too early to know if Louisiana could loosen social distancing guidelines

Asked at a news conference Monday if Louisiana would follow suit if President Trump announced plans to loosen or lift Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, Gov. John Bel Edwards said it is too early to know, but that he would be working with the White House coronavirus task force. 

“Well, it's just too early to know and (Trump) is talking about some time after April the 30th; don't know exactly what timeline that looks like and he's also indicated that what he does may not be uniformly implemented in all states at the same time, because you have ... some states that are obviously more impacted than others," he said, adding that Louisiana is one of those hotspots.

Edwards went on to say that he would be working with Trump and the task force.

“As Dr. (Anthony) Fauci said last week is not like flipping a light switch, where you just go from being dark to light, all at one time. So this is going to be done in some sort of a transition. And we're going to be doing it that way here in Louisiana, I cannot tell you exactly what that's going to look like yet, but we will be working really hard with all the experts to get that figured out," he said.
8:17 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Singapore reports 386 new coronavirus cases

Singapore reported 386 new cases of novel coronavirus on Monday.

It's the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began in the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

This brings the country's total to 2,918, with all the new cases identified as locally transmitted cases, the ministry said.

Among the new cases, 280 have been linked to known clusters, of which the vast majority are foreign workers residing in dormitories. Twelve others are linked to existing cases, while 94 are still pending contact tracing.

Meanwhile, a 65-year-old male has died of complications resulting from coronavirus Monday, bringing the national death toll to nine.

8:12 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Fact check: White House video left out reporter's full remarks

During Monday's task force briefing, the White House presented a digital montage of TV and radio clips of President Trump’s early actions with the coronavirus. One clip featured audio from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who can be heard describing how the President was criticized for his early travel ban from China.

Facts First: The Haberman quotes are misleading as they edit out one of her key points: that the President’s travel restriction was one of the last actions he took to address the coronavirus for weeks.

Here’s the Haberman quote as it was presented by the White House video:

“As there were more cases and it was clear that it was spreading out of China — where it originated — the President took this move that he was widely criticized for by Democrats and even some Republicans at the time. Which was he halted a number of flights from China into the U.S. The idea was to halt the spread of the disease, keep transmissions to a minimum. He was accused of xenophobia. He was accused of making a racist move. At the end of the day, it was probably effective, because it did actually take a pretty aggressive measure against the spread of the virus.” 

According to a transcript of The Daily podcast from March 25, here’s the end of the quote, including a key point at the end that was left out of the White House presentation:

“At the end of the day, it was probably effective, because it did actually take a pretty aggressive measure against the spread of the virus. The problem is, it was one of the last things that he did for several weeks.”

According to the transcript, the Daily’s host Michael Barbaro asks a follow up question: “So the right decision in retrospect, but not accompanied by similar actions that might have contained transmission.”

Haberman responded: “That’s exactly right. In the same way that George W. Bush was criticized for his “Mission Accomplished” banner about Iraq, the president treated that moment as if it was his mission accomplished moment. He did not do anything after that in terms of alerting the public, or telling people to be safe, or telling people to take precautions. And it basically squandered several weeks within the US.”

As Haberman pointed out on Twitter, she went on to say that the President “treated that travel limitation as a Mission Accomplished moment,” harkening back to former President George W. Bush.

8:39 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Trump claims "total" authority after governors band together to determine opening of economy

US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House on April 13, in Washington.
US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House on April 13, in Washington. Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump lashed out at criticism of his handling of the coronavirus crisis during a grievance-fueled appearance from the White House.

The appearance only affirmed the impression that some of Trump's chief concerns amid the global public health disaster are how his performance is viewed in the media and whether he's being fairly judged.

He clearly did not believe that was the case Monday. He stepped to the podium armed with a video meant to frame his response in a positive light after his initial handling of the crisis has come under increasing scrutiny.

After it aired, Trump grew increasingly irate as reporters probed the time line of his response, claiming the criticism wasn't fair and that he'd handled the outbreak effectively.

"Everything we did was right," Trump insisted after an extended tirade against negative coverage.

Pressed later about his authority to reopen parts of the country, Trump delivered an eyebrow-raising statement asserting absolute control over the country.

"When somebody is president of the United States, your authority is total," he said.

He later added he would issue reports backing up his claim, which legal experts say isn't supported by the Constitution.

Keep reading.

Watch:

7:37 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

California unveils plan to protect foster kids and vulnerable families

Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 9 in Rancho Cordova, California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 9 in Rancho Cordova, California. Rich Pedroncelli, Pool/AP

California will spend $42 million to protect foster kids and vulnerable families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of that money will be spent on 59,000 youth in foster care across the state, and by providing an extra $200 per month for the 25,000 most at-risk families in an effort to help keep vulnerable families together.

Other programs receiving extra funding include family resource centers, expanding telephone helplines, and providing laptops and cell phones for foster children in need of that technology.

Gov. Gavin Newsom described how he grew up in a family with his foster brother, Steven Ashby. He noted that caring for at-risk children is a challenge, especially because visits from Child Protective Services are limited under the stay-at-home orders.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, stable and nurturing environment free from fear, abuse and neglect,” Newsom said in a statement.

Without school and other activities, reports are down, the governor said.

The timeline for emancipation of teens aging out of the system will be extended, permitting them to remain in foster care for the time being.

7:30 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Fact check: Trump touted his travel restrictions on Europe and China today. Here's what we know.

Responding to criticism of his administration's response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump touted his decision to limit travel from areas which had more coronavirus cases than the US at the time.

Trump told reporters Monday, "I did a ban on China, you think that was easy? Then I did a ban on Europe and many said it was an incredible thing to do."

Asked later about whether he’d be willing to lift travel restrictions as part of opening up the country, Trump added, “Right now we have a very strong ban. We will keep it that way until they heal.”

Facts First: It's misleading to call the travel restrictions Trump announced against China and Europe a ban because they contained multiple exemptions. Only foreign nationals who had been in China, Europe's Schengen area, the UK or Ireland within the past 14 days are outright banned from entering the US.

As of February 2, US citizens who had been in China's Hubei province in the two weeks prior to their return to the United States are subject to a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days upon their return to the US. American citizens returning from the rest of mainland China may also face up to 14 days of quarantine after undergoing health screenings at selected ports of entry. 

The broader European travel suspension Trump announced on March 11 applied to the 26 countries in the Schengen area, a European zone in which people can move freely across internal borders without being subjected to border checks. While Trump initially identified the United Kingdom as exempt, additional countries that are not in the Schengen area and thus also exempt from the restrictions include Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Armenia, Montenegro, Belarus and Russia. As of March 14, the ban was expanded to include foreign nationals traveling from UK and Ireland.

The restrictions also did not apply to US citizens returning from Europe as well as permanent US residents and certain family members of both citizens and permanent residents.

You can read more about the European travel restrictions here.

7:23 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

First Covid-19 clusters in Italy were similar to Wuhan, China, study finds

A study by the Italian Health Institute (ISS) analyzed the characteristics of the evolution of the Covid-19 infection in Italy and concluded it bore similarities to what happened in Wuhan, China.

The report says the Italian cluster "showed worse clinical outcomes" in elderly males with previous health conditions, resembling the most at risk patients in Wuhan.

According to the institute, the initial reproduction number or R0 — the average number of people who will catch the disease from a single infected person — was 2.96 in the region of Lombardy, one of the most affected. The study says that by mid-February, the R0 had edged up slightly to three.

Silvio Brusaferro, head of the ISS had said during his weekly briefing that R0 levels should ideally be below one to flatten the Covid-19 curve. 

"Initial R0 at 2.96 in Lombardia, explains the high case-load and rapid geographical spread observed. Overall Rt [the virus' transmission rate at a given time] in Italian regions is currently decreasing albeit with large diversities across the country, supporting the importance of combined non-pharmacological control measures," the report says.

7:17 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

NFL and NFL Players Association agree to a virtual offseason program starting next week

 

David Eulitt/Getty Images
David Eulitt/Getty Images

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have reached an agreement on modifications to the rules regarding offseason workout programs and minicamps.

CNN has obtained a memo of those changes, dated Monday, from the NFL Management Council to chief executives, presidents, general managers and head coaches.

Starting next week, there will be a “Virtual Period” portion of the offseason program while team facilities remain closed, and later there will be an “On-Field Period” for when team facilities reopen. The virtual period will start April 20 until May 15.

"Both our Executive committee and Board of Player Reps have voted unanimously to approve a virtual offseason program up until the start of training camp," the NFLPA said in a statement on Twitter. "We will be sending out all the details and setting up calls with players and agents for how this will work shortly."

During the virtual period, teams can conduct classroom instruction, workouts, and non-football educational programs using Skype, or any other appropriate platform, on a “virtual” basis.

When team facilities reopen for the on-field period, teams may resume offseason workout programs, including all permissible on-field activities, under the customary rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

The reopening of team facilities will occur in accordance with protocols established by the NFL, conforming with federal, state and local rules and regulations, and only after consultation with the NFLPA, which will be made widely known to teams at the appropriate time. 

If one or more NFL team facility remain closed for any period of time, all team facilities will remain closed during that period.

As it has been in previous years, the program is voluntary to players. Veteran players who participate are to be paid the $235 daily minimum amount, and players with offseason workout bonuses must be credited for their participation in those sessions.

Each team may elect to continue its offseason workout program beginning May 18, either under a virtual format or under an on-field format, depending upon conditions.

The virtual period will end and the on-field period will begin for all teams at any point during the offseason workout program when all NFL team facilities have reopened.

All offseason workout programs end for all teams on June 26.