April 25 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan, Tara John, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:00 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020
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9:47 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Children older than 2 should wear a mask in public, Dr. Sanjay Gupta says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained the importance of wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic to children on the CNN and Sesame Street coronavirus town hall this morning.

"The masks are a way to prevent from you spreading germs even as you just breathe," he said.

Gupta said children under 2-years-old do not need to wear a mask, but children older than 2 should wear a mask when they are in public and around other people

"You don't need to sew to make a mask. You can easily make one. You can even decorate your own mask with items you have at your house," Gupta told Sesame Street's Elmo as he demonstrated how to fold a bandana into a face covering.

One child asked Gupta if he can go to the grocery store with his mom now that he has a homemade mask.

"It's important to remember to stay home as much as possible," Gupta said. "That's the first thing. But if you do have to go out in public, you can wear a mask and also practice something season as social distancing."


9:21 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Kids ask experts about coronavirus: "When can I go to the park again?"

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Several children across the US want to know when life will go back to normal and when they will be able to go to the park again.

These questions were asked this morning during the CNN and Sesame Street coronavirus town hall.

"We don't know when it's going to be over. Wish we did. That's the honest answer," Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.

"One thing that's important for everyone, kids and adults, document this time in some way. I tell my own kids, I have three girls myself. I tell them to write down something good every day and practice the gratitude that seems to make the days go by faster," he continued.

Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency room physician, added that it is important to maintain social distancing in order to stop the spread of the virus.

"When we keep our distance from other people, we are helping each other to stay safe. We are protecting ourselves from getting the virus, and in preventing ourselves from getting the virus, we're also helping to keep everyone around us healthy, too," Wen said.

9:21 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Medical expert to children: "Do not drink soaps or detergent or bleach"

Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore City health commissioner, shared some advice this morning for children wondering if soap can get rid of coronavirus and should it be ingested.

Wen's advice was shared during "The ABC's of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents."

"Do not drink soaps or detergent or bleach or anything that you and your parents use to clean your house. Don't do that. I'm an ER doctor, and in the ER, I've seen kids come in who get very sick from drinking these things," Wen said. "These are very dangerous things to drink. So, please do not drink them or eat soap or anything like that. You should use, soap, though, on your hands. And wash your hands very well with soap and water. That's because the coronavirus, has Dr. Gupta was saying is this very small virus."
9:20 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

The CNN and Sesame Street coronavirus town hall has begun

CNN has partnered with Sesame Street for a special town hall on coronavirus that is focused on kids and parents.

"The ABC's of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents" will tackle issues including education, anxiety, screen time and playdates.

The 90-minute town hall will feature experts and Sesame Street characters — including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rosita and Grover — answering questions submitted by families.

Big Bird will join CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event.

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on CNN.com's homepage and across mobile devices via CNN's apps, without requiring a cable log-in. You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

8:29 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Pompeo says a global recession is "not safe or secure for the American people"

From CNN's Kylie Atwood

In his first comments on reopening the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaned into the necessity for the US to reopen for the sake of the economy in a radio interview with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro Friday night.

“A massive global recession is not safe or secure for the American people,” Pompeo said. “We’ve got to get our country and others back open as quickly as we can.”
8:41 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

UK government denies that Johnson advisors are on scientific committee advising Covid-19

From CNN's Luke McGee and Lindsay Isaac

The British government has denied media reports in the United Kingdom that two of the prime minister’s most influential political advisors are sitting on a key scientific committee advising it on Covid-19. 

Membership of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has been kept a secret, though it is said to be made up of “leading experts” in order to provide “scientific and technical advice to support government decision-makers during emergencies," the SAGE website says.

10 Downing Street described the scientists as being “among the most eminent” in their fields. 

Some context: Boris Johnson’s chief political advisor Dominic Cummings and data scientist Ben Warner, both of whom had leading roles in the Vote leave campaign for Brexit, are named on a list of members leaked to the Guardian.

Neither Cummings or Warner have a scientific background and their inclusion has prompted fears of impartiality as they could be advising Johnson on coronavirus measures. 

On Saturday, a government spokesman denied the two are on the committee but admitted they do attend some meetings and ask questions.

“It is not true that Mr Cummings or Dr Warner are 'on' or members of SAGE,” the spokesperson told CNN.

But, he said Cummings and Warner have attended "some” SAGE meetings and “listen to some meetings now they are all virtual,” though only in the capacity to “understand better the scientific debates concerning this emergency.” 

The two “occasionally” ask questions or “offer help” to scientists on the committee on navigating the government, the statement said. 


7:49 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

What happened on board the last cruise ship still at sea

From CNN's Francesca Street in London

Passengers Yolanda and Carlos Payá, posing on Easter Island during an early port call.
Passengers Yolanda and Carlos Payá, posing on Easter Island during an early port call. Courtesy Carlos Páya

In January 2020, the gigantic Costa Deliziosa cruise ship slipped its moorings in the Italian city of Venice and headed out into the Adriatic Sea on an around-the-world voyage. Around 2000 passengers were on board for what they hoped would be the trip of a lifetime.

The Deliziosa's experienced crew, captained by veteran seafarer Nicolò Alba, looked ahead to a long journey. They knew they'd be working hard to keep guests happy as they traversed the world's oceans, but they weren't expecting it to be that different from the many other excursions they'd completed.

Instead, as the coronavirus pandemic spread, the Deliziosa would unwittingly sail into history.

When it set off on its trip, the 965-feet long vessel was among thousands of cruise ships plying the world's oceans. By the time the Deliziosa arrived back to Italy this week, it was the last cruise ship still at sea carrying significant numbers of passengers.

Those on board who completed the voyage have been revealing what it was like to cruise around the planet while the world descended into crisis -- as destination after destination was struck from their itinerary, amid mounting fears the virus would climb aboard and wreak havoc.

Find out what they did in this exclusive piece.

7:26 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Over a quarter of the world's coronavirus deaths are in the United States

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

As health officials race to get the virus under control, state leaders are setting the date they'll begin reopening their economies.
As health officials race to get the virus under control, state leaders are setting the date they'll begin reopening their economies.

Less than three months since the first known coronavirus death in the US, the country's fatalities make up more than quarter of the global death toll.

Nearly 52,000 Americans have died from the virus so far -- a number that increases daily as a result of new fatalities and states reviewing previous deaths that had not been tied to the disease.

The virus has killed at least 197,000 people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the US, limited testing in early February was part of the reason California officials did not count two earlier deaths as coronavirus-related. This week, they confirmed the two victims -- a 57-year-old woman who died February 6 and a 69-year-old man who died February 17-- are the earliest known US victims.

New efforts by some states to trace more cases will give officials a better idea of the magnitude of the pandemic in the country. That, in addition to testing -- which experts say is still not where it needs to be.

More testing needed: The US has conducted about 5.1 million tests but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading epidemiologist, said this week the nation needs to increase testing. Two new reports from public health experts and economists highlight that in order to safely reopen states, the country needs to conduct millions of tests per week.

And as health officials race to get the virus under control, state leaders are setting the date they'll begin reopening their economies -- decisions that President Donald Trump has said are entirely up to governors.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday opened some businesses, including barber shops and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and bowling alleys. The state has recorded more than 22,491 infections and at least 899 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Read the rest of the article here.

7:35 a.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Spanish football league asks to delay Covid-19 tests for players

From CNN's Al Goodman and Isabel Tejera in Madrid and Claudia Rebaza in London

 La Liga said it won’t start testing the players
La Liga said it won’t start testing the players

Spain’s football league had told its clubs on Friday it will delay testing of all its professional football players for Covid-19 “because the resumption of training sessions is going to be delayed.”

In a letter sent to the clubs, obtained and published by Spanish media, La Liga said it won’t start testing players, coaches and medical staff for the virus until the Spanish government approves a protocol for that.

All league football, including for the giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, stopped when Spain’s state of emergency went into effect on March 14.

La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed sending the letter to the clubs to CNN. In a video press conference on Friday night, he said: “If we consider that we’ll have the protocol in the coming days, maybe next week, well, from April 28 until May 11, 12, 13, or 14, to start the training again, that’s a lot of days for the players” to wait, after testing.

Prioritize frontline workers: La Liga’s announcement came hours after the Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) said it sent two more letters to the government, “again expressing the concern” of first and second division team players about the Covid-19 tests and a resumption of training.

The association said the players think those decisions should be made by the government and it added the players “consider there are other groups that need the tests more at this time, along with access to health care supplies.”

Jordi Figueras, player for Racing Santander in the second division, told CNN the decision was the right one. His team issued a statement last Thursday stating their priority was to finish the tournament, but added that tests should first be available for frontline workers.

“Without knowing when training would exactly resume, there is no point to get tested soon," he said.

Some Spanish media reported that La Liga had hoped to start Covid-19 testing of players as early as next week, as a first step before a resumption of training.

Spain’s state of emergency is due to end on May 9, after almost two months. But government officials said re-opening the country will be a gradual process so as to avoid a second wave of infections.