April 14 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020
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3:19 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Coronavirus could prompt the US to vote by mail. It won't make a partisan difference.

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

The coronavirus could change the way many Americans vote this November.

Many leading Democrats have called for more voting by mail to ensure Americans can stay safe while casting their ballots. But President Trump, on other hand, has charged that voting by mail as "corrupt" — an assertion not backed by the facts.

The dueling partisan responses might lead you to believe that voting by mail benefits Democrats more than Republicans. You'd be wrong — at least according to one new paper.

The paper, from the Democracy & Polarization Lab at Stanford University, looked at three states — California, Utah and Washington — that turned to vote by mail in staggered fashion across counties. This allows us to really see the effects of voting by mail.  

The findings: It turns out that voting by mail does not give either party any edge in turnout. Further, there was no discernible effect on election outcomes. 

What voting by mail did seem to do was cause some increase in voter turnout, which would be the point of more voting by mail during this pandemic. 

We saw a record number of people cast a ballot by mail in the Wisconsin primary. In Wisconsin, like in the the majority of other states, voters have the option of voting by mail if they want. 

This new paper suggests that this option may be our best hope to allow Americans to participate in the Democratic process during the coronavirus outbreak without either side gaining a clear edge. It comes on top of statements from multiple Republican leading officials who have made similar claims. 

2:53 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

General Motors will ship 600 ventilators by the end of the month

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

General Motors is ready to ship its first production of ventilators starting today, the company said in a statement.

“Everyone wants to help turn the tide and save lives. It is inspiring and humbling to see the passion and commitment people have put into this work," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

GM started building ventilators in partnership with Ventec for Covid-19 patients last month at their Kokomo plant in Indiana.

There will be 600 ventilators shipped by the end of this month, with the rest of the government’s 30,000 ventilator order completed by the end of August.

“GM has moved swiftly in Trump time to manufacture one of the most critical lifesaving devices in America’s war against the coronavirus. GM’s rapid mobilization of America’s manufacturing might in defense of our country is a proud salute to the ingenuity of its engineers, the true grit of its UAW workers on the line, and America’s doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals fighting for our lives at the front lines,” said Peter Navarro, assistant to the President. 

This first batch of ventilators from GM will be sent to hospitals in Gary, Indiana, and Chicago, according to Navarro.

2:50 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

More than 24,700 people in the US have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Funeral workers and hospital staff retrieve deceased bodies for burial at the Brooklyn Hospital Center on Monday, April 13, in New York.
Funeral workers and hospital staff retrieve deceased bodies for burial at the Brooklyn Hospital Center on Monday, April 13, in New York. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

There are at least 592,743 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

At least 24,737 people have died in the US from coronavirus.   

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

Today, Johns Hopkins has reported 10,136 new cases and 1,109 reported deaths. 

2:17 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Amazon in France ordered to deliver only essential items or face more than $1 million USD fine, court says

From Benjamin Berteau and Ya Chun Wang

A delivery man delivers an Amazon package in Paris on March 19
A delivery man delivers an Amazon package in Paris on March 19 Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

A French court has ordered Amazon to reduce its delivery operations to cover only essential goods

The court's ruling warned that if this is not met within 24 hours, the company could face a penalty of 1 million euros for each day of delay –– that's more than $1 million USD each day. 

In its ruling today, Nanterre Court of Justice ordered Amazon to further regulate its activities to receiving, preparing and delivering only essential goods, such as food, hygiene and medical products, and has required the company to carry out an assessment of the "occupational risks inherent in the Covid-19 epidemic" in all of its warehouses, according to an ordinance seen by CNN. 

“We disagree with today's decision by the Nanterre Court of Justice and are currently assessing its implications for our French logistical sites," Amazon's spokesperson, Céline Mandouze, said Tuesday, adding that Amazon is planning to appeal the court's decision. 

The ruling follows the filing of a complaint by the French workers’ union — Union Syndicats Solidaires — which has accused the online delivery giant of endangering the lives of workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to CNN, the union said Amazon had violated the withdrawal rights of employees, alleging that the company threatened to suspend employee salaries. 

“Amazon refused, saying that employees will not be paid if they exercise their right to withdraw [from work]" the National Secretary of the workers' union told CNN. 

Amazon has since affirmed that the safety of employees remains its priority. 

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees...over the past four weeks, we have distributed more than 127,000 packs of disinfected wipes, 27,000 laters of hand sanitizers, and more than 1,5 million masks to our sites in France," Mandouze said. 

2:14 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

The UN's first "solidarity flight" carrying vital Covid-19 supplies to Africa will depart Tuesday

From CNN’s Bethlehem Feleke

A staff member checks boxes of mostly personal protective equipment for the World Health Organization at Ethiopia Airlines' cargo facility at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday, April 14. Ethiopia and the United Nations opened a humanitarian transportation hub at the airport in Addis Ababa to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight the coronavirus.
A staff member checks boxes of mostly personal protective equipment for the World Health Organization at Ethiopia Airlines' cargo facility at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday, April 14. Ethiopia and the United Nations opened a humanitarian transportation hub at the airport in Addis Ababa to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight the coronavirus. Samuel Habtab/AFP/Getty Images

The first UN relief “solidarity flight” carrying urgently needed Covid-19 supplies to African countries will depart Ethiopia on Tuesday, according to a joint statement from the African Union (AU), World Food Program (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

The “solidarity flight” in Africa is “by far the largest single shipment of supplies since the start of the pandemic, and will ensure that people living in countries with some of the weakest health systems are able to get tested and treated, while ensuring health workers on the frontlines are properly protected,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO regional director.

WFP planes will transport WHO equipment such as face shields, gloves, goggles, gowns, masks, medical aprons, thermometers and ventilators from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the regional humanitarian air hub was set up by the WFP this week. One million face masks will be shipped in addition to the personal protective equipment and laboratory supplies, which is expected to “be enough to protect health workers while treating more than 30,000 patients across the continent,” the statement said.

“The medical supplies are timely as the continent still has a window of opportunity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in the statement.

The WHO has dispatched personal protective equipment and lab supplies to 95 countries around the world.

1:56 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Italy reports small increase in new coronavirus cases but does less testing

From CNN's Barbie Nadeau, Nicola Ruotolo and Mia Alberti

A medical staffer holds the hand of a patient he is tending to, in the ICU of the Bassini Hospital, in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan, Italy, Tuesday, April 14. T
A medical staffer holds the hand of a patient he is tending to, in the ICU of the Bassini Hospital, in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan, Italy, Tuesday, April 14. T (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/AP

Italy has reported an increase of 675 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the lowest increase in numbers since March 1.

But 10,000 less tests were also administered in that time frame. There are now 104,291 active coronavirus cases, according to the Italian Civil Protection Agency.

The number of deaths continues to rise but at a slower pace. On Tuesday, there were 602 new deaths, increasing the total number of fatalities to 21,067.

The total number of cases in Italy is now 162,488.

1:26 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

UK says Covid-19 hospital admissions are stabilizing

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac and Nada Bashir in London

Pool
Pool

The number of people being admitted to British hospitals because of Covid-19 appears to be stabilizing, a top UK health official said today.  

“You can see that there is increasing evidence now that the number of hospital admissions is stabilizing and plateauing…This is evidence, that is now accumulating, that the benefits of social distancing and reducing transmission is now beginning to manifest in a stabilization of hospital admissions,” said Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

But he warned that people must not take their “foot off the pedal” with social distancing and other measures instated to stop the spread of the virus.

“A reduction in infections rates will then translate into a reduction in new UK cases…our testing has shown a plateauing in the number of new cases we are picking up,” Powis said.

While the data shows a plateau in the number of new cases, he conceded that not enough testing is being done in order for a true picture.

Deaths from the virus are still increasing and that number is expected to continue to rise, he added.

“This is number that will reduce last, unfortunately. With sadness, it is the one that will take longest to change. But those benefits from social distancing will eventually translate into a reduction in the number of daily deaths," Powis said.

1:21 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Reopening the economy by May 1 is "a pipe dream," doctor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Dr. James Phillips
Dr. James Phillips CNN

Dr. James Phillips, a physician and assistant professor at George Washington University Hospital, says reopening the economy by May 1 "is a pipe dream."

"The only way we would open up significant parts of the country by May 1st is to do so under significant risks of the worsening health and the potential lives of American citizens," Phillips told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Phillips said while he agrees the country should be talking about how to restart the economy and get people back to work, there needs to be a plan in place to protect Americans.

"In disaster medicine we talk about something called disaster cycle, where you start considering the return to normal almost immediately after the event occurs. It is appropriate to start talking about this. But, we have to have the right steps in place before we get there," Phillips said.

Watch:

1:19 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020

US is "not there yet" in regard to reopening the country, Fauci says

From CNN’s Michael Nedelman

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing at the White House on Monday, April 13.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing at the White House on Monday, April 13. Alex Brandon/AP

The United States doesn’t have the capacity to test and trace Covid-19 cases — a key measure the country will need to start the process of reopening, according to the nation’s top infectious disease doctor.

“We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Fauci’s comments come the day after President Trump promised guidelines “soon” aimed at governors to reopen the economy. 

He added that opening the country on May 1, after federal social distancing guidelines are set to expire, is “a bit overly optimistic” for many places in the US. This process, he said, would likely have to occur on a “rolling” basis and not simultaneously across the country. A key worry, he said, was that the US would see new outbreaks in places where officials may not be able to swiftly test and trace contacts of those who are infected. 

“I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back, there will be infections. It’s how you deal with the infections that’s going to count,” Fauci told The Associated Press, adding that we need ways to get people "out of circulation if they get infected, because once you start getting clusters, then you’re really in trouble." 

These concerns reflect those New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Monday – that states lack sufficient capacity to test on their own.

"It's not as simple as saying states should test,” Cuomo said. They can't do it without the federal government. There are not enough tests now, and there's not enough reagents, and there's not enough medical equipment.”

Referring to other governors joining over the phone from states including Connecticut and New Jersey, he added, “Any one of these governors would tell you ... they don't have the testing capacity, and they can't gather it themselves.”

Fauci stopped short of telling The Associated Press that a second wave of infection isn’t inevitable but said, “If you mean it goes way down and then come September, October, November, we have another peak – I have to say I would not be surprised. I would hope that if and when that occurs, that we jump all over it in a much, much more effective way than we have in these past few months.”