April 6 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Rob Picheta, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 1:31 AM ET, Wed April 7, 2021
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5:14 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Biden moves up deadline for all US adults to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine — April 19 instead of May 1

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kate Sullivan

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden just announced he is moving up his deadline for states to make all American adults eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine by almost two weeks, from May 1 to April 19.

"That means by no later than April 19th in every part of the country every adult over the age of 18, 18 or older, will be eligible to be vaccinated. No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions," Biden said in White House remarks.

"My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults, but beginning April 19th every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a Covid vaccination," the President continued.

Speaking at the White House after visiting a vaccination center in Alexandria, Virginia, Biden also announced that 150 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered within his first 75 days in office, in line with a stated goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office.

While Biden touted progress made in US vaccine efforts, he stressed the country must continue to ramp up efforts to beat the pandemic.

"We know what we have to do. We have to ramp up a whole of government approach that rallies the whole country and puts us on a war footing to truly beat this virus," Biden said.

In advance of the new vaccine eligibility date, Biden sent a direct message to seniors in his remarks: "Seniors. It's time for you to get vaccinated now. Get vaccinated now. To make it easier, my administration is sending aid to community groups to drive seniors to vaccination sites."

Some more background: Biden announced last week that 90% of adults will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine by April 19, as well as have a vaccination site within five miles of where they live. The President said the number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy vaccination program was increasing from the current 17,000 locations to 40,000.

CNN has previously reported that all 50 states have announced when they plan to open vaccinations to everyone who is eligible, if they haven't done so already. Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii and New Jersey all currently plan to open eligibility by May 1, so it remains to be seen how Biden's announcement changes those states' plans.

Watch here:

4:10 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Fauci on recent Covid-19 surges in some US states: "It’s premature to declare a victory"

From CNN's Ashley Ahn

Dr. Anthony Fauci adjusts his mask during a Senate committee hearing in March.
Dr. Anthony Fauci adjusts his mask during a Senate committee hearing in March. Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The only way to address the recent surge in cases in some US states like Michigan is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible while also not pulling back on Covid-19 mitigation strategies, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

“Several of the states are pulling back on mask mandates. They’re pulling back on restrictions on capacity for restaurants and bars,” Fauci said at a National Press Club event. “It is premature to declare a victory. We've got to continue and hang in there a bit longer by continuing with the public health measures.”

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first reported in the United Kingdom is also contributing to these surges, Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.

“We’ll be able to pull back for sure as we get more and more people vaccinated, so we don’t want to be too premature in saying ‘okay, we could go ahead and just let it fly: No more masks. Don't worry about congregate settings,’” Fauci said. “That would be a mistake.”

3:56 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Fauci says he would feel comfortable flying on an airplane because he is vaccinated 

From CNN’s Ashley Ahn

Dr. Anthony Fauci said even though his job does not require it, he would feel comfortable flying right now if it was essential. 

People should, however, continue to avoid travel if they can, given the current level of infection in the United States, he said at a National Press Club Virtual Headliners event Tuesday. 

“The CDC makes it very clear that right now with this level of infection in the community, we should probably try to avoid travel if we possibly can and limit travel to what we would call essential travel,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

“If I have to go someplace this summer, like with the family, I would not hesitate to do that if, in fact, we continue to come down on the infections and more and more people get vaccinated,” he added.

3:51 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Biden: Hopefully US will have enough vaccine doses to be able to send to other countries "pretty soon"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Joe Biden visits a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden visits a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday. Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden said he hopes the US will have enough vaccine doses that it will be able to begin distributing doses to other countries “pretty soon."

“Hopefully we’re gonna get good enough pretty soon where we have enough that we can give the rest of the world. Because this is something that’s not just, we could solve it here in America if we don’t solve it around the world. You can’t build a wall or a fence high enough to keep out a virus,” Biden said during a tour of a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday.

CNN has previously reported that Biden is taking initial steps toward helping other nations ramp up shots, including by boosting global manufacturing and appointing a top global health expert who previously advocated for shipping vaccines from the United States' surplus abroad.

However, the President remains wary of sending vaccines overseas before people in the United States have access, and administration health experts continue to caution that extra doses may be needed as the virus mutates and the pandemic persists.

3:42 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Toronto shutting down all in-person learning starting Wednesday due to Covid-19 risk level

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

Toronto Public Health is ordering all elementary and secondary schools to stop in-person learning and shift to remote learning, effective Wednesday, due to a growing concern of Covid-19 transmission, and variants of the virus.

The order will be in place from April 7 to April 18, according to the guidance issued today, at which point an extension may be considered.

According to the guidance, Toronto Public Health says it believes that schools should be "the first places in our community to open, and the last to close," but added, "current circumstances require that difficult decisions must be taken locally to protect all those in our school communities, including students, teachers and staff."

During the shutdown period, child care programs will also not be allowed to offer in-person care for kids who would otherwise be attending school. 

Toronto Public Health said this extreme measure is being taken to try to "reverse the surge of infection that the province currently faces."

3:15 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

More than 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered since Biden took office

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

People wait in line to get a Covid-19 vaccine in Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 13.
People wait in line to get a Covid-19 vaccine in Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 13. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly 169 million doses of Covid-19 have been administered in the United States, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Of those, about 150 million have been reported administered within 75 days of President Biden taking office, putting the administration on track to reach its goal of 200 million doses administered by day 100. 

The CDC reported that 168,592,075 total doses have been administered, about 77% of the 219,194,215 doses delivered. 

That’s about 1.4 million more doses reported administered since yesterday, for a seven-day average of about 3 million doses per day. 

Nearly 33% of the US population – more than 108 million people – have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and about 19% of the population – more than 63 million people – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

 

2:24 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Global Covid-19 cases rise for sixth consecutive week, WHO says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Global Covid-19 cases have risen for the sixth consecutive week, according to the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Update.

Over the last week, more than four million new cases have been reported.

The South-East Asia region – most notably India – and the Western Pacific region had the largest increases in case incidence. Brazil, the US, Turkey and France followed India in the highest number of new cases.

More than 71,000 new deaths were reported over the last week – an 11% increase compared to the week before.

All regions except the African region reported increases in deaths. The South-East Asia region also had the biggest increase (46%) in new deaths.

2:14 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

California will fully reopen June amid falling Covid-19 case rates

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California, the first state to implement a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans to fully reopen the state’s activities and businesses beginning June 15, based on falling infection rates and low hospitalizations in the state, Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday.

Given the large number Covid-19 vaccinations administered so far – which surpasses 20 million doses today – the state will stop using the four-tiered system, dubbed the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which has been in place since last August. Ghaly cited a “stable and low burden of the disease,” along with “continued improvements and low level of hospitalizations” in the state as reasoning for the plan to reopen.

California reported the lowest positivity rate in the country at 1.7%, far from its peak of 17.1% in early January when the state was reeling from a post-holiday surge.

The entire state will reopen as a whole on June 15, rather than taking the county-by-county approach that has been used for the better part of a year to tighten and relax restrictions.

State health officials will continue to use science and data to guide the reopening and variants will be closely monitored, Ghaly promised, adding that “necessary precautions” will be taken if there are any concerning rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations. 

California’s mask mandate will remain in place, focused specifically on what Ghaly calls “high risk” indoor settings. “Masking is a key protective feature, protecting those that are not yet eligible for a vaccine,” Ghaly said.

California's vaccination numbers: To date, California has administered over 7 million more vaccine doses than any other state, surpassing many other countries including France and Germany, according to Ghaly. About 70% of older Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine and over 4 million doses have been administered in the state’s hardest hit communities.

“We're looking at the supply and availability of vaccines. If the supply isn’t there, we may make some tweaks to that June 15 date. We need to make sure that all Californians interested in getting vaccinated, who are eligible, have a reasonable period of time to get that,” Ghaly said.

There is currently no plan to impose or have a vaccine passport plan system in California, but certain businesses are already exploring the option of verifying that their customers are vaccinated. 

“Part of the idea is that we can ramp up safely and it will also provide an incentive as people are allowed to do more activities because they’re vaccinated,” said the state's economic adviser, Dee Dee Myers. 

Some sectors, like large conventions with more than 5,000 people will be required to demonstrate that all attendees are either vaccinated or tested. That restriction will remain in place until Oct. 1. Ghaly also addressed the multi-day Coachella music festival that draws thousands to the Southern California desert annually, noting that it may not be able to reopen at the same size and scope, but state officials are working with organizers and event planners to ensure the safety of all participants.

Since Covid-19 first began menacing the world, nearly 3.6 millions Californians have been infected and more than 58,000 died as a result.

2:07 p.m. ET, April 6, 2021

Oxford-AstraZeneca pauses pediatric trial pending review by UK regulator

From CNN's Jo Shelley

A pediatric trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused pending a review by the UK’s medicines regulator over rare blood clot cases in adults, a University of Oxford spokesperson told CNN Tuesday. 

“Whilst there are no safety concerns in the pediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial,” the spokesperson said. 

“Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled visits and can contact the trial sites if they have any questions,” they added.

When contacted by CNN, AstraZeneca referred us to Oxford University.