More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges.
Live updates for Sunday, April 5, continue below:
Third passenger from Coral Princess cruise ship dies
Update 10:52 p.m. EDT April 5: A third passenger from the Coral Princess cruise ship has died, CNN reported.
The passenger was taken from the cruise ship after it docked to a hospital and later died.
Two passengers had died before the ship docked early Saturday morning in Miami.
Six passengers were taken to hospitals Saturday and eight more were taken Sunday.
Florida congressman, first to test positive, now rid of virus
Update 9:46 p.m. EDT April 5: A U.S. congressman from Florida who was the first representative to test positive has recovered from the coronavirus.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said Sunday he was virus-free.
“Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami,” Diaz-Balart said on social media. "Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the (Red Cross) plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.”
He later stressed the importance of social distancing.
“I want to reiterate the seriousness of this sickness, and I encourage everyone to continue to follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” he said.
Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks
Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy, where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks.
Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19, when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported.
“The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend," health official Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday.
More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins’ virus-tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases.
The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak, when daily new cases topped 6,000.
The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York
Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases.
"I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks," Inslee said.
The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks.
“Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need," said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management.
Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus
Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus.
He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported.
Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight.
Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26.
Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus
Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus.
It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover.
The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus.
Death Valley National Park temporarily closes
Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website.
Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal
Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally.
“Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation," said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.”
Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota
Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive
Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family.
A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported.
Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier.
“There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.”
NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators
Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.”
West Virginia puts cap of 5 or less on gatherings in 3 more counties
Update 12:08 p.m. EDT April 5: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice expanded a Friday order to include three additional counties that must limit gatherings to five people or less, CNN reported. Justice added Monongalia, Harrison and Kanawha counties to the order, which originally included Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, Justice said in a news release.
Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’
Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported.
"I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”
The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says
Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.”
“I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program.
DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases
Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C.
Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive
Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day.
Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications
Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus.
Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards.
NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York
Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York.
According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media.
“New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.”
As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public
Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on.
As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country.
Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts
Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week.
In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.
“I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.”
She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.”
As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal.
Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record
Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting.
Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper.
On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan.
BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams
The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens.
Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week:
- A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans.
- Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General.
- A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real.
- A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus.
- A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately.
- The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device.
The Better Business Bureau said to remember:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer.
- The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer.
- Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account.
- Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you.
- Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere.
If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker.
HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients
Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state.
The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington.
It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported.
Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement.
The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks.
It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious.
“The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn.
Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit.
Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing.
“And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said.
He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die.
But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results.
“All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday.
He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect.
U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths
Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy.
Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878.
Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including:
• Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths
• Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths
• Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths
• Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths
Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.