U.S. now leads world in deaths, passes 20,000 mark

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: FRANCE-VIRUS-HEALTH
A man wearing a protective facemask looks at the reflection of the Eiffeil Tower on the Seine river, in Paris, on Saturday.Ludovic Marin / AFP - Getty Images

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The U.S. has now passed the 20,000 mark in the number of coronavirus deaths and leads the world in this grim tally, surpassing Italy for the first time.

The virus has killed 20,029 people in the United States, just above the number in Italy, according to NBC News' figures.

Worldwide, the death toll is more than 107,000, and the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 1.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., has warned that it is too early to relax coronavirus restrictions.

"Now is not time to back off," Fauci said Friday,

Meanwhile, current and former U.S. officials have told NBC News that American spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic.

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading Apr. 12 Coronavirus news.

Hospital workers find tires slashed after overnight shifts

In this image from video provided by News12 Hudson Valley, one of 22 vehicles with a flat tire is seen in the parking lot outside New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt, N.Y., on, April 11, 2020.News12 Hudson Valley / via AP

While many people around the country are applauding health care workers during the pandemic, some employees of a hospital in Westchester County, New York didn't feel the love Friday morning.

Staff at New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt completed an overnight shift Friday morning to find their car tires had been slashed, authorities said.

A 29-year-old man has since been arrested for cutting the tires of 22 vehicles in the hospital's parking lot.

Read the full story here.

Every U.S. state is now under disaster declaration

The entire country is now under a major disaster declaration for the coronavirus pandemic.

Wyoming on Saturday became the final state to receive such a declaration, which comes 22 days after the first one was approved, for New York, on March 20.

In addition to the 50 states, disaster declarations are also in place for Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Only one U.S. territory isn't under a major disaster declaration — American Samoa.

Bus and train riders in New Jersey will have to wear face coverings

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he is signing an executive order that requires all riders on NJ Transit buses and trains and on private bus lines to wear a mask or face covering. 

The order also says transit operators must provide their workers with masks and gloves.

"For many of our essential workers, public transit is how they get to work and we need to protect them during that trip," the governor said at a press conference on Saturday. 

In addition, Murphy said he was reducing the capacity on all buses, trains and rails by 50 percent. 

The governor previously said that all residents must wear a face covering when inside a grocery store or supermarket. On Saturday, he extended that to include restaurants and bars when residents go inside to pick up takeout orders. 

The new orders go into effect Monday at 8 p.m.

Promising research on vaccine and treatments for coronavirus

New York governor says will bring together 'best minds' to assess how to safely reopen state

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that 8,627 people have died of coronavirus in New York, with the latest daily toll at 783.

The “number of deaths is stabilizing at a horrific rate,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. New York saw it's highest one-day death toll of 799 on Wednesday.

At the same time, the number of new hospitalizations and intubations have been decreasing overall this week, suggesting that "we have hit the apex," the governor said.

He added that he will bring together the "best minds" to assess how to reopen the state without bringing on a second wave of infections.

Cuomo: 'I’m not running for president'

 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will not run for president in 2020.

“I’m not running for president. I'm not running fro vice president. I'm not running anywhere," Cuomo said at a coronavirus news conference on Saturday. "I'm not going to Washington, I'm staying right here.

Cuomo said that is was "flattering" that some Democrats wanted to see him replace former Vice President Joe Biden as the nominee, but also called it "irrelevant" in a time of crisis. 

"There is no politics here. I have no political agenda, period," Cuomo said. 

U.S. now leads world in coronavirus deaths, surpasses Italy

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center employees transport a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck on April 8, 2020 in Brooklyn, N.Y.David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

The United States now leads the world in the number of deaths from the coronavirus, having surpassed Italy on Saturday in this grim tally.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed 18,860 people in the United States, compared to 18,849 in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Among states, New York continues to have the greatest number of coronavirus deaths, 8,627 as of Saturday. It is followed by New Jersey and Michigan.

Worldwide, the pandemic has killed nearly 105,000 people as of Saturday.

Photo: Sign of the times in London

A cyclist passes a billboard for artist Mark Titchner, in the Shoreditch district of London, on Saturday.Henry Nicholls / Reuters

Trump authorizes 'robust assistance package' to help Italy

President Donald Trump authorized a "robust assistance package" to help Italy, a country hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, fight the outbreak, according to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday. 

"This will include support for international organizations and NGOs, including faith-based organizations, many of which are already providing essential relief to Italian communities," Pompeo said. 

Pompeo also said that the roughly 30,000 U.S. military personnel and families living in Italy would "assist with a variety of functions, including providing telemedicine services, facilitating the transport and assembly of field hospitals and equipment, treating non-COVID-19 patients, and supporting transport of supplies, fuel, and food."

UK has not reached coronavirus peak, so lockdown will continue, official says

A woman is told to go home by a police officer on Primrose Hill in London last week. The park was only open for people walking dogs or exercising.Matt Dunham / AP

Britain has not yet reached its peak of coronavirus infections, which would allow for an easing of tight restrictions of movement, health minister Matt Hancock said on Saturday.

His announcement comes as the death toll in British hospitals has reached nearly 9,000, with 980 of those fatalities reported on Friday, a figure which surpassed even the deadliest day so far in Italy.

“Our judgment is we’re not there yet. We haven’t seen a flattening enough to be able to say that we’ve reached the peak,” Hancock told BBC radio on Saturday. Nobody knows when that might be, he said. 

The U.K. government came under fire for an alleged lack of preparedness on Saturday. The British Medical Association said current supplies in were insufficient, and doctors faced a “heart-breaking” decision over whether to treat patients without proper personal protection equipment (PPE) and therefore put themselves at risk, according to Reuters. Nineteen health care professionals have died in the country as of Saturday

Among those who have been infected is Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is recovering in a hospital after spending three nights in intensive care. He is making “very good progress” in his recovery, his office said on Saturday.

New York City is moving 6,000 homeless people out of shelters into hotels

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday that by 6,000 of the city's homeless residents, mostly single adults, will be moved out of shelters into hotels by April 20.

"We think that is the right balance to strike to get people to stay safe" from coronavirus infection, the mayor said during a press briefing.

Over 300 homeless people in the city have tested positive for the virus, and at least 20 have died from the disease, according to city data released Friday.