Coronavirus News – April 13

U.S. leads world in coronavirus deaths

The U.S. has surpassed Italy as the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths with nearly 22,000 recorded by early Monday and more than 554,000 cases. Worldwide the death toll is more than 114,000 and the number of confirmed cases is close to 1.9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Read more. 

FDA Commissioner: U.S. close to peak of virus

The United States is close to its peak of the novel coronavirus, according to Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner. “The models do show that we are very close to the peak,” he told ABC’s “This Week.” “So, I think that information is accurate. This has been a really fast-moving outbreak, so we really have to take this day by day.” However, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a special adviser to the director general of the WHO, told ABC News that he doesn’t anticipate life fully returning to normal for another 18 months based on guidance from health professionals in the Trump administration. Read more.

CDC: Coronavirus can travel in air at least 13 feet; shoe soles can carry virus

Coronavirus can travel through the air at least 13 feet – more than twice the distance recommended in social distancing guidelines – according to a report from the CDC. Research published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal shows the virus spreading far further than previous official suggestions, as well as spreading on shoe soles. Half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive of samples taken at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China. High levels of the virus were also found on frequently touched surfaces like computers, trashcans and bed rails. Read more.

FBI exposes coronavirus scam after 39M masks fail to reach California

The FBI uncovered an international fraud scheme after more than 39 million masks promised to a powerful California union representing healthcare workers were never delivered to hospitals and other medical groups in the state. Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West announced on March 26 it had identified a distributor overseas who was willing to sell 39 million N95 masks. The FBI initially began to track the deal to determine if the 39 million masks should be intercepted for FEMA under the Defense Production Act. The investigators found fraud after it was reported the seller had “repeatedly failed to provide reliable information about where we could verify and inspect the shipment.” Read more.

New Hampshire receives 7 million pieces of PPE

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu helped unload a FedEx cargo plane containing nearly 7 million pieces of PPE on Sunday. He said some of the equipment will be shared with neighboring states. “Whether Vermont of Maine, we’ll find out what their need is and be part of the solution as well,” he said. “[Sunday] is truly a jumping off point for the state and the healthcare facilities and individuals who can start benefiting from getting this PPE. We’re going to get it out the door as fast as we can in a variety of different areas,” said Gov. Sununu. Read more.

China reports its highest number of new coronavirus cases since early March

China has reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases since early March, most involving people returning from other countries. The uptick heightened fears of a second wave and led to new constraints on travel. Read more.

Britain P.M. discharged from hospital, marking step forward in coronavirus recovery

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from the hospital on Sunday. He spent three nights in ICU at St. Thomas’ Hospital (London, England). He thanked the country’s National Health Service in a five-minute video for saving his life. He will not immediately return to work. Read more.