Health and Science

Trump says he won't extend social distancing guidelines; NFL furloughs employees and cuts salaries

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allows state parks and golf courses to reopen on May 2
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allows state parks and golf courses to reopen on May 2

Quarterly earnings reports shed more light on the impact of the global pandemic Wednesday, with tech giants Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla all providing financial updates. Covid-19 cases have surpassed 1 million in the U.S., killing 60,846, claiming more American lives than the Vietnam War. The Federal Reserve held interest rates at zero as Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy will likely need more support. 

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's Asia-Pacific team.

  • Global cases: More than 3.1 million
  • Global deaths: At least 226,771
  • US cases: More than 1 million
  • US deaths: At least 60,846

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

6:57 pm: Trump says he won't extend social distancing guidelines

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 29, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said the federal government will not be extending its coronavirus social distancing guidelines once they expire Thursday, and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, predicted that by July the country will be "really rocking again."

Meanwhile, Trump said he plans to resume official travel with a trip to Arizona next week. And he said he's hoping to hold mass campaign rallies in the coming months with thousands of supporters, even though medical experts have said there is little hope of having a vaccine by then.

Putting a positive face on the latest grim numbers — the U.S. death toll has now surpassed those in the Vietnam War — Trump delivered his daily upbeat update and Kushner described the administration's much-criticized response to the pandemic as "a great success story."

Trump also talked up the good news the day provided: hopeful results for a possible Covid-19 treatment. But the government announced dismal new economic numbers as the pandemic took hold and shut down much of the country.

The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate in first quarter of the year — a precursor to far grimmer reports that are expected this summer from the severe recession triggered by the pandemic. —Associated Press

6:49 pm: S&P lowers Boeing's credit rating on coronavirus hit to earnings, cash flow

S&P Global lowered Boeing's credit rating closer to junk due to the expected impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. planemaker's earnings and cash flow over the next few years.

S&P, which downgraded its rating to 'BBB-/A-3' from 'BBB/A-2', said it expects a significant decline in cash flow as Boeing tackles lower aircraft deliveries and aftermarket sales resulting from the impact of the coronavirus on air travel.

This will only be partly offset by the company's efforts to reduce costs to match lower demand, S&P said.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has led to travel bans, has added to the crisis the company faced over the grounding of its 737 MAX following fatal crashes. —Reuters

6:29 pm: US stock futures rise after solid tech earnings, Facebook up 10%

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes rose at the start of the overnight session Wednesday evening as both Facebook and Microsoft rallied after each issued better-than-expected revenue projections in their earnings reports.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 62 points, implying an opening gain of about 101 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively. —Thomas Franck

6:17 pm: Zuckerberg warns against reopening public spaces too soon

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference on February 15, 2020.
Kuhlmann | Munich Security Conference

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned that reopening public spaces too soon "almost guarantees" continued coronavirus outbreaks and economic fallout.

"While there are massive societal costs from the current shelter-in-place restrictions, I worry that reopening certain places too quickly before inaction rates have been reduced to very minimal levels will almost guarantee future outbreaks and worsen longer-term health and economic outcomes," Zuckerberg said on the company's first quarter earnings call.

"The impact on our business has been significant, and I remain very concerned that this health emergency and therefore the economic fallout will last longer than people are currently anticipating," Zuckerberg added.

Zuckerberg's comments come as some states mull whether to reopen businesses that the Covid-19 pandemic forced shut. —Jessica Bursztynsky

6:10 pm: Landlord blasts FedEx for rent reduction request

FedEx, citing the devastating impact of Covid-19, requested that its rent be cut in half at some FedEx Office locations for three months, a move sharply criticized by one landlord.

The request outraged Paul Orfalea, who is a landlord for nine FedEx locations in seven states across the country. The facilities, which are in strip malls and stand-alone buildings, are rented by partnerships in which Orfalea has a stake. He said so far he has received rent reduction letters for five FedEx locations.

Orfalea, a philanthropist and public speaker who teaches at USC and Loyola Marymount, founded Kinko's in 1970. The printing services store grew into more than 1,000 stores around the world and nearly $2 billion in annual sales. Orfalea stepped aside as chairman and left the board in 2000, prior to FedEx acquiring the business in 2004.

"If you are doing well financially, they should be paying their rent," Orfalea said. "They are taking advantage of the situation." —Scott Zamost, Jennifer Schlesinger

6:04 pm: Facing dearth of passengers, leisure airline ramps up plan to fly packages for Amazon

A Prime Air cargo plane, operated by Inc., sits on display with other passenger jets during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in Paris, France.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As millions of would-be travelers stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic, one airline has found an eager customer: Amazon.

Sun Country Airlines, an Apollo Global Management-owned carrier, struck a deal last December to start flying 10 Boeing 737 freighters for the online retailer. Minneapolis-based Sun Country plans to be flying all 10 by the end of the cargo planes by the end of July, earlier than the previous target for summer's end, CEO Jude Bricker told CNBC on Wednesday.

Passenger demand is down 95% at Sun Country from what was expected just a few months ago, echoing similar declines throughout the U.S. air travel industry, so the additional cargo business is welcome. The operation will begin with its first plane on May 7. —Leslie Josephs

5:54 pm: Trump wants FDA to move 'as quickly as they can' on remdesivir approval

President Donald Trump said he wants the Food and Drug Administration to move "as quickly as they can" to approve Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus.

"We would like to see very quick approvals, especially with things that work," he said at a roundtable at the White House with business executives Wednesday evening.

Earlier in the day, the FDA said it has been in "sustained and ongoing" discussions with Gilead to make remdesivir available to Covid-19 patients "as quickly as possible, as appropriate."

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said data from a coronavirus drug trial testing Gilead's drug showed "quite good news" and sets a new standard of care for Covid-19 patients. Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed a "clear-cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover." —Berkeley Lovelace

5:38 pm: The NFL is furloughing league employees and reducing salaries due to coronavirus

Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants makes a touchdown catch while being covered by Cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III #28 and Mike Ewards of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.
Don Juan Moore | Getty Images

In a memo to employees, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is not immune to the economic consequences of the coronavirus and he's made the difficult decision to take broad cost-saving measures across NFL offices that includes furloughs, salary cuts and a decrease in contributions to the pension plan.

"It is clear that the economic effects will be deeper and longer lasting than anyone anticipated and that their duration remains uncertain. The downturn has affected all of us, as well as our fans, our business partners, and our clubs," Goodell said in the memo. 

The cuts outlined in the memo obtained by CNBC, include a furlough program for individuals who are unable to substantially perform their duties from home and/or whose current workload has been significantly reduced. The changes take effect beginning May 8. 

"It's important to remember a furlough is not a termination. We do not know how long a furlough will last, but we are hopeful that we will be able to return furloughed employees back to work within a few months," Goodell said. —Jessica Golden

5:20 pm: Reported cases worldwide

5:16 pm: 3 big Trump donors are among business leaders influencing response to pandemic

President Donald Trump has sought and received advice on tackling the coronavirus crisis in private conversations with several of his allies in the business world, according to people familiar with the matter.

There are at least four executives Trump and his team have been in regular contact with, according to the people, who declined to be named due to the private nature of the conversations. They include Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and John Catsimatidis, CEO of the New York grocery chain Gristedes. Three of the men – Ellison, Schwarzman and Catsimatidis – are big Trump donors.

The conversations have ranged from the idea of shutting down the stock market, which did not happen, to discussing the state of the U.S. economy during the pandemic.  —Brian Schwarz

5:10 pm: The stock market is up from its pandemic dip. Should you get out?

The stock market is acting strangely these days, with headlines about market rallies next to ones about historic unemployment figures and companies filing for bankruptcy

You can't figure it out. But you may be wondering if you should take advantage of the upswing and pull some money out of the market.

If you entered this year with a $500,000 portfolio, split between stocks (70%) and bonds (30%), you'd have watched your savings shrivel to around $392,000 toward the end of March, according to data provided by Morningstar Direct.

Now that portfolio is back up to more than $470,000.

If you're tempted to pull money out of the market, first consider what you would do with the funds, said Sara Stanich, a Montauk, New York-based certified financial planner and founder of Cultivating Wealth.  —Annie Nova

4:57 pm: Jobless claims tally could top 30 million if new filers are close to last week's level

Fed's Powell on unemployment trends among low-income and minority groups
Fed's Powell on unemployment trends among low-income and minority groups

Some economists expect there were at least 4 million workers who filed for state unemployment benefits last week,  signaling the job losses could be greater than expected, as states catch up on claims applications.

The sudden shutdown of the economy, starting in the second half of March, has resulted in an unprecedented number of layoffs and furloughs, and is expected to send claims for benefits to above 30 million in six weeks. Claims already had reached 26.4 million in the prior five weeks.

Total claims filed with states for the week ended April 25 will be reported Thursday at 8:30 a.m. The consensus forecast of economists was at 3.5 million, according to Dow Jones. There were 4.4 million claims filed in the prior week of April 18. —Patti Domm

4:24 pm: Pandemic halts climate research and raises fears of long-term hit to science budgets

From delaying Arctic expeditions to canceling climate summits, the coronavirus pandemic is hindering global progress on fighting climate change and raising fears over a long-term hit to scientific research budgets.  

"It's increasingly apparent that all kinds of science is being disrupted by the pandemic, from field work to theoretical studies to efforts to improve public policy," said Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and founder of the Pacific Institute in Berkeley, California.

"Every minute of disruption further delays the urgent need to tackle the accelerating threat of climate change," he said.  —Emma Newburger

4:10 pm: California governor announces additional $3.2 million for farmers, food banks

Northern California beaches getting crowded amid social-distancing concerns
Northern California beaches getting crowded amid social-distancing concerns

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that the state plans to expand its Farm to Family Program, which connects surplus from local farmers and ranchers to the state's food banks.

Newsom said the expanded effort will provide more than $3.2 million in federal and private funds to connect 128 farmers and ranchers to 41 food banks in every county in the state.

Newsom said ranchers have seen a 50% reduction in demand amid the Covid-19 outbreak and have reported having excess produce and other perishable items.  Meanwhile, food banks have had a 73% spike in demand. The goal of the expanded initiative will be to provide 21 million pounds of fresh food and produce to food banks in May.

He also announced the state would expand its food benefits program to allow more than 4 million EBT card holders to shop online at  Amazon and Walmart, and he said the state will offer a pandemic-EBT program to provide up to $365 in additional funds for children who are no longer receiving free or reduced-cost school lunches. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

4 pm: VW indefinitely extends plant shutdown

Volkswagen is indefinitely extending the shutdown of its vehicle assembly plant in Tennessee due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The German automaker has rescheduled its plans to reopen the facility several times since production ceased on March 21 due to Covid-19. The most recent date was to restart production on Sunday.

VW joins General Motors and Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler in indefinitely extending the shutdowns while others continue with plans to restart U.S. facilities.

Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor and Honda Motor have announced plans to reopen factories in early-May. Nissan Motor, following several postponements, has announced plans to restart production in mid-May.

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it restarted vehicle production at its plant in Alabama on Monday. — Mike Wayland

3:50 pm: Subway CEO defends franchise owners who applied for small business loans

Subway CEO John Chidsey on reopening restaurants and PPP loans
Subway CEO John Chidsey on reopening restaurants and PPP loans

Subway CEO John Chidsey is defending the company's franchisees who applied for small business loans to help offset the economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic

"We literally have 10,700 franchisees in the U.S., and on average they own two restaurants apiece," Chidsey said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." 

"We are the ultimate mom-and-pop, if you will, and totally woven into the fabric of local communities out there," he added.

A number of large companies, many of them publicly traded, have in recent days been criticized for seeking loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Some of the corporations, such as Potbelly and Shake Shack, have said they will return the money received through the program, which was created in March by the $2 trillion CARES Act.  —Kevin Stankiewicz

3:41 pm: FDA in 'ongoing' talks with Gilead to make remdesivir available to patients 'as quickly as possible'

The Food and Drug Administration has been in "sustained and ongoing" discussions with Gilead Sciences to make antiviral drug remdesivir available to Covid-19 patients "as quickly as possible, as appropriate," the agency said. 

FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum told CNBC, "As part of the FDA's commitment to expediting the development and availability of potential COVID-19 treatments, the agency has been engaged in sustained and ongoing discussions with Gilead Sciences regarding making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, as appropriate." —Berkeley Lovelace

3:25 pm: Powell says the economy will likely need more support from the Fed for the recovery to be 'robust'

Fed's Powell says the economy will likely need more support in order for 'robust' recovery
Fed's Powell says the economy will likely need more support in order for 'robust' recovery

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said more stimulus is needed to ensure a robust economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

"It may well be the case that the economy will need more support from all of us if the recovery is to be a robust one," Powell said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday following the central bank's policy decision. "Will there be a need to do more though? I think the answer to that would be yes."

"We have a number of dimensions on which we can still provide support to the economy as you know our credit policies are not subject to specific dollar limit," Powell said. "They can be expanded as needed and we can do new ones, so we can continue to be part of the answer." —Yun Li

3:15 pm: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reopens state parks and golf courses

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he's reopening the state's parks, golf courses and county parks on Saturday, but visitors will still need to follow social distancing rules. 

"For passive recreation including running and hiking, biking, fishing, boating, kayaking and horseback riding, come Saturday morning our state parks will be open once again," Murphy said at a news briefing Wednesday, adding that he's signing an executive order reopening recreational areas. "County governments will regain the authority to decide whether county parks will be open or closed," he added.

After declaring a statewide stay-at-home order on March 21, the New Jersey governor shut down all state and county parks April 7 to help contain the coronavirus outbreak across the state. —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Jasmin Kim

3:04 pm: Apple is making it easier to unlock your iPhone without Face ID, since everyone's wearing masks now

Apple has released beta iPhone software that makes it easier to unlock your iPhone without using Face ID and while wearing a mask. 

Right now, if you're wearing a mask, you need to lift your mask to unlock an iPhone with Face ID. Otherwise, there's a small but annoying delay between when the phone realizes it can't see your face and when it presents the screen to enter in a passcode. You can just turn off Face ID, but then you don't get the convenience when you're at home and not wearing a mask.

In the new iOS 13.5 beta 3 code, which was released to developers for testing on Wednesday, Apple simplifies the unlock process for folks wearing masks by bringing the passcode field to the main screen. All you need to do is swipe up if you're wearing a mask, and you'll skip the Face ID display and enter in a code instead. —Todd Haselton

2:51 pm: Trump to meet with executives from Waffle House, Wynn, Toyota, others to discuss reopening economy

Executives from the Wynn ResortsHilton Worldwide, Toyota North America and Waffle House are among those meeting with President Donald Trump today to discuss reopening the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The people, who requested anonymity because the list of attendees is not yet public, said other executives will be in attendance as well. 

Trump has been soliciting feedback from a wide range of executives on when and how to reopen businesses that have shuttered their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for Toyota confirmed the company's attendance at the meeting Wednesday.  

"Toyota announced its intention to ramp up its North American manufacturing operations in May. As a result, Toyota was invited to the White House to be part of a discussion highlighting a group of companies that are ramping up their operations," the spokesman said. —Lauren Hirsch

2:45 pm: Construction, outdoor activities allowed to resume in San Francisco Bay Area

A revised order announced by multiple counties will allow all construction work, as well as certain outdoor businesses and activities, to resume in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, announced the revision Wednesday. The revision comes as part of an order that extends the area's stay-at-home policy through May 31. —Hannah Miller


2:08 pm: Fed pledges to keep rates near zero until full employment, inflation come back

The Federal Reserve painted a dour picture of current conditions and pledged to continue its historically aggressive policy stance until it is comfortable that the U.S. economy is back on its feet.

Following this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the central bank said it would maintain its current interest rate target between 0% and 0.25%. 

"The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term," the committee said in its post-meeting statement. "The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals." —Jeff Cox

2:00 pm: Over 50% of malls with department stores are predicted to close by 2021, real estate services firm says

Shoppers wearing protective masks walk through the re-opened Anderson Mall in Anderson, South Carolina, on Friday, April 24, 2020.
Dustin Chambers | Bloomberg | Getty Images

First, the department store closes. Then, the apparel shops try to scoot out of deals. This is a one-two punch that could trigger a wave of malls shutting for good over the next 12 months. 

More than 50% of all the malls anchored by department stores in America could close permanently by the end of 2021, a new report by Green Street Advisors predicts. There are about 1,000 malls still open in the U.S. And roughly 60% of those have department store retailers, such as Macy's, as anchor tenants, the commercial real estate services firm said. 

The coronavirus pandemic that has slammed the U.S. economy is speeding up the demise of department stores. As Covid-19 forced the likes of J.C. Penney, Macy's, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to shut stores, the circumstances became even more dire for these already struggling companies. Slumping sales and an overhang of debt could push some into bankruptcy. Strained for cash, these retailers are scrambling for additional liquidity. More department store closures are inevitable. And that will put another level of pressure on mall owners. —Lauren Thomas

1:52 pm: Large lenders temporarily shut out of small business relief lending, Treasury and SBA announce

Large lenders will be prohibited from lending through the government's Paycheck Protection Program on Wednesday evening.

A joint statement read:  "To ensure access to the PPP loan program for the smallest lenders and their small business customers, starting at 4 p.m. today EDT through 11:59 p.m. EDT, SBA systems will only accept loans from lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion dollars.

"Please note, lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion will still be able to submit PPP loans outside of this time frame. Please also note that lenders with asset sizes greater than $1 billion will be able to submit loans outside of today's 4pm -11:59 p.m. EDT reserved processing time. —Al Lewis

1:44 pm: Contactless payments jump 40% as shoppers fear germs on cash and credit cards, Mastercard says

Shoppers are increasingly paying in ways that don't involve touching cash, or handing over a credit card, because of fears of the coronavirus, according to Mastercard. 

The credit-card giant reported a 40% jump in contactless payments — including tap-to-pay and mobile pay — during the first quarter as the global pandemic worsened.

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga said the trend was being driven by consumers "looking for a quick way to get in and out of stores without exchanging cash, touching terminals, or anything else." 

"We are seeing an increase in the use of contactless transactions, and we think this trend will continue after the pandemic," Banga said Wednesday on Mastercard's first-quarter earnings call with analysts. —Kate Rooney

1:36 pm: WHO is investigating whether coronavirus causes rare inflammatory disease in some kids

Children are seen wearing raincoats, gloves, goggles and facemasks as they wait for their flight at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on March 18, 2020 in Manila, Philippines.
Ezra Acayan | Getty Images

The World Health Organization is investigating whether the coronavirus causes some children to develop a rare inflammatory disease, WHO officials said.

Health officials in the U.K. warned doctors over the weekend that Covid-19 could be causing a rare inflammatory condition in children. Britain's Pediatric Intensive Care Society said Monday the National Health Service alerted it to a small number of critically ill children presenting with "an unusual clinical picture." 

The society noted that many — but not all — of the children with symptoms of the new inflammatory disease had been diagnosed with Covid-19. The condition was likened to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease.

"We are aware of this report which came out of the United Kingdom about a small number of cases amongst children with this inflammatory response," WHO's lead scientist on Covid-19 Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said. "We're looking at this with our clinical network."

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. Symptoms include a high temperature, a sunburn-like rash and flu-like symptoms such as a headache and sore throat. —Will Feuer, Jasmine Kim

1:27 pm: Lyft lays off 17% of workforce, furloughs hundreds more

Lyft is laying off 982 employees and furloughing an additional 288 in an effort to reduce operating expenses and adjust cash flows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company announced in a regulatory filing

Lyft stock was up nearly 4% Wednesday afternoon, amid a broader market rally thanks to a study from drugmaker Gilead that showed promising results for antiviral drug remdesivir in Covid-19 patients.

The layoffs account for 17% of the company's workforce, Lyft said. Lyft also has implemented reductions in base salary for employees exempt from the layoffs and furloughs for a twelve week period. The salary cuts, which begin in May, will consist of a 30% reduction for executive leadership, 20% for vice presidents and 10% for all other exempt employees, Lyft said. —Jessica Bursztynsky

1:19 pm: Apple and Google release test version of coronavirus tracing software

Apple and Google released a beta version of their coronavirus tracing software. 

This software will power apps that do "digital contact tracing" or, as Apple and Google call it, "exposure notification." These apps will provide notifications to users that they may have been exposed to someone infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus, without collecting or sharing data about their identities.

Apple and Google are not building the apps. Rather, they're building technology into their market-leading smartphone operating systems, iOS and Android, to enable apps to use Bluetooth signals to determine their distance from other phones. If a person tests positive with Covid-19, they can use the apps to send notifications to other phones that have come within a certain distance, telling the owners of those phones to get tested.

Millions of people around the world are expected to download these apps to fight the spread of the coronavirus over the coming months. —Kif Leswing

1:13 pm: Fiesta Restaurant Group returning $15 million in small business rescue loans, share surge 20%

Source: Taco Cabana

Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands, announced in an SEC filing that the company will be repaying and returning $15 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program of the coronavirus relief package.

That is the full amount of loans the company received.

Fiesta's loans were originally revealed in a report published by Morgan Stanley on large public companies that got the funds, which were designed to help small businesses.

The restaurant company got loans from JPMorgan Chase Bank to Pollo Operations Inc. and Texas Taco Cabana, LP, indirect subsidiaries of Fiesta, according to an 8-K filing.

Fiesta employs more than 10,000 people, according to its most recent reported annual number. The company had $159.5 million in total revenue in its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, down from $167.6 million a year earlier. —Jennifer Schlesinger

1:05 pm: New York Gov. Cuomo says NYC subway system is disgusting and deteriorating, orders cleaning plan

New York Gov. Cuomo orders cleaning plan for disgusting, deteriorating NYC subway system
N.Y. Gov. Cuomo orders cleaning plan for disgusting, deteriorating NYC subway system

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he's ordering New York City's subway authority to develop a cleaning plan for all trains after reports that the subway system has deteriorated, trains are filled with homeless people and crime has proliferated. 

Cuomo said he saw pictures in The Daily News of train cars that were filthy and disgusting and had homeless people living on them with all of their belongings. He added that some crimes have increased despite a 90% drop in ridership amid the Covid-19 outbreak. 

"And it was not just the Daily News picture, it reflected what has been in the press and what people have been saying, which is the deterioration of the conditions in the subways," Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany.

He said that he's ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to submit a full plan by Thursday on how they intend to disinfect every train, every night to protect commuting essential workers.

"Any essential worker who shows up and gets on a train should know that that train was disinfected the night before," Cuomo said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

12:54 pm: Stocks extend surge, with Dow rallying 600 points to session high

Stocks jumped on the back of positive data from a potential coronavirus treatment from Gilead Sciences, while investors digested a sharp drop in U.S. economic activity. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 605 points, or 2.5%. The S&P 500 gained 2.9% while the Nasdaq Composite traded 3.5% higher. —Fred Imbert, Yun Li

12:46 pm: Mnuchin says he's reserving $259 billion to add to Fed coronavirus lending programs

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump listen during an East Room event highlighting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is keeping some $259 billion worth of coronavirus aid capital in reserve for new or expanded Federal Reserve lending programs, but is not considering further aid to airlines at the moment.

Mnuchin told reporters during a video news briefing that all of the unallocated capital would go to broad-based Fed lending programs.

"I didn't want to allocate all the money up front," Mnuchin said on a Zoom chat. "I wanted to leave some in reserve to see how each one of these programs did, to see if the programs needed more money and to see if we needed to do more programs." —Reuters

12:38 pm: UK has second-highest coronavirus death toll in Europe, new figures show

The United Kingdom now has Europe's second-highest official death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures on Wednesday that cover fatalities in all settings, including in nursing homes.

Some 26,097 people died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus as of April 28 at 1600 GMT, Public Health England (PHE) said. That means the United Kingdom has had more Covid-19 deaths than France and Spain have reported.

"These more complete data will give us a fuller and more up to date picture of deaths in England and will inform the government's approach as we continue to protect the public," Yvonne Doyle, medical director at PHE, said.

Although international comparisons are difficult, the new figures confirm Britain's place among the European countries worst hit hardest by the pandemic. —Reuters

12:30 pm: Dr. Anthony Fauci says data from remdesivir drug trial shows 'quite good news'

Dr. Anthony Fauci (L), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks next to Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx, during a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards D-LA in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 29, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that data from a coronavirus drug trial testing Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir showed "quite good news."

Speaking to reporters from the White House, Fauci said he was told data from the trial showed "clear cut positive effect in diminishing time to recover."

U.S. health officials are expected to release the full results of a drug trial conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases later Wednesday. Gilead Sciences announced earlier in the day that the study had met its primary endpoint, but did not provide further details. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

12:19 pm: Starbucks plans to start reopening US locations next week. Here's what customers can expect