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Trump comments ‘dangerous,’ Spain reports lowest new deaths in a month

As the number of U.S. deaths swiftly approaches 50,000, attention has turned to states that are attempting to reopen to spur economic growth. Some U.S. governors have begun easing restrictions despite warnings from world health officials that it may be too soon to do so without sparking a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 2.7 million
  • Global deaths: At least 191,231
  • US cases: More than 869,100
  • US deaths: At least 49,963

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:18 am: ‘Filthy bloody business:’ Poachers kill more animals as coronavirus crushes tourism to Africa 

Orphaned rhinos are seen amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a sanctuary for rhinos orphaned by poaching, in Mookgopong, Limpopo province, South Africa April 17, 2020.

Siphiwe Sibeko | Reuters

Although poaching is not uncommon in Africa, ever since the coronavirus halted travel to the continent,  poachers have encroached on land they wouldn’t normally visit and killed rhinos in tourism hot spots now devoid of visitors and safari guides. 

In Botswana, at least six rhinos have been poached since the virus shut down tourism there. Botswana’s security forces in April shot and killed five suspected poachers in two different incidents. In northwest South Africa, at least nine rhinos have been killed since the virus lockdown. All the poaching took place in what were previously tourism areas that were safe for animals to roam. 

“It’s a bloody calamity. It’s an absolute crisis,” Map Ives, founder of Rhino Conservation Botswana, a nonprofit organization, said of poaching across the continent. —Emma Newburger 

9:13 am: Trump Organization reportedly seeks government aid for golf resorts in UK and Ireland 

The Trump Organization has reportedly asked Britain and Ireland’s governments for assistance in weathering the coronavirus crisis.

The company, currently headed by the president’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, is seeking state aid to help cover wages at its golf resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland, and the Scottish counties of Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

All of the hotels are currently closed in compliance with government-enforced lockdown measures.

Eric Trump confirmed in a statement to USA Today that the Trump Organization was looking to local governments for help.

Spokespersons for the Trump Organization and Trump International were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. —Chloe Taylor 

9:10 am: US durable goods orders plunge 14.4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in March, vs 11.9{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} drop expected 

Appliances for sale at a Home Depot store.

Getty Images

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly rose in March, but the gains are not likely to be sustainable amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has abruptly shut down the economy and contributed to a collapse in crude oil prices.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, edged up 0.1{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} last month, the Commerce Department said. Data for February was up to show these so-called core capital goods orders falling 0.8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} instead of dropping 0.9{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders plunging 6.0{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in March.

U.S. durable goods orders sank 14.4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the month, compared with expectations for an 11.9{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} drop. Durable goods orders rose 1.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} a month earlier. —Reuters 

8:56 am: Verizon pulls 2020 revenue view as lockdowns result in wireless subscriber loss 

A woman looks at her phone in front of a Verizon Fios sign in Times Square in New York March 11, 2016.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Verizon Communications withdrew its full-year revenue outlook on Friday as it lost 68,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the first quarter amid lockdowns that closed 70{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} of its stores.

It led to a significant drop in customer activity and device volumes in the quarter, the telecom operator said. Analysts expected Verizon to gain just 100 subscribers in the quarter ended March 31, according to research firm FactSet.

The company, which plans to stay committed to investing in 5G network, said the virus reduced its earnings by 4 cents per share in the first quarter. Total operating revenue for the wireless carrier fell 1.6{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $31.6 billion from a year earlier. —Reuters 

8:20 am: British PM Johnson still recovering at country residence

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues his recovery from Covid-19 at his country residence and any decision to return to work in London will be taken on the advice of his doctors, his spokesman said.

Earlier, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Johnson was planning to return to work as early as Monday.

The spokesman declined to speculate on his return, saying only that the prime minister had been doing more this week, including an audience with Queen Elizabeth and speaking to U.S. President Donald Trump.

“He is continuing his recovery at Chequers. He continues to receive updates from Number 10 (Downing Street) on the coronavirus response and to speak with his colleagues,” the spokesman said.

“He was only discharged from hospital less than two weeks ago and he did have to spend some time in an intensive care unit, so as you’d expect he will want to have medical advice before he returns to work in Number 10.” —Reuters

8:17 am: Online education company Coursera offers unemployed workers thousands of free courses

Education technology company Coursera is pulling down its paywall for unemployed workers to give people who have lost their jobs around the world free access to education, as well as the ability to earn credentials.

The Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative is teaming up with state governments in the U.S. and the leadership of countries around the world to offer 3,800 courses from top universities and corporations, including Amazon and Google.

The initiative will give unemployed workers free access to education focused on developing skills to help them fill jobs that are in high demand. And instead of having to pay to earn a professional certificate, which can bolster a resume, any unemployed individual can earn professional credentials, like the Google IT Support Professional Support Certificate, that lead to on-demand tech jobs. These workers can take unlimited classes — which usually cost $399 a year — for free. —Julia Boorstin

7:25 am: Trump’s coronavirus disinfectant comments ‘dangerous,’ doctors say

Doctors and health experts urged people not to drink or inject disinfectant after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested scientists should investigate inserting the cleaning agent into the body as a way to cure Covid-19.

“(This is an) absolutely dangerous crazy suggestion,” said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia. “You may not die of Covid-19 after injecting disinfectant, but only because you may already be dead from the injection.”

Trump said at his daily media briefing on Thursday that scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the new coronavirus might help them clear the disease. “Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?” he said. “It would be interesting to check that.”

Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser warned people against using disinfectants to treat the coronavirus.

“Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” the company said in a statement.—Reuters

7:01 am: Spain reports lowest daily deaths in over a month

Health workers at Hospital Clinic applaud at 8p.m. during the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

Xavi Torrent

Spain said the number of daily fatalities fell to its lowest level in more than a month, with 367 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

That took total fatalities to 22,524 from 22,157 the day before, the health ministry said. The overall number of coronavirus cases rose to 219,764 from 213,024 the day before. –Reuters

6:49 am: Transport for London to furlough 7,000 staff, access job retention scheme

General view of an empty platform at Chancery Lane Station, London on March 19, 2020.

Alberto Pezzali | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Transport for London said it would place 7,000 staff on furlough and access the British government’s job retention scheme, saving nearly 16 million pounds ($19.72 million) a month in the face of the pandemic.

“TfL is to place 7,000 staff whose work has been reduced or paused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic on furlough from Monday. This will allow TfL to access funding from the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, saving the organization an estimated 15.8 million pounds every four weeks,” TfL, which runs the city’s underground subway system and bus network, said in a statement.

“This will partly reduce the huge financial impact of coronavirus whilst constructive discussions continue with Government on the wider revenue support that TfL will need to continue the effective operation of London’s transport network.” –Reuters

5:40 am: Indonesia reports biggest daily jump in new cases

A man walks past a mural depicting the COVID-19 coronavirus in Bangkalan, east Java on April 6, 2020.

Juni Kriswanto | AFP | Getty Images

Indonesia reported its biggest daily increase of Covid-19 infections, Reuters reported, citing a health ministry official. 

The Southeast Asian country identified 436 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total number of those infected nationwide to 8,211. Indonesia also reported an additional 42 fatalities on Friday, Reuters reported, bringing the coronavirus death toll up to 689. –Sam Meredith

4:33 am: India’s SpiceJet is seeking government funds to tide over crisis

Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has asked the government for relief that will ease the strain on its cash flow, chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said.

SpiceJet is one of the largest airlines in India, based on the number of domestic passengers it carries. Singh said the company is talking to lessors, who lease out planes used by SpiceJet, about payment deferrals on those leases.

More than 50{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} of the airline’s employees will be on leave without pay in April and the carrier is running a cargo business that’s generating some cash flow, he added.

Like other countries, India’s airlines are in crisis as the country’s extended lockdown measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus has left all passenger planes grounded till at least May 3, leading to a depletion of cash reserves for the airlines. –Saheli Roy Choudhury

3:50 am: Growing outrage over Beijing’s handling of pandemic

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, chairs a symposium at the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing, capital of China, March 2, 2020.

Yan Yan | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

A growing chorus of voices around the world is calling for China to compensate for the damages incurred due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The virus was first reported late last year in China’s Hubei province.

Just this week, the U.S. state of Missouri filed a civil lawsuit against the Chinese government over its handling of the outbreak, saying China’s response led to devastating economic losses for the state.

“The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease,” Schmitt, a Republican, said in a statement. “They must be held accountable for their actions.”

Other lawsuits have also been filed in American courts on behalf of business owners. China has refuted those claims. –Evelyn Cheng

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Indonesia reports biggest daily jump in cases; Airlines in ‘survival mode’

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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