Coronavirus live updates: 2.4 million Californians have applied for unemployment since March 12, US customs seize PPE exports

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 1,464,800
  • Global deaths: At least 85,397
  • US cases: More than 402,900
  • US deaths: At least 13,007

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

4:45 pm: 2.4 million Californians have applied for unemployment since March 12

California Gov. Gavin Newsom reported that 2.4 million Californians have applied for unemployment insurance in the state since March 12. That’s an increase of 1.4 million claims since the number topped 1 million on March 25.

He encouraged those people to use a website called OnwardCA.org to look for job openings. The site, which launched about a week ago, is run by Kapor Center, Bitwise Industries and the state of California in collaboration with more than 100 other businesses including Salesforce and Microsoft’s LinkedIn.

Newsom also said that the state has reported 16,957 people with positive COVID-19 tests so far, with 1,154 of them in intensive care units, and 2,714 hospitalized. Over the last 24 hours, he said, 68 have died from COVID-19 adding to California’s total death toll of 442 so far amid the pandemic. –Lora Kolodny

4:20 pm: Processing delays heighten anxiety for small businesses tapping $350 billion rescue program

Banks are scrambling to process a growing backlog of applications for the U.S. program designed to funnel at least $350 billion in relief to small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Massive demand for the program in its first week has been met with several time-consuming bottlenecks at lenders and with the Small Business Administration portal the companies use to get loans approved.

For instance, the two biggest U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, had a combined 625,000 in requests for $80 billion in loans as of Tuesday. But because the companies are relying on armies of employees to manually take in customers’ information, verify loan amounts and input data into the SBA system, only a small fraction of that has actually been paid out so far, according to people with knowledge of the situation. —Hugh Son, Dawn Giel

4:00 pm: Mark Cuban says pandemic will end up improving capitalism with companies putting employees first

Mark Cuban, chairman and chief executive officer of Axs TV, speaks during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, May 9, 2019. SALT brings together investors, policy experts, politicians and business leaders to network and share ideas to unlock growth opportunities in finance, economics, entrepreneurship, public policy, technology and philanthropy.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Capitalism will become more “compassionate” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban said Wednesday. 

“I think capitalism is going to become a lot smarter and a lot more compassionate because of what we’re going through,” Cuban said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said he thinks executives will now recognize that they need to put employees first.

“It can’t just be about shareholders,” Cuban said. “In fact, you have to put employees ahead of shareholders.” 

Cuban has been outspoken in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic intensified. —Kevin Stankiewicz

3:35 pm: Toyota extends plant shutdowns

Camry vehicles move through final inspection after coming off the assembly line at the Toyota Motor Corp. manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Toyota Motor is delaying the reopening of its North American manufacturing operations until May 4, the company announced Wednesday.

The Japanese automaker joins Fiat Chrysler and Tesla in planning to reopen their facilities that day. Honda Motor also plans to restart its operations in early-May.

Toyota initially planned to reopen plants as early as March 25 but has now pushed back its starting date three times. The most recent plan was April 20.

Toyota cited the most recent extension to “the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and decline in vehicle demand.” The company’s sales in the first quarter declined 8.8%, including a 36.9% slide in March.

The company operates 15 manufacturing plants in North American, including 10 in the U.S., and directly employs more than 47,000 people.  —Mike Wayland

3:19 pm: Pinterest CEO launches self-reporting app to help track virus spread

As the coronavirus crisis continues to escalate, doctors, scientists and medical professionals have been pushed to their limits in pursuit of PPE (personal protective equipment) and various medical devices, such as ventilators, to combat the virus and its mortality rate. Another device they’re in desperate need of in this fight? Information.

To solve for the lack of information available to these public health professionals, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has partnered with leading doctors and scientists to launch a new app called “How We Feel”, which allows Americans to self-report just that — how they’re feeling, healthy or not.

The app, created by The How We Feel Project, lets people in the U.S. report their age, gender, Zip code and most importantly, any health symptoms they may be experiencing, helping researchers reveal outbreak hot spots and track the ongoing spread of the virus.

The How We Feel Project is part of a nonprofit collaboration between Silbermann and an interdisciplinary group of researchers affiliated with institutions like Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University and Weill Cornell Medicine, among others, as well as a volunteer team of current and former Pinterest employees. The mobile app is the organization’s first product. —Riley de Leon

2:59 pm: US to seize exports of masks and gloves amid pandemic

Nurse Hannah Sutherland adjusts her personal protective equipment (PPE) while awaiting new patients at a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Cummings Park on March 23, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut.

John Moore | Getty Images

The United States will seize exports of key protective medical gear until it determines whether the equipment should be kept in the country to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, two federal agencies announced.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will hold exports of respirators, surgical masks and surgical gloves, according to a joint announcement made with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA will then determine if the equipment should be returned for use in the United States, purchased by the U.S. government or exported.

President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Friday that directed federal agencies to use any authority necessary to keep the highly sought-after medical supplies in the United States. —Reuters

2:35 pm: Fed will keep rates near zero until economy has ‘weathered’ pandemic impact, minutes show

The Federal Open Market Committee has released the minutes of its March 15 meeting, during which it lowered its benchmark interest rate to near zero. 

The decision also included a nod to the “forward guidance” the Fed uses to indicate the future path of policy. Market participants had been looking for whether the meeting summary would show an intent to keep the fed funds rate at its lowest level.

“With regard to monetary policy beyond this meeting, these participants judged that it would be appropriate to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to ¼ percent until policymakers were confident that the economy had weathered recent events and was on track to achieve the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals,” the minutes said. —Jeff Cox

2:09 pm: As hospitals beg for protective gear, manufacturers are banding together to churn out plastic face shields

Face shield bands were 3D printed at Maker Nexus in Sunnyvale, California for Santa Clara Valley medical facilities.

Maker Nexus

In March, Arash Malek was sheltering-in-place in California and looking for a way to help during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. 

So he turned to the laser cutter in his garage

Malek is the founder of a company that sells custom air fresheners for Teslas, and he figured he might be able to use his fabrication skills to help with the protective personal equipment (PPE) shortages that are putting medical professionals and patients at risk.

A respiratory therapist he knew through the Tesla community said he could help Malek create a design that medical pros could use. After he gave the green light, Malek produced 2,500 face shields, and shipped the first boxes this week to hospitals that have asked for donations, including Children’s National in Washington DC.  He’s put his business on the back burner for the moment to focus on PPE. —Kif Leswing

2:01 pm: NJ to cease nonessential construction, require customers and employees to cover faces

Hoboken’s famous Washington Street is seen empty in New Jersey, United States on March 16, 2020.

Tayfun Coskin | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

New Jersey will indefinitely ban nonessential construction as of 8 p.m. Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced. Projects at hospitals, schools, the construction of affordable housing and some other projects will be excluded, he said.

Murphy also said the state is requiring all customers and employees at essential retail stores to wear face coverings. Stores will need to limit the number of customers to 50% of their approved capacity.

“This same executive order also aims to mitigate the instances we have seen of overcrowding at essential retail stores and most notably in our supermarkets,” he said. —Will Feuer

1:56 pm: Boris Johnson’s condition is improving in intensive care

Britain’s treasury chief said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is improving in the intensive care unit of a London hospital.

Rishi Sunak said that Johnson has been sitting up in bed and engaging with his doctors at St. Thomas’ Hospital. Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, 10 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was transferred to the ICU on Monday when his condition deteriorated.

Johnson’s spokesman said earlier Wednesday that the prime minister was receiving “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without any other assistance.

Britain’s confirmed death toll reached 7,097 on Wednesday, an increase of 938 from 24 hours earlier and its biggest spike so far. —Associated Press

1:42 pm: Airbus cuts airplane production by a third because of coronavirus 

European aircraft giant Airbus is cutting its production rate by about a third “to adapt to the new coronavirus market environment.”

The reductions apply to both wide-body aircraft used for long, international routes and narrow-body planes that make up the bulk if its order book. Single-aisle A320s will go to 40 a month, A330s to two a month, and A350s to six a month.

Boeing, Airbus’ main rival, earlier this week said it would indefinitely suspend production of wide-body 787 planes in South Carolina, a move that coupled with its temporary shut down in the Seattle area puts all of its commercial airplane manufacturing on hold because of the virus. —Leslie Josephs

1:25 pm: New York Gov. Cuomo says state won’t return to ‘normal’ as daily coronavirus deaths reach new high

View of an almost empty Time Square on April 03, 2020 in New York.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the coronavirus outbreak could “stabilize” within weeks if the state maintains its strict social distancing policies, even as he announced the highest daily death count yet and said life for New Yorkers will never be the same.

I don’t think we return to normal. I don’t think we return to yesterday,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. “I think we return to a new normal.”

The governor offered a glint of hope that the harsh policies he has imposed, such as ordering residents to stay home and forcing non-essential businesses to close, are having a tangible impact on the spread of the virus.

Those social distancing measures are working, he said. “It is flattening the curve.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

1:16 pm: WHO officials are investigating human transmission of the coronavirus to pets

Dogs wearing masks are seen in a stroller.

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

World Health Organization officials said they’re investigating several cases where pets, and even a Tiger, appear to have gotten infected with the coronavirus by their human caretakers.

“We’re aware of two dogs that have been infected in Hong Kong, a cat in Belgium and we’ve heard recently the reports of a tiger at the Bronx Zoo,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the outbreak, said during a press conference. “There are several groups that are conducting investigations in animals to really understand how pets are infected.”

One study conducted on cats in Wuhan found that the pets could be infected with the coronavirus, Kerkhove said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

1:03 pm: Coronavirus is set to cost 195 million jobs in the second quarter, UN labor agency predicts

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020, according to a forecast by the International Labor Organization.

The United Nations’ labor agency said this would be the equivalent of 195 million full-time workers, with a standard 48-hour working week.

In March, the ILO predicted that nearly 25 million jobs would be lost by the end of 2020.

However, it now believes that there is a “high risk that the end-of-year figure will be significantly higher” than that initial projection, as the pandemic had “further accelerated in terms of intensity and expanded its global reach” since that data was published. —Vicky McKeever

12:51 pm: As Trump attacks, WHO warns against politicizing coronavirus if you don’t want ‘many more body bags’

The World Health Organization asked the United States and China for “honest leadership” on the coronavirus pandemic, warning global leaders against politicizing the COVID-19 outbreak “if you don’t want to have many more body bags,” Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

President Donald Trump criticized the international agency’s response to the outbreak Tuesday, saying the WHO “really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong.” He also threatened to withhold U.S. funding for the WHO.

“At the end of the day, the people belong to all political parties. The focus of all political parties should be to save their people, please do not politicize this virus,” Tedros said. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

12:35 pm: A student created a computer program that tells you when an Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods delivery slot opens up

With most of the U.S. locked down at home and many people afraid to risk their health with a visit to the grocery store, it’s become almost impossible to find a delivery window for groceries. Services such as Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods delivery, Instacart and others usually let you choose a window for delivery. But with demand so high, the slots are almost impossible to find.

That’s a problem for people who are afraid to go out to grocery stores.

So Adrian Hertel, a computer science minor at Georgetown University, created a simple computer program that automatically notifies you when an Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods delivery slot opens up, letting you place your order. It works on Macs in the Safari web browser. Hertel told me he built it because he was worried about his parents, both of whom have immune deficiencies. —Todd Haselton

12:24 pm: Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll falls, but new cases accelerate

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 542, a lower tally than the 604 the day before, but the number of new cases pushed higher to 3,836 compared with a previous 3,039.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 17,669, the Civil Protection Agency said, the highest in the world.

The number of confirmed cases climbed to 139,422, the third-highest global tally behind that of the United States and Spain.

There were 3,693 people in intensive care on Wednesday against 3,792 on Tuesday — a fifth consecutive daily decline, underscoring growing hopes that the illness is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown introduced on March 9. —Reuters

12:17 pm: 1 in 4 Americans have either lost their job or had pay cut from coronavirus shutdowns, survey shows

A quarter of Americans have either lost their job or seen their wages cut as a result of the coronavirus shutdown, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey, which registered the biggest and fastest decline ever in the public’s view of the economy.

At the same time, it found that a majority of Americans remains optimistic that the economy will bounce back in the next year, and President Donald Trump‘s approval rating has improved.

The poll of 800 Americans across the nation, conducted Friday through Monday, found 10% saying they have lost their job and 16% reporting they have seen their wages or salary reduced due to the economic shutdown that has accompanied the spread of the virus. —Steve Liesman

12:05 pm: Broadway to remain closed until at least June 7

A man walks past Broadway show posters on Shubert Alley in Times Square after it was announced that Broadway shows will cancel performances due to the coronavirus outbreak in New York, U.S., March 12, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Broadway theaters will remain dark through June 7, the Broadway League said.

The new date was set in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and the direction of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Previously, Broadway theaters were expected to reopen on April 13 after a 30-day suspension.

“Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

Those that have purchased tickets for performances through the new June date should contact their point of purchase for more information about ticket exchanges and refunds. According to the Broadway League, local tri-state area residents make up 35% of Broadway’s annual audience while tourists account for the other 65%. —Sarah Whitten

11:49 am: New York City needs to ‘double down’ on social distancing as coronavirus hospitalizations start to stabilize, Mayor de Blasio says

Coronavirus hospitalizations in New York City appear to have stabilized and reduced the immediate need for ventilators, showing that the city needs to needs to “double down” on social distancing measures that are helping to curb the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

De Blasio cautioned that the data was preliminary and there is a risk that coronavirus cases could begin to increase at a faster rate if residents do not adhere to social distancing and shelter-in-place policies.

The data, the mayor said at a press conference, “tells us we actually have to double down, stick to the strategies that are working.”

“We know we’re not out of the woods, it’s too early,” de Blasio said, cautioning that the data should not be used to draw “bigger conclusions.” —Dan Mangan

11:42 am: Dupont and FedEx airlift 450,000 protective garments to the US

FedEx express transports 450,000 DuPont Tyvek suits from Vietnam to Texas. Protective garments will be distributed by FEMA.

Source: FedEx

As hospitals and testing centers across the U.S. face a shortage of protective gear for health care professionals, DuPont, with FedEx‘s help, is airlifting 450,000 Tyvek suits from Vietnam to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.

Logistics have proven to be a hurdle for U.S. industrial companies that specialize in personal protective equipment and manufacture some or parts of their products overseas. DuPont says shipping the protective gear via air versus sea will expedite the delivery of its Tyvek suits that are seen as essential in safeguarding medical professionals and first responders.

“Operation Airbridge, in collaboration with FedEx and the Department of Health and Human Services, will shorten our garment supply chain from 90 days to 10 days by transporting Tyvek(R) fabric to our Vietnam converter, and finished garments back into the US for distribution by FEMA,” John Richard, vice president and general manager of DuPont Safety told CNBC.

In March, DuPont delivered 3 million more garments to the U.S. than it typically delivers in a month. “Expect more in April,” Richard said. —Seema Mody

11:20 am: TSA screens fewer than 100,000 people at US airports, a record low

The Transportation Security Administration screened just 97,130 people at U.S. airports on Tuesday, a record daily low and the latest sign of near-absent travel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain it like stay-at-home orders. 

The decline in air travel is giving whiplash to an industry that was boasting record numbers of travelers last year. Tuesday’s figure is down 95% from a year ago, TSA says. — Leslie Josephs

10:58 am: Wuhan lifts travel restrictions after 11-week lockdown. Here are some photos 

Pilot of flight MU2527 of China Eastern airlines gestures before takeoff at the Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, April 8, 2020.

Cheng Ming | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Wuhan, China, lifted travel restrictions on April 8, after an 11-week lockdown that put the city in a virtual quarantine by not allowing people to leave or enter ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic. See scenes of residents taking advantage of their new freedoms and leaving the city via planes, trains and automobiles. —Adam Jeffery 

10:30 am: Mnuchin expects New York will take longer to ‘reopen’ from coronavirus than other parts of US 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expects New York, the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, will take longer to “reopen” its economy than other parts of the country.

Mnuchin, a member of President Donald Trump‘s coronavirus task force, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the administration is eager to restart the areas of the U.S. economy that have been ground to a halt by the deadly pandemic.

But he expects that “we’ll be opening it up based on medical conditions,” rather than prioritizing states’ economic output.

“So obviously we’d like to open up as much GDP as we can,” Mnuchin said, but “my expectations are that places like New York are going to take a little bit longer.” —Kevin Breuninger 

10:13 am: Coronavirus outbreak should begin to turn around after ‘bad week for deaths,’ White House advisor Dr. Fauci says 

Coronavirus deaths will continue to climb in the U.S. this week even as new cases near their peak and the rate of hospitalizations slow, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

“It’s going to be a bad week for deaths,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Fox News.

Fauci said deaths generally lag behind other aspects of the outbreak such as new cases and hospitalization. New cases appear to be nearing their peak and the rate of hospitalizations is down, he said. 

After this week, the U.S. should see the “beginning of a turnaround,” Fauci said. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

9:40 am: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says the government won’t run out of money for small businesses 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that small businesses should not worry about their odds of receiving relief funding from the federal government.

Asked by CNBC’s Jim Cramer about the White House’s work with the Small Business Administration, Mnuchin said he’s confident Congress will approve additional funding on top of the original $350 billion already being distributed.

“Jim, we’re raising over $2 trillion for our COVID relief. We’re raising it all across the curve and we have tremendous demand for U.S. Treasurys,” Mnuchin said. “Everybody wants to buy U.S. Treasurys: It’s the safe haven.” —Thomas Franck

9:34 am: Dow jumps 300 points after Fauci says virus turnaround likely after this week 

Stocks rose amid hope that the number of new coronavirus cases is starting to decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 300 points at Wednesday’s open, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 climbed 1.1% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.3%.

In the U.S., the number of daily increases in coronavirus cases has fallen since Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Daily increases in global cases have also fallen since then. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday the U.S. death count related to the coronavirus is now lower than initially thought and added that there should be a turnaround after this week. However, he stressed that mitigation efforts should be intensified. —Fred Imbert, Maggie Fitzgerald

9:25 am: Animated map showing the latest spread of the coronavirus worldwide 

8:33 am: WHO responds to Trump’s threat to cut funding — ‘Now is not the time’

The WHO has responded to President Donald Trump’s threat to cut its funding, saying the move would not be appropriate during the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a virtual briefing Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the United Nations’ health agency, claiming it got “every aspect” of the coronavirus pandemic wrong and threatening to withhold funding from the body. —Holly Ellyatt, Dawn Kopecki, Berkeley Lovelace

8:22 am: Pelosi and Schumer push for emergency coronavirus bill with at least $500 billion more in aid

The top Democrats in Congress pushed for an “interim” emergency coronavirus bill to include at least $500 billion in relief for small businesses, hospitals, states and food assistance programs. 

In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer supported another $250 billion in loans to small companies — a sum the Trump administration has requested and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aims to pass through the Senate on Thursday. It would add to the $350 billion in aid approved as part of the $2 trillion emergency package passed last month. The Trump administration has reported high demand for the loans. 

Democrats want the stopgap legislation to go further as the coronavirus pandemic rips across the country, stretching health care resources and state budgets and shutting down schools and businesses. Here’s what Pelosi and Schumer called for—Jacob Pramuk

8:07 am: UK’s Boris Johnson ‘responding to treatment’ after spending a second night in intensive care 

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is stable and “responding to treatment” after spending a second night in intensive care, his spokesman said Wednesday. 

The spokesman made clear that the prime minister is “not working” but has the ability to contact those he needs to reach. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is currently deputizing for Johnson.

Johnson, 55, was moved to the intensive care unit at London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital on Monday evening after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. —Holly Ellyatt

7:21 am: Empty hotels convert into coronavirus quarantines, emergency housing to ‘keep the lights on’

The Kent quarantine motel is pictured in Kent, Washington state on March 9, 2020. A plan to set up “quarantine motels” in the US coronavirus epicenter of Washington state has infuriated local residents who fear they will be exposed to a high risk of infection.

Michelle W. Martin | AFP | Getty Images

Cash-strapped and empty hotels across the country are finding ways to keep the lights on by converting themselves into coronavirus wards or temporary housing for the National Guard or exhausted doctors and nurses.

It provides some much needed revenue for an industry that’s been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 outbreak that’s spread to more than 1.4 million people in nearly every country across the globe. World, national, state and local leaders have imposed various travel restrictions, shuttered tourist attractions, issued broad shelter-in-place orders and even authorized hefty fines for people who don’t adhere to social distancing rules. 

Hotels big and small are looking for ways to survive the unprecedented economic fallout, with some finding financial relief in government partnerships housing front-line medical workers and military personnel. —Will Feuer, Emma Newburger

7:13 am: US announces contract with GM to produce ventilators

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the first contract for ventilator production with GM under the Defense Production Act, which President Donald Trump invoked last month.

GM’s contract is worth $489.4 million, HHS said in a release, and the carmaker is expected to produce 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by August. 

“GM and Ventec Life Systems are working with speed and urgency to arm front-line medical professionals with the critical care ventilators they need to treat seriously ill patients,” GM said in a statement. “We remain dedicated to working with the Administration to ensure American innovation and manufacturing meet the needs of the country during this global pandemic.” 

Trump ordered GM to produce the devices under the Defense Production Act on March 27, hours after the automaker announced a partnership with Ventec to build critical-care ventilators at one of GM’s components plants in Indiana. —Will Feuer

7:05 am: ‘Corona bonds’: Here’s why Germany and the Netherlands oppose the idea

6:55 am: Tesla will slash employee pay and furlough employees

SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 2, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Tesla will cut pay for all of its salaried employees and will furlough hourly workers until May 4, when it intends to resume production of electric cars, according to an internal e-mail that multiple employees shared with CNBC. The pay reductions are expected to be in place until the end of the second quarter.

Health orders, implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, forced Elon Musk’s electric car company to wind down production at its main vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California.

The new pay cuts follow Tesla’s first-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report, which pleased investors — the company said it delivered approximately 88,400 vehicles and produced 103,000 in Q1. Tesla has yet to withdraw guidance it gave investors for 2020, saying it should “comfortably exceed” 500,000 vehicle deliveries for the year. —Lora Kolodny

6:04 am: Daily death toll in Spain rises by 757 to 14,555 fatalities

The number of daily coronavirus deaths rose in Spain for the second day as 757 people died over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. On Tuesday, the death toll had risen by 743 from the previous day.

The total number of fatalities has risen to 14,555, the ministry said. The overall number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 146,690 up from 140,510 on Tuesday, it added. —Sam Meredith

5:33 am: US coronavirus cases top 400,000, doubling in one week

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 400,000, according to figures provided by NBC, with 12,864 fatalities nationwide.

The world’s largest economy has recorded by far the most COVID-19 infections of any country around the globe, with the total number of cases nationwide now almost five times that of China — where the virus was first identified in December. However, U.S. officials have questioned whether China has reported all of the confirmed cases in the country. 

The U.S. confirmed an additional 169 cases in Missouri on Wednesday, data provided by NBC showed, taking the nationwide number of infections to 400,018. NBC’s count is slightly higher than that of Johns Hopkins University, which counted 399,929 cases as of Wednesday morning. —Sam Meredith

5:27 am: European markets decline as hopes for imminent recovery fade

European markets traded lower as optimism over an imminent recovery from the coronavirus started to fade.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1% in early trade, with oil and gas stocks shedding 2.7% to lead losses, while the tech sector bucked the trend to edge 0.3% higher.

Global markets continue to seesaw on hopes and fears over the direction that the coronavirus pandemic is taking. There was optimism that the virus could begin to slow its spread, but an end to the outbreak appears to be some way off. —Elliot Smith and Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: US coronavirus cases top 400,000; Spain’s death toll rises above 14,500

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