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  • Nearly 1.5 million people worldwide -- including nearly 432,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. >> Coronavirus: Know the facts directly from the CDC Live updates for Thursday, April 9, continue below: Some FEMA coronavirus testing sites losing federal funding; doors could close this week Update 2:57 a.m. EDT April 9: States and municipalities unable to support them financially could see some federally funded drive-through coronavirus testing sites shuttered by the close of the week. According to NPR, the sites are part of the Community-Based Testing Sites program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most,” a representative with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told NPR. Read more here. Nearly 300 USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members test positive for COVID-19  Update 2:29 a.m. EDT April 9: The novel coronavirus has infected at least 286 sailors aboard the beleaguered USS Theodore Roosevelt docked off the coast of Guam, CNN reported. According to the network, more than 90 percent of the ship’s crew has been tested and 2,329 sailors moved ashore. US coronavirus deaths surpass Spain’s as nation records deadliest day Update 2 a.m. EDT April 9: Deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in the United States hit 14,817 on Wednesday, pushing total virus-related U.S. fatalities above those of Spain and marking the nation’s deadliest day on record since the pandemic began. According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,922 virus-related deaths on Wednesday, the nation’s largest one-day increase since the public health crisis began, and 33,323 new infections. Spain has confirmed 14,792 coronavirus deaths. Meanwhile, Italy remains the hardest-hit nation in terms of fatalities with 17,699. US coronavirus deaths hit 14,817, total cases top 432K Published 12:42 a.m. EDT April 9: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 432,000 early Thursday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 432,132 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 14,817 deaths. U.S. cases now nearly triple the 148,220 reported in Spain and the 139,422 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 6,268 – or roughly 42 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,504 in New Jersey, 959 in Michigan, 652 in Louisiana and 495 in California. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 151,069 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 47,437, Michigan with 18,970, California with 18,752 and Louisiana with 17,030. Four other states have now confirmed at least 15,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • Massachusetts: 16,790, resulting in 433 deaths • Pennsylvania: 16,631, resulting in 318 deaths • Florida: 15,698, resulting in 323 deaths • Illinois: 15,078, resulting in 462 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia and Texas each has confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus infections, followed closely by Washington state with 9,277 cases and Connecticut with 8,781 cases; Indiana, Colorado, Maryland and Ohio each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Tennessee has confirmed at least 4,363 cases; Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Arizona each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, Nevada and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Nearly 1.5 million people worldwide -- including nearly 432,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Thursday, April 9, continue below:  Some FEMA coronavirus testing sites losing federal funding; doors could close this week Update 2:57 a.m. EDT April 9: States and municipalities unable to support them financially could see some federally funded drive-through coronavirus testing sites shuttered by the close of the week. According to NPR, the sites are part of the Community-Based Testing Sites program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency “The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most,” a representative with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told NPR. Read more here. Nearly 300 USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members test positive for COVID-19 Update 2:29 a.m. EDT April 9: The novel coronavirus has infected at least 286 sailors aboard the beleaguered USS Theodore Roosevelt docked off the coast of Guam, CNN reported. According to the network, more than 90 percent of the ship’s crew has been tested and 2,329 sailors moved ashore. US coronavirus deaths surpass Spain’s as nation records deadliest day Update 2 a.m. EDT April 9: Deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in the United States reached 14,817 on Wednesday, pushing total virus-related U.S. fatalities above those of Spain and marking the nation’s deadliest day on record since the pandemic began. According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,922 virus-related deaths on Wednesday, the nation’s largest one-day increase since the public health crisis began, and 33,323 new infections. Spain has confirmed 14,792 coronavirus deaths. Meanwhile, Italy remains the hardest-hit nation in terms of fatalities with 17,699. US coronavirus deaths hit 14,817, total cases top 432K Published 12:42 a.m. EDT April 9: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 432,000 early Thursday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 432,132 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 14,817 deaths. U.S. cases now nearly triple the 148,220 reported in Spain and the 139,422 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 6,268 – or roughly 42 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,504 in New Jersey, 959 in Michigan, 652 in Louisiana and 495 in California. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 151,069 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 47,437, Michigan with 18,970, California with 18,752 and Louisiana with 17,030. Four other states have now confirmed at least 15,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • Massachusetts: 16,790, resulting in 433 deaths • Pennsylvania: 16,631, resulting in 318 deaths • Florida: 15,698, resulting in 323 deaths • Illinois: 15,078, resulting in 462 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia and Texas each has confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus infections, followed closely by Washington state with 9,277 cases and Connecticut with 8,781 cases; Indiana, Colorado, Maryland and Ohio each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Tennessee has confirmed at least 4,363 cases; Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Arizona each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, Nevada and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Nearly 1.5 million people worldwide – including more than 400,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, April 8, continue below:      Pennsylvania to seize medical supplies for COVID-19 fight Update 11:10 p.m. EDT April 8: Pennsylvania emergency management officials will be permitted to commandeer N95 face masks, ventilators and other crucial medical equipment for use in the fight against COVID-19 under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf. The order requires private and public health care facilities, manufacturers and other companies to tabulate their supplies of personal protective gear, drugs and other medical equipment, and provide an inventory to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in five days. PEMA will make the supplies available to areas of the state hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, Wolf’s order said. “Combatting the pandemic means we all have to work together. That means we need to make the best use of our medical assets to ensure the places that need them the most, have them,” Wolf said at a video news conference. Providers and companies whose supplies were confiscated will be reimbursed, according to the order. Federal stocks of protective equipment nearly depleted, HHS says Update 9:15 p.m. EDT April 8: The Strategic National Stockpile is nearly out of the N95 respirators, surgical masks, face, shields, gowns and other medical supplies desperately needed to protect front-line medical workers treating coronavirus patients. The Department of Health and Human Services told the Associated Press Wednesday that the federal stockpile was in the process of deploying all remaining personal protective equipment in its inventory. A small percentage will be kept in reserve to support federal response efforts, the department said. The HHS statement confirms federal documents released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showing that about 90% of the personal protective equipment in the stockpile has been distributed to state and local governments. House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. said in a statement that the Trump administration is leaving states to scour the open market for scarce supplies, often competing with each other and federal agencies in a chaotic bidding war that drives up prices. “The President failed to bring in FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) early on, failed to name a national commander for this crisis, and failed to fully utilize the authorities Congress gave him under the Defense Production Act to procure and manage the distribution of critical supplies,” Maloney said. “He must take action now to address these deficiencies.” Trump has faulted the states for not better preparing for the pandemic and has said they should only being relying on the federal stockpile as a last resort. The AP reported Sunday that the Trump administration squandered nearly two months after the early January warnings that COVID-19 might ignite a global pandemic, waiting until mid-March to place bulk orders of N95 masks and other medical supplies needed to build up the stockpile. By then, hospitals in several states were treating thousands of infected patients without adequate equipment and were pleading for help. Trump spent the first two months of the outbreak playing down the threat from the new virus. He derided warnings of a pandemic as a hoax perpetrated by Democrats and the media, predicting as late as Feb. 26 that the number of U.S. cases would soon drop to zero. Federal contracting records show HHS made a $4.8 million order of N95 masks on March 12, followed by a $173 million order on March 21. But those contracts don’t require the manufacturer to start making deliveries to the national stockpile until the end of April, after the White House has projected the pandemic will reach its peak. For nearly a month, Trump rebuffed calls to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to order companies to increase production of respirators and ventilators, before he relented last week. Asked about the AP report, the president suggested Sunday the states should be thankful for the shipments of supplies they have gotten. “FEMA, the military, what they’ve done is a miracle,” Trump said . “What they’ve done is a miracle in getting all of this stuff. What they have done for states is incredible.” Washington Gov. sending back DOD field hospital Update 7:15 p.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday a Department of Defense field hospital that had been set up by the football field where the Seattle Seahawks play due to the coronavirus outbreak will be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it can be deployed to another state facing more of a crisis. Late last month Inslee announced 300 hundred soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado, had deployed to Seattle to staff the hospital along with soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The facility was expected to create at least 250 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 cases. The facility was located at Century Link Field Event Center just south of downtown Seattle. Inslee said the decision to send the field hospital elsewhere was made after consulting with local, state and federal leaders. The Seattle area saw the country’s first coronavirus outbreak, and so far there are more than 9,000 confirmed cases and nearly 421 deaths in Washington. But Inslee and others have said they now don’t expect the state’s hospitals to be overwhelmed. “Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods. We have to keep our guard up and continue to stay home unless conducting essential activities to keep everyone healthy,” Inslee said in a statement. “We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded.” The state continues to beef up resources throughout the state’s hospital and medical systems, the governor said. UN health agency on defensive after Trump slams it on virus Update 6:30 p.m. EDT April 8: In a heartfelt plea for unity, the World Health Organization’s chief sought Wednesday to rise above sharp criticism and threats of funding cuts from U.S. President Donald Trump over the agency’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The vocal defense from the WHO director-general came a day after Trump blasted the U.N. agency for being “China-centric” and alleging that it had “criticized” his ban of travel from China as the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading from the city of Wuhan. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian and the WHO’s first African leader, projected humility and minimized his personal role while decrying invective and even racist slurs against him amid the organizaiton’s response to the disease. The new coronavirus has infected more than 1.4 million people and cost over 83,000 lives around the globe. “Why would I care about being attacked when people are dying?” he said. “I know that I am just an individual. Tedros is just a dot in the whole universe.” He dodged questions about Trump’s comments, while acknowledging the agency was made up of humans “who make mistakes,” and insisted his key focus was saving lives, not getting caught up in politics. Massive effort to get Los Angeles homeless into hotels Update 5:30 p.m. EDT April 8: To curb the coronavirus spread, Los Angeles has embarked on a massive effort to bring thousands of homeless people off the streets and into hotels to protect them and others from infection. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that money from the federal government would help pay for at least 15,000 hotel rooms during the pandemic. But Los Angeles County, with the state’s largest concentration of homeless people at about 60,000, has set its own goal of 15,000 rooms. “We’re going big in LA,” said Heidi Marston, interim director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “We based our goal on what the need is here.” Marston outlined the effort on Wednesday during the daily coronavirus briefing by county health officials. Delta to block middle seats, reduce passengers on flights Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 8: Officials with Delta Air Lines announced plans Wednesday to block middle seats on flights and other changes aimed at keeping people safe during the coronavirus pandemic, WSB-TV reported. >> Read more on WSBTV.com: Delta to block middle seats, reduce passengers on flights From April 13 through May 31, Delta will reduce the number of passengers on flights and make middle seats unavailable, company officials said Wednesday in a statement obtained by WSB-TV. Girl who inspired medical marijuana movement dies of complications related to COVID-19 Update 3:20 p.m. EDT April 8: Charlotte Figi, a Colorado girl who helped launch movement that led to sweeping changes in marijuana laws worldwide, died in Colorado Springs from complications related to the coronavirus, her family announced on social media. She was 13. Louisiana governor see signs ‘curve is starting to flatten,’ urges continued social distancing Update 3:15 p.m. EDT April 8: As Louisiana sees encouraging signs in fighting the coronavirus, Gov. John Bel Edwards worries the news could embolden people to lessen their physical distancing from others in an Easter holiday week traditionally packed with religious gatherings and crawfish boils. The rate of new hospitalizations has slowed, and the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators has decreased. The governor cautiously described those benchmarks as early signs “the curve is starting to flatten” and the rate of new infections could be shrinking. In a hopeful sign, Louisiana dropped the number of ventilators it’s trying to obtain, from 14,000 on order to 1,000. While he’s heartened by the latest data, Edwards said Louisianans shouldn’t return to normal life. “Things could shift again, and they will shift again if people decide that their job is over and that they’re no longer going to comply with our stay at home order and with social distancing,” the Democratic governor said. More than 17,000 people in Louisiana have confirmed infections of the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, according to health department data. The number of virus patients statewide who needed ventilators fell again Wednesday, along with the number of people hospitalized by the virus. Of the nearly 2,000 virus patients in hospitals, 490 were on ventilators, down from 519 a day earlier. Nearly 1,500 coronavirus infections reported in DC Update 3 p.m. EDT April 8: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Wednesday that 229 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, bringing the total number of cases in the capitol to 1,440. Bowser said Wednesday that five people between the ages of 52 and 97 also died of COVID-19. Twenty-seven Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said. New York has more COVID-19 cases than any country but the US Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 8: Updated numbers from the New York State Department of Health show that New York now has more cases of COVID-19 than anywhere else in the world except the United States itself. Officials reported a total of 149,316 coronavirus infections in the state Wednesday, up 10,480 from the number of infections reported Tuesday. The new reports topped the number of cases reported in the second-hardest-hit country, Spain, where health officials have reported 146,690 cases as of Wednesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 403,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported across the U.S., according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New York allowing residents to vote by mail in June primary election Update 2:05 p.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced Wednesday that all of his state’s residents will be allowed to vote by mail in the June 23 primary election. Several states were scheduled to hold their primary elections in April. Officials in a majority of those states, including New York, pushed election dates back. On Tuesday, Wisconsin voters headed to polls after the state Supreme Court overruled an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers which would have pushed the election until June. “I’ve seen lines of people on television voting in other states,' Cuomo said Wednesday at a news conference. 'This is totally nonsensical.” In a Twitter post, Cuomo said New York residents “shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their civic duty.” ‘Robust system of testing and monitoring’ needed in COVID-19 fight, Obama says Update 1:55 p.m. EDT April 8: Former President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the U.S. needs to implement a “robust system of testing and monitoring” before officials can ease off social distancing measures enacted nationwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic. NJ governor pushes primary elections from June to July Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey on Wednesday announced the state’s primary election will be pushed back from June 2 to July 7. Murphy said he issued an executive order to move the date of the election due to the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus. “Our democracy cannot be a casualty of (COVID-19),” Murphy said Wednesday in a Twitter post. “We want to ensure that every voter can vote without endangering their health and safety.” Murphy said officials will evaluate the situation later to determine whether in-person voting remains feasible. Murphy also announced more aggressive social distancing measures Wednesday, ordering all customers and employees of businesses that remain open to wear face coverings. New Jersey has the second-most number of coronavirus infections reported in the country with 47,437 illnesses and 1,504 deaths. Florida officials report 709 new coronavirus cases Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 8: Health officials in Florida reported 702 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the state’s total number of cases to 15,456, WFTV reported. A vast majority of the cases -- 15,003 -- involve Florida residents, according to the news station. As of Wednesday officials said 1,955 people have been hospitalized. Officials with the Florida Department of Health also reported 13 new coronavirus-related deaths, WFTV reported. Statewide, 309 people have died of COVID-19. Melania Trump thanks medical personnel, front line workers Update 1:25 p.m. EDT April 8: First lady Melania Trump thanked workers on the front line of the coronavirus epidemic in a video posted Wednesday on social media. “On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you,” the first lady said. “It is because of you that the people of America are receiving the care and treatment they need. We stand united with you and we salute your courageous and compassionate efforts. Our prayers are with all who are fighting this invisible enemy, COVID-19.” 3,088 new COVID-19 cases reported in New Jersey Update 1:15 p.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said health officials reported 3,088 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 47,437 in the state. The number is slightly lower than the 3,361 new cases reported Tuesday and the 3,663 new cases reported Monday. Officials also reported 275 new fatal COVID-19 cases Wednesday. Statewide, 1,504 people have died of coronavirus. Geico giving customers $2.5 billion in credits Update 1:10 p.m. EDT April 8: Insurance giant Geico announced Tuesday it will offer approximately $2.5 billion of credits to its 19 million auto and motorcycle policyholders whose policies come up for renewal this year between Tuesday and Oct. 7. Over 400,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the US Update 1 p.m. EDT April 8: Officials nationwide have reported more than 400,000 coronavirus infections in the United States, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The numbers include more than 138,000 cases reported in New York state alone. The number is higher than cases reported nationwide in any countries other than the United States and Spain. Officials have reported nearly 13,000 deaths due to coronavirus in the U.S. ‘Curve is flattening’ but fatal cases will continue to rise in New York, governor says Update 12:50 p.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said coronavirus-related hospitalizations have gone down in the state on the same day officials reported the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities in a single-day thus far. Cuomo said “rigorous social distancing” has contributed to a slow in coronavirus infections in the state, but he warned that “it is not a time to get complacent.” “That curve is flattening because of what we’re doing,” Cuomo said. However, deaths due to coronavirus in the state rose by 779, representing the highest daily number of deadly cases in the state. “The number of deaths will continue to rise as those hospitalized for a longer period of time pass away,” Cuomo said. “The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely you will come off a ventilator.” Officials have reported 6,268 deaths in New York state due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pennsylvania officials report largest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases Update 12:30 p.m. EDT April 8: Health officials in Pennsylvania on Wednesday reported the highest single-day jump thus far in the number of coronavirus infections statewide, WPXI reported. Officials reported 1,680 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s total number of infections to 16,239. The Pennsylvania Department of Health also reported 70 more fatal cases, raising the state’s coronavirus death toll to 310. UK officials report 938 new fatal coronavirus cases Update 12:25 p.m. EDT April 8: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 938 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 7,097. Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced a total of 60,733 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. The number was 5,491 higher than the number of cases reported nationwide Tuesday. Broadway to remain closed until June Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 8: Broadway shows in New York City will remain suspended until at least June 7, a trade association for the Broadway community announced Wednesday. The decision was made in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and under the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, officials said. “Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers 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. “Broadway will always be at the very heart of the Big Apple, and we join with artists, theatre professionals, and fans in looking forward to the time when we can once again experience live theatre together.” WTO estimates global trade plunge in 2020 due to COVID-19 Update 11:15 a.m. EDT April 8: The World Trade Organization estimates global trade will fall between 13% and 32% this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Geneva-based body, which oversees the rules of trade, said in a report that the drop would be worse than during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. The wide range in its forecast is due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, as it remains uncertain when business will return toward more normal levels. Governments around the world have locked down on business and travel to contain the outbreak, disrupting supply chains. “The unavoidable declines in trade and output will have painful consequences for households and businesses, on top of the human suffering caused by the disease itself,' WTO director-general Roberto Azevêdo said. “These numbers are ugly – there is no getting around that. But a rapid, vigorous rebound is possible.' Maryland governor: Baltimore-Washington corridor ‘an emerging hotspot’ Update 10:50 a.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland warned Wednesday that 'the Baltimore-Washington corridor has become an emerging hotspot,” after state officials recorded 1,158 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. The newly reported cases bring the total number of coronavirus infections in Maryland to 5,529. Hogan said the numbers were partially due to an increase in the actual number of new infections, influenced by a surge in statewide testing efforts and affected by a lag in reporting. “More than 30% of the new cases reported today are for testing that was completed in March,” Hogan said. Still, he warned, “The virus continues to spread in every jurisdiction.' “I want to once again remind all Marylanders to continue to stay home and stay informed,' he said. 'We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.” Los Angeles requires customers, essential workers wear face coverings Update 10:35 a.m. EDT April 8: Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles has ordered that customers to businesses that remain open and all non-medical essential workers wear face coverings beginning Friday to stymie the spread of the coronavirus. The order requires employers to provide workers with face coverings and requires workers to wash the coverings at least once per day, if they’re reusable. It also requires employers to allow workers to wash their hands at least once every 30 minutes. The order also gives business owners the right to refuse service to customers who arrive at stores without wearing face coverings. Negotiations to get more emergency stimulus funds to US small businesses ongoing Update 10:25 a.m. EDT April 8: A day after President Donald Trump asked Congress for $250 billion more in emergency small business loans to deal with the negative economic impact of the coronavirus, Democratic leaders in Congress said they would agree to that money if the president would also add aid for emergency food assistance, state and local governments and public health needs nationwide. “The heartbreaking acceleration of the coronavirus crisis demands bold, urgent and ongoing action from Congress to protect Americans’ lives and livelihoods,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a joint statement issued Wednesday morning. Georgia governor extends emergency declaration Update 10:15 a.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on Wednesday announced the extension of a public health state of emergency as officials work to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The emergency declaration will remain in effect until May 13, WSB-TV reported. “This measure will allow us to continue to deploy resources to communities in need, lend support to front line medical providers and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our healthcare facilities,' Kemp said Wednesday, according to WSB-TV. “We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing, and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together.” GM to make 30,000 ventilators under DPA Update 10 a.m. EDT April 8: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced General Motors Co has agreed to produce 30,000 ventilators as part of a $489.4 million deal under the Defense Production Act. Officials said that as part of the contract, GM agreed to deliver the ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August. A spokesman for GM told Bloomberg News that production will begin next week. Officials said 6,132 ventilators were expected to be delivered by June 1. The Defense Production Act, which dates back to the Korean War, allows the president to require businesses to support the country in times of need. The act also allows for incentives given to businesses that do step up. Stocks open higher on Wall Street Update 9:45 a.m. EDT April 8: Stocks opened moderately higher on Wall Street following weakness overseas as global trading remains unstable amid deep uncertainty over how bad the economic toll of the coronavirus will be. The tentative climb early Wednesday came a day after a big gain for the S&P 500 vanished suddenly. Investors have been blindly trying to guess how badly the outbreak will hurt corporate profits as travel and businesses shut down across the world. France’s central bank said that country’s economy has entered a recession with a 6% drop in the first three months of the year. Trump continues opposition to mail-in voting over fraud concerns Update 9:35 a.m. EDT April 8: With the coronavirus pushing primary elections back in many states, President Donald Trump reiterated his opposition to mail-in voting Wednesday and urged Republicans to fight such proposals. “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting,” the president wrote in a tweet. “Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” Primary elections scheduled to take place in April have been rescheduled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in every state except Wisconsin. Voters headed to polls in the state Tuesday after the state Supreme Court overruled an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers which would have pushed the election until June. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson responding to coronavirus treatment, spokesman says Update 9:10 a.m. EDT April 8: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom is in stable condition Wednesday and responding to treatment of his coronavirus symptoms, according to a spokesman. James Slack said Johnson continues to receive “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without any other assistance. Johnson has spent two nights in the ICU of St. Thomas’ Hospital since being admitted Sunday. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and still had a cough and fever 10 days later. His spokesman declined to provide further details of Johnson’s treatment, saying Wednesday’s update “was given to us by St. Thomas’ Hospital and it contains all of the information which the PM’s medical team considers to be clinically relevant.” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is standing in for Johnson while he is hospitalized. Social distancing efforts must continue to avoid ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, official says Update 8:45 a.m. EDT April 8: White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx praised Americans for taking social distancing efforts seriously but warned Wednesday that efforts need to continue to avoid the risk of a second wave of COVID-19. “It’s really critical,” Birx said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “If people start going out again and socially interacting, we could see a very acute second wave very early, so we are really encouraging every American to follow the guidelines for these 30 days.” The White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans to avoid social gatherings, wash their hands and avoid touching their faces, among other things, to stymie the spread of the coronavirus. Global coronavirus deaths top 83K, worldwide cases near 1.5 million Update 7:43 a.m. EDT April 8: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 83,149 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 1,446,557 people worldwide. Five countries – the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – have now confirmed total infection counts well above China’s 82,783 cases. • The United States has reported 399,929 cases, resulting in 12,911 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 146,690 cases, resulting in 14,555 deaths. • Italy has reported 135,586 infections, resulting in 17,127 deaths. • France has confirmed 110,070 infections, resulting in 10,343 deaths. • Germany has reported 107,663 cases, resulting in 2,016 deaths. • China has recorded 82,809 cases, resulting in 3,337 deaths. • Iran has recorded 67,286 cases, resulting in 4,003 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 55,957 cases, resulting in 6,171 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 34,109 cases, resulting in 725 deaths. • Belgium has confirmed 23,403 cases, resulting in 2,240 deaths. Michigan officials order 4 portable refrigeration units to store bodies as coronavirus deaths climb Update 7:16 a.m. EDT April 8: As coronavirus-related deaths continue to outpace space, officials in Wayne County, Michigan, have ordered at least four portable refrigerated units to boost storage capacity Wayne County Spokesman Bill Nowling told CNN that the county’s morgue can hold about 300 bodies and, if fulfilled, the request will increase capacity about 450. “Based on current projections of the number of expected cases and potential deaths, we think this will be enough,” Nowling told the network, adding, “We monitor daily and will order more portable units as necessary.' According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Michigan has confirmed a total of 18,970 coronavirus cases to date, resulting in 845 deaths. Excluding Detroit, Wayne County has recorded at least 3,513 infections, resulting in 180 deaths Tesla plans pay cuts, furloughs amid coronavirus crunch Update 5:22 a.m. EDT April 8: Electric carmaker Tesla announced plans late Monday to cut pay for all of its salaried employees and furlough hourly employees until production resumes May 4, multiple media outlets reported. The pay reductions are slated to remain in place until the end of the second quarter, CNBC reported. The news comes one week after Tesla informed staffing agencies it was halting all contract work indefinitely, resulting in the immediate dismissal of hundreds of temporary workers, CNBC reported. Fauci bobblehead raises $100,000 for American Hospital Association as coronavirus crisis deepens Update 4:54 a.m. EDT April 8: Sales of a bobblehead likeness of Dr. Anthony Fauci have raised more than $100,000 to provide protective masks for healthcare workers, The Washington Post reported. Five dollars from each $25 sale of the infectious disease expert’s bobblehead will fund the American Hospital Association’s 100 Million Mask Challenge. Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and has become the public face of the U.S. response to the mounting novel coronavirus crisis, has also broken a record in the process. Phil Sklar, co-founder of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, said the more than 20,000 pre-orders placed in less than one week, means the polyresin likeness of Fauci will “dethrone” that of Jean Dolores “Sister Jean” Schmidt, whom the Post described as “the court-side superstar and now-100-year-old chaplain of the Loyola University of Chicago men’s basketball team, which powered improbably to the NCAA tournament’s Final Four in 2018.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in stable condition amid coronavirus treatment, junior health minister says Update 4:13 a.m. EDT April 8: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains hospitalized in stable condition following a worsening of his novel coronavirus symptoms, junior health minister Edward Argar told Sky News. “I understand the Prime Minister is in a stable condition. He’s comfortable and in good spirits. He has, in the past, had some oxygen, but he’s not on ventilation,” Argar told the network. On Tuesday, Johnson’s spokesperson told CNN the prime minister is receiving “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without assistance, a day after he was transferred to intensive care. More than 1K Veterans’ Affairs health workers test positive for coronavirus Update 3:50 a.m. EDT April 8: At least 1,000 health care workers who service veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. According to Task and Purpose, a military and veteran-focused digital media company, 1,007 Veterans’ Health Administration employees have contracted the virus and have been placed in isolation. Read more here. California governor brokers deals for 200M masks per month to fight coronavirus Update 3:15 a.m. EDT April 8: Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out plans Tuesday for his state to acquire more than 200 million protective masks per month for health care workers battling the novel coronavirus. Newsom, who discussed the plans while appearing on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” said action needed to be taken at the state level. 'In the past 48 hours, we have secured through a consortium of nonprofits and manufacturers here in the state of California upwards of 200 million masks on a monthly basis that we’re confident we can supply the needs of the state of California and potentially the needs of other western states,” Newsom said, adding, “We inked a number of contracts in the last few days that give me confidence in being able to say that.” Specifically, he told Maddow he expects to receive more than 150 million N95 masks and more than 50 million surgical masks per month. 2nd US coronavirus vaccine trial administers first dose Update 1:40 a.m. EDT April 8: The first dose of a second experimental novel coronavirus vaccine was administered this week to a subject at the University of Pennsylvania. Biotechnology firm Inovio began its Phase 1 clinical trial with the first dose delivered Monday and the trial expected to enroll as many as 40 healthy adult volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Missouri, according to a news release.  Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the study’s principal investigator, said in the release his team anticipates “rapid enrollment” in the early-stage trial, expected to continue through late summer.  “There has been tremendous interest in this vaccine among people who want to do what they can do to help protect the greater public from this pandemic as soon as possible,” Tebas said in the release.  Meanwhile, biotechnology firm Moderna launched its Phase 1 coronavirus vaccine testing in March. US coronavirus deaths hit 12,895, total cases near 400K Published 12:28 a.m. EDT April 8: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 398,000 early Wednesday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 398,809 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 12,895 deaths. U.S. cases now nearly triple the 141,942 reported in Spain and the 135,586 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 5,489 – or roughly 43 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,232 in New Jersey and 845 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 139,876 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 44,416 and Michigan with 18,970. Six other states have now confirmed at least 13,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 17,585, including 450 deaths • Louisiana: 16,284, including 582 deaths • Massachusetts: 15,202, including 356 deaths • Florida: 13,629, including 250 deaths • Pennsylvania: 14,956, including 296 deaths • Illinois: 13,553, including 380 deaths Meanwhile, Texas and Georgia each has confirmed at least 9,000 novel coronavirus infections, followed closely by Washington state with 8,696 cases and Connecticut with 7,781 cases; Indiana and Colorado each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Ohio, Maryland and Tennessee each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Virginia, North Carolina and Missouri each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Arizona, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Nevada each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Orlando-based veterans charity group Camaraderie Foundation is running low on cash as they continue accepting new veterans who are seeking help with their mental health. “Donations and events that we use to raise funds have just about dried up completely,” said executive director Nef Rodriguez. “It’s really stressful for the staff.  Some of us have voluntarily taken pay cuts so we can make ends meet.  I’ve had to furlough three right now. The Camaraderie Foundation provides mental health counseling for post-9/11 veterans suffering from PTSD or TBI.  Rodriguez said the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic are only adding to the veterans’ problems. A lot of these veterans are stressed because they don't know what's going to happen with their next paycheck,” Rodriguez said. “They're laid off from work in some cases. And so they're worried about their families. Then on top of that they're already dealing with the effects of PTSD. And some of them will start self-medicating because the medication isn't working. That combination is a bad duo. And so you start having problems between the family and the kids and the husbands. We've had several of them where we've had to intervene and get them to counseling for the kids and get counseling for the spouses.” Camaraderie Foundation has been using virtual counseling, and while that puts certain limitations on therapy, Rodriguez said they’ve been able to have some successes with it.  In some cases, they’re still able to get veterans to attend in-person counseling since that’s a necessity if they deem it has to be done in person. The Foundation has also applied for a loan from the new Paycheck Protection Program, but they haven’t received any money yet. CLICK HERE if you would like to help out and donate to the Camaraderie Foundation. CLICK HERE if you are a post-9/11 veteran seeking counseling.
  • Healthcare workers and first responders are working right on the front lines, and may feel the need to social distance from their families at home in order to keep them safe. Diamond Resorts is a timeshare company with locations in central Florida, and they are offering up free suites at any of their properties. They have instituted stringent safety procedures to assist those at higher risk of exposure, while protecting the health of their team members.   This includes contactless check-in and check-out, additional cleaning protocols, and a 72-hour offline time for rooms between stays.   If you are a healthcare worker or first responder, and want to take advantage of one of the free suites, click here

Washington Insider

  • Unable to campaign for the last four weeks because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced on Wednesday that he was ending his bid for the White House in 2020, meaning that former Vice President Joe Biden is the likely nominee of the Democratic Party. “Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on,” Sanders said.  “I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.” While Sanders started the 2020 campaign fast with wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, his campaign floundered after Joe Biden's strong victory in South Carolina on February 29, as other candidates dropped out and rallied behind the former Vice President. “Today I congratulate Joe Biden,” Sanders said. The primary results were a far cry from 2016, when Sanders battled Hillary Clinton for months in a close race for the Democratic Party nomination. In his announcement, Sanders said this was not an easy move. “In fact, it has been a very difficult and painful decision,” as Sanders acknowledged that he understands why some of his supporters want to fight on. “I cannot in good conscience, continue to mount a campaign that cannot win,” Sanders added, making clear he would support Biden in November and work to defeat President Trump. In a written statement, Biden thanked Sanders. “Bernie has put his heart and soul into not only running for President, but for the causes and issues he has been dedicated to his whole life,” Biden said from Delaware. Sanders pointedly noted the outbreak of the Coronavirus as one reason why conducting a futile effort to win the Democratic nomination would be counterproductive. “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere in the important work required of all of us,” Sanders said. National Democrats welcomed the Sanders decision. “Now it’s time to come together and unite around our presumptive nominee. It’s time to finish the job and send Joe Biden to the White House,” said DNC Chairman Tom Perez.