Coronavirus in the United States: live updates


The continual increase in the number of unemployed has heightened the debate on when to lift the restrictions that have stopped the rapid spread of the virus but put the economy in a stranglehold.

State agencies have struggled to manage the overwhelming flow of deposits as well as a set of federal eligibility rules instituted to deal with the crisis.

With government phones and websites obstructed and drop-in centers closed, legal aid lawyers are filing complaints about people who say they don’t know where to turn.

“Our office has received thousands of calls,” said John Tirpak, a lawyer for the Unemployment Law Project, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

Those who did not attend college suffered a disproportionate blow, as did Hispanics and African Americans, the survey also revealed.

With nearly $ 500 billion, the latest measure ended up being almost twice as large and much broader than the original bill, Kentucky Republican and majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell had attempted to advance two weeks earlier without negotiations.

It was a potentially dangerous strategy for Democrats, especially during an election year, but their willingness to take these risks reflects their confidence in the terrain of the current debate – a public health crisis and an economic disaster that will require relief efforts. the widest in government since the post-World War II era – plays their main forces as a party. But that could affect their leverage in the next fight against a much larger stimulus package that is expected to exceed $ 1 trillion.

With trade stalled, sales taxes, the largest source of money for most states, have plummeted. Personal income tax, usually the state’s second largest source of income, began to drop in March when millions of people lost their paychecks and withholding taxes stopped.

April also typically brings in a large slice of income tax money, but this year, filing deadlines have been extended to July. All of this represents a huge challenge for almost all the states of the Union.

States no longer have the option of declaring bankruptcy to reduce their financial obligations, but McConnell has raised the possibility of letting them do it.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” he said. “It saves certain cities. And there is no good reason why it is not available. ”

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo accused McConnell of hyper-partisanship, accusing him of distinguishing between states based on their political tendencies, rather than “states where people die.” Why don’t we think about it? Not red and blue. Red, white and blue. It is only Americans who die. ”

“I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I don’t agree with him about what he is doing,” Trump said at the White House. “I think it’s too early. “

Kemp admitted to speaking with Trump in a series of Twitter messages after the president’s briefing. And although he praised Mr. Trump for his “bold leadership and insight”, he gave no indication that he was reconsidering his decision.

“Our next measured step is data-driven and guided by state public health officials,” he wrote.

The country’s states are trying to balance the fight against a public health crisis with the need to improve a growing economic crisis. In some states, small protests – with support from some conservative groups – have urged governors to ease the restrictions. But polls have revealed that Americans are more worried about relaxing the restrictions too soon than too late, and some business owners have warned that intervention is too quick to reopen.

Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman on Wednesday called for the city’s casinos, restaurants and other businesses to be reopened immediately, but declined to provide advice on social distancing measures that could protect employees and customers.

The independent mayor has no power to reopen the city’s economy, but Democrat Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada and the largest union representing Las Vegas casino workers quickly condemned his comments. . “I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans, to be used as a control group,” said Mr. Sisolak.

As of Wednesday evening, the ICE had confirmed 287 cases among detainees and 35 cases among staff.

Migrants under the age of 18 are held in relatively benign shelters managed by the Refugee Resettlement Office of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Immigration lawyers said the safest option for these teens would be to hand them over to a sponsor, but failing this, young migrants should be held in shelters and group homes where there are more space and better care than in detention centers. . The administration’s system for deciding where to place these “age withdrawals” illustrates the breadth of the president’s immigration policies.

“Our clients are terrified of the prospect of being transferred to a secure detention center with large numbers of people in enclosed and confined environments, which is in direct contradiction to the CDC’s advice on how to save themselves from this pandemic, “said Anthony Enriquez, director of the Catholic Charities’ unaccompanied minors program.

The Trump administration has decided to restrict immigration as the virus spreads, arguing that the efforts would limit additional exposure to Americans and reserve the job market for American citizens, a theory that previous studies have refuted.

But the fixes follow what experts say has been an intentional weakening of the unemployment system for a decade, aimed at cutting employers’ taxes, which has made Florida particularly ill-equipped to handle the crisis. The state pays one of the lowest benefit levels in the country: the maximum is only $ 275 per week.

“Florida is a terrible state to be unemployed,” said Michele Evermore, unemployment insurance expert at the National Employment Law Project in Washington. “It is difficult to enter. Once you’ve done that, it’s easy to be disqualified. The level of benefits is far below average. And that was before the crisis. “

DeSantis said reducing the benefit impasse was his top priority, and blamed the unprecedented number of claims for the outage. “Not enough” requests have been processed, he said.

“We are going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said.

At the White House briefing on Wednesday, Trump continued to spread his personal hopes for the virus and questioned its ability to last until the flu season in the fall and winter.

He said that Dr. Redfield had been misquoted and would clarify his remarks.

Dr. Redfield went on to say that The Post quoted him correctly, but attempted to recall the alarm that his comments caused.

“I think it’s really important to point out what I didn’t say,” said Dr. Redfield during the briefing. “I didn’t say it was going to be worse, I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated. “

He repeatedly said that if the situation got worse, it didn’t mean it got worse.

“The key to my comments and the reason I really wanted to highlight them was to appeal to the American public to adopt the flu vaccine with confidence,” he said. “One of the best tools we have during the fall-winter season is to get the American public to adopt the flu vaccine and thus minimize the impact of the flu to be the other respiratory illness in which we are facing. “

Mr. Trump, without citing evidence, presented a different theory,

“We might not even have a return crown,” he said.

“If he comes back,” continued the president, “he won’t come back the way he was, he’ll come back in smaller doses than we can hold. What the doctor said, and I spoke to him at length, he said that if it were to come back, you have the flu and the embers of the crown, but in my opinion from all that I saw, it cannot never be like everything we’ve seen right now. It has nothing to do with it – what we have just experienced, we will not experience. ”

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts interviewed before the Wednesday briefing doubted that the virus would disappear and did not rule out the prospect of a worsening crisis in the fall if the two diseases struck at the same time.

“When the flu season arrives, we may face two respiratory viruses at the same time – the flu and Covid,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, former chief of the C.D.C. and the president of Resolve to Save Lives, a nonprofit organization focused on disease prevention, said in an email. “This could be a double challenge for our health care systems.”

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also differs from the president’s optimistic forecasts.

“We will have a coronavirus in the fall,” he said. “I am convinced of that. “

As parents across the country cancel children’s health checkups to avoid possible exposure to the virus, public health experts are concerned that they may inadvertently sow the seeds of another health crisis. Vaccinations are falling at a dangerous rate, putting millions of children at risk for measles, whooping cough and other life-threatening diseases.

“The last thing we want, as collateral damage from Covid-19, is epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases, which we will almost certainly see if there is still a drop in vaccine use”, said Dr. Sean T. O’Leary, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases.

Although current national immunization figures are not available, anecdotal evidence and subsets of rapidly diving rates are alarming.

As Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman reported, Rick Bright was abruptly fired this week as director of the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Social Services, or BARDA, and removed from office as assistant assistant secretary for preparedness and response. . He was given closer employment at the National Institutes of Health.

In a statement, Dr. Bright, who received a doctorate. in immunology and molecular pathogenesis at Emory University, assailed the heads of the health department, claiming that he had been forced to direct money towards hydroxychloroquine, one of the many “potentially drugs dangerous promoted by those with political ties “and repeatedly described by the president as a potential” game changer “in the fight against the virus.

“I think this transfer responds to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in safe and scientifically approved solutions, not drugs, vaccines and other drugs. ‘other technologies that have no scientific value,’ he said in his statement. “I speak because to fight this deadly virus, science – not politics or cronyism – must lead the way. “

Doubts about the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and the lack of evidence on the effectiveness of the drug – including some small studies that have indicated that patients may be injured – appear to have dampened Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm for this subject.

A few weeks before there was evidence that the virus was spreading in American communities, Patricia Dowd, a 57-year-old auditor at a Silicon Valley semiconductor manufacturer, developed flulike symptoms and died brutally in his San Jose kitchen, which prompted him to investigate what had killed her. Flu tests were negative. The coroner was taken aback. It turned out that she had suffered a massive heart attack.

New test results released Tuesday evening show that even this timeline has not revealed how long the virus has been circulating. Dowd had not recently traveled outside the country, authorities said, yet died 20 days before the first recorded case of community transmission. On February 17, another unrelated death in Santa Clara County was also linked to the virus.

“Each of these deaths is probably just the tip of an iceberg of unknown size,” said Dr. Sara Cody, chief medical officer of Santa Clara County, in an interview.

Lawyers for abortion clinics said the state was using the pandemic to advance its own political agenda and sued the state.

Access to abortion in Texas exploded for a month, with clinics canceling dozens of appointments and rescheduling them a few days later, as the case bounced into the justice system. Texas residents rushed in, some traveling long distances to clinics in neighboring states like Kansas and Colorado.

But hospitals across the country have been squeezed after postponing often lucrative elective surgical procedures to make room for patients with the virus, and last week, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas relaxed restrictions on certain surgical procedures. A file filed with a federal court in Texas on Wednesday evening confirmed that abortions were included in the relaxation of the rules.

“Finally, women in Texas can benefit from the emergency abortion care guaranteed to them by the Constitution,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents some of the clinics. “Women should never have gone to court for essential health care.”

Dyana Limon-Mercado, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said: “The past month has been an unthinkable nightmare for Texans who have been forced to travel out of state to access essential health care. “

The call to prayer for Islam will be heard throughout an area of ​​Minneapolis during Ramadan as authorities urge people to remain separate during the holy month.

The call, known as Adhan, will be broadcast over a loudspeaker in the city’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood five times a day until the end of Ramadan next month.

“At a time when physical distance requires us to pray apart, it is up to leaders to create a sense of cohesion where we can,” said Mayor Jacob Frey, who helped organize a noise permit, in a statement.

“Adhan brings solidarity and comfort – two essential elements in times of crisis,” he said. “As our Muslim community prepares for Ramadan, we hope that the spread will provide some stability and reassure our whole city that we are all very involved together. “

The call will come from a loudspeaker outside the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque, near downtown and the University of Minnesota, and will be broadcast “in volumes that comply with city regulations” .

Local officials said they expected thousands of people to hear it.

Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota section of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the call would be “welcomed by the Muslim community and all who value diversity and mutual understanding.”

Ramadan, which begins Thursday and ends on May 23, is among the holiest periods for Muslims, who fast during the day throughout the month.

“I have lived in this community all my life,” said Cindy Johnston, who lives near the Tyson plant on the shore of Columbus Junction, a small community along the Iowa River, “and I never never seen so scared. “

Here are tips for managing your budget.

You may be wondering how to cut some expenses right now. One way is to determine who owes you money from the many services that you are paying for but that are not currently active. Think of day camps, gymnasiums and airlines. But when is it fair to ask for your money? Here are some tips to help you.

The virus has sometimes been called an equalizer because it has made the rich and the poor sick, but when it comes to food, the community ends. It is the poor, including large segments of the poorest nations, who are now hungry and at risk of starvation.

“The coronavirus was anything but a great equalizer,” said Asha Jaffar, a volunteer who brought food to families in the Kibera slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. “It was the great revealer, drawing the curtain on the class division and revealing how deeply unequal this country is. “

Hospitals have adopted hymns like “Don’t Stop Believin” and “Empire State of Mind” to celebrate the recovery.

Choose a hospital in the New York metropolitan area these days, and you will probably find that staff have identified a song as the appropriate soundtrack for the release of patients hospitalized due to the virus.

Many have chosen “Here Comes the Sun”, long associated with the search for joy in difficult times. When it and other songs are played, it is not only a tribute to the patient’s resilience, but also a hymn of assertion for health professionals: thanks to long shifts, with few moments positive and strained supplies, they saved another life.

The reports were provided by Eileen Sullivan, Alan Blinder, Patricia Cohen, Patricia Mazzei, Sabrina Tavernise, Carl Hulse, Sheri Fink, Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller, Shawn Hubler, Peter Baker, Karen Barrow, Jan Hoffman, Lara Jakes, Zolan Kanno -Youngs, Rick Rojas, Katie Rogers, Marc Santora, Dionne Searcey, Nancy Coleman and Neil Vigdor.


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