We may not be able to get together as we are used to this year, but we can still connect to Passover, Easter and Ramadan.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday that he “would like to see a clear indication” that the United States “is going very clearly and strongly in the right direction,” before reopen the country.
“The virus somehow decides whether to open,” he said on CNN, warning that the country could “prematurely” end measures of social distancing, then “you’re back in the same situation ”.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday at a press conference, “I hope we will open – you can call it” the opening “- very, very, very, very soon, I hope. “
“We’re at the top of the hill, I’m sure we’re at the top of the hill,” added Trump.
Fauci said on Friday that the curve of new cases appears to be flattening as hospitalizations and ventilated patients in New York are down: “We are going in the right direction, let us keep this direction. “
Elsewhere, travelers have been invited to stay at home around the world to mark the traditions of Good Friday and Easter weekend. Anxiously awaited stimulus checks should soon hit American bank accounts. And British leader Boris Johnson, out of intensive care, worried his father but filled with “relief”.
The death toll in the United States was over 16,600 early Friday, with more than 466,000 cases confirmed Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. About 26,000 Americans have recovered.
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Stimulation controls: when will we see them?
The Americans have received conflicting information about when they will receive stimulus checks because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. But there is good news: checks will soon hit their bank accounts.
The first wave of $ 1,200 stimulus payments is in the process of being released the week of April 13, according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, certified public accountant at TurboTax. The government is prioritizing the first waves of payments in the coming weeks for low-income Americans and social security recipients, said Greene-Lewis.
Some Americans have been confused by contradictory reports from different parts of the government in recent weeks. The IRS said that by the end of March, stimulus payments would begin to be distributed within three weeks.
Then, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on April 2 that the first stimulus payments would arrive for some by direct deposit within two weeks. Larry Kudlow, chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump, then said this week that the checks could be released this week or next. Others said they could have come as early as April 9.
The IRS did not respond to requests for comment.
– Jessica Menton
Good Friday, Easter weekend: celebrate at home
People around the world have started observing Good Friday from the security of their homes, as politicians and public health officials warn that hard-won gains from the pandemic should not be jeopardized by loosening social distance for Easter weekend. Across Europe, where Easter is one of the busiest travel periods, authorities have set up roadblocks and discouraged family reunions.
Amid widespread restrictions on public gatherings, major faiths organize virtual services where members can watch on television or online. Others hold prayers in driving cinemas, where people can stay in their cars.
Other churches plan to go ahead with services, particularly in states like Texas, where the governor has declared religious gatherings “essential services.” A Houston church installed handwashing stations and redeveloped its 1,000-person sanctuary to hold approximately 100 people 6 feet (2 meters) or more apart.
Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Mass in an almost empty St. Peter’s Basilica instead of the huge square outside. In England, the Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver his Easter sermon by video.
– Associated press
New York State sees the deadliest day
New York State reported a record number of deaths for the third day in a row, at 799. More than 7,000 people died in the state, accounting for almost half of the deaths in the United States.
“It’s so shocking, painful and breathtaking, I don’t even have the words for it,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.
. – But he added that there are encouraging signs, including a slowdown in the number of people hospitalized, admitted to intensive care and placed on ventilators.
Boris Johnson’s father says son needs time to “rest” from coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson must be allowed to “rest” before returning to work after being transferred from intensive care to a regular hospital ward, the father of the British leader said in an interview on Friday.
Johnson’s father, 79, Stanley, said he felt “extremely grateful” for improving his son’s condition.
“Relief is the right word,” he said in a BBC radio interview. But he warned that his son needed a rest period before he returned to work.
“It must take time. I can’t believe you can walk away from it and go straight back to Downing Street and take the reins without readjustment, ”he said.
Johnson is the first major world leader known to have contracted the coronavirus. In a series of video messages he posted on social media before his admission to the hospital with the disease, Johnson appeared increasingly ill while pursuing government work in isolation in his home and his official office at Downing Street.
– Kim Hjelmgaard
Magic Johnson talks about HIV, misconceptions about coronaviruses and its impact on the black community
“The reason I still live is early detection,” retired NBA player Magic Johnson told CNN on Thursday. “I had a test and I had a medical examination. It turned out that I had HIV and it saved my life. “
Johnson further drew parallels between HIV and COVID-19 due to the similarities in misconceptions about the respective viruses, inadequate testing, lack of available drugs and how the pandemic has affected the black community.
“African-Americans are leading in terms of coronavirus deaths and most of them in the hospital are African-Americans,” said Johnson. “We need to do a better job as African Americans to track social estrangement, stay at home and make sure that we educate our loved ones and family members and do what we are supposed to do to stay in safe and healthy.
“Then when you add that up, we don’t have access to health care, quality health care. Many of us are uninsured. It also creates a problem. Just like HIV and AIDS. ” Read more here.
– Mark Medina
Utah Tourism Hit By Last Last Big Five National Parks
The last of Utah’s Big Five national parks closed on Thursday, effectively shutting down a tourism industry that injected $ 9.75 billion into the state’s economy in 2018.
Governor Gary Herbert announced the closure of Capitol Reef National Park, two days after the closure of Bryce Canyon National Park and less than a week after the closure of Zion National Park. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks closed on March 27.
A report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah last November showed a 6.5% increase in tourism spending compared to 2017, pushing revenues to nearly $ 10 billion and visits record of more than 10 million people in national parks.
The decision to close the national parks was left to individual parks, according to the National Park Service.
– Lexi Peery, The Spectrum & Daily News (St. George, Utah)
How The New Law And The CARES Law Will Affect Mortgages On Your Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Democrats block $ 250 billion for small businesses, cite hospital needs
An effort by Senate Republicans to replenish an emergency fund for small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis was blocked by Democrats, who called it a “political coup” that disregarded hospitals and other urgent needs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Had proposed legislation increasing the popular paycheck protection program by $ 250 billion in addition to the $ 349 billion approved by Congress last month in as part of the response to a $ 2.2 trillion pandemic known as the CARES Act.
But when he appeared in a voice vote on Thursday, Maryland Democrats, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, objected, thereby blocking. The bill “was not negotiated, so it will not be done,” said Cardin.
Studies suggest the coronavirus has spread to New York from Europe
The coronavirus started spreading to New York in February and arrived in the region via European travelers, according to new research. Two separate teams of scientists studying the genetics of the virus came to similar conclusions: people spread the virus weeks before the first confirmed case in New York.
“We know for sure that these were from European strains,” Adriana Heguy, director of the Genome Technology Center at NYU Langone Health, told today.
The first case of new coronavirus confirmed in New York occurred on March 1. On January 31, President Donald Trump declared that he would restrict the entry into the United States of those who came from China. On March 11, Trump declared that he restricted travel from Europe.
– Ryan W. Miller
More US Coronavirus News and Information TODAY
IMF chief warns of worst global recession since depression
The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic will push the world economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and that the poorest countries will make the worst of it. This marks a dramatic reversal of what was on the verge of a year of economic growth.
Three months ago, the IMF predicted per capita income growth for 160 countries. Today, the organization expects more than 170 countries to experience declining per capita income. Emerging markets and low-income countries in Africa, Latin America and much of Asia are at high risk, said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
“With weak health systems to begin with, many face the daunting challenge of fighting the virus in densely populated cities and poor slums, where social distancing is hardly an option,” said Georgieva.
African countries have sounded the alarm over the lack of access to medical equipment that could make them vulnerable to the virus.
Dozens of American Airlines flight crew test positive for coronavirus
Unions representing commercial pilots and flight attendants say dozens of them who work for American Airlines have tested positive for the coronavirus, and they need better protection.
About 100 of the airline’s flight attendants owned COVID-19 on Saturday, the Association of Professional Flight Attents said. In a statement, Julie Hendrick, the new president of AFPA, said that the union has been pushing Americans since January for measures to protect front-line workers.
Captain Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the union representing American Airlines pilots, told USA TODAY on Thursday that 41 of them tested positive for the virus.
Because flight crews could be vectors of the virus, Tajer said they should “be given first responder status and priority for protective gear. “
– Rasha Ali and Jayme Deerwester
More US Coronavirus News TODAY
Contributor: The Associated Press
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