As many as 240,000 people in the U.S. could die from COVID-19 — and that’s only with strict social distancing measures in place, one of the government’s top doctors warned Tuesday.
Dr. Deborah Birx, Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus response coordinator, said that between 1.5 and 2.2 million could die without the intervention.
Already, the death toll in the United States has surpassed the number of people killed on Sept. 11, 2001. According to NBC News’ tally, the disease has killed 3,768 people and infected more than 185,000.
The numbers continued to rise as Wall Street ended one of its worst quarters in history. The Dow Jones was down by 400 points — a quarterly loss of 22 percent — while the S&P 500 recorded its worst three months since 1938. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, closed down at just under 1 percent.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not doing — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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NYC medical students start organization to help distribute PPE to local hospitals
A group of medical students in New York City are working to help distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to area hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
After confirmed cases of the virus began popping up in the US, medical student Sami Lux started collecting extra respiration masks from the lab where she worked in order to give them to local hospitals; from there the organization “PPE2NYC” was created.
PPE2NYC works with donors both locally and across the world, to help connect them with NYC-area hospitals who are in need of PPE.
Dr. Fiona Shehaj, a cardiologist at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island, was one of the recipients of the PPE. She said, “It’s been amazing that everyone, even our neighbors have been willing to help. We’re very appreciative and very touched that everyone has been able to help so much.”
As coronavirus cases continue to rise, a growing number of Americans are opting to cover their noses and mouths with makeshift masks, including bandannas, scarves or other wraps, when venturing into public.
While the science behind whether masks can prevent a person from catching the coronavirus hasn't changed (a mask does not help a healthy person avoid infection), public guidance may be shifting.
Biden campaign, pro-Biden group release ads hitting Trump over pandemic response
A pair of new ads released Wednesday in support of Joe Biden draw contrasts between how the former vice president would handle the coronavirus pandemic with President Trump's response.
In one, a digital ad released by Biden’s presidential campaign, Biden says the country is heading to “war” against the virus and calls on Americans to do more to protect their fellow “soldiers” on the front line — specifically the doctors, nurses, health care workers, first responders, firefighters and police who are “caring for others more than themselves.”
Another ad, released by the pro-Biden Super PAC “Unite the Country,” argues that Trump has failed the presidential test of leadership, allowing the Coronavirus to “spread unchecked across America.”
The 30-second ad, which does not mention the former vice president, will air nationwide on both broadcast and cable television, according to Unite the Country. It is the first significant move by any Democratic entity to use the pandemic in a significant paid advertising campaign.
Louisiana pastor charged with defying coronavirus order against large gatherings
A Louisiana pastor who continues to flout a ban on large gatherings was issued a summons from police for violating the governor's executive order.
The pastor, Mark Anthony Spell, who goes by Tony Spell, of Life Tabernacle Church, told NBC News in a brief phone interview Tuesday afternoon that police had visited his home and gave him a summons for the six services he has held since March 16 when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced an order against gatherings of more than 50 people.
"Mr. Spell made his intentions to continue to violate the law clear," Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said. "Instead of showing the strength and resilience of our community during this difficult time, Mr. Spell has chosen to embarrass us for his own self-promotion."
25,000 healthcare professionals volunteer to help California combat coronavirus
More than 25,000 retired doctors, medical and nursing students and more signed up within 24 hours for a California effort to boost ranks of healthcare providers during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.
"I've never been more damn inspired in my life," Newsom told reporters. "To see that number, just 25,000 yesterday alone, of professionals that are willing to come out of retirement to put their lives back on the line knowing the PPE (personal protective equipment) may not be there when they go back out in the field?"
Wall Street just ended one of the worst quarters in stock market history
Wall Street just ended one of the worst quarters in stock market history, with all three major averages reflecting the devastating economic impact of the pandemic that has ground global activity almost to a halt.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by just over 400 points by the closing bell on Tuesday, a quarterly loss of 22 percent for the blue-chip index and its worst Q1 performance ever.
The S&P 500 ended the day lower by around 1.85 percent, its worst first quarter since 1938, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down by just under 1 percent.
Investor sentiment was further dampened Tuesday by newly released consumer confidence data that reflected a nosedive in spending, but economists said the worst was yet to come.
Captain of U.S. aircraft carrier begs Navy for help with coronavirus outbreak on ship
The commanding officer of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt sent a letter to the Navy on Monday begging for help addressing the coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, which has nearly 5,000 people on board and was forced to dock in Guam last week.
As first reported in The San Francisco Chronicle, Capt. Brett Crozier said his crew members need to be placed in isolation to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.
In a statement, the Navy said Crozier wanted help with “continuing challenges in isolating the virus."
"The ship’s commanding officer advocated for housing more members of the crew in facilities that allow for better isolation. Navy leadership is moving quickly to take all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt, and is pursuing options to address the concerns raised by the commanding officer.”
Judge revives Texas abortion ban ordered in response to coronavirus
A Texas ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic is back on, at least for now.
By a 2-1 vote, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted a request from Texas to put the ban back in place while an appeal moves forward.
The ban was halted by federal Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday, who said the order was too broad and violated the constitutional guarantee of a woman's right to choose.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week ordered doctors to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary. Attorney General Ken Paxton then said that would include "any type of abortion."
3 employees at same Massachusetts UPS facility test positive
Three employees at a large UPS facility in the greater Boston area have tested positive for the coronavirus and two dozen more have been quarantined on a doctor’s orders, according to their union, Teamsters Local 25.
A UPS spokesperson would not confirm or deny the assertion, or answer questions about infected employees at any UPS location. The spokesperson told NBC News that the company is “not confirming employee cases for employee privacy reasons,” and that information about any cases that need to be disclosed for public health reasons will come from government authorities.
'Schitt's Creek' cast uses lead up to series finale for coronavirus fundraiser on Instagram
The cast of "Schitt's Creek" will be hosting a series of Instagram Live events in the week leading up to the show's series finale to raise money for Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
Actor and "Schitt's Creek" co-creator Dan Levy announced on Tuesday that the cast wanted to share the love they've been shown over the years in an effort to help those who might need help feeding their families during the coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning Tuesday night, the cast will be livestreaming every night until the show's series finale on April 7.
"And all we ask is that if you join the Instagram Live, that maybe you consider donating small or big," Levy said. "I know this is a tough time financially for a lot of people, so if you can't donate that's OK too." The cast's GoFundMe campaign raised more than $2,000 in the first 20 minutes after Levy's post.