Boris Johnson in intensive care, U.S. death toll tops 10,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: UNLV Medicine Nearing Point Of Running Out Of Coronavirus Testing Kits
From left, certified medical assistants Lakietha Flourney, Yatziri Perez and Evelyn Laolagi conduct tests for COVID-19 at a drive-up testing station in the parking lot of UNLV Medicine in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6, 2020.Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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The number of deaths in the U.S. topped 10,700 by Monday night, according to NBC News' tally.

The rising toll comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday that the U.S. is "struggling" to get the coronavirus outbreak under control. The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has passed 337,000. Globally, the number of deaths has topped 70,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into an intensive care unit for coronavirus, his office announced Monday. He had tested positive in March and was hospitalized Sunday for exhibiting symptoms for more than 10 days.

Meanwhile, an internal government watchdog report released Monday said that hospitals across the country face dire shortages of vital medical equipment — including testing kits and thermometers.

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Trump approves Cuomo request to have Navy hospital ship take coronavirus patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday asked President Donald Trump if the Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship now docked in New York City, could be shifted to take patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

The ship, brought to New York City to free up much-needed hospital space for infected patients, had previously been reserved for non-virus patients. The Comfort had only 20 patients as of Thursday night. 

"As it turned out, there's not a lot of non-COVID people in the hospital system, which is a separate story," Cuomo said. "A byproduct of shutting everything down is you have fewer car accidents, crime rate is way down, fewer trauma cases, so there is not a large non-COVID population in the hospitals." 

Cuomo said later Monday on MSNBC that Trump agreed to the request. The governor said the move adds 1,000 beds to the fight against the disease, which will hopefully alleviate some of the stress on the state's healthcare system.

Cuomo also said schools and non-essential businesses would remain closed through at least April 29 and that the fine for those who violated restrictions on social distancing would increase, from $500 to $1,000.

U.S. Army places temporary hold on sending new recruits to basic training

The U.S. Army has paused the movement of future U.S. soldiers to basic combat training, the department announced Monday.

"This tactical pause will allow commands to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place and are operating effectively at training installations," the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which oversees training of Army recruits, said in a statement.

The pause does not affect recruits currently in basic training. They will continue under screening and monitoring guidelines established in March, and proceed to their next assignment upon graduation. Current protocols include "social-distanced-enabled training" and reduced movement of trainees.

"The decision to pause the shipment of trainees to [Basic Combat Training] for two weeks will allow leaders to focus on setting conditions so movement can be conducted in a safer manner in the future,” said Gen. Paul Funk, II, head of the Command.

Wisconsin Gov. Evers suspends in-person voting for Tuesday primary amid coronavirus concerns

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday signed an executive order suspending all in-person voting for Tuesday's primary and moved the date of the election to June 9 amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The order also convenes the state legislature for a special session on Tuesday to deal with the issue.

“Today, I signed an executive order suspending in-person voting for tomorrow’s election,” Evers said in a statement. “Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem — I wish it were easy.”

“As municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today,” he added.

Read the full story here.

More than 16,000 dead in Italy

Doctors treat a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Rome on March 26, 2020.Antonio Masiello / Getty Images file

Italy reached another grim milestone in the pandemic as more than 16,000 people there have now died from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

The official death toll was listed at 16,523, officials said Monday, a spike of 636 fatalities from Sunday night's reported total of 15,887. No nation has been hit harder by COVID-19 deaths than Italy. 

There have been at least 132,547 positive coronavirus cases, Italian officials said Monday, an increase from 128,848 a day earlier.

 

New York rabbi: 'We can be many faiths during this week, but we are one family'

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, spoke about the challenges of safely continuing religious practice amid the coronavirus outbreak in a Monday interview with Craig Melvin on MSNBC.

"It's really a time of contradiction," Rabbi Potasnik said. "We say let everyone enter, when it comes to our house of worship, and the doors are locked."

In the days leading up to Passover and Easter, Rabbi Potasnik encouraged people to practice in ways that are safe, such as turning to online services, and encouraged unity during tough times. 

"We can be many faiths during this week but we are one family and I think when this is over there's going to be a recognition that we need each other, face to face," he said.

Top Trump aide says Fauci's caution on possible coronavirus treatment warrants a 'second opinion'

President Donald Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro said Monday that Dr. Anthony Fauci's caution about the effectiveness of an anti-malaria drug that the president has been urging as a treatment for coronavirus warrants a "second opinion."

Asked about an Axios report that he and Fauci got into a heated argument about the drug during a coronavirus task force meeting on Saturday, Navarro told CNN, "There was that discussion on Saturday, and if we didn't have disagreement and debate in the Trump administration, this administration would not be as strong as it is."

A source told Axios the dispute started when Navarro said the studies he'd seen on the effects of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, show "clear therapeutic efficacy." Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Navarro there's only anecdotal evidence, leading Navarro to angrily declare the studies he'd seen are "science, not anecdote."

Read the full story here.

California to loan 500 ventilators to hard-hit New York

California is loaning 500 ventilators to the national stockpile to help hard-hit states like New York treat critically ill coronavirus patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday.

“We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State — and we’re aggressively preparing for a surge — but we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now," Newsom said in a statement. "I know that if the tables were turned and we were experiencing a hospital surge, other states would come to our aid and provide ventilators just as we are today.”

New York has the most coronavirus cases of any state, with more than 130,000 confirmed as of Monday. While the total number of daily patients admitted to intensive care units has dipped in recent days, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned the state could run out of ventilators to treat patients whose respiratory symptoms have advanced past the point of being able to breathe on their own.

Photo: Sanitizing shoppers in Albania

A woman passes through a disinfection tunnel before entering a market, as authorities take measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, in Tirana on Monday.Florion Goga / Reuters

Billie Eilish, Lizzo and other stars to perform in globally televised concert to support health care workers

Broadcast TV networks are collaborating to air an unprecedented, globally televised fundraiser to celebrate and support health care workers on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus, the World Health Organization and Global Citizen announced on Monday. 

The special, “One World: Together at Home,” will air on April 18 at 8 p.m. ET and will feature musicians alongside health care workers from around the globe discussing their experiences.

"Through music, entertainment and impact, the global live-cast will celebrate those who risk their own health to safeguard everyone else’s,” Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen, said in a statement Monday.

Three late-night comics — Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert — will helm the event, along with characters from "Sesame Street."

The star-studded event will feature a long list of musical artists, including Elton John, Keith Urban, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Paul McCartney.

The show will be broadcast by ABC, NBC, CBS and radio operator iHeart Media. It will be streamed on various platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Instagram, and YouTube.