U.S. deaths top 12,000 as New York City suffers deadliest day

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Apr 7, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington
Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington High School in Milwaukee on April 7, 2020. "I'm disgusted. I requested an absentee ballot almost three weeks ago and never got it. I have a father dying from lung disease and I have to risk my life and his just to exercise my right to vote" she said, as she'd been in line almost two hours.Patricia McKnight / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Network

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At the start of what officials have warned could be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic, the total number of deaths in the U.S. rose to more than 12,000 on Tuesday, according to NBC News' tally. New York City alone topped 4,000 deaths, recording its single deadliest day with over 800 dying in the 24 hours since Monday night.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Wisconsin's controversial election is on for Tuesday, and voters will get no extension on the deadline to return absentee ballots, thanks to two top courts that sided with Republicans on Monday.

In the fight to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Tuesday that he planned to donate $1 billion to global coronavirus relief.

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Amid social distancing, activists turn to a new tactic: the car protest

Activism has been disrupted by the coronavirus and organizers have turned to a new tactic to get their message out: the car protest. 

On March 22, immigration activist groups held a car protest outside the Hudson County Detention Center in New Jersey, calling for the release of detained migrants amid the coronavirus pandemic. The protesters were all in their cars, honking, demanding action — and trying to follow the state's social distance guidelines.

Never Again Action, one of the many groups that organized the event, has held various car protests as they call for the release of everyone in ICE detention, people they say are particularly vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. 

“We want to replicate the feeling of people being together in public,” Stephen Lurie, an organizer with Never Again Action, told NBC News. The car protests will hopefully “draw attention to things at a time when it’s really hard to,” he said. The protests have also happened in New York, Massachusetts, Texas, California, Minnesota and other states, and the tactic is also being used by striking workers.

Participants at the actions — which have been held outside detention centers, state capitols and governor’s mansions — slow down or park their cars, hang signs from their windows, honk, and chant. Lurie says the group is “dredging up” an old tactic that’s been used before as they try to be creative and adapt to the times.

Study: Higher air pollution rates up death risk for coronavirus patients

Coronavirus patients from areas of the United States with high air pollution levels run a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than those from areas with cleaner air, according to a new national study out this week from Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Researchers analyzed more than 3,000 counties across the country, finding a small increase in long-term exposure to particulate matter was associated with a 15 percent increase in the COVID-19 death rate. The study adjusted for population size, hospital beds, number of individuals tested, weather, and socioeconomic and a number of behavioral variables.

While noting that the epidemiology of COVID-19 is evolving, the study's authors said results "underscore the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations to protect human health both during and after the COVID-19 crisis."

Past research has found particulate matter likely contributed to the spread of the 2015 avian influenza and during the SARS epidemic in 2003, where increases in particulate matter air pollution increased risks of dying from the disease. SARS is a coronavirus, like COVID-19.

L.A. encourages those experiencing homelessness to social distance tents

Los Angeles officials said the city is making progress in expanding emergency shelter programs for those experiencing homelessness, a population that public health experts warn may be at greatest risk for exposure to the coronavirus, according to a late Monday federal court filing.

The city is “engaged with Skid Row service providers and community advocates in efforts to educate persons experiencing homelessness in the Skid Row area to practice social distancing and space their tents 12 feet apart from each other,” according to the filing.

Previously, some handwashing stations left near homeless encampments had been removed by the Andy Gump company after an employee was punctured with a used hypodermic needle while servicing one. The city said in its court filing that the stations were removed "without any input from the City" and that it is working with Andy Gump to address the company's concerns while replacing the stations "to keep these life-saving hygiene facilities available."

Britain’s PM Boris Johnson is 'stable,' remains in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is “stable” and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring, a government spokesman said Tuesday. 

“He is in good spirits,” the spokesman added in a statement.

Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, 46, to deputize for him when needed as the nation tackles the coronavirus crisis.

Photo: Sheltering in a mall in India

Migrant workers eat dinner Tuesday in a shopping mall turned into a shelter during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Ahmedabad. Amit Dave / Reuters

Woman, 86, and three of her sons die in Louisiana, where blacks account for 70 percent of deaths

An 86-year-old Louisiana woman and three of her sons who all tested positive for the coronavirus have died, relatives and the coroner's office say.

The mother, Antoinette Franklin, and her sons were African American, and their deaths come with the announcement that black people account for 70.5 percent of fatalities from the coronavirus in Louisiana, although they make up only about a third of the population.

Louisiana is a hot spot for the pandemic, with 16,284 coronavirus cases and 582 deaths.

Antoinette Franklin, a lifelong New Orleans resident, died March 23. Her sons, Herman Franklin Jr., 71, Anthony Franklin Sr., 58 and Timothy Franklin, 61, died between March 20 and 30, according to their obituaries.

Read the full story here.

Coronavirus outbreak delayed his liver transplant. Then doctors found a solution.

Zach Branson during a hospitalization in 2019.Courtesy of Ashley Branson

Zach Branson, a Colorado man whose lifesaving transplant was put on hold last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, has received a new liver, donated by his uncle.

Doctors at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Denver previously canceled the surgery — along with all other organ transplants from living donors — amid concerns that such operations would leave patients and donors vulnerable to the coronavirus.

But the hospital reversed course last week after developing the capability to test for the coronavirus in UCHealth’s lab and get results in under four hours.

Read the full story here. 

What would happen if Trump was put on a ventilator?

The hospitalization of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his subsequent move to intensive care to receive supplemental oxygen, marked the first known case of a world leader seriously affected by the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump said he has been tested twice for the virus, once in March and again last week. But what if a president had to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator?

Dr. John Torres, an NBC News medical correspondent, explained that when patients need a ventilator, a breathing tube must be inserted first. "That requires a patient to be sedated, effectively incapacitated. Otherwise it's not possible to intubate them."

Who would take over running the country then? The answer comes from the Constitution's 25th Amendment.

Read the full story here.

U.K.'s daily death toll spikes with 786 dead recorded in single day

The United Kingdom has recorded its highest daily death toll since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak with 786 news deaths recorded in a single day. 

New figures released on Tuesday showed that as of 5 p.m. (midday ET) on Monday, 6,159 people hospitalized with the coronavirus had died in the U.K., up from 5,373 the day before. 

As of Tuesday, the country had recorded some 55,242 cases of the disease.

New Biden super PAC ad highlights Democrat's coronavirus plan

WASHINGTON — The super PAC supporting Joe Biden is returning to the national airwaves with a new television ad, this time focusing on the Democrat’s plan for tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

The 30-second spot from Unite The Country pivots from the group’s other recent paid messaging, which faults President Trump for how he has handled the pandemic.

Instead, the ad asks what Biden would do differently, before laying out elements of his previously announced plan, including ensuring all states had at least 10 mobile testing sites, greater availability of safety care, free vaccines, and an extended Obamacare enrollment period – something the Trump administration recently ruled out.

The new ad will begin airing early this week on cable airwaves nationally as part of a six-figure buy, a spokesperson for Unite the Country told NBC News. 

That new investment is in addition to the previous, seven-figure campaign behind the earlier ad, which made the point: "Crisis comes to every president. This one failed.”

The Biden campaign itself has been largely off the airwaves during the pandemic. Ahead of today’s Wisconsin primary, the campaign focused on text and phone outreach to voters there.

Last week, the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, announced it will spend $10 million on ads criticizing Biden in swing states.