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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Fact check: Did Trump act at the same time Navarro wrote pandemic memos?

Asked about pandemic memos circulated by top trade adviser Peter Navarro warning of the effects the coronavirus could have, President Donald Trump argued that he acted at the same time, shuttering the U.S. to China and eventually Europe. 

“That was about the same time that I closed it down,” he said on Tuesday, referring to travel restrictions he put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. "We closed it down to all of China, we closed it down to all of Europe, those were big moves."

Trump's claims here are half true. Navarro’s warnings were reportedly circulated in late January and Trump’s travel ban on China was ordered January 31st — so he's right on the timing. But the restrictions are not as broad as he suggests here.

He then closed the border to most foreigners travel from China to the U.S. — exempting U.S. citizens and some others — but he did not shut down the borders completely. On March 11th, Trump ordered the border closed to foreigners coming to the U.S. from 26 European states, but not all of Europe. 

Hal Willner, music producer and 'SNL' veteran, dies of coronavirus at 64

Producer Hal Willner at The Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles on April 7, 2015.Chelsea Lauren / Getty Images file

Hal Willner, a record producer famed for his left-of-center tribute albums and concerts, and as the long-time sketch music producer for "Saturday Night Live," has died of complications related to the coronavirus. He was 64.

On his Twitter account, the producer had alluded to having been diagnosed in a March 28 tweet, which included a map of coronavirus outbreaks across the United States with the New York area as a red epicenter. He described himself in the tweet as "in bed on upper west side" and said, "I always wanted to have a number one, but not this."

Read the full story here. 

Fact check: Trump again overstates U.S. testing capability

“America continues to perform more tests than any other nation in the world, and I think that’s probably why we have more cases,” President Donald Trump said on Tuesday. 

This claim needs context. The U.S. is doing a lot of tests — 1.87 million as of Tuesday, Trump said — but per capita they are not doing the most. Testing 1.87 million people in a country of 327 million means the country is testing approximately one in every 174 people. South Korea, meanwhile, is testing approximately one in every 106 people, according to the latest numbers available.

And while Trump claims other countries are concealing the coronavirus outbreak — and there is reported evidence of that in China — he omits that the U.S. is not testing as many people as it could be, which will result in undercounts here, too. New York City, an epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, is only testing hospitalized infections for the virus, for example.

New York City suffers worst 24 hours of pandemic, death toll soars past 4,000

Bodies are moved to a refrigeration truck serving as a temporary morgue at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 6, 2020.Bryan R. Smith / AFP - Getty Images

New York City suffered its deadliest 24 hours of the coronavirus pandemic as more than 4,000 people have now died in America's largest metropolis, officials said Tuesday night.

The city health department's tally of coronavirus-related deaths reached 3,544 by 5 p.m. ET, a spike of 806 fatalities from the previous report of 2,738 on Monday night.

Before the city's Tuesday night count, the biggest jump came Friday to Saturday when the death toll increased by 387 from 1,867 to 2,254.

But separate from New York City, in a running state tally of COVID-19 deaths, the five boroughs crossed 4,000 fatalities mark by 7:30 p.m. ET - with 1,153 lost in Brooklyn, 1,093 in Queens, 816 in the Bronx, 750 in Manhattan and 197 in Staten Island.

How to help struggling Asian American communities amid coronavirus pandemic

Jade Garden Restaurant in Seattle's Chinatown-International District on March 17, 2020. Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

As stay-home orders have arisen quickly across the country in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, local restaurants and businesses have seen drastically reduced customer traffic and plummeting profits.

But perhaps few have been as greatly affected as Asian American businesses, which saw drops in customers as high as 80 percent long before the U.S. began its push for isolation, as stigma surrounding the virus kept customers out of Chinatowns and Chinese restaurants.

Read the full story here. 

Photo: He said "yes"

Jorge Guerrero / AFP - Getty Images

Neighbors celebrate Elena Gonzalez' marriage proposal to her boyfriend, Juan Manuel Zamorano, in Ronda, Spain, during the coronavirus lockdown on April 7, 2020.

Coronavirus may stop hundreds of thousands from becoming citizens in time to vote in November

A new U.S. citizen holds a flag to his chest during the Pledge of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library on July 3, 2018.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Cancellation of citizenship oath ceremonies and in-person interviews because of coronavirus means hundreds of thousands of people may not naturalize in time for November’s elections.

If ceremonies and interviews remain shut down until October without remote alternatives created by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 441,000 people who would have been citizens would be deprived of the chance to vote, according to Boundless Immigration, a technology company that helps immigrants apply for green cards and citizenship.

Read the full story here. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donating $1 billion to coronavirus relief

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and Square, said Tuesday that he is devoting $1 billion of his stake in the mobile payments company, or 28 percent of his net worth, to help fund coronavirus relief efforts.

"I'm moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief," Dorsey tweeted.

Read the full story here. 

Appeals Court restores Texas ban on abortion during pandemic

A federal appeals court Tuesday threw out a judge's order blocking the state from banning abortions during the virus pandemic.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that Texas acted properly in including abortion in the list of non-medically necessary procedures that would be delayed. 

Gov. Greg Abbott issued the order in late March, and Attorney General Ken Paxton said it would include "any type of abortion." Planned Parenthood sought a court order to block the restriction, and a federal district court judge issued a temporary order to block the ban.

The 5th Circuit last week put the judge's order on hold to give the state a chance to appeal and on Tuesday granted the state's request to keep the ban on abortion in place.  In public health emergencies, the court said, a state can restrict constitutional rights including, "one's right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one's home. The right to abortion is no exception."

Texas is now the only state where the pandemic has brought abortions to a halt.

Buckling to pressure, many states deem gun stores 'essential' amid outbreak

Andrea Schry, right, fills out legal forms to buy a handgun after Dukes Sport Shop reopened, on March 25, 2020, in New Castle, Pa.Keith Srakocic / AP

What's considered "essential?" Food, prescription drugs, sometimes liquor — and, in most states, firearms.

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, 42 states have issued some form of a state-at-home order, mandating that nearly all nonessential businesses close. Gun retailers in at least 30 of those states, however, have been allowed to stay open amid pushback from gun groups and the federal government.

Read the full story here.

MLB considering playing baseball season only in Arizona as early as April

Major League Baseball is considering a plan that would start the baseball season as early as next month using facilities and fields in and around Phoenix, Arizona. The scenario is one of several being discussed.

Under the proposal, players and team personnel would be isolated and practice social distancing during off-time. There would be no crowds in the stadiums.

"MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so," the League said in a statement Tuesday morning. "While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan."

Phoenix does have advantages, given its climate and many baseball facilities, where it annually hosts much of Spring Training.

Much will depend on how effectively the state deals with the virus and if baseball will be considered an essential job not subject to Arizona's stay at home order, should it be extended past March 31.