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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

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 8 Coronavirus news.

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.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

1026d ago / 11:48 PM UTC

Trump hints at cutting U.S. funds to World Health Organization

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his administration is going to consider withholding funding from the World Health Organization, the agency that oversees international public health, after it criticized his administration's coronavirus response. 

The president told reporters at the daily coronavirus task force briefing that the WHO is “China-centric” and that we need to “look into that” because the U.S. contributes millions to the agency's budget. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the WHO, spending $57.8 million earlier this year. He also took issue with the agency criticizing his China travel ban in early February when the Asian country was the epicenter of the pandemic. 

 

“They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier," Trump told reporters, referring to the WHO. "They would have known and they should have known and they probably did know."

He said that he would be looking into it “very carefully" and he would be putting a “powerful hold” on money being sent to WHO. However, when pressed on whether this was the right time to end funding to the WHO, the president said “no, maybe not” and added, “I’m not saying I’m going to do it” but only that he’s looking into it.

 

1026d ago / 11:12 PM UTC

American movement outside the home cut in half during pandemic, study shows

Movement outside the home in the United States since the start of widespread social distancing efforts in mid-March decreased by 49 percent, Johns Hopkins University researchers revealed Monday.

The school's 15-month Twitter Social Mobility Index analyzed location data from 3.7 million U.S.-based Twitter users. States without stay-at-home orders in mid-March showed the smallest reductions in mobility, researchers said. Among them: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Carolina.

The top locations for staying put included Washington, D.C., Alaska, Washington, New Jersey and Maryland.

1026d ago / 11:10 PM UTC

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. 

1026d ago / 10:57 PM UTC

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

Image: Hal Willner
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. 

1026d ago / 10:24 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 10:23 PM UTC

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

Image:
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.

1026d ago / 9:40 PM UTC

How to help struggling Asian American communities amid coronavirus pandemic

Image: Mr. Chan cooks at Jade Garden Restaurant in Seattle's Chinatown-International District, as the business moves to takeout-only due to new state restaurant requirements during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seattle
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. 

1026d ago / 9:20 PM UTC

Photo: He said "yes"

Image:
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.

1026d ago / 9:10 PM UTC

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

Image: Immigrants From Over 50 Countries Become U.S. Citizens At The New York Public Library
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. 

1026d ago / 8:53 PM UTC

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. 

1026d ago / 8:31 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 8:28 PM UTC

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

Image: Gun store
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.

1026d ago / 8:16 PM UTC

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. 

1026d ago / 7:56 PM UTC

Acting Navy secretary resigns over firing of captain who raised coronavirus concerns

and

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned his post, two defense officials said, a day after he attacked and then apologized to an ousted captain who raised concerns about a coronavirus outbreak on his aircraft carrier.

Modly made the offer during a Tuesday morning conversation with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the officials said. Esper accepted his resignation and has selected Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson to replace Modly as acting Navy secretary, according to the officials.

The revelation comes after Modly’s stinging remarks about Capt. Brett Crozier, broadcast over the loudspeakers on the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Monday, drew criticism from lawmakers and disapproval from President Donald Trump.

Read the full story here. 

1026d ago / 7:33 PM UTC

France death toll surpasses 10,000, officials warn peak yet to come

The coronavirus death toll in France surpassed 10,000 on Tuesday, despite severe quarantine measures that have been put in place across the country to slow the spread of the virus. 

French authorities have counted at least 1,417 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, including deaths in nursing homes, pushing the total for the nation over 10,300. Director General of Health Jarome Salomon warned that the country has yet to see its peak and the curve has yet to flatten. 

1026d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

Israel uses closed McDonald's drive-thrus for speedy coronavirus testing

"We take advantage of the infrastructure of our friends at McDonald's, of their drive-thru, in order to conduct tests for patients who need them," said Ilan Tibi, of Israeli health organization Clalit.

1026d ago / 7:25 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 7:09 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 7:02 PM UTC

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."

1026d ago / 6:48 PM UTC

1026d ago / 6:17 PM UTC

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

and

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.

1026d ago / 6:03 PM UTC

Photo: Sheltering in a mall in India

Outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad
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
1026d ago / 5:57 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

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

Zach Branson during a hospitalization in 2019.
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. 

1026d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 5:06 PM UTC

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

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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.

1026d ago / 4:35 PM UTC

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.

1026d ago / 4:32 PM UTC

More than 1,300 FDNY members have returned to work following coronavirus scares

Some 1,310 members of the New York City Fire Department have now returned to work after testing positive, being exposed to, or suspected of having COVID-19, an FDNY spokesperson said Tuesday.

Since not all those who have been out sick could get tested, the precise number of those who had confirmed COVID-19 is not possible to ascertain. The FDNY members who have returned to work include EMTs, paramedics and firefighters.

As of Monday, the total number of FDNY members who were confirmed positive approached 500. The number of FDNY members who have returned from being out sick is up from the nearly 200 who had resumed working last Thursday.

“FDNY members are responding to a record number of medical calls, and they continue to meet this unprecedented challenge head on," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

1026d ago / 4:28 PM UTC

Sen. Rand Paul: 'I have been retested and I am negative'

1026d ago / 4:20 PM UTC

Photo: Long lines at Wisconsin polls

Michael Singleton and his wife Gladys wait in a line, which continued a few blocks south of the polling location in Milwaukee
Voters wait in a line, which stretched a few blocks south of the polling location, at Riverside High School in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Wisconsin is asking hundreds of thousands of voters to ignore a stay-at-home order in the midst of a pandemic to participate in Tuesday's presidential primary election, becoming a test case for dozens of states struggling to balance public health concerns with a core pillar of democracy.Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Reuters
1026d ago / 4:16 PM UTC

Key Trump coronavirus task force must work remotely after positive COVID-19 test

A critical White House unit that is getting, shipping and distributing goods to fight the spread of the coronavirus has been ordered to vacate its war room and begin working remotely after a "partner" of the group tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email that Federal Emergency Management Agency officials sent to staff members late Monday night.

Read the full story here.

1026d ago / 4:10 PM UTC

Treasury preparing to request more money for small businesses

The Treasury Department is preparing a formal request to Congress for more funds for the “Paycheck Protection Program” forgivable small business loans, a Treasury Department official confirmed to NBC News.

The request is expected to come today or tomorrow – less than a week after applications opened for the $350 billion in loans that Congress has already approved.

The official declined to specify a number for the forthcoming request but said the Treasury is working with the U.S. Senate on the proposal. However, President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that he would be asking for an additional $250 billion.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to approve more funding for the program.

1026d ago / 4:01 PM UTC

Senate Dems unveil proposal to boost pay to essential workers on the front lines

Senate Democrats unveiled a draft proposal Tuesday that would boost pay to workers on the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a conference call with reporters and other Senate Democrats that the plan would provide a premium pay increase to essential workers of up to $25,000 from the start of the crisis through the end of the year. 

“That's equivalent to a raise of about $13 an hour,” Schumer said, adding that it would not only cover medical professionals but also grocery store workers, pharmacists and more. 

The proposal would also include an incentive of $15,000 to expand the medical workforce by recruiting people new to the industry or people who previously worked in the industry. 

“This would be paid for by the federal government, it would apply to state workers, local workers, private sector workers,” said Schumer, who said that Democrats want this wrapped into the next coronavirus relief package that Congress considers. 

1026d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

New York saw 'largest single-day increase' of deaths on Monday, Cuomo says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday the state saw its "largest single-day increase" in deaths yesterday at 731, but that the three-day hospitalization rate is lowering.

Cuomo said at a press conference that deaths are increasing in New York, the state hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, because "people came in on the peak" and have been on ventilators for while at this point.

New York now has seen 138,836 cases of coronavirus and 5,489 deaths, up from yesterday's total of 4,758. The governor said ICU admissions are also "way down," with only 89 new admissions yesterday.

Cuomo said the state currently has "more than enough beds available" at 90,000 beds, including 2,500 at the Javitz Center and 500 on the USNS Comfort, which will now be converting to seeing coronavirus patients. He also said "every hospital has what they need" when discussing personal protective equipment and ventilators. 

The state is experiencing staffing problems though, as medical workers get sick and are overworked. 

The decrease in the number of new cases and the lowering three-day hospitalization rate, however, is a sign that "social distancing is working," Cuomo said, but for the state to even think about reopening the economy down the road, it would need significantly more testing.

He also said the federal stimulus plan does far less for the state then what is needed, saying Congress' bill "gets worse when you read it."

1026d ago / 3:31 PM UTC

'I'm nervous': Kate Snow on caring for her husband who has coronavirus

Last Thursday afternoon, I was working on a Nightly News story about nursing homes when my husband, Chris Bro, mentioned he wasn’t feeling so well. He said he was going to take a nap, which is unusual at 4 p.m. on a Thursday. A few hours later, Chris came downstairs looking pretty awful. I was busy getting dinner ready and he said he wanted to eat so he joined us at the table. “Your eyes,” I said. “They look so strange.” His eyes were rimmed bright red.

My next sentence was: "Something’s not right. You need to go to the basement."

Because I’d been traveling for work in March and I’d gone into New York City from our home in the suburbs, we were concerned that I might catch the coronavirus. Our family had made a plan that if any of us got sick with possible coronavirus, we would move to our guest room and attached bathroom in the basement.

Thursday night, Chris grabbed a stack of books and headed downstairs. He hasn’t left that room since.

Read the full story at TODAY.

1026d ago / 3:22 PM UTC

Photo: Crowded Tokyo street

Image: Japan To Declare A State Of Emergency To Contain Coronavirus Outbreak
People wearing face masks walk to work Tuesday in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared on Tuesday a month-long state of emergency following a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. The state of emergency will allow the heads of six designated prefectures and Tokyo to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing.Carl Court / Getty Images
1026d ago / 3:19 PM UTC

Israel sets Passover travel ban, according to local media

Israel has imposed a Passover travel ban that will strictly limit the ability of people to move around during one of Judaism’s holiest holidays, local media reported Tuesday.

All travel between cities is forbidden starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday and ending Friday at 6 a.m. In addition, a curfew will be in place beginning Wednesday at 3 p.m. and ending the next morning that bars Israelis from going more than 100 meters (about 328 feet) from their homes.

The Israeli government’s move come as the Jewish state has reported 60 deaths and more than 9,000 confirmed cases.

1026d ago / 3:18 PM UTC

NYC to release data that will show racial disparity in cases, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will soon release data on the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases that will show disparities among who is affected by the pandemic.

"This disease is affecting people disproportionately in lower-income communities" with "more health problems" and in "communities of color," de Blasio said. He said the numbers on age and gender are readily available, but it's been harder to get hospitals to track race in the midst of an emergency. 

Jumaane D. Williams, public advocate for New York City, on Thursday sent a letter to de Blasio calling for a release of data on the racial impact of the crisis. 

De Blasio also said Tuesday that the number of people hospitalized and in need of ventilators has "improved a bit in recent days." 

"It is giving us some more time, giving us the opportunity to get more ventilators in and know we can get farther into the week," the mayor said. "We know we bought a few more days." 

1026d ago / 2:40 PM UTC

Airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights

Global airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights because of the coronavirus crisis, according to the head of the industry’s representative body IATA.

The airlines are instead issuing vouchers, as they conserve cash to survive. 

“The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash, so refunding the canceled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking,” IATA Director General Alexandre De Juniac told an online news conference on Tuesday. 

Airlines have been criticized by consumer groups for breaking rules over providing refunds within set time limits. 

IATA also said that one-third of global airline employees have either been furloughed or lost their jobs.

1026d ago / 1:31 PM UTC

African Americans may be dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate. Better data is essential, experts say.

In Chicago, a recent report found that 70 percent of people who died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are black — even though the city's population is just 30 percent black. In Milwaukee County, which is 27 percent black, the figure is 81 percent.

And public health officials tracking the coronavirus have seen similar disproportionate impacts on African Americans in PhiladelphiaDetroit and other cities.

But just how widespread the disparities might be across the country is difficult to know, because most states and the federal government haven't released demographic data on the race or ethnicity of people who've tested positive for the virus. That's created an information gap that could aggravate existing health disparities, prevent cities and states from equitably distributing medical resources and potentially violate the law, advocates say.

Read the full story here.

1026d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Global Update: British PM in intensive care and Japan’s state of emergency

1026d ago / 12:59 PM UTC

Britain's Boris Johnson remains 'stable' in hospital

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “stable” and in “good spirits” after a night in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, Downing Street said on Tuesday.

He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance and has not required mechanical ventilation, nor does he have pneumonia, officials said.

Johnson, 55, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening after "persistent" COVID-19 symptoms, having tested positive on March 27 for coronavirus. Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab will continue to lead the country in Johnson's absence. Scheduled weekly calls between the Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth will not take place while Johnson remains unwell, Downing Street confirmed.

1026d ago / 12:36 PM UTC

At one California beach, police have 'zero tolerance' for stay-at-home violations

Few spots personify laid-back Southern California more than the picturesque coastal city of Manhattan Beach.

But faster than you can say "tasty waves,” police in this beach burgh of 35,000 have descended on the sand and surrounding streets for "zero tolerance" enforcement of the "safer at home" order, now in its third week. Other locales, like the city of Los Angeles, have leaned more toward educating violators. But as some have continued to head to the sand, Manhattan Beach is cracking down.

A week ago, one surfer received a $1,000 citation for repeatedly ignoring warnings to stay out of the water. Manhattan Beach police issued 129 citations this past weekend and shut down four construction projects.

1026d ago / 12:17 PM UTC

Wisconsin votes as National Guard called out, many polling places shuttered

Wisconsin’s primary election went on as planned Tuesday despite the state’s stay-at-home order and a day after two courts ruled that the election couldn't be postponed.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET for voters to cast ballots in person, though according to the state's elections commission, voters' designated polling places may have changed because of poll worker shortages.

Wisconsin's chief elections official, Meagan Wolfe, said in a statement Monday that voters who show up to the polls Tuesday should "be careful and patient" as social distancing procedures will be implemented at each site. The state is also recommending that voters wash their hands before heading to their polling place and wash or sanitize their hands when they arrive at the location before they vote.

Read the fully story here.

1026d ago / 11:57 AM UTC

1026d ago / 11:54 AM UTC

Paris bans outdoor exercise during the day

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Image: A man jogs on a bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday.
A man jogs on a bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday.Philippe Lopez / AFP - Getty Images

Municipal authorities in Paris have banned residents from doing exercise outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. hours to ensure fewer people are on the streets in the French capital as it tries to contain the coronavirus epidemic

The city, in coordination with the local police force, said Parisians won’t be allowed to engage in any outdoor sport activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

The new measure, which starts on Wednesday, applies to Paris only. France has been in lockdown since March 17 to stem the spread of the virus. The measures have been extended until April 15, and are likely to be extended again.

1026d ago / 11:40 AM UTC

U.S. reports 1,200 coronavirus deaths in one day as China lifts lockdown

Image: The scene outside of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City on Monday.
Fire department EMTs walk past a man in a hazmat suit outside of the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx borough of New York City on Monday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working.

The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. A total of 10,906 have been recorded killed by COVID-19.

Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.

Read the full story here. 

1026d ago / 11:10 AM UTC

Japan declares state of emergency as coronavirus cases rise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared on Tuesday a month-long state of emergency following a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

However, Abe said that the emergency measures would not involve "locking down" like "cities overseas" and that "public transportation and other vital socio-economic services will be sustained as much as possible." Abe added that people will still be allowed to exercise outdoors.

The state of emergency will allow the heads of six designated prefectures and Tokyo to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing. On Monday, the chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, an independent body representing the city's doctors, had said the capital was in a "critical situation." 

1026d ago / 10:43 AM UTC

Russia re-opens border to allow in residents stranded abroad

The Russian government has lifted a ban on charter flights that unexpectedly stranded several hundred Russian citizens and residents in foreign countries on April 3 as they attempted to return home, including at least 50 in New York and up to 600 in Japan. 

Flights are now being organized by Russian airlines to retrieve tourists stuck in foreign countries. But it isn’t clear that everyone will make it home.  Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov wrote on Facebook on April 6 that there are too few Russians asking for evacuation to justify the cost of a charter back to Moscow.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow on April 7 told citizens that Russian airline Aeroflot was seeking clearance to run a flight to New York later the same day. The flight was originally scheduled for April 3, but was cancelled on the tarmac.

1026d ago / 10:39 AM UTC

Author J.K. Rowling says she's 'fully recovered' from COVID-19 symptoms

Author J.K. Rowling said on Twitter on Monday that she had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms but was now "fully recovered," adding that she had not been officially tested.

She shared a video put together by a hospital outlining helpful breathing techniques to relieve respiratory symptoms, saying that she had found it useful. The "Harry Potter" author urged fans to stay home and safe during the outbreak.