Trump stops WHO funding, accusing it of covering up outbreak

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A staff member cleans the floor after the last patients were discharged from Leishenshan Hospital, originally built to treat people infected with COVID-19, in Wuhan on Tuesday.
A staff member cleans the floor after the last patients were discharged from Leishenshan Hospital, originally built to treat people infected with COVID-19, in Wuhan on Tuesday.AFP - Getty Images

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As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world nears 2 million, with more than 125,000 confirmed deaths, President Donald Trump said he'd halt U.S. funding for the World Health Organization after the organization criticized his early response to the pandemic.

In the U.S., the recorded death toll topped 23,500, according to NBC News' tally.

Los Angeles County announced on Tuesday that it'd suffered the worst day yet of the pandemic, losing 40 more lives to the disease, bringing the death toll to 360 in that metropolis.

The toll of COVID-19 has hit no city harder than New York, and official counts in the five boroughs might even be understated. While the city's health department listed the confirmed death toll at 6,589 by 1 p.m., the "probable" number of fatalities is at least 3,778 more — which would bring the staggering total to more than 10,000, according to data obtained by NBC News.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.

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

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 15 coronavirus news here.

Millions of pints of beer could be poured down the drain in the U.K.

An estimated 51 million pints of beer, cider and lager are at risk of getting thrown away in the U.K. as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, according to a British consumer organization.

Tens of millions of pints had already been delivered and were waiting in cellars to be poured when the crisis hit, but their short shelf life — only six to eight weeks for ale and three to four months for lager — means that much of that stock will go to waste, the Campaign for Real Ale said. Around 39,000 pubs have closed their doors during the crisis.

“A number of pubs, clubs, breweries and cideries are trying to stay afloat by offering delivery or takeaway services during this time. Although this isn’t a viable option for all, we’re doing our best to support those that have decided to continue serving the community during this troubled time,” said CAMRA’s Chief Executive Tom Stainer.

Austria begins lifting coronavirus restrictions as shops open

Austria began lifting its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with shops now allowed to open for the first time since its lockdown began in mid-March. However, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz urged people to continue wearing masks and working from home to keep infections at bay.

Officials will start looking this week at how sports and cultural events can reopen in the coming months, he said. The country has recorded 368 deaths from the virus.

“Our approach in the coming months will be clear: as much freedom as possible, as much restriction as necessary. Should the numbers develop in the wrong direction, we will pull the emergency brake that we have provided for the case,” said Kurz on Twitter.

JPMorgan posts 69 percent drop in first quarter profit as customers extend their credit lines

JPMorgan Chase, the world's biggest bank by revenue, posted a 69 percent drop in first quarter profit, in earnings released Tuesday.

The bank, which reported profit of $2.87 billion, is the first major U.S. bank to report earnings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America are among those also set to report their quarterly earnings this week.

The viral outbreak has hammered banks, as social distancing measures have kept millions of working Americans at home and led to more than 16 million filing for unemployment benefits. That has meant affected companies and individuals have all reached out to extend their credit lines.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement that the bank had "performed well in what was a very tough and unique operating environment," but said it was expecting "a fairly severe recession."

The bank added $6.8 billion to its credit reserves, more than double what analysts predicted, a sign that it is expecting customers to default on a massive number of loans, from credit cards to mortgages.

European data shows huge number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes

Deaths from coronavirus in England and Wales in nursing homes and hospices may be higher than previous figures have suggested, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday. 

England and Wales reported 16,387 deaths in the week ending April 3, according to official data, 15 percent higher than previously recorded. Although 90 percent of coronavirus deaths occurred in hospitals, about 10 percent of people died in nursing homes and hospices, the report found.

Data collected from other European countries including Spain, France and Belgium, by the London School of Economics, also appeared to show that around half of coronavirus deaths were happening in nursing homes, sparking concern that such deaths are being left out of official death tolls.

Pandemic poses extra challenges for divorced parents

Even under the best of circumstances, co-parenting with an ex can be challenging. Now, amid an outbreak that has closed family courts, shuttered neutral meeting places where child exchanges typically happen and raised the health risks of shuttling children from one home to the other, divorced and separated parents face even bigger obstacles.

With no precedent for co-parenting during a pandemic, many families have scrambled to make temporary changes to their child custody agreements themselves, some amicably and others not.

Read the full story here

The slow road back to normality in Italy

Municipal workers in Venice sanitize a boat on Tuesday as the Italian government allows the reopening of some shops.MANUEL SILVESTRI / Reuters

Democrats call on Trump admin to offer guidance on small business aid program

A group of two-dozen House Democrats have sent a letter to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department asking that they provide guidance to financial institutions on which small businesses can receive loans from the latest coronavirus relief package. 

“Although we are glad that the CARES Act included much-needed financial relief for small businesses, some financial institutions have not yet begun offering PPP loans due to the lack of guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury,” they wrote in the letter released Monday and sent late last week.  

This comes as Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse over passing additional funding for the program to aid small businesses. The PPP program is slated to run out of funding and Democrats are demanding that the legislation provide help to hospital, states, families who receive food stamps and small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and others. Republicans, however, are rejecting those demands.

France makes exception to lockdown rules for animal rescues

Prospective pet owners in France will on Thursday have the opportunity to rescue an animal from a local shelter after the government made an exception to its strict lockdown restrictions. The change came after a plea from the Society for the Protection of Animals, which warned that its shelters were at risk of becoming overrun during the lockdown.

Prospective pet owners will need to select in advance the animal they’d like to take home, according to the list of rules released by the Interior Ministry. Then, only one person from a household will be allowed to pick up the animal from the shelter.

"Fully committed to the cause of animal welfare, the government heard the call of the SPA and we immediately with heart sought to find a responsible solution," said Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner said in a statement. "It will allow compliance with health rules and save the lives of many animals."

Coronavirus deaths in China are still almost entirely from imported cases

Chinese health officials reported Tuesday 89 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, of which 86 were imported, as the country tries to stem a wave of infections coming from abroad to avoid a second outbreak.

No new deaths were registered on Monday, with the national death toll for mainland China remaining at 3,341. 

A total of 82,249 confirmed cases were reported, a total that has now been exceeded by the U.S. and five European nations as the pandemic spreads globally.