Trump puts onus on governors to reopen, stimulus chaos causes stress

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: New York City Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians lift a man after moving him from a nursing home into an ambulance
New York City Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians lift a man after moving him from a nursing home into an ambulance during an ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 16, 2020.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world topped 2 million Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 143,000 confirmed deaths as of Thursday night.

President Donald Trump unveiled a three-phased plan for reopening the U.S. that puts the onus on state governors for implementing the guidelines, despite earlier assertions that he had "total authority" to direct governors how and when to reopen.

Earlier in the day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave no indication that he would "unpause" the state and extended the stay-at-home order until May 15.

Delays in stimulus payments and difficulty navigating the IRS website have left many cash-strapped Americans anxious as they struggle to pay for their homes or put food on the table.

In Europe, Germany became the latest nation to commit to cautiously reopening some businesses despite keeping a wider lockdown in place.

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

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Live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 17 coronavirus news here.

As coronavirus deaths in nursing homes skyrocket, House Dems urge Trump admin to track cases

A group of House Democrats is urging the Trump administration to track and publicly report coronavirus infections in nursing homes around the country. "We fear that there may be hundreds if not thousands more COVID-19 cases that have gone unreported," Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

The federal government does not keep a formal tally of coronavirus cases in nursing homes. An NBC News investigation this week found more than 5,600 deaths linked to long-term care facilities in 29 states, but limited testing and some states’ refusal to disclose data means that the national death toll is likely far higher.

Read the full story here.

Stopping COVID-19 will include monitoring, sharing personal data

A growing mix of health and technology experts are convinced that if the United States is to ever effectively track the coronavirus and slow its spread, then both self-reported and more surreptitiously gathered personal data — a mix of information about location, travel, symptoms and health conditions ― must be gathered from millions of Americans.

With the pandemic far from over, public health needs are paramount. Public health experts say that collecting personal data may be the only way to analyze information on the massive scale needed. But how that information is used and by whom worries some privacy advocates.

Read the full story here.

Gov. Cuomo says 606 more people had died in the state, the lowest number in days

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that 606 more people (577 in hospitals and 29 in nursing homes) had died in the state, the lowest number in more than a week. 

"We've been watching the nursing homes because nursing homes are in many ways ground zero," Cuomo said at a news conference. 

Cuomo said the number of people admitted to intensive care units at hospitals "is down significantly for the first time" and that less people had been intubated. Cuomo said New York would be sending 100 ventilators to New Jersey. 

NYC pools will be closed this summer, beaches an unknown, mayor says

New York City's public outdoor pools will be closed this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his news conference on Thursday. 

He also said he does not think beaches will open anytime soon to prevent large crowds of people. De Blasio said until there is a better understanding of the virus, he does not want to create a situation that would encourage people to gather. 

"If we bring out lifeguards and it's a situation where people think it's safe to go to the beach and it's safe to start resuming normalcy, it's going to endanger people, based on what we know now," he said. "So, no, right now we do not have a plan to open the beaches just like we don't have a plan to open the pools." 

U.K. hospital deaths top 13,000

Almost 14,000 patients have died in British hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus as of 5 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, the U.K.'s Department of Health said Thursday. 

This was up by 861 from 12,868 the day, bringing the total to 13,729. 

The Department of Health said that, as of 9 a.m. on Thursday, 327,608 people had been tested, of which 103,093 tested positive. Overall, 417,649 tests have concluded. 

Ivanka Trump skirted coronavirus guidelines to travel to N.J., report says

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walk with their children near the White House on Nov. 30, 2017.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images file

Ivanka Trump and her family traveled to the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey last week to celebrate Passover despite federal guidelines that advise against nonessential travel and a stay-at-home order is in effect in Washington, D.C., according to The New York Times.

The president's eldest daughter went with her husband, Trump adviser Jared Kushner, and their three young children, to the Trump golf club in Bedminster, two people with knowledge of their travel plans told the Times, which reported on them Wednesday night. The family lives in Washington's Kalorama neighborhood in the northwest part of the city.

Read the full story here.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio calls on Trump for more federal stimulus spending

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on President Donald Trump for more federal stimulus money. 

"The federal government was very quick to bail out the banks a decade ago, no questions asked. The federal government was very quick to bail out the auto industry. How about bailing out the nation's largest city? How about bailing out the epicenter of this crisis, where people have been suffering," he said at a news conference Thursday.

According to the mayor, there are currently negotiations for another stimulus package with a focus on small business and paycheck protection. De Blasio said on the table is $100 billion for hospitals and health care workers, $150 billion for states and localities based on need, and $250 billion for small businesses. 

De Blasio slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for being a "roadblock" to the city's getting the funding it needs. 

"He has to hear our plea. He has to understand what it means for human beings that he's not allowing the kind of aid to flow that we need," the mayor said, adding, "It's clearly time for President Trump to speak up."

Michael Che of 'SNL' to pay rent for public housing tenants where grandma who died of coronavirus lived

"Saturday Night Live" comedian Michael Che announced that he's going to pay the rent for people living in a New York City public housing building where his grandmother, who died of coronavirus, lived.

"it's crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many new yorkers can't even work," he wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

Che, 36, said he would cover the rent for all 160 units in the building.

Read the full story here.

17 bodies found crowded into tiny morgue at New Jersey nursing home

An anonymous tip led to the discovery of 17 bodies crowded into a four-person morgue at one of New Jersey’s largest nursing homes.

Police found the bodies this week at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II in Sussex County, in northwest New Jersey, Rep. Josh Gottheimer confirmed to NBC New York. Sixty-eight people linked to Andover, NJ nursing home have died in recent weeks, including two staff members.

“They were just overwhelmed by the amount of people who were expiring,” Eric C. Danielson, the town’s chief of police, told The New York Times.

Read the full story here.

New York sports teams unite for a message: 'We're in this together'

Sickness, death — then layoffs. Coronavirus forces cities to cut budgets and furlough staff.

From Detroit to New York, nearly every city in the country is facing lower revenues as a result of the coronavirus. That's leading to painful cuts to city services, as well as layoffs and furloughs. 

In Detroit, the outbreak has stolen an estimated $348 million from the city's budget for the next 16 months — nearly a quarter of the money the city had been counting on.

"We expected a downturn, and we prepared for it," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said this week as he announced layoffs for all of the city's 200 part-time or seasonal employees, as well as steep pay cuts or reduced hours for more than 2,200 full-time staffers. "We didn't expect it to be this sudden or this dire."

Read the full story here.