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.

New York Gov. Cuomo extends state shutdown to May 15

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is extending the state's shutdown to May 15.

"What happens after then? I don't know," Cuomo said at a news conference Thursday. "We will see depending on what the data shows."

The governor said the decision to "unpause" New York "is going to be an ongoing process that we're working through with other states" in the region.

Cuomo also said he received some complaints about his order this week requiring New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings in public.

"I'm sorry it makes people unhappy," the governor said. But, he said, he doesn't consider the order "a major burden, and it really is a simple measure that can save lives."

"Remember, it's not just about you, right?," he said. Others have rights. "And you have a right for another person to take reasonable safeguards not to get infected." 

Photo: Entertaining kids with cabbage masks

A mother ties makeshift masks around her children's face in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday.Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

U.S. intel community examining whether coronavirus emerged accidentally from a Chinese lab

The U.S. intelligence community is examining whether the virus that caused a global pandemic emerged accidentally from a Chinese research lab studying diseases in bats, current and former U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News.

Spy agencies have ruled out that the novel coronavirus was manmade, the officials say. But scientists at a military and a civilian lab in Wuhan, where the virus originated, are known to have conducted ongoing research on coronaviruses, officials say. They say intelligence agencies have gathered and are weighing evidence that an employee of one of the labs could have become accidentally infected and left the facility with the virus.

Read the full report here.

Small business loan program officially out of cash

The Small Business Administration has run out of money for the Paycheck Protection Program, it said in a statement.

"The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding," the statement read. "Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time."

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.