States react to Trump's plan to reopen U.S. while some hear a call to arms

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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Medical workers are seen as they take swab samples from people to be tested for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province on April 16, 2020.Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

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A number of governors said that while they would take President Donald Trump's new guidelines to reopen state economies under consideration, they were wary of moving too fast in the face of unresolved issues like testing shortages.

But some Americans are calling for a quick return to business as normal and marched on state capitols Friday to make their voices heard. Meanwhile, extremists have interpreted Trump's recent tweets to "LIBERATE" certain states as a call to arms.

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.

Live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 18 coronavirus news here.

Von Miller says he was 'shocked' to learn he tested positive

Von Miller, the second NFL player to disclose that he is infected with the coronavirus, said he was shocked when he tested positive.

The superstar Denver Broncos linebacker appeared Friday on the "TODAY" show from his home in Colorado wearing a gray hoodie and eyeglasses.

"It all started with just a simple cough and it got worse," Miller, 31, said.

Read the full story here.

NYC mayor says hotel rooms will be available to help residents isolate, events canceled through May

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated Friday that he has delegated 11,000 hotel rooms for residents who have the coronavirus but don't have the option to isolate themselves at their homes. 

"Some households can do that more easily than others," he said at a news conference. "There are a lot of people in the city who don't have a choice because they're in a very, very tight circumstance in their home or their apartment." 

The mayor said the hotel rooms will be free of charge for those who need them. According to NBC New York, de Blasio will work with community health centers to identify residents who need the rooms. 

New Yorkers can start moving into them on April 22. 

De Blasio also said Friday that he was canceling all nonessential events for May that were previously given permits. Those include parades, rallies, concerts and other large gatherings.

Medical sites, farmer's markets and meal delivery will not be affected. The mayor said he is having discussions regarding events for June.

Puerto Rico mayors work to fight coronavirus with few tests available

Mayors of towns across Puerto Rico are facing uncertainty as they grapple with the fallout of a botched effort from the island's government to purchase at least one million coronavirus testing kits, worth $38 million, at a time when the U.S. territory has the lowest per-capita testing rate compared to any state.

Read the full story here.

Azar announces new effort to streamline COVID-19 research

The National Institutes of Health is launching a public-private partnership aimed at developing a national strategy to coordinate COVID-19 drug and vaccine research. 

Research for coronavirus therapies and vaccines across the country has been scattered and disconnected, in a number of unrelated clinical trials. The new initiative, called "Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines," or ACTIV, aims to coordinate and streamline these efforts. 

“The ACTIV partnership will bring new levels of coordination and speed to public and private work on therapies and vaccines for COVID-19," HHS Sec. Alex Azar said in a statement Friday. "By bringing together 16 pharmaceutical companies and five government agencies here and abroad, the ACTIV partnership will accelerate the amazing work being done every day by scientists and innovators inside and outside of government." 

The government agencies include HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and abroad, the European Medicines Agency.

An owner of N.J. nursing home where bodies found was once VP of troubled nursing home chain

Ambulance and medical crews outside of Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey after police found more than a dozen bodies on April 16, 2020.Ted Shaffrey / AP

One of the owners of New Jersey's largest nursing home, where at least 15 bodies were discovered crammed into a four-person morgue on Monday, was a top executive at a collapsed chain of troubled nursing homes previously investigated by NBC News.

Federal records show that Louis Schwartz is listed as a 50 percent owner of the Andover Subacute Facility I and II in Sussex County, where the bodies were found. Public records also show that Schwartz was a vice president at Skyline Healthcare, a now-defunct nursing home chain that was plagued by allegations of neglect and mismanagement and the subject of more than a dozen lawsuits.

Read the full article here.

Prince Harry and Meghan deliver food to L.A. residents impacted by outbreak

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered food to people in Los Angeles impacted by the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, a TMZ video shows.

The couple have kept a low profile since relocating from Canada to California last month, after they ended their roles as working British royals. The TMZ video shows the couple wearing caps and face coverings while dropping off meals to L.A. residents affected by the pandemic. The couple visited six people on Easter Sunday as well as 14 more on Wednesday in West Hollywood.

The Sussexes volunteered with Project Angel Food, an L.A.-based non-profit that provides free meals for people too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Markle knew about non-profit from when she previously lived in L.A., the organization told NBC News.

Richard Ayoub, the Executive Director of Project Angel Food, said in a statement: “On Wednesday, [the Duke and Duchess] quietly continued delivering meals to relieve our overworked drivers. It was their way to thank our volunteers, chefs and staff who have been working tirelessly since the COVID-19 crisis began.”

Photo: 30 Rock honors the men and women on the front line

30 Rockefeller Center was lit in blue Thursday as landmarks and buildings across New York and the rest of the nation honored health care workers and first responders in the COVID-19 pandemic.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Coronavirus could cripple voting in November. But it depends where you live.

America's decentralized system of means states enjoy broad leeway on setting election rules. Whether voters realize it or not, states' procedures vary widely on everything from registration deadlines, ID requirements and types of voting machinery to who is permitted to vote absentee and when mail-in ballots must be postmarked in order to be counted.

But in the coronavirus pandemic, a lack of federal election funding, partisan disunity and legal disputes could produce last-minute logistical confusion and drastic disparities across state lines in voters' ability to safely access a ballot.

Read the full report here.

Sign of the times, cont'd

Seattle eyes reopening economy

Seattle was the country's first coronavirus hot spot, and soon it could be one of the first big cities to reopen its economy. When and how that happens will depend largely on the region's ability to get adequate testing and protect its front-line health care workers, Mayor Jenny Durkan said.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint," she said. "We're not even really halfway through, even though we've hit the peak."

Read the full story here.