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The House passed another coronavirus relief package Thursday, setting aside nearly $500 billion in loans and grants for businesses, hospitals and testing. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who argued that the legislation needed to fund states and cities, was the only Democratic member to vote against the legislation.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which secured $20 million in loans under a $2 trillion package signed into law last month, joined a growing list of businesses Thursday that have said they would return the money. An online petition demanding the move had recorded more than 250,000 signatures.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, President Donald Trump wondered if an “injection” of disinfectant might keep the virus from “doing a number on the lungs.” Experts called this "irresponsible" and "dangerous."
The likely death toll from the disease rose to more than 15,000 in New York City, where public health officials said they had confirmed 10,290 deaths. Another 5,121 fatalities were identified as “probable” COVID-19 cases.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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Photo: Viewing of Korean War veteran who died of the coronavirus disease
U.S. military declares public health emergency at African base
JOHANNESBURG — The U.S. military has declared a public health emergency at its only permanent base in Africa as coronavirus cases in host country Djibouti climb near 1,000.
A statement calls the declaration a precautionary measure and says it affects all personnel, including contractors, at Camp Lemonnier and Chabelley Airfield.
The emergency means any facility can be repurposed for the virus response and health workers can be supplemented with volunteers. More than 4,000 U.S. personnel are based in the Horn of Africa nation.
NFL Draft to return to Las Vegas in 2022
The National Football League will hold he 2022 draft in Las Vegas, after this year's public events scheduled for that city were scrubbed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who made announcements in Thursday's draft from his basement, said in a statement that he believes the 2022 draft in Vegas will be "an even bigger and better event than we could have ever imagined this year."
The site of the 2021 draft has already been chosen, Cleveland.
California suspends plastic bag law
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has temporarily suspended parts of a state law that bans single-use carryout bags at places like grocery stores, citing the coronavirus epidemic.
The law says that retailers can give out thicker, reusable plastic bags or recycled paper bags with a 10-cent fee. Proponents said the law would reduce plastic pollution.
But Newsom wrote in the executive order signed Thursday that handling reusable bags from customers' homes could place workers at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The order suspends parts of the law for 60 days and allows retailers to give out reusable bags for free or to give out single-use bags. It doesn't affect cities that have their own plastic-bag bans in effect before 2015.
Some grocery stores have already required that people who bring reusable bags fill them themselves, and some have banned reusable bags, according to the California Grocers Association's website about the virus and stores' responses.
Maine in March delayed implementation of that state's plastic-bag ban until January of 2021 in a package of measures designed to respond to the coronavirus epidemic. New Hampshire's governor in a March 21 order required grocers to provide single-use paper or plastic bags, citing the potential risk of transmission from reusable bags brought from home.
'Parks and Recreation' returns for fundraiser special
Five years after leaving television, the characters of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" are getting the band back together for a one-time isolation event, "A Parks and Recreation Special," the network announced Thursday.
The April 30th show will feature original castmembers Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, Retta and unnamed guest stars.
The event to raise funds for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund was "all shot from our homes," Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope said in a promotional video.
'It's irresponsible and it's dangerous': Fact checking Trump's disinfectant 'injections' idea
President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested exploring disinfectants as a possible treatment for COVID-19 infections — an extremely dangerous proposition that could kill people, medical experts warn.
“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" Trump said during his daily press briefing at the White House.
Disinfectants like bleach are poisonous and dangerous when mishandled, doctors say.
“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous," said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist, global health policy expert and an NBC News and MSNBC contributor. "It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves."
Read the facts here.
Rolling Stones release a song that ‘resonates’ during coronavirus fight
The Rolling Stones have unveiled a new song the band thinks is perfect for these coronavirus times.
The legendary band released the four-minute slow-burning bluesy and harmonica-driven “Living in a Ghost Town ” on Thursday.
“I’m a ghost/Living in a ghost town/You can look for me/But I can’t be found,” sings frontman Mick Jagger, who wrote it with guitarist Keith Richards.
Jagger explained that the song was one they were working on long before the global lockdown and the band decided to revisit it in isolation, thinking it “would resonate through the times that we’re living in right now.” Richards added: “Mick and I decided this one really needed to go to work right now.”
The lyrics do certainly sound timely: “I’m going nowhere/Shut up all alone/So much time to lose/Just staring at my phone.”