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Coronavirus updates: Senate, White House reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus plan

Here are the latest updates from around the world.

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With roughly a third of the world under some form of lockdown, the White House and Senate leaders reached agreement on a landmark $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the economic impact of coronavirus.

The White House coronavirus coordinator asked people who have recently been in New York, where the death toll continues to climb, to quarantine themselves for 14 days, because they may have been exposed before leaving.

President Donald Trump is pushing for the country to get back to business by April 12, Easter Sunday, when he said he would like to see churches full of people. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, has warned that the U.S. could become the pandemic's new epicenter.

And as the number of cases in the U.K. reached 8,000 on Wednesday, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus.

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CORRECTION (March 25, 2020, 12:45 p.m. ET): An earlier version of the headline on this article misstated the status of the federal stimulus plan. The White House and Senate leaders have reached a deal, but the Senate has not yet passed the stimulus plan.

Live Blog

Airbnb hosts can get small business loans through federal relief bill

Airbnb hosts will be eligible to receive small business loans and unemployment insurance through the coronavirus relief bill. 

"We are deeply appreciative of bipartisan Senate and House leadership for recognizing there is a new sector of the workforce who depend on Airbnb for their monthly economic needs,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s vice president of policy and communications.

The bill, as it is currently written, requires eligible borrowers to show that they need the loan because of the uncertainty of the economic crisis caused by the virus. The loan can only be used to maintain payroll, leases and utility payments.

Missouri man arrested for licking items at Walmart to mock coronavirus fears

Cody Pfister.Warren Police

A 26-year-old Missouri man seen in a social media video licking items at a Walmart to mock fears of the coronavirus pandemic was arrested and charged with terrorist threats.

Cody Lee Pfister posted a video of himself licking deodorants at the Warrenton store on March 11, according to court documents. As he wiped his tongue across the packages he asked, "Who's scared of coronavirus," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Read the full story here. 

Trump declares disasters for states including New York, California and Texas

President Trump announced he has approved major emergency declarations for New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. He also referred to the Defense Production Act as a "great negotiating tool" to inspire companies to manufacture crucial medical supplies.

Photo: Long line for testing in New York

People wait in line Wednesday to get tested for COVID-19 at Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York.John Minchillo / AP

Rep. Katie Porter self-quarantines with fever, awaiting coronavirus test results

U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., announced Wednesday she's suffering from a 100-degree temperature and has been tested for coronavirus.

The freshman lawmaker is awaiting the results.

Porter won election in 2018 in the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, once a fortress for conservatives and the Republican Party. Now all six of the country's congressional seats are held by Democrats. 

The congresswoman's sister, Austin-based Dr. Emily Porter, recently posted a video explaining why it's so important so stay indoors and stay away from other people. 

 

Gov. Cuomo's office says Senate coronavirus bill is 'gross political manipulation'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the $2 trillion stimulus bill negotiated by the Senate is "terrible," and his office argues it's because New Yorkers will be stuck with a bigger bill than other states.

"The gross political manipulation is obvious," said Dani Lever, Cuomo's communication director. The coronavirus crisis could blow a hole in the state's budget as big as $15 billion, Cuomo told reporters Wednesday. And only a fraction of that amount is going to be reimbursed to the state by the Senate bill, Lever said. 

"Based on initial reports, New York State government gets approximately $3.1 billion. As a percent of our total state budget — 1.9% — it is the second lowest amount in the nation. Literally 48 states get a higher percentage in funding than New York State," Lever said in a statement after Cuomo's remarks. 

He pointed to states with less COVID-19 cases — and more Republican voters — as evidence. 

"This is despite the fact that New York State is incurring the greatest costs as we have the highest number of cases in the country.  New York State has 30 times the number of cases as Texas's 1,031," Lever said.  "For example, Wyoming, which only has 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases, is getting 17.1 percent of their budget as a payment from the federal government."

Idaho issues stay-at-home order

Gov. Brad Little announced a stay-at-home order for Idaho on Wednesday and signed an extreme emergency declaration.

The order says residents must self-isolate, close non-essential businesses and it will last at least 21 days as the country combats the coronavirus pandemic. Little's order asks residents to limit their travel and use of public transit while maintaining good hygiene. 

Essential needs, such as grocery shopping and outdoor activity, are permitted so long as residents practice social distancing in accordance with guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Pentagon orders no troop movements for 60 days

All U.S. troop movements overseas will halt for 60 days because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to defense officials. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed an order halting the movements on Wednesday.

The order states troops overseas cannot move back to the U.S. and troops in the U.S. cannot move overseas for two months. It applies to uniformed military, civilians and dependents.

Bindi Irwin marries at Australia Zoo with no guests due to coronavirus pandemic

Bindi Irwin with fiance Chandler Powell at the annual Steve Irwin Gala Dinner on Nov. 9, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images file

Bindi Irwin went ahead with her wedding at the Australia Zoo to her longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell, though with major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Irwin, 21, said on social media Wednesday that the couple chose to go ahead with the wedding that had been planned for almost a year but didn't have any guests in an effort to keep everyone safe. The wildlife conservationist said it was a "very difficult decision" for them.

"We wish all of our friends and family could have been there with us, however it’s lovely that we will be able to share photos and videos," Irwin said. "Right now we’re encouraging the world to hold onto hope and love, which will carry us forward during this profound time in history."

Read the full story here.

Pink eye may be a rare symptom

The new coronavirus can spread through the eyes, prompting the world’s largest association of eye doctors to urge its members to be aware of the warning signs in patients.

The pathogen may cause pink eye, or conjunctivitis — inflammation of the clear tissue covering the white part of the eye — in about 1-3 percent of infected people, the American Academy of Ophthalmology said in an updated alert Tuesday.

Virus particles have been found in eye secretions, it previously warned, but a study published Wednesday suggests the risk of virus transmission through tears is low.

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