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

Here are the latest updates from around the world.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

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.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

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.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 26 Coronavirus news.

California man charged in scheme about bogus COVID-19 'cure'

A California man was arrested Wednesday in what federal authorities say was a scheme to try to dupe investors using a phony cure for the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

Keith Lawrence Middlebrook, 53, was arrested by the FBI and charged with one count of attempted wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles said in a statement.

He allegedly claimed to have personally developed a “patent-pending cure” and a treatment that prevents coronavirus infection, even though there is no specific treatment or vaccine, federal prosecutors said.

Middlebrook was arrested during a meeting in which he delivered pills to an undercover agent posing as an investor, the U.S. attorney's office said. He is being held in federal custody and an initial court appearance is expected Thursday.

As part of the pitch, Middlebrook allegedly claimed to one potential investor that NBA great Magic Johnson was a member of the board of directors for the purported company, which does not exist, but "Mr. Johnson confirmed to investigators that he knew nothing about Middlebrook’s company," according to prosecutors and court documents. 

Senate passes $2 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate overwhelmingly passed a massive stimulus package late Wednesday night meant to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic for American workers and businesses.

The bill includes billions of dollars in credit for struggling industries, a significant boost to unemployment insurance and direct cash payments to Americans. The fate of the bill now rests with the House, which House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said would not vote until Friday.

The final vote was 96-0.

Read the full story.

Mormon church closes all temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Wednesday that all remaining open temples will temporarily close due to continued concerns about the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

The church, commonly known as the Mormon church, earlier this month suspended public gatherings worldwide.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Wednesday all temple activity church-wide would be suspended at the end of the day.

The First Presidency said the move was made after careful consideration and out of a desire to be good global citizens. Health officials stressed the need to decrease gatherings to slow the spread of the virus.

"This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen," church leaders said.

Trump approves disaster declaration for North Carolina

President Trump on Wednesday approved a disaster declaration for North Carolina as the state grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. 

There have been 504 cases in the state and one death as of March 25, according to the state's department of health

In less than a week, Trump has declared disasters in New York, California, Washington, Louisiana, Iowa and Florida. 

Americans coping with coronavirus are clogging toilets with wipes and T-shirts

Toilet paper moves out from a cutting machine at the Tissue Plus factory in Bangor, Maine, on March 18, 2020.Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The all-caps message on the new sign that went up in Redding, California, after the coronavirus came to town could not be any clearer: ONLY FLUSH TOILET PAPER.

It made its debut last week on the corner of Smile Place and Russell Street after a desperate soul clogged one of the city’s sewer lines by wiping with pieces of shredded T-shirt — and flushing them down the toilet, the city confirmed.

Read the full story here. 

'Top Chef' winner Floyd Cardoz dies at 59 of coronavirus complications

Chef Floyd Cardoz.Kris Connor / Getty Images for NYCWFF

NEW YORK — Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on “Top Chef,” won “Top Chef Masters” and operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, died Wednesday of complications from the coronavirus, his company said in a statement. He was 59.

Cardoz had traveled from Mumbai to New York through Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8. He was admitted a week ago to Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, New Jersey, with a fever and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, the statement said.

Read the full story here.

Watch: Barcelona police, residents applaud hospital workers

Citizens of Barcelona expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the efforts being made by doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 at Hospital Clinic, the city's main hospital. The daily tribute to health workers during the ongoing health crisis in Spain takes place at 8 p.m. throughout the country.

Army calls on retired medical personnel to assist coronavirus response

The Army is calling on retired medical personnel to help in its efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The U.S. Army is reaching out to gauge the interest of our retired officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers who would be willing to assist with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic response effort should their skills and expertise be required," it said in a message sent to retirees.

An Army spokesperson said "this extraordinary challenge requires equally extraordinary solutions."

Coronavirus could become seasonal like the flu, Fauci warns

There are increasing signs that COVID-19 will become a seasonal illness, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday during the White House's daily task force briefing.

"What we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere and southern African countries is that we’re having cases appearing as they go into their winter season," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. "If in fact they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared" for the next cycle. 

It's been suggested that transmission of the coronavirus will slow in warmer months, similar to influenza, which typically spreads from November to April or May. Although it's far from certain that the spread of coronavirus will ease up in summer on its own, if it does, then the U.S. needs to be ready for its return.

"It totally emphasizes the need to do what we’re doing to develop a vaccine, testing it quickly and try to get it ready so we’ll have a vaccine available in the next cycle," Fauci said. 

Over 100 hospital employees in Boston test positive across 3 medical centers

More than 100 employees between three different Boston-area hospitals have tested positive for coronavirus, according to NBC Boston Wednesday. 

Brigham and Women's Hospital reported at least 45 employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus. Boston Medical Center said 15 of its employees have tested positive.

Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the top facilities in the country, said Wednesday that 41 of its staff members have tested positive as well. The hospital said in a statement to NBC Boston that "it is believed that the vast majority of these individuals did not contract the virus at work."

Read the full story here.

Cardi B says celebrities are causing confusion about the coronavirus

Cardi B at the Tom Ford SS19 Show at the Park Avenue Armory during New York Fashion Week on Sept. 5, 2018Brent N. Clarke / Invision/AP file

Rapper Cardi B says celebrities who have publicly disclosed that they have tested positive for the coronavirus without having any symptoms are confusing the general public.

In a more than 4-minute-long video posted Tuesday to her Instagram account, the Bronx rapper said "45," referring to President Donald Trump, has advised people not to get tested for COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus, if they do not have symptoms.

"But if a celebrity is saying, 'Hey, listen. I don't have no symptoms. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling healthy. I don't feel like nothing, but I went and got tested and I'm positive for the coronavirus,' that cause confusion," she said in the expletive-laden video during which she wears a mask. The video has been viewed more than 15 million times.

Read the full story here.