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Coronavirus updates: Team USA pushes for Olympics delay as millions more ordered to stay at home

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York
A member of Joint Task Force 2, composed of soldiers and airmen from the New York Army and Air National Guard, wears a face mask while carrying paper towels as he arrives to sanitize and disinfect the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue in New Rochelle, New York, on March 23, 2020.Andrew Kelly / Reuters

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The United Kingdom went into lockdown Monday as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to stem the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 5,000 people and killed hundreds in his country.

More American states did the same, too. Officials in Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington and West Virginia issued stay-at-home orders. “Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk,” New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

Team USA's Olympic and Paralympic Committee called for the International Olympic Committee Summer Games in Tokyo.

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Trump, slammed for calling coronavirus 'Chinese virus,' says it's important to 'protect' Asian Americans

President Donald Trump, accused of fueling racism by labeling the coronavirus the "Chinese virus," tweeted Monday that the country must "protect our Asian American community."

"They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!" the president tweeted.

NBC News has previously reported that Asians across the globe have reported experiencing xenophobia as a result of coronavirus fears, with several incidents involving physical harassment. Republican lawmakers and Trump have referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus,” which experts say could be fueling real-life acts of discrimination. 

The president defended his use of the term, saying last week he did not believe it was "racist at all" to call coronavirus the "Chinese virus."

Man dies after ingesting chloroquine in attempt to prevent coronavirus

An Arizona man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to protect himself from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The man's wife also ingested the drug, and is currently under critical care.

The drug chloroquine is used to treat malaria, and some early research suggests it may be useful in treating COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

There are no drugs approved to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

Local officials call for 'substantial' election stimulus funding

More than 30 election officials are calling for Congress to include "substantial" increases to a proposed $140 million in election funding in the coronavirus stimulus bill.

In an open letter published by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, state and municipal officials charged with administering elections said the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic are stark — and have already forced the postponement and rescheduling of primary and local elections.

"Our colleagues have been forced to make last-minute changes to polling places, and conduct elections without sufficient staff or poll worker support, as we work to balance public safety and the sacred right to vote," the officials wrote. "$140 million is a start but it is simply not enough."

A report by the Brennan Center found that a thorough election funding package could cost up to $2 billion and would appropriate funds to ensure that all Americans could vote by mail or in person at a COVID-19-safe election facility, as well as fund online registration and voter registration efforts to let people know about coronavirus-related changes. 

FDNY boss: Our supply of personal protective equipment 'dangerously low'

New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told NBC News that supplies of personal protective equipment are “dangerously low” and the department has weeks—not months—worth of the gear its members don every time they respond to a call for a person with flu-like symptoms.  

Nigro said that 46 FDNY members, which include EMS workers, have tested positive for COVID-19 and two are currently hospitalized. A FDNY spokesperson said none of the cases were acquired through interaction with a patient.

"All that we can hope for is that the pleas from the governor and the mayor have been heard in Washington and that a supply stream will open and that we will get the equipment that our members need to operate safely," Nigro said.

Progressive tax group targets GOP senators over corporate stock buybacks

A progressive group is launching a $1.2-million ad campaign targeting Republican senators in four battleground states for their votes supporting the 2017 tax bill that included billions in tax relief to large corporations now poised to receive billions more in bailout money from proposed coronavirus legislation.

The group, Tax March— whose goal is to push for the closing of tax loopholes for large corporations — will run radio, television and digital ads in Georgia, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, starting later this week. 

President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax bill, which Republicans said would help raise wages and spur hiring, actually ended up funding record stock buybacks by corporations. Progressive groups, as well as several Democrats in Congress, say they oppose the current coronavirus stimulus package because the language allows for corporations to keep bailout money while still firing workers — and because there are very weak stock buyback restrictions in the current proposal.

Read more on the story here.

U.K. imposes 3-week national lockdown, enforced by police

The British government on Monday unveiled strict new measures aimed at limiting people's movements amid fears that the British health service may be overwhelmed by coronavirus unless the epidemic's spread is slowed.

In a televised address to the nation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to "give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home."

Johnson had resisted forcing his population to adopt the types of lockdown measures seen in the United States and across Europe, although he had announced that schools, pubs, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms were to close down. 

Read the full story here. 

Stocks sink again, after emergency fiscal stimulus package fails for second time

Stocks sank again on Monday, after an emergency fiscal stimulus package was twice rejected by the Senate and even a new round of cash injection from the Federal Reserve failed to raise trader optimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a decline of almost 600 points, tracking its way toward the worst month for the blue-chip index since 1931. 

"These large market declines can reverse themselves over time. This is the history of the U.S.," Larry Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, told CNBC earlier on Monday. "There's no reason why we can't get through this period."

The S&P 500 closed down by around 3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq held up best, with a decline of just 0.2 percent.

Read the full story here.

Union for New York City's UPS workers pleads for cleaning supplies

The union representing more than 7,300 UPS workers in the New York City area is sounding the alarm about protections for UPS workers. The leaders of Teamsters Local 804 — which serves much of New York City, Westchester and Long Island — are warning against a decrease in delivery capacity if too many workers fall ill and asked the public to help by contacting their local and state elected officials and requesting resources be allocated to help clean and sanitize UPS facilities and trucks.

"There is just no way our current staffing can accommodate the urgent need for increased cleaning and sanitizing of the facilities and the trucks that deliver so much of what New Yorkers need to their homes," the leaders said in a news release Monday.

While warehouse workers and drivers are taking "every precaution possible," without additional resources, "there is little chance the virus can be contained," they said, cautioning that as more Teamsters get infected and are unable to work, delivery capacity will fall.

Instacart to add 300,000 gig workers in coronavirus-driven hiring

Instacart said on Monday it plans to hire 300,000 gig workers over the next three months, more than doubling its current base, as demand surges for grocery delivery services due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to shop from home.

The hiring is huge compared to those announced by major retailers. Amazon said last week it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to deal with a surge in online orders. Walmart said it would hire more than 150,000 hourly workers through the end of May in its stores and fulfillment centers.

Instacart said order volumes had risen over 150 percent in the last few weeks.