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U.S. surpasses 100,000 cases as Trump signs $2 trillion stimulus package

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
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President Donald Trump on Friday signed the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill that the House passed earlier in the day, while the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 100,000.

The legislation signed by Trump and also unanimously passed by the Senate on Wednesday provides relief for workers and businesses devastated by the outbreak.

The United States now has more reported coronavirus cases than any other country, including China, as the number climbed past 100,000, according to NBC News' count.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted he tested positive for the coronavirus.

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The latest stats from NYC

New York City now has more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and has had 366 deaths, according to the latest data from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The Friday numbers show that 50 percent of deaths have been people 75 years of age and older and another 25 percent were people between 65 and 74 years old. Ninety-seven percent of deaths have been cases where the person had an underlying illness, defined as "diabetes, lung disease, cancer, immunodeficiency, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, kidney disease, and GI/Liver Disease."

Of the city's 25,573 coronavirus cases, nearly half were age 18 to 44.Only two percent were under 18 years old.

Of the five boroughs, Queens continues to have the most cases (32 percent), followed by Brooklyn (26 percent), then Manhattan (18 percent).

House gives final passage to $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill

The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it quickly.

The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday, provides relief for workers and businesses that have been devastated by the outbreak.

Trump has applauded the final product — the largest economic relief package in modern U.S. history — and said this week that he would sign the legislation, which the Senate passed 96-0 late Wednesday.

The House vote Friday came after Democratic and Republican leaders summoned House members to Washington late Thursday because they feared the package wouldn't be able to pass by voice vote, causing lawmakers to scramble back to the capital from their districts.

Read the full story here.

Infected pregnant women may pass coronavirus onto babies, small study suggests

A staff member attends to a baby with coronavirus at the Wuhan Children's Hospital in China on March 6. China Daily CDIC / Reuters file

Pregnant women who have the coronavirus can possibly pass the infection onto their babies, though it's unclear whether this transmission occurs in the womb.

Although more research is needed, a small study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Thursday, found that of 33 women in China who were confirmed to have the coronavirus while pregnant, three gave birth to newborns who were then diagnosed with the virus. All three infants recovered, adding to a growing pile of evidence that most children experience milder cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, than adults.

Read the full story here. 

OPINION: As coronavirus deaths mount, Trump's handling of intelligence warnings looks worse and worse

Those of us who served in the intelligence community knew this day was coming. The day when President Donald Trump's near total disregard for intelligence professionals would eventually affect every American, writes Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence and NBC News/MSNBC analyst. 

The missed warnings pointed to a pandemic that has so far resulted in over 82,000 infected Americans and over 1,100 dead here at home. While Trump claims the coronavirus was a "surprise," we've now learned that as early as January, intelligence professionals were sounding the alarm.

Read the full THINK article here. 

Trump lashes out at GM, Ford over ventilators

President Donald Trump lashed out at Ford and General Motors in a Friday morning tweet, blaming them for not gearing up production of medical supplies quickly enough.

GM sold the Lordstown plant last November.

GM and Ford both announced earlier this month that they are working with medical suppliers to help ramp up production of medical gear. 

GM responded to Trump's tweet by pointing out in a statement it is “taking aggressive steps” to speed up production of ventilators by Washington-based Ventec Life Systems, while also converting a GM plant in Kokomo, Indiana, to have it ready to start shipping additional ventilators “as soon as next month.”

Ford this week announced it will work with 3M and GE Healthcare for production of medical supplies, hoping to have several hundred thousand ventilators ready by June. It has already delivered a first batch of masks.

Apple launches its own COVID-19 screening app

Apple has released its own app to push authoritative information on COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The app includes a screening tool that asks users a series of questions to help people know what they should do to help themselves or loved ones if they are feeling ill.

"The COVID-19 app, built in partnership with the CDC, has up-to-date information from trusted sources and a screening tool to find out what you should do next," Apple said on its website.

Coronavirus in juvenile detention is a ‘nightmare scenario,’ doctors and advocates say

Anuj Shrestha / for NBC News

The coronavirus pandemic has spurred a flurry of activity to release children from juvenile detention centers. Doctors, youth advocates and former probation and detention officials say it's the only way to prevent an outbreak.

At the New Orleans juvenile detention center, children have expressed fears of getting sick, said Christy Sampson-Kelly, an administrator for the center's school. 

"They're worried about being left behind," she said. "They're an afterthought. I think in the efforts to slow down the virus and be responsible, we just said, 'Kids, stay home,' but no one thought about our kids."

Read the full story here. 

Dyson designs new ventilator to help COVID-19 patients

A graphic representation of the new CoVent ventilator designed by Dyson.Dyson / via Reuters


Several companies around the world are trying to make ventilators, but it takes time.

At Dyson, the British company best known for making vacuums, a team of engineers has been working on a design for the last 10 days since receiving a request for help from Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Billionaire inventor James Dyson told his staff the device would draw on technology used in the company's air purifier ranges and is powered by a digital motor. Britain wants to increase the availability of ventilators from 8,000 to 30,000.

'Praying for Laura': Tweet about 30-year-old victim strikes chord, goes viral

A man's tweet requesting prayers for a 30-year-old coronavirus victim went viral Friday, inspiring thousands of tweets with the phrase "Praying for Laura."

The man, author Jonathan Merritt, said his friend, whom he identified only as "Laura from NYC," was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Merritt said Laura is on a ventilator in intensive care "fighting for her life."

"She is only 30," he wrote in his tweet Thursday night. "Please pray for her."

His post had upward of 10,000 retweets as of Friday morning and more than 70,000 likes.

Read the full story here.

Death toll hits more than 500 in New York, Cuomo says

New York's coronavirus death toll has topped more than 500 — about half of all deaths linked to COVID-19 in the U.S., Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

"This is a different beast than we're used to dealing with," Cuomo said, speaking from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which has been turned into a field hospital.

The deaths in New York climbed to 519, a nearly 35 percent increase from Thursday. Cuomo said he expects the number to grow as people who have been on ventilators for a long period succumb to the virus. He also said:

  • The number of positive cases is at 44,635, up 20 percent from Thursday. The total in New York City is 25,398, up 22 percent.
  • There are 6,481 hospitalized in the state, up from 1,042 a week ago. But Cuomo said hospitalizations are doubling every four days instead of every 2.5 days, showing a possible slow down is occurring.
  • New York public schools will remain closed for an additional two more weeks until at least April 15, after Cuomo initially gave an April 1 deadline to reassess the situation.
  • Aside from temporary field hospitals in Manhattan, Westchester County and Long Island, he's planning for similar field hospitals in New York City's other four boroughs.