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Trump ponders return to normal life by Easter as death toll climbs

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: New York City Hospital Adds New Protocols And Triage To Address Coronavirus
Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York.Misha Friedman / Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases continued to accelerate in the United States on Tuesday, and early Wednesday Senate leaders announced they had reached a deal on a massive $2 trillion spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak.

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.

And after growing international pressure, Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo games until next year but said they would happen no later than summer 2021.

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Minor, under the age of 18, dies of coronavirus in Los Angeles County

Another four people have died in Los Angeles County from coronavirus, including a minor, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.  

“Tragically, one the people who died was a person under the age of 18," Ferrer said. "A devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages."

Ferrer did not expand on the patient's age or whether they had any underlying conditions, but a press release from the department said the minor was a resident of the city of Lancaster.

Los Angeles County has seen a total of 11 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus. The county has a total of 662 positive cases, including more than 250 that were confirmed in the last two days.

Why science matters in finding coronavirus treatments

In Nebraska, researchers are studying whether an experimental drug, remdesivir, can treat COVID-19, the illness that results from coronavirus infection. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state would begin trials looking at the drug combination hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax.

All told, more than 100 clinical trials of dozens of potential treatments have already begun in multiple countries.

Read more. 

Watch people crowd London subways, despite calls for social distancing

Apple may re-open some stores in April — but not necessarily in the U.S.

Apple may start to reopen some of its retail stores in the first half of April, according to a person at the company who is familiar with the matter but was not authorized to speak publicly.

Re-opening stores will depend on the state of the coronavirus pandemic at that time and will not necessarily include U.S. stores, the person said.

The iPhone maker announced earlier this month that it was closing all retail stores outside of China due to the global spread of the coronavirus. It had initially planned to start reopening stores on March 27.

FDA will allow doctors to treat coronavirus patients with blood from survivors

Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for COVID-19 outside of St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24.Misha Friedman / Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration will allow doctors across the country to begin using plasma donated by coronavirus survivors to treat patients who are critically ill with the virus, under new emergency protocols approved Tuesday.

The treatment, known as convalescent plasma, dates back centuries and was used during the flu pandemic of 1918.

“Just based on its track record with a number of other viruses, I think it has a very good chance of working,” Dr. Jeffrey Henderson, of the Washington University School of Medicine, said.

Read the full story here. 

Dow ends the day up 2,000 points as $2T stimulus bill takes shape

Wall Street roared back on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging by over 2,000 points for its biggest daily points gain ever.

It was a strong day for all three major averages, with the Dow ending the day up by more than 11 percent. The S&P 500 rallied by over 9 percent, while the Nasdaq notched up gains of just over 8 percent.

Trader optimism was focused on the $2 trillion stimulus bill, which lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say is close to approval.

ACLU sues ICE over detention of immigrants vulnerable to coronavirus

The ACLU filed three lawsuits against Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tuesday demanding that the law enforcement agency release immigrant detainees in Pennsylvania, Maryland and California who are vulnerable to COVID-19.  

In Maryland, the ACLU cited a pregnant detainee who was diagnosed with tuberculosis in February 2020 as being at risk. “ICE’s needless detention of immigrants has always been cruel and excessive, but today, it also recklessly endangers their lives,” said Sirine Shebaya, executive director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

An ICE spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment about the lawsuits but the ICE website says vulnerable detainees “are housed separately." ICE says on its site that if a detainee developed coronavirus symptoms the person would be put into a “single medical housing room” “depending on available space.” 

The agency says it has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in ICE detention facilities. The agency owns or operates 900 facilities housing an average of 42,000 detainees per day as of 2018.

 

'Wonder Woman' sequel and 'In The Heights' postponed

The superhero sequel "Wonder Woman 1984" and the musical adaptation "In The Heights" have joined the growing list of movie releases to be pushed back due to coronavirus.  

Warner Bros. released a statement Tuesday announcing that the anticipated "Wonder Woman" follow-up will be moved back to August instead of June, while the screen version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In The Heights" will be postponed indefinitely. 

Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich said that pushing the release of "Wonder Woman" would allow fans to enjoy the film on the big screen. "We hope the world will be in a safer and healthier place by then," Emmerich said. 

Miranda addressed the "In The Heights" delay on Twitter, saying the cast and crew had "the best summer of our lives" filming in the Washington Heights area of New York City. "When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theaters," Miranda said. "We'll have the premiere uptown. The best summer of our lives, together." 

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Celebrated playwright Terrence McNally dies from coronavirus complications

The award-winning playwright Terrence McNally died at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida from complications due to coronavirus Tuesday, according to his publicist. He was 81.

McNally, who was a lung cancer survivor with chronic COPD, was frequently described as the "bard of American theater" and was known for writing "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Ragtime" and a number of farcical plays throughout his sixty-year career. 

He is survived by his husband, Tom Kirdahy, and his brother, Peter McNally.