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Coronavirus updates from April 6, 2020

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The coronavirus death toll topped 10,000 across the U.S. on Monday as Americans entered a week President Trump said would be the "toughest" yet of the pandemic. The U.S. had more than 368,000 confirmed cases as of early Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.  

Mr. Trump shared a rare call with former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday in which the two discussed the federal response to the ongoing crisis. The pandemic has thrown off traditional campaigning, keeping the president at the White House and Biden at his home in Delaware. 

In London, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved into intensive care. The announcement came a day after he was admitted to a London hospital with what his office called "persistent symptoms of coronavirus."

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

 

No deaths reported in China in last day

China on Tuesday reported no new deaths from the coronarivus over the past 24 hours and just 32 new cases, all from people who returned from overseas.

Another 12 suspected cases - also all imported - were being kept under observation, along with an additional 30 asymptomatic cases, officials said. 

China said it has 1,242 confirmed cases in treatment and 1,033 asymptomatic cases under isolation and monitoring.

The country that gave rise to the global pandemic said it has recorded 3,331 deaths and 81,740 total cases. Numbers of daily new deaths have been hovering in the single digits for weeks, hitting just one on several occasions.

-- The Associated Press  

By Brian Dakss
 

First Rikers Island inmate dies after testing positive for coronavirus

An inmate housed at New York City's Rikers Island died after contracting coronavirus, his legal team announced Monday. Michael Tyson, a 53-year-old with underlying health conditions, was being held at Rikers over an alleged parole violation, according to the Legal Aid Society. 

Last week, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit against city and state officials calling for the release of inmates who are at a higher risk of serious illness from the virus. Tyson was one of 100 inmates named in the suit.

Read more here. 

By Justin Carissimo
 

Bureau of Prisons says 194 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus

The Bureau of Prisons announced Monday that 194 federal inmates and 63 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus. 

The institution with the most confirmed cases is North Carolina's FCI Butler Medium I, which has 39. USP Lompoc in California has 23, and Connecticut's FCI Danbury and Louisiana's FCI Oakdale I both have 22. 

By Clare Hymes
 

Miami launches antibody testing to measure spread of coronavirus

An ambitious testing program by the University of Miami began in South Florida on Monday. The goal is to clear up the chaotic picture of just how widespread the virus is, helping some governments plan their response.

The test looks for a person's antibodies and the proteins the immune system makes to attack the COVID-19 virus. It doesn't look for current infection; instead, it detects who has had it in the past.

Miami launches antibody testing to measure spread of coronavirus
By Jonathan LaPook
 

Nearly 20% of NYPD's uniformed workforce out sick

On Monday, 19.3% of the NYPD's uniformed workforce — 6,974 people — called in sick, according to a press release from the department. More than 1,900 uniformed members and nearly 300 civilian members of the force have tested positive for the virus. 

The NYPD also reported the death of Auxiliary Police Officer Ramon Roman, who had been a member of the force for more than 10 years. Roman, who worked in the 72nd precinct in Brooklyn, died on Sunday due to coronavirus-related complications, the department said. 

US-HEALTH-VIRUS
An NYPD car drives by Times Square as rain falls on March 28, 2020, in New York City.  Getty
By Victoria Albert
 

"It's like fighting any other enemy": Medical professionals head to New York to help battle virus

New York City's Javits Center has been converted into a 2,500-bed medical facility treating COVID-19 patients. Air Force Reserve Brigadier General Stacey Scarisbrick said more than 120 medical personnel across the country deployed to New York within the past 48 hours.

"We are mobilizing in the same way we mobilize to go to war," Scarisbrick said. "We are getting people where they need to be to fight this virus. So, it's like fighting any other enemy."

Watch more of the report below:

New York hospitals struggle as military reinforcements arrive to battle coronavirus
By Mola Lenghi
 

Surgeon General Jerome Adams warns "everyone has to keep doing their part"

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" host Norah O'Donnell, Surgeon General Jerome Adams spoke about what the weeks and months ahead could look like for various parts of the country. 

Does flattening the curve mean that we will soon see a decrease or does it suggest there is a plateau in the cases?

It does mean that we will soon see a decrease, but we know that everyone is going to be on a different curve. So, this is the first glimmer of hope for New York, New Jersey, and we hope that the trend continues. But it's going to mean that everyone has to keep doing their part.

Does that mean if we are beginning to see the flattening of the curve that we may not reach that projected number of some 100,000 deaths?

I am hopeful that we won't reach that peak, and I'm hopeful because the projections that we have been working with were based on data from other countries. We are seeing more and more data come in from the United States and that's been forming these projections in a new and better way.

Read more here.

Nation's top doctor on the future of coronavirus fight
 

African Americans comprise more than 70% of COVID-19 deaths in Chicago, officials say

More than half of the people in Chicago who have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and over 70% of those who have died are African Americans, health officials and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday. African Americans make up 30% of the city's population, according to the city's data.

According to data shared by the city on Sunday, 98 people have died from COVID-19 in Chicago. Of those 98 deaths, 67 were African American.

"Fifty-two percent of our cases have been in black Chicagoans, and, most strikingly, 72% of our deaths here in Chicago," Chicago Public Health Department Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, said Monday.

Read more here.

 

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's order delaying primary

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday blocked an earlier order by Governor Tony Evers to delay the state's primary, ruling that in-person voting will proceed Tuesday. 

Evers had signed an executive order earlier Monday suspending in-person voting for the state's primary and moved to delay it until June 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic. All votes already cast will be counted, he said. — Adam Brewster and Caroline Linton

Read more here.

 

Trump says he "may look into" dispute between ousted ship captain and acting Navy secretary

The president raised the possibility that he would intervene in the dispute between the acting Navy secretary and the aircraft carrier captain he fired last week. Asked about Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's remark referring to Captain Brett Crozier as "too naive or too stupid" to helm the USS Roosevelt if he thought his memo on COVID-19 wouldn't leak, the president said, "That's a strong statement." But he added that he had heard "very good things about both gentlemen."

Crozier was ousted after he went outside his chain of command and sent a memo to more than 20 people describing dire conditions on board the Roosevelt as dozens of sailors tested positive for the coronavirus, a memo that quickly made its way to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Mr. Trump opined that Crozier's letter shouldn't have been sent to so many people. It "shows weakness," he said, although he added, "I may look into it in detail, and I'll be able to figure it out very fast."

"I don't want to destroy somebody for having a bad day," the president said.

By Ellen Uchimiya
 

Trump announces face mask deal with 3M

President Trump on Monday said he reached a "very amicable" agreement with 3M for the delivery of 55.5 million face masks a month. "We're going to be getting, over the next couple of months, 166.6 million masks for our frontline health care workers," Mr. Trump said. "So, the 3M saga ends very happily."

The announcement came after the president sparred with the company late last week. On Thursday night, he tweeted that "We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks," and announced during the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing that he was invoking the Defense Production Act to force the company to make more masks. 

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also said during the briefing that there had been "issues" with 3M not providing enough masks to American buyers. 

In a statement responding to the president's announcement, 3M said that "3M and its employees have gone above and beyond to manufacture as many N95 respirators as possible for the U.S. market." The statement added that there would be "significant humanitarian implications" if the company followed the White House's order to stop exporting masks made in the U.S. to Canada and Latin American countries.

 

USNS Comfort to be opened to coronavirus patients, Trump says

Trump says Navy ship Comfort will be used for COVID-19 patients

Although the USNS Comfort, which is docked in New York, was originally only supposed to take patients who are not infected with COVID-19, President Trump said Monday at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing that the ship will now be open to coronavirus patients from New York and New Jersey.

Mr. Trump said that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had contacted him about the Comfort.

"He asked whether or not it would be possible to use the ship with respect to fighting the virus, and we hadn't had that in mind at all, but we're going to let him do it," Mr. Trump said, adding that his administration had also spoken with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

"We're going to have a rough week," the president said about the possibility of increased cases in the U.S. But he expressed optimism about the promise of therapeutic treatments.

Read more here.

USNS Comfort Hospital Ship In New York To Aid Coronavirus Response Remains Largely Unused
The USNS Comfort navy hospital ship is docked at Pier 90 in Manhattan on April 3, 2020. Kena Betancur / Getty
By Ellen Uchimiya
 

"Bad recession" ahead, says CEO of nation's largest bank

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has predicted the U.S. will soon enter a "bad recession," adding that banks will likely see financial stress similar to what they experienced in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

Dimon said his bank — the country's largest — was preparing for economic growth plunging as much as 35% in the coming weeks and months. The nation's unemployment rate could reach 14% — which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression — and may not peak until the end of this year.

Dimon made the dire predictions as part of his annual letter to shareholders. For now, it remains unclear "how fast or slow the recovery will be," or how his bank would fare in the crisis, he said. Dimon added that JPMorgan is participating in the government's small business relief program and that it will continue to lend to its millions of consumer and business clients, while noting that those efforts could expose the bank to significant financial losses.

"Recognizing the extraordinary extension of new credit, mentioned above, and knowing there will be a major recession means that we are exposing ourselves to billions of dollars of additional credit losses as we help both consumer and business customers through these difficult times," Dimon wrote.

Read more here.

By Stephen Gandel
 

Trump says he and Biden had a "very friendly conversation"

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden spoke Monday about the federal government's coronavirus response, in a conversation Mr. Trump described as "really wonderful" and "warm." 

"We had a really wonderful, warm conversation, it was a really nice conversation, we talked about pretty much this. He gave me his point of view and I fully understood that," Mr. Trump said during his daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing. "We just had a very friendly conversation, lasted probably 15 minutes and it was really good. Really nice. I appreciate his calling." 

Biden's communications director also released a statement about the call. "Vice President Biden and President Trump had a good call," the statement said. "VP Biden shared several suggestions for actions the Administration can take now to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation." 

Trump and Biden hold phone call to discuss coronavirus response
By Ed O'Keefe
 

Number of new cases in Germany declines for fourth consecutive day

The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany has declined for the fourth consecutive day, according to The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's national health institute. RKI reported 3,677 confirmed cases on Monday, less than the 5,936 reported Sunday. 

At least 95,391 people in the country have been diagnosed with the virus, and at least 1,434 have died.

— Anna Noryskiewicz

GERMANY-FRANCE-HEALTH-VIRUS
Doctors inside the University Hospital of Essen in western Germany, on April 1, 2020.  Getty
 

Stocks surge on signs new coronavirus deaths could be slowing

Stocks jumped on Monday on investor hopes that infection and death rates from the coronavirus are slowing in parts of the U.S. and in Europe. New coronavirus infections and deaths are showing signs of slowing in Italy and Spain.

That was enough to launch stocks higher, despite the U.S. still bracing for a surge of fatalities due to COVID-19. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said restrictions should stay in place to slow its spread.

The S&P 500-stock index rose 175 points, or 7%, to close at 2,664, while the Dow surged 1,627 points, or nearly 8%, to 22,680. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also gained more than 7%.

"We're running on raw optimism, maybe that's the best way to put it," Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Schwab Center for Financial Research, told The Associated Press.

—The Associated Press

 

U.S. Army places temporary hold on sending new recruits to basic training

The U.S. Army announced Monday that it has temporarily delayed sending new recruits to basic combat training. The Army added that recruits who are already in basic combat or advanced individual training will continue under screening and monitoring guidelines.

"The decision to pause the shipment of trainees to BCT for two weeks will allow leaders to focus on setting conditions so movement can be conducted in a safer manner in the future," said General Paul E. Funk, II, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

 

Ecuador is using cardboard boxes to bury the dead

Facing an overwhelming amount of corpses and shortage of coffins, residents in Ecuador's coastal city of Guayaquil are using cardboard boxes to give their dead proper burials. Morgues, funeral parlors and hospitals in Guayaquil, the epicenter of Ecuador's coronavirus crisis, are dealing with a challenging load of bodies.

Limited by government restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, residents of the city complained last week about bodies piling up on the streets or rotting inside homes for days. Its mayor delivered three containers to act as a makeshift morgue. The city announced Saturday that it's giving out 2,000 pressed cardboard boxes to people to give deceased loved ones a "dignified burial" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

By Christopher Brito
 

British PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care as he battles coronavirus, according to a statement from his office. 

"Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St. Thomas' hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus," the statement said. 

"Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital." 

The statement added that Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Domenic Raab, the first secretary of state, to deputize for him "when necessary."

Read more here.

PM Attends Final PMQs Before Parliament Suspended Due To Coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQ's on March 25, 2020, in London. Getty
By Victoria Albert
 

ACLU sues for release of inmates at federal prison where 5 inmates died

The ACLU on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit against a federal prison in Louisiana where five inmates have died from the coronavirus. The suit seeks the release of more than 700 inmates they say are at a higher risk of serious illness from the virus.

There are 24 confirmed cases among staff and inmates at FCI Oakdale, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

"Imagine if someone sick with COVID-19 came into your home and sealed the doors and windows behind them," the lawsuit reads. "That is what the Oakdale federal detention centers have just done to the over 1,800 human beings currently detained there, where a COVID-19 outbreak is rampant, social distancing is impossible and no one detained can leave."

See the legal filing here.

oak-lrg.jpg
This file image shows FCI Oakdale. Bureau of Prisons
By Justin Carissimo
 

U.S. death toll surpasses 10,000

More than 10,300 people have died from the virus in the United States as of Monday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 347,000 confirmed cases across the country.

By Justin Carissimo
 

New York raises maximum fine for violating social distancing rules

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the maximum fine for violating social distancing rules from $500 to $1,000.  "It's not about your life, you don't have the right to risk someone else's life," the governor said.

Cuomo said that "anecdotal evidence" suggests people are violating the social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus.

"It's not really about the fine - nobody wants the money - we want the compliance. It's not about your life, you don't have the right to risk someone else's life," Cuomo said, "and you don't have the right, frankly, to take health care staff and people who are literally putting their lives on the line to be cavalier or reckless with them." 

Governor Cuomo: "Now is not the time" to ease up on social distancing for coronavirus
By Justin Carissimo
 

Cuomo says "possible flattening of the curve" in New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a news conference Monday said that deaths in his state have been "effectively flat for two days," which suggests a "possible flattening of the curve."

As of Monday, 4,758 people have died, which is up from 4,159 deaths reported Sunday.

"While none of this is good news, the possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases we've seen. New York is far and away the most impacted state," Cuomo said. 

The governor said the total number of hospitalizations, the daily intubations and ICU admissions are down in the state. "Social distancing is working, so we have to make sure social distancing continues," he added.

By Justin Carissimo
 

"Jaws" actress Lee Fierro dies at 91 of COVID-19 complications

Lee Fierro, who died Sunday in Ohio from complications of COVID-19 at age 91, was a stage actress who had only a handful of film credits, but her first was a scene-stealer: Mrs. Kintner, mother of a boy who is killed by a shark, in Steven Spielberg's 1975 blockbuster "Jaws." 

With a steely fire, she confronts Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider), whom she blames for her son's death, with a slap across the face. She repeated her role in the 1987 sequel "Jaws: The Revenge."

Fierro worked with the local theatrical company, Island Theatre Workshop, in her hometown of Martha's Vineyard (where "Jaws" was filmed).  She appeared in productions and instructed hundreds of young people for 25 years as the Workshop's artistic director.

lee-fierro-in-jaws-universal-pictures.jpg
Lee Fierro appears in "Jaws" as a mother whose son was killed by a shark. Universal Pictures

"She was my teacher and mentor," Kevin Ryan, the group's current artistic director and board president, told the Martha's Vineyard Times. "She was fiercely dedicated to the mission of teaching. She, no matter what it was, would stay at it and get the job done."

By David Morgan
 

Louisiana newborn girl reportedly dies with COVID-19 day after she was born

CBS News affiliate WAFB says a newborn girl has died with the coronavirus disease COVID-19 just a day after she was born in Louisiana.

According to WAFB, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark confirmed the little girl had died on Monday, about five days after her mother was admitted to a hospital. 

It was not immediately clear if the mother was also diagnosed with COVID-19, but mothers have previously transferred the disease to their newborns.

Clarke was expected to provide further details of the case later Monday in a news conference.

By Tucker Reals
 

Iran's Health Ministry warns regime plan to ease restrictions will bring new "jump" in virus cases

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that he was ordering some of the nation's shut-down businesses to reopen from April 11.

Rouhani said Iran's "enemies want our economy to stop under the excuse of coronavirus spread."

Iran's Health Ministry, however, has warned that reopening businesses so soon could lead to 30% more deaths from the virus, and further burden the country's health care system, which is already under enormous pressure.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting in Tehran
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Tehran, Iran, April 5, 2020. OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL WEBSITE

Contradicting Rouhani's comments, Deputy Health Minister Kiyanush Jahanpur said Monday that, "in spite of some people's assumption, the situation in the country is not ordinary, and if we don't take precautions we will face a new jump in the number of infected people all around the country."

Seyed Bathaei

 

Brooklyn hospital treating coronavirus patients is "like something out of the Twilight Zone"

At the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, doctors treating coronavirus patients say it's not just older people who are in critical condition, and nurses say they still don't have proper protective gear. As of April 2, 27 COVID-19 patients had died at the hospital.

"A lot of our patients are presenting with severe respiratory distress, and it's very acute. They were fine and they had some cough and then they weren't fine," Dr. Joshua Rosenberg, a critical care doctor who also specializes in infectious diseases, told CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, who was invited into the hospital.

One man in his early 50s "really didn't have much underlying conditions," but "has developed severe respiratory failure, as well as kidney damage from the virus," Rosenberg said. He said the man "is relatively young."

Describing the situation, one nurse said it was "like something out of the Twilight Zone."  

Inside NYC hospital treating coronavirus patients
 

Cop kills Filipino man after President Duterte orders strict enforcement of lockdown orders

"Shoot them dead," Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised address last week as a warning to what he described as troublemakers who may endanger the lives of police enforcing a month-long coronavirus lockdown.

Days later, it happened. On Saturday, a police officer in the southern province of Augsan Del Norte shot dead a 63-year old man. According to the police report, the man, who appeared drunk, got angry after being told to wear a face mask and attacked village officials and a police officer with a scythe.

Jonathan Malaya, an undersecretary at the Department of Interior and Local Government, said the government's security personnel had no choice.

"It was a person who threatened our police officers several times," he said in an online press briefing.

Virus Outbreak Philippines
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, gestures as he delivers his speech at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, March 12, 2020.  RTVM via AP

In a separate incident last weekend, 19 people were arrested and charged with violating lockdown rules by selling vegetables in a Manila suburb. Activists appealed for compassion and said the vendors were out only because they were not getting any government help.

By Barnaby Lo
 

Supreme Court cancels April oral arguments amid coronavirus crisis

The Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments scheduled for April, it announced Friday, as states and the federal government scramble to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The justices were scheduled to hear oral arguments in 11 cases, including a closely watched dispute on faithless electors and the Electoral College, across the last two weeks of April. The court has not yet said how it will handle those cases, as well as others scheduled to be heard in March and postponed, but said it would consider rescheduling some of them before the end of its term in late June "if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time."

"The court will consider a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the courtroom before the end of the term," the court's public information office said in a statement.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Calls to U.K. national domestic abuse hotline up 25% since coronavirus lockdown began

Calls to Britain's national domestic abuse hotline have jumped 25% since the U.K.'s coronavirus lockdown began a little more than two weeks ago, the charity that runs it, Refuge, said Monday. Activists had warned that the stay-at-home orders could lead to an increase in domestic violence.

"Ordinarily, the window for women to seek help is extremely limited," Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of charity Refuge said in a statement. "During periods of isolation with their perpetrators, this window narrows further. It is critical that women have alternative, digital ways of accessing help."

Refuge said visits to its website had increased by 150% over the same period, stressing that while the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the problem, it is not causing it.

"Domestic abuse is a crime and is ultimately rooted in power and control. Violence is a choice a man makes. He alone is responsible for it," Horley said.

By Haley Ott
 

Wells Fargo stops taking applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans

Wells Fargo is bowing out of a new federal program aimed at helping small businesses retain workers and pay bills during the coronavirus pandemic. The bank announced late Sunday that it would no longer accept new loan applications under the government's Paycheck Protection Program, which launched last week as part of Washington's $2.2 trillion economic relief package. 

Wells also said it planned to lend a maximum of $10 billion through the program and that it has already received more than enough applications to reach that threshold. Any requests for loans submitted after April 5 will not be considered, according to the bank.

Coronavirus' crushing impact on small business in America

Since the program launched on Friday, most U.S. banks are processing loans only for existing clients. Wells Fargo's exit could shut out some of its small business customers that have not yet applied for a loan. That's especially significant because Wells Fargo arranged more small business loans than any other lender in the country last year.

By Stephen Gandel
 

Police in Texas looking for teen who they say may be "willfully spreading" COVID-19

Police in Carrollton, Texas have identified but not yet located an 18-year-old girl who claims to have the coronavirus and is "willfully spreading" it, officials said.

Officials said Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, is facing a charge of terroristic threat after she reportedly claimed to be positive for COVID-19 and appeared in a Snapchat video allegedly infecting consumers at a local Walmart.

Officials said although they have no confirmation the teen is actually a threat to public health, they are taking her threats seriously.

— CBS Dallas/Fort Worth

 

Some U.S. hospitals temporarily cutting staff as coronavirus crisis worsens

In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, many hospitals across the U.S. are suddenly losing revenue. In some cases that means staff are being furloughed, right as the pandemic is worsening.

In Florida, at Miami-Dade County's Jackson Memorial Hospital, executives say they're taking pay cuts, and other employees are being asked to go on temporary furloughs due to the financial strain.

"We were required to take time off; we were required to take our personal leave time," said RN case manager Angela Freshly Fairchild, who was surprised to receive an email saying she would be mandated to take a week off in the middle of the crisis.

"I couldn't understand it, because all around the country they are asking for nurses right now," said Fairchild.

Read more here about how the ripple effects of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic are hitting hospitals around the country. 

Some hospitals cut staff as coronavirus crisis worsens
 

Small Georgia town's mayor lambastes governor's "reckless mandate" to reopen beach

A small coastal city in Georgia that thrives on tourism closed its beach, fearing carefree crowds of teenagers and college students posed too great a risk for spreading the new coronavirus. Two weeks later, the state's governor has reversed that decision, saying people weathering the outbreak need fresh air and exercise.

The clash has thrust tiny Tybee Island into a thorny debate that keeps cropping up during the coronavirus pandemic: How much can officials curtail freedoms during the crisis? And should those calls be made at the federal, state or local level?

Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions, sworn in barely three months ago, has taken on Gov. Brian Kemp after state officials on Friday reopened the beach in this community of 3,100 people.  

tybee-island-wtoc.jpg
A sign welcoming visitors is seen near the beach in Tybee Island, Georgia.   WTOC

The change resulted from the Republican governor's order that people statewide should "shelter in place" — that is, they should stay home unless working jobs deemed essential, seeking medical care, shopping for groceries, or other exceptions including exercising outdoors. It also invalidated any restrictions already imposed by local governments if they went beyond the governor's limits.

That meant a unanimous decision by Tybee Island's city council to close its beach was suddenly overridden, and Sessions said the governor's office declined to reconsider the "reckless mandate" when asked. 

-CBS/AP

 

Patients rushing to join studies of promising coronavirus drug remdesivir

The new coronavirus made Dr. Jag Singh a patient at his own hospital. His alarm grew as he saw an X-ray of his pneumonia-choked lungs and colleagues asked his wishes about life support while wheeling him into Massachusetts General's Intensive Care Unit.

When they offered him a chance to help test remdesivir, an experimental drug that's shown promise against some other coronaviruses, it "did not even cross my mind once to say 'no,"' said Singh, a heart specialist.

Coronavirus patients around the world have been rushing to join remdesivir studies that opened in hospitals in the last few weeks.

Interest has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is expanding its study, which has nearly reached its initial goal of 440 patients. The drug's maker, California-based Gilead Sciences, is quickly ramping up its own studies, too.

— The Associated Press

Trump says 1.67 million Americans tested for coronavirus and touts drugs to fight disease
 

Japan to go under national state of emergency as COVID-19 outbreak grows

In what was seen as a long-awaited bow to the inevitable, Japanese Prime Minister Abe has announced he will declare a national state of emergency over the growing coronavirus epidemic in the country. To take effect Tuesday, the action will cover most of Japan's densely populated metro areas — Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa; and Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka to the west.

The seven jurisdictions have a combined population of 55.9 million — accounting for about one out of every two Japanese residents.

Local governors, the Japan Medical Association and others have been urging a shutdown, warning that waiting for cases to spike risked the collapse of the national health care system. 

"We need your cooperation to prevent an explosive surge," Abe said Monday evening, appealing to residents for calm and making a point of saying Japan's shutdown would be far less heavy-handed than lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe. 

Tokyo issues stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases surge

Most of the measures being taken are "requests" for restraint. Residents are asked to work from home and leave only for essential reasons. Department stores, coffee shops and retail chains had already started to voluntarily shut down in recent days, as Tokyo's case numbers continued to rise at an alarming clip. 

Civil liberties protections in Japan don't allow authorities to issue jail terms or fines for non-compliance, so a heavy dose of peer pressure and the weight of the emergency declaration are being deployed instead. 

By Lucy Craft
 

Relatively unscathed by COVID-19, Jordan looking at ways to bring economy back to life

After more than two weeks with his country under strict lockdown, Jordan's King Abdullah II has asked his ministers to look into ways to gradually bring the country's economy back to work. 

"No one in the world has an ideal solution to combat the effects of the coronavirus. This requires us to be more flexible and fast in adapting to the changes," the king was quoted as saying. 

The tough, early measures imposed in Jordan appear to have paid off: Jordan's Ministry of Health has confirmed only 345 cases in the country, and 110 of those patients have already recovered. Only five COVID-19-related deaths have been reported. The numbers are way below Jordan's neighboring countries.

"Protecting Jordan from the pandemic requires efforts sustained over a long period," economic analyst Jawad Abbassi told CBS News. 

"To be able to do that effectively the government needs revenues," he said, urging Jordan's leaders to "look at this as a marathon and not as short sprint."

— Amjad Tadros

Jordan imposes coronavirus lockdown as cases spread in Middle East
 

Another death among passengers from cruise ship docked in Miami

Authorities say 14 people have been taken to hospitals from a cruise ship that docked in Florida with coronavirus victims aboard and that one of them has died. Two fatalities were reported earlier aboard the Coral Princess, which docked Saturday in Miami. The ship had more than 1,000 passengers and nearly 900 crew members.

Authorities didn't immediately disclose whether any of the 14 people removed for immediate medical attention had confirmed coronavirus links.

The Princess Cruises line ship began disembarking fit passengers cleared for charter flights Sunday. The cruise line said it was delayed by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy preventing passengers from being placed on commercial flights.

Anyone with symptoms of the disease or recovering from it was being kept on the ship until medically cleared. 

— The Associated Press

Cruise passengers to be flown home without quarantine, despite concerns
 

2020 Democrats adapt campaigns to coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has thrown a wrench into the campaign plans for 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. 

But the candidates and their campaign staff are still working on ways to get their messages across at a time when large social gatherings are banned. Watch Ed O'Keefe's full report in the video below.  

2020 Democrats adapt campaigns to coronavirus pandemic
 

Trump warns "toughest week" coming, but "things will start changing for the better"

President Trump and Vice President Pence voiced optimism Sunday about the coronavirus pandemic, saying the number of new cases reported daily in the country appears to be leveling off. 

"The U.S. will reach a horrific point in terms of death, but it will be a point where things will start changing for the better," Mr. Trump said. 

Trump describes U.S. response to coronavirus as "all out military operation"

The president said that by Tuesday, 3,000 military and public health workers will have been deployed across the country. He said the U.S. has conducted and received results of more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests, and that work is ramping up on potential drugs to treat the disease.

New Jersey has become a hot zone, Mr. Trump said, noting that the fatality rate in New York has dropped, which "maybe a good sign."  

Read more here.

By Peter Martinez
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