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Coronavirus updates from April 14, 2020

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The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. surpassed 26,000 Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There were more than 609,000 confirmed cases in the country.

Governors across the country began laying out plans for getting some people back to work, including rearranging schools and restaurants with fewer desks and tables to allow for social distancing.

  • The global death toll is about to hit the 2 million mark. There have been almost 127,000 deaths.
  • New York City added 3,700 "probable" coronavirus deaths to its tally, bringing the city's total to more than 10,000.
  • President Trump said he'll halt funding to the WHO while he conducts a review of the organization, which he accused of "severely mismanaging" the pandemic.
  • A stimulus check tracking site will go live on Wednesday, allowing Americans to find out when they can expect their economic relief payments.

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.


Search for vaccine heats up in U.S. and China

Three potential COVID-19 vaccines are making fast progress in early-stage testing in volunteers in China and the U.S., but it's still a long road to prove if they'll really work.

China's CanSino Biologics has begun the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate, China's Ministry of Science and Technology said Tuesday.

In the U.S., a shot made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. isn't far behind. The first person to receive that experimental vaccine last month returned to a Seattle clinic Tuesday for a second dose. NIH infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Associated Press there are "no red flags" so far and he hoped the next, larger phase of testing could begin around June.

A third candidate, from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, began giving experimental shots for first-step safety testing last week in the U.S. and hopes to expand its studies to China.  

By The Associated Press

South Koreans vote in national elections amid virus fears

South Korean voters are wearing masks and moving slowly between lines of tape at polling stations to elect lawmakers in the shadows of the coronavirus. 

The government has resisted calls to postpone the parliamentary elections billed as a midterm referendum for President Moon Jae-in. He enters the final years of his term grappling with a historic public health crisis that is unleashing massive economic shock.

South Koreans are deeply divided along ideological and generational lines and regional loyalties. But recent surveys showed support for Moon and his liberal party, reflecting the public's approval of an aggressive test-and-quarantine program so far credited for lower fatality rates compared to areas worse hit by the virus. 

By The Associated Press

Fourteenth Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate dies

Another Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate has died of coronavirus, BOP announced Tuesday. The total number of federal inmates who have died during the pandemic is now 14.

In addition, BOP announced 444 federal inmates and 248 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, up from 388 inmates and 201 staff members of Monday.

By Clare Hymes

GM CEO says suppliers have "moved mountains" as companies ramp up ventilator production

GM CEO says automaker is ramping up ventilator production 05:17

General Motors, with the help of Ventec Life Systems, is producing ventilators to help in the fight against coronavirus. The companies are expected to make 600 ventilators by the end of April and 30,000 by the end of August. Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, and Chris Kiple, CEO of Ventec Life Systems, discussed their ongoing efforts with "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell.

Read more here.


U.N. Secretary-General speaks out after Trump says he'll halt WHO funding: "Now is the time for unity"

The Secretary-General of the United Nations issued a statement Tuesday urging unity among world powers, hours after President Trump said he would halt funding for the WHO. 

Secretary-General António Guterres began by reiterating a statement he made on April 8, in which he wrote, "Once we have finally turned the page on this epidemic, there must be a time to look back fully to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis. The lessons learned will be essential to effectively address similar challenges, as they may arise in the future. But now is not that time."

He then added a new statement: "As it is not that time, it is also not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus." 

"As I have said before, now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences," he added. 

By Victoria Albert

Guatemala says U.S. deportations driving up COVID-19 cases

Guatemala's health minister said Tuesday that deportees from the United States were driving up the country's COVID-19 caseload, adding that on one flight some 75% of the deportees tested positive for the virus.
Health Minister Hugo Monroy's comments were dramatically out of line with what the government had previously said about infected deportees. Later, presidential spokesman Carlos Sandoval told reporters that Monroy was referring to a March flight on which "between 50% and 75% (of the passengers) during all their time in isolation and quarantine have come back positive."
Before Tuesday, Guatemala had only reported three positive infections among deportees flown back by the United States.
Joaquín Samayoa, spokesman for the foreign affairs ministry, confirmed a fourth positive case for a migrant who arrived on a flight Monday. At least three of the migrants who arrived Monday were taken directly to a hospital for COVID-19 testing.
President Alejandro Giammattei addressed the nation later, but made no mention of the deportees. It remained unclear why before Tuesday the government had only reported three deportees who tested positive and how many more would have been among the high percentage who tested positive aboard that March flight. Giammattei said Tuesday there were a total of 175 people who had tested positive in Guatemala and five who had died.

By The Associated Press

Small business owners call federal coronavirus relief programs a "hot mess"

Juliann and Kirk Francis, the owners of Washington, D.C., cookie chain Captain Cookie, were already hiring for their busy spring season when the coronavirus struck. As Washington shut down, they were forced to cut their staff from about 45 workers to just 11. 

Both Captain Cookie and Tastemakers, an event hall and incubator kitchen the couple also owns, have applied for relief under the Paycheck Protection Program and other emergency federal and local programs. Juliann and Kirk Francis spoke with CBS MoneyWatch about their efforts to get federal aid. 

"We all have this idea that there's a social safety net and when people lose hours or they lose a job, they go and file for unemployment, and then they're OK," Juliann said. "But that's not what's happening." 

Read the interview here. 

By Rachel Layne

24th member of NYPD dies of coronavirus

The NYPD announced Tuesday that another member of the department has died from coronavirus, bringing the NYPD's total deaths to 24. The department identified the patient as Supervising Police Communications Technician Irving Cruz, who had worked with the NYPD for more than 18 years. 

More than 6,000 uniformed members — 17.6% — of the NYPD called in sick on Tuesday, the department said. That's a downturn from last week when more than 19% of the force was regularly calling in sick. 

More than 2,200 uniformed members and more than 500 civilian employees have tested positive for the virus thus far, the department added. 

An NYPD car outside of the Brooklyn Hospital on April 1, 2020, in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP/Getty
By Victoria Albert

Blood plasma of recovered patients used in trial treatments

Researchers are testing a blood therapy treatment that's been used since the Spanish flu. It's being used to treat some of the most severe cases of COVID-19. In CBS News' new series, "Racing to a Cure," Meg Oliver reports on how the treatment is providing new hope.

Watch Meg Oliver's report below. 

Blood plasma of recovered patients used in trial treatments 01:54
By Meg Oliver

Trump says he will meet with all 50 governors this week to discuss reopening the country

President Trump said he will be meeting with governors this week, probably on Thursday, to discuss a plan for reopening the country. Mr. Trump said he will be speaking to all 50 governors, and added that he will "authorize" each governor to reopen their state "in a time and manner that's most appropriate."

Mr. Trump said some states may be ready to open by May 1.

"The governors are instituting their own opening," Mr. Trump said. "Numerous states are doing well and we're gonna let them open sooner than the date, at the end of the month, maybe sooner than the end of the month. Many states are out there reviewing it and say 'we shouldn't be included in this.' If we disagree with it we're not gonna let them open…We're there to watch, we're there to help. And we're also there to be critics. We've always wanted states to do the testing."

Although Mr. Trump said on Monday that he had "absolute" authority to reopen the country, he said on Tuesday that the White House will be working in a "managerial role."

Mr. Trump also said he will "not put any pressure on any governors" to reopen, using Governor Andrew Cuomo of hard-hit New York as an example. "I'm not going to say to Governor Cuomo, 'You've gotta open within seven days.' I want him to take his time, do it right and then open New York," he said.

By Caroline Linton

Former FDA commissioner on reopening the U.S. economy

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease doctor, has warned that the U.S. is not ready to restart the economy. President Trump had hoped to reopen the country by Easter, but as the holiday came and went, experts said it could still be several more weeks or even months before that happens.

Norah O'Donnell spoke with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the FDA, who has written a road map outlining what it would take to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and get America back to work.

"I think we are getting ready," Gottlieb said. "You clearly see a decline in cases. I think that we are heading toward a trajectory that we can start to contemplate potentially reopening aspects of the country in May and into June."

Watch O'Donnell's interview with Gottlieb below. 

What will it take to restore America's workforce? 02:37

Trump announces $25 billion deal to help float airlines

President Trump opened the Coronavirus Task Force briefing by announcing an agreement with major airlines, or "all our great airlines," to participate in a payroll support program as part of the CARES Act aimed at boosting American workers and the airline industry. The agreement will give airlines $25 billion in federal aid, according to The Associated Press. 

"This agreement will fully support airline industry workers, preserve the vital role airlines play in our economy and protect taxpayers. Our airlines are now in good shape, and they will get over a very tough period of time not caused by them," Mr. Trump said.

Per the agreement, the government will provide cash and loans in exchange for warrants that can be converted into ownership stakes of the airlines, according to the AP. 

Just before the briefing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a statement saying the following airlines would participate in the Payroll Support Program: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

Conversations continue with other airlines about participating, too, Mnuchin said. He said the Treasury Department is working on reviewing applications from smaller passenger carriers, too. 



MLB cuts senior staff pay by 35% to pay all staff through May

Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year and is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday in a memorandum to staff, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. Manfred also said the commissioner's office will make all planned distributions to teams through May.

"As part of our effort to protect the organization, my senior staff and I have decided to reduce our compensation by an average of 35% for 2020 to help the organization weather this terrible storm," Manfred wrote in the memo.

"As a result of these developments, I am pleased to be in a position to ensure that all employees that received regular pay checks in April will continue to be paid through May 31," he wrote. "I am deeply grateful to the owners for supporting my decision to continue to support all of our employees in an environment where the owners and the clubs are facing their own very difficult financial issues."

By The Associated Press

Trump says he will halt funding to WHO while conducting review of its actions during pandemic

President Trump announced Tuesday that he will halt funding to the World Health Organization while its actions during the coronavirus pandemic are being reviewed.

"Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Mr. Trump said.

"Had the WHO done its job" and called out China's lack of transparency, Mr. Trump added, the disease could have been contained with very little death.

He suggested that WHO's actions may have caused a twenty-fold increase in deaths worldwide, and said even now, it has not acknowledged its own mistakes "of which there were many."

For now, Mr. Trump said, U.S. funding that would have gone to WHO will be redirected to other global health aid groups. Aid will be discussed with powerful and influential groups, the president said.

Read more here. 

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House.  MANDEL NGAN

By Ellen Uchimiya

14 federal inmates have died of coronavirus

The Bureau of Prisons announced Tuesday that another inmate has died of the coronavirus, bringing the virus' death toll in federal institutions to 14. The inmate was held at FCI Elkton, in Ohio.

In total, 444 federal inmates and 248 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the BOP said. More than 1,000 inmates have been placed on home confinement to reduce the spread of the virus.

California's USC Lompoc leads the nation with the highest number of cases among inmates and staff, with 86. Connecticut's FCI Danbury has 83, and North Carolina's FCI Butner Medium I has 73, the BOP said.

By Clare Hymes

New York City adds 3,700 probable virus deaths

New York City added more than 3,700 probable coronavirus deaths to its tally on Tuesday, bringing the city's total to more than 10,000.

A "probable" coronavirus death, per the city's definition, refers to a person who was never tested for the virus but was classified as dying from it or an equivalent on their death certificate.

There have been 6,589 confirmed cases of the virus in the city, and 3,778 probable cases, according to the NYC Department of Health.

By Victoria Albert

Louisiana to move elections to July and August

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that the state will be moving its primary, currently scheduled for June 20, to July 11. The governor also moved a second round of elections, currently scheduled for July 25, to August 15. 

By Victoria Albert

World Health Organization urges China to close controversial "wet markets"

Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization Special Envoy on COVID-19, urged countries around the world — and specifically China — to close wet markets. 

"The advice to China on the wet markets is close them, it is?" an interviewer asked on a BBC Radio podcast that aired on Monday. 

"Yes, and it's advice to everywhere — you know this is dangerous," Nabarro responded. 

Asked specifically about China, where some of the "wet markets" that sell wild and domestic animals have recently reopened, the WHO envoy said "there are real dangers in these kinds of environments with pathogens hopping from animals to humans." 

The U.N. Secretary General agrees. To a CBS News question about Dr. Nabarro's advice, spokesman Farhan Haq said, "We want all Member States to observe the recommendations and the policy guidelines that are being set by the World Health Organization on this. I believe that the World Health Organization made clear that they will have some new and revised guidelines." 

For years, guidelines from the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization have cautioned against wet markets: "Particular attention should be given to wet markets, which can be a source of microbial contamination in the market and pose a direct health hazard to market workers as well as customers." The U.N. Secretary General's spokesman said that the WHO will be issuing new guidelines this week. 

WHO Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told CBS News on Tuesday that as far as wet markets are concerned, the organization has provided guidance for businesses on COVID-19 and food safety and that "WHO maintains that governments should rigorously enforce bans on the sale of exotic wildlife." Jasarevic added that the WHO will be putting existing guidelines in the context of COVID-19, and that the organization will address the need to improve markets worldwide post-pandemic.

By Pamela Falk

Millions of U.S. homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage

More than 2 million U.S. homeowners have recently missed a mortgage payment, banking data show, a sign that the deep economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on household budgets.

The number of home loans that are past due by one month or longer grew to 3.7% in the first week of April, up from 2.7% the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. By comparison, as of March 2 only 0.25% of loans were in forbearance, as late payments are called. 

"The nationwide shutdown of the economy to slow the spread of COVID-19 continues to create hardships for millions of households," Mike Fratantoni, the group's chief economist, said in a statement.

Read more here. 

By Khristopher J. Brooks

Trump meets with recovered coronavirus patients, touts hydroxychloroquine

President Trump on Tuesday met with a handful of recovered coronavirus patients who traveled from all over the country, including from states with stay-at-home orders, to meet with him. Some of them had taken hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug the president has been touting.

Mr. Trump asked the patients to discuss their experience with the drug, if they took it. Some patients have anecdotally said the drug has helped them, although clinical trials about the effectiveness and risks of taking the drug have yet to be completed. 

Read more here. 

By Kathryn Watson

6 indicators that will guide California's COVID-19 response

California Governor Gavin Newsom released six key indicators on Tuesday that he said would guide his state's thinking about when to modify the stay-at-home order.

"While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order," Newsom said in a news release. "As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before."

Here are the six indicators Newsom cited:

  1. The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed.
  2. The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19.
  3. The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges.
  4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand.
  5. The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing.
  6. The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

The governor added that even as modifications to the order are made, things won't go completely back to normal. Restaurants will have fewer tables, he said, and classrooms will be restructured.

Coronavirus Pandemic Los Angeles
This image shows Hollywood Boulevard on March 25, 2020, in Los Angeles. MARIO TAMA/getty
By Victoria Albert

Trump to hold call with G7 leaders on Thursday to discuss pandemic response

President Trump will hold a video conference with the G7 leaders on Thursday morning to discuss national responses to the coronavirus pandemic. The leaders of all seven member nations, including Boris Johnson, who was recently released from the hospital following his own battle with the virus, are expected to participate.  

"Working together, the G7 is taking a whole-of-society approach to tackle the crisis across multiple areas, including health, finance, humanitarian assistance, and science and technology," said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere. 

By Victoria Albert

Over 25,000 people have died in the U.S.

More than 25,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 598,600 people have been sickened by the virus in the country.

By Justin Bey

Inmate at Mississippi prison who died tested positive for virus

An inmate who died at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman tested positive for coronavirus after his death, the state's Department of Corrections said in a statement Tuesday. The inmate is the first person in the state's custody to test positive for the virus, the department said, adding that it's not clear if the inmate died from the virus.

"We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all within our system," said Tommy Taylor, the department's interim commissioner. "Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, our facilities have been under quarantine with restricted transfers, no visitations other than attorneys, and daily screening of facility staff.

With this first positive case, we have further isolated all the affected areas and increased screenings for all the inmates who came in contact with the individual. Inmates who came in close contact with the positive individual have been provided with masks."

The prison is one of four state facilities under a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. The probe will determine whether prison officials adequately protect inmates while examining mental health and suicide prevention services.

Fatal Prison Fight
In this May 19, 2010, file photo, traffic moves past the front of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. Rogelio V. Solis / AP
By Victoria Albert

USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor moved to ICU

A sailor on the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been moved to the intensive care unit due to shortness of breath, the Navy announced Tuesday. The Navy did not provide more specifics about the sailor's identity or condition. 

Three other sailors from the ship are being treated at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for COVID-19 symptoms, the Navy said. As of Tuesday, 93% of the ship's crew members have been tested for the virus, with 589 positive and 3,922 negative results. More than 4,000 sailors have been moved ashore. 

The ship gained national attention in recent weeks when its captain was removed for sending a memo expressing alarm at how quickly the virus was spreading among his sailors. 

Virus Outbreak Aircraft Carrier
In this April 13, 2018, file photo, the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is anchored off Manila Bay west of Manila, Philippines. Bullit Marquez / AP
By Victoria Albert

New Jersey reports highest single-day death toll

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday that 365 people have died from the coronavirus since Monday. That marks the largest single-day increase in deaths for the state since the outbreak began. 

Murphy noted that all 365 deaths may not have happened overnight, but were all reported since Monday. In total, 2,805 people in New Jersey have died due to complications from the virus. 

The state has 68,834 cases of the coronavirus, 4,059 of which were reported since Monday. Projections show that the rate of infection is slowing in the state, but it has yet to reach its peak number of cases, according to Murphy.

The governor warned that any progress could be reversed if residents don't adhere to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines. "This could easily backtrack," he said.

By Audrey McNamara

Stimulus check tracking site set to go live on Wednesday

With millions of Americans eagerly awaiting their federal stimulus checks to help them weather the the coronavirus recession, people will soon be able to find out when they can expect to get their money after the government on Wednesday launches a tracking tool called "Get My Payment."

The first batch of stimulus checks — or "economic impact payments," as they are officially known — started hitting consumers' bank accounts on Saturday, the Internal Revenue Service has said. But millions of people remain unsure of when the payments will arrive because it depends on whether the IRS has your direct-deposit information and your income level. Consumers can also update their mailing addresses if they've moved since they last filed their tax returns.  

The "Get My Payment" service will go live at on April 15, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a press briefing late Monday. It will let consumers check their payment status, confirm whether they prefer direct deposit or a paper check and enter their bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn't have it yet. 

Read more here. 

By Aimee Picchi

After Putin's bravado, COVID-19 is starting to hit Russia hard

Less than a month ago, Russia's state-controlled media showed President Vladimir Putin talking about how the country had managed to contain the new coronavirus and keep the situation "under control." Russia only a few dozen officially reported cases and even sent planes loaded with medical aid to struggling Italy, and then to the United States and Serbia.

But Russia has now seen a surge in COVID-19 infections, and Putin's tone has become much less optimistic.

"We are seeing that the situation is changing every single day and regrettably not for the better," he said Monday during a video conference with senior health care officials. "The number of sick people is increasing along with the number of serious cases."

Read more here.

By Alexandra Odynova

Congress will not return to Washington until May 4

Neither the House nor the Senate is expected to return to Washington until May 4 because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. However, Congress may still be able to pass legislation through unanimous consent, which does not require a majority of members to be present.

"As the country continues working together to flatten the curve, following the advice of health experts, the full Senate is not expected to travel back to Washington D.C. sooner than Monday, May 4th," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Tuesday.

"All members will receive at least 24 hours' notice if this changes. This bipartisan decision reflects consultation with Leader Schumer and my colleagues in Senate leadership," McConnell continued, referring to Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Read more here. 

By Grace Segers

Cuomo calls Trump's claim that he has sole authority to reopen the economy "absurd"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed President Trump's claim that he has the sole authority to reopen the U.S. economy as "absurd" during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday. Cuomo and the governors of several other eastern states announced Monday that they would join forces to coordinate the reopening of the region and its economy after the coronavirus pandemic upended regular daily life throughout the country. 

Hours after the governors' plan was announced, the president stood at the podium during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing and said his "authority is total" in regards to lockdown rules across the country.

"It's not the law. It's not the Constitution. We don't have a king, we have a president," Cuomo said, stressing the need to work together through the current phase. "We need a public health strategy and an economic strategy." 

Read more here.

Cuomo reacts to Trump's claim only he can reopen economy: "Absurd" 08:05

New York City secures first stable supply of test kits

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will soon have access to 100,000 coronavirus test kits per week. De Blasio called the news a "breakthrough," but said more tests will still be needed. 

Half of the 100,000 test kits are being bought from Aria Diagnostics, a biotech company located in Indiana that has already donated 50,000 kits to the city, according to de Blasio. "They have confirmed that they can produce them regularly for New York City," he said.

Starting next week, New York City will purchase 50,000 test kits from Aria per week, he said. 

The remaining 50,000 will be produced in New York City. De Blasio said the is building "a brand new supply chain" through existing businesses, commercial labs and academic institutions that will create the swabs, solution and tubes which make up a test. According to the mayor, the coordinated effort will begin producing 50,000 test kits per week by the start of May. 

"For the first time we're going to have a truly reliable, major supply of testing," de Blasio said. He cautioned, however, that the supply "does not let the federal government off the hook."

"They still have to come through now, because the amount of testing we're going to need — the amount of testing that's going to be needed all over the country — is vast," de Blasio said. "But hopefully the example that New York City is setting will be recognized in Washington."

By Audrey McNamara

New York reports 778 new deaths

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said 778 more people have died due to COVID-19, up from 671 deaths the day before. 

"That number is up and that is to me the most painful number, and it has been the most painful number every day," he said at this daily briefing on the state's response to the virus. 

He said, however, that the state has flattened the curve. "Our actions determine our destiny," he said.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Elite sail maker changes tack to produce medical gowns for race against the virus

When Junichiro Shiraishi heard the coronavirus pandemic was leaving doctors and nurses desperately short of medical gowns, it took him just a few days to sew up a solution. Shiraishi is the chief adviser for North Sails Japan, which designs and produces sails for some of the world's fastest competitive vessels.

In every Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games, the Yokohama-based outfit has supplied sails to gold medalists. Worldwide, 80% of the sails used in the "470 class," Olympic-level, two-person dinghies have come off North Sails' factory line. 

With the Olympics and every major regatta on hold, the Yokohama assembly line had been left high and dry. But Shiraishi saw a way to keep his 30 workers occupied, while also joining the fight against COVID-19.

Water-resistant and designed to block airflow, North Sails Japan's coated polyester sailcloth seemed ideal for shielding frontline medical staff from infectious disease.  Click here to read more

By Lucy Craft

Chicago coronavirus outbreak infects dozens of migrant children in U.S. custody

Coronavirus cases among migrant children in U.S. government custody have surged in recent days after an outbreak in one Chicago shelter infected more than three dozen minors. 

Heartland Alliance, a non-profit that oversees shelters in the Chicago area for unaccompanied migrant children, reported on Tuesday at least 37 confirmed cases of coronavirus among the minors it cares for, according to Mailee Garcia, a spokeswoman for the group. Before the outbreak, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the government agency with custody of these minors, had confirmed six positive cases among children at three facilities in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.

The 37 infected children at the shelter in Chicago's South Side make up more than half of the 69 minors currently housed at the three facilities Heartland Alliance is currently operating. According to Garcia, 28 of the infected children were asymptomatic at the time of testing. She said the group is "operating under the assumption" that more cases will arise since officials have been working to test all the children in their custody.

Read more here. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

India's poor hit hardest as coronavirus spreads and lockdown is extended

India extends world's largest coronavirus lockdown 01:44

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Tuesday that India's nationwide lockdown would be extended until May 3 to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The country of over 1.3 billion people has started to see a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases: Modi's announcement came as the number of confirmed cases in the country passed 10,000, with almost 350 deaths. 

While the vast majority of businesses have been ordered to close, more than 450 million Indians work in informal sectors, and most of them have also been left jobless under the lockdown. Millions of these workers were already poor and, along with a daunting homeless population, they've been hit hard by the epidemic.

The government is running community kitchens and providing free bulk grain to the poor and homeless, but it's not reaching everyone. CBS News met just a few of the people who have been made homeless and penniless by strict lockdown measures.

By Arshad R. Zargar

Detroit's water problems an added threat as the city is hit hard by coronavirus

Michigan officials say Detroit has over 6,800 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5% have died, making it one of the country's hardest-hit areas. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan initiated the Coronavirus Water Restart Program in March to help control the spread of the virus in a community where 36% of the population live in poverty. 

Access to water has been an issue facing Detroiters since 2014 when the city started a series of controversial water shutoffs. With the coronavirus spreading quickly, especially through poor and African American communities, having running water is essential to hygienic precautions.

Click here to read Jericka Duncan's full report.

Detroit battles growing coronavirus outbreak 03:51



JPMorgan Chase sets aside $6.8 billion to cover coronavirus losses

JPMorgan Chase is setting aside billions of dollars to cover potential losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, said the move was necessary "given the likelihood of a fairly severe recession."

Chase, the America's largest bank by assets, on Tuesday became among the first of the nation's big companies to report how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting its business. First-quarter profit plunged by 69% from a year ago. 

The bank is now facing billions of dollars in losses, as borrowers who were in fine financial shape just weeks ago are now at risk of going broke because the pandemic has shut down businesses across the country and put millions of Americans out of work. Click here to read more.



IMF says pandemic will cause worst recession in 100 years, but economy could rebound fast

The coronavirus pandemic is pushing the global economy into its deepest recession in a century, cutting world output by three percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday. If the virus is contained and economies can begin operating again, 2021 should see a rebound of 5.8 percent, according to the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook.

But the authors acknowledged the difficulty in making an accurate forecast amid the rapidly changing situation.

With much of the global economy shutdown amid efforts to contain the virus and keep health systems from collapsing, the IMF warned that there are "severe risks of a worse outcome," due to the "extreme uncertainty around the strength of the recovery."

The U.S. economy is expected to contract by 5.9 percent but see growth recover by 4.7 percent next year. However, the forecasts assume the pandemic will fade in the second half of the year.

"Much worse growth outcomes are possible and maybe even likely," the report cautioned, "if the pandemic and containment measures last longer."



Seed companies can't keep up as more Americans turn to growing their own food

As millions of Americans hunker down at home, the coronavirus outbreak has led to runs on everything from toilet paper to baker's yeast. Now people are reporting another shortage: seeds to start their "pandemic gardens." 

Some seed companies said they've temporarily stopped taking new orders after seeing an overwhelming surge in demand. The increase in orders is "just unbelievable," said George Ball, chairman of Burpee Seeds, a 144-year-old seed company in Pennsylvania. The company closed to new orders last week because it needed time to catch up, although it plans to start accepting them again on Wednesday.

With Americans largely stuck in place, many are turning to home-based activities that are boosting sales of home improvement goods, alcohol — and gardening supplies. Click here to read more

By Aimee Picchi

Multiple Chicago Primary Poll Workers Later Fell Ill With COVID-19, One Poll Worker Died

Chicago voters were warned Monday night that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus while voting in last month's primary.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Dana Kozlov reported, one man who served as a poll worker for the March 17 primary has since died of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the number of voters possibly exposed is growing.

Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said letters have gone out to poll workers, field investigators, polling place proprietors, and voters in multiple precincts where a poll worker went on to fall ill with COVID-19.

Whether the infected poll workers ended up transmitting the virus to others is not yet clear.

But Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stressed that anyone who is not already sick likely was not exposed while voting.

Click here to read more of this story from CBS Chicago.


Asian countries fear coronavirus resurgence as cases in China hit 6-week high

As the United States and Europe reel from their first waves of the novel coronavirus, many Asian nations anxiously look ahead to the not-so-distant future for signs of a second surge.

The governments of China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore successfully flattened their first infection curves since the start of 2020 through tough measures both praised and criticized — from the unprecedented multi-million person lockdown in China to the quick "test, trace, treat" method of South Korea, the reignition of the SARS-born National Health Command Center in Taiwan and the quick shutdown of Singapore's borders.

With domestic cases mostly tamped down, imported infections are now the biggest danger with citizens or permanent residents returning to their home countries — and serving as viral Trojan horses. Infections brought home from abroad account for much of the recent uptick in Asia's new cases. Health experts are calling for vigilance, encouraging the public to fight coronavirus fatigue.

By Ramy Inocencio

California governor to reveal plans to ease lockdown measures based on science, "not political pressure"

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will reveal plans Tuesday for gradually releasing California from the coronavirus restrictions that have kept 40 million residents indoors for much of the last month.

Newsom didn't provide a specific date for rollbacks or other details but said Monday the decisions will rely on science "and not political pressure."

That followed assertions by President Trump that he is the ultimate decision-maker on how and when states will ease restrictions designed to prevent people from congregating to try to slow COVID-19's spread.

Trump battles with governors over reopening the economy 02:47
By The Associated Press

Virginia church leader dies of COVID-19 after ignoring guidance

The leader of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond, Virginia, has died of complications from COVID-19 just weeks after ignoring guidance to halt services and declaring that "God is larger than this dreaded virus."

Bishop Gerald Glenn delivered that message in his last sermon at the church, on March 22, before a large congregation, shirking strong recommendations to practice social distancing that became mandatory the next day under an order imposed by Governor Ralph Northam.

On March 23 Northam banned all gatherings of more than 10 people, but as CBS News affiliate WTVR reports, the guidance had been in place for days.

Church officials confirmed Glenn's death as they delivered Easter Sunday service via digital video link to members of the congregation, according to WTVR. He died about a week after he and his wife were diagnosed with COVID-19. 

By Tucker Reals

"Painful reality": Nonprofits providing essential services warn of impending funding crisis

When the call came through United Way's support hotline from a homeless woman in Atlanta who was worried she was infected with the coronavirus, the organization was quick to act. 

United Way connected the woman with Catholic Charities, its president and CEO Brian Gallagher told CBS News, which in turn secured her a hotel room for two weeks, free of charge.

At the end of those two weeks, Gallagher knows the woman still won't have a home to return to. But he points to the episode as evidence of the assistance nonprofit organizations are providing in the midst of the pandemic, even as they grapple with whether they can survive the coming months.

By Melissa Quinn

COVID-19 death toll at Virginia nursing home hits 42 as 84 more residents treated for the disease

The coronavirus outbreak at a nursing home near Richmond, Virginia has now claimed at least 42 lives. CBS News affiliate WTVR reports that 84 more residents at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are being treated either at the center or area hospitals.

"Many COVID-19 positive residents are asymptomatic carriers showing no sign of being ill, while others are experiencing symptoms of the virus ranging from severe to mild," a Canterbury spokesperson told WTVR, which said 35 members of the center's staff have also tested positive.

The new disease, which hits elderly patients the hardest, has torn through nursing homes and care facilities across the country. On Friday, the Canterbury center's medical director told reporters that our modern society's willingness to "warehouse" the elderly was partly to blame for the devastating toll.

Virus Outbreak Virginia
This March 27, 2020 photo shows the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Richmond, Virginia.  Steve Helber / AP

James Wright conceded that both he and government officials would need to evaluate their response once the crisis has passed, but said it would also be "important to see what we, as a society, could do differently, because this will not be the last untreatable virus to decimate our elders." 

"When we, as a society, see that it's appropriate to warehouse our elders, and to put them in small spaces, to underpay their staff so that there are chronic staffing shortages — I think if we see that as an adequate treatment of our elders, then we're going to have a bad time," Wright said, according to The Washington Post.

By Tucker Reals

Indian leader extends nationwide lockdown as more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Tuesday that the ongoing nationwide lockdown would be extended until May 3 to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown that began on March 25 was originally scheduled to end Tuesday, but Modi said all state governments and experts had agreed that it must be extended. 

"After taking into account all suggestions, we have decided to extend the lockdown till May 3," he said. 

With 19 more days of lockdown now scheduled, India will remain under the strict restrictions for a total of six weeks. 

Indian police question commuters in New Delhi at a checkpoint set up to enforce a nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus disease, April 13, 2020.  CBS/Arshad R. Zargar

The country of over 1.3 billion people has started to see a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. Modi's announcement came on a day when the number of coronavirus cases in the country passed 10,000, with almost 350 people confirmed to have died of the disease. 

By Arshad R. Zargar

Federal appeals court reverses all or part of coronavirus abortion bans in Oklahoma and Texas

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a lower-court order that overturned the Oklahoma governor's ban on abortions during the coronavirus outbreak. Also Monday, a different federal appeals court allowed medication abortions to continue in Texas despite a near-total abortion ban there amid the pandemic.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows abortions to continue in Oklahoma, the ban issued by Gov. Kevin Stitt notwithstanding. In an eight-page opinion, the panel said it was letting stand a temporary restraining order issued April 6 by U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin in Oklahoma City because it caused the state no irreparable harm, since Goodwin's order expires April 20.



Pandemic prompting increased demand for abortions

The coronavirus outbreak has fueled attempts to ban abortions in some states, but providers where the procedure remains available report increased demand, often from women distraught over economic stress and health concerns linked to the pandemic.

"The calls we've been getting are frantic," said Julie Burkhart, who manages clinics in Wichita, Kansas, and Oklahoma City. "We've seen more women coming sooner than they would have because they're scared they won't be able to access the services later."

Some clinics are seeing patients who traveled hundreds of miles from states such as Texas, which has banned abortions during much of the pandemic on grounds they are nonessential.

By The Associated Press

Democrats and GOP at impasse over coronavirus small business relief

Democratic and Republican leaders are stalemated on small business relief negotiations, leaving an uncertain path forward as coronavirus-related measures continue to keep most Americans under stay-at-home orders. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced in a joint statement Monday that they're demanding more help for Americans be included in the the small business loan program. They warned that state governments, local governments and hospitals are "oversubscribed" and "need more money now."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused Democratic demands in a joint statement, urging lawmakers to approve an increase for PPP funding before the program "runs dry." The two said additional proposals from Democrats can wait until the next larger package. Read more here.  

— Lauren Peller  


Citing coronavirus, states urge Supreme Court to reconsider order on "public charge" rule

New York, Connecticut and Vermont asked the United States Supreme Court on Monday to consider lifting or modifying a decision in February that has allowed the Trump administration to implement the so-called "public charge" immigration rule. The states warned the regulation is having a "destructive" impact on the nation's response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The attorneys general in the three northeastern states said the sweeping rule is discouraging immigrants from accessing medical care and public benefits, hindering nationwide efforts to contain the highly contagious virus, which has killed more than 23,000 people in the U.S. The filing cited more than a dozen declarations by doctors, local officials and advocates who said immigrants across the country fear they could jeopardize their immigration status by seeking medical treatment and government aid. Read more here.

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez
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