A "deeply concerning picture" about COVID-19 in long-term care facilities worldwide has emerged in recent weeks, the World Health Organization's Europe director said Thursday. Dr. Hans Kluge said as many as half of those who've succumbed to COVID-19 in Europe were residents of such facilities. "This is an unimaginable human tragedy," he said.
In the American virus epicenter, New York City's mayor said some of those most at risk for COVID-19 are nursing home residents. "They need our support more than ever," he said.
Latest major developments:
- Trump says social distancing guidelines "may" be extended into summer or later.
- House approves $484 billion coronavirus relief package as unemployment soars.
- Sunlight appears to have "powerful" effect on killing virus, DHS says.
- Study shows 13.9% of people tested in New York have antibodies.
- Georgia governor stands by decision to reopen some businesses.
- Poll shows majority of Americans prioritize staying home over the economy.
Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.
Sharp's masks so popular in Japan, lottery will decide who gets them
Masks from Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. have proven so popular with consumers there's going to be a lottery. Sharp said Friday demand got so massive for online orders, which began Tuesday, that not a single sale was completed.
As a fix, Sharp announced a lottery for 30,000 boxes of the masks, each with 50 masks.
A person is entitled to one 2,980 yen ($28) box each.
Applications are accepted all day Monday next week, with lottery winners announced Tuesday.
"We apologize for causing inconveniences to our customers," spokesman Kentaroh Odaka said.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Sharp, owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as FoxConn, of Taiwan, made displays for TVs and theaters.
Sharp's masks were shipped starting last month, but initially just to medical facilities.
Some Japanese hospitals have complained about a mask shortage. Masks have been sometimes hard to find at stores around Japan.
Porch pirates take advantage of California residents using home delivery amid pandemic
With more people working and staying at home to slow the spread of coronavirus, police say so-called "porch pirates" are getting out more to steal what's being delivered to people's doorsteps, CBS Los Angeles reports. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, thieves are also taking advantage of safety measures delivery drivers are following to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Police said the drivers are being instructed not to touch doorknobs, gate latches, or any frequently touched surfaces.
Sometimes, instead of at your door, packages are placed in exposed visible locations, making it easier for porch pirates to steal.
A man in the Melrose District in Los Angeles recently had a package stolen that was left right on a resident's walkway. Police said the video showed a porch pirate in action.
Detectives believe the man followed a delivery driver and once the package was left in the front yard, the suspect got out of his car, opened the fence, snatched the package, and left.
Pete White, a delivery driver for a big name company said, "We always get notices that people are following us, describe the color of the vehicle they're in, describe the people, saying be careful out there are people following you. Happens all the time, just ramping up this time."
More members of NYPD returning to work after recovering from coronavirus
The New York Police Department on Thursday said more than 4,000 uniformed officers — nearly 12% — called in sick. Meanwhile, some 2,890 cops have returned to the force after recovering from COVID-19. In total, there have been 4,693 members of the NYPD who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The NYPD death toll from coronavirus-related illness remains at 31.
Ruth's Chris Steak House will return $20 million small business loan
Ruth's Chris Steak House will return the $20 million loan it secured through the federal government's main relief program for small businesses battered by the coronavirus, the company said Thursday.
The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, was designed to infuse cash into small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. A loophole in the bill allowed large chains — including Ruth's Hospitality Group, which operates more than 100 steakhouses across the U.S. — to apply for loans for each of its subsidiaries, despite having more than 5,000 employees and $468 million in revenue last year.
Ruth's Chris joins other restaurant companies, including Shake Shack and Sweetgreen, in returning its multimillion dollar loan after facing backlash from the small business community. More than 260,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding that the pricey steak joint return the loans earmarked for small businesses.
Trump says social distancing guidelines "may" be extended into summer or later
President Trump says the administration's social distancing guidelines "may" extend into summer, or perhaps beyond that, as states shift gears and plan the reopening of their economies. But there is potentially good news for summer — research shows the virus' lifespan is shortened by sunlight, heat and humidity, one administration expert said during Thursday's Coronavirus Task Force briefing.
The death toll from COVID-19 in the U.S. is likely to hit 50,000 in a couple of days, and there is no indication the pace of the nation's losses — in terms of both lives and the economy — is about to slow significantly.
"We're winning this and we're gonna win it," Mr. Trump said as he opened up the briefing. "And we're gonna keep watching and we're gonna watch very closely for the invisible enemy."
Trump weighs in on McConnell's suggestion that states could go bankrupt
Asked about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Wednesday remark that he wouldthan receive more federal aid, Mr. Trump said, "I've spoken to Mitch about it," and he said he's working with senators who are on the other side of the issue.
"We're looking to do what's right for states," he added. But he also said that "some states have not done well for many years," and they "can't blame this horrible plague." He pointed to Illinois, which he said "had problems long before the virus came in," likely a reference to Illinois' ballooning debt problems. Even before the pandemic struck, the state had enormous unfunded public pension liabilities, exceeding $100 billion.
The president suggested that "it is interesting that the states that are in trouble happen to be blue," or run by Democrats. "They had a lot of problems long before the plague came," he said. But he also said that "it's probably going to be the next thing on the list," and promised that while he understands McConnell's perspective, "we're going to do the right thing for the country."
Doctors find COVID-19 patients with unexpected blood clots
At first, doctors found symptoms of COVID-19 that were similar to those of pneumonia. Then came reports of patients losing their sense of taste or smell.
But now, even more alarmingly, doctors are now finding unexpected blood clots.
Watch Dr. Jonathan LaPook's report below.
Latino communities struggle amid coronavirus outbreak: "They're crying. They're desperate."
Like African Americans, the nation's Latinos are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Latinos represent more than 27% of COVID-19 deaths in areas considered virus hotspots, although they account for 18% of the population. They're also more likely than other groups to not be able to work from home, adding to the health risk.
Chicago's Jose Gonzalez is a first-generation Mexican American, one of the nation's 60 million Latinos.
"My family has pushed me so far ahead that I can't just allow myself to sit there and do nothing," he told CBS News.
He used to work two jobs, but lost one in the COVID-19 shutdown. Now his life-line is cooking at a hotel housing COVID patients.
"We don't have the benefit of 'I should just stay home' ... and I feel like that's every Latino at this point right now," Gonzalez said.
Trump slams Georgia governor for plans to open state
President Trump again expressed his displeasure with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp over his decision to reopen his state during the daily Coronavirus Task Force Briefing.
"I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp," he said. "I wasn't at all happy."
"Spas, beauty parlors, tattoo parlors — no," Mr. Trump said, noting some of the businesses that will be open with social distancing limits Friday. "I want them to open and I want them to open as soon as possible... but I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp."
He said he told Kemp "'you're not on the guidelines,'" and he added "I want people to be safe." I don't want this thing to flare up." He noted that virus experts Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci were also not happy with the governor's plans.
"We'll see what happens," Mr. Trump added.
Trump says Boris Johnson sounds "incredible" after coronavirus fight
President Trump said he has spoken with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was battling COVID-19 and had been hospitalized in the intensive care unit. Johnson left the ICU in early April.
Mr. Trump said Johnson called him and sounded "incredible," adding that he had "tremendous energy, tremendous drive."
"He was so sharp and energetic," Mr. Trump added.
House approves $484 billion coronavirus relief package as unemployment soars
House lawmakers on Thursday voted to approve a $484 billion coronavirus relief package as new unemployment figures highlight the staggering toll the pandemic has taken on the U.S. job market. President Trump is now expected to sign the legislation, which lawmakers approved by a vote of 388-5.
The legislation, known as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, is the result of weeks of negotiations between congressional Democrats and the White House. The measure includes $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion to establish a national testing regime, $60 billion in disaster aid and $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses to help them retain workers and meet payroll. The PPP exhausted its initial $349 billion in funding last week.
The vote comes as new government data shows 4.4 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week, raising the total number of people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to about 26 million.
Roughly $60 billion in new funds going to the PPP will be specifically targeted to financial institutions serving rural, unbanked and minority-owned businesses, a key priority for Democrats. Minority-owned businesses have been particularly affected by the pandemic, which has exacerbated preexisting structural issues that make it difficult for minority business owners to gain access to capital.
Sunlight appears to have "powerful" effect on killing virus, DHS says
Acting Under Secretary of Science and Technology at DHS Bill Bryan said Thursday that emerging research has shown that solar light appears to have a "powerful" effect on killing the coronavirus.
The virus "dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight," Bryan told reporters at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing.
According to a slide shown at the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, the virus has a half life of 18 hours on a surface when it's 70-75 degrees, with 20% humidity and no sunlight. But when the humidity rises to 80% and sunlight increases, the virus' half life drops to two minutes.
Bryan talked about the existence on playground equipment as an example: In the sunlight, the virus would die very quickly, he said, although parts of the equipment in the shade would not be affected in the same way.
These studies may help guide governors in their decisions about what to open and when, Bryan added.
Bryan also said that bleach kills the virus in about five minutes, while isopropyl alcohol takes just 30 seconds.
Phunware, a data firm for Trump campaign, got millions in coronavirus small business help
A digital technology company that specializes in the mass collection of smartphone location data and is working for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign received millions from the federal coronavirus relief fund for small businesses.
The company, Phunware, which now has about 60 employees, was eligible for the low-interest loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which is aimed at businesses with less than 500 workers. There is no allegation of illegality associated with its loan.
But the size of the loan - $2.85 million - is nearly 14 times the current PPP average of $206,000. Meantime, hundreds of thousands of smaller businesses got nothing, because the nearly $350 billion loan program ran out of money in just two weeks. (Congress is allocating another $310 billion to the PPP loan fund this week.)
CBS News poll: Most Americans foresee a country forever changed after coronavirus
More than half of Americans think day-to-day life in the nation will be permanently changed as a result of the coronavirus. And even more so than last month, many are bracing for a long period before social activities can resume.
Fifty-four percent of Americans think daily life — the way people interact with each other and the way they work – will be permanently changed, while 46% think things will eventually return to normal.
People living in communities that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus are particularly likely to foresee a country forever changed: 62% of those who say their community has many cases of the coronavirus think life will be permanently changed after the virus is contained.
Prison housing Joe Exotic has the most inmate coronavirus cases of any federal prison
The Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, a prison for male inmates with medical or mental health needs, currently has more open coronavirus cases among inmates than any other federal prison in the country, the Bureau of Prisons said Thursday. FMC Fort Worth is where Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as "Joe Exotic" in the Netflix series "Tiger King," is currently incarcerated.
FMC Fort Worth currently has 132 open cases total between inmates and staff — 131 of which are inmates — and one death, according to the BOP. Federal Correctional Institution Elkton, in Ohio, has 100 open cases, and United States Penitentiary Lompoc in California has 97.
Across the entire federal system, 620 inmates and 357 staff members are currently positive for the virus, the BOP added. More than 300 inmates and 53 staff members have recovered, and 24 inmates have died.
The BOP also announced Thursday that they are ramping up testing of newly symptomatic and asymptomatic inmates by providing new testing resources through the use of Abbott ID NOW instruments.
"The deployment of these additional resources will be based on facility need to contain widespread transmission and the need for early, aggressive interventions required to slow transmission at facilities with a high number of at-risk inmates such as medical referral centers," the BOP said.
North Carolina extends stay-at-home order to May 8
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that the state's stay-at-home order is extended until May 8. The state reported 388 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, its second-highest single-day yet.
"After a thorough analysis of the details of testing, tracing, and trends, and having conversations with Trump Administration officials like Dr. Fauci, it's clear that we are on the right path but that our state is not ready to lift restrictions yet," Cooper tweeted.
"We need to slow the virus before we can ease restrictions, so today I'm extending the Stay At Home order until May 8," he wrote. "This includes continued closure of dine-in restaurants, bars & close-contact businesses like hair and nail salons, movie theaters & others in Executive Order 120."
North Carolina's Secretary of Health and Human Service, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said at a press conference with the governor Thursday that the state is deviating from the White House's guidance to achieve a decline in cases before beginning to re-open, and is instead aiming for "sustained leveling" of cases and hospitalizations.
"We believe a sustained leveling will also allow us to start to ease restrictions," Cohen said. "And the reason for that is because of all the hard work that North Carolina has done to slow the spread."
"We have not seen a surge of cases, and that's great. We have not seen a peak, we have not seen our health care system be overrun… so we're in a slightly different place," she said.
VPN use surges during the coronavirus lockdown, but so do security risks
Global demand for commercial virtual private networks is surging following work-from-home trends in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. According to new investigations from independent research and review firm Top10VPN, demand for VPNs increased by 44% over the second half of March and remain 22% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
With increased VPN demand comes increased security risk. While the field has recently seen some innovative privacy developments, the nature of current VPN technology makes it a prime target for exploitation. All of a user's data is essentially funneled to a single company, whose servers may be located anywhere, and accessed by anyone.
Malicious actors have long used VPNs as cheaply created vehicles for data harvesting and malware injection. Even seemingly innocuous VPNs can — via shoddy security — endanger users in countries where VPNs are outlawed. Insecure VPN apps are routinely spotted and removed from app marketplaces.
New York City mayor defends decision to hold July Fourth fireworks show
Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending his decision to continue the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks show, despite canceling other celebrations. "We're going to celebrate our nation's birthday, especially in the middle of this crisis," de Blasio said during Thursday's coronavirus briefing. "We're going to take that moment to appreciate what we're all doing together to fight this disease back, and to honor our nation."
The mayor announced the "show will go on" Wednesday, just days after canceling permits for all May and June events, including the 50th annual Pride March and the Puerto Rican Day and Salute to Israel parades.
"There's many other important celebrations and gatherings, but this one is truly universal and is something that we should not go without," he said Thursday.
Read more at CBS New York.
2 Texas prison employees die after testing positive for virus
Two longtime employees at two different prisons in Texas died this week after they tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Akbar Shabazz, 70, died Thursday morning at a Houston-area hospital after he fell ill and tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3, the department said. Officials said he joined the department as a volunteer and then as a Regional Area Muslim Chaplain in 1977.
On Tuesday, the department also announced the death of 52-year-old Jonathon Keith Goodman, an 11-year correctional officer at the Bill Clements Unit in Amarillo.
Officials said Goodman was found in his home on Friday, April 17, suffering from a stroke. He later tested positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital and was removed from life support Tuesday afternoon. Officials believe the virus led to his death.
When will live sports be back? NHL commissioner says it's a "1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle"
Millions of sports fans will tune into their first major event in six weeks, as the NFL draft kicks off Thursday night. For the first time, the draft will take place virtually, with Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing picks from his basement.
It comes as sports leagues around the world grapple with how to return after coronavirus cancellations.
"It's actually like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that doesn't have borders," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson.
Bettman is just one executive trying to steer his sport through an unknown landscape.
"If we can play in a small window without fans, we'll be prepared to do that. If we need to go to centralized locations with no fans and modify the schedule, we'll do that. We will be as agile and as adaptable as we can be," he said.
Bettman and fellow commissioners from both team and individual sports have had ongoing discussions with President Donald Trump about an inevitable return.
National Governors Association releases detailed roadmap to recovery
The National Governors Association has released a detailed report describing how states can begin to recover from the detrimental impact of COVID-19, a week after the White House released a far less detailed plan for states. One takeaway from the report is that states still lack the resources they need to reopen.
While the 38-page, 10-point roadmap relies on some of the White House and federal guidelines, the NGA's roadmap goes into much greater practical detail, focusing on the public health aspect of the pandemic more than specific business reopenings. The report observes that testing capacity in the U.S. remains "inadequate" to move forward, despite repeated assurances from the White House that the U.S. has enough testing for states that meet other criteria to begin to reopen.
The NGA is led by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a vocal Republican in a blue state. President Trump derided Hogan in a White House press briefing earlier this week after Hogan and his wife secured 500,000 tests from South Korea when Hogan deemed the number the state could acquire through the federal government and U.S. companies insufficient. Mr. Trump has often said the federal government will help states while emphasizing he believes it's the governors' responsibility to secure testing and other necessary equipment on their own.
Navy: 840 total crewmembers from U.S. warship test positive for virus
The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that all sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier off Guam dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, have now been tested for the coronavirus. A total of 840 sailors tested positive for the virus.
"As of today, 100% of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) crewmembers have been tested for COVID-19, with 840 total positive and 4,098 negative results (a small number of results are still pending)," the U.S. Navy said in a statement. "Of the total cases, 88 Sailors have recovered, and 4,234 Sailors have moved ashore."
One sailor assigned to the Roosevelt died last week due to complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Four other sailors are being treated at a naval hospital in Guam. None of the hospitalized sailors are in an intensive care unit, according to the Navy.
Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will perform flyovers to honor medical workers, Trump says
President Donald Trump said the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels will be conducting flyovers to express support for health care workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic throughout the country over the coming weeks. He made the announcement during his daily White House coronavirus briefing Wednesday.
"Operation America Strong was the idea of our great military men and women," he said. "The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels crews who wanted to show support to the American medical workers, who just like military members in a time of war are fiercely running forward the fight."
"It's gonna be great. I want to see those shows. I've seen them many times and I can't get enough of them," he added.
Up to half of European COVID-19 deaths were among nursing home residents, WHO says
The head of the World Health Organization's Europe office said up to half of coronavirus deaths across the region have been in nursing homes, calling it an "unimaginable tragedy." In a press briefing on Thursday, WHO Europe director Dr. Hans Kluge said a "deeply concerning picture" was emerging of the impact of COVID-19 on long-term homes for the elderly, where care has "often been notoriously neglected."
Kluge said health workers in such facilities were often overworked and underpaid and called for them to be given more protective gear and support, describing them as the "unsung heroes" of the pandemic.
Kluge said that while the coronavirus outbreaks in some European countries appear to be stabilizing or decreasing, the pandemic was far from over.
New York to investigate nursing homes
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state's attorney general will launch an investigation into nursing homes to make sure they are following all state regulations.
"Mother Nature brought a virus. And the virus attacks… old people. Nothing went wrong. Nobody's to blame for the creation of the situation, but they have to deal with the situation," Cuomo said, CBS New York reported.
Cuomo said that nursing homes need to follow state rules: If they can't provide adequate care or arrange for the patient to be transferred, they are required to contact the state, which will make the arrangement.
"This state has very strict guidelines on privately run facilities. They get paid to take care of a resident. That resident, that patient must have a state-directed level of care. If they cannot provide that they can't have the resident in their facility, period. Those are the rules," he said.
'We're going to undertake an investigation of nursing homes now to make sure they're following the rules, it's going to be a joint Department of Health and attorney general investigation."
New York has paid $2.2 billion in unemployment insurance
State officials said Thursday that 1.4 million New Yorkers are collecting unemployment insurance, totaling $2.2 billion that the state has already paid to workers as a result of the coronavirus.
Stay-at-home orders have put millions of Americans out of work, forcing them to apply for unemployment insurance. The Great Depression-levels of unemployment have inundated state offices, causing backlogs across the country.
According to Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York has paid out far more than any other state.
"To give you a reference point, California has done $975 million, Texas $400 million, Florida $143 million, Pennsylvania $600 million," she said at the governor's daily press briefing Thursday.
Despite New York's unprecedented pay-out, residents are still reporting difficulty while trying to apply for and collect unemployment.
DeRosa said the majority of the backlog is due to the PUA, the CAREs Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. PUA is intended to help workers not traditionally covered by unemployment, such as those who are self-employed, as well as gig and contract workers.
The PUA was not put into effect until March 27, according to DeRosa, putting those workers at a disadvantage. "The feds then put guidance out that said you had to apply for unemployment insurance, get rejected, and then apply for pandemic unemployment insurance," she said. "Which was a complete disaster."
According to DeRosa, New York has now streamlined the process so those workers only have to apply for unemployment insurance one time, and has "put 3,000 people on this issue."
Cuomo said "the number of people who have gotten assistance is mind-boggling," but added that "none of that matters." "For a person there's only one check that matters, and that's their check, and I get that," he said.
Oklahoma plans to start reopening its economy on Friday
Oklahoma's governor plans to start to reopening parts of the state's economy this week, even after a spike in new coronavirus cases. Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, outlined his plan Wednesday to begin reopening the state in three phases.
The first steps come Friday, when personal care businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons and pet groomers can reopen only for appointments. State parks and outdoor recreation areas will also open. Gyms, restaurants, theaters, sports venues and places of worship can reopen om May 1.
Stitt said all businesses must maintain social distancing and sanitation protocols.
Sweetgreen returns $10 million stimulus loan
Salad chain Sweetgreen announced this week it will return a $10 million stimulus loan it received.
"At the end of last week, we were approved for a $10M loan through the program. That same day, we learned that the money had run out and so many small businesses and friends in the industry who needed it most did not receive any funds," co-founders Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru wrote in a Medium post Wednesday. "Knowing that, we quickly made the decision to return the loan."
The decision came just days after burger chain Shake Shack announced that it, too, will be returning $10 million.
"We're fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not. Until every restaurant that needs it has had the same opportunity to receive assistance, we're returning ours," the company said in a statement.
Ryanair CEO says his planes won't fly if middle seats must be kept empty for "idiotic" social-distancing rules
If the Irish government asks airlines to leave middle seats on planes empty to enable social distancing, one airline CEO is vowing to make them pay. Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, said if the rule is implemented, the government should pay for the empty seats — or his planes will not fly.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the budget airline executive explained plans for Ryanair to resume 80% of flights by September as long as flying in Europe could resume in July. O'Leary said the airline intends to gradually increase the number of flights, and then reduce them again in the less busy winter season.
But, he said, these plans could be foiled if there were "some entirely ineffective social distancing measures like having middle seats empty because if middle seats are empty we're not returning to flying at all."
Study shows 13.9% of people tested in New York have antibodies, Cuomo says
New York's first survey of coronavirus antibodies showed that 13.9% of those tested had antibodies in their system, meaning they have contracted and recovered from the virus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That suggests that 2.7 million people have been infected statewide.
The survey was taken from a sample size of about 3,000 people found outside their homes, shopping at essential businesses, such as grocery stores, which remain open. Results show antibodies in 12% of women and 15.9% of men, but a disproportionate rate of antibodies in black and Latino New Yorkers.
Cuomo said the spread likely reflects the regional breakdown of the state. According to Cuomo, if the results are proven true, and the infection rate in New York is about 14%, the death rate from coronavirus may be lower than some estimates.
The governor emphasized that the survey provided only preliminary data, in order to better understand the state's baseline infection rate.
Mom who contracted COVID-19 before her due date died without getting to hold her baby
Wogene Debele was nine months pregnant with her fourth child when she contracted COVID-19 and was admitted to the hospital. Doctors were able to deliver her baby boy three weeks ago, but because of the virus, Debele had to be separated from him immediately.
This week, she lost her battle with the coronavirus before ever getting the chance to hold her newborn baby.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kate Stewart of Takoma Park, Maryland, where Debele was a prominent member of the Ethiopian community, began the city's virtual council meeting with a moment of silence for the beloved local mother and her grieving family.
Las Vegas mayor offers up city as "control group" for reopening
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman wants the city to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, offering up Vegas as a "control group" to measure the effects of lifting restrictions. In a lengthy interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the independent mayor's remarks drew criticism from other Nevada officials.
On Wednesday, as some states began to plan on easing COVID-19 lockdowns, Goodman questioned the effectiveness of social distancing measures and said that Vegas could serve as a "placebo" of sorts.
"We offered to be a control group," she said. "I offered to be a control group and I was told by our statistician you can't do that because people from all parts of southern Nevada come in to work in the city and I said, Oh, that's too bad because I know when you have a disease, you have a placebo that gets the water and the sugar and then you get those that actually get the shot."
Large-scale trial of potential vaccine kicks off at Oxford
A number of human trials are underway in the global scramble for a COVID-19 vaccine. But it's scientists from England's University of Oxford who appear most confident that they're onto a cure.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford team behind the potential vaccine being developed in partnership with the Jenner Institute, said it has an "80% chance" of success and could be available for wide use by the public as soon as September.
Human trials of the vaccine began Thursday in Oxford. It will be administered to 510 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55.
Thousands of "Dreamers" are health care workers — but fear they could face deportation
Lorena Espinoza de Piña is one of America's front-line health care workers who are risking their lives and the health of their families in the fight against the coronavirus. She is also a "Dreamer," brought to the U.S. as a child by undocumented immigrant parents, whose future remains uncertain.
Across the U.S., about 27,000 health care workers like her are in legal limbo as they anxiously await a decision by the Supreme Court on the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If the court sides with the Trump administration, they could be deported.
Espinoza de Piña, 26, is registered nurse who has been working on the neuro floor of SSM Health in the St. Louis, Missouri, area for three years. She mainly works with stroke and seizure patients, but since the coronavirus outbreak began she has been rotating on the isolation floor tending to COVID-19 patients.
Her health isn't her only worry. The Supreme Court is expected to decide sometime in the next few weeks — by June at the latest — whether to end the DACA program, created by the Obama administration in 2012, which allows undocumented "Dreamers" like her to study and work without the constant fear of having immigration officers turning up at their doors.
The Trump administration is set on ending the program, and could begin deporting DACA recipients if the court clears the way.
Elizabeth Warren's oldest brother dies from COVID-19
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said her oldest brother, Don Reed, died of coronavirus on Tuesday. He was 86 years old.
Warren called Reed "charming and funny" and "a natural leader." She said he was an Air Force veteran who spent his career in the military.
Coronavirus "shouldn't be a death sentence" for inmates, film producer says
Film producer Scott Budnick said that in the 15 years he's volunteered inside prisons, he's consistently seen illness like the flu "spread like wildfire," and that more needs to be done to mobilize early releases during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I believe in redemption and the power of transformation for a lot of people that have done some serious things," said Budnick. "I don't think this should be a death sentence for anybody. We need to do smart things to reduce the prison population in a way that doesn't compromise public safety."
Budnick said he frequently receives calls from inmates he has known for years through volunteering. "They are terrified not just for themselves, but really for their families, for their friends and for their communities," he said.
Budnick is best known for producing films like "The Hangover" and "Old School." He took a break from the industry to focus on criminal justice reform. In 2013, he founded the nonprofit the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, which helps provide opportunities for people who spent time in prison. Five years later, he launched the production company, One Community, which tackles social-impact films.
EU: Malaria drugs used for coronavirus could cause side effects
The European Union's medicines regulator warned countries on Thursday that malaria drugs being used experimentally to treat the coronavirus have potentially serious side effects, including seizures and heart problems. The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that chloroquine and— two medicines embraced by President Trump and others as a potential COVID-19 treatment — are known to cause heart rhythm problems, especially if combined with other drugs.
There is currently no licensed treatment for COVID-19 and dozens of trials are underway worldwide.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have long been used to treat malaria and anti-inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to the heart problems, the two drugs can also cause side effects including liver and kidney damage, seizures, and result in low blood sugar.
"Clinical data are still very limited and inconclusive, and the beneficial effects of these medicines in COVID-19 have not been demonstrated," the EMA said. It noted that several clinical trials testing the drugs' effectiveness against the coronavirus are using higher than recommended doses, which it said could increase the risk of side effects including abnormal electric activity that could disrupt the heart rhythm.
Earlier this month, part of a study in Brazil was suspended after doctors found a quarter of patients taking chloroquine developed irregular heart rhythms after taking a higher dose.
A surge of supplies and staff will be sent to nursing homes in NYC, mayor says
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that a surge of supplies and staff will be sent to nursing homes around the city this week, CBS New York reports.
"Our city's nursing homes are home to some of those most at risk for COVID-19," the mayor said in a statement. "They need our support more than ever, which is why we are stepping in and sending more staff and support to assist those who protect and care for our most vulnerable."
De Blasio said the city already sends almost 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment, including N95 and surgical masks, and gowns and gloves — to 169 facilities every week. Weekly shipments will now increase by at least 50%.
The mayor also said the city has sent 210 clinical staff volunteers to 40 nursing homes and will double that amount going forward.
FDNY firefighter's 5-month-old daughter has died from coronavirus
A New York City firefighter's 5-month-old daughter has died due to coronavirus complications, according to the president of the FDNY Hispanic Society.
Jay-Natalie La Santa was the daughter of the FDNY Hispanic Society's newest member, Jerel La Santa, and his wife, Lindsey La Santa, Jose A Prosper, wrote in an Instagram post.
"One of the worst experiences as a parent is to go through the loss of a child," Prosper wrote. "Called 'Warrior princess' a title given to her by her Father Jerel, for her fighting spirit against the horrible covid-19 Virus."
In a GoFundMe created for the parents, a family member said Jay-Natalie La Santa "had mommy and daddy wrapped around her little finger and knew it." She was born on November 27, 2019 and died on April 20, the GoFundMe page creator, Danielle La Santa, wrote.
70% of residents at Chicago nursing home test positive for COVID-19
A total of 111 residents at the Symphony of South Shore nursing home in Chicago have tested positive for COVID-19, out of 158 altogether, CBS Chicago reports. Ten residents have died.
A representative of the facility said an aggressive isolation procedure is currently in place.
Last week, CBS Chicago reported on another nursing home with a deadly COVID-19 outbreak. According to the station, 24 residents and two staffers died at the Symphony Of Joliet, located near Chicago.
Symphony has developed its own COVID-19 response team to fight the outbreak, according to the station.
House will vote today on $484 billion coronavirus relief package
House lawmakers will meet on Thursday to vote on a $484 billion interim coronavirus relief package. The legislation, known as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, is the product of weeks of negotiations between congressional Democrats and the White House.
The measure includes $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for a national testing regime, and $60 billion in disaster aid. It also includes $310 billion for the, which provides small businesses loans to help them keep workers and meet payroll.
President Trump is expected to sign the legislation once it is approved. The measure passed Tuesday in the Senate.
ER doctor shares what he learned at a New York hospital
A New Hampshire emergency room doctor says simple technology could save lives in the fight against the coronavirus. Dr. Richard Levitan, who has three decades of experience, volunteered at Bellevue Hospital in New York City for 10 days last month.
He shared what he learned in a New York Times op-ed and told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King that people could potentially detect coronavirus earlier by checking their oxygen levels at home with pulse oximeters.
Georgia governor stands by decision to ease restrictions after Trump says he "disagreed"
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is standing by his decision to begin allowing some businesses in the state that were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic to reopen as soon as Friday, after President Trump said hewith the move.
Kemp, a Republican, said in a series of tweets Wednesday that he discussed his state's plans to ease restrictions on business operations with Mr. Trump, and believes business owners who decide to open their doors will adhere to state guidelines designed to protect employees and customers.
"Our next measured step is driven by data and guided by state public health officials. We will continue with this approach to protect the lives — and livelihoods — of all Georgians," Kemp said on Twitter..
4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week
About 4.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, raising the total number of workers who have lost their jobs since the coronavirus outbreak to more than 26 million. The fallout has left roughly 1 in 6 workers without a job, a number that dwarfs the Great Recession's impact on the U.S. labor market.
The number of people filing for unemployment for the week of April 18 reflects a decline of 810,000 from the previous week, the Department of Labor said Thursday. Unemployment claims, reported weekly, are a barometer of the job market because they indicate how many workers have lost their jobs.
Many economists say the nation's unemployment rate is around 15% and could eventually approach 20%. The jobless rate peaked at about 25% during the Great Depression..
"There will be coronavirus in the fall," Fauci says after Trump claims virus could disappear
President Trump on Wednesday said the coronavirus "may not come back at all," a claim that is at odds with his own public health experts, who have told the country to be prepared for another wave of the virus in the fall and winter.
And if it does come back, Mr. Trump claimed, it "will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain." The president made the remarks during the Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House on Wednesday.
The president's public health advisers have said otherwise. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a March briefing that he's always indicated that the virus "very well might be" a seasonal, cyclical thing, and the country should be ready. He repeated that belief Wednesday.
"There will be coronavirus in the fall," Fauci said on Wednesday..
Japanese city to publicly shame "pachinko" gambling halls that refuse to close amid COVID-19 crisis
Japan's homegrown pachinko halls would not conjure up "essential business" for most people. Chock full of noise, cigarette fumes, flashing screens and masses of dazed players seated at game machines, the parlors are a form of grey-zone legalized gambling, named for the onomatopoiac sound of the hurtling steel balls in the machines.
The industry is long past its peak, but there are still more than 10,000 pachinko halls across the country netting about $200 billion per year. That's many times what gambling meccas Las Vegas and Macau rake in, combined.
Given the stakes and the highly addictive nature of pachinko, it's no wonder many parlors have ignored government requests to close down over coronavirus. CBS News partner network TBS TV, showing video of about 100 customers lined up waiting for opening time at a downtown Tokyo location, estimated that about a third of pachinko halls in the capital are still open.
At a parlor in Osaka, 600 gathered before 10 a.m. one recent morning. Stories abound of out-of-town cars filling the parking lots of parlors in adjoining prefectures, or states, and potentially carrying the virus with them.
The Osaka prefectural government said pachinko parlors were the number-one source of complaints about businesses refusing to comply with urgent requests for non-essential businesses to close.
So authorities have vowed a crackdown. But, unable to order closures under Japan's constitution, Osaka authorities say they'll now publicly name and shame pachinko parlors for staying open. Tokyo has suggested it will do the same.
But recalcitrant players and at least one expert in gambling addiction say the intended punitive action could backfire — merely advertising which halls are still open for business.
California governor allows hospitals to resume elective surgeries in 1st slight easing of lockdown
California Gov. Gavin Newsom relaxed his stay-at-home order on Wednesday to let hospitals resume elective surgeries, a move that will send many thousands of idled health care employees back to work as the state takes a cautious first step toward restarting the world's fifth-largest economy.
While only a narrow opening, it was a significant milestone because just three weeks earlier Newsom had the same hospitals preparing for a worst-case scenario that could see them overwhelmed to the point that tens of thousands of additional beds would be needed to handle the overflow of patients.
Cases continue to grow in California. But it's at a manageable pace as the state's 40 million residents live under a stay-at-home order that has closed schools, beaches, parks and most businesses while canceling things like concerts and sporting events to prevent the spread of the disease.
Newsom's order took effect immediately and left it up to local governments and individual hospitals to determine how and how soon to resume elective surgeries for heart and cancer patients, among others.
Americans prioritize staying home and majority worry restrictions will lift too fast
Health concerns still take precedence over economic concerns by a wide margin for Americans in their views on when to re-open the economy — both in what they want for the nation, and in what they'd do themselves. Many say they need to be confident the outbreak is over before returning to public places, and big majorities of all partisans agree the stay-at-home orders are effective.
The health concerns may be so salient that even for those whose finances have been impacted and even for those concerned about job loss, most of them still worry the country will open up too fast.
Sixty-three percent of Americans are more worried about restrictions lifting too fast and worsening the outbreak —than worry about lifting restrictions too slowly and worsening the economy.
Bipartisan support for financial aid for ailing local news outlets amid pandemic
Charges of "fake news" and "enemy of the people" may still emanate from the White House, but at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, there's a groundswell of support for a news industry that now finds itself grappling with drastic cuts spurred by a loss in advertising revenue thanks to the COVID-19 crisis.
As newsrooms across the country undergo mass furloughs, layoffs and pay reductions, lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both parties are trying to ensure that news organizations large and small, local and national, have access to federal assistance.
"Just like people say, 'I hate Congress but I love my congressman,' in a similar way, politicians will say, 'I hate the media' but they also very much care about the health and well-being of their local news publisher, because they know the role it plays in the community and the need to get quality and reliable information to the public," David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, which represents more than 2,000 news organizations in the U.S., told CBS News..
Almost 50 crew on Italian cruise ship docked in Japan have COVID-19, amid fears of spread onto land
Authorities in the southwest Japanese city of Nagasaki were continuing to test crew members aboard the Italian cruise ship Costa Atlantica on Thursday. So far 48 of the 623 crew members on the ship have tested positive for COVID-19.
All of the crew, except a Japanese translator, are foreign nationals, hailing from about 30 countries. The 86,000-ton Costa Atlantica has no passengers aboard and has been docked in Nagasaki since January 29. It was there for repairs when the first crewman tested positive on Tuesday.
While the company that owns the vessel originally said crew members had been confined to the dry dock area around their ship, immigration records have shown dozens disembarked over the last month, and an additional 40 new workers joined the vessel to start their tours of duty.
Japan's Self-Defense Forces have been called in to help with testing. The infection cluster is the second such shipboard eruption of cases since 712 passengers and crew were infected two months ago, aboard thecruise ship, in Yokohama.
As toll nears 47,000, U.S. COVID-19 death rate still climbing fast
The U.S. has recorded at least 46,785 deaths from the new coronavirus as of Thursday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Each of the past four days has seen more than 1,600 deaths added to that tally. While the most dramatic outbreak, in the New York City region where more than 15,000 have died, has been slowed, there are many states where the number of new cases is still climbing at or near 10% daily.
At the current rate, which shows no sign of changing significantly yet, the U.S. death toll will likely hit 50,000 by Friday evening or Saturday morning.
Chinese journalist reappears almost 2 months after being seized amid online reporting from Wuhan
A former state- media news anchor-turned-citizen journalist has reappeared in China after going missing for nearly two months. The 25-year old had posted videos from Wuhan's front lines during the coronavirus outbreak, interviewing residents and filming funeral homes and college campuses.
Re-emerging into public view for the first time since February 26, Chinese journalist Li Zehua said he was detained by police and quarantined because he had visited "sensitive epidemic areas."
The last videos he had posted online showed him being chased by a white SUV in Wuhan, then a nearly four-hour YouTube Live stream of himself locked in his apartment, eventually being taken away by people identifying themselves as police.
In a new video posted Wednesday, Li said he was treated well, given three meals each day, was able to watch Chinese news and that the police "really cared about me."
Two other prominent citizen journalists are still missing: Lawyer Chen Qiushi, who interviewed people at Wuhan hospitals during the height of the city's epidemic, and Wuhan native Fang Bin, whose videos of corpses piled up at a Wuhan hospital went viral.
Mitch McConnell says he'd rather let states declare bankruptcy than receive more federal aid
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he would rather let state governments declare bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic than receive more federal funding. He suggested Republicans should oppose additional aid for state and local governments in future coronavirus relief bills.
State governments cannot declare bankruptcy, but radio host Hugh Hewitt asked McConnell in an interview Wednesday if "we need to invent" a bankruptcy code so that states facing financial fallout from the pandemic "can discharge some of these liabilities that were put in place by previous governors."
"I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route," McConnell replied. "It saves some cities. And there's no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don't have to do that. That's not something I'm going to be in favor of.".
Spain's death toll tops 22,000, third highest in the world behind U.S. and Italy
Spain said Thursday 440 people died in the past 24 hours from the new coronavirus, a slight increase for the third day running, bringing the overall death toll to 22,157.
The country has suffered the third-highest number of deaths in the world from the pandemic after the United States and Italy, with infections now more than 213,000 cases, health ministry figures showed.
Trump targets immigrant visas he's long sought to limit in new coronavirus proclamation
President Trump on Wednesday signed a proclamation to temporarily suspend certain visas for foreigners seeking to move permanently to the U.S., decreeing that the admission of new immigrants would hurt American workers already struggling in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 60-day restriction, which will take effect Thursday night, applies to people overseas seeking to become U.S. permanent residents through petitions filed by their family members or employers in the U.S. The order also pauses the diversity visa lottery, a frequent target of Mr. Trump's ire. Since it restricts family-based immigration, the main way people move permanently to the U.S., the proclamation is expected to block the entry of tens of thousands of people, according to experts. Read more .
New model shows most states should not reopen businesses until end of May
Researchers say most of the U.S. should keep stay-at-home orders until the end of May, later than previously suggested. This comes as protests to reopen the country continue to grow nationwide.
Trump says he doesn't know vaccine expert who says he was removed after questioning hydroxychloroquine
President Trump said Wednesday that he has no knowledge of Dr. Rick Bright, the Health and Human Services vaccine expert who said he was removed from his post because he insisted on an aggressive vetting of the use of drugs the administration, including President Trump, touted as potential "game changers" in the treatment of COVID-19.
Asked about Bright at the task force briefing, the president replied, "I've never heard of him."
"You just mentioned a name. I've never heard of him," Mr. Trump told the reporter. "When did this happen?"
The president shrugged and said, "Guy says he was pushed out of a job — maybe he was, maybe he wasn't ... I don't know who he is."
Atlanta mayor says Georgia governor's reopening of state will be "deadly"
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Wednesday expressed her disagreement with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's decision to re-open the state, claiming it will be "deadly" for many people in her community.
"It concerns me deeply that we are still seeing an upward trend in our state and we are rushing to reopen businesses," she said on CBSN.
"What I've said is I hope the governor is right and I'm wrong because if he's wrong more people will die," Bottoms added..