COVID-19 Daily Update: April 3, 2020

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser lamented rising unemployment in America due to the coronavirus

Larry Kudlow says government checks are on their way and predicted the economy would rebound quickly. He says COVID-19 and stimulus efforts only interrupted what was a strong U.S. economic boom.

Kudlow spoke after the government reported that the U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% in March from a 50-year low of 3.5%. The job loss of 701,000 was the worst since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009 and foreshadows what’s to come.

“Those numbers and those hardships are going to get worse before they get better,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House.

Earlier on “Fox News Channel,” Kudlow predicted that upcoming economic numbers will be equally negative.

Kudlow said tax rebate checks part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law March 27 will likely arrive in a couple weeks.

Cuomo orders shift in ventilators to overwhelmed hospitals

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will order ventilators be redeployed to overwhelmed hospitals from other places in the state amid an alarming increase in COVID-19-related deaths. 

New York state tallied its biggest daily jump yet in deaths- up 562 to 2,935. Almost 15,000 people were hospitalized. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and other places around the country.

Three members of California law enforcement have died of the coronavirus

The Riverside County sheriff’s office says Friday that Deputy David Werksman died the day before. Riverside Deputy Terrell Young also died of the virus on Thursday. In Santa Rosa, police Detective Marylou Armer died Tuesday and was the first police officer or deputy to succumb to the virus in the state.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel nationwide have tested positive for the virus.

Italy’s increase both in new cases of COVID-19 and deaths of infected patients is similar to the previous day’s increase

Epidemiologists and other health experts have described for several days now a kind of plateauing in the numbers, welcome news compared to the steep increases that alarmed the world earlier in Italy’s outbreak.

The general leveling off of the daily increases in new cases has bolstered cautious assessments that Italy’s national lockdown, now in its fourth week, is bearing fruit in containing the new coronavirus.

Civil Protection agency chief Angelo Borrelli announced Friday that the nation’s death toll stood at 14,681. Total cases number nearly 120,000. Growing seemingly relentlessly was the list of dead doctors caring for COVID-19 patients, with the toll reported to be at 77.

A senior U.S. general says the military has now flown 3.5 million swabs used to test for the coronavirus from Italy to Memphis, Tennessee

Lt. Gen. Jon Thomas is deputy commander of the U.S. military’s Air Mobility Command. He says a shipment arrived Thursday night and another one is scheduled to arrive Friday with 500,000 more swabs for national distribution.

He says there will be another shipment next week.

Thomas also says the military is preparing for the possibility that it will be needed to transport infected patients. He says there have been no requests for transport yet.

Medical professionals from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine are training medics at Joint Base Charleston on the use of an isolation system that can be used on aircraft to transport infected patients.

The system is a containment unit that would protect aircrew and other medical personnel while also allowing them to provide care during the flight.

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin announces coronavirus diagnosis after experiencing symptoms a day earlier

“I am OKAY,” Baldwin said in an Instagram post announcing her diagnosis. “It came on suddenly yesterday afternoon. Chills, aches, fever.”

Baldwin became the second CNN anchor to test positive for the virus. Chris Cuomo tested positive earlier in the week.

Baldwin, who has been broadcasting from CNN’s offices in New York City, said she had been following all the proper precautions. She explained that she has been social distancing and “doing ALL the things we’re being told to do.” “Still — it got me,” she said, noting she is healthy with no underlying conditions.

Despite the diagnosis, Baldwin said she counted herself as “one of the lucky ones” and that she looked forward to being back on television “real soon.”

“And shout out to the doctors and nurses who are doing the real work right now,” Baldwin concluded in her Instagram note, adding that she was sending love to them.

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic transfers to hospital after fellow inmates test positive for COVID-19 

 Joseph Maldonado-Passage, AKA Joe Exotic from “Tiger King”, has been transferred to a prison medical center in Fort Worth.

According to DFW-TV, Maldonado-Passage is being held at Fort Worth FMC, a medical center operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Maldonado-Passage, 57, is in quarantine there after multiple fellow inmates at the jail where he was being held tested positive for the coronavirus.

He is currently serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted in a murder-for-hire plot. Maldonado-Passage had attempted to hire someone to kill Carole Basking, a prominent animal rights activist and a centerpiece of the Netflix viral documentary “Tiger King.”

Google to release your location data to help fight coronavirus pandemic

Google  is publicly releasing the data it’s already collecting about people’s movements during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it plans to publish a series of “Community Mobility Reports” to show the types of places people are visiting across 131 countries and regions. The first report was published on Friday.

Google said in a blog post it hopes tracking movement trends over time and by geography could help shape and inform governments’ and public health officials’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The reports, which contain data from two to three days earlier, intend to spot trends in how people are behaving and responding to social distancing. Broken down by country and then by region, the reports will show if people are headed to retail and grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, workplaces and more. It’ll also show how busy these places were before the pandemic.

Jeff Bezos is donating $100 million to American food banks

Jeff Bezos is donating $100 million to US food banks to help them feed a growing number of out-of-work Americans who are losing their jobs during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Amazon CEO donated to Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit with more than 200 food banks across the United States.

Bezos posted to Instagram a photo of a food bank, captioning it, “Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately Covid-19 is amplifying that stress.” He noted that restaurants are closed, and many churches that provide free meals are closed too, because of social distancing mandates.

“This donation, the largest single gift in our history, will enable us to provide more food to millions of our neighbors facing hardship during this crisis,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, in a statement.

Corona beer stops production

Production of Corona beer is being temporarily suspended in Mexico because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Grupo Modelo, the company that makes the beer, posted the announcement on Twitter, stating that it’s halting production and marketing of its beer because the Mexican government has shuttered non-essential businesses. The Anheuser-Busch Inbev-owned company also makes Modelo and Pacifico beers.

This week, the Mexican government announced the suspension of non-essential activities in the public and private sectors until April 30 in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The country has more than 1,500 cases and 50 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Grupo Modelo is ready to enact a plan to “guarantee the supply of beer” if the Mexican government decides to include breweries as essential, according to a statement.

No more self-serve soda and hot dog rollers: Coronavirus upends convenience stores

7-Eleven, Kwik Trip and Kum & Go and others have eliminated mini-mart staples such as roller grills, nacho and chili cheese machines, soup bars and self-serve coffee.

In response to the outbreak, convenience stores are rapidly pivoting their businesses.

They are trying to become fill-in stops when shoppers find their local grocery store or big-box retailer has run out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer or water, experts say. This approach is helping chains blunt the impact of declining gas and food service sales.

More than half of chains say they are adding more cleaning and toiletry items to stores, according to a survey by the trade group. Many companies are also stepping up their ready-to-heat meals.

Virus deaths, unemployment accelerating across Europe, US

Coronavirus deaths are mounting with alarming speed in Spain, Italy and New York, the most lethal hot spot in the United States. Also growing is the pandemic’s economic toll, with 10 million Americans thrown out of work in just two weeks in the swiftest, most stunning collapse the U.S. job market has witnessed. In New York City, which has seen 1,500 virus deaths, one funeral home in a hard-hit neighborhood had 185 bodies stacked up – more than triple normal capacity. Worldwide the number of reported infections reached another gloomy milestone – 1 million, with more than 53,000 deaths.

NYC residents should cover face when in public, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio asked New Yorkers to wear a face covering when they go outside and will be near other people. He cited research showing asymptomatic people could be spreading the virus without realizing it. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Thursday that the state’s supply of ventilators could be exhausted in six days if the number of people becoming critically ill with the coronavirus maintains its rate. The number of New Yorkers killed by the virus soared again to over 2,300. In some instances, veterinarians are giving up their ventilators to help humans.

Jobs report Friday is expected to end record hiring streak

After a record 113 straight months of hiring, the government’s monthly jobs report Friday is expected to show that the American jobs machine came to a sudden halt in March as a result of the coronavirus. Economists have forecast that the government will say employers shed about 150,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate rose from a half-century low of 3.5%.  But the jobs figure will vastly understate the magnitude of last month’s losses because the government surveyed employers before the heaviest layoffs struck in the past two weeks. Nearly 10 million Americans have since applied for unemployment benefits.

Memo: Some in US may not get stimulus checks until August

The federal government expects to begin making payments to millions of Americans under the new stimulus law in mid-April, but some people without direct deposit information may not get checks until mid-August or later. That’s according to a memo obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The document from the House Ways and Means Committee says the IRS will make about 60 million payments to Americans through direct deposit in mid-April, likely the week of April 13. The IRS has direct deposit information for these individuals from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Paper checks will be issued, starting May 4, but could take up to 20 weeks

Chinese struggle to return to work as virus controls ease

Millions of Chinese workers are streaming back to factories, shops and offices but many still face anti-coronavirus controls that add to their financial losses and aggravation. In Wuhan, the city where the pandemic started in December, police require a health check and documents from employers for returning workers. Chinese leaders have eased travel controls to revive the world’s second-largest economy but they have ordered local authorities to prevent a new spike in infections as businesses reopen.

Ships with coronavirus patients dock in Florida

A cruise ship that had at least two passengers die of coronavirus and others sickened while barred from South American ports has finally docked in Florida. The Zaandam and a sister ship sent to help it, the Rotterdam, were given permission to unload passengers at Port Everglades on Thursday, after days of negotiations with officials who feared it would divert resources from a region with a spike in virus cases. The agreement was reached Thursday by local, state and federal officials and Carnival Corp., which owns the Zaandam and the Rotterdam.

The summer movie season is pretty much canceled

The summer movie season is done before it even got started – because of the global COVID-19 outbreak. One of the last few blockbusters due for release after school lets out is now off the summer schedule. Paramount Pictures says “Top Gun Maverick” has been pushed back to Christmas Eve. It had been set to come out June 24. “Top Gun” joins big movies like “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Black Widow,” “Morbius” and “In the Heights” in being delayed or removed from the summer schedule because of the pandemic.

Cuomo Brothers steal the show 

There were the Marx Brothers and the Smothers Brothers. Now the coronavirus pandemic has created a duo that blends comedy and politics. The Cuomo Brothers have become must-see TV for those keeping up with COVID-19 news. Andrew Cuomo is the governor of New York State. And between calling for more aid in fighting the health care, he’s been bantering with his younger brother, Chris Cuomo, who hosts “Prime Time” on CNN. The brothers have made audiences laugh with their back-and-forth jabs – and made viewers feel warm and fuzzy with their frequent expressions of love and respect. Chris Cuomo has tested positive for COVID-19 and the governor has had him appear at his briefings – over a video stream – to chat and check on his health.

Dr. Anthony Fauci gets a bobblehead

He’s the nation’s top infectious disease specialist. And he’s seen as a calming figure in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Now, like many other heroes, Dr. Anthony Fauci is getting the bobblehead treatment. The nodding figurine was done by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee. It features Dr. Fauci in a suit and making a motion indicating how the nation needs to “flatten the curve” when it comes to the spread of the virus. It isn’t the only star treatment Fauci has gotten lately. His face appears on socks. And a pastry shop in New York State is selling doughnuts with his face on them.

What You Can Do to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy

  • Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

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