At the close of another week the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus continues to take a heavy toll on people around the world. There are now over 255,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and the confirmed death toll has now exceeded 10,000.
If there’s any encouraging news, yesterday China reported no locally transmitted cases for the first time since the outbreak began in Wuhan back in December 2019, which highlights the importance of practicing social distancing to flatten the curve of the virus to prevent health care systems from becoming overwhelmed. And the system, sadly, is becoming overwhelmed in Italy – which surpassed China in deaths (3,248), despite having almost half the confirmed cases. Italy has reached such a dire point, that nurses report that they’ve stopped counting the dead.
The virus continues to devastate Spain – which now has over 20,000 confirmed cases and 1,041 deaths. The ministry of Spain’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said its “very likely that the figures underestimated the overall number” of people with the virus, saying the testing laboratories were “overwhelmed”, which could skew the numbers.
Germany, although they have a high number of cases (17,776) have a surprisingly low death rate (48). Scientists are struggling to understand why the German mortality rate is so low, and caution that it may simply be a case of Germany being at an earlier stage of the pandemic, and that numbers will soon catch up.
America’s COVID-19 trajectory is trending toward Italy if Americans neglect to heed the advice about social distancing protocals. As this article goes to publish, the U.S. totals sit at 14,439 confirmed cases with 218 confirmed dead. New York continues to lead the nation in confirmed cases (now 7,102) while Washington remains the state with the highest number of deaths (74). There are now 38 confirmed deaths in NY and 1,377 cases in Washington. The list of states with greater than 100 cases has expanded and includes: California (1,067); New Jersey (742); Florida (520); Illinois (423); Michigan (336); Massachusetts (328); Texas (327); Georgia (288); Colorado (277); Pennsylvania (214); Wisconsin (161); Connecticut (159); Tennessee (155); North Carolina (152); Maryland (148); Ohio (120); and Virginia (103).
Friday, March 20, 2020
Non-Essential New York Workers Ordered to Stay Home
This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all non-essential workers across the state to remain at home. The governor’s executive order takes effect on Sunday evening. Cuomo acknowledged that his actions “will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They’ll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also.”
New York also implemented a 90-day moratorium on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants.
#BREAKING: I will sign an Executive Order mandating that 100% of workforce must stay home, excluding essential services.
This order excludes pharmacies, grocery stores, and others.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2020
Trump Triggers Defense Production Act
President Trump said he will trigger the Defense Production Act to accelerate the production of medical supplies to combat the pandemic. The president signed an executive order invoking the law earlier this week. The act would enable the administration to force American industry to manufacture medical supplies that are running dangerously short, and sell them to the federal government. In a tweet Wednesday evening, President Trump wrote he would only invoke the law in a “worst- case scenario.”
Thursday, March 19, 2020
California on Lockdown
California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all California residents to stay home on Thursday, making them the first state to impose that strict mandate on its population – a population of nearly 40 million people. The order went into effect immediately, and will remain in place “until further notice.” “There’s a social contract here,” Governor Newsom said. “People, I think, recognize the need to do more and meet his moment.”
CA is issuing a statewide, mandatory STAY AT HOME order.
Those that work in critical sectors should go to work. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and more will stay open.
We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together.
Go to https://t.co/xtXFwVeWc2 to learn more.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 20, 2020
Trump Announces FDA Making Anti-Malaria Drug to Treat COVID-19
President Trump announced on Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is developing experimental drugs, including those used to treat malaria, available to test on COVID-19. “I have directed the FDA to eliminate rules and bureaucracy so work can proceed rapidly, quickly and fast,” Trump said. “We have to remove every barrier.” The drug, called chloroquine, has displayed “very, very encouraging early results,” according to Trump
Stimulus Package Update
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin laid out details of the Trump administration’s plan to send relief money to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. He stated in a Fox Business Network interview that the plan is to send direct payments to Americans totaling $500 billion. “The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child,” Mnuchin said. “So for a family of four, that’s a $3,000 payment.”
He added that: “As soon as Congress passes this, we get this out in three weeks. And then, six weeks later, if the president still has a national emergency, we’ll deliver another $3,000.”
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 19, 2020
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
- The Dow fell 6.3% by close of Wednesday trading – losing 1,335 points and falling to 19,902. The S&P 500 index took a 5.2% hit on Wednesday, and the Nasdaq composite lost 4.7% on Wednesday, falling 6,989 points.
- The virus has taken a terrible toll on one New Jersey family – claiming the life of its matriarch, 73-year-old Grace Fusco, as well as her oldest son and daughter.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
- The Trump Administration supported a plan that would send checks directly to American citizens as part of a $1 trillion stimulus package designed to infuse life into the economy while aiding households and businesses in need.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers on Tuesday to “get ready for the possibility” of a shelter-in-place order as the number of confirmed cases in the five boroughs soars.
- The World Health Organization is now recommending that people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should avoid taking ibuprofen, after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs may exacerbate effects of the virus.
- National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar and former Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kevin Durant, tested positive for COVID-19 along with four other players on the Brooklyn Nets.
Monday, March 16, 2020
- On Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases in America spiked beyond 4,000.
- Six Bay Area counties were ordered to “shelter in place” on Monday – the strictest measure of its kind in the U.S. thus far.
- The Dow recorded its worst one-day point plummet in history on Monday – dropping 2,997 points, or 12.9%. The S&P 500 plunged 12%, its worst day since 1987. According to the VIX metric, a gauge of stock market volatility, the COVID-triggered mayhem surpasses what the market experienced during the 2008 financial crisis.
- U.S. researchers administered the first shots of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, code named mRNA-1273, on Monday to a woman from Seattle. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health cautioned that even if the research is successful, a vaccine would not be available to the public use for another 12 to 18 months.
- Governors in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut mutually decided to shut down all non-essential businesses.
- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. that restricts travel for all NJ residents, making NJ the first U.S. state to do so.
- Actor Idris Elba disclosed to the world that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning. The star of “Luther” said that feels “OK” and so far isn’t presenting any symptoms. Elba has been isolated since last Friday after being exposed to someone who tested positive.
Sunday, March 15, 2020
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government agencies are reported that there are over 3,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 69 deaths. “For a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States, said” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.”
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that the city will close its public school system through at least April 20 and possibly for the remainder of the year in the hopes of combating the spread of COVID-19. The NYC school system stands as the nation’s largest – comprised of nearly 1,900 public schools and over 1.1 million children.
- The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to zero percent and purchased $700 billion in bonds and securities in an attempt to stabilize the economy.
- The CDC laid out new guidelines on Sunday strongly urging Americans to cancel or postpone any in-person events that consist of 50 people or more.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
- The White House announced on Saturday that the U.S. has added the United Kingdom and Ireland to its European travel ban list.
- President Trump tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the president’s personal physician. The President took the test after having direct contact with three people who subsequently tested positive for the virus.
- Beginning Sunday, Walmart reduced its operating hours at all stories and Neighborhood Markets until further notice. This change only affects 24-hour stores, as any Walmart which had already been operating with reduced hours will continue to do so. Apple also announced that it will close all its retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27, while Nike decided to temporarily close all its stores in the U.S. for a period of 12 days.
Friday, March 13, 2020
- President Trump declared a national state of emergency by invoking the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistant Act, which will deploy technical, and logistical assistance and frees up $50 billion in federal resources to combat the virus.
- The 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
- Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and the large urban school districts of Seattle and San Francisco are shut down all K-12 schools in an attempt to slow COVID-19’s spread.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points on Thursday following President Trump’s announced 30-day travel ban on visitors from European countries.
- The NCAA decided to cancel the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this year.
- The National Hockey League (NHL) paused the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Thursday.
- Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to suspend Spring Training and games and delay the start of the 2020 regular season, according to baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr.
- Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell became the second player to test positive.
- Disneyland announced on the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park through the end of March. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort also announced temporary closures beginning on March 14.
- The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Therefore, the Prime Minister vowed to keep himself and his wife in isolation for 14 days.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
- WHO officially characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic.
- President Trump addresses the nation and announces a temporary travel ban from 26 countries in Europe over the next 30 days (effective Friday, March 13 at midnight).
- The NBA suspends its 2019-2020 regular season after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19.
- Oscar-winning movie star Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, both test positive for COVID-19 while on set in Australia.
DocWire News will provide breaking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as they become available.