The COVID-19 Pandemic: Trump Administration Backs Stimulus Package; NYC Verges on Shelter-in-Place Order; NBA Superstar Tests Positive; and more

It’s been one week since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and since then, the novel coronavirus has persisted in spiraling out of control across the globe. The number of confirmed cases has accelerated beyond 200,000 as of today, with over 8,000 lives lost to the virus.

World News

While China remains the country with the most confirmed cases (80,894) and deaths (3,237), other nations such as Iran are feeling the full force of COVID-19’s wrath. On Tuesday, Iran issued a dire warning to its citizens suggesting that “millions” in the Islamic Republic could die if people continue ignoring health and travel recommendations. Iran, the source of roughly 90% of cases in the Middle East, recorded 1,192 newly infected people and and almost 150 new deaths since yesterday. The country currently stands at 17,361 confirmed cases with 1,135 deaths.

Italy’s death toll is surging – up by 16% in the last 24 hours alone – with 345 new deaths and a total number of mortalities that has surpassed 2,500. Spain recorded 2,084 new cases and 90 new deaths, bringing its total to 13,910 cases and over 2,084 deaths.

National News

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is the U.S. now stands at approximately 6,524, and the death toll has reached 116. West Virginia recorded its first case yesterday – meaning that now NO U.S. state has been spared from the novel virus. New York leads the nation in cases (2,480) while Washington still has the highest number of deaths (55). There are 16 confirmed deaths in NYC and 1,014 cases in Washington. Other states with greater than 100 cases include: California (727); New Jersey (267); Massachusetts (218); Florida (217); Louisiana (196); Colorado (186); Illinois (161); Georgia (150); Texas (133); and Pennsylvania (112).

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

U.S. Stimulus Package

On Tuesday, 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. If approved by Congress, Americans can expect the first checks of “at least 1,000” to go out by the end April. “We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

NYC Braces for “Shelter-in-Place”

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 has reached 923. Ultimately, the mayor acknowledged, that the decision is up to the state and New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

So far, Cuomo opposes the idea of shelter-in-place, saying on The New York Times ‘The Daily’ podcast:”I wouldn’t approve shelter in place, that scares people — you can’t leave your home. The fear, the panic is a bigger problem than the virus and I shut that down immediately.” However, Cuomo concedes that more aggressive measures are likely.

WHO: Avoid Ibuprofen for COVID-19 Symptoms

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. WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva the UN health agency’s experts were “looking into this to give further guidance.” Lindmeier added that: “In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important.”


NBA Superstar Tests Positive

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, ESPN confirmed Tuesday. “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine,” Durant said in an interview with The Athletic. Durant, one of the main faces of the NBA, reassured fans that he feels fine, and is not showing any symptoms, adding that: “We’re going to get through this.”


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

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.