- Global case total tops 600k
- Global COVID-19 death toll tops 30k
- US death toll tops 2k
- After Trump earlier said he was weighing enforceable quarantine order for all the tri-state area, late on Sunday he said that "on the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut" he would not be imposing a quarantine.
- Japan fast-tracks approval of treatment drug for COVID-19
- Third UK minister self-quarantines after showing symptoms of virus
- Calif. death toll tops 100
- Trump tells NBC reporter that quarantines of New York, NJ & Conn. were "possible"
- Axios reports infant dies in Chicago after testing positive for COVID-19
- Italy case total surpasses China
- Spain reports deadliest day yet
- UK case total climbs north of 17k
- France reports another 5k cases
- Navy hospital ships leave for New York, LA
- Abe says he's "just barely avoiding" declaring a national emergency
- Yale University slammed for denying aid to city of New Haven
- Shinzo Abe promises unprecedented stimulus package
- Trump gives Pentagon power to call up retired soldiers and reservists
- NYPD detective dies from COVID-19
- Italian centennarian survives battle with COVID-19
* * *
Update (2025ET): Have sparked fears earlier that Trump would impose a full blown quarantine on the tri-state area, late on Sunday the president tweeted that a "quarantine will not be necessary" (for now).
Trump's decision is likely in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo's fiery objection, who said that any federal quarantine on metropolitan New York would wreak havoc on commerce and markets and be a declaration of war against the states. “It would be chaos and mayhem,” Cuomo said Saturday on CNN, responding to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that such a move could be made very soon. ”I don’t think it’s legal.”
....Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
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Update (1845ET): After doubling in two days, the death toll from COVID-19 in the US has finally topped 2,000.
Meanwhile, in New York, the state worst hit by the outbreak, Gov. Cuomo has said that the outbreak will peak in “14 to 21 days." While the situation in New York worsens, the surgeon general warned that Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago are quickly developing into "hot spots," New Orleans in particular has been trending in a worrying direction for days.
Of the 17,412 tests run by New York State on Friday, 44% of them (7,681) were positive.
* * *
Update (1700ET): Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced that California's death toll from COVID-19 has topped 100, with 101 deaths statewide.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, Axios reports that an infant less than 1 year old has died of COVID-19 in the city. After state officials in California denied reports earlier in the week about an infant reportedly passing away in LA County after testing positive for the virus, this would be the first confirmed infant death in the US...if it's confirmed, that is.
Most recorded cases in Illinois have been found in the Chicago area and surrounding counties. The state health department has reported 3,491 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, including 47 deaths.
* * *
Update (1624ET): COVID-19 has killed more than 30,000 human beings around the world.
It looks like those last 300+ deaths out of France pushed it over the top.
Though Italy has been carrying a lot of weight on the deaths front lately...
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Update (1600ET): Want to see something funny? Watch what happens when journalists from Taiwan question the WHO about comments it made regarding Taiwan's response to the virus.
oh. my. god. pic.twitter.com/GAwEj5yvT0— masks work (@wilfredchan) March 28, 2020
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Update (1500ET): France reports just shy of 5k new cases, bringing its total to 37,575, and another ~300 deaths, bringing its death toll to 2,314.
Meanwhile, the number of Italian cases of COVID-19 climbed by 6.9%, the slowest daily rate of increase since Italy's lockdown began.
Two weeks since reporting its first case, Cameroon total cases climbed to 99 on Saturday, as African countries report surprisingly slow spread of the virus despite their relatively poor infrastructure.
* * *
Update (1420ET): As the death toll skyrockets, Spanish officials said they would need to tighten quarantine rules, and are now ordering all people to stay indoors at all times, unless they're going to work at an "essential" job. We expect the bare minimum of exceptions (trips outside permitted to get food) will continue.
Meanwhile, in France, large numbers of the public continue to ignore the quarantine.
Spreading coronavirus in France — This is what the 12th day of “confinement” means for some people in Parispic.twitter.com/LGkaZP4Jal— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) March 28, 2020
Though France's health minister said Saturday that the country could soon face shortages of critical drugs, he assured the public that an order for 1 billion masks had recently been put in to 'China'.
In Italy, the tone was far more somber.
WATCH: Italian police officers salute those who died of coronavirus as their bodies are transported in military vehicles pic.twitter.com/Lifk5pWiYc— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) March 28, 2020
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Update (1412ET): The coronavirus outbreak has pitted many interests against one another in the scramble for resources. But some of the most flagrant examples of communal selfishness so far have occurred in ritzy Connecticut, where a town full of wealthy bankers and doctors shut down a drive thru testing center (well, they stopped it from opening in the first place), and now, Yale University is at the center of a controversy after refusing to allow the town access to any of its (now empty) facilities to help the community fight off the virus.
Last fall, a gang of idealistic Yale students interrupted the Yale-Harvard Game, one of the few traditions that locals actually enjoy, with an lengthy "interruption" to protest climate change, or whatever. But on this issue, they have been oddly silent (maybe because they're all back home living in their parents' basements right now).
One reporter remarked on twitter that this would be an excellent opportunity for Yale alumni to pressure the school into doing the right thing and helping the community.
Huge opportunity here for Yale alums to publicly pressure the university into doing the right thing while also getting to note in passing that you went to Yale https://t.co/rPnpyywvAr— Tom Gara (@tomgara) March 27, 2020
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Update (1400ET): Abe said Saturday that he's at a precarious stage, and that the government is only barely avoiding declaring an emergency, he said told reporters Saturday evening.
* * *
Update (1355ET): Trump just confirmed that he's strongly considering quarantines...after he told a reporter with a camera exactly that.
So in case you didn't get the memo...
I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
Cuomo says he hasn't heard anything about a quarantine order.
And the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey haven't said anything.
Gov Phil Murphy has been tweeting up a storm, but nothing about the quarantine issue.
* * *
Update (1245ET): As the US scrambles to contain COVID-19 as New York emerges as the nation's No. 1 hotspot, US media are reporting that President Trump is considering a national "quarantine" order affecting the entire tri-state area - that is, all of NYC, the greater New York area, north and most of central New Jersey and all of southern Connecticut.
NBC News described it as an "enforceable" quarantine, implying that the national guard, which has been deployed in the area, might be tasked with enforcing it.
In a video that surfaced a few minutes later, Trump can be heard telling an NBC reporter that he was looking at quarantines of New York, and "probably" New Jersey and parts of Connecticut. "They're having problems down in Florida...and we don't want that," Trump said.
A few minutes later, Gov. Cuomo chimed in, telling a reported that he had no idea what Trump was talking about, even though Trump claimed to have just spoken to the governor, presumably about the possibility of a quarantine, which Trump said might be announced "some time today."
Meanwhile, in New York, the NYPD has confirmed the death of a detective, the first on-duty serviceman to die from the virus. Another ~500 or so NYPD employees (that includes officers and civilians) have also been diagnosed.
* * *
Update (1220ET): In Lombardy, the number of confirmed cases climbed by 2,117 to 39,415, a sign that the outbreak might be starting to slow. But the death toll climbed by a startling 542 to 5,944.
* * *
Update (1100ET): The Pentagon is taking steps to clarify its powers now that it has the ability to call up reservists and retirees.
- PENTAGON SAYS IT HAS ACCELERATED THE PROCESS FOR HOW DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZES THE USE OF NATIONAL GUARD FORCES UNDER TITLE 32
Additionally, Italy has now passed China in total infections, with 86,498 to China's 81,996. Following several days of back-and-forth criticism with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom President Trump infamously referred to as "that woman" and criticized for not taking the outbreak seriously enough, the president finally granted her request for a disaster declaration, as well as one for Massachusetts, according to White House statements released Saturday. And the Italian death toll has passed 10,000, hitting 10,023.
Finally, some good news out of Italy: A centenarian from northern Italy has reportedly been released from a hospital after a battle with COVID-19 that he managed to survive despite being a high-risk candidate with a weak immune system..
The man, identified only as "Mr. P", was admitted to the hospital last week and released on Thursday, according to Gloria Lisi, the deputy mayor of the city of Rimini, told the local Italian language press.
* * *
Yesterday, the US reached a critical milestone: it became the first country to record more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
Though more people were almost certainly infected in China - epidemiologists have estimated that hundreds of thousands were likely infected in Wuhan alone - the surge in America's testing capacity, something that's only going to continue to improve thanks to a slate of new rapid-response tests are hitting the market, means the US will almost certainly record the largest number of infected patients going forward.
Already, the global total of confirmed cases surpassed 600,000 overnight, thanks mostly to the US, though Spain and Italy also reported large numbers of new cases and deaths reaffirming that the lockdowns in each of their respective countries are far from over.
A chart produced by the New York Times and published last night sparked a heated debate online as journalists, scientists and other wannabe 'experts' weighed in on the possibility that the outbreaks in New York City, Detroit and New Orleans might be more severe than what Italy has seen in Lombardy.
Source: New York Times
Meanwhile, Spain recorded its deadliest day so far, but new infections are slowing after two weeks of lockdown. The Spanish Health Ministry reported 832 new deaths, bringing the country's death toll to 5,690 as of early Saturday, a 17% jump. The number of confirmed cases climbed to 72,248 from 64,059. Spain now has the second-highest number of deaths, outside of Italy.
In the latest hint at how the outbreak-induced recession will reverberate through secondary and tertiary industries, Airbnb confirmed on Friday that it's suspending all third-party marketing work in an attempt to save some $800 million, one of several initiatives that it hopes will save the company lots of money during the crisis. As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock struggle to continue performing their duties after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Fitch downgraded the UK’s credit rating from AA to AA-, citing the budget impact of the coronavirus pandemic and continued uncertainty over Brexit.
As a third UK cabinet minister, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, announces plans to quarantine after showing mild symptoms, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Saturday to fight the coronavirus outbreak with an economic package of "an unprecedented scale" as Japan reports a sudden resurgence of cases, many of which have been travel-related.
On Saturday, the UK case total climbed to 17,089, while 160 new deaths were confirmed, bringing the UK death total above 1,000, to 1,019.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Abe said that in addition to pushing through his "boldest-ever" economic stimulus package, his government will deliver speedy approval of the flu drug Avigan as a treatment for those infected with COVID-19.
"We are on the brink," Abe said at a news conference, referring to the possibility of an explosion of COVID-19 cases in Japan after 63 new infections were confirmed on Saturday in Tokyo, a third-consecutive day where authorities confirmed more than 40 new cases.
Abe also stressed that Japan must be ready for a "long-term battle" to keep COVID-19 from surging out of control and overwhelming health care systems, as it's beginning to do in Italy and other places, like NYC.
Still, he said "now is not an emergency" and called on citizens to continue taking steps such as avoiding large gatherings to limit infections.
Regarding the economy, Abe said that his government will formulate a "strong stimulus package of unprecedented scale" to lessen this blow to businesses and individuals brought about by the coronavirus. All of this comes after Tokyo's governor warned about the prospect for an "unprecedented" outbreak if nothing is done.
In addition to boosting spending on medical infrastructure and other necessities, Abe said a special measure will be established to allow for the deferral for up to one year of tax and social insurance premium payments to support corporations suffering from constricted cash flow. Also, interest-free and unsecured lending will be expanded to assist them, he said. All of this should trickle down to deferred tax payments for individuals as well.
Meanwhile, the New York Post has been keeping careful track of how many New Yorkers have been dying from COVID-19, and on Saturday, the paper determined that for the past two days, New Yorkers have been dying at a rate of "one every 17 minutes". That's up from one an hour nearly a week ago.
On both Thursday and Friday, another 84 people died in the city from the coronavirus, as the number of positive cases and of those who are critically ill also climbed. Total citywide coronavirus cases rose to 26,697, a 4.4% increase from the 25,573 reported Friday morning.
Over in Asia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong have recorded unnerving bursts of new cases over the past couple of weeks, but these 'aftershock' outbreaks appear to have quieted down in South Korea, while more cases have been confirmed in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Meanwhile, In Seoul, authorities marked a new milestone in the fight against the virus as, for the first time since the start of the outbreak, the number of coronavirus patients being discharged has outnumbered those currently undergoing treatment. Some 4,811 South Koreans have recovered from the virus as of Saturday, while 4,500 patients still remain in isolation and are undergoing treatment.
In the US, Trump signed the CARES Act into law last night, approving direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans, including those earning up to $75,000, and an additional $500 per child. It will substantially expand jobless aid, providing an additional 13 weeks and a four-month enhancement of benefits, and for the first time will extend the payments to freelancers and gig workers, an extraordinary step that will go a long way toward quelling the concerns of all those freelance writers who live off handouts from their parents and the occasional paycheck in Brooklyn.
However, across the US, experts are pointing at Abe and Japan as examples of what might happen if the entire country starts going back to normal before the outbreak is truly under control.
As Navy hospital ships head to New York and the West Coast, President Trump on Friday night gave Defense Secretary Mark Esper the power to call up national guardsmen and army medics to serve in the effort to combat the virus. The president said Friday night that the decision will "allow us to mobilize medical, disaster and emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus by activating thousands of experienced service members including retirees."
The ships will travel to New York and Los Angeles.
WHAT A BEAUTY: The USNS Mercy, one of the #Navy's two hospital ships, will begin taking patients from pierside in Los Angeles to relieve overburdened medical facilities in the city as it struggles to handle the coronavirus outbreak. https://t.co/Qc1RCoPLWn#covid19 #losangeles pic.twitter.com/lprLxGLxg1— wdsu (@wdsu) March 27, 2020
The order will affect reservists and "certain Individual Ready Reserve" members, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement released just after midnight on Saturday morning. The Individual Ready Reserve comprises former active-duty and reserve service members who are commonly considered 'out of the military' and thus rarely recalled.
It almost sounds like the start of an action movie: somewhere, in the remote mountain west, a former ace army medic is hearing the sound of tires crunching gravel in his driveway...
After President Trump's approval rating jumped to record highs in the wake of the crisis, some early poll results from this past week suggest that Trump's insistence that the US get back to work "by Easter" has dented confidence in his handling of the crisis.
Per WaPo, Trump didn't clarify whether anyone will be involuntarily recalled to duty, but said some retirees have "offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need."
A Pentagon spokesman told WaPo that the order was still being reviewed, and that generally, these members will be persons in Headquarters units and persons with high demand medical capabilities whose call-up would not adversely affect their civilian communities.
"It’s really an incredible thing to see," Trump said. "It’s beautiful."
Though we suspect that, like his decision to invoke the Defense Production Act, though he finally did invoke it to try and boss around GM.