Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

From bartering to begging for relief, struggling Americans confront April rent

Reuters - April 30, 2020

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy and transforms Americans’ daily lives, the start of April brings a moment of reckoning for millions: rent checks are due. Many Americans have already lost their jobs – last week’s national unemployment claims exceeded 3 million, shattering previous records – and huge swaths of the country have essentially shut down, with more than half of U.S. states now under some version of a stay-at-home order to curb the disease’s spread. One third of the nation’s 328 million residents live in rental homes, according to U.S. Census data. In New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the proportion of those who rent is much higher.

U.S. coronavirus death toll rises past 3,000 on deadliest day

Reuters - April 30, 2020

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country’s mounting crisis, while New York cheered the arrival of a gleaming 1,000-bed U.S. Navy hospital ship as a sign of hope in the city’s desperate fight. The United States has the most confirmed cases in the world, a number that is likely to soar when tests for the virus become more widespread.

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths ‘if we do things almost perfectly’

NBC News - April 30, 2020

Birx said the projections by Dr. Anthony Fauci that U.S. deaths could range from 1.6 million to 2.2 million is a worst case scenario if the country did "nothing" to contain the outbreak, but said even "if we do things almost perfectly," she still predicts up to 200,000 U.S. deaths. "I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly," Birx said. "I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," she added.

Model cited by White House says 82,000 people could die from coronavirus by August, even with social distancing

CNN - April 30, 2020

President Donald Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines until April 30 came after officials reviewed 12 different statistical models, said Dr. Deborah Birx. But standing in the Rose Garden, Birx also mentioned another model, created independently, that "ended up at the same numbers." That analysis, which is publicly available, paints a grim picture of what's to come in the US, even with social distancing in place. As of Monday morning, it estimates that more than 2,000 people could die each day in the United States in mid-April, when the virus is predicted to hit the country hardest. The model, which is updated regularly, predicts that 224,000 hospital beds -- 61,000 more than we'll have -- will be needed on April 15, when the US is estimated to reach "peak resource use." And assuming social distancing will continue through May, it finds that, by August, around 82,000 people in the US could die from Covid-19.

Coronavirus death rate is lower than previously reported, study says, but it’s still deadlier than seasonal flu

CNN - April 30, 2020

How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu. The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die. That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed -- but it's still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu. When undetected infections aren't taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.

Ford, GE to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

Reuters - April 30, 2020

Ford said the simplified ventilator design, which is licensed by GE Healthcare from Florida-based Airon Corp and has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, can meet the needs of most COVID-19 patients and relies on air pressure without the need for electricity. Ford said it plans to begin production of ventilators at a plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, deploying 500 United Auto Workers employees. It said it plans to start production at the facility the week of April 20. That is roughly when New York officials expect the peak of COVID-19 cases to hit their state. Ventilators built by Ford, GM and others could be used in other parts of the United States where the peak case loads are expected later.

Coronavirus May Add Billions to the Nation’s Health Care Bill

New York Times - April 30, 2020

Insurance premiums could spike as much as 40 percent next year, a new analysis warns, as employers and insurers confront the projected tens of billions of dollars in additional costs of treating coronavirus patients.

New infections in U.S. soar and the nation is warned that 200,000 could die.

New York Times - April 30, 2020

Faced with the grim prospect that 200,000 Americans could die even with aggressive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump extended the guidelines on avoiding nonessential travel, staying away from work, visiting bars and restaurants and gathering in groups of more than 10 for at least another month. “We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday evening. “We think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening.” But the virus has already dashed Mr. Trump’s earlier rosy predictions, and as Americans entered their third week living in a work-from-home world, officials warned that the deepening crisis in New York was weeks from peaking. “Thousands of people will pass away,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw over 100,000 deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ leading infectious disease expert, said on Monday.

Trump extends virus guidelines, braces US for big death toll

AP - April 30, 2020

Bracing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April, bowing to public-health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic. It was a stark shift in tone by the president, who only days ago mused about the country reopening in a few weeks following the initial 15-day period of social distancing. From the Rose Garden, he said his Easter revival hopes had only been “aspirational.” Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the national guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. He instead decided to extend them through April 30, a tacit acknowledgment he’d been too optimistic. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

New York State Surpasses 1,000 Coronavirus Deaths

New York Times - April 30, 2020

New York state’s death toll from the outbreak climbed above 1,000 on Sunday, less than a month after the disease was first detected in the state. New York state accounts for more than 40% of U.S. deaths from COVID-19. The virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has torn through New York with frightening speed.

Trump Issues Travel Advisory, Not Quarantine, For New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

NPR - April 30, 2020

After broaching the possibility of quarantining New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, President Trump backtracked late Saturday, saying a "quarantine will not be necessary." Earlier in the day, the president said he was "looking at" quarantining New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut because they had developed as "hot spots" of the coronavirus outbreak. Several hours later, Trump said in a series of tweets that he would instead "issue a strong Travel Advisory" to be administered by governors in consultation with federal officials. Trump said he made the decision on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

CDC Issues Domestic Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

CDC - April 30, 2020

Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply. These employees of critical infrastructure, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules. The Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8 in 2021

The Wall Street Journal - April 30, 2020

The Tokyo Olympics will open July 23, 2021, the local organizing committee said, following a one-year delay forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. surpasses China with coronavirus cases as global total tops 500,000

NBC News - April 30, 2020

The United States is leading the world in the number of coronavirus cases as of Friday with 85,707 people sick, according to tracking by NBC News — a toll that surpasses the caseload in China where the pandemic ignited in December. The number of deaths has also risen to 1,268, with New York being the worst hit, accounting for 433 of those killed by COVID-19. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases worldwide has soared to 533,416 and the death toll reaching 24,082 as of 4:15 am ET, according to the Johns Hopkins University Tracker.

British Prime Minister Johnson tests positive for virus

AP - April 30, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but remains in charge of the U.K.’s response to the outbreak. Johnson said Friday that he was tested for COVID-19 on the advice of the chief medical officer after showing “mild symptoms” involving a temperature and a persistent cough. “I’ve taken a test, that’s come out positive so I am working from home, I am self-isolating, and that’s entirely the right thing to do,” he said in a video message posted on his Twitter account.

Trump Administration Says Data Will Drive ‘Next Phase’ Of Coronavirus Guidelines

NPR - April 30, 2020

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic. Trump is under pressure to restart parts of the moribund economy, stalled by skyrocketing unemployment as workers are urged to stay home and companies shut their doors… To that end, Trump told governors in his letter that the administration will use data from expanded testing for the virus to categorized counties as high, medium or low risk. That data will drive the "next phase" of the response to the pandemic, he said. Trump has said he would like people in parts of the country that have not experienced massive outbreaks to be able to go back to work, perhaps around April 12.