158 Million Americans Told to Stay Home, but Trump Pledges to Keep It Short

President Trump, in an almost two-hour coronavirus briefing, hinted on Monday that the financial shutdown meant to halt the unfold of the virus throughout the nation wouldn’t be prolonged.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he mentioned. “America will again and soon be open for business,” the president added, with out offering a timeline for when he believes regular financial exercise may resume.

“If it were up to the doctors, they’d say let’s shut down the entire world,” Mr. Trump mentioned. “This could create a much bigger problem than the problem that you started out with.”

He later added, “I’m not looking at months, I can tell you right now.”

Mr. Trump despatched blended alerts from the White House lectern, agreeing at one level together with his surgeon normal and saying, “It’s going to be bad,” then suggesting that the response to the virus might have been overblown.

“This is going away. We’re going to win the battle,” Mr. Trump mentioned, citing jobs, “anxiety and depression” and suicide as arguments for restoring the U.S. economic system.

He in contrast deaths from the novel coronavirus to deaths from different causes — influenza and automotive crashes — suggesting that the size of these preventable deaths means financial restrictions is probably not acceptable to stop the unfold of the virus.

“We have a very active flu season, more active than most,” he mentioned “It’s looking like it’s heading to 50,000 or more deaths — not cases, 50,000 deaths. Which is — that’s a lot. And you look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about. That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody, ‘No more driving of cars.’ So we have to do things to get our country open.”

Even as the president seemed to see an end to the crisis, his team warned of an alarming spread in New York.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said that the New York metro area is experiencing a virus “attack rate” of nearly one in a thousand, or five times that of other areas.

In epidemiology, the attack rate is the percentage of a population that has a disease. In New York City itself, where there have been 12,339 cases in a population of 8.6 million, the attack rate works out to about 1 in 700. The city has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases.

Dr. Birx added that 28 percent of tests for the coronavirus in the region were coming up positive, while in the rest of the country the rate is less than 8 percent.

President Trump continued to push two traditional malaria medications, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in combination with a common antibiotic, azithromycin, as a treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, despite caution by the government’s top doctors.

As President Trump suggested that he would soon re-evaluate the federal guidance urging social distancing, more states moved on Monday to impose their own sweeping stay-at-home orders, which will soon cover more than 158 million Americans in 16 states.

Washington, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Oregon became the latest states to announce sweeping directives to keep more people home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus before it overwhelms the capacities of their hospitals to treat the sick.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said on Monday that he would sign an executive order directing the state’s surgeon general to require anyone flying to the state from New York or New Jersey to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Many coronavirus cases in Florida, especially in the counties that include Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, have been tied to New York, and a recent uptick in travel from the region suggested that New Yorkers were flying to Florida to flee shelter-in-place orders.

“Hopefully that will be a deterrent for people if you’re just trying to escape here,” Mr. DeSantis said.

The quarantine will not apply to people arriving by car.

“There is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face,” the committee said in a statement from Sarah Hirshland, its chief executive, and Susanne Lyons, its board chair.

The committee surveyed 1,780 athletes, and 68 percent said they did not believe that the Games could take place fairly as planned.

“It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” the statement said.

The number of confirmed cases in Britain rose to 6,650 on Monday, up from 5,683 a day earlier, while the death toll jumped by 54, to 335. British officials believe that those numbers are about to balloon.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel tested negative for the virus days after being exposed to an infected doctor, a spokesman said on Monday.

The doctor had vaccinated Ms. Merkel against pneumonia on Friday. The chancellor has been isolating herself at home since learning that the doctor was infected on Sunday. She will receive more tests to confirm the results, since it may be too early to detect an infection.

With a recession looming and the economy breaking down day by day in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, investors have been looking to leaders in Washington to cushion the economic impact of business closures, factory shutdowns and mass layoffs.

On Monday, they got some help, but not enough.

The Federal Reserve said it would vastly expand its efforts to shore up businesses and keep markets functioning, but lawmakers hit another wall in their attempt to push a record-breaking fiscal stimulus package through Congress.

The S&P 500 fell about 3 percent Monday, adding to a 15 percent plunge last week as traders remained cautious about the Fed’s ability to shift the trajectory of an economy that appears to be in free fall because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Federal Reserve said it would buy as much government-backed debt as it needed to keep financial markets functioning, and unrolled a series of programs meant to shore up both large and small businesses — a whatever-it-takes effort to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic.

“Are you kidding me?” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, demanded on the Senate floor. “This is not a juicy political opportunity, this is a national emergency.”

At the heart of the impasse — which may last much longer than senators on either side assured — is a $425 billion fund created by the bill that the Federal Reserve could leverage for loans to assist broad groups of distressed companies, and an additional $75 billion it would provide for industry-specific loans.

Democrats have raised concerns that the funds do not have rules for transparency or enough guardrails to make sure companies do not use the funds to enrich themselves or take government money and lay off workers. They also argue the measure would give Mr. Mnuchin too much discretion to decide which companies receive the funds, calling the proposal a “slush fund” for the administration.

As the legislation is currently written, Mr. Mnuchin would not have to disclose the recipients until six months after the loans were disbursed. Some Democrats also objected to loopholes in the legislation they said could allow Mr. Trump’s real estate empire to take advantage of the federal aid.

As New York became the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he would issue an emergency order requiring the state’s hospitals to increase their capacities by at least 50 percent.

The order was a mandatory directive from the state, Mr. Cuomo said, adding, “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say, try to reach a 100 percent increase but you must reach a 50 percent increase.”

Army field hospitals will arrive in New York and Seattle in the next few days, bringing to each city the ability to care for an additional 248 patients, the country’s top military commander said on Monday. The hospitals, one to each city, will have 11 ventilators each.

“In 72 hours or earlier, you will see combat vehicles pulling into Seattle and New York,” said General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Data released Monday indicated that the state accounts for roughly 6 percent of coronavirus cases worldwide.

The jump stemmed from both the rapid growth of the outbreak and a significant increase in testing in the state. Health officials emphasized that testing was revealing how quickly the virus had spread.

There are now 20,909 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state and at least 157 deaths.

Moving to stem the crisis on multiple fronts, Mr. Cuomo pleaded with federal officials to nationalize the manufacturing of medical supplies and ordered New York City to crack down on people congregating in public. He suggested that some streets could be closed to traffic, allowing pedestrians more space.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order to keep people and businesses from hoarding supplies needed in the fight against the novel coronavirus, and from engaging in price gouging.

Attorney General William P. Barr recently directed federal prosecutors across the country to prioritize fraud schemes related to the pandemic and to prosecute offenders.

“If you have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about,” Mr. Barr said at the White House briefing. “But If you are sitting on a warehouse full of surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door.”

On Saturday, the department filed its first civil complaint against the operators of a sham website that sold fake vaccine kits that the site falsely claimed came from the World Health Organization. A federal district court judge in Texas issued a temporary restraining order and demanded that the owners block access to the site.

Reporting and research were contributed by Michael Crowley, Michael Cooper, Helene Cooper, Eileen Sullivan, Katie Robertson, Sarah Mervosh, Ellen Barry, Katie Thomas, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Michael Gold, Katrin Bennhold, Jonathan Martin, Adam Goldman, Hari Kumar, Jeffrey Gettleman, Vindu Goel, Lara Jakes, Reid Epstein, Karen Zraick, Elian Peltier, Aurelien Breeden, Raphael Minder, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Melissa Eddy, Jeanna Smialek, Ian Austen, Mariel Padilla, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Katie Van Syckle, Jesse McKinley, Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley, Nick Corasaniti, Stephanie Saul, Kate Taylor, Tiffany May, Patricia Mazzei, Maya Salam, Margot Sanger-Katz, Oskar Garcia, Matthew Futterman, Scott Dodd and Mike Baker.

Source link Nytimes.com

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