Coronavirus headlines: Wisconsin voters wait for hours, others stay home amid virus

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April 7, 2020

(WJW) – The global death toll from coronavirus passed 76,000 Tuesday morning.

According to John Hopkins University, more than 1.3 million have been infected.

There are also stories of recovery. More than 285,000 people around the world have contracted the virus and survived.

9:05 p.m. update:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Thousands of Wisconsin voters waited hours in long lines outside overcrowded polling stations to participate in Tuesday’s presidential primary election. Thousands more stayed home, unwilling to risk their health even as Republican officials pushed forward with the election amid a stay-at-home order. But many of the potential voters who remained in their homes complained that the absentee ballots they had requested never showed up. The chaos in Wisconsin underscores the lengths to which the coronavirus outbreak has upended politics as Democrats seek a nominee to take on President Donald Trump this fall. Wisconsin is the first state in three weeks to hold a presidential primary contest.

8:45 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to freeze U.S. funding to the World Health Organization, saying the international group “missed the call” on the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to reporters Tuesday evening, Trump downplayed the release of January memos from a senior adviser that warned of a possible coronavirus pandemic as infections across the U.S. continued to rise. The president declared himself a “cheerleader” for the nation while defending his handling of the crisis. But Trump turned his anger on the WHO, first declaring that he would cut U.S. funding before, mere minutes later, backtracking and saying he would “strongly consider” it.

7:30 p.m. update:

WUHAN, China (AP) — The lockdown that served as a model for countries battling the coronavirus around the world ended after 11 weeks Wednesday. Chinese authorities are now allowing residents of Wuhan to once again travel in and out of the sprawling city where the pandemic began. From just after midnight, the city’s 11 million residents are permitted to leave without special authorization as long as a mandatory smartphone application shows they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus. Wuhan is where most of China’s more than 82,000 reported virus cases and over 3,300 deaths took place. 

7 p.m. update:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Houston doctor who’s a Republican National Committee member says he is using an anti-malaria drug to treat some of more than 80 people infected at a Texas nursing home. Dr. Robin Armstrong said Tuesday that he’s using the drug hydroxychloroquine on nearly 30 residents. President Donald Trump has heavily promoted the drug in the face of a rising death toll in the U.S. Amstrong said it’s too early to tell whether the treatment is working in Texas but says he probably wouldn’t have been able to access the drug if Trump hadn’t been talking about it so much.  

6:30 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP)— President Donald Trump says the coronavirus is hitting African Americans harder, according to data on the pandemic.

Trump says his administration is trying to address what he termed a “tremendous challenge.” He says COVID-19 has been showing up in a disproportional way in African American communities.

Speaking at the White House daily briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the medical community has known for a long time that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma hit minority populations, especially African Americans.

He says the coronavirus hits these people suffering from these underlying conditions hard and often require intubation, intensive care and sometimes death.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, says it’s “very sad,” but there is not much that can be done right now except to try to give these people the best care possible.

6 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s removal of a watchdog tasked with overseeing how his administration spends the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package is his latest challenge of an inspector general community asked to be impartial, above politics and independent of the White House. Trump has fired one inspector general tied to his impeachment, castigated another he felt was overly critical of the coronavirus response and sidelined a third meant to safeguard against wasteful spending of funds for businesses and people in economic distress. The actions have sent shock waves across the close-knit network of watchdog officials in the government.

5:45 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP)— The Federal Emergency Management Agency says a federal employee working at its headquarters has tested positive for COVID-19.

FEMA says it has done contracted tracing to determine if the unidentified employee had any contact with any of the principals on the White House coronavirus task force in recent days. The employee tested positive Monday.

The agency says the employee and any others who were in contact with that person did not come within six feet of members of the task force. Members of the task force include Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx.

The agency also says the areas visited by task force members were disinfected before any of their visits to FEMA headquarters.

4:35 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has submitted a letter of resignation to Defense Secretary Mark Esper. That’s according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter before an official announcement. The officials say Modly has also told staff he is quitting. Modly had publicly apologized Monday for a profanity-laced upbraiding of the officer he fired as captain of the coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt. Modly’s designated replacement will be James McPherson, a Navy veteran who is currently serving undersecretary of the Army.

3 p.m. update:

PARIS (AP) — France’s national health director announced that France has reached the grim milestone of 10,000 coronavirus deaths.

Jerome Salomon addressed reporters in the daily COVID-19 briefing to emphasize that “we are in the epidemic’s ascendant stage… we have not yet reached the peak.”

He recorded a total death toll of 10,328 since the start of the epidemic — with 7,091 hospital deaths and 3,237 fatalities in old people’s homes.

There were 597 fatalities in hospitals since Monday.

Over 30,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide, with 7,131 in intensive care.

He did offer one moment for hope, acknowledging that the virus rate “is slowing a little.”

1:40 p.m. update:

NEW YORK — The National Funeral Directors Association says relief could be on the way for exhausted funeral directors in New York City — if Gov. Andrew Cuomo will let them.

The NFDA tweeted it has hundreds of funeral directors lined up to travel to New York and “ensure the dead are buried with dignity.” The one thing holding them back: Funeral directors licenses are state-specific, so undertakers and embalmers can’t work across state lines.

The association says it has made its request to Cuomo’s office and is awaiting a reply.

12:15 P.M.

  • (AP) Churchill Downs has delayed reopening stables at the track and training center to April 28 and postponed its spring meet that was scheduled to open April 25.
  • (AP) The Italian and Catalan MotoGP races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak
  • (AP) Nearly 60 percent of 217 people on a cruise ship off the coast of Uruguay have tested positive for the new coronavirus. 

11:45 A.M.

  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. MPH will update the state’s coronavirus response at 2 p.m.

11:30 A.M.

  • (AP) – New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths Tuesday, marking the biggest one-day jump in the outbreak. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the state’s death toll since the beginning of the outbreak is now 5,489.

10:45 A.M.

  • (AP) – U.N. estimates loss of 195 million full-time jobs in 2nd quarter

9:45 A.M.

  • President Trump is expected to attend the Coronavirus Task Force briefing at 5 p.m.

9:15 A.M.

  • A crew member on the USNS Comfort has tested positive for coronavirus, according to FOX News
  • (AP) – Hundreds of voters in Wisconsin are waiting in line to cast ballots at polling places for the state’s presidential primary election, ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat

8 A.M.

6:30 A.M.

  • (AP) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures to ramp up defenses against the spread of the coronavirus. 

5 A.M.

  • America is reporting just under 11,000 deaths
  • Out of more than 368,000 infections in the U.S., there are just under 20,000 confirmed recoveries
  • Ohio is reporting 4,450 cases and 142 deaths
  • 12 NYPD members have died from coronavirus; 20% of uniformed officers sick, according to the police department
  • (AP) – Wisconsin is asking hundreds of thousands of voters to ignore a stay-at-home order in the midst of a pandemic to participate in Tuesday’s presidential primary election. The National Guard will help run voting sites across the state after thousands of election workers stepped down fearing their safety.
  • British PM Boris Johnson remains in intensive care Tuesday after his symptoms from coronavirus worsened. He has been treated with oxygen
  • China recorded no new deaths Monday
  • Japanese PM is expected to announce a state of emergency Tuesday

Coronavirus questions answered

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