Coronavirus headlines: California to give cash payments to immigrants hurt by virus

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April 15, 2020

(WJW) – President Trump says the plans to reopen the US economy are being finalized as Harvard researchers said social distancing and stay-at-home measures may need to be in place intermittently through 2022.

There is, however, evidence that that the curve is flattening.

10:15 p.m. update

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will give cash payments to immigrants living in the country illegally who have been hurt by the coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the state will use a mix of taxpayer dollars and charitable contributions to give up to 150,000 adults $500 each. Households would be capped at $1,000. Taxpayers are paying $75 million while a group of charities have committed to raising $50 million. Some charities have already contributed $5.5 million. Newsom said people living in the country illegally are not eligible for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits. 

9:15 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The USNS Mercy hospital ship docked in Los Angeles may be able to scale back its medical operation a bit over the next week as the coronavirus workload at area hospitals stabilizes. Navy Capt. John Rotruck, the ship’s commander, says the Mercy will also send about 40 medical staff to a regional skilled nursing facility on Monday. He says elderly patients will not be brought to the ship, despite earlier suggestions that could happen. Rotruck spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday in an interview from the ship.

7:50 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP)— President Donald Trump says data indicates the U.S. is “past the peak” of the COVID-19 epidemic, clearing the way for his plans to roll out guidelines to begin to “reopen” the country.

Speaking during his daily press briefing, Trump called the latest data “encouraging,” saying they have “put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.” Trump said those guidelines will be unveiled Thursday at the White House.

The guidelines are expected to clear the way for an easing of social distancing guidelines in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places. The ultimate decisions will remain with governors.

6:45 p.m. update:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of flag-waving, honking protesters drove past the Michigan Capitol to show their displeasure with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They don’t like her orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the coronavirus outbreak. The protest, called “Operation Gridlock,” was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition. Coalition member Meshawn Maddock said Whitmer’s orders are “just a disaster.” The governor said the rally threatened public health because protesters were close together without masks. Whitmer said the stay-at-home restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Michigan’s cases rose about 4% to 28,059. Deaths from COVID-19 increased by 153 to 1,921. 

5:50 p.m. update:

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state residents will be required to wear face coverings when they are out and coming in close contact with other people. The new mandate will require a mask or face covering on busy streets, public transit or any situation where people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing. The mandate takes effect Friday.  Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged a cautious and deliberative approach to reviving the economy.

4:30 p.m. update:

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal officials are coming under increasing pressure to start publicly tracking coronavirus infections and deaths in nursing homes amid criticism they have not been transparent enough in responding to an explosion of outbreaks. Experts say the lack of transparency has been a major blindspot, and that publicizing outbreaks as they happen could not only alert nearby communities and anguished relatives but also help officials see where to focus testing and other safety measures. Because the federal government has not been releasing a count, The Associated Press has been keeping its own tally. The latest count shows more than 4,400 deaths. 

3:20 p.m. update:

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization has lamented a U.S. decision to halt its funding for the U.N. health agency. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus promised a review of its decisions while sidestepping President Donald Trump’s complaints about its alleged mismanagement, cover-up and missteps. Trump said WHO had parroted Chinese assurances about how the virus is spread, failed to obtain virus samples from China, and made a “disastrous decision” to oppose travel restrictions as the outbreak spread. Nations and health experts around the world expressed alarm at Trump’s move Wednesday and warned it could jeopardize efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

2 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Peter Navarro’s eagerness to confront, attack and be, as one former associate put it, “a real jerk to people” didn’t serve him well as a political candidate in the 1990s. But it fits what President Donald Trump was looking for to muscle companies to make critical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus. And it fits much of what Navarro has long wanted as well. As the president’s trade adviser, he hasn’t been afraid to raise his voice inside the White House and out. The self-styled China hawk has seized on the coronavirus pandemic as the opportune moment to push nationalist trade views that line up with Trump’s.

1:30 P.M.

(AP) An investigation by The Associated Press has found that six days of delays by China — from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 — in alerting the public to the growing dangers of the virus set the stage for a pandemic that has upended the lives of millions, sideswiped the global economy and cost nearly 127,000 lives.

“This is tremendous,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.”

Other experts noted that the Chinese government may have waited on warning the public to stave off hysteria, and that it did act quickly in private during that time.

But the six-day delay by China’s leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the national Center for Disease Control did not register any cases from local officials, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirm. Yet during that time, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan but across the country.

It’s uncertain whether it was local officials who failed to report cases or national officials who failed to record them. It’s also not clear exactly what officials knew at the time in Wuhan, which only opened back up last week with restrictions after its quarantine.

1 P.M.

  • More than 9,200 health care workers have been infected with Covid-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found in its first look at the issue. The number is likely an underestimate, since most reports of coronavirus cases don’t include whether the person worked in healthcare.

11:30 A.M.

  • President Trump’s Coronavirus White House Task Force is scheduled to hold a briefing at 5 p.m.
  • The price of oil has hit an 18-year low at

11 A.M.

  • (AP) Speedway Motorsports, owner and operator of eight tracks that host NASCAR’s top Cup Series, has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown.
  • (AP) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged a cautious and deliberative approach to reviving the economy

9:15 A.M.

  • US retail sales fall an unprecedented 8.7% in March
  • (AP) Emirates Air says it tested the blood of passengers for the virus on a flight to Tunisia before departing from Dubai, becoming the first airline to conduct on-site rapid tests for passengers. The results were available in 15 minutes.
  • (AP) Amazon threatened to suspend all activity in France after a French court found it wasn’t doing enough to protect its workers.
  • (AP) The Inspector General in Kenya says police will arrest those found not wearing masks in public places, vehicles and private cars.

8:45 A.M.

  • (AP) US retail sales fall by record 8.7% in March as Americans pulled back on spending amid viral outbreak.

7:30 A.M.

  • The International Cycling Union has announced the Tour de France will start Aug. 29
  • (AP) A government-commissioned estimate says some 850,000 people could be seriously sickened by the coronavirus in Japan

6:30 A.M.

  • (AP) The European Union criticizes U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to freeze WHO funding
  • (AP) Spain reports spike in coronavirus cases for the first time in five days with 5,092 new infections.

4:15 A.M.

  • There are 1,982,939 coronavirus cases worldwide and 126,761 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • America has 609,516 people infected with coronavirus
  • US deaths of coronavirus are 26,057
  • There are 7,280 cases of coronavirus in Ohio and 324 deaths
  • (AP) President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is cutting off payments to the World Health Organization (WHO) because, in his view, the organization failed to do enough to stop the coronavirus virus from spreading after it first surfaced in China.
  • (AP) Asian stock markets are lower after the International Monetary Fund said the global economy will suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s
  • The Cannes Film Festival has abandoned plans to hold the event this summer. Organizers still hope to get on the 2020 calendar.
  • (AP) ESPN is asking some of its on-air personalities to take a 15% pay cut over the next three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus questions answered

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