Live updates for Tuesday, April 14, continue at this link.
Key updates for Monday, April 13, 2020:
- Wisconsin primary results released, Biden wins for Democrats, Trump wins for GOP
- Pixar’s “Soul” postponed to November because of pandemic
- XFL files for bankruptcy
- New York, New Jersey, four other states will work together to reopen their economies once outbreak subsides
- White House asks governors for help in getting lab machines up and running to process tests
- All 50 states have now reported at least one COVID-19 death
- Coronavirus death toll tops 10,000 in New York
- Amazon looks to hire 75,000 more workers
- President Trump says he'll decide when to ease social distancing guidelines, not governors
- Navy reports first coronavirus death from USS Roosevelt crew
- George Stephanopoulos reveals COVID-19 diagnosis
- The number of confirmed U.S. cases has passed 557,000 and the total number of deaths has passed 22,000, a mortality rate of about 4% among confirmed cases.
- Delta Air Lines is temporarily boarding passengers from the back of the plane to the front to increase social distancing.
- Kentucky police put quarantine notices on cars and took down license plate numbers of people who attended church on Easter Sunday.
- From Sunday, April 12 blog: Dr. Fauci says parts of U.S. economy could open May
The United States has 568,176 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 3 p.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 22,079 deaths. There have been more than 2.8 million tests for COVID-19 in the U.S.
JHU says the U.S. currently has a mortality rate of 4%, based on confirmed cases. Only Germany (2.4%) is lower among the 10 countries most affected by COVID-19.
A model by the The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected that Sunday would be the peak day for deaths from COVID-19 in the United States. The model predicts that the number of daily fatalities will begin to drop, but won't reach zero until June 22. The model is based on social distancing measures continuing. It also indicates that there are uncertainties that could lead to much higher daily death tolls.
Worldwide, there have been 1.89 million cases and 118,304 deaths, according to JHU.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older people and those with underlying conditions, it can cause severe symptoms and lead to death.
XFL files for bankruptcy
The XFL has filed for bankruptcy, likely spelling the end of the second iteration of the league.
The WWE-backed XFL canceled the rest of its return season last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. It suspended operations and laid off its employees Friday. The league says in a news release that it wasn’t insulated “from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis."
Northeast and West Coast Governors announce reopening plans
Governors in the Northeast and along the West Coast are announcing separate state compacts to coordinate how to begin reopening society amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They did not announce a timeline but said they will consider the health of residents first and will be guided by science. Nine of the 10 states involved have Democratic governors.
The Northeast coalition includes Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The West Coast one consists of California, Oregon and Washington.
White House Coronavirus Task Force updates the public as Wyoming reports first COVID-19 death
White House officials briefed the press and the public Monday afternoon begining with the results of mitigation on flattening the curve. Dr. Anthony Fauci began by stating that mitigation efforts are working around the United States.
Dr Fauci told the press that when he said "we should do mitigation strongly, the response was, 'yes, we'll do it.'"
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin announced Monday that "over 80 million Americans" should get their economic stimulus payments via direct deposit by Wednesday.
Pixar’s “Soul” postponed to November because of pandemic
Pixar’s “Soul,” the last major release planned for June, has been postponed to November because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Walt Disney Co. announced Monday that “Soul” won’t open June 19, but will instead hit theaters Nov. 20. The major studios have now cleared out all releases until mid-July, where a handful of movies still remain on the calendar. Those include Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and “Mulan," which already had its March debut postponed.
The lion’s share of Hollywood’s summer season has been canceled by the pandemic.
Biden wins Wisconsin Democratic primary
Monday afternoon news broke that Joe Biden won the Wisconsin Democratic primary. The results were released a week after the state held in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
NY, NJ, area governors form regional task force
New York, New Jersey and four other states will work together to reopen their economies once the coronavirus outbreak begins to subside, governors of those states said Monday.
They held a conference call to announce that they will share information and form a task force to help guide the reopening of the states’ economies when it’s time.
“The house is still on fire. We still have to put the fire out, but we do have to begin putting in the pieces of the puzzle that we know we’re going to need ... to make sure this doesn’t re-ignite,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said.
President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to reopen the country.
Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, however, said that considering governors had the responsibility for closing states down, “I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it up.”
Wolf also asserted that it is a “false choice” to choose between public health or the economy.
Amazon looks to hire another 75,000 workers
Amazon announced Monday that it has fulfilled its pledge to hire 100,000 workers to keep up with demand related to coronavirus and is now looking to hire 75,000 more people.
Amazon said 100,000 people were hired in full and part-time jobs across its company in the last four weeks.
"We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time," the company said in a blog post Monday.
Interested candidates can apply at www.amazon.com/jobsnow.
White House asks governors for help in testing
The White House is asking governors for help in getting high-tech lab machines up and running to process coronavirus tests.
In a conference call with governors Monday, Vice President Mike Pence asked governors for “whatever you can do” to help get testing machines found in hospitals, research laboratories and other places running at full capacity. The Associated Press obtained audio of the call.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said on the call that she’s working with labs around the country to make sure the machines are running at full capacity.
The machines “have a need for a lot of technical support” and require trained operators to run them, Birx said.
“In the last three weeks, we could have run 3 million tests. We’ve run 200,000,” she said.
Wyoming man dies of COVID-19; state was last without a death
A Wyoming man has become the state's first person to die of the coronavirus.
For almost two weeks, Wyoming was the only U.S. state without known deaths from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness. The Johnson County man's death was announced Monday by the Wyoming Department of Health.
The man had health conditions that put him at higher risk of complications from the virus and he'd been hospitalized, health officials said in a release. The man died last week but tests confirmed Monday that he had the new coronavirus.
New York death toll tops 10,000
New York’s death toll from coronavirus topped 10,000, with hospitals still seeing 2,000 new patients a day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
The state tallied 671 new deaths on Sunday. It was the first time in a week daily toll dipped below 700. Still, the governor noted people are still dying at a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.”
“This virus is very good at what it does. It is a killer,” Cuomo said during a state Capitol news briefing.
Cuomo said almost 2,000 people were newly hospitalized with the virus Sunday, though once discharges and deaths are accounted for, the number of people hospitalized has flattened to just under 19,000.
As a hopeful sign, Cuomo said the number of people hospitalized with the virus has flattened to just under 19,000.
State and New York City officials see plateauing hospitalizations as a hopeful sign for the coming weeks. The governor said the state's tenuous progress will likely continue as long as people continue to follow stay-at-home restrictions.
“The worst can be over, and it is over unless we do something reckless,” Cuomo said. "And you can turn those numbers on two or three days of reckless behavior.”
Trump says he'll decide when to ease guidelines, not governors
President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to relax the nation's social distancing guidelines as he grows anxious to reopen the coronavirus-stricken country as soon as possible.
Governors and local leaders, who have instituted mandatory restrictions that have the force of law, have expressed concern that Trump's plan to restore normalcy will cost lives and extend the duration of the outbreak.
Trump has pushed to reopen the economy, which has plummeted as businesses have shuttered, leaving millions of people out of work and struggling to obtain basic commodities.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Trump said some are "saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect...it is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.”
He added, “With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”
First coronavirus death from USS Roosevelt crew
A member of the crew of the coronavirus-infected USS Theodore Roosevelt warship died Monday of complications related to the disease, the Navy said, adding to setbacks for the sidelined aircraft carrier.
The sailor, whose name and other identifying information were not publicly released pending notification of relatives, had tested positive for coronavirus on March 30 and was taken off the ship and placed in “isolation housing” along with four other sailors at the U.S. Navy base on Guam. On April 9, he was found unresponsive during a medical check and was moved to a local hospital's intensive care unit.
The Roosevelt has been in a coronavirus crisis that prompted the Navy's civilian leader, Thomas Modly, to fire the ship’s captain on April 2. Five days later, after flying to the ship and delivering a speech in which he insulted the skipper, Capt. Brett E. Crozier, and criticized the crew for supporting Crozier, Modly resigned.
South Dakota plant closes after hundreds of employees test positive
Virginia-based Smithfield Foods announced Sunday that it is closing its pork processing plant in Sioux Falls until further notice after hundreds of employees tested positive for the coronavirus — a step the head of the company warned could hurt the nation's meat supply.
The announcement came a day after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and urged the company to suspend operations for 14 days so that its workers could self-isolate and the plant could be disinfected.
The plant, which employs about 3,700 people in the state's largest city, has become a hot spot for infections. Health officials said Sunday that 293 of the 730 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota work at the plant.
AT&T offers free wireless for workers fighting COVID-19
AT&T has agreed to pay for three months of free wireless service for nurses and physicians battling COVID-19 nationwide on the FirstNet network built exclusively for first responders.
Actor John Krasinski shared details during his “Some Good News” YouTube show Sunday.
Carnival extends cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line announced Monday that it has canceled all North American itineraries through June 26. The company said it is also canceling all Carnival Sunrise trips out of New York through the end of the year.
"This is disappointing, but we are committed to being a strong partner with the government and taking steps to maintain public confidence in our business," the company said in its announcement.
Carnival said it hopes to resume sailing on June 27.
George Stephanopoulos announces COVID-19 diagnosis
"Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos has tested positive for COVID-19. He announced his diagnosis on "Good Morning America. His wife, Ali Wentworth had previously tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Unlike his wife, Stephanopoulos said he has been asymptomatic.
"I actually feel great," he said. "I've never had a fever, never had cough, never had shortness of breath, never had chills, any of the classic symptoms."
Fresh Market to require customers to wear masks
Fresh Market stores announced it would require customers to wear masks starting April 14.
"The health and safety of our team members and guests, as well as the cleanliness of our stores, remain our top priorities at The Fresh Market," the company said in a statement. "We are actively working with our safety experts, vendors and suppliers to ensure we are taking all precautionary measures and adhering to recommendations from federal and state health officials to prevent the spread of germs."
Fresh Market had previously changed its store hours and disinfection protocols in response to the pandemic.
Boris Johnson recovering at retreat
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recuperating at his country retreat after praising nurses who took care of him during the seven nights he spent in the hospital fighting the new coronavirus.
Dressed in a suit, Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter after his discharge from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday that it was “hard to find the words” to express his debt of gratitude to the National Health Service for saving his life “no question.”
He listed a number of the frontline staff members who cared for him during his week-long stay at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London but singled out two nurses who stood by his bedside for 48 hours “when things could have gone either way.”
Delta Air Lines changes boarding procedures
Delta Air Lines has implemented a back-to-front boarding procedure. During general boarding, passengers will be invited to board by rows, starting at the back. The airline says the change will prevent passengers from having to pass each other to get to their seats.
The measure will be in place through May 31, but that date could change depending on what is happening with the pandemic.
2nd TSA employees dies from COVID-19
The Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday that a second TSA agent has died from the new coronavirus.
Alberto Camacho, a Branch Manager in the Acquisition Program Management office, on April 3, after contracting COVID-19, the TSA said in a news release.
"For over 20 years Alberto dedicated his career to both transportation and aviation security, and his contributions to TSA and our mission will not be forgotten," TSA said in a statement.
On the day of Camacho's death, the agency had announced the first death of a federal TSA employee to coronavirus.
So far, 378 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kentucky police take license numbers, issue notices to church goers
Some religious leaders believe the lines between church and state were blurred this weekend. Kentucky state and city officials warned people against going to in person church services and even drive-in services in some cases.
Governor Andy Beshear followed through on a promise he made Friday – there will be consequences for people who attend in person Easter services.
Shortly after the service started at Maryville Baptists Church, Kentucky State Police troopers put notices on people’s cars saying their license plate has been recorded. The notice stated that local health department officials will be contacting those associated with the vehicle with self-quarantine documents, "including an agreement requiring this vehicle’s occupants and anyone in the household to self-quarantine for 14 days.”
The service was also streamed on Facebook and broadcast with a speaker for people in their cars in the parking lot.
Japan prime minister criticized for 'stay home' message
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “stay home” message he tweeted Sunday has drawn angry reactions on social networks from those calling him insensitive to people who cannot rest at home because of the government’s social distancing measures that do not come with compensation.
Some tweets said he acted as if “an aristocrat,” and others said “What does he think he is!”
A one-minute video shows Abe sitting at home, expressionless, cuddling his dog, reading a book, sipping from a cup and clicking on a remote control. The video, on a split screen, features a popular singer and actor Gen Hoshino strumming on a guitar at home, but later posted on his Instagram that his clip was used without his permission.
Ticketmaster still issuing refunds for show cancellations caused by virus outbreak
On March 14, Ticketmaster's refund policy page’s language changed to say “refunds are available if your event is canceled.” If an event is canceled, fans get their refund within 30 days -- but if it’s indefinitely postponed, it’s unclear when or if they’ll be able to get their money back."