Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Urges Restrictions; Nations Lock Down

Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Urges Restrictions; Nations Lock Down




‘Every One of Us Has a Critical Role’: Trump Releases New Coronavirus Guidelines

President Trump and leading health officials are now recommending closing more schools, avoiding groups of more than 10, discretionary travel, bars and restaurants.

This afternoon we’re announcing new guidelines for every American to follow over the next 15 days as we combat the virus. Each and every one of us has a critical role to play in stopping the spread and transmission of the virus. We did this today, and this was done by a lot of very talented people, some of whom are standing with me. And that’s available. And Dr. Birx will be speaking about that in just a few minutes. It’s important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience milder symptoms, they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it, indeed, putting countless others in harm’s way. We especially worry about our senior citizens. We’ve made the decision to further toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now. We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it. And that’s what we are. Therefore, my administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel, and avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and public food courts. If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now we will rally together as one nation, and we will defeat the virus. And we’re going to have a big celebration all together. With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly. A lot of progress has been made. I’m also pleased to report today that a vaccine candidate has begun the Phase 1 clinical trial. This is one of the fastest vaccine development launches in history. Not even close. We’re also racing to develop antiviral therapies, and other treatments, and we’ve had some promising results — early results, but promising — to reduce the severity and the duration of the symptoms. And I have to say that our government is prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes we’re doing.

President Trump and leading health officials are now recommending closing more schools, avoiding groups of more than 10, discretionary travel, bars and restaurants.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The Trump administration released new guidelines on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including closing schools and avoiding groups of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, bars, restaurants and food courts.

Mr. Trump, flanked by task force members including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the guidelines would apply for 15 days.

“It seems to me if we do a really good job, we’ll not only hold the death down to a level that’s much lower than the other way had we not done a good job, but people are talking about July, August,” Mr. Trump said about the duration of the crisis.

The new measures reflected the increasing gravity of global attempts to contain the virus as governments around the world, from Canada to Hungary, moved to close their borders to foreign travelers.

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Mr. Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together.”

Hours earlier, Mr. Trump told a group of governors they should not wait for the federal government to fill the growing demand for respirators needed to help people diagnosed with coronavirus.

“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times.


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President Trump held a call with governors on Monday about the response to the coronavirus, discussing work on a vaccine, the impact on the economy and more.CreditCredit…Erin Scott for The New York Times

The suggestion surprised some of the governors, who have been scrambling to contain the outbreak and looking to the federal government for help with equipment, personnel and financial aid.

At the briefing with the president, Dr. Fauci stressed that some of the White House guidelines were inconvenient, but they would help stop the spread of the virus and were not an overreaction.

“I say it over and over again: When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are,” he said.

Mr. Trump, addressing rumors that a nationwide lockdown was under consideration like the ones imposed by Italy and Spain, said that would not happen.

Dr. Fauci said at the briefing that the first phase of testing of a possible vaccine had begun on Monday.

Credit…Kyle Grillot for The New York Times

It was clear on Monday that most of the American economy was grinding to a halt, and would remain that way for months, because of the coronavirus outbreak and the sweeping steps being taken to try to halt it.

When the White House warned all Americans to avoid restaurants and bars and not to gather in groups of more than 10, it left unanswered the question of precisely what individuals and local governments should do, or how business owners and workers might survive financially, at a time when vast sections of the economy were ceasing to function.

On Wall Street, brokers and analysts were acting as if an economic collapse were inevitable, despite the Federal Reserve’s emergency moves on Sunday night to stoke economic growth through an aggressive bond-buying program. The S&P 500 fell nearly 12 percent on Monday and global oil prices slid below $30 a barrel, a four-year low.

“We’re calling the recession,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “We have the three elements to make that call — a profound, pervasive and persistent contraction in economic activity.”

Business groups, local and state leaders and a growing chorus of lawmakers and economists begged the federal government to spend trillions of dollars to pay workers to stay home and funnel money to companies struggling with an abrupt end to consumer activity.

The administration floated several ideas for helping industry without conveying a clear plan. After the main trade group for airlines suggested a $50 billion bailout, Mr. Trump’s chief economist, Larry Kudlow, said, “We don’t see the airlines failing, but if they get into a cash crunch we’re going to try to help them.”

Employers and employees are torn between fears of being exposed to the virus and fears of running out of money to pay for food and electricity. And government officials are left with the unhappy task of shutting down businesses that provide wages for large swaths of their communities.

In Washington, lawmakers are working on a new fiscal stimulus package that could help workers and companies weather the storm — even as a previous package that the House passed last week still waits for Senate approval. Other businesses besides airlines are pushing for loans or direct government grants to fill the void of lost sales.

Nearly two months after a coronavirus outbreak in central China escalated into a national emergency, the country’s daily count of new, local infections has approached tantalizingly close to zero.

Just one new locally originated infection was reported on Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission’s daily update of new coronavirus cases. The new cases was in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

An additional 20 new cases were also recorded in China on Monday, but were among travelers arriving from abroad to Beijing, Shanghai and other cities.

Over the past two weeks, the daily count of infections in China has consistently fallen since the government implemented drastic measures to close cities and confine hundreds of millions of people to their homes.

By the end of Monday, China’s total infection count from the virus had reached 80,881. With 3,226 fatal cases, the country has suffered more deaths from the coronavirus than any other. Italy, a much smaller country, was nearing this figure Tuesday with recorded 2,470 deaths.

China is already trying to restart commerce and industry, but even when new local infections hit zero, the government appears unlikely to proclaim full victory over the epidemic. A new test for the country is still to come as people return to work.

Also on Tuesday, Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, said the city would require all travelers to the territory to self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from Thursday.

Residents of seven counties in Northern California were ordered to “shelter in place” for three weeks beginning on Tuesday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They have been told to stay at home except for essential reasons, including buying food and caring for a pet.

The restrictions come one day after the Trump administration released new guidelines about the outbreak, including avoiding groups of more than 10 people and limiting travel. But left unanswered for many Americans was the question of how business owners and workers might survive financially.

It was clear on Monday that most of the American economy was grinding to a halt, and would remain that way for months. Business groups, local and state leaders and a growing chorus of lawmakers and economists begged the federal government to spend trillions of dollars to pay workers to stay home and funnel money to companies struggling with an abrupt end to consumer activity. American airline companies asked for $50 billion in emergency support from the government.

Though relatively few Americans have been tested for the coronavirus, more than 4,400 people have tested positive, and at least 86 have died.

The message from officials was that the virus would continue to spread. Scientists tracking the virus’s spread reported that for every confirmed case, there are most likely another five to 10 people with undetected infections.

The pandemic also continued to upend marquee American events: For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not take place on the first Saturday in May. The Courier-Journal in Louisville, where the race is held, reported that the race would be rescheduled for Sept. 5.

The actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been released from an Australian hospital and will remain in self-isolation after being treated for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, their son said in a video statement on Monday.

“They’re still self-quarantined obviously, but they’re feeling a lot better so that’s a relief,” their son Chet Hanks said in a video posted on Instagram.

Mr. Hanks and his wife, Ms. Wilson, both 63, said they tested positive for the coronavirus last Wednesday. Mr. Hanks was in Australia filming a movie about the life of Elvis Presley.

Mr. Hanks, known for star-making turns in films like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Forrest Gump,” is the most prominent celebrity known to have contracted the virus.

“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” Mr. Hanks said last week. “We Hanks will be tested, observed and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”

Since then, a slew of public figures have said they have tested positive for the virus, including the actor Idris Elba and Masoumeh Ebtekar, an Iranian vice president.

A representative for the couple confirmed news reports that they would remain in self-quarantine at a rented home in the northeastern state of Queensland.

Australia has experienced a rapid uptick in coronavirus cases. As of Tuesday, 375 people had tested positive including Peter Dutton, the country’s minister for home affairs.

Infighting, turf wars and a president more concerned with the stock market and media coverage than policy have defined the Trump White House. They have also defined how it has handled a pandemic.

The White House culture that President Trump has fostered and abided by for more than three years has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country, with dramatic changes to how Americans live their daily lives.

It all explains how Mr. Trump could announce he was dismissing his acting chief of staff as the crisis grew more severe, creating even less clarity in an already fractured chain of command. And it was a major factor in the president’s reluctance to even acknowledge a looming crisis, for fear of rattling the financial markets that serve as his political weather vane.

Mr. Trump has refused repeated warnings to rely on experts, or to neutralize some of the power held by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in favor of a traditional staff structure. He has rarely fully empowered people in the jobs they hold.

“Part of this is President Trump being Donald J. Trump, the same guy he’s always been, and part of it is a government he has now molded in his image, rather than having a government as it has traditionally been, to serve the chief executive, and to serve the job of governing the country,” said David Lapan, a former spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon, and a former aide of Mr. Kelly.

There are many misunderstandings about social distancing. Can you leave your home? Can you go to the grocery store? We compiled some helpful hints about how to keep safe.

Find more coverage on how coronavirus is impacting your day-to-day life here.

For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not take place on the first Saturday in May.

The Derby, the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, became the latest marquee sporting event forced to postpone because of the deepening coronavirus pandemic.

Tonya Abeln, a spokeswoman for Churchill Downs, said in an email on Monday night that the race would not go ahead as scheduled. The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky., where the race is held, reported that it would be rescheduled for Sept. 5.

The race, which touts itself as the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” regularly draws more than 150,000 spectators to the famed racetrack with its twin spires.

Elsewhere in sports, the N.B.A., the N.H.L. and Major League Baseball have all suspended play, and the N.C.A.A. canceled all of its championships.

Racetracks across the country have been shuttered to the public, but races are still being run and bets are still being welcomed. According to The Courier-Journal, the Derby and the weeks of celebration that surround it infuse the region with about $400 million yearly.

In 1945, the Kentucky Derby was held on June 9, about a month after the government lifted a ban on horse racing that it put in place because of World War II. The only other year the race did not take place on the first Saturday in May was in 1901.

Last year’s Derby, the 145th, ended in controversy after a 21-minute video review. Although Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, the horse was ultimately disqualified for impeding an opponent. Instead, Country House was declared the victor at 65-1 odds.

As Southeast Asia wrestles with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, leaders of three countries — Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand — announced sweeping measures Monday evening to try to slow its progress.

In Malaysia, the newly installed prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, banned mass gatherings until the end of March and ordered the closure of schools and universities, houses of worship, most government offices, and businesses except for grocery stores and shops selling necessities.

Meanwhile, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, expanded an existing coronavirus lockdown of Manila, the capital, to the entire island of Luzon, covering 60 million people.

“You have to stay home,” said Mr. Duterte, 74. “You have to contribute to the fight.”

Residents will only be permitted to leave home to buy food, medicine and other basic necessities. He denied that his goal was to enact martial law and said the lockdown was essential to prevent the virus from gaining more ground.

And in Thailand, the prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, called for closing facilities where large numbers of people gather, including entertainment venues, sport stadiums and schools. Closures could begin as early as Wednesday.

In Indonesia, which has been among the slowest to address the virus, the president, Joko Widodo called for Indonesians to isolate themselves.

“Under the circumstances, it’s time for us to work from home, study from home, pray from home,” he said Sunday.

After one of his cabinet ministers tested positive, Mr. Joko declined Monday to disclose his own test results.

Ohio’s governor on Monday night said he and top state heath officials would ignore a court ruling and postpone Ohio’s presidential primary by declaring a public health emergency because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The governor, Mike DeWine, said that the state’s health director, Dr. Amy Acton, had issued the order based on concerns that the coronavirus outbreak placed both voters and poll workers in potential danger.

His announcement came just hours after Judge Richard A. Frye of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas rejected the state’s request to push back voting to June 2.

Ohio was one of four states scheduled to vote on Tuesday. The other three — Arizona, Illinois and Florida — said that they planned to proceed with their elections while taking additional health precautions.

Kentucky also announced that it was delaying its primary.

Riots broke out on Monday in at least four prisons in the Brazilian state of São Paulo as inmates reacted angrily to a decision by the authorities to stop allowing temporary leaves from custody, a common practice in the country’s low security prisons, because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some inmates managed to escape during the tumult, according to a statement issued by the state prison authority. Prison officials were assessing how many inmates had fled Monday night. A video posted by the G1 news site showed dozens of prisoners running down a street.

Prison officials had revoked leave permits for some 34,000 inmates, fearing that some could become infected outside the jail and could then, after returning, spread the virus “among a vulnerable population, generating health risks for employees and inmates,” according to the statement. With 125 confirmed cases, São Paulo has been the hardest hit state in Brazil.

Authorities across the world have taken a variety of actions to ward off spreading coronavirus in prisons and jails. Iran temporarily released around 70,000 inmates in an effort to combat the spread of the virus in crowded prisons. Federal prisons across the United States have banned visitors, and jails in some parts of the country have also released some inmates as a precaution. Early on in the outbreak, China reported more than 500 cases from four prisons, reinforcing the ease with which the coronavirus can spread in a crowded facility.

India has reported around 125 cases of the coronavirus, and it is a bit of a mystery how the world’s second-most-populous nation, with 1.3 billion people, has remained relatively unscathed while the number of cases explodes to its east and west. That has spawned a sense of almost disbelief about the crisis in some quarters.

Doctors say it is either that there are many more cases in India than have been detected, because of the difficulties of getting tested, or that India has indeed managed to so far escape the worst, possibly because of quick and strict efforts right from the start.

In Kerala, in the south, the authorities used GPS technology, CCTV footage and mobile phone records to trace the movements of one Indian family believed to be among the first infected here. They returned from Italy in late February, and within days, medical teams fanned out to all the places they had visited including banks, restaurants and churches and quickly quarantined just about everyone they had come in contact with — nearly 1,000 people.

India was also one of the first nations to essentially shut its borders, canceling visas and denying entry to all but a select few foreigners. Some states, such as Kerala, are beginning to beef up internal borders, taking the temperature of passengers in cars and screening people on trains.

Reporting was contributed by Jonathan Martin, Richard C. Paddock, Maya Salam, Neil Vigdor, Nick Corasaniti and Stephanie Saul, Tiffany May, Patricia Cohen, Jeffrey Gettleman, Suhasini Raj, Karan Deep Singh and Kai Schultz. and Jim Tankersley.

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