New York City Deaths Top 1,000 Amid Bleak Outlook: Virus Update

New York City’s coronavirus death toll topped 1,000 and President Donald Trump warned of a “painful” two weeks ahead as Asia trading prepared to get underway.

The state’s infections now exceed those reported in China’s Hubei province, where the virus began. As many as 200,000 Americans are projected to die in the outbreak, said Deborah Birx, the top public-health official coordinating the White House coronavirus task force.

20,921 in U.S.Most new cases today

-23% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​071 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

In Europe, Spain said new cases have stabilized, even as it reported its biggest death toll yet, and Italy’s new infections leveled at a two-week low.

Key Developments:

  • New York City deaths top 1,000
  • Cases top 850,000; 41,000 dead, 176,000 recovered: Johns Hopkins
  • Social distancing shows signs of progress on U.S. West Coast
  • Hospitals tell doctors they’ll be fired for talking to press
  • Elderly endangered by virus in states with loose controls
  • Anxiety spreads among delivery drivers

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New York City Deaths Surpass 1,000 (7:25 a.m. HK)

Fatalities in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, have topped 1,000. The city’s heath department reported 1,096 deaths as of 4:30 p.m. local time Tuesday, up from 932 in a morning update. The Queens borough has been the hardest hit, with 376 deaths.

Trump Warns of ‘Painful Two Weeks’ (6:15 a.m. HK)

The president warned Americans that it’s “going to be a painful two weeks” and the virus was the worst thing the country had ever seen as the disease continued to spread around the country.

“Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried,” he said at his daily White House briefing. His somber manner stood in contrast to the optimistic, upbeat tone he has often projected in previous sessions.

Deborah Birx, the top public-health official coordinating the coronavirus task force, said that as many as 200,000 Americans are projected to die in the outbreak, even with another 30 days of the most stringent public-health restrictions.

NYC Asks Plastic Surgeons, Vets for Ventilators (5:30 p.m. NY)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on plastic surgeons, oral surgeons and veterinarians to donate spare ventilators, saying the city is in a “war effort” requiring everyone to contribute.

“If you’ve got a ventilator in your office, in your operating room, we need it now. It should not be sitting there doing nothing,” de Blasio said at his daily virus briefing. Medical specialists sometimes use ventilators during surgical procedures.

Read the full story here

California to Issue Guidance on Public Use of Masks (4:45 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state will put out guidance in the next day or so over the widespread use of face masks.

The governor said there are potential benefits to a recommendation for broad public use, while cautioning that the state of 40 million residents already has a mask shortage for health-care workers. The science also is unclear on the benefits of using masks to protect against the virus, he said.

“It is not a substitute for physical distancing,” Newsom said. “The last thing we want are people putting on coverings and moving them and not washing their hands and potentially causing additional issues.”

N.Y. MTA Needs U.S. Aid to Avoid Default (3:21 p.m. NY)

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the area’s subways, buses and commuter trains, needs more help from the federal and state governments to ensure it can keep paying bondholders as ridership plummets, agency head Pat Foye said Tuesday.

The MTA, which runs the nation’s largest public transportation system, has more than $45 billion of debt outstanding.

New York’s subway ridership is down nearly 90%, and the number of passengers on the MTA’s Metro-North Railroad has fallen 94%. The agency is losing an estimated $125 million each week in fare and toll revenue, leading it to boost its short-term loan capacity to $3 billion from $1 billion to help raise cash.

Spain’s Outbreak Peaks: Health Minister (3 p.m. NY)

Spain’s coronavirus outbreak has peaked and is now in a period of stabilization, Health Minister Salvador Illa said.

The pace of increase in new infections has slowed to about 11% from 20% a week ago, Illa said in a press briefing Tuesday in Madrid. The country, which has recorded the most deaths after Italy, has been carrying out 15,000 to 20,000 tests a day for the past few weeks, he said.

“Since March 25 we’ve observed a point of inflection,” Illa said. “We’re seeing a stabilization in the epidemic’s evolution.”

Total Spanish virus deaths rose by a record 849 to 8,189 in the past 24 hours, according to the latest Health Ministry data. The number of new cases increased by 9,222 -- the most in a single day -- to bring total confirmed infections in the country to 94,417.

San Francisco Sees $1.3 Billion Tax Loss (2:30 p.m. NY)

San Francisco is forecasting it may lose as much as $1.26 billion of tax revenue over the next two years because of the economic shutdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With restaurants and stores shuttered and hotels vacant, the lost revenue is already leaving the city facing a deficit of as much as $287 million for the fiscal year that ends in June, according to a report released Tuesday by Controller Ben Rosenfield and city budget analysts. The revenue hit could cost San Francisco another $972 million through June 2022 if the nation’s economy doesn’t quickly rebound from the recession.

N.Y. Coronavirus Cases Surge Past China’s Hubei (12:45 p.m. NY)

New York state reported a 9,300 increase in coronavirus cases on Tuesday to 76,000, surging past reported infections in China’s Hubei province, where the virus began.

New York has the lion’s share of infections in the U.S., which now has the most cases in the pandemic after eclipsing China last week. China’s epidemic, which has now been contained to a few new domestic cases after a two-month battle, was largely confined to Hubei province, which had 67,801 cases reported as of March 30.

With a population only a third of Hubei’s, New York has emerged as the new epicenter of the outbreak, which has now infected over 788,000 people worldwide and killed more than 37,800 people.

N.Y. Governor’s TV Anchor Brother Is Positive (12:04 p.m. NY)

Chris Cuomo, who has been leading CNN’s nightly coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for the infection, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, his older brother.

Chris Cuomo, 49, is now quarantined at home in his basement, away from his family, the governor said at a press briefing Tuesday. “He’s young in good shape, strong,” the 62-year-old governor said. “Not as strong as he thinks -- but he will be fine.”

FEMA Sending Ambulances to NYC (11:01 a.m. NY)

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending 250 ambulances to New York City, staffed by 500 paramedics and medical technicians to help its fire department respond to an unprecedented number of medical calls. Fire department rescue personnel report a 50% increase over normal daily call volume, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said in a statement.

NYC Reports First Death of Minor (10:20 a.m. NY)

New York City reported its first coronavirus death of a person under age 18, as fatalities continue rising in the region, according to the Associated Press. The person’s exact age wasn’t disclosed.

Russia Doctor Who Met Putin Is Diagnosed: TV (9:29 a.m. NY)

The head of Russia’s main coronavirus hospital, Denis Protsenko, who hosted President Vladimir Putin there on March 24, has been diagnosed with Covid-19, state-run Rossiya 24 television reported.

U.K.’s Johnson Faces Calls to Release Lockdown Data (9:11 a.m. NY)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to release data showing why he needed to lock down the country to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Johnson ordered the most sweeping curbs on the population ever imposed, shutting restaurants, gyms, schools and shops, and banning people from gathering in public. Now members of Parliament from across the political spectrum are calling on the government to release the data that prompted the stringent measures so the public can see why they were needed -- and whether they could or should have been taken earlier.

Pelosi Says Moving Toward Vote By Mail in November (8:24 a.m. NY)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC she sees the country moving toward a vote by mail for the November elections, and said she hoped the postal service would receive funding to accommodate it.

Dutch Deaths Surpass 1,000 (8:10 a.m. NY)

The Netherlands became the latest country with a death toll surpassing 1,000 after 175 more fatalities were reported, bringing the total to 1,039. Confirmed cases rose 7% to 12,595.

The southern province of Brabant at the heart of the country’s outbreak seems to have passed the peak of hospitalized cases, according to the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

Italy Readies Emergency Cash for Underground Economy (7:15 a.m. NY)

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is preparing an unprecedented emergency handout for workers trapped in Italy’s underground economy, as his government seeks to stave off the risk of social unrest during a nationwide lockdown.

Conte is expected to host a cabinet meeting on Wednesday or Thursday to approve a new request to parliament for a wider budget deficit, paving the way for a second stimulus package worth at least 30 billion euros ($33 billion), according to officials who asked not to be identified by name. Italy’s initial package was valued at 25 billion euros.

The government may extend restrictions through the May 1 holiday weekend, with a gradual opening of the country from May 4, Italian newspapers including La Stampa reported on Tuesday.

— With assistance by Karen Leigh, and Kara Wetzel

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