There are now 100,000 known coronavirus cases in the United States.
More than 100,000 people in the United States have now been infected with the coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, a grim milestone that comes on the same day the national death toll surpassed 1,500.
Earlier this week the country surpassed the case totals in China and Italy. The number of known cases has risen rapidly in recent days as testing ramped up after weeks of widespread shortages and delays.
And the outbreak has already transformed life in the United States, where millions of Americans have been asked to do what might have been unthinkable only a week or two ago: Don’t go to work, don’t go to school, don’t leave the house, except in limited circumstances.
The directives to keep people at home to stunt the spread of the coronavirus began in California, and have quickly been adopted across the country. By Friday, two dozen states and the Navajo Nation had told their residents to stay at home as much as possible, orders that affect at least 223 million Americans.
The pandemic is also having an effect on the primary calendar, as states across the country scramble to protect voters and poll workers. Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin on Friday requested that absentee ballots be sent to all of the state’s 3.3 million registered voters ahead of its April 7 presidential primary. And on the same day, Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed a measure postponing the contest from April 28 to June 2.
President Trump laments his political fate and attacks Democratic governors.
President Trump on Friday evening lamented the loss of economic gains that he had often used to measure his success in office and that served as the heart of his re-election message until the coronavirus hit the United States.
And he attacked Democratic governors for being insufficiently grateful for his efforts.
“Think of it, 22 days ago we had the greatest economy in the world,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference. “Everything was going beautifully. The stock market hit an all-time high again for the over 150th time during my presidency.”
He singled out the governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, and the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, for his prime time scorn.
Mr. Inslee, he said, was “a failed presidential candidate” who was “constantly tripping and complaining.” Ms. Whitmer “has no idea what’s going on,” he said.
He then said he told Vice President Mike Pence, his coronavirus coordinator, to stop calling Mr. Inslee and Ms. Whitmer: “Don’t call the woman in Michigan, doesn’t make any difference,” he said of Ms. Whitmer.
“Very simple. I want them to be appreciative,” he said, saying his administration has “done a hell of a job.”
Trump signs $2 trillion stimulus plan, clearing way for checks for Americans.
President Trump on Friday signed into law the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history, backing a $2 trillion measure designed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the law, the government will deliver direct payments and jobless benefits for individuals, money for states and a huge bailout fund for businesses battered by the crisis.
Mr. Trump signed the measure in the Oval Office hours after the House approved it by voice vote and less than two days after the Senate unanimously passed it.
In brief remarks, Mr. Trump, flanked by Republican leaders in Congress, thanked “Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first” and said it would help pave the road to economic recovery.
“I think we are going to have a tremendous rebound,” he said.
The legislation will send direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans, including those earning up to $75,000, and an additional $500 per child. It will substantially expand jobless aid, providing an additional 13 weeks and a four-month enhancement of benefits, and for the first time will extend the payments to freelancers and gig workers.
The measure will also offer $377 billion in federally guaranteed loans to small businesses and establish a $500 billion government lending program for distressed companies reeling from the crisis, including allowing the administration the ability to take equity stakes in airlines that received aid to help compensate taxpayers. It will also send $100 billion to hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic.
The law was the product of days of talks between members of Mr. Trump’s administration and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress. And even before Mr. Trump held a bill signing on Friday afternoon, congressional leaders said they expected to negotiate more legislative responses to the pandemic in the coming months.
Coronavirus cases now threaten America’s middle.
A second wave of coronavirus cases is charting a path far from coastal Washington State, California, New York and New Jersey, and threatening population centers in America’s middle that had no known cases of coronavirus not long ago.
Emerging hot spots include smaller communities like Greenville, Miss., and Pine Bluff, Ark., and large cities like New Orleans, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago. The areas around Cleveland, St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., have also seen spikes.
As the toll of the virus grows, mayors, county executives and governors are sounding the alarm over a dearth of equipment and struggling to deal with the deadly onslaught.
“I look to New York to see what’s going on there, and I think, it’s a cautionary tale for the rest of us,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, a Democrat, said in an interview on Friday. “I look at New York and think, what do we do so that we are as prepared as possible as this begins to ramp up in a city like Chicago?”
U.S. cities face shortages of masks, ventilators and emergency gear.
Officials in nearly 200 U.S. cities, large and small, report a dire need for face masks, ventilators and other emergency equipment to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey released on Friday.
The United States Conference of Mayors questioned officials in 213 municipalities and found serious shortages that underscored the “scope and severity” of the crisis. The organization, a nonpartisan association of mayors from across the country, urged the federal government to provide more support.
More than 90 percent — or 192 cities — said they did not have an adequate supply of face masks for police officers, firefighters and emergency workers. In addition, 92 percent of cities reported a shortage of test kits and 85 percent did not have a sufficient supply of ventilators available to local health facilities.
Roughly two-thirds of the cities said they had not received any emergency equipment or supplies from their state, the report said. And of those that did receive state aid, nearly 85 percent said it was not enough to meet their needs.
In total, the conference tabulated that cities need 28.5 million face masks, 24.4 million other items of personal protection equipment, 7.9 million test kits and 139,000 ventilators.
A series of missteps and lost opportunities dogged the coronavirus response of the United States, which now leads the globe with known cases.
Among them: a failure to take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China, a deeply flawed effort to provide broad testing for the virus that left the country blind to the extent of the crisis, and a dire shortage of masks and protective gear to protect doctors and nurses on the front lines, as well as ventilators to keep the critically ill alive.
After expressing doubts about the need for more ventilators, Trump pushes industry to make more.
For days Mr. Trump resisted using the Defense Production Act to mobilize private industry to produce the critically-needed supplies, arguing at points that private industry was stepping up on its own, and at other points suggesting dismissively that using it would be analogous to “nationalizing” businesses.
But on Friday afternoon Mr. Trump said that he had directed his administration “to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators.”
“Our negotiations with G.M. regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” the president said in a statement. “G.M. was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
Earlier on Friday, Mr. Trump lashed out at General Motors on Friday, blaming it for overpromising on its ability to make new ventilators for critically ill coronavirus patients.
In a series of tweets, the president had emphasized the urgent need for the ventilators, an abrupt change of tone from the night before, when he had told Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, that states were inflating their needs.
Mr. Trump appeared to be reacting to reports that the White House had dragged its feet in awarding contracts to G.M. and Ventec Life Systems, to start new production lines in a converted G.M. plant in Kokomo, Ind.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and the health secretary test positive.
“I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus,” Mr. Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter, noting that he was tested on Thursday after he began running a temperature and suffering a persistent cough.
The prime minister said that he would isolate himself in his official residence, 10 Downing Street, but would not relinquish his duties. On Monday, after resisting harsher measures for more than a week, Mr. Johnson imposed a lockdown on Britain to try to curb the virus’s spread. He has continued to meet with advisers and has appeared most days at a daily televised briefing, though he did not do so on Thursday.
“Be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fight back against coronavirus,” Mr. Johnson said.
But a critical member of his cabinet, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, also tested positive, meaning that the two people most directly responsible for dealing with the virus are now afflicted with it.
The government’s chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, also reported symptoms of the virus and said he was isolating himself. There are fears that other officials who have been in meetings with Mr. Johnson could also have been exposed.
If Mr. Johnson becomes incapacitated, his duties would be taken over by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who has tested negative for the virus. It is a head-spinning turn of events for a government that, just two weeks ago, was brimming with confidence after a landslide election victory in December.
Mr. Johnson’s diagnosis rattled a country that was already unnerved by news that Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and the heir to the throne, had tested positive for the virus. Buckingham Palace said the queen remained healthy and was sequestered at Windsor Castle. Mr. Johnson delivered his weekly briefing to the queen by telephone on Wednesday.
Photos take you inside a hard-hit Italian town, and the Pope offers words of praise.
No country has been hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic than Italy, where officials announced Friday that more than 950 people had died in the past 24 hours. It was the highest daily tally yet, lifting the national death toll to 9,134 — by far the highest in the world.
Our reporter and photographer visited Bergamo, which had been a quiet and wealthy province, and followed the Red Cross workers going door to door, carrying away the afflicted to offer a glimpse of what it looks like in the heart of the crisis.
Italy’s staggering toll suggested that its early attempts to stem the outbreak — first isolating towns, then regions, then shutting down the country in a porous lockdown — always lagged behind the virus’s trajectory. And the country’s outbreak has yet to reach its peak, scientists warn.
The virus has also penetrated the high walls of the Vatican.
The Vatican on Tuesday said an official who lives in the pope’s residence has tested positive and required hospitalization. Now the Vatican is testing scores of people and considering isolating measures for Francis, 83, who has tested negative in two separate tests, according to top Vatican officials.
“For weeks now, it has been evening — thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities,” Pope Francis, who had part of his lungs removed during an illness in his youth, said on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica Friday. “It has taken over our lives.”
Pope Francis also expressed support and appreciation for “doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.”
Doctors find the coronavirus affects some patients in subtle and unexpected ways.
The coronavirus mostly infects the lungs, causing pneumonia in severe cases; the typical symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing. But some infected patients, including one recently in Brooklyn, have arrived at the hospital with symptoms not of respiratory disease, but of heart attack.
On close examination, the Brooklyn patient and some others were suffering from acute myocarditis, a severe inflammation of the heart. The condition also has been seen in patients with other viral infections, such as MERS and the H1N1 swine flu. Patients with coronavirus infections and heart complications have a risk of death nearly four times higher than patients without heart complications.
Other doctors have been keeping a close watch on the virus’s impact on the youngest targets. Newborns and babies have so far seemed to be largely unaffected by the coronavirus, but three small new studies suggest that the virus may reach the fetus in utero.
Even in these studies the newborns seem only mildly affected, if at all. That is reassuring, experts said; in theory, the virus could pose a risk to the fetus early in gestation, when the fetal brain is most vulnerable.
“We don’t have any knowledge of that at all, said Dr. Christina Chambers, a perinatal epidemiologist at the University of California in San Diego. “That is a complete open question at this point.”
Four are dead on a cruise ship with nowhere to dock.
Four passengers with flu-like symptoms died aboard the Zaandam, a Holland American cruise ship that is currently off the coast of Panama, the company announced on Friday. It was refused entry into Chile nearly two weeks ago and does not currently have permission to transit the Canal to reach Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the closest available port open to the ship.
On Sunday, the company, which is owned by Carnival Corp., said it had begun to notice an influx of passengers with influenza-like symptoms, so all of the passengers were isolated in their cabins.By Friday, 53 passengers and 85 crew members were displaying symptoms; two have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement released by the company.
With at least 18 cruise ships still at sea and making their way to shore in the coming days, state and federal authorities have yet to establish a cohesive strategy for evacuating ships and repatriating passengers around the world without exposing them and others to more disease.
Wall Street drops after its best three-day run since 1933.
Stocks fell on Friday as investors who initially cheered progress on a $2 trillion U.S. aid package saw further economic troubles ahead.
The S&P 500 dropped more than 3 percent on Friday. Stocks in Europe were also lower.
The selling reflected caution ahead of the weekend, when bad news about the virus’s spread or further efforts to contain it could overtake the positive sentiment stirred up by the passage of the stimulus bill, Steven Ricchiuto, the chief economist at Mizuho, said in a note to clients.
“After the stimulus bill passes, and households and companies begin waiting for the government money to start flowing, news stories will resume a more negative tilt,” Mr. Ricchiuto wrote.
All told, it was a relatively good week for stock investors. Even after Friday’s drop, the S&P 500 remains up more than 10 percent this week, after a three-day romp for stocks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
But the decline on Friday suggests that there is still little clarity on whether the worst is over for the market after weeks in which benchmark indexes collapsed amid violent swings.
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized nation, ordered most of its 59 million people to stay at home for three weeks starting today. It is by far the biggest and most restrictive action undertaken on the African continent to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The nationwide lockdown followed an alarming increase in confirmed cases across South Africa’s nine provinces. Three weeks after detecting its first infection, the country is now the center of the pandemic on the continent, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases, double the number of the next hardest-hit country, Egypt.
While the deadly virus was slow to take hold in Africa, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths has gradually increased in recent days, raising fears about the continent’s readiness to deal with a pandemic.
To date, 46 African states have reported a total of 3,243 positive cases and 83 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What you can do to protect yourself and everyone else.
You can take several steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and keep yourself safe. Be consistent about social distancing. Wash your hands often. And when you do leave your home for groceries or other essentials, wipe down your shopping cart and be smart about what you are purchasing.
Reporting was contributed by Michael Cooper, Alan Blinder, Julie Bosman, Emily Cochrane, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Maya Salam, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni, Mark Landler, Stephen Castle, John Eligon, Amy Qin, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Elian Peltier, Raphael Minder, Jason Horowitz, Fabio Bucciarelli, Nikita Stewart, Michael Crowley, Jason Horowitz, Elisabetta Povoledo, Lara Jakes, Jesse Drucker, Abdi Latif Dahir, Vikas Bajaj, Carl Hulse, Steven Lee Myers, , Caitlin Dickerson, Annie Correal, Adam Liptak, Neil MacFarquhar and Frances Robles.