Coronavirus Live Updates: Governors in U.S. Hot Spots Plea for More Testing


The federal government is asked to help with testing.

The United States was pulled in different directions in dealing with the coronavirus this weekend as the governors of New York and New Jersey called on the Trump administration to help them ramp up testing, President Trump pushed people in some states to rebel against lockdowns and governors considered easing social distancing restrictions.

“I’m not asking the federal government to do more than they need to,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Saturday. “But we do need their coordination. We need their partnership.”

Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey has said he would be “the happiest guy” if he were able to start reopening the state on June 1. But he told ABC News’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast last week that he and other governors in the region needed the federal government’s assistance to carry out broad testing and to trace the contact that infected people have had with others.

New estimates by researchers at Harvard University suggest that the United States as a whole cannot safely reopen unless over the next month it conducts more than three times the number of coronavirus tests it is currently administering.

Data from New York and New Jersey appeared encouraging on Saturday. In both states, the curve of new infections appeared to be flattening or dropping. In New Jersey, the number of new cases and hospitalizations was leveling off, and New York reported its lowest daily death toll in more than two weeks, at 540.

But Mr. Cuomo emphasized the need for federal help to carry the widespread coronavirus testing that officials say is necessary to reopen New York’s economy. He and Mr. Trump have clashed over the level of federal aid given to the state, and the president has suggested that certain governors have not been demonstrably grateful for the aid. Mr. Trump has also encouraged protests of social distancing restrictions in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, states with democratic governors.

Mr. Cuomo noted that 36 of New York’s newly reported deaths were at nursing homes, which he described as “the single biggest fear in all of this.” New Jersey’s health commissioner said 40 percent of the state’s 4,070 coronavirus-related deaths had occurred at long-term care facilities, which have been overwhelmed by the virus.

Governor Murphy called the federal government an “indispensable partner” in stopping the pandemic. “So we’ve got to find common ground,” he said.

An average of 146,000 people per day have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States this month, according to the Covid Tracking Project. To reopen the country by mid-May, the Harvard estimates suggest that the number of daily tests performed between now and then should be 500,000 to 700,000.

That level of testing would be required in order to identify most people who are infected and isolate them from people who are healthy, the researchers say.

Separately on Saturday, federal officials acknowledged that sloppy laboratory practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had caused contamination that rendered the nation’s first coronavirus tests ineffective.

Two of the three C.D.C. laboratories in Atlanta that created the coronavirus test kits violated their own manufacturing standards, which meant that the agency sent tests that did not work properly to nearly all of the 100 state and local public health labs, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

When can people safely emerge from their homes? How long, realistically, before there is a coronavirus treatment or vaccine? How can the virus be kept at bay?

More than 20 experts in public health, medicine, epidemiology and history shared their thoughts on the future during in-depth interviews with The New York Times.

Some said that American ingenuity, once fully engaged, might produce advances to ease the burdens. Several saw a path forward that depends on factors that are difficult but possible: a carefully staggered approach to reopening, widespread coronavirus testing and tracking, a treatment that works, adequate resources for health care providers — and eventually an effective vaccine.

“My optimistic side says the virus will ease off in the summer and a vaccine will arrive like the cavalry,” one said. “But I’m learning to guard against my essentially optimistic nature.”

Most experts believed that once the crisis is over, the nation and its economy will revive quickly — but that there will be no escaping a period of intense pain.

After the coronavirus shut down America’s education system, districts fortified their school meals programs to ensure that their most needy students would stay fed. One month in, school leaders realize that the federal programs set up to subsidize meals for tens of millions of students cannot meet the demands of an emergency that has turned their cafeterias into food banks and community kitchens.

Several districts are now feeding adults and sending days’ worth of food home for entire families. And they are doing so at a cost that under federal rules they will not recoup.

The nation’s 12 largest school districts will spend $12 million to $19 million through the end of June to meet the demands of their pandemic meals operations, estimated Katie Wilson, the executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance, whose members include large urban districts in Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York and Chicago.

The organization, which is pleading for relief from Congress, the Agriculture Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has also set up a donation page to help districts cover costs.

“Every one of these schools that has their doors open are literally heroes on the front line,” Ms. Wilson said. “Food workers are now first responders.”

A cross-platform global concert seeking to raise money for Covid-19 response efforts featured performances by some of the biggest names in music on Saturday.

With eight hours of performances, the event, which was organized by the antipoverty organization Global Citizens, had a scheduled run time almost as long as its name (“One World: Together at Home Special to Celebrate Covid-19 Workers”).

“It is so important to think globally and support the World Health Organization to curb the pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” Lady Gaga, who helped curate the all-star lineup, said at a news conference on Monday. “We want to highlight the gravity of this historical, unprecedented and cultural movement.”

The last two hours of the show, which featured Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel as hosts, aired on NBC, CBS and ABC.

Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, David Beckham, Idris Elba, John Legend, Celine Dion, Elton John, Lizzo, Keith Urban and more were scheduled to appear.

The lineup for the six-hour preshow, which tilted more heavily toward international acts, was scheduled to include performances by Angèle, Luis Fonsi, Jessie J, Juanes and others.

The event came together when the United Nations and the W.H.O. asked Global Citizen to support their Covid-19 response by bringing together the world through music and inspiring people to take action.

Contributions from corporate partners will go to the W.H.O.’s Solidarity Response Fund to support and equip health care workers across the globe. The W.H.O. has shipped two million pieces of personal protection equipment and supplies to 68 countries.

The initiative had raised more than $35 million.

With the Capitol shuttered until at least early May and the House considering remote voting to facilitate a more prolonged absence from Washington, members of Congress are sequestered at home like the rest of America, forced to reimagine how to do their jobs virtually.

It is a singular challenge for lawmakers, whose tasks typically revolve around human contact with a rotating cast of constituents, staff, lobbyists and fellow lawmakers. They have come up with creative (some more than others) solutions.

The Times spoke to lawmakers about how they’re adapting to the new world.

Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, is sharing both intimate details and public-service information in a Facebook diary. Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, is meeting constituents — from a distance — in the open air. Many other lawmakers have turned to teleconferencing. And at least one, Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, has started a podcast.

Tarlach MacNiallais was known for his decades of advocacy for L.G.B.T.Q. and disability rights.

“A battering ram on issues of importance,” according to Harriet Golden, a vice president at A.H.R.C. New York City, an organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, where Mr. MacNiallais worked for nearly 35 years.

Moving from Northern Ireland to New York in the mid-1980s, Mr. MacNiallais became involved in the protracted struggle by L.G.B.T.Q. groups to be fully included in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade up Fifth Avenue. Many years later, he became a member of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade formation committee, and marched in the parade with the Lavender and Green Alliance in 2016.

Mr. MacNiallais died on April 1. He was 57. The cause was complications of the coronavirus, according to friends and family.

Clearing up the confusion about keeping safe distances.

Six feet is the suggested space to keep between people in stores and on casual strolls, but when we walk briskly or run, air moves differently around us, increasing the space required to maintain a proper social distance.

What’s happening around the world?

Israel is preparing to lift some restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus, and Malaysia is asked to stop turning away Rohingya refugees.

Reporting was contributed by Erica L. Green, Lola Fadulu, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Nicholas Fandos, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Derrick Bryson Taylor and Melina Delkic.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *