March 14 coronavirus news
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said today that the administration is considering some domestic travel restrictions, specifically with regards to certain areas hard hit with the coronavirus.
Trump did not provide any specifics or a possible timeframe.
“We’re working with the states, and we’re considering other restrictions,” Trump told reporters during a White House news briefing without providing any specifics or a possible timeframe.
“We are considering a broad range of measures,” Pence added during the briefing.
There have been internal discussions about restricting travel to areas in Washington state and other places considered “hot spots” for the virus. It’s unclear how far along they are in implementing them, people familiar with the matter told CNN.
There are preliminary conversations about halting some air or train travel between some major US cities as a potential additional step going forward.
Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and Department of Transportation officials have discussed possibilities with the coronavirus task force, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Some flights have already slowed to those places and there’s an expectation that if other hotspots pop up, flights would similarly slow down due to lack of demand, which might mean they don’t need to put formal restrictions in place.
Ecuador has reported its second coronavirus-related death, according to a press conference held by Health Minister Catalina Andramuno on Saturday.
There are currently a total of 28 confirmed cases nationwide, according to Andramuno.
Italy’s Civil Protection Agency says 175 people have died from coronavirus since Friday, raising the death toll to 1,441 across the country.
The total number of positive cases registered in Italy reached 20,455 on Saturday, with an increase of 2,795 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, the agency reported.
Vice President Pence attempted to clarify when the Google website on the coronavirus, which was announced at yesterday’s Rose Garden press conference, would be widely available.
At a White House briefing Saturday, Pence said Google is planning to launch the website on Monday, but added that launch will only be available in the San Francisco Bay Area. He said the goal is to expand that site to other areas of the country.
CNN’s Jake Tapper reports that California leaders were stunned Friday to see their graphic for a modest pilot program the state has been working on developing with Google’s parent company Alphabet presented by the White House as if it were a Trump administration program that was a nationwide initiative and ready to go according to a knowledgeable source.
Google said Friday night the company will not be publishing a national-scale website for coronavirus testing anytime soon, contrary to claims made by President Trump during the Friday Rose Garden briefing.
Royal Caribbean Cruises will suspend all sailings globally at midnight tonight, a statement from the cruise line said.
All current sailings will end as scheduled and service is expected to resume April 11, the statement said.
The cruise line announced Friday that it was suspending sailings in the US from March 14 until April 10.
Read the company's tweet:
With only days until its presidential primary, Florida — known for its large senior citizen population — is bracing for an election day amid a health pandemic.
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic on Wednesday, state election officials have made a number of changes, from relocating polling sites to encouraging more early voting, to protect the health of the state's 4 million people who are over the age of 65 and represent one-fifth of the total population of the state.
According to CNN Health's state-by-state tally of coronavirus cases, Florida has at least 46 confirmed cases, including two deaths.
"Our recommendation would be if there's a polling location in assisted living facility, allow the residents to vote there," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Wednesday. "But maybe the general public should have the option or be directed to go to a different polling location."
Some of the changes being implemented by election officials across the state include relocating polling sites away from assisted living senior communities.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Trump administration federal rule from going into effect next month that could have seen nearly 700,000 people lose access to food stamps, noting in part a need for flexibility as state and federal officials work to address nutritional needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential," Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the US District Court in Washington, DC, wrote as part of her opinion issued Friday.
Some context: In an order handed down Friday, the Howell granted a preliminary injunction and a stay on portions of a federal rule from the US Department of Agriculture.
The rule, announced in December, would require more food stamp recipients to work in order to receive benefits by limiting states' ability to waive existing work mandates.
All masses in the Archdiocese of New York will be canceled beginning this weekend due to concerns surrounding coronavirus, according to a statement released by the Catholic diocese.
Churches will remain open for private prayer, the statement reads.
“This development follows upon today’s decision of Duchess County to prohibit gatherings of more than 20 people,” the statement said.
The decision affects the 10 counties that comprise the Archdiocese of New York: Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Dutchess.
Norway has registered its second coronavirus-related death, according to a statement released by Oslo University Hospital on Saturday.
According to the statement, shared on Twitter, the hospital confirmed that an “elderly patient with COVID-19 disease died” in the early hours of Saturday.
“For privacy reasons, we are unable to provide additional information about the deceased,” the statement added.
Some context: The latest death comes after new measures were introduced by the Norwegian government to tackle the spread of the virus, including new guidance for citizens advising against all non-essential international travel.
“We are in a serious and increasingly unpredictable situation. Our priority is to safeguard life and health…the situation is changing rapidly in many countries, which is why we are advising against travel that is not strictly necessary to all countries,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Norwegian citizens already traveling abroad should consider returning as soon as possible, in a calm and safe manner,” Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide added.