March 24 coronavirus news

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11:13 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

New York governor: "We haven't flattened the curve ... the curve is actually increasing"

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said "the rate of increase has gone up" when it comes to new coronavirus cases across the state.

He said that new infections are "doubling about every three days," which he called a "dramatic increase in the rate of infections."

On the rate of infections in the state, Cuomo said, "We're not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own."

He said that, based on what experts are telling him, the new projection for hospital capacity is "as high as 140,000" hospital beds in the state to treat cases.

"We haven't flattened the curve, and the curve is actually increasing," Cuomo said.
11:04 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Celebrity chef says restaurants need "direct income replacement"

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio Smallz & Raskind/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

US chef Tom Colicchio said he thinks three in four of restaurants won’t be able to rebound after the coronavirus. 

Colicchio, a “Top Chef” judge, said “direct income replacement” is required to stop the bleeding of the restaurant industry, and he hopes to see it in a government stimulus bill.  

“Once we get open, it’s really important that we stay open,” he said. "We need those employees to stay employed, so we’re going to need some additional runway to get our restaurants open and some cushion until we can get up to full capacity.” 

Some context: The United States restaurant industry employs more than 15 million people, and about 70% of restaurants are small and independent.

The National Restaurant Association wrote a letter last week to President Trump and senior federal lawmakers, seeking $325 billion in aid.

Watch more:

11:03 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Brits who ignore government lockdown instructions will be fined $35 on the spot

Brits who fail to follow the government's instructions to stay at home face an on-the-spot fine of 30 pounds — or about $35.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson announced the measures this afternoon and indicated that the fines could be subject to increase.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a number of restrictions on the movements of the British public. British people may only leave their homes to get groceries, visit the doctor, exercise once a day or to go to work if it is not possible to do so from home.

A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed to CNN a report by Reuters announcing that police will be able to impose these penalties "as soon as possible and by Thursday at the latest." The measures have been taken to help "disperse groups of people who are flouting the rules."

The spokesperson confirmed that the amount would be regularly reviewed and could be increased "significantly if it is necessary to ensure public compliance."

10:55 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

The 2020 Paralympics will also be postponed

International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons is backing the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games until 2021, saying it was “the only logical option.”

After weeks of speculation and mounting criticism at the delay in announcing a postponement, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed earlier today that the event would be rescheduled for “no later than summer 2021.”

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games had been scheduled to take place from August 25 until September 6. Now, the Paralympic Games will also be delayed, Parsons said.

“Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do," he said. “The health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.”

"Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is," he added. “When the Paralympic Games do happen in Tokyo next year, they will be a spectacular global celebration of humanity coming together again as one.”

The Olympics have never been rescheduled in peacetime. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were canceled because of World Wars.

10:39 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

New York City mayor says he requested 15,000 ventilators from the federal government

WABC
WABC

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city requested 15,000 ventilators from the federal government for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

De Blasio made the comments as he toured the NYC Emergency Management Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, this morning.

10:45 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

White House has agreed to oversight of $500 billion bailout fund

Claire Hambach/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Claire Hambach/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been negotiating the deal with Senate leadership, has agreed to an inspector general and congressional oversight for $500 billion fund proposed for distressed companies, a senior White House official tells CNN.

Some background: Pressure has been intensifying for days on the Senate to pass a massive stimulus package to respond to the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

After four straight days of marathon negotiations, the Trump administration and senators again failed yesterday to secure an agreement on a roughly $2 trillion plan to provide a jolt to the economy and give aid to hard-hit workers and industries.

But leaders emerged from late-night meetings in the Capitol optimistic that a deal could be struck today.

10:29 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US Senate leader says negotiators "very close" to stimulus deal

Senate TV
Senate TV

In another sign that a deal is imminent, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in floor remarks said, “at last I believe we’re on the five-yard line,” adding that “we are very close."

"We are close to a bill that takes our bold Republican framework, integrates further ideas from both parties and delivers huge progress on each of the four core priorities I laid out a week ago. So today, the Senate has a chance to get back on track. Today we can make all of the Washington drama fade away, if we act today what Americans will remember and what history will record is that the Senate did the right thing – that we came together.”

McConnell went on to address his belief in the urgent need for Congress to pass something immediately.

“The clock has run out. The buzzer is sounding. The hour for bargaining as though this was business as usual has expired,” he said. “The American people need our Democratic friends to take yes for an answer. Now I hope that will happen today.”

“I hope today is the day this body will get it done,” he added.

10:26 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

International Baccalaureate Organization cancels May exams

The International Baccalaureate Organization has announced that its May 2020 examination session will be canceled due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

"Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic," the organization said in a statement Monday.

This is the first time an examination session has been canceled, according to the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Last year, more than 250,000 students across 144 countries took part in the exams, which are crucial in determining university placements across the globe.

10:21 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US House leader says she's optimistic about a deal "in the next few hours"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks outside her office on Capitol Hill, Monday, March 23.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks outside her office on Capitol Hill, Monday, March 23. Andrew Harnik/Pool/AP/FILE

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this morning that “there is real optimism that we could get something done in the next few hours,” as negotiations between congressional leaders and the Trump administration for a coronavirus stimulus package continue.

“I think we’re getting to a good place, if they stay there,” Pelosi said in an interview on CNBC. 

Pressure has been intensifying for days on the Senate to pass a massive stimulus package to respond to the economic fallout of the coronavirus, but Monday came and went without much action.

Pelsoi said she believes the Senate bill will incorporate House Democrats’ language on oversight for some of the funds in the package, and that the new version has also boosted resources for state and local governments.

“We wanted a strong infusion of resources for state and local governments because they are taking a big bit of this apple,” she said.

“We think the bill has moved sufficiently to the side of workers,” Pelosi added. She said congressional leaders "all appreciate the urgency.”

Pelosi suggested she is hoping to avoid bringing the full House back to Washington to vote on the package, seeking to pass it through unanimous consent instead.

What this means: Unanimous consent is commonly used for uncontroversial measures, not for packages of such magnitude as the coronavirus stimulus. In recent weeks, a group of members have pushed against the idea of returning to the Capitol, where they fear they will contribute to the spread of the virus. Any one member can block a unanimous consent request.