March 29 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Jenni Marsh, Amy Woodyatt and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
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8:39 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Trauma physician at Florida's biggest hospital: 'We are slowly descending into chaos'

From CNN’s Paul Murphy

Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2011.
Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2011. David Rojas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

A trauma physician at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital told CNN the hospital's ICU is beginning to fill up just as they are being told there's a supply shortage to treat coronavirus.

"We are slowly descending into chaos," the physician said. "We keep on drilling and preparing but it’s already taking a toll on our staff. Both emotionally and psychologically."

The trauma physician said the presence of coronavirus created a thick layer of fog they have to operate in as they try and treat patients.

"It’s not like in the ICU," the physician said. "Everybody knows the patient has COVID and has time to don the equipment before going into the room."

Normally they rely on literature, research and training in the trauma center, developed over years of study and practice. But the physician says they are "flying blind" in a storm without instruments right now.

"With COVID and trauma there is nothing," the physician said. "So, we had to build guidelines from the ground up in record time and start training our teams on those guidelines not really knowing if they are best practices or not."

Jackson Memorial Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the US with 1,550 licensed beds. It's the biggest hospital in the state of Florida and holds the Ryder Trauma Center, Miami-Dade County's only adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center.

11:34 a.m. ET, March 29, 2020

730 uniformed NYPD officers infected with coronavirus, official says

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz

There are 730 uniformed New York Police department officers infected with coronavirus, as well as 96 civilian NYPD employees, bringing the total to 826 positive coronavirus cases, according to a law enforcement official.

Twenty-nine of the individuals are hospitalized and one is in critical condition, the official said.

Beyond these cases, the department — which has about 36,000 officers — has over 4,662 officers out sick, which is about 12% of the department.

In a rare step, the NYPD is advising officers and employees with underlying conditions who want a special accommodation because they may be vulnerable to the virus to seek permission from their commanding officers to work from home, the official said.

They’re also advising pregnant staff members to do the same. 

8:39 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

New Jersey governor says CDC travel advisory on tri-state is 'de facto happening already'

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif

G
G Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, appearing on ABC's "This Week," said the travel advisory for New Jersey, Connecticut and New York was "de facto happening already."

He was referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing a travel advisory urging people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to "refrain from non-essential domestic travel" for the next two weeks.

"The fact of the matter is, people really aren't traveling a whole lot. A travel warning, we're fine with," Murphy said.

New Jersey has a little more than 11,000 positive cases of coronavirus and 140 dead due to the virus as of Saturday, Murphy said. He added the state has yet to see how the dramatic steps they've taken on social distancing will affect those numbers.  

New Jersey has received 120,000 N95 masks and 1,000 medical beds in supplies, but Murphy says the state is "still way short."

"The big headline for us right now are ventilators. We had a very specific conversation with the White House last night about ventilators," Murphy said. 

8:40 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

MLB players open to major changes to play a 2020 season

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Major League Baseball players are willing to make major changes to the typical MLB schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak to play a 2020 season, according a statement from a MLB Players Association spokesperson and comments by MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark.

The changes the players are willing to consider include playing later into the calendar year, an increase in double-headers, fewer restrictions on days off and expanded roster sizes to provide greater depth for a compressed schedule.  

The MLBPA also says it is open to playing the regular season through October with postseason stretching into November.

The players are also open to the possibility of playing in empty stadiums, playing in neutral sites, and expanding the postseason structure.

The MLBPA stresses that all of these possibilities are predicated on the ability to ensure the health and safety of the players and all other personnel involved in staging games as a prerequisite for the resumption of play.

11:30 a.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Treasury Secretary says Americans can expect stimulus checks to be direct deposited within three weeks

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

President Donald Trump hands out pens to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, center, after signing the CARES act, a $2 trillion rescue package to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus outbreak, on March 27.
President Donald Trump hands out pens to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, center, after signing the CARES act, a $2 trillion rescue package to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus outbreak, on March 27. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Americans could expect the checks from the stimulus bill to be direct deposited in their accounts within three weeks from Sunday. 

He told reporters at the White House that for people who did not provide the government their direct deposit information, there will be a web-based application to get their money.

Mnuchin also told small businesses: “Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that."

"(My) number one objective is now delivering to the American workers and American companies the needed money that will put this economy in a position where it get through the next eight-10 weeks," he said.
10:34 a.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Rhode Island issues order demanding all travelers into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Kris Craig/Providence Journal via AP
Kris Craig/Providence Journal via AP

Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo signed an order obtained by CNN saying she will demand all travelers coming into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days in hopes to stop the spread of coronavirus.

This comes after Raimondo previously targeted New York travelers, saying she would stop them from coming into the state.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue the governor over that previous order.  

CNN has reached out to Raimondo's office for comment.

10:11 a.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Pelosi says Trump's early downplaying of coronavirus cost American lives

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

CNN
CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Sunday told CNN’s Jake Tapper that President Donald Trump's “denial at the beginning” of the coronavirus outbreak cost American lives. She also accused Trump of fiddling in his response to the crisis.

“The President, his denial at the beginning, was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where it -- it continues, his delay in getting equipment to where it's needed is deadly,” Pelosi told Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

While Trump downplayed the extent of the outbreak, the White House coronavirus task force has in recent weeks stepped up the response including measures to get equipment to states and hospitals that need it.

"We really want to work in a unifying way to get the job done here, but we cannot continue to allow (Trump) to continue to make these underestimates of what is actually happening here," Pelosi said. "This is such a tragedy, we don't even know the magnitude of it because we do not have the adequate testing."

8:41 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Fauci says Trump agreed not to invoke quarantine after intensive White House discussions

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

CNN
CNN

Key federal health official Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper President Trump decided not to impose a “quarantine” on parts of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and instead issue a travel advisory for that area after officials “had very intensive discussions last night” at the White House with him. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“After discussions with the President we made it clear and he agreed it would be much better to do what's called a strong advisory," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union. "The reason for that is you don't want to get to the point that you're enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise, when you could probably accomplish the same goal."

Fauci said about 56% of the country’s new infections are coming from the New York City area.

What was trying to be done is to get people, unless there's necessary travel, so all nonessential travel, just hold off, because what you don't want is people traveling from that area to other areas of the country and inadvertently and innocently infecting other individuals. We felt the better way to do this would be an advisory as opposed to a very strict quarantine. And the president agreed, and that's why he made that determination last night,” he said.
10:20 a.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Dutch coronavirus cases pass 10,000

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad

The number of people in the Netherlands who have tested positive for Covid-19 has now passed 10,000, according the Dutch Ministry of Health said Sunday.

Some 10,866 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus — an increase of 1,104 new confirmed cases since Saturday.

The total number of reported deaths now stands at 771, an increase of 132 people since Saturday.

In its update, the Ministry said the number of reported hospital admissions and the number of deceased patients “appears to be increasing less rapidly than would be expected without measures in place.”