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April 7 coronavirus news

Why official rushed to McDonald's with $3.4M for medical supplies
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Chinese real estate tycoon under investigation after allegedly criticising Xi Jinping's coronavirus response

In a brief statement released Tuesday, Beijing authorities said Ren Zhiqiang, a real estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, has been placed under investigation for alleged “serious violations” of laws and Communist Party regulations.

The statement did not give other details.

Ren, 69, was born into a family of Communist ruling elite and is known for his outspoken style.

After allegedly penning a scathing article on President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, he reportedly disappeared last month with rumors swirling about his detention by the authorities.

New York City coronavirus victims who die at home will be counted in death toll, officials say

People who test positive for the coronavirus and die at home will be included in New York City’s case count, according to authorities.

“Every person with a lab confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis is counted in the number of fatalities, whether they passed away at home or in a hospital,” the deputy press secretary for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Stephanie Buhle, told CNN.
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the NYC Health Department are working together to include into their reports deaths that may be linked to Covid but not lab confirmed that occur at home.”
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is sending us reports of “probable” Covid-19 cases,” Buhle said. “We’re working together to include these cases in future reports.”

New York city has reported a total of 3,544 deaths and a total of 74,601 coronavirus cases to date. New York state currently has 139,875 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 5,489 deaths.

US marks record for most new coronavirus deaths reported in a single day

The United States’ coronavirus death toll reached 12,722 on Tuesday evening, with an increase of 1,736 deaths during the day. That number marks the most deaths recorded in a single day so far.

According to data supplied by Johns Hopkins University, the previous record for the most new US coronavirus deaths added in a single day was 1,344. That was reached on April 4.

Birx clarifies after Trump claims he knows "for a fact" other countries have more Covid-19 cases than the US

President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that he knows “for a fact” that the United States doesn’t actually have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, saying it’s simply testing more than any other country – a comment the coordinator of his White House coronavirus task force later clarified.

“I think the reporting here has been pretty straight-forward for the past five – six weeks,” Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters. “Prior to that, when there wasn’t testing in January and February, that’s a very different situation and unknown.” 

Earlier in the press conference, Trump said that “America continues to perform more tests than any other nation in the world, and I think that’s probably why we have more cases.”

“Because you look at some these very large countries,” he continued, “I know for a fact that they have far more cases than we do, but they don’t report them.”

Per capita, countries like Italy and South Korea have done more testing than the United States by far. Many experts believe that the number of coronavirus cases in the US is likely higher than reported due to problems with testing availability.

Birx elaborated there may have been early deaths in the US that were not counted as coronavirus related, but perhaps should have been. 

Birx said some countries don’t consider coronavirus to be the cause of death in some individuals with pre-existing conditions. 

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem, some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a Covid-19 death.”

“The intent is right now,” she said, “if someone dies with Covid-19, we are counting that as a Covid-19 death.”  

She later conceded that some rural areas might not “have the same level of testing.” 

New York governor isn’t just worried about another coronavirus wave. He’s worried about the present.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is worried about coronavirus cases and hospitalizations increasing again as some people start to leave their homes.

“The weather has turned warm. People have been in their homes for one month, everyone has cabin fever and they’re coming out in greater numbers,” Cuomo told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Earlier Tuesday, Cuomo said at his daily press briefing that hospitalizations may be leveling off and social distancing “is working,” but stressed that New Yorkers need to keep doing it.

He told Burnett his focus isn’t merely on preventing a second wave, but working to improve the current situation in New York – an epicenter for coronavirus in the United States.

“(I’m) not even worried about a second wave. I’m worried about getting out of the situation we’re in right now and saving as many lives as possible and that will be a direct coefficient of how well we comply with social distancing,” Cuomo said.

The governor said not complying with social distancing would be irresponsible and put a burden on health care workers and first responders.

“This really is a time where your own individual actions affect other people. It can literally kill other people,” he said.


There are at least 387,547 coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 387,547 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 12,291 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

So far Tuesday, there are at least 19,351 new cases and 1,305 deaths have been reported, according to the tally.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus.

A third Colorado Avalanche player has coronavirus

A third player on the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement from the NHL. 

The league did not identify the player.

“The player is in self-isolation and had not had close contact with any other Avalanche players or staff members,” the statement said.

Trump on January memos about coronavirus: "I didn't see them, I didn't look for them either"

President Donald Trump said he didn’t see the coronavirus warning memos written by his trade adviser Peter Navarro in January until a “day or two” ago, telling reporters Tuesday: “I didn’t see them. I didn’t look for them either.”

A source familiar with the memo confirmed to CNN that Navarro fired off an internal memo in January warning the coronavirus could become a “full-blown pandemic,” risking trillions of dollars in economic losses and the health of millions.

When asked why he initially downplayed the coronavirus — specifically his claim that cases would go down —Trump told reporters, “I’m not going to go out and start screaming, this could happen,” Trump said.

“I’m a cheerleader for this country. I don’t want to create havoc and shock,” he added.


Pelosi tells members she’s willing to move on small business loans this week if there’s a deal with the White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is interviewed by CNN on April 1.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues in conference calls Tuesday the House may have to move this week on the small business loan package requested by the Trump administration, sources on the calls said.

Another source said Pelosi is making clear she is willing to move forward this week on the package if she gets a deal with the administration, which wants $250B for small business loans.

Democrats have made a number of requests to be included in this $250 billion package, including protections for renters and minority business owners. It’s still not clear what Pelosi will ultimately demand of the administration.

Pelosi has made clear this small business loan package is only an interim package, and they still to plan to move forward with another plan – called CARES 2 – in the coming weeks. 

Trump says he's thinking of putting a hold on WHO funding

Minutes after President Donald Trump said he’s placing a “very powerful hold” on US funding to the World Health Organization for what he says is a “China-centric” stance, he appeared to back off the statement.

“I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we are going to look at it,” Trump said after being pressed on his statement.

Speaking Tuesday at his daily coronavirus briefing, Trump said the organization “receives vast amounts of money from the United States” that he wants to re-examine.

Trump said certain WHO programs were worthwhile but that overall they’d made mistakes – in particular, he said, opposition to his decision to shut down travel from China.

“We have to look into that, so we’re going to look into it,” Trump said.


Trump and Fauci address coronavirus' disproportionate impact on African Americans

President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday discussed the disproportionate impact the coronavirus is having on African Americans.

“We’re actively engaging on the problem of increased impacts – this is a real problem and it’s showing up very strongly in our data – on the African American community. And we’re doing everything in our power to address this challenge. It’s a tremendous challenge. It’s terrible,” Trump said during a White House press briefing from the coronavirus task force.

He continued, “It’s been disproportional. They’re getting hit very hard.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the issue an “exacerbation of a health disparity.”

“We’ve known, literally forever, that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionally afflicting the minority populations, particularly the African Americans,” Fauci said. “Unfortunately, when you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus, the things that get people into ICUs, that require intubation and often lead to death, they’re just those very comorbidities that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African American population.”

He added, “It’s very sad. There’s nothing we can do about it now except try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.”