The number of coronavirus cases continued to accelerate in the United States on Tuesday, and early Wednesday Senate leaders announced they had reached a deal on a massive $2 trillion spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak.
The White House coronavirus coordinator asked people who have recently been in New York, where the death toll continues to climb, to quarantine themselves for 14 days, because they may have been exposed before leaving.
President Donald Trump is pushing for the country to get back to business by April 12, Easter Sunday, when he said he would like to see churches full of people.
And after growing international pressure, Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo games until next year but said they would happen no later than summer 2021.
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‘Fine line’ to balance economy, public health, White House official says
The White House coronavirus response coordinator on Tuesday suggested that “there’s a fine line” between balancing the economic needs of Americans and the fight against the pandemic.
Dr. Deborah Birx in an interview on “TODAY” on Tuesday responded to questions about President Donald Trump’s assertion at a press conference Monday that the shutdown of many businesses around the country would last weeks, not months. “America will again and soon be open for business,” he said.
Birx said officials are carefully evaluating data, including from Italy where after two weeks of a national lockdown the number of deaths has begun to decline.
The question is, Birx said, “Can we be laser-focused rather than generic across the country” in the fight against the spread of virus?
MARCH 24, 202000:43
‘This is only the beginning,’ says New York City mayor
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that “April will be much worse than March” as coronavirus spreads through the city. New York now accounts for 35 percent of all cases across the United States, he said in an appearance on NY1.
“This is only the beginning of a much bigger crisis. I take no joy in saying that, but April will be much worse than March, and I fear that May will be worse than April. We are just beginning on a very difficult road,” he said, according to the remarks released by his office.
There are more than 13,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City and 125 people have died, according to city statistics. A state-wide lockdown took effect Monday as authorities rushed to set up thousands of hospital beds.
De Blasio, who has criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the outbreak, said on Monday that he had “hopeful” conversations with the White House and had seen some “movement” on getting protective gear and medical support.
Most of India under lockdown as prime minister set to address nation
Police enforced lockdowns across large parts of India on Tuesday, with curfews in place in some areas, as domestic air travel was set to end at midnight.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared to address the nation on Tuesday for a second time in a week on the risks that coronavirus poses to the country of 1.3 billion people.
India has already severed international flight links and Indian states have imposed their own lockdowns, suspending train and bus services and ordering traffic off the roads. Health officials have warned that the coronavirus is spreading out of big cities where it first appeared and into smaller towns.
Egypt announces 2-week, night-time curfew
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Egypt has announced a two-week, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for its over 100 million people to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly told a news conference on Tuesday that the 11-hour curfew would go into effect Wednesday across the country and last for two weeks. He says all kinds of transportation will be halted during the curfew.
Egypt, the Arab World most populous country, has 366 confirmed cases and 21 fatalities, including two senior military officers.
Mnuchin, Schumer optimistic on coronavirus stimulus package, say deal is close
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said late Monday that they were nearing a deal on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package to help American workers and businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak.
“I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill just before midnight after emerging from negotiations. “There’s still a couple of open issues, but I think we’re very hopeful that this can be closed out (Tuesday).”
Mnuchin said that he and Schumer had consulted with both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Monday about the progress made on the legislation. Though no deal was reached, staff was expected to continue drafting the massive package overnight.
NBC News’ Richard Engel rounds up the latest coronavirus headlines
Madrid ice rink set to become morgue
An ice skating rink in Madrid will become a makeshift morgue for coronavirus victims, a city spokesperson said Monday.
The rink will be re-purposed by Madrid’s regional government and military emergency units, which have been deployed across Spain over the past week to help deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Spain is the hardest-hit European country after Italy with 35,120 confirmed cases and 2,297 total deaths. Madrid alone has 10,575 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,263 deaths, according to local authorities.
The normally bustling streets of Madrid have fallen quiet since Spain enacted a partial lockdown Saturday night as the country tries to stem the outbreak. The government expects a state of emergency to be in place for at least another 15 days with people only allowed to leave their homes to go to work, the pharmacy or for medical attention.