By the beginning of April the Coronavirus has pretty much spread around the world. More than one-third of the world’s population is estimated to be in some form of lock down, with 90 percent of the world’s students out of class.
Countries were handling or not handling the contagion in each their own ways. Some imposed complete national lock downs and closed their borders to all travelers, or put travelers into a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Some countries such as South Korea took fast, immediate actions that quickly brought their contagion under control, but horrified civil libertarians.
Other countries including Italy, Iran, and Spain, have become global hot spots of the disease. Reviewing the country “first case” reports, Italy and Iran appear to be major nodes for transmitting the Coronavirus to other countries.
In the United States, New York City has become the epicenter of the disease. Most US states have gone into some form of state-wide lock downs starting mid-March.
Within the US, the shortage of medicaland other equipment needed by doctors to treat infections was beyond critical. Shortages are so severe local communities were banding together to produce home-made face masks and distribute to whomever needed them. While hospital staff couldn’t use home-made masks with Coronavirus patients, they could use them while treating patients who were non-contagious. Home made masks were also being distributed to regular citizens to wear when leaving their homes.
Availability of Coronavirus testing within the US was also past critical. Few people even knew where to go to get tested, or if their medical insurance would cover the costs. During this month, new hot spots would start to pop up all across the US.
An outpouring of corporate and philanthropic support has funneled badly needed medical supplies to well-known institutions such as Cedars-Sinai and UCLA medical centers in Los Angeles and the UC San Francisco Medical Center. But in the absence of an overall nationwide distribution plan, many smaller hospitals, nursing homes and physicians are being left behind, especially those who lack relationships with suppliers, ties to wealthy donors, or money to buy scarce equipment as prices on the open market are skyrocketing.
Russia sends the United States medical equipment to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a public relations coup for Russian President Vladimir Putin after he discussed the crisis with U.S. President Trump. Trump, struggling to fill shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment, accepted Putin’s offer in a March 30 phone call.
The Democratic Presidental convention, scheduled for July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, may be canceled in favor of a scaled-down event that would not cause potential health issues for attendee. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, South Carolina, and President Trumps says “No Way” he’ll cancel.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: Pennsylvania, Nevada
Global Cases: 823,626 | Global Deaths: 40,598 | Countries: 200
In a White House COVID-19 briefing, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner stated: “You also have a situation where in some states, allocated ventilators to the states and you have instances where in cities they’re running out, but the state still has a stockpile and the notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile.” It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker arranges for a private shipment of 1 million N95 masks transported by the National Guard to a stockpile for redistribution, after a shipment of 3 million masks were confiscated in the port of New York.
Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly relieves USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Captain Brett Crozier of his command for sending a request for assistance over non-secure email to a “broad array of people” rather than up the chain of command, requesting assistance after COVID-19 spreads through his crew.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: Tennessee, Texas, Maine, Oklahoma (partial advisory)
Global Cases: 896,475 | Global Deaths: 45,525 | Countries: 200
Turkey is accused of seizing hundreds of ventilators and sanitary equipment destined for Spain amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic. Spanish officials said Ankara was holding the ventilators for “the treatment of their own patients”, despite local governments in Spain having already paid millions for them.
The recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, to reduce significant community-based transmission. States surgical masks and N-95 respirators are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: Florida, Mississippi, Georgia
Global Cases: 972,303 | Global Deaths: 50,321 | Countries: 201
US Dept of Labor Report: The total number of people claiming initial jobless benefits for the week ending April 4 was 6.6 million, a decrease of 252 thousand from the previous week.
Andreas Geisel, Berlin, Germany, interior minister announces a shipment of US-made FFP2 masks [ed: European N95 equivalent] for Berlin’s police force was “confiscated” in Bangkok, presumably diverted to the US. Mr Geisel said the diversion of masks from Berlin amounted to an “act of modern piracy”, urging the Trump administration to adhere to international trading rules.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says his administration is doing everything it can to prepare hospitals to be inundated with cases of COVID-19, but nearly every time the state has placed an order for medical protective gear the federal government has prevented its transfer.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: Alabama
Global Cases: 1,051,697 | Global Deaths: 56,986 | Countries: 202
In an interview with investigative reporter and writer Bob Woodward, President Trump says of the Coronavirus “It’s a horrible thing. It’s unbelievable. Can you believe it? It moves rapidly and viciously. If you’re the wrong person and if it gets you, your life is pretty much over if you’re in the wrong group. It’s our age group.”
CNN video clip with additional details of the Bob Woodward interviews.
Early indications that official counts of Coronavirus deaths have failed to capture the true number of Americans dying in this pandemic. The under-count is a result of inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next.
Developing information indicates Coronavirus fatality in New York City is being under-reported by as much as 40%. The cause is shortage of test kits, so persons found dead at home are not tested for Coronavirus as cause of death. Cases of deaths at home between March 20th and April 5th show an almost 400 percent increase from the same time period last year.
Coronavirus is closing day cares; child care providers worry they may never reopen. Dominated by small businesses, the country’s child care “system” has long been at a breaking point. Child care is expensive to operate and to provide, yet families are largely left to pay for it themselves while providers eke out a living on meager profits. “It is essential that when Americans are ready and able to get back to work, that child care is there for their children,”
Global Cases: 1,133,758 | Global Deaths: 62,784 | Countries: 203
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly addressed the crew of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt on Monday afternoon via the ship’s internal loudspeaker system. In a profane and defensive address that one crew member described in an interview as “whiny, upset, irritated, condescending,” Modly took repeated shots at the integrity of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command last week, and eventually injected partisan political tones into the address by attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly criticized Crozier’s removal.
The said the Trump administration did not distribute supplies from the National Strategic Stockpile to states based on their individual needs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the House Oversight and Reform Committee. also told the oversight committee that there was no more personal protective equipment, or , that could be distributed to the states because the Trump administration had already sent out its last shipments. The remaining 10% of is reserved for federal workers and will not be distributed to states, staff told the committee.
On Twitter, citing : “No one could have predicted the exponential rise of this.[coronavirus]”
A federal watchdog is corroborating warnings by governors and front-line health-care workers that hospitals’ ability to combat the coronavirus pandemic is being impeded by shortages of tests, protective gear, staff and space, as well as inconsistent government advice.Some hospitals are so desperate for protective masks that they are scrounging them from auto-body shops and nail salons. At least one hospital is making its own hand sanitizer by mixing gel used for ultrasounds with alcohol from a nearby distillery.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: Missouri
Global Cases: 1,210,956 | Global Deaths: 67,594 | Countries: 204
New Jersey Governor successfully navigates a wicket of US government agencies attempting to seize a shipment of millions of N95 masks and takes delivery. The story illustrates chaos at every level of the national supply chain.
President Trump Tweet: “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns over his handling of Captain Brett Croizer and his follow-up actions in calling the former Commanding Officer of the Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” in an address to the crew, explaining why the Captain was relieved of his command.
Hospital and clinic officials in seven states describe federal government seizures of medical equipment orders. Officials also say they’ve received no guidance from the government about how or if they will get access to the supplies they ordered. is not publicly reporting the seizures. Officials question how public funds are spent and if the Trump administration is fairly distributing medical supplies.
News media reports that coronavirus is disproportionally killing African Americans. The cause appears to be linked to people of color being less likely to be insured, less likely to access medical care and thus at greater risk of suffering from diabetes, high-blood pressure and asthma.
Italy has reported more than 132,000 coronavirus cases and more than 16,000 deaths, but that’s likely an underestimate, as only people who die in hospitals are counted in the national tally. Others at home or in nursing homes may not have been tested for COVID-19 at all.
Stay-At-Home Ordered: South Carolina
Global Cases: 1,279,722 | Global Deaths: 72,614 | Countries: 205
describes Project Air Bridge: The air bridge was created to reduce the time for U.S. medical supply distributors to receive personal protective equipment and other critical supplies into the country for their respective customers. covers the cost to fly supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories. Per distributor agreements, 50 percent of supplies on each plane are for customers within hot spot areas with most critical needs. The remaining 50 percent is fed into distributors’ normal supply chain to their customers nationwide. and determine hot spot areas based on data.
Top Trump administration officials had considered a partnership in which Hanes and Fruit of the Loom manufactured millions of cloth face masks and the U.S. Postal Service would have helped deliver them. was the key driver of the idea and had vocal support from deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger. but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism as being too difficult.
An analysis of death records in the Madrid, Spain, region covering the second two weeks of March suggests that the real number of coronavirus deaths could be twice as many deaths as official figures state.
Global Cases: 1,353,361 | Global Deaths: 79,235 | Countries: 206
News Editorial: “The White House won’t share anything about what framework is used on the confiscation or distribution side of this equation. The most they’ll say is that they’re using some version of ‘big data’ to do it in a totally coherent, awesome way. But the details we get make it sound like the oldest sort of system: distribution by friendship networks, patronage, the generosity of the powerful in exchange for future considerations.”
News Editorial: “President Donald Trump is treating life-saving medical equipment as emoluments he can dole out as favors to loyalists. It’s the worst imaginable form of corruption — playing political games with lives. For the good of this nation during what should be a time of unity, he must stop.”
According to Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus may be “reactivating” in people who have been cured of the illness. About 51 patients classed as having been cured in South Korea have tested positive again.
Global Cases: 1,436,198 | Global Deaths: 85,521 | Countries: 206
The federal government ends funding for coronavirus testing sites. In a few places testing sites will close as a result. Criticism continues that not enough testing is available.
President Trump Press Briefing: As an answer to a reporter question on re-opening the country for normal life; “What metrics will you use to make that decision?” Trump while pointing to his head: The metrics are right here. That’s my metrics.
States he has “absolute authority” to ease social distancing guidelines. “I don’t know that I have had a bigger decision,” “Hopefully it’s going to be the right decision.
“We have to get back to work. We have to get our country open. But we could have lost 2 million people … so I’m very honored by our decisions, all of us … I have a big decision coming up. And I only hope to God that’s it’s the right decision.”
“The germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can’t keep up with it … there’s a whole genius to it … not only is it hidden, but it’s very smart.”
Nonprofit watchdog agency “American Oversight” files FOIA requests with the federal government investigating whether mismanagement in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus has put lives at risk, and whether the White House’s attempted control of information has served the president’s own political interests over the health of the public.
Most of the country operating under stay-at-home orders, drivers are spending less time on the road – which means fewer accidents and insurance claims. The top 10 insurers, who together own 72% of the market, have all announced programs to return more than $7.5 billion to their customers in coming weeks.
More than 2,200 coronavirus deaths have been reported in nursing homes, but the federal government isn’t tracking them. The numbers are likely a significant undercount, given the limited access to testing and other constraints, state officials and public health experts say.
Global Cases: 1,521,252 | Global Deaths: 92,798 | Countries: 206
The Trump administration announces it will require health insurers to provide free antibody tests that could provide better insight into the scale of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. Health experts agree that widespread antibody testing, which can detect who has developed immunity against the virus, is essential for being able to ease social distancing measures and allow healthy people to return to work.
The coronavirus crisis is shaking the foundation of the U.S. Postal Service in new and dire ways. The Postal Service’s decades-long financial troubles have worsened dramatically, as the volume of the kind of mail that pays the agency’s bills — first-class and marketing mail — has withered during the pandemic. The USPS needs an infusion of money, but Trump threatened to veto the $2 trillion if the legislation contained any money directed to bail out the postal agency.
Global Cases: 1,696,588 | Global Deaths: 105,952 | Countries: 206
Global Cases: 1,696,588 | Global Deaths: 105,952 | Countries: 206
In a recorded interview with investigative reporter and writer Bob Woodward, President Trump says of the Coronavirus “it’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it. I was in the White House a couple of days ago. Meeting of 10 people in the oval office. And a guy sneezed, innocently. Not a horrible – just a sneeze. The entire room bailed out, okay? Including me, by the way”
CNN video clip with additional details of the Bob Woodward interviews
Global Cases: 1,773,084 | Global Deaths: 111,652 | Countries: 206
Defense Department briefing on the spread of the Coronavirus in the US military. This briefing immediately follows after the first US service member dies of the Coronavirus onboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
One question is asked of testing service members who participated in the Military World games in Wuhan, China, in October.
President Trump declares funding to the will be put on hold for at least 60 days, and accuses the organization of “mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” The U.S. is the single largest contributor to the .
Global Cases: 1,844,863 | Global Deaths: 117,021 | Countries: 206
Video of the Daily Coronavirus Task Force Team News Briefing.
Multiple sources charge with redirecting shipments of medical equipment into the federal reserve, which are then redistributed. Former assistant secretary, Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem states : “The federal government under Donald Trump has decided it is going […] to war, create a parallel response apparatus, and it’s winning […] the chaotic competition for scarce protective equipment, and in the process it’s driving up the price of those supplies for everybody. And leaving states and hospitals even more desperate to find what they need.”
Indiana congressman, Republican Trey Hollingsworth, says that letting more Americans die from the novel coronavirus is the “lesser of two evils” compared with the economy cratering due to social distancing measures. His comments echo a growing desire among some Republicans – including President Trump – to begin to ease guidelines that have shuttered businesses and kept workers at home.
Commentary on Excess Mortality and COVID19’s Hidden Toll; Samplings of data from New York, Spain and Italy suggest a pattern in which the true scale of mortality tied to the COVID19 Crisis is roughly twice that recorded in the COVID19 death tolls we see each day, and sometimes much higher. Here are a few more data points which add weight to this emerging pattern.
Global Cases: 1,914,916 | Global Deaths: 123,010 | Countries: 206
The has stopped accepting applications for two programs meant to help small firms survive the coronavirus outbreak after funding ran out. Funds for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to keep workers on payrolls have been exhausted, and money also has lapsed for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, or EIDL, offering government loans and emergency grants of as much as $10,000. Funding was provided under the recently approved .
The White House releases guidelines for “Opening Up America Again,” stating these guidelines are a three-phased approach, based on the advice of public health experts.
issues a memo “Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.” This memo says will not hold employers liable for failing to follow guidelines as long as they made a “good faith” effort to meet compliance standards during the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Global Cases: 1,991,562 | Global Deaths: 130,885 | Countries: 206
Over the past several days, Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia, have seen protests against the stay at home orders issued by their Democratic governors. Many of the protesters are armed, and most refuse to wear face masks. President Trump first tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” then “LIBERATE VIRGINIA” in open support of these protesters.
Senate Democrats grilled Vice President Mike Pence over coronavirus testing and President Donald Trump’s tweets during a tense phone call Friday afternoon on the pandemic response. A Democratic Senate aide told CNN that “almost every question” from Democratic senators on the call “has been about testing,” and said that the administration “has not given clear answers.” The source said that at one point, Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said to Pence and everyone on the call, “I have never been so mad about a phone call in my life.”
The White House releases “Opening Up America Again” plan, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
Newspaper reports reveal that the White House Plan does not include many of the more restrictive items provided in the ‘s original draft, which was blocked from being publicly released. The published White House plan puts the onus on state governors for reopening decisions.
Overall, about a fifth of deaths from the virus in the United States have been tied to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. More than 36,500 residents and employees across the nation have contracted it. “They’re death pits,” said Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York who founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, an education campaign aimed at stopping hospital-acquired infections. “These nursing homes are already overwhelmed. They’re crowded and they’re understaffed. One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage.”
Global Cases: 2,074,529 | Global Deaths: 139,378 | Countries: 206
US Dept of Labor Report: The total number of people claiming initial jobless benefits for the week ending April 18 was 4.4 million, a decrease of 795 thousand from the previous week.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker spends over $1.7 million to obtain needed medical supplies from China, without President Trump and the Federal government’s knowledge. Pritzker cites his fear that if he hadn’t gone behind the Federal Government’s back the supplies would have been seized before they arrived in his state. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere responded that Pritzker, “through ignorance or incompetence or a propensity to politicize everything,” was wrong, and that the administration had been providing Illinois with resources.
Global Cases: 2,160,207 | Global Deaths: 146,088 | Countries: 206
News Editorial: Citing a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the author writes “Over the last few weeks, it has started to appear as though, in addition to abandoning the states to their own devices in a time of national emergency, the federal government has effectively erected a blockade – like that which the Union used to choke off the supply chains of the Confederacy during the Civil War – to prevent delivery of critical medical equipment to states desperately in need.”
Oil plunges below $10 a barrel, an 18 year low, as the coronavirus pandemic ravages global economies, threatening to erase an entire decade of demand growth, slashing thousands of jobs and wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars from company valuations.
Global Cases: 2,241,778 | Global Deaths: 152,551 | Countries: 206
President Trump Tweet: “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
The sends a letter to questioning the criteria being used to determine how is being distributed.
Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp announces that certain businesses can reopen this week in a move that breaks from the majority of state leaders and defies the warnings of many public health officials. Kemp said specifically that fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, and massage therapy businesses can reopen April 24. Theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open on April 27, while bars and night clubs will remain closed for now.
Global Cases: 2,314,621 | Global Deaths: 157,847 | Countries: 206
President Donald Trump’s plan to suspend immigration into the U.S. will not apply to foreign farm workers. In recent weeks, the Trump administration has eased requirements for farmers to use the H-2A program as the pandemic has disrupted the labor supply. The federal government has also waived in-person interviews for workers looking to get hired as embassies have shut down.
The U.S. is deporting infected migrants back to vulnerable countries. Since the coronavirus struck the United States, immigration authorities have deported dozens of infected migrants, leaving governments and nonprofits across Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean struggling to respond.
According to a Financial Times analysis of the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, coronavirus-related deaths in the UK may be more than double the official figure of 17,337 released by ministers, which is updated daily and only counts those who have died in hospitals after testing positive for the virus.
Universities are faced with collapsing revenue. If lock downs end before the fall, the financial hit will be somewhat painful. On the other hand, if the health crisis is not resolved by fall, university finances could be in real jeopardy. Total university revenues are on the order of $700 billion, and stimulus package includes $14 billion in aid for higher education. meaning the stimulus package will replace roughly 2% of total revenue. if Covid-19 continues through the summer and into the fall, finances could get much worse.
Emails obtained by investigative reporters show the trade group providing the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a draft version of an executive order that would allow plants to remain open.
Global Cases: 2,397,217 | Global Deaths: 162,956 | Countries: 206
President Trump signs a proclamation suspending issuance of certain immigrant visas.
President Trump clarifies his executive order barring new immigration will apply only to people seeking green cards, last 60 days, and won’t affect workers entering the country on a temporary basis. He will review the executive order at the end of that 60-day period and decide if it should be renewed.
The suspension features an exceedingly loose fit between ends and means: While the proclamation cites the impact of the novel coronavirus on U.S. jobs, the visa categories affected by the suspension have only a minimal effect on employment of citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Global Cases: 2,471,136 | Global Deaths: 169,006 | Countries: 206
During President Trump’s daily Coronavirus Task Force News Brief: Suggests an “injection” of disinfectant into a person infected with the coronavirus as a deterrent to the virus, observing “The virus dies quickest in sunlight,” leaving Trump to speculate whether you could bring the light “inside the body.” “So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing, […] And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too.”
Ohio reports more than 3,700 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 — nearly 2,000 of them at the same prison. The highest number of COVID-19 cases tied to one location in the U.S. is a state prison in central Ohio. Eighty percent of inmates there have tested positive for the virus.
News Analyst: “What Reopening Might Be About”. Over the course of about three weeks in April, Georgia has paid out some $600 million in unemployment claims. The state has processed more than 1 million jobless claims, blowing past records set during the Great Recession. The state’s unemployment trust fund may last only a matter of weeks. The establishments that the governor just whistled open account for a huge share of those new jobless claims.
Global Cases: 2,544,792 | Global Deaths: 175,694 | Countries: 206
Research indicates that the on-going “Reopen America” protests are not a grassroots campaign, but actually a coordinated effort.
An Arkansas county so rural it has just three incorporated towns and not a single stretch of interstate suddenly emerged this week as one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots. A farm employee was the first to test positive in early April. Now 14 staffers and more than 680 of the prison’s nearly 1,700 prisoners have the virus, according to test results reported this week.
A grant to a New York nonprofit aimed at detecting and preventing future outbreaks of coronaviruses from bats has been canceled by the , apparently by direction of President Trump because the research involved the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. notified that future funding for the project was canceled, and that it must immediately “stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant”—an unusual move generally reserved for cases of scientific misconduct or financial improprieties.
Before the pandemic, 1 in 7 Americans relied on food banks, according to Feeding America, a national network of the charities. Now, demand has doubled or tripled at many organizations, U.S. food bank operators told Reuters. And yet farmers are destroying produce, dumping milk and culling livestock because the pandemic has upended supply chains, making it impossible for many to get crops to market. Grocery stores struggle to stock shelves because suppliers can’t adjust to the sudden shift of demand away from shuttered restaurants to retailers, which requires different packaging and distribution networks.
The warns that doctors should not use the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (approved under an issued on March 28) to treat covid-19 patients outside a hospital or a clinical trial, citing reports of “serious heart rhythm problems.” An increasing number of studies and reports have raised safety issues, making the drugs an example of how President Trump’s embrace of unproven medical ideas has potentially endangered Americans’ lives and put health agencies in a tough spot.
The issues an for the drug remdesevir as a Coronavirus treatment.
Alaska – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, eased restrictions on several kinds of businesses starting April 24, giving Alaska among the first restarts in the nation. All businesses will be allowed to open at full capacity on May 22.
Oklahoma – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, lifts restrictions on businesses starting with salons, barbers and pet groomers on April 24. Restaurant dining, movie theaters, gyms, houses of worship and sporting venues reopened statewide — with certain restrictions — starting May 1. The state will be set to move into phase three of its reopening June 1
Global Cases: 2,626,321 | Global Deaths: 181,938 | Countries: 206
US Dept of Labor Report: The total number of people claiming initial jobless benefits for the week ending April 25 was 3.9 million, a decrease of 575 thousand from the previous week.
The Veteran Administrations’s Executive in Charge Richard Stone charges that has been diverting incoming medical supplies meant for the into the federal stockpile. Health care workers at VA hospitals have warned of severely inadequate stocks of personal protective equipment for past weeks.
President Trump announces cancellation of the Coronavirus Task Force and an end to daily press briefings.
President Trump Tweet: “What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately. They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!”
Global Cases: 2,719,896 | Global Deaths: 187,705 | Countries: 206
Coronavirus testing capacity across the country has appeared to grow substantially over the last week.
Colorado – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, asked Colorado to transition to a “safer at home” approach, in which retail businesses could open for curbside pickup and real estate showings could resume. On May 1, personal care businesses can reopen with precautions. Mr. Polis said he still expected people to maintain 60 to 65 percent physical distancing.
Montana – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, allows reopening in phases, beginning with houses of worship on April 26, retail stores on April 27 and restaurants and bars on May 4. Montana is one of the few states where schools have the option to reopen this academic year, and a few schools will begin to reopen starting May 7.
Global Cases: 2,804,796 | Global Deaths: 193,710 | Countries: 206
During this news brief, President Trump lays out a national testing plan. It bears almost no resemblance to one that had been developed in late March by Kushner and his team, and shifts the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.
A plan developed by the US Post Office (first reported on April 8) to send five reusable masks to every American home was also not included in this announcement.
A research team led by the Yale School of Public Health analyzed federal mortality data and has estimated the US recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths starting in March and through April 4, nearly two times as many attributed to COVID-19. The excess deaths are not necessarily attributable directly to COVID-19, but could include people who died because they were afraid to seek medical treatment for unrelated illnesses. The analysis suggests that the death toll from the pandemic is significantly higher than has been reported.
Getting people back to work requires sufficient child care. Four in 10 working adults have children under 18. Before the coronavirus struck, approximately one-third of all children under 5 attended a paid care facility, day-care center, preschool or prekindergarten. Once the coronavirus hit, many of these arrangements were upended.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues an executive order preventing local communities from imposing penalties on residents who violate rules about wearing masks in public. “My executive order, it supersedes local orders, with regard to any type of fine or penalty for anyone not wearing a face mask,” he added.
In an editorial, Congressmen and accuses and as the “Fauci-Birx doctrine is content with a myriad of anti-freedom measures: mandatory vaccinations, national identification cards that state your antibody status, limiting the right to gather for worship or in large family groups, and centralization of healthcare and political power in Washington, D.C. Their policies logically result in widespread surveillance.”
Mississippi – Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, allows the state’s stay-at-home order to expire and lifts restrictions on retail stores, which could reopen to customers with limits. All businesses will be allowed to open June 1.
Global Cases: 2,878,196 | Global Deaths: 198,668 | Countries: 206
President Trump orders meat-processing plants to continue operating, using the Defense Production Act declaring them critical infrastructure with growing disruptions to the food supply. Meatpacking plants have become incubators for the virus as employees work side-by-side in dangerous conditions. At least 22 plants have closed at some point after clusters of employees tested positive for Covid-19. Twenty meatpacking and processing workers have died from coronavirus, and at least 6,500 have been affected, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
The Executive order uses language similar to the email of 21 April. Adam Pulver, a Public Citizen attorney, states the “degree of collaboration” between Trump administration officials and industry in the emails is “astounding.”
South Dakota – one of the states that never had a state-wide stay-at-home order. Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, announces a “back to normal” plan offering guidelines for businesses to reopen if the surrounding area had seen a downward trend in cases for 14 days. She said the approach “put the power of decision-making into the hands of the people — where it belongs.” No associated re-opening date.
Global Cases: 2,954,222 | Global Deaths: 202,597 | Countries: 206
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told South Carolina business leaders the additional $600 a week the federal provides people laid off amid the pandemic will not be extended past its July 31 expiration. “I promise you over our dead bodies will this get reauthorized,” Graham said, referring to himself and fellow Republican Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). “We’ve got to stop this.” “My dad owned a bar, a liquor store and a pool room. I have walked in your shoes,” Graham said. “If you pay people $23 an hour not to work, they will take you up on it. It doesn’t mean they’re lazy. It means if you offer them $23 an hour not to work, they’ll probably take that over $17 to go to work.”
Fraudulent contracting for medical supplies. New York state paid Oren-Pines $69.1 million for 1,450 ventilators at an astonishing $47,656 per ventilator, at least triple the standard retail price of high-end models. Not a single ventilator ever arrived. A state official, speaking on background, said New York entered into the contract with Oren-Pines at the direct recommendation of the White House coronavirus task force.
Florida State Health Officials have stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths being compiled by Florida’s medical examiners. Earlier this month, news media reported the medical examiners’ death count was 10 percent higher than the figure released by the Florida Department of Health. State Health Officials said the medical examiner’s list needed to be reviewed and possibly redacted. They’ve now been withholding it for nine days.
Georgia – Shelter in place expires. Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, went toe-to-toe with the White House and local mayors over his decision to reopen large parts of Georgia’s economy ahead of other states, starting April 24. Like other governors, Mr. Kemp laid out certain requirements — including screening workers for fever — and said it would not be “business as usual.”
Global Cases: 3,018,681 | Global Deaths: 207,973 | Countries: 206
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Press Brief: Maryland has recently purchased half a million tests from LabGenomics, a South Korean company, for $9 million. When the Korean Air jet carrying the tests flew into Baltimore/Washington International Airport it was met by National Guard troops and state police. The tests are now being guarded by National Guard troops and state police at a secret location because of concerns that they might be seized.
The research community is reacting with alarm and anger to the ‘s abrupt and unusual termination of a grant to , a New York City nonprofit. Some researchers fear the project has become a casualty of an overtly political attempt by the Trump administration to shift attention away from its own troubled response to the pandemic and blame China. Termination of this funding disrupts a 15 year collaboration between and a leading Chinese virologist who studies coronaviruses that infect bats, based at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), located in the city where researchers first identified SARS-CoV-2.
Tribal governments were supposed to get $8 billion in direct emergency relief from the $2 trillion . More than a month later, they haven’t received any of it. Tribal communities are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. They face some of the highest rates of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and asthma; they are often in remote parts of the country, where it’s tough to quickly disseminate resources and where families live in small homes shared with elderly family members who are particularly at risk. And the Indian Health Service, which provides health care to nearly 3 million Native Americans, is already notoriously and chronically underfunded.
Federal data released this week shows that the number of deaths recorded in the U.S. this year is higher than normal, outpacing deaths attributed to COVID-19 in states that have been hit hardest by the virus. The data provides the first look at death trends this year across the country and offers more evidence that the official tally of coronavirus deaths is low.
Alabama – Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, allows the state’s stay-at-home order to expire, transitioning to a “safer at home” model. Retail stores are allowed to open first, with restaurants, salons and gyms opening May 11 and entertainment venues opening May 22.
Idaho – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, said Idaho could move into stage four of its reopening June 13, when large venues can open.
Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott allows his stay-at-home order to lapse, a move that gives Texas, the nation’s second-largest state, one of the shortest such orders in the country. Mr. Abbott, a Republican, said that Texas had expanded testing and stocked up on protective equipment. All retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls are allowed to reopen May 1 with limited capacity.
Tennessee – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, announced reopening plans for most counties in the state, starting with restaurants on April 27. Retail stores were to follow on April 29 and gyms on May 1, all under restrictions for social distancing.
Global Cases: 3,090,445 | Global Deaths: 217,769 | Countries: 206
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Trump Twitter Tweets Defunct
This timeline cites a number of Twitter Tweets including those of then-President Trump. On January 8, 2021, Twitter deactivated President Trump’s Twitter account. This caused the citation links to become inactive.
Timeline Source Files
I built this timeline from a set of working notes in spreadsheet format. At present, my working notes have 1247 news entries, in addition to other references that form my “Additional Reading” sidebar entries, and other source references. Not all these news items are published in this timeline, for various reasons. My notes are freely available under a Creative Commons license (BY SA) to any writer or researcher who finds this work useful.
The Making of Face Masks
Coronavirus Task Force Briefings
Starting March 9 President Trump and key Members of his Coronavirus Task Force initiated near-daily press briefings which continued until April 27. These briefings provide important insight into White House actions during this time. As such, video feeds of the daily briefings lead each day’s events. I feel watching these briefings helps put President Trump’s remarks in context with other key events of the day.
Global Coronavirus Spread
First reported confirmed cases per country.
Abkhazia – the first case was an infected patient who arrived in Gagra, Georgia’s westernmost town, after having returned from a trip to Moscow.
Republic of Artsakh – the Ministry of Health of the Artsakh Republic reported about its first coronavirus case after one of two suspected cases tested positive for COVID-19, a person from Mirik.
On April 16, President Trump released “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again,” stating they were based upon “advice of public health experts.” On April 17, the media announced the CDC’s recommendations were not followed in creating the President’s guidelines. Here are both sets of guidelines.
EcoAlliance Grant Cancellation Letter
On April 24 a grant to a non-profit medical research organization was abruptly cancelled by the NIH. By all appearances, this unusual cancellation action was politically driven as EcoAlliance was working with a Wuhan, China research center. This is the NIH cancellation letter.
President Trump Supports “Re-open” Protesters
Artifacts of Re-Open protesters during the month of April, demanding their states “re-open despite medical recommendations to remain closed.”
During the spring, a team working under the president’s son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control. The plan lost favor largely because the virus had hit blue states hardest, and a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy.” Ultimately, the White House killed the plan in favor of doing little-to-nothing.
How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”
This article, published by a different source than the previous, offers related information. The authors make the case that roots of the nation’s current inability to control the pandemic can be traced to mid-April, when the White House embraced overly rosy projections to proclaim victory and move on.
Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus