Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Coronavirus death toll in US reaches 4,000

  • Breaking News

    Coronavirus death toll in US reaches 4,000

    The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. topped 4,000 on Tuesday night as the White House coronavirus task force said it projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the virus and millions infected in the country.

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Your Wednesday Briefing

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | View in browser
Good morning.
It’s a new month, but the coronavirus is still with us. We’re covering it and answering your questions, while making suggestions to help take your mind off the news. (April Fools’ Day is canceled.)
By Chris Stanford
Dr. Deborah Birx with President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House on Tuesday.  Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Scientists offer a grim projection

As many as 240,000 Americans could die during the coronavirus pandemic, top health officials said on Tuesday, despite the measures that have closed schools, limited travel and forced people to stay home.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the White House’s response, encouraged people to adhere to distancing guidelines, noting that more than 2.2 million Americans could have died if nothing had been done.
As of this morning, there have been at least 3,900 virus-related deaths in the U.S. Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
We also have a daily tracker showing the virus’s trajectory by country and U.S. state as well as a look at where Americans have been urged to stay home.
In other developments:
■ As many as 25 percent of people infected with the virus may not show symptoms, a number that is leading the C.D.C. to consider broadening its guidelines on who should wear masks. (We have a guide to making your own.)
■ Governors from across the political spectrum are challenging the Trump administration’s assertion that the U.S. is well-prepared to test people and care for the sickest patients. Asked on Tuesday whether President Trump’s suggestion that a lack of diagnostic kits was no longer a problem, Gov. Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland, said, “That’s just not true.”
■ Mayor Bill de Blasio said medical personnel from around the country were arriving to help shore up New York’s health care system. He warned that the city expected a huge increase in cases next week.
■ Places in Asia that seemed to have brought the epidemic under control are tightening restrictions, fearing a wave of new infections imported from elsewhere.
■ Mr. Trump has been reluctant to use the full force of a wartime production law to respond to the pandemic. It has already been invoked hundreds of thousands of times during his presidency.
■ Support from independents and some Democrats has driven Mr. Trump’s approval rating to 49 percent, equal to the best of his presidency.
News analysis: “A crisis that Mr. Trump had repeatedly asserted was ‘under control’ and hoped would ‘miraculously’ disappear has come to consume his presidency,” our chief White House correspondent writes.
The details: We’ve updated the expert guidance we’ve compiled on several subjects, including health, money and travel.
The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.
At the Crossroads Community Services food bank in Dallas last week. Some 70 percent of those who visited that day had never before been to the pantry.  Jonathan Zizzo for The New York Times

Newly needy and seeking help

In the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Americans are asking for help for the first time, applying for unemployment benefits, visiting food banks, and turning to GoFundMe and equally strapped colleagues.
“I’ve never had to actually do this,” said Dalen Lacy, who was at a food bank in Dallas after losing his job. “But I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do for my kids.”
Related: The crisis has intensified a long-running debate about whether the U.S. does enough to help the needy.
Another angle: Rent is due today in many places, including New York, where about two-thirds of the population are renters. Landlords and the real estate industry expect up to 40 percent of them to skip April payments.
Go deeper: A global economic downturn could last longer than initially feared — potentially into next year and beyond — as governments intensify restrictions on business. Here’s the latest from the markets.
Working on potentially infected patient samples at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in February.  Francois Mori/Associated Press

Changing how the world does science

The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine has created what researchers say is an unprecedented global scientific collaboration, as nearly all other research has ground to a halt.
Studies are posted online long before they would normally appear in academic journals, and researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences.
Quotable: “Of course there are people in competition. This is the human condition,” said a doctor in France. “What is important is to come up with a solution for everyone. The way to achieve that is to collaborate.”
“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about the race to create a vaccine.
Another angle: It’s the spiky blob seen around the world. We tell the back story of the C.D.C. illustration that has come to represent the coronavirus.

If you have 5 minutes, this is worth it

The empty freeways of Los Angeles

Bob Scott
Our California restaurant critic, Tejal Rao, says the city is now what she imagined it would be before she moved there.
“I’d thought about what it would feel like to cruise at 80 miles per hour with the windows down, until I ran out of road and reached a canyon or the ocean,” she writes. “But I hadn’t imagined the harrowing reality that would make these clichés possible.”
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Here’s what else is happening

F.B.I. wiretap review: The bureau has routinely botched work on surveillance applications for national security investigations, the Justice Department’s independent watchdog said. The findings grew out of a damning report last year about the effort to target a former Trump campaign adviser.
Big-cat mystery: The popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” is about a roadside zookeeper and his plot to kill an animal activist. The series has renewed interest in an older case involving the activist.
Marcus Westberg
Snapshot: Above, zebras in Zambia. Travel restrictions are in place around the globe, so we’re starting a series: “The World Through a Lens.” This week, Marcus Westberg shares photographs from Zambia’s national parks.
Late-night comedy: The Empire State Building was illuminated by flashing red-and-white lights to honor medical workers. “At first, New Yorkers thought it meant Target finally got a shipment of toilet paper,” Jimmy Fallon said.
What we’re reading: This Vice interview with the writer Barbara Ehrenreich. “I can’t say it’s uplifting, but Ehrenreich is one of our best thinkers about exactly the issues we’re facing, like the economy, inequality and health,” says Dan Saltzstein, an editor.

Now, a break from the news

Melissa Clark
Cook: Melissa Clark calls this sardine and celery salad from our pantry cooking series a “perfect pairing,” and suggests adding an egg.
Watch:Lady Bird,” always. Or if you fancy a TV drama, here are the 20 best since “The Sopranos.” (That could lead you to re-streaming “Friday Night Lights.”) Our short film of the day is “Born Again,” a tiny-tale horror comedy, chosen by Erik Piepenburg.
Do: The art critic Jerry Saltz has ideas for how to be creative. “Isolation favors art,” he adds.

And now for the Back Story on …

Comfort food in a crisis

As home cooking takes on new meaning, Margaux Laskey, an editor for NYT Cooking, talked to Times Insider about her go-to recipes, dealing with erratic grocery deliveries, and focusing on comfort foods. Here’s what she had to say:
What kind of recipes have you gravitated toward?
Using things that I have, and that’s a lot of frozen or pantry items. So, canned beans or dried beans. I always have an extra jar of Rao’s spaghetti sauce. I was just having a conversation with somebody about how this is the time to use up all of those weird half boxes of pasta. Basically, I’m just trying to use what I have and what’s in the freezer. And, if I have any leftovers, pulling those out.
Margaux Laskey making meatballs with her daughters.  Scott Garapolo
What’s in your grocery cart?
I get fresh fruit and vegetables for sure, because we have to stay healthy. Also, I’m leaning toward comforting foods that I know my kids will eat, things that I know they like. This is not the time, for my family anyway, to try a crazy dish. There’s enough uncertainty and enough weirdness about all of this.
So I get my go-tos that I get every week, and then more rice and beans. And ice cream.
What’s been difficult about cooking lately?
Normally, I plan my menu on Friday for the next week, and I put my grocery order in — and maybe I won’t get one or two items, but I get nearly everything that I ordered. Now, first of all, you’re not even sure you’re going to get a slot. Then, you’re not even sure you’re going to get everything.
A correction: Tuesday’s briefing misstated the surname of a writer whose essay about adult friendship appeared in The Cut. She is Samantha Irby, not Kirby.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Chris
Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
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