Rural-state governors tell Trump they need tests and medical supplies
Governors in several states told President Trump on Monday that they’re having trouble acquiring vital supplies to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, warning that despite the worsening situation in New York and other urban areas, more sparsely populated parts of the country need help, too.
In response to requests for more testing kits, Mr. Trump said, “I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,” according to an audio recording of the call between the president and governors obtained by CBS News.
During the hour-long call, Democratic and Republican governors detailed how they are struggling to obtain the protective equipment doctors and nurses will need to treat the sick and the test kits needed to determine whether sick residents are suffering from COVID-19.
Coronavirus “could wipe out” tribal nations, New Mexico governor warns
Several rural-state governors alerted President Trump during a Monday phone call that they are struggling to obtain urgently needed medical supplies and testing equipment. On the call, New Mexico Governor Michele Lujan Grisham flagged “incredible spikes” of infection in the Navajo Nation, according to audio obtained by CBS News.
“We’re seeing incredible spikes in the Navajo Nation,” she said, adding, “The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side, although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals, we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population. And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half.”
“Wow. That’s something,” Mr. Trump replied, according to the audio.
“And it could wipe out those tribal nations,” she warned.
“We’ll build you that hospital as quickly as we can,” the president said.
Senior Italian Cardinal tests positive
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the archdiocese of Rome, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Reuters news agency. De Donatis is now the highest-ranking Catholic official to announce a positive diagnosis for the virus.
The 66-year-old has not had contact with Pope Francis recently, Reuters reported. The virus has killed more than 11,000 people in Italy and infected over 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Five MTA workers die from coronavirus
New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority announced Monday that five of its employees have died from complications due to coronavirus. The MTA identified the five workers as track worker Scott Elijah, cleaner Caridad Santiago, bus operator Ernesto Hernandez, supervisor Victor Zapana, and bus mechanic Warren Tucker.
“We are heartbroken at the passing of five heroic members of the New York City Transit family,” the organization said in a statement. “Scott, Caridad, Ernesto, Victor and Warren were all inspiring and valued colleagues, well-loved and well-respected by their co-workers.”
“They dedicated their lives to serving the public and keeping New Yorkers moving. This is a tragic loss for the city. Their families and friends are in our prayers during this incredibly difficult and painful time.”
Virginia governor issues statewide stay-at-home order
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Monday issued a statewide stay-at-home order in response to the pandemic. The order, which is effective immediately, will remain in place until June 10, his office said in a statement.
All residents must stay home unless they are going to work, seeking medical attention, or obtaining groceries or prescriptions.
“We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” Northam said in a statement. “Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing.”
With Northam’s announcement, at least 29 states have issued similar orders across the country.
Cuomo to health care workers across the country: “Please come to New York”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday called onacross the country to help the state respond to the virus. “I am asking healthcare workers across the country: If things are not urgent in your own community, please come to New York,” Cuomo said in a news conference.
Cuomo said the state would return the favor to other communities affected by the pandemic. “We need relief for nurses. We need relief for doctors,” he said on Twitter.
As of Monday afternoon, there were more than 60,000 coronavirus cases in New York state, and over 1,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Five states face legal challenges over abortion bans
In a sweep of legal filings on Monday, a coalition of abortion rights advocates brought challenges in four states — Alabama, Iowa, Ohio and Oklahoma — over directives to temporarily ban the procedure amid the coronavirus outbreak. State officials claim the orders are intended to preserve much-needed medical resources, but abortion-rights activists say the orders are an “excuse to attack essential, time-sensitive medical procedures like abortion.”
The organizations, which include Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, ask district courts across the South and Midwest to block states from halting abortion services as part of directives to suspend “non-essential” medical procedures.
Last week, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights also filed litigation against Texas for its temporary halt on all abortion services “not medically necessary to preserve the life or health” of the patient. Those in violation of the state’s order face “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time.”
300 ventilators heading to New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday said his state is receiving 300 ventilators from the national stockpile. “Ventilators are our number one need right now. I won’t stop fighting for the equipment we need to save every life we can,” Murphy tweeted.
Macy’s to furlough most of its 130,000 workers
Macy’s Inc. on Monday said it will furlough the majority of its 130,000 employees this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak, which has forced the company to close all of its 839 Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and BlueMercury stores, has taken “a heavy toll” on business, the company said in a statement.
Macy’s Inc. still relies heavily on brick-and-mortar store sales. “While the digital business remains open, we have lost the majority of our sales due to the store closures,” the company said.
Experts: GM already moving fast when Trump triggered Defense Production Act
Twelve days ago, General Motors put hundreds of workers on an urgent project to build breathing machines as hospitals and governors pleaded for more in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But President Trump, claiming the company wasn’t moving fast enough, on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act, which gives the government broad authority to direct companies to meet national defense needs.
Peter Navarro, Trump’s assistant for manufacturing policy, said Saturday that invoking the act was needed because GM “dragged its heels for days” in committing to the investments to start making ventilators at an automotive electronics plant in Kokomo, Indiana.
It was only a few days earlier that Trump had been holding up GM and Ford as examples of companies voluntarily responding to the outbreak without the need for him to invoke the act. Then on Friday, he slammed GM on Twitter and during his daily briefing for foot-dragging. On Sunday, he was back to praising the company during another briefing: “General Motors is doing a fantastic job. I don’t think we have to worry about them anymore.”
Pregnant women in New York will no longer be forced to give birth alone due to coronavirus
Last week, some hospitals in New York said they would ban spouses, partners, birthing coaches and other visitors from labor and delivery rooms as a coronavirus safety measure — sparking fear and outrage from expectant mothers and their families.
At least two New York hospital systems planned to implement the restriction, but on Saturday, the state government stepped in to. “In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth. Not now, not ever,” Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Saturday.
Maryland becomes 28th state to face strict stay-at-home order
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued a stay-at-home order for his state, citing the fast-growing coronavirus outbreak in his state and the region surrounding Washington D.C.
“Sadly the number of deaths here in Maryland has tripled, from 5 to 15, over the weekend,” Hogan said. “This virus is spreading rapidly and exponentially.” He specifically cited the cluster at a nursing home in Mount Airy, where he said 67 residents had tested positive and 27 staff members were showing symptoms.
From 8 p.m. on Monday, Hogan said “no Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it’s for an essential job or an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes.”
“Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Maryland. And those businesses must make every effort to scale down those operations in order to reduce the number of required staff, to limit in-person interactions with customers as much as they are able to and to institute telework for as much of staff as is practical.”
Maryland is the 28th state to impose such an order in a bid to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Navy hospital ship arrives in New York City
A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived Monday morning in New York Harbor to help relieve the coronavirus crisis gripping the city’s hospitals. The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
In addition to the 1,000 beds, the Comfort has 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours.
The ship’s arrival comes as New York state’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed Sunday above 1,000, less than a month after the first known infection in the state. Most of those deaths have occurred in just the past few days.
On the other side of the country, the U.S. Navy’s only other full-fledged hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, was “open for business” on a virtually identical mission and with a very similar capacity.
Vice Admiral Matt Nathan told CBS News’ Jonathan Vigliotti last week that both ships’ main role “would be to decompress current land-based hospitals in those cities of non-COVID patients who still need hospital attention.”
Britain’s Prince Charles out of self-isolation week after positive COVID-19 test
Britain’s tested positive last week, making him one of the most high-profile global figures to contract the virus., seven days after he was first diagnosed with the coronavirus, his office confirmed Monday. The heir to the throne
Prince Charles was self-isolating in Scotland at the royal Balmoral estate, according to BBC News. He was displaying mild symptoms. His wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, did not test positive. She is still self-isolating as a precaution until the end of the week.
“Having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” according to a statement provided by Charles’ official residence, Clarence House, on Monday. The 71-year-old is the father of Prince William and Prince Harry and is the first in line to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
U.S. military says almost 600 active duty troops now positive for COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Defense has now confirmed more than 1,000 cases of the new coronavirus among military personnel, staff and family members.
Among those infected are 569 active duty service members, 220 civilian staff, 64 contract workers employed by the Pentagon and 190 military family dependents.
The Navy has been the branch most severely affected, with more than two dozen cases confirmed on a single aircraft carrier alone.
Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum that is closed to stop spread of coronavirus
A Dutch museum that is currently closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus said Monday a painting by Vincent van Gogh on loan for an exhibition was Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam says “Spring Garden” by the Dutch master was taken in the early hours of Monday.overnight. The
Museum director Evert van Os said the institution that houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer is “angry, shocked, sad” at the theft of the painting.
The value of the work, which was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Dutch city of Groningen, was not immediately known. Police are investigating the theft.
Hungary’s controversial leader gains right to rule by decree amid coronavirus crisis
Hungary’s parliament endorsed a bill on Monday givingsweeping new powers he says he needs to fight the new coronavirus pandemic. Critics at home and abroad have condemned the “anti-coronavirus defence law”, saying it gives Orban unnecessary and unlimited power in a ruse to cement his leadership rather than battle the virus.
After declaring a state of emergency on March 11, the new bill will give Orban the power to largely rule by decree indefinitely until the government decides the pandemic crisis is over.
The bill removes the current requirement for MPs to approve any extension to time limits on the decrees. It also introduces jail terms of up to five years for anyone spreading “falsehoods” about the virus or the measures against it, stoking new worries for press freedom.
Nicknamed the “Viktator,” Orban was sued by the European Union in 2012 for anti-democratic measures and saw his political party, Fidesz, suspended by the international voting bloc earlier this year. In 2016, former President Hungary wanted to become an “authoritarian dictatorship” under Orban. President Trump, however, has .
Face mask shortage in stockpile becomes political issue in an election year
For more than 15 years, “Project BioShield” has guided the federal government’s plan for threats and global health crises like COVID-19, amassing vaccines and other critical supplies in the.
The priorities paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in new smallpox vaccines and anthrax antibiotics, but as coronavirus has spread globally, the U.S. stockpile had only 30 million masks for health care professionals — nowhere near the amount needed.
Now in an election year, politicalwhat led to the nationwide shortage of the relatively cheap N95 face masks, the protection recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A review by CBS News finds that for the past decade, a combination of differing priorities, underfunding and slow responsiveness all contributed to the shortfall of masks, leaving thousands of medical professionals now at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
Top U.K. epidemiologist says lockdown measures helping, epidemic “just about slowing”
One of the scientists advising the British government on the coronavirus pandemic says there are signs the effective lockdown of much of the country is working.
Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio that the number of new hospital admissions across the U.K. led him to believe the epidemic was “just about slowing” as a result of the social distancing measures the government has imposed over the past couple weeks.
“It’s not yet plateaued so the numbers can be increasing every day but the rate of that increase has slowed,” he said.
Ferguson, who had to self-isolate himself a couple weeks ago after showing signs of the COVID-19 illness, said the number of deaths would continue to rise daily as it is a lagging indicator. At least 1,228 people in the U.K. who have tested positive for the virus have died.
The epidemiologist thinks that between 3% to 5% of people in London may have been infected, and between 2% and 3% in the country as a whole.
German state finance chief apparently commits suicide, citing fear over virus response
The Finance Minister of the German state of Hesse, Thomas Schäfer, has been found dead after apparently committing suicide. He was reportedly worried about the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Schäfer was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party and had been Hesse’s Finance Minister for 10 years. In a suicide note he described his fears over his government’s handling of the health crisis, and whether it would be possible to meet the public’s expectations in terms of financial relief.
His body was found on train tracks near the city of Wiesbaden on Sunday. He leaves behind his wife and two children.
U.S. Army has to help staff field hospitals while also remaining ready for war
The United States Army is opening the first field hospital for civilians in New York City Monday. The new medical facility at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan is designed to handle non-COVID-19 patients, freeing existing New York hospitals to expand their fight against the coronavirus.
That fight against COVID-19 is unlike any other Army chief of staff General James McConville, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has seen. “You’re in a war against an invisible threat,” he told medics at the Javits Center.
Starting Monday, the hospital will be running can help save about 1,000 lives at a time. By next week, there will be 3,000 beds.
McConville told “CBS This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil the playbook could be used nationwide..
Largest U.S. medical supply stockpile “very stressed,” former director says
The former director of the largest U.S. stockpile of medical supplies says we may not have enough masks, gowns and ventilators to meet the needs of doctors and nurses fighting the coronavirus.
“, who retired in January after 12 years as director of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), the nation’s $8 billion supply of medical equipment, drugs and protective gear.
“The Strategic National Stockpile is that very last lifeline,” Burel told CBS News’ Catherine Herridge. “It doesn’t have everything in unlimited resources that people would like it to have.”
The U.S. began tapping the stockpile earlier this month, shipping supplies across the country from government warehouses.
“It would never have been possible, even with virtually unlimited funds, to supply everything that’s going to be needed for this event, from the Strategic National Stockpile,” he said.
New dates announced for delayed Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.
Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on August 9. The near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on August 8.
New York still America’s virus epicenter, but other states’ also seeing a sharp rise
More than 143,000 coronavirus cases have been reported across the United States, and more than 2,500 people have died. New York has the most cases by far with more than 59,000, but the numbers are going up rapidly in other states, too, including Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois and California.
While the total number is still lower than in those hard-hit states, Texas saw the largest single-day increase in cases Sunday, with a 38% jump bringing the tally to 2,823, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Connecticut, and South Dakota where there are now at least 90 cases, also saw jumps Sunday of greater than 30%.
Watch the video below for David Begnaud’s report on how bad experts believe the outbreak in the U.S. could get.
U.S. aircraft carrier stuck in Guam as 2 dozen crew test positive for COVID-19
The Navy is the U.S. military service hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis, and it’s been forced to sideline a symbol of American sea power.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was docked in Guam after being hit by a wave of infections following a port visit in Vietnam. The carrier has a crew of more than 5,000 sailors and Marines. At least two dozen have tested positive for the virus. The setback may be short-lived, but it highlights the Navy’s vulnerability to the global-circling disease. It also may be a harbinger of setbacks ahead for a sea service that cannot avoid close-quarters training and operations.
In a statement published Thursday, the U.S. Pacific Command said the Roosevelt’s crew would be limited to the pier, to which no personnel from the major American base on the island would be given access.
“We’re taking this day by day. Our top two priorities are taking care of our people and maintaining mission readiness. Both of those go hand in glove,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said in the statement. “We are confident that our aggressive response will keep USS Theodore Roosevelt able to respond to any crisis in the region.”
Florida church jammed for Sunday service despite pandemic
A Florida church was packed with worshippers Sunday despite a local “safer-at-home” order designed to help curb the spread of COVID-19, reports CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV. A live-stream of the service at The River at Tampa Bay Church showed its crowded main sanctuary.
WTSP says the sheriff told church leaders they were in direct violation of the order, which was issued by Hillsborough County officials and went into effect Friday. It requires that businesses and organizations considered essential abide by social distancing guidelines and keep people six feet away from each other or shut down.
Attorneys for local officials and the church were working to resolve things as quickly as possible, WTSP reported.
A grim milestone passed, but a glimmer hope for COVID-19-battered Spain
Spain has become the third country to surpass China in coronavirus infections after the United States and Italy. With a population of 47 million, the country’s tally of infections reached 85,195 on Monday, a rise of 8% from a previous day.
Monday also saw 812 new fatalities confirmed, bringing the country’s toll to 7,300 since the outbreak started in earnest in early March, Spain’s Health Ministry said in a statement.
Despite the grim milestone, it was the first decline in deaths reported in a 24-hour period that Spain had seen in several days. Even the 8% rise in new infections represented a slower growth rate, and brought hope that the peak of Spain’s outbreak could be approaching.
At least six of Spain’s 17 regions are at their limit of ICU beds and three more were close to it, authorities said, while frantic construction of field hospitals continues.
U.K. health service asks furloughed airline cabin crew to help in makeshift hospitals
Britain’s health service is asking airline cabin crew who have been furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients. The National Health Service says easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff — especially those with first aid training — asking them to work at hospitals being built inside convention centers in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
It said those who sign up will perform support roles under the supervision of doctors and nurses. Under the U.K. government’s coronavirus financial rescue plan, most salaried workers on furlough, across all sectors, will be given up to 80% of their usual pay for a three month period.
EasyJet announced Monday it was grounding all of its 344 planes amid a collapse in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. It said there was “no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights.” Virgin Atlantic has cancelled most of its flights and has urged the British government to help keep struggling airlines aloft.
Co-writer of “I Love Rock and Roll” dies of coronavirus complications
Alan Merrill — who co-wrote the song “I Love Rock and Roll” that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett —, his daughter said. He was 69.
Laura Merrill said on her Facebook account that he died in the morning.
“I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen,” she wrote. “By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone.”
Merrill said her father was in good spirits recently. “He played down the ‘cold’ he thought he had,” she said. “I’ve made a million jokes about the ‘Rona’ and how it’ll “getcha”… boy do I feel stupid.”
Governor lauds FDA for approving wide use of Ohio firm’s face mask sterilization system
Ohio’s governor said Sunday that federal regulators had cleared the way for wide use of a Columbus-based company’s services to sterilize the vital N95 masks that are in short supply around the country.
Battelle, a private research lab, says its process, which involves the use of hydrogen peroxide under pressure, can refurbish a single mask up to 20 times before the mask has to be discarded.
Governor Mike DeWine thanked the Food and Drug Administration and President Trump for hurriedly granting the company approval “to sterilize masks without a daily limit,” saying the move “will save lives!”
DeWine had called it reckless that Battelle was only authorized by the FDA to sterilize 10,000 per day until Sunday. The company has said it can handle up to 80,000 masks per day and that it is working to set up sterilization systems in other parts of the country.
Instacart workers set to go on strike over coronavirus concerns
A possible strike by Instacart workers highlights the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the grocery delivery business, where workers areas they try to meet a surge in demand for online groceries.
A group called the Gig Workers Collective is calling for a nationwide walk-out Monday. They’ve been asking Instacart to provide workers with hazard pay and protective gear, among other demands. Instacart said Sunday it would soon provide workers with a new hand sanitizer upon request and outlined changes to its tip system. The group said the measures were too little too late.
While some workers say they intend to join the strike for at least a day — or have stopped filling orders already for fear of getting the virus — other, newer workers are content to have a paying job at a time of mass layoffs in other industries.
The San Francisco-based delivery app is— more than doubling its workforce — to fulfill orders it says have surged by 150% year-over year in the past weeks.
– Associated Press
Twitter removes tweets by Brazilian president questioning virus quarantines
Two tweets by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus were removed Sunday, on the grounds that they violated the social network’s rules.
The far-right leader had posted several videos in which he flouted his government’s social distancing guidelines by mixing with supporters on the streets of Brasilia and urging them to keep the economy going.
Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down.
U.S. counties with no coronavirus cases largely rural, and poor
As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that 1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of 3,142 counties nationwide.
Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas — from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to majority Hispanic and Native American stretches of the American Southwest — that generally have less everyday contact between people that can help transmit the virus.
At the same time, counties with zero positive tests for COVID-19 have a higher median age and higher proportion of people older than 60 — the most vulnerable to severe effects of the virus — and far fewer intensive care beds should they fall sick. Median household income is lower, too, potentially limiting health care options.
– Associated Press
Oklahoma governor orders anyone traveling from 6 states to self quarantine
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Sunday issued an executive order requiring anyone traveling to the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington state to self quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The order comes one day after the CDC issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott issued a similar order Sunday, requiring anyone driving to Texas from Louisiana or flying to Texas from Miami, Detroit, Chicago, California or Washington state. Abbott had already ordered those traveling to Texas from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days beginning March 26.
Already struggling farmers hit hard by coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected America’s farmers, who were already facing financial hardships, worsened by a trade war and labor shortages.
In the heart of Dallas, Bonton Farms planted roots in an often-forgotten neighborhood that’s long been a food desert with no grocery store nearby. Daron Babcock started the small urban farm and 40-acre extension to solve a health crisis in the region.
“We have over double the rate of cancer, double the rate of stroke, double the rate of heart disease, double the rate of diabetes and double the rate of childhood obesity than the county we’re in,” he explained.
The farm provides fresh fruits and vegetables for the community and restaurants across north Texas. However, their two years of successful growth has become stunted by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“Just day one, when they announced they were gonna quarantine, business dropped 90%,” Babcock told CBS News.