Daily Damage Report.
Global: 1,002,159 confirmed cases / 51,485 deaths (Johns Hopkins University)
U.S. cases: 236,339 confirmed cases / 5,648 deaths
Testing: More than 100,000 Americans are being tested daily for coronavirus. (Bloomberg)
1/ More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week – double the 3.3 million who applied the previous week. About 6% of the U.S. work force filed for jobless benefits in the last two weeks. In March, more than 10 million Americans lost their jobs, erasing nearly all the jobs created in the past five years. Economists say the real number of people out work is probably higher and that as many as 20 million people could be out of work this summer. The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, updated its economic projections and expects U.S. unemployment to exceed 10% in the second quarter – eclipsing the peak of the last recession – and gross domestic product to fall by more than 7%, or an annualized 28%. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Bloomberg / New York Times / Politico / CNBC / CNN / CBS News / The Guardian)
Food banks are reporting unprecedented demand across the U.S. as millions lose jobs with demand for aid increasing eightfold in some areas. (The Guardian)
Mortgage lenders are preparing for the biggest wave of delinquencies in history. As many as 30% of Americans with home loans – about 15 million households – could stop paying if the U.S. economy remains closed through the summer or beyond, according to an estimate by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. (Bloomberg)
2/ The coronavirus has infected 1 million people globally in just four months. More than 51,000 people have died and 208,000 recovered. The U.S has the most confirmed cases officially recorded with more than 234,000. Meanwhile, health experts in the U.S. have voiced concerns about the accuracy of coronavirus testing, believing nearly one in three infected with the illness is testing negative. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
3/ The Trump administration is expected to urge all Americans to wear cloth masks or other face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – a reversal of its earlier recommendations. “In light of these new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of virus to those around them,” according to a copy of the CDC’s guidance sent to the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House coronavirus task force. A White House announcement is expected to come as soon as today. (Washington Post / Bloomberg / New York Times)
4/ Half of the national stockpile of ventilators have been distributed and there are now fewer than 10,000 still available. An estimated 32,000 ventilators may be needed by mid-April, when crisis is expected to peak. Meanwhile, FEMA said most of the 100,000 new ventilators that Trump promised won’t be available until the end of June “at the earliest.” (Wall Street Journal / Politico)
5/ An unclassified Army briefing document on the coronavirus – prepared on Feb. 3 – projected that “between 80,000 and 150,000 could die.” The estimates also correctly stated that asymptomatic people could “easily” transmit the virus, that military forces could be tasked with providing logistics and medical support to civilians, including “provid[ing] PPE (N-95 Face Mask, Eye Protection, and Gloves) to evacuees, staff, and DoD personnel.” On Feb. 24, Trump tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA” and two days later, Trump claimed that 15 known cases of coronavirus inside the U.S. “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” (Daily Beast)
6/ The Navy relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Capt. Brett Crozier urged the Navy to allow him to take the carrier to the port in Guam and offload sailors stricken with COVID-19, saying “decisive action” to remove the “majority of personnel” from the carrier was required to prevent deaths from the coronavirus. At least 114 crewmember have tested positive for the coronavirus. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Crozier was “not working with the chain of command” when he raised the issue. (NBC News / USA Today / Politico / Wall Street Journal)
- 📌 Day 1167: More than 100 sailors have tested positive for the coronavirus aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier. Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a memo to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet that “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors,” adding that “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.” The carrier is currently docked in Guam. (San Francisco Chronicle / Politico / New York Times / CNN)
7/ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a new select committee with subpoena powers to oversee the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and its dispersal of funds from the $2.2 trillion relief bill. Pelosi said the committee would oversee the three bills Congress has already passed, as well as any future legislation related to the pandemic. “Where there’s money, there’s also frequently mischief,” Pelosi said as she announced the creation of the special bipartisan panel. At the daily coronavirus task force briefing Trump said: “Here we go again. … It’s a witch hunt after a witch hunt.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added that he viewed the committee as unnecessary. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat, will lead the panel. (Politico / NBC News / CBS News / Washington Post)
8/ The Trump Organization has explored whether it can delay payments on some of its loans as the coronavirus outbreak has cost the properties more than a million dollars in lost revenue daily. Officials from the Trump Organization have asked Deutsche Bank – Trump’s largest creditor – about the possibility of postponing payments on at least some of its loans. And, while other companies can tap into the $500 billion rescue fund, the economic bailout package specifically barred the president and his family from access to that money. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
9/ The Secret Service signed a $45,000 contract this week to rent a fleet of golf carts in Northern Virginia – home to one of Trump’s golf clubs. According to federal contracting data, the Secret Service said it needs the golf carts to protect a “dignitary” in Sterling, Virginia. The contract was signed on Monday and went into effect on Wednesday, providing the Secret Service with 30 golf carts until the end of September. The contract was described as an “emergency order” and, while it doesn’t mention Trump or his golf club by name, it closely mirrors previous contracts signed for agents accompanying Trump to his golf clubs in New Jersey and Florida. (Washington Post)
10/ Dr. Anthony Fauci has received threats to his personal safety, leading the government to step up his security. The exact nature of the threats and messages sent to Fauci remains unclear, but HHS Secretary Alex Azar has grown concerned about Fauci’s safety. As a result, Azar asked the U.S. Marshals Service to deputize agents at the HHS inspector general’s office to provide protective services for Fauci. (Washington Post / CNN / The Hill / HuffPost / ABC News / NBC News / New York Times)
poll/ 51% of Americans believe the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will get worse in the next month. 21% expect it to continue as it is now, and 28% think the worst is already behind us. 77% say doctors and nurses don’t have the supplies they’ll need to manage the crisis. 51% say Trump is doing a good job handling the pandemic — down from 53% last week — and 49% say he’s doing a bad job. (CBS News)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.