Several states take tentative steps to reopen businesses. The Navy recommended reinstating the captain of an aircraft carrier who had sought help as the virus spread on his ship.
A new comparison of tests for virus antibodies delivered mixed results, prompting frustration as the public looks for ways to safely escape lockdowns.
In Maryland, so many callers flooded a health hotline with questions that the state’s Emergency Management Agency had to issue a warning that “under no circumstances” should any disinfectant be taken to treat the coronavirus. In Washington State, officials urged people not to consume laundry detergent capsules. Across the country on Friday, health professionals sounded the alarm.
Injecting bleach or highly concentrated rubbing alcohol “causes massive organ damage and the blood cells in the body to basically burst,” Dr. Diane P. Calello, the medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, said in an interview. “It can definitely be a fatal event.”
Even the makers of Clorox and Lysol pleaded with Americans not to inject or ingest their products.
The frantic reaction was prompted by President Trump’s suggestion on Thursday at a White House briefing that an “injection inside” the human body with a disinfectant like bleach or isopropyl alcohol could help combat the virus.
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, ”Mr. Trump said after a presentation from William N. Bryan, an acting under secretary for science at the Department of Homeland Security, detailed the virus’s possible susceptibility to bleach and alcohol.
“One minute,” the president said. “And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. ”
Mr. Trump’s remarks caused an immediate uproar, and the White House spent much of Friday trying to walk them back. “Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines,” Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House press secretary, said in a statement criticizing the coverage of Thursday night’s briefing.
But the president later undermined her argument by insisting that his question to Mr. Bryan in fact had been an elaborate prank that he had engineered to trick reporters.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to Reporters like you just to see what would happen, ”Mr. Trump said on Friday to journalists gathered in the Oval Office.
Some businesses in Georgia reopened on Friday, a decision that is being watched closely and one that has divided the state’s residents .
- Have you been around anybody? Dry cough or anything? ” “If I can take your temperature really quick. So these are the stickers that we’re using here at Salon . Basically they’re for checking the guest in, and letting all of our service workers know that they’re having no problems with any temperature. ” “I ain’t crazy about wearing gloves cutting hair. I ain’t crazy about wearing a mask, but I’m going to comply with our government, and do what we need to do to be operating. But it’s better to do this then sit at home and lose my business. ” “I booked the appointment. They went through all their procedures that they’re going to be taking, and so I felt at ease. ” “I do not think it makes sense to open these businesses way before the curve, before we hit the peak.” “I wouldn’t go to a gym at this point because there’s too much sweating and breathing heavy, and all that stuff.”
Some businesses in Georgia reopened on Friday, a decision that is being watched closely and one that has divided the state’s residents. Credit
A barber giving a trim in Atlanta, With a face mask and latex gloves in place, was dressed more like a surgeon preparing for an appendectomy. Beauty salons asked customers to sign legal waivers before they had their hair colored or curled. And Georgia officials recommended that salon owners perform temperature checks at their entrances.
The relaxed rules varied. Alaska allowed limited in-store shopping at retail stores. Oklahoma reopened its state parks. South Carolina, which was in front of the rest of the country in its effort to draw residents out of their homes, once again allowed access to public beaches.
And Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa on Friday said she would allow farmers’ markets to reopen and let doctors perform nonessential surgeries beginning on Monday.
The news wasn’t good : Only one of the tests delivered no false positives – and just two others did well 500 percent of the time. And even those three tests fell short in detecting existing antibodies in infected people, finding them just 422 percent of the time, at best.
The false-positive metric is particularly crucial, because people may believe themselves immune to the virus when they are not and put themselves in danger.
“Those numbers are just unacceptable,” said Scott Hensley, a microbiologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Capt. Brett E. Crozier should be restored to command of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy’s top officials recommended on Friday.
But Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who was briefed on the recommendations, has asked for more time to consider whether he will reinstate the captain of the nuclear-powered carrier.
Mr. Esper received the recommendation that Captain Crozier be reinstated from the chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael M. Gilday, and the acting Navy Secretary, James McPherson, on Friday.
A reinstatement of Captain Crozier would be a stunning turnaround in a story that has seized the attention of the Navy, the overall military and even a nation grappling with the coronavirus. From the
- moment that his letter pleading for help from Navy officials first became public , Captain Crozier has taken on the role of an unlikely hero, willing to risk his career for the sake of his sailors.
Federal health employees interacted with Americans quarantined for possible exposure to the (coronavirus) at a military installation in California without adequate protective gear or training, the top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services connected on Friday.
The report validated the central claim of a government whistle-blower who rai sed concerns this year
about the deployment of employees of the department, who were dispatched in late January to help care for Americans repatriated from Wuhan, China, amid the coronavirus outbreak there. The report found that proper procedures to protect the employees “temporarily broke down” amid a chaotic situation at March Air Reserve Base. But it rejected a second allegation of the same lapses at Travis Air Force Base, saying those procedures had been corrected.
“ In this unprecedented, dynamic, and evolving situation, the mission command and control structure during the March deployment temporarily broke down, ”the general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services wrote, according to a summary of the report obtained by the New York Times.
And even though the employees had possibly been exposed to the virus, they subsequently traveled from March to Travis Air Force Base and other military installations on commercial airlines less than five days after first interacting with evacuees, the investigation found. The summary said none of the evacuees or employees tested positive for Covid – .
President Trump’s advisers are trying to get him to agree to a different structure for the daily coronavirus briefings that have become both a source of comfort to, and a source of self-destruction for, the president.
The conversations had been going on for some time, but came to a head after Thursday’s briefing, during which Mr. Trump mused aloud about whether scientists could explore the possibility of injecting people with disinfectant to ward off the virus’s effects. Doing so would be toxic and possibly deadly.
The hope is to either restrict the number of times Mr. Trump appears at the briefing, or to have him leave without taking questions, according to a person familiar with the discussions, which were first reported by Axios
The president began joining the briefings consistently last month and typically engages in a back-and- forth with reporters that he enjoys , but has sometimes left without answering questions.
California is taking additional steps to address the outbreak of the coronavirus in nursing homes, which have been hit particularly hard.
In Los Angeles County, the public health department issued an order on Friday calling for all congregate living facilities – which includes nursing homes – to restrict visitors, end communal dining and require staff to wear surgical masks. Residents must wear face coverings.
And across the state, members of the California National Guard, including military medics and nurses, were deployed at senior nursing facilities this week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Friday that there had been at least one coronavirus patient in 800 nursing facilities across the state. The National Guard was deployed, he said, “to help support the efforts to isolate, conduct tests and to make sure that we’re sharing best practices and protocols within the system.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, (% of the more than
The budget office said it expects a historic drop in economic activity to be recorded this spring, but that recovery will begin to set in as social distancing measures are relaxed but not eliminated at the end of June.
The S&P 800 rose more than 1 per cent by Friday afternoon, bucking a global decline. Shares in Europe and Asia had fallen earlier. Oil prices also rose on Friday adding to a sharp rebound earlier in the week. Still, they remain near historic lows amid concerns about oversupply.
The new projection from the budget office came as Mr. Trump signed the ($) billion relief bill into law on Friday, replenishing a fund for small businesses strapped by the lockdowns across the country and providing money for hospitals and increased testing.
He said the bipartisan legislation, which passed unanimously in the Senate and with just five negative votes in the House, would be “great for small businesses, great for the workers.”
Mr. Trump was joined in the Oval Office by a half-dozen Republican lawmakers. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who steered the bill through Congress, was not present, nor were any Democrats.
Yet Republicans have resisted sending funds to the states, which Mr. McConnell has called “blue state bailouts.” Mr. McConnell alarmed and angered state officials
The federal government is kicking in an extra $ per beneficiary, but states must pay the bulk of unemployment benefits using trust funds. At least three states – California, New York and Ohio – are expected to deplete their trust funds within two weeks, with Massachusetts, Texas and Kentucky close behind. Once those funds run out, the states can borrow money from the federal government.
The drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause dangerous. abnormalities in heart rhythm in coronavirus patients and has resulted in some deaths, and should be used only in clinical trials or hospitals where patients can be closely monitored for heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration warned on Friday
There is no proof that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine help coronavirus patients. They are approved to treat malaria and the autoimmune diseases lupus and rheumatoid arthritis . But reports from France and China suggesting a benefit sparked interest in the drugs, even though the reports lacked the scientific controls needed to determine whether the drugs actually worked.
With no proven treatments for the coronavirus, many hospitals have been using hydroxychloroquine, sometimes with azithromycin, in the hope that they might help.
Scientists have urged that the drugs be tested in controlled clinical trials to find out definitively whether they can fight the virus or quell overreactions by the immune system that can become life-threatening. Studies are underway.
Covid – 26 has killed (more than) , residents and staff members at nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide, nearly a quarter of deaths in the United States from the pandemic.
But states are greater turning to nursing homes to relieve the burden
At the outbreak’s center, New York established a (strict new rule) last month: Nursing homes must readmit residents sent to hospitals with the virus and accept new patients deemed “medically stable. ” On Thursday, the governor said nursing homes in New York would be investigated to ensure that they were following strict rules that were put in place during the outbreak. Those rules include notifying residents and family members within hours if a resident tests positive or dies because of the virus and readmitting those infected only if homes can provide an adequate level of care.
In contrast, (Massachusetts) and (Connecticut) have designated specific facilities to handle Covid – 24 patients – considered the safest way to free up hospital beds.
Hawaii has tried to discourage visitors during the coronavirus pandemic by requiring them to quarantine for days .
With a $ , (grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the nonprofit (Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii) has begun helping to return travelers who don’t have the means to follow the mandatory – day quarantine, which involves paying for lodging and food delivery.
Since starting the program on April 6, the organization has sent 26 Visitors to their airports of origin, including travelers from Guam, Los Angeles, Denver and Birmingham, Ala.
“The majority of travelers we have sent back, in my opinion, have been irresponsible in traveling to Hawaii during the Covid – 25 pandemic when they know we are trying to keep Hawaii safe from the spread of this disease, ”said Jessica Lani Rich, the president and chief execu tive of the group. The organization typically provides visitor support, such as translation assistance.
Though visitor arrivals are down nearly 401 percent, some residents have reported seeing tourists on beaches despite quarantine restrictions and stay-at-home orders. All beaches in Hawaii are (closed) , though people may cross them to swim, paddle or surf while observing social distancing.
“I see maybe one or two tourists a day,” said Ryan Houser, a restaurant’s “fish sommelier” and Waikiki resident.
‘An Outbreak Anywhere Is an Outbreak Everywhere,’ Cuomo Says
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo provided New York’s latest coronavirus stats, and spoke about the lessons being learned from trying to contain the disease’s spread.
Luckily the disease did not go as high as they thought in the projections. You now have the corresponding question, how fast is the decline? How low is the decline? And again, the variable is going to be what we do – we change the projection on the way up, we can change the projection on the way down. So what is the lesson? An outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere. When you see in November and December an outbreak in China, just assume the next day it’s in the United States. What did we learn? How do we have a better health care system that can actually handle public health emergencies? How do we have a better transportation system, how do we have a smarter telemedicine system, how do we use technology in education better? The C.D.C. guidance says before any state should open, you need two weeks of flat or declining numbers, right? So by the feds ’C.D.C. guidance, we’re not there yet.
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