Here’s what you need to know:
Trump released national guidelines to control the virus.
The Trump administration released new guidelines on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including closing schools and avoiding groups of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, bars, restaurants and food courts.
Mr. Trump, flanked by task force members including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the guidelines would apply for 15 days.
“It seems to me if we do a really good job, we’ll not only hold the death down to a level that’s much lower than the other way had we not done a good job, but people are talking about July, August,” Mr. Trump said about the duration of the crisis.
The new measures reflected the increasing gravity of global attempts to contain the virus as governments around the world, from Canada to Hungary, moved to close their borders to foreign travelers.
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Mr. Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together.”
Hours earlier, Mr. Trump told a group of governors that they should not wait for the federal government to fill the growing demand for respirators needed to help people diagnosed with coronavirus.
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times.
The suggestion surprised some of the governors, who have been scrambling to contain the outbreak and looking to the federal government for help with equipment, personnel and financial aid.
At the briefing with the president, Dr. Fauci stressed that some of the White House guidelines were inconvenient, but they would help stop the spread of the virus and were not an overreaction.
“I say it over and over again: When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are,” he said.
Mr. Trump, addressing rumors that a nationwide lockdown was under consideration like the ones imposed by Italy and Spain, said that would not happen.
Dr. Fauci said at the briefing that the first phase of testing of a possible vaccine had begun on Monday.
Measures to brake the virus are braking the economy, too.
It was clear on Monday that most of the American economy was grinding to a halt, and would remain that way for months, because of the coronavirus outbreak and the sweeping steps being taken to try to halt it.
When the White House warned all Americans on Monday to avoid restaurants and bars and not to gather in groups of more than 10, it left unanswered the question of precisely what individuals and local governments should do, or how business owners and workers might survive financially, at a time when vast sections of the economy were ceasing to function.
On Wall Street, brokers and analysts were acting as if an economic collapse were inevitable, despite the Federal Reserve’s emergency moves on Sunday night to stoke economic growth through an aggressive bond-buying program. The S&P 500 fell nearly 12 percent on Monday and global oil prices slid below $30 a barrel, a four-year low.
“We’re calling the recession,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “We have the three elements to make that call — a profound, pervasive and persistent contraction in economic activity.”
Business groups, local and state leaders and a growing chorus of lawmakers and economists begged the federal government to spend trillions of dollars to pay workers to stay home and funnel money to companies struggling with an abrupt end to consumer activity.
The administration floated several ideas for helping industry without conveying a clear plan. After the main trade group for airlines suggested a $50 billion bailout, Mr. Trump’s chief economist, Larry Kudlow, said, “We don’t see the airlines failing, but if they get into a cash crunch we’re going to try to help them.”
Employers and employees are torn between fears of being exposed to the virus and fears of running out of money to pay for food and electricity. And government officials are left with the unhappy task of shutting down businesses that provide wages for large swaths of their communities, while wondering what steps their neighbors are taking.
“You can’t have one state taking actions that are different from other states,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Monday. What good is it if New Jersey closes its bars, if people just drive across to New York or Connecticut to drink and then return home? “This is a national pandemic, and there are no national rules,” he said.
A sudden flood of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits because of closures and cutbacks swamped New York’s Labor Department on Monday. The state had received more than 8,750 calls by noon, a figure it said was comparable to the period just after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when New York City was locked down.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom told all residents older than 65 on Monday to stay in their homes, banned nearly all visits to hospitals and nursing homes and announced plans to buy hotels to house some of the state’s 150,000 homeless people. He also closed bars, wineries and nightclubs.
In Chicago, some movie theaters are open, though they have instituted “social distancing plans” that block off seats in every other row. Regal Cinemas, by contrast, announced it was closing all its outlets after the White House guidance.
The federal Centers for Disease Control recommended limiting gatherings to 50 or fewer attendees, but as Dr. Rex Archer, the director of the Kansas City Health Department, noted: “I’d rather have a meeting of 60 in a room that holds 500 than a meeting of 49 in a room that holds 50.”
In Washington, lawmakers are working on a new fiscal stimulus package that could help workers and companies weather the storm — even as a previous package that the House passed last week still waits for Senate approval. Other businesses besides airlines are pushing for loans or direct government grants to fill the void of lost sales. Momentum is growing among Senate Republicans for more direct aid to workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced. On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah called for the government to cut a $1,000 check, immediately, to every American.
“People don’t have reserves, they live hand-to mouth” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel-winning economist. “People won’t be able to pay their rents, landlords won’t be able to pay their oil bills, the whole system could break down.”
The consequences of China’s harsh measures to halt the virus — restricting the movement of about 700 million people at one point — became apparent on Monday when the government released economic data showing industrial output falling to its lowest level in decades and unemployment rising at its highest rate ever in February.
The epidemic has upended life across the U.S.
As businesses and schools closed across the United States, public spaces emptied and people kept a wary distance on sidewalks and in supermarkets, millions of Americans found their lives upended on Monday, trying to work from their living rooms, look after suddenly homebound children, or just keep enough food on hand.
Nations around the world shut their borders and ordered shops and restaurants to close, and people across the United States awoke to the fact that they were not far behind, with the new coronavirus epidemic sweeping into every corner of their lives.
Though relatively few Americans have been tested, more than 4,000 have tested positive. The clear message from officials was that it would continue to grow unabated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for a halt to all gatherings of more than 50 people, airlines canceled flights and mothballed planes, and states and cities around the country shut down bars, restaurants, stores, libraries and museums.
America’s legal gates to the world are closing fast, as the Trump administration added Britain and Ireland to a list of European nations whose residents are barred from entering the country. More and more, those European countries are closing their doors to each other.
In the United States, the sense of being cut off increasingly seems to apply to the states themselves, as Washington has been slow to produce either promised aid or a coherent strategy and President Trump advised governors — some of whom were shocked — that they should look to buy their own ventilators and respirators, which are in desperately short supply.
And families were left to worry about lost wages, about inadequate supplies of medicine and protective gear, about leaving the ill and elderly even more isolated and vulnerable, and about jobs, institutions, relatives and neighbors that might vanish and never return.
The Trump administration turns on itself.
Infighting, turf wars and a president more concerned with the stock market and media coverage than policy have defined the Trump White House. They have also defined how it has handled a pandemic.
The White House culture that President Trump has fostered and abided by for more than three years has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country, with dramatic changes to how Americans live their daily lives.
It all explains how Mr. Trump could announce he was dismissing his acting chief of staff as the crisis grew more severe, creating even less clarity in an already fractured chain of command. And it was a major factor in the president’s reluctance to even acknowledge a looming crisis, for fear of rattling the financial markets that serve as his political weather vane.
Mr. Trump has refused repeated warnings to rely on experts, or to neutralize some of the power held by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in favor of a traditional staff structure. He has rarely fully empowered people in the jobs they hold.
“Part of this is President Trump being Donald J. Trump, the same guy he’s always been, and part of it is a government he has now molded in his image, rather than having a government as it has traditionally been, to serve the chief executive, and to serve the job of governing the country,” said David Lapan, a former spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon, and a former aide of Mr. Kelly.
To his critics, it was only a matter of time before the president’s approach to governing would have severe consequences not only for him but also for the country at a time of crisis.
Latin America begins grappling with the virus
Stringent measures were imposed over the weekend in several Latin American nations, where the outbreak has generally arrived later than in Europe or North America.
Ecuador and Peru, with several dozen cases each, announced countrywide lockdowns on Sunday. President Iván Duque of Colombia, which had more than 50 cases by Monday, shut the borders to nonresidents. In Costa Rica, which has 41 cases, the government decreed a state of emergency that included closing its borders.
In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro — an authoritarian leader whose government is considered illegitimate by the United States and about 60 other nations — seized on the upheaval caused by the pandemic to present himself as a responsible guardian of public health.
He responded to 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country by ordering a lockdown of the capital, Caracas, and six other states on Monday. “We either go into quarantine, or the pandemic could brutally and tragically bring down our country,” Mr. Maduro said in a terse televised speech on Sunday that was a departure from his typically rambling addresses. He called on the United States to loosen sanctions against his government.
In contrast, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil encouraged mass demonstrations by his supporters against his opponents in Congress on Sunday. Though Mr. Bolsonaro has been close to people who tested positive for the virus, he shook hands and posed for photos with supporters.
On Monday, a British cruise ship carrying five people who have tested positive for the coronavirus began sailing toward Cuba, where it will be allowed to dock and its passengers will be able to fly home. Any who are deemed too ill for immediate evacuation will be treated by Cuban doctors, a Cuban diplomat said.
Among the 682 passengers and 381 crew members aboard the ship, the Braemar, are 22 passengers and 21 crew members who are in isolation after displaying flulike symptoms, according to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the vessel’s operator. Most passengers are British, but there are also Canadian, Australian, Irish and Japanese citizens, among others.
Scientists say there are likely 5 to 10 undetected cases for every confirmed one.
Scientists tracking the spread of the coronavirus reported Monday that, for every confirmed case, there are most likely another five to 10 people in the community with undetected infections. On average these people are about half as infectious as confirmed ones, but they are responsible for transmitting the virus in nearly 80 percent of new cases, according to the report, which was based on data from China.
The researchers modeled the virus’s natural spread in China before the government instituted a travel ban and an aggressive testing policy. During that time, from December 2019 through late January, about 85 percent of cases went undetected. That situation is analogous to the current state of affairs in the United States and other Western countries, where tests are not widely available, the researchers said.
“If we have 3,500 confirmed cases in the U.S., you might be looking at 35,000 in reality,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the senior author of the new report, which was posted by the journal Science.
The report is among the first to address two pressing questions: How many people are walking around with unrecognized infections, and how infectious are they? American policymakers have begun taking more aggressive measures to slow transmission, like s canceling events and closing restaurants, but access to tests has been difficult or nonexistent in much of the country.
The E.U. plans to seal itself off from almost all international travel.
The top official of the European Union said on Monday that she was proposing a shutdown of all nonessential travel into the bloc. President Emmanuel Macron of France said national leaders would approve the plan on Tuesday.
“We propose to introduce a temporary restriction to non-essential travel to the European Union,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, after a teleconference with G7 leaders. “Of course there will be exemptions for E.U. citizens coming back home, health care workers, doctors and nurses.”
The restriction would last for 30 days, and would not interfere with travel from one European Union country to another. But some of the member states have already taken steps in that direction.
Ten of the 26 countries that make up the passport-free Schengen Area have reintroduced border controls, partly or fully suspending the rules of the flagship European Union program, a spokesman for the European Commission said. They include eight members of the union — Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland — as well as Norway and Switzerland, which belong to the Schengen Area but not the union.
The European Commission proposed a set of policies to keep goods flowing within the European Union, but allow countries to tighten border measures for travelers.
Health officials order millions in the Bay Area to “shelter in place.”
Six counties in Northern California have ordered all residents to “shelter in place” in an effort to stop the coronavirus from surging.
The order, which takes effect Tuesday, is expected to disrupt life for millions of residents in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. The city of Berkeley also issued the same order.
That means staying at home except for the most essential reasons. Officials said people would be allowed to leave the house for essential work, to go to a grocery store, pick up medication, or even walk the dog. But they urged everyone to practice social distancing while outside. “It is now time to do your part,” Dr. Scott Morrow, the San Mateo health officer, said in a statement
“It’s asking people to go home with their families and to stay there until they are told otherwise,” said Mayor Joe Goethals of San Mateo, adding that only “essential” businesses like hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies would remain open.
“I don’t expect anyone to get arrested,” said Mr. Goethals, who said people will still be allowed to go outside for limited activities, like buying food and getting fresh air. “But it’s not optional. This is mandatory for all of us.”
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 4,000 mark on Monday, with more than 70 deaths, including the first deaths in Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina.
A growing number of cities and states have taken significant actions to slow the coronavirus, shutting down schools, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms. The restrictions stretched from the now-empty sidewalks of New York City, where officials had made the wrenching decision to shut down public schools, to the fields and urban centers of Ohio.
“I don’t know how to explain to my four-year-old why he no longer has school, why we can’t see Granny and Pa or Gam and Pa, and why everything is closed,” said Molly Hideg, a mother and social worker at a hospital in Cleveland.
By Monday afternoon, officials had ordered restaurants and bars to shut down in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State and Puerto Rico, with exceptions in some places for takeout or delivery orders. Millions of Americans are now hunkered down at home for the foreseeable future. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for people 65 and older to shelter in their homes. Some places, like Puerto Rico and Hoboken, N.J., have also resorted to a curfew at night.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 4,000 mark on Monday, with more than 70 deaths, including the first deaths in Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina. Health officials have warned that the numbers of cases will continue to rise, and even West Virginia — the last state without a documented case of the virus — has taken significant precautions. Gov. Jim Justice said he believed the state already had its first case, but hadn’t found it yet.
“We’ve got a monster that’s looming,” he said.
France imposes a nationwide lockdown, as Europe struggles to catch up to the epidemic.
Declaring “we are at war,” President Emmanuel Macron of France prohibited public gatherings of any size, postponed municipal elections and told people to stay in their homes except for essential needs.
His order, which goes into effect on Tuesday, is one of the most stringent anywhere in Europe. Officials said that going out for a walk to get some fresh our would be allowed, but meeting a friend on a street or in a park would be punishable with a fine.
Christophe Castaner, the interior minister, said anyone on a public outing would need to carry a document justifying it, even if only a sworn statement written by that person. He said that 100,000 law enforcement officers would be deployed to enforce the order.
Olivier Véran, France’s health minister, said that the government was asking each French person to limit human contact to a maximum of five people a day. France, with more than 6,600 coronavirus cases and 148 deaths by Monday, had already ordered all “non-indispensable” businesses closed.
“We will be able to end the confinement,” Mr. Véran said in a post on Twitter. “But without confinement, we will not be able to end the epidemic.”
Spain, with almost 10,000 cases and more than 300 deaths by Monday, also ordered residents to mostly stay at home, though it is still allowing most people to go to work and has not announced any punitive measures. Schools, restaurants and bars were ordered to close.
The pace of new coronavirus infections reported in Europe accelerates daily — roughly 6,000 on Thursday, 7,000 on Friday, 8,000 on Saturday, 9,000 on Sunday and 10,000 on Monday, bringing the total to about 62,000. France and Spain warned that their health care systems could be overwhelmed.
And in Italy, still the hardest-hit country in Europe and the first to impose nationwide restrictions on movement, the government announced $28 billion in emergency aid to individuals, businesses and the health care system to stave off chaos and financial ruin.
Italy had almost 28,000 infections and more than 1,800 deaths as of Monday.
The government’s aid package delays mortgage, loan and tax payments, and offers extended parental leave, sick leave for people in quarantine, babysitting vouchers, and grants for self-employed and seasonal workers.
“We never considered fighting a flood with buckets,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. “We are trying to build a dam to protect businesses, families and workers.”
Ohio and Kentucky postpone primaries scheduled for Tuesday.
Ohio’s governor moved to postpone Tuesday’s presidential primary and hold in-person voting on June 2 because of worries about the coronavirus. Absentee voting will continue until the new primary date, Gov. Mike DeWine said at a news conference. Mr. DeWine said he did not have the authority to unilaterally delay the primary, so he said a lawsuit would be filed to make the change.
Kentucky also announced that it was delaying its primary. The announcement was made by Kentucky’s secretary of state, Michael G. Adams, in a video statement on Twitter.
U.S. airlines ask for $50 billion in emergency support from the government.
The lobbying group for America’s biggest airlines called on the government on Monday to provide more than $50 billion in grants, loan guarantees and tax relief. The group, Airlines for America, warned that the current situation is not sustainable for the industry and that there is no end in sight to the crisis.
“This is a today problem, not a tomorrow problem,” said Nicholas E. Calio, chief executive of Airlines for America. “It requires urgent action.”
The industry group said that flight cancellations are outpacing new bookings and that the decline in demand is getting worse by the day. The request included $25 billion in grants for passenger carriers, $4 billion in grants for cargo, $25 billion in loan guarantees.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said on Monday that “we’re in touch” with the airlines “about their balance sheets and their cash flow.”
“We don’t see the airlines failing, but if they get into a cash crunch we’re going to try to help them,” he said.
On Sunday, United Airlines executives said they were in talks with union leaders about reducing payroll costs. The moves being considered include furloughs, pay cuts and reducing minimum hours.
United’s corporate officers will be taking a 50 percent pay cut, Oscar Munoz, the chief executive, and Scott Kirby, the president, said in a letter. Both have already said they would forgo their base salaries through June.
Reversing course, Britain says to avoid travel and contact with people.
In a sharp reversal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that everyone should avoid unnecessary travel and contact with others, should work at home and should stop going to places like bars, restaurants and theaters.
Mr. Johnson called the measures “very draconian,” but he stopped well short of the kinds of steps taken by some harder-hit European countries. He did not order schools or businesses closed, did not tell people to stay in their homes, and said the steps were not mandatory, but rather “giving very strong advice.”
Mr. Johnson and his government had faced harsh criticism for its laissez-faire approach to the pandemic. They had spoken hopefully of “herd immunity” — in which many people would be infected, recover and then, it is hoped, be immune — while it was inevitable that many people would take ill and die.
But at a news conference on Monday with top medical officials, he said: “Now is the time for everyone to stop nonessential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.”
In particular, people over 70 and those with serious illnesses should avoid contact with others, Mr. Johnson said, suggesting that as a result, people should not visit nursing and retirement homes.
When asked if he envisioned taking law enforcement action against people who take unnecessary risks, Mr. Johnson said, “we have the powers if necessary, but I don’t believe it will be necessary to use those powers.”
Chris Witty, the chief medical officer of England, said, “we should not be under any illusion that if we do this for just a couple of weeks, that will be sufficient.”
Britain had almost 1,400 confirmed infections on Sunday, compared to about 5,000 each in France and Germany, and almost 8,000 in Spain. But the number of infections in Britain has been doubling every two to three days, indicating that its crisis is not far behind those of its neighbors.
The English actor Idris Elba, who was in the HBO series “The Wire,” announced on Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, sharing the news with fans in a video that he posted on Twitter.
“Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now,” said Mr. Elba, 47. “If you’re feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or you’ve been exposed, then do something about it. It’s really important.”
California’s economy, largest in the nation, could be hit hard by the virus.
California has an economy bigger than that of the United Kingdom and has been remarkably resilient since the Great Recession, powered by technology, agriculture and Hollywood.
Now it stands to be among the states hardest hit by the virus. Already Gov. Gavin Newsom has enacted extreme measures, telling every resident older than 65 to stay in their homes and banning Californians from visiting hospitals and nursing homes unless relatives are on the edge of death.
He has announced plans to buy hotels to house some of the state’s 150,000 homeless people and called for the closure of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and wineries.
The governor spoke of his confidence that the state can weather the fallout, pointing to a $21 billion budget surplus and cash on hand of near $16 billion.
But at the ground level, the pain is coming fast. Truck drivers have been laid off and forced to sell their rigs. Those still working have put off oil changes and maintenance to stay afloat.
“We’re picking and choosing which bills to pay,” said Gio Marz, 30, a truck driver who hauls containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses in Southern California.
Restaurants are closing, and real estate agents say buyers are pulling offers because sagging stock portfolios have left them spooked and diminished cash available for down payments.
Even the most optimistic economists now forecast recession.
“This is the first time in 10 years that I’ve thought, ‘OK, this is the thing that could finally tip us into recession,’” said Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, a consulting firm.
Reporting was contributed by Michael Powell, Elisabetta Povoledo, Tim Arango, Thomas Fuller, John Eligon, Conor Dougherty, Jim Tankersley, Niraj Chokshi, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Ian Austen, Catie Edmondson, Peter Baker, Katie Robertson, Jonathan Martin, Michael Cooper, Karen Weise, Reid J. Epstein, Katie Glueck, Shane Goldmacher, Jeanna Smialek, Alissa J. Rubin, Sarah Mervosh, Neil Irwin, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Safak Timur, Emmet Lindner, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Aurelien Breeden, Raphael Minder, Melissa Eddy, Tiffany May, Matt Stevens, Nick Corasaniti, Elian Peltier, Constant Méheut, Josh Katz, Margot Sanger-Katz, Kevin Quealy, Adeel Hassan and Aimee Ortiz.
View original article here Source