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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J"

Coronavirus Live Updates: Hospitals Run Low on Supplies as the U.S. Death Toll Nears 10,000

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-live-updates-hospitals-run-low-on-supplies-as-the-u-s-death-toll-nears-10000 Coronavirus Live Updates: Hospitals Run Low on Supplies as the U.S. Death Toll Nears 10,000 United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Johnson, Boris Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Epidemics Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171310203_bb33b969-09c2-463f-b3d1-917674760c5f-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Hospitals Run Low on Supplies as the U.S. Death Toll Nears 10,000 United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Johnson, Boris Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Epidemics Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Cuomo says there may be a plateau, but the state still faces a dire emergency.

New York City remained the center for the outbreak, with harrowing scenes of panicked doctors and besieged hospitals.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that 599 more people had died in the state, a number almost identical with that of the previous day. The total number of deaths is 4,758.

“It is hopeful but it is also inconclusive, and it still depends on what we do,” the governor said of the possibility that the state had reached a plateau in terms of the number of dead.

Mr. Cuomo said that the data suggested that the spread of the virus in New York could be plateauing, but emphasized that the state was still facing an emergency. “If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level and there is tremendous stress on the health care system,” he said.

“Now is not the time to be lax,” he said, chastising residents of New York City who were still ignoring the guidelines on social distancing, calling their behavior “unacceptable.”

“If I can’t convince you to show discipline for yourself, then show discipline for other people. If you get infected, you infect someone else and go to a E.R., you put a burden on all sorts of people you don’t know and frankly don’t have the right to burden with your irresponsibility,” Mr. Cuomo said.

“You don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life,” he added.

Mr. Cuomo said that the fine for those who violated restrictions on social distancing would increase, from $500 to $1,000 for violators.

“Now is not the time to be playing Frisbee in the park with your friends,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo asserted that New York had done all it could to prevent the loss of lives that could have been saved. “Have we saved everyone? No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator, or we didn’t have health care staff? No.”

“Everyone has what they need,” the governor said. “There is no one who said I’m out of ventilators, and I have a critical need, who hasn’t gotten one.”

Mr. Cuomo said that the state had been proactive in shifting lifesaving ventilators to where they were needed, and that it had moved “thousands and thousands of ventilators” throughout its health care system.

“We don’t need any additional ventilators right now,” he added, a notable shift in tone from the previous weeks, during which the state had pleaded for the devices.

The governor was asked a question about a possibility that had been floated by a New York City Council member on Monday morning, that the city might be compelled to temporarily bury people who die after contracting the virus in an unspecified park.

“I have heard a lot of wild rumors but I have not heard anything about the city burying people in parks,” Mr. Cuomo said.

The governor said that he would ask Mr. Trump if the Navy military ship, the Comfort, could be shifted to take patients suffering from the virus. The ship, which has 1,000 beds, had previously been reserved for non-virus patients.

California is trying to organize states to work together, instead of competing, to secure medical supplies.

As the pandemic has spread across America, chaos has reigned in the process of securing much-need medical supplies for frontline workers. States are competing with one another, and with the federal government. The process has drawn in fraudsters, and a number of F.B.I. investigations are underway.

In California, the state has received moldy masks that were useless, and in Los Angeles, a deal put together by a labor union to secure millions of N95 masks for the county’s hospitals never materialized, spurring a federal investigation.

California, the most populous state with 40 million people, is trying now to band together with other, smaller states to procure supplies. The goal is two-fold: to bring order the process; and to ensure that smaller states do not lose out to California, which has the ability to outbid other states because of its size.

“This has been described, I think appropriately, as the wild, wild west,” Gov. Gavin Newson said on Sunday. “We are trying to organize in a more deliberative manner.”

Last week, Mr. Cuomo put the supply chain problem this way: “You now literally will have a company call you up and say, ‘Well, California just outbid you.’ It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator.”

Mr. Newsom said he has been deluged by text messages and phone calls from friends who tell him they have friends with supplies to offer. “Some of the friends of our friends are not all above board. There’s a lot of fraud,” he said.

Mr. Newsom said he has been in discussions with other states to organize their procurement efforts, and he said he would have more specific announcements to make this week. “We are trying to avoid the competition in this space with each other,” he said.

The state — which has not seen a surge in cases like New York and Louisiana, but is preparing for a possible jump in hospitalizations in the coming weeks — said Monday it was sending 500 ventilators to the national stockpile to aid New York.

In doing so, California follows similar actions by Oregon, which has said it was sending 140 ventilators to New York, and Washington State, which has offered up 400 ventilators to New York.

A new government report confirmed that hospitals are facing severe shortages of critical supplies.

Hospitals continue to confront severe shortages in testing and protective equipment for medical staff working to combat the coronavirus outbreak, according to a government watchdog report released on Monday that appears to undercut President Trump’s assurances that states have sufficient resources.

Staff and patients alike are put at risk by the lack of available protective gear, according to the report by the inspector general of Health and Human Services.

Hospital administrators are forced to grapple with “sharp increases” in prices for items such as masks, gloves and face shields from vendors, the report continues.

The lack of testing has forced hospitals to extend the stays of patients, pushing the facilities even farther beyond their capacities. Hospitals are also in need of thermometers, disinfectants, medical gas, linens, toilet paper and food. And doctors around the United States are still pleading for ventilators, even as the federal government has limited the number of lifesaving devices issued to states.

The report was based on interviews conducted March 23 through March 27 with more than 320 hospitals across 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The findings are in line with pleas made by governors, medical workers and hospital administrators, but they contrast sharply with statements made by Mr. Trump, who said this weekend that hospital administrators were “thrilled to be where they are.”

“Whenever local shortages are reported, we’re asking states to immediately meet the demand. And we’re stockpiling large amounts in different areas,” Mr. Trump said at a White House news briefing on Saturday.

The report was issued days after reports that protective equipment in the government’s strategic national stockpile was nearly depleted, forcing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct an international search for such equipment. Those efforts have also increased competition for states and localities.

Amid quarantine orders, highway checkpoints appear along some state lines.

As stay-at-home orders have spread across the United States, checkpoints have appeared along some state lines, where certain visitors are being told to quarantine for 14 days.

Governors in Rhode Island, Texas and Florida have ordered some drivers coming from out of state to be stopped at the border and reminded of the quarantine requirement. No state has blocked drivers from passing through on their way to their final destination. Some municipalities have added checkpoints and restrictions of their own.

Texas set up checkpoints on its border with Louisiana on Sunday to screen people for the coronavirus, widening the scope of a mandatory quarantine order for visitors from one of the country’s emergent hot spots, the authorities said.

Photos of the checkpoints appeared on the Facebook page of the Louisiana State Police, which advised travelers to exercise caution and remain alert for traffic congestion in a post mentioning the enforcement measures. The post said commercial traffic would not be obstructed.

The screening measures came a week after Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas expanded a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers arriving from Louisiana, as well as air travelers from a number of other states and cities.

The steps taken by the Texas authorities recalled an order last month by Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, who ordered checkpoints in her state that singled out vehicles with New York license plates to enforce a similar quarantine.

Some two weeks after Marie Margolius, 27, drove from her apartment in Brooklyn to a family home in Middletown, R.I., to stay with her family, the National Guard dropped by.

The family cars, all with Massachusetts license plates, were parked in the front yard. The officers took notes of the family members’ names and date of arrival into town and instructed them to continue self-isolating.

“It felt surreal seeing these men in uniform, wearing masks, knocking on doors in an effort to get a handle on who’s here,” she said. “But it made me feel safe. The fact that they are attempting to really understand the situation in our community was sort of comforting.”

The first legal challenge to public health restrictions has been filed by the A.C.L.U. in Puerto Rico.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its first lawsuit over government-imposed virus restrictions.

The suit, filed over the weekend, argues that Puerto Rico’s nightly curfew and some other strict rules aimed at limiting public contact are unconstitutional. The police in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, have cited hundreds of people for violating the 7 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew since it was imposed on March 15.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez’s executive order also requires that people stay home during the day unless they are going to a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, gas station or medical appointment, or are providing medical care. Those found guilty of violating the order face a $5,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

The order further limits gatherings to close family members, a criterion the lawsuit says should not be defined by the state and is too vague for practical application by the police. Three plaintiffs who joined the lawsuit said that they fear arrest when they leave their homes each day to care for their elderly mothers.

(Puerto Rico has restricted traffic to alternating days based on license plates.)

“The order expects constitutional rights to be blindly handed over to the government, and that is unacceptable,” the lawsuit says.

On Sunday, Gov. Vázquez announced even tighter rules, shutting down all businesses except pharmacies and gas stations later this week from Good Friday through Easter Sunday.

Stocks rally as investors see some hopeful signs.

Even as officials were warning Americans to brace themselves for a week of sadness, death and challenges, U.S. stocks rallied and global markets surged on Monday as investors looked to signs that the outbreak was peaking in some of the world’s worst-hit places.

The S&P 500 rose more than 5 percent by midday.

After grappling with intense market volatility during the month of March as efforts to contain the spread of the virus weighed on the economy, investors were cheered by numbers showing that the pace of new confirmed infections and deaths was slowing in some places in Europe. In the United States, the Trump administration, while warning of a hard week ahead, suggested that the outbreak could be near its peak in some places.

Analysts highlighted the tentative deceleration of infections in New York as a good sign for other virus hot spots in the United States, as well as stock market sentiment. European stocks were trading higher after a modest rally in Asia picked up steam later in the day.

U.S. Treasury bond prices fell in Asian trading. But the price of oil, which generally rises on good economic news, fell amid a continuing spat over supplies between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Japan will declare a state of emergency as the virus surges in Tokyo and other cities.

With new cases of the virus rapidly increasing in Tokyo and other cities in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that he would declare a state of emergency in seven prefectures that include the country’s largest population centers.

Mr. Abe, whose country faces a deep recession as the virus hinders trade and tourism, also announced an economic stimulus package worth nearly $1 trillion. He said that the government would suspend $240 billion in tax and social security payments and pay about $55 billion to households whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic.

The seven prefectures to be covered by the state of emergency, which Mr. Abe said would last about a month, are Chiba, Fukuoka, Hyogo, Kanagawa, Osaka, Saitama and Tokyo.

Under an emergency law enacted last month, Mr. Abe can ask prefectural governors to close schools, request that residents refrain from going out or holding events, and order building owners to contribute their facilities for medical use. He cannot issue stay-at-home orders or force businesses to close, as other countries have done.

Mr. Abe said that public transit would continue to run and that supermarkets would remain open.

Nearly three months into its outbreak, Japan is continuing to record new daily highs in confirmed infections, with the health ministry announcing 383 on Monday. Japan’s total number of cases has more than doubled, to 3,654, in the last eight days.

Japan has so far not reported the sort of explosive rise in cases that other countries have experienced, even though it has not taken aggressive steps like restricting people’s movements or testing widely for the virus. Its leaders have said for weeks that they have managed to contain the outbreak by quickly identifying clusters and tracing close contacts to infected people, but experts fear that the limited testing has allowed the virus to spread.

In remarks to reporters, Yoshihide Suga, Mr. Abe’s chief cabinet secretary, said that “in urban areas, including Tokyo, the number of infections is rapidly increasing, and the number of infections that cannot be tracked is increasing.”

In Tokyo on Sunday, the governor, Yuriko Koike, announced 143 new cases, a record high. By Monday evening, the city had announced an additional 83 cases. In all, Tokyo has reported more than 1,000 cases and 30 deaths.

The situation in Japan presents a contrast to the trajectory of the outbreak in neighboring South Korea. That country, which has tested 466,804 people for the virus, more than 10 times the number in Japan, announced only 47 new cases on Monday, down from 78 a week earlier.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain is hospitalized for coronavirus treatment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained in the hospital on Monday after being admitted the day before for tests under his doctor’s advice, more than a week after he tested positive for the virus.

Mr. Johnson, 55, had been in isolation in his residence next door to 10 Downing Street after announcing in a video message on March 27 that he was infected and had been experiencing a fever and other mild symptoms. But a spokesman for Mr. Johnson said on Sunday that the prime minister was still dealing with the effects of the virus and had gone to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Downing Street said Mr. Johnson, who was running a high temperature, remained at the helm of the government, and on Monday morning noted that he had a comfortable night in the hospital, was in good spirits and remained under observation.

“This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive,” a spokesman said on Sunday.

The persistent symptoms are said to be a high temperature and coughing. In a series of tweets, Mr. Johnson said he was keeping in touch with his team and thanked the National Health Service.

On Saturday, Mr. Johnson’s 32-year-old girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, disclosed that she, too, was suffering symptoms. Ms. Symonds is pregnant.

The British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, was expected to lead the daily cabinet meeting on the pandemic on Monday. Under the government’s succession plan, Mr. Raab would take up Mr. Johnson’s duties if he became incapacitated.

The announcement of Mr. Johnson’s hospitalization came hours after Queen Elizabeth II issued a rare televised address on Sunday, attempting to rally her fellow Britons to confront the pandemic with the resolve and self-discipline that have seen the nation through its greatest trials.

Video

Westlake Legal Group merlin_171307140_3f184596-309a-4ef3-b2b1-a821b2592d8e-videoSixteenByNine3000 Coronavirus Live Updates: Hospitals Run Low on Supplies as the U.S. Death Toll Nears 10,000 United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Johnson, Boris Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Epidemics Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Queen Elizabeth II rallied Britons in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected at least 40,000 in the country. Her remarks were pre-recorded from Windsor Castle, where she is sequestering herself.CreditCredit…Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the queen said in taped remarks from Windsor Castle. The virus has infected at least 40,000 people in Britain, including her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, and several members of the government.

The queen called it “a time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

The appearance was only the fourth time in her 66-year reign that the queen has addressed the British people, apart from her annual Christmas greeting — and it carries a distinct echo of the celebrated radio address that her father, George VI, delivered in September 1939, as Britain stood on the brink of war with Germany.

“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said, “and those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”

The Navy’s top civilian excoriated the fired commander of an aircraft carrier stricken with the coronavirus.

The U.S. Navy’s top civilian excoriated the fired commander of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in a speech to the ship’s crew on Monday as the sailors huddled on the island of Guam amid a coronavirus outbreak among their ranks, according to a transcript that was leaked online Monday.

The New York Times has obtained an audio recording that supports the transcript’s authenticity.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly addressed the crew of the aircraft carrier on Monday afternoon via the ship’s internal loudspeaker system. In a profane and defensive address that one crew member described in an interview as “whiny, upset, irritated, condescending,” Mr. Modly took repeated shots at the integrity of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command last week, and injected partisan political tones into the address by attacking former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has repeatedly criticized Captain Crozier’s removal.

Mr. Modly said Captain Crozier was “too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer” if he thought that letter wasn’t going to leak. “The alternative is that he did this on purpose,” Mr. Modly added.

Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, the Navy’s head spokesman, said he had seen the transcript but could not verify its authenticity. “I’ve asked his personal staff about it on travel,” Brown said. “I can say the secretary traveled to Guam and he did address the crew” of the Theodore Roosevelt.

Hundreds of sailors on the ship cheered Captain Crozier during a send off last week.

Debate roils White House over an untested drug the president insists on promoting.

Mr. Trump doubled down on Sunday on his push for the use of an anti-malarial drug against the virus, issuing medical advice that goes well beyond scant evidence of the drug’s effectiveness as well as the advice of doctors and public health experts.

Mr. Trump’s recommendation of hydroxychloroquine, for the second day in a row at a White House briefing, was a striking example of his brazen willingness to distort and outright defy expert opinion and scientific evidence when it does not suit his agenda.

Mr. Trump suggested he was speaking on gut instinct, and acknowledged he had no expertise on the subject.

“But what do I know? I’m not a doctor,” Mr. Trump said, after recommending the anti-malaria drug’s use for virus patients as well as medical personnel at high risk of infection.

“If it does work, it would be a shame we did not do it early,” Mr. Trump said, noting again that the federal government had purchased and stockpiled 29 million doses of the drug.

“What do you have to lose?” Mr. Trump asked, for the second day in a row.

When a reporter asked Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to weigh in on the question of using hydroxychloroquine, Mr. Trump stopped him from answering. As the reporter noted that Dr. Fauci was the president’s medical expert, Mr. Trump made it clear he did not want the doctor to answer.

“He’s answered the question 15 times,” the president said, stepping toward the lectern where Dr. Fauci was standing.

On Saturday, Dr. Fauci had privately challenged rising optimism about the drug’s efficacy during a meeting of the coronavirus task force in the White House’s Situation Room, according to two people familiar with the events. The argument was first reported by the website Axios and confirmed on CNN on Monday morning when Peter Navarro, the president’s trade adviser who is overseeing supply chain issues related to the virus, acknowledged the disagreement.

Mr. Navarro said he had taken a sheaf of folders to the meeting, outlining several studies from various countries, as well as information culled from C.D.C. officials, showing the “clear” efficacy of chloroquines in treating the virus.

Dr. Fauci pushed back, echoing remarks he has made in a series of interviews in the last week that rigorous study is still necessary. Mr. Navarro, an economist by training, shot back that the information he had collected was “science,” according to the people familiar with what took place.

U.N. details “horrifying global surge” in domestic abuse amid lockdowns.

The United Nations has expressed alarm at a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” linked to lockdowns imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, appealed to nations across the world to put the prevention of domestic violence at the center of their national response plans.

“For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes,” he said in a video message, noting that necessary lockdowns and quarantines can “trap women with abusive partners.”

“Over the past weeks, as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence,” he said.

In many countries, social services are already stretched to the breaking point. Health care workers have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus outbreak. The police have been coping with infections among their ranks. Support groups have had to limit their reach and some domestic violence shelters are closed.

The United Nations reports that, since the pandemic began, nations have been detailing a rise in cases of abuse and calls for support.

In Lebanon and Malaysia, the number of calls to domestic violence help lines was double that of the same month last year, while in China, they are three times higher.

In Britain, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25 percent increase in calls and online requests for support since the lockdown began, the charity Refuge said. In Kosovo, the Ministry of Justice reported a 17 percent increase in gender-based violence cases.

As many as half of those with the coronavirus could be asymptomatic, Fauci says.

The nation’s leading infectious disease specialist said Sunday night that as many as half the people infected with the virus may not have any symptoms, a much larger estimate than the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave last week.

“It’s somewhere between 25 and 50 percent,” said the specialist, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, during a briefing by Mr. Trump and members of the coronavirus task force on Sunday. The doctor cautioned, however, that it was only an estimate, adding that even the scientists helping lead the nation’s fight against the virus, “the friends that we are, we differ about that.”

In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., said that as many as 25 percent of people with the virus exhibited no symptoms. The large number of symptom-free cases — and scientists’ changing understanding of just how common such cases are — helps explain why the C.D.C. last week changed its guidance, recommending that all Americans wear a cloth face covering in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies where they cannot ensure keeping a safe distance from others.

It also underscores the extraordinary challenge of controlling the virus’s spread. Dr. Fauci emphasized that for now his estimate was only a guess and that more testing was needed to figure out exactly how many Americans were carrying the virus without realizing it.

“Then we can answer the question in a scientifically sound way,” he said. “Right now, we’re just guessing.”

Cases continue to climb in Spain and Italy, but at a slower rate.

Western Europe may have reached an important turning point in the coronavirus epidemic: while the total number of patients continues to climb, the rate of new infections is no longer rising.

The shift seems clearest in the two hardest-hit countries, Italy and Spain, though incomplete and inconsistent data make it hard to be sure.

Italy’s daily tally of confirmed new infections peaked on March 21, at more than 6,500, but for the past week the number has not gone above 5,000. In Spain, the number seems to have reached a plateau, fluctuating for almost two weeks between about 6,400 and more than 9,200, a high that was set last Tuesday.

In each country, the death toll attributed to the coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has reached more than 900 on some days. But it has been lower in the last few days and on Sunday, it dropped sharply. Whether that represents a long-term downward turn is unclear.

To relieve the disastrous burden on health care systems, there must be a decline in the number of active cases — people who are currently infected and have not yet recovered or died. While the number is still rising in Spain and Italy, the growth has slowed dramatically.

Across Western Europe and Scandinavia, the number of new infections recorded daily has fluctuated between 27,000 and 37,000 for almost two weeks. More than 40,000 people have died, and there are more than 400,000 known, active infections. (The outbreak in Eastern Europe is harder to gauge because the information is spottier but the virus still appears to be spreading fast.)

The outlier in the region is Britain, which was slower to be hit by the virus than most of its neighbors and slower to order people to stay at home and businesses to close. There, the number of new infections confirmed is still rising, and hit its high so far on Sunday, at more than 5,900.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo is infected, and other big cats there appear ill.

Credit…Wildlife Conservation Society/Julie Larsen Maher, via Reuters

A tiger at the Bronx zoo has Covid-19, in what is believed to be a case of what one official called “human-to-cat transmission.”

“This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with Covid-19,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which noted that although only one tiger had been tested, the virus appeared to have infected other animals as well.

“Several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness,” according to a statement by the Agriculture Department.

Public health officials say they believe that the large cats caught the virus from a zoo employee. The tiger appeared visibly sick by March 27.

In a statement, the Agriculture Department suggested that those infected with the virus should, “out of an abundance of caution,” avoid contact with their pets and other animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it is “aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected” but that it does not have evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus.

Taking steps to insure your future.

If you are among the more than six million Americans applying for unemployment insurance this month, you are most likely doing so for the first time. It’s important to understand how unemployment works and how it can help you in this time of need. We also have tips for making a will and starting an emergency fund.

An alarming number of American students are missing online classes.

Chronic absenteeism is a problem in American education during the best of times, but now, with most U.S. schools closed and lessons being conducted remotely, more students than ever are missing class — not logging on, not checking in or not completing assignments.

The absence numbers appear particularly high in schools with large populations of low-income students, whose access to home computers and internet connections can be spotty. Some teachers report that only half of their students are regularly participating.

The trend is leading to widespread concern among educators, with talk of the potential need for summer sessions, an early start in the fall, or having some or even all students repeat a grade.

Educators say that a subset of students and their parents have dropped out of touch with schools completely — unavailable by phone, email or any other form of communication, as families struggle with the broader economic and health impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

The scale of the challenge, and the work that will need to be done to catch children up academically and socially, is huge, said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, a network of urban education systems.

He called the prospect of “unfinished learning” from this time “a serious issue that could have implications for years.”

Asylum process grinds to a halt in Greece as a second migrant camp is quarantined.

The crisis in the sprawling refugee camps scattered across Greece deepened on Monday as health officials rushed to test hundreds of migrants after a decision on Sunday to quarantine a second center on the mainland.

More than 100,000 migrants live in facilities across the country — 40,000 of them in overcrowded camps on five islands in the Aegean Sea. Aid groups have urged the Greek authorities to evacuate the island camps, warning of the difficulty of controlling a potential outbreak of the virus in unsanitary and cramped conditions.

But the asylum process has ground to a halt, and transfers from the sprawling tent cities on the islands to the mainland have been suspended.

Still, more people arrive daily from neighboring Turkey, and there are fears that a new crisis is in the making.

The local authorities are not putting new arrivals in existing camps, citing a fear of potential infections, and have yet to find alternative accommodation. On the island of Lesbos, dozens of migrants are sleeping on beaches, some in an old bus at the island’s main port of Mytilene, others in tents and under broken boats, a few dozen in a chapel and others in the mountains, according to news reports there.

On the mainland, a camp in Malakasa, east of Athens, will be locked down for two weeks after a 53-year-old man tested positive for the coronavirus, the authorities said on Sunday.

The minister for immigration and asylum, Notis Mitarakis, said that no cases had been recorded in Greek island camps.

He said that the transfer of migrants to mainland facilities as part of efforts to “decongest” the island camps had been suspended. But he said that the government’s plan to replace overcrowded camps with enclosed detention centers, with tighter security, would proceed.

The plans have been vehemently opposed by residents of the islands who want all facilities shut and who staged protests after a renewed influx of migrants in early March.

Reporting was contributed by Michael Cooper, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Mihir Zaveri, Karen Zraick, Tim Arango, Patricia Mazzei, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Katie Robertson, Elian Peltier, Stephen Castle, Niki Kitsantonis, Dana Goldstein, Adam Popescu, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Iliana Magra, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Michael Crowley, Katie Thomas, Maggie Haberman, Roni Rabin, Mark Landler, Stephen Castle, Neil Vigdor, Motoko Rich, Alexandra Stevenson, Tiffany May and Kai Schultz.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump’s Advisers Spar Over Untested Drug

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171312687_d59a55a7-bd20-414b-b0c2-9aa8f24d7245-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump’s Advisers Spar Over Untested Drug United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Johnson, Boris Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Epidemics Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Debate roils White House over an untested drug the president insists on promoting.

President Trump doubled down Sunday on his push for the use of an anti-malarial drug against the coronavirus, issuing medical advice that goes well beyond scant evidence of the drug’s effectiveness as well as the advice of doctors and public health experts.

Mr. Trump’s recommendation of hydroxychloroquine, for the second day in a row at a White House briefing, was a striking example of his brazen willingness to distort and outright defy expert opinion and scientific evidence when it does not suit his agenda.

Mr. Trump suggested he was speaking on gut instinct, and acknowledged he had no expertise on the subject.

“But what do I know? I’m not a doctor,” Mr. Trump said, after recommending the anti-malaria drug’s use for coronavirus patients as well as medical personnel at high risk of infection.

“If it does work, it would be a shame we did not do it early,” Mr. Trump said, noting again that the federal government has purchased and stockpiled 29 million doses of the drug.

“What do you have to lose?” Mr. Trump asked, for the second day in a row.

When a reporter asked Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to weigh in on the question of using hydroxychloroquine, Mr. Trump stopped him from answering. As the reporter noted that Dr. Fauci was the president’s medical expert, Mr. Trump made it clear he did not want the doctor to answer.

“He’s answered the question 15 times,” the president said, stepping toward the lectern where Mr. Fauci was standing.

On Saturday, Dr. Fauci had privately challenged rising optimism about the drug’s efficacy during a meeting of the coronavirus task force in the White House’s Situation Room, according to two people familiar with the events. The argument was first reported by the website Axios.

Peter Navarro, the president’s trade adviser who is overseeing supply chain issues related to the coronavirus, plopped a sheaf of folders on the table and said he had seen several studies from various countries, as well as information culled from C.D.C. officials, showing the “clear” efficacy of chloroquines in treating the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci pushed back, echoing remarks he has made in a series of interviews in the last week that rigorous study is still necessary. Mr. Navarro, an economist by training, shot back that the information he had collected was “science,” according to the people familiar with what took place.

Dr. Megan L. Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University in Rhode Island, said in an interview on Sunday night that she had never seen an elected official advertise a miracle cure the way Mr. Trump has done.

“There are side effects to hydroxychloroquine,” Dr. Ranney said. “It causes psychiatric symptoms, cardiac problems and a host of other bad side effects.”

Dr. Ranney said hydroxychloroquine could be effective for some patients, but there wasn’t nearly enough scientific evidence to support Mr. Trump’s claims.

“There may be a role for it for some people,” she said, “but to tell Americans ‘you don’t have anything to lose,’ that’s not true. People certainly have something to lose by taking it indiscriminately.”

As many as half of those with the coronavirus could be asymptomatic, Fauci says.

The nation’s leading infectious disease specialist said Sunday night that as many as half the people infected with the virus may not have any symptoms, a much larger estimate than the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave last week.

“It’s somewhere between 25 and 50 percent,” said the specialist, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, during a briefing by President Trump and members of his coronavirus task force on Sunday. He cautioned, however, that it was only an estimate, adding that even the scientists helping lead the nation’s fight against the virus, “the friends that we are, we differ about that.”

In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., said as many as 25 percent of people with the virus exhibit no symptoms. The large number of symptom-free cases — and scientists’ changing understanding of just how common such cases are — helps explain why the C.D.C. last week changed its guidance, recommending that all Americans wear a cloth face covering in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies where they cannot ensure keeping a safe distance from others.

It also underscores the extraordinary challenge of controlling the virus’s spread. Dr. Fauci emphasized that for now his estimate was only a guess and that more testing was needed to figure out exactly how many Americans are carrying the virus without realizing it.

“Then we can answer the question in a scientifically sound way,” he said. “Right now, we’re just guessing.”

Queen Elizabeth II urges Britain to display resolve, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters the hospital.

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Westlake Legal Group merlin_171307140_3f184596-309a-4ef3-b2b1-a821b2592d8e-videoSixteenByNine3000 Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump’s Advisers Spar Over Untested Drug United States Politics and Government Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Johnson, Boris Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Epidemics Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Queen Elizabeth II rallied Britons in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected at least 40,000 in the country. Her remarks were pre-recorded from Windsor Castle, where she is sequestering herself.CreditCredit…Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, in a rare televised address on Sunday, tried to rally her fellow Britons to confront the coronavirus pandemic with the resolve and self-discipline that have seen the nation through its greatest trials.

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the queen said in taped remarks from Windsor Castle. The virus has infected at least 40,000 people in Britain, including her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr. Johnson was admitted to the hospital for tests, the government said later on Sunday evening, underscoring how the virus has threatened the country’s political establishment.

A spokesman for Mr. Johnson, 55, said on Sunday that the prime minister was still dealing with symptoms of the virus and went to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Downing Street said Mr. Johnson, who was running a high temperature, remained at the helm of the government.

“On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” a spokesman said Sunday. “This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.”

The queen called it “a time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

The appearance was only the fourth time in her 66-year reign that the queen has addressed the British people, apart from her annual Christmas greeting — and it carries a distinct echo of the celebrated radio address her father, George VI, delivered in September 1939, as Britain stood on the brink of war with Germany.

“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said, “and those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”

Mr. Johnson had been in isolation in his residence next door to 10 Downing Street.

On Saturday, his 32-year-old girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, disclosed that she, too, is suffering symptoms. Ms. Symonds is pregnant.

The British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, is expected to lead the daily cabinet meeting on the pandemic on Monday. Under the government’s succession plan, Mr. Raab would take up Mr. Johnson’s duties if he is incapacitated.

While the queen fully adopted social distancing early in the pandemic, the British government came late to the need for such measures, with Mr. Johnson initially balking at ordering pubs and restaurants to close. He is now an ardent convert and recorded a video from his quarantine urging people — without much success — not to flock to London parks during a sun-kissed spring weekend.

Britain’s response to the pandemic has improved since that shaky start. The government has vowed to conduct 100,000 virus tests a week by the end of April, a tenfold increase over the current rate.

Taking steps to insure your future.

If you are among the more than 6 million Americans applying for unemployment insurance this month, you are likely doing so for the first time. It’s important to understand how unemployment works and how it can help you in this time of need. Plus, tips for making a will and starting an emergency fund.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for the coronavirus, and other big cats there appear ill.

A tiger at the Bronx zoo has been confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, in what is believed to be a case of what one official called “human-to-cat transmission.”

“This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with Covid-19,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which noted that although only one tiger was tested, the virus appeared to have infected other animals as well.

“Several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness,” according to a statement by the Agriculture Department.

Public health officials believe that the large cats caught the virus from a zoo employee. The tiger appeared visibly sick by March 27.

In a statement, the Agriculture Department suggested that those infected with the virus should, “out of an abundance of caution,” avoid contact with their pets and other animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it is “aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected,” but that it does not have evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus.

The U.S. is undercounting the number of people who have died in the pandemic, experts say.

Hospital officials, public health experts and medical examiners say that official tallies of Americans said to have died in the pandemic do not capture the overall number of virus-related deaths, leaving the public with a limited understanding of the outbreak’s true toll.

Limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next have contributed to the undercount. With no uniform system for reporting coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, and a continuing shortage of tests, some states and counties have improvised, obfuscated and, at times, backtracked in counting the dead.

Adding to the complications, different jurisdictions are using distinct standards for attributing a death to the coronavirus and, in some cases, relying on techniques that would lower the overall count of fatalities.

A coroner in Indiana wanted to know if the coronavirus had killed a man in early March, but said that her health department denied a test. Paramedics in New York City say that many patients who died at home were never tested for the coronavirus, even if they showed telltale signs of infection.

In Virginia, a funeral director prepared the remains of three people after health workers cautioned her that they each had tested positive. But only one of the three had the virus noted on the death certificate.

Doctors now believe that some deaths in February and early March were likely misidentified as influenza or only described as pneumonia.

Even under typical circumstances, public health experts say that it takes months or years to compile data that is as accurate as possible on deaths in infectious outbreaks.

But they also say that an accurate count of deaths is an essential tool to understand a disease outbreak as it unfolds: The more deadly a disease, the more aggressively the authorities are willing to disrupt normal life. Precise death counts can also inform the federal government on how to target resources, like ventilators from the national stockpile, to the areas of the country with the most desperate need.

Reporting was contributed by Michael Crowley, Katie Thomas, Maggie Haberman, Roni Rabin, Mark Landler and Stephen Castle.

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Ignoring Expert Opinion, Trump Again Promotes Use of Hydroxychloroquine

President Trump doubled down Sunday on his push for the use of an anti-malarial drug against the coronavirus, issuing medical advice that goes well beyond scant evidence of the drug’s effectiveness as well as the advice of doctors and public health experts.

Mr. Trump’s recommendation of hydroxychloroquine, for the second day in a row at a White House briefing, was a striking example of his brazen willingness to distort and outright defy expert opinion and scientific evidence when it does not suit his agenda.

Standing alongside two top public health officials who have declined to endorse his call for widely administering the drug, Mr. Trump suggested that he was speaking on gut instinct and acknowledged that he had no expertise on the subject.

Saying that the drug is “being tested now,” Mr. Trump said that “there are some very strong, powerful signs” of its potential, although health experts say that the data is extremely limited and that more study of the drug’s effectiveness against the coronavirus is needed.

“But what do I know? I’m not a doctor,” Mr. Trump added.

“If it does work, it would be a shame we did not do it early,” Mr. Trump said, noting again that the federal government had purchased and stockpiled 29 million pills of the drug. “We are sending them to various labs, our military, we’re sending them to the hospitals.”

Mr. Trump, who once predicted that the virus might “miraculously” disappear by April because of warm weather, and who has rejected scientific consensus on issues like climate change, was undaunted by skeptical questioning.

“What do you have to lose?” Mr. Trump asked, for the second day in a row, saying that terminally ill patients should be willing to try any treatment that has shown some promise.

When a reporter at Sunday’s briefing asked Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to weigh in on the subject, Mr. Trump stopped him from answering. As the reporter noted that Dr. Fauci, who has been far more skeptical about the drug’s potential, was the president’s medical expert, Mr. Trump made it clear he did not want the doctor to answer.

“You know how many times he’s answered that question? Maybe 15 times,” the president said, stepping toward the lectern where Dr. Fauci was standing.

Even as Mr. Trump has promoted the drug, which is also often prescribed for patients with lupus, it has created rifts within his own coronavirus task force. And while many hospitals have chosen to use hydroxychloroquine in a desperate attempt to treat dying patients who have few other options, others have noted that it carries serious risks. In particular, the drug can cause a heart arrhythmia that can lead to cardiac arrest.


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Dr. Megan L. Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University in Rhode Island, said in an interview on Sunday night that she had never seen an elected official advertise a miracle cure the way Mr. Trump has.

“There are side effects to hydroxychloroquine,” Dr. Ranney said. “It causes psychiatric symptoms, cardiac problems and a host of other bad side effects.”

Dr. Ranney said that the drug could be effective for some patients, but that there was not nearly enough scientific evidence to support Mr. Trump’s claims.

“There may be a role for it for some people,” she said, “but to tell Americans ‘you don’t have anything to lose,’ that’s not true. People certainly have something to lose by taking it indiscriminately.”

Hydroxychloroquine has not been proved to work against Covid-19 in any significant clinical trials. A small trial by Chinese researchers made public last week found that it helped speed the recovery in moderately ill patients, but the study was not peer-reviewed and had significant limitations. Earlier reports from France and China have drawn criticism because they did not include control groups to compare treated patients with untreated ones, and researchers have called the reports anecdotal. Without controls, they said, it is impossible to determine whether the drugs worked.

But Mr. Trump on Sunday dismissed the notion that doctors should wait for further study.

“We don’t have time to go and say, ‘Gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out,’ and let’s go out and test with the test tubes and the laboratories,” Mr. Trump said. “I’d love to do that, but we have people dying today.”

Mr. Trump is typically joined at his briefings by top medical advisers, including Dr. Fauci and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, his coronavirus coordinator. But the president does most of the talking, and has told several advisers that the briefings give him free airtime and good ratings.

A day earlier, Dr. Fauci had privately challenged rising optimism about the drug’s efficacy during a meeting of the coronavirus task force in the White House’s Situation Room, according to two people familiar with the events who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a conversation in a sensitive setting. The argument was first reported by the website Axios.

The meeting’s agenda included the question of how the administration would discuss chloroquines. Dr. Stephen Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, gave an update on chloroquines, and what various tests and anecdotal evidence had shown. Peter Navarro, the president’s trade adviser who is overseeing supply chain issues related to the coronavirus, asked to join the meeting, said the people briefed on what took place.

Mr. Navarro, who has been pushing to secure chloroquines at the president’s request to provide to caregivers, walked in with a sheaf of folders he had placed on a chair next to him, plopped them on the table and said he had seen studies from various countries, as well as information culled from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the “clear” efficacy of the drug in treating the coronavirus. Mr. Navarro also argued that the medicine was being used by doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus fight.

Dr. Fauci pushed back, echoing remarks he has made in interviews in the past week that rigorous study is still necessary. Mr. Navarro, an economist by training, shot back that the information he had collected was “science,” according to the people familiar with the episode.

Vice President Mike Pence tried to tamp down the debate, and as emotions calmed, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, advised Mr. Navarro to “take yes for an answer.” The president went to the briefing room lectern a short while later and glowed about chloroquine use, suggesting he might even take it himself despite not having symptoms or evidence of the virus.

Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pence, declined to comment, saying the administration does not discuss events in the Situation Room.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 05dc-virus-trump2-articleLarge Ignoring Expert Opinion, Trump Again Promotes Use of Hydroxychloroquine United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Hydroxychloroquine (Drug) Fauci, Anthony S Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Chloroquine (Drug)
Credit…Mark Moran/The Citizens’ Voice, via Associated Press

Last month, an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized after officials said they treated themselves with a deadly home remedy for the coronavirus — a popular fish tank additive that has the same active ingredient as an anti-malaria drug.

Medical professionals are also concerned that a run on hydroxychloroquine for potential coronavirus treatment could create shortages for people who need it for its traditional uses.

In a March 25 joint statement, the American Medical Association and two pharmacists’ associations noted that doctors and pharmacists have been prescribing the drug for their families and colleagues and that some pharmacies and hospitals had purchased “excessive amounts of these medications in anticipation of potentially using them for Covid-19 prevention and treatment.”

“The organizations strongly oppose these actions,” the statement said, citing potential “grave consequences for patients with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis if the drugs are not available in the community.”

Since patients with heart troubles and other underlying conditions are more likely to be severely affected by the coronavirus, they may also be at higher risk of dangerous side effects from hydroxychloroquine, said Dr. Kenneth B. Klein, a consultant who works for drug companies to design and evaluate their clinical trials.

“What have we got to lose?” Dr. Klein said, echoing Mr. Trump’s remarks. “We’ve got patients to lose from dangerous side effects.”

Mr. Trump did mention the potential risks to patients with heart troubles, but Dr. Klein said that even people with normal hearts are at risk for developing a fatal arrhythmia. And he said other medications could interact with hydroxychloroquine and cause serious medical complications.

“Then the doctor would have to spend time thinking, could this drug be playing a role, either directly or indirectly?” Dr. Klein said.

Other researchers have noted that while future trials may show a benefit, hydroxychloroquine has disappointed in the past, even though it has been tested as a treatment for other viruses, including influenza.

“Hydroxychloroquine has been studied as a possible antiviral therapy for many decades,” said Dr. Luciana Borio, who oversaw public health preparedness for the National Security Council in Mr. Trump’s White House and was the acting chief scientist at the F.D.A. under President Barack Obama.

“Despite showing evidence of activity against several viruses in the laboratory, it never showed success in randomized clinical trials.”

Michael D. Shear and Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.

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Politics Through the Looking Glass: Virus Scrambles the Left-Right Lines

Westlake Legal Group virus-divide-facebookJumbo-v2 Politics Through the Looking Glass: Virus Scrambles the Left-Right Lines Voting and Voters United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Shutdowns (Institutional) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Nationalization of Industry Health Insurance and Managed Care Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Biden, Joseph R Jr

The 2020 edition of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., in February offered a theme-park version of what was to be President Trump’s re-election message: Under the banner of “America vs. Socialism,” the convention featured anti-Marx branded popcorn, an RV emblazed with the words “Socialism Takes Capitalism Creates” and a children’s book promoting personal freedom and private-property rights.

Speeches included tirades against big government and “Medicare for all.”

“The virus is not going to sink the American economy,” the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told a packed auditorium. “What is or could sink the American economy is the socialism coming from our friends on the other side of the aisle.” Mr. Trump, the keynote speaker, proclaimed, “We are defeating the radical, socialist Democrats” who “want total control.”

Four weeks later, with the coronavirus sinking the American economy, the federal government was preparing to cut $1,200 checks to tens of millions of citizens, part of a $2 trillion economic stabilization package that was also providing businesses with no-interest loans — likely to be partly forgiven — to pay their employees while they are shuttered. The Trump administration was issuing guidance for Americans to stay inside their homes while weighing a New Deal-style infrastructure program to create jobs.

And the CPAC message seemed a relic from a distant time.

Such is life for the political warriors of the Covid-19 campaign, where, in this pre-peak stage of the crisis, the national political debate is inside out and upside down, sending both sides of the national divide scurrying to figure out where the new political and ideological lines will settle come the fall.

As Republicans prepare for a re-election battle almost certain to hinge on perceptions of the Trump administration’s readiness and efficiency in performing its most solemn duty — to protect American lives — the decades-old debate over government’s role in American life has entered an unfamiliar phase of discombobulation. A president who leads a movement that was galvanized by Ronald Reagan’s motto that the four most terrifying words from the government were “I’m here to help” is now responsible for the largest federal disaster response since the Great Depression.

“The era of limited-government, country-club Republicanism is over,” said Stephen K. Bannon, an ideological architect of Mr. Trump’s 2016 victory.

At the same time, lingering conservative distrust of government and “experts,” combined with a red-and-blue fissure over the severity of the crisis, have surfaced dystopian national divisions: between those taking social-distancing measures seriously and those who view them as resulting from government overreach, between those who would support a prolonged economic shutdown and those who would be willing to trade additional casualties for a faster return to normalcy. “That,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, “is one of the questions our politics will solve in November.”

In the middle of it all is the president, whose operatic inconsistency about his administration’s role was apparent on Saturday when he predicted “a lot of death” but raised the possibility of relaxed social-distancing guidelines for Easter services.

It is so early in the crisis that both sides are navigating public opinion day to day, uncertain whether the fault lines have been truly scrambled or will re-emerge only hardened once the crisis abates, whenever that is.

“We don’t know what it’s going to look like on the other side of this in terms of people’s attitudes — whether it’s going to have short-term effects or long-term effects,” said Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the likely Democratic presidential nominee.


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The sudden, unprecedented nature of the election cycle has made it impossible to strategize too far ahead: The party conventions, where nominees make their strongest cases, are in doubt; traditional retail politicking, necessary for exciting base voters and winning over converts, is impossible, and voting is facing a potential shift toward more mail-only balloting than ever before in a presidential election.

With the death count mounting last week, the two sides were sparring over whether Mr. Trump’s early declarations that the virus was contained had cost lives.

“He has some great vulnerabilities no matter how many proposals he puts out, and the single greatest one of them is the month of February,” Ms. Dunn said. “The number of people who are sick is significantly greater than it needed to be because this administration didn’t act when it could have — and that is not an issue that is going to go away.”

For their part, Trump campaign aides were trying to go on offense, painting Mr. Biden and the Democrats as working to undermine Mr. Trump as he seeks to lead the country through the crisis as a “wartime president.”

“In January, while the Democrats were entirely focused on impeachment, President Trump took the critical step of restricting travel from China in response to the coronavirus,” the campaign said in a statement. It criticized Mr. Biden for calling Mr. Trump’s response “xenophobic” and pointed to polls showing approval of Mr. Trump’s handling of the pandemic (An ABC News/Ipsos poll on Friday showed his support dipping from an earlier uptick.)

Beyond the back and forth is the question that has rested at the heart of American politics since the New Deal: What is the federal government’s appropriate place in managing public welfare and private behavior?

Democrats view the crisis as vindicating their long-held belief in “the importance of government and the functions that only a government can do,” as Ms. Dunn put it.

Conservatives ascended over the last decade with the anti-government, institutions-skeptical sentiment of the Tea Party, which was itself partly fueled by anger over the bank bailouts and the stimulus measures that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

Mr. Trump took the White House embracing the movement’s resentment of elites and “experts,” and his administration moved quickly to cut back agencies — including a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program built to detect and manage potential viral outbreaks — as it vowed to end the Affordable Care Act.

“Now we’re in a crisis where big government is the only thing that can save us, and elites — a combination of these two things that Republicans say they hate,” said Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist for the George W. Bush and Mitt Romney campaigns who has soured on his party in the Trump era.

So far, Mr. Trump, politically limber to begin with, has sought to have his $2 trillion federal response and eat it, too.

He has shared billing on the front of the mailing for “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America” with the Centers for Disease Control, an agency some of his supporters view as part of the so-called deep state. And he approved the C.D.C. recommendation that all Americans wear masks.

Yet he said he would not wear a mask himself. He has praised the government’s lead infectious-disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, but dismissed Dr. Fauci’s call for a national stay-at-home order, as some Republican governors resist going along with the C.D.C. guidance.

In a sign of the ideological fogginess of the moment, the Trump campaign on Friday argued in an email that Mr. Biden’s plan to add a government-run option to the Affordable Care Act “would end Obamacare as we know it,” as Mr. Trump continues to back a lawsuit seeking to do just that.

Guy Cecil, chairman of the major Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, said the administration’s anti-Obamacare position would prove politically punishing as the pandemic wore on.

“The fact that the administration is still seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act at a time when more people are being thrown off their health care is only going to become more important,” he said.

It was only a few weeks ago that centrist Democrats were openly fretting that Senator Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for all plan and Andrew Yang’s call for a universal basic income would hurt the entire party with swing voters by feeding the Republicans’ “socialism” theme.

Now, with the swift bipartisan passage of the $2 trillion stimulus, perhaps only the first of its kind, those fears are subsiding.

“It makes it harder to label your opponent a socialist,” said Howard Wolfson, a top strategist for former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, who ended his presidential bid last month.

The moment is not without irony for Mr. Sanders, whose chances to win the nomination have faded as his signature proposals have appeared to gain greater acceptance. A Morning Consult/Politico poll released last week found that Medicare for all had support from 55 percent of registered voters, up nine percentage points from mid-February.

“I’d love to see you tell me that you can’t campaign on free treatment now,” said Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir. “Because all of our fates depend on everyone being tested and treated.”

With a “Yangwasright” hashtag trending on Twitter, a Marquette University Law School poll of Wisconsin voters found nearly 80 percent generally approved of the government’s direct payments to individuals.

Mr. Bannon, who left the Trump administration in 2017, saw evidence of a national coming together for measures, like a $15 federal minimum wage, to help “the heroes of this catastrophe” — whom he identified as “the truck drivers, the kids at the Amazon plants, police, doctors and nurses.”

He predicted a pandemic-born political realignment in step with his own brand of “economic nationalism,” in which shared resentment over income inequality, corporate greed and global trade policies that gave China so much economic influence in the United States would create a new political coalition drawn from Sanders supporters, working-class Democrats and Republicans.

“What we want is a better deal for the little guy — trade barrier protections, high wages and also entrepreneurialism, not corporate capitalism,” he said.

Republicans close to the White House argued that the party’s primary tenets were unshakable, even in this crisis.

For instance, where Mr. Trump has been hesitant in using the Defense Production Act to compel American factories to produce medical supplies, “Joe Biden and Democrats call for compulsion, which is markedly different,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director.

Mr. Trump has likened government mandates for manufacturers to nationalization of industry, a line his supporters presumably would not want him to cross. Parts of his political base are chafing at government moves to control social interactions and shutter businesses to fight the virus.

With that in mind, Mr. Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, described the huge aid package as restitution, not socialism.

“The conservative principle is when government takes your property and economic rights, they are obligated to come up with a financial settlement,” said Mr. Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes Schlapp, is a Trump campaign adviser.

Conservatives, he said, are less deferential to government than their liberal counterparts and are not likely to put up with it for long, presaging a potentially intense election-year conflict between left and right over when to end social distancing measures.

“Eventually, we have to ask ourselves, what’s the appropriate level of risk to open it back up,” Mr. Schlapp said. “It will be a showdown, and I think that will tell us a lot about our country.”

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OPEC Meeting Is Delayed as Saudi and Russian Tensions Flare

Westlake Legal Group opec-meeting-is-delayed-as-saudi-and-russian-tensions-flare OPEC Meeting Is Delayed as Saudi and Russian Tensions Flare United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Putin, Vladimir V Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Westlake Legal Group merlin_170835546_3e63c48c-0cd2-4d8d-a9f4-da42365e31bd-facebookJumbo OPEC Meeting Is Delayed as Saudi and Russian Tensions Flare United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Putin, Vladimir V Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

A meeting planned for Monday between officials of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other oil producers, which had buoyed hopes for a deal to end the turmoil in energy markets, has been put off, according to two OPEC delegates.

The news comes as lingering tensions have surfaced once again between Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, and Russia over who is to blame for the recent collapse in oil prices. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin partly blamed Saudi Arabia for the price drop. The Saudis responded with angry statements from their ministers of foreign affairs and energy blaming Russia.

News of the meeting’s delay may roil the markets when trading resumes on Monday. The meeting, which was never officially announced but was widely reported on Friday, added to hopes that OPEC and Russia would agree on production trims.

On Thursday, President Trump said he believed that Russia and the Saudis were nearing a deal to cut production, prompting a surge of nearly 40 percent in oil prices, to about $34 a barrel for Brent crude, the international benchmark.

The OPEC delegates indicated that further talks would be required before moving ahead with a meeting, which could be rescheduled for later in the week. Saudi Arabia had called for the meeting last Thursday, responding to pressure from President Trump.

In early March, Russia declined to go along with a Saudi-led OPEC proposal to further trim production to deal with the plummeting demand for oil because of the coronavirus epidemic, leading the Saudis to walk away from a three year agreement with Moscow on production trims. Recently, the Saudis have been increasing production and offering steep discounts to their customers.

On Friday, Mr. Putin said that these Saudi actions were one “reason behind the collapse of prices.” The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, responded in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency that Mr. Putin’s comments were “fully devoid of truth” and that “Russia was the one that refused the agreement.”

Mr. Putin did indicate that he was willing to have Russia participate in the now delayed meeting.

The Saudis want Russia and other producers to absorb some of the burden of new production trims. They are also hopeful that American oil producers will somehow share in output reductions.

Analysts estimate that because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, demand for oil is likely to fall by as much as 25 million barrels a day, or about a quarter of consumption in normal times, meaning that if oil producers don’t reach agreement on output curbs, involuntary shutdowns are likely to occur as refineries and other customers slash their purchases of crude and storage tanks fill up.

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430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced

Westlake Legal Group 430000-people-have-traveled-from-china-to-u-s-since-coronavirus-surfaced 430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced Wuhan (China) United States Trump, Donald J Seattle (Wash) San Francisco (Calif) Quarantines Politics and Government Newark (NJ) Los Angeles (Calif) Little Rock (Ark) Epidemics Detroit (Mich) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Chicago (Ill) airports Airport Security Airlines and Airplanes
Westlake Legal Group 00virus-chinaflights-01-facebookJumbo 430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced Wuhan (China) United States Trump, Donald J Seattle (Wash) San Francisco (Calif) Quarantines Politics and Government Newark (NJ) Los Angeles (Calif) Little Rock (Ark) Epidemics Detroit (Mich) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Chicago (Ill) airports Airport Security Airlines and Airplanes

Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.

The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States.

Flights continued this past week, the data show, with passengers traveling from Beijing to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, under rules that exempt Americans and some others from the clampdown that took effect on Feb. 2. In all, 279 flights from China have arrived in the United States since then, and screening procedures have been uneven, interviews show.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly suggested that his travel measures impeded the virus’s spread in the United States. “I do think we were very early, but I also think that we were very smart, because we stopped China,” he said at a briefing on Tuesday, adding, “That was probably the biggest decision we made so far.” Last month, he said, “We’re the ones that kept China out of here.”

But the analysis of the flight and other data by The New York Times shows the travel measures, however effective, may have come too late to have “kept China out,” particularly in light of recent statements from health officials that as many as 25 percent of people infected with the virus may never show symptoms. Many infectious-disease experts suspect that the virus had been spreading undetected for weeks after the first American case was confirmed, in Washington State, on Jan. 20, and that it had continued to be introduced. In fact, no one knows when the virus first arrived in the United States.

During the first half of January, when Chinese officials were underplaying the severity of the outbreak, no travelers from China were screened for potential exposure to the virus. Health screening began in mid-January, but only for a number of travelers who had been in Wuhan and only at the airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. By that time, about 4,000 people had already entered the United States directly from Wuhan, according to VariFlight, an aviation data company based in China. The measures were expanded to all passengers from China two weeks later.

In a statement on Friday, Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, described Mr. Trump’s travel restrictions as a “bold decisive action which medical professionals say will prove to have saved countless lives.” The policy took effect, he said, at a time when the global health community did not yet “know the level of transmission or asymptomatic spread.”

Trump administration officials have also said they received significant pushback about imposing the restrictions even when they did. At the time, the World Health Organization was not recommending travel restrictions, Chinese officials rebuffed them and some scientists questioned whether curtailing travel would do any good. Some Democrats in Congress said they could lead to discrimination.

In interviews, multiple travelers who arrived after the screening was expanded said they received only passing scrutiny, with minimal follow-up.

“I was surprised at how lax the whole process was,” said Andrew Wu, 31, who landed at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Beijing on March 10. “The guy I spoke to read down a list of questions, and he didn’t seem interested in checking out anything.”


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Sabrina Fitch, 23, flew from China to Kennedy International Airport in New York on March 23. She and the 40 or so other passengers had their temperature taken twice while en route and were required to fill out forms about their travels and health, she said.

“Besides looking at our passports, they didn’t question us like we normally are questioned,” said Ms. Fitch, who had been teaching English in China. “So it was kind of weird, because everyone expected the opposite, where you get a lot of questions. But once we filled out the little health form, no one really cared.”

In January, before the broad screening was in place, there were over 1,300 direct passenger flights from China to the United States, according to VariFlight and two American firms, MyRadar and FlightAware. About 381,000 travelers flew directly from China to the United States that month, about a quarter of whom were American, according to data from the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

In addition, untold others arrived from China on itineraries that first stopped in another country. While actual passenger counts for indirect fliers were not available, Sofia Boza-Holman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said they represented about a quarter of travelers from China. The restrictions, she added, reduced all passengers from the country by about 99 percent.

Mr. Trump issued his first travel restrictions related to the virus on Jan. 31, one day after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency. In a presidential proclamation, he barred foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China during the prior two weeks. The order exempted American citizens, green-card holders and their noncitizen relatives — exceptions roundly recognized as necessary to allow residents to return home and prevent families from being separated. It did not apply to flights from Hong Kong and Macau.

About 60 percent of travelers on direct flights from China in February were not American citizens, according to the most recently available government data. Most of the flights were operated by Chinese airlines after American carriers halted theirs.

At a news conference about the restrictions, Alex M. Azar II, the health secretary, repeatedly emphasized that “the risk is low” for Americans. He added, “Our job is to work to keep that that way.”

Health officials also announced an expansion of the screening beyond arrivals from Wuhan. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explained that people would be screened for “significant risk, as well as any evidence of symptoms.” If there was no reason for additional examination, “they would be allowed to complete their travel back to their home, where they then will be monitored by the local health departments in a self-monitoring situation in their home.”

The procedures called for screening to be conducted in empty sections of the airports, usually past customs areas. Passengers would line up and spend a minute or two having their temperature taken and being asked about their health and travel history. Those with a fever or self-reported symptoms like a cough would get a medical evaluation, and if they were thought to have been infected or exposed to the virus, they would be sent to a hospital where local health officials would take over.

Passengers would also be given information cards about the virus and symptoms. Later versions advised people to stay at home for two weeks.

In a statement on Thursday, the C.D.C. described the entry screening as “part of a layered approach” that could “slow and reduce the spread of disease” when used with other public health measures.

“We cannot stop all introductions,” the C.D.C. added, noting that the coronavirus pandemic was “especially challenging due to asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections and an incubation period of up to two weeks.”

Separately, on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that the administration’s measures were “unprecedented” and allowed “the U.S. to stay ahead of the outbreak as it developed.”

Passengers including Mr. Wu described a cursory screening process when they arrived in the United States.

Mr. Wu, who has had no symptoms and has not become ill, said he was told to stay inside for 14 days when he landed in Los Angeles. He said he received two reminder messages the next day by email and text, but no further follow-up.

Another traveler, Chandler Jurinka, said his experience on Feb. 29 had an even more haphazard feel. He flew from Beijing to Seattle, with stops in Tokyo and Vancouver.

At the Seattle-Tacoma airport, he said, an immigration officer went through his documents and asked questions unrelated to the virus about his job and life in China. At no point did anyone take his temperature, he said.

“He hands me my passport and forms and says, ‘Oh, by the way, you haven’t been to Wuhan, have you?’” Mr. Jurinka said. “And then he says, ‘You don’t have a fever, right?’”

Like others, he left the airport with a card that recommended two weeks of self-quarantine and a promise that someone would call to check up on him. He said he never got a call.

Other travelers also said the follow-up from local health departments was hit-or-miss. Some received only emails or texts.

Jacinda Passmore, 23, a former English teacher in China who flew into Dallas on March 10, after a layover in Tokyo, got a thorough screening at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. It took about 40 minutes, she said, before she was cleared for her flight home to Little Rock, Ark.

State health workers later dropped off thermometers at her house and insisted her entire family stay home for two weeks and provide updates on their condition.

“They asked us every day: ‘Have you stayed inside? Have you met anyone? Have you been quarantined?’” Ms. Passmore said. “They’re really nice about it. They said, ‘If you need anything, we can go grocery-shopping for you.’”

Nineteen flights departed Wuhan in January for New York or San Francisco — and the flights were largely full, according to VariFlight. For about 4,000 travelers, there was no enhanced screening.

On Jan. 17, the federal government began screening travelers from Wuhan, but only 400 more passengers arrived on direct flights before Chinese authorities shut down the airport. Scott Liu, 56, a Wuhan native and a textile importer who lives in New York, caught the last commercial flight, on Jan. 22.

Mr. Liu had gone to Wuhan for the Spring Festival on Jan. 6, but decided to come back early as the outbreak worsened. At the Wuhan airport, staff checked his temperature. On the flight, he and other passengers filled a health declaration form, which included questions about symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

After they arrived at J.F.K. in New York, the passengers were directed to go through a temperature checkpoint. “It was very fast,” he said. “If your temperature is normal, they will just let you in.”

Mr. Liu said no one asked him questions about his travel history or health, and he received a card with information about what to do if he developed symptoms. At the time, there were no instructions to isolate. Mr. Liu said he and his friends all decided to do so anyway.

“I stayed at home for almost 20 days,” he said.

About 800 passengers on five charter flights were later evacuated from Wuhan by the U.S. government and directed to military bases, where they waited out two weeks of quarantine.

The charter flights began on Jan. 29. Instagram posts from one showed C.D.C. officials in full protective gear on the plane and escorting passengers after landing.

One group of passengers was eventually flown to Omaha to be taken by bus to a National Guard camp for quarantine. Video showed them accompanied by a full police escort, with lights flashing, helicopters overhead and intersections blocked off along the way.

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A Debate Over Masks Uncovers Deep White House Divisions

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WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was urging all Americans to wear a mask when they leave their homes, but he immediately undercut the message by repeatedly calling the recommendation voluntary and promising that he would not wear one himself.

“With the masks, it is going to be really a voluntary thing,” the president said at the beginning of the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House. “You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I am choosing not to do it. But some people may want to do it, and that’s OK. It may be good. Probably will — they’re making a recommendation. It’s only a recommendation, it’s voluntary.”

“Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I don’t know,” he added. “Somehow, I don’t see it for myself.”

Mr. Trump’s announcement, followed by his quick dismissal, was a remarkable public display of the intense debate that has played out inside the West Wing over the past several days as a divided administration argued about whether to request such a drastic change in Americans’ social behavior.

Dr. Steven Choi, the chief quality officer and associate dean at Yale New Haven Health System and Yale University School of Medicine, said the president’s behavior at the briefing contributed to confusion among health care workers and regular Americans.

“For anyone, particularly the president of the United States, to ignore recommendations from the C.D.C. is not only irresponsible but selfish,” Dr. Choi said.

The president’s remarks came during a particularly contentious briefing where Mr. Trump insulted reporters, jousted with members of his own administration and returned to pugilistic form after several days in which he appeared to grasp the grim implications of a virus that could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Mr. Trump again dismissed the recommendation of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for a national stay-at-home order, saying he would leave such demands to the governors. But he did say that the federal government would pay hospitals to treat coronavirus patients, instead of allowing people to buy heavily subsidized insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, as many Democrats have urged.

The mask debate has played out in public and in private. Mr. Trump said Americans who choose to comply with the C.D.C.’s recommendation should use a basic cloth or face mask, not medical- or surgical-grade masks that are used by hospital workers and emergency workers. He also said people must still follow social distancing guidelines, which he called the “safest way to avoid the infection.”

Senior officials at the C.D.C. have been pushing the president for days to advise everyone — even people who appear to be healthy — to wear a mask or a scarf that covers their mouth and nose when shopping at the grocery store or while in other public places.


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The embrace of such a policy would be one of the most visible alterations to social habits in the United States in the face of a pandemic that has infected more than a million people around the globe and killed nearly 60,000 — a physical manifestation of fear that has gripped millions of Americans.

The issue became more urgent after the C.D.C.’s director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, said that as many as a quarter of those already infected may show no symptoms but still contribute to “significant” transmission. Local officials in New York and Los Angeles have already called for people to cover their faces in public. On Friday, the governor of Pennsylvania called on his state’s residents to wear masks when they go out.

The surgeon general, Jerome M. Adams, stood next to the president Friday and urged Americans to comply.

“The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity, for example coughing, speaking or sneezing, even if those people were not exhibiting symptoms,” Dr. Adams said. “In light of this new evidence, the C.D.C. recommends and the task force recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult.”

But some White House officials have resisted and Mr. Trump on Friday time and again said it was voluntary.

Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, who has been wearing a mask during meetings in the White House, has shown people studies that advocate the wide use of masks, one official said. Other officials believed that was excessive.

One top C.D.C. official who has seen emails from people in the West Wing said that some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were pressing him to recommend mask wearing only in “areas of widespread transmission.” That worried C.D.C. officials because the virus has already spread, largely undetected to most parts of the country. Wearing masks or other face coverings everywhere, including in places where there are few reported cases, will help slow the rate of infection, they believe.

The result was been a policy stalemate that played out on live television.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, expressed serious reservations on Thursday, saying that asking all Americans to wear masks could inadvertently signal that Americans can abandon social distancing and return to public life as long as they wear a mask.

“We don’t want people to feel like, ‘Oh, I’m wearing a mask. I’m protected and I’m protecting others,’” Dr. Birx said at the daily briefing. Others at the White House have expressed worry that asking all Americans to wear masks could heighten shortages for doctors, nurses and emergency workers, even if they urge people not to seek the highly protective, and scarce, N95 masks used by hospital staff.

Dr. Fauci said in an interview on CNN this week that “you don’t want to take masks away from the health care providers who are in a real and present danger of getting infected.”

Hospitals across the country are running out of N95 masks, which filter at least 95 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. In a move to increase the availability of the masks, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday it would allow use of a Chinese equivalent.

Skeptics inside the administration also raised doubts about whether people in the United States would ever feel comfortable wearing masks in public, noting that the cultural norms are different in America from some Asian countries, where the use of masks became more common after previous outbreaks.

Some conservatives have said they did not believe that Americans would ever accept wide usage. Michael Dougherty, a conservative writer at National Review, wrote that Americans would “quickly feel that masks are ridiculous, menacing, or an imposition on life, then conclude they must be temporary.”

Mr. Trump’s personal hesitance also underscored questions about whether other politicians or media personalities would choose to wear masks while appearing in public.

Outside of the White House, the move toward masks accelerated quickly this week. On Friday, after Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, urged residents of his state to wear masks if they ventured out of their homes, the state’s health secretary reiterated that staying at home — away from groups of people — remained the most effective way to ensure that the virus would not spread.

“A mask isn’t a pass to go back to work, or go visit friends, or go socialize,” said the health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine.

At the World Health Organization briefing on Friday, Dr. Michael J. Ryan, the executive director of the health emergency program, said that while the W.H.O. still recommended masks only for front-line health workers and those who are sick or caring for someone who is, “we can certainly see circumstances in which the use of masks, both homemade or cloth masks, at community level may help in an overall comprehensive response to this disease.”

Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, has been one of the most vocal supporters of wearing masks. In an interview from the basement of his home, where he is isolating because of his recent contact with lawmakers who tested positive for the virus, he said wearing masks would help limit the effect of it.

“It just makes sense to have some kind of physical barrier that would reduce the droplets that are released when people speak and breathe,” Mr. Toomey said. “The idea is to protect everyone else. My mask protects you. Your mask protects me.”

Mr. Toomey said he spoke with Mr. Trump on Wednesday to urge him to recommend masks for everyone. He said the president seemed “very sympathetic” to the idea but did not reveal his course.

“He did acknowledge that it was under very serious consideration and the subject of fairly intense discussion among his team,” Mr. Toomey said.

He said it was “premature” to conclude that Americans would not wear masks. “Who’s to say that people won’t respond in a way that this becomes acceptable and normal?” he asked.

Evidence arguing for the use of face masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus continues to mount. A study published Friday in the journal Nature found that flat surgical face masks significantly reduced the number of virus-carrying droplets that mask wearers released into the surrounding air.

Although the study did not look at the new coronavirus, researchers based their analysis on closely related seasonal coronaviruses that cause the common cold and are similar in size to the virus that causes the disease Covid-19. They also looked at influenza viruses and rhinoviruses that typically spread in winter.

The researchers asked 246 people with suspected respiratory viral infections to breathe into a machine for 30 minutes to measure the amount of virus they exhaled. Half of the participants wore a face mask, while the other half performed the experiment without any face covering. Among 111 people whose infections were later confirmed with a lab test, masks stopped the spread of all seasonal coronavirus and more than 70 percent of influenza virus infections, the study showed. Masks were not as effective in reducing transmission of rhinoviruses, or the common cold.

For the current coronavirus pandemic, all health officials, including those at the W.H.O. and C.D.C., agree that masks should be worn by anyone with symptoms like a cough or fever, and anyone caring for someone with a confirmed or suspected case.

Maggie Haberman and Knvul Sheikh contributed reporting from New York.

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Tensions Persist Between Trump and Medical Advisers Over the Coronavirus

Westlake Legal Group 03dc-virus-trump1-facebookJumbo Tensions Persist Between Trump and Medical Advisers Over the Coronavirus United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Quarantines Kushner, Jared Federal-State Relations (US) Fauci, Anthony S Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WASHINGTON — Rarely has the schism between President Trump and his own public health advisers over the coronavirus pandemic been put on display quite so starkly. Even as he announced a new federal recommendation on Friday that Americans wear masks when out in public, he immediately disavowed it: “I am choosing not to do it.”

The striking dichotomy underscored how often Mr. Trump has been at odds with the medical experts seeking to guide his handling of the outbreak as well as some of the governors fighting it on the front lines, despite his move to extend social distancing guidelines through April 30 and his acknowledgment that the death toll could be staggering.

While the health specialists and some governors press for a more aggressive, uniform national approach to the virus, the president has resisted expanding limits on daily life and sought to shift blame to the states for being unprepared to deal with the coronavirus. While they sound the alarm and call for more federal action, Mr. Trump has deflected responsibility and left it to others to take a more aggressive stance.

Some of the president’s health advisers in recent days have argued that restrictions on social interaction and economic activity that have shut down much of the nation need to be expanded to all 50 states and that more Americans need to adopt them. Mr. Trump, by contrast, has characterized the crisis as generally limited to hot spots like New York, California and Michigan and has expressed no support for a nationwide lockdown. “I would leave it to the governors,” he said on Friday.

As hospitals cope with shortages of medical equipment, the administration on Friday also rewrote the federal government’s stated mission for its stockpile of supplies to make clear that it sees itself as playing a secondary role to the states. Where the federal government once said the stockpile “ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need the most,” the revised version said the federal stockpile’s role was merely to “supplement state and local supplies.”

The tension over the scale of the federal response comes as the president defends his administration’s reaction to the pandemic that has now infected more than 270,000 people in the United States and killed more than 7,000. New polls showed that public support for Mr. Trump’s handling of the crisis has begun to slip, a worrisome development for a president seeking re-election in the fall.

Mr. Trump’s decision to take a back seat to the states by leaving it to them to decide whether to shut down public life and insisting they take the lead in addressing shortages amounts to a remarkable deference by a president who typically makes himself the center of the action. It also contrasts with his own self-description as a wartime president leading a great battle against an invisible enemy.

It underscores both pragmatic and political imperatives for Mr. Trump, reflecting a traditional federalist approach that eschews imposing a one-size-fits-all national standard on states. But it also shows the president’s desire to blame the governors rather than accept any responsibility for shortages of ventilators, masks and other critical supplies.

The most fundamental point of conflict centers over how broadly the virtual lockdown of many states in the Midwest and on the East and West Coasts should be expanded. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said stay-at-home orders should be extended to the entire nation.

“I don’t understand why that’s not happening,” Dr. Fauci said Thursday night on CNN. “The tension between federally mandated versus states’ rights to do what they want is something I don’t want to get into. But if you look at what is going on in this country, I don’t understand why we’re not doing that. We really should be.”


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His comments came after a telling interchange between Mr. Trump and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House pandemic response coordinator, at the Thursday’s daily briefing. Dr. Birx expressed concern that too many Americans were not following the guidelines.

“I can tell by the curve and as it is today, that not every American is following it,” she said. “And so this is really a call to action. We see Spain, we see Italy, we see France, we see Germany, when we see others beginning to bend their curves. We can bend ours, but it means everybody has to take that same responsibility as Americans.”

When she returned to the issue a few minutes later, Mr. Trump tried to recalibrate her remarks.

“But, Deborah, aren’t you referring to just a few states?” he said. “Because many of those states are dead flat.”

“Yes, there are states that are dead flat,” she agreed. “But you know, what changes the curve is a new Detroit, a new Chicago, a new New Orleans, a new Colorado. Those change the curves because it all of a sudden spikes with the number of new cases.” In other words, without taking action, “dead flat” states can suddenly become hot spots.

The interplay was a rare instance of Mr. Trump doing in real time on camera what officials have repeatedly denied that he does behind the scenes — attempting to water down the impact of what the medical experts were saying.

In a video that leaked online last week, Dr. Fauci was seen telling colleagues at the National Institutes of Health that he regularly made suggestions for the president’s prepared remarks before daily briefings but Mr. Trump “almost always” ignores them.

Where Dr. Fauci and Mr. Trump have differed most strongly is on the therapeutic potential of chloroquines to treat people suffering from the coronavirus. Mr. Trump has called the drugs, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for off-label uses aside from their intended treatment of ailments like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, could be a “game-changer.”

But Dr. Fauci has repeatedly sounded a note of skepticism, much to the president’s frustration. “I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Friday.

Mr. Trump has also tried in recent days to blame states for shortages of medical equipment. “They should have had more ventilators,” he said on Friday.

Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, said at Thursday’s briefing that the federal stockpile was not for states to rely on. “The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Mr. Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

A day later, on Friday, the description on the Health and Human Services website for its Strategic National Stockpile was altered evidently to reflect that viewpoint.

Previously, the website said: “Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of lifesaving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.”

“When state, local, tribal and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts,” it continued, “the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need the most during an emergency.” It went on to say the stockpile “contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously.”

But after the revisions, first noticed by the journalist Laura Bassett, the website on Friday said that the role of the stockpile is to “supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies. Many states have products stockpiled as well.”

“The supplies, medicines and devices for lifesaving care contained in the stockpile,” it added, “can be used as a short-term stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of adequate amounts of these materials may not be immediately available.”

The explosive growth of the virus in many cities over the last two weeks has made clear that the United States has not been following the trajectory of places like Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong that have kept outbreaks relatively contained so far. And the country has not begun to see the number of new cases level off yet, as Italy has.

Several scientists said it was too early to make ironclad statements about whether social distancing was having a powerful effect. In a few cities that acted early, including New York, San Francisco and Seattle, new reported cases have begun to slow, providing some optimism that control measures work.

“The growth rate in New York City is slowing. We do have evidence that measures we put in place two or three weeks ago may be having an effect,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University. Data from Seattle and San Francisco, he said, shows “they’ve slowed it in spots. But whether they’re going to hold onto it is an open question.”

The number of cases and deaths in New York City has continued to rise quickly in recent days. More than 30,000 new cases in the metro area were reported since Monday for a total of more than 100,000 cases overall.

The United States has seen new hot spots in New Orleans, Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and other cities that did not significantly reduce how much people traveled until mid- to late-March, leaving open a critical window for exponential growth.

Florida, which took longer than most of the country to issue a stay-at-home order and reduce the distances that people traveled, reported increasing cases this week in the Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas. Experts say the delays in keeping people at home in Florida and much of the Southeast could make those areas more vulnerable to outbreaks in coming weeks.

The low testing rate among the population can also muddle any assessment of the effect of distancing measures so far, said Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor of biology and statistics at the University of Texas at Austin.

“In many of these other places, where social distancing measures were enacted very recently, it would be very difficult to see it in the data yet,” Dr. Meyers said. “Even if it’s effective.”

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman and James Glanz from New York. Josh Katz contributed reporting from New York.

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USNS Comfort Hospital Ship Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 3 Patients.

Westlake Legal Group 02nyvirus-comfort-facebookJumbo USNS Comfort Hospital Ship Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 3 Patients. USNS Comfort (Ship) United States Navy Trump, Donald J Quarantines Patrick Amersbach Northwell Health New York City Michael Dowling Javits, Jacob K, Convention Center (Manhattan, NY) hospitals Epidemics Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan’s west side to catch a glimpse.

On Thursday, though, the huge white vessel, which officials had promised would bring succor to a city on the brink, sat mostly empty, infuriating executives at local hospitals. The ship’s 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle.

Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus. Another Navy hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.

“If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke,” said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system. “Everyone can say, ‘Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.’ But we’re in a crisis here, we’re in a battlefield.”

The Comfort was sent to New York to relieve pressure on city hospitals by treating people with ailments other than Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

President Trump left a nine-day sequester in the White House last week to travel to Norfolk, Va., to personally see off the ship as it set sail for New York, saying it would play a “critical role.” The ship’s arrival on Monday was cheered as one of the few bright moments in a grim time for the city.

But the reality has been different. A tangle of military protocols and bureaucratic hurdles has prevented the Comfort from accepting many patients at all.


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On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.

Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.

At a morning briefing on Thursday, officials said three patients had been moved to the Comfort. After The New York Times published an article with that number, Elizabeth Baker, a spokeswoman for the Navy, said the number had increased to 20 by late in the day. “We’re bringing them on as fast as we can bring them on,” she said.

Hospital leaders said they were exasperated by the delays.

Mr. Dowling said he has had to tear his hospitals apart, retrofitting any unused space, including lobbies and conference rooms, into hospital wards. His facilities now house 2,800 so-called Covid patients, up from 100 on March 20, he said. About 25 percent of those are in serious conditions in intensive care units.

Across the city, hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear again and again, are getting sick. So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags.

At the same time, there is not a high volume of noncoronavirus patients. Because most New Yorkers have isolated themselves in their homes, there are fewer injuries from car accidents, gun shots and construction accidents that would require an emergency room visit.

Ultimately, Mr. Dowling and others said, if the Comfort refuses to take Covid patients, there are few patients to send. And given the pernicious spread of the disease in New York City, where nearly 50,000 were infected as of Thursday, dividing patients into those who have it and those who do not is pointless, he said.

The solution, he and others said, was to open the Comfort to patients with Covid-19.

“It’s pretty ridiculous,” he said. “If you’re not going to help us with the people we need help with, what’s the purpose?”

Asked about Mr. Dowling’s criticisms, the Defense Department referred to Mr. Trump’s statements about the Comfort at his daily briefing. The president said only that the ship was not accepting patients with the coronavirus.

Late Thursday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York reached an agreement with Mr. Trump to bring Covid patients to the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, another alternative site operated by the military, with 2,500 hospital beds.

“I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York’s request,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.

There was no word about doing the same with the U.S.N.S. Comfort.

Capt. Patrick Amersbach, the commanding officer of the medical personnel aboard the Comfort, said at a news conference that, for now, his orders were to accept only patients who had tested negative for the virus. If ordered to accept coronavirus patients, he said, the ship could be reconfigured to make that happen.

“If our mission shifts, we do what we can to meet that mission,” he said.

From the outset, readying the hospital ship for use in a pandemic proved a challenge. The Comfort was built to operate in battlefield conditions, and its physicians accustomed to treating young, otherwise healthy soldiers suffering from injuries related to gunshots and bomb blasts. Most people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 are older and infected with a novel pathogen that even the world’s top medical researchers do not fully understand.

Any outbreak on board could quickly spread and disable the ship’s operations. As a precaution, the ship’s crew isolated for two weeks before embarking on their mission to New York. They must remain onboard for the duration of their mission in New York.

The ship has struggled to fulfill civilian missions in the past. After Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in 2017, the Comfort was sent to relieve overextended hospitals, but ended up treating only a handful of patients each day.

A military physician who had previously served on the Navy’s hospital ships said in an interview that conditions on board were suitable for soldiers, but, with its narrow bunked cots instead of modern hospital beds, it was not ideal for treating civilians.

Though military physicians are accustomed to battlefield situations, they are well-trained, and should be able to handle strains of the pandemic if ordered to treat patients with the coronavirus, he said.

“As military doctors,” he said, “they would absolutely do their best.”

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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Trump Sees Hope for Boosting Global Oil Prices and Helping U.S. Firms

Westlake Legal Group trump-sees-hope-for-boosting-global-oil-prices-and-helping-u-s-firms Trump Sees Hope for Boosting Global Oil Prices and Helping U.S. Firms United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Saudi Arabia Russia Putin, Vladimir V Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Economic Conditions and Trends
Westlake Legal Group 02dc-virus-oil-facebookJumbo Trump Sees Hope for Boosting Global Oil Prices and Helping U.S. Firms United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Saudi Arabia Russia Putin, Vladimir V Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Economic Conditions and Trends

WASHINGTON — When oil prices crashed in early March after a dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia, President Trump put a positive spin on the news. “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!” he wrote on Twitter as markets tumbled. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that falling gasoline prices amounted to “the greatest tax cut we’ve ever given.”

But the president has also nervously eyed the dire threat that American energy producers face from rock-bottom oil prices, and American officials have spent weeks pressing Saudi Arabia and Russia to settle a dispute that has created a global oil glut and further shaken an already-traumatized global economy.

Leaning on two authoritarian leaders he has befriended as president, Mr. Trump spoke this week with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, urging them to bolster prices by cutting their domestic oil production.

In two tweets on Thursday, Mr. Trump said that he expected they would jointly cut output by as much as 15 million barrels in a move that he said would “be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!”

Prices for Brent crude initially leapt by nearly 50 percent after Mr. Trump’s tweets, but dipped again as it became unclear whether his supposed breakthrough would materialize.

Neither Russia nor Saudi Arabia publicly committed to such a cut, and a Saudi statement issued on Thursday called only for a meeting of oil producing nations to reach a “fair agreement.” The Kremlin cast further doubt on the possibility, denying a claim that Mr. Trump made on Twitter that Mr. Putin had discussed the matter with the crown prince.

The picture emerged of a president eager to find some good economic news amid the pain of a largely shuttered domestic economy, and of an embattled Saudi leadership feeling financial strain of its own, perhaps seeking the favor of Mr. Trump. Analysts said the major outstanding question was how Moscow, which has been waging a price war with Riyadh, will respond.

Executives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Occidental, Devon, Phillips 66, Energy Transfer and Continental Resources are scheduled to meet on Friday with Mr. Trump at the White House, according to two industry insiders familiar with the plans.

Deal or no, Mr. Trump’s unusual oil diplomacy and his eagerness to claim a victory reflects his growing anxiety about the United States’ coronavirus-gripped economy. It also underscores his sudden reliance, after years of happy talk about growing American energy independence, on foreign oil industries. But if Mr. Putin and Prince Mohammed fail to strike an agreement that bolsters global oil prices, Mr. Trump will find himself left twisting in the wind by two repressive leaders whose good will he has spent years cultivating at significant political cost.

Writing Thursday on Twitter, Mr. Trump said he had spoken that morning to Prince Mohammed, who told him he had been in touch with Mr. Putin, adding: “I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!” In a subsequent tweet, Mr. Trump said the production cut could be five million barrels per day larger.

American oil executives immediately reacted positively to the tweet. “I’m totally surprised and I’m glad the president took charge,” said Scott Sheffield, the chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources, a major Texas oil company, who has urged the Trump administration to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and Russia.

But the Kremlin quickly played down Mr. Trump’s statement. Dmitri S. Peskov, a spokesman for Mr. Putin, told the Interfax news agency that the Russian president had not spoken with the Saudi crown prince. “No, there was no conversation,” he said.

Tass, a Russian state news agency, carried a more pointed exchange in which the Kremlin spokesman declined to say whether Mr. Trump might be manipulating markets. Asked if Mr. Trump had “intentionally mistaken” news about a phone call, Mr. Peskov said, “It’s difficult for me to answer.”

Oil prices have been hammered in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has all but eliminated travel and dampened demand for energy. The price war that broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia last month intensified the decline.

After failing to reach a deal on production cuts in March, Saudi Arabia and Russia began pumping huge amounts of oil, adding to a world glut. One aim has been to gain market share from American producers that have been increasing output and exports in recent years. But as Saudi Arabia has been shipping new production, it has been having trouble finding buyers.

The combination of slumping demand and the contest between two of the world’s largest oil producers had pushed crude oil prices down by 55 percent in March alone, wreaking havoc on the energy industry, with oil companies slashing budgets and refineries cutting production of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Mr. Trump made clear his anxiety on Wednesday during a news briefing at the White House. After saying the 17-year low in oil prices was “incredible, in a lot of ways,” he went on to express alarm about the fate of U.S. energy companies, including shale oil producers facing disaster. Whiting Petroleum, a big shale producer in North Dakota, filed for bankruptcy protection this week.

“You don’t want to lose an industry. You’re going to lose an industry over it,” Mr. Trump said. “Thousands and thousands of jobs.”

Administration officials have pressed Saudi Arabia for weeks to change course. On March 25, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Prince Mohammed and urged Saudi Arabia to “rise to the occasion and reassure global energy and financial markets,” according to a State Department readout of the call. Mr. Trump spoke with the crown prince on March 31. But their pleas appeared rebuffed when Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, tweeted boastfully on April 1 about its continued production.

During a teleconference briefing last month, the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Gen. John Abizaid, said Prince Mohammed’s decision to increase production seemed impulsive and driven by pique against Moscow, and was poorly coordinated across the Saudi government, according to an American official familiar with the discussion.

Independent of American pressure, Saudi Arabia has, along with its allies in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, reason to reverse course on the decision to boost production. In recent days, the kingdom’s tankers left port brimming with oil but with few destinations as global inventories filled to the brim. With tanker fees climbing fast, the kingdom’s shipping costs are rising to painful levels.

Saudi Arabia depends on oil revenues to finance its sweeping social programs, and much of its population owns shares of Saudi Aramco, which was partly privatized last year and whose shares have sharply declined over the past month.

Prince Mohammed also has a strong interest in retaining Mr. Trump’s good will, which was not diminished even in the face of evidence of the crown prince’s role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, according to Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute. The crown prince now faces threats from Iran and a continuing military quagmire in Yemen.

“It looks like Riyadh might be willing to compromise a little more with Moscow because, in the cold light of day, this isn’t going to work very well for Saudi Arabia — or Russia for that matter,” Mr. Ibish said. “But they’re also clearly linking it to pressure from the U.S. in general and Trump in particular, and making it clear that they are trying to, in effect, do him a favor.”

Saudi Arabia’s statement on Thursday said its call for a meeting of oil producers was “in appreciation of President Donald Trump of the United States of America’s request and the U.S. friends’ request.”

Russia has its own problems in the face of shrinking demand. It has thousands of aging oil wells across Siberia far from markets that will soon be producing oil with no place to go. Shutting those wells would deprive the country revenues, but also lead to extra costs to revive them later, a process that could damage some of the fields permanently.

In one indication that Russia had softened its stance, Russia’s energy minister, Aleksandr Novak, told Reuters that Russia no longer planned to ramp up production after the collapse of its deal with OPEC last month.

But some energy analysts predicted that even after supply cuts, global oil prices would soon resume their steep decline because markets are likely to be oversupplied through at least the first half of the year. A recent Citibank research report said that any potential agreement by American, Saudi and Russians officials “looks like it is too little too late.”

President Trump said on Thursday that he did not agree to cut American oil production in return for cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The $25 price for the American oil benchmark is still at least $15 below the break-even price for the typical American oil well, leaving much of the industry in jeopardy unless demand recovers quickly. Nevertheless, deeply depressed shares of Chevron, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips surged by more than 8 percent after Mr. Trump’s tweet.

The industry received little from the recent $2.2 billion stimulus package, as Congress refused to endorse an administration proposal to buy $3 billion in oil to add to stockpiles in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Analysts said that because of the crushing economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic, cuts in oil production were inevitable.

“Oil production is going to go down anyhow,” said Bhushan Bahree, a senior director at IHS Markit, a research firm. “The question is whether they are going to be managed or enforced through brutal shutdowns.”

Michael Crowley reported from Washington, Clifford Krauss from Houston and Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow. Mark Mazzetti and Edward Wong contributed reporting from Washington, and Stanley Reed from London.

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