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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 19)

Coronavirus Testing Falls Woefully Short as Trump Seeks to Reopen U.S.

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-testing-falls-woefully-short-as-trump-seeks-to-reopen-u-s Coronavirus Testing Falls Woefully Short as Trump Seeks to Reopen U.S. Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Shortages Quarantines Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Laboratories and Scientific Equipment Food and Drug Administration Epidemics Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Antibodies
Westlake Legal Group merlin_171490377_45d9abf3-fa81-4f8e-9d9f-c3239dd4fa9d-facebookJumbo Coronavirus Testing Falls Woefully Short as Trump Seeks to Reopen U.S. Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Shortages Quarantines Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Laboratories and Scientific Equipment Food and Drug Administration Epidemics Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Antibodies

As President Trump pushes to reopen the economy, most of the country is not conducting nearly enough testing to track the path and penetration of the coronavirus in a way that would allow Americans to safely return to work, public health officials and political leaders say.

Although capacity has improved in recent weeks, supply shortages remain crippling, and many regions are still restricting tests to people who meet specific criteria. Antibody tests, which reveal whether someone has ever been infected with the coronavirus, are just starting to be rolled out, and most have not been vetted by the Food and Drug Administration.

Concerns intensified on Wednesday as Senate Democrats released a $30 billion plan for building up what they called “fast, free testing in every community,” saying they would push to include it in the next pandemic relief package. Business leaders, who participated in the first conference call of Mr. Trump’s advisory council on restarting the economy, warned that it would not rebound until people felt safe to re-emerge, which would require more screening.

And Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York reiterated his call for federal assistance to ramp up testing, both for the virus and for antibodies.

“The more testing, the more open the economy. But there’s not enough national capacity to do this,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said at his daily briefing in Albany. “We can’t do it yet. That is the unvarnished truth.”

As the governor spoke, a PowerPoint slide behind him said, “WE NEED FEDERAL SUPPORT.”

At his own briefing later in the day, Mr. Trump boasted of having “the most expansive testing system anywhere in the world” and said that some states could even reopen before May 1, the date his task force had tentatively set. Twenty-nine states, he added, “are in good shape.”

From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, lapses by the federal government have compromised efforts to detect the pathogen in patients and communities. A diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proved to be flawed. The F.D.A. failed to speed approval for commercial labs to make tests widely available. All of that means that the U.S. has been far behind in combating the virus.

Whether in New York City, with its densely packed 8.4 million residents, or Nebraska, with fewer than two million spread across mostly rural expanses, widespread diagnostic and antibody testing will be crucial for determining a number of factors: How many in a community are infected but asymptomatic? Who has the protective antibodies that might allow them to go about their lives without fear? Are workplaces and schools safe?

“It is great that we are flattening the curve,” said Dr. Mark McClellan, director of the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University, who worked in the George W. Bush administration and is advising state and federal policymakers on the virus response.

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“But for this next phase, where we are really aiming to detect and stamp out smaller outbreaks before they get so big, testing is critical for that,” he said. “So we have to plan ahead now for much larger capacity.”

By the end of May, he added, “we will maybe be up to two million tests a week, but we are definitely not at that level now.”

Nationally, an average of 145,000 people have been tested for the virus each day over the past week, according to the Covid Tracking Project, which reported a total of nearly 3.1 million tests across the United States as of Tuesday night.

State health officials and medical providers around the country say they are unable to test as many people as they would like. Many of them say the biggest challenge is getting not the diagnostic tests themselves but the supplies to process them, including chemical reagents, swabs and pipettes. Manufacturers are facing a huge global demand as every country fights the pandemic, with many attempting the widest-scale testing they have ever undertaken.

“We’re at a really critical juncture and the supply chain has not yet caught up,” Scott Becker, chief executive of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, said on Wednesday.

Yet even as people waited hours for drive-through testing in California, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere, some laboratories reported having ample capacity.

Two weeks ago, officials at University of California San Diego Health rushed to scale up testing, setting up a second laboratory devoted only to Covid-19. “You know the saying, ‘If you build it, they will come’?” said Dr. David T. Pride, director of the molecular microbiology laboratory there. “We built it and nobody has come. ” He said confusion over which laboratories were accepting tests, and “convoluted” systems connecting providers to labs, meant his facilities were running about 200 to 300 tests per day when they could handle 1,000.

Quest Diagnostics, one of the nation’s biggest testing laboratories, said on Wednesday that it could now process more tests than it was receiving, and that it was reaching out to state health departments, doctors and nursing homes. After dealing with backlogs for weeks, the company said it was returning results in less than two days for ordinary patients, and in less than one day for priority patients.

In Nebraska, as of Wednesday afternoon, 11,757 people had been screened for Covid-19, and of those, 901 were positive, according to state health data.

Peter C. Iwen, director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, said that chemicals and equipment needed to run the tests were going to places like New Orleans and New York. “We’re trying to compete with those people, and we’re just not getting the reagents sent to us,” he said in an interview with the Omaha television station KETV.

The nonprofit Community Health of South Florida is operating three drive-through sites in the Miami area and the Florida Keys, where it has provided free testing to 1,300 people.

Tiffani Helberg, the group’s vice president for communications, said a tight supply of testing swabs as well as staffing numbers meant the nonprofit was not screening as many people as it would like.

“Is it a struggle every day? Absolutely,” she said.

The lack of testing is hitting minority communities especially hard, according to Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and chief executive of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, one of the nation’s largest historically black medical schools.

“Testing should be a priority for vulnerable populations — that would be prisons, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and, last but not least, minorities and disadvantaged communities,” said Dr. Hildreth, an infectious disease expert. “Because in those communities, we know there are many individuals with underlying conditions, and they are more likely to get severe disease and die.”

But even as short supplies are limiting who can get tests, some laboratories say they have extra capacity.

The American Clinical Laboratory Association, a trade group representing large diagnostic companies like LabCorp and Quest, has recently reported a dip in the daily testing volumes of its members. On Monday, its members processed 43,000 tests, the lowest number since March 20. At one point in early April, members were processing more than 100,000 a day.

“They are reaching out to providers to make sure they know that we have more testing capacity,” said Julie Khani, president of the lab association.

But even as testing for active coronavirus infections is struggling to meet demand, public health officials and major laboratories say they are gearing up for the next wave: antibody testing. A well-designed antibody test will detect whether someone has been exposed to the virus and generated an immune response, and whether the person may be protected from further illness.

“Antibody testing is not a cure-all,” Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a Republican, said on Tuesday as he announced a partnership with the University of Arizona to provide antibody tests for 250,000 health care workers and emergency responders. “But learning more about it is an important step to identifying community exposure, helping us make decisions about how we protect our citizens and getting us to the other side of this pandemic more quickly.”

Most of the available antibody tests can say only whether someone has antibodies, not how many they have or how powerful they are at fighting the virus. Many of the tests are also flawed and signal the presence of antibodies even when there are none. The F.D.A. has granted emergency approval to three companies to begin selling the tests, but dozens more have entered the market after the agency loosened the guidelines in March.

“We have to to make sure it’s an accurate test with good specificity,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary. “And we really need to know that antibodies are truly protective and how long-lasting they are.”

Dr. Jon R. Cohen, the executive chairman of BioReference Laboratories, which is processing tests at drive-through sites in New York and New Jersey and other locations around the country, said he was still evaluating different antibody tests but planned to begin offering them soon. Other large laboratories said the same.

“It’s a huge factor, we believe, in terms of people regaining confidence and jump-starting the economy,” he said. “To me, it’s an absolute moral imperative.”

Reporting was contributed by Emily Cochrane, Sharon LaFraniere, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jesse McKinley, Rick Rojas and Brian M. Rosenthal.

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

Urged on by Conservatives and His Own Advisers, Trump Targeted the W.H.O.

Westlake Legal Group urged-on-by-conservatives-and-his-own-advisers-trump-targeted-the-w-h-o Urged on by Conservatives and His Own Advisers, Trump Targeted the W.H.O. World Health Organization United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Morrison, Scott (1968- ) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Bannon, Stephen K
Westlake Legal Group 15dc-virus-who1-sub-facebookJumbo Urged on by Conservatives and His Own Advisers, Trump Targeted the W.H.O. World Health Organization United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Morrison, Scott (1968- ) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Bannon, Stephen K

WASHINGTON — Fox News pundits and Republican lawmakers have raged for weeks at the World Health Organization for praising China’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. On his podcast, President Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, urged his former boss to stop funding the W.H.O., citing its ties to the “Chinese Communist Party.”

And inside the West Wing, the president found little resistance among the China skeptics in his administration for lashing out at the W.H.O. and essentially trying to shift the blame for his own failure to aggressively confront the spread of the virus by accusing the world’s premier global health group of covering up for the country where it started.

Mr. Trump’s decision on Tuesday to freeze nearly $500 million in public money for the W.H.O. in the middle of a pandemic was the culmination of a concerted conservative campaign against the group. But the president’s announcement on the W.H.O. drew fierce condemnations from many quarters.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said cutting its funding was “not in U.S. interests.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decision “dangerous” and “illegal.” Former President Jimmy Carter said he was “distressed,” calling the W.H.O. “the only international organization capable of leading the effort to control this virus.”

Founded in 1948, the W.H.O. works to promote primary health care around the world, improve access to essential medicine and help train health care workers. During emergencies, the organization, a United Nations agency, seeks to identify threats and mitigate the risks of dangerous outbreaks, especially in the developing world.

In recent years, the United States has been the largest contributor to the W.H.O., giving about $500 million a year, though only about $115 million of that is considered mandatory as a part of the dues that Congress agreed to pay as a member. The rest was a voluntary contribution to combat specific health challenges like malaria or AIDS.

How Mr. Trump’s order to freeze the group’s funding while officials conduct a review of the W.H.O. would be carried out was not clear. Congressional Democrats who oversee foreign aid said they did not believe Mr. Trump has the power to unilaterally stop paying the nation’s dues to the W.H.O. Congressional aides cited a Government Accountability Office report in January that concluded that the administration could not simply ignore congressionally directed funding for Ukraine simply because Mr. Trump wanted to.

A senior aide to House Democrats said they were reviewing their options in the hopes of keeping the money flowing. But Democrats conceded that Mr. Trump most likely has wide latitude to withdraw the voluntary contributions to specific health programs run by the W.H.O.

White House officials say Mr. Trump was moved to act in part by his well-known anger about sending too much of the public’s money to international organizations like NATO and the United Nations. And they said he agreed with the criticism that the W.H.O. was too quick to accept China’s explanations after the virus began spreading.

They cited a Twitter post by the W.H.O. on Jan. 14 saying that the Chinese government had “found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus” as evidence that the W.H.O. was covering up for China. And they noted that in mid-February, a top official at the W.H.O. praised the Chinese for restrictive measures they insisted had delayed the spread of the virus to other countries, saying, “Right now, the strategic and tactical approach in China is the correct one.”

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“It is very China-centric,” Mr. Trump said in announcing his decision on Tuesday in the Rose Garden.

“I told that to President Xi,” he said, referring to Xi Jinping of China. “I said, ‘The World Health Organization is very China-centric.’ Meaning, whatever it is, China was always right. You can’t do that.”

Public health experts say the W.H.O. has had a mixed record since the coronavirus emerged in late December.

The health organization raised early alarms about the virus, and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the group’s director general, held almost daily news briefings beginning in mid-January, repeating a mantra, “We have a window of opportunity to stop this virus. But that window is rapidly closing.”

But global health officials and political leaders around the world — not just Mr. Trump — have said the group was too willing to accept information supplied by China, which still has not provided accurate numbers on how many people were infected and died during the initial outbreak in their country.

On Wednesday, Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, called it “unfathomable” that the W.H.O. had issued a statement supporting China’s decision to allow the reopening of so-called wet markets, the wildlife markets where the virus is believed to have first spread to humans. And in Japan, Taro Aso, the deputy prime minister and finance minister, recently noted that some people have started referring to the W.H.O. as the “Chinese Health Organization.”

But defending the W.H.O. on Wednesday, Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of its emergencies programs, cited the early warning it sounded.

“We alerted the world on January the Fifth,” Mr. Ryan told reporters.

Dr. Ghebreyesus expressed disappointment with Mr. Trump’s decision to freeze funding.

“W.H.O. is not only fighting Covid-19,” he said. “We’re also working to address polio, measles, malaria, Ebola, H.I.V., tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer, diabetes, mental health and many other diseases and conditions.”

Mr. Trump’s decision to attack the W.H.O. comes as he is under intense fire at home for a failure to respond aggressively to the virus, which as of Wednesday had claimed more than 28,000 lives in the United States and infected at least 600,000 people in all 50 states.

The president publicly shrugged off the virus throughout January and much of February, repeatedly saying that it was under control. He said in mid-February that he hoped the virus would “miraculously” disappear when the weather turned warm.

Mr. Trump barred some travel from China in late January, a move that health experts say helped delay widespread infection. But he also presided over a government that failed to make testing and medical supplies widely available and resisted calling for social distancing that allowed the virus to spread for several critical weeks.

The president’s decision to freeze the W.H.O. funding was backed by many of his closest aides, including Peter Navarro, his trade adviser, and key members of the National Security Council, who have long been suspicious of China. Mr. Trump himself has often offered contradictory messages about the country — repeatedly saying nice things about Mr. Xi even as he wages a fierce, on-again, off-again trade war with China.

“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Jan. 24. “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.”

At a meeting of his coronavirus task force on Friday, Mr. Trump polled all of the doctors in the room about the W.H.O., according to an official who attended the meeting. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that the W.H.O. had a “China problem,” and then others around the room — including Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the U.S. response, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — agreed with the statement, the official said.

But the president’s critics assailed the timing of the announcement, saying that any assessment of the W.H.O. should wait until the threat was over.

Among those questioning the president’s decision to act now was Dr. Redfield, who heaped praise on the W.H.O. during an appearance on Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” saying that questions about what the group did during the pandemic should be left until “after we get through this.”

Dr. Redfield said that the W.H.O. remained “a longstanding partner for C.D.C.,” citing efforts to fight the Ebola virus in Africa and the cooperation to limit the spread of the coronavirus. And he added that the United States and the W.H.O. have “worked together to fight health crises around the world — we continue to do that.”

Ms. Pelosi said Mr. Trump was acting “at great risk to the lives and livelihoods of Americans and people around the world.” And in its statement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that it supported reform of the W.H.O., but that “cutting the W.H.O.’s funding during the Covid-19 pandemic is not in U.S. interests given the organization’s critical role assisting other countries — particularly in the developing world — in their response.”

In a tweet, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and later a global health foundation, called the decision to end funding “during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds.”

He added: “Their work is slowing the spread of Covid-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

Katie Rogers contributed reporting.

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

Trump’s ‘Opening Our Country Council’ Runs Into Its Own Opening Problems

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168446493_af7c23e5-14f7-436c-a38f-6f3ef8019c54-facebookJumbo Trump’s ‘Opening Our Country Council’ Runs Into Its Own Opening Problems United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Appointments and Executive Changes

WASHINGTON — Some business leaders had no idea they were included until they heard that their names had been read in the Rose Garden on Tuesday night by President Trump. Some of those who had agreed to help said they received little information on what, exactly, they were signing up for. And others who were willing to connect with the White House could not participate in hastily organized conference calls on Wednesday because of scheduling conflicts and technical difficulties.

In short, the rollout of what the president referred to last week as his “Opening Our Country Council” was as confusing as the process of getting there. Instead of a formal council, what Mr. Trump announced on Tuesday was a watered-down version that included 17 separate industry groups, including hospitality, banking, energy and “thought leaders.” And on Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers received emails inviting them to join another task force.

The president participated in four calls with those groups during the day at the same time White House officials were playing down their the significance, claiming that the creation of a “task force” was never planned, despite the president’s mention of it last week.

They said that there was no date for an in-person meeting planned, and that the goal was simply to begin, via conference calls, a dialogue about the economy after the pandemic recedes. The only task force that existed, they insisted, was the coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence.

The confusion was the latest example of the difficulty the administration has encountered in its attempts to enlist support from the private sector to bolster the president’s claim that he has the power to reopen the economy, even as governors have made it clear that they will make those decisions themselves.

Cisco Systems, the networking company, and McDonald’s were among the major employers that learned of their involvement in consulting with the president only when he mentioned their names on Tuesday evening, according to people familiar with the matter.

Pfizer was also blindsided by its inclusion in the group, receiving a heads-up that Mr. Trump might mention the company an hour before the announcement, with no information about how many other companies were involved or what the purpose of the group was.

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Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., was also not asked whether he would join the group before his name was announced by Mr. Trump as a participant, according to Carolyn Bobb, the union’s national media manager. But she said Mr. Trumka had planned to join a call with Mr. Trump on Wednesday “to see if it’s a serious effort.”

Some of the offers to be involved came directly from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to two people who were briefed on the plans, and at least one came directly from Mr. Trump, one of those people added. But others said they were given no advance warning that their name would be attached to a White House news release, which on Tuesday night described the list of people as the “Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.”

A White House official said that while the administration did not wait to hear back from all 200 people whose names were announced as part of the effort, it had sent an email notification on Tuesday afternoon to all the people involved alerting them that they had been selected.

Some of them were willing participants, including major Trump donors and even one business partner, Phil Ruffin, a billionaire casino owner who partnered with the president’s company on the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is among the biggest donors to Mr. Trump and Republicans, was also named to the task force.

But the calls were set up on such short notice that some chief executives were unable to join in. For instance, David M. Solomon, the Goldman Sachs chief, was leading his own quarterly earnings call at the same time as the White House call.

The chief executive of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, had previous commitments to address employees, and another executive from the coffee chain joined the call, according to a person familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Company was also unable to join, according to a person familiar with the matter, but one of his deputies spent 15 minutes trying to patch in to the discussion, ultimately without luck.

The pattern of confusion appeared to be repeating itself with members of the House and Senate who were abruptly notified that they had been selected for a congressional task force on reopening the country.

The congressional group had yet to convene, and was only notified of its existence Wednesday afternoon. In emails sent to offices on Capitol Hill, the White House legislative affairs office did not so much invite the lawmakers to participate as inform them of their selection.

The full membership of the group was unclear Wednesday afternoon, but at least three senior lawmakers — Senators Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia — were prepared to accept. The appointment list appeared to include some committee leaders from both parties, and numbered more than a dozen.

The White House did not specify the group’s exact purpose, and several lawmakers were caught off guard by the invitation, with some Democrats left wondering why they had been selected by a president who had made clear his disdain for them.

“I am emailing to inform you that the president has selected you to serve on a task force comprised of senators and members of the House of Representatives,” the administration wrote in one such email, obtained by The New York Times and confirmed by multiple congressional officials who had received similar notifications.

“The purpose of the task force is to provide counsel to the president on the reopening of America in the wake of Covid-19,” the email continued. “The formal name of this task force has not yet been announced.”

In the first call of the day, Mr. Trump talked Wednesday morning with many of the big-name business leaders he had mentioned the night before, but encountered some resistance to his enthusiasm for reopening the country quickly, even as the executives offered some praise for his administration’s response.

Mr. Trump opened the call by saying that “testing is under control” in the country. But after each executive was given a minute or two to provide his or her overview of what was needed to reopen the economy, there was a wide consensus that more testing was needed before the economy could reopen, according to two people who participated on the call. Among those who made the point that the testing was necessary to track who was infected and who might have immunity before returning employees to work sites was Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.

Another issue of great concern to the executives on the call, one participant said, was the need to address the liability companies could face if employees got sick after returning to work, given the possibility that workers who felt that they were brought back to soon — or were not placed in a safe environment — could sue en masse.

Annie Karni reported from Washington, and David Gelles and Kate Kelly from New York. Nicholas Fandos and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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Trump Wanted a Radio Show, but He Didn’t Want to Compete With Limbaugh

Westlake Legal Group 15limbaugh-trump-promo-facebookJumbo Trump Wanted a Radio Show, but He Didn’t Want to Compete With Limbaugh United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Shutdowns (Institutional) Radio Presidential Election of 2020 Limbaugh, Rush

On a Saturday in early March, Donald J. Trump, clad in a baseball cap, strode into the Situation Room for a meeting with the coronavirus task force. He didn’t stop by the group’s daily meetings often, but he had an idea he was eager to share: He wanted to start a White House talk radio show.

At the time, the virus was rapidly spreading across the country, and Mr. Trump would soon announce a ban on European travel. A talk radio show, Mr. Trump excitedly explained, would allow him to quell Americans’ fears and answer their questions about the pandemic directly, according to three White House officials who heard the pitch. There would be no screening, he said, just an open line for people to call and engage one-on-one with the president.

But that Saturday, almost as suddenly as he proposed it, the president outlined one reason he would not be moving forward with it: He did not want to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

No one in the room was sure how to respond, two of the officials said. Someone suggested hosting the show in the mornings or on weekends, to steer clear of the conservative radio host’s schedule. But Mr. Trump shook his head, saying he envisioned his show as two hours a day, every day. And were it not for Mr. Limbaugh, and the risk of encroaching on his territory, he reiterated, he would do it.

One of the officials involved directly in the effort said it wasn’t the first time Mr. Trump had discussed hosting a radio show from the White House.

But if some in the room that day were unsure whether the president’s proposal was a joke, they knew his deference to Mr. Limbaugh was anything but.

When it comes to the president’s favored media figures, most observers tend to fixate on the Fox News lineup of Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. But several people close to Mr. Trump say that in the midst of a pandemic, he has come to keenly appreciate the extent of Mr. Limbaugh’s reach, and the fact that his show, perhaps more than any other source, offers a real-time metric of how the president’s decisions are playing with his supporters.

Now, as multiple voices vie for the president’s ear on the appropriate timeline for America’s path to normalcy, Mr. Limbaugh is amplifying Mr. Trump’s instinct for swiftness. And for this president, as well as much of his party, Mr. Limbaugh’s affirmation remains a powerful motivator.

“Talk radio is still a powerhouse when it comes to Republican voters,” said Jason Miller, co-host of the War Room podcast and a former Trump communications adviser. And the president, Mr. Miller said, “realizes how big a powerhouse Rush is.”

The White House declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s desire for a radio show. The president ultimately opted for daily televised press briefings instead, which have in effect served as a stand-in for campaign rallies and regularly span two hours.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” has been the most popular talk-radio show in the country for decades, currently drawing 15.5 million listeners a week. In that time Mr. Limbaugh has traded in the kind of deeply divisive messaging that Mr. Trump regularly brandishes to appeal to his conservative base.

Like the president, Mr. Limbaugh has also dispensed disinformation and falsehoods at a rapid clip. In the last few weeks alone he has repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as the “common cold.” His history of anti-gay remarks was revived as recently as February, when he said Americans would not elect Pete Buttigieg after seeing him “kissing his husband onstage, next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump.” (Mr. Limbaugh later told listeners that Mr. Trump had called him and told him not to apologize for the comments.)

Mr. Limbaugh is among Mr. Trump’s most influential backers, praising him for his politics and leadership well before many other Republicans cast their lot with him. He recently called attacks on the president’s handling of the virus crisis “a political hit job.” The president has returned the favor: In a surprise move during his State of the Union address in February, he awarded Mr. Limbaugh, who had recently revealed he had late-stage lung cancer, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He highlighted Mr. Limbaugh’s charitable work and called him “the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.”

As public health officials urge caution in relaxing stay-at-home restrictions, corporate executives and conservative activists alike are pleading with the president to reopen the economy. Mr. Trump has argued that he alone has the power to override stay-at-home orders imposed at the state level — a claim that legal scholars reject and that he appeared to walk back on Tuesday. Still, many Republican governors are looking directly to the White House to set the tone for a path forward.

As for his own guidance, Mr. Trump’s preferred media sources have tempered their advocacy. After initially dismissing the severity of the virus, many of Mr. Trump’s go-to talkers on Fox News have approached the question with relative delicacy, appearing to take their cues from the president rather than try to proactively urge one path or another.

Mr. Limbaugh, conversely, has been a forceful voice from the get-go. Along with casting medical experts like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci as “Hillary Clinton sympathizers,” he has used his enormous platform to call for a rapid return to normal life.

“Are we just going to sit by and watch $22 trillion — that’s the value, that’s the sum total of the G.D.P., that’s the U.S. economy — are we just going to sit by here and watch it evaporate?” Mr. Limbaugh said in one segment on March 31. “Because that’s what we’re doing, under the guise of not losing any unnecessary life.”

On Monday, Mr. Limbaugh argued that the “shutdown” was “a political effort to get rid of Donald Trump in the election this November” — as well as a Democratic ploy to “keep people fed without them having to go to work” and to “fine them for going to church.”

Mr. Limbaugh, a frequent golf partner of Mr. Trump’s in Palm Beach, Fla., has been candid and proud about his direct line to the president. During his show on Friday, Mr. Limbaugh revealed that the president calls him “once a week just to see how I’m doing” and that sometimes Vice President Mike Pence joins. He added that their conversations were only about his health, not policy. (Attempts to reach Mr. Limbaugh through a colleague for this article were unsuccessful.)

But in this moment, as Mr. Trump grapples with what he has called “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Mr. Limbaugh has an unparalleled perch.

“A lot of politicians — obviously conservatives — tune into his show as they’re trying to figure out what their point of view should be,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Mr. Schlapp noted that with most decisions, the president uses various media sources as a way to “think through questions.” And while the president is listening to his public health advisers in this moment, Mr. Schlapp said, he’s also adhering to the formulas he knows best.

“The school nurse doesn’t run the school,” Mr. Schlapp said. “The principal runs the school.”

Polling shows that the vast majority of Americans support a national stay-at-home order, but Mr. Limbaugh’s audience — in other words, the president’s base — shares his agitation about jump-starting the economy. His recent shows illustrate the extent to which many of Mr. Trump’s supporters remain suspicious of the public health experts.

“I agree the right person is in office to bring this country out of this,” said a Las Vegas police officer named Marcus who called into Mr. Limbaugh’s show on Monday. “But, you know, when you look at numbers, Rush — the numbers don’t add up as far as, like, you know, the amount of people that die of a normal flu every year and those sort of things. I mean, it’s terrifying how one thing can make us give up our rights so quickly.”

On Friday, a caller from Prescott, Ariz., wondered if experts were urging the shutdown of the economy as a way to model the potential effects of legislation intended to combat climate change. “Isn’t this kind of like a dry run of the Green New Deal?” he asked.

In the midst of everything, Mr. Limbaugh’s listeners unequivocally support the president. On Friday, a New York construction worker named Andy criticized the transformation of Manhattan into a “ghost town,” and said, “There is no better man to be in the White House right now than Donald Trump.”

It is the kind of affirmation that helps illuminate radio’s increasing appeal to Mr. Trump. Television indeed plays an outsize role in the president’s assessment of himself and his administration. But with no campaign rallies to look forward to, people close to the president say he feels stifled in his inability to communicate directly with his supporters, complaining that the news media tries to distort his message at his daily briefings.

The president may have dropped plans for his own talk radio show. But for Mr. Trump, what Mr. Limbaugh offers is perhaps second best: a taste of the validation he craves, as well as a blueprint for how to make his supporters even happier.

“Rush is perfectly confident and competent to play the outsider to the system,” said Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor. “In that way, he and the president learn from each other.”

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The Virus Is Vaporizing Tax Revenues, Putting States in a Bind

Westlake Legal Group 14virus-states6-facebookJumbo The Virus Is Vaporizing Tax Revenues, Putting States in a Bind Wages and Salaries United States Economy United States Trump, Donald J Taxation Stitt, Kevin States (US) Politics and Government Lamont, Ned Income Tax Government Bonds Cuomo, Andrew M Credit and Debt Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Budgets and Budgeting

The ballooning costs of the coronavirus pandemic have put an unexpected strain on the finances of states, which are hurriedly diverting funds from elsewhere to fight the outbreak even as the economic shutdown squeezes their main source of revenue — taxes.

States provide most of America’s public health, education and policing services, and a lot of its highways, mass transit systems and waterworks. Now, sales taxes — the biggest source of revenue for most states — have fallen off a cliff as business activity grinds to a halt and consumers stay home.

Personal income taxes, usually states’ second-biggest revenue source, started falling in March, when millions lost their paychecks and tax withholdings stopped. April usually brings a big slug of income-tax money, but this year the filing deadlines have been postponed until July.

“This is going to be horrific for state and local finances,” said Donald J. Boyd, the head of Boyd Research, an economics and fiscal consulting firm, whose clients include states and the federal government.

Many state and local governments have already taken extraordinary measures to protect residents and keep public services running. New York lawmakers gave Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a one-year window to unilaterally cut spending if warranted, as the state faces a shortfall of at least $10 billion in tax revenue.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont directed an extra $35 million to the state’s nursing homes so that they could pay retention bonuses, overtime and other incentives to keep workers on the job as the health crisis worsened. Oklahoma lawmakers authorized Gov. Kevin Stitt to tap into the state’s $1 billion rainy-day fund to make up a $415 million budget gap he attributed to delayed income-tax payments.

Even if states are able to stretch their finances temporarily — by trimming budgets, appropriating funds earmarked for other purposes or passing emergency legislation, as many have done — the economic recovery is expected to be slow. That means tax revenues from tourism, oil and gas drilling, conventions and other activities are probably not going to bounce back.

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“We can’t spend what we don’t have,” Mr. Cuomo told the New York Legislature this month. The state is hoping to bridge its revenue gap through a mix of federal aid, loans and cuts.

Companies are unlikely to hire back the millions of workers they have laid off until they can restart normal operations, and some businesses may fold entirely. High unemployment, low consumer demand and a wave of personal bankruptcies are likely to push up the welfare-related expenses of states — on top of their pandemic-related bills.

“It will be very hard to pay for people in nursing homes, and to pay teachers to teach kids when school resumes, and to pay police,” Mr. Boyd said, naming three services that are financed in large part by the states and provided by local governments. States, along with the federal government, typically reimburse nursing homes for patient care through Medicaid and other programs.

The governors of seven Northeastern states, including New York, said this week that they would coordinate efforts to reopen their economies as the rate of daily infections dropped; the governors of three West Coast states made a similar pact. The governors have been reacting to President Trump’s statements on Monday that he had the ultimate power to decide when to relax stay-at-home orders and other restrictions that states have ordered to slow the spread of the virus.

Last week, the National Governors Association called on Congress to provide additional fiscal assistance to states to meet budget shortfalls arising from the crisis. “In the absence of unrestricted fiscal support of at least $500 billion from the federal government, states will have to confront the prospect of significant reductions to critically important services all across this country, hampering public health, the economic recovery, and — in turn — our collective effort to get people back to work,” the association’s chairman, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, and vice chairman, Mr. Cuomo, said in a statement.

No two states are being affected the same way. Some of the most drastic tax revenue losses have occurred in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana, which rely heavily on taxing oil and gas. Oklahoma based its initial budget projections on $55-a-barrel oil; lately, the price has been less than half that. The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association estimates that for every dollar decline in the price of oil, the state loses $85 million in revenue.

“The things we thought would keep us from hitting the edge of the fiscal cliff — oil prices rebounding, production coming up dramatically — those prospects look awfully dim right now,” Pat Pitney, the Alaska Legislature’s chief budget analyst, who was budget director to former Gov. Bill Walker, recently told the Alaska Public Media news site. “None of us knows the future. But the signs are way less optimistic than they were just a few short months ago.”

Other states, like Hawaii, Nevada, New York and New Jersey, depend heavily on bringing in huge numbers of people — sun worshipers, theatergoers, gamblers, conventioneers, sports fans — and taxing their hotel rooms, tickets, restaurant meals and alcohol.

The Congressional Budget Office studied pandemics in 2006, after a devastating viral outbreak in Asia, and warned that if a similar event happened here, “industries that require interpersonal contact” would be hit the hardest, losing 80 percent of their business for several months. And in fact, last month the New York City comptroller, Scott Stringer, reported an 80 percent decline in tourism-related industries.

“We’re facing the possibility of a prolonged recession — we need to save now before it’s too late,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement last month. He called on city agencies to trim $1.4 billion in their planned spending so the money could be redirected to help “the hotel, restaurant, social service and retail workers who are bearing the brunt of this crisis.”

States borrow money from the public markets by issuing bonds, but normally for specific projects, not to fund day-to-day operations. Last week, the Federal Reserve said it would buy up to $500 million of short-term debt from the states, the District of Columbia, and the largest cities and counties. But the Fed made clear that the new debt purchasing program was to be used primarily for bridging over a few months of low revenue, with repayment due when normalcy returns. In a term sheet, the Fed said the states could also borrow to pay interest and principal on their existing debt, and to assist smaller localities. All borrowings must be repaid within two years.

Some policy analysts said the time frame was too short, given the bleak outlook.

Thomas H. Cochran, a senior fellow at the Northeast Midwest Institute, said it would be better if the Fed made loans that could eventually be forgiven, as long as the states could show they had used the money to keep public services at pre-pandemic levels after their revenue dried up. The institute studies urban and economic issues for an 18-state region.

Such loan repayment periods should last at least three years, Mr. Cochran said, recalling the time after the financial crisis of 2008. State and local revenues fell for two consecutive years — a first in postwar history — and did not rebound until 2016. This time could be worse.

In New Jersey, Fitch Ratings said its outlook on the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority had turned negative because the casinos in Atlantic City were closed. (A negative outlook means a downgrade is possible over the medium term, so that investors who want to reduce their risk can consider selling; it can also make future borrowing more expensive.) New Jersey has been using tax revenue from casinos to repay certain bonds and to help financially troubled Atlantic City.

Other states, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Colorado, as well as New York, have income-tax arrangements that target high incomes and capital gains. This approach makes their revenue volatile, like the markets.

Before the pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois had called for a graduated tax, a move away from the state’s current flat income tax with the goal of taxing high earners more. A referendum was scheduled for November.

Illinois urgently needs the additional revenue. Even before the pandemic, the state owed its vendors $7.8 billion, for hospitals, health insurance, higher education and consulting services, among other things. Governor Pritzker’s plan is supposed to help the state increase its tax collection, but given the recent market rout and the wobbly economy, there may not be so much high-end income to tax.

David Yaffe-Bellany contributed reporting.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Suspends U.S. Funds for W.H.O.

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171590745_30c6a18d-e571-49b3-acb4-ea17af10abf0-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Suspends U.S. Funds for W.H.O. World Health Organization Trump, Donald J Travel Warnings Quarantines Medicine and Health Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Trump halts World Health Organization funding.

President Trump on Tuesday said that he planned to stop United States funding of the World Health Organization while reviewing its role in what he described as “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The announcement came as Mr. Trump continued to be angered by criticism of his response to the pandemic and as he sought to gain credit for how he has performed. “Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, blaming the organization for what he described as a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly pointed to his decision to impose travel restrictions on China as proof that he responded early to warnings about the dangers of the coronavirus.

He said that decision saved “thousands and thousands of lives,” and the W.H.O. “fought us.” The president blamed the organization for a “20-fold” increase in cases worldwide.

As recently as February, the W.H.O. had advised against imposing travel restrictions to places with outbreaks of the coronavirus, saying it was not an effective way combat its spread.

On Tuesday, the president said the organization “willingly took China’s assurances” and that it “defended the actions of the Chinese government, even praising its so-called transparency.”

Mr. Trump has been defensive about his decision to institute early travel restrictions on China, crediting himself with saving hundreds of thousands of lives while sustaining criticism for being xenophobic and racist.

But Mr. Trump has not addressed his administration’s inaction after that decision and the gap in the timeline of his response between the travel restrictions announced on Jan. 31 and the declaration of a national emergency on March 13.

Some European nations ease pandemic rules, but move warily.

Slowly, tentatively, a handful of European countries began lifting constraints on daily life this week for the first time since the start of the coronavirus crisis, providing an early litmus test of whether Western democracies can gingerly restart their economies and restore basic freedoms without reviving the spread of the disease.

On Tuesday, Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s crisis, reopened some bookshops and children’s clothing stores. Spain allowed workers to return to factories and construction sites, despite a daily death toll that remains over 500. Austria allowed thousands of hardware and home improvement stores to reopen, as long as workers and customers wore masks.

In Denmark, elementary schoolteachers readied classrooms so young children could return to school on Wednesday, while in the Czech Republic, a restless public relished the reopening of sports centers and some shops.

When Lukas Zachoval, a sales manager in the Czech Republic, lost a tennis match to his father this week — in a 6-4, 6-3 drubbing — defeat had seldom tasted sweeter. After all, it was his first match since the Czech government began lifting sweeping restrictions on society, including a ban on communal sports, that had been in place for nearly a month.

The easing of the lockdowns was watched with interest and trepidation across Europe and beyond, and posed profound and knotty questions. Among them: Now that the rate of infection has ebbed in several countries, to what extent should political leaders prioritize concern for public health over worries about the economy?

The moves to loosen restrictions came despite a warning a week earlier by the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, who said, “Now is not the time to relax measures.”

The fledgling, country-by-country loosening, enacted without any coordination between nations, underscored the absence of any common agreement, or even understanding, about the challenge of keeping economies alive while stemming the disease.

Ecuador’s financial capital has seen a surge of dead.

When Guayaquil, Ecuador’s business capital, was first hit by the coronavirus, the devastation was so great that bodies were piling up in the streets.

Now, as the authorities begin to grapple with the scale of the crisis, they have reason to believe that the toll for the province that includes Guayaquil is likely many times larger than the official government figure of 173 dead.

The numbers are skewed because only those who test positive — dead or alive — are counted as coronavirus victims.

The usually bustling port city of about three million had 1,500 more deaths in March of this year than in the same month in 2019, Guayaquil’s mayor, Cynthia Viteri, said in an interview.

“They are not only dying from Covid,” she said, referring to the disease caused by coronavirus. “People with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease are dying from lack of medical attention, because the hospitals are saturated with the critically ill, because there aren’t places where women can give birth without getting infected.”

In addition, in the past two weeks, a special emergency team collected or authorized the burial of nearly 1,900 bodies from Guayaquil’s hospitals and homes, according to Ecuador’s government, which said that figure represented a fivefold increase in the city’s usual mortality rate.

To combat the spread of the virus, the city will resort to some of the most draconian quarantine measures in Latin America.

Security forces on Tuesday began cordoning off the contagion hot spots for up to three days at a time while medics looked door to door looking for potential cases and sanitary workers disinfected public spaces.

Ms. Viteri, the mayor, said movement to and from the hard-hit neighborhoods, located mostly in the city’s poor periphery, will be completely cut off. City authorities will provide residents with food while the operation lasts.

“The situation isn’t grave — it’s extremely grave,” said Ms. Viteri. “And we still haven’t reached a high point of infections in Guayaquil.”

Spraying disinfectant in the streets soothes nerves, but may not kill germs.

The images are compelling: Fire trucks in Tehran or Manila spray the streets. Amazon tests a disinfectant fog inside a warehouse, hoping to calm workers’ fears and get them back on the job. Families nervously wipe their mail and newly delivered groceries.

These efforts may help people feel like they and their government are combating the coronavirus. But in these still-early days of learning how to tamp down the spread of the virus experts disagree on how best to banish the infectious germs.

“There is no scientific basis at all for all the spraying and big public works programs,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Other experts are not ready to confidently dismiss disinfecting. There are just too many unknowns about this virus, said Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Lipsitch said it will be difficult to study the effectiveness of disinfecting outdoor spaces because “everyone is throwing a mix of interventions at the problem, as they should.”

Most transmission of the virus comes from breathing in droplets that an infected person has just breathed out — not from touching surfaces where it may be lurking. “Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on its website.

Stay 6 feet apart, we’re told. But how far can air carry the coronavirus?

The rule of thumb, or rather feet, has been to stand six feet apart in public. That’s supposed to be a safe distance if a person nearby is coughing or sneezing and is infected with the novel coronavirus, spreading droplets that may carry virus particles.

And scientists agree that six feet is a sensible and useful minimum distance, but, some say, farther away would be better.

Six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet.

But some scientists, having looked at studies of air flow and being concerned about smaller particles called aerosols, suggest that people consider a number of factors, including their own vulnerability and whether they are outdoors or in an enclosed room, when deciding whether six feet is enough distance.

“Everything is about probability,” said Dr. Harvey Fineberg, who is the head of the Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. “Three feet is better than nothing. Six feet is better than three feet. At that point, the larger drops have pretty much fallen down.”

Reporting was contributed by Karen Weintraub, Knvul Sheikh, James Gorman and Kenneth Chang

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Criticized for Pandemic Response, Trump Tries Shifting Blame to the W.H.O.

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-virus-who-facebookJumbo Criticized for Pandemic Response, Trump Tries Shifting Blame to the W.H.O. World Health Organization United States Politics and Government United Nations Trump, Donald J Quarantines Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WASHINGTON — For weeks, President Trump has faced relentless criticism for having overseen a slow and ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, failing to quickly embrace public health measures that could have prevented the disease from spreading.

Recent polls show that more Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump’s handling of the virus than approve.

So on Tuesday, the president tried to shift the blame elsewhere, ordering his administration to halt funding for the World Health Organization and claiming the organization made a series of devastating mistakes as it sought to battle the virus. He said his administration would conduct a review into whether the W.H.O. was responsible for “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread.

“So much death has been caused by their mistakes,” the president told reporters during a White House briefing.

In effect, Mr. Trump was accusing the world’s leading health organization of making all of the mistakes that he has made since the virus first emerged in China and then spread rapidly. As of Tuesday, there had been about two million cases of the virus worldwide, and nearly 125,000 deaths. In the United States, there have been over 600,000 cases and 25,000 deaths from the virus.

The attack on the W.H.O., which was founded after World War II as part of the United Nations “to promote and protect the health of all peoples,” was the latest example of the president’s attempt to shift the blame throughout the crisis.

Over the past several months, Mr. Trump has repeatedly accused the news media, governors, Democratic members of Congress and former President Barack Obama of being responsible for the number of cases overwhelming the nation’s hospitals.

Asked directly in mid-March whether he was to blame for the lack of testing capacity in the country, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

The basis for the president’s anger at the W.H.O. was his contention that it was too quick to believe information about the virus coming from the Chinese government at a time when it should have been more critical. He said the W.H.O. “willingly took China’s assurances to face value” and “pushed China’s misinformation.”

But it was Mr. Trump himself who went out of his way to publicly and repeatedly praise the Chinese government for its handling of the virus at a time at the beginning of the year that his administration was negotiating a trade deal with China.

On Jan. 24, about a month after the virus was discovered there, Mr. Trump tweeted: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.”

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In a contentious back-and-forth with reporters on Tuesday after his announcement in the Rose Garden, the president refused to answer for that inconsistency, saying that he “would love to have a good relationship with China” even as he asked why “am I the only leader who closed my borders against China?”

Pressed on why he is taking action now, Mr. Trump insisted that the W.H.O. is very “China-centric” without explaining what that meant or why that would have caused vast numbers of people to succumb to the coronavirus.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, defended the W.H.O., saying it “must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against Covid-19.”

Mr. Guterres said that “it is possible that the same facts have had different readings by different entities,” but he insisted that the middle of a pandemic was not the time to resolve those differences.

“It is also not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus,” he said.

The biennial budget for the W.H.O. is about $6 billion, which comes from member countries around the world. In 2019, the last year for which figures were available, the United States contributed about $553 million.

According to Mr. Trump, the W.H.O. “fought” the United States after he ordered limits on flights from China on Jan. 31. He was apparently referring to a decision by W.H.O. officials to issue a statement saying that “restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions.”

The W.H.O. did not criticize the United States, which was not the only country imposing travel restrictions. But it has historically opposed border closings or travel bans during disease outbreaks, on the ground that they never stop transmissible diseases and cause panic and widespread economic damage.

The coronavirus has tested those assumptions in wealthier countries, and many experts agree that a ban on travel to the United States first from China and then from Europe may have bought precious and limited time to prepare. But critics say the White House wasted that time, and Mr. Trump has seized on an opportunity to deflect blame to the W.H.O.

The question of whether the W.H.O. was not aggressive enough in recommending action against the virus has been raised in other countries. Some governments have noted that the organization’s leadership did not challenge China’s assertion in mid-January that there was not human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.

But the W.H.O. did issue urgent advisories throughout January about the potential dangers from the virus and announced that it constituted a “public health emergency of international concern” a day before the Trump administration made a similar declaration.

From Jan. 22 on, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O. director general, held almost daily news briefings to warn the world that the virus was spreading and that countries should do everything they could to stop it. Every day he repeated a mantra: “We have a window of opportunity to stop this virus. But that window is rapidly closing.”

Mr. Trump’s contention that the W.H.O. was too cozy with China may be the result of the praise it had for the aggressive way that the Chinese sought to contain the virus, using tactics that were sometimes brutal, including people being dragged from their apartments into hospital isolation when they resisted leaving and welding families into their apartments when they broke quarantine rules.

Beijing ultimately sent 40,000 medical personnel from all over China into Wuhan, built two hospitals, trained 9,000 contact-tracers and began tracking down, testing and isolating not only everyone with the virus but everyone with a fever.

Brutal as they were, China’s tactics ultimately worked.

By March 18, China was able to report zero new cases in the country, and some cities were allowed to reopen in March. Public health experts have called what China did — stopping a new, highly transmissible pandemic disease in its tracks — an unparalleled success.

As a result, Mr. Trump’s accusation that inaction by the W.H.O. caused more deaths from the virus stands in contrast to its record of embracing China’s swift crackdown.

The president’s broadside against the world’s premier health organization also ran counter to his own assessment of the organization as recently as six weeks ago. .

In late February — before some of the harshest criticism of Mr. Trump’s inaction — the president heaped praise on the W.H.O., saying the organization had been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he tweeted. “We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Founded in 1948, the W.H.O. has its headquarters in Geneva, but it has 7,000 workers in 150 offices worldwide. During public health emergencies, it seeks to identify threats and mitigate risks, support the development of health tools during outbreaks and “support the delivery of essential health services in fragile settings,” according to its website.

In the early days of the virus, Beijing ignored requests by the W.H.O. to send observers to China, but in early February, it did let in an international team that included two Americans, one from the C.D.C. and one from the National Institutes of Health.

Although the Trump administration has claimed that Chinese scientists have refused to share data, most American scientists do not agree. They note that a Chinese laboratory posted the genetic sequence of the virus in early January, making it possible for laboratories across the world to start working on diagnostic tests. Since then, Chinese scientists have published dozens of data-filled papers.

Mr. Trump said Tuesday that the United States would evaluate what to do with the money that currently is sent to the W.H.O., adding, “Maybe W.H.O. will reform and maybe they won’t.”

Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Donald G. McNeil Jr. from New York. Michael Mason contributed reporting from New York.

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U.S. Governors, at Center of Virus Response, Weigh What It Will Take to Reopen States

Westlake Legal Group u-s-governors-at-center-of-virus-response-weigh-what-it-will-take-to-reopen-states U.S. Governors, at Center of Virus Response, Weigh What It Will Take to Reopen States United States Trump, Donald J States (US) Mayors Governors (US) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Westlake Legal Group 14VIRUS-GOVERNORS-inslee-facebookJumbo U.S. Governors, at Center of Virus Response, Weigh What It Will Take to Reopen States United States Trump, Donald J States (US) Mayors Governors (US) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

CHICAGO — In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said the move toward reopening her state would be a cautious and incremental one, guided by data on transmission of the coronavirus, availability of personal protective equipment and testing capacity, among other factors.

Gov. J. B. Pritzker of Illinois said he has begun reaching out to leaders of other Midwestern states to form a regional coalition to help make decisions on opening businesses and schools when the time comes.

In Mississippi, where a statewide shelter-in-place order is set to expire on Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves said parts of the state could soon prepare to see other restrictions lifted.

The nation’s governors and mayors on Tuesday proceeded with their own plans for how communities will reopen public life, in many cases pointedly ignoring President Trump’s declaration that he alone has the authority to decide when to “open up the states.”

Just as the governors were the ones who shut the country down, they will be the ones to decide when to open it, they indicated.

“He might want to read the Constitution,” Mr. Pritzker, a Democrat, said of Mr. Trump.

In many parts of the country, governors from both parties said they were a long way off from telling Americans to go back to work and to their normal lives, but they also said it was not too early to make plans for that eventuality.

“We have some very difficult days and weeks ahead,” said Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, a Republican.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California avoided providing any timeline, but he offered a glimpse of what his state’s “new normal” would be like. Face coverings are likely to be a feature of public life, at least for a time. Patrons of restaurants are likely to have their temperatures taken before being seated and will be served by someone in a mask and gloves. Menus might be disposable.

“Normal it will not be,” Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, said. “At least until we have herd immunity and a vaccine.”

Across the country, governors who have gained both visibility and stature during the coronavirus outbreak, coordinating their states’ responses and often holding televised daily news conferences, were unwilling to cede the new platforms and responsibility they built in recent weeks.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York began Tuesday by heaping scorn on Mr. Trump — “We don’t have a king, we have a president,” he said in one television interview — before quoting Alexander Hamilton and then adopting what could perhaps count as a more conciliatory approach.

“I’m not going to allow anything bad to happen to the people I represent,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, added. “I see my job very clearly — I get hired by the people of the state of New York to fight for them and to protect them.”

Some governors, particularly Republicans loyal to Mr. Trump, said they believed that governors would certainly act in concert with the president. Late Tuesday, a day after Mr. Trump asserted that he had “total” authority to reopen the American economy himself, he sounded a more cooperative tone. Mr. Trump suggested at a news conference that some states would be ready to open soon, and said that he would be speaking to all of the nation’s governors and would be “authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening” at an appropriate time.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said he thought states would follow the White House’s guidance as they decided when to reopen.

“What’s going to happen is, you’re going to have people move in that direction,” Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, said. “You’re going to see states inevitably follow, because one or two states does it, you know, the other states are kind of going to be at a disadvantage.”

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, political leaders are in disagreement about the timeline for reopening. Some Republican lawmakers are considering legislation that would reopen certain businesses, while the state’s health secretary has warned that would be premature, and has spoken instead of a more gradual opening, perhaps county by county.

The state’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, said on Tuesday he was in discussions with lawmakers of both parties about reopening plans and on Monday joined several governors of Northeast states to announce they were considering the question regionally. But the governor was firm on who did not have that power: the president.

“We had the responsibility for closing states down, essentially,” Mr. Wolf said, referring to other governors wrestling with the matter. “We also have the responsibility — the feet on the ground here, the people who know best what’s going on in our state — to figure out how we’re going to reopen.”

The plans in the Northeast will be developed by an improvised think-tank-like team with three representatives — the chief of staff, an economic development expert and a health expert — from each state. The governors who formed the coalition, which also includes Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, said the group would create “a fully integrated regional framework” while weighing economic, scientific and social data.

From the beginning, there has been no central playbook for how to handle the coronavirus in the United States.

Some states, like California, shut down early and entirely. Others, like Florida and Texas, issued piecemeal orders for residents to stay home, first at the city and county level, and later statewide. A small number of more rural states, including Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, have yet to adopt stay-at-home orders, deciding instead to close businesses and appeal to residents’ judgment.

It is possible that the reopening of America could be just as ad hoc.

One model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which has been cited by the White House, predicts that states that were slower to adopt the most stringent social distancing orders will see the worst of the crisis last through the beginning of June, a month longer than states that took early action.

“We’re seeing right now two different Americas,” said Ali Mokdad, a public health expert at the University of Washington who worked on forecasting. “When we talk as a country about needing to go back to business, certain states are ready theoretically as of May, but many aren’t as of June.”

As long as the virus is active anywhere, he said, there will be risks. “We are a mobile society and we travel a lot,” he said. “That’s the problem.”

Even as governors on the nation’s coasts eyed unified plans for reopening, local officials in the middle of the country were batting back a series of crises, from the threat of a surge in new cases to the risks of financial collapse.

“Life is completely upended,” said Mayor Bryan Barnett of Rochester Hills, Mich., in suburban Detroit, which has been hit hard by the virus. “Our economy has been brought to a screeching halt. Our budget faces immediate gaping holes.”

Mayors including Mr. Barnett, the president of the United States Conference of Mayors, on Tuesday called on the federal government to offer financial relief to small and midsize cities and bring local leaders into the fold when discussing when and how to reopen the economy.

In some cases, the discussion about whether to reopen has arrived even before a full shutdown came. “People are ready to go back to work, restaurants open,” said Mayor Michael R. Brown of Grand Forks, N.D., which has had 11 confirmed cases. “We have to say, this is early in the game. There is a calm before the storm.”

Some Republican governors said they would gradually get their people back to work, but only with the guidance and collaboration of the White House.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has provided few details about his plan, but he has said that he wants a staggered approach, in which businesses that have a minimal impact on the spread of the coronavirus open first and other businesses follow.

Mr. Abbott, a Republican, said he had spoken over the weekend with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about his plan to reopen businesses.

“This is all done in collaboration,” Mr. Abbott said of working with the federal government.

In Colorado, which has reported more than 300 deaths, Gov. Jared Polis has already extended a statewide stay-at-home order once, to late April. As that date draws closer, state officials and public-health teams are tracking numbers on the pace of new cases, deaths and hospital discharges to understand the trajectory of the virus. State health officials said on Tuesday they were seeing the growth of new cases slowing — perhaps even starting to plateau — and were now trying to model scenarios about how infections and hospital resources would be affected by easing the state’s orders to stay home.

At a briefing on Monday, Mr. Polis, a Democrat, said the state would be “guided by the data” as it determines how and when to restart public life.

“Folks will know exactly what’s going and what’s not,” Mr. Polis said. “It doesn’t mean that bars will be open or restaurants will be full. There’s a number of additional social distancing things that we’ll need to do. As a whole, we need to find a way where people are able to support themselves and go about their lives in a more normal way.”

In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, said that he believed that Mr. Trump was a “great president that’s under unbelievable pressure,” but that he did not know what to make of the president’s statement that he controlled the states.

The governor offered no time frame for changes to statewide orders.

“I don’t want to send everyone out dancing in the streets quite yet,” he said. He added later, “Without any question whatsoever, we won’t do anything if we think or the experts are telling me that it is going to endanger us.”

In Washington State, where an early outbreak took place, Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that the president’s remarks had been dangerous.

“What went through my mind is, ‘You can’t make this stuff up,’” Mr. Inslee said. “No one with even the most basic understanding in our middle schools thinks that we have a royalty situation where someone is vested with such a high degree of wisdom that they can countermand the duly elected governors.”

Reporting was contributed by Thomas Fuller in San Francisco; Alan Blinder and Rick Rojas in Atlanta; Sarah Mervosh in Canton, Ohio; Mike Baker in Seattle; Jack Healy in Boulder, Colo.; Manny Fernandez in Houston; Campbell Robertson in Pittsburgh; and Adeel Hassan and Vanessa Swales in New York.

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Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-virus-power-facebookJumbo Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines War and Emergency Powers (US) United States Politics and Government United States Trump, Donald J States (US) Presidents and Presidency (US) Law and Legislation interstate commerce Governors (US) Federal-State Relations (US) Defense Production Act Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s claim that he wielded “total” authority in the pandemic crisis prompted rebellion not just from governors. Legal scholars across the ideological spectrum on Tuesday rejected his declaration that ultimately he, not state leaders, will decide when to risk lifting social distancing limits in order to reopen businesses.

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Mr. Trump asserted at a raucous press briefing on Monday evening. “And that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But neither the Constitution nor any federal law bestows that power upon Mr. Trump, a range of legal scholars and government officials said.

“We don’t have a king in this country,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday, adding, “There are laws and facts — even in this wild political environment.” He rebutted Mr. Trump’s claim by citing a line from Alexander Hamilton, observing that presidential encroachment on powers that the Constitution reserved to the states would be “repugnant to every rule of political calculation.”

Mr. Cuomo is a Democrat, but even some of the most outspoken Republican supporters of a generally sweeping vision of presidential power agreed that Mr. Trump’s claim was empty.

John Yoo, a University of California, Berkeley, law professor known for writing much-disputed Justice Department memos after the Sept. 11 attacks claiming that President George W. Bush, as commander in chief, had the power to override legal limits on torture and surveillance for the war against Al Qaeda, said Mr. Trump could not force states to reopen.

“Only the states can impose quarantines, close institutions and businesses, and limit intrastate travel,” Mr. Yoo wrote in The National Review. “Democratic governors Gavin Newsom in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and J.B. Pritzker Illinois imposed their states’ lockdowns, and only they will decide when the draconian policies will end.”

Vice President Mike Pence — who styled himself as a strong proponent of states’ rights when Barack Obama was president — was a lonely voice backing Mr. Trump. “In the long history of this country,” he said on Monday, “the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary.”

The Constitution bestows specific powers on the federal government while reserving the rest to sovereign state governments. None of the enumerated powers given to the federal government directly address control over public health measures, although the Constitution does let Congress regulate interstate commerce.

Both a pandemic and social distancing measures that require the closure of businesses, to be sure, affect interstate commerce. But even if the federal government in theory could have more power in this area, it would take an act of Congress to bestow it on the presidency.

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Lawmakers have created some executive powers relevant to the crisis — including enabling an administration to take steps to keep illness from spreading across state lines and to mobilize industry to ramp up production of needed goods in a public health crisis. But they have passed no statute purporting to give the presidency pre-eminence over governors on rescinding public health limits inside states.

Similarly, while Mr. Trump declared a national emergency over the pandemic, that did not mean he was tapping into some reservoir of limitless constitutional power. Rather, he was activating specific statutes that Congress has enacted creating particular standby powers, none of which include letting a president overturn state-imposed public health safety measures.

In a 1952 case involving President Harry S. Truman’s seizure of steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War, the Supreme Court rejected his effort to invoke purported “inherent” constitutional power to resolve the crisis using different tools than Congress had provided.

And even if Congress were to now enact a law giving Mr. Trump that power — which is unlikely, with the House in the hands of Democrats — there would still be legal obstacles. The Supreme Court over the last generation has pushed back when Congress has enacted laws that the court sees as federal commandeering of states’ authority.

“The federal government may neither issue directives requiring the states to address particular problems, nor command the states’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 1997 Supreme Court ruling.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump appeared to seek a face-saving way out, saying he was “authorizing” governors to decide for themselves when to reopen their states. He offered no explanation for the implication that his permission was necessary before they could lift their own orders.

For Mr. Trump, the legal emptiness of his assertion fits with a larger pattern in his handling of the pandemic and more. Where President Theodore Roosevelt liked to invoke an African proverb to describe his approach to wielding executive power — “speak softly and carry a big stick” — Mr. Trump sometimes talks as if he has a big stick but with little to back it up.

Despite his “extreme, proud rhetoric about how he can do whatever he wants,” said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, the story of the Trump presidency has been, with few exceptions, “talking a big game, but not in fact exercising executive power successfully.”

Mr. Trump has made greater use of a softer power of the presidency: using his pre-eminent position and the attention he commands for public persuasion, which Roosevelt called the bully pulpit. But Mr. Trump used it at first to play down the crisis, rather than issuing a call to action to galvanize the country to more swiftly take steps like ramping up testing capacity and consider imposing social distancing measures.

Some legal experts theorized that Mr. Trump could try to use the federal government’s control over disaster relief funds and equipment to punish states whose governors reject a hypothetical future White House declaration that it is time to open up.

He could, for example, try to allocate more equipment to states whose governors acquiesce to his desires, which would inevitably lead to litigation. Even so, as Mr. Yoo wrote, such punitive measures are politically unlikely to move Democratic governors in hard-hit areas to reopen their economies before public health experts say it is safe.

Mr. Trump demurred when pressed to say who told him he wielded “total” authority, and his administration has put forward no legal theory.

White House officials expressed uncertainty about what the president was relying on but pointed to Article II of the Constitution, which creates the presidency, and several statutes creating certain public health powers. None they cited say a president has total authority to force governors to lift pandemic restrictions.

Indeed, numerous legal scholars rejected Mr. Trump’s claim as baseless, including Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who testified in the president’s favor during the impeachment inquiry.

“The Constitution was written precisely the deny that particular claim,” Mr. Turley wrote on Twitter.

Complicating the task of parsing the president’s intentions, he often appears to float striking and self-aggrandizing ideas off the cuff, causing consternation before he drops them.

On March 28, for example, he abruptly suggested that he might impose a federal quarantine on the New York City area before reversing course hours later.

It was never clear what he was talking about. While Congress has granted the federal government some power to take steps to prevent the transmission of illness into the country or between states, the virus was already everywhere by then, so sealing state borders would not have kept it contained. And a quarantine that would confine large populations to their homes within a state is widely understood to be a state-level decision.

Yet despite punctuating his performance with claims of his own might, Mr. Trump has repeatedly made less-than-aggressive use of undisputed authorities at his disposal to combat the pandemic.

For example, he has repeatedly boasted about shutting down travel from China in February, using the power that Congress granted to the presidency to control the international border in a public health emergency.

But despite Mr. Trump’s claims that he was the first to take that action, 38 other countries had already put in place such a travel ban. And the American version was limited and porous.

And as it became clear in March that hospitals were hindered by shortages of masks and other equipment, Mr. Trump resisted growing calls to make use of another power Congress gave the presidency for use in a national emergency: to coerce factory owners to change what they are manufacturing under the Defense Production Act.

In late March, Mr. Trump finally declared that he was invoking the law — but he had merely delegated to Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, the ability to invoke that law in theory. No company had been ordered to do anything.

As criticism over Mr. Trump’s inaction swelled, he signed an order telling Mr. Azar to use the law to push General Motors to make masks. But G.M. said it had already decided by then to make ventilators in partnership with Ventec, developed plans to source the necessary parts and started preparing a factory in Kokomo, Ind., for production.

Mr. Trump has a history of making head-turning claims about his powers in other contexts. During the Russia investigation, for example, his lawyers argued that he could not be guilty of obstruction of justice because his power over the Justice Department was absolute, and Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed he could fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, if he wanted — even directly.

“Article II allows me to do whatever I want,” he said.

Yet as the eventual report by Mr. Mueller showed, in practice Mr. Trump’s power was weak. He pushed subordinates to oust the special counsel, but they would not go along.

Mr. Goldsmith said that Mr. Trump’s approach to the pandemic crisis and more had reflected a general pattern of loud words but incompetently executed action on policies that were more complex than basic tasks like issuing pardons and firing people, bogging down his efforts in court battles and dysfunction rather than clear accomplishment.

“Trump wants it to seem like he is this really powerful guy being really aggressive with executive power, but he’s not,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “There has been a huge mismatch between his rhetoric and his actions. He clearly seems to enjoy how people’s heads explode when he says this stuff, even though it’s not matched by reality.”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Governors Push Back at Trump Over Authority to Reopen

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ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171574197_8e310f30-6234-4e0b-930c-e575c97531a7-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Governors Push Back at Trump Over Authority to Reopen Trump, Donald J Newsom, Gavin Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Governors push back on Trump’s claim that he “calls the shots.”

Governors responded scornfully Tuesday to President Trump’s insistence — widely challenged by legal scholars — that he has the authority to direct the reopening of the American economy by himself.

“We don’t have a king; we have a president,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today.” In a separate appearance on MSNBC, he warned that if Mr. Trump tried to force an economic reopening on the states, it could lead to “a constitutional crisis like you haven’t seen in decades, where states tell the federal government, ‘We’re not going to follow your order.’”

One of Mr. Cuomo’s partners in the coordinated effort to reopen the Northeast, Gov. Ned Lamont, Democrat of Connecticut, told CNN that “verbal hand grenades” from Mr. Trump should not “distract from a lot of other good work that’s going on.”

And Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican who is the chairman of the National Governors Association, pushed back after Mr. Trump opined on Twitter that the decision to reopen states rested with him, and not with governors.

“It’s not my understanding of the Constitution,” Mr. Hogan said in an interview Monday on CNN, taking pains to praise the cooperation of the federal government while making it clear that he believes the ultimate authority will lie with the states and their governors.

“Governors made decisions to take various actions in their states, based on what they thought was right for their state, based on the facts on the ground, talking with doctors and scientists,” Mr. Hogan said in the interview. “And I think individual governors who made those decisions will have the ultimate decision about what to do with their states.”

The governors have been reacting to Mr. Trump’s signals in recent days — which culminated in an extraordinary briefing at the White House on Monday evening — that he alone had the ultimate power to make the decision of when to ease the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions that governors across the country enacted to slow the spread of the virus. In the White House briefing Mr. Trump claimed that “numerous provisions” in the Constitution, which he did not name, gave him the authority to override the states if they wanted to remain closed. Legal experts say presidents have no such power. “The president of the United States calls the shots,” Mr. Trump said. “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”

His position — a reversal of his earlier arguments that states were largely in charge of fighting the pandemic — raised profound constitutional questions about presidential power and set him once again on a potential collision course with the states.

And after groups of governors on the East and West Coasts announced Monday that they planned to work together in regional groups to decided when and how to reopen business, Mr. Trump compared them in a Twitter post to mutineers who took over a ship from a captain they believed was abusing his crew.

Although Mr. Cuomo excoriated Mr. Trump in interview after interview on Tuesday, he adopted a more conciliatory tone by late morning, when he held a news conference in Albany.

“I am not going to fight with him,” Mr. Cuomo said of the president, adding that, “This is no time for any division between the federal government and the state government.” He allowed, though, that he believed Mr. Trump was “clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue.”

Beyond Democratic governors and legal scholars, some of Mr. Trump’s Republican allies have also questioned the president’s sweeping claim of executive power. Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, posted the text of the Tenth Amendment on Twitter.

The I.M.F. predicts the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning about economic damage from the coronavirus, saying on Tuesday that the global economy faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression as shuttered factories, quarantines and national lockdowns cause economic output around the world to collapse.

The grim forecast underscored the magnitude of the economic shock that the pandemic has inflicted on both advanced and developing economies and the daunting task that policymakers face in containing the fallout. With countries already hoarding medical supplies and international travel curtailed, the I.M.F. warned that the crisis threatens to reverse decades of gains from globalization.

In its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. projected that the global economy will contract by 3 percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from earlier this year, when the fund forecast that the world economy would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent.

This year’s fall in output would be far more severe than the last recession, when the world economy contracted by less than 1 percent between 2008 and 2009. A 3 percent decline in global output would be the worst since the Great Depression, the I.M.F. said.

The economic damage in the United States is expected to be severe, the I.M.F. said, with the American economy projected to shrink by about 6 percent in 2020. The global group cast doubt about the prospect of a “V” shaped recovery in the United States, suggesting that a sharp rise in unemployment and disruptions to supply chains will keep the economy below its pre-virus trend next year.

That trend can be seen in trade data, where slowing economic activity has caused global commerce to plummet. Tracking published by S & P Global Panjiva on Tuesday showed global shipments of goods into the United States fell by 10.1 percent in March, the fewest number of monthly shipments since 2016. Consumer goods have been hit particularly hard, with shipments of furniture, apparel, steel and electronics falling by more than 15 percent last month compared with one year ago.

Other analyses offer a similarly bleak picture. Moody’s said it expects unemployment to peak between 9 percent and 16 percent in the second quarter. For comparison, the unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent during the Great Recession. While the fiscal stimulus and emergency measures being rolled out across the United States are expected to ease the pain, Moody’s expects some companies, particularly smaller ones, to fail.

“These measures are unlikely to prevent irreversible credit deterioration and, in many cases, outright default for smaller, weaker companies with speculative-grade ratings.”

In 2020, the I.M.F. projects that the United States economy will contract by 5.9 percent. In the Euro area, it will shrink by 7.5 percent, led by steep declines in Italy and Spain.

Emerging markets and developing economies will not be spared, but in some cases they fare better. In China, where the virus originated and where draconian measures were imposed to combat it, growth is forecast to slow to a rate of 1.2 percent this year. Growth in India is expected to slow to 1.9 percent.

The fund calls for governments to invest in supporting their health care systems and ensuring that workers maintain ties to their jobs during lockdowns so that economic activity can resume when the virus recedes.

“This is a crisis like no other, and there is substantial uncertainty about its impact on people’s lives and livelihoods,” Ms. Gopinath said.

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said the economic damage is not likely to be erased quickly, particularly if people continue to be worried about contracting the virus.

“We know after the Great Depression people carried the scars of that experience with them for many, many years,” Mr. Kashkari said in an interview on the TODAY show, noting that in the bounce-back people will need to feel comfortable going out again. “I think the longer that this goes on, the more people who are affected by it, the longer that recovery is going to be.”

The one-day virus death toll in New York State rose again after two days of deaths falling.

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Westlake Legal Group 14vid-Cuomo-Live-still-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Coronavirus Live Updates: Governors Push Back at Trump Over Authority to Reopen Trump, Donald J Newsom, Gavin Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York cautioned against easing protective measures too quickly and challenged President Trump’s claim that the decision to reopen states for business was his alone.CreditCredit…Gabby Jones for The New York Times

New York’s death toll climbed by 778 on Monday, Mr. Cuomo said Tuesday, ending a brief run of declines.

Monday’s deaths pushed the state’s fatality count to 10,834, the highest in the nation. And although New York’s daily toll was higher than others in recent days — 758 people died on Saturday, and there were 671 more deaths on Sunday — Mr. Cuomo said late Tuesday morning that the count was “basically flat at a devastating level of pain and grief.”

Hospitals are still admitting many patients, including 1,649 on Monday, with the virus. And in neighboring New Jersey, the authorities reported 365 deaths, the state’s largest one-day toll since the outbreak began.

Officials like Mr. Cuomo, encouraged by data suggesting a flattening curve, have begun to edge toward setting a strategy for reopening New York, partnering with other states in the Northeast, including New Jersey, to create a coordinated strategy. But Mr. Cuomo has emphasized that the reopening was dependent on New Yorkers continuing to observe the restrictions that were imposed weeks ago.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had warned for weeks that a shuttered New York City’s return to normal depended on increasing its capacity to test for the virus, announced that the city would have a regular supply of about 400,000 test kits per month.

Starting next Monday, the city will buy 50,000 test kits a week from a company in Indiana. And in May, manufacturers and labs in New York City will begin supplying another 50,000 kits per week.

“For the first time, we’re going to have a truly reliable major supply of testing,” Mr. de Blasio said.

The mayor also released the latest statistics on three indicators that he has said will have to trend consistently downward for New York City to reopen.

Only one of those indicators, the number of suspected patients admitted to city hospitals, had declined from Saturday to Sunday, the most recent data available on Tuesday.

The other two — the number of intensive-care unit admissions of suspected virus patients at the city’s public hospitals, and the percentage of people testing positive — had both risen slightly.

U.S. officials and executives wrestle with issues over buying medical equipment or taking donations from China.

Last month, President Trump spoke with Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, to reach a truce to the sniping over the coronavirus pandemic, paving the way for steady shipments of much-needed medical supplies from China. But as the death toll grows in the United States and hospitals still struggle with equipment shortages, American officials and executives point to new problems in buying equipment or taking donations from China.

Shipments have run into unexpected delays as Chinese officials impose new regulations in response to complaints of low-quality products. And some American officials remain reluctant to accept gifts of gear because they fear giving the Chinese Communist Party a propaganda win.

The two superpowers are vying to project global leadership roles during the crisis, despite deep failures in how senior officials in both nations responded to outbreaks. At the moment, Chinese officials have the power to make it easy or difficult for vital supplies to flow to the United States and other nations. The two sides must work closely to orchestrate the shipments, even as American officials harbor deep suspicions over China’s “donation diplomacy,” a global effort by Beijing involving planeloads of medical gear and delegations of health experts.

The complications could bolster the arguments of some Trump administration officials that American companies should move their supply chains out of China.

Chinese regulators, embarrassed by reports of shoddy medical equipment sent to Europe, imposed a new rule on Friday mandating that customs officers inspect every shipment of masks, ventilators and other medical gear before they leave the country. That was the latest in a series of regulatory actions that had begun to hinder shipments. One American businessman said a new list of items to be inspected was so broad that it even included cotton balls. American officials said that after hearing complaints from U.S. companies, they have had to scramble to deal with the delays on a case-by-case basis.

Abortion clinics in Tennessee and Louisiana file lawsuits to fight bans.

Abortion clinics in Tennessee and Louisiana filed lawsuits in federal courts on Tuesday to stop abortion bans related to the coronavirus. The moves bring the total of states where legal fights are unfolding to seven; the five others are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The filings came a day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed itself on medication abortion in Texas — a surprise move that means this early-stage abortion involving two pills is now allowed.

The appeals court’s reversal allows, for now, many more women access to abortion, rights groups say, but does nothing to lift the ban on most surgical abortions.

“Medication abortion is only available through 10 weeks in Texas,” said Julie Rikelman, senior litigation director at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “That’s still very difficult for many people because abortions are only available at that point in pregnancy in a few places in Texas.”

A spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Joe Pojman, who heads the Texas Alliance for Life, said in an email: “We are disappointed by the court’s latest action. The latest order fails to recognize the danger that abortion providers pose to the public by refusing to comply with the Governor’s executive order in the same way that other providers of nonemergency surgeries and procedures have done.”

The fight over abortion rights, rather than receding into the background during the pandemic, has intensified as several states banned the procedure in recent weeks as part of emergency measures to fight the virus.

In seven states, state authorities have included abortion as a nonessential medical procedure, arguing that postponement is necessary to preserve medical and protective equipment. Abortion rights groups say the pandemic is being used as a pretense to restrict abortion, and have sued five of the states to stop them.

Out of the states trying to limit abortion, only Texas had been successful; the others have been blocked by judges, but that could change. Especially in Texas, several weeks of legal back-and-forth have caused confusion for patients and their doctors.

Obama endorses Biden for president as Democrats turn to unifying the party.

Former President Barack Obama will endorse Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday, as the Democratic Party turns its focus to unifying for an election that is shaping up to be a referendum on Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

Mr. Obama’s endorsement of his former vice president, expected via video, comes just one day after Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who had been Mr. Biden’s last challenger, also endorsed him.

While the Democratic race was competitive, Mr. Obama remained publicly neutral, even as multiple candidates tried to link themselves to him. But now, with the primary effectively over, attention is turning to the potentially difficult task of unifying the party for the general election — and Mr. Obama is uniquely positioned to help do that.

Behind the scenes, he has been involved for some time and played a key role in persuading Mr. Sanders to end his campaign and endorse Mr. Biden.

Jailed youths are seeking to be released as the virus spreads.

Across the country, the nation’s youngest offenders who are stuck in detention centers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus simply because of where they are. Close quarters, shared spaces and contact with staff members who rotate in daily make it impossible to follow guidelines to limit contact with other people and wash hands regularly in an effort to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

Lawyers in three states — Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas — are asking for a mass release of young offenders with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus as well as juveniles incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. Maryland and Pennsylvania have already denied some requests, while public defenders in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, are expected to argue for the release of their juvenile clients in the coming days.

Some states, including New Jersey, New York and California, were quick to release adult nonviolent offenders and older people, but have yet to do this for incarcerated youth.

U.S. stocks climb as investors look for signs of recovery.

Stocks on Wall Street rose on Tuesday, following global markets higher, after China reported a smaller-than-expected hit to trade and some countries began to take tiny steps to reopen their economies.

The S & P 500 rose more than 2 percent by midday, with shares of companies that have been hardest hit by the virus-related shutdowns — airlines and cruise operators — leading the gains.

Stocks have been slowly climbing their way out of a slump that had wiped trillions of value from financial markets in late February and early March, as investors have begun to look for signs of the eventual recovery from the outbreak. In parts of Europe, a small-scale return to normalcy has begun: Spain allowed some construction work to resume and a few factories to reopen on Monday, and Austria and Italy followed with a gradual easing of restrictions that allowed some shops to reopen.

Stocks were also helped on Tuesday by March trade data from Chinese customs officials that was better than anticipated. But the optimism may not linger, as China’s reopening could be a long and painful process, worsened by slumping demand for its goods in countries dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

But investors will be tested by a slew of corporate earnings results due out starting this week. On Tuesday, shares of big banks fell after JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo both announced that they were taking substantial provisions for coming loan losses. JPMorgan dropped about 3 percent, while Wells Fargo was down by more than 5 percent, and Citigroup was down nearly 6 percent.

Florida’s surgeon general says that until a vaccine exists, social distancing should stay in place.

For weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, has hewed closely to the message coming from Mr. Trump, one that most recently was about planning to get the economy moving and return to some semblance of normalcy.

So when Florida’s surgeon general, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, suggested on Monday that there would be no real return to normal until there was a vaccine — something experts think is at least a year away — he was most definitely not on message.

Dr. Rivkees had no sooner told reporters that Floridians would have to get used to wearing face masks and practicing social distancing measures than he was pulled away from the news conference by the governor’s spokeswoman. A video of the moment was shared widely on social media.

“As long as we’re going to have Covid in the environment, and this is a tough virus, we’re going to have to practice these measures so that we are all protected,” Dr. Rivkees said. “Until we get a vaccine, which is a while off, this is going to be our new normal and we need to adapt and protect ourselves.”

In an email to the Miami Herald, a spokesman for Dr. Rivkees did not say whether the governor agreed with the surgeon general’s conclusion.

“Social distancing and improved hygiene have proven to be effective in impeding the spread of Covid-19,” the spokesman, Alberto Moscoso, wrote. “Until a vaccine is available, precautions will need to be taken to ensure public health.”

To make way for masks, Georgia suspends a law it used to fight the Klan.

For close to 70 years, Georgia has had a broad ban on people donning face masks in public — a policy, a court once noted, written to combat racist violence and “to safeguard the people of Georgia from terrorization by masked vigilantes.”

But with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging people to wear cloth facial coverings in public, the law is now on hold. Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed an executive order on Monday to suspend the law for people wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus, said he wanted to ensure “people can follow the guidance of public health officials without fear of prosecution.”

The law, which the State Supreme Court upheld in 1990 after a challenge by a member of the Ku Klux Klan, ordinarily makes it a misdemeanor in many instances if someone wears “a mask, hood or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer.” The measure has a list of exceptions, including permitting masks for theatrical or Halloween costumes, but there is no public health exemption.

Alarmed by an episode elsewhere that led to two men being ejected from a store for wearing masks because of the pandemic, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta had already ordered police officers in Georgia’s capital not to arrest or cite people who wore facial coverings for health reasons.

State Senator Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of Georgia’s Democratic Party, had also warned Mr. Kemp that keeping the law on the books as usual could lead to greater racial profiling of black people by the authorities.

Some New York police officers face new assignments during the pandemic.

In New York City, still the epicenter of the virus, police work has changed dramatically. In the past month, compared to the same time period last year, murders dropped 20 percent. The New York Police Department is down thousands of officers who have called in sick, and some of the healthy officers have been assigned to a new police task force assigned to enforce social distancing rules and other measures designed to stem the spread of the virus.

Some officers have called the virus a “silent bullet” that’s claimed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.

Trader Joe’s and other supermarkets have become hot spots for police activity, as people vie for food and supplies amid wide shortages.

This is what law enforcement looks like during a pandemic.

Feeling a sense of panic? Some tools can help you cope.

In the middle of a pandemic, it’s natural to have moments of fear and anxiety. Sometimes, just knowing what’s happening can help, whether it’s learning about how to manage emotions on a personal level or understanding how to put the virus into context on a broader scale.

How does an outbreak in South Dakota affect the nation? Look in the meat aisle.

South Dakota is seeing a significant outbreak, with hundreds of workers at the city’s Smithfield pork processing plant falling ill, leading the company to shut down its plant in Sioux Falls.

Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, has resisted issuing a stay-at-home order for the state, saying that it is not necessary. The mayor of Sioux Falls, Paul TenHaken, said he has asked the governor to issue an order for the Sioux Falls area and will ask residents himself to stay home if Ms. Noem fails to act.

Smithfield Foods said Sunday that it would close its Sioux Falls processing plant after 230 workers contracted the virus, becoming one of the latest companies to announce a shutdown. The plant produces more than 5 percent of the nation’s pork.

The nation’s food supply chain is showing signs of strain, as increasing numbers of workers are falling ill in meat processing plants, warehouses and grocery stores.

The spread of the virus through the food and grocery industry is expected to disrupt the production and distribution of products like pork, industry executives, labor unions and analysts have warned in recent days. The issues follow nearly a month of stockpiling of food and other essentials by panicked shoppers that have tested supply networks to the limits.

Industry leaders and observers acknowledge that the shortages could increase, but they insist it is more of an inconvenience than a major problem. People will have enough to eat; they just may not have the usual variety.

The food supply remains robust, they say, with hundreds of millions of pounds of meat in cold storage. There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food or its packaging, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Still, the illnesses have the potential to cause shortages lasting weeks for a few products, creating further anxiety for Americans already shaken by how difficult it can be to find high-demand staples like flour and eggs.

“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Smithfield’s chief executive, Kenneth M. Sullivan, said in a statement.

Here’s what else is happening in the world.

Reporting was contributed by Alan Blinder, Eileen Sullivan, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Jim Dwyer, Marc Santora, Annie Correal, Michael Corkery, Peter Eavis, Jan Hoffman, Alan Rappeport, Miriam Jordan, Matt Phillips, Kate Taylor, Davie Yaffe-Bellany, Erica L. Green, Julie Bosman, Sabrina Tavernise, Edward Wong and Paul Mozur.

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