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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 44)

Democrats Fear for Their Convention. For Republicans, ‘The Show Must Go On.’

Westlake Legal Group 01convention2-sub-facebookJumbo Democrats Fear for Their Convention. For Republicans, ‘The Show Must Go On.’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party Republican National Convention Presidential Election of 2020 Milwaukee (Wis) Democratic Party Democratic National Convention Charlotte (NC) Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — Taking their cue from President Trump, Republicans at every level of the party are pushing ahead with plans to put on their national convention this summer and provide Mr. Trump the kind of gauzy coronation he seeks.

Democrats, by contrast, are mired in uncertainty. Access to their convention arena in Milwaukee is contingent on the state of the N.B.A. playoffs, and they won’t have an undisputed nominee until at least early June, while state parties scramble to rewrite rules governing delegate selection.

Even former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the likely Democratic nominee, has said “it’s hard to envision” his party’s convention taking place as planned in July. “The fact is it may have to be different,” he said during an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday night.

Both parties are finding every aspect of their national convention planning upended by the coronavirus pandemic, but the Republicans’ late-August convention slot — five weeks after the Democratic dates — and their near unanimity behind Mr. Trump have them in far greater alignment than their rivals.

“The bottom line is the show must go on,” said Justin Riemer, the counsel for the Republican National Committee. “The party is so unified and that goes all the way down — these processes start sometimes at the precinct level. Everyone is playing from the same sheet of music.”

The disparate approaches extend in some cases to the state level, most evident in Texas, where Republicans have moved their state convention to later in the summer, while Democrats last week canceled theirs and are looking into conducting a half-day virtual event instead.

Many state Republican leaders acknowledge the threat from the virus and are in the process of weighing whether to move conventions online, but Mr. Trump has so far been adamant that the national convention proceed as planned. And a campaign and party committee that faithfully follow Mr. Trump’s lead have adopted that party line, with no talk yet of canceling the event in Charlotte, N.C.

Still, throughout the pandemic, Mr. Trump has taken overly optimistic positions — like his announcement that he wanted to reopen the country for business by Easter — only to have to back down when confronted with reality, often leaving staff members scrambling to react.

Democratic officials have tried tamping down speculation about the increasing likelihood that the national convention won’t take place as planned. Seema Nanda, the party’s chief executive, recently urged state chairmen not to speak publicly about that possibility, according to multiple state party leaders who were on the call.

Mr. Biden’s comments Tuesday night, however, acknowledged the challenge of proceeding with an in-person convention. Nor are party leaders making the kind of assertive pronouncements about the political calendar the way the president is.

“When the leader of the Republican Party says this is all going to be over by Easter and there’s going to be a convention like there always is, that’s easier,” said Joe Solmonese, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention. “We are a party that actually has to deliver sobering news to people — like it’s not going to be over by Easter and there are no easy answers.”

Mr. Solmonese, a veteran of liberal politics who has led the Human Rights Campaign and Emily’s List, said he has six to eight weeks before he must make a “decision of consequence” about holding the convention.

But even the most optimistic projections are troublesome.

The D.N.C. has the legal right to use the Fiserv Forum, the home arena of the Milwaukee Bucks, during the four scheduled days of the convention, July 13 to 16. But the agreement stipulates that convention planners can’t begin retrofitting the 17,000-seat venue until after the Bucks are finished in the playoffs — which, if the N.B.A.’s season restarts, could last into mid-July. The team had the best record in the league when the season was suspended.

Past national conventions have required three to four weeks to build stages and turn arenas used for basketball and hockey into a setting made for a nationally televised political extravaganza.

“If we’re fortunate enough to host the convention and playoffs, we’ll figure out how to make it work,” said Alex Lasry, a senior Bucks official who led Milwaukee’s convention bid. “These will be two of our biggest events, so we’re going to figure it out, make them successful and put Milwaukee on the map.”

Rewriting a convention plan on the fly is far easier for a party with a presumptive nominee and no possibility of challenges on the floor, which can be pesky issues under normal circumstances. Mr. Trump’s allies on the Republican National Committee have seen to it over his three years in office that anyone who might be a dissenting voice in Charlotte — where the N.B.A. team that plays in the convention arena is far out of playoff contention — is kept away from important roles in the party or its convention.

“The 2020 Republican convention is going to be the coronation of Trump,” said Scott W. Reed, the senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who also directed preparations for the Republican convention in 1996.

Mr. Reed said he saw little downside to hosting a virtual convention, if it comes to that.

“Trump’s four most favorite political words are: never been done before,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t give a major address, but you could really focus it on the six battleground states and highlight events in those states throughout the evening.”

While Republicans have little to debate at their convention, Democrats are bracing for fights. Allies of Senator Bernie Sanders, who remains in the race despite Mr. Biden’s commanding advantage, are encouraging him to keep going to accumulate more delegates. That would enable him to influence the platform and rules discussions, debates that animated the 2016 Democratic convention.

Larry Cohen, a longtime Sanders ally who is chairman of Our Revolution, the political organization that sprung from the 2016 Sanders campaign, published an op-ed Monday in the liberal magazine In These Times warning that if Mr. Sanders drops out, his allies may not win any seats on the powerful rules and platform committees at the convention. That prospect, he wrote, could lead to the party resurrecting the power of superdelegates for the 2024 primary election, an arrangement Mr. Sanders denounced in 2016 and fought vigorously to change.

“There are a lot of people who are supporting me, and we have a strong grass-roots movement, who believe that we have got to stay in in order to continue the fight,” Mr.
Sanders said during a Monday appearance on Seth Meyers’s late-night TV show.

And while Republican convention delegates will be a who’s who of Trump supporters without meaningful opposition, a virtual Democratic convention would leave would-be Sanders delegates without much prospect of pushing the party to the left.

“How do you have a floor debate when the floor is a virtual Zoom room?” said Valdez Bravo, a 2016 Sanders delegate from Lake Oswego, Ore., who is running to become a 2020 delegate.

The contrast in approaches is on vivid display in Texas, where both party conventions convene about 9,000 delegates each, twice the number of delegates that will gather in Charlotte and Milwaukee.

But after a state executive order that limited gatherings to 10 people, among other measures, James Dickey, the Texas Republican chairman, began the process of rescheduling his party’s gathering, from May to mid-July, in hopes that virus-related restrictions will pass.

Texas Republicans have already canceled their in-person precinct and county conventions, which were to take place in March. Instead, Mr. Dickey said, party officials held a statewide “tele-town hall” and conference calls with each county chairman.

Mr. Dickey said there is no process to replace the state convention.

“There are a lot of downsides to doing anything digital, even for groups of only hundreds,” he said. “When we get to groups of thousands, it’s harder to find a vendor who can pull off an event where 15,000 people are participating.”

Last Thursday Texas Democrats came to the opposite conclusion. Gilberto Hinojosa, the party chairman, canceled the planned June 4 state convention in San Antonio after local officials forbade gatherings larger than 50 people until mid-June.

Democratic rules require state parties to assign national convention delegates by June 23, so Mr. Hinojosa did not have the option of delaying his state’s convention until public health conditions improve. He is now working to put on a half-day virtual state convention, though he said it remains unclear how it will work.

“We think we can pull it off and we think we can make it meaningful and leave the virtual convention with a full slate of delegates to the national convention and a platform that people feel good about,” Mr. Hinojosa said.

The pandemic has upended months of planning by Democrats to prepare party delegates. At least 23 Democratic state parties are planning not to hold in-person conventions, according to a memo sent on Friday to members of the party’s powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee.

In Nebraska, Jane Kleeb, the state’s Democratic chairwoman, spent the last three months on a 30-stop tour of her state to recruit and train Democrats on how to become convention delegates. Now she has been forced to scrap the first steps in the process — conventions in each of the state’s 93 counties — replacing them with a combination of conference calls and email and mail ballots.

“You put all this effort into making it accessible and welcoming to people,” she said. “Now we’re having to change everything at the last minute and do it so the party loyalists will be engaged but probably nobody else.”

Even some Republicans agreed there was something lost in the process, though the desired end point is for Mr. Trump to have his big moment in Charlotte.

“What’s missing is you can’t have the back and forth,” said Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, who decided last week that district conventions across the state would be held by paper ballot instead of in person. “Some people wanted to have a healthy debate on issues where Republicans disagree.”

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

Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-live-updates-grim-models-project-high-u-s-toll Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll United States Trump, Donald J India Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171125808_cb9bbe7b-ca26-4c22-889f-da19278ec96b-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll United States Trump, Donald J India Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Credit…Justin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

The top government scientists battling the coronavirus estimated Tuesday that the deadly pathogen could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans, in spite of the disruptive social distancing measures that have closed schools, banned large gatherings, limited travel and forced people to stay in their homes.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the coronavirus response, displayed that grim projection at the White House on Tuesday, calling it “our real number” but pledging to do everything possible to reduce those numbers even further.

The conclusions generally match those from similar models by public health researchers around the globe.

As dire as those predictions are, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx said the number of deaths could be much higher if Americans do not follow the strict guidelines to keep the virus from spreading, and they urged people to take the restrictions seriously.

President Trump, who on Sunday extended for 30 days the government’s recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus, made it clear that the data compiled by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx convinced him that the death toll would be even higher if the restrictions on work, school, travel and social life were not taken seriously by all Americans.

The data released on Tuesday was the first time that Mr. Trump’s administration has officially estimated the breadth of the threat to human life from the coronavirus, and the disease it brings, known as Covid-19. In the past several weeks, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci have resisted predicting how many people might die in the pandemic, saying that there was not enough reliable data.

That is no longer, the case, they said. As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 173,741 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories, have tested positive for the virus, according to a New York Times database. At least 3,433 patients with the virus have died.

President Trump said at his daily White House coronavirus briefing that “this is going to be a very painful, very very painful two weeks,” but that Americans will soon “start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going through a very tough few weeks,” Mr. Trump said, later raising his two weeks to three.

Striking perhaps his most somber tone on the subject to date, Mr. Trump said the virus is a “great national trial unlike any we have ever faced before,” and said it would require the “full absolute measure of our collective strength, love and devotion” in order to minimize the number of people infected.

“It’s a matter of life and death, frankly,” he said, officially calling for another month of social distancing and offering a sober assessment of the pandemic’s impact in the United States. “It’s a matter of life and death.”

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, urged Americans to follow the guidelines: No groups larger than 10, no unnecessary travel, no going to restaurants or bars.

“There’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic vaccine,” she said. “It’s just behaviors.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that social distancing measures across the nation are slowing the spread of the virus, but he made clear that the national death toll will continue to rise.

“The fifteen days that we’ve had of mitigation clearly are having an effect,” Dr. Fauci said. But, he added: “In the next several days to a week or so we are going to continue to see things go up.”

Mr. Trump, who spent weeks downplaying the threat of the virus — and who has retreated from his recent suggestion that social distancing could be scaled back in mid-April — congratulated himself for projections showing that public health measures may dramatically limit the national death toll.

“What would have happened if we did nothing? Because there was a group that said, ‘let’s just ride it out,’” Mr. Trump said, without saying what “group” he was referring to.

Mr. Trump said that as many as 2.2 million people “would have died if we did nothing, if we just carried on with our life.”

“You would have seen people dying on airplanes, you would have seen people dying in hotel lobbies. You would have seen death all over,” Mr. Trump said. By comparison, he said, a potential death toll of 100,000 “is a very low number.”

Asked how current casualty estimates might differ had Mr. Trump called for social distancing measures weeks earlier than he did, in mid-March, almost two months after the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States, Mr. Trump insisted that he had acted decisively.

“I think we’ve done a great job,” Mr. Trump said. He noted that he had cut off much foreign air travel, first from China and later from Europe.

“We were very early,” Mr. Trump said. “We were very smart because we stopped China.”

Mr. Trump barred much airborne entry from China on Feb 2. but with significant exceptions, including for American citizens. He extended the restrictions to Europe on March 12.

“We also stopped Europe that was not an easy decision either,” he said.

Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci said it was impossible to know whether earlier action would have made a substantial difference until mass testing of antibodies becomes available, which will show how many Americans were infected in February and early March, before social distancing was broadly implemented.

“We really can’t answer your question until we get antibody testing out there,” Dr. Birx said.

“If there was no virus in the background” in late winter, Dr. Fauci said, “there was nothing to mitigate.”

He added that had the virus been present at the time, then the answer is “probably yes.”

Asked about his repeated assurances to Americans in recent weeks that the virus would peter out with minimal impact, Mr. Trump insisted, as he has before, that he was trying to reassure the nation.

“I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative,” Mr. Trump said. “I want to give people in this country hope.”

“We’re going through probably the worst thing the country’s ever seen,” he added. “We lose more here potentially than you lose in world wars as a country.”

A chorus of governors from across the political spectrum is publicly challenging the Trump administration’s assertion that the United States is well-stocked and well-prepared to test people for the coronavirus and care for the sickest patients.

In New York State — the center of the nation’s outbreak, with at least 1,550 deaths — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that the country’s patchwork approach to the pandemic had made it harder to get desperately needed ventilators.

“It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in his daily news briefing.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said on Tuesday that his state was “flying blind” in the fight against the coronavirus because officials did not have enough tests. When asked during an NPR interview about President Trump’s comments suggesting that a chronic lack of test kits was no longer a problem in the United States, Mr. Hogan, a Republican, did not mince words: “Yeah, that’s just not true.”

Across the country, America’s governors are going head-to-head with the Trump administration over the need for testing supplies and ventilators. At times defying party lines, some have sparred with the president on phone calls and in public interviews. Still others have sided with the president or calculated that it would be easier to get the needs of their states met with support and praise.

“The coronavirus doesn’t distinguish between red states and blue states,” Mr. Hogan, the Republican from Maryland, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, a Democrat, said in a bipartisan op-ed, “and neither can we.”

A startlingly high number of people infected with the new coronavirus may not show symptoms, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, complicating efforts to predict the pandemic’s course and strategies to mitigate its spread.

In particular, the high level of symptom-free cases is leading the C.D.C. to consider broadening its guidelines on who should wear masks.

“This helps explain how rapidly this virus continues to spread across the country,” the director, Dr. Robert Redfield, told National Public Radio in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

The agency has repeatedly said that ordinary citizens do not need to wear masks unless they are feeling sick. But with the new data on people who may be infected without ever feeling sick, or who are transmitting the virus for a couple of days before feeling ill, Mr. Redfield said that such guidance was “being critically re-reviewed.”

Researchers do not know precisely how many people are infected without feeling ill, or if some of them are simply presymptomatic. But since the new coronavirus surfaced in December, researchers have spotted unsettling anecdotes of apparently healthy people who were unwitting spreaders.

“Patient Z,” for example, a 26-year-old man in Guangdong, China, was a close contact of a Wuhan traveler infected with the coronavirus in February. But he felt no signs of anything amiss, not on Day 7 after the contact, nor on Day 10 or 11.

Already by Day 7, though, the virus had bloomed in his nose and throat, just as copiously as in those who did become ill. Patient Z might have felt fine, but he was infected just the same.

Researchers now say that people like Patient Z are not merely anecdotes. For example, as many as 18 percent of people infected with the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship never developed symptoms, according to one analysis. A team in Hong Kong suggests that from 20 to 40 percent of transmissions in China occurred before symptoms appeared.

The high level of covert spread may help explain why the novel coronavirus is the first virus that is not an influenza virus to set off a pandemic.

Chemicals used to construct military missiles. Materials needed to build drones. Body armor for agents patrolling the southwest border. Equipment for natural disaster response.

A Korean War-era law called the Defense Production Act has been invoked hundreds of thousands of times by Mr. Trump and his administration to ensure the procurement of vital equipment, according to reports submitted to Congress and interviews with former government officials.

Yet as governors and members of Congress plead with the president to use the law to force the production of ventilators and other medical equipment to combat the pandemic, he has for weeks treated it like a last resort, to be invoked only when all else fails.

“You know, we’re a country not based on nationalizing our business,” Mr. Trump said earlier this month.

The law’s frequent use, especially by the military to give its contracts priority ratings to jump ahead of a vendor’s other clients, has prompted those most familiar with it to question why the administration has been so hesitant to tap it for a public health emergency.

“What’s more important? Building an aircraft carrier or a frigate using priority ratings or saving a hundred thousand lives using priorities for ventilators?” said Larry Hall, who retired in August as the director of the Defense Production Act program division at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Across Asia, countries and cities that seemed to have brought the epidemic under control are suddenly tightening their borders and imposing stricter containment measures, fearful about a wave of new infections imported from elsewhere.

The moves portend a worrisome sign for the United States, Europe and the rest of the world still battling a surging outbreak: Any country’s success with containment could be tenuous, and the world could remain on a kind of indefinite lockdown.

Even when the number of new cases starts to fall, travel barriers and bans in many places may persist until a vaccine or treatment is found. The risk otherwise is that the infection could be reintroduced inside their borders, especially given the prevalence of asymptomatic people who might unknowingly carry the virus with them.

Following a recent uptick in cases tied to international travelers, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan barred foreigners from entering altogether in recent days. Japan has barred visitors from most of Europe, and is considering denying entry to travelers from countries including the United States. South Korea imposed stricter controls, requiring incoming foreigners to quarantine in government facilities for 14 days upon arrival.

In China, international flights have been cut back so severely that Chinese students abroad wonder when they will be able to get home. In Singapore, recently returned citizens must share their phones’ location data with the authorities each day to prove they are sticking to government-ordered quarantines. In Taiwan, a man who had traveled to Southeast Asia was fined $33,000 for sneaking out to a club when he was supposed to be on lockdown at home.

“Even countries that have been relatively successful in managing the pandemic are only as safe as the weakest links in the system,” said Kristi Govella, an assistant professor of Asian studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, who added that in the absence of cooperation among countries, “closing borders is one of the ways that individual governments can control the situation.”

Video

transcript

Listen to the Call: Bullock and Trump Discuss Testing

Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana discussed the difficulty of getting access to coronavirus tests on a conference call with President Trump and other governors.

“Literally, we are one day away if we don’t get test kits from the C.D.C. Then we wouldn’t be able to be tested in Montana. We have gone, time and time again, to the private side of this. The private market, in where the private market is telling us that it’s a national resource that are then taking our orders apart. Basically, we’re getting our orders canceled. And that’s for PPE. That’s for testing supplies. That’s for testing equipment. So, while we’re trying to do all the contact tracing, we don’t have adequate tests to necessarily do it. We don’t have the [inaudible] along the way, and we’re not finding markets to be able to do that. Along the way are private suppliers. So we do have to rely on a national chain of distribution or we’re not going to get it. But we are doing our best to try to do exactly that. Like, Gallatin County would be an example where we have almost half of our overall state’s — those are the positives. We’re trying to shift the supply to really isolate that and do the contact tracing, but we just don’t have enough supplies to even do the testing.” “Right. Tony, uh, you can answer it if you want, but I haven’t heard about testing in weeks. We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests, and we come out with another one tomorrow where, you know, it’s almost instantaneous testing. But I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.”

Westlake Legal Group CoverImage-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll United States Trump, Donald J India Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana discussed the difficulty of getting access to coronavirus tests on a conference call with President Trump and other governors.

A day after Mr. Trump said he “hasn’t heard about testing for weeks,” suggesting that a chronic lack of test kits was no longer a problem in the U.S., the Republican governor of Maryland said his state was “flying blind” in its fight against the virus because of a lack of available tests.

Gov. Larry Hogan, speaking on CNN on Tuesday morning, said that the dearth of testing kits had left Maryland “sort of guessing about where the outbreaks are and about what the infection rate in the hospitalization rates are.”

But Mr. Hogan was careful not to blame the federal government, and said Washington had taken “great steps” to address the testing issue: “Everyone of us is in this together,” he said.

And Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, said on CNN on Tuesday that it was difficult to project when cases would peak in his state, and “part of this is driven by the fact that we don’t have widespread testing.”

“That is not unique to Ohio,” he added. “We have seen that throughout the country. That’s been a real challenge.”

Mr. Trump made his remark that he “hasn’t heard about testing in weeks” in a conference call with governors on Monday. America’s governors painted a different picture on the ground: one said that his state was “one day away” from not being able to test anyone at all.

Though the United States and South Korea both confirmed their first cases on Jan. 20, America has been much slower to ramp up testing. Last week, the United States surpassed the number of tests performed in South Korea, but the American population is more than six times larger, and Americans are much less likely to have been tested.

Mr. Hogan, who is chairman of the National Governors Association, also raised testing issues in an op-ed in The Washington Post, which he co-authored with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat of Michigan. “There simply aren’t enough test kits,” they wrote.

Ms. Whitmer and Mr. Hogan also wrote that the nation’s governors need a testing site in the nation’s capital to help identify sick federal workers and prevent them from infecting their colleagues. Many of the more than 400,000 federal workers in the region, they said, are still reporting to work every day and cannot risk infection because of their “mission critical” jobs.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, told the radio host Hugh Hewitt that lawmakers should “wait and see” whether such a measure is needed, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, has begun an aggressive push for it, saying that Congress must swiftly pass one.

Even as stocks rebounded well off their lowest point, when the S&P 500 suffered its worst one-day drop since 1987, March was the worst month for the index since October 2008, when investors feared a collapse of the economy in the wake of the global financial crisis. The S&P 500 is down about 12.5 percent this month.

On Tuesday, stocks fell nearly 2 percent.

But calmer markets do not mean the worst is over. As consumers stay home and factories shut down, millions of workers have lost their jobs. Economic data showing the scale of the damage has only just begun to roll in, and Wall Street analysts continue to downgrade expectations for the economy.

But financial markets are trying to find a footing.

“We appear to be seeing improved sentiment,” Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at INTL FCStone, a financial services and brokerage firm, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “When sentiment does start to improve around the virus and its ultimate economic impact — the market will find it difficult to ignore the size and scope of the fiscal and monetary stimulus that has been undertaken.”

Video

transcript

‘He’s My Best Friend,’ Cuomo Says of Brother With Coronavirus

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York delivered an update on the coronavirus cases in the state, where he mentioned his brother’s positive test result.

My brother Chris is positive for coronavirus — found out this morning. The, now he is going to be fine. He’s young, in good shape. Strong, not as strong as he thinks, but he will be fine. But there’s a lesson in this. He’s an essential worker, member of the press. So he’s been out there — you go out there, the chance that you’ll get infected is very high. I spoke to him this morning and he’s going to be quarantined in his basement at home. You don’t really know Chris. You know, you see Chris. He has a show at night, 9 o’clock on CNN. But you just see one dimension, right? You see a person in his job, and in his job he’s combative and he’s argumentative and he’s pushing people. But that’s his job. That’s really not who he is. He’s a really sweet, beautiful guy and he’s my best friend. My father was always working so it was always just me and Chris. And he’s a lawyer also, Chris. If my brother still had my mother at his house, again out of love and comfort, and my mother wanted to be at the house anyway, by the way — she didn’t want to be sitting at home in an apartment, so she would have been doing what she wanted to do. He would have been doing what he wanted to do, it would have seemed great and harmless, but now we’d have a much different situation.

Westlake Legal Group 31vid-Cuomo-Live-still-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll United States Trump, Donald J India Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York delivered an update on the coronavirus cases in the state, where he mentioned his brother’s positive test result.CreditCredit…Gabby Jones for The New York Times

The New York City subway has become a symbol of the city’s inequality, amplifying the divide between those with the means to safely shelter at home during the pandemic and those who must continue braving public transit to preserve meager livelihoods.

“I don’t want to get sick, I don’t want my family to get sick, but I still need to get to my job,” Yolanda Encanción, a home health aide, said recently as she waited for her train in the Bronx.

Since the crisis erupted, the subways have emptied: Ridership has plummeted to fewer than 1 million riders a day from more than five million before. But a New York Times analysis of M.T.A. data shows that the declines vary significantly — largely along socioeconomic lines.

The steepest ridership declines have been in Manhattan, where the median household income is the highest in the city. Some stations in Bronx neighborhoods with high poverty rates, though, have largely retained their ridership.

Many residents there say they have no choice but to pile onto trains with strangers, potentially exposing themselves to the virus. Even worse, a reduction in service in response to plunging ridership has led, at times, to crowded conditions, making it impossible to maintain the social distancing that public health experts recommend.

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the number of confirmed cases in New York increased by 9,298, bringing the statewide total to 75,795 statewide as of Tuesday. In New York City, 43,139 people have tested positive.

The number of patients hospitalized surpassed 10,900, up 15 percent from yesterday. Of those, 2,710 are currently in intensive care rooms with ventilators.

More than 18,000 people were tested overnight, pushing the total number of people tested to about 205,000, more than 1 percent of the state’s population.

The United States’ coronavirus death toll has moved past China’s official count, a bleak milestone hours before the Trump administration planned to release the models that fueled fears that as many as 200,000 Americans could die because of the pandemic.

Although the count from mainland China — 3,305 deaths — has been a subject of intense skepticism, and although Italy and Spain have reported more than 20,000 fatalities between them, the swelling toll in the United States is a grim indication of the outbreak’s scale.

The U.S., despite widespread concerns about the availability of testing for the virus, already had the highest known number of infections in the world, and the American toll was at least 3,430 deaths, as of late Tuesday morning.

But there are mounting concerns that some countries, including China, North Korea and Indonesia, are not being forthcoming about the scope of their outbreaks.

China on Tuesday announced more than 1,500 coronavirus cases that had not previously been made public, giving in to pressure for greater transparency nearly two weeks after officials there first announced zero new local infections.

Questions about the accuracy of China’s numbers have circulated since the start of the outbreak there, even as the country has touted its apparent success in bringing it under control. The 1,541 newly announced cases were people who had tested positive but were asymptomatic, according to an official at China’s National Health Commission.

China had not previously included asymptomatic patients in its public tallies of confirmed cases, even though the World Health Organization recommends doing so, and many within China and abroad had expressed fear about the true scale of the epidemic.

In a moment of need, ordinary Afghans have stepped up to generously share the little that they have, easing the pain of an impending health crisis that is turning into another test of survival for a country where life has been a daily fight for decades.

Across Afghanistan, many landlords have waived rent, in some cases indefinitely until the virus threat recedes. Tailors have handed out thousands of homemade face masks. Youth groups and athletes have delivered food to hospitals and families in destitution. Wedding halls and private schools have volunteered to be turned into hospitals.

The owner of a marketplace of 40 shops forgave rent not just for the month, but for as long as the epidemic continues. The governor of one province set up an emergency Covid-19 fund and in just one day received contributions of more than $100,000.

Mohamed Kareem Tawain, an 80-year-old dentist in Herat, the center of the outbreak in Afghanistan, said that he had experienced multiple wars and droughts in his lifetime, and that Afghanistan was better prepared to deal with the virus than those past scourges.

“I am not too terrified,” he said. “Although it is difficult times, if we join hands, God willing, the corona problem will pass.”

A doctor leading Russia’s fight against the virus — and who shook hands with President Vladimir V. Putin at a meeting last week — has tested positive.

Denis Protsenko, the head doctor at Hospital No. 40, Moscow’s main and most modern infectious diseases treatment facility, said on Facebook on Tuesday that he had gone into self-isolation in his office at the hospital, which Mr. Putin visited last Tuesday. He said he was feeling “quite well” and would continue working remotely.

Dr. Protsenko had greeted the president with a handshake, and neither man wore a face mask. Mr. Putin donned a protective suit and gas mask to visits wards containing virus patients, but also had extensive unprotected contact with the doctors and nurses.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, responding to news of Dr. Protsenko’s infection, said that Mr. Putin had been tested regularly for coronavirus and that “everything is OK,” the Interfax news agency reported.

Russia on Tuesday reported 500 new confirmed cases, bringing its total to 2,337, a nearly fivefold increase over a week ago, with 17 deaths.

The captain of an American aircraft carrier deployed to the Pacific Ocean has pleaded with the Pentagon for more help as a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship continues to spread, officials said Tuesday. Military officials say dozens of sailors have been infected.

In a four-page letter, first reported by The San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday, Capt. Brett E. Crozier of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt laid out the dire situation unfolding aboard the warship, currently docked in Guam with more than 4,000 crew members, and what he said were the Navy’s failures to provide him with the proper resources to combat the virus by moving sailors off the vessel.

The crisis aboard the Roosevelt played out like a slow-moving disaster and highlights the dangers to the Pentagon if the coronavirus manages to infiltrate some of its most important assets, such as bomber fleets, elite Special Operations units and the talisman of American military power, aircraft carriers.

The authorities in Kenya are investigating a string of deaths and injuries related to the enforcement of a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew, one of several wide-ranging measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus in the country.

The office of the director of public prosecutions announced on Tuesday that it had ordered an investigation into the killing of Yasin Moyo, a 13-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet and died of his injuries on Monday night as officers enforced the curfew in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital.

The inspector general of Kenya’s police force said he had asked investigators to undertake “a forensic analysis of all firearms” held by officers who were on duty in the area at time of the shooting.

The case is the latest to rock the East African nation since an overnight curfew was introduced on Friday. Hours before it began, images and videos shared on social media showed police officers firing tear gas and beating and detaining commuters at a ferry terminal in the coastal city of Mombasa. On Tuesday, the government-mandated Independent Police Oversight Authority said it would investigate the incident, along with other reports of excessive use of force by police.

The 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is among a raft of new policies aimed at halting the virus. Officials have also closed schools and universities, banned religious gatherings and suspended international flights. Kenya had 59 confirmed cases of the virus on Tuesday, and at least one death.

Police officials in Britain and elsewhere are also enforcing restrictions on movement and have sometimes been accused of overreach. There is “a strong temptation for the police to lose sight of their real functions and turn themselves from citizens in uniform into glorified school prefects,” Jonathan Sumption, a former Supreme Court judge, told the BBC on Monday.

In France, more than a quarter of a million people have been fined since restrictions on movement were announced, according to Interior Ministry figures. And in Italy, the country hardest hit by the outbreak in Europe, anyone violating quarantine rules can be fined up to 3,000 euros, about $3,300.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont share a number of priorities regarding the outbreak.

Both have been sharply critical of Mr. Trump’s stewardship of the crisis. They have called on him to move to accelerate the production of critical medical gear for health care workers. They have urged him to listen to expert advice from scientists. And they have also expressed concerns about the economic impact of the outbreak, with both seeking housing-related protections for the public.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders have both urged a moratorium on evictions and support temporary rent freezes.

There are also key differences between how they have navigated the crisis.

For Mr. Sanders, the outbreak has offered another reason to push for his signature single-payer health care proposal, “Medicare for all,” which Mr. Biden opposes. Mr. Sanders argues that the moment has revealed extraordinary weaknesses in the American public health system and underscored the need for universal health care.

Mr. Biden, who supports building on the Affordable Care Act with the addition of a public option, has sought to use the crisis to illustrate how he would govern as president, rolling out a public health advisory committee and spending hours receiving briefings focused on the virus and on the economy.

Yet despite ramping up his news media appearances and virtual events, Mr. Biden — the front-runner for the Democratic nomination — has sometimes found himself struggling to break through.

Experts keep saying to plan for this to last for a long time. And with many communities a week or more into being homebound, the novelty is wearing off. Here are some tips to help fight burnout, manage antsy teenagers, and even freshen up a home to make it better suit current needs.

Reporting and research were contributed by Michael Cooper, Alan Blinder, Apoorva Mandavilli, Karen Zraick, Michael D. Shear, James Glanz, David D. Kirkpatrick, Corina Knoll, Caitlin Dickerson, Elisabetta Povoledo, Mujib Mashal, Asadullah Timory, Najim Rahim, Aurelien Breeden, Constant Méheut, Selam Gebrekidan, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Joanna Berendt, Benjamin Novak, Sarah Mervosh, Katie Rogers, Raphael Minder, Elian Peltier, Steven Erlanger, Iliana Magra, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Anna Schaverien, Maria Abi-Habib, Sameer Yasir, Raymond Zhong, Knvul Sheikh, Melissa Eddy, Choe Sang-Hun, Abdi Latif Dahir, Michael M. Grynbaum, Andy Newman, Katie Glueck, Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Andrew Higgins, Adeel Hassan and Richard C. Paddock.

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Trump’s Virus Defense Is Often an Attack, and the Target Is Often a Woman

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-trump-women-facebookJumbo Trump’s Virus Defense Is Often an Attack, and the Target Is Often a Woman Women and Girls Whitmer, Gretchen United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pelosi, Nancy Barra, Mary T Alcindor, Yamiche

WASHINGTON — As he confronts a pandemic, President Trump’s attention has also been directed at a more familiar foe: those he feels are challenging him, and particularly women.

“Always a mess with Mary B.,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week, attacking the female chief executive of General Motors, Mary T. Barra, as he accused the company of dragging its feet on producing ventilators. “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” he wrote, “this” G.M. apparently referring to the one led by the first female chief executive of an American auto manufacturer.

At least he mentioned Ms. Barra by name. When it came to Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s Democratic governor, who delivered her party’s official response to his State of the Union address earlier this year and has been pushing for a national emergency declaration in her state, Mr. Trump did not acknowledge her by name.

“We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor,” he said in an interview last week with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host. “You know who I’m talking about, from Michigan.” The president dismissed Ms. Whitmer, who has been pressing the federal government to provide more medical equipment to her state, noting that she was a new governor and it had “not been pleasant.”

In a tweet, he later referred to her as “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer,” saying “she doesn’t have a clue.”

Ms. Whitmer, whom White House officials have privately criticized for showing her inexperience on the group conference calls with the president, has been relatively measured in her public criticisms of Mr. Trump.

In interviews, she said Michigan was not receiving “clear directives and guidance” from Washington, and that the federal government told her that if the state needed supplies, “we needed to go it ourselves.” On the calls, officials said, she has been corrected by Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about what waivers she had already been granted by the federal government.

At his news conference on Friday, Mr. Trump said he had directed Vice President Mike Pence to cut off communication with Ms. Whitmer, again without using her name. He said he told Mr. Pence, “‘Don’t call the woman in Michigan,’” Mr. Trump said at his news conference. “I say, if they don’t treat you right, don’t call.”

But Tiffany Brown, Ms. Whitmer’s spokeswoman, said the governor was committed to maintaining a functional relationship with the federal government — even if that no longer included Mr. Trump. “Governor Whitmer has and will continue to have conversations with the Vice President and the head of FEMA,” Ms. Brown said in a statement.

As Mr. Trump has had to reverse himself on his overly upbeat assessments of how quickly he could reopen the country for business, he has also increasingly targeted some of his regular foils.

On Monday morning, in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” he referred to Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a “sick puppy” after she had appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said the president’s early denials about the dangers of the coronavirus carried “deadly” consequences.

“As the president fiddles, people are dying,” Ms. Pelosi said.

In an interview on Monday, she rolled her eyes at his attack. “Every knock from him is a boost for me, quite frankly, so I don’t care what he says,” she said.

And at his Sunday evening news conference, Mr. Trump snapped at Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS NewsHour correspondent whom he has criticized publicly in the past, for asking him to defend his own statements about governors making requests for medical equipment like ventilators that he believes they do not actually need.

“Let me tell you something,” Mr. Trump said, after denying he made statements that he had, in fact, made. “Be nice. Don’t be threatening. Don’t be threatening. Be nice.”

Ms. Alcindor tweeted in response that she was “not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Democrats, who said Mr. Trump’s pattern of singling out women for critiques ultimately takes a toll on him politically with female voters, even as it energizes some members of his base.

“Women see this and they’ve all been on the receiving end at some point in their lives,” said Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood and a founder of Supermajority, a new women’s advocacy group. “When you actually poll women who did vote for him, they did it with enormous hesitation because of his bullying attitude towards women and his vulgar attitudes.”

Women who work for Mr. Trump have long defended the president’s treatment of women by noting that he is an equal opportunity counterpuncher, someone whose gut reaction to being insulted by anyone is to respond in kind. And the women closest to him, like his daughter Ivanka Trump or his former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, now the White House counselor, have often pointed to their own experiences when pressed on Mr. Trump’s history of sexist attacks.

“I speak for many women who have and do work for him,” Ms. Conway said on Monday. “We are on equal footing with our male colleagues, even though some of those male colleagues have not always agreed. I feel empowered, respected and engaged.”

As for Mr. Trump’s recent attacks on women, Ms. Conway said the president responded when under attack “without regard to the immutable characteristics that seem to obsess so many who should otherwise put their full force and energy into Covid-19.”

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, added that “women rightfully fought for equal treatment for years, and there should not be special rules applied to what constitutes equal treatment.” She noted that she found it “funny how I never get these inquiries from men.”

In fact, the insults are hardly specific to gender. In the briefing room earlier this month, the president also pounced on Peter Alexander, a correspondent for NBC News, calling him a “terrible reporter,” and accusing him of asking a “nasty question” when Mr. Alexander asked the president to deliver his message to a fearful country. He has described Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington as a “nasty person” and a “snake” for criticizing the administration’s response to the virus.

But his attacks on women even as the country together faces a pandemic have stood out, in part because they recall his dismissal of his 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as a “nasty woman,” and of many powerful women who have challenged him since.

“They’re all appalling,” Jess McIntosh, a Democratic strategist, said of Mr. Trump’s personal attacks on men and women alike. “The difference is that it’s easier to name the women he doesn’t attack. And the attacks become much faster and meaner when he himself is facing some kind of pressure and he lashes out at who he perceives to be the weakest person in the room.”

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Behind Trump’s Reversal on Reopening the Country: 2 Sets of Numbers

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-trump-virus1-facebookJumbo Behind Trump’s Reversal on Reopening the Country: 2 Sets of Numbers United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Shutdowns (Institutional) Layoffs and Job Reductions Epidemics Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WASHINGTON — The numbers the health officials showed President Trump were overwhelming. With the peak of the coronavirus pandemic still weeks away, he was told, hundreds of thousands of Americans could face death if the country reopened too soon.

But there was another set of numbers that also helped persuade Mr. Trump to shift gears on Sunday and abandon his goal of restoring normal life by Easter. Political advisers described for him polling that showed that voters overwhelmingly preferred to keep containment measures in place over sending people back to work prematurely.

Those two realities — the dire threat to the country and the caution of the American public — proved decisive at a critical juncture in the response to the pandemic, his advisers said. The first of those two realities, the deadly arc of the virus, has been known for weeks even if disregarded by the president when he set his Easter target. But the second of the two upended Mr. Trump’s assumptions about the politics of the situation and restrained, for a moment at least, his eagerness to get back to business as usual.

The president’s reversal may prove to be an important pivot point in the effort to curb the pandemic, one that in the view of public health officials averted a greater catastrophe. Mr. Trump’s abrupt change of heart reflected a volatile president who has veered from one message to another, at points equating the virus to ordinary flu that will “miraculously” go away and at others declaring it an all-out war endangering the country.

His move came as additional governors took action to stop the spread of the virus. With new orders on Monday from the governors of Arizona, Maryland and Virginia, as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia, more than half of the 50 states and three out of four Americans are or will soon be under the directive to remain at home.

They took that action as the number of cases in New York climbed past 66,500 and the number of deaths surpassed 1,200, by far the most of any state. Layoffs continued apace, with Macy’s announcing it would furlough a “majority” of its 125,000 workers. Gap said it would do the same for 80,000 store employees in the United States and Canada.

In the past two days, Mr. Trump has dispensed with the assertion that the cure could be worse than the disease and circled back closer to the tenor of the warnings he has gotten from health advisers. Rather than lift the restrictions he had outlined by April 12, he extended them to April 30 and said on Monday that they “may be even toughened up a little bit,” although a national stay-at-home order like those in New York and California was “pretty unlikely, I would think, at this time.”

At Monday’s briefing, Mr. Trump recycled his line from a couple of weeks ago putting the virus ahead of the economy among his concerns. “The economy is No. 2 on my list,” he said. “First, I want to save a lot of lives.”

Indeed, he again accentuated the starkest projections given to him by public health officials, noting that more than two million Americans could have died in the absence of any measure, perhaps to set expectations so that any eventual death toll below that can be cast as a victory.

But advisers said he was struck by the political surveying that indicated that the public wanted the restrictions to continue long enough to beat back the virus for fear that letting up too soon would simply reinvigorate the outbreak.


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“There’s an acknowledgment that there’s no getting ‘back to normal’ if the virus is still a threat,” said Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster. “And for the most part, we are seeing people supportive of leaders at the state and federal level, even if there is frustration about an initially slow response. However, if there’s a rush to reopen, the virus surges and people feel like the sacrifices they’ve made so far have been for naught, I can see that changing.”

In a survey conducted by John and Jim McLaughlin, who were pollsters for Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign, 52 percent of Americans preferred a full national shutdown requiring everyone other than those deemed essential to stay at home as opposed to 38 percent who favored universal testing and isolating only those demonstrated to be infected with the virus.

In a piece on Newsmax, the conservative website run by a friend of the president’s, that appeared the day before Mr. Trump’s reversal, the McLaughlins wrote that the sentiment for a national shutdown prevailed in every region of the country and even among those who said they could not afford to be out of work for a month or less.

A survey released by the Pew Research Center on Monday showed that roughly nine in 10 Americans believe that restrictions on international travel, cancellation of sporting and entertainment events, school closures and limits on gatherings of 10 or more people were necessary responses to the pandemic.

“One of the things that the discourse needs to help the country move forward is what are the dynamics that get you to that transition point to begin to re-engage the economy at that scale,” said David Winston, another Republican pollster. “What you’re seeing at a policy level, at a political level and at an individual level is trying to understand what all those elements are.”

The president’s swerving messages came during a period when he had no fully installed White House chief of staff to guide him and run his operation. He fired Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, on March 6 and named Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a close Republican ally, to replace him. But Mr. Meadows waited more than three weeks to actually resign his House seat, making it official only at 5 p.m. Monday, and will formally start his new job on Tuesday.

In the interim, Mr. Meadows has been spotted in the West Wing and has attended meetings, but he has only begun to assemble his team, and many holdovers in the White House are nervous about job security as they try to focus on the virus. Michael McKenna, the deputy legislative director, resigned under pressure last week after being accused of making an offensive statement in what some saw as a precursor to a broader shake-up.

Mr. Meadows will bring with him Ben Williamson, his congressional chief of staff, and John C. Fleming, an assistant commerce secretary and Republican former congressman from Louisiana, both of whom will serve him as senior advisers. Other new hires are expected to follow.

Mr. Trump often whipsaws back and forth as aides compete for his ear and offer conflicting advice. The president’s Easter target for reopening came after some of his advisers expressed concern about the devastating effects on the economy wreaked by the widespread closures and urged him to consider making changes to the social distancing measures.

The president’s complaint about the cure and his aspiration to pack the churches by Easter followed.

But then came troubling images from around the country, and especially New York City, where Elmhurst Hospital Center, near his childhood home in Queens, was overwhelmed with patients and where temporary hospital tents were being erected in Central Park. The images were on television and in The New York Post, which he still reads every day. As in 2017, when Mr. Trump was moved to order a surgical airstrike on Syria after seeing horrifying footage of a lethal gas attack, the images helped get him to a new place, officials said.

Mr. Trump also said he now knew people who had been hospitalized because of the coronavirus, without naming them, and seemed almost shocked that his own associates had been affected. “In one case, he’s unconscious in a coma and you say: How did that happen?” Mr. Trump said on Monday.

The larger picture fell to the public health advisers, who provided Mr. Trump with a grim prognosis in a meeting on Sunday before his announcement extending social distancing guidelines. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House response coordinator, showed the president models of how many people across the country could be affected if more stringent measures were not maintained.

“He looked at them, he understood them, and he shook his head and said, ‘I guess we got to do it,’” Dr. Fauci said on CNN on Monday. That meeting appeared to resonate with Mr. Trump, officials said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close adviser to the president, also said soon before Mr. Trump reversed course that he was counseling the president to look at the arc of the virus. Mr. Graham said the president needed to be focused on a defensive approach to the virus in the spring, taking measures such as the ones he ultimately favored, to be prepared to combat a resurgence in the fall.

Even so, Mr. Trump has continued to paint a rosy picture about the government’s response in the face of widespread criticism. During a conference call with governors on Monday, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, who briefly ran for the Democratic nomination to challenge Mr. Trump this fall, asked the president about the lack of availability of testing for those who had contact with infected Americans.

“I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,” Mr. Trump insisted, according to an audiotape of the call provided to The New York Times. He added, “We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’re coming out with a faster one this week.” And he concluded, “I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.”

During his briefing for reporters later in the day, Mr. Trump characterized the governors as praising him. “I think for the most part they were saying thank you for doing a great job,” he said.

Some Republicans saw a virtue in Mr. Trump’s reversal on reopening the country because of his credibility with his own base, which polls have shown to be somewhat less alarmed about the virus than Democrats.

“Because President Trump initially seemed anxious to open up the economy, his position delaying that should resonate with his base of voters,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster. “It will probably have the impact of making those who want it opened sooner a little more patient.”

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Jonathan Martin contributed reporting from Washington.

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Inside G.M.’s Race to Build Ventilators Before Trump’s Attack

Westlake Legal Group 29virus-motors2-facebookJumbo Inside G.M.’s Race to Build Ventilators Before Trump’s Attack Ventilators (Medical) Ventec Life Systems Trump, Donald J General Motors Factories and Manufacturing Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

While much of the U.S. economy has ground to a halt because of the coronavirus outbreak, several dozen workers in orange vests and hard hats were hauling heavy equipment on Sunday at a General Motors plant in Kokomo, Ind.

The crew was part of a crash effort to make tens of thousands of ventilators, the lifesaving machines that keep critically ill patients breathing. The machines are in desperate demand as hospitals face the prospect of dire shortages. New York State alone may need 30,000 or more.

President Trump on Friday accused G.M. and its chief executive, Mary T. Barra, of dragging their feet on the project and directed his administration to force the company to make ventilators under a 1950s law. But accounts from five people with knowledge of the automaker’s plans depict an attempt by G.M. and its partner, Ventec Life Systems, a small maker of ventilators, to accelerate production of the devices.

With deaths surging as cases snowball, the two companies have moved urgently to find parts, place orders and deploy workers, the people said. Tasks that normally would take weeks or months have been completed in days. The companies expect production to begin in three weeks and the first ventilators to ship before the end of April.

On March 19, G.M. began collaborating with Ventec, which normally makes about 200 machines a month, to figure out how to make about 10 times as many in that time. Working through the weekend of March 21 and 22, they hurried to find new suppliers that could provide parts in high volumes, said the five people, who asked not to be named because they fear it would further antagonize Mr. Trump.

Over the weekend, G.M. called in workers to clear out the Kokomo plant, which has been idled because of the outbreak, of machinery previously used to make electrical components for cars. Over the next few days, the automaker and Ventec plan to begin setting up an assembly line. G.M. is already taking applications for the hundreds of jobs. “We continue to work around the clock on our efforts with Ventec,” G.M. said in a statement on Sunday night. “We are working as fast as we can to begin production in Kokomo.”

“I’m pretty amazed at what they’ve done,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “But automotive production involves a massive supply chain, and G.M. has risen to the occasion on other big manufacturing challenges.”


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Mr. Trump does not see it that way. On Friday, he said on Twitter that Ms. Barra and G.M. had promised to provide 40,000 ventilators “very quickly” but was now telling the administration that it could produce only 6,000 by late April and wanted “top dollar” for the machines. “Always a mess with Mary B,” he said.

G.M. wasn’t negotiating price and other details with the government. Ventec has led the talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services about how many ventilators the government would like to buy, and at what price. The automaker has said it will not make a profit on the ventilators it assembles and is only seeking to cover its costs.

G.M.’s involvement in ventilators began with a phone call asking for help.

This month, Ms. Barra was contacted by a representative of Stop the Spread, a nonprofit campaign started by Rachel Romer Carlson, the chief executive of Guild Education, and Kenneth I. Chenault, the chairman and managing director at the venture capital firm General Catalyst and a former chief executive and chairman of American Express, four people familiar with the discussion said.

The two wrote an opinion essay on March 18 in The New York Times calling on corporate executives to join the fight against the pandemic. Some 1,500 corporate executives have signed a letter pledging to help in response to their plea.

The four people familiar with the call said that Ms. Barra offered to help and the representative from Stop the Spread suggested the company ought to use its manufacturing and purchasing might to help Ventec scale up ventilator production.

Ventec isn’t a giant in the ventilator industry, but it is known for its VOCSN model, which received F.D.A. approval in 2017. The VOCSN, which is the size of a large toaster oven, combines a number of functions that had previously been performed by several machines to pump air into the lungs, suction out secretions and produce oxygen when a central oxygen line is not available. The device is used in critical-care hospital units but also can be used for home care.

Around the time of the call, G.M., Ford and Fiat Chrysler were grappling with whether to keep their plants running. The United Auto Workers union was putting pressure on the companies to do more to protect workers. The day after Ms. Barra spoke to Stop the Spread, G.M. and the other two large U.S. automakers said they would shut down plants to until at least March 30.

The following day, Phil Kienle, G.M.’s head of manufacturing for North America, and a few other executives flew to Ventec’s headquarters in Bothell, Wash. Early on Friday, March 20, the G.M. team sat down with Ventec executives to learn how the ventilators are made, and what parts are required. Ventec had already started a push to ramp up production to 1,000 a month. The group concluded that with G.M.’s resources, 20,000 a month would be possible, four people familiar with the talks said.

The next day, G.M. emailed its suppliers specifications of Ventec parts, asking if any could produce them in high volumes. Mr. Kienle’s team quickly zeroed in on Kokomo as a location to assemble the machines, a person familiar with the matter said. The plant, unlike much grittier car assembly factories, has the type of clean room needed for making medical devices.

On the evening of Sunday, March 22, G.M.’s purchasing chief, Shilpan Amin, emailed Ms. Barr and other top executives to let them know that the company and Ventec had secured commitments from suppliers to produce 95 percent of the needed parts, according to three people familiar with the email.

By last Tuesday, G.M. and Ventec had the details of their collaboration hammered out, which they discussed publicly early in the week. G.M. would operate as a contract manufacturer for Ventec, which would sell and distribute the machines. Ventec also plans to increase production at its plant in Washington State and has already begun hiring 1,000 additional workers.

As talks progressed, coronavirus cases were soaring in New York City, and climbing as well in Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and elsewhere. In a news conference, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York complained that the federal government had provided only 400 ventilators to the state. “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators,” Mr. Cuomo said last Tuesday.

Two days later, Mr. Trump disputed the governor’s numbers while calling in to Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Mr. Trump said. “You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators.”

The federal government hasn’t indicated how many machines the ventilator makers, including G.M. and Ventec, ought to produce, two people familiar with the talks said. Ventec never received a confirmation from the government about which machine it was interested in acquiring, how many it wanted and how much it was willing to spend.

At the same time, administration officials told The Times that they were struggling to understand how many ventilators the two companies could produce. On Wednesday afternoon, FEMA told the White House that it needed more time to assess offers for ventilators

When Mr. Trump lashed out at G.M. on Friday, executives at both companies were stunned. G.M. executives were furious Mr. Trump would attack the company after it had made so much progress in a week and the administration had earlier been supportive of their effort. (The president on Friday also took aim at Ford Motor, writing, “FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!” Ford is helping General Electric’s health care division increase production of its ventilators.)

“What we’ve accomplished in five days is incredible,” Larryson Foltran, who works in a technology support group at G.M., wrote on Facebook, noting he had been working 14 to 18 hours a day. He said that the president’s posts had bothered him “on a deeper level.”

Ultimately, G.M. and Ventec executives decided that they would offer no direct response to the president because responding would only invite more criticism from the White House, two people familiar with those discussions said.

Even if the federal government ultimately declines to buy the machines Ventec and G.M. make, the companies are moving ahead because they know there will be other customers around the country, and across the world, four people familiar with their plans said.

But Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts appear to have unnerved other corporate leaders. A person involved in the Stop the Spread campaign said that several corporate executives who had been willing to contribute to the effort earlier had backed away for fear of ending up becoming targets for Mr. Trump as Ms. Barra had.

At a White House news conference on Sunday, the president struck a different tone. “General Motors is doing a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t think we have to worry about General Motors now.”

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Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Through End of April

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-virus-trump1-facebookJumbo Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Through End of April Ventilators (Medical) United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Shutdowns (Institutional) Protective Clothing and Gear Medical Devices Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WASHINGTON — President Trump retreated Sunday from his desire to relax coronavirus guidelines by Easter, announcing instead that all Americans must continue to avoid nonessential travel, going to work, eating at bars and restaurants, or gathering in groups of more than 10 for at least another month and perhaps until June.

The grim recommendation, which the president made in the White House Rose Garden, came just a day before the end of a two-week period in which the world’s largest economy has largely shut down with staggering consequences: businesses shuttered, schools and colleges emptied, and social life all but suspended.

Mr. Trump said repeatedly last week that he wanted to reverse such drastic measures soon, perhaps by Easter, on April 12, in the hopes of restarting the economy. But public health experts — including the president’s own advisers — had warned that trying to return to normal life too quickly risked allowing the virus to rage, increasing the likelihood of more infections and raising the number of deaths.

The president finally appeared on Sunday to acknowledge the possibility of deaths on a large scale and back down from weeks of insisting that the threat from the virus might be overblown. In the past month, Mr. Trump has vacillated between accepting the need for aggressive action to limit the pandemic and complaining that such moves will harm the economy.

But on Sunday, his mood seemed somber as he conceded the need for another month of collective pain. Citing figures from his advisers that showed that as many as 200,000 people could die from the virus even if the country took aggressive action to slow its spread, Mr. Trump said the restrictions must continue, even if it meant more sacrifice in the days ahead.

“During this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines. Have to follow the guidelines,” Mr. Trump told reporters, with members of the government’s coronavirus task force nearby. “Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30 to slow the spread.”

“We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery,” Mr. Trump said. “We think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening.”

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he and other public health officials had urged Mr. Trump not to relax the guidelines too soon. Dr. Fauci — who in television appearances earlier in the day had offered the estimate of 200,000 dead — said Mr. Trump was affected by those predictions.

“The idea that we may have these many cases played a role in our decision in trying to make sure that we don’t do something prematurely and pull back when we should be pushing,” Dr. Fauci said. He said extending the guidelines until April 30 was a “wise and prudent decision” that Mr. Trump reached after discussions over several days with Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the coordinator of the effort to fight the virus, and other health officials.

“Dr. Birx and I spent a considerable amount of time going over all the data, why we felt this was a best choice for us, and the president accepted it,” Dr. Fauci said.


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Aides said that Mr. Trump was muted during the task force meeting before Sunday’s news conference, his mind almost entirely made up to extend the guidelines. One adviser said the president recognized that the data about the potential impact of the virus in the United States was bad, and could not be bent to his will.

For weeks, Mr. Trump had compared the coronavirus to the flu, repeatedly suggesting that many more people die of the flu each year than would succumb to the virus. But on Sunday, he repeatedly cited predictions that up to 2.2 million Americans could die from the virus if nothing were done to stop its spread. He talked about “the viciousness” of the virus and revealed that it had sent a friend to the hospital.

“He’s a little older and he’s heavy. But he’s a tough person, and we went to the hospital and a day later he’s in a coma,” Mr. Trump said. “How is he doing? ‘Sir, he’s in a coma. He’s unconscious. He’s not doing well.’ The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it is horrible.”

The president also expressed horror at the grim scenes playing out at the hospitals in New York City, where he spent much of his adult life. He cited the situation at Elmhurst Hospital Center — “I know it very well,” he said — which has been inundated in recent days with people ill from the virus.

“I’ve been watching that for the last week on television, body bags all over in hallways,” Mr. Trump said. “I have been watching them bringing in trailer trucks, freezer trucks because they can’t handle the bodies. There are so many of them. This is in essentially my community in Queens, New York. I have seen things that I have never seen before.”

The president’s turnabout came as state and local officials across the country confronted rapidly rising numbers of infections that threatened to overwhelm their hospitals amid shortages of protective equipment and fears that there would not be enough doctors and nurses to tend to those who get sick.

Several of the nation’s governors said on Sunday that they anticipated surges of cases during the next several weeks, and they urged their residents to continue to follow social distancing guidelines that would slow the spread of the pandemic.

“If we don’t flatten the curve, we’re on a trajectory currently to exceed our capacity in the New Orleans area for ventilators by about April the 4th, and all beds available in hospitals by about April the 10th,” Gov. John Bel Edwards, Democrat of Louisiana, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday morning. “So we’re doing everything we can to surge capacity. It’s very difficult.”

Gov. Jay Inslee, Democrat of Washington, who has frequently clashed with Mr. Trump, said before the president’s announcement that his state would not be ready to lift social distancing guidelines any time soon.

“Boy, I would not want to be responsible for opening the door to this virus to ravage our places that seem OK today, but, within 10 weeks, within 10 days, can be at full-scale burning through our hospital system,” Mr. Inslee said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “And we have seen this happen. We have got to be ahead of this curve.”

Over the last several days, Mr. Trump has lashed out at the governors, suggesting that some of them do not appreciate the help that they are getting from him and from others in the federal government.

Mr. Edwards and several other governors largely steered clear of responding to those criticisms by Mr. Trump. Instead, several of them stressed that they were working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies even as they pleaded for more help getting ventilators, surgical masks and other medical equipment they need.

“You know, I don’t have energy to respond to every slight,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat of Michigan, said on “State of the Union.” “What I’m trying to do is work well with the federal government. And I will tell you this. There are people from the White House on down who are working 24/7, just like we are at the states. We’re all stressed, because we have people that are dying right now.”

Still, on Sunday, Mr. Trump repeated a complaint that Democratic governors had insulted him and said he would delegate calls with those officials to other people in the White House.

“I don’t have to call because I’m probably better off not,” Mr. Trump said, describing Mr. Inslee as “a nasty person” and raising his failed candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I don’t like the governor of Washington, so you know who calls? I get Mike Pence to call. I get the head of FEMA to call. I get the admiral to call.”

“Because when they disrespect me, they’re disrespecting our government,” he said.

And Mr. Trump once again targeted officials in New York for scorn, appearing to suggest that New York hospitals are hoarding — or doing something else improper — with protective gear like their surgical masks. He said that he did not believe they really need the increases in protective equipment they claim are necessary to protect doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients.

Mr. Trump said he was told that demand for masks at a New York hospital jumped from 10,000 to 20,000 per week before the virus arrived to nearly 300,000 a week now.

“Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going — are they going out the back door?” Mr. Trump said. “Somebody should probably look into that because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible to go from that to that, and we have that happening in numerous places.”

The president seemed to be suggesting that New York hospitals were lying about how many masks they needed. Mr. Trump said he was given the information about the increased demand for masks at the hospital from an executive of a company that makes them who was sitting in the audience.

In fact, hospitals throughout the country have said the surge in coronavirus patients requires that doctors and nurses change masks repeatedly throughout the day to protect themselves from getting infected. That has created a huge shortage of masks.

Mr. Trump again clashed with reporters, chiding Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS reporter, and later Jeremy Diamond, a CNN reporter, who made a point of giving his question to Ms. Alcindor, whom the president cut off earlier in the news conference. He instructed Ms. Alcindor to be nice and not “threatening,” while Mr. Diamond’s question prompted him to declare: “CNN is not trusted anymore. They are fake news.”

Before facing reporters, he attacked the “the Lamestream Media” on Twitter, even as he repeatedly trumpeted the high ratings for his coronavirus briefings, which have rivaled “Monday Night Football” and the season finale of “The Bachelor.”

Mr. Trump also denied on Sunday that he had threatened to quarantine New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday, despite suggesting 24 hours earlier that he was seriously considering doing just that.

“I didn’t do that at all. Read the statement. Read the statement. Read what I said,” Mr. Trump told a reporter. “I said we’re going to look into possibly quarantine. I didn’t say we’re going to quarantine. I looked at it as a possibility, because a lot of our professionals suggested quarantine. I said we’re going to look at it.”

The president’s musings about a ban on travel in and out of New York and the other states prompted hours of confusion and some fear as residents of the three states considered rushing to leave before the quarantine was put in place. On Saturday evening, Mr. Trump announced a travel advisory urging people against nonessential travel but stopping short of a quarantine.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Drops Idea of Quarantining New York Region

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-live-updates-trump-drops-idea-of-quarantining-new-york-region Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Drops Idea of Quarantining New York Region United States Trump, Donald J States (US) Quarantines New York Metropolitan Area Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_170707848_de9dc828-5121-4c92-a877-5c19241db60d-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Drops Idea of Quarantining New York Region United States Trump, Donald J States (US) Quarantines New York Metropolitan Area Deaths (Fatalities) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit…Johnny Milano for The New York Times

As the deadly coronavirus spread across the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels.

The three federal health ag​​​encies responsible for detecting and combating ​pandemic threats failed to prepare quickly enough, a Times investigation found. Even as scientists looked at China and sounded alarms, none of the agencies’ directors conveyed the urgency required to spur a no-holds-barred defense, according to interviews with more than 50 current and former public health officials, administration officials, senior scientists and company executives.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trusted the agency’s veteran scientists to develop a test for the coronavirus. But when test turned out to have a flaw, it took the C.D.C. much of February to settle on a solution. In the meantime, the virus was spreading undetected.

Dr. Stephen Hahn​, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, was supposed to help build national testing capacity by approving diagnostic tests developed by the private sector. Yet he enforced regulations that paradoxically made it tougher for hospitals and laboratories to deploy ​such tests in an emergency.

Alex ​M. ​Azar​ II​, ​the health and human services commissioner, oversaw the ​two other agencies and coordinated the government’s public health response to the pandemic. ​Yet he ​did not manage to push the C​.​D​.​C​.​ or F​.​D​.​A​.​ to speed up or change course.

Together, the challenges resulted in a lost month, when the United States squandered its best chance of containing the coronavirus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe.

President Trump said Saturday night that he will not impose a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut but would instead issue a “strong” travel advisory to be implemented by the governors of the three states.

Mr. Trump made the announcement on Twitter just hours after telling reporters that he was considering a quarantine of the three states in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus to Florida and other states.

Later Saturday night, the C.D.C. issued a formal advisory urging the residents of the three states to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” The advisory, which was posted to the agency’s website and its Twitter account, does not apply to “employees of critical infrastructure industries,” the agency said. That includes trucking, public health professionals, financial services and food supply workers.

Mr. Trump, when he said he was considering a quarantine for the region, offered no details about how his administration would enforce it. Speaking to CNN, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York criticized the idea, calling it “a declaration of war on states.”

He also questioned the logistical challenges, as well as the message, such an order would present. “If you start walling off areas all across the country it would just be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, antisocial,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s public airing of his deliberations came one day after he signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package and as cases in the tristate area continued to climb. The specter of a federal quarantine followed a wave of governors who, fearful about the virus spreading further through their states, ordered people who had traveled from New York to isolate themselves for two weeks after their arrivals.

Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said Friday that state troopers would begin stopping drivers with New York license plates so that National Guard officials could collect contact information and inform anyone coming from the state that they were subject to a mandatory, 14-day quarantine.

Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina are among the other states that have ordered people arriving from New York to self-quarantine. In Texas, for instance, the authorities said Friday that Department of Public Safety agents would make surprise visits to see whether travelers were adhering to the state’s mandate, and they warned that violators could be fined $1,000 and jailed for 180 days.

Mr. Lamont, the Connecticut governor, this week urged all travelers from New York City to self-quarantine for two weeks upon entering the state, but he stopped short of issuing an order requiring it.

An infant who tested positive for the coronavirus has died in Chicago, the authorities said on Saturday. It was the first known death of a child younger than a year old with the virus in the United States, although the authorities in some states do not release details about people who die.

Newborns and babies have so far seemed to be largely unaffected by the coronavirus, but three new studies suggest that the virus may reach the fetus in utero.

“There has never before been a death associated with Covid-19 in an infant,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death.” Older adults, especially those in their 80s and 90s, have been viewed as the most vulnerable in the outbreak, but younger people have also died.

By Saturday night, deaths in the United States had surpassed 2,000, at least 50 of them in Illinois. More than 3,500 known cases of the virus have been identified in Illinois.

Italy and Spain, which have the world’s highest coronavirus death tolls, have reported grim new daily totals: 889 deaths over 24 hours in Italy, and 832 in Spain.

The swelling figures brought the fatality counts in the two countries to about 15,000 — more than half of the deaths reported worldwide.

“We have to reduce to the maximum this mortality,” Fernando Simón, the director of Spain’s national health emergency center, said.

But the health system in Spain, where the government on Saturday further tightened restrictions on movement, is under strain. Dr. Simón warned that some intensive care units had reached “the limit,” while others were approaching their capacities. In the Madrid region, a hub of Spain’s outbreak, about 1,400 patients are now in intensive care units.

The surge in deaths was particularly unsettling in Italy, where it had seemed the fatality rate had begun to slow. More encouragingly to public health experts, Italy and Spain have both reported signs that new infections are becoming fewer, although those rates could wobble as the outbreaks progress.

“We are reaching the peak of this curve that worries us so much,” Dr. Simón said. “In some areas of the country we have probably already passed it,” he added.

Hopes have been more muted in Italy, where the head of the national health institute, Silvio Brusaferro, suggested the country’s outbreak “could peak in the next few days.”

Even so, he said, “We can’t delude ourselves that a slowing down of the diffusion will allow us to slow down social distancing.”

The scale of the outbreak in Italy has unnerved people in France, where President Emmanuel Macron offered a fresh defense of a government response that some have deemed insufficient.

“We have absolutely not ignored these signs,” Mr. Macron said in an interview with three Italian newspapers. “I dealt with this crisis with seriousness from the beginning, when it started in China.”

France has reported 37,575 cases and 2,314 deaths, a one-day increase of 319.

“It’s an unprecedented health crisis in at least a century,” the French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, said on Saturday afternoon. “As I speak, almost half of humanity is under lockdown, it’s literally extraordinary.”

Here is how some other countries are responding to the virus:

  • Russia will close its borders starting on March 30, a government order published on Saturday said. The measure will come into force at all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints, and apply to Russia’s maritime borders, the government said. It will not apply to Russian diplomats and the drivers of freight trucks, among others. The country, which has already grounded all international flights, has reported 1,264 coronavirus cases. It closed its longest border, with China, in January.

  • Turkey halted all intercity trains and limited domestic flights and halted international flights on Saturday. Its number of coronavirus cases jumped by a third in a day to 5,698, with 92 dead.

  • Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, continues to cast doubt on São Paulo’s death toll from the outbreak, accusing the state governor, without evidence, of manipulating the numbers for political ends. “I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life,” Mr. Bolsonaro said in a television interview Friday night. He said that in São Paulo State, Brazil’s economic powerhouse — which has the most cases and deaths so far of coronavirus in Brazil, at 1,223 cases and 68 death — the death toll seemed “too large.”

Even as hospitals across New York become inundated with coronavirus cases, some patients are being left behind in their homes because the health care system cannot handle them all, according to dozens of interviews with paramedics, New York Fire Department officials and union representatives, as well as city data.

In a matter of days, the city’s 911 system has been overwhelmed by calls for medical distress apparently related to the virus. Typically, the system sees about 4,000 Emergency Medical Services calls a day.

On Thursday, dispatchers took more than 7,000 calls — a volume not seen since the Sept. 11 attacks. The record for amount of calls in a day was broken three times in the last week.

Because of the volume, emergency medical workers are making life-or-death decisions about who is sick enough to take to crowded emergency rooms and who appears well enough to leave behind. They are assessing on scene which patients should receive time-consuming measures like CPR and intubation, and which patients are too far gone to save.

And, they are doing it, in most cases they say, without appropriate equipment to protect themselves from infection.

The paramedics described grim scenes as New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with more than 29,000 cases as of Saturday, and 517 deaths.

Reporting and research was contributed by Neil MacFarquhar, Alan Blinder, Michael D. Shear, Jesse McKinley, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland,

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Trump to Issue Travel Advisory for N.Y. Region, Backing Off Quarantine Threat

Westlake Legal Group 28dc-virus-trump-facebookJumbo Trump to Issue Travel Advisory for N.Y. Region, Backing Off Quarantine Threat United States Politics and Government United States Navy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 NORFOLK, Va. Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Saturday night that he would not impose a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but would instead issue a “strong” travel advisory for the region to be enacted by the governors of the three states.

Mr. Trump made the announcement on Twitter just hours after telling reporters that he was considering a quarantine of the area in an effort to limit the spread of the virus to Florida and other parts of the country, a move that would have been a drastic exercise of federal power to further restrict travel by millions of Americans.

Mr. Trump had offered no details about how his administration would enforce a ban on movements in and out of the three northeastern states, including the country’s most populous city, and the idea drew swift condemnation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York called it a “declaration of war on states.” Other governors said the idea could cause confusion and panic.

In his tweet, Mr. Trump said that he had been in consultation with the governors and had decided that a quarantine would not be necessary after all. He said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would provide details later Saturday night about the travel advisory that would soon go into effect.

The specter of a federal quarantine came after a wave of governors, fearful about the virus spreading further through their states, had ordered people who had traveled from New York to isolate themselves for two weeks after their arrivals. Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said Friday that state troopers would begin stopping drivers with New York license plates so that National Guard officials could collect contact information and inform anyone coming from the state that they were subject to a mandatory, 14-day quarantine.

Mr. Trump’s tweet appeared to suggest that the travel advisory would help governors reduce the chances that people from states with high rates of infection would be likely to travel into their communities, reducing the risk of transmission.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump had suggested that a quarantine might be necessary to achieve that, though he was quick to insist that such a move would not prevent truckers from making deliveries from outside the area and would not affect trade with the three states “in any way.”

Speaking to reporters before traveling to Norfolk, Va., to see off the Navy’s Comfort ship as it deployed to New York to bolster hospital capacity, Mr. Trump said that New York and the other states had become a “hot spot” and that infected New Yorkers had been carrying the pathogen to Florida.

“There is a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short term, two weeks, on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” Mr. Trump, a former New Yorker who now is officially a Florida resident, said in the morning on Saturday. “They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers going down, we don’t want that, heavily infected.”

The president’s musing about a quarantine was the latest example of how he has lurched from one public message to another as his administration struggles to slow the spread of a deadly pandemic, prevent large-scale deaths and minimize the long-term damage to the nation’s economy and way of life.


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Days earlier, Mr. Trump had repeatedly defied the recommendations of his own public health experts by insisting that he wanted to lift social distancing restrictions so that large parts of the country could return to work, perhaps as early as April 12. But on Saturday, the president veered in the other direction, suggesting that even more stringent restrictions, like a quarantine, were necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

“I’d rather not do it, but we may need it,” Mr. Trump said of a quarantine.

The idea came as the White House’s two-week national coronavirus guidelines — including recommendations to work from home, avoid discretionary travel and limit gatherings to no more than 10 people — are set to expire on Monday. Mr. Trump has not yet said whether he will extend them.

The suggestion from the president that he might prevent residents of the tristate region from leaving their states surprised top officials.

Mr. Cuomo quickly dismissed the idea, calling it “unworkable” and questioned whether the president had the authority to confine vast numbers of Americans in a particular region.

“I don’t even know what that means,” Mr. Cuomo said during an afternoon briefing in Albany. “I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable. From a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing.” Asked about the proposal on CNN, Mr. Cuomo said the plan stood at odds with the law and the president’s desire to restart the economy. “You would paralyze the financial sector,” he said, saying the stock market would “drop like a stone.”

Mr. Cuomo said that he and the president had spoken earlier on Saturday about the arrival of the Navy’s hospital ship, but added, “I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine.” Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey also said that he was unfamiliar with what Mr. Trump had suggested, and that it had not come up when the two men talked on Friday. Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut said in a statement that he looked forward to discussing the proposal with Mr. Trump “because confusion leads to panic.”

White House officials provided no specific information about the legal basis for a mass quarantine of millions of people and Mark Meadows, the president’s incoming chief of staff, said only that the administration was “evaluating all the options right now.” But pressed on the matter, officials referred reporters to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website titled “Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine.”

The site asserts that the commerce clause of the Constitution gives the federal government the power to isolate or quarantine people, and that section 361 of the Public Health Service Act authorizes the secretary of health and human services to “take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.”

Existing regulations indicate that in the event of a federal quarantine, “no such individual shall travel in interstate traffic or from one state or U.S. territory to another without a written travel permit issued by” the director of the C.D.C. or someone acting on his behalf.

But Leila Barraza, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Arizona, said an attempt by the federal government to restrict travel between states was likely to be challenged in court, especially if the president had not tried less draconian measures first.

“There has to be a compelling interest for imposing interstate travel restrictions, and they have to be the least restrictive possible,” she said.

The purpose of a quarantine would be to prevent the spread of a deadly pathogen. But medical experts were split on Saturday about whether such an action would help in the current situation, when the coronavirus has already spread widely around the country. As of Saturday, the United States had more than 119,000 known cases of the virus, with infected patients in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Other countries, including India, have embraced severe lockdowns of their citizens, including limits on travel, in an effort to try to prevent the spread of the virus, something that some public health experts said could still be effective in the United States.

But Dr. Amesh Adalja, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, countered that Mr. Trump’s comments on a possible quarantine would provide little benefit, given that much of the region is already under fairly strict stay-at-home measures, and might cause people to flee the city, spreading the virus more quickly.

“Just seeing the breaking news alerts on their phones will cause people to leave the city,” Dr. Adalja said. “It could end up creating more flight from New York and more chains of transmission.”

That is just what happened in China after the mayor of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, began speculating about the possibility of closing his city to keep the virus from spreading to the rest of the country.

Panicked residents of the city — many of whom were already planning to leave for the Lunar New Year holiday — fled. Five million people from Wuhan escaped before air, train, bus and road traffic was finally firmly shut on Jan. 23. Their travel to other parts of the country seeded new outbreaks all over China.

Public health officials around the country have criticized Mr. Trump and his administration for failing to move quickly enough to provide diagnostic testing that could have helped track the spread of the virus earlier. Governors and mayors have pleaded with the president to do more to help them acquire protective gear like masks and ventilators for emergency medical workers, nurses and doctors.

Mr. Trump floated the idea of a quarantine even as he left the White House for the first time in more than a week to travel to a naval base in Norfolk so he could trumpet the departure of the 894-foot hospital ship, saying that its 1,000 beds would play a “critical role” in freeing up capacity at area hospitals.

In reality, however, the arrival of the Comfort will help the struggling state only on the margins. New York estimates it will need a total of 140,000 beds to treat patients who are ill with the disease caused by the coronavirus, and it has about 53,000 beds during normal times.

“You have the unwavering support of the entire nation, the entire government and the entire American people,” Mr. Trump said.

The president’s decision to turn the trip to the base into a high-profile photo opportunity raised questions about safety and his use of government resources at a time when the administration’s own guidelines advise against most travel and gatherings of more than 10 people.

“We don’t need Donald Trump in Virginia doing a photo op,” Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic governor of Virginia, said in an interview. “He ought to be staying in Washington, in his job. It’s a total waste of time.”

Mr. Trump delivered his speech in front of a small audience of about a dozen military officials, as well as a handful of White House aides who traveled with him. The ship is expected to take on patients in New York with other illnesses to let hospitals focus on the large number of coronavirus cases, the president said.

A White House official said the trip was proposed partly because the naval station is self-contained and would not require Mr. Trump to be in public areas like a commercial airport.

“It’s like a tiny trip,” Mr. Trump said on Friday, defending his decision to go. “I think it’s a good thing when I go over there and I say thank you. We’ll be careful.”

Charlie Savage contributed reporting from Washington, and Andrew Jacobs, Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Jesse McKinley from New York.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Has More Cases Than Any Other Country

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-live-updates-u-s-has-more-cases-than-any-other-country Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Has More Cases Than Any Other Country United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Stimulus (Economic) New York State Medical Devices Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) California Birx, Deborah L

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171015957_4716b6f8-3d5d-482d-88c9-3f28472bbc24-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Has More Cases Than Any Other Country United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Stimulus (Economic) New York State Medical Devices Cuomo, Andrew M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) California Birx, Deborah L
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Scientists warned that the United States someday would become the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. That moment arrived on Thursday.

In the United States, at least 81,321 people are known to have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 1,000 deaths — more cases than China, Italy or any other country has seen, according to data gathered by The New York Times.

With 330 million residents, the United States is the world’s third most populous nation, meaning it provides a vast pool of people who can potentially get Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

And it is a sprawling, cacophonous democracy, where states set their own policies and President Trump has sent mixed messages about the scale of the danger and how to fight it, ensuring there was no coherent, unified response to a grave public health threat.

A series of missteps and lost opportunities dogged the nation’s response.

Among them: a failure to take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China, a deeply flawed effort to provide broad testing for the virus that left the country blind to the extent of the crisis, and a dire shortage of masks and protective gear to protect doctors and nurses on the front lines, as well as ventilators to keep the critically ill alive.

As the United States became the global epicenter of the pandemic, state and local leaders urged President Trump to take more aggressive steps to mobilize the production of critically needed supplies. Instead, the White House suddenly called off a venture to produce as many as 80,000 ventilators, out of concern that the estimated $1 billion price tag would be prohibitive.

In a White House briefing, Deborah L. Birx, the administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, insisted that talk of ventilator and hospital bed shortages was overwrought, but she warned of new hot spots developing in and around Chicago and Detroit.

In New York, now the hardest-hit area in the United States, doctors scrambled as the number of hospitalized patients jumped by 40 percent in a day — to 5,327 patients, of whom 1,290 were in intensive care, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Several medical schools in Massachusetts and New York said this week that they intended to offer early graduation to their fourth-year students, making them available to care for patients eight weeks earlier than expected.

To further support New York, the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort is expected to arrive at Manhattan on Monday, three weeks earlier than previously thought. The ship will take patients from area hospitals who do not have symptoms of the virus.

Despite bleak jobs data — more than three million people filed for unemployment benefits last week — Wall Street was in rally mode on Thursday. Investors bid up shares of companies that were set to receive support from Washington’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would pass the bill on Friday “with strong bipartisan support.”

And Ohio will move its presidential primary election to late April and hold it almost entirely by mail, to avoid the health risks posed by crowded voting locations.

As the coronavirus raced across the globe earlier this year, the Trump administration offered assistance to a pair of longtime American enemies, Iran and North Korea. The responses hardly amounted to a diplomatic breakthrough.

The Iranians angrily dismissed the offer, calling it insincere and demanding broader relief from crippling American sanctions. The North Koreans, angry with the United States over stalled nuclear negotiations, said they appreciated the offer but did not publicly accept, warning of “big difficulties” in their relationship with the United States.

But the two cases illustrate the way Mr. Trump continues to pursue his foreign policy goals amid the pandemic, and the way the virus is shaping his approach. Administration officials see the crisis as creating new opportunities, but it also brings new risks as China and Russia seek to take advantage of a moment of perceived weakness and disarray for their American adversaries.

Experts call it disaster diplomacy — the way nations use disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and diseases to advance their agendas overseas. Historically, that has involved local catastrophes; now Mr. Trump and other world leaders are calibrating their political responses to a crisis afflicting all of humanity.

With the economic slowdown wrought by the coronavirus draining states of much-needed tax revenues as responding to the crisis is driving up their expenses, governors across the country are warning that the new federal stimulus bill will not give states the money they need.

While several governors said that the bill was a positive — and appreciated — start, they also said that it was not nearly enough to deal with plummeting state revenues and growing pleas for assistance from their residents.

“It does include some money that Maryland needs — not nearly enough for us or the other states,” said Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican and chairman of the National Governors Association.

The stimulus includes block grants to states, as well as money that states can draw from to address various needs. It allocates, for instance, $30 billion for states to use on education, $45 billion for disaster relief and $1.4 billion for National Guard deployments.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat from California, thanked his party’s leadership in Congress, but said there also needed to be more. During a news conference on Wednesday, Governor Newsom said the state was slated to receive about $10 billion in a block grant.

“No one is naive about the magnitude of this crisis,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that the magnitude of this stimulus will even meet the moment. I certainly have strong points of view that there needs to be more in the future.”

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, a Republican, said the benefits of the stimulus will depend in part on how the Treasury Department interprets how some of that money flows to her state.

“We do see that there is some reimbursement for costs associated with our response to Covid-19 in the state of South Dakota,” she said during a Thursday news conference. “There is some concern on what we do about revenue loss at the state level because we do have revenue loss dramatically impacting our state right now.”

Perhaps the most critical state leader was New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. He has complained that the bill was “terrible” for his state, which has been the hardest hit by the virus. Mr. Cuomo, who said New York faces a projected shortfall of between $10 billion and $15 billion due as tax collections plummet due to the economic slowdown, said that the roughly $3.1 billion to address New York’s budget gap was disproportionately low.

You can take several steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and keep yourself safe. Be consistent about social distancing. Wash your hands often. And when you do leave your home for groceries or other essentials, wipe down your shopping cart and be smart about what you are purchasing.

Reporting was contributed by Donald G. McNeil Jr., Maya Salam, John Eligon, Michael Crowley and Lara Jakes, Jesse Drucker, Carl Hulse and Emily Cochrane.

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As Coronavirus Spread, Largest Stimulus in History United a Polarized Senate

WASHINGTON — As Senator Chuck Schumer walked the two miles from his apartment to the Capitol early Sunday morning, getting his steps in since the Senate gym had been shut down to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, he knew he and his fellow Democrats had a momentous decision to make.

After 48 hours of intense bipartisan negotiations over a huge economic stabilization plan to respond to the pandemic, Republicans were insisting on a vote later that day to advance the package. Mr. Schumer, the Democratic leader, suspected Republicans would present Democrats with an unacceptable, take-it-or-leave it proposition and then dare them to stand in the way of a nearly $2 trillion measure everyone knew was desperately needed. As soon as he arrived at the Capitol, the choice was clear: Democrats would have to leave it.

During an 8:45 a.m. conference call with staff, Mr. Schumer, of New York, was startled to learn that Republicans had boosted to $500 billion the size of a bailout fund for distressed businesses, but failed to meet Democrats’ request to devote $150 billion to a “Marshall Plan” for hospitals on the front lines of the virus.

What was worse, the corporate aid came with little accountability over dollars to be doled out unsupervised by the Treasury Department — a red flag to Democrats after the 2008 Wall Street bailout, and one that would be particularly hard to accept given President Trump’s disdain for congressional oversight.

Mr. Schumer told his staff that the proposal was a nonstarter, and he directed them to quickly spread the word that Democrats would oppose the bill as it was, according to several people involved in the discussions who, like more than dozen lawmakers and senior officials interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the roller coaster negotiations that led to the passage of the largest stimulus measure in modern American history.

Then he called his colleagues — including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a former presidential candidate who is influential on the left — to alert them to what he saw as a Republican ploy to muscle through a corporate giveaway. Within hours, Ms. Warren declared on Twitter that she would oppose the “giant slush fund” and urged other Democrats to join her. On a conference call later that day, Senator Patty Murray of Washington, not known for a temper, said she would be “a damn no” on the bill and urged her colleagues to do the same, which they did unanimously in a vote that sent futures markets plummeting.

It was a shocking and politically perilous decision in the middle of a paralyzing national crisis, a moment when lawmakers are traditionally expected to put aside differences for the good of the country, or face a political backlash.

The move was particularly infuriating for Republicans who had been willing to momentarily abandon their small-government zeal and agree to large additions to safety-net programs, including direct payments to Americans and a substantial increase in jobless aid, in the interest of sealing a quick deal with Democrats. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, would later call it a “stupid vote,” but Democrats said it proved crucial.

“It showed McConnell that he was going to have to deal with us,” Mr. Schumer said.

The moment was a turning point for the rapid and fitful negotiations over the stimulus measure, which came together over a handful of frenzied days on Capitol Hill, as global markets convulsed with worry and lawmakers scrambled to agree before Covid-19 could infect their ranks and cripple Congress.

After days of intrigue, gamesmanship and partisan assaults, the Senate finally came together late Wednesday after nearly coming apart. As midnight was about to toll, lawmakers approved in an extraordinary 96-to-0 vote a $2 trillion package intended to get the nation through the crippling economic and health disruptions being inflicted on the world by the coronavirus.

The House is expected to approve it by voice vote on Friday, avoiding the need to force hundreds of lawmakers to jeopardize their own health and travel from homes around the county as tens of millions of Americans are required to shelter in place.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_170593182_22499ec8-4106-43b0-bed7-92fcf1bc2e96-articleLarge As Coronavirus Spread, Largest Stimulus in History United a Polarized Senate United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Treasury Department Stimulus (Economic) Senate Schumer, Charles E Republican Party Pelosi, Nancy Mnuchin, Steven T McConnell, Mitch Democratic Party Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…John Taggart for The New York Times

The bill came together despite a toxic dynamic between the two parties in the normally courtly Senate, where Mr. McConnell conceded from the start that quickly enacting a mammoth emergency government aid plan could be done only with the assent of Democrats.

In a private lunch the week before, where Republican senators dined in a larger-than-usual room to try to maintain social distance, Mr. McConnell told his colleagues that they would ultimately have to deal with “Cryin’ Chuck,” using Mr. Trump’s derisive nickname for the Democratic leader in an acid comment that caught the attention of some in the room.

“Sometimes the president has a good sense of humor,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview, acknowledging the dig. “It got a couple of laughs.”

But there was a more serious subtext: With Democrats in control of the House and Republicans wielding a thin majority in the Senate, Mr. Schumer would have to be accommodated in any final bill.

Mr. Trump had a hand in the agreement, if only by keeping his distance from the talks. At one point, Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, called the White House to ask the president to weigh in on a dispute they were having about whether airlines should have to reimburse the government for aid.

Work it out yourselves, Mr. Trump told the pair on a conference call.

In the end, Democrats won what they saw as significant improvements in the measure through their resistance, including added funding for health care and unemployment along with more direct money to states. A key addition was tougher oversight on the corporate bailout fund, including an inspector general and congressionally appointed board to monitor it, disclosure requirements for businesses that benefited, and a prohibition on any of the money going to Mr. Trump’s family or his properties — although they could still potentially benefit from other provisions.

“We had to do the right thing,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview. “This bill was not going to be with us a matter of days, but for weeks, months and years. It is riskier to pass a really bad bill than to delay it.”

The giant and complex aid package known as Phase 3 was assembled and passed in remarkably short order given its scope — quick on the heels of two smaller but not insignificant aid packages.

Adding to the tense atmosphere as the measure hung in the balance, senators learned that one of their own — Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — had tested positive for Covid-19 after going about his Senate business in proximity to his colleagues, even sneaking into the senators-only gym to swim laps in the pool. It was a surprising turn that crystallized the threat both to the nation and to the lawmakers as they remained at work on Capitol Hill.

The roots of the Senate fight dated to about 10 days earlier, when Mr. McConnell had ceded the task of finding consensus on an earlier relief measure to Mr. Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The two spent so much time on the phone hammering out the deal — a bill that would provide hundreds of billions of dollars for provide paid leave, free coronavirus testing and food and health care aid to low-income Americans — that Ms. Pelosi arrived at a late-night news conference celebrating its passage missing a teal and gold earring, as it rolled under her desk during the many calls.

As the House was completing that package on March 13, Mr. McConnell canceled a recess set for the following week to give the Senate time to take it up. He then closed up shop for the weekend and flew home to Louisville with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court, whose confirmation was the subject of a bitter Senate fight two years ago. They attended a ceremony installing a McConnell-backed federal judge, underscoring the leader’s well-known passion for judicial confirmations while giving the majority leader’s detractors a fat target. Democrats and their progressive allies accused him of not recognizing the urgency of the moment and taking a break, even though the House bill was not yet ready for Senate consideration.

Now the majority leader was determined to put his own stamp on the next economic aid plan, which was shaping up as far larger, and wanted to make sure Republicans controlled and got credit for the final product.

Republicans plunged ahead, pulling together their own ideas. On March 19, Mr. McConnell unveiled the Republican approach — a $1 trillion proposal that centered on $1,200 cash payments to working Americans to tide them over, guaranteed loans and large tax cuts for corporate America and a newly created program to provide grants to small businesses that kept their workers on the payroll.

Democrats had their own ideas, calling for a major infusion of cash to beleaguered hospitals and health care workers, more money for states and a major expansion of unemployment benefits — “unemployment on steroids” as Mr. Schumer called it — though they were not opposed to the cash payments. Democrats criticized the corporate aid in the Republican bill, saying they wanted restrictions on using the money for stock buybacks and raising executive pay among other conditions.

Democrats drew a particularly hard line on unemployment insurance, one Senate official said, with Mr. Schumer instructing his side to refuse to negotiate on the tax relief sought by Republicans until they had a deal on the jobless benefits. The idea was to boost the aid to the level of a laid-off worker’s pay, but when that proved logistically difficult, the two sides agreed on a $600 across-the-board supplement.

Lawmakers blew through a 5 p.m. Saturday deadline set by Mr. McConnell for getting their ideas into legislative form for a vote the next day. Still, as a handful of veteran Republican senators joined Mr. McConnell, Mr. Mnuchin and White House staff in Mr. McConnell’s office to assess the state of play, a sense of optimism prevailed. They believed they were on the cusp of a deal and that Democrats were comfortably on board.

“We all felt good, the people who were all working it out,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska and the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Mr. McConnell issued a statement saying that because of the progress made, he had asked “chairmen to draft final legislative text that reflects their compromise products.”

The announcement alarmed Democrats, who were not yet satisfied with the deal, and Mr. Schumer’s spokesman issued a statement about 10:30 p.m. Saturday cautioning that there was “not yet an agreement, and we still have not seen large parts of the Republican draft.”

When Mr. Schumer saw it on Sunday morning, things went downhill fast. On her way into a meeting in Mr. McConnell’s office, Ms. Pelosi, who had returned from San Francisco in time to join the talks, threw cold water on the prospect for an agreement, saying that as far as she was concerned, the two sides remained apart.

Mr. Mnuchin opened the meeting by asserting that “essentially, it seems to me that we’ve reached a bipartisan agreement,” but Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer balked and began outlining a number of issues that needed work in order to gain their support: expansion of unemployment insurance, additional funding for state and local governments, more aid to hospitals.

When Ms. Pelosi, who is Catholic, quoted Pope Francis and his prayer to “enlighten those responsible for the common good,” Mr. Mnuchin responded, “You quoted the pope, I’ll quote the markets,” she later recounted in televised interviews this week.

Mr. McConnell insisted that they would move ahead with a scheduled procedural vote later in the day. But as she left the room, Ms. Pelosi informed them that she would be introducing her own version shortly.

Republicans seized on Ms. Pelosi’s entry into the talks, claiming that the speaker had forced Democrats to abandon a compromise they had helped write.

“We tried to go forward on a totally bipartisan basis, and then leadership got ahold of it,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview.

Republicans were further outraged when they saw the draft House bill, a $2.5 trillion measure that included an array of progressive policies well beyond the scope of emergency aid, saying Democrats were trying to use the crisis to advance a liberal agenda. They seized on a comment by Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 House Democrat, who said on a private conference call with Democrats that the pandemic presented “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to our vision” — a comment Mr. McConnell brought up repeatedly.

As uncertainty swirled on Sunday in the Capitol over the fate of the legislation, Mr. Paul announced that he had tested positive for the disease. Senators were alarmed. The virus they were fighting was circulating among them.

Democrats quickly broke up their lunch and continued their discussion by conference call, and two Republican senators who had had contact with Mr. Paul, Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both of Utah, quarantined themselves. It created another incentive for the Senate to bridge its divide as soon as possible to allow members — nearly half of them over 60 — to exit the capital.

And with members of the House falling ill and quarantine orders going into effect around the country, it was becoming clear that lawmakers from that chamber would not be returning to Washington to consider the plan. The emerging compromise would have to be acceptable enough to Democrats and Republicans that it could pass without a recorded vote.

In the Senate, Democrats’ vote to block the measure set off Republican rage, but also intensified round-the-clock negotiations to find an agreement. White House officials scrambled for a deal that would calm the markets.

“Failure could be catastrophic,” Eric Ueland, the legislative affairs director and a former top Senate aide, said as he shuttled offers and counteroffers between Mr. McConnell’s office and Mr. Schumer’s suite a short walk away on the second floor of the Capitol.

Tensions reached a breaking point on the Senate floor on Monday as Republicans assailed Democrats for holding up the aid even as Mr. Schumer and Mr. Mnuchin — now “Chuck and Steven” to one another — narrowed their differences just down the corridor. Democrats voted again to block the measure.

“This is disgraceful,” exclaimed Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, in a lecture blasting the delay after Mr. Schumer objected to allowing her to speak.

After daylong negotiations on Tuesday, the two sides finally announced an agreement after midnight Wednesday and the final product drew praise and support at the White House from Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Trump, who said the administration had been treated fairly by the Democrats.

But there was a final bit of drama as staff put the finishing touches on the 880-page bill. A group of Republican senators including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska objected to granting workers the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits, arguing that it would encourage layoffs and discourage workers whose wages would be lower than the aid level from seeking jobs.

“They are very upset that somebody who is making 10, 12 bucks an hour might end up with a paycheck for four months that is more than they received last week — Oh, my God, the universe is collapsing,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont and a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also said that the bill was too slanted to big corporations, but that it was worthy of support.

A bid by Mr. Sasse to remove the extra jobless aid was defeated, though widely supported by Republicans. He summed up the sentiment of many in his party when he said of Mr. Sanders: “I appreciate his candor in admitting that this is kind of a big crap sandwich.”

In the end, however, no senator wanted to reject it. Every one of them voted “yes.”

Jim Tankersley and Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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