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Coronavirus sweeps across New York, California fears it could be next

Stock MarketsMar 25, 2020 06:20AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Trump leads coronavirus task force daily briefing at the White House in Washington 2/2

By Maria Caspani and Dan Whitcomb

NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - New York state suffered another quick and brutal rise in the number of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, staggering hospitals at the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, as California said it could be facing the next major wave of the disease.

In New York City, the densely packed home of more than 8 million people, healthcare officials tried to find hospital beds for the surging number of coronavirus patients as the statewide death toll rose to 210, with more than 25,600 confirmed cases.

The White House advised anyone who has visited or left New York to isolate themselves.

"Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn't spread to others, no matter where they have gone, whether it's Florida, North Carolina or out to far reaches of Long Island," Deborah Birx, who is helping lead the White House coronavirus tax force, said at a late-afternoon press conference.

The expected need for hospital beds in New York state at the peak of the outbreak has spiraled to 140,000, nearly three times what are available. Infections were now doubling every three days in New York and the worst could still be two to three weeks away, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Nationwide, COVID-19, which broke out late last year in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 53,000 people and killed at least 720.

President Donald Trump declared major disasters for New York and Washington state, the nation's first hot spot and accounting for at least 117 deaths, and said he would soon do the same for California.

'A GREAT NATIONAL TRIAL'

"We are enduring a great national trial," Trump said. The president softened a vow to reopen the nation's economy by Easter, saying he'll listen to experts first, including Birx and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In California, where 51 people have died and 2,200 tested positive, Governor Gavin Newsom said fully half the confirmed cases were between the ages of 18 and 49, figures he said are "a reminder for everybody to take this seriously."

Newsom cited the death of a teenage boy in Los Angeles County, although health officials there said the case was complex and an "alternate explanation" is possible.

Newsom, who warned that half of Californians - or about 25 million people - could potentially be infected in the coming two months, said the next six to eight weeks would be pivotal in determining whether a clampdown on residents has slowed the spread of coronavirus.

California also desperately lacks the hospital beds it needs to care for so many critically ill patients, Newsom has said, although Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) co-founder Elon Musk “came through on his promise” to deliver over 1,000 badly needed hospital ventilators, and the state brought another 3,000 online.

The U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy was expected to arrive at in Los Angeles on Friday with 1,000 hospital beds to ease the burden on the state's healthcare system.

Despite the crisis, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to its biggest one-day percentage gain since 1933 after U.S. lawmakers said they were close to a deal for a massive economic rescue package in response to the outbreak.

NERVES FRAY ACROSS AMERICA

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday the United States had the potential to become the global epicenter of the pandemic, citing a "very large acceleration" in coronavirus infections.

Democrats, including Governor Cuomo, have criticized Trump, a Republican, for suggesting he would reopen the nation's economy by mid-April.

"If you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy, then it's no contest. No American is going to say accelerate the economy at the cost of human life," Cuomo said earlier in the day.

Newsom did not criticize Trump but said April would be "sooner than any of the experts that I’ve talked to would believe is possible” for California to lift its restrictions.

The governors of at least 18 states in recent days have issued stay-at-home directives. The sweeping orders, unprecedented in their breadth and depth, encompass about half the nation's population.

The rules are based on social distancing principles designed to put more space between individuals in order to slow the spread of the highly contagious and potentially lethal virus.

Even before the first statewide controls went into effect last week in California, the coronavirus pandemic had virtually paralyzed sectors of the U.S. economy and upended daily lives of Americans as school districts and colleges canceled classes.

Americans reported frayed nerves after days of working from home, unable to take part in many activities and looking after children with no schools to attend.

Terri Gilbert Thompson, 44, and her husband Scott, both teachers in Hilltown, Pennsylvania juggled teaching remotely with homeschooling their own three children.

"It has been a challenge, but we are willing to make it work to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread," Thompson said. “We’re doing our best to keep our students engaged in learning, monitor and enrich our own kids’ learning, while maintaining our own sanity during this challenging time.”

Coronavirus sweeps across New York, California fears it could be next
 

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Comments (24)
jemin An
jemin An Mar 25, 2020 8:36AM ET
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Party is OVER, market of hope to stimulus is going back and watch the real economic effects will occured or not. If, virus war last long, oil price slashing, any companies bankruptcy, market directly get in to ********
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Mar 24, 2020 9:17PM ET
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What sparring ? Cuomos outworking Classing the dummy punching bag !!
Eloy Rodrigo
Eloy Rodrigo Mar 24, 2020 5:47PM ET
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Japan, South Korea didn't lockdown their countries and prevailed over the virus, but western countries are following the Chinese authoritarian government actions doing the same of it!The quarantine is the worst thing to do, look at the numbers from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan and compare them to quarantined countries!And, please, don't believe in Chinese data, they killed everyone who told the truth.
Eloy Rodrigo
Eloy Rodrigo Mar 24, 2020 5:41PM ET
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ReopenAmerica
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle Mar 24, 2020 2:59PM ET
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Urgent health advice: listen to your Governors, not your President!
Mike ND
Mike ND Mar 24, 2020 2:59PM ET
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You need a Midol
Triplicis Mundi Summum
Triplicis Mundi Summum Mar 24, 2020 12:12PM ET
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“Who knew getting masks and ventilators would be difficult?” - Stable genius.
About Face
About Face Mar 24, 2020 10:16AM ET
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Come off it, Trump couldn't make a deal here with the Chinese because he is going to tariff the imports. So, Jack Ma had to call it 'gift to our American friends' - nominal value for tax declaration. However, it doesn't violate campaigning laws either and Trump is ******ed.
Ah Chew
Ah Chew Mar 24, 2020 10:13AM ET
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It does make sense to have the stimulus be channeled to Healthcare and manufacturing of protective gears/test kits..Why keep giving to wall street to line up their pockets? We are fighting a pandemic where wall street can't help..
Junk Man
Junk_Man Mar 24, 2020 10:13AM ET
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Trump fears losing the elections so why not just gamble the other way.  Open everything up and if things work out, he'll win.  If it doesn't work out... nothing lost.  He's a gambling man.
Adrian White
Adrian White Mar 24, 2020 10:13AM ET
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Yeah. Gambling with American lives in the hopes of being able to take credit for an improvement in the stock market and economy.
Junk Man
Junk_Man Mar 24, 2020 10:13AM ET
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Adrian White  He is about himself... that much is clear.
About Face
About Face Mar 24, 2020 10:01AM ET
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Be nice to Trump, Mayors and Governors otherwise you will not be getting your ventilators, masks, PPEs, drugs, funding cause I am dispensing the funds - you know, the slush fund I asked Mnuchin and Moscow Mitch to attach to the $trillion bailout.
 
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