President Donald Trump advised Americans to just ‘stay calm’ and the coronavirus will ‘go away’ as he attempted to calm the nation amid growing fears about the outbreak.
‘It will go away. Just stay calm, it will go away,’ he said during a press conference on Capitol Hill after he met with Republican senators about a package to combat the economic fallout from the disease.
‘We’re prepared and doing a great job with it,’ the president noted, instructing people to stay calm about the spread and economic impact.
‘It’s really working out,’ he added.
His remarks came as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent the National Guard to New Rochelle to enforce a mile-radius coronavirus ‘containment area’ in the Westchester County community with a large cluster of cases.
Meanwhile there are 240 more infections Tuesday in the United States, and the death toll rose to 28, while globally it topped 1,000 outside China.
In other developments
- Trump came under pressure to cancel his rallies as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both canceled events in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday
- The head of the CDC said there were not enough staff for tests, as the number of Americans tested stood at 8,554
- The terms of Trump’s projected bailout started to emerge with Republicans offering no public backing for them
- The Seattle-area nursing home liked to 19 deaths said it had no test kits for staff
- Wall Street’s wild ride continued as the Dow swung 1,100 points in a day, recouping some of its losses from Monday’s record crash
- In Europe, the German chancellor warned she expected 65% of all Germans will be infected, Spain saw infections triple
- A computer scientist projected that the U.S. will be as bad as Italy in two weeks.
On Capitol Hill, however, Trump radiated optimism – and said he had not been tested despite his own chief of staff, Mark Meadows, being in quarantine over potential exposure.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Roy Blunt, Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting with Republican senators on the coronavirus
President Donald Trump talks to reporters about coronavirus after meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was sending the National Guard to New Rochelle to enforce a mile-radius coronavirus ‘containment area’
People fearful of the coronavirus walk around Terminal 1 at JFK Airport
I FEEL VERY GOOD – BUT I WASN’T TESTED SAYS TRUMP (AND GAS MASK REP. IS CLEAR)
Trump said Tuesday he didn’t see any reason to be tested for the coronavirus after three people he had contact with went into self-quarantine after being exposed to an individual with the disease.
‘I don’t think it is a big deal. I don’t feel any reason, I feel extremely good. I feel very good,’ he told reporters on Capitol Hill after he met with Senate Republicans to discuss a package to combat the economic effects of the disease.
‘But I guess it’s not a big deal to get tested. It is something I would do, but again, I spoke to the White House doctor, terrific guy, talented guy. He said there is no reason to do with it. There is no symptoms, no anything. If there were, you people would be the first to know it. You would may be even tell me about it,’ the president added.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, who traveled on Air Force One with President Trump on Monday and self-quarantined after exposure to the virus, announced Tuesday he tested negative for it
Trump has been in contact with a slew of politicians who have gone under self-quarantine.
One of them, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who traveled with President Trump on Air Force One on Monday and spent the weekend at Mar-a-Lago with several members of the Trump family, announced he tested negative for the disease.
On Monday, Gaetz was informed – while he was traveling on Air Force One – that he had come into contact with an infected individual. The Florida Republican, who was pictured wearing a gas mask on Capitol Hill during a vote on funding to combat the disease, said he would self-quarantine out of precaution.
‘I’ve just been informed that my COVID-19 lab result was negative. In an abundance of caution, I will remain under self-quarantine at the advice of medical professionals through Thursday at 2pm. I continue to feel fine and show no symptoms,’ Gaetz wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. He wore a gas mask to Congress to mock the virus previously.
At a press conference in the White House briefing room on Monday, the president refused to answer repeated questions on whether he had been tested. His press secretary later said he had not been tested.
Trump pointed to diminishing number of cases in other countries to argue the virus is successfully being fought.
China has reported decreasing numbers of those with the disease.
‘We are look at solving this problem. Some very good numbers coming out of some countries where it started earlier,’ Trump said.
He also argued more people die from the flu instead of Coronavirus, pointing out the United States has only had 26 deaths.
‘But right now, 26 deaths and if you look at the flu for this year, we are at 8,000 deaths. And you know, hundreds of thousands of cases, 8,000 versus 26 deaths at this time,’ the president said.
Trump attended Senate Republicans weekly luncheon on Tuesday to talk about an economic package to respond to the virus.
The administration and House Democrats are looking at competing plans to fight the economic fallout.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol Monday that the Democrats’ plan, outlined by herself and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, could be proposed and voted on as soon as this week.
This plan would include paid sick leave for those impacted by coronavirus, widespread and free coronavirus testing access, expanding programs like food stamps and reimbursing patients for costs related to the fast-spreading respiratory virus not covered by insurance.
Pelosi added that Democratic leadership could condense the congressional recess ‘if there’s a necessity — if we think we’re going to get some action in the Senate to do it.’
The Democrat leaders’ proposal comes as President Trump is proposing his own economic bailout plan in response to coronavirus concerns.
In remarks following the meeting with the president Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded that the stimulus package be bipartisan in nature.
He told reporters gathered at the Capitol that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi are meeting today to come up with a bipartisan plan – claiming the two ‘worked well together’ in developing an economic package in the past.
‘We’re hoping that he and the speaker can pull this together so that we end up not playing partisan games at a time, which seems to me, to cry out for bipartisan, bicameral agreement. That’s what I’m hoping to see,’ McConnell said.
McConnell said there was still a lot of negotiating to do with Democrats over the terms of the relief package.
On the other hand, the president charged that Democrats are doing nothing.
‘Nancy Pelosi just said, ‘I don’t know if we can be ready this week.’ In other words, it’s off to vacation for the Do Nothing Democrats. That’s been the story with them for 1 1/2 years!,’ he tweeted on Tuesday morning before he headed to Capitol Hill.
Trump slammed Pelosi’s relief package as a proposal to try and pass other stipulations that he says are unrelated to coronavirus concerns.
‘They came in really chopped up,’ Trump said Tuesday of the package proposed by Pelosi and Schumer.
‘A lot of them are thing she wanted to get for other things,’ he continued. ‘We’re looking at the people. We’re looking at solving this problem.’
He also touted his administration’s work in responding to the coronavirus.
The White House has been criticized for its response, particularly on the lack of kits to test for the disease.
‘Our CoronaVirus Team has been doing a great job. Even Democrat governors have been VERY complimentary!,’ Trump wrote.
He reiterated this point during his press conference Tuesday afternoon.
But top Democrats are criticizing the administration’s plan for focusing too much on the economy rather than helping those directly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
NATIONAL GUARD CONTAIN AMERICA’S LARGEST CLUSTER
Schools, houses of worship and large gathering places in the New York suburb that has the ‘largest cluster’ of coronavirus cases in the country will be shut down as the National Guard is being brought in to help stop the spread of the disease.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that a one-mile containment area will be set up in New Rochelle in Westchester County where the main cluster of coronavirus have been reported.
The area is the epicenter of of the state’s coronavirus outbreak and accounts for more than 100 of New York’s 173 confirmed cases.
The radius centers around the Temple Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue that was attended by the Manhattan attorney who has been linked to the outbreak in the area.
The shutdown, which will begin on Thursday and last for two weeks, will effect all ‘major gathering places’ including schools and places of worship, Cuomo said.
‘It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country. And this is literally a matter of life and death,’ Cuomo said.
The announcement about the containment area came as New Jersey reported its first coronavirus death. It is the first fatality in the tri-state area.
NEW YORK CASES OF CORONAVIRUS
Westchester (including New Rochelle): 108
New York City: 36
Cuomo said he was calling in the National Guard to the containment area to assist with cleaning public spaces and to deliver food to homes where people are currently self-quarantined.
Health officials said they are still trying to determine a full list of places that will be forced to close within the containment area.
The schools that will close include New Rochelle High School, Albert Leonard Middle School and William B. Ward Elementary.
The closures will not effect smaller businesses and grocery stores, officials said.
Cuomo said people will not be contained and residents are free to come and go with the one-mile radius.
The state and a private health system, Northwell Health, are also setting up a testing facility in the area.
New Rochelle is at the center of an outbreak of 108 cases in Westchester County, out of 173 statewide as of Tuesday.
New York City has 36 cases, while its population is more than 100 times that of New Rochelle.
‘New Rochelle at this point is probably the largest cluster in the U.S. of these cases and it is a significant issue for us,’ Cuomo said.
‘The numbers have been going up. The numbers continue to go up. The numbers are going up unabated. And we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.’
New York Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker said officials were moving from a containment strategy to a mitigation strategy.
‘When you’re dealing with mitigation, you have to deal with the issues of social distancing and how people gather together and to try to minimize that.’
Cuomo said the decision was one made by Dr Zucker and other public health officials.
‘It’s not a decision that I’m making. I’m accepting the recommendation of Dr. Zucker. In a situation like this, whether you’re president, mayor, governor, let the experts decide and let the science decide the situation,’ he said.
Markets suffered their biggest-ever one-day loss on Monday and saw a decline not experienced since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Dow dropped nearly 8 per cent on Monday, which concerned Trump, who often touts economic wins and market gains under his administration.
Democrats are critical that Trump’s proposal focuses too much on the economy and not enough on those affected by the coronavirus
Markets saw a slight rebound as they opened Tuesday morning as the Dow raised about 700.
The president told reporters gathered in the briefing room at the White House Monday evening that he would be talking with Senate Republicans Tuesday on implementing a payroll tax cut, helping hourly workers not be penalized for taking off work and crisis loans for small business.
He also said he is looking at helping cruise, airline and hotel industries as they suffer blows with escalating fears of the virus spread across the country.
Trump promised his relief plan ‘will be major’ as Pelosi says the Democratic proposal would depend on the Congressional Budget Office and how quickly costs could be assessed.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.
- The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.
Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.
In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause:
- Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
- Low appetite, energy and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
- Confusion (more common in elderly people)
- Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication.
Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.
‘We are going to take care of, and have been taking care of, the American people and the American economy,’ Trump said from the briefing room podium Monday and left without taking questions.
He did not expand on plans to address these issues when talking to reporters after his meeting with Republican lawmakers Tuesday.
Trump has continuously downplayed the threats of coronavirus, claiming the situation is ‘inflamed’ by the media and Democrats – even as the death toll in the U.S. hit 26 this week and there are more than 750 confirmed cases.
The threat hit close to home as U.S. and global markets plummeted Monday and one of his own Air Force One passengers, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, self-quarantined after learning he came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
While the president said he would be meeting with House Republicans and Senate leadership on Tuesday, he did not say if he would be speaking with Democrats, who control the House and whose approval is required for a tax relief plan to become law.
Pelosi’s office said that there is currently no plan for Trump to meet with Democrats.
Vice President Mike Pence who heads the coronavirus task force and was left to answer reporters’ questions after the president left the room Monday night, said he had not yet been tested for the virus.
He also said he has no idea if the president has been tested, even though he attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and has come in close contact with individuals who have had contact with a person who tested positive.
At 73, the president is at a higher risk of contracting and falling ill to coronavirus.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement late Monday night the president hasn’t been tested.
‘The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,’ she said.
Doctors and immunologist experts have recommended that those above 60 take extra precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
In his remarks Tuesday, the president said he has no problem getting tested but doesn’t think it’s a ‘big deal’ because he isn’t showing any symptoms.
He also said the White House doctor informed him that he didn’t need to get tested for the virus despite coming in second-hand contact with those who interacted with individuals who tested positive for coronavirus.
Trump said that the world had been ‘blindsided’ by coronavirus, and claimed shutting down travel from China had been decisive in ensuring the crisis was not worse.
‘We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck,’ he said of his upcoming talk with lawmakers.
The president’s Treasury secretary mentioned a menu of actions the president can undertake on his own.
Trump vowed to work with companies of all sizes ‘so that they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault. It’s not their fault, it’s not our country’s fault. This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it and we have been handling it very well,’ Trump said.
Europe engulfed by coronavirus: Angela Merkel warns up to 58 MILLION Germans – 60-70% of the population – will be infected, as Spain sees infections triple in two days and Italy records 168 fatalities in ONE DAY
As many as ’60 to 70 per cent’ of Germans will be infected with the deadly coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned today, as the contagion threatened to rip through Europe.
The infection is now transmitting between humans in nearly 30 countries across Europe, the World Health Organization has warned today.
Fears of the life-threatening infection have now engulfed the continent, which has recorded more than 17,000 cases and over 700 deaths in Europe alone.
Europe’s crisis – centred in northern Italy but now rapidly spreading – began with a handful of imported cases from China, but has now seen tourist attractions and transport hubs deserted.
WHO chiefs have now confirmed local transmission – when an infection spreads within a country – in 27 European nations.
It came as the number of virus cases in Spain surged to 1,622 infections and 35 deaths as universities and schools in the capital Madrid were closed.
Overall in Italy, 631 people have died from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and 10,149 have been infected in just over two weeks.
The UK recorded its sixth death from the virus today as infections in the county rose by 52 to 373. Globally, more than 114,000 people have been infected and over 4,000 have died from the illness since the outbreak began in China in December.
Spain’s virus cases surged to 1,622 infections and 35 deaths today and Italy recorded 168 fatalities as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned up to 70 per cent of her citizens could be infected
Health officials at border controls trying to find people potentially infected with coronavirus in Frankfurt, Germany, today
Chemists preparing hydroalcoholic gel at a makeshift production line in Paris today. Due to the current shortage of manufactured hand sanitizer, the health ministry gave the green light to produce hydro-alcoholic gels themselves to fight against the outbreak
Commuters, some wearing respiratory masks, travelling in the underground metro in downtown Milan while sat the recommended 3ft distance from each other
Police officers in protective suits checking the temperature of bus driver at the Rozvadov border crossing from the Germany side near the Czech city today
A soldier and a police officer wearing protective face masks checking a man filling an access form as part of control measures against the spread of COVID-19 at the Termini railway station in Rome today after the country went into nationwide lockdown
People queuing at a pharmacy to buy face masks in Rome today. The Italian government imposed unprecedented national restrictions on its 60 million people to control the spread of the coronavirus
Customers forming long queues at the check out of a supermarket as people begin to stock up on provisions in Madrid today
France recorded a 70 per cent rise in cases over Monday night, with more than 1,200 patients now known to have caught the deadly infection.
The country’s health ministry gave chemists the green light to produce their own hydro-alcoholic hand sanitizer gels following a shortage.
Germany and Spain also saw huge spikes in the number of infected patients, while the UK’s toll has risen eight-fold in the space of a week.
Albania today became the latest nation to be struck down, meaning only a handful of countries across the continent have yet to record a case.
Europe’s escalating coronavirus crisis comes just weeks before thousands of British families will travel to the continent for Easter.
In other developments, a maintenance worker at Disneyland Paris tested positive for coronavirus, the theme park announced today.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen today pledged to mobilise ‘all the tools’ available to the bloc to lessen the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic, which has roiled markets across the globe.
After EU leaders held crisis talks by video conference to try to coordinate their response to the epidemic, Von der Leyen sought to reassure businesses and governments spooked by the spread of the disease.
Among the measures is a coronavirus response investment fund backed by 7.5 billion euros ($8.5 billion) in EU funding – subject to approval by member states and the European Parliament.
Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced a new government decree on Monday night, banning public gatherings, restricting all but essential travel between cities and imposing a three-foot rule to keep people in public spaces apart.
Just 8,554 tested – and CDC boss tells Congress he doesn’t have the staff to keep up with demand
The CDC revealed on Tuesday that 8,554 Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but the agency’s director says state and local health labs are understaffed and ill-equipped to keep up with crisis.
According to figures published on the CDC’s website on Tuesday, 3,698 tests had been done in its lab, and another 4,856 had been done in public health labs.
So far, 795 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the US and 28 people have died.
It is unclear how many of the 8,554 tests that have been carried out have been completed to the point that there is a result, or if patients are still waiting for a result.
On Tuesday, the agency’s director, Robert R. Redfield testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget on Capitol Hill.
‘The truth is we’ve not invested, we’ve under-invested in the public health labs.
CDC Director Robert R. Redfield testified on Tuesday that state labs were understaffed and ill-equipped to handle the outbreak
‘There’s not enough equipment, there’s not enough people, there’s not enough internal capacity, there’s no surge capacity.
He said, when asked how many Americans had been tested, that 4,856 had been tested by public health labs but that the number did not include ‘clinical’ or ‘private’ labs.
Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics both announced last week that they had developed a COVID-19 test that doctors can order.
America will be in lockdown like Italy in less than two weeks, computer scientist claims: Worrying graph shows how coronavirus cases in the US are growing
On Monday night, computer scientist Mark Handley, Professor of Networked Systems and part-time Roboticist at UCL in London, tweeted a graph showing how growth figures in other infected countries compare to Italy’s.
‘Everyone else will be Italy in 9-14 days time,’ Handley tweeted along with the data.
Dr. John Crane, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo, agreed.
He told DailyMail.com in an interview that the world had never seen anything like the outbreak and that the US seemed to be watching how Italy responded before making any drastic decisions of its own.
‘It looks like they’re on the exact same trajectory. Italy had an 11.5 day head start,’ he said, referring to the data.
Mark Handley tweeted this graph charting the growth of cases in the US (pink) compared to that of Italy, purple
Handley said ‘everyone else will be Italy’in 9-14 days time if the growth rates keep up
‘When you have straight line on a long scale that signifies exponential growth.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF ITALY’S LOCKDOWN
- Schools and universities are closed until April 3
- All sporting events postponed indefinitely
- Museums, theaters, cinemas, night clubs, cafes and restaurants are closed
- Religious ceremonies including funerals and weddings are postponed
- Airports remain open but people traveling have to fill out a document explaining why and face a fine or jail if they’re caught lying
- Stores remain open but only if they can ensure people stay 3ft apart
- Public transport remains open but only for people with a valid work or family reason that cannot be postponed will be allowed to travel
‘It’s not unusual at the beginning for an epidemic like this…when no human being on earth has previous exposure to it and no one has immunity to it.
‘This doesn’t change the fatality rate just the growth rate- we’ve learned this virus is pretty contagious.
‘This graph doesn’t say anything about the case fatality rate that might be around two percent but that’s still ten times higher than influenza and we have things we can do bout influenza, we don’t have a vaccine for this.’
The situation in Italy is so bad, some doctors have reported becoming ‘overwhelmed’ and crying because they cannot stop people from dying and are being forced to choose ‘who to save’.
Dr. Crane said it was impossible to know if or when the US would reach a similar situation or how long a potential lock-down would last.
‘We’re waiting to see what happens in Italy and other countries. We’re waiting to see – they were under extreme, extreme conditions [in China] where people were not allowed to come out of their house.
‘We have no experience of that. Most of the country is much less densely populated so we would not have to implement it everywhere in the rural places in our country, rather tell them to just to maintain social distancing, not to go to bars and night clubs etc.
‘We’re trying to learn from everyone else who’s just a little bit ahead of us.
‘If Italy’s pace of infection, strict isolation policy… we’d predict that it would level off but we just don’t know how long that will take.
‘We’re learning as we go,’ he said.
New York subway is empty during morning rush hour as Mayor Bill de Blasio warns people to stay off public transport
The New York City public transportation system was empty during Tuesday morning’s rush hour commute as New Yorkers heeded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s warning to stay off the subway trains due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Though trains were less crowded during rush hour, some people were still seen going about their everyday commute. Even stations like Columbus Circle in Manhattan were far less crowded than usual.
Photos showed wary New Yorkers wearing protective gloves and masks while heading to work.
On Monday, de Blasio urged people to walk or ride a bike to work and said that residents should avoid using the subway unless it is essential after the number of coronavirus cases in the state surged to 148.
Commuters (pictured on a train in Manhattan on Monday) have been seen wearing protective gloves and adding extra casings to their phones during their New York City commutes
And several New Yorkers heeded the mayor’s order. During Monday evening’s commute, there were several empty cars (6 train pictured) on the 6 train line in Manhattan
The mayor also said that people who are ill should stay off public transit if they can.
‘When we’re all packed like sardines at rush hour, you’re really close to your fellow New Yorkers. We’d like people, if they’re sick, not even to be in that situation,’ de Blasio said.
Subway trains remained full during rush hours, though Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said at a briefing that anecdotal evidence suggests they have been less crowded in recent days.
‘We’re urging employers to let people change the times that they’re coming into work and change the times that they’re leaving work so that we can stagger people and have less crowding,’ interim New York City Transit head Sarah Feinberg said Monday. ‘I can see that happening.’
A DailyMail.com request for comment to the MTA was not immediately returned.
This image shows an empty subway platform with an express 2 train waiting at a station in Brooklyn on Tuesday