In Europe, Italy’s death toll has topped 6,000, with nearly 64,000 confirmed cases, as the country remains in near total lockdown. In a slight glimmer of hope, Italy recorded a lower daily increase of cases for the second day in a row Monday.
Spain continues to be hit hard by the pandemic, recording over 460 deaths Monday — the biggest daily number so far. Officials say nearly 4,000 health workers have been infected with the coronavirus in Spain, amounting to more than one in 10 of all confirmed cases. Spain’s defense minister said soldiers called in to help with the outbreak have reported finding older people “dead and abandoned” in nursing homes.
France reported a surge of 186 coronavirus deaths Monday, raising the death toll to 860. People in France are under strict lockdown orders and are required to show paperwork when outside of their homes indicating the purpose of their outing.
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to leave their homes only for food or other essential needs and is restricting public gatherings to no more than two people. Police will enforce the measures with fines and by breaking up larger gatherings.
President Trump said America will be “open for business very soon,” and suggested the U.S. could dramatically change its approach to handling the pandemic.
President Donald Trump: “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem. At the end of the 15-day period, we’ll make a decision as to which way we want to go, where we want to go, the timing. And essentially, we’re referring to the timing of the opening, essentially the opening of our country.”
Trump’s message was in stark contrast to the United Nations, public health experts and other heads of state around the world. This is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “We’ve all seen the pictures online of people who seem to think they’re invincible. Well, you’re not. Enough is enough. Go home and stay home.”
And this is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Monday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home, because the critical thing we must do to stop the disease spreading between households.”
Trump also said if solving the pandemic were up to doctors, they would “keep [the world] shut for a couple of years.” This comes as reports say Trump is growing impatient with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has had to correct Trump’s repeated falsehoods about the pandemic. Fauci was not present at Monday evening’s press briefing.
Texas has become the latest state to attack reproductive freedoms amid the coronavirus crisis, as Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered abortion providers stop performing the procedure, claiming they are not “medically necessary.” Medical providers could face fines or even jail time for violating the order.
In New York, officials with the Office of Refugee Resettlement have refused to free migrant children who are currently being held in two facilities where staff members tested positive for coronavirus. The officials say they will not be released to sponsors, who are usually family members, until quarantines at the facilities are lifted.
New York remains the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and now accounts for around 5% of all cases around the world. The total number of confirmed cases stands at over 23,000 this morning. The “attack rate,” or the percentage of the population infected with the virus, was nearly one in 1,000 in New York — five times higher than in other parts of the country.
Over 180 New Yorkers have died, and the pace of deaths is expected to accelerate. On Monday, the Brooklyn Democracy Academy announced the passing of the school’s principal, Dezann Romain, due to complications from COVID-19. Romain was just 36 years old. She’s the first public school employee in New York known to have died from coronavirus.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York is now able to test 16,000 people a day. At a daily press briefing, Cuomo ordered New York hospitals to increase their capacity by 50%. The Javits Convention Center is expected to be converted into an additional hospital this week to start handling the overflow of coronavirus patients. Cuomo again urged the federal government to take decisive action to send emergency funding to the state, as well as to produce and distribute much-needed medical supplies.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Let the federal government put in place the federal Defense Production Act. It does not nationalize any industry. All it does is say to a factory, 'You must produce this quantity.' That’s all it does.”
In other parts of the country, governors and local officials are also clamoring for much-needed supplies. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Monday a recent shipping of personal protective equipment, or PPE, from the national stockpile was barely enough to cover one shift at a hospital. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 400 ventilators from the federal stockpile were sent to New York City to help treat the growing number of patients.
Governor Cuomo also announced Monday New York will be the first state to test a coronavirus treatment that involves injecting blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients into individuals fighting off the disease.
In an unprecedented move to salvage the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve said Monday it would buy unlimited amounts of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, and extend loans to businesses. The Labor Department is expected to report next week that a record-breaking 3 million Americans have filed first-time claims for unemployment. The president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve predicted the U.S. unemployment rate could hit 30% in the coming weeks and months.
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has topped 900, with seven deaths, prompting the government to ban all international flights.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of infections in the Gulf region with over 560 confirmed cases; it imposed a nationwide curfew Monday.
In Africa, the virus has been spreading quickly, with confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassing 1,700 across 45 countries.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week national lockdown Monday as the country confirmed more than 550 cases — the highest number in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Zimbabwe, prominent 30-year-old television journalist Zororo Makamba has died after contracting COVID-19. He reportedly contracted the virus while he was recently visiting New York.
In West Africa, Senegal and Ivory Coast on Monday each declared states of emergency as they grapple to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has confirmed a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games, agreed to during talks with the International Olympic Committee.
Indonesia reported over 100 cases Tuesday, marking its biggest daily surge. Indonesia now has nearly 700 confirmed cases and at least 55 deaths.
Meanwhile, China has announced it will lift the lockdown on Wuhan, the city where the first COVID-19 infections were reported, on April 8, after two months of quarantine. Other lockdowns will be lifted Wednesday across other cities in Hubei province.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. is cutting $1 billion of aid to Afghanistan after he failed to make any headway on his visit Monday. The country has been in political turmoil as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah both claim they won last year’s election. The fragile Afghan peace deal has also stalled over a disagreement between the government and the Taliban on the release of thousands of prisoners.
In immigration news, BuzzFeed News reports a 42-year-old man from Mexico died at a hospital while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in Texas. His death is the 10th since October and the second to occur just three days after the death by an apparent suicide of a 27-year-old Honduran man at the Karnes Detention Center last week.
In California, Pacific Gas and Electric announced it pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for its role in the devastating 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and burned the town of Paradise to the ground.
In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis signed into law a bill abolishing the death penalty and commuting the sentences of three men on Colorado’s death row to life in prison. Colorado joins 21 states and the District of Columbia, which have already banned the death penalty.