President Donald Trump on Friday declared a “state of emergency” over the coronavirus — and said he would “most likely” be tested for it after having contact with several people who self-quarantined or tested positive for the virus.
The president does not have any symptoms.
His declaration of an emergency paves the way for up to $50 billion to be funneled into efforts by federal and state governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president promised that the federal government would greatly expand testing and that 1.4 million test kits would be available next week.
The virus, originating in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 137,000 people and killed nearly 6,000 worldwide.
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Here’s what else we learned today:
Drive-thru coronavirus testing:
- New York opened drive-thru coronavirus testing in New Rochelle — the Westchester County town with the highest cluster of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
- The state is following the lead of health officials in other places such as South Korea and Germany who have looked to at ways to more rapidly confirm cases and track its spread.
- The Dow surged 1,985 points Friday as President Trump declared the national emergency. The record rally came a day after the blue-chip index suffered its worst drop in more than three decades.
Lasting impact of disease:
- Some patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have been left with a reduced lung capacity – gasping for air when casually walking, according to a report from the South China Morning Post. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced the findings after studying the first wave of patients who had fully recovered from COVID-19.
- An Italian doctor described the haunting last moments of coronavirus patients before they die. “They are lucid, they do not go into narcolepsy. It is as if they were drowning, but with time to understand it.”
More major sporting events impacted:
- The 2020 Masters golf tournament was postponed Friday. The 86-year-old tournament and marquee event for the sport was slated to take place April 9-12.
- The Boston Marathon was postponed for five months, from April 20 to Sept. 14, the first time in its 124-year history that it will be delayed.
Entertainment industry grinds to halt:
- Travel restrictions and bans on large public gatherings have led to the delay of the release of some of Hollywood’s biggest anticipated blockbusters, including “Fast and Furious F9,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” Marvel’s “New Mutants” and the live-action version of “Mulan.”
- Television, too, has experienced a disruption, with live shows banning audiences and whole seasons put on hold as production teams grapple with sick crew members. Shows such as “Grace and Frankie,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Riverdale” have all announced they are suspending production.
Cruises keep sailing:
- Despite the threats from COVID-19, some vacationers have decided to set sail anyway on Florida cruise ships after complaining that they were not eligible for a refund of their tickets.
- Others who had tickets to canceled voyages found creative ways to replicate the experience from home.
- Everyone from celebrities to star athletes and political figureheads have announced testing positive for the virus. In addition to Tom Hanks’ and Rita Wilson’s diagnoses, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, announced she’s also tested positive.
- Utah Jazz basketball players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are among the biggest athletes in America to have tested positive, and global soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo is currently being quarantined after a teammate tested positive.
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