Coronavirus live updates: Cuomo calls stimulus bill ‘reckless’

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 22,000 people around the world, including at least 1,046 people in the United States.

Worldwide, there are more than 487,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, spanning every continent except Antarctica, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At least 117,000 people around the world have recovered.

With more than 69,000 diagnosed cases, the U.S has the third-highest national total behind Italy and China.

Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern: 

1:42 p.m.: Drew Brees gives $5 million to Louisiana

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he and his wife are giving $5 million to Louisiana organizations to help “our communities get through this tough time.”

Diagnosed coronavirus cases have jumped to 2,305 in Louisiana. At least 83 people in the state have died.

Brees said on Instagram he’s partnering with organizations “to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.”

1:14 p.m.: China temporarily bars all foreign nationals from entering country

China’s Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that as of March 28, all foreign nationals, including those with valid visas and residence permits, will be temporarily barred from entering the country.

Diplomats and flight crew are exempt.

1:01 p.m.: Columbia medical students can graduate early to help with pandemic

Columbia University will let medical students graduate early so they can help with the coronavirus response efforts in New York, university officials told ABC News.

The decision from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center comes after New York University announced the unprecedented decision to graduate its fourth-year students early. NYU said its commitment was in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive to get more physicians into the health system quickly.

12:40 p.m.: Chicago shuts down Lakefront Trail

Chicago’s popular Lakefront Trail was shut down on Thursday, blocking access to the extensive trail and park, after too many people congregated and violated social distancing guidelines, said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago Police said they will start issuing $500 citations for those violating social distancing guidelines and will arrest repeat offenders.

12:20 p.m.: ‘REAL ID’ deadline pushed back to October 2021

The deadline to apply for the new federally mandated “REAL ID,” which will be required for anyone trying to fly from U.S. airports, has been extended by a year due to closures at the Department of Motor Vehicles as a result of the coronavirus, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.

The original deadline was Oct. 1, 2020, and it’s now pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021.

12:04 p.m.: Stimulus bill ‘failed to meet the governmental need,’ Cuomo says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Congress’ $2 trillion stimulus bill has “failed to meet the governmental need.”

Out of the total stimulus bill, New York state gets $5 billion for COVID-19 expenses, which Cuomo said does not help with lost revenue to the state.

“I’m disappointed,” Cuomo said on Thursday. “I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless. Emotion is a luxury. And we don’t have the luxury at this time of being emotional about what they [Congress] did. When this is over, I promise you I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.”

“This was the time [for Congress] to put politics aside,” Cuomo said. “Now is a time to actually step up, do the right thing, and do your job. And they haven’t as far as I’m concerned, especially when it comes to the governmental need.”

New York has become the nation’s epicenter of the pandemic. The state has seen 385 deaths from COVID-19 and that number is expected to continue to rise, Cuomo said.

Over 37,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 5,000 of those people are in the hospital, he said.

As of Wednesday, New York was performing 25% of the COVID-19 testing nationwide, according to the governor.

11:18 a.m.: New record low for domestic plane travel

As domestic airline travel continues to plunge, the TSA screened its lowest number of passengers in over a decade on Wednesday.

There were 239,234 travelers screened by the TSA on Wednesday, compared to 2,273,811 travelers on the same weekday last year.

10:24 a.m.: Tufts University to hold its 1st virtual commencement

Tufts University will hold its first virtual commencement ceremony.

“In light of the unprecedented public health crisis we are currently facing, we will be unable to bring our graduates together physically to celebrate all that they have accomplished,” the university said in a statement. “Though we unfortunately cannot be together in person, we will celebrate the class of 2020 on May 17.”

9:06 a.m.: Spain’s death toll climbs over 4,000

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus has now climbed to 4,089 after another 655 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, according to Spain’s Health Ministry.

Spain now has the second-highest number of deaths, following Italy.

The nation has 56,188 diagnosed cases, including 3,679 people who are in the intensive care unit, according to Spain’s Health Ministry.

Spain is fourth in the number of diagnosed cases, behind China, Italy and the U.S.

8:42 a.m.: Member of NYC hospital nursing staff dies from coronavirus

A member of the nursing staff at New York City’s Mount Sinai Health System has died from the coronavirus, according to the hospital.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff,” Mount Sinai said in a statement. “Today, we lost another hero – a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.”


We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff. Today, we lost another hero – a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.

— Mount Sinai Health System (@MountSinaiNYC) March 26, 2020


7:40 a.m.: Prince Charles still working in self-isolation, royal source says

Charles, Prince of Wales, is working at his desk as usual while self-isolating at his estate in Scotland, a royal source told ABC News.

The source said Charles has received hundreds of get well soon wishes sent to his official royal residence in London, Clarence House.

A Clarence House spokesman confirmed in a statement Wednesday that Charles had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and “has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health.”

His wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has tested negative for the virus, according to the spokesman. The couple is currently self-isolating at Birkhall, their private residence in Scotland.

Charles, 71, is the first child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is the heir apparent to the British throne.

6:32 a.m.: Russia grounds all international flights over coronavirus

The Russian government has ordered the grounding of all international flights as part of new measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia’s civil aviation agency Rosaviatsiya will halt “regular and charter air flights from Russian airports to and from foreign countries,” with the exception of flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad, according to the decree published Thursday on the government’s website.

The new travel restriction comes into force at midnight on Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 840 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus in Russia, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

5:27 a.m.: Nearly 90% of the world’s student population is out of school due to pandemic

More than 1.5 billion students are not attending schools and universities because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Governments across the globe have closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the outbreak. More than 160 countries have implemented nationwide school closure, impacting over 87 percent of the world’s student population, according to UNESCO monitoring.

Several other nations have implemented localized school closures and, should those become nationwide, millions more students would be affected, UNESCO warned.

3:30 a.m.: Diagnosed cases approach half a million worldwide

The number of diagnosed cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus will likely reach half a million in the coming days, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

China still has the highest tally with more than 81,000 diagnosed cases, but Italy isn’t far behind with over 74,000. The U.S. count is approaching 70,000.

Meanwhile, the global death toll topped 21,000 on Thursday, with Italy and Spain as the two worst-affected countries.

A third of the world’s population is under some kind of coronavirus-related movement restrictions as governments scramble to contain the spread of the disease.

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