Welcome to The Hill’s daily roundup of coronavirus news.
There are now more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. There are 236,339 confirmed cases in the U.S., including more than 5,600 deaths. And there was more bad news today as unemployment claims hit a record high of 6.6 million.
Here’s what you need to know today:
- More than 1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally and more than 51,000 deaths have been reported worldwide due to the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar has the latest numbers.
- All eyes are on New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus in the U.S., but experts warn other areas of the country are at risk of becoming hotspots. Cities in the South and Midwest, in particular, are in danger of becoming the next hotspots as data shows cases there are increasing rapidly. Read more here from The Hill’s Jessie Hellmann.
- An unprecedented 6.6 million people filed unemployment claims in the last week of March, meaning 10 million people have now filed for jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic ripped through the country, shattering the economy. Niv Elis has the story here.
- Roughly 10 million people have lost their jobs in the last two weeks, and experts are warning that there is no end in sight to the economic devastation. The Hill’s Niall Stanage has more on the economic crisis.
- States are still desperately clamoring for ventilators, but FEMA says demand will soon exceed capacity. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) warned that his state is set to run out of its stockpile of ventilators in six days, though there are some extraordinary measures the state can take to try to prolong that. Read more here.
- Meanwhile, the federal government has fewer than 10,000 ventilators in its emergency stockpile and demand will soon exceed capacity, federal officials told a House committee. Nathaniel Weixel has more here.
- President Trump issued an order expanding his use of the Defense Production Act, allowing the law to be used to help secure supplies used to make ventilators. Peter Sullivan reports.
More from the administration:
- President Trump is expected to announce guidance encouraging certain Americans to wear masks or face coverings when leaving the home to limit transmission of the coronavirus. The specific language of the guidance was not yet finalized as of Thursday afternoon. Brett Samuels has more here.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the first coronavirus relief payments to Americans will be sent “within two weeks.” Naomi Jagoda has the story here.
- The federal government is loosening restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men in light of a blood shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more from Nathaniel here.
- A Washington state nursing home at the center of an early coronavirus outbreak faces a federal fine of more than $611,000 for failures in its response to the outbreak, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
- Hoarded personal protective equipment seized by the FBI in a price-gouging investigation will be distributed to New York and New Jersey health care workers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday. Rebecca Klar has the story here.
- The president announced that he again tested negative for the coronavirus. More from Morgan Chalfant here.