The nation’s top infectious diseases expert and the surgeon general warned Americans on Sunday to prepare for a difficult week ahead.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the U.S. is “struggling” the get the coronavirus outbreak under control, while Surgeon General Jerome Adams said “the next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment.”
Their comments came as number of deaths in the U.S. crept toward 10,000, with more than 9,600 recorded early Monday, according to NBC News’ tally. The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has passed 337,000. Globally, the death toll is nearing 70,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
- Here’s what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not doing — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
0m ago / 8:57 AM UTC
‘His Achilles’ heel’: Coronavirus crisis highlights Trump’s lack of health care plan
Health care was already a vulnerability for President Donald Trump before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now his lack of a plan to fix the system is coming under a new microscope as the crisis costs many Americans their coverage and overwhelms providers.
The clarity in Trump’s health care vision begins and ends with repealing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, also known as Obamacare. His budget proposals would strip away funding for the law, and he has endorsed a lawsuit to wipe it off the books. But the president hasn’t thrown his weight behind a replacement bill or even an outline, and he has rejected calls to reopen Obamacare for enrollment during the current crisis.
Trump’s focus on mitigating the economic damage has kept health care on the back burner. Some allies worry that with millions of newly unemployed Americans poised to lose coverage during a public health crisis, Trump’s lack of a plan for the needy will be a political liability in his re-election bid.
Yuliya Talmazan and Segilola Arisekola
1m ago / 8:57 AM UTC
Irish PM returns to work as a doctor to help in coronavirus crisis
It’s back to his scrubs for Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. The former doctor re-registered as a medical practitioner last month to help the country’s healthcare system as it deals with the coronavirus epidemic, his office said Sunday.
Varadkar will work for the health service for one session a week “in areas that are within his scope of practice,” a statement from his office said.
“He wanted to help out even in a small way,” the statement added. According to a report in the Irish Times, Varadkar is helping out with phone assessments of coronavirus patients.
The Associated Press
2h ago / 6:49 AM UTC
Governors plead for food stamp flexibility
Yvonne Knight, who has respiratory problems that make her especially vulnerable in the coronavirus pandemic, can’t buy groceries online with her food stamps, even though each trip to the store is now a risky endeavor.
Going out to buy food terrifies the 38-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, but she is one of millions of people who receive food aid through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that can’t be used in flexible ways. “Every time I go out, I put myself at risk — and other people,” said Knight, who lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Buying groceries online — which many Americans are doing to reduce how often they leave their homes — is only open to SNAP recipients in six U.S. states, and Pennsylvania is not one of them.
Now, state governments and food security activists across the country are imploring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make the program more flexible and easier to access at a time when so many people are losing their jobs and turning to the government for support.
2h ago / 6:51 AM UTC
Duran Duran’s John Taylor reveals coronavirus recovery
LOS ANGELES — Duran Duran bassist John Taylor took to Facebook on Sunday to reveal he had tested positive for coronavirus and is on the mend. Taylor was diagnosed with COVID-19 “three weeks ago” and has been self-quarantining.
“I am speaking out to answer to the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic, some of it entirely justified, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain,” he wrote. “But I want to let you know that it isn’t always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing.”
The entertainment community has been rocked by the virus, having recently lost Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, country star Joe Diffie and jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr., among others.
Fred Imbert, CNBC
2h ago / 6:52 AM UTC
Stocks appear set to jump, with Dow futures up more than 500 points
U.S. stock futures rose Sunday night as Wall Street tried to recover from another decline last week while investors shook off rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 531 points higher, implying a gain of about 565 points at the Monday open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to Monday opening gains for the two indexes.
Last week, the major averages posted their third weekly decline in four. The Dow slid 2.7% while the S&P 500 lost 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite closed last week down 1.7%. Stocks are also deep in bear-market territory as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have virtually shut down the global economy and have dampened sentiment around corporate profits.
2h ago / 6:57 AM UTC
California county orders people to wear face coverings outside
Public health officials in Riverside County, California, made it mandatory Sunday for people who go outside to wear face coverings to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, said people could use bandanas, scarves and other items without visible holes in them to shield their faces. He cautioned against using industrial and surgical masks, saying they should be reserved for first responders.
The order came after 30 patients and staff members at a local nursing home tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to NBC Los Angeles. Two deputies have also died from the disease, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Friday to wear face coverings to keep people who may not be showing symptoms of the disease from spreading it to others.