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President Trump announced Tuesday that he instructed his administration to stop funding the World Health Organization until a review is completed on what he calls a mismanagement of the pandemic. The WHO has been criticized for its slow response in the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan, but by Jan. 30, the organization declared a global health emergency, after which the president continued to downplay the outbreak and compare it to the flu.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The governors of California and Oregon laid out a framework to resume public life and business, a day after President Trump incorrectly claimed that he is the final arbiter on when the United States will reopen.
  • The U.S. reported more than 2,300 deaths on Tuesday, a new daily high, and total confirmed fatalities surpassed 26,000 with more than 603,000 infections. New York City reported 3,778 additional fatalities, according to the city’s health department, pushing its total beyond 10,000. The city is now including probable covid-19 deaths in its count.
  • Covid-19 checkpoints targeting out-of-state residents in several states, including Rhode Island, Florida and Texas, are drawing complaints and legal scrutiny.
  • More than 9,000 U.S. health-care workers have been infected, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis.
  • The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name be printed on stimulus checks, a process that is expected to slow their delivery by several days.
  • More than 2,100 U.S. cities are now bracing for budget shortfalls, with many planning cuts and layoffs, according to a new survey.

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3:39 a.m.
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Ohio cuts off Pennsylvania residents looking to cross state line to buy liquor

As officials in Pennsylvania sought to control the spread of the coronavirus in mid-March, they shut down state-owned liquor stores.

Those locations are the only place in the state to buy hard liquor, so the order sent a flood of residents rushing to neighboring Ohio to stock up on spirits.

Now, amid fears that Pennsylvanians could be bringing the virus across state lines, Ohio is pushing back.

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said that liquor stores in the six Ohio counties closest to Pennsylvania can only sell liquor to customers who can prove they live in Ohio.

“Any other time, we’d love to have visitors from Pennsylvania,” he said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But right now this creates an unacceptable public health issue.”

Shoppers will have to show a valid Ohio or active military duty ID, display mail or a bill with their Ohio address or a letter from an employer demonstrating they are in Ohio as an essential worker.

“This is necessary because of repeated instances of persons from Pennsylvania coming into these counties for the sole or main purpose of purchasing liquor,” DeWine said.

West Virginia had previously restricted out-of-state liquor purchases in some of its border counties, a move that DeWine said pushed even more Pennsylvanians to his state.

3:04 a.m.
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Airlines, besieged in covid-19 era, fail to refund passengers as required, lawsuits say

The Department of Transportation said earlier this month that it has been receiving “an increasing number of complaints” from passengers being denied refunds, despite airlines’ “long-standing obligation” to provide them when they cancel flights or make significant changes to schedules.

“The focus is not on whether the flight disruptions are within or outside the carrier's control, but rather on the fact that the cancellation is through no fault of the passenger,” the department said.

In a statement Tuesday, the Transportation Department said it will monitor airlines’ refund practices and might issue warning letters or fines “as necessary.” But for now, it said, it is using its discretion “to give airlines an opportunity to come into compliance.”

Read more here.

2:39 a.m.
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MLB to participate in large-scale coronavirus research

Major League Baseball employees will take part in a covid-19 antibody study by Stanford University, the University of Southern California and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, according to reports from ESPN and the Athletic.

The study will consist of 10,000 people affiliated with MLB teams, including players, coaches, team employees and stadium workers, and aims to give researchers a clearer understanding into how the virus spreads in major cities. According to ESPN, the test, which has already been sent out across the MLB markets, uses a pinprick of blood to detect the presence of antibodies.

According to one of the researchers, the antibody test will be the largest of its kind performed in the United States.

“This will be the first time we will be able to see how truly prevalent covid-19 has spread throughout the United States,” Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford University, told the Athletic. “And instead of it taking years to pull together a study of this scope, especially with stay-at-home orders, MLB has helped us turn it around in a matter of weeks.”

The test will not hasten the start of the MLB season. On March 12, baseball made the initial announcement to cancel spring training games. Since then, much like every other sports league, MLB shelved Opening Day and all subsequent games. On March 15, an unnamed New York Yankees minor leaguer became the first person affiliated with MLB to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

2:11 a.m.
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Strip club lawsuits claim coronavirus aid program discriminates against businesses of a ‘sexual nature’

Strip clubs claim they are being discriminated against and face financial ruin after being blocked from the coronavirus small-business loan program, according to federal lawsuits.

The lawsuit at the forefront of the discussion was filed on April 8, by Jason Mohney, owner of more than two dozen strip clubs across the country, against the U.S. Small Business Association, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mohney filed the lawsuit on behalf of Little Darlings, his club in Flint, Mich.

The lawsuit says the regulations put in place by the Paycheck Protection Program through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act discriminate against businesses that provide services some might deem of a “prurient sexual nature.” However, there are many employees in such establishments, such as bartenders, dishwashers, security guards, waitresses, etc.

The lawsuit says the aid program violates the business’s and workers’ fundamental rights under the First and Fifth amendments.

The $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package includes nearly $350 billion for the small-business loan program. The program is designed to get cash into the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs. However, with certain clauses in the SBA rules, the plan has now brought up questions of which businesses qualify and why.

“This is a nightmare,” Mohney told the Detroit News. Mohney employs fewer than 500 employees at more than two dozen clubs in Michigan, Nevada, Louisiana, Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma and California, including the Déjà Vu and Hustler chains.

“The emergency regulations promulgated by the Small Business Administration to implement narrower existing loan programs, improperly and unconstitutionally limit benefits to businesses and workers unquestionably engaged in First Amendment protected expression,” the lawsuit states.

An SBA spokesperson told The Post that the association doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

1:31 a.m.
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Can Boeing be saved after the 737 Max and coronavirus?

When he was appointed Boeing chief executive four months ago, David Calhoun’s mandate was to resurrect a company reeling from the 737 Max crisis. As the coronavirus pandemic grounds virtually all air travel, ravages the firm’s supply chain and upends the economy, the veteran corporate executive faces a situation far more dire: a catastrophe that threatens the survival of the 104-year-old aerospace and defense firm.

Since the novel coronavirus spread to the United States, virtually every day has brought a cascade of bad news for Boeing. It has been forced to shutter major manufacturing plants outside of Seattle, then Columbus, then Philadelphia, then Charleston, forcing the world’s largest aerospace company to temporarily halt all final assembly of commercial airplanes. There was a round of voluntary layoffs.

Read more here.

1:17 a.m.
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Guatemala health minister: Majority of U.S. deportees have tested positive for virus

MEXICO CITY — Between 50 and 75 percent of all deportees from the United States to Guatemala have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Guatemalan Health Ministry reported Tuesday.

The startling statistic, which other Guatemalan officials were still trying to confirm, would lay bare the human cost of continued U.S. deportations during the global pandemic. Previously, the Guatemalan government had only reported that four deportees had tested positive for the virus.

The United States briefly paused deportations to Guatemala last month, when the country raised concern about deportees returning with the virus. But after U.S. officials pledged to add health checks before deportees boarded the planes, the flights were resumed. In March and April, more than 3,300 Guatemalans have been deported from the United States.

“The cases of those who were deported and then tested positive have greatly increased,” Hugo Monroy, the minister of health, said in a news conference.

Monroy said in many cases the deportees arrive with fevers.

“There’s one flight in particular with more than 75 percent of positive cases,” Monroy said, adding that when he considered “all the flights” of deportees, the range of positive cases was between 50 and 75 percent.

Officially, Guatemala has only 180 coronavirus cases, but Monroy’s comments seem to suggest the actual number could be much higher. Other Guatemalan officials, speaking privately, suggested that Monroy’s numbers could be inaccurate.

On Tuesday evening, Guatemala’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, delivered a national address where he gave an update on the total number of cases in the country but did not speak directly about deportees, or respond to Monroy’s comments.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has said that 77 detainees have tested positive for coronavirus. ICE officials have said they assess the health of migrants, including checking their temperatures before the flights depart. But they do not test them for the virus.

1:10 a.m.
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Trump administration orders president’s name be printed on millions of Americans’ stimulus checks

The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name be printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that is expected to slow their delivery by several days, senior agency officials said.

The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, “President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side of the payment.

It will be the first time a president’s signature appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one.

Read more here.

12:52 a.m.
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Being sick at home with your family might be more dangerous than being alone

Sandy Brown’s husband knew he was infected. The 59-year-old church elder had the trademark dry cough and fever of covid-19, but when she drove him to the emergency room gasping for air, the doctor’s advice was to go home and stay home.

Soon, their 20-year-old son was sick, and within 12 days, both had died.

The standard prescription from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the mildly ill to self-isolate at home is something doctors and nurses in coronavirus hot spots repeat hundreds of times each day. But there’s a devastating cost to the public policy decision: multiple families with multiple deaths.

Read more here.

12:42 a.m.
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What you need to know from Tuesday’s White House briefing

President Trump said April 14 he will authorize all 50 governors to determine when their individual states will be reopened after the coronavirus crisis. (The Washington Post)

President Trump holds daily briefings at the White House about his government’s coronavirus response. Here are a few things that the president spoke about on Tuesday:

  • Trump is suspending U.S. funding for the World Health Organization
  • Trumps backed down on his ‘absolute’ authority to open the economy
  • The federal government is organizing a ventilator reserve

Read more about what was discussed in the briefing.

12:25 a.m.
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CDC and FEMA have created a plan to reopen America

A team of government officials — led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — has created a public health strategy to combat the novel coronavirus and reopen parts of the country.

Their strategy, obtained by The Washington Post, is part of a larger White House effort to draft a national plan to get Americans out of their homes and back to work. It gives guidance to state and local governments on how they can ease mitigation efforts, moving from drastic restrictions such as stay-at-home orders in a phased way to support a safe reopening.

Read about the plan here.

11:59 p.m.
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Checkpoints at state borders draw complaints and legal scrutiny

In Florida and Texas, state troopers are requiring motorists from out of state and their passengers to sign forms promising to self-quarantine for 14 days. Florida, Rhode Island and Texas also require travelers to provide an address where they plan to shelter — and advise them to be prepared for a follow-up call or unannounced visit from public health officials.

Law enforcement experts say such broad use of police — and in some cases the National Guard — roadblocks is extraordinary and unprecedented in the United States. Checkpoints are typically reserved for the occasional drunken driving enforcement crackdown or seat belt checks and in rare searches for an escaped prisoner or particularly dangerous criminal.

Read more here.

11:48 p.m.
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Prince George’s hospitals see influx of critically ill coronavirus patients

Prince George’s County hospitals have been inundated with critically ill coronavirus patients and are sending some to facilities outside the county when they run out of beds, hospital officials warned Tuesday.

The majority-black suburb of 900,000 had 72 covid-19 deaths and 2,356 confirmed cases as of Tuesday — more than any other county in Maryland or in neighboring Washington.

At a briefing of the Prince George’s County Council, officials said hospitals in the county are reporting higher-than-average rates of fatalities and confirmed positive cases, the latest evidence that the deadly virus is disproportionately affecting African American communities.

Read more here.

11:47 p.m.
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New York City adds more than 3,700 probable covid-19 deaths, pushing city’s total past 10,000

Now counting “probable” deaths related to complications from the novel coronavirus, New York City reported 3,778 additional fatalities Tuesday, according to the city’s health department, pushing the city’s total beyond 10,000.

The city’s new total now includes people who are likely to have died from the virus. Although the deceased — reported in hospitals, nursing facilities and at home — may not have been tested, “probable covid-19” is listed as the cause on the death certificate if they had the symptoms and exposure to the virus, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday morning, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) did not report the additional deaths during his briefing. The state’s total number of deaths Tuesday was around 10,800.

Among the city’s 3,778 new deaths, nearly 60 percent died while in a hospital or emergency room.

11:46 p.m.
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Pelosi: ‘Without testing, we cannot resume our lives’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the nation still lacks sufficient testing for the coronavirus, “and without testing, we cannot resume our lives.”

In a letter to fellow House Democrats, Pelosi (Calif.) leveled harsh criticisms against President Trump, blaming him for “unnecessary deaths and economic disaster” because she said he had dismantled the nation’s public health infrastructure. She accused him of ignoring warnings, labeling the pandemic a “hoax” and being a weak leader.

“The truth is, from this moment on, Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists and other respected professionals,” Pelosi wrote. She said she had reached these conclusions after prayer and reflection over Easter Weekend.

Trump has defended his response to the crisis at every turn, saying the nation is doing well with testing — though people still have difficulty getting tested — and toying with trying to reopen the nation’s economy sooner rather than later.

Pelosi’s “dear colleague” letter did not address how Congress is going to move forward from a stalemate over its next steps to address the economic destruction of the pandemic.

After passing three pieces of legislation, culminating in a $2 trillion rescue package late last month, lawmakers have been locked in a partisan standoff over what to do next.

Republicans and the Trump administration have been demanding an immediate infusion of $250 billion to add to a new small-business fund called the Paycheck Protection Program, which is running low on money to guarantee loans through banks. Democrats are trying to add $100 billion more for hospitals, $150 billion more for cities and states, and more money for food stamp recipients. They also want to make changes to the Small Business Administration program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke Tuesday, after which McConnell announced that plans for the Senate to reconvene next week would be delayed until May 4 at the earliest. It was not clear whether they had made progress on negotiations over the next funding bill.