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President Trump said he told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) that he should be less aggressive on reopening his state. “Only in timing, I disagree,” Trump said at Wednesday’s task force briefing. “I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he’s doing."

“Our Country is starting to OPEN FOR BUSINESS again,” Trump had tweeted earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which was involved in work on a coronavirus vaccine and treatments, said he was removed from his post for resisting efforts to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment.

Here are some significant developments:

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3:52 a.m.
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Tennessee brothers who hoarded hand sanitizer avoid fine

Two Tennessee brothers who went viral for hoarding and then attempting to resell tens of thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer will not face prosecution or a fine, officials said Tuesday.

Matt and Noah Colvin gained notoriety after a New York Times story profiled their efforts to stockpile the antibacterial gel and then sell bottles for as much as $70 each online.

The brothers in Chattanooga had swept across stores in Tennessee and Kentucky, driving 1,300 miles to clear shelves of the alcohol-based disinfectant. After immediately selling 300 bottles on Amazon, the online retailer pulled their sales listings and thousands of other similar items, leaving them with 17,700 bottles of sanitizer. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Amid accusations of price gouging, the Colvins settled with state authorities, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III said in a news release.

After receiving a cease-and-desist letter, the brothers donated their hand sanitizer last month to nonprofit organizations in Tennessee and Kentucky, which officials on Tuesday said was acceptable as restitution.

That may have been a silver lining to their online saga.

“Disrupting necessary supplies during an unprecedented pandemic is a serious offense,” Slatery said. “It became clear during our investigation that the Colvins realized this, and their prompt cooperation and donation led to an outcome that actually benefited some consumers.”

2:39 a.m.
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Los Angeles will list restaurants that have had outbreaks

Los Angeles County health officials later this week will start publicly identifying restaurants that have had coronavirus outbreaks, they said on Wednesday.

The county’s website currently lists nursing homes, jails and prisons, homeless shelters and other “institutional facilities” that have had at least one confirmed case. Data on the site is broken down between residents and staff members and between probable and confirmed infections.

It is not clear how the county, the largest in the nation, is defining an outbreak or how long it will list restaurants online.

The announcement comes after workers at several fast-food locations across California staged protests calling for more protective equipment and greater transparency after outbreaks at some stores.

At McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza franchises in Los Angeles, workers charged that managers did not inform them that their co-workers had tested positive for the coronavirus, in some cases keeping stores open for days longer and bringing in staff from other locations.

High-end restaurants in the area have reported cases, too. Earlier this month, renowned chef Nancy Silverton, best known for popularizing sourdough bread, announced that she had tested positive for the virus.

2:21 a.m.
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In New York’s largest hospital system, 88 percent of coronavirus patients on ventilators didn’t make it

Throughout March, as the pandemic gained momentum in the United States, much of the preparations focused on ventilators, the breathing machines that were supposed to save everyone’s lives.

Now five weeks into the crisis, a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association about New York’s largest health system suggests a reality that, like so much else about the novel coronavirus, confounds our early expectations.

Researchers found that 20 percent of all those hospitalized died — a finding that’s similar to the percentage who perish in normal times among patients admitted for respiratory distress. But the numbers diverge more for the critically ill put on ventilators: 88 percent of the 320 covid-19 patients on ventilators who were tracked in the study died.

Read more here.

1:57 a.m.
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Abortions will resume in Texas after governor allows certain elective procedures to continue

Texas began allowing certain elective medical procedures to continue amid the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday. Abortions will be among them, according to a report by the Texas Tribune.

This is the latest development in a winding, month-long saga for abortions in Texas, which is part of a battle between states and abortion providers across the country. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had banned abortions in March to direct all medical resources toward preventing and treating coronavirus infections. There was immediate pushback from abortion providers and legal action spurred by Planned Parenthood.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled in favor of Abbott’s ban on April 7.

Abbott’s latest order will allow medical facilities to resume procedures under two conditions: They have to keep a certain number of beds open for covid-19 patients and refrain from taking personal protective equipment from public sources.

1:40 a.m.
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Trump says states have the testing capacity they need. Governors say they lack supplies.

Democratic and Republican governors have pushed back against the Trump administration for saying states have the testing capacity needed to start to reopen. (The Washington Post)

Nearly one-third of governors over the past week have said they lack sufficient coronavirus testing supplies to reopen their states, according to a Fix analysis of public statements.

The comments come after the Trump administration in recent days said states have the testing capacity needed to start to reopen if they choose.

“Ultimately, we’re doing more testing I think than probably any of the governors even want,” President Trump said Tuesday.

Many of the 16 governors who have said they lack testing supplies have not disputed they have ample testing capacity to start to reopen, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other hindrances. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said his state needs to double existing testing, while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said his state needs to quintuple existing testing.

Read more here.

1:19 a.m.
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As Las Vegas mayor calls for reopening casinos, culinary workers union calls it ‘outrageous’

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s proposal to reopen the city is “outrageous,” Nevada’s largest union said in a statement Wednesday.

The Culinary Union’s statement followed an interview Goodman did earlier in the day with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in which Goodman advocated for casinos to be reopened because “we’ve had viruses for years here.”

The union said it supports the stay-home order that’s in place. Eleven members of the union have died of coronavirus complications, said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer.

“We want people back to work, but it has to be safe and secure and we don’t want workers to be part of an experiment,” Argüello-Kline wrote.

The union also noted that while Goodman is the mayor of Las Vegas, she doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Strip, the 4-mile stretch of mega-hotels and casinos that sits south of the city limits in unincorporated Clark County.

Goodman began trending on Twitter shortly after the interview with Cooper. She told him it would be up to the businesses that reopen to make sure people practice social distancing and don’t spread the virus — otherwise, the businesses would become unpopular.

“That’s up to them to figure out,” she said, laughing. “I don’t own a casino.”

Cooper repeatedly questioned how opening the city during a pandemic wouldn’t make it “a petri dish” for the novel coronavirus, which has killed 187 people and infected 4,081 in Nevada.

Goodman called Cooper an alarmist. She said she had asked the city statistician whether residents could be a “control group” for the virus but the statistician told her people commute into the city, and it wouldn’t work.

“We offered to be a control group,” she said. “It was offered; it was turned down.”

Speaking on CNN later Wednesday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said Nevadans wouldn’t be used as a control group.

1:03 a.m.
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Three lions and three tigers at the Bronx Zoo test positive for coronavirus

Three lions and three more tigers at the Bronx Zoo have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the zoo said Wednesday, nearly three weeks after it announced a positive case in a tiger named Nadia.

The zoo had suspected that the other big cats were also positive, because most of them had displayed a dry cough, Nadia’s primary symptom. She was the only cat initially tested because the kind of samples that were taken — from her nose, throat and respiratory tract — required that she be anesthetized. The six additional cases were confirmed via fecal tests that did not require the animals to be sedated, the zoo said.

All the cats “continue to do well. They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced,” the zoo said in a statement. The cats were infected by a staff member who was asymptomatic, the zoo said. No other wildcats at the zoo are showing signs of illness.

Nadia was the first animal in the United States to test positive for the virus, which causes the disease covid-19 in humans. On Wednesday, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that two pet cats in New York had also tested positive for the virus.

Outside the United States, a small number of pet dogs and cats are known to have been infected, and studies have found that cats and ferrets are particularly susceptible. But scientists emphasize that in all cases, the animals have been — or are assumed to have been — infected by humans. There is no evidence that animals can transmit the virus to humans or that they are playing a role in its spread, public health officials say.

Read more here.

12:47 a.m.
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Under Trump, scientists can speak — as long as they mostly toe the line

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued a candid warning in a Tuesday Washington Post interview: A simultaneous flu and coronavirus outbreak next fall and winter “will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” adding that calls and protests to “liberate” states from stay-at-home orders — as President Trump has tweeted — were “not helpful.”

Wednesday morning, Trump said Redfield was misquoted and that Redfield would provide a statement. But when Redfield appeared at the daily White House briefing Wednesday evening, he said he had been accurately quoted after all, while also trying to soften his words as the president glowered next to him.

The remarkable spectacle provided another illustration of the president’s tenuous relationship with his own administration’s scientific and public health experts, where the unofficial message from the Oval Office is an unmistakable warning: Those who challenge the president’s erratic and often inaccurate coronavirus views will be punished — or made to atone.

Read more here.

12:25 a.m.
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Trump administration says it will help cover the cost of treating uninsured covid-19 patients

The Trump administration confirmed Wednesday that the government will devote an unspecified amount of federal aid to help hospitals cope with the expense of treating covid-19 patients who are uninsured.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the payments for patients without health coverage as part of several strands of funding the government will distribute from a federal relief package to hospitals and other health-care facilities and practitioners overwhelmed financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

During a conference call with journalists, Azar declined to specify how much money would be allotted to help hospitals with covid-19 cases known as uncompensated care — patients for whom there is no one to pay the bills.

Read more here.

12:12 a.m.
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Louisiana task force on reopening the state economy holds a remote first meeting

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off the virtual first meeting of a task force created to advise how to reopen the state economy, promising to release details next week on what will be permitted once the stay-at-home order expires April 30.

The meeting of the Resilient Louisiana Commission, composed of representatives from the public and private sectors, was held Wednesday afternoon by telephone conference call with more than 100 task force members, businesspeople and reporters dialing in.

Edwards (D) cautioned that when the state does start to reopen, the process will not necessarily be a “one-way street” toward fewer restrictions. If current trends reverse and covid-19 cases begin to increase, “we will go back to a more restrictive posture as we need to,” he said.

Edwards noted that the state is reopening portions of the health-care system relating to non-emergency medical procedures before the stay-at-home order expires. It’s an example of how Louisiana must chart its own path toward reopening. The state’s “population is already less healthy than the populations of just about every other state,” Edwards said, and taking care of non-coronavirus cases is essential. “We’re less healthy in ways that make more of our people vulnerable particularly to covid-19.”

The relative health of state residents will be a factor in the pace of reopening and the types of guidelines that will remain in place for some time, Edwards said.

Louisiana reported 25,258 total cases and 1,473 deaths as of Wednesday, including 6,209 cases and 367 deaths in New Orleans. Louisiana has dropped to fifth place in the number of cases per capita after holding the third spot for weeks, Edwards said. The number of hospitalizations and patients requiring ventilators also decreased.

“I believe we can say we’ve reached a plateau on cases,” Edwards said, adding that “nobody should think we’re in the clear. We’re not even close.”

11:56 p.m.
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Trump says he disagrees with Kemp’s reopening plan

Trump said he told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) that he should wait longer before moving the state into phase two. “Only in timing, I disagree,” Trump said. He added he campaigned for Kemp when he ran for office.

“I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he’s doing,” Trump said.

Last week, after saying he had “total authority” to reopen the country, Trump backed down, saying it was up to states. On Wednesday, after saying he disagreed with Kemp, he said he would act if governors’ plans were concerning enough but implied Kemp’s order didn’t meet that standard.

“Now, if I see something totally egregious, totally out of line, I’ll do [something],” he said, “but I think spas and beauty salons and tattoo parlors and barbershops in phase one… it’s just too soon. I think it’s too soon."

Kemp’s office didn’t respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment on Trump’s remarks, but on Twitter, Kemp doubled down on his decision to reopen, saying it was “driven by data and guided by state public health officials.”

“We will continue with this approach to protect the lives — and livelihoods — of all Georgians,” he wrote.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking after Trump during the White House briefing Wednesday, also said he would advise Kemp to reconsider his order.

Trump had tweeted Wednesday morning that states are safely coming back.

11:54 p.m.
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While most Americans avoid one another, a tiny share are having close contact with dozens each day

The vast majority of Americans — 97 percent — reported practicing some form of social distancing in a Gallup poll, but the remaining 3 percent have made no attempts to isolate themselves from people. And they came into contact with a relatively huge number of people every day.

Gallup asked adults to count the number of people they came within six feet of during the previous day. On average, Americans reported contact with about 10 people in a given day. But that varied widely depending on how much people were trying to isolate themselves.

Roughly 3 in 4 Americans said they were “completely” or “mostly” isolating themselves, and they reported very few daily contacts. The average number of contacts for those who had mostly isolated themselves was 5.4, with most reporting fewer than three contacts per day. The average was 1.5 for those who were completely isolating.

Contacts were dramatically higher among the 3 percent of adults who have made no attempt to isolate themselves. This group averaged 52 contacts per day, with a median of 30 contacts. An additional 7 percent reported isolating themselves “a little,” a group that also averaged 52 contacts per day but came into contact with a smaller 14 people typically.

Most of those who made no attempt to isolate have jobs and may have limited ability to avoid people while working. Gallup found people with jobs were in contact with more people. The mean number of contacts among those working was about 14, compared with four for those who weren’t working.

Gallup found 52 percent of contacts Americans were having were at work, with 26 percent at the grocery store and fewer than 10 percent from any other location.

11:36 p.m.
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Trump signs order pausing immigration for 60 days, with exceptions

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday restricting certain categories of immigrants from entering the United States, but the measure contains broad exceptions and is more limited that the sweeping closure he described earlier in the week.

The order blocks the entry of several categories of immigrants for 60 days, but it will not apply to immigrants already living and working in the United States who are seeking to become green-card holders as legal permanent residents.

The spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents also will be unaffected, but other relatives seeking to immigrate will be blocked.

Trump has said his restrictions could be extended far longer if he believes the U.S. economy could not absorb more immigrants, saying his move will protect American jobs at a time of excessively high unemployment and economic uncertainty due to the crisis.

Read more here.

11:30 p.m.
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Fauci contradicts Trump, says ‘nobody can predict’ what will happen in the fall

Shortly after President Trump predicted on April 22 that covid-19 will not come back intensely in the fall, Anthony S. Fauci said otherwise. (The Washington Post)

Minutes after President Trump said the coronavirus would “never” come back as intensely as it is right now, Anthony S. Fauci stood in front of him and said “nobody can predict” that.

“Nobody can predict what is going to happen with an outbreak, but you can predict how you’re going to respond to it,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I would caution against people thinking that in the fall there’s not going to be coronavirus anymore and we won’t have to worry about it,” he added.

Trump has tried to paint a rosier picture of where the country stands in the pandemic, including how quickly the United States will come out of it without having to look back.

Fauci also warned people, particularly in states beginning to reopen, against thinking the worst is over and jumping back into their normal lives now.

I know the urge we all have to get out there and get it over with — ‘Let’s get back to normal’ — for a lot of good reasons, because there’s a lot of suffering, economic and otherwise, in this country,” he said. “… But again … I plead with the American public, with the governors, with the mayors, for the people with responsibility, although I know one has the need to leapfrog over things, don’t do that.”