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President Trump announced national testing guidelines on Monday that continues to leave states in charge. A White House document described the federal government as the “supplier of last resort.”

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed 3 million worldwide; nearly one-third of the reported infections are in the United States.

Here are some significant developments:

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April 27, 2020 at 11:26 PM EDT
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Hawaiian mayor ‘breaks the boredom’ of nightly curfew with how-to videos

By Teo Armus

In the weeks since the novel coronavirus hit Hawaii, Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has spent his nights at home on the island filming instructional videos: How to turn T-shirts into face masks, or make ice cream and surface wipes from scratch.

With one new activity each night, the videos are meant to “break the boredom together as a community,” the 42-year-old said, and distract from the island’s nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew — one that Kawakami imposed.

Well before Gov. David Ige (D) issued a statewide stay-at-home order across Hawaii, Kawakami took decisive action to shut down Kauai County, which includes the state’s fourth-largest island as well as the much smaller island of Niihau.

Where some other local officials have been slammed by small but vocal groups of critics, Kawakami has emerged from the pandemic with little else but praise — for both his leadership and his irreverent, entertaining social media feed.

Recent videos have included him trying out viral trends like the TikTok dance to “Renegade” or whipped Dalgona coffee and showing off the right way to remove disposable gloves, which he has seen littered around supermarkets.

“Please folks, throw your opala away,” he said, using the Hawaiian word for trash.

Lee Cataluna, a columnist for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, said that Kawakami “has emerged as one of the most decisive and blunt political leaders in Hawaii.” Others have suggested that he should run for governor.

But Kawakami cast aside any speculation about his political future.

“Throughout this whole challenging event, all that it’s done for me is further solidified my heart where I belong,” he told the Associated Press. “And right now, it’s here on Kauai.”

April 27, 2020 at 10:15 PM EDT
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Trump to meet with Florida governor at White House on Tuesday

By Felicia Sonmez

President Trump will meet Tuesday with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the president’s second meeting in the past week with the governor of a state hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump and DeSantis are expected to meet at 11 a.m. in the Oval Office, according to the White House.

At a news conference earlier Monday, DeSantis — a staunch Trump ally — defended his handling of the coronavirus crisis in Florida and said that the state’s reopening would be “slow and steady.”

“The fact of the matter is people are getting great care … and a lot of those doomsday scenarios have not come to pass,” he said.

Florida has had a significant backlog in processing unemployment claims amid the pandemic. As of last week, about 1.7 million Floridians had sought unemployment aid since the beginning of the outbreak, but fewer than 120,000 had received money, according to state data.

DeSantis has made several changes in an effort to speed up payments, but critics argue that they have made little difference.

April 27, 2020 at 10:13 PM EDT
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Airlines, cargo carriers have received more than $12 billion in federal aid

By Lori Aratani

Treasury officials have distributed nearly half of the payroll support money earmarked for U.S. airlines and cargo carriers under provisions of the $2 trillion economic rescue package approved by Congress last month.

As of this week, $12.4 billion of the $29 billion in grants has been paid out to 93 carriers to keep front-line workers on the job, treasury officials said. In all, airlines and air cargo carriers are eligible for more than $50 billion in grants and loans.

Unlike other financial support programs created by the Cares Act, the program to aid airlines and cargo carriers has been relatively trouble-free — a relief to an industry reeling from the worst financial crisis in its history. According to the most recent data from the International Air Transport Association, airlines stand to lose more than $314 billion in revenue this year, the result of flight restrictions and groundings tied to the pandemic.

Read more here.

April 27, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT
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Airlines to begin requiring travelers to wear face coverings

By Steven Goff

JetBlue on Monday said travelers will have to wear a face covering during flights, while American Airlines announced it will soon begin distributing masks and sanitizer to boarding customers.

Starting Monday, JetBlue said it will also require customers to cover their faces during check-in, boarding and deplaning in an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. American said its policy will go into effect in “early May.”

CNBC reported that Delta this week will start making masks available to fliers at the gate and onboard.

“This is the new flying etiquette,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

JetBlue customers will be reminded about the requirement in preflight emails and at the airport, the airline said. Young children are exempt.

American announced that improvements to cleaning procedures for planes will begin this week.

Several airlines, including JetBlue and Delta, had previously announced that flight attendants would wear face coverings.

Last week, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents almost 50,000 employees with 20 airlines, asked the Transportation Department and the Department of Health and Human Services to “suspend all leisure travel until the virus is contained.”

Because of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, U.S. airline travel is 95 percent lower than it was at this time last year.

April 27, 2020 at 9:33 PM EDT
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Barr tells prosecutors to ‘be on the lookout’ for ‘overbearing’ state and local orders

By Matt Zapotosky

Attorney General William P. Barr on Monday directed federal prosecutors across the country to “be on the lookout” for state and local coronavirus-related restrictions that might run afoul of the Constitution and to pursue court action, if necessary.

In two-page memo to U.S. attorneys, Barr wrote that the measures state and local government officials had taken “have been necessary in order to stop the spread of a deadly disease” but that even in times of emergency, the Constitution could not be discounted entirely.

Read more here.

April 27, 2020 at 9:21 PM EDT
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Takeaways from Trump’s news conference on Monday

By Aaron Blake

After signs that he might shelve daily White House coronavirus briefings, President Trump held a news conference Monday evening in the Rose Garden. Here are a few takeaways from the briefing:

  • After making several big promises on testing and having the coronavirus task force members admit it’s still not up to snuff, Trump pledged a huge testing increase in the weeks to come.
  • At the start of Monday’s briefing, Trump seemed to make a point of reaching out to victims and their families.
  • Trump over the weekend retweeted a claim that the coronavirus mortality rate in the United States might be being inflated as part of a political agenda against him. He said Monday that the American death toll is, in fact, accurate.
April 27, 2020 at 9:19 PM EDT
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Illinois state legislator wins lawsuit, temporarily blocking state stay-at-home order — for himself

By Samantha Pell

A judge ruled in favor of an Illinois state lawmaker who argued that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) overextended his power and lacked the legal authority to extend the state’s stay-at-home order.

On Monday afternoon, Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney granted Rep. Darren Bailey a temporary restraining order over the extension of Pritzker’s stay-at-home restrictions, therefore allowing the Republican legislator to disregard Pritzker’s order.

On Thursday, Pritzker extended his stay-at-home order to May 30. On Friday, Bailey filed the lawsuit that challenged Pritzker’s authority to extend the order beyond the initial 30 days under the state’s Emergency Management Act.

Pritzker said during his Monday news briefing that the government would be taking swift action to have this ruling overturned and that he planned to issue new public health directives until the suit was resolved.

Since only Bailey filed as the plaintiff, it appears he is the only Illinois citizen released from Pritzker’s order. However, it is unclear what type of legal impact this lawsuit will have on other residents in the state.

“Representative Bailey’s decision to go to the courts is an insult to all Illinoisans who have been lost during this COVID-19 crisis,” Pritzker said Monday. “It’s a danger to millions of people who might get ill because of his recklessness. Disasters don’t evaporate on a 30-day timeframe. Legislators took this into account when they wrote this law. We will fight this lawsuit to the furthest means possible.”

When Bailey initially filed the suit, he asked the court to find that Pritzker “overextended his power by issuing additional ‘stay at home’ orders after his original disaster proclamation, which expired on April 9th, 2020. Enough is enough! I filed this lawsuit on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”

As of Monday, Illinois totaled 45,883 positive covid-19 cases and 1,983 fatalities.

April 27, 2020 at 8:57 PM EDT
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Britain’s national health authority issues a worrisome alert about children, covid-19 and potential complications

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Chelsea Janes

Throughout the nearly five months the world has been fighting covid-19, one of the most comforting — and baffling — aspects of the coronavirus has been its effect on children. Most children who are infected with the coronavirus remain asymptomatic or experience mild illness. But there’s new evidence the disease may be associated with surprising complications in a small number of children.

Britain’s national health authority on Monday issued an alert to physicians, warning of an “apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions” that may be related to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The National Health Service said the cases have “common overlapping features” of toxic shock syndrome and another condition that results in dangerous blood vessel inflammation.

British health authorities have declined to provide details, including the number of pediatric cases, other than to say serious complications related to the virus are “very rare” but a growing concern.

Read more here.

April 27, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT
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President Trump’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat

By Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima

U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief, a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day and designed to call the president’s attention to the most significant global developments and security threats.

But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified material.

Read more here.

April 27, 2020 at 8:31 PM EDT
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Thousands volunteer to be infected in effort to develop a vaccine

By Samantha Pell

Thousands of people are willing to have doctors infect their bodies with the novel coronavirus to speed the development of a vaccine for covid-19.

An organization called 1DaySooner, which is made up of a grass-roots group of scientists and researchers, is recruiting volunteers for a possible human trial to help develop a vaccine. As of Monday night, more than 4,300 people in 52 countries had volunteered to participate in the trial, if one were to occur.

Researchers draw hard lines that prohibit knowingly infecting people, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 3 million cases worldwide and more than 210,000 deaths, concessions are being considered.

Two ethicists, Richard Yetter Chappell, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Miami, and Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, recently wrote a Washington Post op-ed stating the case for experiments on human volunteers.

“In a pandemic, the overriding aim must be to avoid a potentially catastrophic toll,” the ethicists wrote. “We all face such heightened risk that restrictions on promising research (beyond the basic requirement of informed consent) could easily prove counterproductive in humanitarian terms.”

According to data on the 1DaySooner website, speeding up vaccine development by a single day could save 19,500 people. The organization estimates that if vaccine development could be sped up by three months, it would save more than 1.5 million lives.

1DaySooner also states that the group would try to minimize the risk of human trials by selecting people who are “relatively young,” more in the age range of 20 to 45 and with no underlying health conditions. It would also aim to enroll volunteers who are already likely to be exposed to covid-19.

Trial participants also would need to receive priority in medical care, the organization said.

April 27, 2020 at 8:12 PM EDT
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House Democrats plan to force vote on proxy voting next week

By Paul Kane

According to two House Democrats who participated on a caucus conference call Monday, Democratic leaders outlined a plan to force a vote on the issue of “proxy” voting for the purposes of passing legislation and doing some committee work.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had hoped to move that rule change last week but pulled back amid GOP objections and appointed a task force led by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) to handle bipartisan discussions on the politically sensitive topic. Past House practices only allowed lawmakers to vote on behalf of those missing from committee proceedings, not actual votes on the full House floor. That practice was banished in 1995.

Democratic leaders, who are still negotiating with Republicans on the issue, told those on the call that a vote will happen next week on the issue with or without GOP backing and that most Democrats believe they have the votes to pass some version of the historic rule change.

April 27, 2020 at 7:48 PM EDT
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Kansas reports 40 percent increase in chemical cases since Trump’s comments about disinfectants

By Steven Goff

The Kansas Poison Control Center on Monday reported an increase of more than 40 percent in cleaning chemical cases, days after President Trump suggested Thursday that household disinfectants could be injected “almost as a cleaning.”

That comes after Maryland on Friday received more than 100 calls from residents inquiring whether injecting a disinfectant really was a cure. In New York City, NPR reported, the poison control center recorded 30 calls Friday about Trump’s comments.

Kansas health officer Lee Norman said at a news conference in Topeka that one case included “a fellow over the weekend who drank a product because of the advice he’d received." Norman did not offer any details.

Last week, after Trump floated the idea of injecting disinfectants into the body, the Environmental Protection Agency, Surgeon General Jerome Adams and chemical companies issued statements warning the public against using such products internally.

Asked Monday whether he takes responsibility for people considering ingesting disinfectants, Trump said, “Oh, I don’t know. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine that.”

April 27, 2020 at 7:46 PM EDT
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Florida, North Carolina and Maryland reverse course and share more information on nursing home outbreaks

By Meryl Kornfield

After facing mounting pressure from advocacy groups, media organizations and families of nursing home residents, Florida, North Carolina and Maryland took steps Monday toward providing greater insight into the spread of the coronavirus through their states’ assisted-living facilities.

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services announced that 70 long-term facilities, rehabilitation centers or adult care homes had more than 2,500 cases, after previously saying that sharing the names of those facilities would invade patients’ privacy. The state will provide an updated list twice weekly.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Monday that the state will share a list of facilities that have reported outbreaks later this week.

A spokesman from the state’s health department previously told The Post last Wednesday that “the disclosure of this information serves no public health purpose” and that the identity of nursing homes with outbreaks “falls squarely within the state’s confidentiality provisions.”

Florida’s Department of Health, which had shared a list of facilities but declined to give insight into the size of the outbreaks at each site, reversed its decision, providing numbers of cases — but not deaths — associated with each facility.

The new numbers revealed that one Florida nursing home, Southern Oaks Care Center, located in the state’s Panhandle, has reported 92 coronavirus cases among its residents — about twice as many than any other facility in the state.

On Monday, news organizations including Miami Herald and The Post, filed a complaint in Leon County Circuit Court, saying that the death data is “perhaps the most critical records requested.”

“The need for this information is heightened given [Gov. Ron] DeSantis’ emergency orders restricting public access to such facilities, walling off residents from outside contact,” according to the court filing.

April 27, 2020 at 7:23 PM EDT
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Louisiana governor extends stay-at-home order to May 15

By David Montgomery

Louisiana has not achieved a sufficient decline of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in every region to justify lifting the stay-at-home order that has been in effect since March 23 and was due to expire Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced Monday.

He extended the order, with minor modifications, until May 15.

Edwards said that while in aggregate, Louisiana appears to have experienced two weeks of decreases in covid-like symptoms, new confirmed cases and daily hospitalizations — criteria suggested by the White House to enable a state to move to the first phase of reopening its economy — six of the state’s nine regions have not yet shown declines over the past two weeks.

A relative bright spot is the New Orleans metropolitan area, the state’s original hot spot, where strict social distancing has helped. Even so, the coronavirus remains a serious public health threat, and Louisiana still has the sixth-highest number of cases per capita in the nation, Edwards said.

The decision disappointed some business owners and elected officials who have been pressing for a quicker reopening in at least parts of the state.

“I really see no justification why we should continue to penalize the economies” of some regions with relatively small numbers of cases, state Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R), who has gathered 7,500 signatures on a petition calling for more immediate steps to safely reopen the economy, said in an interview after the announcement. “Business owners are losing their businesses and neighbors are losing their jobs and people are ready to get back to work.”

One minor tweak to the stay-at-home order will allow restaurant patrons to eat their takeout food in outdoor seating areas as long as no employees serve them. Edwards also reminded most retailers that they have always been allowed to remain open, though most have not seized the opportunity.