COVID-19 crisis brings record U.S. jobless claims



Bill Gates calls for nationwide social isolation policy to slow coronavirus spread

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has been warning about the threat of a global pandemic since 2015. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million to fighting the new coronavirus

On Thursday, Gates spoke to “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason in a wide-ranging conversation in which he called for a nationwide social isolation policy to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease and for the federal government to “set the priorities” on testing.  

Click here to read a portion of the interview.


After Zoom calls hacked with racial slurs and pornography, CEO admits “mistake”

The FBI is warning about reports of people intruding on Zoom calls with pornographic or hate images. The popular app said its number of users has ballooned from about 10 million to hundreds of millions with people isolated at home under coronavirus precautions. 

But, attackers have discovered Zoom, too, as one Long Island mother found out earlier this month.

Michelle, who asked that her last name not be used because she fears more online attacks, said her 14-year-old daughter was online in an “Ask the Rabbi” class for her private girls’ Modern Orthodox high school when some boys “Zoom-bombed” it.

“First, the screens were completely black and they were saying all these anti-Semitic things, cursing them out, saying you f***ing Jews, et cetera,” Michelle told CBS News Consumer Investigative Reporter Anna Werner. “And then one boy suddenly stripped and was naked.”

Click here to read the full story.


A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

April opened with millions of people out of work and stock markets slumping after the White House this week acknowledged that the coronavirus could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. It’s a preview of the carnage to come.

Some 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday, double the number of applications last week and 10 times the previous weekly record set in 1982. As many as 20 million people could be out of work this summer, according to separate estimates from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute and Bank of America.

“We haven’t, in my lifetime, my parents’ lifetime, seen this. This is truly unprecedented,” said Bill Rodgers, a fellow at The Century Foundation, a think tank.

Over 6 million people file for unemployment as coronavirus crisis deepens


New England Patriots plane flying medical masks to Boston from China

The New England Patriots plane is flying much-needed coronavirus crisis medical supplies to Boston from China, CBS Boston reports. A Patriots spokesperson told the station the team’s Boeing 767 went to Shenzhen, China Wednesday to pick up 1.2 million N95 masks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker struck an agreement two weeks ago to acquire the critically needed masks from a “collection of Chinese manufacturers,” but he had no way to get them back to Massachusetts.

So he turned to Patriots president Jonathan Kraft — a longtime friend of President Trump — for help. Owner Robert Kraft also got involved, as did the State Department.


150 bodies removed from homes in Ecuador as COVID-19 crisis strains public resources

Ecuador said Wednesday the bodies of 150 people were retrieved from homes in the port city of Guayaquil after the coronavirus crisis put a strain on resources.

A joint military and police task force created to deal with the emergency removed the bodies in the past three days, government spokesman Jorge Wated said.

Authorities have not confirmed how many COVID-19 victims were among the 150 dead. As of Thursday morning there were still fewer than 100 confirmed coronavirus deaths in Ecuador, and about 2,750 cases.

Authorities had registered 537 deaths and 20,081 cases across Latin America by Wednesday afternoon.  



Engineer intentionally derailed train near Navy hospital ship in L.A. for virus response, feds say

A train engineer intentionally drove a speeding locomotive off a track at the Port of Los Angeles because he was suspicious about the presence of a Navy hospital ship docked there to help during the coronovirus crisis, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. 

The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers and fences before coming to rest about 250 yards from the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release. 

Nobody was hurt. Eduardo Moreno, 44, was charged with one count of train wrecking, prosecutors said. 


Feds: Man intentionally derailed train near hospital ship


Dr. Anthony Fauci to receive additional security following threats

Federal officials are ramping up security for Dr. Anthony Fauci after threats were made against him, multiple officials from the Department of Justice confirmed to CBS News. The increase in security came at the request of the Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS IG), the officials said.

The Department of Health and Human Services requested that U.S. Marshals deputize a group of agents in the office of the HHS IG to handle the doctor’s protection, and the request was approved by the Department of Justice, according to the officials.

The officials did not expand on the nature of the threats, or provide detail on the extent of physical protection Dr. Fauci will receive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the latest in the fight against coronavirus

Dr. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is one of the most prominent and respected voices in the nation’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and appears regularly at the White House’s daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings.

Although he has occasionally stepped in to correct or dial back claims President Trump has made about the nation’s effort to stop the virus, Dr. Fauci has emphasized that he and Trump are working together well.

Asked Thursday on “CBS This Morning” about the threats and pressure he is under, Dr. Fauci told co-host Gayle King: “It’s my job. This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure. I would be foolish to deny that. But that’s what I do. I’ve been through crises like this before. Dating back, you know, 37 years from the very beginning of the HIV epidemic. It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.”    


CBS News Poll: Half of Americans expect coronavirus outbreak to get worse over next month

Americans are bracing for a difficult April. 

Fifty-one percent say they expect the coronavirus outbreak to get worse in the next month; another 21% expect it to continue as it is now and 28% say they think things will get better in the coming weeks. A solid majority of Americans, 77%, say they don’t believe doctors and nurses have the supplies they’ll need.


Marks for President Trump’s handling of the outbreak remain mixed and have not dramatically changed from last week, with 51% saying he’s doing a good job — down two points since last week — and 49% a bad one.

Click here to read more from this CBS News Poll.


L.A. mayor urges city’s residents to wear masks when not home in bid to curb virus spread

The mayor of Los Angeles has urged 4 million residents to wear masks to combat the spread of the new coronavirus when they walk out in public, even as state health officials shy away from requiring the measure

Homemade cloth masks, or even a “tucked-in bandanna,” will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the nation’s second-largest city and remind people to practice safe social distancing, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday as he donned a black cloth mask to make his point.

“I know this looks surreal,” Garcetti said. “We’re going to have to get used to seeing each other like this. … This will be the look.”

But he urged people not to use medical-grade masks, such as N95 or surgical masks, which are in short supply and needed for health care workers and first responders.

Health officials clarify guidelines on wearing face masks



Spain sees record 950 coronavirus deaths in a single day

Spain saw a new record in virus-related fatalities Thursday, with 950 deaths in 24 hours. The total number of deaths in Spain was 10,003 on Thursday.

New coronavirus infections rose by nearly 8% overnight to 110,238, placing Spain on par with Italy, the country that has seen Europe’s worst outbreak to date.

Health authorities have been saying the pace of new cases confirmed daily in Spain was dropping from an average of 20% up to March 25, to less than 12% after that date, more than 10 days after Spaniards were ordered to stay at home. 

The government has acknowledged that the real number of new infections could be much higher because Spain only has the capacity to process between 15,000 and 20,000 tests per day. 



Social Security recipients will automatically get stimulus checks, Treasury says in reversal

The Treasury Department said late Wednesday that Americans on Social Security will not be required to file a “simple tax return” to receive a stimulus check from the U.S. government. The announcement reversed an earlier statement from the Internal Revenue Service that participants in the federal retirement program would need to file such a return to get the funds. 

The IRS directive would have impacted about 15 million people, including millions of seniors on Social Security, who aren’t required to file tax returns, according to Chuck Marr, senior director of federal tax policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Seniors who rely on Social Security for their sole source of income don’t have to file tax returns. 


China insists U.S. “lying” and shifting blame with accusations of COVID-19 cover-up

The Chinese government is hitting back at U.S. officials and lawmakers accusing it of suppressing and hiding information about the coronavirus outbreak. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday that “the words and actions of individual American politicians are really despicable and immoral” and that they should focus their energies on what they can do to protect their citizens and save as many lives as they can.

“We have said many times that to stigmatize, blame and shift responsibility to others cannot make up for the lost time,” she said. “Continued lying will only waste more time and cause more loss of life.”

American lawmakers and officials have publicly accused China of a cover-up of the seriousness of the initial outbreak that allowed it to spread more widely, and U.S. officials have told CBS News the American intelligence community believes China has been under-reporting both the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country. 

Aircraft from China with medical supplies arrives in New York City

Hua insisted that China has released the relevant information in a timely manner every day. 

“We understand the current plight of the U.S. and the pressure facing some American officials,” she said. 



Concern mounts in India as first COVID-19 death reported in Asia’s biggest slum

A 56-year-old man living in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, the largest slum in Asia, has died of COVID-19.

The victim had no travel history and owned a garment shop in the impoverished area, one of India’s most densely populated with about 1 million people crammed into only about two square miles. The authorities have quarantined the man’s family and sealed the building in which he lived, which consists of about 300 apartments in a redeveloped part of the slum, according to Indian news agencies. 

Authorities were working to trace and test everyone who had come into contact with the victim for COVID-19 on Thursday. 

Outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai

Health workers prepare to shift a man suspected of coronavirus to a hospital at Shahu Nagar in Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, during a lockdown to slow the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, April 2, 2020.


The death has raised concern among Indian authorities as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country continues to rise. There are more than 2,000 cases and 58 deaths from the disease in India so far. 

Maharashtra state, where the Mumbai slum is located, has been the hardest-hit with more than 300 cases. India is currently under a 21-day lockdown that began on March 25. All non-essential business and transport has been banned.  

Arshad R. Zargar


New York City hospitals now too swamped to try to resuscitate many cardiac arrest patients

Paramedics in New York City have been given temporary new guidelines instructing them not to bring any “adult non-traumatic or blunt traumatic cardiac arrest” patient to a city emergency room unless their heart can be restarted in the field, because hospitals are too overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.

EMS workers should now only bring such cases — virtually any adult whose heart has stopped for any reason — to a hospital if there is “a direct order from a medical control physician,” or the ambulance crew itself is facing “an imminent physical danger” at the scene. 

The dire directive was issued by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City on Tuesday. Previously, ambulance crews would have delivered such patients to emergency rooms for further resuscitation efforts. CBS New York confirmed the story, first reported by the New York Post, and CBS News has obtained a copy of the advisory sent to EMS workers.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

Medical workers handle a patient at Mount Sinai Hospital amid the coronavirus epidemic in New York City, April 1, 2020.

Spencer Platt/Getty

New York City is the epicenter of the U.S. COVID-19 epidemic with at least 1,374 of the total 5,137 deaths in the country as of Thursday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  

The Tuesday advisory took effect immediately, telling EMS crews that, “in the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of NYPD. 


North Korea insists it’s coronavirus-free

North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang insisted Thursday, despite mounting skepticism overseas as confirmed global cases near one million.

The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut its borders in January after COVID-19 was first detected in neighboring China, and imposed strict containment measures.

Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted the efforts had been completely successful. “Not one single person has been infected with the novel coronavirus in our country so far,” Pak told AFP.

Nearly every other country has reported coronavirus cases. Experts have said the North is particularly vulnerable to the disease because of its weak medical system, and defectors have accused Pyongyang of covering up an outbreak.



Ellis Marsalis Jr., famed jazz family’s patriarch, dead at 85 of COVID-19 complications

One of the sons of New Orleans jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. says the patriarch of the New Orleans clan that includes famed musician sons Wynton and Branford has died after battling pneumonia brought on by COVID-19. The jazz patriarch was 85.

Ellis Marsalis III said Wednesday his father had been hospitalized while battling the new coronavirus. 

The elder Marsalis opted to stay in New Orleans most of his career, gaining attention when his sons became famous and brought him the spotlight.

Four of his six sons are musicians: Wynton, the trumpeter, is America’s most prominent jazz spokesman as artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

– Associated Press


New York City paramedic documents “battlefield triage”

Health care workers are on the frontline of the pandemic. At Jackson South Medical Center, near Miami, staffers started their shift Wednesday with a group prayer, asking for guidance and protection.

In New York City, more than a thousand paramedics and firefighters have tested positive for the coronavirus. FDNY paramedic Megan Pfeiffer shared a video diary of what she calls “battlefield triage” on the frontlines in Queens.

“There’s a lot of hospitals that are running low on oxygen tanks and only have the big ones. They are sharing ventilators. We have never seen anything like this before,” Pfeiffer says.

Watch more in the video below.

New York City paramedic documents “battlefield triage” during coronavirus outbreak

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