Live updates tracking the coronavirus pandemic from Yahoo News reporters in the United States and around the world.
• Nearly 2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 121,000 people have died.
• The United States has had more than 23,000 deaths and over 584,000 reported COVID-19 cases, leading the world in both numbers.
• President Trump used Monday’s coronavirus task force briefing to berate reporters who challenged his assertion that “every thing we did was right.”
• Trump also said he has “total” authority to reopen the U.S. economy, as groups of governors on both coasts announced separate plans to begin reopening their states.
• On Tuesday, Trump lashed out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for saying the president is not a king.
• The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments by telephone beginning next month.
• Worried you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms? Here’s what the CDC says to do.
• Want some uplifting stories? Click here.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (Monica Almeida/Reuters)
In her first television interview since contracting COVID-19, Rita Wilson told “CBS This Morning” that she was given the controversial drug chloroquine while being treated in Australia. (Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, both anti-malaria drugs, have been touted by President Trump as potential cures for COVID-19, but it has not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration.)
“I know people have been talking about this drug, but I can only tell you that I don’t know if the drug worked or it was just time for the fever to break,” she said. “My fever did break, but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects. I was completely nauseous. I had vertigo. I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak.”
She added: “We have to be very considerate about this drug. We don’t really know if it’s safe in this case.”
Both Wilson said her husband, Tom Hanks, tested positive for the virus while working in Australia.
Wilson said Hanks had milder symptoms — his fever wasn’t as high, and he did not lose his sense of taste or smell. The couple recovered and were cleared by doctors to return to their home in Los Angeles in late March.
Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden for president on Tuesday in a 12-minute video that began with a personal message on the pandemic:
“Hi everybody. Let me start by saying the obvious — these aren’t normal times. As we all manage our way through a pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen in a century, Michelle and I hope that you and your families are safe and well. If you’ve lost somebody to this virus, or if someone in your life is sick, or if you’re one of the millions suffering economic hardship, please know that you’re in our prayers. Please know that you’re not alone. Because now’s the time for all of us to help where we can and to be there for each other, as neighbors, as coworkers, and as fellow citizens.
In fact, over the past weeks, we’ve seen plenty of examples of the kind of courage, kindness, and selflessness that we’re going to need to get through one of the most difficult times in our history. Michelle and I have been amazed at the incredible bravery of our medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line to save others. The public servants and health officials battling this disease. The workers taking risks every day to keep our economy running. And everyone who’s making their own sacrifice at home with their families, all for the greater good.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes, or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods, or our houses of worship. It also has to be reflected in our national government. The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience; honesty and humility; empathy and grace — that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors offices. It belongs in the White House.
And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.”
Obama went on to praise Biden’s leadership during the Ebola and H1N1 crises that occurred during their administration. But he made no mention of President Trump.
(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The world’s biggest cycling race can’t escape the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Tour de France, which is scheduled to start on June 27 in Nice, will almost certainly be postponed after French President Emmanuel Macron announced that public gatherings are banned until mid-July at the earliest.
“Given that it’s now impossible that the Tour starts at its planned date, we are consulting with the (International Cycling Union) to try and find new dates,” race organizers told the Associated Press on Tuesday. An official announcement about postponement is expected later this month.
Rescheduling the race is a gargantuan undertaking. With a caravan of 4,500 people and a 2,000 mile route through 21 towns and cities, it’s an Olympics-sized task. Even just narrowing down possible dates is difficult. Simply moving the race back 4-8 weeks means it would conflict with other cycling races, but since there’s no telling whether the ban on public gatherings could be extended, every decision is filled with risk.
Cancellation is on the table, but only as a last resort since numerous cycling teams depend on the Tour de France for a major part of their funding. The only other times the Tour was from 1915-1918, during World War I, and from 1940-1946, during World War II.
There was discussion early on about staging the race without fans, which number 500,000 per day. However that was handily dismissed by the Tour’s race director, Christian Prudhomme.
“The Tour de France is 3000km of smiles,” Prudhomme said. “We won’t run a Tour de France without the fans.”
A man wearing a face mask observes a minute of silence for coronavirus victims in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that the coronavirus will likely push the global economy into its worst recession since the Great Depression, warning that prospects over a global rebound are highly uncertain.
In its biannual World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecasts the global economy contracting by 3 percent in 2020 as governments around the world shut down economies to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The forecast is the worst print in the report’s history and is a dramatic downturn from the IMF’s January projection for 3.3 percent growth, published before the virus took full form.
Among the regions projected to see the hardest hit in 2020: the Euro Area at -7.5 percent, Mexico at -6.6 percent, the United Kingdom at -6.5 percent, and the United States at -5.9 percent. China is projected to grow by 1.2 percent, still a noticeable downgrade from its 2019 growth rate of 6.1 percent.
“Much worse growth outcomes are possible and maybe even likely,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said. The IMF cautioned that its forecast faces “extreme uncertainty” because of the difficulty around predicting the pathway of the pandemic and the efficacy of containment measures.
President Trump has often shown thinly-veiled envy for the power wielded by strongman leaders.
On Monday he asserted from a podium in the White House briefing room that he has “total” authority to order states to relax social distancing and reopen their economies, even as the coronavirus continues to ravage America.
The president’s claim — which legal experts dispute — reflects an escalating battle with state governors, whom Trump warned could face political consequences, perhaps in the form of future losses at the polls, should they rebuff his directives. Read more.
Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing Tuesday. (Getty Images)