CORONAVIRUS:

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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    Shirley Douglas, the impassioned Canadian activist and veteran actress who was mother to actor Kiefer Sutherland and daughter of Canada medicare founder Tommy Douglas, died Sunday. She was 86. Sutherland announced his mother’s death on Twitter, saying she succumbed to complications surrounding pneumonia. He said it was not related COVID-19. “My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life,” said Sutherland. “Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming.” A native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Douglas worked with directors including Stanley Kubrick ('Lolita') and David Cronenberg ('Dead Ringers'), and she won a Gemini Award for her performance in the 1999 TV film “Shadow Lake.” She tirelessly supported a variety of causes throughout her life, including the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers and the fight to save Canada's public health care, pioneered by her politician father. In 1965, Douglas married Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, with whom she had two children before they divorced — twins Rachel, a production manager, and Kiefer, who became a film and TV star in his own right. Douglas had another son, Thomas, from a previous marriage. Born on April 2, 1934, Douglas showed an early interest in the arts as well as politics as she journeyed on the campaign trail with her father, who became premier of Saskatchewan, a national leader in the New Democratic Party and a socialist icon. She attended the Banff School of Fine Arts and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England, where she acted in theater and TV and participated in anti-nuclear marches. In the ’60s and ’70s, while living in California, Douglas campaigned against the Vietnam War and protested for various causes. She helped to establish a fundraising group called Friends of the Black Panthers. Her support for the group brought controversy — she was refused a U.S. work permit and charged in 1969 with conspiracy to possess unregistered explosives. The courts eventually dismissed the case and exonerated her. She also was a co-founder of the first chapter in Canada of the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament. Douglas, though, was foremost a champion for Canada's medicare system. She would speak of the importance of a universal health care system at virtually any opportunity and lobbied government officials. Douglas, who had lived in Toronto since 1977, was nominated for two other Canadian arts Geminis: in 1998 for her leading role in the series “Wind at My Back” and in 1993 for starring in the film “Passage of the Heart.” She was also an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest honors, and an inductee into Canada’s Walk of Fame.
  • The English singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull is being treated for coronavirus in a London hospital. Her manager Francois Ravard said Sunday that Faithfull is stable, however, and responding to treatment. “We all wish her well and a full and speedy recovery,” Ravard said. The 73-year-old has had a number of health issues over the years, including a long battle with hepatitis C and breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2006. An icon of the 1960s' British music scene, Faithfull rose to fame with the hit song “As Tears Go By.' A bout of severe laryngitis coupled with drug use in the 1970s would forever alter her crisp, clear voice to become something lower, raspier and perhaps even more distinctive. After an absence from music, she had a celebrated comeback in 1979 with the album “Broken English” Her most recent album, “Negative Capability,” was released in 2018 to wide acclaim.
  • Britain needed a message of hope Sunday. The queen delivered it. Queen Elizabeth II offered support to a country locked down in the coronavirus pandemic, promising the nation that it would rise to the challenge and overcome the outbreak. In a rare address to the nation, the 93-year-old monarch acknowledged the suffering that many families have experienced because of the COVID-19 crisis, which has infected more than 47,806 people in the U.K. and killed at least 4,934 of them. She drew upon wisdom from her decades as Britain’s head of state to urge resolve in a time of crisis. “While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she said. 'This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. “We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us.” Her remarks were broadcast only moments before Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Downing Street office announced he had been admitted to the hospital for “precautionary tests.'' The news will add to unease in Britain, which has been in lockdown for nearly two weeks. The queen gives yearly Christmas messages but has given an address like this on only three previous occasions. She delivered speeches after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and at the time of the first Gulf War in 1991. But times are unprecedented. She lauded Britain’s beloved National Health Service in a broadcast that featured pictures of medical teams suiting up to go battle the virus. She praised other essential services, as images of soldiers loading medical equipment on trucks rolled on the screen. She also praised everyday citizens who are adhering to the terms of the lockdown and staying at home and helping to prevent the spread of the virus. “I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times,’’ the queen said. “I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones. “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.” The leader who spends much of her time cutting ribbons and visiting charitable organizations, also made the point of mentioning the general public, such as the 750,000 people who volunteered to help the vulnerable. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.’’ “That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country.” The crisis has hit close to home for the queen. Her son and the heir to the throne, 71-year-old Prince Charles, had a mild case of the disease. She herself left London, the epicenter of Britain’s outbreak, and took up residence at her home in Windsor with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Both the monarch and her 98-year-old husband are among those over 70 whom the British government have advised to stay home for 12 weeks. The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people, but for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and lead to death. Many in the U.K. have compared the pandemic to World War II, suggesting the effort needed to overcome COVID-19 would be similar. The queen herself suggested a parallel, and reminded the nation that other crises have served to strain family ties. “It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety,” she said. “Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.” The address was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. The location was chosen specifically because it allowed enough space between the monarch and the camera person, who wore personal protective equipment. Leadership expert James O’Rourke from the University of Notre Dame said that the monarch’s remarks couldn’t have come a moment too soon. With Johnson ill with the virus himself, the queen offers a message of continuity to a country in lockdown. “Britons have not faced such grim circumstances since the darkest days of World War II, with the Blitz and the mass evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940,” he said. “Now, more than ever, the people of the U.K. must have someone to rely upon, someone whose word they can trust.” The queen invoked the words of a World War II-era song “We'll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn that offered hope to many a soldier sent to fight, promising that loved ones would be reunited in the end. The parallel was unmistakable: It can't last forever. “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return,” she said. “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” ___ Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
  • Patricia Bosworth, an actress who once starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and later wrote biographies on several stars including Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, has died due to the coronavirus. She was 86. Bosworth’s stepdaughter, Fia Hatsav, told The New York Times that pneumonia brought on by the virus was the cause of death. Bosworth died on Thursday in New York. Bosworth played a nun opposite of Hepburn in the 1959 classic “The Nun’s Story.” Along with penning bios for Brando and Clift, she also wrote biographies on actress Jane Fonda and famed photographer Diane Arbus, who photographed Bosworth in a Greyhound bus advertisement. Her biography on Arbus served as the base for the 2006 film “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” which starred Nicole Kidman. Under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg, Bosworth studied acting at the Actors Studio alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Fonda. Bosworth worked on Broadway and starred in television shows including “Naked City” and “The Patty Duke.” Bosworth turned her attention from acting to focus on a career in journalism as a successful editor and writer. She wrote for The New York Times and New York magazine, and was an editor for several publications including Screen Stars, McCall’s and contributed to Vanity Fair. She wrote memoirs about her own life in 1998's “Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story' and 2017’s “The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan.
  • The singer Pink had tested positive for COVID-19, she said Friday, also announcing that she is donating $500,000 each to two emergency funds. In a pair of tweets, she said she and her three-year-old son were displaying symptoms two weeks ago, and she tested positive after accessing tests through a primary care physician. Her family had already been sheltering at home and continued to do so, she said. They were tested again “just a few days ago,' and were negative. The Grammy Award-winning artist behind eight studio albums and hits like “Get the Party Started,” “What About Us,” “Raise Your Glass” and “Just Give Me a Reason” called for for free and widespread testing. “It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible,” she wrote. “This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities.” She announced she's donating $1 million across two coronavirus-related relief funds, with $500,000 each going to the Temple University Hospital Fund in Philadelphia and the COVID-19 response fund run by the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles. The Temple University donation honors the singer born Alecia Moore's mother, Judy Moore, who worked at the hospital's cardiomyopathy and heart transplant center for nearly two decades, she said. She called health care workers “heroes” and ended her post with an appeal to the public. “These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home,” she wrote. “Please. Stay. Home.”
  • Selena Gomez opened up about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder during a social media chat with Miley Cyrus. Gomez spoke about her diagnosis during a 20-minute conversation Friday on Cyrus’ “Bright Minded” series on Instagram. The singer says she “realized that I was bipolar” after she recently visited a mental hospital. The 27-year-old Gomez said understanding her disorder more “took the fear away.” “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me,” she said. “It doesn’t scare me once I know it.” Gomez revealed in 2017 that she underwent kidney transplant due to her struggle with lupus. She said at the time the transplant was needed for her “overall health.' In her discussion with Cyrus, Gomez said she has witnessed mental health issues within her family. “I’ve seen some of it even in my own family, where I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I’m from Texas. It’s just not known to talk about mental health,” she said. “You got to seem cool. And then I see anger built up in children and teenagers or whatever young adults because they are wanting that so badly. I just feel like when I finally said what I was going to say, I wanted to know everything about it. And it took the fear away.”
  • From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions. IHEART’S LIVING ROOM CONCERT An Elton John-led, star-studded benefit concert that raised more than $10 million to battle the coronavirus will be re-aired on Fox next week. Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys will be shown performing from their homes on “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” which will air Monday. The money will go to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation. The hourlong event originally aired Sunday on Fox and iHeartMedia radio stations. Other performers include Tim McGraw, H.E.R. and Sam Smith, who sang “How Do You Sleep” in a cappella form. Dave Grohl sang “My Hero” from his studio in Hawaii, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong strummed his guitar to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” while Camila Cabello sang “My Oh My” from Miami with a guitar assist from beau Shawn Mendes. Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Ellen DeGeneres and Ryan Seacrest paid tribute to those combating the spread of the virus. FILM ACADEMY DONATES $6M TO HELP INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is giving $6 million to help film industry employees out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film academy, which puts on the annual Academy Awards, said Friday that it will donate $2 million to the Actors Fund, which supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers; $2 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the long-running nonprofit offering relief to members of the entertainment community in need; and $2 million to the Academy Foundation, its own charitable arm. “As we face a pandemic, it’s incumbent upon us to help those in the motion picture community who are suffering,” said David Rubin, academy president, said in a statement. “The shutting down of productions, businesses and theaters has had devastating consequences. By contributing financially to The Actors Fund, MPTF, and the Academy Foundation’s wonderful grants program, we can help provide our extended family with desperately needed assistance.” SOUTH KOREA ASKS 8,000 THEATERGOERS TO SELF MONITOR The South Korean capital of Seoul says it will ask more than 8,500 theatergoers to self-monitor at home after Canadian and American cast members of “The Phantom of the Opera” were found to have the coronavirus. Seoul City official Na Baek-ju said Friday the musical’s international tour was halted following the positive test of an unidentified Canadian actress, who began experiencing throat pain and dry coughs days after she began performing at the city’s Blue Square theater on March 14. She last appeared on stage on Monday, a day before her test. Officials have since tested 138 of her contacts, including colleagues and guests at the downtown Somerset Palace hotel, and confirmed the infection of an American actor on Thursday. Na said officials were still awaiting test results for 48 people while the other 89 tested negative. He said the hotel was ordered to prevent guests from leaving the property and stop taking new customers. South Korea earlier on Friday reported 86 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its nationwide total to 10,062. While the country’s caseload has slowed from early March when officials reported around 500 new cases per day, there’s concern over a steady rise in infections in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 51 million people live. ___ Associated Press entertainment writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. contributed to this report.
  • Anthony Terrell believes an imprisoned man currently serving two life sentences may not have been the person who murdered his brother as part of a killing spree that rocked Atlanta four decades ago. Terrell hopes new light can be shed nationwide on the murders that terrorized the African American community in the city within a two-year time span with the HBO documentary “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children.' The five-part series, which begins Sunday, will explore how the victims’ family members and others remain skeptical about Wayne Williams being the sole killer, despite evidence linking him to those murders and 10 others. “I really want them to find out who did it,” said Terrell, whose 12-year-old brother, Earl, was one of the 29 abducted and killed between 1979 and 1981. “It would be closure to a lot of parents and others who want answers. It’s more than just blaming Wayne Williams. His name was embedded in everybody’s heads. Let us be focused on something else. He was convicted of two adults, but the rest were children. What about them?' Williams was convicted in 1982 in the deaths of two adults, who were thought to be among 29 black children and young adults killed by the same person. After Williams’ conviction, police closed the rest of the cases, blaming them on Williams without formally charging him. The 61-year-old Williams says in the documentary that he never killed anyone. He has appealed his convictions, but they have been denied several times. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields are leading a charge to reopen the investigation. The series kicks off with Bottoms’ announcing the city’s effort to re-examine evidence. Last year, Bottoms said she was hopeful that technological advancements and newly available genetic databases could turn up new information. Terrell said the reopening of the case is long overdue, but hopes the documentary can show the black community's plight while enduring the tragedies in their neighborhoods in Atlanta. “This documentary could enlighten a lot of curious people,” he said. “I want people to know what happened in Atlanta. Why don't people know? They need to know.' John Legend is one of those interested in the case. The renowned singer said he didn’t know much about the child murders in Atlanta while growing up in Ohio as a kid. “I didn’t hear one thing about it,” said Legend, an executive producer of the project with Mike Jackson through their film company Get Lifted, in association with Roc Nation. “I was born in 1978, so I was very young when all this was happening. But it wasn’t a part of our folklore. It wasn’t a part of the things we talked about. ... I think there’s a lot of folks around the country that this would be new to them.” Filmmaker Sam Pollard said the documentary touches on the racial and political tensions between black locals and the Ku Klux Klan along with the Atlanta Police Department. He said the series will point toward other possible suspects, thanks to an anonymous source who had new evidence connecting members of the KKK to the murders. “We walked into this project thinking Wayne was the killer,” Pollard said. “But as we started to dig into the research, educate people and connect the dots. ... there may have been a rush to judgement in this trial. For me personally, I came to the conclusion that Wayne didn’t kill anybody.” Retired journalist Monica Kaufman, who reported on the murders, said the case was mishandled by officials at a time when Atlanta was on the rise after Maynard Jackson was elected as the city’s first black mayor in 1973. The city has had a black mayor ever since then, becoming known for its thriving black business ownership, hip-hop and film scene, and having one of the largest airports in the world. Kaufman said the rise of Atlanta would have been “sullied” if the cases were solved 40 years ago. “The city was up and coming, and we didn’t want anything to tarnish that image,” she said. “I think that if those cases had been solved in some ways, if there had been more than one murderer, it would have changed the political structure. It would have affected the business in Atlanta. It would have changed this city forever.” ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31
  • CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin has tested positive for the coronavirus, the second on-air personality at the news network to come down with the disease. In an Instagram post Friday, Baldwin said that her symptoms — a fever, chills and aches — came on suddenly Thursday afternoon. She said she'd been social distancing and doing all of the things that medical experts have said to do. “Still — it got me,” she said. CNN prime-time host Chris Cuomo also has COVID-19, and twice this week did shows remotely from the basement of his home. Most people who get the coronavirus suffer mild to moderate symptoms and recover. But for some, mostly the elderly and those with underlying conditions, it can be fatal.
  • The Walt Disney Co. on Friday overhauled its release schedule by moving the dates of half a dozen Marvel movies, announcing a new one for the live-action adaption of “Mulan” and pushing one movie, “Artemis Fowl,” to Disney Plus, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Black Widow,” the Marvel entry starring Scarlett Johansson, had been set to kick off the summer movie season. Instead, Disney said it will now open Nov. 6. Such delays have unique ramifications for Marvel movies because of their interconnection. With “Black Widow” on the move, that meant a domino effect, pushing most all upcoming Marvel releases back at least three months. “Black Widow” took the release date of “The Eternals,” which now moves to February 21 next year. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' departs that February date for May 7, 2021. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” shifts from next May to Nov. 5, 2021. And “Thor: Love and Thunder” is pushed three months, to Feb. 18, 2022. Disney isn't abandoning the summer completely. “Mulan,” which been scheduled for March and already had its red carpet premiere, will now open July 24. The company also didn't move the Pixar release “Soul” from its June 19 release date. Those plans, of course, are subject to movie theaters being reopened by then and the pandemic subsiding. While Disney shifted nearly all of its big-budget movies, it's going to send one to its streaming service. The Kenneth Branagh-directed science fiction adventure adaptation “Artemis Fowl' will go to Disney Plus instead of opening in theaters. The movie had originally been slate for release last August but had been rescheduled for May of this year. With the exception of Universal's “Trolls World Tour,” the major studios have chosen to delay their top releases rather than push them to digital release and sacrifice box-office revenue. “Jungle Cruise,” with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, is being pushed back a full year to July 30, 2021. The release of the fifth “Indiana Jones” movie, which Steven Spielberg last month departed as director with James Mangold replacing him, is also being delayed a full year, to July 2022. Harrison Ford will be 80 years old by then. Wes Anderson's “The French Dispatch” is also postponed from July to Oct. 16. On Thursday, the Walt Disney Co. announced they will start furloughing some workers in two weeks at its theme parks resorts in Florida and California.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, April 5, continue below:  Florida congressman, first to test positive, now rid of virus Update 9:46 p.m. EDT April 5: A U.S. congressman from Florida who was the first representative to test positive, has recovered from the coronavirus. Rep. Mario Daiz-Balart said Sunday he was virus-free. “Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami,” Diaz-Balart said on social media. 'Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the (Red Cross) plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.” He later stressed the importance of social distancing. “I want to reiterate the seriousness of this sickness, and I encourage everyone to continue to follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” he said. Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks. Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19 when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported. “The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,' health officials Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday. More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases. The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak when daily cases topped 6,000.The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. 'I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,' Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths. Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus. He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported. Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26. Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus  Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, accoridng to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Death Valley National Park temporarily closes Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website. Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally. “Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,' said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.” Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family. A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported. Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier. “There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.” NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.” Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’ Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported. 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.” ‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.” “I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program. DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C. Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day. Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus. Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards. NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York. According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media. “New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.” >> See the tweet here As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on. According to The Associated Press, the pope celebrated the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Only a few prelates, nuns and guests were invited to attend, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country. Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week. In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. “I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.” She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.” >> See the post here As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal. Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting. Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper. On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan. BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams Update 3:40 a.m. EDT April 5: Scammers across the United States continue to trick people in an attempt to steal their money or information, WHBQ-TV is reporting. The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens. Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week: A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans. Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General. A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real. A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus. A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately. The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device. The Better Business Bureau said to remember: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer. Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account. Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you. Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere. If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state. The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington. It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported. Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement. The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks. It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious. “The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn. Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit. Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing. “And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said. He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die. But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results. “All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday. He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect. Read more here. U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878. Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths • Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths • Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths • Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths • Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Seminole County deputies said they found trafficking amounts of heroin and cocaine after detectives found a stolen car Thursday morning at a Florida home. Deputies said cash and several handguns were also seized at the home in unincorporated Lake Mary. A baby alligator was also being kept illegally in the home, deputies said. Four suspects are facing several felony charges. “Make no mistake, any criminals thinking they can use our coronavirus emergency to take advantage know that our dedicated men and women are keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Sheriff Dennis Lemma.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.
  • Police in a Louisiana city blared a siren signaling the start of curfew -- unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren Friday night, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise, KATC reported. Chief Jimmy Broussard said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours, KATC reported. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. The Acadia Parish sheriff distanced his department from the noise. “Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” K.P. Gibson said in a statement. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ’Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere, The Associated Press reported. It is believed Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. The zoo on Tuesday shared video on social media of the tigers enjoying a swim. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump this weekend bluntly warned Americans to prepare for what his team said could be one of the roughest weeks yet against the Coronavirus, as the U.S. has now had four consecutive days with over 1,000 new deaths related to the virus outbreak. 'This will be probably be the toughest week,' the President told reporters at a Saturday briefing. 'There will be a lot of death, unfortunately.' Top federal health officials agreed with that assessment. 'Right now, we're seeing - as well all said correctly - that this is probably going to be a really bad week,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert for the U.S. government. Fauci joined the President in again urging Americans to do what they can to limit their social activities, and thus limit the spread of the virus. 'The only tool - but the best tool that we have - is mitigation,' Fauci told reporters at a Sunday night White House briefing. Fauci reminded reporters that the measures being taken by Americans in terms of social distancing take about two and a half weeks to show up in terms of fewer cases, and a drop in the number of deaths. 'People really understand the responsibility they have for themselves, their family and for the country,' Fauci said at the White House. Fauci's colleague, Dr. Deborah Birx, told reporters that health officials continue to see the most problems in the New York City metro area, as well as in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Birx also name-checked Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. - where there have been rumblings in recent days about a possible broader spread of the virus. 'We do see hopeful signs in Spain and Italy. They have completed nearly four weeks of mitigation,' Birx said, telling Americans they should follow the lead of those nations in terms of social distancing, as a way to stop the spread of the virus. During Sunday's briefing, the President repeated his endorsement of the use of hydroxychloroquine - a drug often associated with malaria treatment - to be used against the Coronavirus. 'What really do we have to lose?' the President asked reporters at one point, encouraging people to use the drug, even though it has not been specifically found to stop the virus. 'It may not work, in which case, hey - it didn't work,' the President said at one point. 'And it may work, in which case, it may save a lot of lives.' 'If it does help, great,' Mr. Trump added. 'If it doesn't help, we gave it a shot.' The President's promotion of hydroxychloriquine has drawn concerns from Fauci - who has noted the lack of broader trials - but Mr. Trump has pressed forward with the idea, bolstered by support among GOP lawmakers and conservative media. On Sunday, when one reporter tried to ask Fauci his opinion, the President stepped in and did not let Fauci answer. 'You know how many times he's answered that question?' the President said to a reporter from CNN. '15 times. You don't have to ask that question. He's answered that question 15 times.' The death toll from the Coronavirus in the U.S. will go over 10,000 people on Monday.