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The Latest: AP source: Salary reductions for top NBA execs
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The Latest: AP source: Salary reductions for top NBA execs

The Latest: AP source: Salary reductions for top NBA execs
Photo Credit: 27
FILE - In this Saturday, March 7, 2020, file photo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) talks with guard Donovan Mitchell, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit. Both players have tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert's test result forced the NBA to suspend the season. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)

The Latest: AP source: Salary reductions for top NBA execs

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Top NBA executives are having their base salaries reduced by 20% for the foreseeable future, a person with knowledge of the details said.

The reductions affect the roughly 100 highest-earning executives, as the NBA joins the NHL and NASCAR in cutting salaries while competitions are on hold because of the coronavirus.

The cuts are effective immediately and affect NBA employees both inside the league headquarters in New York and in global offices, the person told The Associated Press. The person was granted anonymity because the reductions were not announced publicly.

Health benefits remain unaffected and there are no changes for the rest of the organization, including support and administrative staff.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz became the first player to test positive. The league is still discussing scenarios for resuming play once allowed.

—AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney reported.

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LeBron James has different handshake rituals with all his teammates. It’s common for him to remember them and keep using them for years, even when those teammates become opponents later after they go through trades or free agency.

Those days, he says, are gone now.

The Los Angeles Lakers star appeared on the latest “Road Trippin’” podcast with former teammates Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Lakers broadcaster Allie Clifton and insisted his handshake days are over, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I ain’t high-fivin’ nobody for the rest of my life after this,” James said.

Handshakes, medical officials have said, are one of the ways the virus can be spread from person to person. So even when the NBA returns, James believes that some tenets of social distancing will remain in place on the court.

“No more high-fivin’ after this corona (stuff). Nope,” James said. “Wait until y’all see me and my teammates’ handshakes after this (stuff).”

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Five-time NFL MVP and former University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning dropped in on one of his alma mater’s online classes to boost the spirits of students having to finish their coursework virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennessee communications professor John Haas was conducting an online class when Manning’s face suddenly appeared on the screen.

“I just wanted to drop in and say hello to all the fellow communications students there,” Manning said. “I realize this is a unique time and probably not the ideal way you guys expected to spend your senior year, but I just encourage you to keep a positive attitude, keep working like you’re doing and try to take advantage of a little bit of the extra time that you have to accomplish something else or help out somebody in need - a lot of people (are) hurting out there during this time - be thankful for what you have and just know the University of Tennessee is proud of you and is going to support you every way (it) can and Dr. Haas and his department is going to do the same thing.”

The University of Tennessee tweeted out Manning’s video appearance. The video also showed some students saying, “Thank you, Mr. Manning,” after the retired quarterback finished speaking.

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The NFL has released a public service announcement in conjunction with an announcement of a donation of more than $35 million in COVID-19 relief aid.

The PSA is narrated by Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. It features more than 50 current or former players and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

All 32 franchises are represented in the video. Each player used his phone to film messages, asking viewers to stay home to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus across the country. They provide examples of what they're doing at home, from gardening to staging impromptu dance contests.

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D.J. Augustin became the latest Orlando Magic player to try to help those affected by the coronavirus, donating to an effort to get food to health-care workers on the front line fighting the pandemic.

Augustin donated to Krewe of Red Beans in his hometown of New Orleans. The organization brings food from restaurants in the city to those health care professionals.

Augustin’s family was forced from their home while he was in high school due to Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged New Orleans.

Also Thursday, Magic forward Aaron Gordon -- who has already made a donation to help homeless children in Central Florida -- announced a separate donation to help kids in his native Bay Area of California. Gordon announced he was donating to a group called My New Red Shoes, which provides well-fitted shoes and clean clothing to children in need.

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors held a half-hour talk on Instagram to discuss all things related to the coronavirus with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

More than 50,000 viewers were logged in for much of the talk — among them, former President Barack Obama, a very big basketball fan.

Curry asked Fauci when it might be time to start thinking about sports again. Fauci told Curry “when the country as a whole has turned that corner,” and the curve that shows how the virus is still spreading nationally starts coming down.

That, Fauci said, is when “we can start thinking about getting back to some degree of normality.”

Obama added his thoughts by posting in the comment section during the talk, saying “Listen to the science. Do your part and take care of each other. Thank you, Steph and Dr. Fauci.”

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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says it is unlikely that there will be any more spring football practices, and that considerations will be made for what teams will be able to do after the coronavirus pandemic, whether that comes in May, June or even later.

Among the possibilities could be minicamps or maybe non-mandatory captains' practices.

“This is a new day, and I think it's going to have to be almost entirely dictated by the circumstances, once those circumstances are known," Bowlsby said Thursday. “We have a lot of kids that are home right now and they're not getting regular workouts like they would get in school."

While way too early to project how things will play out into the scheduled start of football season, Bowlsby said: “It's hard to imagine looking up into a grandstand and seeing people sitting six feet apart," or having no fans at all there.

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The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals are helping organize a blood drive on March 31 at State Farm Stadium because of a local shortage.

The team — which is partnering with Dignity Health and Cigna — says nearly 200 Arizona blood drives have been canceled since March 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic and that local supply has reached “critically low levels.”

The team says the size of the stadium and the event’s layout will ensure that social distancing guidelines are met. Those who participate must register online in advance.

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The Colorado Avalanche say one of their players has recovered after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player was at home in isolation since the symptoms first appeared.

The team says anyone who had known close contact with the player has been notified.

In a statement, the organization adds it will “continue to work in conjunction with our medical staff and public health officials to do everything we can to help the Avalanche community remain safe and healthy during this time.”

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Arizona Cardinals All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones is donating 150,000 meals to food banks in Arizona and his hometown of Endicott, New York, to help families dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Jones said in a statement that “these are really tough times and it is important for me to do my part and help out both here in Arizona and back at home in New York. There are a lot of people in need and everything we can do as a community makes a difference.”

Jones set a Cardinals franchise record with 19 sacks last season.

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The Chicago White Sox and Bulls have teamed up to commit $200,000 to support the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.

The fund launched by the Chicago Community Trust along with the city and United Way supports nonprofit organizations and agencies providing services to the most vulnerable during the pandemic. That includes food and basic supplies and cash transfers as well as help with rent, mortgage and utilities.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

Arteta, who turned 38 on Thursday, told the Arsenal website that he is ”completely fine” and that he only felt ill for a few days.

He said "it was a normal virus for me. I had three or four days which were a little bit difficult, with a bit of a temperature and a dry cough, and some discomfort in my chest."

Arteta became the first Premier League figure to test positive for the coronavirus on March 12. The league was then suspended the next day.

The Spaniard said his wife and nanny also contracted COVID-19, but his three children did not.

He said ”we are all completely fine now.”

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The San Diego Padres planned to play "God Bless America" at empty Petco Park at 1:10 p.m. PT Thursday, which would have been the scheduled time for first pitch of their opening day game against the Colorado Rockies.

With the season delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Padres planned to play the song "as a symbol of solidarity with our resilient country and all of you during this time of crisis,” the team said in a social media posting.

The Padres also said they would partner with Phil's BBQ, a local chain with a concession stand at Petco Park, to provide lunch for UCSD Healthcare and San Diego Blood Bank employees and volunteers.

Some Padres players have been using Petco Park for workouts since Monday. They are limited to small groups and must follow social distancing guidelines.

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The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June'.

That total is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men's basketball tournament.

The NCAA says $50 million of the payout will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will be used to pay off a line credit that will cover the remaining distribution.

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The Green Bay Packers have extended the closure of Lambeau Field through at least April 24 to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a “safer at home” order through that date.

Packers officials said the closure would continue until that order expires or until a superseding order is issued.

This closure also applies to the Packers’ pro shop and the Packers Hall of Fame as well as any team-run public activities in Titletown, a complex of shops and restaurants near the stadium.

Packers officials said Lambeau Field and Titletown will only have essential personnel in place for non-public operations of the facilities. Most of the other Packers personnel will continue to work remotely as duties permit.

The Packers had announced March 13 they were closing their businesses to the public for two weeks. This move continues those closures.

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he and his wife, Brittany, will donate $5 million to help Louisiana businesses and communities contend with challenges brought on by the rapid transmission of the coronavirus in the state.

Brees, who posted his pledge on a social media account on Thursday, says the money will help several restaurants in which he has an ownership stake as well as a major hospital chain and charities like Second Harvest Food Bank to deliver about 10,000 meals per day to people in need.

Brees says he hopes to fund the program “for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need,” adding, “Let's all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together."

The quarterback and his wife run the Brees Dream foundation, which has spent tens of millions helping to fund charitable endeavors in New Orleans and surrounding areas along the Gulf Coast. Most of those efforts have focused on improving learning and recreational opportunities for children as well as health and wellness for children and seniors.

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The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

The race will instead be held Aug. 23.

It was an inevitable decision but still had to be difficult for Roger Penske, who completed his purchase of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar in January and has already pumped millions into capital improvements to ready the historic venue for its first 500 under new ownership.

IndyCar was supposed to resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indianapolis.

That race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than 981,000 people worldwide -- including more than 226,000 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 Thursday, April 2, continue below:  Indiana schools to remain closed through school year Update 3 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Indiana announced Thursday that K-12 schools across the state would be closed for in-person classes through the rest of the school year, according to the Indiana Department of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick announced the decision during a news conference Thursday, WRTV reported. Classes will continue virtually. “All high school seniors on track to graduate before school buildings were closed on March 19 will be provided with the flexibility they need to earn an Indiana diploma,” McCormick said Thursday, according to WRTV. “Our goal is to get you across the stage.' Ohio stay-at-home order extended until May  Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio announced that a stay-at-home order issued in the state has been extended until at least May 1, WHIO-TV reported. Health officials have recorded 2,902 COVID-19 cases in the state, 802 of which were serious enough to require hospitalization. Authorities said 81 people have died in the state of coronavirus infections. More than 25,000 coronavirus infections reported in New Jersey Update 2:45 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said 25,590 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state as of 1 p.m. Thursday. Officials have also reported 537 deaths in New Jersey. FDA modifies policies to allow more gay men to donate blood amid shortage Update 2:40 p.m. EDT April 2: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced modified rules to its donor eligibility requirements to allow more gay men and people who recently got tattoos and piercings to donate blood amid a shortage caused by COVID-19. Officials with the American Red Cross have previously said they were facing a severe blood shortage as thousands of blood drives were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In a statement Thursday, Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the FDA will now only bar gay men from donating blood if they’ve had sex with another man in the last three months, down from the previous 12-month timeline. Officials also said they will allow people who have gotten tattoos more than three months ago to donate, also down from a previous 12-month period. Louisiana officials report more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases statewide Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Louisiana have reported 9,150 coronavirus infections in the state, more than double the amount reported three days earlier. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 4,025 cases of COVID-19 and 185 coronavirus-related deaths had been reported statewide as of Monday. By Thursday, the number of deaths had risen to 310. 7-week-old dies of coronavirus complications in Connecticut Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 2: A 7-week-old child in Connecticut has died of complications from the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday. The unresponsive infant was taken to a hospital last week but could not be revived, WTNH reported. Posthumously, the child tested positive for COVID-19, Lamont said. “This is absolutely heartbreaking,” the governor said in a Twitter post Wednesday. “We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19.” 67 new coronavirus infections reported in DC Update 2 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Washington D.C. said 67 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the total in the district to 653. Mayor Muriel Bowser said one new fatal case was reported Thursday. In all, 12 people have died due to COVID-19 in Washington. COVID-19 not transmissible through food, officials say Update 1:55 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stressed Thursday that no evidence supports fears that COVID-19 might be transmissible through food, CNN reported. “The food supply remains safe for both people and animals,' Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said during a call with reporters, according to CNN. “There is no — and I emphasize no — evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Agriculture Food Safety Director Jeff Warner said in a joint statement obtained Thursday by WPXI that “food is safe.” Grocery stores, food manufacturers, and distributors have been provided with guidance to protect their workforce and consumers from COVID-19, WPXI reported. Reports of coronavirus infections leap above 7,000 in Pennsylvania Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Pennsylvania announced a surge of 1,211 new COVID-19 cases in the state Thursday, according to WPXI. The newly announced cases brings the total number of coronavirus infections to 7,016 in the state, WPXI reported, citing the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Sixteen more fatal coronavirus cases were also reported Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll to 90. Public transit systems to get $25B in emergency funding amid COVID-19 outbreak Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 2: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced public transportation systems across the U.S. will be awarded $25 billion to help them during the coronavirus pandemic. “This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who depend on them,” Chao said Thursday in a news release. Officials said the funds were made available by a $2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law last week. The money will be administered by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration. More than 5,000 coronavirus cases reported in Georgia Update 1:30 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Georgia said Thursday that 5,348 coronavirus infections have been reported in the state, WSB-TV reported. A majority of those -- 59% -- were reported in people between the ages of 18 and 59, the news station reported. The cases also include at least 1,056 which required hospitalization. The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported a total of 163 deaths from COVID-19 in the state as of noon, according to WSB-TV. Red Cross trailer stolen from California lot amid COVID-19 pandemic Update 1:25 p.m. EDT April 2: Police are searching for two men suspected of stealing a Red Cross trailer from a lot in Riverside, California, according to the Press Enterprise. Red Cross spokeswoman Brianna Kelly told the newspaper a Red Cross trailer carrying disaster relief supplies, including cots, blankets, first aid kits and a few masks, was stolen March 22. “Maybe they thought there were COVID-19 response items inside,' Kelly said. 'But even with COVID, if we were to have a disaster, we would use these trailers.” The trailer is the second to be stolen in recent weeks, according to the Press Enterprise. Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 50,000 Update 1:05 p.m. EDT April 2: More than 50,000 people have died of coronavirus infections since the beginning of the outbreak late last year, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The numbers include 13,915 deaths reported in Italy -- the country with the highest number of reported deaths -- 10,003 deaths in Spain and 5,316 deaths in the U.S. The 2019 novel coronavirus was first detected December 2019 in Wuhan, China.  The United States has the most number of cornavirus infections in the world with 226,374 reports as of Thursday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins. 760 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in Italy Update 12:55 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Italy recorded 760 new fatal coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in the country to 13,915. The number is slightly higher than the 727 new fatal cases reported Wednesday, which was the smallest number of single-day COVID-19 deaths reported in the last week in Italy, according to The Guardian. Officials also reported 4,668 new coronavirus infections, slightly less than the 4,782 new infections reported Wednesday. In all, officials said 115,242 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country. Pelosi moves to set up House panel to oversee coronavirus aid Update 12:35 p.m. EDT April 2: Amid continuing controversy over the best way to rush aid to working Americans, businesses, hospitals and local governments dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she would move to set up a new special panel in the U.S. House to oversee those efforts. Pelosi said Thursday in a press conference by phone that it’s important to have transparency about the massive amount of relief money. “We need to ensure those dollars are spent effectively and carefully,” Pelosi said, adding that Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., would be in charge of reviewing the $2 trillion in aid approved by Congress in March. Reported coronavirus infections top 90,000 in New York Update 12:30 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that 8,669 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 92,381. New York has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo said that as of Thursday, every county in the state had at least one case. “It’s going to march across the country. It is false comfort to say, ‘Well, we are a rural community, we don’t have the density of New York City,’” Cuomo said. “We have counties in New York state where you have more cows than people. ... Upstate New York is a rural community.” Cuomo said that 13,383 people were hospitalized in the state due to COVID-19 as of Thursday morning. The number includes 3,396 infections that were serious enough to require patients be hospitalized in intensive care units. Since New York began tracking its coronavirus cases, 7,424 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, Cuomo said. Democratic National Convention postponed due to coronavirus Update 12:20 p.m. EDT April 2: Organizers announced Thursday that the Democratic National Convention will be pushed back from July to August in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The convention had been scheduled to run July 13-16 in Milwaukee. “In light of the unprecedented health crisis facing our country, the 2020 Democratic National Convention will now be held the week of August 17 in Milwaukee, providing our team more time to determine the most appropriate structure for this historic event,” organizers said in statement posted Thursday on Twitter. 273 new coronavirus infections reported in North Carolina Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in North Carolina on Thursday announced 273 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s total to 1,857, WSOC-TV reported. The number includes 184 people who were hospitalized Thursday, according to WSOC-TV. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have reported 16 deaths due to coronavirus. Officials have administered 28,679 tests. Putin extends non-working order through April across Russia Update 12:05 p.m. EDT April 2: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month as part of a partial economic shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week to remain in force throughout April. He emphasized that all employees should continue earning their regular salaries during the period. Putin said some essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. “The threat remains, and experts believe that the epidemic is yet to reach its peak in the world, including our country,” Putin said. New York to begin coordinating with hospitals to redistribute medical supplies as needed Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said officials will ask hospitals to complete a survey about what medical supplies they have on hand with the goal to redistribute supplies as needed amid the coronavirus outbreak. “We’re coordinating the health care system like never before,” Cuomo said Thursday at a news conference. Cuomo said officials are asking hospitals to contribute excess supplies to a central stockpile for distribution to hospitals that need them. “Some hospitals have more supplies than they’re using,” Cuomo said. “We’re saying, ‘Don’t hoard supplies.’” New York has the highest number of reported coronavirus infections in the country, with more than 90,000 people falling ill. Reports of COVID-19 top 8,000 in Florida Update 11:50 a.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Florida announced Thursday that 8,010 coronavirus cases have been reported statewide, up 237 from the 7,773 reports as of Wednesday night, WFTV reported. Officials also reported 27 new fatal COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the state’s coronavirus death toll to 128. Authorities distributing hoarded medical supplies seized from suspected price gougers Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 2: Authorities announced Thursday that they are distributing more than 190,000 N95 respirator masks, hundreds of thousands of medical-grade gloves and other medical equipment seized during an investigation into alleged price gouging during the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials with the FBI discovered the supplies, which also included 130,000 surgical masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, particulate filters and bottles of hand sanitizer, during an enforcement operation on March 30. Authorities alerted the Department of Health and Human Services, which used the Defense Production Act to seize the supplies for distribution to health care workers on the front lines in New York and New Jersey. “This is the first of many such investigations that are underway,” Defense Production Act policy coordinator Peter Navarro said Thursday in a news release. “All individuals and companies hoarding any of these critical supplies, or selling them at well above market prices, are hereby warned they should turn them over to local authorities or the federal government now or risk prompt seizure by the federal government.” Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services will pay the owner for the found equipment at “pre-COVID-19 fair market value.” The supplies will be delivered to the New Jersey Department of Health, the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk dumped amid surplus caused by COVID-19 Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 2: Many dairy processing plants across Wisconsin have more product than they can handle and that’s forced farmers to begin dumping their milk down the drain. That’s the case at Golden E Dairy near West Bend. Farmer Ryan Elbe told WISN-TV they are dumping about about 30,000 gallons (113,562 litres) a day. The coronavirus has dried up the marketplace for dairy products as restaurants, schools and food service businesses have been closed. About one-third of the state’s dairy products, mostly cheese, are sold in the food-service trade. The Journal Sentinel reported that Elbe’s cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay them for milk that’s being dumped. But like most cooperatives, DFA can only afford to do that for so long. Elbe’s parents started the farm with 80 cows in 1991, an operation that has grown to 2,400 cows today. Amazon to check employees’ temperatures, deploy masks beginning next week, report says Update 11 a.m. EDT April 2: Amazon will begin checking temperatures and handing out face masks for staff members at all its Whole Foods locations and at warehouses in Europe and the U.S. as employees continue working during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Company officials told Reuters they would begin checking employee temperatures beginning next week using no-contact forehead thermometers. Anyone determined to have a temperature over 100.4 Fahrenheit will be sent home, the news site reported. Amazon officials also told Reuters its locations will be getting surgical masks by early next week. Michigan suspending in-person classes through end of school year Update 10:45 a.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan on Thursday announced schools in the state would be closed through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Detroit Free Press. “My number one priority right now is protecting Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19,' Whitmer said in a statement obtained by the Free Press. “For the sake of our students, their families, and the more than 100,000 teachers and staff in our state, I have made the difficult decision to close our school facilities for the remainder of the school year.” The decision will impact about 1.5 million students in Michigan, the Free Press reported. Remote learning will continue for students in the state. Defense Department providing 100,000 body bags to FEMA Update 10:15 a.m. EDT April 2: The Department of Defense is working to fulfill a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 100,000 body bags as the coronavirus death toll rises in the U.S., according to multiple reports. In a statement obtained by CNN, Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said the request was being filled in line with a longstanding agreement with FEMA “to procure key commodities from (the Defense Logistics Agency’s) industrial partners during crisis response operations.” “DLA is currently responding to FEMA’s prudent planning efforts for 100,000 pouches to address mortuary contingencies on behalf of state health agencies,” the statement said. Stocks open higher after early stumble Update 9:55 a.m. EDT April 2: Stocks opened modestly higher on Wall Street Thursday, a day after dropping 4.4%. Stocks had been headed for an even higher open until the Labor Department reported that more than 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, double the record high set just one week earlier. It was the latest sign that large numbers of Americans are losing their jobs as the economic damage from the coronavirus accelerates. The U.S. and other large economies are widely believed to have sunk into severe recessions as businesses shut down the world. The price of crude oil jumped 8% to about $22 a barrel. Still unclear why some COVID-19 patients get sicker than others, Fauci says Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 2: The nation’s top infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Thursday that officials are no closer to figuring out why some seemingly healthy people infected by the new coronavirus develop only mild or no symptoms but others become very sick. During an interview Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, Fauci said he’s been “puzzled from the beginning” about the coronavirus pandemic. “It is very strange how one individual can get infected and have either mild or no symptoms and another individual could rapidly deteriorate with viral pneumonia and respiratory failure,” Fauci said. “There’s something in mechanism, whether it’s genetic, whether it’s immune response.” Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said on “Today” that it’s “very strange” how the virus can be “completely devastating” and lead to “viral pneumonia and respiratory failure” in one person and be “absolutely nothing” in another person. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he’s been working in infectious diseases for almost 50 years but doesn’t “fully understand exactly what the mechanism of that is.' He said finding the answer is going to require natural history studies, which follow people over time while collecting their health information. Officials report 569 new fatal coronavirus cases in the UK Update 9:30 a.m. EDT April 2: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 569 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 2,921. Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced 4,244 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. In all, officials said 33,718 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. New England Patriots jet flying medical supplies from China to Boston Update 9:20 a.m. EDT April 2: A private plane owned by the New England Patriots will land Thursday in Boston with needed medical supplies to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports. Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts said Thursday that the plane, was carrying more than one million N95 masks from China, according to ABC News. A source told CNN that Baker coordinated with the Patriots and the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, to get the supplies to the state. “Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen,” Baker wrote Thursday. Fauci: There’s still time to avoid 100,000 deaths from coronavirus in US Update 9:05 a.m. EDT April 2: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emphasized Thursday that Americans still have time to avoid the 100,000 to 200,000 deaths predicted in the U.S. from the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s within our power to modify those numbers,” Fauci said in an appearance Thursday on “CBS This Morning.” On Sunday, President Donald Trump said that if his administration can keep deaths from the virus to 100,000, that would be a “good job.” The number was based on a model which showed that “even with considerable mitigation, you still could anticipate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths,” Fauci said Thursday. “We shouldn’t give up and accept it and say, 'OK that’s going to happen,” Fauci told 'CBS News This Morning.” “We need to push and push with the mitigation to try to get that number lower than the projected number by the model.” Record 6.6 million seek US jobless aid Update 8:40 a.m. EDT April 2: More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus. The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. The figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April. The unemployment rate could spike to as high as 15% this month, above the previous record of 10.8% set during a deep recession in 1982. Boeing offering employees voluntary layoffs Update 8:25 a.m. EDT April 2: Boeing will offer employees voluntary layoffs in a bid to offset the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to KIRO-TV and CNBC. “We’re in uncharted waters,” the company’s new CEO, David Calhoun, wrote in a memo sent to employees, according to KIRO-TV. “We’re taking actions — including offering this (voluntary layoff) plan — based on what we know today.” Boeing has more than 150,000 employees worldwide. >> Read more on KIRO7.com: Boeing announces it will be cutting workers Global coronavirus deaths near 50K, worldwide cases approach 952K Update 7:24 a.m. EDT April 2: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 48,284 early Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 951,901 people worldwide. • The United States has reported 216,722 cases, resulting in 5,137 deaths. • Italy has confirmed 110,574 cases, resulting in 13,155 deaths. • Spain has reported 110,238 infections, resulting in 10,003 deaths. • China has recorded 82,431 cases, resulting in 3,322 deaths. • Germany has reported 77,981 cases, resulting in 931 deaths. • France has confirmed 57,780 infections, resulting in 4,043 deaths. • Iran has recorded 50,468 cases, resulting in 3,160 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 29,872 cases, resulting in 2,357 deaths. • Switzerland has confirmed 18,117 cases, resulting in 505 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 15,679 cases, resulting in 277 deaths. Spain’s coronavirus death toll tops 10K after highest single-day increase Update 6:56 a.m. EDT April 2: At least 10,003 people have died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Spain, the country’s health ministry announced Thursday. The latest figures include 950 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours alone, representing the European nation’s largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, Spain has reported a total of 110,238 infections and trails only Italy in terms of virus-related fatalities where 13,155 people have died. New unemployment claims could hit 3.1 million Update 6:44 a.m. EDT April 2: Economists anticipate an additional 3.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to force business closures, layoffs and financial uncertainty. According to The Wall Street Journal, a record 3.3 million people sought jobless benefits two weeks ago, and the 3.1 million surveyed economists believe filed last week comprise more claims than those which have been processed in the past six months.  British docs receive guidance on parsing out ‘scarce lifesaving resources’ amid coronavirus Update 5:49 a.m. EDT April 2: The British Medical Association has issued new ethics guidelines dictating which patients should be saved if the United Kingdom’s health system becomes overwhelmed by the novel coronavirus pandemic. ]Per the new guidelines, ventilators could be removed from treatment protocols for older patients with a low survival probability if the machines mean healthier patients might survive. 'As such, some of the most unwell patients may be denied access to treatment such as intensive care or artificial ventilation,' the BMA’s ethics guidance note states, adding, “This will inevitably be indirectly discriminatory against both the elderly and those with long-term health conditions, with the latter being denied access to life-saving treatment as a result of their pre-existing health problems.' The guidance note was updated April 1. ‘Unruly’ coronavirus quarantine violators could be shot, Philippine president says Update 3:16 a.m. EDT April 2: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned during a Wednesday address that citizens who disregard the nationwide novel coronavirus quarantine and become unruly could be shot by authorities. Duterte’s remarks came during a televised address, covered by CNN Philippines. “My orders to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead!” Duterte said. Israel’s health minister tests positive for coronavirus Update 2:52 a.m. EDT April 2: Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, 71, has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The health ministry confirmed Litzman’s illness in a statement issued Thursday. Litzman has held the position for nearly a decade. To date, Israel has confirmed 6,092 coronavirus cases, resulting in 26 deaths. Coronavirus pandemic fueling gun sale background check surge, FBI says Update 2:39 a.m. EDT April 2: The FBI reported a record-setting number of gun purchase background checks during the month of March as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the globe. According to data released by the bureau, the 3.7 million checks conducted in March represent a 41 percent month-over-month surge and the most processed during a one-month period since the FBI began tracking the information in 1998. Illinois led the nation in March with more than half a million federal firearm background checks conducted, followed by Texas, Kentucky, Florida and California, CNN reported. Click here to see the FBI data. Boeing preps to offer buyouts, early retirement amid coronavirus cash crunch Update 2:10 a.m. EDT April 2: Aerospace giant Boeing could soon begin offering early retirement and buyout packages to employees as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues pummeling the aviation industry, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read more here. Biden says Democratic National Convention likely to be postponed amid coronavirus crisis Update 1:28 a.m. EDT April 2: The Democratic National Convention will likely be shelved for several months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said during a Wednesday night webcam interview on “The Tonight Show.”The “I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July,” Biden said, adding, “I think it’s going to have to move into August.” The convention is currently slated for July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jazz icon Ellis Marsalis Jr., 85, dies from coronavirus complications Update 1:12 a.m. EDT April 2: Jazz legend and patriarch of a musical dynasty Ellis Marsalis Jr. died on Wednesday from complications associated with the novel coronavirus. He was 85. 'Ellis Marsalis was a legend. He was the prototype of what we mean when we talk about New Orleans jazz,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement, adding, “He was a teacher, a father, and an icon — and words aren’t sufficient to describe the art, the joy and the wonder he showed the world.”  US coronavirus deaths hit 5,119, total cases top 216K Update 12:20 a.m. EDT April 2: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 216,000 early Thursday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 216,515 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 5,119 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation by wide margins, including more than twice the 110,574 reported in Italy and the 104,118 confirmed in Spain. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 1,941 – or roughly 40 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 355 in New Jersey and 337 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 83,712 confirmed cases – or more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 22,255 and Michigan with 9,334. Five other states have now confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 8,155, including 171 deaths • Massachusetts: 7,738, including 122 deaths • Florida: 7,495, including 100 deaths • Illinois: 6,980, including 141 deaths • Louisiana: 6,424, including 273 deaths Meanwhile, Washington and Pennsylvania each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections, trailed only slightly by Georgia with 4,748 cases; Texas, Connecticut and Colorado each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Police found 192 rolls of toilet paper, a hot commodity as people isolate and self-quarantine amid the coronavirus, in a stolen SUV on Tuesday. Beverly Hills police found the toilet paper after pulling over the stolen white SUV, KTTV reported. It was unclear if the toilet paper had been stolen. “The driver was arrested for several charges — unrelated to the toilet paper,” Beverly Hills police Lt. Elizabeth Albanese told the Los Angeles Times. The driver’s identity was not released. A gun was also recovered during the search of the vehicle, KTTV reported. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people in communities across the country have panic purchased shelves-worth of toilet paper. The department joked on social media about the arrest: “Gives ‘They saw me rollin’...’ a whole new meaning.”
  • At first, the Internal Revenue Service said that to get a stimulus payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, a tax return had to be filed. That would have left many Social Security beneficiaries without the financial boost. But late Wednesday, the Treasury Department said that was not the case. “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,' Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, according to The Washington Post. The stimulus package, which will inject $2.2 trillion into the economy that is faltering because of the coronavirus outbreak was going to use 2018 or 2019 tax returns to see how much money each household gets. Many of those who get Social Security benefits make less than the required amount that is needed to file a tax return, the Post reported. The IRS will use the information from the Social Security Administration so payees to get the additional money from the government, CNN reported. If someone does not use direct deposit, then the government will send them traditional checks, but that process is expected to take longer than the wire transfers, according to CNN.
  • The Brevard Zoo is welcoming a baby giraffe. Zoo officials say the giraffe was born on Sunday in Melbourne. The calf weighed 125 pounds and was 6-feet tall at birth. In a statement the zoo said it's the sixth consecutive male calf born there. App users, tap here to see a video! It was the ninth birth for the calf's 20-year-old mother, Johari. The calf's father is 21-year-old Rafiki, who has sired all 14 giraffe born at the zoo. The veterinary staff says the calf is in good health and nursing well.
  • A 7-week-old Connecticut child has died of complications from the coronavirus, officials said. The unresponsive infant was taken to a hospital last week. The child could not be revived and posthumously tested positive for the coronavirus, WTNH reported. “This is a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy,” Gov. Ned Lamont said on social media Wednesday. “This also stresses the importance of staying home and limiting exposure to other people. Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it. Our prayers are with the family at this difficult time.” While older people are more at risk, there have been some cases that impact the very young. On Saturday, an infant less than a year old died from the coronavirus in Illinois. In China, a 10-month-old died from the coronavirus, the New England Journal of Medicine reported March 18. There have been 85 deaths from the coronavirus in Connecticut, WTNH reported.

Washington Insider

  • Amid continuing controversy over the best way to rush aid to working Americans, businesses, hospitals, and local governments to deal with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she would move to set up a new special panel in the U.S. House to oversee those efforts, saying it's important to have transparency about the massive amount of relief money. 'We need to ensure those dollars are spent effectively and carefully,' Pelosi said in a press conference by phone with reporters, as she said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) would be in charge of reviewing the $2 trillion in aid approved by Congress in March. 'We have no higher priority than making sure the money gets to those working families struggling to pay rent and put food on the table who need it most,' Pelosi added. 'The fact is, we do need transparency, and we do need accountability,' the Speaker said. In making the announcement, the Speaker said this panel would be different than the call by other Democrats for a '9-11 Commission' about the Coronavirus, saying the emphasis must be on what's happening right now - not what happened before. 'The Select Committee is about the here and now,' Pelosi added. In describing the job of the new panel, the Speaker compared this to the work of the Truman Commission, named for then Sen. Harry Truman, who was put in charge of a panel which held hearings and investigated waste, fraud, and abuse related to the war effort during World War II. The idea - which would need a vote of the House to create the panel and fund its operations - drew immediate opposition from the top Republican in the House. 'This seems really redundant,' said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who told reporters by phone that he did not support the selection of Clyburn to run the panel, as the GOP leader questioned the goal, and said there was no reason to take oversight away from regular committees of the House. 'I'm not quite sure if this is political,' McCarthy added in a news briefing by telephone with reporters.