1/ More than 2,000 people could die every day from COVID-19 in the U.S. in April and 224,000 hospital beds – 61,000 more than the U.S. has – will be needed around April 15, when the U.S. is estimated to reach “peak resource use,” according to news projections cited by Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. Assuming social distancing continues through May, the model finds that, by August, around 82,000 people in the U.S. could die from COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Birx estimated that “our real number” of total coronavirus deaths is between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans – lower than the 2.2 millions estimated deaths that would occur if no distancing or mitigating measures were taken. Fauci added: “As sobering as that number is, we should be prepared for it.” Trump, meanwhile, warned of “a very, very painful two weeks” ahead. Trump’s decision to extend social distancing guidelines until April 30 came after officials reviewed 12 different statistical models that all “ended up at the same numbers.” (CNN / New York Times / Axios / Washington Post / Associated Press / Vox / NBC News / Politico)

  • 💻 Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / The Guardian / CBS News / ABC News / CNBC)

  • 📈 More than 181,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and more than 3,600 dead. About 3,300 have died in China, where the outbreak originated. Globally, more than 826,222 confirmed cases and at least 41,261 deaths. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • 📉 Social distancing may be working, according to a database of daily fever readings produced by a medical technology firm that produces internet-connected thermometers. Health department data from New York State and Washington State have buttressed the trend that social distancing is saving lives. (New York Times)

  • ✈️ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Americans overseas to return home “immediately” because “We do not know how long the commercial flights in your countries may continue to operate,” and that “We can’t guarantee the U.S. government’s ability to arrange charter flights indefinitely where commercial options no longer exist.” (USA Today)

  • More than 100 sailors have tested positive for the coronavirus aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier. Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a memo to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet that “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors,” adding that “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.” The carrier is currently docked in Guam. (San Francisco Chronicle / Politico / New York Times / CNN)

  • A federal judge called on ICE to release migrants held in family detention centers to reduce the risk of coronavirus outbreaks in confinement and in the surrounding communities. Judge James Boasberg of Washington did not order the release of the roughly 1,350 migrants at three detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas, but he did order ICE officials to provide a report on their efforts to release them by next week. “Circumstances are changing rapidly,” the judge said, “and if there are cases in these centers or there are other problems that are not compliant, I will revisit.” (Independent)

2/ The CDC is considering revising federal coronavirus guidelines for the “community-wide use of masks” in public — even if they aren’t exhibiting symptoms. The CDC currently does not recommend wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the idea is under “very active discussion” by the White House’s coronavirus task force. The recommendations under consideration would encourage the public to use of a do-it-yourself cloth mask – not N95 masks, which are in short supply. (Washington Post / Politico / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  • Wearing masks in public, explained: (Vox)

3/ The Pentagon has not shipped 2,000 ventilators because FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services have not asked for them or provided a shipping location. Lt. General Giovanni Tuck there are 1,000 ventilators fully ready to be shipped as soon as the Pentagon gets a destination of where to send them. The other 1,000 can also be assembled and shipped within days of getting the order. (CNN)

  • ✏️ Governors plead for medical equipment from federal stockpile plagued by shortages and confusion. (Washington Post)

  • ✏️ New York’s Andrew Cuomo decries ‘eBay’-style bidding war for ventilators. (The Guardian)

  • ✏️ Taxpayers paid $13.8 million to a company to design a low-cost ventilator. Instead, the company is selling it overseas. (ProPublica)

  • The Trump administration is encouraging the FDA to approve another unproven drug as a possible coronavirus treatment, despite career officials’ concerns about the risks and limited evidence that the drug would work. Most recently, Trump has championed Avigan, a decades-old flu drug, despite global regulators and U.S. researchers expressing concern about the drug’s risks, such as birth defects, and that the Chinese data is insufficient. (Politico)

4/ The Dow and S&P 500 had their worst first-quarter performances ever, losing 23.2 and 20%, respectively. Stocks also snapped the longest-ever bull market in history in March. (CNBC / USA Today / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)

  • Economists at the Federal Reserve in St. Louis project that the number of unemployed Americans could reach as high as 47 million – about 32% – as a result of the coronavirus. St. Louis Fed economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro wrote in a research paper last week that this is “a rather unique shock that is unlike any other experienced by the U.S. economy in the last 100 years.” (CNBC)

✏️ Notables.

  1. The Justice Department inspector general found errors in FBI applications to conduct secret surveillance. Inspector General Michael Horowitz reviewed 29 FISA applications — submitted between October 2014 and September 2019 — and found problems with all of them. The office said it found an average of about 20 issues per application, including one application with about 65 issues. (Politico / Associated Press / NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times)

  2. Trump – in a tweet – asked Congress to fund a $2 trillion infrastructure bill to fund construction and repairs of roads, bridges, railroads or other public works projects, because interest rates are close to zero. (Bloomberg)

  3. Trump approved a proposal to delay payment of certain tariffs for 90 days. An executive could is expected as soon as this week and would give the Treasury Department the authority to direct Customs and Border Protection to delay collecting “most-favored nation” tariffs on imports. (Bloomberg)

  4. Rep. Mark Meadows resigned from Congress to serve as Trump’s newest chief of staff. Meadows was tapped for the position on March 6 after announcing in December that he would not seek reelection in North Carolina in 2020. Meadows’ resignation was effective at 5 p.m. ET on Monday and he is scheduled to begin his new position starting today. Meadows will be Trump’s fourth chief of staff, succeeding acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, as well as Reince Priebus and John Kelly. (NBC News)

  5. The Trump administration rolled back fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks – one of the nation’s most aggressive efforts to combat climate change. The changes will allow vehicles to emit about a billion more tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to roughly a fifth of annual U.S. emissions – by requiring automakers to increase fuel economyby 1.5% a year, with the goal of achieving an average of 40 miles per gallon by 2026. The current rules mandate annual increases of 5%, reaching an average of 54 mpg by 2025. (Los Angeles Times / NBC News / The Guardian)


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