• Daily Damage Report.

  • Global: Total confirmed cases ~1,331,000; Total deaths: ~74,000; Total recoveries: ~275,900. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~357,000; Total deaths: ~10,500; Total recoveries: ~19,000.

  • Markets: The Dow, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all closed up more than 7%. (Washington Post)

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state may be starting to reach the apex of its crisis as coronavirus deaths are “effectively flat.” Cuomo extended the state’s “stay at home” order until April 29. (NBC News)

  • Number of new cases in Germany declines for the fourth consecutive day.

  • British prime minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care as he battles coronavirus. Johnson was hospitalized yesterday. (Bloomberg)

  • Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / The Guardian / CBS News / ABC News / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal


1/ Trump warned “there will be a lot of death” and this will be “toughest week” as coronavirus infections in the U.S. surpassed 347,000 confirmed cases and the death toll topped 10,000. Trump, however, said “We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months.” Trump added that he wants “fans back in the arenas” as soon as possible. “We cannot let this continue,” he said. “So at a certain point, some hard decisions are going to have to be made.” (Politico / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams: “The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment. It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part. (Politico / New York Times)

  • The true coronavirus death toll is likely much higher and the undercount is a result of inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next. The CDC only counts deaths if the coronavirus is confirmed by a laboratory test, and postmortem testing by medical examiners varies widely across the country. (New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ Trump’s trade adviser claimed – despite not being a medical doctor – that there was a “clear therapeutic efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine in treating the coronavirus. Peter Navarro’s claim set off a debate in the Situation Room with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who said there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus and more data is needed to prove that it’s effective. Navarro, an economist by training, shot back that the information he had collected was “science,” claiming his “qualifications […] is that I’m a social scientist.” Navarro later said Dr. Fauci’s caution about the effectiveness of an anti-malaria drug warrants a “second opinion.” Separately, Trump personally pressed federal health officials in mid-March to make chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine available to treat the coronavirus, though they had been untested for COVID-19. Shortly afterward, the federal government published guidance informing doctors they had the option to prescribe the drugs, with dosing information based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science. (Axios / CNN / Reuters / New York Times / The Hill / NBC News)

  • Without evidence, Trump claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a “great” and “powerful” anti-malaria drug “and there are signs that it works on this, some very strong signs.” It was the second day in a row at a White House briefing that Trump recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine, adding: “But what do I know? I’m not a doctor […] What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose?” Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, pushed back: “You could lose your life.” (CNN / New York Times / HuffPost)

  • Dr. Oz, the controversial celebrity doctor, has been advising senior Trump administration officials on coronavirus-related matters. (Daily Beast)

  • Rudy Giuliani said he has spoken directly to Trump “three or four times” about the potential us of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. “There are obviously other people around him who agree with me,” Giuliani said. (Washington Post)

3/ The Trump administration waited until mid-March to order masks and ventilators for healthcare workers. The Department of Health and Human Services placed its first order for $4.8 million worth of N95 masks on March 12 – more than two months after the Trump administration received its first briefing about the outbreak on January 3. The contracts signed by the federal government with 3M don’t require the company to begin delivering the masks until the end of April – weeks after the Trump administration expects the virus to hit its apex. Three months into the crisis, the national stockpile of masks and ventilators is already nearly depleted and the number of patients is surging. “We basically wasted two months,” said former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press / Vox)

4/ Bank executives personally appealed to Ivanka Trump for higher interest rates for the Paycheck Protection Program, the $349 billion emergency small business program created in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed last week. Interest rates were later increased to 1% from 0.5% on the emergency loans after Ivanka relayed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials requests to increase the rates on the forgivable, government-backed loans, and to make a greater effort to encourage community and regional banks to participate. (Bloomberg / The Hill)

  • Trump plans to nominate White House lawyer Brian Miller to serve as the inspector general overseeing the implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law. If confirmed by the Senate, Miller would become Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery for the Department of Treasury, a key post in preventing fraud and abuse in the new program. (Washington Post)

5/ Trump fired the intelligence community inspector general at the center of the Ukraine allegations that led to Trump’s impeachment. Michael Atkinson was fired months after he delivered the whistleblower complaint to Congress about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, as required by law. Trump called Atkinson a “disgrace” and said he fired him because Atkinson “did a terrible job, absolutely terrible.” Trump added: “He took a fake report and he took it to Congress with an emergency, OK? Not a big Trump fan, that I can tell you.” Atkinson released a statement saying that the reason Trump fired him “derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General.” (Politico / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Politico / Vox)

  • Adam Schiff: Trump is “decapitating the leadership of the intelligence community in the middle of a national crisis. (The Guardian)

  • Two weeks before he was fired, Atkinson told Chuck Schumer that the past six months had been “a searing time for whistleblowers.” (Politico)

6/ The Supreme Court canceled all oral arguments for the rest of the term due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nine cases were on the schedule for the upcoming two-week session, which begins on April 20, including a challenge to the way the U.S. elects the president. The court also canceled oral arguments for March in light of the first wave of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. The Court was supposed to hear arguments last month over whether House Democrats had the legal authority to subpoena Trump’s financial records. It is unclear what will happen to the March and April cases, but the court said it might hear some of them if “if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time.” (NBC News / Axios)

7/ Trump and some Republican leaders are challenging efforts to make voting easier as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts elections. Trump accused Democratic efforts to expand voting by mail of opening the door to fraud, saying “I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting.” The RNC, meanwhile is expected to spend more than $10 million on legal battles related to voting this year in lawsuits in Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. (Washington Post / Politico / CNN / The Hill)

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