Models Project Sharp Rise in Deaths as States Reopen

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a gradual rise in the variety of coronavirus circumstances and deaths over the subsequent a number of weeks. The day by day demise toll will attain about three,000 on June 1, in accordance with an inside doc obtained by The New York Times, a 70 % improve from the present variety of about 1,750.

The projections, primarily based on authorities modeling pulled collectively by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new circumstances every day by the tip of the month, up from about 25,000 circumstances a day presently.

The numbers underscore a sobering actuality: The United States has been hunkered down for the previous seven weeks to attempt slowing the unfold of the virus, however reopening the economic system will make issues worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

The institute wrote that the revisions reflected “rising mobility in most U.S. states as well as the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11, indicating that growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus.”

The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways.

“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he said in a virtual town hall on Fox News on Sunday. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”

The White House responded that the new federal government projections had not been vetted.

“This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

About half of all states have now begun reopening their economies in some significant way, which public health experts have warned could lead to a new wave of cases and deaths.

“The vast majority of Americans have not been exposed to the virus, there is not immunity, and the initial conditions that allowed this virus to spread really quickly across America haven’t really changed,” said Dr. Larry Chang, an infectious-diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University.

While the country has stabilized, it has not really improved, as shown by data collected by The Times. Case and death numbers remain on a numbing, tragic plateau that is tilting only slightly downward.

At least 1,000 people with the virus, and sometimes more than 2,000, have died every day for the last month. On a near daily basis, at least 25,000 new cases of the virus are being identified across the country.

And even as New York City, New Orleans and Detroit have shown improvement, other urban centers, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are reporting steady growth in the number of cases.

The situation has devolved most significantly in parts of rural America that were largely spared in the early stages of the pandemic. As food processing facilities and prisons have emerged as some of the country’s largest case clusters, the counties that include Logansport, Ind.; South Sioux City, Neb.; and Marion, Ohio, have surpassed New York City in cases per capita.

“We’re scared to death, so this had to be done,” said Amber Nez, 27, a shoe store saleswoman and Navajo Nation citizen who lives in Gallup. “I only wonder why we didn’t do this sooner.”

Many other states are already entering their next chapters.

Restaurants, stores, museums and libraries in Florida are allowed to reopen with fewer customers, except in the most populous counties, which have seen a majority of the state’s cases. In Clearwater, some beachgoers used seaweed to mark a six-foot barrier around them.

The White House has barred members of its coronavirus task force and their aides from appearing before Congress this month without the express approval of Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, according to an email obtained by The New York Times.

In addition, officials with “primary response departments,” including the Departments of State, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, will be restricted to appearing at four hearings department-wide for the duration of May.

The White House Office of Legislative Affairs laid out the policy in an email to senior congressional aides, noting that it could change before the end of the month.

“Agencies must maximize their resources for Covid-19 response efforts and treat hearing requests accordingly,” the message said. That argument was repeated by a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment.

Democrats condemned the move, saying it reflected an impulse by the president to silence health experts.

“By muzzling science and the truth, it will only prolong this health and economic crisis,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader. “The president’s failure to accept the truth, and then his desire to hide it, is one of the chief reasons we are lagging behind so many other countries in beating this scourge.”

Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the committee, said on Monday that a May 12 hearing — what he called a “status report on going back to work, back to school” — would include appearances by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s top infectious disease official; Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Admiral Brett P. Giroir, the assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. played traffic cop. Justice Clarence Thomas asked his first questions in more than a year. Justice Sonia Sotomayor disappeared for a few moments, apparently having failed to unmute her phone.

On the whole, the Supreme Court’s first argument held by telephone went smoothly. The justices asked short bursts of quick questions, in order of seniority, as the world — also for the first time — listened in.

Chief Justice Roberts asked the first questions and then called on his colleagues. When lawyers gave extended answers, he cut them off and asked the next justice to ask questions.

The question before the court was whether an online hotel reservation company,, may trademark its name. Generic terms cannot be trademarked, and all concerned agreed that “booking,” standing alone, was generic. The question for the justices was whether the addition of “.com” changed the analysis.

The justices may not return to the bench in October, the start of their next term, if the virus is still a threat, as several of them are in the demographic group thought to be most at risk: Six members of the court are 65 or older.

While the Supreme Court went remote, the top House Republicans on Monday urged caution on new rules proposed by Democrats to allow committees to meet virtually and House members to vote by proxy from outside of Washington.

The Senate, after weeks of sporadic meetings and curtailed operations, returned for the first time in a month to restart the process of confirming federal judges and Trump administration nominees, with new social distancing and other health precautions in place.

The governor of California said on Monday that some stores could reopen on Friday, and that individual counties, if they desired, could relax restrictions further as long as they took precautions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said the businesses, including clothing stores, bookstores, florists and sporting goods stores, would be allowed to reopen with modifications. The manufacturing businesses that supply these shops would also be permitted to reopen.

Mr. Newsom and the state’s top health official, Dr. Sonia Angell, sounded optimistic, trumpeting the state’s testing capabilities — about 30,000 a day — and its stable number of daily hospitalizations.

Store owners will be allowed to open for pickup on Friday only if they alter their workplaces, and they must enforce social distancing. Mr. Newsom added that more details about the required modifications would be released on Thursday.

The governor also said that if local health officials and county governments certify that they are ready to reopen further, they will be able to open restaurants and other hospitality-sector businesses, with modifications. The counties will have to submit plans to the state health agency.

Prime ministers, a king, a prince and Madonna all chipped in to an $8 billion pot to fund a coronavirus vaccine.

Mr. Trump skipped the chance to contribute, with officials in his administration noting that the United States was pouring billions of dollars into its own research efforts.

During a three-hour fund-raising conference on Monday organized by the European Union and conducted over video link, representatives from around the world — from Japan to Canada, Australia to Norway — took turns announcing their countries’ contributions to fund laboratories that have promising leads in developing and producing a vaccine. For Romania, it was $200,000. For Canada, $850 million.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union that spearheaded the initiative, said the money would be spent over the next two years. The goal is to deliver universal and affordable access to medication to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The multilateral effort stood in sharp contrast to the solo road the United States was on as scientists scrambled to develop a vaccine.

In Washington on Monday, senior Trump administration officials did not explain the U.S. absence at the European-organized conference. Instead, they pointed to American contributions to vaccine efforts worldwide and noted that the government had spent $2.6 billion on vaccine research and development through an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services.

New York City is meeting only three: Hospital deaths and new hospitalizations are declining steadily, and the city is conducting the appropriate number of tests each month.

The governor reported 226 more deaths in the state — the lowest one-day figure since March 28 and down more than 70 percent from early April, when nearly 800 people per day were dying. The number of hospitalized patients and new admissions to hospitals also continued to fall, though much more gradually than they had increased.

Carnival has canceled service on some of its lines through September, but it said it was planning to offer cruises from ports in Galveston, Texas; Miami; and Port Canaveral, Fla., as early as Aug. 1. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, has more than 100 ships across its various brands.

In its statement on Monday, Carnival said all North American cruises set to depart between June 27 and July 31 would be canceled.

“We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve,” the company said.

Three people have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Mich., after a dispute with a customer whose daughter was not wearing a mask in the store as required under a state order.

The Genesee County prosecutor, David Leyton, on Monday announced first-degree murder and weapons charges against the customer, along with her husband and son, who is accused of shooting the security guard, Calvin Munerlyn, on Friday afternoon.

According to the prosecutor, after Mr. Munerlyn told the customer, Sharmel Teague, that her daughter needed to wear a mask inside the store, Ms. Teague yelled and spat at him, prompting the security guard to tell her to leave and instructing a cashier not to serve her.

Ms. Teague left the store and called her husband, Larry Teague, who returned to the store with her son, Ramonyea Travon Bishop, according to Mr. Layton. Mr. Bishop is accused of then shooting Mr. Munerlyn in the head.

Ms. Teague has been arrested, while Mr. Teague and Mr. Bishop are being sought by the police, according to the prosecutor.

Their work uses a method already present in gene therapy for two inherited diseases, including a form of blindness: A harmless virus serves as a vector, or carrier, to bring DNA into the patient’s cells. In this case, the DNA should instruct the cells to make a coronavirus protein that would stimulate the immune system to fight future infections.

Like other vaccine projects, this one is focusing on the so-called spike on the coronavirus, which the virus uses to grab onto cells and invade them. In theory, if the immune system can be trained to make antibodies to block the spike, the virus will not be able to establish an infection.

One advantage of this approach, if it proves safe and effective, is that many drug and biotech companies already produce the type of vector it relies on. That means production could be scaled up quickly. As with other vaccine projects, much is still unknown, including the possibility that the vaccine could actually make the disease worse.

They did not treat patients, but Wayne Edwards, Derik Braswell and Priscilla Carrow held some of the most vital jobs at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens.

The victims included the security guards watching over emergency rooms. They were the chefs who cooked food for patients. They assigned hospital beds and checked patients’ medical records. They greeted visitors and answered phones. They mopped the hallways and took out the garbage.

The antibody tests are an effort to detect whether a person had been infected with the virus, but results have been widely varied and little is known about whether those who became ill will develop immunity — and if so, for how long. Government and health officials have hoped that antibody tests would be a critical tool to help determine when it would be safe to lift stay-at-home restrictions and reopen businesses.

Since mid-March, the agency has permitted dozens of manufacturers to sell the tests without providing evidence that they are accurate. Many are wildly off the mark.

Mr. Bray, who had worked for the company for more than five years, called the fired workers whistle-blowers and said that firing them was “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The intelligence agencies sought on Monday to back Mr. Trump’s assertions that he was given only minimal warnings about the threat of the coronavirus early in the year, singling out their own lapses without noting that around the same time, scientists, public health officials and national security officials were sounding alarms.

Mr. Trump was first briefed by intelligence agencies about the novel coronavirus on Jan. 23, said Susan Miller, the spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. But she acknowledged that the initial briefing downplayed its threat. Mr. Trump was “told that the good news was the virus did not appear that deadly,” Ms. Miller said. As the world painfully learned, that assessment was wrong.

Though information about the virus in late January was imperfect, the warnings from other officials were stark enough to prompt the Trump administration to decide by the end of January to restrict travel from China.

Some intelligence officials have said that the pandemic’s spread had never been fundamentally an intelligence issue and that the warnings of scientists had always been far more important. When the warnings that intelligence agencies did give to officials were combined with what public health and biodefense officials were learning, a clearer picture of a global threat emerged early.

At least 12 countries began easing restrictions on public life on Monday, as the world tried to figure out how to placate restless populations tired of being inside and reboot stalled economies without creating opportunities for the virus to re-emerge.

The steps, which include reopening schools and allowing airports to begin domestic service, offer the rest of the world a preview of how areas that have managed to blunt the toll might work toward resuming their pre-pandemic lives. They also serve as test cases for whether the countries can maintain their positive momentum through the reopenings, or if the desire for normalcy could place more people at risk.

In Lebanon, bars and restaurants will reopen, while Poland plans to allow patrons to return to hotels, museums and shops.

India allowed businesses, local transportation and activities like weddings to resume in areas with few or no known infections. Wedding ceremonies with fewer than 50 guests will be permitted and self-employed workers like maids and plumbers can return to work.

Mr. Trump accused the Chinese government of making a “horrible mistake” in its virus response and of then orchestrating a cover-up that allowed the pathogen to spread.

“We’re going to be giving a very strong report as to exactly what we think happened,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think it will be very conclusive.”

Stocks on Wall Street slid on Monday, following a drop in Europe and Asia, as investors remained on edge about the severity of the economic downturn.

The S&P 500 fell about 1 percent at the start of trading, putting it on track for its third straight decline.

Investors have been contending with two diverging ideas lately. Encouraged by the progress made in combating the pandemic, and hopeful that economies will begin to reopen soon, they bid stocks sharply higher in April. But evidence of the damage to employment, corporate profits and the broader economy continues to roll in.

On Monday, the focus was on the risks, with sentiment hurt by rising tensions between the United States and China.

In some global markets, the drop was partly a catch up to trading on Friday. Stocks in France and Germany, which had been closed Friday, fell more than 3 percent. But the FTSE 100 in Britain, which did trade on Friday, was only slightly lower.

From the early days of the Trump administration, Stephen Miller, the president’s chief adviser on immigration, has repeatedly tried to use an obscure law designed to protect the nation from diseases overseas as a way to tighten the borders.

When vast caravans of migrants surged toward the border in 2018, Mr. Miller looked for evidence that they carried illnesses. He asked for updates on American communities that received migrants to see if new disease was spreading there.

On some occasions, Mr. Miller and the president, who also embraced these ideas, were talked down by cabinet secretaries and lawyers who argued that the public health situation at the time did not provide sufficient legal basis for such a proclamation.

Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Brooks Barnes, Julian Barnes, Alan Blinder, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Emily Cochrane, Michael Cooper, Caitlin Dickerson, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Denise Grady, Nicole Hong, Sheila Kaplan, Dan Levin, Adam Liptak, Patricia Mazzei, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Heather Murphy, Matt Richtel, Rick Rojas, Simon Romero, David Sanger, Marc Santora, Dionne Searcey, Michael D. Shear, Eileen Sullivan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Tracey Tully and Neil Vigdor.

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