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Coronavirus live updates: Biden says the way fired Navy captain was treated is ‘close to criminal’

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This is CNBC's live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 1.2 million
  • Global deaths: At least 65,711
  • US cases: At least 312,245
  • US deaths: At least 8,503.

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

11:09 am: Spain's coronavirus death toll rises by 674 but the pace keeps slowing

The rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Spain slowed again as the country, suffering from one of the world's worst outbreaks of the pandemic, began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.

Deaths from the highly infectious COVID-19 respiratory disease rose to 12,418 on Saturday¬†‚ÄĒ the second-highest worldwide after Italy. However, the toll of 674 people who died during the past 24 hours was down from Saturday's 809 and well below Thursday's daily record of 950, the Health Ministry said. Sunday's rise represented a 6% increase in total deaths, about half the rate reported a week ago.

The total number of registered infections rose to 130,759 from Saturday's 124,736.

"The data from this week and today confirm the slowing down of infections," Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference. "The data confirms that confinement is working." He said one million testing kits were to arrive in Spain on Sunday and Monday and would act as "rapid screening" in places such as hospitals and nursing homes, part of an effort to pinpoint the true extent of the COVID-19 pandemic.¬†‚ÄĒReuters

11:05 am: History will remember your actions in this crisis, Queen Elizabeth II plans to say

In a rare address to the nation, Queen Elizabeth II plans to exhort Britons to rise to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing on wisdom from her decades as Britain's head of state to urge discipline and resolve in a time of crisis.

The 93-year-old monarch is expected to acknowledge the suffering that many families have experienced because of the COVID-19 crisis, which has infected more than 42,000 people in the U.K. and killed at least 4,313 of them. She will seek to lift spirits and offer hope to the country in its hour of need.

"I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,'' she plans to say, according to excerpts released ahead of remarks that were being broadcast Sunday night. "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 will laud Britain's beloved National Health Service and others in essential services, together with around 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. Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,''¬†she plans to say, according to excerpts.¬†"That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country."¬†‚ÄĒAssociated Press

10:50 am: New York fashion icons embrace New York governor's mask challenge

Protective masks for sale are displayed in a store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 2, 2020 in New York City.Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

New York City-based fashion designers Christian Siriano and Naeem Khan, and clothing companies Rag and Bone and Eileen Fisher, have started making coronavirus masks.

They are answering the call to New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plea to businesses to pitch in with personal protective equipment for health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The federal government is now advising everyone to wear a mask, rather than limiting the advisory to people who are sick. ‚ÄĒAnjali Sundaram

10:40 am: Bill Gates calls pandemic a 'nightmare scenario,' but predicts lower death toll than Trump

The coronavirus pandemic is a "nightmare scenario," but the death toll due to the disease may not be as high as some, including President Donald Trump, have predicted, according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Trump last week predicted that the U.S. could see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from COVID-19 before the outbreak is under control, echoing forecasts from White House health advisor Anthony Fauci.

"If we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with a death number well short of that," Gates told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. He said it's "very important" those figures are out there so people understand the severity of the situation. ‚ÄĒMichael Wayland

10:37 am: Biden says Navy captain who warned of ship outbreak should receive commendation

Captain Brett Crozier addresses the crew for the first time as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during a change of command ceremony on the ship's flight deck in San Diego, California, U.S. November 1, 2019.U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Lynch | Reuters

Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump and the military's response to a navy officer who was relieved of his command for speaking out about a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosovelt.

"I think it's close to criminal the way they're dealing with this guy," Biden told ABC's This Week. "I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired."

The officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, wrote a letter earlier this week to military leadership asking for help with a coronavirus outbreak on the warship. The letter, which was dated March 30, was sent via nonsecure unclassified email and also outside the chain of command. The letter was later leaked to the media.

Trump, in a press conference Saturday, called the captain's letter "terrible" and backed the decision to relieve the officer of his command. ‚ÄĒSpencer Kimball, Will Feuer

10:27 am: Illinois is nearing its coronavirus peak, governor says 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is quickly approaching its likely peak of COVID-19 cases.

"It depends on what model you believe, but … I think they zero in on the later half of April. So we're really just less than two weeks away from the beginning of peaking," Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union." 

Illinois has more than 10,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins data. Pritzker added the state believes it needs "a few thousand more" ventilators than it has now, potentially up to 4,000.

"That's what we've asked the federal government for," he said. The state has so far received 450, the Democrat said. "We're looking everywhere and anywhere across the world to get ventilators."¬†‚ÄĒKevin Stankiewicz

10:25 am: Washington governor says it's 'ludicrous' Trump hasn't issued a national stay-at-home order

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said his state has had some success in "flattening the curve" of new cases by acting early and aggressively with a stay-at-home order. Inslee called for a national stay-at-home order, saying it is "ludicrous" that President Donald Trump and the federal government have not done more to mobilize a national effort to fight the outbreak. 

"I think it would be good to have national stay-at-home order and the reason is even if Washington does get on top of this fully, if another state doesn't it can come back and come across our borders two months from now," Insee told NBC's Meet The Press. 

The governor reiterated his calls for Trump to mobilize the nation's manufacturing base and use the Defense Production Act more aggressively to build the medical equipment needed to fight the virus. ‚ÄĒSpencer Kimball

10:16 am: Bidding wars for medical-grade protective equipment a 'global jungle,' Arkansas governor says

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AK)William B. Plowman | NBCUniversal

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said his state was outbid for face masks, calling the rush for personal protective equipment a "global jungle."

"We have had the circumstance that we're trying to collect our PPE, our protective masks, and we've been outbid by another state after we had the order confirmed," Hutchinson told NBC'S Meet The Press. "We recognize that the federal government has said, 'We're your backstop, you have to get out there and compete.' It literally is a global jungle that we're competing in now."

Arkansas also lost out on order for 500 ventilators after New York state submitted a bid that was $20,000 higher, according to Dr. Steppe Mette, CEO of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Arkansas has closed bars, restaurants, and schools but has not issued a stay at home order. Hutchinson called it a targeted approach and said the state is encouraging Arkansans to bring masks with them if they can't social distance. ‚ÄĒSpencer Kimball¬†

10:12 am: Italy's leaders rely on science, not politics, as virus ravages the country

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said all political decisions must be made based on scientific evidence as the country remains in a nearly total nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus.

"We're suffering very much," Conte said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It's a devastating pain."

The pandemic has ravaged Italy, which has at least 124,632 total cases and at least 15,362 deaths. The number of new cases appears to be leveling off, likely due to the country's aggressive lockdown measures. But health officials warn that Italy has not reached its peak as the death toll continues to increase.

The prime minister said he doesn't know when the lockdown will end because he is following guidance from scientists. "Our response may not be perfect, but we have acted in the best of our knowledge," he said. "The results so far indicate we are on the right path."¬†‚ÄĒEmma Newburger

10:04 am: Louisiana may reach ventilator capacity Thursday, governor says 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN the state's current models project it will reach its ventilator capacity Thursday.

"We definitely see we will exceed our ventilator capacity at some point," Edwards said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We're trying to push that as far into the future as possible, but all of our modeling, even under the best-case scenario, show that we will do that." 

Louisiana received 200 ventilators from the national stockpile on Saturday, Edwards added. ‚ÄĒKevin¬†Stankiewicz

10:01 am: Coronavirus cases in Austria still rising but figures 'hopeful,' minister says

The number of new coronavirus infections in Austria rose on Sunday to 11,897, but the Alpine country reported more newly recovered than newly diagnosed patients and a declining number of people in intensive care.

The number of new cases had risen by 270 since Saturday morning, while the number of recoveries rose by 491, according to the health ministry. It said the daily rate of new COVID-19 infections has fallen significantly in recent days.

"These are some hopeful figures, but now…we must remain consistent and not give up…Hence my appeal: No private Easter celebrations and Easter holidays," said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.¬†‚ÄĒReuters

9:57 am: Firefighters say outbreak will obstruct emergency service, evacuations as wildfire season closes in

Fire is seen near Getty Center in Los Angeles, the United States, Oct. 28, 2019. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes after a fast-moving wildfire erupted early Monday morning near the famous Getty Center in Los Angeles in the western U.S. state of California.Qian Weizhong | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Firefighters across the country are ill or under quarantine. Others worry they'll contract the coronavirus in crowded base camps during wildfire outbreaks. This year, preparations have stalled. The pandemic has hit the country's already strained emergency services, raising concerns over inadequate disaster relief during peak fire season. 

In wildfire-prone states like California and Washington, the outbreak has already strained emergency resources and hindered preparation for the upcoming season. Wildfires typically start in mid-May and will be made worse this year by low spring snowpack and a dry winter up North.

"There's a lot of anxiety," said Tim Edwards, president of CAL FIRE Local 2881. "When we have firefighters falling ill, we're not going to have personnel to respond appropriately to fires. And the fires will get bigger and more destructive."¬†‚ÄĒEmma Newburger

9:41 am: UK coronavirus death toll rises by 621 to 4,934

The United Kingdom's death toll from the coronavirus rose by 621 to 4,934 on April 4, the health ministry said.

A total of 195,524 people had been tested, of which 47,806 tested positive, the health ministry said.¬†‚ÄĒReuters

9:39 am: The Streaming Wars may be put on hold during quarantines as free content takes over

Quarantines have boosted streaming video usage but spiking job losses may not bode well for subscription video services.

Big media companies have started to offer free video offerings for content that is typically pay-walled.

User-generated free services like Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube may ultimately be the winners over all subscription services.¬†‚ÄĒAlex Sherman

9:32 am: Coronavirus could impact military readiness, Esper says 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said there "could be an impact" on military readiness from the coronavirus pandemic.

"All the units report they're very capable. They remain very ready," Esper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We have had to cancel exercises. We've had to constrain basic training, for example, but we think those are all manageable." ‚ÄĒKevin¬†Stankiewicz

9:15 am: Pope celebrates Palm Sunday without the public in St. Peter's

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – FEBRUARY 02: Pope Francis celebrates the Holy Mass on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, in St. Peter's Basilica on February 02, 2019 in Vatican City, Vatican.Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis | Corbis News | Getty Images

Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday Mass without the public because of the coronavirus pandemic, which he said should focus people's attention on what's most important, despite heavy hearts ‚ÄĒ using one's life to serve others.

"Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: 'Çourage, open your heart to my love,'" Francis said.

Francis urged people to hold fast to "what really matters in our lives."

"The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less, to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others," the pontiff said in his homily.

In a remark directed to young people, Francis said: "Dear friends, look at the real heroes who come to light these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people." Instead, he said, "They are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others. Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line."¬†‚ÄĒAssociated Press

8:55 am: Map of the outbreak in New York City

8:50: How to protect yourself from the coronavirus at the grocery store

With most Americans living under-stay-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, trips to the grocery store are one of the few reasons people can venture out. However, with the virus continuing to spread, many may wonder how they can best protect themselves from getting sick if they do need to go shopping.

Consumers should first evaluate their own risk level for catching the virus before deciding to visit a grocery store, according to Karen Hoffmann, a registered nurse and the immediate past president of The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Those who are highly immunosuppresed, have cancer, are on certain medications or are over the age of 65, should consider other options such as buying online or having someone else shop for them, according to Hoffmann.

Before visiting the store, shoppers should also have a solid plan of what they're going to buy and prioritize what they they need.

"People should try to think in terms of buying at least two weeks' worth so they can minimize the number of trips that they're actually taking to the grocery store," Hoffmann said.¬†‚ÄĒHannah Miller

8:45 am: Pharmacies in New York City struggle to keep key medications stocked amid coronavirus outbreak

As tens of thousands of people test positive in New York City and many more show symptoms and are presumed to have the virus, communities are turning to their neighborhood pharmacies for prescription and over-the-counter medicines to alleviate their symptoms. 

The unprecedented demand created by the global pandemic is creating shortages for even basic over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, as supply chains strain from the manufacturers that produce the medications to the wholesalers that deliver them to pharmacies, making it extraordinarily difficult to keep shelves fully stocked for key items in hot zones like New York. 

"I never thought a pharmacy in the 21st century can run out of essentials, the most basic medications," said Emanuel Simhayev, a pharmacist in Astoria, Queens. "When you face this hardship you cannot really help much. You do your best."¬†‚ÄĒSpencer Kimball¬†

8:40 am: Trump says 1,000 military personnel deploying to NYC, warns coming week is toughest yet

President Donald Trump announced this weekend that 1,000 medical military personnel are deploying to New York City to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned that the upcoming week will likely be the toughest yet.

"This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week — and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately," the president said at a White House briefing.¬†

Trump's language echoed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state has¬†just seven days¬†to prepare for coronavirus apex as it struggles to expand hospital capacity and access to medical equipment.¬†¬†‚ÄĒEmma Newburger

Read CNBC's coverage from CNBC's Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Italy's daily death toll drops to lowest in 2 weeks, Singapore sees biggest case jump

Source: cnbc.com

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