CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… There are 4,661 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 85 deaths in the U.S., according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced yesterday morning that many non-essential businesses across the states would close last night until further notice. Grocery stores will remain open as will restaurants and bars for takeout only. The governors also announced a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. San Francisco Bay Area officials ordered about 7 million residents of six counties to stay home except for “essential needs” until April 7. At a White House briefing, President Trump and other officials revised steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus over the next 15 days. Among the guidelines limiting non-essential gatherings to fewer than 10 people. The guidelines also include schooling from home when possible and avoiding eating in bars, restaurants and public food courts. Associated Press reported last night that the first human trial of a vaccine has been conducted at the Kaiser Permanente research facility in Seattle. Doctors administered the trial vaccine to four patients but won’t know for months whether it is effective.
DOW FALLS NEARLY 3,000 POINTS… The Dow Jones Industrial Average remains on course for its worst month since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987. The Dow was down 2,997 points, or 12.93 percent, at the end of trading yesterday and has plunged to its lowest level in nearly three years. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.32 percent, and the S&P 500 ended the day down 11.98 percent. The major averages fell to their lows into the close after President Trump said the worst of the outbreak could last until August. He also told reporters the U.S. “may be” heading into a recession.
PRIMARY ELECTIONS TODAY… Primary elections remain on schedule in Florida, Illinois and Arizona today despite the threat and fears of coronavirus. Florida and Arizona have moved polling places located in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to avoid exposing the residents to outsiders. The Ohio scheduled for today has been postponed by Governor Mike DeWine despite a judge’s refusal to endorse a postponement yesterday. DeWine sought permission to postpone the election from a state court to postpone the election but after his request was denied, he said the state’s health director would order the polls shut.
BIDEN WINS WASHINGTON… Former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the Washington state Democratic primary. With 99 percent of the vote counted last night, Biden carried 37.9 percent of the vote to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ 36.4 percent. Biden holds 871 of the 1,991 delegates needed to lock down the nomination.
7 FAMILY MEMBERS DEAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE… Authorities said yesterday that seven members of a North Carolina family were fatally shot over the weekend in what appeared to be a murder-suicide. According to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, seven members of the family were found at more than one home in the town of Moncure on Sunday night. The victims ranged in age from 39 to 93. The suspected shooter was among the dead, officials said.
GUNMAN, COP, 3 OTHERS KILLED IN MISSOURI SHOOTING… A shooting at a Missouri gas station on Sunday night left the gunman, a police officer and three citizens dead, Springfield police announced yesterday. Witnesses said the gunman ran inside the store and began shooting customers and employees. He then fired at the first two officers who arrived. Authorities say the gunman appeared to die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
ACTORS TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS… British actor Idris Elba announced yesterday that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Elba said online that he feels “ok” and doesn’t have any symptoms “so far.” He says he has been “isolated” since Friday, when he learned he was possibly exposed to the virus. Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju, who played Tormund Giantsbane on the HBO series “Game of Throne,” also announced a positive test yesterday. French actress Olga Kurylenko, who starred in the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace,” and the films “Oblivion” and “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” also has contracted the virus. Last week, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced they had tested positive.
‘CATS’ WINS RAZZIE AWARD… The movie musical “Cats” has been dishonored with the Razzie Award for the Worst Picture of 2019.. The critically panned film tied with “Rambo: Last Blood” and “A Madea Family Funeral” with eight dishonors apiece when Razzie nominations were announced last month. An annual awards-show ceremony was canceled on Saturday due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak but organizers announced the winners via press release and video yesterday.