CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The death toll from the coronavirus has topped 400 in the U.S. while the number of cases has surpassed 32,000. Almost half of those cases have been diagnosed in New York state, where Governor Andrew Cuomo says an estimated 40 to 80 percent of residents could get infected. Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware yesterday became the latest states to order most citizens to remain in their homes to prevent the virus’ spread. President Trump announced yesterday that members of the National Guard will be activated to New York, California and Washington state.
STIMULUS BILL BLOCKED BY SENATE… The Senate last night failed to pass a $1.6 trillion emergency coronavirus stimulus bill after Democrats argued that the bill prioritizes federal aid for corporations rather than focusing on unemployment insurance and other protections for workers. After it was blocked by 47-47 vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also complained that the bill “shortchanges our hospitals and healthcare workers who need our help.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last night a procedural vote early today on a bill that Democrats already. Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has become the first member of the Senate to test positive for the coronavirus, his office announced yesterday.
FAUCI: U.S. WON’T FOLLOW ITALY’S PATH… National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said yesterday that mitigation measures implemented to flatten the number of new coronavirus cases are vital to stopping the U.S. “from becoming an Italy.” During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci acknowledged that while the trajectory in the U.S. is “unpredictable,” the country has taken steps to ensure it does not follow in Italy’s path. He also praised the work of the private sector in responding to the outbreak.
BIDEN CONSIDERING VICE-PRESIDENTIAL PICKS… Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden revealed last night that he has discussed his potential vice presidential picks with former President Barack Obama. Biden told donors during a fundraising call that he currently has at least seven women his team is considering. The vetting process would begin in a “matter of weeks,” he said.
WALL STREET PLUNGES AGAIN… Last night’s failure of the Senate to pass an economic stimulus plan amid the coronavirus prompted stock markets to plunge. Futures markets were indicating the Dow could drop more than 900 points when stocks open Monday on Wall Street. Many Asian markets opened sharply lower this morning, with indexes in Hong Kong and South Korea down more than 5 percent.
RIHANNA DONATES $5M TO CORONAVIRUS RELIEF… Pop star Rihanna is giving $5 million to the response efforts against the coronavirus through her Clara Lionel Foundation. The funding will support “on-the-ground partners working on the frontlines of disaster response especially those focused on protecting and serving marginalized communities — helping the most vulnerable in the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa prepare for what is to come,” according to the foundation. The money will be channeled through Direct Relief, Partners In Health, Feeding America, the International Rescue Committee, the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and others.
LIL UZI VERT REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” sold 247,000 more copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 chart for a second week. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” finished at No. 2 with 77,000 units sold. Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” stayed at No. 3 on sales of 69,000 copies. Niall Horan’s “Heatbreak Weather” debuted at No. 4 with 59,000 units sold. Jhené Aiko’s “Chilombo” finished at No. 5 after selling 56,000 copies.
NFL PLAYER TRACKER (source: ESPN)
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has officially filed for reinstatement to the NFL after being suspended indefinitely in February 2019 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
The New England Patriots have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Brian Hoyer.
The New Orleans Saints are bringing back veteran safety D.J. Swearinger on a one-year deal.
The New York Jets have agreed to terms with cornerback Pierre Desir.