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President Trump, in a nearly two-hour coronavirus briefing, hinted on Monday that the economic shutdown meant to halt the spread of the virus across the country would not be extended.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he said. “America will again and soon be open for business,” the president added, without providing a timeline for when he believes normal economic activity could resume.

“If it were up to the doctors, they’d say let’s shut down the entire world,” Mr. Trump said. “This could create a much bigger problem than the problem that you started out with.”

He later added, “I’m not looking at months, I can tell you right now.”

Mr. Trump sent mixed signals from the White House podium, agreeing at one point with his surgeon general and saying, “It’s going to be bad,” then suggesting that the response to the virus may have been overblown.

“This is going away. We’re going to win the battle,” Mr. Trump said, citing jobs, “anxiety and depression” and suicide as arguments for restoring the U.S. economy.

He compared deaths from the novel coronavirus so far to deaths from other causes — influenza and car accidents — suggesting that the scale of those preventable deaths means economic restrictions may not be appropriate to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We have a very active flu season, more active than most,” he said “It’s looking like it’s heading to 50,000 or more deaths — not cases, 50,000 deaths. Which is — that’s a lot. And you look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about. That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody, ‘No more driving of cars.’ So we have to do things to get our country open.”

Even as the president seemed to see an end to the crisis, his team warned of an alarming spread in New York.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said that the New York metro area is experiencing a virus “attack rate” of nearly one in a thousand, or five times that of other areas.

In epidemiology, the attack rate is the percentage of a population that has a disease. In New York City itself, where there have been 12,339 cases in a population of 8.6 million, the attack rate works out to about 1 in 700. The city has about a third of the nation’s coronavirus cases.

Dr. Birx added that 28 percent of tests for coronavirus in the region were coming up positive, while in the rest of the country the rate is less than 8 percent.

Mr. Trump continued to push two traditional malaria medications, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in combination with a common antibiotic, azithromycin, as a treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, despite caution by the government’s top doctors.

New York State, with half the population of California, has conducted twice as many tests for the virus. As of Monday, New York has tested 78,289 people, including 33,000 in New York City. California had conducted 26,400 tests by Sunday, the most recent data available.

Officials in California have rushed to reopen hospitals that had been shuttered, buy motels to house the state’s more than 150,000 homeless people and retrofit college dormitories to serve as hospital wards.

Mr. Newsom said the state was also chartering flights to China to procure protective equipment and expressed concern for smaller states that might not have the same purchasing power. He has called up the National Guard to work at food banks, and President Trump ordered a Navy hospital ship, with a thousand beds, to sail to the Port of Los Angeles within a week.

Across California, a state with many large biotechnology companies, the promise of widespread access to testing for the virus has not materialized. And doctors said they were alarmed about shortages of protective equipment.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said on Monday that he will sign an executive order directing the state’s surgeon general to require anyone flying to the state from New York or New Jersey to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Many coronavirus cases in Florida, especially in the counties that include Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, have been tied to New York, and a recent uptick in travel from the region suggested New Yorkers were flying to Florida to flee shelter-in-place orders.

“Hopefully that will be a deterrent for people if you’re just trying to escape here,” Mr. DeSantis said.

The quarantine will not apply to people arriving by car.

“It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” the statement said.

“The two presidents agreed that holding such a summit would be useful” to discuss health issues, the statement said — by coordinating with the W.H.O. on working toward treatments and vaccines — and to discuss economic issues, most notably the stabilization of the global economy and support for struggling states.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel tested negative for the virus days after being exposed to an infected doctor, a spokesman said on Monday.

The doctor had vaccinated Ms. Merkel against pneumonia on Friday. The chancellor has been isolating herself at home since learning that the doctor was infected on Sunday. She will receive more tests to confirm the results, since it may be too early to detect an infection.

With a recession looming and the economy breaking down day by day in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, investors have been looking to leaders in Washington to cushion the economic impact of business closures, factory shutdowns and mass layoffs.

On Monday, they got some help, but not enough.

The Federal Reserve said it would vastly expand its efforts to shore up businesses and keep markets functioning, but lawmakers hit another wall in their attempt to push a record-breaking fiscal stimulus package through Congress.

Senate Democrats blocked the progress of the nearly $2 trillion government rescue package for a second time as they continued to negotiate for stronger protections for workers and restrictions for bailed-out businesses.

The S&P 500 fell about 3 percent Monday, adding to a 15 percent plunge last week as traders remained cautious about the Fed’s ability to shift the trajectory of an economy that appears to be in free-fall because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Federal Reserve said it would buy as much government-backed debt as it needs to keep financial markets functioning, and unrolled a series of programs meant to shore up both large and small businesses — a whatever-it-takes effort to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic.

“Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate,” the central bank said in a statement on Monday, adding that the Fed was “using its full range of authorities to provide powerful support for the flow of credit to American families and businesses.”

The Fed this month resurrected a huge bond-buying program — last used in response to the 2008 financial crisis — saying that it would spend $700 billion on Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed debt. On Monday, the central bank said it would not limit its purchases, instead buying “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning.”

Trading was volatile again Monday, with stocks falling as much as 5 percent. Major indexes in Europe were also lower, while stocks in Asia had already ended the day lower before the Fed announced its new plans.

Senate Democrats again blocked action on a $1.8 trillion economic stabilization package on Monday as talks continued with the Trump administration to resolve differences.

Tempers flared in the Senate as senators and senior Trump administration officials scrambled to strike a deal on a nearly $2 trillion economic rescue measure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, with Democrats blocking action on the package until they could secure stronger protections for workers and restrictions for bailed-out businesses.

“Are you kidding me?” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, demanded on the Senate floor. “This is not a juicy political opportunity, this is a national emergency.”

At the heart of the impasse is a $425 billion fund created by the bill that the Federal Reserve could leverage for loans to assist broad groups of distressed companies, and an additional $75 billion it would provide for industry-specific loans. Democrats have raised concerns that the funds do not have rules for transparency or enough guardrails to make sure companies do not use the funds to enrich themselves or take government money and lay off workers. They also argue the measure would give Mr. Mnuchin too much discretion to decide which companies receive the funds, calling the proposal a “slush fund” for the administration.

As the legislation is currently written, Mr. Mnuchin would not have to disclose the recipients until six months after the loans were disbursed. Some Democrats also objected to loopholes in the legislation they said could allow Mr. Trump’s real estate empire to take advantage of the federal aid.

There is no known treatment for the new coronavirus.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order to keep people and businesses from hoarding supplies needed in the fight against the novel coronavirus, and from engaging in price gouging.

Attorney General William P. Barr recently directed federal prosecutors across the country to prioritize fraud schemes related to the pandemic and to prosecute offenders.

“If you have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about,” Mr. Barr said at the White House briefing. “But If you are sitting on a warehouse full of surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door.”

On Saturday, the department filed its first civil complaint against the operators of a sham website that sold fake vaccine kits that the site falsely claimed came from the World Health Organization. A federal district court judge in Texas issued a temporary restraining order and demanded that the owners block access to the site, coronavirusmedicalkit.com.

There is currently no vaccine for the novel coronavirus, and the World Health Organization is not distributing any such vaccine.

The operators of the website were accused of wire fraud in seeking to profit from the confusion and fear that has been unleashed by the pandemic. Federal prosecutors are still investigating the website and its operators.

  • The pandemic’s spread is creating new challenges for doctors who usually care primarily for patients with particular medical needs. Physicians across every field are confronting a surge of patient questions and scrambling to keep up with advisories from governments and health agencies.

  • Singalongs from windowsills in Chicago and Dallas are lifting spirits, following an example set by Europeans who sang from their balconies.

  • “Daddy’s on an important phone call.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been a housekeeper and full-time parent for three children while running the nation, after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.

It is reasonable to feel anxious and worried about the news. Today, we hope to offer you ideas for a small respite.

Reporting and research were contributed by Michael Crowley, Michael Cooper, Helene Cooper, Eileen Sullivan, Katie Robertson, Sarah Mervosh, Ellen Barry, Katie Thomas, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Michael Gold, Katrin Bennhold, Jonathan Martin, Adam Goldman, Hari Kumar, Jeffrey Gettleman, Vindu Goel, Lara Jakes, Reid Epstein, Karen Zraick, Elian Peltier, Aurelien Breeden, Raphael Minder, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Melissa Eddy, Jeanna Smialek, Ian Austen, Mariel Padilla, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Katie Van Syckle, Jesse McKinley, Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley, Nick Corasaniti, Stephanie Saul, Kate Taylor, Tiffany May, Patricia Mazzei, Maya Salam, Margot Sanger-Katz, Oskar Garcia, Matthew Futterman, Scott Dodd and Mike Baker.



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