Coronavirus US live updates: total cases and deaths, latest news today
Coronavirus USA live: latest Covid-19 news - 18 April
US coronavirus update at 01:45 CEST Sunday 19 April (17:45 EDT, 19:45 PDT) Saturday 18 April
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,317,759 cases have been detected worldwide, with 159,510 deaths and 592,319 people now recovered.
In the United States, there have been 732,197 cases, with 38,664 deaths and 64,840 people recovering from the virus.
Donald Trump Address to the nation
US president Donald Trump took questions from the media in the White House Briefing Room this evening and used the opportunity to take a potshot at the Chinese government their delay in informing the rest of the world of the coronavirus problem. “It could have been stopped in China before it started and the whole world is suffering because of it,” he said.
"The battle against coronavirus will be a marathon"
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told reporters on Saturday that health authorities are in for a long fight in the battle against the Covid-19 virus "an invisible enemy".
Baker spent the afternoon visiting the new Boston Hope Field hospital which was opened just over a week ago at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. “We are constantly dealing with this virus, which is a very different kind of engagement, a different kind of battle than the one where you can actually see what it is you’re up against,” he said.
A total of 156 fatalities were record in Massachusetts on Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,560.
340 Americans evacuated from Nigeria
Around 340 American citizens were evacuated from Nigeria and returned home to the United States on Saturday as the coronavirus pandemic gathers pace around the world.
According to the US Mission in Nigeria, the evacuees left on a chartered Omni Air International flight from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, bound for Dulles Airport, Washington.
While the US remains closed to all commercial international flights, government is allowing oversees countries to evacuate their nationals by air. Since the end of January, more than 60,000 US citizens have been repatriated from over 100 countries worldwide.
Protesters out in force as Texas death toll almost doubles in one week
Since the first confirmed positive case of Covid-19 infection in Texas on 4 March, 176,239 residents have been tested, out of which 18,260 tested positive. The death toll continues a steep rise with a total of 453 fatalities to date - 199 of them during the past week. Harris County has been the most affected with 67 deaths, followed by Dallas County with 55, Bexar County with 37 and Tarrant County with 35. The first death in Texas was recorded on 16 March in Matagorda County.
Los Angeles offer shelter to 15,000 homeless
Regional government officials in Los Angeles have started an initiative to help 15,000 homeless people get off the streets and give them shelter in the vacant hotels in the city. Around 60,000 people are believed to be homeless in LA but providing a safe haven for all of them would not be an easy task.
Talking to the LA Times, Sarah Dusseault, chairwoman of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s oversight commission, explained, “We’re in a race to save lives. They way we see it, every person who is taken to a hotel room is one less person who could possibly fall sick and one less person using hospital resources.”
Rhode Island expecting infections to peak in the next couple of weeks
While some states in the USA are already preparing to reopen businesses for non-essential services in the coming weeks, others, like Rhode Island are contemplating hitting the peak number of positive Covid-19 infections –as Governor Gina Raimondo explained earlier today. In spite of that, state authorities hope that part of the lockdown restrictions might be lifted by 27 April.
USA opening up
Some concern being raised at the immediate freedom in some parts of the US. Time will tell how this plays out state-by-state and, if it turns sour, who takes responsibility.
Defense Department extends travel restrictions
According to reporting by CNN, The Pentagon announced on Saturday that the Defense Department will extend its travel restrictions on the US military up until 30 June.
New York reports 540 coronavirus deaths
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said during his daily press conference on Saturday that 540 people had lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 24 hours. New York is the hardest-hit state in the US, with 235,395 confirmed cases and 17,131 fatalities in total.
All the information you need on how to watch the One World: Together at Home concert on Saturday 18 April in aid of the WHO's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
California creates relief fund for undocumented immigrants
The Governor of California, Gavin Newsome, has announced that the state is going to offer $500 stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants. Full details on how to apply can be found here.
Trial of Covid-19 vaccine could be done by August, says UK gov adviser
Clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine which have begun at Oxford University could be finished by August, a key adviser to the UK government has told the BBC.
Oxford began human trials on Thursday and expects to find out by next month if this potential vaccine has a significant effect on the virus, John Bell said on Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday.
“[The question is] will it protect people,” Bell, who is a member of the British government’s vaccine taskforce, said, adding that it would only be possible to know this once it has been tested on “a significant number of people”.
He continued: “But if things go on course and it does have efficacy, then I think it is reasonable to think that they would be able to complete their trial by mid-August.”
ICYMI: "A lot of strange things are happening"
In case you missed it, US president Donald Trump told his press briefing on Friday that "a lot of strange things are happening" regarding the origins of the novel coronavirus.
Trump says his administration is seeking to determine whether the virus emanated from a laboratory in China, telling reporters: "A lot of strange things are happening but there is a lot of investigation going on. And we're going to find out.”
Meanwhile, he defended protesters against lockdown measures in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.
"These are people expressing their views,” Trump said. “I see where they are and I see the way they’re working. They seem to be very responsible people to me, but they’ve been treated a little bit rough.”
The presidents comments were made after a series of tweets in which he declared, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA”.
(Reuters contributed to the reporting in this post)
Did stray dogs cause the spread of the virus?
A new study published in Molecular Biology Evolution suggests a dog might have eaten bat meat contaminated with Covid-19 and passed it on to humans.
Could Covid-19 lead to the postponement of the US presidential election?
The BBC’s Andrew Zurcher has explored the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the postponement of the US presidential election, which is scheduled for November this year:
Trump's three-phase plan to reopen US economy
US president Donald Trump has announced a layered plan to reopen the country for business during the Covid-19 pandemic, but ultimate decisions lie with individual states.
What have been the worst pandemics and epidemics in history?
In five months, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed over 150,000 lives globally. But the world has suffered other deadlier pandemics, epidemics and plagues through history.
Coronavirus: general coverage of Covid-19
You can also follow our main daily live blog on the coronavirus crisis, in which we endeavour to brings you all the latest developments, comments and figures relating to the pandemic, right here:
Which US states have closed schools and until when?
30 states in the US have extended their statewide school closures through the remainder of the school year, 27 of them by formal mandate.
Donald Trump claims 'strange things' afoot surrounding coronavirus origins
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that "a lot of strange things are happening" regarding the origins of the coronavirus.
The source of the virus is a mystery. The broad scientific consensus is that the novel coronavirus originated in bats. Fox News reported on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory as part of China's effort to demonstrate the capability of its efforts in identifying and combating viruses.
Trump has said his government is seeking to determine whether the virus emanated from a laboratory in China.
"A lot of strange things are happening but there is a lot of investigation going on. And we're going to find out," Trump told reporters at the White House.
Majority of US states have closed schools for the rest of the year
30 states have extended their statewide school closures through the remainder of the school year, 27 of them by formal mandate.
Trump says some states have been 'too tough' on stay-at-home orders
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday criticized the handling of some states' coronavirus mitigation measures, saying he found the stay-at-home orders of governors such as Virginia "too tough."
Asked if certain states - Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia - should lift their stay-at-home orders, Trump said: "No, but I think elements of what they've done are too much."
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House, US President Trump stated that he would be sending out $19bn in relief to farmers, in addition to $28bn in bailout money sent to farmers to offset the impacts of his administration’s tariffs on imports.
Who is Robert Kraft, the only man allowed to run at Miami Beach?
Robert Kraft has become a well-known figure in America. But people have been asking why he was given some special treatment for a Miami Beach run during the coronavirus lockdown.
Biden says Trump failed to hold China accountable on coronavirus
"The uncomfortable truth is that Donald Trump left America exposed and vulnerable to this pandemic. He ignored the warnings of health experts and intelligence agencies and put his trust in China's leaders instead," Biden said in a video posted online.
Biden said Trump ended funding for a program created under the Obama-Biden administration to track emergency infectious diseases, cut Centers of Disease Control and Prevention experts in China by two thirds, and left empty a slot for an American official within China's disease control agency. "And now, we're all paying the price," he said.
"Trump trusted China, sent China our supplies, and just look at the mess we're in now," said the message in Democratic political group American Bridge 21st Century Foundation as they unveiled the "first wave" of a $15 million anti-Trump advertising campaign on Friday, rolling out ads also in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
US professional sports to return without fans
During his daily press conference president Donald Trump said that he is listening to the experts in the White House and sports should return behind closed doors.
NBA masks launched
Both the NBA and WNBA released a line of masks with the logos of each team to raise money for hunger relief organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Comic Con cancelled
The event, the largest fan convention in North America, had been due to attract more than 130,000 people to Southern California from 23-26 July. However, organisers said that in the light of the health crisis, it would not be safe for the even t to go ahead.
Which Florida beaches are open again?
A decision was taken on Friday to open a small selection of Florida's beaches in the north of the state again but certain restrictions still remain in place.
The US President has been busy again on Twitter with his 'Liberate.....' posts earlier on Friday with Washington governor Jay Inslee later stating that President Trump was “fomenting domestic rebellion”.
Hello and welcome to our live United States coronavirus blog. Over the course of the day, we will be bring you the latest information, breaking news and data relating to the Covid-19 pandemic from around the US.