15 things to know today about the coronavirus outbreak

15 things to know today about the coronavirus outbreak
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Welcome to The Hill's daily roundup of coronavirus news. 

The U.S. has surpassed China and Italy to become the country with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. As of Thursday evening, 82,404 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., including 1,136 deaths.

Meanwhile, in the White House, President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE sent a letter to governors outlining his plan to classify different counties by their risk — likely part of his effort to open the country up by Easter.  


Here's what you need to know today... 

  • The Hill's Peter Sullivan breaks down how the U.S. is now the world's leader in coronavirus cases.
  • Unemployment claims in the last week skyrocketed to over 3 million, a sign of how the outbreak is battering the country's economy. More on this from The Hill's Sylvan Lane. President Trump on Thursday said he believed the country would rebound and jobs would return "very quickly." More on that from Brett Samuels.
  • President Trump on Thursday outlined plans for his administration to classify each county across the United States based on its risk for an outbreak of coronavirus and use that information to create targeted guidelines. The administration is simultaneously working on new guidelines for social distancing that would apply to an area depending on its classification, Trump wrote in a letter to governors Thursday. Brett has more here.
  • Meanwhile, Trump's aggressive timeline for reopening the economy could set the White House on a collision course with governors and mayors who seem intent on maintaining social distancing policies beyond the president’s Easter target date if necessary. Read more on this from The Hill’s John Kruzel here.
  • American health officials are deeply concerned that the coronavirus outbreak that has overwhelmed New York City hospitals in recent days is just the first in a wave of local outbreaks likely to strike cities across the country in the coming weeks. Read more here from Reid Wilson’s exclusive interview with Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • U.S. hot spots in the coronavirus pandemic are facing a shortage of ventilators, and it's not clear how or even if the need can be met. Read the sobering story from Peter here.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered a reality check: “You don’t make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline.” Read more from Zack Budryk here.
  • The fight over abortion rights is getting tangled up in the battle against the coronavirus, with conservative states moving to restrict access to the procedure by classifying it as nonessential. The Hill’s Jessie Hellmann has the story here.


In Congress: 


In the states

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday said the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by the Senate late Wednesday did not meet the needs of the Empire State, calling the bill "irresponsible" and "reckless." Read more from Zack here.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Thursday called on federal and local officials to ensure women continue to have access to safe abortion procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Zack has the rest of the story here
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced a total of more than 6,800 cases of COVID-19 in the state on Thursday, marking an uptick of 2,492 cases since Wednesday. Kaelan Deese has more here.