5 things to know for April 17: Coronavirus, economy, employment, election, supplies

There is massive demand for Personal Protective Equipment, but small businesses who make and sell these materials say they can't get them to the hospitals and medical workers that need them.

Posted: Apr 16, 2020 6:41 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2020 7:00 AM


Still haven't gotten your stimulus money? Don't freak out -- there could be a few reasons why.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

China has revised the Covid-19 death toll in the city of Wuhan, raising the tally by 50% and renewing international criticism of the country's alleged lack of transparency in the early days of the virus. More than 1,200 deaths and 325 cases were added to the grim toll. The way cases were counted there changed three times in January and February, which added to confusion over the extent of the crisis. French President Emmanuel Macron criticized China for these revelations, saying the country didn't release all the facts. In the US, New York and other hot spots are getting hit with longer peaks of Covid-19 than initially predicted, while some Southern states may not get hit as hard as earlier projected. Researchers from the prominent projection model cited by the White House plan to release new data on the pandemic today. Follow here for the latest updates.  

2. Economy

President Trump announced a series of guidelines to help states reopen when the worst of the coronavirus threat has passed. Under the guidelines, if a state records a 14-day decrease in cases and is able to return hospitals to pre-crisis conditions, then social distancing measures recommended by the CDC can be lifted. However, these are just guidelines. Ultimately, governors still decide when and how states reopen, something Trump acknowledged just days after claiming to have 'total authority' over the situation. More governors seem to be getting behind coalition-style plans. Seven Midwestern governors from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky announced they will work together to reopen their economies.

3. Unemployment

The US unemployment rate is in the middle of a historic rise, and experts worry that the rest of April could bring even worse news. New jobless numbers reveal an additional 5.2 million workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of first-time jobless claims to 22 million over the last month. That's about 13.5% of the labor force. Just a few months ago, in February, the unemployment rate was at a historic low of 3.5%, but economists now worry the figure could rise to 15% by this month's end, which would be a new post-World War II high. They expect layoffs to move from service jobs to white-collar jobs as more companies report losses from lower demand.

4. Election 2020

The Democratic National Convention's host committee in Milwaukee has cut its staff by more than half. Could that be a signal that changes to the event are underway? The convention was supposed to happen in July but has been postponed to August. However, given ongoing social distancing measures, many party leaders, including presumptive nominee Joe Biden, have suggested the gathering move to a virtual format. Either way, Biden has begun planning for down the road. The former vice president says he's already starting to put together a White House transition team. He says if he is elected, he will focus on refilling key department positions that have been left vacant by the current administration.

5. Medical supplies

The cost of personal protective equipment to combat Covid-19 is skyrocketing due to unquenchable demand, low stock and drastic price gouging. In some cases, the cost of masks, gloves and other supplies has risen 1,000% or more. Now that the federal government's Strategic National Stockpile has nearly emptied, states have been forced to scramble for much-needed equipment, prompting a free-for-all with no set price or reliable supply chain. FEMA has urged the Trump administration to make full use of the Defense Production Act, the wartime-era law that could direct companies to produce specific equipment. In more optimistic medical news, Covid patients seem to be responding well to the experimental drug remdesivir. Participants in a clinical trial still had severe symptoms but recovered quicker.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

The pandemic has brought chain emails back into fashion

Forward this newsletter to 10 of your friends and you'll get 10 years of good luck!

Prince Harry and Meghan quietly delivered meals to LA residents in need 

Looks like they'll fit in just fine here. 

A streaming service wants to pay someone $1,000 to watch true crime documentaries

And they say dreams don't come true.

Buzz cuts are back 

Out of necessity as much as style, one would assume.

Here are some foods that can boost your mood during these anxious times

Shockingly, this isn't just a long list of ice creams.

TODAY'S NUMBER

2 million

That's how many potatoes an Idaho farm is giving away so they don't go to waste. The pandemic has severely affected the supply chain, tamping down demand for even the most stalwart of grocery staples.

TODAY'S QUOTE

'WHO/Europe reminds people that drinking alcohol does not protect them from COVID-19, and encourages governments to enforce measures which limit alcohol consumption.'

The World Health Organization in Europe, reminding people that not only does drinking alcohol not kill the novel coronavirus, it 'can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence.'

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Go ahead, watch this seal get weighed 

How do they do that with their necks?! (Click here to view.)

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 394954

Reported Deaths: 32064
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21590223123
Nassau419102184
Suffolk414911981
Westchester349121426
Rockland13612668
Orange10744478
Erie7370634
Dutchess4225151
Monroe3833266
Onondaga2897184
Albany2125121
Ulster179086
Oneida167290
Sullivan145345
Putnam133263
Niagara124888
Schenectady81637
Broome72958
Rensselaer55628
Saratoga55514
Columbia47237
Madison35917
Orleans28251
Ontario2689
Steuben26841
Warren26430
Fulton26024
Greene26018
Washington24614
Genesee2385
St. Lawrence2202
Oswego2063
Tompkins1780
Wayne1763
Herkimer1643
Chenango1485
Chemung1442
Tioga14324
Livingston1308
Chautauqua1277
Cattaraugus1246
Cayuga1192
Montgomery1194
Clinton1014
Wyoming955
Delaware914
Jefferson900
Otsego845
Seneca700
Allegany620
Schoharie580
Cortland470
Yates466
Essex420
Franklin320
Lewis300
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Oneonta
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Herkimer
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 59°
Thendara
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
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