Coronavirus News – April 17

President Trump unveils plan to open America on May 1

President Donald Trump announced new guidelines for reopening states as soon as May 1. However, he left the decision up to each state’s governor. “America wants to be open, and Americans want to be open,” President Trump said. “Based on the latest data, our team of experts agree we can start the next front in our war, which we are calling Opening Up America Again, and that is what we are doing, opening up our country, and we have to do that.” Guidelines say that states that show a downward trend in COVID-19 cases will be able to reopen restaurants, bars, theaters, workplaces, sporting centers and gyms. Read more.

New York governor extends state shutdown to May 15

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the state’s shutdown to May 15 despite a decline in New York’s daily death toll on Thursday. He said he planned to coordinate the reopening effort with a regional group of Northeastern states. Gov. Cuomo also defended his newly imposed edict that New Yorkers should wear protective masks whenever they use public transportation or taxis. “I’m sorry that people don’t like wearing masks,” he said. “It makes all the difference in the world.” Read more.

Experts say testing must double or triple before U.S. can safely reopen

Testing for the coronavirus would have to be at least doubled or tripled from its current levels to allow for even a partial reopening of America’s economy, public health experts say. The Trump administration says it has pushed for more testing and said it is preparing an aggressive testing strategy to support plans to reopen the country. An average of 145,000 tests a day were carried out over the past week nationwide, or about 1 million a week, according to the COVID Tracking Project. “Hospitals and health systems continue to lack critical testing supplies, including swabs, transport media and reagents, which is the most frequent reason contributing to testing machines not being able to be used to their full capacity,” a spokesperson for the American Hospital Association (AHA) told NBC News. Read more.

Protests across country due to stay-home orders

Protestors have gathered in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina and Utah to voice their opposition to stay-at-home orders. “A small segment of the state is protesting and that’s their right,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “The sad part is, though, that the more they’re out and about, the more likely they are to spread COVID-19 and the more likely we’re going to have to take this posture for a longer period of time.” Read more.

Dow jumps 500 points after report showed Gilead Sciences drug effectiveness

A report said a Gilead Sciences drug showed some effectiveness in treating the coronavirus and the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 500 points, or more than 2%. Gilead shares jumped more than 10% after STAT reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with remdesivir in a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. Other studies have shown remdesivir to be an effective treatment against the coronavirus. Gilead cautioned against that anecdotal reports are not enough to determine yet whether the drug will be an effective treatment. Read more.