HomePentagon announces Defense Production Act to boost testing swab productionBusinessPentagon announces Defense Production Act to boost testing swab production

Pentagon announces Defense Production Act to boost testing swab production


The latest:There have been more than 1 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 60,000 people, according to Hopkins.Globally, there have been more than 3.1 million cases with more than 227,000 deaths.America’s first-quarter GDP fell at a 4.8% annualized rate, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Wednesday.President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that mandates meat processing plants must stay open, an official said.Some antibody tests, which check for prior COVID-19 infection, had high rates of false positives in screenings performed by a consortium of California laboratories, according to a recently released report.The FDA will reportedly approve remdesivir, a potential COVID-19 treatment that appears to speed recovery.The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it “will invest $75.5 million in Defense Production Act Title 3 funding to increase swab production by 20 million per month starting in May.”“Puritan Medical Products was awarded the contract, which will quickly establish a new manufacturing facility capable of doubling its current monthly output of 20 million to 40 million swabs,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement.President Trump says he’ll start traveling again next weekPresident Donald Trump said he will travel to Arizona next week, after weeks of staying in Washington because of COVID-19. The comments came during a meeting with industry leaders at the White House on Wednesday.Asked if he is going to start traveling soon, Trump responded, “I think so.” “I think I’m going to Arizona next week, and we look forward to that, and I’m going to I hope Ohio very soon,” Trump said. “https://twitter.com/MyrtleBeachGov/status/1255559666907656192[/twitter]Fed leaves rates at zero but will use its “full range of tools” to help the economyThe Federal Reserve on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged near zero and said it would deploy its “full range of tools” to support the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.”The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the committee said in a statement. “The virus and the measures taken to protect public health are inducing sharp declines in economic activity and a surge in job losses.”Policymakers agreed following their two-day meeting in Washington to maintain rates as they continued to see signs of a badly damaged economy.The decision to refrain from dropping rates into negative territory, as some other central banks have done, had been widely expected by investors after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and several other Fed board members spoke out against negative rates.New Jersey governor to sign an executive order to reopen parks and golf coursesNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted today that he will sign an executive order reopening state parks this weekend.All state parks, golf courses and county parks will reopen at sunrise on May 2, Murphy announced.“Social distancing will continue to be mandated,” he tweeted.Murphy, speaking at a news conference today, said COVID-19 numbers in the state are “headed in the right direction.”At least 6,770 people have died of coronavirus, and at least 116,264 people have tested positive for the virus, he said.US economy suffers worst quarter since 2008The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country.The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, posted a quarterly drop for the first time in six years. And it was the sharpest fall since the economy shrank at an 8.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the depths of the Great Recession.Forecasters say the drop in the January-March quarter will be only a precursor of a far grimmer GDP report to come on the current April-June period, with business shutdowns and layoffs striking with devastating force. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that GDP will plunge this quarter at a 40% annual rate.That would be, by a breathtaking margin, the bleakest quarter since such records were first compiled in 1947. It would be four times the size of the worst quarterly contraction on record set in 1958.Fauci: US could be in for ‘bad winter’ if unprepared for a second waveA second round of the coronavirus is “inevitable,” the nation’s leading epidemiologist says, but just how bad it is will depend on the progress the U.S. makes in the coming months.”If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”If states begin lifting restrictions too early, Fauci says he predicts the country could see a rebound of the virus that would “get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago,” adding that the country could see many more deaths than are currently predicted.A leading model predicts more than 72,000 people will die in the U.S. by early August.Being able to test for the virus, track cases and isolate every infected American will be key factors in ensuring that second wave isn’t as deadly, Fauci says.The U.S. continues to lag behind in testing, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The nation has performed 16.4 tests per 1,000 people, according to the report. Spain and Italy, with the second and third highest number of cases after the U.S., have conducted 22.3 and 29.7 tests per 1,000 people, respectively.Fauci says the federal government needs to provide strategic guidance and assistance to help states up their number of conducted tests. He hopes he can guarantee everyone who needs a test can get one by the end of May or early June.”The truth is that we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution.”How reopenings will affect virus numbers In Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp began lifting restrictions on small businesses such as salons and bowling alleys last week, experts say the death toll will likely see a sharp rise as a result.”There are a couple of conditions that really need to be met before you can safely lift social distancing restrictions,” CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Celine Gounder said Tuesday.Those factors include a 14-day decline of cases and deaths, a hospital capacity for expected patients and the ability to do contact tracing and testing, she said.”Georgia doesn’t meet any of the criteria,” Gounder added.Youyang Gu, the researcher behind one of the models shared by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, projects the number of daily deaths in the state will nearly double by early August.The model assumes social distancing will relax slightly as the state continues to reopen. The number of deaths per day in Georgia will jump from 32 fatalities on May 1 to a projected 63 people dying each day by Aug. 4, the model forecasts.The researcher’s findings fall in line with what’s predicted by another model that’s often been cited by the White House.Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said they’ve upped their August death toll for the U.S. by about 7,000 since last week.The change, Murray says, comes from both longer peaks experienced by states and signs that states are becoming more active again.Some businesses in South Carolina, Alaska and Oklahoma reopened last week. Restaurants in Tennessee opened with restrictions this week while retails outlets will open at 50% capacity Wednesday.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums, and libraries will be allowed to reopen Friday but must remain at 25% capacity.Airlines will provide masks Since officials have now recommended Americans wear face masks in public to prevent further spread, some airlines say they’ll provide the masks for passengers.American Airlines and United Airlines both said they’ll be providing masks for passengers beginning in May.”We are not mandating that passengers wear a mask however we strongly encourage travelers follow CDC guidance to wear a face covering when social distancing is difficult,” United Airlines spokesperson Nicole Carriere told CNN. “By providing the masks, we’re making it that much easier for them to do so.”Meanwhile, in three major New York City area airports, terminal access will be restricted to ticketed passengers, airport employees and others who need to enter the airport for business, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Tuesday.The measure will be enforced at John F. Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty Airport.”Due to COVID-19 related shifts in flight and passenger activity, changes in the airports’ operational footprints, security, cleaning and maintenance protocols, and social distancing directives, the Port Authority will temporarily limit terminal access at the region’s three major airports,” the Port Authority said in a statement.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The latest:

  • There have been more than 1 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 60,000 people, according to Hopkins.
  • Globally, there have been more than 3.1 million cases with more than 227,000 deaths.
  • America’s first-quarter GDP fell at a 4.8% annualized rate, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Wednesday.
  • President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that mandates meat processing plants must stay open, an official said.
  • Some antibody tests, which check for prior COVID-19 infection, had high rates of false positives in screenings performed by a consortium of California laboratories, according to a recently released report.
  • The FDA will reportedly approve remdesivir, a potential COVID-19 treatment that appears to speed recovery.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it “will invest $75.5 million in Defense Production Act Title 3 funding to increase swab production by 20 million per month starting in May.”

“Puritan Medical Products was awarded the contract, which will quickly establish a new manufacturing facility capable of doubling its current monthly output of 20 million to 40 million swabs,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement.

President Trump says he’ll start traveling again next week

President Donald Trump said he will travel to Arizona next week, after weeks of staying in Washington because of COVID-19.

The comments came during a meeting with industry leaders at the White House on Wednesday.

Asked if he is going to start traveling soon, Trump responded, “I think so.”

“I think I’m going to Arizona next week, and we look forward to that, and I’m going to I hope Ohio very soon,” Trump said. “[W[e’re going to start to move around.”

Trump said he hopes that “in the not-too-distant future we’re going to have some massive rallies.”

“And people will be sitting next to each other,” he added. “I can’t imagine a rally where you have every fourth seat full. Every six seats are empty for everyone you have full, that wouldn’t look too good.”

California governor expects to issue new rules for beaches soon

Beachgoers are a continued focus of California’s stay-at-home order and Gov. Gavin Newsom says more guidance will be issued soon about restrictions relating to the state’s coastline.

Of about 100 beaches along the coast, about 5% saw large crowds recently, and the governor has been outspoken over his disdain with people flocking to the shore.

The governor has spoken with state and local law enforcement, and state parks about updating the guidance.

Newsom acknowledged that current restrictions and how incremental reopening is not a “one size fits all” endeavor for the state, but expressed concern over the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Orange County, home to Newport Beach, one location the governor has zeroed in on for overcrowding.

Newport Beach’s City Council voted Tuesday to keep beaches open, with additional enforcement of physical distancing.

Myrtle Beach reopens all city beaches for public use

The city of Myrtle Beach is reopening all of its beaches, allowing the public back onto one of the most popular beaches in the nation. The beach has been closed in recent weeks.

John Pedersen, Myrtle Beach city manager, rescinded the emergency order Tuesday.

In a tweet from the official City of Myrtle Beach Twitter account, the local government clarified social distancing will be expected and enforced. Lifeguards will return at a later date, so swimming will be done at the public’s own risk.

Fed leaves rates at zero but will use its “full range of tools” to help the economy

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged near zero and said it would deploy its “full range of tools” to support the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.

“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the committee said in a statement. “The virus and the measures taken to protect public health are inducing sharp declines in economic activity and a surge in job losses.”

Policymakers agreed following their two-day meeting in Washington to maintain rates as they continued to see signs of a badly damaged economy.

The decision to refrain from dropping rates into negative territory, as some other central banks have done, had been widely expected by investors after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and several other Fed board members spoke out against negative rates.

New Jersey governor to sign an executive order to reopen parks and golf courses

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted today that he will sign an executive order reopening state parks this weekend.

All state parks, golf courses and county parks will reopen at sunrise on May 2, Murphy announced.

“Social distancing will continue to be mandated,” he tweeted.

Murphy, speaking at a news conference today, said COVID-19 numbers in the state are “headed in the right direction.”

At least 6,770 people have died of coronavirus, and at least 116,264 people have tested positive for the virus, he said.

US economy suffers worst quarter since 2008

The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country.

The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, posted a quarterly drop for the first time in six years. And it was the sharpest fall since the economy shrank at an 8.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the depths of the Great Recession.

Forecasters say the drop in the January-March quarter will be only a precursor of a far grimmer GDP report to come on the current April-June period, with business shutdowns and layoffs striking with devastating force. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that GDP will plunge this quarter at a 40% annual rate.

That would be, by a breathtaking margin, the bleakest quarter since such records were first compiled in 1947. It would be four times the size of the worst quarterly contraction on record set in 1958.

Fauci: US could be in for ‘bad winter’ if unprepared for a second wave

A second round of the coronavirus is “inevitable,” the nation’s leading epidemiologist says, but just how bad it is will depend on the progress the U.S. makes in the coming months.

“If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”

If states begin lifting restrictions too early, Fauci says he predicts the country could see a rebound of the virus that would “get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago,” adding that the country could see many more deaths than are currently predicted.

A leading model predicts more than 72,000 people will die in the U.S. by early August.

Being able to test for the virus, track cases and isolate every infected American will be key factors in ensuring that second wave isn’t as deadly, Fauci says.

The U.S. continues to lag behind in testing, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The nation has performed 16.4 tests per 1,000 people, according to the report. Spain and Italy, with the second and third highest number of cases after the U.S., have conducted 22.3 and 29.7 tests per 1,000 people, respectively.

Fauci says the federal government needs to provide strategic guidance and assistance to help states up their number of conducted tests. He hopes he can guarantee everyone who needs a test can get one by the end of May or early June.

“The truth is that we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution.”

How reopenings will affect virus numbers

In Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp began lifting restrictions on small businesses such as salons and bowling alleys last week, experts say the death toll will likely see a sharp rise as a result.

“There are a couple of conditions that really need to be met before you can safely lift social distancing restrictions,” CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Celine Gounder said Tuesday.

Those factors include a 14-day decline of cases and deaths, a hospital capacity for expected patients and the ability to do contact tracing and testing, she said.

“Georgia doesn’t meet any of the criteria,” Gounder added.

Youyang Gu, the researcher behind one of the models shared by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, projects the number of daily deaths in the state will nearly double by early August.

The model assumes social distancing will relax slightly as the state continues to reopen. The number of deaths per day in Georgia will jump from 32 fatalities on May 1 to a projected 63 people dying each day by Aug. 4, the model forecasts.

People relax on the Beach amid the Coronavirus pandemic in Tybee Island, Georgia on April 25, 2020.

CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

People relax on the Beach amid the coronavirus pandemic in Tybee Island, Georgia on April 25, 2020.

The researcher’s findings fall in line with what’s predicted by another model that’s often been cited by the White House.

Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said they’ve upped their August death toll for the U.S. by about 7,000 since last week.

The change, Murray says, comes from both longer peaks experienced by states and signs that states are becoming more active again.

Some businesses in South Carolina, Alaska and Oklahoma reopened last week. Restaurants in Tennessee opened with restrictions this week while retails outlets will open at 50% capacity Wednesday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums, and libraries will be allowed to reopen Friday but must remain at 25% capacity.

Airlines will provide masks

Since officials have now recommended Americans wear face masks in public to prevent further spread, some airlines say they’ll provide the masks for passengers.

American Airlines and United Airlines both said they’ll be providing masks for passengers beginning in May.

“We are not mandating that passengers wear a mask however we strongly encourage travelers follow CDC guidance to wear a face covering when social distancing is difficult,” United Airlines spokesperson Nicole Carriere told CNN. “By providing the masks, we’re making it that much easier for them to do so.”

Meanwhile, in three major New York City area airports, terminal access will be restricted to ticketed passengers, airport employees and others who need to enter the airport for business, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Tuesday.

The measure will be enforced at John F. Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty Airport.

“Due to COVID-19 related shifts in flight and passenger activity, changes in the airports’ operational footprints, security, cleaning and maintenance protocols, and social distancing directives, the Port Authority will temporarily limit terminal access at the region’s three major airports,” the Port Authority said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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