NYT: Morning Briefing

Commentary, News
We’re covering the government’s advice on wearing masks in public, and the growing economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic. And, because you’re probably staying at home this weekend, we have our first 36 Hours column generated by readers, no travel required.
 By Chris Stanford
 
New York City officials on Thursday urged residents to wear face coverings in public.  Jose A. Alvarado Jr. for The New York Times

A debate over mask guidelines

The C.D.C. has been preparing to recommend that everyone wear face coverings in public, according to a federal official, although President Trump said on Thursday that any guidance would be voluntary. “If people want to wear them, they can,” he said.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who is leading the White House’s coronavirus response, reminded Americans that federal distancing guidelines were still the most important step to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic. (If you want instructions for making a mask, we have those, too.)
We also have a daily tracker showing the virus’s trajectory by country and U.S. state, as well as a look at where Americans have been urged to stay home.
In other developments:
■ The pandemic has sickened more than a million people across 171 countries, according to official counts. As of this morning, at least 52,000 have died.
■ U.S. hospitals are beginning to report shortages of critical medications, especially those that ease the assault on respiratory systems.
■ The C.I.A. has warned that China is vastly understating its infections and that its count can’t be relied upon for models predicting the virus’s course, according to current and former intelligence officials.
■ The Democratic National Committee moved its presidential convention to mid-August from mid-July. The event will be held in Milwaukee as planned, the week before Republicans plan to gather in Charlotte, N.C.
■ The Navy removed the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, saying an outbreak of the virus aboard his ship had “overwhelmed his ability to act professionally.” Days earlier, Capt. Brett Crozier had sent a letter asking for help, using an unclassified email system.
The details: We’ve updated the expert guidance we’ve compiled on several subjects, including health, money and travel.
The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.
 

‘This thing is going to come for us all’

After the initial impact on a few industries, the coronavirus pandemic is leaving a much broader swath of unemployment.
In just two weeks, nearly 10 million Americans have lost their jobs, more than in the worst months of the 2008 financial crisis. A monthly employment report from the Labor Department today is expected to show a net loss of jobs for the first time in nearly 10 years. Here are the latest financial updates.
Quotable: “People are being way too sanguine about a lot of the white-collar industries,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor market expert. “This thing is going to come for us all.”
Yesterday: Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wanted to create a special bipartisan committee to oversee the government’s response, including distribution of more than $2 trillion in aid.
Related: Some corporate leaders say the potential terms might dissuade them from taking government aid. Boeing’s chief executive, David Calhoun, has suggested that his company could raise money elsewhere.
 
The Navy hospital ship Comfort docked in Manhattan on Monday.  Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

A hospital ship with few patients

After the U.S.N.S. Comfort arrived in New York with great fanfare this week, only 20 patients have been transferred to the 1,000-bed ship.
In addition to strict rules barring people infected with the coronavirus, Navy guidelines list dozens of other medical conditions that would exclude a patient from the ship. Another vessel, the U.S.N.S. Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
Quotable: “If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke,” said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system.
Related: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who has developed a delicate working relationship with President Trump, warned on Thursday that his state’s supply of ventilators would run out in less than a week. Here’s the latest from our Metro desk.
Another angle: A hospital in the Bronx distributed New York Yankees ponchos, saying they were a gift for employees. Several workers said they were told to use them as protective equipment.
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