January 5, 2020

A mysterious respiratory illness is spreading across southeast Asia.

Believed to have originated in the Wuhan province of China, the pneumonia-like illness’ source can’t be precisely determined, but nearly 60 people have been hospitalized in China. Now, a case has been detected in Singapore.

Investigators are looking into a wholesale seafood market that may be the epicenter for the illness.

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January 19, 2020

Nearly 200 people have a confirmed case of “Wuhan pneumonia,” the new strain of coronavirus that originated in China’s Wuhan province.

Cases have now spread to Japan, Thailand, and elsewhere in China, Bloomberg reports.

So far three have died.

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January 21, 2020

The mysterious coronavirus in China has made it to the United States. CNN reports that an unnamed man in his 30s from Washington State is in isolation at Providence regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.

Washington’s secretary of health says the risk to the public is low, however.

MEANWHILE: China’s National Health Commission reported Thursday that the death toll from a new coronavirus has risen to six, and another 291 are confirmed to be infected.

Previously believed to only spread from contact with animals, they now believe it’s spreading between humans as well, causing increased scrutiny on public transportation, where officials were monitoring travelers for fever and other illness.

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January 22, 2020

The mysterious coronavirus that originated in China’s Wuhan province had only officially infected nearly 300 people as of yesterday. Now, with the belief it can be transmitted between humans, and not just contracted from exposure to animals, scientists fear thousands could be infected.

A disease outbreak model developed by London’s Imperial College estimates anywhere from 4,000 to 9,700 people could be infected, which will have global ramifications.

One case has already been confirmed in the United States.

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January 23, 2020

A Texas A&M student who traveled recently to Wuhan, China, is being treated for symptoms related to the mysterious coronavirus that originated there as doctors try to confirm positive results for the virus.

The unnamed student will be quarantined in his home until the results are confirmed.

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January 26, 2020

The doctor who treated the first coronavirus patient has died from the same illness. The official death toll is now at least 56.

In China, public transportation systems have been ordered to shut down in 10 cities, effectively quarantining 56 million people.

The total number affected worldwide is approaching 2,000 reported cases as of Sunday. There are now five confirmed cases in the U.S. — but the Texas A&M student under observation last week was cleared from having the illness. Patients around the country are being tested and monitored for it. The Center for Disease Control will update the confirmed numbers Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.

MEANWHILE: The US National Institutes of Health are rushing to develop a vaccine against the deadly virus, and hope to be ready for human trials within three months.

Staff at the U.S. Consulate in China are being evacuated by private plane.

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January 27, 2020

The US State Department has issued a formal travel warning against visiting China’s Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

All non-emergency personnel of the US government have been ordered to leave.

MEANWHILE: San Francisco is activating an emergency operations center to coordinate how it handles any outbreaks. So far, two of the five confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. are in Southern California.

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January 28, 2020

Pharmacies across the country are running out of surgical masks amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, BBC reports.

Stores in Seattle, where the first American case was reported, say they’re totally out of stock, as well as in Washington D.C.

Stores in Los Angeles, a hub of entry for travelers from Asia, are stockpiling as well.

MEANWHILE: iPhone supplier FoxConn says the coronavirus outbreak will meet all manufacturing obligations.

TO THE SKIES: United Airlines has shut down several routes into China, as demand for those seats have declined. United has hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. For its part, it’s allowing passengers with booked flights to those cities to change their schedule for no fee. They’re also refunding “non-refundable” tickets for flights directly into Wuhan through March 29.

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January 29, 2020

Google has closed offices in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong amid coronavirus fears.

They had been shut down for the Lunar New Year, but will remain closed indefinitely.

So far 132 are confirmed dead and 6,000 cases have been confirmed.

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We may not be getting more intelligent as a species.

Google search data indicates a spike in the searches for “beer virus” and “Corona beer virus” — indicating people think fears of the actual “coronavirus” is linked to the Mexican beer.

(Check out the comparison here >)

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January 30, 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak is officially a global health emergency, designated by the World Health Organization.

Across the world there are more than 8,200 confirmed cases, and the first human-to-human transmission has been recorded in the United States.

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February 2, 2020

The Chinese government has banned funerals for those who die from the coronavirus outbreak. Official guidelines call for immediate cremation to ebb the further spread of the disease.

More than 300 have now died in China and nearly 15,000 cases have been confirmed there.

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February 4, 2020

Tuesday marked the deadliest day in China for victims of the coronavirus outbreak, with 64 deaths in a single day, bringing the total to 425.

In nearby Hong Kong, casinos in Macau are being urged to shut down to mitigate public gatherings.

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February 5, 2020

An employee at a funeral home in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, says his crematorium is working 24/7 and burning as many as 100 bodies a day. Crematorium workers are said to be wearing makeshift bio-suits and masks to handle the bodies of victims of the virus.

Chinese media recently broadcast a government decree banning funerals and ordering the immediate burning of all bodies.

The rapid pace of cremations stokes talk that the Chinese Communist Party has been downplaying the number of deaths.

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February 9, 2020

Videos online appear to show authorities chasing down and dragging out Chinese citizens suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.

In one, an unidentified person is sprinting away from masked officials, who are carrying sticks. In another, people are seen being physically dragged from their homes.

In China, a quarantine is essentially a death sentence, where the infected are stuck together but not necessarily treated.

IT GETS WORSE: Atmospheric analysis over Wuhan showed a dramatic increase in sulphur dioxide gas, a byproduct of burning organic matter.  One intrepid twitterer says could mean a lot of things — but perhaps indicate  the burning of bodies en masse.

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February 10, 2020

Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the Chinese economy.

As businesses lose workers to quarantine or illness, they’re looking for bank loans to stay afloat.

Reuters reports that 300 companies have sought $8.2 billion in cash.

The death toll quickly approaches 1,000 people and at least 40,000 are infected worldwide.

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February 11, 2020

The Westerdam cruise ship can’t make port in any country over fears of admitting passengers affected with coronavirus.

But Carnival, which operates the vessel, says there’s no evidence any of the more than 2,200 passengers on board have been infected.

If food and sanitary supplies dwindle low enough, international law will require the closest country to admit the ship, and Carnival says it’s working to find a safe place to stop.

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The World Health Organization believes the coronavirus originated in bats, and that an “intermediary host” eventually spread it to humans.

In the meantime, they’re testing various animals to see how they fare and if they can replicate the effects.

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February 12, 2020

The publicly reported death toll from the coronavirus has exceeded 1,100, almost all in China. Around the world, at least 45,000 cases have been confirmed.

As companies in China are losing workers, the government there is struggling to keep up with demand.

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February 13, 2020

China’s government has revised how it’s counting who’s actually sick with the coronavirus — and the numbers aren’t good.

They added 15,152 new cases and confirmed 254 additional deaths.

MEANWHILE: The Diamond Princess cruise ship making port in Japan has confirmed an additional 44 cases on board, bringing the total to 218 infected among the 3,700 crew and passengers.

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The International Energy Agency estimates a drastic decrease in global oil demand this year.

They’ve cut their forecast by a whopping 30%, thanks mostly to decreased production in China due to the coronavirus.

It’s the first drop in demand in over a decade.

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February 16, 2020

The Diamond Princess cruise ship now has 355 confirmed cases of coronavirus among its passengers, making the largest single cluster outside of Mainland China.

Of the roughly 400 Americans on board, 44 have the illness.

Those with confirmed cases are being treated in Japan as other countries work to bring their respective citizens home.

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While coronavirus remains a global concern, the Center for Disease Control is bracing for an aggressive season of the regular ol’ flu.

Widespread cases are currently reported in almost all 50 states.

So far this year, 14,000 have died, nearly 26 million have  been infected, and a quarter-million sent to the hospital.

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February 17, 2020

As travelers on Carnival’s Diamond Princess ship are permitted to return to their home countries, public safety officials are bracing for widespread contagion as 3,000-some people who came in contact with infected persons will return to countries around the world.

The incubation period is 14 days, so many could begin presenting symptoms even if they previously had been cleared.

“There’s a possibility that anyone who is infected and asymptomatic could start a chain of infection wherever they return to,” a Stanford University professor tells Fortune magazine.

MEANWHILE: China’s central government is scrambling to destroy and sanitize its currency to ebb the coronavirus outbreak.

All paper currency has been ordered for destruction in areas exposed to the illness. Other paper notes will be exposed to high temperatures and ultraviolet light.

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Japan’s economy contracted significantly between October and December last year, following an increase in its national sales tax from 8% to 10%.

Economists predicted a much less significant 3.9% contraction.

As coronavirus fears rave Eastern Asia, the contraction might only get worse by the end of the first quarter.

After the United States and China, Japan in the world’s third largest economy.

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All movie premieres and press events in China for the forthcoming James Bond film have been cancelled.

As far as fans being able to see the film, theaters are one of the public spaces the Chinese government has closed to ebb the spread of the coronavirus.

There is a small chance they will be reopened by April, when the film is set to be released.

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February 18, 2020

Are the End Times upon us?

One blogger says ten plagues are in full force across the globe.

  1. Locusts are plaguing Africa and spreading into Asia.
  2. Sydney, Australia is experiencing torrential rainfall.
  3. Mississippi is flooding.
  4. Strange earthquakes have been recorded in the Caribbean.
  5. A volcano in Indonesia had its most powerful eruption since 1930.
  6. Obviously, the coronavirus is turning into a global problem.
  7. African Swine Fever is hitting animals in China.
  8. Swine Flu is breaking out in Taiwan.
  9. Bird Flu is also breaking out in China.
  10. A new strain of bird flu is popping up in Germany.

You can read his full report here >

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The stock values of suppliers of processing chips are taking a hit, as Apple stock stumbles amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Intel, Qorvo, Mircon, and Broadcom — all of which get a huge chunk of revenue from supplying Apple — reported minor stock slips Tuesday.

Apple also finished Tuesday down 1.83%.

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Walmart isn’t ready to adjust down their sales forecast amid the coronavirus outbreak.

CEO Doug McMillon says it’s too early to see how bad things get. Walmart currently operates over 400 stores in China, and has reduced hours  they’re open as fewer staff are available.

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A basic statistical analysis shows coronavirus is 20 times more deadly than the common flu.

Seasonal flu’s fatality rate is about 0.1%.

But one analysis does simple math: There have been 44,672 recorded cases in China of coronavirus and 1,023 reported deaths. That’s over 2% fatal.

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February 19, 2020

A shipment of 40 mobile, industrial incinerators have arrived in Wuhan, China, local media reports.

While official accounts suggest they’re for burning animal carcasses and animal waste, their presence fuel speculation they could be used to burn dead bodies.

Each unit has approximately 30 cubic meters of space, allowing it to destroy up to five tons of waste each day.

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A day after saying it was too early to predict the impact the coronavirus would have on its forecast, retailer Walmart has publicly said it now expects a small hit.

Walmart cites increased expenses related to the outbreak and sales slanted toward food and consumable products that may not now be purchased due to the widespread sickness. But they only anticipate a minor impact on the bottom line.

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February 20, 2020

A new analysis of coronavirus suggests it’s transmitted through fecal matter, helping to explain its outbreaks on cruise ships.

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said it can be transmitted a variety of ways, but understanding the poo-route will help in developing appropriate sanitation and precautionary measures.

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February 23, 2020

Italian officials have cancelled the popular Venice Carnival amid a rising death toll from coronavirus and increasing number of reported cases.

So far three have died in Italy, which is rapidly becoming its own hotbed for the spread of the illness.

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With cruise ships returning sick passengers over the weekend, the United States now has 35 cases of coronavirus. That includes a mix of citizens and repatriated people.

The breakdown goes as follows:

The 14 U.S. cases include eight in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state, one in Arizona, two in Illinois and one in Wisconsin. Among these cases, there are two instances of person-to-person transmission, one in Illinois and one in California.

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The coronavirus outbreak in China is doing a world of good for the environment.

Daily coal consumption at six major power plants is 42.5% less year over year. Meanwhile, overall pollution levels are down 20% to 25% in urban areas.

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February 24, 2020

Monday’s 3.5% single-day drop in the stock market marks the worst daily performance in two years.

It closed down more than 1,000 points, fueled by economic slowdown in China. (And maybe because a communist sympathizer appears slated to win the Democrat party nomination.)

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The Coronavirus is taking its toll in Europe and the Middle East, AP reports.

Iran has confirmed twelve deaths nationwide and the first cases have been reported in five neighboring countries.

Worldwide, the number of cases is set to exceed 80,000 as the death toll surpasses 2,000.

A World Health Organization team will arrive in Iran today.

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After China, Tokyo has the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus, at 695, as of Monday, and quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess is anchored near Tokyo — but 2020 Olympics committee president Yoshiro Mori says “we are not considering a cancelation or postponement of the Games.”

The torch relay will begin in March, coinciding with the cherry blossom bloom across the country.

TIME magazine speculates that with decreased demand for travel to the area and fears over pandemic, visitors may be cancelling plans to get there, making for a subdued summer affair.

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February 25, 2020

There are now 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, as travelers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship return home and test positive.

The worldwide total is around 79,000 and 2,622 are confirmed dead.

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February 26, 2020

After an abysmal start to the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 100 points on Wednesday, despite adding at one point over 400 points. Much of the volatility is contributed to changing news about the coronavirus.

On the news of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s departure, its stock lost 3%.

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Coronavirus isn’t only affecting the manufacturing sector. Papa Johns announced the closure of 50 franchises in China, sending its stock sliding 9%.

It also said sales in China are down double digits year over year.

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The Center for Disease Control encourages men to stay clean-shaven to deter the spread of coronavirus. They caution that certain styles can interfere with surgical masks functioning properly.

While upper-lipped facial hair like goatees and mustaches are ok, mutton chops and full beards are a problem.

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February 27, 2020

The US Center for Disease Control has tallied 60 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country.

It also announced the first case of unknown origin — meaning the patient has not traveled and has not interacted with someone known to have the illness.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst single-day loss in history Thursday, shedding 1,190 points on fears the Coronavirus is primed to spread across the country.

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March 1, 2020

Two men from Washington state are dead from coronavirus.

A man in his 50s from the suburbs of Seattle has died from the Coronavirus, marking the first stateside casualty from the illness.

Late Sunday night, another man, in his 70s, was confirmed to have died.

As of Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services is monitoring 23 confirmed cases.  At least two of those can’t be traced to travel outside of the country.

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March 2, 2020

The coronavirus death toll in Washington has reached six, as of Monday.

Buzzfeed News reports that four of the six are elderly residents of the same nursing home who had previous, underlying conditions.

So far 100 cases have been confirmed nationwide.

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More than 1 million products connected to coronavirus have been delisted from Amazon.

Amazon removed sellers that were price gouging or charging excessive shipping costs, according to an analysis by Wired magazine.

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March 3, 2020

After its biggest single-day gain ever, the Dow lost 785 points in trading Tuesday.

Unease over coronavirus and general uncertainty about the country’s future contributed to the volatility, despite the Fed cutting the interest rate a half a point.

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Nine have now died across the country from the coronavirus.

There are more than 100 cases confirmed in 15 states.

Across the globe, four countries are battling outbreaks: South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan — while China remains the epicenter, but daily rate of new infections is starting to ebb.

Globally, more than 90,000 people have been diagnosed.

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March 4, 2020

Even the Terminator can’t hide from the coronavirus.

Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that large parts of his annual fitness expo—Arnold Sports Festival, held in Columbus, Ohio—have been postponed due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to USA Today, competing athletes will still be admitted into the Greater Columbus Convention Center, but spectators will only be allowed to attend the finals.

The 72-year-old is not the first celeb to alter an event. Popular bands BTS and Green Day have also called off select tour dates amid the global health crisis.

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The first death from coronavirus has been recorded in California.

The patient had taken a cruise to Mexico last month. Officials say he or she was elderly and had underlying health conditions. The victim’s close contacts and family are in quarantine.

MEANWHILE: Researchers now believe there are two forms of coronavirus. Studies out of Beijing and Shanghai have identified two strains, dubbed “L” and “S.”

The more aggressive and deadly has been the L strain, but the S strain — a more mild version — is becoming more prominent, since it takes longer for patients to get sick enough to go to the hospital, giving them more time to spread it.

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March 5, 2020

Starbucks is pausing its practice of dispensing coffee into cups and mugs brought into the stores by customers as fears over spreading coronavirus heighten. They’ve encouraged the practice to decrease waste, but Starbuck’s annual report said only 1.3 percent of customers ever did this.

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Major airlines are cancelling domestic flights and waiving change fees amid mass cancellations over coronavirus fears.

The specific policies vary by airline, but American, Alaska, Delta, United, and Jet Blue are all instituting safeguards to protect their customers from fees.

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The Dow took a 971 point loss Thursday amid increasing uncertainty about the future of the economy and spread of coronavirus and despite Congress’ multi-billion dollar aide package approved Wednesday.

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OPEC is cutting its estimations for global oil demand in 2020 by half as coronavirus fears grind economies around the globe to a halt.

In December, OPEC predicted growth of 1.1 million barrels per day for 2020 — now, they’re revising that down to just 480,000 barrels per day.

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Queen Elizabeth is playing it safe.

The monarch chose to wear gloves during this week’s investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, leading many to believe it was to protect her from the coronavirus.

While it’s not uncommon for the Queen to wear gloves, she has not been known to wear them during an investiture ceremony, especially when she is awarding honors.

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President Trump talked about his administration’s coronavirus response and his controversial, never-back-down style at a television town hall event on Thursday. Fox News hosted the event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first town hall Trump has done in 2020.

Will he adopt a less controversial tone any time soon? That was one question. “When they hit us, we have to hit back. I really feel that,” the president responded.

Is the coronavirus the apocalypse? “Everybody has to be calm. It’s all going to work out,” he said.

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March 8, 2020

The American Film Institute is postponing its 48th annual AFI Achievement Award Gala Tribute honoring Julie Andrews in response to the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

The organization originally planned to give Andrews the Life Achievement Award next month, but it has now been moved to early summer.

In a statement, AFI did not directly blame the virus, but instead said their decision to postpone is simply “in response to the rapidly evolving nature of current events.”

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Ciara is the latest musician to cancel a concert over concern for the coronavirus.

The Grammy-winning singer, who is currently pregnant, was set to perform in Texas on March 19, but announced Saturday the event is going to be postponed.

She released a statement saying, “With the continued spread of the coronavirus throughout the U.S., as a pregnant woman, my doctors have advised me to limit travel and large group gatherings. I am disappointed I won’t be able to return this month to the place where I was born, Ft. Hood Texas, and put on the amazing show we had planned.”

Other performers who have cancelled shows in wake of the virus include: Queen and Adam Lambert, Louis Tomlinson, BTS, Green Day, Avril Lavigne and Khalid.

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Scott Disick wants to keep everyone healthy.

The “KUWTK” star is reminding everyone to wash their hands via a new apparel line. His TALENTLESS label shared photos of shirts, available in three colors, that all read “PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS.”

The pieces, that according to Disick are “flying off digital shelves,” are priced at $49 for the tees and $129 for matching hoodies.

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Her Majesty plans to “keep calm and carry on” to try and stop the rising panic over the coronavirus.

According to the Daily Mail, as the confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 200 in the UK, the monarch is determined to lead by example and continue her royal duties, including participating in Commonwealth Day.

A senior royal source told the outlet the Queen is “determined to set an example until there is compelling advice to the contrary.”

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All 30 teams in the NBA are being required to have a plan in place to deal with a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

Teams must have arrangements made with infectious disease specialists, an ID test facility and limit the number of team and venue staffers that may have contact with players.

Team doctors and trainers are scheduled to have a teleconference this week with NBA bigwigs to discuss the next steps of the coronavirus protocol.

Concern over the virus has led to the cancellation of hundreds of sporting events worldwide.

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The Italian government has instituted mandatory quarantines in Milan and the Lombardy regions, affecting some 17 million citizens, in attempts to curb the expansion of the coronavirus.

The decree subjects violators of the quarantine to fines or jail time, without many specifics.

Local police and military forces will be on hand to enforce the quarantine.

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A hotel in China functioning as a coronavirus quarantine collapsed on Saturday; so far ten are confirmed dead.

There were 80 people inside at the time of the collapse; only nine managed to escape right away. The rest are either trapped, dead, or still unaccounted for.

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March 9, 2020

President Trump is taking some heat for a photo of himself he retweeted, Photoshopped to show him playing a fiddle. The original cryptic post was made by White House social media guru Dan Scavino and has “My next piece is called…nothing can stop what’s coming” over a doctored pic of Trump playing a violin. The president then retweeted it, adding “Who knows that this means, but it sounds good to me.”

Odd tweet, but one Twitter user commented that once people remember the old phrase about Nero fiddling while Rome burned, Trump might want to fire Scavino.

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Four members of Congress are quarantining themselves after making contact with a CPAC attendee who tested positive for the Coronavirus. Georgia Rep. Doug Collins and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz joined Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar in the voluntary lockdown after confirming that they did shake the individual’s hand.

Collins shook hands with President Trump during a presidential visit to the Centers for Disease Control last week, while Gaetz rode on Air Force One on Monday, prompting questions about whether the president himself has been tested for the virus.

The congressmen will remain under quarantine for two weeks.

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Monday’s stock market slide has policy makers afraid of a serious economic slump in response to fears about the Coronavirus. Monday afternoon President Trump announced he will seek a major economic stimulus, probably in the form of a temporary payroll tax cut and possibly paid sick leave for people who lose hourly work due to the virus.

The administration might also try to provide relief to airlines, hotels, and the cruise industry, all suffering as Americans cancel travel plans.

A follow-up press conference was planned for some time today to announce specifics.

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March 10, 2020

“Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” will be filming without a studio audience amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to PEOPLE, the “choice to forgo having spectators at the live tapings was made out of concern for the show’s senior audience, who are said to be at the highest risk for complications associated with the virus.”

The decision was also made in consideration of “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who currently has a compromised immune system due to his fight against stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

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Pearl Jam has announced they will be postponing the first leg of their concert tour due to growing concerns about the coronavirus.

In a lengthy, multi-tweet statement, the band voiced their frustrations and apologized to fans over their decision.

The tour was meant to kick off next week in Ontario, Canada, followed by more cities in Canada before heading back to perform in the U.S.

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Coachella will likely be postponed this year amid concerns over the coronavirus.

A source told PEOPLE that those in charge of the popular two-weekend event are talking about moving it to October.

The festival, which takes place in Indio, California was originally set for the weekends of April 10th through the 12th and 17th through the 19th. If postponed, it would take place the weekends of October 9th and 16th, according to Billboard.

Rumor is Stagecoach may also be bumped from the end of August to October.

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Seattle is bracing for a potential mandatory quarantine policy.

The local government there is actively encouraging voluntary isolation of those who are sick, but is ready to enforce mandatory quarantines of those infected. Residents are expecting more news this week on next steps.

MEANWHILE: The New York National Guard is is enforcing a one-mile, two-week containment area in New Rochelle, which Governor Andrew Cuomo said is one of the most significant clusters of Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

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The entire nation of Italy is on lockdown as it battles Europe’s most aggressive Coronavirus outbreak.

All non-essential travel has been restricted as Italians are ordered to stay home until at least April 3, while all bars and restaurants must close by 6:00 pm.

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Amid coronavirus concerns the MLB has decided to limit press access to teams’ clubhouses, at least for the beginning of the season.

The league is following the NHL and NBA who have already put into place locker room restrictions.

The virus hasn’t affected the start date of the MLB regular season, which is still scheduled for March 26th.

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The coronavirus-infected person who has CPAC attendees getting tested themselves attended a posh reception for conservative congressmen, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The reception was held on the Wednesday the conference began, and could put dozens of members of Congress at risk of infection.

Four members of Congress have already self-quarantined after admitting they came into contact with the individual. Pundits also say President Trump should get tested since he also came into contact with some of those congressmen.

MEANWHILE—President Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is self-quarantining after coming into contact with the infected attendee over a week before the conference began. He took a test that came back negative, but a spokesman said Meadows is isolating himself for the mandatory 14-day period.

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Joe Biden and Socialist Bernie Sanders, who now owns three homes, both cancelled campaign rallies on Tuesday night over coronavirus fears. Sanders was scheduled to bash billionaires and gripe about capitalism  at Cleveland’s Huntington Convention Center, while Biden was planning to make rambling barely coherent remarks at Cuyahoga College—both in Cleveland.

But Ohio Governor Mike DeWine forced the cancellations when he declared a state of emergency earlier Tuesday on advice from state health officials.

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Democrats came up with reasons to oppose President Trump’s proposal to slash payroll taxes, introduced Tuesday amid fears the coronavirus might lead to an economic recession.

Trump’s major proposal was to slash the payroll tax, which is half paid by employers, half by employees. If you make $50 grand a year, you’d save about $250 a month.

But Democrats were united against it. They said Uber drivers and other contract employees won’t benefit, nor will people who lose their jobs…completely missing the point that Trump’s goal is to prevent people from losing their jobs.

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March 11, 2020

Celine Dion is recovering after being hit with a cold.

The 51-year-old was forced to postpone upcoming tour dates to rest and recoup.

When the symptoms first appeared, Dion played it safe and got tested for the coronavirus, but those tests came back negative.

Dion rescheduled her March 11th performance for November 16th and her March 13th performance has now been moved to November 18th. She is expected to resume her COURAGE WORLD TOUR on March 24th.

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Howie Mandel was spotted wearing a hazmat suit to a taping of “America’s Got Talent” on Wednesday—something he joked about doing on social media earlier in the week.

Mandel’s fellow judge, Heidi Klum went home sick earlier this week. Her reps said it was food poisoning and not the coronavirus, but Mandel, a known germaphobe, likely went the extra mile just in case.

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The coronavirus has thrown a (possible) wrench in Princess Beatrice’s upcoming royal wedding.

The nuptials, set for May 29, could be affected by a potential nation-wide lockdown amid the rapidly spreading virus.

That is already the case in Italy, where many family members of Beatrice’s fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi live. While the lockdown will likely be lifted well before the wedding, an insider told The Telegraph that “the whole thing does cast doubt over the guest list.”

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“Essential personnel and limited family” members will be in attendance at the upcoming March Madness games, the NCAA has announced — so basically no crowds.

The first tipoff is in five days in Dayton, Ohio.

The news comes after an advisory panel assembled by the NCAA pushed for the measure out of an abundance of caution to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

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Boeing is putting a pause on all hiring efforts and limiting overtime of employees to hold onto cash reserves.

The airplane maker said in February it had more order cancellations than new projects in the pipeline — compounding its problems to revamp the 737 MAX.

It took an 18% stock hit on the news, its worst single-day drop in 40 years on the market.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 1,464 points Wednesday amid continued uncertainty over coronavirus.

Futures did not immediately respond positively to President Trump’s address to the nation Wednesday night. All eyes on Thursday’s open.

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In an Oval Office national address last night, President Trump outlined what he called “the most aggressive and comprehensive” response to a public health crisis ever:

  • All travel from Europe will be suspended effective Friday at midnight, for 30 days, excluding the United Kingdom.
  • Major health insurance providers have agreed to waive all copayments for COVID-19 treatments.
  • Cutting red tape to make antiviral therapies more quickly and readily available.
  • The Small Business Administration has been authorized to provide $50 billion in additional funding for capital and liquidity to struggling businesses by providing economic loans in affected states and territories to help business slowdowns.
  • The US Treasury will defer tax payments without interest or penalties for specific individuals and businesses.
  • Finally, Trump called on Congress to alleviate payroll tax obligations, but such plans are unlikely to go anywhere. It was reported earlier this week Trump wanted a 0% payroll tax until the end of the year, but such action would have to be taken by the legislature.

WORTH NOTING: A C-Span hot mic before the video feed started appears to have caught President Trump saying “Oh f***” in the moments before going live after realizing a “pen mark” and asking for “white stuff” — not sure what that means.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive for coronavirus.

In a tweet late Wednesday, Hanks said he and his wife were feeling ill while filming in Australia, and took the tests out of an abundance of caution.

He says they’ll remain quarantined and monitored as they receive treatment.

“Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach,” he said.

###

The NBA has suspended gameplay until further notice.

In a statement out late Wednesday, the league said a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for Coronavirus. That player is believed to be Rudy Gobert.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” they said in a statement.

OF LESS SIGNIFICANCE: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon announced on Twitter Wednesday night that live studio audiences would be suspended as of Monday, indefinitely.

STILL WORTH NOTING: The University of Wisconsin System is expected to announce today that all campuses will move to an online curriculum at some point this semester. Several schools, including Stevens Point, La Crosse, Platteville, Madison, and Milwaukee, already have online-only programs in place.

 

###

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows President Trump’s approval holding steady. 40% of Americans approve of Trump’s performance, unchanged from previous weeks, if not a particularly great number. Like other polls, the vast majority of Republicans approve while the vast majority of Dems disapprove.

The poll measures Trump’s approval rate over the time the coronavirus has unfolded and caused large losses on the stock market—all while Democrats have sniped at the president for what they claim is poor management of the federal response to the virus.

###

Bernie Sanders wants everyone to know he’s not dropping out. The socialist, who owns three homes, announced plans to give a speech from Burlington, Vermont, his home base, sparking rumors maybe he was throwing in the towel. Instead, Sanders declared his billionaire-hating candidacy would continue on and that he’s committed to President Trump’s defeat in November.

He says he looks forward to Sunday’s debate, which will be the first head-to-head against Joe Biden. There, Sanders will make the case that he’s the best of the two candidates to take on and defeat Trump.

Due to coronavirus fears, there will be no audience at the debate.

###

March 12, 2020

NBC is scrapping live audiences from the “Today” show over coronavirus fears.

According to The Post, the network is taking guidance from the city. A spokesperson told the outlet, “The safety of our guests and employees is top priority. As a precautionary measure…we have decided to suspend live audiences for “Today” and “Today with Hoda & Jenna & Friends.”

ABC previously announced they were axing audiences from “Good Morning America,” “The View,” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”

###

Matthew Broderick’s sister has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

According to a statement from her parish, Janet Broderick “fell ill after attending the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes conference in Kentucky—the same event at which another attendee was diagnosed with the virus.”

Janet wrote a letter to the parish, in which she thanked her “wonderful vestry” and said that she is “through the worst” and “very very much on the mend.”

###

Chumlee is in the hospital.

The “Pawn Stars” personality sought medical attention after he experienced trouble breathing. He posted a picture of himself laying in a hospital bed with the caption, “It’s been a tuff [sic] day.”

Chum was tested for the coronavirus, but it came back negative. After also complaining of abdominal pain, the doctors told the reality star he may just need to go to the bathroom.

###

Kim Kardashian-West isn’t playing around when it comes to the coronavirus.

The mom-of-four shared a series of videos on her Instagram Story explaining how she is taking action as the virus continues to spread.

In one of the videos, Kim shares how she has been wiping everything down with Clorox wipes after her sister Khloe Kardashian was coughing in her presence. She also shared a chart showing proper hand-washing that her former assistant posted.

In another video she features a doctor who demonstrates the proper way to greet people…a toe touch. The doc said that the initially suggested “elbow bump” should be avoided as people are supposed to cough and sneeze into their elbow.

###

Large-scale graves have been spotted in Iran, thought to soon be the final resting places of hundreds and hundreds of coronavirus victims in that country. Satellite images show two, 100-meter long trenches being excavated near the site of the country’s worst outbreak, the city of Qom.

Iran’s health ministry says 429 have died so far, a number that could be much higher in truth.

###

Norway is shutting down because of the coronavirus. The country’s health officials announced Thursday that broad and sweeping shutdowns of cultural venues, sporting events, hair and massage parlors, gyms are being ordered closed. Schools and child care facilities are also shutting down nationwide.

Most bars, restaurants and nightclubs are also shut down.

###

Coronavirus researchers have a new tool: an Energy Department supercomputer called Summit. Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, it’s the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Researchers are using it to simulate untold different drug combinations to see if any work to thwart the virus.

###

States and the CDC are struggling to screen for the coronavirus. According to Yahoo News, the CDC has been testing only about 77 people each day for a total of 1,707 people tested. Meanwhile, states are struggling to process virus tests, averaging about 55 tests per state.

Health officials warn the low number of cases in the U.S. might not be because there aren’t more cases out there, just that people aren’t being tested.

###

President Trump will find out today if a Brazilian leader he shook hands with recently does in fact have the coronavirus. Trump met the top aide to Brazil’s president a Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, and several members of that delegation now have exhibited symptoms of the disease. The aide and others who were there will have test results come back today.

###

Thursday was another bloodbath on Wall Street as stocks plummeted again, plunging the market into bear market territory. The benchmark S&P 500 plunged 9.5%, ending the longest bull market in Wall Street history. It was the S&P’s worst day since 1987.

The Dow fell 9.99%, also the worst drop since 1987’s infamous “Black Monday.”

Thursday’s losses came despite a “kill switch” triggered by declines over 7% designed to ease panics. A $1.5 trillion infusion of liquidity by the Federal Reserve also failed to stop the selloff, as did a Wednesday night address by President Trump outlining his plans to tackle the coronavirus.

###

The coronavirus outbreak is driving a rapidly increasing number of shutdowns, cancellations and closures around the country. Major venues and events that bring large groups together announced their plans to deal with the public health crisis on Thursday.

  • Broadway is shut down per New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Major League Baseball has shut down practice and postponed its season
  • NBA, NHL, and Major League Soccer seasons have been suspended
  • NCAA tournaments are cancelled
  • NASCAR and the PGA Tour will continue without fans in attendance
  • Boston Marathon postponed
  • Ohio and Maryland schools are being closed for weeks
  • The U.S. Capitol and Washington congressional offices are closed
  • Disneyland and Disney World are both shut down

###

Joe Biden went after President Trump’s response to the coronavirus on Thursday. In a speech rolling out his own plan to tackle the outbreak, Biden said public fear is being stoked by a lack of trust in the Trump administration.

Biden’s plan wouldn’t be much use to anyone because he’s not currently elected to any public office and, even if he wins, would be too-little, way-too-late.

###

Retail politics are the norm in pandemic-free America. Lots of hand-shaking, back slapping, and mingling with the masses. Coronavirus could change all that.

Dem frontrunner Joe Biden will hold a “virtual town hall” on Friday. On Sunday, he and Socialist Bernie Sanders, who now owns three homes, will hold a debate in a studio with no audience. 2020 could be the year of virtual politics.

What’s next, virtual conventions over the summer? Political experts aren’t so quick to brush it off.

DNC chair Tom Perez still says his party’s Milwaukee convention will go as planned. But as we know, all plans are tentative when everything can change in a matter of days.

###

No doubt about it: President Trump is staring down his toughest re-election challenge yet with the coronavirus, and it’s all so sudden. He survived constant onslaughts so far. But in just weeks the outbreak has emerged as a tornado trashing the Trump playbook.

Add to that the sudden bear market on the stock market, plunging retirement accounts, and the sudden risk of a recession, and Trump’s dream argument for re-election—the economy—has turned into a nightmare.

Not to mention the shockingly fast about-face of the Democrat primary from the brink of embracing Socialist Bernie Sanders, who now owns three homes, to Joe Biden, viewed as more acceptable to more moderate Americans.

Don’t like it? Just wait a few days—everything could change again.

###

March 14, 2020

Tori Spelling is sharing the realities of the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus.

The “Beverly Hills, 90210” star revealed on Instagram that she is sick at home with her family, who is currently without toilet paper. She told followers, “…the kids’ schools are closed, so we’re all home, and it’s raining and the stores are out of toilet paper and we have seven butts to wipe and no toilet paper to be found.”

This seems to be the case across the nation as people are clearing stores of coronoa-related items such as hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, non-perishable food items, cold medicine and toilet paper. (The latter really has nothing to do with the virus itself, but people seem to feel the need to stock up anyway.)

###

The newest season of the “Bachelorette” has fallen victim to the coronavirus. According to TMZ, the reality dating show, which was supposed to begin filming on Friday, will be pausing production amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The ABC show joins several studio-based talk shows that are shutting down production due to the virus.

Last week, the network introduced the 32 gentleman who will soon be competing for Clare Crawley’s heart.

###

March 15, 2020

Tom Hanks is keeping fans updated as he rides out Coronavirus quarantine in Australia.

The infected actor channeled his inner Mr. Rogers in an Instagram post over the weekend, captioning an image of vegemite on toast and a glass of water with, “Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Hanx.”

###

Spain has instituted a nationwide lockdown as coronavirus spreads there.

Citizens are banned from leaving their homes except to buy groceries, go to work, or handle other emergencies.

All police is under management of their Interior Department.

###

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci says the appearance of overreaction to coronavirus is probably a good thing.

“The way we get ahead of it is, I want people to assume that we’re overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting you’re probably doing the right thing,” he said on Face the Nation.

He says the country’s two-pronged strategy is to prevent new infections from entering the country and mitigating the current spread.

###

Friday’s late stock rally was the biggest single-day points jump in the market’s history. It closed up nearly 2,000 points as President Trump formally declared a National Emergency to marshal federal resources to combat coronavirus and announced public/private partnerships to educate the public and test those who need them.

###

March 16, 2020

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are out of the hospital.

The couple, who six days ago revealed they had both tested positive for the
Coronavirus, are now resting at their rented home in Australia.

The news comes just one day after Hanks shared a message on Instagram, telling followers to take care of themselves and others.

###

As movie box office sales plunge amid coronavirus spreading fears, Universal is releasing recent movies for streaming and download sooner than usual.

Flicks like “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” and “Emma” will be available online as soon as this weekend.

###

The Central Intelligence Agency isn’t letting coronavirus get in the way of intelligence gathering operations.

While they can’t institute a spy-from-home policy, they are taking steps to curb the spread. Reuters reports:

“The outbreak has prompted the CIA to bar outside visitors from its buildings, and meetings with other government agencies are via video teleconferences…”

###

Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Versace Beck have donated $222K to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital to aide in the fight against the coronavirus.

The fashion designer took to Instagram over the weekend writing, “In times like this, it is important to be united and support however we can to help all those who are in the front lines, fighting every day to save hundreds of lives.”

###

Days after Lala Kent joked about getting the coronavirus ahead of her April 18 wedding, she has decided to quarantine herself.

The “Vanderpump Rules” star took to Instagram to share the decision with her followers. She wrote, “About to quarantine my [butt] off. This whole situation has been way too heavy. I’ll catch y’all when this is over. Until then, be safe, stay healthy, and try not to kill each other over toilet paper.”

Meanwhile, Kent’s fiancé, Randall Emmett, is currently shooting a movie in Puerto Rico.

###

The Met Gala will not be happening on May 4 this year.

Anna Wintour announced Monday that in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the opening of the Costume Institute’s “About Time” exhibit and the star-studded red-carpet event, will be postponed.

Along with the announcement, Wintour also endorsed Joe Biden for president and said she has been “appalled” by how President Donald Trump has handled the pandemic.

###

Idris Elba is the latest celeb to announce he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Monday, the 47-year-old revealed the news on social media, telling fans that while he tested positive for the virus, he does not have any symptoms and feels okay so far. He added that he has been isolated since he found out the results and advised others to do the same.

Elba said he only got tested because he realized he was around someone who had also tested positive.

###

The wheels quickly fell off a Joe Biden virtual town hall on Monday. The entire thing was plagued with technical bugs, garbled audio, and old Joe not knowing if he was still on camera.

The virtual town hall was originally supposed to be a regular town hall, but it was moved online at the nth hour in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

###

A coronavirus relief bill is one step closer to President Trump’s desk. The House finally got it together and passed the measure on Monday. The bill—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—now goes to the Senate. If is passes, it goes to Trump’s desk.

The package provides income relief for people financially impacted by the outbreak including paid sick leave, waives food stamp work requirements, and helps food banks, health workers, and the elderly.

###

Momentum is growing to give each and every American a check from the federal government. The stimulus plan, which could cost upwards of $700 billion, would send a check for $1000 to every American, plus another $500 per kid. Jason Furman, a former top economic adviser to failed former president Barack Obama, pitched the idea on NBC News recently.

Mitt Romney likes the idea. The Utah Republican proposed an identical plan on Monday. Meanwhile, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the White House “might” be interested in pursuing it.

President Trump has also floated suspending the payroll tax, which would help both workers and small business owners.

###

Ohio state law might prevent the governor from moving its election, but Kentucky’s doesn’t. State officials announced Monday that their May 19 primary will be moved to June 23 due to the rapidly unfolding coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky joins Louisiana and Georgia in delaying their presidential primary.

In announcing the date change, Kentucky’s secretary of state said, “These are unprecedented times” and the move will give him and local officials time to figure out what the heck to do.

###

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday imposed a mandatory maximum on the size of public gatherings. No more than 50 people are allowed to gather at once in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In New York, gatherings larger than 500 are barred.

It’s just the latest in tough state-based efforts to control the spread. Numerous states have cancelled public schools for the foreseeable future and declared public health emergencies. Other states have gone even further—in California, bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs have already been ordered to close. Coming to a state near you.

###

President Trump introduced a new set of federal guidelines on Monday in an effort to get the federal government’s arms around the coronavirus outbreak. In a coronavirus task force briefing, the president and health officials said:

  • you should avoid gatherings of ten or more people; 
  • older people should keep their distance from others; 
  • avoid bars and restaurants;
  • work from home if at all possible.

The president acknowledged the economy could be headed into a recession, but wanted to keep the focus on the virus. He also admitted containing the coronavirus could take all summer; we might not be out of the woods until July or August, the president said.

It was a bitter pill for Wall Street. Major indexes suffered their worst point declines since 1987.

###

March 17, 2020

Following the cancellation of his Houston show due to the coronavirus, Keith Urban surprised fans with a live-streamed concert from his basement.

His wife, Nicole Kidman, joined him for the impromptu concert and told fans she “just loves getting to sing and dance” with everyone.

Instagram Live concerts are becoming a trend as many states have implemented bans on large public gatherings.

Chris Martin also live-streamed a performance and took song requests from fans in the comments.

###

Sir Elton John and the Foo Fighters have decided to postpone tour dates as the world deals with the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

Sir Elton has put off shows from March 26 to May 2.

Dave Grohl said his group has rescheduled concerts that were set for April.

Other big-name acts that have postponed shows include the Who, Rage Against the Machine and Santana.

###

These celebs have all recently tested positive for coronavirus:

Ali Fedotowsky (Bachelorette)
Kevin Durant (NBA Player)
Rachel Matthews (Frozen 2)
Kristopher Hivju (Game of Thrones)

Heidi Klum is awaiting test results, but her husband Tom Kaulitz has tested negative.

###

Eliot Spitzer and his fiancé Roxana Girand have cancelled their big NYC wedding due to coronavirus.

The couple had planned to tie the knot on April 4 at the Bryant Park Grill with a weekend full of fun events with all their family and friends. They will instead hold a small family-only ceremony on or around that date.

The pair have been engaged since last September.

###

Emma Stone and Dave McCary have postponed their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Page Six, the actress and her fiancé were set to tie the knot in L.A. last weekend, but are holding off for now. A new date has yet to be set.

###

Members of the royal family are hunkering down amid the coronavirus pandemic–including those living on Canadian soil–but one has tested positive.

Karl von Habsburg, the Archduke of Austria, has been quarantined since last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 59-year-old revealed to a local news station that he experienced flu-like symptoms more than a week ago and that he only got tested after being informed that he had been around someone who had the virus.

In the interview, the royal praised the Austrian authorities and said that “panic mode is not appropriate.”

ALSO—Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia were tested after the Queen met with the Minister of Equality Irene Montero, who later tested positive.

Both the King and Queen’s results were negative.

###

“Saturday Night Live” is shutting down amid the coronavirus outbreak.

PEOPLE has confirmed that the late-night sketch series is “going dark until further notice.” The outlet also stated that “NBC will be monitoring the situation closely and make decisions about future shows on an ongoing basis.”

The last time the show was suspended was following the Sept. 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. It came back on the air less than a month later.

###

What’s with the White House’s new hard line response to the growing coronavirus outbreak? Just on Monday, President Trump announced new federal guidelines that suggest not gathering in groups of more than ten people, among other suggestions.

The new, much more cautious guidelines could be the result of a new study out of the Imperial College London that finds the coronavirus could kill 2.2 million Americans if drastic actions are not taken.

###

The Pentagon is weighing its options for supporting coronavirus response efforts. The military has a stockpile of some 5 million respirator masks to lend to the effort, as well as other protective equipment stashed in strategic reserves, such as 2,000 ventilators that it plans to give to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pentagon officials are also gaming out the potential of building field hospitals or even deploying Navy hospital ships to support things if civilian hospitals get overwhelmed.

###

European Union leaders are taking a clue from President Trump’s travel ban between continental Europe and the U.S. by imposing their own border closures for the next 30 days. The move, to deal with the growing coronavirus spread, is voluntary among the E.U.’s member countries, but most are complying.

E.U. powerhouse Germany responded immediately by shutting its borders down, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Tuesday. Movement within the E.U.’s 27 members nations will continue, but with some limitations.

###

Second quarter Gross Domestic Product could plunge as much as 10%, according to a top economist who makes these predictions professionally. Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, predicts that annualized GPD in the second quarter will drop a full 10% after the first quarter ends up clocking with at a 2% drop.

###

The “D” word is popping up more often as the economic fallout from the coronavirus ripples through the economy. That’s “D” for Depression. Investors and forecasters are struggling to figure out what the impact will be as business closures lead to payroll cuts lead to banks not getting their money.

Experts say that final piece could tip the economy over the edge if the credit markets start to take a substantial hit, preventing the kind of bounce back that would be needed to keep a downturn in “recession” territory.

###

President Trump is seeking a stimulus package of upwards of a trillion dollars in the battle to stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Trump called plans in the works big and bold, but wasn’t specific about how much the final plan would cost.

The package could include about $500 billion in direct payments and tax cuts; $200 billion in relief for small business; and $50-100 billion in relief for industries hardest hit.

White House leaders are apparently reacting to reports that unemployment could skyrocket to 20% if nothing is done—hopefully a worst-case scenario. But maybe not, considering much of the economy is now grinding to a halt, in part under government orders that prevent people from co-mingling.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Monday the administration’s goal is to get money into American’s hands “immediately.”

###

March 18, 2020

Idris Elba thinks he got coronavirus from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife.

The actor took to Instagram to share that he knows he was “exposed to it on March 4,” the same day he was photographed hugging Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at a charity event in London.

Elba went on to say, “That’s when the person that came up positive, that was the time I got in contact with that person.”

Without naming Sophie directly, he revealed that he got tested after hearing “someone also in the public eye” was infected.

###

Savannah Guthrie hosted the “Today” show from her basement on Wednesday morning.

The scratchy-voiced anchor was forced to isolate at home after falling ill following the news that someone on set had already tested positive for coronavirus.

Savannah joked with her co-host Hoda Kotb, who was live on set, that they were now “really socially distancing” themselves.

Hoda said she missed her “partner in crime” but was glad she decided to follow the CDC’s guidelines and stay home.

MEANWHILEWhoopi Goldberg co-hosted “The View” from self-isolation. The 64-year-old is taking extra precautions this year after contracting double pneumonia last year. She did not share if she was tested for coronavirus.

###

The CFDA has announced that its annual award show will be postponed due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The show, often called the “Oscars of Fashion” was originally set for June 8.

The organization released a statement Wednesday saying, “After carefully reviewing the guidelines of federal and state governments, as well as public health agencies, CFDA Chairman, Tom Ford, and Steven Kolb, President and CEO, along with the full support of the board, have made the decision to postpone the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards.”

They also shared that designer nominations will be postponed as well.

###

Drake is self-isolating in Toronto after partying with Kevin Durant last week.

According to Page Six, the guys hit up WeHo hotspot “Nice Guy” just days before Durant tested positive for the coronavirus.

Four of Durant’s teammates have also tested positive for the virus.

###

Blake Shelton is bringing back the mullet.

The “Voice” judge announced on Twitter that he is planning to grow his hair out while social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. He added that his longtime girlfriend Gwen Stefani gave the idea her stamp of approval.

Shelton told followers that he is growing his mullet back “as a symbol of hope or some [stuff] like that…”

###

The coronavirus is having a bigger impact on the upcoming season of the “Bachelorette” than initially thought.

While it was previously announced that production was going to hold off for a while, it now appears that the virus could impact who the Bachelorette, Clare Crawley will date.

Host of the show, Chris Harrison revealed that the previously-announced cast of the upcoming season could change due to the outbreak.

He told fans, “The thought that 25, 30, 35 guys, everybody that was able to take time off and come on the ‘Bachelorette,’ is going to be able to come back again — because we don’t have a set time of when we’re going to come back. Obviously with this virus, who knows when this thing is going to blow through. So, the idea that everybody is just going to be able to take off work and do this again? Probably very slim.”

The situation will be reassessed in two weeks and hopefully a new start date will be announced.

###

Lala Kent and Randall Emmett have decided to postpone their wedding until July. An insider told Page Six that the “Vanderpump Rules” star and the movie producer decided that their nuptials, set for April 18, were just “too risky” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision comes days after Kent joked about getting the virus for publicity.

###

KEVIN BACON wants people to know while social distancing, they are not really alone.

The actor took to Instagram to share his #IStayHomeFor initiative to promote social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus. The hashtag, inspired by the pop culture phenomenon “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” encourages people to share who they are staying home for by preventing the spread of the virus.

Bacon shared that he is staying home for his longtime love Kyra Sedgwick.

He then nominated pals Jimmy Fallon, Elton John, Demi Lovato, David Beckham, Brandi Carlile and Kevin Hart to share who they are staying home for.

###

Rob Kardashian will celebrate his birthday belatedly this year.

The “KUWTK” star, who turned 33 on Tuesday decided that with the rapidly spreading coronavirus, he will celebrate with his famous family on a later date.

A source told PEOPLE that the family is “taking the social-distancing very seriously.”

###

March 19, 2020

“American Idol” has shut down production over coronavirus concerns.

A source told PEOPLE that the singing competition show is taking “additional precautions across its production amid the ongoing health crisis, suspending any new filming and enabling remote work for the rest of its employees.”

Staffers are also making sure that contestants get home to their families.

Episodes will continue to air as scheduled. Live shows, which were set to being in April, haven’t yet been rescheduled.

###

Dr. Oz has suspended the taping of his show in studio after a staffer tested positive for coronavirus.

The doc’s showrunner sent an email to staff letting them know about the positive test and asking them all to head home for the indefinite future.

The show will now be taped from a mini studio set up in Oz’s home.

###

Tyra Banks is postponing the opening of Modelland, a theme park in Santa Monica, California amid the current coronavirus outbreak.

A new launch date has not been announced.

###

Lori Loughlin’s highly-anticipated college admissions scandal trial will proceed as planned this October.

Despite courtrooms shutting down amid the coronavirus outbreak, a federal judge in Boston has ruled their courts will remain in session; although some pre-trial things have been extended 60 days.

The actress and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli are set to go on trial Oct. 5.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Sept. 28, and the trial is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving.

###

The highly anticipated “Friends” reunion special has been delayed.

A source confirmed to PEOPLE that production for the special has been postponed until at least May amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the outlet, it was set to be filmed next week.

###

ROSIE O’DONNELL is bringing back her talk show for a one-night event.

According to PEOPLE, Rosie will be live streaming a fundraiser for The Actors Fund to help those affected by the Broadway cancellations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The special event will broadcast March 22 on Broadway.com.

###

Kylie Jenner may be the key to saving American lives.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams told “Good Morning America” hosts that what the world needs is Jenner and other “social media influencers” to get “people to understand how serious the coronavirus is.”

Adams said influencers should be the ones explaining the seriousness of the situation because as he knows from his own kids—ages 14 and 15—the more he tells them “not to do something, the more they want to do it.”

###

Tom Hanks is “not great but still OK” as he deals with symptoms from the coronavirus.

According to the Daily Mail, the Oscar winner and his wife are still in isolation after being discharged from a hospital in Australia. Hanks’ sister told the outlet that the couple are recovering, but it will take a while for them to be back to 100%.

###

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has become the first person connected to the NFL to test positive for Coronavirus.

He said he began to “feel poorly” on Sunday and decided to get tested. He got the positive result on Thursday.

Payton urged everyone to follow the directives of the State, Local and Federal government officials and behave responsibly.

###

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is bullish about America’s economic future.

He told Fox Business that while he expects major losses and economic contraction April-June, the third quarter that starts July will show recovery as treatments for Coronavirus are discovered, followed by “gigantic” growth in the final months of the year to service pent-up demand.

###

March 22, 2020

Prince William addressed the coronavirus pandemic, calling it a “dreaded” crisis.

The Duke of Cambridge made his remarks in an online video announcing that the UK’s National Emergencies Trust was officially stepping in to help those in need.

The Prince told viewers that he “dreaded the day when it would be needed. Sadly, with the outbreak of COVID-19, that day has come faster than any of us would have hoped. But now, more than ever, I am grateful that The National Emergencies Trust exists.”

###

Senator Rand Paul has coronavirus, the first member of the legislature’s upper house to test positive for the disease.

He notably voted against the COVID-19 relief bill earlier this month.

His office says he’s unaware he interacted with anyone who has the virus and has not exhibited any symptoms.

###

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has had a heightened national media presence in recent days as his state has been hardest hit by Coronavirus in terms of total confirmed cases.

Some are rallying behind the governor to capitalize on the political limelight: the hashtag #PresidentCuomo was trending on Twitter Saturday, perhaps an option if Joe Biden can’t seal the nomination before his party’s convention this summer.

Meanwhile, news of the pandemic has completely pushed Biden out of the spotlight, leading to the #WhereIsJoe hashtag.

###

Netflix has set up a $100 million fund to help people in the TV and film industry affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced over the weekend, “Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on our own productions around the world. With $15 million going toward third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base.”

###

President Trump has reportedly sent a letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Junior, expressing interest in helping the hermit kingdom respond to coronavirus there.

DPRK official Kim Yo Jong, Junior’s younger sister, said Trump “was impressed by the efforts made by the Chairman to defend his people from the serious threat of the epidemic,” according to state-run media.

###

Walmart is the latest mega-retailer to announce its need for workers.

They’re looking for 15,000 workers who can apply online — and in some cases start work the same day.

###

Rihanna is helping combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The singer made a $5 million donation to several organizations in need, including food banks in at-risk communities.

The money will also go toward supporting medical staffers with protective equipment, critical respiratory supplies, maintenance of intensive care units and will aid in the development of vaccines and other methods to fight the virus.

###

The FDA has approved a coronavirus test that only takes 45 minutes to return results.

It’s welcome news for hospitals and treatment centers across the country who can’t meet demand for tests.

The manufacturer of the test says it will start shipping this week.

###

Nia Vardalos had to miss her father’s funeral due to the coronavirus.

The “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” actress told Variety that she last saw her dad at Christmas time and he was hospitalized soon after. Due to the chaos surrounding the spread of the virus, Vardalos was unable to visit her father during his last days, but she was able to say good-bye over the phone.

Her father passed away on March 12 and the family held a live-streamed funeral last week.

###

Drake has tested negative for the coronavirus.

Days after being exposed to the virus by NBA player Kevin Durant, the rapper took to Instagram to update followers with the good news.

###

Goldman Sachs predicts 2.25 million people will file for unemployment benefits by the end of this week, shattering any previous records.

It also predicts a short-term swing from 3.5% to 9% nationally.

###

Facebook is struggling to support its technology infrastructure as billions around the world are using its messaging services to connect as they shelter in place.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg says they’re working around the clock “to make sure that things don’t melt down” and that usage is twice its usual spike that’s typically seen around New Years.

###

Harvey Weinstein has coronavirus.

An anonymous official confirmed it to Deadline, but official channels refused to comment.

###

March 23, 2020

A Buckingham Palace employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to The Sun, the staffer fell ill and tested positive for the virus earlier last week, before Queen Elizabeth II moved from the palace to Windsor Castle.

A source told the outlet that “the Palace has 500 members of staff so, like any workplace, it’s not inconceivable it would be affected in some stage.”

Another source told the outlet that everyone who came in contact with the aide has been ordered into self-isolation. It is not known how close the worker came in contact with the Queen while infected.

###

Meghan McCain is pregnant!

“The View” co-host announced the news on Sunday, along with her plans to film the ABC show from home as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes months after McCain suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage.

###

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson “feel better” two weeks after first showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

Hanks updated fans over the weekend via Twitter, while reminding them “sheltering in place works…You don’t give it to anyone – You don’t get it from anyone. Common sense, no?”

###

Madonna is calling the coronavirus “the great equalizer.”

The 61-year-old preached to her fans from her bathtub saying, “That’s the thing about COVID-19. It doesn’t care about how rich you are, how famous you are, how funny you are. How smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell. It’s the great equalizer and what’s terrible about it is what’s great about it. What’s terrible about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways, and what’s wonderful about is, is that it’s made us all equal in many ways.”

The Instagram message was met with a barrage of negative reactions, even from her most loyal fans.

###

Daniel Dae Kim believes the anti-malarial drug boasted by President Trump was the “secret weapon” in his recovery from the coronavirus.

According to Page Six, the “Lost” star is praising hydroxychloroquine as being “critical” in the treatment that has left him now “practically back to normal” just days after finding out he had the virus.

Kim took to Instagram to share his recovery story, telling followers, “I won’t say this is a cure and I won’t say definitively that you should go out and use it, but what I will say is that I believe it was crucial to my recovery.”

The actor also shared that so far, his family has remained “symptom-free.”

###

A nationwide reading movement is launching with celebrity readers helping to stress the importance of a shared reading experience.

The Read Together, Be Together campaign aims to help make family reading a regular activity. The initiative, designed through a partnership between Penguin Random House and Parents magazine, includes an extensive list of recommended age-appropriate books, as well as reading tips for caregivers.

Misty Copeland, Danica McKellar, Tiffani Thiessen, Brady Smith, B.J. Novak and Scott Kelly are all participating in daily virtual story times.

While it was set to launch this summer, with the coronavirus outbreak, the sessions were moved up to support parents and caregivers who are now at home with children.

###

Bob Saget is embracing his “Full House” character amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The actor quipped on Twitter, “Oh. My. God. I spend my day cleaning and vacuuming and sanitizing everything in the house. I have become Danny Tanner.”

Saget’s on-screen daughter, Candace Cameron Bure replied to his post tweeting, “You spent years getting away from him and now you’ve finally embraced him. Welcome home dad.”

###

Kelly Clarkson had to improvise when the pipes froze at her family’s cabin during their social distancing retreat.

“The Voice” coach tweeted that she had to use her “toddler’s potty” after the plumbing froze up at their cabin in Montana. Adding, “each day brings something I thought I’d never do hahahahaha.”

Clarkson and her husband Brandon Blackstock, along with their kids River Rose, 5, and Remington Alexander, 3, are hunkering down to do their part in the coronavirus outbreak.

###

50 Cent wants people to go home and stay home.

The rapper, who is practicing social distancing while “patiently waiting” for the coronavirus outbreak to subside, told WSJ that “people don’t hear alarms, they only see fires. A lot of them on South Beach…they go out only thinking about, ‘It’s spring break. It’s my time to have fun,’ instead of considering what’s really going on right now.”

50 also reminded people to get up and do some sort of physical activity while self-isolating at home.

###

Joe Biden is campaigning from home, ripping President Trump in a video out Monday for mismanaging the coronavirus response.

Biden accused Trump of downplaying the crisis in January and not planning quickly enough to adequately respond.

Biden pointed to South Korea’s widespread testing availability to quickly snuff out the spread, but called resorting to “social distancing” in the United States “a failure of planning and preparation by the White House.”

###

USA Today reports that the Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed.

An insider tells them that the decision has been made, but the International Olympic Committee is working on details, and will perhaps wait to see how the coronavirus pandemic pans out.

MEANWHILE: Canada’s and Australia’s Olympic Committees have said its athletes will not compete in an event held in 2020.

###

President Trump is eager to get Americans back to work.

CNN reports that he’s eager to lift national recommendations at the end of the original 15-day period of containment, which will end on Monday. He says he wants states hardest-hit to maintain their own policies, like New York, Washington, and California, while empowering others to get back to work.

###

The Dow sunk 582 points on Monday after a brief mid-afternoon rally, on news Senate Democrats were holding out on an economic relief package and Speaker Nancy Pelosi would introduce a competing bill in the House.

Boeing stock ticked up 10 percent on news of heavy investment from Goldman Sachs.

###

March 24, 2020

James Middleton has postponed his upcoming nuptials to Alizee Thevenet amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The younger brother of Kate Middleton felt there was no other option but to abandon their plans out of concern for the well-being of their guests.

###

ROSIE O’DONNELL’s streaming charity show for Broadway raised over $600K.

The special, streamed on Broadway.com, was aimed at gathering donations for The Actors Fund to help those affected by the coronavirus.

Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Gloria Estefan and Neil Patrick Harris all performed on Sunday night’s show.

###

Taylor Swift isn’t dwelling on the leaked conversation between her and Kanye West, but is instead using the platform to ask people to focus on “what’s important right now.”

After sort of addressing the infamous phone call, Swift turned her follower’s attention to organizations where they can send donations to help others during the coronavirus crisis.

The 30-year-old said she has made contributions to The World Health Organization and Feeding America.

###

Kelly Ripa provided some words of encouragement to fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the TV personality shared an “It’s OK/It’s Not OK list” with her followers, captioning the list “Because it struck a chord.”

On her list she wrote: “It’s ok to feel scared and alone and helpless.”

“It’s ok to feel overwhelmed worrying about money, jobs and the sheer number of cases. It’s ok to think you’re developing symptoms every time you read a new news article. It’s ok to not know what to say to your kids when they ask why.”

“It’s ok to not understand the math that your kids are doing in school. It’s ok to feel frustrated that you can’t hug your parents or convince them to stay inside.”

“It’s ok to cook the same thing over and over then reheat the leftovers. It’s ok to work from home in your pajamas. It’s ok to watch mindless TV. It’s even ok to make TikTok videos with your kids.”

On the NOT side she wrote: “It is not ok to congregate in large groups. It’s not ok to shake hands. It is not ok to hoard toilet paper, food and alcohol.”

“It is not ok to profiteer from hand sanitizer. It is not ok to pretend that you’re feeling fine if you aren’t. It is not ok to not wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water.”

“It is not ok to only think of yourself. It is not ok to judge others ever, but especially now. It is not ok to give up. It is not ok to suffer anxiety attacks in silence.”

She concluded by telling fans, “Be good to one another. We’ll get through it together.”

###

Despite having to shut down production, “Supernatural” will have a proper ending.

The show, in its final season, was in the midst of filming its last two episodes when the coronavirus pandemic caused things to close up.

Showrunner Andrew Dabb sent a tweet, letting fans know that, “the CW, and Warner Bros fully intend to return and finish the series. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”

###

Jeremy Renner’s bank account has been affected by the coronavirus.

The actor filed a request on Monday to lower his child support payments as many of the productions he had lined up for this year are “likely cancelled or postponed” due to the outbreak.

According to court documents, Renner currently pays his ex about $30K a month in support for their 6-year-old daughter Ava’s housing, food, transportation and clothing. He has requested the payments be lowered to $11K.

###

Nashom Wooden has died.

The performer, best known in the Manhattan club scene as drag star Mona Foot, passed away from the coronavirus.

His death was announced by “Project Runway” winner Geoffrey Mac in an emotional Instagram post.

Wooden was 50.

###

Ryan Reynolds joked that celebs will get everyone through the coronavirus pandemic.

The “Deadpool” actor posted a video in response to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau nominating him to spread the word to “stay at home and save lives.”

In the video posted on Twitter, Reynolds told his followers, “We need to work to flatten the curve and fight off COVID-19. I think in times of crisis, I think we all know that it’s the celebrities we count on most. They’re the ones that are going to get us through this.”

He then added playfully, “Right after healthcare workers, of course. First responders. People who work in essential services. Ping pong players. Mannequins, they’re great. Childhood imaginary friends, sure. Like 400 other types of people.”

Reynolds also urged people to “stay at home, practice social distancing, wash your hands, we are going to get through this thing together.”

###

Oprah Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman is sheltering at home—in their guesthouse.

According to O, her man did not take the coronavirus seriously, revealing that he flew from Chicago to California this past Thursday, so now he needs to self-isolate away from her.

The media mogul is at a higher-risk because she had pneumonia late last year and just recently got off meds following a bronchial infection.

For the record, neither have tested positive for the virus, they just want to take any and all precautions to stay healthy.

###

The “Masked Singer” will not miss a beat amid the coronavirus outbreak.

While many shows are halting production due to the pandemic, the FOX singing show will carry on without disruption because the season was pre-taped.

Entertainment site Gold Derby confirmed the news on Monday that the third season and winner have already been filmed.

###

Queen Elizabeth is preparing to give a special address amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A royal source told PEOPLE that a date for the televised speech is not yet set, as Her Majesty is following “the advice of the government as to when it might best be deployed.”

The Queen has canceled all of her upcoming public events due to the virus spreading across the world and will be based at Windsor for the foreseeable future.

###

Norway’s economy is taking a sudden hit in the wake of coronavirus closures.

The unemployment rate skyrocketed from 2.3% in February to more than 10% now.

The country is widely reliant on tourism in many industries, alongside other businesses that have been ordered closed as the country combats the virus.

###

India has instituted a nationwide lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address that the lockdown will last at least 21 days.

In the country of 1.3 billion people, so far ten people have died.

###

Nick Lachey shared a parody of his former band 98 Degrees’ hit “The Hardest Thing” that discusses washing hands, isolating and social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

The “Love is Blind” host shared the new lyrics on Instagram singing in the tune:

“We both know that we shouldn’t be here. This feels wrong. And baby it’s killing me, it’s killing you. They’re telling us we gotta stay home, we got somewhere else to be, other friends to see. But if we go outside right now we might spread the disease. So I’ve made up my mind, I’m staying in the house. It’s time to quarantine ’cause staying safe is what it’s all about.”

“Yeah, it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. To stay stuck in our house, just watching all this bad news. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to try. To stay six feet apart when we go outside.”

“Nothing to do, no sports on TV. Washed my hands so much that they started to bleed. Damn this quarantine. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. But in the end it’s worth it. Together we will get through.”

Other celebs have also changed up lyrics to promote self-isolation. JoJo reworked her hit single, “Leave (Get Out)” and Neil Diamond remade his “Sweet Caroline” to also encourage people to wash their hands and stay inside.

###

The Olympics have formally been postponed until next year.

The official order says that the games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes.”

###

Rep. Rashida Tlaib has solved the problem of national debt, forever!

She tweeted Tuesday her support for a plan that would give debit cards to every American loaded with $2,000, and reloaded monthly with $1,000 for a year after the coronavirus crisis subsides.

How to pay for this, you ask? “No additional debt,” she tweets. “We’ll just mint two coins.”

In a detailed plan online, she says the two, platinum, $1 trillion coins would then be purchased by the federal reserve at full face value.

via GIPHY

###

March 25, 2020

Here are all the movies that have been forced to delay or reschedule their releases due to the coronavirus:

“No Time to Die”
“Wonder Woman 1984”
“Mulan”
“Scoob”
“A Quiet Place Part II”
“Minions” The Rise of Gru”
“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”
“Fast & Furious 9”
“The Personal History of David Copperfield”
“The New Mutants”
“Lovebirds”
“Trolls World Tour”
“Run”
“Spiral”
“In the Heights”
“The Woman in the Window”

###

Kanye West opened up about his fashion empire in the cover story for WSJ. Magazine.

The rapper dished about Yeezy’s upcoming reboot and the label’s widespread influence, saying “Yeezy is the McDonald’s and the Apple of apparel.”

He also detailed his long journey to create the “perfect hoodie,” telling the publication that “the hoodie is arguably the most important piece of apparel of the last decade.”

Ye’s new line is still being manufactured as planned, despite the coronavirus pandemic, and is expected to drop in the next month or two.

###

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are being mocked for sharing tips on how to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The couple, who shared the advice from the World Health Organization, captioned the post, “You may have seen or heard these before, but they are as important today as ever.”

Followers went after the couple, labeling them “way behind the curve.” With one user writing, “Oh my, nobody had told us that before. So good that you can provide information that nobody else can.”

###

Prince Charles has tested positive for the coronavirus. According to Page Six, he spoke with his sons, William and Harry, after getting the diagnosis.

The 71-year-old heir to the throne is quarantining in Scotland.

###

Camila Cabello has decided to postpone her Romance tour amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The pop star shared an emotional post on Instagram announcing that she and her team have decided to put her upcoming tour on hold “as the world tries to flatten the curve and contain the spread of the pandemic.”

She told her followers that she plans to use the time off “to keep making music.”

###

Heidi Klum does not have coronavirus.

Just a week after her husband, Tom Kaulitz tested negative, the model revealed she too had a negative test.

###

Bindi Irwin is married!

The daughter of the late Steve Irwin tied the knot with fiancé Chandler Powell in a small, family-only ceremony, Tuesday.

Bindi posted a pic of the happy couple kissing along with the caption “March 25th 2020 [heart emoji] We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend. There are no words to describe the amount of love and light in my heart right now.”

While they had planned on a much bigger celebration, with the coronavirus outbreak things had to be scaled back.

###

Animal shelters in New York are running out of dogs and cats to adopt.

Local adoption agencies have reported a 10-fold surge in applications over the last two weeks.

ALSO BOOMING: Stock for home pet food and toy delivery service Chewy, which now has typical delivery times exceeding 7 days, and whose value is up 13% this year.

###

Jussie Smollett made his social media return on Wednesday.

The “Empire” star took to Instagram, his first post since June 2019, where he addressed the coronavirus pandemic and showed off his musical talents.

Smollett wrote, “Hope y’all staying safe. Spread love and kindness…not Rona.” He also included a video of him singing a portion of Stevie Wonder’s hit, “A Place in the Sun.”

###

Retailers are installing protective barriers to keep cashiers protected from customers who may be contagious.

Plexiglass barriers are being put in at places like Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, and Publix, among others.

Even in stay-in-place states, retailers and grocers have been allowed to stay open.

###

Tekashi69’s request to serve out the remainder of his sentence at home to avoid getting the coronavirus has been denied.

According to legal docs, a judge said the court lacks the legal authority to grant the request, so his hands are essentially tied. He did suggest that the rapper take his chances and file his request with the Bureau of Prisons, however.

Tekashi’s attorney Lance Lazzaro believes the suggestion is “a strong recommendation to the BOP to release [his client] immediately.”

###

Elton John is trading sold-out arenas for his living room.

Sir Elton will be hosting iHeart Radio’s “Living Room Concert for America” next week. The hour-long FOX TV and online benefit concert will support heroic healthcare workers and first responders on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Performing from their very own living rooms will be Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw, Billie Joe Armstrong, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey and more.

###

Iraq is desperately trying to stave off coronavirus spread from neighboring Iran, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world.

It has shut down all border crossings as of Sunday, for two weeks.

###

TikTok star Larz has coronavirus — just days after posting a video of himself licking a toilet seat.

He’s 21.

###

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (that’s “CARES,” get it?) passed the Senate unanimously late Wednesday night. The final text exceeds 800 pages and still has social engineering goodies to appease left-wing voters, like $25 million for funding for the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington.

Total price tag: $2 trillion, by far the most expansive single government spending program in history.

Provisions include government-backed loans for small businesses, cash payments of $1200 through direct deposit and paper checks mailed to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year (or households earning less than $150,000 a year), as well as large-scale financing options for major industries affected by coronavirus.

A CAVEAT:  Financial support for businesses will be based on their expenses from March – June 2019, so organizations that have grown drastically since then, like, for example, OpenBox Events out of Milwaukee, which has doubled its payroll and infrastructure year over year, will not benefit from this legislation.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he expected the personal bailout funds to hit households within 2-3 weeks, and likely sooner for those whose direct deposit information is on file with the government from previous tax returns.

In a press conference late Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the body overcame the “most partisan, divisive thing you could possibly do to coming together, the 100 of us, to meet this challenge, I think says a lot about the United States Senate as an institution, our willingness to put aside our differences, to do something really significant for the country.”

He said the body was inspired by a sense of national unity in the rest of the country.

NEXT UP: The bill heads to the House of Representatives, where leadership has said they will give members at least 24 hours to review the text and hopefully vote on Friday.

Former President Barack Obama has issued these reassuring words to small business owners:

###

March 26, 2020

Meghan Markle has Prince Harry on lockdown.

Following the news that Prince Charles has tested positive for the coronavirus, an insider told The Daily Mail that “Under no circumstances, is [Meg] okay with him traveling anywhere right now,” especially to visit his infected father.

Speaking of the heir to the throne, Charles is currently self-isolating with “mild symptoms.” His wife Camilla, who has tested negative for the virus, is with him at their home on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

###

W Magazine has had to furlough staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the NY Department of Labor records, the magazine’s parent company, Future Media Group, has laid off 17 out of 58 employees.

An insider said “The goal is to welcome back employees soon.”

###

China is releasing two huge blockbusters in an attempt to lure audiences to recently reopened theaters.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avatar” will both be re-released in the country in the near future.

Following a lockdown that began on January 23 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, authorities have announced certain areas will be reopening, including Wuhan, by April 8.

###

Stephen Colbert will return with new episodes of “The Late Show” on Monday after going on a brief hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The TV host made the announcement on Twitter writing, “Hey everybody! I’m staying at home and so is everybody who works for me, but thanks to some amazing work by my staff and the CBS broadcasting folks, we will be back on Monday with new Late Shows. Until then-Stay Strong!”

###

Julie Andrews finds comfort in the way people are coming together and supporting one another through the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The actress appeared on “Good Morning America” to give an update on how she is doing while self-isolating, telling the morning show hosts, “We’re being very good and absorbing all the rules.” Adding that she has been keeping in touch with loved ones through phone calls, emails and video chats.

The 84-year-old also promoted her children’s Netflix TV show “Julie’s Greenroom” as well as her upcoming podcast, “Julie’s Library.” Both projects were created with the goal of helping families connect and learn together.

###

The Dow Jones surged more than 1300 points Thursday, bolstered by the Senate passing coronavirus relief late Wednesday, even as the House sits on a vote likely today.

The three-day rally this week marks the biggest 3-day gain, in terms of percentage, since 1931.

###

The wholesale price of eggs jumped up 180% in March, one analyst has reported.

Eggs are one of the staple items shoppers have snatched up in panic buying sprees.

###

Oil supply exceeds demand so drastically that producers are running out of places to store it.

Analysts predict 1.8 billion surplus barrels of production between now and June — but only enough infrastructure to store 1.6 billion barrels.

Year over year, global demand is down about 20 million barrels a day.

###

Health activists in Mexico interrupted travel into the country from Arizona Wednesday near Ambos Nogales, fearful of letting in Americans who may have coronavirus.

The protestors used vehicles to create a road blockade, and carried signs encouraging travelers to “stay at home,” USA Today reports.

###

President Trump circulated a letter to the nation’s governors Thursday announcing plans to release county-by-county guidelines for how to manage coronavirus outbreaks and shutdown regulations.

Counties will be labeled as high, low, or medium risk, which will inform whether state and municipal governments should maintain, strengthen, or decrease social distancing requirements.

The Administration will establish these guidelines as the next phase of virus management, as it looks to reopen businesses across the country.

###

Ford will start reopening select production facilities beginning April 6.

They’re focusing on plants that produce the F-150, one of its most profitable models. Meanwhile, it’s instituting executive pay cuts across the board to shore up its balance sheet.

###

Nancy Pelosi takes credit for doing “jiujitsu” on the Republican-originated coronavirus relief bill to make it “workers-first,” not corporations first.

This from the woman who wanted to get arts funding instead of fast-tracking passage of this bill.

###

March 29, 2020

Kim Kardashian-West announced Friday that her SKIMS brand will be donating $1 million to families affected by the coronavirus, to better help mothers and children in need.

The reality star said, “Our six-month anniversary has fallen in the middle of a global crisis so more than ever, it’s our responsibility to give back and do what we can to help others.”

The line had previously announced they would be donating 20% of profits to Baby2Baby’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Program.

###

Gwen Stefani gave boyfriend Blake Shelton’s new look an edgy twist.

The country singer, who previously announced he would be growing a mullet as a “symbol of hope” during the coronavirus pandemic, updated fans on his new ‘do via Twitter.

Shelton wrote, “Quarantine mullet update 3/26/2020, @gwenstefani has decided to take it to the next level…stripes.”

###

Selena Gomez is donating some of the proceeds from her tour merchandise sales to the fight against the coronavirus.

The singer took to Instagram letting fans know that “for every purchase of the new Dance Again merch in [her] store, a portion of proceeds will benefit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.”

###

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are back on American soil.

The actors, who both tested positive for coronavirus, spent three weeks in isolation in Australia.

They were both down under for the pre-production of Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis Presley film when they revealed they had contracted the novel virus.

As previously reported, they were briefly hospitalized before being released into isolation.

###

Miranda Lambert took to Instagram to share how she has been handling the current coronavirus pandemic.

The country singer told fans that the new reality we are all living has been hard to “unpack,” especially with the uncertainty of it all.

Despite her feelings of anxiety, the 36-year-old said that she will use the time off to really express her creativity and organize things she has been putting off.

###

Lady Gaga’s dad is asking for donations to help pay his furloughed workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Joe Germanotta’s NYC restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, had to shut down, leaving many of his workers unemployed. Instead of choosing to pay them, Germanotta launched a GoFundMe campaign and is now facing backlash over the decision.

According to Newsweek, Gaga’s dad tweeted, “I’m doing the best I can but we had to close Joanne for the month. Our staff needs some financial help. Any help for our employees will be appreciated.”

The tweet has since been deleted and the campaign appears to no longer be taking donations.

###

A royal footman—who is in regular contact with Queen Elizabeth—has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to The Sun.

As previously reported, Prince Charles also tested positive for the virus and had spent time with his mother not too long before the diagnosis.

Prince Phillip and the Queen—who are both in the high-risk group—have been staying at Windsor Castle.

###

The Weeknd defied music executives by releasing his album in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The singer previously announced a March 20th release date for his new work “After Hours.” As the situation with the virus became more serious, higher-ups started pressuring him to delay the release over fears the album would flop.

Despite the concerns, the artist trusted his work and fans and pushed forward.

So far, the move appears to be genius, as the album passed 1 BILLION streams in its first week. At one point, his songs held the top 12 spots on the Apple Music Top 100.

###

President Trump said the country would be “well on our way” to recovery by June 1 during a Sunday press conference, trying to create a level of certainty during complicated and confusing times.

Official guidance from federal agencies are extending social distancing guidelines until at least April 30 based on current modeling.

Rather than reopening the economy around Easter, President Trump said that is likely going to be the time the number of coronavirus cases peak.

###

Insurance providers Cigna and Humana are waiving all out-of-pocket expenses for coronavirus treatment.

For Cigna customers, the policy is effective today through May 31. Humana has not announced an end date.

###

The coronavirus relief bill passed the US House on Friday and was promptly signed by President Trump.

The legislation will supplement income for unemployed workers as well as provide one-time payments of $1200 to individuals plus $500 per dependent.

Businesses will have increased access to government-backed loans that will largely be forgiven for those employers who keep staff on payroll.

In addition, federal funds will go toward select industries, like airlines, whose business has been so adversely affected.

###

New Orleans has a rat problem.

As the city shut downs restaurants and other businesses, there’s a lot less food scraps and remnants in dumpsters and alleyways. This has driven rats into plain view of city streets as they scrounge for scraps.

###

Baby chickens are in short supply.

The chicks are often bought in times of looming uncertainty, such as during market downturns and in presidential election years.

With the combined unsteady stock market, coronavirus, and looming presidential election, it’s next to impossible to find one if you want one.

One distributer out of Iowa says she’s out of stock for at least the next four weeks.

###

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko doesn’t see what the coronavirus fuss is about.

In that country, there are 100 recorded cases and zero deaths, and Lukashenko wants life to continue as usual, calling the global reaction a “psychosis.”

Notably, Belarus’ soccer league continues to play to filled stadiums and restaurants remain open for business.

###

The publishing group that includes National Enquirer and other grocery store checkout tabloids is issuing a widespread paycut of at least 23%.

Leadership blamed the move on coronavirus, but circulation has been steadily decreasing for years.

###

Rumors of industrial alcohol methanol being a miracle cure or preventive measure against coronavirus have spread through Iran — where at least 400 have died more than 2,000 have been hospitalized just from ingesting the substance.

Iran is one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the virus.

###

Joe Diffie has died.

The country music star, best known for his hits “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” and “Honky Tonk Attitude,” passed away Sunday from complications of the coronavirus.

He was 61.

###

March 30, 2020

Jeanine Pirro is denying being drunk during this past weekend’s episode of “Justice With Judge Jeanine”—the first to be broadcast from her home during the coronavirus pandemic.

While several social media followers questioned her appearance, her stumbling over words and the tardy start time, both Pirro and Fox News said that technical issues were to blame.

A source close to the network told PEOPLE that, “Pirro was not drunk and does not drink.”

###

Jax Taylor thinks the coronavirus is a “punishment” from God.

The “Vanderpump Rules” star took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the pandemic, writing, “I feel like this is a punishment from the man upstairs. I really think he’s tired of the way we treat people, he’s tired of how we treat the planet, probably thinks some of us are ungrateful. I mean I could go on and on…but this is like a serious ‘time out’ for the world.”

Followers both agreed and slammed the reality star for his thoughts.

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Less than two weeks after Andy Cohen revealed he tested positive for coronavirus, he took to social media to share that he is “feeling better.”

The Bravo star also announced that he will be returning to host his radio program, “Radio Andy,” and his late-night show, “Watch What Happens Live,” from his home.

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Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are “working on” a rematch of their one-on-one in hopes of giving quarantined sports fans something to watch during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mickelson and Woods participated in “The Match” in Las Vegas in 2018. The two went into a playoff round where Mickelson won $9 million. It was the first time a golf match was ever featured on pay-per-view.

It’s unclear when or where the match would be broadcast.

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Lady Gaga was stunned by her dad’s GoFundMe account.

As reported yesterday, Joe Germanotta set up the account to ask for help paying the wages of workers he had to furlough after his NYC restaurant was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus.

Sources close to the singer told Page Six that she “had no idea he was doing that and that idea would have been shot down before he even finished bringing it up…”

Joe was asking for $50K to cover payroll and other expenses for staffers for two weeks, but after all the online backlash, he removed the page.

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Elton John and his famous friends helped raise more than $1 million with their iHeartRadio Living Room Concert special.

On Sunday night, the Grammy winner hosted the show, which helped to support two of the many charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the Coronavirus pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Procter & Gamble and FOX each donated $500K and many viewers also contributed to the relief efforts.

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Twitter has censored Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

The South American leader shared content diminishing the need for social distancing in his country and encouraging the economy to stay open.

Twitter removed the Tweets and replaced them with a notice explaining that the content “contradicted public health information from official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19,” AFP reports.

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The American mafia is getting strapped for cash.

The Daily Beast reports that closure of gambling halls, sporting events, and construction projects, which are part of their extortion and money laundering networks, has “put a dent in the U.S. mob’s profits.”

MEANWHILE: Organized crime in Italy is flourishing, despite coronavirus ravaging the country’s economy and public health. The mob there has wiggled its way into building field hospitals and protective equipment, as well as having a hold on the agricultural industry.

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Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” is missing.

The painting had been at the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands, but robbers took advantage of the museum’s coronavirus closure.

Officials do not have an official value for the piece yet. Police are investigating.

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Oil prices dropped below $20 a barrel for a while Monday, the lowest price since 2002.

Goldman Sachs estimates oil demand has decreased 25% since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

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Macy’s workforce is going on furlough.

The company is laying off its 130,000 employees for the short-term. It will maintain a staff to manage its online business.

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The St. Louis Federal Reserves is bracing for 47 million unemployed people by the time the coronavirus crisis is over.

That would represent 32% of the American workforce. But analysts do believe the fundamentals of the economy are strong and the spike in unemployment would be short-lived.

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The Internal Revenue Service has ordered its workforce out of its main building in Washington D.C.

All staff were ordered to “evacuate” from work in an attempt to curb coronavirus spread.

No word yet on whether this will impact timing of the $1200 relief payments.

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March 31, 2020

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively made personal donations of $100K to four New York hospitals that are getting hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is their second major donation—earlier this month they donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.

The famous couple are also encouraging people across America to help their local hospitals, healthcare workers and communities during this difficult time.

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Former “Bachelor” contestant Michelle Money is praying for her daughter’s life.

The reality star’s 15-year-old, Brielle, is in critical condition after suffering a “terrible skateboarding accident” this week.

Money shared on Instagram that the teen underwent surgery to “remove fluid from her brain” in the hopes of relieving some pressure and being able to “see what damage has really been done.”

Another struggle is the hospital’s visitation policy due to the coronavirus. Money says that only one person is allowed in the room per a 24-hour period, making her feel “broken hearted” that the teen’s father hasn’t yet been in to see her.

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With no end in sight for the NBA season’s current hiatus due to the coronavirus, the league is trying to figure out a way to still “have a champion.”

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they are exploring a number of “creative options to ensure that they get one.”

Berman added that “while a single-elimination tournament is likely off the table, the idea of a three-game series throughout a truncated postseason is in play.”

To avoid travel issues that come with the pandemic, the postseason could be played in one city with places likes Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Hawaii, Louisville and the Bahamas all in talks to be an option.

No timelines are set in stone, but Berman reports that late June or early July are currently viewed as the best-case scenario. Pushing the postseason any later would then push the opening of next season into Christmas time in order to give the players a “proper offseason.”

All details are still in very early discussion, but should the variables all fall into place—and “if finishing the season is even safe”—the league would do it.

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Demi Lovato is aiding in the fight against the coronavirus.

The pop star announced Tuesday that $5 of every item sold from her new Fabletics collection—up to $125K—will go toward the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

In the announcement Lovato wrote, “I’ve really been going back and forth on if this was the right time” to launch the collab with the athletic wear line, “but decided this is a time to provide inspiration for my fans at home and to help those in need.”

The new collection launches April 2.

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Kim Kardashian-West told the ladies of “The View” how her family has been handling social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kim said, “The kids just got on spring break thank God, being their teacher too, [I have a] new found respect for teachers. It’s like, they deserve so much. It’s been tough juggling it all and you really have to put yourself on the back burner and just focus on the kids.”

The mom-of-four added that her kids and husband Kanye West have “watched every single movie that you can imagine” while isolating in their California home.

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Rihanna and Jay-Z are making generous donations to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The musical artists’ foundations have donated $2 million to relief efforts—to help the most vulnerable—in Los Angeles and New York City.

The donations from Jay’s “Shawn Carter Foundation” and RiRi’s “Clara Lionel Foundation” will “support the homeless and elderly, children of healthcare workers, the incarcerated and undocumented workers.”

The “Clara Lionel Foundation” has also donated $5 million to help combat the pandemic in the U.S., Africa and Caribbean.

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Chris Cuomo has tested positive for coronavirus.

The CNN host and brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, shared his diagnosis on Twitter, writing, “I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath.”

Chris says he is quarantining in his basement and will continue airing his CNN show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” from there.

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President Trump wants the “Phase 4” coronavirus relief bill to cover infrastructure spending.

A Tweet on Tuesday, called for a “VERY BIG & BOLD” spending bill of at least $2 trillion to “be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!”

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Palau, Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Tonga, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Antarctica all believe they’re coronavirus-free … for now.

But in those places there’s still an impending sense of dread and doom it could hit one day.

A local Palauan artist tells AFP, “You can feel a rising tension and anxiety just shopping.”

Meanwhile, Australian researchers in Antarctica are remaining in isolation until November to prevent an outbreak there.

And North Korea’s claim is very unlikely. AFP reports that state media appears to have photoshopped surgical masks onto ordinary citizens in propaganda photos.

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While Nancy Pelosi sets an agenda to cram her lefty smorgasbord wish list into the next COVID-19 relief bill, Mitch McConnell is saying no dice.

“I’m not going to allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to pass,” he said Tuesday.

He added the Senate will want to measure the effects of the $2 trillion stimulus to chart the next path forward.

But Pelosi has doubled-down, saying any agenda items will be “specific to the coronavirus challenge.”

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Harry Styles is not enjoying the quarantine life.

The former “One Direction” member is currently in California after his plans to fly to Europe for the last leg of his “Love on Tour” were cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Styles told Roman Kemp on his “Capital Breakfast” show that he “got stuck here in California.” Adding, that he was really looking forward to “coming home and spending time with [his] mum and sister and family,” but understands its “for the best” that he stays put.

His mother, Anne and sister, Gemma both reside in the United Kingdom.

Styles is looking on the bright side though, saying he will use the time off to work on some new music.

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April 1, 2020

NFL team owners voted Tuesday to expand the playoffs by one team in each conference—that would lead 14 teams to the playoffs next season.

According to football operations chief, Troy Vincent, “three-fourths of the 32 owners needed to approve the change and the vote was unanimous.”

As the league continues to plan for the 2020 season to begin on time, contingencies are being discussed for potential interruptions caused by the coronavirus.

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Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn is quarantining in style.

The Asian monarch has reportedly fled to Bavaria with his four wives and twenty mistresses to ride out the coronavirus quarantine at a hotel.

He’s reportedly worth around $30 billion and is the ceremonial monarch of a country where public statements unfavorable to the throne are punishable by imprisonment.

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A new strain of coronavirus that lasts 49 days has been detected in China.

The Mirror reports that Chinese military researchers have studied the case of a middle-aged man who took seven weeks to recover, and required a plasma transfusion to get through it.

Typical cases last about three weeks.

MEANWHILE: As news continues to emerge that the Chinese government grossly understated the effects of the virus, one county there is reportedly back to a full lockdown.

Jia county in the Henan province has banned anyone from leaving without permission. Meanwhile, only those with authorization are allowed to go to their jobs.

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A Marquette Law School poll shows Joe Biden beating socialist Bernie Sanders, who owns three homes, in Wisconsin 62 to 34 percent next Tuesday during that state’s primary.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Wisconsin is desperate for poll workers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday the Army National Guard would be deployed to work at polling locations where help was needed.

Also on the ballot: A contentious state Supreme Court race and a statewide referendum on Marsy’s Law, which would expand the rights of crime victims.

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Helen Mirren posted a make-up free selfie for a good cause.

The Oscar winner shared the photo on Instagram while asking followers to donate to coronavirus relief efforts. Her caption included a link to the donation page for The Intensive Care Society—a UK charity that supports intensive care workers and patients.

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TARAJI P. HENSEN is postponing her wedding to fiancé Kelvin Hayden amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple were supposed to tie the knot this June.

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A judge wants Tekashi69 released from prison ASAP.

On Wednesday morning, Judge Paul Engelmeyer said that he wants to cut the rapper loose because of his asthma diagnosis, which puts him in the high-risk category with the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman replied that he has “no objection” to Tekashi’s early release.

At the time of reporting, he was still behind bars.

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Chuck D says the month-long feud with Flavor Flav was just a hoax.

The Public Enemy member came clean on April Fool’s Day saying the initial plan was to “reveal the news” at Coachella, but since the event was postponed due to the coronavirus, he decided now was as “good a time as any.”

The feud was supposedly sparked by Flav’s fury that the band agreed to perform at a Bernie Sanders rally without his permission leading to Chuck kicking him out of the group.

Fast forward to yesterday and Chuck said the stunt was just to “wake people up.”

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Joe Exotic is keeping his distance behind bars amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to his husband, Dillon Passage, the “Tiger King” star has been placed “on COVID-19 isolation.” Passage told Andy Cohen that the couple speaks “three to five times every day, but since he’s been moved to this new facility, they are putting him on a COVID-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases.” Adding that he has yet to speak to him since the move.

Although Joe has been sentenced to 22-years, Dillon has vowed to remain by his side.

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K-Pop singer Jaejoong is apologizing after an April Fool’s Day coronavirus prank.

Early Wednesday he announced on Instagram that he had tested positive for the virus. After extreme backlash from fans, the 34-year-old deleted the post and issued an apology claiming his prank was “an effort to raise awareness” as his fake diagnosis made headlines around the globe.

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April 2, 2020

Dolly Parton has announced that she will be making a generous donation to Vanderbilt University to help further the research for a coronavirus cure.

Parton took to Twitter to share the news, writing, “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards their research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”

The 74-year-old also recently started reading bedtime stories to kids via a new virtual series called “Goodnight with Dolly.” Each week, she will choose a book from the Imagination Library—her book gifting program which sends free books to children–and read it to kids around the world.

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Nick Cordero is in the ICU.

The former “Waitress” star has been hospitalized after what may be a misdiagnosed coronavirus infection.

His wife, Amanda Kloots took to Instagram to update fans on the situation. She wrote, “Nick has been sick for awhile with what we were told last week was pneumonia. Unfortunately, we think he was misdiagnosed and we are waiting to hear if this is in fact COVID.”

At the time of her writing, she said that her husband was unconscious “so his body can get enough oxygen.” She also told followers that she and the couple’s nine-month old son are “feeling fine.”

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Chris Cuomo went into graphic details about his coronavirus symptoms during Wednesday night’s broadcast of his CNN show.

The anchor, who is shooting the show from his basement, recounted for viewers his sleepless and feverish night. He said, “this virus came at me—I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never experienced any kind of fever like what I have going on all the time and the body aches and the tremor and the concern about not being able to do anything about it.”

Cuomo urged his viewers to “take the pandemic seriously.”

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George Stephanopoulos is doing his best to care for wife Ali Wentworth as she battles the coronavirus.

The “GMA” cohost updated viewers yesterday morning saying, “it goes in cycles. Nights can be pretty rough.” Adding, they keep checking Ali’s oxygen and “so far, that’s the most important thing for her.”

The journalist also said that he is the only one in the household who enters the room—where she is quarantining—to bring her food and check her temperature.

George said he personally is “feeling fine.”

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Reese Witherspoon is donating 250 dresses from her Draper James fashion line to teachers across the United States.

The actress released a statement about her gesture, thanking educators for all of their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said, “I have been so encouraged by the ways people are really showing up for each other. During quarantine, teachers are broadcasting lessons from their own homes and figuring out new remote-learning technology and platforms on the fly, all while continuing to educate and connect with our kids. Advocating for the children is no easy task, so I wanted to show teachers a little extra love right now.”

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The New England Patriots are helping combat the coronavirus.

According to the Wall Street Journal, earlier this week, the team sent its jet to China to pick up 1.2 million N95 masks for medical workers to safely fight the virus.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker secured the masks through manufacturers in China, but did not have a way to get them out of the country. That’s when Patriots COO Jonathan Kraft, who is also a chairman of the board at Massachusetts General Hospital, had the idea to use the team plane.

Team owner, Robert Kraft told the outlet, “I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome. In today’s world, those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us.”

The Kraft family paid nearly $2 million, about half the cost, for the masks.

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While the official number of worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday, North Korean officials are holding firm that there is not a single case there.

It shares a border with only two countries: China and South Korea, and its border to China has been shut since January.

But at least one American military official says it’s bogus. General Robert Adams tells AFP, “I can tell you that is an impossible claim based on all of the intel that we have seen.”

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News buzzed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic that Harvey Weinstein was one of the first public figures to fall victim.

Not so, his reps now say.

A spokesman tells CBS New York that he was indeed tested, but it came back negative.

Weinstein is in isolation at Wende Correctional Facility in New York.

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Democrats will not hold their nominating convention in Milwaukee in July after all.

They’ve rescheduled until at least August — but DNC chief Tom Perez says that the event would not be replaced by a virtual one.

It makes sense: President Trump has been hogging the limelight and enjoying impressive approval ratings for his handling of the coronavirus epidemic. While he lags in polls behind Joe Biden in some key constituencies, Democrats will be dependent on a surge in media coverage to claw back any losses.

Typically the parties leave a few weeks between their conventions, but the Republicans are slated to have theirs from August 24 to 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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A Rasmussen poll indicates 67% of Americans would be ok with a ban on all out-of-state travelers except emergencies until the coronavirus threat has ebbed.

Another 68% are in favor of handing out fines for those in violation of social distancing measures.

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Among the furor over an inadequate supply of ventilators, NPR reports that “most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators go on to die.”

In one small UK study, of 98 ventilated patients, only 33 were discharged alive. In Wuhan, China, 3 of 22 ventilated patients walked out of the hospital.

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Meghan Markle’s half-sister thinks Harry and Meg are “selfish” and “cruel.”

Samantha Markle ranted against the couple for moving to California and stepping down as senior members of the royal family amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She told the Daily Mail that “they can throw stones all they want, but they are the biggest hypocrites out there now. It’s a devastating pandemic, the idea of abandoning both families without so much of a phone call is just shocking.”

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