Coronavirus Pandemic Latest: Trump Announces FEMA Help, National Guard Deployed

At least 378 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. and sickness from the disease is on the rise

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking an increasingly bleak toll outside of China, with many new epicenters growing in the United States.

Global cases of the virus have now surpassed 329,000 with more than 14,000 reported deaths. Here in the United States, there are more than 31,174 confirmed cases of the virus. At least 378 people have died.

As of Sunday afternoon, New York had the most U.S. cases with just over 15,000 and 114 deaths.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

Secret Service Reports First Virus Case

The U.S. Secret Service announced Sunday night that one of its employees has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first virus case in the agency.

The employee is currently in quarantine and had not been exposed to any other employee or protectee for nearly three weeks, the statement said.

"The Secret Service is committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees, its protectees, and the public," the statement read. "Accordingly, the agency continues to follow all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and continues to communicate those updates to the workforce."

Trump Announces Backup for States, National Guard Deployed

On Sunday, President Donald Trump said he’s ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York amid the coronavirus pandemic. For New York, that would mean another 1,000 hospital beds.

Trump says he’s giving governors in those three states help in calling up their national guard, keeping it under local control but providing federal funding. 

Trump is also revealing for the first time the number of respirators and other personal protective equipment sent to the hard-hit states by the federal government. It comes as state and local leaders have appealed on the federal government to provide far more, and as Trump has held off on using his fully authorities under the Defense Production Act to marshal the private sector’s capabilities.

As of Sunday morning, there are 7,300 National Guard troops providing support to the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. In their efforts to combat COVID-19, guardsmen and women will support local emergency management agencies with response planning and execution, man call centers, collect and deliver samples and assist with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces and other critical needs.

US Leaders Test Positive, Self-Quarantine

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, becoming the first member of the Senate to report a case of COVID-19. He said in a tweet that he was feeling fine and was in quarantine.

Paul's announcement led Utah's two GOP senators — Mike Lee and Mitt Romney — to place themselves into quarantine, stepping away from negotiations as the Senate worked on a $1.4 trillion economic rescue package for the coronavirus crisis. At least five senators, including Paul, were in self-quarantine Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Merkel's spokesman said the German chancellor was informed about the doctor's test shortly after holding a news conference Sunday announcing new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

More States, Counties Issue 'Stay-at-Home' Orders

New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio joined California, New York and Illinois in declaring statewide "stay-at-home" orders over the weekend.

Despite mounting concern over the spread of coronavirus, spring breakers have flocked to Florida beaches to soak up the sun. The CDC is asking that people avoid crowded areas and practice social distancing for the next 8 weeks.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday asked "nearly all" state residents to stay at home in light of the growing novel coronavirus crisis, signing an executive order that will close all non-essential businesses and cancel all gatherings.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has also issued an executive order asking people to stay at home and "directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to," effective Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m.

Similarly, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a new "stay-at-home" order on Sunday for all non-essential workers.

A "stay-at-home" order went to effect for New York City's 8.5 million people Sunday night. The order closed all non-essential businesses and forced non-essential workers to stay home.

Florida's governor closed all of the state's beaches after images of rowdy spring break college crowds appeared on TV for days amid the rising global death toll, which surpassed 13,000 on Sunday.

And in California, which announced a statewide "stay-at-home" order last week, officials continued to clamp down on its 40 million residents Sunday. Los Angeles shut more than 75,000 acres of parks and trails indefinitely, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority said late Sunday.

Earlier Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti banned all sports and recreation at city parks and parking at city beaches after people looking for a place to get fresh air flooded the outdoor destinations.

Dallas County, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have also been put under similar orders. And in Miami Beach, Florida, all hotels will close Monday at midnight.

Virus Fears Cause Economic Downturn

The lockdowns sent stock markets tumbling again. Wall Street had its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 900 points and down 17% for the week. The White House and Congress are working to pass relief bills to avoid a recession and help those who are now without a job.

$1 Trillion Economic Rescue Deal Teeters

Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House are teetering on a nearly $1.4 trillion economic rescue package as the coronavirus pandemic deepens. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated an agreement is within reach, but congressional Republican and Democratic leaders said there was no deal yet after an hour-long meeting Sunday at the U.S. Capitol.

Senate adjourned for the night Sunday without passing the bill but planned to return to the Capitol Monday at noon for further deliberating.

The Associated Press/NBC
Contact Us