Monday morning news – March 30, 2020


CDC issues travel advisory for NYC area » President Trump has backed away from a mandatory quarantine of the New York City “Tri-State” area, including New Jersey and Connecticut. 

Instead, the CDC issued a “strong Travel Advisory” to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters Sunday…

MNUCHIN: The president did very seriously consider it. The task force met yesterday with the vice president. It was the unanimous recommendation of the task force to go forward with the advisory. 

The New York City region remains the U.S. epicenter of the virus, causing some residents to flee the area. In turn, some governors outside the Tri-State region have called for a quarantine of the area. The region right now accounts for about 56 percent of all new cases in the country.

Governors of states that would’ve been subject to that quarantine warned it would spark panic. But New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, told ABC’s This Week that understands the travel advisory. 

MURPHY: Well, it’s a travel advisory, so we take that seriously, and execute it by the states. And that’s something that, as I say, is de facto happening already. And we’ll make sure—listen, we are pounding the table, morning, noon and night—stay home, stay home, stay home.

Hospital ship to arrive in Manhattan today » Meantime, more help is on the way for the beleaguered New York health system. A 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship is scheduled to arrive at a Manhattan pier today. 

President Trump spoke in front of the USNS Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia, over the weekend before it began its trek up the eastern seaboard. 

TRUMP: This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York. 

The Comfort had been undergoing planned maintenance, but the Navy rushed it back into service amid the virus outbreak. Its sister ship, the USNS Mercy, arrived in Los Angeles a week ago on a similar mission.

The Comfort will serve as a community hospital, treating people who are not infected with the coronavirus to free up more beds at New York hospitals. 

Trump extends social-distancing guidelines, Birx issues warning » President Trump on Sunday extended the government’s social-distancing guidelines through the end of next month. He previously stated he hoped to be able to relax the guidelines by Easter Sunday, April 12th, but the outbreak is still growing. 

And the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response team issued a grim warning on Sunday. Dr. Deborah Birx told NBC’s Meet the Press

BIRX: No state, no metro area will be spared. And the sooner we react, and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they put in full mitigation, at the same time understanding exactly what their hospitals need, then we’ll be able to move forward together and protect the most Americans. 

She said health officials are studying New York to figure out how to better respond to major outbreaks in other big cities.

Meantime, Dr. Anthony Fauci said computer models are yielding sobering projections. Fauci is the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert. He said right now, U.S. models suggest the virus will infect millions of Americans and could kill more than a 100,000. 

Many question China’s accounting of coronavirus cases » Some experts are accusing China of playing with the numbers as it looks to recast its image into a global leader in fighting the coronavirus. Among the accusations: the Communist government is hiding a large number of asymptomatic cases. 

The Financial Times reported healthcare workers in Wuhan are privately revealing their concerns. It reports that one nurse said officials at the “[National] Health Commission are using all their means to control the new case count.”

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on Sunday said he’s not buying China’s math.

COTTON: Look at some of the mortuaries in Wuhan itself. They say they’ve only had 2,500 cases that have resulted in death or so. Yet a single mortuary has ordered more than 5,000 urns. 

He also noted that while China recently claimed no new cases in Wuhan, the government has closed down all movie theaters only days after reopening them.

China reported just 45 new cases nationwide on Sunday. Overall it claims a total of less than 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths. 

Former U.S. Senator Coburn dies at 72 » Former U.S. senator Tom Coburn has died. The longtime Oklahoma lawmaker lost his battle against prostate cancer at age 72. 

Coburn was a physician and served in the Senate from 2005 to 2015 and the House from 1995 to 2001. He was an outspoken fiscal hawk who drew attention to egregious federal spending in his annual “Wastebook.” 

In a 2017 interview with WORLD, Coburn cited the Bible verse he relied on the most, which is especially appropriate in these times: Philippians 4:6 and 7.  

COBURN: Be anxious for nothing but everything through prayer and supplication let your request be made known to God, and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart in mind in Christ Jesus. 

Coburn’s family released a statement Saturday morning, saying, “Because of his strong faith, he rested in the hope found in John chapter 11 verse 25 where Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, will live, even though they die.’ Today he lives in heaven.”


(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a coronavirus task force briefing with President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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