12 things to know today about coronavirus

Welcome to The Hill’s daily roundup of coronavirus news.

There are more than 775,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, including 159,000 in the U.S.  There are nearly 3,000 U.S. deaths.

Today, more states issued orders for residents to stay at home, including Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia. But some governors have been reluctant to take such sweeping actions and are facing criticism. 

Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates sued officials in Iowa, Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio to ensure access to the procedure during the pandemic, and a federal judge stepped in to block Texas from banning abortion. 

Back in Washington, Democrats are already talking about the next relief package.

Here’s what you need to know today: 

  • President Trump is aggressively trying to sell the public on his administration’s response to the coronavirus. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels on how Trump is trying to project control during the pandemic.
  • Arizona on Monday issued a stay-at-home order for all residents as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the U.S. Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. did the same. 
  • Hold-out governors in states like Florida and Texas are facing increased pressure to issue stay at home orders as the coronavirus spreads to more areas. Peter Sullivan has more.  
  • Perhaps aware of the pressure, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he wants people to stay at home– but only residents in the southern part of the state. Read more from Julia Manchester here.
  • Abortion rights groups sued government officials in Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma and Alabama on Monday to ensure access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic. Jessie Hellmann has the story here. 
  • Meanwhile, a federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing a similar ban on abortions. Read more from Jessie here. 
  • States are also fighting with each other over medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus as governors grapple with shortages. More from Nathaniel Weixel here.

In Congress:

  • House Democrats are already looking ahead to the next coronavirus response package, and are eyeing a major infrastructure component. Mike Lillis reports. 
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) urged fellow lawmakers to sign onto her resolution condemning anti-Asian rhetoric, stating that the racism against Asian Americans due to stigma over the coronavirus is leading people to be afraid to go out for basic errands. Cristina Marcos has the story here.
  • House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said she has been diagnosed with a “presumed” case of the coronavirus, although she has not been officially tested. Cristina Marcos has more

Elsewhere:

  • Ford announced it would begin producing ventilators by the end of April, saying it can have 1,500 of the life-saving machines by the end of the month, with the goal of 50,000 by July. Read more from Peter Sullivan here. 
  • Twitter in the last week has taken down multiple posts from public figures, including Rudy Giuliani, promoting an anti-malaria drug as a way to treat coronavirus,. Chris Mills Rodrigo has the story.

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