14 things to know for today about coronavirus

The United States officially crossed China’s death toll from coronavirus, a grim milestone, although it is worth noting that there are major questions about China’s statistics. 

There are now at least 181,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., including 3,606 deaths, as of Tuesday evening, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

The White House also projected a grim death toll from the virus with President Trump cautioning Americans to brace for a “very, very painful two weeks.”

One of the reasons the virus could be spreading so fast? The director of the CDC said up to 25 percent of people with the virus never show symptoms, meaning they could unknowingly be spreading it. As for those needing intensive care to treat the virus, about 78 percent had at least one underlying condition, the CDC also reported. 

Here are 14 things to know today….

  • The United States passed China in the official coronavirus death toll, with over 3,400 deaths, though the official numbers from China are in doubt. Peter Sullivan has more.
  • President Trump on Tuesday sought to gird the nation for a grim reality that will set in as the coronavirus pandemic stretches to every corner of the United States. “This is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,” he said. More from Brett Samuels here.
  • White House officials are also making grim predictions about the death toll from the virus. Trump’s top health advisers said Tuesday that models show between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus even if the country keeps stringent social distancing guidelines in place. Morgan Chalfant and Jessie Hellmann have the story.
  • The CDC released a report finding that about 78 percent of coronavirus patients admitted to the ICU had at least one underlying condition. Nathaniel Weixel reports.
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield said up to 25 percent of people with coronavirus never show symptoms, which contributes to how widely the virus spreads. Read more here.    
  • In some possibly good news, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there are “glimmers” that social distancing measures are starting to have an effect. More from Rebecca Klar. 
  • A federal appeals court ruled that Texas can temporarily enforce a ban on abortions as part of its coronavirus response. Jessie Hellmann has more. 
  • Walmart said it would begin taking the temperature of all employees before entering stores and distribution centers in an effort to fight the virus. Read more here.
  • Italy reported 837 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, a sobering figure, and 4,053 cases, though that is virtually the same as the day before, suggesting there may be a plateau. J. Edward Moreno reports.
  • The scramble to protect the economy from the impact of the coronavirus is giving new life to an old idea: trillions of dollars in infrastructure spending. Mike Lillis and Scott Wong have the story.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hit the brakes Tuesday on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) plan to move ahead with a fourth stimulus package that would include major infrastructure spending and other Democratic priorities. More from Alexander Bolton here. McConnell also said impeachment distracted the government from the coronavirus threat. Alex has that story here.
  • CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said he had tested positive for the coronavirus. More on that here.

In the states:

  • Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, told NPR it’s “just not true” that testing problems are over, as President Trump said Monday. John Bowden reports. 
  • Massachusetts extended its stay at home advisory until May 4, Gov. Charlie Baker announced. Read more here. 

On a lighter note: Check out this video of mountain goats that took over a locked down town in Wales. 

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