Coronavirus updates: Mayor urges Trump to help NYC 'get back on our feet

narvikk/iStock(NEW YORK) — More than 2 million have been infected with the novel coronavirus worldwide as the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of people’s lives.

The global death toll stands at more than 138,000 people, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to a number of deaths in which a person is not tested for the virus.

Many municipalities have begun counting probably deaths caused by COVID-19, including New York City, the epicenter of the disease in the United States.

The U.S. has more deaths and cases than any country in the world, with more than 639,000 diagnosed cases and at least 30,990 deaths.

Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:

11 a.m.: 68 dead at NJ nursing home

New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer says 68 people have died at the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center, a nursing home in his district.

In a Wednesday morning interview with ABC New York station WABC, Gottheimer said he “just got off phone with administrator … they have 68 lives lost, another 76 who are positive, plus over 40 staff members positive, and they lost two nurses. It’s horrific.”

The state of New Jersey said earlier it would begin investigating the nursing home in Sussex County after a number of bodies were removed this week.

According to police, the first clue was a request for 25 body bags.

“When they called Saturday they were desperate for body bags,” Gottheimer said.

Investigators initially discovered five bodies in the facility’s holding area.

In subsequent days they were tipped off to a body being stored in a shed. No bodies were seen in the shed but investigators then found another 12 bodies in the holding area.

“We need to figure out what went on here,” Gottheimer said to WABC.

Gottheimer pledged there would be “a very deep” investigation.

10:30 a.m.: NYC expected to lose $7.4 billion in tax revenue

In New York City — hit the hardest by the pandemic in the U.S. — 386 people suspected of having coronavirus were admitted to hospitals on Tuesday, which was up from 370 on Monday.

The city’s ICUs had 887 patients on Tuesday, up from 868 Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

And of the New Yorkers tested for the coronavirus on Tuesday, 55% were positive — up from 53% on Monday.

De Blasio warned Wednesday that New York City is expected to lose $7.4 billion in tax revenue over the current and next fiscal year.

De Blasio urged President Donald Trump to help New York City get “back on our feet” by providing funds through the next government stimulus.

“If you lead, the Senate will follow,” de Blasio said in a message to Trump.

Meanwhile, the mayor said 11,000 free hotel rooms are being provided for New Yorkers who need to quarantine.

The rooms will be open to health care workers, the homeless and some living in overcrowded households who cannot socially distance.

Referrals will begin on April 22 through hospitals and community health providers.

9 a.m.: Japan declares nationwide state of emergency

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expanded a state of emergency from seven prefectures to all 47 prefectures in the nation in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further.

Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures had been under a state of emergency since April 7.

Japanese authorities plan to ease restrictions on May 6.

Japan has 8,626 diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 178 fatalities, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. This includes figures from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was forced to dock in Japan when an outbreak on the ship spread.

8:20 a.m.: 17 bodies found at NJ nursing home hit by virus

The state of New Jersey will begin investigating the Andover Rehabilitation nursing home in Sussex County after a number of bodies were removed this week.

According to police, the first clue was a request for 25 body bags.

Investigators initially discovered five bodies in the facility’s holding area.

In subsequent days they were tipped off to a body being stored in a shed. No bodies were seen in the shed but investigators then found another 12 bodies in the holding area.

6:38 a.m.: CDC to tour processing plant where hundreds tested positive

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are on the ground in Sioux Falls and will tour a Smithfield Foods plant Thursday “in partnership with state and local officials,” Noem said.

There’s been 518 Smithfield employees who have tested positive for novel coronavirus as well as 126 cases of nonemployees that became infected due to an employee, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.

Noem said the state is “aggressively testing” employees and those they have come into contact with “and as soon as possible getting them into isolation.”

The governor added she’s working with federal officials and Smithfield leaders “on a plan to safely reopen the plant to get it back online to bring some relief not only to our egg producers, but to make sure we’re continuing to secure our nation’s food supply.”

5:01 a.m.: Trump to discuss coronavirus with G-7 leaders

President Donald Trump is set to discuss the coronavirus pandemic with G-7 leaders in a conference call on Thursday morning.

He will be joined by the leaders of the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

Trump last spoke with the group as a whole on a conference call on March 16. Much has changed in the world since then, when fewer than 100 people had died in the U.S.

The U.S. was set to host this year’s G-7, which was to be held at Camp David in June, before Trump canceled the gathering three days after that last videoconference in March.

3:55 a.m.: Harry, Meghan help at LA nonprofit

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry spent a second day helping out at Project Angel Food, a charity in Los Angeles that feeds people too sick to do so themselves.

Those facing a hard time during the coronavirus pandemic are being helped with food by the nonprofit.

The nonprofit was founded by former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson originally to deal with helping those with HIV/AIDS.

Meghan decided to help on Easter Sunday, and then again on Wednesday, after her mom, Doria Ragland, said the group was in need of volunteers.
 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.