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14 things to know today about coronavirus

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

On Capitol Hill today, Senate Republicans released “phase three” of the legislative response to the coronavirus, a $1 trillion economic relief package. Now they’ll look to work with Democrats on a bipartisan bill.

Over at the White House, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDe Blasio calls on Trump to deploy military to set up hospitals in New York Hillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing MORE offered conflicting information about a potentially promising treatment for the COVID-19 disease. He claimed the FDA had approved an old malaria drug to treat patients, but was quickly corrected by his own FDA chief. 

On the state front, governors are pleading with Trump for more help getting testing kits and medical supplies.

Here’s what you need to know today:


From the White House and Capitol Hill: 


From the states: 

  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) warned President Trump on Thursday that his state could exceed its capacity to treat patients in one week because of the coronavirus. Read more from Jessie Hellmann here
  • The situation in Louisiana is dire, but far from unique. Governors on Thursday pleaded with Trump for more federal help in getting the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. While the Trump administration has boasted about the millions of test kits they have sent to labs across the country, governors said that they don’t have enough chemicals, or reagents, to process the results. Jessie has the rundown here.


From overseas: 

  • Italy has surpassed China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths, officials announced Thursday. Read more about that here
  • Australia and New Zealand announced they would close their borders to noncitizens Thursday in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Justine Coleman has the story here


And a question: What is “essential”?

  • Video game store GameStop believes it should be classified as “essential retail,” and if law enforcement officials attempts to shut down the stores, employees have been instructed to ignore them, according to Vice. Stores that sell equipment for working from home are allowed to remain open, but we wonder just how “essential” the latest Xbox release will be. 

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