Friday, April 17, 2020

9:45 pm ET: Trump's Plan to Reopen Economy Puts Testing Onus on States

President Trump's plan envisions setting up "sentinel surveillance sites" that would screen people without symptoms in locations that serve older people or minority populations. Experts say testing would have to increase as much as threefold to be effective.

The plan pushes responsibility for testing onto states.

"The governors are responsible for testing," Trump told reporters at his daily briefing Friday. He said the federal government would ship 5.5 million nasal swabs to states in the "next few weeks" to help address shortages. Read more...

— The Associated Press

5:58 pm ET: Planet Fitness CEO on What Social Distancing at a Gym May Look Like

While exercise can help with that anxiety many are feeling, gyms have been shuttered across the country ever since numerous stay-at-home orders were put in place. Chris Rondeau, the CEO of Planet Fitness, told Cheddar, "All our gyms are closed throughout the entire country... we closed ours down about mid-March."

Gym-rats may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, however. On Thursday, President Trump unveiled his phased plan to reopen America, which could allow some gyms to return to business with strict physical distancing and sanitizing protocols. Read more...

5:55 pm ET: Nike Offers Digital Workouts for Those Stuck Inside

Footwear giant Nike is trying out a new business playbook to meet the needs of brand-loyal consumers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've seen a lot of success digitally," Heidi O'Neill, president of direct to consumer at Nike, told Cheddar. "We're leveraging the strength of our digital ecosystem to create millions of connections with consumers around the world who want to stay healthy and maintain their physical and mental wellbeing."

The company is offering its Nike Training Club Premium subscription service for free. The app offers workout sessions with "master trainers" teaching everything from yoga to weight training. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

4:36 pm ET: San Diego Comic-Con Canceled Over Coronavirus, Plans 2021 Return

This year’s San Diego Comic-Con has been canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions around large gatherings. Organizers say they are planning for the festival to return in July 2021.

The annual confab was scheduled to take place from July 23 through July 26 in and around the San Diego Convention Center. California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that he was not optimistic about a return of “mass gatherings” for things such as sports events, concerts and fairs in 2020. Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:34 pm ET: Match CEO Says Video Dating Will Be Lasting Trend Post-Coronavirus

If you thought the single life was hard before, the pandemic has completely changed the dating landscape. Hesam Hosseini, CEO of Match told Cheddar Friday that despite being stuck at home, people are still looking to mingle. 

"Singles, probably more than anyone, are feeling isolated as they stay at home. I think the dating industry, and Match, have a pretty important role to play as apps or tools that can connect you to people you don't know. We can play a role in making singles feel less isolated," Hosseini said. 

The app also has a resource page called Dating While Distancing where users can share their concerns with dating experts. Hosseini said there have been a lot of questions about different ways people can keep up with a new relationship while social distancing and questions from users flying solo who still want to connect.  Read more...

— McKenzie Marshall

2:55 pm ET: Rep. Tim Ryan Says 'Tip the Scales' for Working Class With $2G Per Month

Democratic Congressmen Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California introduced legislation this week that would pay all qualifying Americans aged 16 or older $2,000 every month.

Families would also receive an additional $500 for each child, up to three per household.

"I'm not really sure that the anxiety level on the ground is yet understood by some people in Washington, DC," Ryan told Cheddar Friday. "People are struggling. People are afraid...There's no end in sight." Read more...

— Taylor Craig

12:51 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds

China's COVID-19 death toll was adjusted up and medicine delivery by bike in Italy. Megan Pratz brings you the top coronavirus headlines from around the world.

12:42 pm ET: Global Citizen Exec: Lady Gaga 'Went Above and Beyond'

Saturday, dozens of stars around the world are coming together ⁠— virtually ⁠— for the global and digital broadcast of "One World: Together at Home," a concert event to support healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic response and the World Health Organization.

The event has been curated in collaboration with star Lady Gaga and will feature top-tier acts like Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Elton John, and, just announced today, The Rolling Stones. Read more...

— McKenzie Marshall

12:16 pm ET: Stocks Rise Worldwide, Lifted by Hopes for Virus Progress

Stocks around the world rose on Friday as investors latched onto strands of hope about progress in the fight against the coronavirus.

The S&P 500 was up 1.3% in midday trading, though the gains faded a bit from the start. It followed up on jumps of better than 2% in Europe and Asia.

The gains came even as scary data piles up about the economic and human toll of the virus, which has killed more than 146,000 worldwide and forced the formerly high-flying Chinese economy to shrink an eye-watering 6.8% last quarter. A measure of U.S leading economic indicators plunged last month by the most in its 60-year history, the latest in a string of similarly unprecedented data reports. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:07 pm ET: Rep. Mikie Sherrill Says Hard-Hit NJ and NY Need More Federal Aid

The New York and New Jersey delegations to Congress are asking for an additional $40 billion in aid to help fight coronavirus in their states, which remain the two hardest hit in the country. 

"When you look at the number of cases nationwide, New York and New Jersey account for 45 percent of those cases, and yet they only received about 9 percent of hospital funding," Rep. Mikie Sherrill, (D-NJ 11th District) told Cheddar. "It's just not enough to meet the needs of the crisis we are facing." Read more...

— Alexander Vuocolo

11:44 am ET: NFL to Hold Practice Remote Draft on Monday

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Friday morning that the mock draft will be Monday. He didn’t provide any details on the proceedings, other than what the Lions will be part of. Read more...

— The Associated Press

9:50 am ET: Gilead Reports Progress in Coronavirus Treatment, Stocks Surge

Markets soared Friday as pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences reported that one of its drugs was somewhat effective in treating coronavirus. 

President Donald Trump also fueled investor confidence with a set of guidelines, released Thursday evening, to reopen the economy. While the guidelines do set specific dates, they encourage states to base their decision on what data says about the scope of their outbreak.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 600 points after the bell. The S&P 500 shot up 2 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 percent. 

— Alex Vuocolo

8:04 am ET: Guidelines for Reopening, Promising Drug Trial & Epic Cake Fail

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: President Trump is backing off his claim of absolute authority to reopen the country, instead telling governors they can begin to reopen parts of their economies by May 1 or earlier. The president released a series of phased-in guidelines for that process, though they aren’t binding. Meanwhile, New York state, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles all extended their stay-home orders through May 15. NYC closed public pools for the summer, and the mayor says beaches may follow. It’s also officially the end of an era in China. The Chinese economy shrank in the first quarter, ending nearly a half century of continuous growth. UPDATES

TREATMENT PROGRESS: Gilead Sciences is reportedly seeing progress with its antiviral Ebola drug remdesivir in treating severely ill COVID-19 patients. A hospital in Chicago is noting rapid recoveries in symptoms, and nearly all the patients that are part of the clinical trial there have been released. It’s still a small sample size, and gives little more than a snapshot of a drug’s potential efficacy, but there are encouraging signs as the trials continue. The stock market is rallying this morning on this news. STAT

PPP TAPPED OUT: Less than two weeks after it launched, the Small Business Association says the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is out of money. PPP is the $349 billion pot set aside for loans to help small businesses stay afloat and not lay off employees. More than 1.6 million applicants have been approved, though only a small amount of the actual funds have gone out the door yet. Congress is currently arguing over how to replenish the pot; Republicans want a “clean” increase, while Democrats are trying to get new provisions added. YAHOO FINANCE

IMMUNITY PASSPORTS: A handful of government officials around the world are considering issuing “immunity passports” for people who have already contracted COVID-19. The certificates would allow those who are assumed to now be immune to resume some semblance of normal life. The British government is weighing the idea, as is the mayor of Paris. Dr. Fauci has said it’s being discussed in the White House. But there is still not even close to the scale of antibody testing being done in the U.S. to make it feasible. And even then, experts say there are major concerns with the accuracy of an immunity passport, as well as worries that people would try to contract the virus in order to secure one once they got better. FRANCE 24

JOBLESS CLAIM SURGE: Another 5.2 million Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed last week, bringing the number of new jobless claims to more than 22 million in the last four weeks. For perspective, the U.S. created 22 million jobs since the Great Recession, meaning a decade’s worth of job creation was just wiped out in a month. Enhanced unemployment benefits are now going out in 29 states, according to the Labor Dept. The others will see delays because they are using decades-old computer equipment. WSJ

CARNIVAL CRUISE BOMBSHELL: Carnival Cruise Line executives knew the coronavirus was a major threat to passengers but let ships sail anyway, according to a bombshell report in Businessweek. The CDC warned Carnival that it was tracing a cluster of cases to the Grand Princess on Mar. 4, but the ship did not put a quarantine in place until more than 24 hours later. Carnival’s CEO says the company’s response was in line with what cities and states were doing, and that cruise ships aren’t inherently more dangerous than other large spaces where people gather. The CDC says ships have much higher infection rates, partially due to a generally older clientele. BLOOMBERG

WEEKEND STREAMING: A beautiful mid-April spring weekend...and nothing to do. Luckily, there’s some good TV on the horizon. The big event: the Lady Gaga-organized benefit concert, One World: Together at Home, which will air across the networks and stream online at 8pET on Saturday. Then on Sunday, ESPN is dropping the first two parts of its highly anticipated Michael Jordan doc, The Last Dance at 9p ET. Jordan is on the record saying the series will make people think he’s a “horrible guy.” CBS SPORTS

IN MEMORIAM: BRIAN DENNEHY: Brian Dennehy, the Tony-winning stage and film actor known for his roles in First Blood, Tommy Boy and Romeo+Juliet, among many others, has died. Dennehy’s family says it was natural causes and not COVID-related. Dennehy was a classic “that guy” -- a supporting actor with a familiar face, even if you couldn’t quite remember his name. On the stage, he won applause for starring roles in Death of a Salesman and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. He was 81. OBIT

SPOTTED…the latest work by Banksy, in which the secretive artist transforms his bathroom into a canvas: SEE PICS

LEFTOVERS: CAKE FAIL: A New Zealand TV host is apologizing to the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, after her attempt at baking a cake to honor Ardern for the leader’s coronavirus response came out...poorly, to say the least. Laura Daniel says the lesson is “don’t bake your heroes.” SEE THE MASTERPIECE

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