Thursday, May 14, 2020

5:11 pm ET: Twilio Teams Up with ZocDoc, Says Telehealth Here to Stay After Pandemic

The spread of COVID-19 is reshaping traditional healthcare services and how medical officials interact with patients. Now Twilio, the cloud communications program, is teaming up with ZocDoc, the online medical booking service, to power its new video consultation service.

Susan Collins, the global head of healthcare services at Twilio, told Cheddar Thursday she believes telehealth is here to stay and will continue to accelerate even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Read more...

— McKenzie Marshall

3:49 pm ET: NY Drive-In Gets 'Out of Control' Interest as Staff Scrambles to Reopen

The venerable drive-in movie theater — a retro business that nonetheless has social distancing in its DNA — is getting a chance this weekend to start fresh with moviegoers.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that drive-in theaters were allowed to reopen statewide on May 15. In the days since drive-in operators have scrambled to prepare for a rush of visitors eager to safely and responsibly take a break from quarantine.

"We're here 24 hours a day trying to work everything out logistically," said John Stefanopoulos, who manages the Four Brothers Drive-in Theater, located near the Connecticut border, and whose family owns the business. "It was a big production getting everything going here." Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

3:13 pm ET: GOP Rep. King to Vote for Pelosi Relief Bill: 'This is McConnell's Fault'

Congressman Peter King tells Cheddar exclusively that he plans to vote in favor of the $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill introduced by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earlier this week because it's the only way to get funding for local jurisdictions.

While admitting that the Pelosi-led "Phase 4" package is far from perfect, the Long Island Republican told Cheddar on Thursday that the bill's priority of shoring up state and local government support is his top consideration.  Read more...

— J.D. Durkin

2:09 pm ET: Jersey Shore Beaches Get Guidelines to Reopen

Joanna Eichert longs for the summer days of years gone by at the Jersey Shore, which she recalls as “very crowded and very relaxing.”

But with New Jersey’s governor giving shore towns the go-ahead to begin reopening their beaches amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, it remains to be seen if the Summer of Bug will be either of those things.

Thursday afternoon, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy issued long-awaited guidance to officials in shore towns on reopening beaches, directing them to set occupancy limits, require six feet (two meters) of space between beachgoers except for family members or couples, and prohibit groups of 10 or more from congregating on the beach. Read more...

— The Associated Press

1:17 pm ET: Virus Whistleblower Tells Lawmakers U.S. Lacks Vaccine Plan

The U.S. immunologist who says he lost his government job because he warned the Trump administration to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic isn't backing off his bleak forecast. Dr. Rick Bright is telling Congress that America faces the "darkest winter in modern history" unless its leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus. Bright is appearing Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In prepared testimony, Bright says failing to develop a national, coordinated response, based in science, could mean the pandemic will get far worse and cause unprecedented illness and fatalities. President Donald Trump has called Bright "a disgruntled employee." Read more...

— The Associated Press

1:05 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds

Japan lifted its national state of emergency but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe kept measures in place in hard-hit cities like Tokyo. Italy announced a massive stimulus package aimed at parents and the tourism industry. New Zealand reached the end of its re-opening measures with almost all businesses back up and running with some long-term restrictions remaining in place. And nonprofit groups in Zimbabwe are working to distribute clean water, public health education, and resources for the citizens in regards to the coronavirus.

12:40 am ET: Burr Steps Aside as Senate Intelligence Chair Amid FBI Probe

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday after the FBI served a search warrant for his phone as part of an ongoing insider-trading investigation tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:35 am ET: Wall Street Heading for First Three-Day Losing Streak in Months

Stocks are continuing to fall on Wall Street Thursday, part of another worldwide downdraft, as investors rethink earlier hopes for a relatively quick economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 was down 1.2% after the first 15 minutes of trading, following similar losses in Asia and even sharper drops in Europe. Treasury yields also fell in a sign of increased pessimism. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:08 am ET: 36 Million Have Sought U.S. Unemployment Aid Since Virus Hit

Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak led more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen under certain restrictions. Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. Still, the number of first-time applications has now declined for six straight weeks, suggesting that a dwindling number of companies are reducing their payrolls. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:12 am ET: Need2Know: ‘Darkest Winter,’ Delivery Fees & Miracle on Broadway

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

'DARKEST WINTER' AHEAD: Dr. Rick Bright, the government vaccine expert who was removed from his post last month, will testify to Congress today that the U.S. faces its  “darkest winter in modern history” if the federal coronavirus response doesn’t shape up before a second wave expected in the fall. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint after he was ousted, alleging that taxpayer dollars were being funneled to “cronies” of the administration for unproven treatments. ABC NEWS

REOPENING OF AMERICA: The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor’s extension of the state’s stay-home order, ruling that he overstepped his authority. The first stages of reopening in some high-risk states have not yet led to a surge in new infections. Florida and Georgia both saw their infection rates fall week-over-week by 14 and 12 percent, respectively. However, cases continue to rise in Texas, which has seen more than 1,000 new infections for five consecutive days. AXIOS

COVID-RELATED ILLNESS IN KIDS: The apparently COVID-19-related illness that has affected a small but growing number of children now has a name: Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). About 100 kids in New York state have gotten sick, and cases are now being reported in other states now that doctors know what to look for. A new study out of Italy makes the clearest case yet that PMIS is linked to the coronavirus. NY TIMES

CA SPECIAL ELECTION: A Republican won the special election for the California House seat being vacated by the Democrat Rep. Katie Hill. Mike Garcia, a defense contractor and former pilot, beat Christy Smith handily — the first time the GOP has flipped a seat in California since 1998. POLITICO

FED WARNING: The Dow dropped 500 points after Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that the pandemic is going to cause lasting damage to the economy if Congress doesn’t step in and provide more support. Republicans and Democrats are currently arguing over the scope and need of the next stimulus package. MARKETWATCH

DELIVERY FEE CAPS: Lawmakers in New York City have voted to cap fees that third-party delivery apps like DoorDash and GrubHub charge to restaurants at 15 percent during states of emergency. The bill is part of a growing movement to cap delivery fees in cities around the country, at least during the pandemic, with local restaurants struggling to get by on delivery and take-out alone. The fees the apps take can be as high as 30 percent of the check. 6SQFT

NEW NBA GAME BALL: The NBA is reportedly parting ways with Spalding as the producer of the league’s official game ball. Spalding balls have been used on NBA courts since 1983. Starting next year, Wilson will create a basketball specifically for the league. YAHOO SPORTS

MIRACLE ON BROADWAY: Broadway star Nick Cordero has awakened from the medically induced coma he’s been in since April 1, when he got severely ill with the coronavirus. Cordero’s wife, the dancer Amanda Kloots, announced the triumphant news on her Instagram. Cordero’s leg had to be amputated while he was in the coma, and Kloots says the virus severely damaged his lungs, but he can now see their 10-month old baby again. GMA

SPLITSVILLE... for Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy. Olsen has reportedly filed for an emergency order to speed along divorce proceedings. She and the brother of the former French president tied the knot in 2015. TMZ

LEFTOVERS: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER: A Michelin-starred restaurant in Virginia has a plan for how to make its diners feel a little less lonely when it reopens at 50 percent capacity at the end of the month. The Inn at Little Washington will seat its unused tables with vintage mannequins dressed in 1940's-era-appropriate outfits. Waiters will be instructed to pour the mannequins drinks and tell them about the specials: SEE PICS

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