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NYC Mayor Says Sense Of Normalcy Likely Won’t Return Until September As UK Reports Latest Numbers: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update (0935ET): After a week where COVID-19-linked deaths in the UK accelerated sharply, the Department of Health and Social Care reported a slowdown in deaths and new cases on Wednesday. The UK reported 4,605 new cases of coronavirus and 761 new deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 98,476 cases and 12,868 deaths. Deaths ticked higher from a day ago, but remained below their daily-total highs from last week.

The news comes after the Department reported that one in five deaths recorded last week in England and Wales was attributed to COVID-19, a sign that deaths are surging because of the outbreak, according to the BBC.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has delayed paying his 2019 taxes because of the outbreak, as the Daily News reported on Wednesday, said earlier that mass gatherings in NYC might not return until September, meaning no concerts, shows or anything for the entire summer as the world fights off the novel coronavirus.

De Blasio, who just one month ago dismissed the virus as a minor concern, said the city is going to “take this slow and carefully to make sure we get it right.” It also means that NYC’s famous beaches will likely remain shuttered.

Even if the mayor wanted to reopen the beaches, he likely wouldn’t be able to because of a shortage of lifeguards, the Daily Mail reports.

*     *     *

Had the novel coronavirus never escaped Wuhan, most Americans would be scrambling to finish filing their tax returns on Wednesday, since it’s April 15 – aka tax day in the US. But since the deadlines for filing and payments have been delayed, most Americans probably won’t get around to it for a few more months.

But that doesn’t mean the IRS has been entirely removed from the public conversation. In a decision that is angering virtually all of his political opponents and even many of his supporters, who are bristling at the notion of a White House deliberately delaying badly needed checks, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell report last night when it revealed that the Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name to be printed on stimulus checks as the IRS scrambles to send checks to every American who doesn’t have direct deposit already enabled.

It will be the first time a president’s name has been printed on checks sent from the IRS, and officials disputed claims that the payments to 70 million Americans would be delayed so that Trump’s name could be printed on the checks. Trump had been pushing Steven Mnuchin to substitute Trump’s signature on the check, but there were some legal roadblocks. Instead, the president’s name will appear on the left side of the check below a heading that reads “Economic Stimulus Check”. The White House claimed that this batch of checks will be released more quickly than the stimulus checks ordered by President George W Bush after the financial crisis.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that 80 million Americans will have their stimulus checks in-hand by next Wednesday.

Over in Europe, as Spain and Italy start the process of sending more workers back to work, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said EU countries should use a “gradual tailor-made approach” to lifting lockdown restrictions. EU countries must make sure they meet three important preconditions before re-opening can proceed:

  • Significant decrease in the spread of the coronavirus
  • Sufficient health system capacity
  • Adequate surveillance and monitoring capacity

Meanwhile, Spain, which has the highest death toll per capita in Europe, reported the biggest increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in six days. The more than 5k new cases brought Spain’s confirmed total to 177,633, according to the Health Ministry. The number of fatalities rose by 523 to 18,579, compared to Tuesday’s increase of 637.  

As socialist PM Pedro Sanchez touts data showing that the virus’s spread has slowed thanks to social distancing and the lockdown policies put in place by his government, members of the opposition confronted his government during a Parliamentary exchange on Wednesday where they accused Sanchez of undercounting the number of deaths linked to the virus across Spain.

“Nobody trusts you anymore,” one member of the opposition exclaimed. This is because Spain, like many other countries, only counts patients who have tested positive among the official figures. Yesterday, after criticisms published in the NYT, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered health officials to count all deaths suspected of being caused by COVID-19, even if they hadn’t been officially diagnosed.

That prompted a nearly 4k surge in NYC’s official death toll, driving the citywide total north of 10k, and driving total US casualties north of 25k (per JHU, the US had 26,059 confirmed deaths as of Wednesday morning).

And as Trump’s critics in the press continue to hammer the administration’s response to the virus (the NYT followed up WaPo’s big hit piece from last week with one of its own this week to keep the conversation alive), ignoring the fact that few governments were truly prepared for the virus, and that the Trump Administration did more during the early days of the outbreak to stanch the spread than most of its peers abroad, the FT reports that the European Commission is holding a “donation drive” this week to try and raise funds for virus research.

After acknowledging a few weeks back that it neglected to count ‘asymptomatic’ patients in its total coronavirus patient tallies, China for the first time released a cumulative count of asymptomatic coronavirus cases. The number? 6,764 – which instinctively seems well below the total number of cases that were excluded from China’ national count.

The German government is set to extend its COVID-19 restrictions until May 3rd, according to Handelsblatt, though details of the Interior Ministry’s plan to reopen the German economy have already leaked.

As the number of confirmed cases in Japan nears 10k, the government has released a dire sounding warning claiming that some 850,000 Japanese could be seriously sickened by the coronavirus, with almost half of them in danger of dying if harsher steps aren’t taken by the Japanese government – which has already declared a state of emergency – to implement more social distancing requirements.

South Koreans headed to the polls on Wednesday after the government decided not to delay a legislative election set for Wednesday.

Before we go, with half the global population facing some level of lockdown or movement restrictions, animals are beginning to venture out into abandoned human territory. In parts of Wales, goats can be seen walking the streets of the town.

“The goats absolutely love it,” said Andrew Stuart, a resident of Llandudno, Wales…”They’re taking the town back. It’s now theirs. Nothing is stopping them,” he said.

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