March 22 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:30 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020
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11:41 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

"It's arrogant. It's self-destructive," Cuomo says after seeing New Yorkers congregating


Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his frustration Sunday morning over the sight of large groups of people in New York congregating outdoors this weekend.

"This is just a mistake. It's a mistake. It's insensitive. It's arrogant. It's self-destructive. It's disrespectful to other people. And it has to stop and it has to stop now. This is not a joke. And I am not kidding," Cuomo said.

What Cuomo has done in New York to fight coronavirus: Cuomo announced Friday morning that all workers in nonessential businesses across the state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The executive order takes effect Sunday evening, Cuomo said.

11:49 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NY governor: "New York received no funding from the first federal coronavirus bill"


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that New York received no funding from the first coronavirus bill despite it "having the greatest need."

"That was a technical mistake in the way they wrote the bill," Cuomo said.

Hospital beds and medical supplies continue to be an issue for the state, Cuomo added. Hospitals have about 53,000 hospital beds available now, but could need around 110,000, he said.

Cuomo is calling on the federal government to nationalize medical supply acquisitions because states are competing with each other and price gauging is happening. 

New York state has 15-times more cases than other states, according to Cuomo.

11:41 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NY governor says "we're competing against other states" for coronavirus supplies

From CNN's Melanie Schuman


The federal government should nationalize medical supply acquisition to help states across the US fighting the coronavirus pandemic, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who held a press conference Sunday morning.

“In some ways, we are savaging other states,” Cuomo said. "I'm trying to buy masks. I'm competing with California, Illinois, Florida. That's not the way it should be, frankly. Price gouging is a tremendous problem, and it's only getting worse."

Cuomo said it’s a race between states as well as a race between hospitals.

He said a mask which normally costs .85 cents now costs $7 dollars.

10:59 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Nashville mayor issues "safer at home" order

Nashville Mayor John Cooper speaks at an event on February 13.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper speaks at an event on February 13. Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued at 14-day "safer at home" order Sunday.

On Twitter, the mayor explained that the order is for residents to stay in their homes and only go out for essential needs.

Under the order, all businesses not performing essential services will close and all social gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, Cooper tweeted.

Restaurants can only serve customers via delivery, take out or drive through, a tweet said.

Read some of Cooper's tweets below:

10:54 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NJ governor says "its no time to panic, but just the same, it's no time for business as usual"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Phil Murphy speaks in 2017.
Phil Murphy speaks in 2017. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said this morning on ABC that his state has been trying to get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic and "were going to have an overwhelming amount of pressure in our healthcare system.”

My plea is “frankly, just stay home” unless “you’re essential, unless you’re helping us in the fight, we need you to be at home," Murphy said.

“Folks needed to be jolted,” he said. "It’s no time to panic, but just the same it’s no time for business as usual. We won WW2 not cause we panicked, we were smart, we were aggressive we worked hard, that’s what we’re going to need right now.”
10:52 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

French doctor dies from coronavirus

From Barbara Wojazer in Paris

The first doctor to die from coronavirus in France was a 67-year old-emergency doctor at the Compiègne hospital, the city’s Mayor Philippe Marini told French broadcaster BFM on Sunday.

The doctor, Jean-Jacques Razafindranazy, had worked at Compiègne hospital since 2013, the mayor added in a Facebook post.

Marini paid tribute to Razafindranazy, who he described as “a great doctor, a respected man who was appreciated by his whole team."

The mayor also called for “all inhabitants of Compiegne to show their support to our healthcare personnel and express their final thoughts for doctor Razafindranazy by observing a minute of silence on Monday at midday."

10:45 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Michigan governor: "Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared"

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus on March 10.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus on March 10. David Eggert/AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the federal government’s initial response to the coronavirus outbreak could have disastrous consequences, according to an interview she did on ABC Sunday morning.

“Had the federal government really started focusing when it became clear that the whole world was going to be confronting this, we would be in a stronger position right now,” Whitmer said. “That’s an issue I’m not going to belabor because I’ve got to keep solving problems, and I would like the federal government to be a partner, and I can’t afford to have a fight with the White House.”

Whitmer also said there will be time for review actions and decision-making after the crisis has passed.

“At some point we’re going to have to analyze where the all the failures were, and we’re going to have to make decisions based on what happened and what didn’t happen,” Whitmer continued. “Lives will be lost because we weren’t prepared, our economy will struggle longer because we didn’t take this seriously as early enough as a country, and there will be consequences of that, but right now, I’ve got to solve problems, and I need the federal government to help me to make sure that I’ve got what we need for our frontline providers in particular, but also ventilators for people who are going to suffer.”

10:30 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NYC mayor: "We're about 10 days away now from seeing widespread shortages" of supplies


Mayor Bill de Blasio described a dire situation in New York City this morning on CNN as hospital supplies needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic run low.

"We're about 10 days away now from seeing widespread shortages of ventilators, surgical masks, the things necessary to keep a hospital system running. We have seen next to nothing from the federal government at this point. We have seen — we've made this plea publicly, privately, letters, phone calls, very — very little has arrived," de Blasio said. "The military has not been mobilized. The Defense Production Act has not been utilized in any way I can see. Not just for New York City, New York state, for a lot of the country, it feels like we're on our own at this point. We're not seeing action from the federal government."

De Blasio said April is going to be worse than March regarding the Covid-19 outbreak in New York.

“If we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10-days people will die,” de Blasio said.

He went on to urge the President Trump to sign an order to mobilize the military to distribute ventilators and to have manufactures making ventilators at maximum production.  

The Defense Production Act: The Federal Emergency Management Agency describes the act as "the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space and homeland security programs."

An executive order issued Wednesday afternoon indicated that the President will use the act to obtain "health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of Covid-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators."

The order also states that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar may consult with other agency heads to determine "the proper nationwide priorities and allocation of all health and medical resources, including controlling the distribution of such materials ... in the civilian market, for responding to the spread of Covid-19 within the United States."

10:33 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Stimulus package now at $2 trillion as leaders race to clinch agreement today

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The massive emergency aid package being negotiated on Capitol Hill has grown to roughly $2 trillion as bicameral, bipartisan leaders are set to come together to try and clinch a final agreement, according to two people directly involved in the talks.

The fate of a the final proposal will be in the hands of the four congressional leaders and Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin, all of whom will gather in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Sunday.

The scale of the package – which has grown by over a trillion dollars over the course of several days and by more than $500 billion just during Saturday’s negotiations alone, the people said – underscore the recognition of the urgency brought on by the accelerating spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has all but shuttered the American economy over the last week.

Behind the scenes: Republicans staff worked through the night – some in the office past 3 a.m., people told CNN – to draft the legislative language to reflect the status of the negotiations between the four bipartisan working groups that have been cloistered in closed Senate hearing rooms for hours over the course of an urgent last few days.

Republicans have expressed optimism that a deal is in the offing, but there are still a handful of hurdles that have kept Democratic negotiators from fully signing on.

That said, lawmakers on both sides acknowledge that a deal is imperative as soon as possible, with a procedural vote to move forward on the package set for Sunday afternoon and a final vote to pass any agreement set for as soon as Monday.