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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5:51 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Nearly 1 in 10 of Italy's infected are health care workers

From CNN’s Livia Borghese, Valentina Di Donato, Nicola Ruotolo and John Fiegener in Rome.

A medical worker tends to a patient in a hospital in Lombardy.
A medical worker tends to a patient in a hospital in Lombardy.

A total of 4,826 health care workers in Italy have been infected by the novel coronavirus, according to the latest information Sunday from Italy’s National Health Institute (ISS). 

That means some 9% of those infected nationwide by Covid-19 are health care workers.  

Italy’s National Federation of Surgeons and Dentists is publishing a record of doctors who have contracted and died of Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. It lists 18 doctors who have passed away since March 11; of those, 15 are from Lombardy, the hardest-hit region and the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak.

It is unclear if each of the doctors listed was directly battling the coronavirus outbreak and treating the infected.

Among those doctors who have died is Marcello Natali, 57, who died on March 18, according to the federation website.  

Natali, as reported by local media, had been a vocal critic of the initial Italian government response to the outbreak, and also sounded the alarm on the dearth of medical supplies.

Also among the doctors who have died is Francesco Foltrani, 67, who died on March 19. The federation says Foltrani had in-person contact with a local retirement home where many of the elderly residents were known to have contracted coronavirus.  

By the numbers: There are approximately 53,578 confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center

5:51 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Fauci says 'there isn't, fundamentally, a difference' between his view and Trump's on coronavirus

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said there is a problem with people trying to separate himself and President Trump when it comes to their approaches to the coronavirus crisis, but that “there isn’t, fundamentally, a difference there.” 

Fauci, in an interview on CBS "Face the Nation," was asked about the President’s tweet on Saturday in which he stated that a mixture of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin could help people suffering from Covid-19. 

"HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine ..." Trump tweeted on Saturday.  

When asked on Sunday where the President got that information, Fauci said Trump had heard about this combination of drugs from anecdotal reports.

“I am not disagreeing with the fact that, anecdotally, they might work but my job is to prove definitely from a scientific standpoint that they do work,” Fauci said, adding that people trying to separate himself and the President, but they approach these issues from differing standpoints; the President from a “hope, layperson standpoint” and Fauci from a “scientific standpoint."
12:00 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

There are at least 29,235 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

There are at least 29,235 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through public health systems.

So far, 371 people have died in the US.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

11:57 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Pelosi warns House Democrats not ready to sign on to stimulus bill

From CNN's Ted Barrett, Kristin Wilson and Lauren Fox

Speaker Pelosi speaks to the press on March 13.
Speaker Pelosi speaks to the press on March 13. Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sounded an ominous warning Sunday that she may not support an emerging coronavirus economic stimulus bill that had been on a fast track through the Congress this weekend. 

“From my standpoint, we’re apart,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol when asked if she expected a deal today.

Pelosi spoke as she arrived at a critical meeting of the top four congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to finalize the bill, which has been the subject of intense negotiations on the Senate side for days. 

The Senate did consider input from Pelosi and House committees who worked through Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to provide it.

On Saturday, Schumer signaled he might accept the bill. But on Sunday morning, Democratic sources said they had uncovered numerous problems with provisions dealing with aid to workers and loan assistance to businesses. 

What could happen next: If Pelosi doesn’t support the bill, Senate Democrats could stall action on the bill by blocking a procedural motion set for a vote Sunday afternoon.

The House Speaker also could change it when the bill goes to the House if it passes the Senate Monday, as Senate Republicans and the White House want. 

That could slow getting out the much-needed aid to workers and businesses. Pressure would mount — from Wall Street to Main Street — on Pelosi and House Democrats if they don’t act quickly.

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

Trump says Ford, General Motors and Tesla given "go ahead" to make ventilators

From CNN's Richard Davis

President Trump says Ford, General Motors and Tesla were given a “go ahead” to make ventilators and other metal products “FAST,” according to a tweet he sent Sunday.

“Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?” Trump tweeted.

Following the tweet, a spokesperson at Ford said, “we are moving fast to address these efforts and will provide more information when we have it.”

GM spokesperson Jim Cain told CNN that “the work we announced Friday continues.”

CNN has reached out to Tesla for comment.

Read Trump's tweet:

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: