March 24 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1:09 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020
89 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:37 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

It could take 90 days to get through the coronavirus crisis in the US

From CNN's Mike Conte and Ryan Browne

Gen. Mark Milley
Gen. Mark Milley Department of Defense

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested that the models show the country would “get through” the coronavirus crisis “probably late May, June, something in that range. Maybe could be as late as July.”

“There are a variety of models. There’s best case, worst case, something in the middle. Based on what we’ve already said, you’re looking at somewhere around 90 days based on some of the other countries. That may or may not apply to the United States,” said Gen. Mark Milley during a broadcast town hall for US service members to discuss the coronavirus.

12:36 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

New York governor: "We’re not going to put a dollar figure on a human life"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back against comments by President Trump that he could reopen the US economy while keeping an eye on some of the most at-risk populations, including seniors.

“My mother is not expendable. And your mother is not expendable. And our brothers and sisters are not expendable,” Cuomo said. “And we're not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable. And we're not going to put a dollar figure on human life.”

Cuomo said saving lives is most important, but there can be an “intelligent” strategy for getting people back to work.

Some more background: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, 70, said Monday that he is "all in" on lifting social distancing guidelines in order to help the economy.

“Let's be smart about it, and those of us who are 70+, we'll take care of ourselves. But don't sacrifice the country,” he said.

His suggestion directly contradicts recommendations put forth by government agencies and experts. 

Watch more from Cuomo:

12:29 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

The UK government is texting stay at home rules to to people

The British government has texted the guidelines for the stay at home order issued last night by the Prime Minister over coronavirus. 

The text emphasizes that people need to stay at home unless they are going out for the following reasons:  

  • If they need food
  • For health reasons
  • For work, but only when they absolutely cannot work from home

The text also urges people to stay 2 meters (or 6 feet) away from other people and wash their hands as soon as you get home.

Anyone can spread the virus, the text warns.

12:21 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Democratic leader: Outstanding issues on coronavirus bill can be overcome in "next few hours"

From CNN's Clare Foran

Senate TV
Senate TV

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed what other negotiators are saying Tuesday morning, signaling that he expects a deal soon — later today.

He said that he had “just finished a very productive meeting" with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House congressional liaison Eric Ueland and President Trump’s acting chief of staff Mark Meadows.

"Last night I thought we were on the 5 yard line, right now we’re on the 2. As I also said last night, at this point, of the few outstanding issues, I don’t see any that can’t be overcome within the next few hours," Schumer said.

He continued: “We are very, very pleased with what seems to be moving forward in the bill – in the bipartisan bill – that we hope will be brought to the floor."

Schumer also said that the legislation will have “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

"This is a great plan. What it says is if you lose your job in this crisis you can be furloughed by your employer. That means you stay on that employers work list, if you have health benefits with the employer you can keep getting them, but most importantly the federal government will pay your salary – your full salary – for now four months. We had asked for four months and four months looks like what we’re going to get when we come to this agreement," he said.

12:11 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Number of UK coronavirus deaths rises by 87 in one day

From CNN's Jo Shelley in London

The number of deaths related to coronavirus in Britain has jumped by 87 in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.

There have been at least 422 deaths and 8,077 confirmed cases in the country.


12:09 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Nearly a third of the world's population affected by coronavirus lockdowns

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Chandler Thornton, Manveena Suri, Victoria Eastwood and Joe Sutton

Once all of India goes into lockdown at midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET), roughly 2.5 billion people worldwide will be affected by a partial or total lockdown, curfew or some restriction on their movement due to the coronavirus pandemic, CNN calculates.

That represents nearly one third of the world’s population.


12:20 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

There are now at least 48,000 coronavirus cases in the US

According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems, there are at least 48,009 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. 

At least 601 people have died.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

12:04 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Trump and FEMA chief contradict each other on Defense Production Act

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kristen Holmes

FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor
FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor CNN

President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator contradicted each other within minutes this morning on whether the Defense Production Act is being used in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Around 8 a.m. ET, Trump tweeted, "The Defense Production Act is in full force, but haven't had to use it because no one has said NO! Millions of masks coming as back up to States."

Minutes later, FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor told CNN the administration will start wielding the powers in the Defense Production Act for 60,000 tests kits and "use the allocation portion of the DPA" starting today.

"Just a little while ago my team came in and we're actually going to use the DPA for first time today," Gaynor said.

In addition, FEMA will "insert some language into these mask contracts we have of 500 million masks," Gaynor said. "DPA language will be in that today."

Gaynor's comments caught top White House officials off guard. One said they did not know what Gaynor was referencing and was still trying to figure it out in the hours after he was on television.

More context: The Defense Production Act is a Korean War-era law that gives the government the authority to completely control the entire supply chain, from forcing companies to manufacture the critically needed items, to taking over distribution and allocation of those supplies.

States have said they need Trump to take over the distribution aspect because the current process forces the 50 states to compete with one another, the federal government and hospitals to obtain medical supplies.

Business leaders say there are too many unknowns and volunteered to do whatever is needed to steer clear of Trump using his powers.

On CNN today, Gaynor said the federal government wants to be "thoughtful about not upsetting the balance, making sure we that can get it out to the market and the federal government not consume it all."

"My current focus has been and will continue be to make sure we get critical supplies to those places around the country that need it the most. New York, New York City, Washington state and Los Angeles and California -- that is where we are focused. And we continue to focus on that throughout the day today and until we solve that supply problem," Gaynor said.

Gaynor came under scrutiny days earlier after an interview where he flatly declared Trump wasn't using the act, despite the president's inaccurate claims that he was. The President was irked that Gaynor could not give CNN an exact number or even a rough estimate of how many masks the federal government had on hand.

12:10 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

A stimulus deal could pass Congress today, negotiators signal

From CNN's Clare Foran, Manu Raju, Haley Byrd and Ted Barrett 


Top negotiators signaled on Tuesday that a bipartisan deal on a massive stimulus package to respond to the coronavirus crisis is imminent with all signs pointing to an agreement being locked in and approved by both chambers of Congress as early as later in the day.

Leaders in Congress and the Trump administration have been working for days to pass as quickly as possible a roughly $2 trillion economic stimulus package, which would include direct payments to taxpayers among hundreds of billions of dollars in other stimulus measures.

However objections from Democrats over accountability and process have prevented the legislation from advancing. But signs from leaders in both parties over the past several hours suggest that those differences are either addressed or very close to being settled — and that a final deal could move swiftly through Congress.

In an indication that a deal is nearly at hand, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this morning, "We are very close. We are close to a bill that takes our bold Republican framework, integrates further ideas from both parties and delivers huge progress."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly signaled a deal would be finalized in the coming hours, saying today "there is real optimism that we could get something done in the next few hours," as last-minute negotiations continue.

Signs of a breakthrough come after days of drawn out and intense negotiations between congressional Republicans, Democrats and the Trump administration.

In a move that could resolve another sticking point, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been negotiating the deal, has agreed to an inspector general and congressional overnight for a $500 billion fund proposed for distressed companies, a senior White House official told CNN.

CNN's Kristin Wilson and Jim Acosta contributed to this report