March 26 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Emma Reynolds and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0252 GMT (1052 HKT) March 27, 2020
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12:37 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Florida reports more than 2,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The Florida Department of Health has recorded at least 2,349 positive cases of novel coronavirus and 27 deaths as of Thursday.

That is a significant increase from Wednesday's report of 1,921 cases and 22 deaths. 

Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties make up the vast majority of cases in the state.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated with the latest number of coronavirus cases in Florida.

12:19 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

New York governor says any "realistic" scenario will overwhelm state's health care system

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to warn that the coronavirus pandemic will cause a huge strain on hospitals and health care facilities. 

"Almost any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the current health care system. A little reality,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the goal is to have a 1,000-bed overflow facility in each of the five New York City boroughs, plus Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

Right now, hospitals and health care facilities in the state have enough personal protective equipment for the “immediate future,” Cuomo said, but they are still looking around the country for ventilators.

The state has approved the splitting of ventilators to allow one machine to serve two patients. Cuomo said they are also working on converting thousands of anesthesia machines into ventilators.

12:12 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

New York has done 25% of all coronavirus testing in the US

State of New York
State of New York

About 25% of all coronavirus testing nationwide has been performed by New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference Thursday. 

"We're testing more than any state in the country," and more per capita when compared to China and South Korea, he said.

11:54 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Pelosi "certain" of bipartisan vote on economic stimulus plan tomorrow

From CNN's Haley Byrd, Manu Raju and Kristin Wilson


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “very proud of the product” of the congressional negotiations for the coronavirus stimulus bill, ahead of an expected vote in the House tomorrow.

“I feel certain that we will have a strong bipartisan vote,” Pelosi said, touting the changes Democrats were able to secure in the final package.

She said Democrats are already working towards another bill to address some of their unaddressed concerns, including changes for who qualifies for family leave, stronger Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections for workers, boosts for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and more money for state and local governments.

Pelosi said House Democrats will “be taking the lead” in crafting the next bill, but she emphasized that negotiations should be carried out by the four corners of congressional leadership. She said she’ll mostly be working from DC and the House committee chairs will be involved in the process.

The House speaker also appeared to push back on President Trump’s push in recent days to end social distancing by Easter Sunday.

“I’ve said from the start that we must have a proposal that’s government-wide, science-based, so that we can really address the challenge that we face in a scientific, evidence-based way. That is not necessarily the course that has been advocated by some, but it’s where we must be if we’re going to end this,” Pelosi said.
11:51 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

New York governor on stimulus bill: "I find it reckless"

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the Senate-passed $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, saying it does nothing to help local and state governments fight the coronavirus pandemic.

"I believe what they did failed to meet the governmental need," he said at a news conference today. "I find it reckless."

Cuomo said he would give congressional leaders "a piece of my mind" after the coronavirus outbreak has passed, but now he's focused on the pandemic response.

"I promise you I'm going to give them a piece of my mind, but I would say to them today, this is an extraordinary time in this nation, and it's an extraordinary time for government. This was the time to put politics aside and partisanship aside."

"Do your job," he told Congress.

The US Senate passed a $2 trillion economic relief package. It goes to the House next.

11:49 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

G20 leaders: We're "committed to do whatever it takes” on coronavirus

The President of the European Council Charles Michel participates in a video call of world leaders from the Group of 20 and other international bodies and organizations, Thursday, March 26.
The President of the European Council Charles Michel participates in a video call of world leaders from the Group of 20 and other international bodies and organizations, Thursday, March 26. From Charles Michel European Council Twitter Page via AP

 G20 Leaders said they are committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released after a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia, the G20 said it would spare no effort to protect lives, safeguard people’s jobs and preserve financial stability.

The G20 members have committed to injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, the leaders said in the statement. It also gave support to the “extraordinary measures” taken by central banks and bodies like the IMF and World Bank.

The statement did not outline any new or specific measures the G20 was taking, but said leaders were ready “to react promptly and take any further action that may be required.”


11:27 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

2 passengers on Grand Princess Cruise die of coronavirus

From CNN’s Dan Simon

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/FILE
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/FILE

Two people who were passengers on the Grand Princess Cruise have died due to coronavirus, according to a statement from US Department of Health and Human Services.

“The staff from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) working with quarantined cruise ship passengers housed at Travis Air Force Base in California is deeply saddened by the recent deaths of two passengers due to complications from the coronavirus. Both passengers were on board the Grand Princess cruise ship and were transferred to area medical facilities immediately after developing COVID-19 symptoms. One person passed away March 21, and the other passed away on March 23. Grief support for both families is being provided by HHS and Princess Cruise Lines. Our heartfelt condolences to both families,” according to the statement.

The Grand Princess, which was carrying 3,500 passengers and crew members, docked at the Port of Oakland earlier this month after at least 21 people tested positive for coronavirus.

The cruise, a 2-week trip from San Francisco to Hawaii, was interrupted after officials learned a California man contracted coronavirus and died on a previous trip.

11:26 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Michigan governor asks Trump for major disaster declaration

From CNN’s Daniella Diaz


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she sent a request to President Trump for a major disaster declaration.

The declaration would allow the state to provide rental assistance and temporary housing to people in the state, counseling and therapy for residents, and the ability to quickly set up field hospitals or other facilities to treat coronavirus patients.

Whitmer reminded people that the stay-at-home executive order is not optional and is not an opportunity for people to throw a party for 10 of their closest friends. They are meant to stay at home with whom the family members they live. 

She said she is working to secure more equipment and supplies and reiterated her comments about how the allotment of personal protective equipment for one of the hospitals was not enough to cover a full shift.

11:20 a.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Greater New York Chamber of Commerce: "Too little too late"

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce says the $2 trillion stimulus package is "too little too late."

"As of now, no one has received any money. It’s all talk, while people need relief now! Small business is being crushed and even unemployment is slow getting money out to people who need it the most. If the politicians were not getting a paycheck; you can bet the relief would already be here," said Mark Jaffe, CEO of the Greater New York Chamber.

The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce represents 30,000 businesses and civic leaders. New York State had 80,000 unemployment claims last week – up 66,000 from the week prior.