American retail sales fell 8.7 percent in March, the largest decline in existence.
Leaders around the world criticized the Trump administration's decision to end US funding from the World Health Organization.
Aid payments under the $ 2 trillion stimulus package were posted to American bank accounts.
Read the latest updates: World | USA | New York | Business
Testing is the key
Have we slowed the spread of the coronavirus? Are we behind the summit? When can we safely relax restrictions? How can we fend off a second wave of infection?
The answers all depend on quick, accurate, widely available, and readily available tests, both for active infections and for the antibodies they leave. Without it, officials trying to deal with the pandemic fly blindly.
A serious lack of testing capacity has emerged as a signature error in the Trump administration's response to the pandemic, and is now threatening to hamper containment efforts.
The Senate Democrats proposed Wednesday, $ 30 billion – Include dollars in the next stimulus package for a national program to significantly expand testing and detection of Covid-19 infections. "Every state cannot have its own plan," said New York Senator Chuck Schumer. "We need a national plan."
Currently, the main bottleneck for diagnostic testing is not laboratory capacity. There is a lack of swabs and chemicals. Test volumes in the U.S. have dropped significantly in the past few days due to supply shortages, commercial laboratories say.
The F.D.A. has approved a new type of test that uses saliva instead of a nasal swab and reduces the risk of infection for those who give it. The test will be launched in New Jersey with the help of Rutgers University, where it was developed.
Antibody tests that show whether you may be immune to an infection are just beginning to run and are difficult to get in most places. But the rich, exclusive coastal community of Fisher Island, Florida arranged for every resident to get a test. And researchers studying the spread of the virus across the country are testing 10,000 Major League Baseball employees this week.
Concerned about Liability: Executives told President Trump in a conference call that far more extensive testing is needed before the economy reopens. They said they were worried about big lawsuits if workers were called back too early and infected at work.
The Times provides free access to much of our coronavirus coverage and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter – like all of our other newsletters – is free. Please consider subscribing to our journalism.
Closing the American Wallet
USA. Retail sales experienced a historic slump in March, dropping 8.7 percent, another serious indication of the economic devastation caused by the virus.
It was the sharpest drop since the federal government began to track total retail sales by one month, including online sales and money spent in shops, restaurants, bars, and the like. (The previous record was achieved during the 2008 financial crisis, when sales fell nearly 4 percent for two months.)
The number for April is likely to be worse: Most states have not closed significant deals just a few weeks ago .
With the decline in retail, sales tax revenue, the largest source of income for most states, has dropped dramatically. Officials are looking for ways to keep public services running.
Although President Trump predicted an economic recovery after the crisis, a Federal Reserve poll found that few US companies expect a rapid recovery.
All kinds of industries were injured, from automobiles to Hollywood. Some producers are considering a linchpin: With clothing sales falling sharply, some cotton farmers can instead grow crops this year.
Will the students return to college in the fall?
Closing the campus for Spring has cost colleges and universities millions of dollars because they canceled lucrative sports seasons and reimbursed for room and board. Schools are preparing for even greater success this fall.
Faced with the possibility that online-only classes will continue into the next school year, they assume that many students will choose not to return or choose a cheaper option at times widespread unemployment. Many international students stay at home due to travel restrictions or fear of studying abroad. A trading group predicts a 15 percent drop in US enrollment.
Schools like Harvard and Stanford can rely on large foundations, but many others fear that they won't weather the storm and freeze faculty salaries and pause construction.
Change in admission tests: Many universities have announced that, due to the pandemic, they will temporarily no longer request SAT or ACT test results for admission. In response, the college board that manages the SAT announced on Wednesday that it would offer online versions of the test for students who should be taken at home when secondary schools remain closed in the fall.
Some critics said the move low-income students could be at a greater disadvantage than they already are. "It's different if you take the test in a one-room apartment with 17 relatives in the background," said Akil Bello, senior director at FairTest, an organization that opposes the use of standardized tests for college admissions.
The Aya family told The Times the heartbreaking latest text messages between a teenage daughter and her mother, who worked in the emergency room of a Brooklyn hospital until she was infected with the corona virus.
Read Madhvi Aya's story here.
Belgium now has the second highest mortality rate in Europe after Spain. At least 4,440 people died there – around 383 per million inhabitants.
The virus spread quickly in Detroit where a large working class population cannot afford self-isolation and many people still commute shoulder to shoulder in public places Buses.
In Moscow where there are more than 14,500 confirmed cases, there is a new one. The digital passport system that was supposed to control the movement instead led to chaotic crowds that Weeks of social distancing efforts shrank.
Romania with around 7,200 confirmed cases and around 360 deaths, prohibited export of agricultural goods to countries outside the European Union. The country is the first member country to do this.
What you can do
Re-ignite romance. Quarantined with a partner? This way, couples can rekindle romantic love and grow together instead of growing apart.
Manage panic attacks. A sudden, short-lived feeling of anxiety, shortness of breath and disabling anxiety can be confused with symptoms of the coronavirus.
Help the needy. Donating cash is not the only way. You can help people sign up for aid programs, drop off groceries at a food bank, or set up an online funding campaign for a company with difficulty.
Traveling with armchairs. See the Northern Lights over Greenland, explore the great pyramids of Egypt, and spot bald eagles in Hawaii while we visit you in 2020 for virtual visits to all 52 locations.
What else we do regarding
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that he would require people to wear face coverings in places where they couldn't be three feet away from others.
Thousands of demonstrators in cars surrounded the state of Michigan’s Capitol, accusing the governor of going too far with orders to stay home.
The money for the paycheck protection program for small businesses affected by the pandemic could be used up immediately Wednesday night.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speculated that sporting events could be resumed this year without fans if the players were tested weekly and isolated in hotels.
A place where you can still find a complete sports calendar: Nicaragua. Only nine coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, although many people doubt the low toll.
A zoo in Berlin has drawn up a dismal emergency plan: If food sources become scarce, this will happen to some of its animals to feed others. (The zoo said its esteemed polar bear Vitus was the last to leave.)
A 99-year-old World War II veteran set out to raise around $ 1,250 for the British Citizens muster health care by walking in their garden. He had raised more than $ 12 million by Wednesday night.
Which day is today? Because of the pandemic without the usual rhythms of life, people lose track of time. (It is Wednesday, by the way.)
Eighteen of our experienced journalists shared “a good thing” from these bleak times: learning to cook, folding paper cranes, reconnecting with friends.
What You Do
While I usually send our empty Amazon boxes straight to the sidewalk for recycling as soon as possible, I am now storing the flattened box in my garage , so that my 5 year old has a treasure trove for daily art projects. He created a pirate chest, a knight's shield and a robot.
– Tesalia de Saram, Queens
Let us know how to deal with the outbreak. Send us an answer here, which we may publish in an upcoming newsletter.
Register here to receive the briefing by email. <Entstash this line for the web version
Lara Takenaga and Jonathan Wolfe helped write today's newsletter.