The nation went past the 700 mark in coronavirus-induced deaths on Tuesday as stocks soared, the Summer Olympics were delayed and President Donald Trump said he hoped to “open up” the nation by Easter.

“Our country has to get back to work,” Trump said. “Otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again.”

In Congress, leaders on both sides of the aisle said a stimulus deal was near.

The U.S. death toll reached 703 by Tuesday evening, after eclipsing 600 earlier in the day. The country had more than 53,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, trailing only Italy and China. New York state, now testing more than 16,000 people daily, has about half the U.S. cases and its hospital system is straining under a crushing demand for medical treatment of the virus.

Experts say confirmed cases reflect how much testing is done, and as the U.S. gets more tests, more confirmed cases are expected.

Across the world, more than 18,500 people have been killed by the virus and more than 417,000 infections have been confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard

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Trump Trump wants country ‘raring to go by Easter’

President Donald Trump said he hopes the country can return to relative normalcy by Easter, April 12. Trump, in a virtual town hall on Fox News, said people can go back to work and still practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and take other precautions. The flu kills tens of thousands of Americans each year, but the nation does not shut down for it, he added.

“I’d love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said.

Asked whether that was feasible, Trump said it’s not only possible but necessary to soon lift the current social-isolation measures that have sent the economy into a spiral.

“Again, this cure is worse than the problem,” Trump said. “Many people, in my opinion more people, are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to get back to work.’’

Some governors confronting the pandemic in their states pushed back against Trump’s timeline, pointing out they’ve been imposing restrictions, not easing them. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, accused the White House of running on a schedule made of an “imaginary clock.”

Trump Those who’ve been in NY should self-quarantine

Members of the coronavirus task force are advising anybody who has been in the New York metropolitan area recently to self-quarantine for two weeks to avoid spreading the virus.

Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said recent visitors may have been exposed to the virus and should take measures to avoid infecting others.

“This will be very critical, that those individuals do self-quarantine in their homes over these next 14 days to make sure they don’t pass the virus to others based on the time they left New York,” Birx said. “So if they are four days out, it is just 10 more days.”

That applies not only to New York tourists but also to those who live there and have left recently, perhaps to get away from the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said people in the New York City metro area have been infected at a rate eight to 10 times higher than elsewhere.

“Which means when they go to another place for their own safety, they’ve got to be careful and monitor themselves,” Fauci said. “If they get sick, bring it to the attention of a physician. Get tested.”

— Erick A. Smith

Trump Big bounce-back for stock market

The Dow Jones industrial average rebounded Tuesday, posting its biggest one-day gain in nearly 90 years on hopes that Congress would pass a stimulus bill to shield the economy from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The blue-chip average surged more than 2,100 points, or 11.4%, to close at 20,704.91, its largest percentage gain since March 1933 after slumping to a three-year low a day earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 jumped 9.4% to end at 2,447.33, its biggest gain since October 2008.

Following a turbulent start to the week, stocks stabilized and Treasury yields rose in a sign that investors are feeling less fearful as Congress was nearing a rescue plan that could inject $2 trillion into the economy. The market has seen rebounds like this before, only for them to wash out immediately.

– Jessica Menton

Trump First U.S. minor to die of the virus

The coronavirus, known to unleash its harshest effects on the elderly, has claimed the life of a minor for the first time in the U.S.

A youth under 18 from Lancaster, California, became the country’s first such victim of COVID-19, Los Angeles County health officials reported Tuesday. Health officials did not identify the youth or provide other details, such as whether the person had underlying health conditions.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer called the death “a devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages.”

People between 18 and 40 years old make up 42% of positive cases, Ferrer said.

– Joel Shannon and Ryan W. Miller

Trump McConnell: ‘We are on the 5-yard line’ for deal

Agreement on a two-trillion-dollar stimulus package that includes $1,200 checks to most Americans could be reached within hours, leaders from both parties said.

“I believe we are on the 5-yard line,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. “We are very close.”

Speaking on CNBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “There is real optimism that we could get something done (within) hours.”

GOP-crafted plans have failed to gain traction with many Democrats, stalling efforts at a deal. But Pelosi said progress has been made on funds targeted for corporations and other entities. “Overarchingly, we are getting into a good place,” she said of the talks.

Trump Gov. Cuomo: NY hospitals could be overwhelmed within 2 weeks

New York state could be just two weeks from seeing 40,000 patients requiring intensive care in facilities equipped for only 3,000, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned. Cuomo, at his daily news conference, said the infection rate in New York is doubling about every three days and that daily infection numbers could peak next month. His state is home to almost half of the nation’s infections, although New York tests an estimated 16,000 people each day, far more than other states.

Cuomo said his state has the fastest rate of infection but said California, Washington, Illinois and other states should take heed because “we are your future.”

“We are not slowing it. And it is accelerating on its own,” he said in New York City. “We are now looking at a bullet train.”

Trump Hopkins expert: Ending social distancing could cost millions of lives 

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, warned in a series of tweets that curbing social distancing could cost millions of lives. Inglesby said the U.S has been seeing exponential growth in coronavirus cases and that health officials are just beginning to understand how pervasive it is.

“Anyone advising the end of social distancing now, needs to fully understand what the country will look like if we do that,” he tweeted. “COVID would spread widely, rapidly, terribly, could kill potentially millions in the yr ahead with huge social and economic impact across the country.”

Trump Trump to use Defense Production Act for test kits, masks

The Trump administration is expected to officially trigger the Defense Production Act for the first time on Tuesday to obtain about 60,000 coronavirus test kits to help health care workers confront a widespread shortage of medical supplies amid the unfolding crisis.

FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor told CNN his team planned to “use the DPA for the first time today,” adding that the administration would also insert “DPA language” into mass contracts for 500 million masks. The Korean War-era law allows Trump to address the shortage of medical supplies by directing private companies to expedite production of medical equipment. Trump invoked the DPA last week but has resisted calls from governors and other officials to actually enforce it. 

The president weighed in on using the law Tuesday morning, tweeting that the DPA was “in full force, but haven’t had to use it because no one has said NO! Millions of masks coming back up to States.” 

– Courtney Subramanian

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Trump Japan says Summer Olympics delayed to 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to a tweet from the Japanese Prime Minister’s office, the two agreed that the Games will not be canceled and “will be held by the summer of 2021.” It is the first time in modern Olympic history that a global health issue has disrupted the Games.

– Tom Schad

Trump Positive test from ‘coronavirus party’

Kentucky’s confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 163 with an increase of 39 new instances, and one in particular rankled Gov. Andy Beshear.

In making the annoucement, Bashear said the case in question stemmed from a “coronavirus party,” a practice he admonished and said should stop right away.

“Anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible,” Beshear said. “But its someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt. We are battling for the health, even the lives, of our parents and our grandparents.”

Mandy McLaren, Louisville Courier Journal

Trump Alaska, Hawaii, Florida mandate quarantines

Alaska and Hawaii are the first two states to mandate a 14-day quarantine for all visitors and residents arriving at state airports. Alaska’s order goes into effect Wednesday and will be reviewed by April 21. Hawaii’s order is effective Thursday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also issued an executive order requiring anyone flying to Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. That mandate took effect Tuesday.

— Nicquel Terry Ellis

Trump Florida restaurant owner arrested for exceeding limit of patrons

A Florida restaurant owner who had previous trouble with the law was arrested for hosting about 80 patrons at a time when new guidelines in the state limited capacity to significantly less.

An arrest affidavit said there were 20-30 people inside Delicious Legs & More in Vero Beach, on the state’s Atlantic Coast, and about 50 more people were in the parking lot at 2:20 a.m. on Friday. That was three days after DeSantis issued an emergency order limiting restaurants to a maximum 50 percent of capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic. Maximum capacity at the restaurant is 30 people, according to fire marshal documents.

Deputies said Glenn Brown III, 48, became uncooperative and refused to comply after being told of the new restrictions. He was arrested and his bail was revoked.

“He was out on a bond for a prior charge, that’s why the judge revoked his bond,” said Eric Flowers, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “We’re looking for cooperation. We’re not trying to take people to jail.”

Corey Arwood, Treasure Coast Newspapers

Trump India’s 1.3 billion people face ‘total lockdown’ for 3 weeks

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “total lockdown” in the country of 1.3 billion people for three weeks “to save India.” Failure to properly manage the next 21 days could set the country back by 21 years, he said. Modi noted that Italy and the U.S., where health care is among the best in the world, were struggling to mitigate the effects of the virus. Indian health officials have reported more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 10 deaths.

Trump Virus might live on surfaces for more than 2 weeks

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates the virus can live on surfaces for more than two weeks. The CDC found traces of COVID-19 on surfaces in the cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship – 17 days after passengers had left the cabins. Of note, the cabins had yet to be disinfected. While the data doesn’t show if transmission occurred from surfaces, the CDC report recommends exploring that further.

– David Oliver

Trump 85% of new COVID cases in US, Europe

Worldwide totals for deaths and infections from coronavirus are expected to increase considerably as numbers are updated throughout Tuesday.

World Health Organization spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said overnight reporting showed 85% of the new cases are being reported in Europe and the United States. On Monday, WHO counted more than 334,000 total cases globally. Harris said the outbreak is accelerating rapidly and the case numbers obtained overnight “will put that up considerably.” The Hopkins dashboard had more than 400,000 early Tuesday.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it took 67 days from the first reported coronavirus cases to reach 100,000. The next 100,000 took 11 days, the next 100,000 just four days.

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Social distancing matters. Here is how to do it and how it can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Trump Harvard president, wife test positive

Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow announced that he and his wife, Adele Bacow, both tested positive for the COVID-19 virus Tuesday.

In a letter addressed to the Harvard community, Bacow, 68, said they both started experiencing symptoms of coughs, then fevers, chills and muscle aches on Sunday. 

“Neither of us knows how we contracted the virus, but the good news — if there is any to be had — is that far fewer people crossed our paths recently than is usually the case,” he said. The couple started working from home and adopted social-distancing measures on March 14.

— Joey Garrison

Trump Italy sees drop in deaths for second day in a row

The number of new confirmed cases and deaths in Italy fell for the second straight day, Emergency Commissioner and Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli said. Monday’s death toll was 601, down from 651 on Sunday and 793 on Saturday. Nearly 70,000 Italians have been confirmed as infected and more than 6,800 have died. However, a report saying there may be 10 non-recorded coronavirus cases for every registered one in Italy is “credible,” Borelli told the ANSA news service.

Trump Texas official ‘all in’ for risking life to keep economy sound

The lieutenant governor of Texas wants the United States to go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, 69, made the comments on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after Trump said he wanted to reopen the country for business in weeks, not months. Patrick said grandparents, considered most threatened by COVID-19 because of age, wouldn’t want to sacrifice their grandchildren’s economic future.  

“No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ ” Patrick said. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”

– Adrianna Rodriguez

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Trump In China, Hubei’s 2-month lockdown starts to ease

The province in China where the coronavirus pandemic originated in December will lift travel restrictions on people leaving the region, China’s authorities said Tuesday. Hubei’s two-month lockdown ends at midnight, although people will only be able to leave the area if they are coronavirus-free and have been given a clean bill of health. 

Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital, will remain locked down until April 8.

– Kim Hjelmgaard

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Trump How many cases of coronavirus in US?

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Contributing: John Bacon and Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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