Global cases top 2 million, U.S. stimulus money starts arriving

L.A. Rams’ Brian Allen ‘on the road to recovery’ after testing positive

Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19 three weeks ago, the team confirmed Wednesday night.

He appears to be the first NFL player confirmed to have tested positive for the illness.

Allen, 24, who was selected in the 2018 NFL draft, earlier in the day told Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer that he woke up and couldn’t smell anything, lost his sense of taste and had flu-like symptoms.

“He is ‘feeling good, he’s healthy and he’s on the road to recovery,'” the Rams tweeted Wednesday night. That statement is from Rams head coach Sean McVay’s comments to Glazer, according to a post on the team’s website. McVay said that after the positive test the team shut down its facility immediately.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced in March that he tested positive for the coronavirus, and at the time he was said to be the first major figure within the league to test positive for the virus.

Students could take SAT at home if schools remain closed

A home version of the SAT college entrance exam is being prepared in case schools remain closed into the fall, College Board officials said Wednesday as they announced the cancellation of June testing.

Instead of a paper-and-pencil test given under proctors’ supervision, the home version would be digital and rely on “remote proctoring.” That could include using the computer’s camera and microphone to monitor movement or talking, College Board President Jeremy Singer said on a conference call with reporters.

The rival ACT also will launch an at-home option in late fall or early winter, the exam’s administrators said Wednesday.

“We would much prefer that schools reopen but we are ready to innovate and deliver in the unlikely case we need to,” College Board Chief Executive David Coleman said.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s wife also has coronavirus

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s wife Cristina also has the coronavirus, he said on his program Wednesday.

Chris Cuomo, 49, announced March 31 that he had tested positive. He has been doing his shows from his basement where he is quarantined.

“It’s very rare for a family to be one-and-done,” Cuomo said in a discussion with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Cristina now has COVID. She is now positive. And it just breaks my heart.”

“It is the one thing I was hoping wouldn’t happen, and now it has,” the anchor said. Their children are healthy, he tweeted, adding that he can’t wait for his fever to end so he can help his wife as she has done for him.

Chris Cuomo earlier this month said that having the illness is “no cakewalk” even for those who don’t require hospitalization, that he lost 13 pounds in three days, and he said people should not be nonchalant.

California to give $500 cash payments to immigrants hurt by virus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will be the first state to give cash to immigrants living in the country illegally who are hurt by the coronavirus, offering $500 apiece to 150,000 adults who were left out of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress.

Many Americans began receiving $1,200 checks from the federal government this week, and others who are unemployed are getting an additional $600 a week from the government that has ordered them to stay home and disrupted what had been a roaring economy.

But people living in the country illegally are not eligible for any of that money, and advocates have been pushing for states to fill in the gap. Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would spend $75 million of taxpayer money to create a Disaster Relief Fund for immigrants living in the country illegally.

“We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportations that are still addressing essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” said Newsom, who noted 10 percent of the state’s workforce are immigrants living in the country illegally who paid more than $2.5 billion in state and local taxes last year.

Trump threatens unprecedented move of adjourning Congress to fill vacancies

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to adjourn Congress so he can unilaterally install nominees to federal positions that he said are pertinent to the coronavirus crisis, an admittedly unprecedented move that critics likened to a dictatorship.

Trump said the Senate should either approve his nominees or adjourn so he can “recess appoint” them. Congress holds pro forma sessions when it isn’t working, a process Republicans made common under President Barack Obama to prevent him from temporarily filling vacancies without Senate approval.

“If the House will not agree to that adjournment, I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress. The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “It is a scam what they do.”

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Pennsylvania governor to veto bill that would immediately reopen more businesses

As the White House pushes for a plan to reopen the country’s economy, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania statehouse passed legislation that would allow some businesses to re-open immediately, despite a statewide stay-at-home order put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

It goes to Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s desk next, who plans to veto the bill. His office tells NBC News that “reopening businesses too early will only extend the length of the economic hardships created by the pandemic.”

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine notes in a letter to the general assembly that the peak of coronavirus has not yet been reached in Pennsylvania, which as of Wednesday night has more than 26,000 cases and 774 deaths.

“The decision to shutter non-life sustaining businesses that support families across this commonwealth was a painful one,” Levine wrote, “but before we can save livelihoods, we need to save lives.”

Governor Wolf joined an alliance this week with governors across the northeast to work toward a regional approach to an economic reopening.

NY Bar Association creates task force to assist with pro bono legal work

After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called upon lawyers in the state to volunteer to assist with COVID-19- related cases pro bono, the New York State Bar Association created a task force to handle the demand. 

The initial request sought lawyers to help residents apply for unemployment benefits, however, according to the Bar Association,  “the network is quickly gearing up to handle a range of other issues from evictions to domestic violence to job and housing discrimination.”

The New York State Bar Association is working with the state court system to establish a “COVID-19 Recovery Task Force” made up of lawyers, law school deans and legal clerks to assist with the caseload.

The task force will be responsible for “setting priorities, recruiting lawyers, coordinating resources and connecting lawyers and clients.”

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