Here’s what you need to know:
- Trump halts World Health Organization funding.
- After governors push back on Trump’s claim that he “calls the shots,” he sounds a more cooperative tone.
- The Trump administration and a group of major airlines have agreed on a $25 billion bailout.
- New York City’s death toll soars past 10,000 in a revised virus count.
- Is six feet apart enough distancing? Not always.
- More than 3,800 people have died at long-term care facilities in the U.S.
- California outlines benchmarks that it would try to meet before relaxing restrictions.
Trump halts World Health Organization funding.
President Trump, who has been under criticism for his handling of the response to the coronavirus and has seen his poll numbers drop, on Tuesday blamed the World Health Organization for what he called its failures in the crisis and said he planned to halt American funding of the organization.
The announcement came as Mr. Trump continued to be angered by criticism of his response to the pandemic, which has been assailed as too slow and ineffective, failing to quickly embrace public health measures that could have contained the virus.
“Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, blaming the organization for what he described as a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”
Mr. Trump has repeatedly pointed to his decision to impose travel restrictions on China as proof that he responded early to warnings about the dangers of the coronavirus.
He said that decision saved “thousands and thousands of lives,” and the W.H.O. “fought us.” The president blamed the organization for a “20-fold” increase in cases worldwide.
As recently as February, the W.H.O. had advised against imposing travel restrictions to places with outbreaks of the coronavirus, saying it was not an effective way to combat its spread.
On Tuesday, the president said the organization “willingly took China’s assurances” and that it “defended the actions of the Chinese government, even praising its so-called transparency.”
Mr. Trump has been defensive about his decision to institute early travel restrictions on China, crediting himself with saving hundreds of thousands of lives while sustaining criticism for being xenophobic and racist.
But Mr. Trump has not addressed his administration’s inaction after that decision and the gap in the timeline of his response between the travel restrictions announced on Jan. 31 and the declaration of a national emergency on March 13.
The president did not say whether the United States would permanently stop funding the W.H.O., saying only that it would halt payments while the administration reviewed its role in handling the virus.
Last year, the United States contributed about $553 million of the W.H.O.’s $6 billion budget in 2019, a significant sum to lose in the middle of a pandemic.
After governors push back on Trump’s claim that he “calls the shots,” he sounds a more cooperative tone.
A day after President Trump claimed that he had “total” authority to reopen the American economy himself — a position that was widely challenged by legal scholars and governors from both parties — the president said on Tuesday that he would work with the states.
“I will be speaking to all 50 governors very shortly, and I will then be authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening,” Mr. Trump said during a briefing at the White House, adding that it would be “at a time and in a manner as most appropriate” for each state.
“The day will be very close,” Mr. Trump said, holding out the possibility that some states without large outbreaks could reopen before May 1. Mr. Trump said he would consult with business and health leaders on when and how to reopen the country’s economy, then read from a long list of names of labor leaders and chief executives whom he said he would be speaking with in the next few days. It was not clear whether the dozens of people he named had agreed to serve on an economic task force he has been trying to put together.
The president, backing off an earlier, combative stance, said he would not pressure any governor to reopen before they were comfortable with that decision. But “they know it is time to open,” he added.
“I’m not going to say to Governor Cuomo that you have to open within seven days,” he said. “I want him to take his time and then open New York.”
After groups of governors on the East and West Coasts announced Monday that they planned to work together in regional groups to decide when and how to reopen business, Mr. Trump invoked the film “Mutiny on the Bounty” in a Twitter post, likening the governors to mutineers who took over a ship from a captain they believed was abusing his crew.
Governors from both parties questioned his understanding of the relationship between the federal government and the states.
“We don’t have a king; we have a president,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today.” In a separate appearance on MSNBC, he warned that if Mr. Trump tried to force an economic reopening on the states, it could lead to “a constitutional crisis like you haven’t seen in decades, where states tell the federal government, ‘We’re not going to follow your order.’”
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican who is the chairman of the National Governors Association, pushed back after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that the decision to reopen states rested with him, not with governors.
“It’s not my understanding of the Constitution,” Mr. Hogan said in an interview Monday on CNN. He praised the cooperation of the federal government while making clear that he believed the ultimate authority would lie with the states and their governors.
In an extraordinary White House briefing on Monday evening, Mr. Trump claimed that “numerous provisions” in the Constitution, which he did not name, gave him the authority to override the states if they wanted to remain closed. Legal experts say presidents have no such power.
“The president of the United States calls the shots,” Mr. Trump said. “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
His position — a reversal of his earlier arguments that states were largely in charge of fighting the pandemic — raised profound constitutional questions about presidential power and once again set him on a potential collision course with the states.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, a Democrat who has emerged as an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, said that he would rely on the advice of scientists and epidemiologists when considering whether to reopen.
“There is no one who wants our state to open up more than I do,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday. “But no matter what the president may say, I will do what’s best to safeguard the health and safety of Illinois residents. That means test, trace and treat. I’m hopeful the president will help us accomplish that.”
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon said the move toward reopening would be a cautious one, done incrementally. “It’s not going to be easy, and it will take longer than we want,” said Ms. Brown, whose state will be coordinating its next steps with California and Washington State.
Although Mr. Cuomo excoriated Mr. Trump in interview after interview on Tuesday, he adopted a more conciliatory tone by late morning, when he held a news conference in Albany.
“I am not going to fight with him,” Mr. Cuomo said of the president, adding, “This is no time for any division between the federal government and the state government.” But he conceded that he believed Mr. Trump was “clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue.”
Beyond Democratic governors and legal scholars, some of Mr. Trump’s Republican allies have also questioned his sweeping claim of executive power. Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, posted on Twitter the text of the Tenth Amendment.
The Trump administration and a group of major airlines have agreed on a $25 billion bailout.
The Trump administration has reached an agreement in principle with major airline companies over the terms of a $25 billion bailout to prop up an industry that has been hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Treasury Department said that Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines will be participating in the payroll support program, which was created as part of the economic stabilization package that Congress passed last month.
“We welcome the news that a number of major airlines intend to participate in the Payroll Support Program,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, saying the agreement would “support American workers and help preserve the strategic importance of the airline industry while allowing for appropriate compensation to the taxpayers.”
American Airlines said it would receive $5.8 billion as part of the deal, with more than $4 billion in grants and the remaining $1.7 billion as a low-interest loan. The funds are intended to be used to pay employees, and the airlines that take them are prohibited from major staffing or pay cuts through September.
American Airlines plans to separately apply for a nearly $4.8 billion loan from the department as well.
“The Payroll Support Program recognizes the extraordinary dedication of our entire team, and importantly, sustains the critical air service being provided by our front-line team members,” Doug Parker, the chief executive of American Airlines, said in a statement.
Southwest Airlines said it expected to receive $3.2 billion, about $1 billion of which would come in the form of a low-interest loan with a 10-year term. That loan is expected to include about 2.6 million warrants issued to the agency.
The administration had spent weeks haggling with the airlines over the terms of the bailout, with Mr. Mnuchin pushing the airlines to agree to repay 30 percent of the money over a period of five years. The Treasury Department also has been seeking warrants to purchase stock in the companies that take money. Airlines have complained that Treasury was effectively turning the grants into loans by requiring repayment.
Last week, the Treasury Department said that it would not require airlines that receive up to $100 million in bailout money to give the government equity stakes or other compensation. The government had received over 200 applications from American airlines seeking payroll support and Treasury said that the majority of those were asking for less than $10 million.
Airlines for America, an industry lobbying group, said that as of April 9, American airline carriers had idled 2,200 aircraft and that passenger volume was down 95 percent from a year ago. The industry expects global passenger revenues to fall by $252 billion this year.
New York City’s death toll soars past 10,000 in a revised virus count.
New York City, already an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died because of it.
The new figures, released by the city’s Health Department, drove up the number of people killed in New York City to more than 10,000 and appeared to increase the overall United States fatality rate by 17 percent, to more than 26,000.
The numbers brought into clearer focus the staggering toll the virus has already taken on the largest city in the United States, where deserted streets are haunted by the near-constant howl of ambulance sirens.
Far more people have died in New York City on a per-capita basis than in Italy, the European country with the most deaths.
The revised death toll renewed focus on shortcomings in testing that have hamstrung city and state officials since the beginning of the outbreak. A limited number of tests has been available, and until now, only deaths where a person had tested positive were counted among those killed by the virus in New York.
But for weeks, the Health Department also had been recording additional deaths tied to the virus, according to two people briefed on the matter. Those cases involved people who were presumed to have been infected because of their symptoms and medical histories.
They were not included in the counts given publicly by Mayor Bill de Blasio because no tests had confirmed that the victims had Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Officials like Mr. Cuomo, encouraged by data suggesting a flattening curve, have begun to edge toward setting a strategy for reopening New York, partnering with other states in the Northeast, including New Jersey, to create a coordinated strategy. But Mr. Cuomo has emphasized that the reopening was dependent on New Yorkers continuing to observe the restrictions that were imposed weeks ago.
Is six feet apart enough distancing? Not always.
Scientists agree that six feet is a sensible and useful minimum distance for people to separate from one another, but some say that farther away would be better.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the organizations using the measure, bases its recommendation on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet.
But some scientists, concerned about smaller particles called aerosols and having looked at studies of air flow, suggest that people consider a number of factors, including their own vulnerability and whether they are outdoors or in an enclosed room, when deciding if six feet is enough.
No scientists are suggesting a wholesale change in behavior or proposing that some other distance from another human is better.
“Everything is about probability,” said Dr. Harvey Fineberg, the chairman of the Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. “Three feet is better than nothing. Six feet is better than three feet.”
More than 3,800 people have died at long-term care facilities in the U.S.
At least 45 residents of a nursing home in Virginia have died from the virus, the highest death toll reported at a long-term care facility in the United States, according to an analysis of case data by The New York Times.
An additional 83 residents at the facility, the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Richmond, Va., have tested positive for the virus, Dr. Jim Wright, the medical director at the nursing home, said in an interview on Tuesday. He said the facility had about 160 residents, meaning that about 80 percent had contracted the virus.
The New York Times has identified more than 2,500 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States with coronavirus cases. More than 21,000 residents and staff members at those facilities have contracted the virus, and more than 3,800 have died.
Even those figures are an undercount, but they go beyond state-level numbers that have already been reported. The Times only included cases that have been confirmed by a state or county government agency or by a long-term care facility. Many states, counties and facilities have declined to provide information or only provided partial information.
Under the umbrella of “long-term care,” The Times included nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, memory care facilities, retirement and senior communities, long-term rehabilitation facilities.
The Times has tracked hundreds of groupings of cases across the country. The 10 deadliest of those clusters have all been in nursing homes and long-term care centers, including the Life Care nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., which was linked to at least 43 deaths, and the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Mass., a nursing home for veterans where dozens of people have died. Other long-term care centers in Indiana, Maryland and Massachusetts were each tied to more than 20 deaths.
California outlines benchmarks that it would try to meet before relaxing restrictions.
On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would be moving from its broad shelter-in-place order to a more individual approach to suppressing the virus, without immediately giving a time frame for the shift.
Numbers of infections and deaths have stabilized, but he said that any decisions about reopening society would be based on “public health, not politics,” and would be gradual and depend in part on building and tracking immunity within the population.
“We are not out of the woods yet, and we are not spiking the ball,” he said.
The state, which has the nation’s largest economy, has been ahead of the rest of the country in confronting the pandemic, locking down early and so far avoiding worst-case scenarios for infections and deaths. How it calibrates reopening will provide examples of what works and what doesn’t, especially given limits on testing capacity.
Mr. Newsom warned Californians that even in the next phase, restrictions might be loosened and tightened “as we toggle from stricter to looser” interventions “as data comes in.”
The governor did offer a glimpse of what California’s “new normal” would be like. Face coverings are likely to be a feature of public life, at least for a time. Patrons of restaurants are likely to have their temperature taken before being seated and will be served by someone in a mask and gloves. Menus might be disposable.
“Normal it will not be,” he said. “At least until we have herd immunity and a vaccine.”
His comments came as a top health official warned that another wave of infections was likely to occur, given how contagious the virus is.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that “we’re definitely going to have a second wave” of coronavirus infections in the fall, with outbreaks likely to become a seasonal phenomenon.
“We’ve got six months now to get really prepared,” Dr. Redfield said in an interview on Sirius XM’s “Doctor Radio.” “We’re stabilized. We’re almost at the peak. I think the cases will drop fast, but what we don’t need is to have a secondary bump in June or July because certain areas of the nation relaxed their mitigation strategies too quickly.”
Dr. Redfield called the virus “the most infectious respiratory virus I’ve seen in my lifetime” and said he was especially worried about containing it in nursing homes, even with widespread antibody and diagnostic testing.
Mr. Newsom, who on Monday said that California was working with Oregon and Washington on a strategy to begin lifting stay-at-home orders, outlined several indicators that the state would try to meet before relaxing restrictions:
expanding testing and contact tracing, with the goal of isolating infected patients;
reducing the exposure of vulnerable people, such as the homeless and the elderly;
the ability of hospitals to handle a surge of patients;
a plan for businesses, schools and other facilities to open while maintaining social distancing; and
a plan to reinstitute restrictions if infections rise again.
Large gatherings over the summer “are not in the cards” he said. And when the school year starts in the fall students might attend in shifts staggered through the day to avoid crowded classrooms.
The pandemic is driving state and local tax collections down — and their expenses up.
The stay-at-home orders that have shuttered businesses around the country are sending state and local tax collections plummeting, opening yawning shortfalls in their budgets as their expenses are being sharply driven up by the pandemic.
In Oklahoma, the sharp downturn in the oil and gas markets sent tax collections down, creating a shortfall. In Michigan, more than one million people — over a quarter of the state’s work force — have filed for unemployment during the pandemic. Gov. David Ige of Hawaii told tourists to stay away, idling his state’s main economic engine.
All of which is sending tax collections way down. Sales taxes, the biggest source of revenue for most states, have fallen off a cliff as consumers stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Personal income taxes, usually the second biggest, started falling in March, when millions lost their paychecks and tax withholdings stopped. April usually brings a big influx of income-tax money, but this year the filing deadlines have been pushed back to July.
“This is going to be horrific for state and local finances,” said Donald J. Boyd, the head of Boyd Research, an economics and fiscal consulting firm, whose clients include states and the federal government.
On the local level, 88 percent of cities anticipate revenue shortfalls this year, and more than half are already drawing up plans to cut staff or services, according to a survey of local officials released Tuesday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities.
“Our cities are hurting, and our residents are scared,” said Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Ky., where authorities have recorded nearly 600 cases.
The National Governors Association is seeking $500 billion in federal aid to offset what it is describing as “drastic state revenue shortfalls.” Local officials are urging the federal government to send aid to municipal governments around the nation.
But the latest round of stimulus has stalled in Washington.
And the expenses of responding to the public health emergency are swiftly being joined by the expenses of providing services to newly-needy residents.
“What Congress must understand — and what we are shouting in unison today — is that this is not a big city problem; it’s an every city problem,” said Mayor Bryan K. Barnett of Rochester Hills, Mich., who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Even if states are able to stretch their finances temporarily to cover short-term budget shortfalls, the economic recovery is expected to be slow. That means tax revenues from tourism, oil and gas drilling, conventions and other activities are unlikely to bounce back swiftly.
Small business loans are flowing to construction companies, while hotels and restaurants are losing out.
Restaurants and hotels, which have taken the largest economic hit so far from the pandemic, have received less than one-tenth of the special federal assistance for small businesses that Mr. Trump approved earlier this month.
A presentation from the Small Business Administration, shared with members of Congress on Tuesday, shows more than one million loans totaling nearly $250 billion have been approved, out of the $350 billion allocated for the program. Those figures match the numbers that Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, shared with reporters on Tuesday at the White House.
The loans are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, in a process that has given an advantage to businesses with existing lender relationships and the resources to navigate the government application process. If borrowers abide by certain conditions, including spending the bulk of the money on employee payroll, they will never have to pay back the money.
The S.B.A. report breaks down those loans by industry and by state. It shows that construction companies have garnered the largest share of the money thus far: nearly $34 billion, which is about 14 percent of the total. The next largest share went to professional, scientific and technical services firms, followed by manufacturers and health care companies.
“Accommodation and food services” borrowers rank fifth, with just under $23 billion in loans.
The geographic flow of the funds is not lining up thus far with the economic damage from the virus. The largest recipient state is Texas, which has secured 88,400 loans worth nearly $22 billion, followed by California with $21 billion. New York companies have secured less than half as many loans as Texas companies, worth about $12 billion in total.
At the end of last week, according to the Labor Department, about 5 percent of Texas’s labor force had filed for unemployment benefits. In California and New York, the share was more than twice as high.
The I.M.F. predicts the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning about economic damage from the coronavirus, saying on Tuesday that the global economy faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression as shuttered factories, quarantines and national lockdowns cause economic output around the world to collapse.
The grim forecast underscored the magnitude of the economic shock that the pandemic has inflicted on both advanced and developing economies and the daunting task that policymakers face in containing the fallout. With countries already hoarding medical supplies and international travel curtailed, the I.M.F. warned that the crisis threatened to reverse decades of gains from globalization.
In its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. projected that the global economy would contract by 3 percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from earlier this year, when the fund forecast that it would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent.
This year’s drop in output would be far more severe than the last recession, when the world economy contracted by less than 1 percent between 2008 and 2009. A 3 percent decline in global output would be the worst since the Great Depression, the I.M.F. said.
The economic damage in the United States was expected to be severe, the I.M.F. said, with the American economy projected to shrink by about 6 percent in 2020. The global group cast doubt about the prospect of a so-called V-shaped recovery in the United States, suggesting that a sharp rise in unemployment and disruptions to supply chains would keep the economy below its previous trend next year.
That trend can be seen in trade data, where slowing economic activity has caused global commerce to plummet. Tracking published by S & P Global Panjiva on Tuesday showed global shipments of goods into the United States fell by 10.1 percent in March, the lowest number of monthly shipments since 2016. Consumer goods have been hit particularly hard, with shipments of furniture, apparel, steel and electronics falling by more than 15 percent last month compared with one year ago.
The I.M.F. projects that the United States economy will contract by 5.9 percent in 2020. In the euro area, it will shrink by 7.5 percent, led by steep declines in Italy and Spain.
Emerging markets and developing economies will not be spared, but in some cases they fare better. In China, where the outbreak began and where draconian measures were imposed to combat its spread, growth is forecast to slow to a rate of 1.2 percent this year. Growth in India is expected to slow to 1.9 percent.
The fund calls for governments to invest in supporting their health care systems and ensuring that workers maintain ties to their jobs during lockdowns so that economic activity can resume when the virus recedes.
“This is a crisis like no other, and there is substantial uncertainty about its impact on people’s lives and livelihoods,” said Gita Gopinath, the I.M.F.’s chief economist.
Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
A detailed county map shows the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, with tables of the number of cases by county.
The U.S. watches as some hard-hit European nations begin to ease restrictions.
As the United States debates when and how to let businesses reopen, Italy and Spain, the two European nations hardest hit by the pandemic, are taking small steps to begin easing the restrictions they imposed to stem their outbreaks.
After extending a lockdown from April 13 to May 3, the Italian government reopened some stores on Tuesday, including stationers, bookshops and children’s clothing stores, a sign of a gradual return to normalcy. But the loosening will not apply in regions where infection rates have yet to decline significantly — including Lombardy, Piedmont and Campania — and some other regions took their own approaches.
“Stores, bans and walks. Italy becomes a puzzle,” read a headline in Rome daily La Repubblica Tuesday, a nod to the scattered approach. Italy’s total number of confirmed cases was just shy of 160,000 and deaths surpassed the 20,000 mark on Monday.
And in Spain, more regions reopened factories and building sites on Tuesday, joining others that had already begun a gradual return to work. The easing of restrictions there has triggered a debate over safety. But many factories are so far only recalling just a fraction of their work forces. Spain registered a slight uptick in deaths on Tuesday — 567 overnight, with the total surpassing 18,000 since the start of the crisis.
Abortion clinics in Tennessee and Louisiana file lawsuits to fight bans.
Abortion clinics in Tennessee and Louisiana filed lawsuits in federal courts on Tuesday to stop abortion bans related to the coronavirus. The moves bring the total of states where legal fights are unfolding to seven; the five others are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Oklahoma.
The filings came a day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed itself on medication abortion in Texas — a surprise move that means this early-stage abortion involving two pills is now allowed.
The appeals court’s reversal allows, for now, many more women access to abortion, rights groups say, but does nothing to lift the ban on most surgical abortions.
“Medication abortion is only available through 10 weeks in Texas,” said Julie Rikelman, senior litigation director at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “That’s still very difficult for many people because abortions are only available at that point in pregnancy in a few places in Texas.”
A spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Joe Pojman, who heads the Texas Alliance for Life, said in an email: “We are disappointed by the court’s latest action. The latest order fails to recognize the danger that abortion providers pose to the public by refusing to comply with the Governor’s executive order in the same way that other providers of nonemergency surgeries and procedures have done.”
The fight over abortion rights, rather than receding into the background during the pandemic, has intensified as several states banned the procedure in recent weeks as part of emergency measures to fight the virus.
In seven states, state authorities have included abortion as a nonessential medical procedure, arguing that postponement is necessary to preserve medical and protective equipment. Abortion rights groups say the pandemic is being used as a pretense to restrict abortion, and have sued five of the states to stop them.
Out of the states trying to limit abortion, only Texas had been successful; the others have been blocked by judges, but that could change. Especially in Texas, several weeks of legal back-and-forth have caused confusion for patients and their doctors.
A class-action lawsuit is filed on behalf of Celebrity Cruise crew members.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in Miami on Tuesday on behalf of thousands of crew members who worked lately aboard Celebrity Cruise ships, many of whom tested positive for the coronavirus while on board the vessels.
The lawsuit accuses the cruise line of failing to provide protective gear to its workers and being slow to implement sanitary protocols.
Alexandra Nedeltcheva, 54, a Bulgarian waitress, became a plaintiff after she and dozens of others on the Celebrity Apex got sick while the ship was in a French shipyard undergoing repairs. “We asked to wear masks, and they said it was not possible,” Ms. Nedeltcheva said in an interview. “You live in constant fear of dying.”
Nearly 80,000 crew members are still stranded at sea a month after cruise lines suspended operations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of them are in quarantine after the departures of sick passengers and crew, and still more are in limbo because of border closings around the world that prevent their repatriation.
“One of the big problems we have seen is that they are very afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs,” said Michael Winkleman, a maritime lawyer in Miami who filed the lawsuit.
The cruise line did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Justice Dept. is backing a Mississippi church that is suing over penalties for a drive-in service.
The Justice Department on Tuesday lent its support to a Mississippi church that was penalized for holding drive-in services in defiance of a local order, saying that the law was applied unevenly and infringed on the congregants’ First Amendment rights.
While the Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., is relatively small and the city government has said it would drop the fines it had issued to parishioners, the Justice Department’s support is in keeping with Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to aggressively defend religious freedom rights.
“Even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers,” Mr. Barr said in a statement. “Government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity.”
The Justice Department is backing the church in its lawsuit against the city and its mayor, Erick Simmons. Though Mississippi had included churches in its list of essential businesses and allowed congregants to gather in accordance with social distancing guidelines, Greenville banned both in-person and drive-through church services for the duration of Mississippi’s shelter-in-place order.
Last week, the city imposed a fine of $500 on each congregant who attended a midweek service where parishioners stayed in their cars to listen to music and a sermon on the radio but allowed residents to visit nearby drive-in restaurants, according to the lawsuit. The city has since withdrawn the fines.
U.S. stocks rose, as investors looked for signs of recovery.
Stocks rose on Tuesday, following global markets higher after China reported a smaller-than-expected hit to trade and some countries began to take tiny steps to reopen their economies.
The S&P 500 rose about 3 percent, with shares of companies that have been hard hit by the coronavirus-related shutdowns — like cruise and casino operators — leading the gains.
Stocks have been slowly climbing their way out of a slump that had wiped trillions of value from financial markets in late February and early March, as investors have begun to look for signs of the eventual recovery from the outbreak.
Stocks were helped on Tuesday by March trade data from Chinese customs officials that was better than expected.
But the optimism may not linger, as China’s reopening could be a long and painful process, worsened by slumping demand for its goods in countries dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, and there are plenty of other reasons for investors to be wary.
Shares of big banks fell after JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo both announced that they were taking substantial provisions for coming loan losses. And oil producers were down sharply, following a slump in oil prices.
Feeling a sense of panic? Some tools can help you cope.
In the middle of a pandemic, it’s natural to have moments of fear and anxiety. Sometimes, just knowing what’s happening can help, whether it’s learning about how to manage emotions on a personal level or understanding how to put the virus into context on a broader scale.
Reporting was contributed by Tim Arango, Mike Baker, Peter Baker, Katie Benner, Alan Blinder, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Julie Bosman, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Kenneth Chang, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Michael Corkery, Annie Correal, Jim Dwyer, Peter Eavis, Thomas Fuller, J. David Goodman, James Gorman, Erica L. Green, Maggie Haberman, Jan Hoffman, Miriam Jordan, Annie Karni, Sarah Mervosh, Paul Mozur, Aimee Ortiz, Matt Phillips, Alan Rappeport, William K. Rashbaum, Marc Santora, Knvul Sheikh, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Kate Taylor, David Waldstein, Edward Wong and Davie Yaffe-Bellany.