ABC - COVID-19 News

20th Century Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Ryan Reynolds continues his dominance of feel-good COVID-19-era social media, to give us more to smile about during the lockdown. 

This installment comes via what he tweets is a "weirdly appropriate" clip of his movie Free Guy, the release of which was bumped from July 3 to December 11, because of the pandemic. 

The hook of the film is that Reynolds' character Guy doesn't know he's what gamers know as an NPC -- a non-player character, as in the background characters who live their daily lives amid the ultraviolence players unleash in games like Grand Theft Auto

The clip shows Guy eating his breakfast before a normal day at work, while a TV anchorman calmly discusses "a warm and sunny" Sunday, "with just a scattering of drive-bys," and other horrific calamities that seem perfectly normal to Guy, including a pair of military helicopters dogfighting right outside his apartment. 

The anchor also predicts a "great day for the beach," adding the caveat, "but not Hitman's Beach, which will be mined and sprayed with high-caliber fire from a renegade gunship stolen by a coked-up bandit and his band of bloodthirsty mercenaries."  

The clip appears to be an obvious comparison to the daily, real-life doom and gloom that's become normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

Directed by Shawn Levy, Free Guy also stars Killing Eve Emmy-winner Jodie Comer, JoJo Rabbit Oscar-winner Taika Waititi, and Lil Rel Howery.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 



ABC News/Steve Iervolino(NEW YORK) -- Finding the right college is stressful enough, but how will those looking to start the next stage in their life do so in the days of COVID-19?  With no in-person visits possible, how will prospective students make informed decisions about which school to attend?  How is the stress of quarantine affecting them?

We checked in with Neha Gupta, best-selling author and the founder of Elite Private Tutors and the website College Shortcuts, for some strategies college freshman-to-be can use to make the right choice.

"My advice right now is to breathe," Gupta tells ABC Audio. "I think there's a lot of changes happening. We just heard that the [University of California] system is going to go S.A.T. and A.C.T. test-optional."

"From my perspective, doing this for over fifteen years at College Shortcuts...it's become more competitive than ever to get into college," she adds. "The upcoming school year, especially for this next round of admissions."

However, she notes, "They're going to be weighing the essays and extracurricular activities way above the scores and GPA than ever, before due to COVID-19."

That's why Gupta advises you to brush up on your grammar.

"Now, more than ever, students need to be able to write well and be able to present themselves well and package themselves well -- explain what their passions are, what their interests are, and so forth," she explains.

"We've studied over two thousand students over the last five years...and we saw that 86% of students have had a decline in their writing ability in the last five years," she warns. "We attribute that to the fact that they're on social media, there's no way that people spend the time writing and writing. So students are going to find it quite challenging."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Byron Cohen(LOS ANGELES) -- The stay-at-home order isn't starting to wear on Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.

The famous couple appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday in a socially distanced remote interview and dished on how they are holding up amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was definitely getting to us a little bit," Teigen admitted. "We became more emotional about it, it just became a little real. It happened really fast … it’s fun to be able to be light-hearted and make jokes and try to make people happy and laugh about it, but then it really hits you and you go through these ups and downs."

The 34-year-old model has been holed up with her mother, Legend and their two children -- Luna, who turns four on April 14, and Miles, who will be two on May 16 -- in a rented beach-side California home.

"This is honestly unreal," the Cravings author said. "It’s just been an unreal, surreal experience for our family and everyone out there. So it’s just been crazy."

"We’re holding up fine," she added. "We are obviously making the best of it."

"I think the key for all of us is to love each other, take care of each other, and stay in touch with each other," chimed in. "Even though we can’t see each other in person, we can all virtually see each other, talk to each other, and make each other feel like we have each other we can hold on to."

When all of it's said and done, though, they hope the world becomes a better place. 

"If we can at least come out of this and change a bit, I think that would be a wonderful thing," Teigen shared.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 



CBS(LOS ANGELES) -- CBS’ freshman drama All Rise is rising to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic with a virtual episode focusing on the pandemic, and impact social distancing is having on the criminal justice system. 

The episode will be filmed extensively using FaceTime, WebEx, Zoom and other available social media and online technology, according to the network.  

The story centers on Marg Helgenberger’s Judge Benner, who authorizes Judge Lola Carmichael -- played by Simone Missick -- to preside over a virtual trial involving a dispute between brothers and a stolen car. 

Jessica Camacho’s Emily will represent the defendant, a graffiti artist that Mark -- played by Wilson Bethel -- will prosecute. 

In a statement, the network said, "The show's consulting producer, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, is providing insight into how the justice system continues in Los Angeles, even during the pandemic. Throughout the episode, the series’ characters will be shown managing their 'new normal' of everyday reality at home, in order to continue their professional and personal lives, parallel to what the nation is currently confronting."

The episode airs May 4 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 



(NEW YORK) -- Here's the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus as of 9:45 a.m. ET.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 1,362,936 
Global deaths: 76,373.  Italy has the most deaths of any single country, with 16,523.
Number of countries/regions: at least 184
Total patients recovered globally: 291,991

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 368,449 diagnosed cases in 50 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country. 
U.S. deaths: at least 10,783.  New York City has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 3,485.
U.S. total patients recovered: 19,919

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in New York, with 134,830 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 19.5 million.  That is the most reported cases than in any other single region in the world.  The province of Hubei, China, is next, with 67,803 confirmed cases out of a total population of 58.5 million.

Latest reported deaths per state
Visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html for the latest numbers.

School closures
For a state-by-state interactive map of current school closures, please visit the Education Week website, where numbers are updated once daily.

There are 98,277 public schools and 34,576 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

The latest headlines
UK PM Boris Johnson remains in intensive care with COVID-19
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized on Sunday with COVID-19, remains in intensive care after being transferred there Monday when his condition deteriorated.   Johnson, 55, was transferred to intensive care in the event his condition required him to be placed on a ventilator.  However, a British government spokesperson said Tuesday that hasn't become necessary, through Johnson was given oxygen overnight.  Johnson assured everyone Monday that his situation wasn't critical and tweeted, "I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe."  Even so, provisions have been made for a transfer of power should Johnson's illness render him unable to carry out his duties as PM.  The UK currently has 52,301 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,373 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

3M/Trump administration announce plan to import 166.5 million N95 masks
3M and the Trump Administration are announcing a plan to import 166.5 million respirators over the next three months “primarily from its manufacturing facility in China” to support healthcare workers in the United States, according to a press release from 3M.  The company and the administration “worked together to ensure that this plan does not create further humanitarian implications for countries currently fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, and committed to further collaborate to fight price gouging and counterfeiting,” the release declares, adding that the importation will begin sometime this month.

South Carolina governor issues stay-at-home order, last state east of Mississippi River to do so
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Monday issued a state-at-home order to residents, the last state east of the Mississippi River to issue such an order.  McMaster had been under increasing pressure from parties who urged him to issue the order, but he insisted state law didn’t give him the legal authority to do so.  The order asks residents to limit trips to only those that are essential.  South Carolina currently has 2,232 confirmed COVID-19 cases, a number that state health officials expect to exceed 8,000 over the next 30 days.  According to the Charleston Post and Courier, South Carolina is now the 42nd state to issue a stay-at-home order to residents.  The order takes effect at 5:00 p.m. today.

Wisconsin polling places will open today, despite governor’s plea
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Monday denounced the state Supreme Court’s decision to allow public polling places to open on Tuesday for the state’s primary amid the COVID-19 pandemic, WISN Milwaukee reports.  Evers on Monday issued an executive order delaying the primary until June 9, but the state Supreme Court in turn granted a Republican-filed motion granting an emergency restraining order, setting aside Evers’ order and ruling the governor lacked the authority to issue such an order.  "[T]omorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe," Evers said Monday, in part.

Good news!
The Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy have been deemed "essential workers"
If your kids are worried that the COVID-19 pandemic means that they won't get their annual visit from the Easter Bunny, tell them not to fret.  Because the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy work hard to bring cheer to children all over the globe, they've been deemed "essential workers" – at least in New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the proclamation on Monday, allowing both to carry on their highly respected duties uninterrupted by coronavirus protocols.  However, she did warn that due to the extreme circumstances affecting the globe, both the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny might be "quite busy at home with their family," thereby giving parents some cover if they’re a bit tardy with the change under a pillow, or can’t visit the store for chocolate eggs.

Olympic swimmer trains in quarantine with inflatable pool
Don’t try blaming your lack of home workout equipment for your lack of exercise during COVID-19 lockdown.  At least, don’t try it around Sharon van Rouwendaal.  The 26-year-old, Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer posted a video on her Instagram showing how she’s managing to get in her laps at home.  All you need is an inflatable backyard pool – the one van Rouwendaal uses appears to be about eight feet in diameter and maybe two feet deep.  A long elastic tether is attached to her waist, with the other end anchored to something off-camera, allowing van Rouwendaal to swim face-down in the confined pool against the cord’s resistance, without bumping into the sides.  She’s also posted a video of her demonstrating a non-swimming home workout circuit using minimal equipment.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Take two for Lady Gaga, who redeemed herself on Monday after last Wednesday's frazzled phone call on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  The "Stupid Love" singer apologized to Jimmy Fallon about the odd exchange, explaining "We weren't quite ready and we appreciate you being so nice about it." 

Now, with all her ducks in a row she was free to reveal more about her upcoming One World: Together at Home special, a two-hour event simulcast on ABC, CBS, and NBC that will be hosted by Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert on April 18.

The special is being touted as a "global broad entertainment special to celebrate the heroic efforts of community health workers and support the World Health Organization and the global fight to end COVID-19."

As for what inspired Gaga to create such a massive event, she told Fallon she wanted "to celebrate the courage of the human spirit" in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I want to highlight this global kind community that's coming together right now," Explained the 34-year-old singer.  "This is not just a historical moment in the history of humanity, but a cultural moment that's happening as well."

While the show itself is not a fundraiser, it has received $35 million in donations.  She and Fallon also chatted with Apple CEO Tim Cook during the interview, in which he pledged an additional $10 million for the cause.

It was previously revealed that those participating in the special include Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Latin superstar J Balvin, John Legend, country stars Kacey Musgraves and Keith Urban, Lizzo, soccer legend David Beckham, and actors Idris Elba, Kerry Washington and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Mike Rosenthal(LOS ANGELES) -- It's all fun and games until social distancing gets extended for another month -- just ask Ellen Pompeo's daughter Sienna May. 

The five-year-old took a minute to vent to her mother about how her three-year-old brother Eli Christopher was getting on her nerves, which Pompeo happily shared with her followers on Sunday in an Instagram post captioned, "Social distancing 101 from Sienna May #micdrop."

"He is so rude and it's just... he keeps testing me," Sienna explained in the adorable clip. "Eli, he keeps testing me. Even when I was four, he [kept] testing me and even now that I'm five, he [is] still testing me. Every day he is testing me."

When the Grey's Anatomy star asked what they should do about the situation, Sienna responded, "We should separate." An idea that Pompeo was fully on board with. 

"That's great idea," she agreed diplomatically. "Separate."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Justin Tallis - WPA Pool /Getty Images(LONDON) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized on Sunday with COVID-19, remains in intensive care after being transferred there Monday when his condition deteriorated. 

Johnson, 55, was transferred to intensive care in the event his condition required him to be placed on a ventilator.  However, a British government spokesperson said Tuesday that hasn't become necessary, through Johnson was given oxygen overnight.

Johnson assured everyone Monday that his situation wasn't critical and tweeted, "I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe."  Even so, provisions have been made for a transfer of power should Johnson's illness render him unable to carry out his duties as PM.

The prime minister revealed on March 27 that he'd tested positive for COVID-19.  Carrie Symonds,  Johnson’s 32-year-old fiancée who's seven months pregnant with her and Johnson's child, tweeted last week that she also tested positive for COVID-19 and had spent the week in bed.

President Donald Trump during his daily coronavirus briefing Monday said he was "saddened" by the news of Johnson's ongoing illness and that "Americans are all praying for his recovery."

The UK currently has 52,301 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,373 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.  Those numbers represent the eighth-highest number of per-country cases and the fourth-highest number of per-country deaths from COVID-19, as of Tuesday morning.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Vince Bucci/Getty Image(BUENOS AIRES) -- They say love can make you do some crazy things -- like getting arrested.

As governments across the globe have issued stay-at-home orders in an attempt to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, one man in Buenos Aires, Argentina risked it all just to see his girlfriend. 

Dressed as the popular children's dinosaur character, Barney, the 52-year-old man hopped on his motorcycle and was en route to his lover's home when he was stopped by police, according to the Daily Mail and Argentine news outlet Todo Noticias.

At first, the local children's party entertainer told authorities he was on his way to work, which, considering that the country had been practicing social distancing and limiting trips outside of the home to only retrieve groceries and/or medicine, was the final and only nail in the coffin for his alibi.

He did eventually admit that he was on the way to his girlfriend's home.  However, he wouldn't make it there because he was subsequently arrested for not only violating the stay-at-home order, but also for failing to provide proof of registration for his motorcycle. 

Argentina's stay-at-home order was initiated on March 20 and was only supposed to last until March 31, but has since been extended until April 13.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ArtistGNDphotography(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- With members of the coronavirus task force cautioning of dark days ahead, with the surgeon general comparing the oncoming week to Pearl Harbor, President Donald Trump broke from the somber messaging and offered an optimistic forecast on Monday.

Tweeting Monday, "Light at the end of the tunnel," the president clarified that "the cure can't be worse than the problem itself."

However, the president's message clashes with the nation's leading experts and doctors, who cautioned the nation against going outdoors, even to run to the grocery store or pharmacy unless absolutely necessary.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease and a key member of the coronavirus task force, has predicted that getting "back to normal" will happen, but it rides on developing an effective vaccine that "can completely protect the population."

Pivoting off Fauci's remarks, President Trump said that seeing things go back to normal is a possibility in the economy.  "I think when you add that to it, I think we can get more than back to normal from an economic standpoint. Actually be better. But more than back to normal," he said.

On the prospect of a vaccine, the president again pushed hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to treat COVID-19 -- a treatment that Fauci remains skeptical of.

President Trump highlighted the potential treatment during his Sunday briefing, saying it is worth pursuing this potential treatment.  He also seemingly blocked Dr. Fauci from answering a question about it.

The president's top trade adviser turned Defense Production Act policy coordinator Peter Navarro also supported exploring the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC TV(LOS ANGELES) -- With most businesses deemed non-essential shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that also means barbershops and hair salons are currently closed for business until the pandemic relaxes its grip on the nation.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara revealed on Sunday that she felt her niece's hair was getting too unruly and, without being able to seek professional intervention, took the matter into her own hands.

"Cuarentena times," joked Vergara against a slideshow of her taking a pair of scissors to niece Claudia Vergara's long blonde hair. 

Turns out, the 47-year-old actress was not a fan of the split ends, as indicated in the "before" picture.

A behind-the-scenes video of the impromptu haircut in her Instagram Stories shows Vergara kneeling to make sure she gives her niece the a nice and even trim.

Turns out, Sofia does have a steady hand when it comes to wielding a pair of scissors, to which she proudly showed off in the "after" photo showing Claudia's neat and uniform ends. 

Turns out Auntie Sofia was so proud of her professional trim, she bragged about it in a subsequent post that featured the caption "Wow, perfect hair."

The Vergaras aren't the only celebrities to have experimented with their hair during quarantine.  Artists like Pink and Blake Shelton have also opted to give themselves a makeover -- albeit more radical than Claudia's.

Pink admittedly buzzed her hair after a couple of drinks while Shelton allowed girlfriend Gwen Stefani to give him a striped "quarantine mullet."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



eranicle/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared on ABC's This Week on Sunday to provide updated guidelines on how the general public can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 -- including wearing masks out in public.  

Esper confirmed that the White House is going to "move towards face covering," signaling that those who venture out in public should cover their face for the time being.  Previously, President Donald Trump suggested scarves are just as effective as surgical masks.

Individuals can also make face coverings out of bandanas, old shirts or other clean fabrics to cover the nose and mouth, as recommended by the Department of Defense.

These guidelines will be going in effect for military personnel.  Said Esper, "We want to take every measure to protect our troops … (while) making sure we can conduct our national security missions. And to do that we can't always do the 6 feet distancing whether you're an attack submarine, a bomber, in a tank so we have to take other measures."

In addition to face coverings, those on military facilities must stay six feet apart from others.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



iStock/ugurhan(LOS ANGELES) -- Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla is one of many that has shifted its production to making ventilators to help in the COVID-19 crisis, and it's released a now-viral video of its handiwork.

While sneaker companies like New Balance and clothiers like Brooks Brothers have been making masks for first responders, Tesla is using its existing car parts to create ventilators for supply-strapped hospitals. 

While it might seem far-fetched at first glance, it turns out to be a good fit.  Ventilators are machines that help people who can't breathe to do so, using a series of feedback sensors and valves. And Teslas, like any cars, are loaded with pressure sensors and valves that keep an engine "breathing." Add a ton of engineering know-how, and Tesla's apparently off to the races.

The automaker's efforts are engineered to build the devices without using components that other companies need to make their own ventilators, freeing up the supply chain.   Their prototype uses Tesla's famous entertainment touchscreen as an interface for a medical professional to use. However, for now it's only that: a prototype.

"There's still a lot of work to do, a mask-wearing engineer admits in the video, "but we're giving it our best effort to make sure we can help some people out there."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC Image Group/LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Leave it to Jameela Jamil to say it's okay to not put any pants on now that the world is staying safely at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The Good Place actress cheekily showed off how quarantine life has affected her wardrobe -- even when it comes to conducting important interviews and meetings.

"If you think I’m dressing from the waist down for zoom meetings then you must be drunk," Jamil cracked on her Instagram Sunday while uploading a video as evidence.

The video starts with the comedian being pressed on what she's up to, to which she calmly explains, "I'm about to talk to Harvard.  Live.  On Livestream."

When her wardrobe is praised, Jameela, who is wearing an "I [love] New York" tee shirt with a red and black blazer, hops up on her seat to show off that's all she's has on -- opting to skip the pants and shoes entirely. 

What's even funnier, besides the fact that the 34-year-old is perfectly made up from the waist up for her very important meeting, the video shows that she also touched up the area that would also be featured in the frame.

However, the space that wouldn't be seen on camera -- such as the front of her laptop -- is a disaster, as is the area off to her left.  

As most of the world is asked to work from home, most meetings and classes have been moved to online platforms like Zoom, which hosts multiple people and allows video and audio chat features. 

Thanks to Jameel, however, it just shows that just because a person may look put together and has a clean house on camera, what lies just out of frame might be a completely different story. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Steve Iervolino/ABC News(ATLANTA) -- Tyler Perry can’t seem to do enough to lift spirits amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the latest example was on Sunday.

TMZ reports Perry stopped by a Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta and left a $500 tip for each of its 42 out-of-work servers -- a total of $21,000!

Perry is reportedly a fan the restaurant chain and pays frequent visits to that particular location.

Last month, Perry attempted to raise spirits with his "'Whole World In His Hands' Challenge," a musical collaboration with some of his talented friends.  After kicking off the gospel classic, he was joined by Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Johnny Gill and Fantasia, among others, who each took a verse.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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