An internal Trump administration report expects about 200,000 daily cases by June.
The sprawling Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, hastily converted into a hospital this winter, has closed, and the military personnel stationed there have been redeployed. A temporary triage unit in Central Park will soon fold up its tents, and the Navy ship that raced to help the city’s besieged hospitals has departed.
The more dire assessments reflect the decisions of governors across the country to ease social-distancing measures even as the number of new cases holds steady and, in some cases, is even rising.
The projections, based on data collected by various agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and laid out in an internal document obtained Monday by The New York Times, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of May, up from about 30,000 cases now. There are currently about 1,750 deaths per day, the data show.
That was not the only forecast of more carnage. Another model, closely watched by White House officials, raised its fatality projections on Monday to more than 134,000 American deaths by early August from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, more than doubled its previous projection of about 60,000 total deaths, an increase that it said partly reflects “changes in mobility and social-distancing policies.”
“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Fifteen children, many of whom had fallen ill the coronavirus, have recently been hospitalized in New York City with a mysterious syndrome that doctors do not yet fully understand but that has also been reported in several European countries, health officials announced on Monday night.
Many of the children, ages 2 to 15, have shown symptoms associated with toxic shock or Kawasaki disease, a rare illness in children that involves inflammation of the blood vessels, including coronary arteries, the city’s health department said.
None of the New York City patients with the syndrome have died, according to a bulletin from the Health Department, which described the illness as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with Covid-19,” the disease caused by the virus.
Reached late Monday night, the state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said state officials were also investigating the unexplained malady.
Last week, an alert was sent to general practitioners in London warning that “there has been an apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multisystem inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the U.K.”
The chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, told reporters that a link with the coronavirus was “certainly plausible.”
Asked about the British reports, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization scientist, told reporters last week that the inflammatory syndrome “seems to be rare.”
“There are some recent rare descriptions of children in some European countries that have had this inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to the Kawasaki syndrome, but it seems to be very rare,” she said.
The New York City health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, said in a statement: “Even though the relationship of this syndrome to Covid-19 is not yet defined, and not all of these cases have tested positive for Covid-19 by either DNA test or serology, the clinical nature of this virus is such that we are asking all providers to contact us immediately if they see patients who meet the criteria we’ve outlined.”
“And to parents,” she added, “if your child has symptoms like fever, rash, abdominal pain or vomiting, call your doctor right away.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said on Monday that the state would allow some stores to reopen on Friday, and that, if individual counties desired, they could relax restrictions further as long as they took precautions.
Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, said that among the businesses that could reopen on Friday, with modifications, were clothing stores, bookstores, florists and sporting goods stores, as well as manufacturing businesses that supply those shops.
The announcement was a cautious step toward removing some of the most severe restrictions that California had placed on everyday life. Dozens of states — led largely by those with Republican governors — have undone restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“This is a very positive sign, and it’s happened only for one reason,” Mr. Newsom said at a news conference. “The data says it can happen.”
Store owners will be allowed to open for pickup on Friday only if they alter their workplaces, and they must enforce social distancing. Mr. Newsom added that more details about the required modifications would be released on Thursday.
The governor also said that if local health officials and county governments certified that they were ready to restart further, they would be able to open restaurants and other hospitality-sector businesses, with modifications. The counties would have to submit plans to the state health agency, and they would be made publicly available.
The two beaches, Mr. Newsom said, had “put together an outstanding plan to reopen” with modifications.
The 9:30 a.m. hearing will be unusual, with a measure of social distancing enforced. Few lawmakers normally choose to sit through the entirety of a confirmation hearing, but senators have been given time slots to come to the hearing room. No more than six lawmakers are supposed to be in the room at once, a dynamic that could affect the rhythm of the questioning.
This time, Mr. Ratcliffe seems likely to receive a warmer reception, at least from Republican lawmakers who control the Senate. Senators want a permanent director to oversee the 17 agencies that compose the intelligence community as they wrestle with how to make sense of the origins and impact of Covid-19, both at home and abroad.
A fund-raising conference on Monday organized by the European Union brought pledges from countries around the world — including Australia, Canada, Japan, and Norway — to fund laboratories that have promising leads in developing and producing a coronavirus vaccine.
Prime ministers, a king, a prince and Madonna all chipped in to an $8 billion pot to fund research, but President Trump skipped the chance to contribute. Officials in his administration noted that the United States was pouring billions of dollars into its own efforts.
For more than three hours, one by one, global leaders said a few words over video link and offered their nations’ contributions, small or large, whatever they could muster. For Romania, it was $200,000. For Canada, $850 million. The biggest contributors were the European Union and Norway, with each pledging one billion euros, or $1.1 billion.
The details of how the money raised will be distributed remain to be sorted out. The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union that spearheaded the initiative, said the money would be spent over the next two years to support promising initiatives around the globe. The ultimate goal is to deliver universal and affordable access to medication to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
In Washington on Monday, senior Trump administration officials sought to talk up American contributions to coronavirus vaccine efforts worldwide, but did not explain the United States’ absence at the European-organized conference.
The U.S. government has spent money on vaccine research and development, including $2.6 billion through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the Health and Human Services Department. Jim Richardson, the State Department’s director of foreign assistance, said American companies had also provided $7 billion so far toward a coronavirus vaccine and treatment.
The United States was not the only major power to be absent from the teleconference. Russia, too, did not participate.
China, where the virus originated, was represented by its ambassador to the European Union and made no financial pledge.
The country has slashed red tape and offered resources to drug companies in a bid to empower the vaccine industry there. And four Chinese companies have begun testing their vaccine candidates on humans, more than the number in the United States and Britain combined.
On a recent evening in Rutherfordton, N.C., Beth Revis drove to the parking lot of a closed elementary school and connected to the building’s free Wi-Fi. Then, she taught a two-hour writing class from her driver’s seat.
Ms. Revis held a flashlight to her face with one hand and a selfie stick with her smartphone attached in the other, looking at the device to speak to her students.
Getting the internet in her area had always been a headache, Ms. Revis said. “But during the pandemic,” she said, “it has turned from a mild inconvenience to a near impossibility.”
For Ms. Revis and many others across the country, parking lots have been a digital lifeline during the pandemic. Instead of spending hours in restaurants, libraries and cafes, people without fast internet access at home are sitting in lots near schools, libraries and stores that have kept their signals on.
“I hope that there is a lesson learned from this,” said Gina Millsap, the chief executive of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas. “Broadband is like water and electricity now, and yet it’s still being treated like a luxury.”
One in four Americans do not have high-speed internet access at home, according to the Pew Research Center, either because it is too expensive or because they live in a rural area with limited service. Some use their smartphone data plans for high-speed internet access, but those plans are often insufficient to handle work from home and distance learning.
A few days a week, a woman arrives at the Metropolitan Plant and Flower Exchange — a bunker along Route 17 North in Paramus, N.J. They know her by her hospital scrubs.
She picks up her standing order — yellow daffodils — and brings them with her to work at Hackensack University Medical Center.
They are not for her office or for co-workers. She carries them out back and walks into a parking garage. There are now three long trailers there, with loud motors powering their refrigerators. Inside each trailer are bodies in bags, stacked on shelves three high — coronavirus victims awaiting pickup.
The woman’s name is Tanisha Brunson-Malone, and she is a forensic technician at the hospital’s morgue who performs autopsies and oversees funeral home pickups of patients who have died. And she has been entering each trailer, walking the aisles between rows and placing a flower on each new body bag.
Ms. Brunson-Malone’s gesture is all but invisible, seen by only some colleagues and the funeral home workers who arrive to claim bodies. Her flowers are for the dead alone, a fleeting brush with dignity and decorum on the way from one sad place to another.
Before, she would open up the trailers each day and see how many people were dying alone. So she decided to give them a more dignified send-off. She said she spends $100 a week on flowers.
“I was kind of like their voice,” she said, “because they were voiceless.”
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In China, grieving survivors want answers but the authorities are silencing them. The government is clamping down as relatives of victims, along with activists, press the ruling Communist Party for an accounting of what went wrong in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus killed thousands before spreading across the country and to the rest of the world.
Reporting was contributed by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Jesse McKinley, Joseph Goldstein, Marc Santora, Julian E. Barnes, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Nicholas Fandos, Cecilia Kang, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Lara Jakes, Michael Wilson and Matt Stevens.