Medical staff wear protective suits at an airport in Russia

Medical staff wear protective suits at an airport in Russia

NYC mayor calls for military help

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for military assistance Wednesday morning as the city grapples with the coronavirus crisis.

“The military has extraordinary medical capacity,” de Blasio said on the “TODAY” show. “It’s needed in places like New York right now.”

He also said that any decision to impose a “shelter-in-place” order on the city could only be made in agreement with the state. But he added that the idea should be “considered seriously starting today.”

Dow sinks by 1,300 points at opening bell, despite trillion-dollar economic stimulus plans

Wall Street remained in the red on Wednesday, continuing a grim week that has seen all three major indices sink despite a series of drastic economic measures intended to address the growing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of around 1,300 points, or 6 percent, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down by around 5 percent each.

The losses come after the White House announced on Tuesday that it is seeking a $1 trillion fiscal stimulus package that would help small businesses and certain industry sectors and put cash directly in the hands of Americans.

While that temporarily boosted market morale, it has so far not been enough to stop a massive market sell-off. 

Read the full story here. 

Albania reports 2nd coronavirus death

Albania reported its second death from COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The 66-year-old patient, who died at a hospital, suffered from underlying diseases including cardiac problems and pulmonary edema, authorities said. 

Albania also reported that to date it has confirmed 59 cases of coronavirus infection out of 665 tested.

Savannah Guthrie anchors TODAY from her home in ‘abundance of caution’

Savannah Guthrie joined much of the country in working from home on Wednesday.

She co-anchored “TODAY” from her basement for precautionary reasons after feeling a little under the weather.

“Here’s what happened: I wasn’t feeling my best, a little sore throat, some sniffles, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but we are in different times, aren’t we?” she said on-air. “So in an abundance of caution, and also to really model the vigilance the CDC is asking of all of us right now, we followed the advice of NBC’s medical team.”

Savannah joins Al Roker and Craig Melvin in working from home out of an abundance of caution in the wake of the news that a staffer for the 3rd hour of “TODAY” tested positive for coronavirus this week.

Read full story here

Pope encourages ‘small gestures of attention’ amid coronavirus crisis

Pope Francis walks in a deserted Rome to pray at two shrines for the end of the coronavirus pandemic, in Rome, Italy on Sunday. Vatican Media / Reuters

Pope Francis urged Italians to commit “gestures of affection” Wednesday as millions have been forced to stay inside their homes as part of a nationwide lockdown that has entered its second week. 

“We must rediscover the concreteness of little things, small gestures of attention we can offer those close to us, our family, our friends,” the Pope told Italian newspaper La Repubblica. 

“These gestures of tenderness, affection, compassion, are minimal and tend to be lost in the anonymity of everyday life, but they are nonetheless decisive, important,” he added.

The pope walked Rome’s empty streets on Sunday to pray for the epidemic to end at two churches, as the Vatican said his Easter services will be held without the public for the first time.

Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, has more than 31,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus. More than 2,500 people have died, the highest number of deaths outside mainland China.

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