Watch live: White House Coronavirus Task Force updates public

A California scientist featured in the Netflix show ‘Pandemic’ believes his team has found a potential cure for COVID-19.

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Economic impact payments: What you need to know

Check for the latest information: No action needed by most people at this time

IR-2020-61, March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

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Trump shows off new rapid coronavirus test kit in Rose Garden, as HHS says 1 million Americans tested

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by FOX News
President Trump announced on Monday that the United States has tested over 1 million people for the coronavirus as he unveiled a new rapid test kit for the contagion that is supposed to give results within five minutes.

Treasury Secretary says Americans can expect stimulus checks to be direct deposited within 3 weeks

(CNN)Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that Americans could expect checks from the historic $2 trillion stimulus bill to be direct deposited in their accounts within three weeks but experts have determined it could take longer to receive the money.

Congress and President Donald Trump enacted the stimulus bill last week to address the dramatic economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Included are direct payments to many Americans, an unprecedented expansion in unemployment benefits and $350 billion in small business loans.
Mnuchin told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that there will be a web-based application for those who don’t receive direct deposit to give the IRS the necessary information.
It is not clear how long it would take the agency to send out all the money, but it would likely take weeks before the first payments start going out. Mnuchin said last week that the IRS would begin issuing payments within three weeks of the legislation being signed into law. The bill simply calls for payments to be made “as rapidly as possible.”

FDA approves emergency coronavirus treatment: 30 million doses of anti-malaria drugs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has received more than 30 million doses of antimalarial drugs believed capable of treating coronavirus and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Saturday to release those drugs to coronavirus patients.

HHS announced Sunday it had accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate from Sandoz and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate from Bayer Pharmaceuticals intended for use in treating coronavirus patients after the FDA’s authorization. The authorization only approves the treatment under emergency circumstances, and not for normal, typical use. The drugs are not proven to be a cure or a vaccine for coronavirus.

The drug doses were being stored in the Strategic National Stockpile for medicines but will be distributed to hospitals to treat certain coronavirus patients.

President Donald Trump had previously touted various forms of antimalarial drugs, including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as promising treatments for coronavirus patients. In a March 19 press conference, Trump said the FDA was working quickly to review those treatments for approval in treating coronavirus patients, and that some patients were already being given the experimental treatments under “compassionate use” guidelines.

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Military in charge of defending U.S. homeland sequestered underground in bunker complex to avoid epidemic

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Part of the U.S. Army’s Northern Command in charge of homeland security is isolating at the Cheyenne Mountain bunker in Colorado as the coronavirus spreads across the country. The bunker is a command and control site which was built inside the mountain of the same name, located near Colorado Springs.  “To ensure that we can defend the homeland despite this pandemic, our command and control watch teams here in the headquarters split into multiple shifts and portions of our watch team began working from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, creating a third team at an alternate location as well,’ Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, said during a Facebook Live town hall with those under his command.

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Evolving danger? 40 mutations – 8 different strains of the coronavirus now racing around the world

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SAN FRANCISCO — At least eight strains of the coronavirus are making their way around the globe, creating a trail of death and disease that scientists are tracking by their genetic footprints. While much is unknown, hidden in the virus’s unique microscopic fragments are clues to the origins of its original strain, how it behaves as it mutates and which strains are turning into conflagrations while others are dying out thanks to quarantine measures.  Huddled in once bustling and now almost empty labs, researchers who oversaw dozens of projects are instead focused on one goal: tracking the current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that cause the illness COVID-19.

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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 18 new known deaths, 1,105 new cases in the state, officials say

The totals came a day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an infant diagnosed with COVID-19 has died. The 9-month-old-child, whose medical history was not released, is believed to be the youngest person in Illinois whose death has been linked to the coronavirus.