Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order; a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
1:30 p.m. At his daily press briefing on Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a third child has died from what appears to be a burgeoning illness that's been linked to COVID-19 cases among children, in a situation he characterized as "truly disturbing" and a "serious situation."
Cuomo offered no details on the child's death at the news briefing. In a press release sent out shortly, officials revealed the latest victim was a teenager from Suffolk County. At the news briefing, Cuomo said the disease is more unpredictable than realized.
"It is very possible this has been going on for several weeks, and it hasn't been diagnosed as related to COVID," said Cuomo of the condition.
The symptoms bear similarities to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome, conditions well known to the health community. Symptoms related to the new disease include fever, a swollen tongue, rash, and stomachaches.
On Thursday, officials announced that a 5-year-old living in New York City was the first confirmed fatality connected to the condition. On Friday, it was announced a 7-year-old child living in Westchester County also died. There have now been 73 reported cases in New York where children developed these conditions.
"These children happened to have the COVID antibodies or be positive for COVID, but those were not the symptoms they showed," said Cuomo.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now asked the state Department of Health to develop guidelines for the entire country related to the condition.
Cuomo also announced an initiative to ramp up testing in low-income and minority communities across the five boroughs through a partnership with Northwell Health and 24 houses of worship. The news is in response to data collected from the diagnostic testing and antibody testing survey of 15,000 New Yorkers showing those living largely in communities of color or low-income neighborhoods are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Eleven sites will be opened the week of May 12th and the following week.
"The sites will be there. We now need New Yorkers to go get the test," said Cuomo, regardless of whether people argue they feel fine.
: Trump Faces COVID-19 Cases At The White House
9:30 a.m. Two people who work in close proximity with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising questions about the president's continued approach to eschew wearing masks.
On Thursday, one of the president's personal valets, a member of the U.S. Navy, was confirmed to have COVID-19. According to CNN, "The valets are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House and often work very close to the President and first family. Trump was upset when he was informed Wednesday that the valet had tested positive, a source told CNN, and the President was subsequently tested again by the White House physician."
Another report, from NBC News, described, "After learning that one of his valets was infected, Trump became 'lava level mad' at his staff and said he doesn't feel it is doing all it can to protect him, according to a person close to the White House. The source said the unknowingly infected valet was consistently close to the president throughout the day. Trump publicly disputed that Thursday, telling reporters that he'd had 'very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman."
Then, on Friday, Pence's trip to Iowa was delayed because his press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus. At first, the White House did not disclose which Pence staffer had the virus, but then Trump inadvertently outed Miller that afternoon saying, "She's a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time. And then all of the sudden today she tested positive. She hasn't come into contact with me. She's spent some time with the vice president."
Miller is married to one of Trump's closest advisers, Stephen Miller. The president and vice president are tested for coronavirus every day and have, thus far, remained negative. A personal assistant to the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, has also tested positive, but she has reportedly been working from home and has not been in contact with Ivanka, whose husband Jared Kushner is also one of Trump's top advisers.
Both Trump and Pence have consistently foregone wearing masks when making public appearances with others; neither do many of their aides. Pence notably did not wear a mask at the Mayo Clinic, even though the hospital requires visitors wear them; the vice president later admitted he should have worn one.
A former White House official, who served in prior administrations, told the Washington Post that Trump has "tried to minimize this threat from day one. It’s the only way he can laugh in the face of this disease. If he backtracks now, and starts wearing a mask, it will contradict the red meat he’s feeding to his base constantly. This is the first health crisis that has been politicized."
On Friday, during a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., Trump and First Lady Melania Trump did not wear masks, an event that included eight World War II veterans, ages 96 to 100 years old. While those veterans are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 because of their age, the White House said they were "choosing nation over self" in deciding to participate.
While access to widespread testing is often mentioned as one of many keys to reopen states and businesses, the New York Times reported that Trump pointed out on Friday, "The tests are perfect, but something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens and all of a sudden" it changes.
"When you take a test you’re basically getting a slice in time. You know what is happening at that moment, but you don’t know what may happen even soon after that," acknowledged Nellie Brown, an expert in workplace health and safety programs at Cornell University, in an interview with the Times.
But she said the president should wear a mask. "You need to model the behavior you want others to exhibit because you’re so powerful an example. It’s so important for others to see we’re all doing this because we’re all in this together."