Chris Cuomo: I've lost 13 pounds in 3 days from Covid-19

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo has become the most visible face of the coronavirus in the United States by giving daily updates about his condition on TV, social media and, on Thursday, at his brother’s New York state press briefing.

    Other television stars (Andy Cohen) and household names (Tom Hanks) have contracted the virus… there are more than I can list at this point… but Cuomo stands out because he is giving frequent updates to an audience of millions of people.
    He began to anchor from home on Monday, and he was formally diagnosed on Tuesday. On Thursday night his 9 p.m. program was pre-empted for CNN’s weekly town hall about the virus, so he joined from his home for a check-up. “I’m doing well. The beast comes at night,” he told Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “As we know the health care workers have taken to call the virus ‘the beast.’ I understand why. My fever has gone up a couple of degrees in like the last 30 minutes. Nights are tough, and I’ve learned something that I didn’t know before: It is responsible journalism to say that 80% of people who get this, statistically, wind up okay, meaning they don’t get a hospital, they get through it. It is not humanly responsible, though, from an ethical perspective. Now that I am one of the anointed and these people reach out to me — you SUFFER when you have this at home, unless you are ridiculously lucky, statistically, and maybe karmically as well.”
    Cuomo said he has lost 13 pounds in the past three days. “I’m just sweating it out and it’s the sickness,” he said. Chicken soup has helped. B.S. on the internet hasn’t helped. “Fake pills, fake tonics… I think we have to be very careful about people preying on desperation,” he said.

    “Incapable of not working”

    Just “for the record,” Gupta said to Cuomo, “we had suggested you not work right now. I mean, you are incapable of not working and talking about this but just for the record, we did suggest that.”
    I respect the suggestion, but I respect the work ethic more! Cuomo said, “In between the hits and in between when I’m doing the show, I’m a waste. I sleep probably 10 hours of the day if I can, in and out. I try to walk and do these breathing exercises because I’m petrified of getting pneumonia.” His main message on Thursday night: “It’s not a cakewalk, but we can get through it.”

    “We’re telling ourselves these lies about testing”

    One more note from Cuomo’s comments on the town hall — because this can’t be said enough — the testing #’s are still so far from complete.
    “When I do have a couple of good hours, I’m still trying to do help with procurement for the state [of New York] because they really are fighting state by state, which is so stupid, to get the equipment that they need,” Cuomo said. “So, I don’t know how I got it and most people don’t, Anderson, and we are so far behind on testing. We’re telling ourselves these lies about testing. We’re nowhere near where we need to be.”

    “The Cuomo show”

      That’s what the AP’s David Bauder calls it: “With all their familial love and drama, the Cuomo brothers — Andrew during the daytime, Chris at night — have become compelling figures in the plague-driven landscape of American television…”
      Chris Cuomo’s cameo during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Thursday press briefing was the latest example of this. “I do believe this is going to be a great public service in an ironic way… You living it, showing it… doing the show, reporting on how you feel… I think it demystifies this,” the governor said. “It takes a lot of the unknown out of the equation. And I know it’s a terrible unfortunate circumstance for you, but think about it from a journalistic point of view, a public service point of view. You are answering questions for millions of Americans.”
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      Apple Tells Staff U.S. Stores to Remain Closed Until Early May

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      Apple Inc. on Thursday told employees that its retail stores in the U.S. will remain closed and work-from-home procedures will stay in place until early May due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

      In a memo to employees, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien told staff that the company anticipates that “flexible work arrangements will remain in place for all offices, and all retail stores will remain closed, until early May.”

      She said that Apple is “continuing to monitor local conditions for every Apple facility on a daily basis” and that the company will make “reopening decisions on the basis of thorough, thoughtful reviews and the latest guidance from local governments and public health experts.”

      Read more: Apple Culture of Secrecy Tested by Employees Working Remotely

      The company is “working on options to make sure parents have the support and the flexibility to adjust their schedules as needed,” according to the note. O’Brien also added that Apple is aware “many parents are balancing homeschooling with working” and is encouraging employees to be open with management about their challenges.

      O’Brien previously told staff that some stores outside of the U.S. could open as early as the first half of April, Bloomberg News has reported. In Thursday’s note, O’Brien also said that the company’s “executive team is meeting daily and closely coordinating with teams across the company.”

      The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has about 270 stores in the U.S., which are part of the 458 stores outside of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong that were shuttered in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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      Doctor From Fox News Segment Now In Isolation For Suspected Coronavirus

      Dr. Rishi Desai, who became a social media sensation after delivering a blunt analysis of the “weak” U.S. response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during a Fox News appearance this week, says he believes he has or had the infection. 

      He told the Bay Area News Group that he’s had a 101 fever, coughing and breathing difficulties ― and that he has been in self-isolation in his apartment for two weeks as a result.  

      “I’m convinced I had COVID-19,” he told the news organization. 

      Desai said the fever is gone and he is improving, and he has ordered a blood test for himself to check for antibodies.

      “It will be important to identify people who are resistant,” he was quoted as saying. “They’re the people who will get our economy back on track.”

      Desai, chief medical officer of the Osmosis website, appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night and was asked about testing by host Martha MacCallum. He shook his head “no” vigorously as MacCallum described President Donald Trump’s promise of millions of tests.

      Then he compared the U.S. response with that of South Korea, which has largely contained the outbreak so far. 

      “Look at the cases they have. Look at the mortality they have,” he said. “It’s a trifle compared to what we’re dealing with right now because we’ve had a very weak response and they had a really strong response.”

      MacCallum wrapped up the segment:

      Many on social media speculated he would not be invited back due to his blunt criticism of the U.S. government’s response to the situation and the lack of testing despite assurances from the Trump administration. 

      He told Bay Area News Group that he has not been approached for a return appearance but said everyone at the organization was “100 percent polite and kind and respectful from beginning to end.” 

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      Quorum’s 24 Hospitals Facing Bankruptcy Amid Covid-19 Onslaught

      Quorum Health Corp., the operator of two dozen hospitals in 14 states, is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing as the looming flood of coronavirus patients puts pressure on the already shaky finances of health-care providers throughout the U.S.

      Management has been negotiating with stakeholders on a variety of possible deals, according to people with knowledge of the company’s plans, who asked not to be named discussing private negotiations. At the same time, Quorum is preparing Chapter 11 plans as hope fades for an out-of-court solution, the people said. No decision has been made, and the outcome could still change.

      The chain’s dilemma may be just the beginning of a wave of trouble for American hospitals, especially in less populated areas like the ones served by Quorum. Even before the coronavirus hit, hospitals have been losing profitable elective procedures to outpatient facilities while still handling patients who lack good insurance.

      Now as medical centers cancel optional treatments to spare resources for coronavirus patients, their slim revenue margins are being further squeezed, and federal relief may not be quick or abundant enough to save them. More than 30 facilities went bankrupt last year.

      30,081 in U.S.Most new cases today

      -25% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      -1.​14 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      Quorum is “engaged in constructive conversations” with debt holders regarding a potential recapitalization or reorganization, Chief Executive Officer Robert Fish said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Regardless of the path forward the company chooses, Quorum Health and its hospitals will continue to maintain all operations without any interruption to service.”

      The company was created in 2016 through a spinoff of 38 hospitals from Community Health Systems Inc., another troubled operator. Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, it now operates 24 facilities with about 2,000 beds in rural and mid-sized markets, including many in the South and Midwest where the spread of virus is now ramping up.

      The company earlier this week said it was delaying filing its annual report to focus on creditor negotiations, which it said “diverted significant management time and internal resources from the company’s normal processes.”

      Quorum hasn’t posted an annual profit since the spinoff, and investors have long pressured the company to make changes as its finances suffered. Its unsecured bonds due in 2023 are rated deep into junk and sell for about 70 cents on the dollar.

      Stakeholders include KKR & Co., York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC and Mudrick Capital Management. In a filing late last month, Mudrick expressed concern that the company hadn’t reached an agreement with lenders to avoid bankruptcy and said amending its existing credit agreement to provide a short-term bridge would be the best course of action.

      KKR told Quorum late last year it was willing to lead a recapitalization that would restructure the company’s debt load and pay stockholders $1 a share. In March, KKR said such a buyout seemed off the table and that, if there was to be a deal, it would likely come with little or nothing for equity investors. The stock, which topped $17 in 2016, has been hovering below 50 cents.

      — With assistance by Jeremy Hill

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      U.S. Navy Relieves Commander Of Coronavirus-stricken Aircraft Carrier, Report Says

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy on Thursday relieved the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote a scathing letter that leaked to the public asking the Navy for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship.

      The removal of Captain Brett Crozier from the command of the 5,000-person vessel, which was first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the commander exercised poor judgment.

      Modly said the letter was sent through the chain of command but Crozier did not safeguard it from being released outside the chain.

      “It raised alarm bells unnecessarily,” Modly said.

      Over 100 personnel on the ship have tested positive for the coronavirus so far.

      In the four-page letter, Crozier described a bleak situation aboard the nuclear-powered carrier as more sailors tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus.

      He called for “decisive action”: removing over 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them. He said that unless the Navy acted immediately, it would be failing to properly safeguard “our most trusted asset – our sailors.”

      The letter put the Pentagon on the defensive about whether it was doing enough to keep the warship’s crew members safe, and alarmed the families of those aboard the vessel, whose home port is in San Diego.

      The carrier was in the Pacific when the Navy reported its first coronavirus case a week ago. It has since docked at U.S. Naval Base Guam on the southern end of the American island territory in the western Pacific.

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      Coronavirus: Expert provides financial survival tips – ‘we are all in this together’

      Coronavirus has already had a huge impact on the economy. According to the latest figures from the ONS, 27 percent of businesses in the UK said they were reducing staff levels and over half of internationally trading firms reported that coronavirus had impacted their business.


      • Martin Lewis issues urgent warning on COVID ‘unfair banking lottery’

      The economic rules are also being changed on an almost daily basis.

      New measures and support packages are being put forward by the state.

      While these are no doubt helpful, they could still provide stress as the rules may not be clear.

      An example of this is the recent changes made to furlough rules, with many employees reporting that employers don’t agree with them on eligibility.

      Many people are rightly concerned but several experts have stepped forward in recent weeks to offer guidance and support where they can.

      One such individual is Jason Butler, the Head of Financial Education at Salary Finance.

      He provided some tips on how people can both protect themselves financially as well as handle the associated stress. His first tip will feel familiar to many:

      Don’t panic!

      “The UK is taking measures and the government will guarantee £330bn of loans to businesses in an “unprecedented” package of financial support for the British economy.

      “A £500m “hardship fund” has been created to be given to local authorities in England to help vulnerable people in their areas and the government have also announced a three-month mortgage payment holiday for homeowners.

      “There’s a lot that’s unclear and unknown at the moment but taking the time to look after your own mental and financial health may help to prevent you feeling overwhelmed.”

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      From here, his tips moved onto the more practical steps that people can take.

      Get free money guidance and review your spending:

      “If you are struggling with debt or day to day money management you can contact one of the government-funded advice services.

      “Speaking to the right people could help you understand where you need to focus and prevent you worrying unnecessarily.

      “Cut all unnecessary expenses and see where you can get cheaper deals on essentials like utilities, debt, and insurances.

      “The lower you can get your fixed regular spending, the more resilient you’ll be to any fall or stop in your income.”

      While many will undoubtedly be worried about their costs, many consumers may be more concerned about keeping their assets safe as the economy crumbles.

      Thankfully, money held in banks will be very secure and, while it may not seem like it at times, financial companies want to help out where they can:

      Relax, your savings are safe and financial providers want to help:

      “Savings that you already have that are held by UK registered financial institutions are backed by the UK government up to £85,000 per person per institution (so £170,000 for joint accounts).

      “Many lenders are putting more flexible repayment schemes in place for those who have borrowed money, or may need financial assistance, such as no fees on repayments for credit cards, loans, mortgages, or repayment deferral.

      “Some deposit takers will allow emergency access to fixed term savings, or increased cash or online withdrawal limits. Check with your banking provider and get in touch with them if you think you’ll be impacted by current events.”

      His final tip revolved around the sensibility of the human condition.

      As mental health awareness has come to the forefront in recent years, people are regularly reminded that it’s ok to not be ok:

      Still worried, that’s OK

      “No one knows exactly how things will turn out and it’s likely that things will get worse before they get better, but we will get through the Corona virus emergency.

      “It’s only natural to be worried and anxious at such a time but remember that we are all in this situation together and you are not alone.”

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      Powerball cuts jackpot amounts amid coronavirus sales drop

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      Even the lottery is feeling a financial pinch amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      There will no longer be a guaranteed Powerball starting jackpot amount or minimum jackpot increase between drawings, the Powerball Product Group announced Thursday.

      Gregg Mineo, chairman of the group and director of Maine Lottery, said the changes are necessary in order to ensure that ticket sales can continue to cover the jackpot and lower-tier cash prizes.


      “Our number one priority is making sure that the Powerball game can continue to assist lotteries in raising proceeds for their beneficiaries,” Mineo said in a news release.

      Normally, the Powerball jackpot starts at $40 million after a win and it increases by a minimum of $10 million between drawings. Starting April 8, the jackpot will instead start at $20 million and increase by a minimum of $2 million, the group said.

      Lottery officials said the changes had been planned for after the current jackpot is won but decided to move to next week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      In this March 25, 2020, file photo, a closed sign hangs in the window of a shop in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)


      “Since last week, more states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and Powerball game sales,” Mineo said. “In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined. As a result, additional game sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts.”

      Winning Powerball numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The jackpot for Saturday’s drawing is up to $180 million, and officials said it would go to at least $190 for next Wednesday if there is not a jackpot winner. If there is a winner Saturday, Wednesday’s jackpot will reset to $20 million.


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      Trump’s Push for Huge Deal to Cut Oil Supply Draws Disbelief

      In this article

      With just one tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump conjured up the prospect of a global oil alliance to rescue the industry from the worst shock in history. The question is whether it evaporates just as quickly.

      After the president’s social-media intervention on Thursday, oil traders are frantically assessing whether Saudi Arabia, Russia and possibly even the U.S. — the world’s three biggest producers — are poised to strike a once-unthinkable grand bargain to cut daily supplies in unison by 10 million to 15 million barrels.

      It’s unclear whether it’s feasible — or even legal — for such a coalition to come together. Or indeed whether it would be enough to tame the tsunami of unwanted crude now bearing down on world markets, which could be two to three times bigger than the cut touted by Trump.

      “It’s too little, too late,” said Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. “Cuts are required immediately, and unless they happen, the price is going to go down significantly and force them to happen.”

      There’s no doubt that the industry could benefit from some intervention. With global oil demand slashed roughly a third by the coronavirus pandemic, a gusher of surplus crude threatens to overwhelm the world’s storage tanks in a matter of months. The meltdown is exacerbated by the dispute between Moscow and Riyadh, prompting the Gulf kingdom to push unprecedented volumes of crude at customers in a tussle for market share.

      Texas Two-Step

      Trump’s claim that the two belligerents are ready to end their price war sent crude prices soaring more than 20%. The Saudis partially backed up their U.S. ally with a call for all producers to meet and stabilize the market.

      Yet the kingdom stopped well short of promising production cuts and maintained its insistence that any deal would require cooperation not just from fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their former ally in the Kremlin, but from all major producers including the U.S. itself. Russia was quick to deny any agreement had been reached

      Texas, home to the nation’s shale-oil revolution, has shown some willingness to join in, with the head of the state’s regulator and some companies saying they should participate in production curbs.

      Trump’s tweet contained no such pledge. Still, a meeting between the president and several CEOs from oil majors scheduled for Friday is further fanning speculation that the White House is receptive to an even wider form of collaboration.

      Difficult Deal

      The deal between Riyadh and Moscow that created the OPEC+ group was a long time coming. It was only after two years of rock-bottom oil prices and several false starts that the alliance came together in late 2016. Even then, they were slow to boost crude prices and the group was dogged by accusations that some countries — including Russia — were reneging on their promises.

      Rebuilding the same alliance and adding even more producers into the pact would be a major challenge.

      “The more people are at the table, the more difficult it is to get a deal,” said Pierre Andurand, whose Andurand Commodities Fund soared more than 140% last month through bearish bets on crude. “I find it difficult to believe that a deal like that could be agreed quickly.”

      Even if political and industry leaders in the U.S. backed collaboration with OPEC in principle, operators in the U.S. shale patch would somehow need to parcel out their share of any collective cutback. American anti-trust laws, unless they were changed, would make any such effort fraught with legal risks.

      Nor is it certain that the Saudis and Russia are ready to heal their split. The two fell out last month when Riyadh failed to convince Moscow to cut production in response to the demand slump caused by the virus. Angered by the splintering of the coalition they’d led for three years, the kingdom responded with an aggressive supply surge to a record 12 million barrels a day and deep price cuts aimed at Russia’s traditional markets.

      The Saudis still appear to be adamant that all producers must play their part in eliminating the supply surplus. Russia, meanwhile, is holding to the view — in public at least — that production curbs are futile compared with the scale of demand destruction inflicted by widespread lockdowns to slow the virus.

      “It’s very clear that Saudi Arabia is maintaining its position,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “It will cut only if everyone else cuts.”

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      Chris Cuomo Cameos at Brother's Coronavirus Briefing — and Says He Had a Fever Dream of Andrew

      There had been more than 230,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 5,700 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to a New York Times tracker. In New York, nearly 2,400 people had died and roughly 92,000 cases of the virus had been confirmed.

      Andrew on Thursday praised his brother for continuing to film his show from self-quarantine in his basement, saying it was an “incredible” show of character and could potentially help those watching understand what symptoms of the virus look like.

      “It takes a lot of the unknown out of the equation,” Andrew said. “Think about it from a journalistic point of view or a public service point of view, you’re answering a lot of questions for Americans.”

      As the Cuomo brothers often do after teasing back-and-forth, Andrew ended on a serious note, telling Chris he was proud of him for fighting through the virus, continuing to work and staying positive.

      “A lot of people’s instinct would’ve been to get in bed, pull the covers over their head,” Andrew said. “Not many people would’ve stood up the way you have stood up. I’ve always been proud of you, you know that, but I’ve never been prouder of you than I am right now.”

      As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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      Panicked shoppers. Empty shelves. Meet the workers keeping you stocked

      New York (CNN Business)Major Bobby Reed of the Bourbon County, Kansas, sheriff’s department had an idea when he saw that some stores were offering special hours just for elderly customers during the coronavirus crisis: He would start making grocery and prescription deliveries for at-risk residents himself.

      “These people don’t need to get out. They’re in a vulnerable age group,” the 10-year veteran of the department thought. So he posted on Facebook that he’d volunteer to deliver to elderly residents, shoppers with disabilities and veterans. His rural county, located five miles east of the Missouri border, has about 14,000 residents.
      The calls to Reed quickly came in quickly from residents who had to stay inside because of the coronavirus concerns or because they couldn’t find an open slot for pickup at Walmart (WMT). The Walmart in the Fort Scott, Kansas, area doesn’t deliver. Neither does the local grocery store.

        “There’s nobody else here local to do it. We’re a rural community and we don’t have Uber, Lyft,” he said.
        Reed now visits shoppers’ homes with a mask and gloves. He takes their shopping list and cash and heads out to the store in his squad car. He also picks up their prescriptions from Walgreens (WBA).

        Major Bobby Reed of the Bourbon County Sheriff's Department in Kansas has been delivering groceries to vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

        In the first week, he made almost 40 deliveries. Other deputies at the department are also helping out. “It’s really taken off,” he said. “It’s very rewarding. It’s very humbling.”
        For residents in the area like Cheryl O’Brien, 56, who has heart and lung illnesses and had a pacemaker put in last year, Reed is her “lifeline.”
        “I was a little perplexed on how I was going to get everything I needed,” she said. “I thought I was going to have to put a mask on and risk catching something until I was told about this service.”
        O’Brien has been using Reed to pick up her medication.
        “I felt bad because he has gone so many times,” she said. “Somehow, someway, I’m going to try to repay him when this is all over. It’s something that I’m never going to forget. I just pray to God they stay safe.”
        The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas is not the only rural law enforcement agency that has taken on the unlikely role of grocery delivery service during this pandemic. Reed got two calls from other sheriffs departments in Kansas that wanted to start similar services for elderly residents in their communities.
        It’s also happening in Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey and other states. In Appomattox County, Virginia, school resource officers are delivering groceries to elderly residents.
        Many small and family-owned grocery stores in rural areas have closed in recent years, making access to fresh food difficult. In rural Kansas, more than 100 grocery stores have closed since 2008, and in 50% of those communities a new store has not re-opened, according to the Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University.

        "It's very rewarding. It's very humbling," Reed said.
        Small, rural grocery stores do not always offer delivery, said Rial Carver, project manager with the program. Delivery is labor intensive and “some of these rural grocery stores operate with a very limited staff.”
        So during the coronavirus crisis, cops are stepping up to fill the void. Some have more time on their hands right now to make deliveries.
        “With schools closing down, with courts closing down, our guys were going to have a lot of free time. So we wanted to do something that would help,” Matthew Henderson, a spokesperson for the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana, told a local television station.

          In Sarpy County, Nebraska, sheriff’s deputies took on the role because scammers had been offering to pick up groceries and supplies for residents and taking their money.
          “The idea behind it was to help defeat the scammers who had already started, and to allow those who should be quarantined to stay that way,” Sgt. Kris Yount told NPR’s Nebraska station.
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