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The Trump administration is reviewing an order to extend its virus border restrictions indefinitely.

The Trump administration is moving to extend its virus border restrictions indefinitely, using the government’s broad public health authorities to severely limit immigration across its land borders until officials decide that there is no more danger of infection to Americans, Michael D. Shear reports.

The restrictions have significantly hindered opportunities to seek humanitarian protections in the United States.

Since March 21, Border Patrol agents referred 59 migrants to be interviewed by asylum officers, according to a United States Citizenship and Immigration official. Only two seeking the protections were allowed to remain in the United States.

But a new order under review by several government agencies is meant to extend the restrictions indefinitely. Once issued by Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., the border restrictions would stay in effect until he decides the virus no longer poses a threat. The indefinite extension comes even as Mr. Trump has repeatedly pushed for states to reopen their economies, arguing that the threat from the virus will quickly recede.

“I am extending the duration of the order until I determine that the danger of further introduction of Covid-19 into the United States has ceased to be a danger to the public health,” the draft order read, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.

The White House declined to comment.

The new order would require C.D.C. officials to review the dangers posed by the virus every 30 days.

That language is certain to worry immigration advocates, who have accused Mr. Miller and the Trump administration of using the pandemic to impose immigration restrictions they have long wanted to make permanent. On several occasions before the crisis, Mr. Miller and others in the administration considered using public health laws to reduce immigration into the United States.

It is not clear when the administration intends to formally issue the new order. The existing border restrictions are set to expire on May 21.

Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, delivered a stark warning on Wednesday that the United States was facing an economic hit “without modern precedent,” one that could permanently damage the economy if Congress did not provide sufficient policy support to prevent a wave of bankruptcies and prolonged joblessness.

Mr. Powell’s blunt assessment was the clearest signal yet that the trillions of dollars in support that policymakers had already funneled into the economy might not be enough to prevent lasting damage from a pandemic that has shuttered businesses and thrown more than 20 million people out of work.

It was also a rejoinder to lawmakers and the Trump administration, whose discussions of additional rescue measures have run aground as Democrats unveil a wish list and Republicans shy away from federal spending, betting instead that reopening the economy will quickly and significantly lift growth.

“The recovery may take some time to gather momentum,” Mr. Powell said at a Peterson Institute for International Economics virtual event, where he lauded Congress’s early response packages and suggested that an uncertain outlook might call for more. “Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery.”

His comments unnerved investors, and the S&P 500 fell nearly 2 percent, adding to its 2 percent loss from the day before.

Members of Congress remain divided along partisan lines over how aggressively to pursue additional relief spending, with Democrats proposing sweeping new programs and Republicans voicing concerns over the swelling federal budget deficit. Economic advisers to Mr. Trump have said that they are in a wait-and-see mode for now on whether another fiscal package is needed, watching to see how much the economy rebounds as states lift restrictions on business activity.

Mr. Powell and his central bank colleagues are stepping into their roles as economic experts and informal advisers to spur fiscal policymakers into action. They say the recovery remains highly uncertain, and if the policy response proves inadequate, the consequences could be long-lasting and painful.

“While the economic response has been both timely and appropriately large, it may not be the final chapter, given that the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks,” Mr. Powell said Wednesday. “Since the answers are currently unknowable, policies will need to be ready to address a range of possible outcomes.”

Mr. Powell pointed out that the burden often fell on the most disadvantaged, saying that a Fed survey set for release on Thursday would show that almost 40 percent of people who were working in February and were members of households making less than $40,000 a year had lost their jobs in March.

He warned of significant drawbacks if the current recession was drawn out, from “lasting damage” to the economy’s productive capacity to “avoidable” household and business insolvencies that weigh on growth for years to come. He also cautioned that long stretches of unemployment could erode worker skills and leave families struggling with huge debt loads.

“We ought to do what we can to avoid these outcomes, and that may require additional policy measures,” Mr. Powell said.

The Republican attorney general in Texas has heightened tensions with three of the state’s largest Democratic-led cities, warning officials in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio that their local mask-wearing requirements and other restrictions — all more strict than Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders — were unlawful.

When Mr. Abbott ended his stay-at-home order this month and set the stage for the state’s partial reopening, he angered many local officials by contending that his reopening policies superseded any conflicting orders issued by cities or counties.

The office of the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, issued letters to leaders in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio and threatened legal action over several local restrictions, including extensions of stay-at-home orders, protocols for houses of worship and requirements for face masks.

“We trust you will act quickly to correct mistakes like these to avoid further confusion and litigation challenging the county’s and city’s unconstitutional and unlawful restrictions,” a deputy attorney general wrote in a letter to the mayor of Austin and the county judge of Travis County, which includes Austin.

Officials elsewhere received similar missives as part of the latest skirmish in the long-running battle between conservative state leaders and politicians in more liberal major cities.

The elected officials who received the new warnings disputed the state’s reading of their orders. “We intentionally modeled the public health guidelines based on the governor’s recommendations, never imagining he did not want his own guidelines followed,” Judge Clay Jenkins, the top elected official in Dallas County, said in a statement.

Dallas County reported another 236 cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing its total to 6,359, including 148 deaths.

The president taps the leaders of his efforts to speed the development of a vaccine.

Mr. Trump has picked Moncef Slaoui, the former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, and Gen. Gustave F. Perna, a four-star general, to lead Operation Warp Speed, the government’s effort to speed up development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, according to a senior administration official.

The two men will lead a crash development program ordered by Mr. Trump that is meant to find a vaccine that could be ready for wide distribution in the United States by as early as next year. In late April, officials at the Department of Health and Human services confirmed the effort, but provided few details.

“Operation Warp Speed is clearly another extension of President Trump’s bold leadership and unwillingness to accept ‘business as usual’ approaches to addressing the Covid-19 crisis,” Michael Caputo, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs, said at the time.

Some of Mr. Trump’s top public health advisers have cautioned that a vaccine for the pathogen might not be ready for widespread distribution for 18 months, and perhaps even longer. Mr. Trump ordered the creation of the “Warp Speed” program to try to speed that timeline.

The announcement comes a day before Dr. Rick Bright, a whistle-blower who said he was removed from his job as one of the nation’s top vaccine experts after objecting to the widespread use of malaria drugs promoted by Mr. Trump, is expected to be critical of the administration’s response to the virus in testimony on Thursday on Capitol Hill.

“Our window of opportunity is closing,” Dr. Bright, who was fired from his job as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, wrote in advance testimony. “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

Dr. Bright made the same allegations in his whistle-blower complaint, which the department strongly denied.

“This is a personnel matter that is currently under review,” Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the department, said in an email last week. “However, H.H.S. strongly disagrees with the allegations and characterizations in the complaint from Dr. Bright.”

Dr. Bright is set to appear before the health subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Harvard Medical School classes will be online for new students in the fall.

Harvard Medical School announced on Wednesday that classes would be held remotely in the fall for incoming students, making it the latest institution to delay bringing students back to campus in full force amid the pandemic.

The decision applies to new medical, dental and graduate students, but officials said they hope to be able to offer in-person research and clinical classes for returning students.

“We hope to have all of our students back on campus by January, but we are mindful of the many unknowns,” the medical school said in a statement.

Though many colleges and universities have said they intend to reopen, most are also preparing for remote learning to continue if necessary.

More signs of a rare and dangerous inflammatory syndrome that afflicts children and appears to be connected to the coronavirus are appearing in New York, where state health officials now investigating 102 cases, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Of the state’s syndrome cases, 71 percent of them resulted in children being admitted to intensive care units, and 43 percent of the patients remained hospitalized, Mr. Cuomo said.

The governor said 60 percent of the children showing symptoms of the syndrome had tested positive for the virus; 40 percent tested positive for antibodies.

Health officials believed the children might have been exposed to the virus weeks before they fell ill, Mr. Cuomo said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that 82 cases had been reported in New York City, an increase of 30 from the previous day.

New Jersey on Wednesday reported 18 cases of the syndrome in children, four of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the state health commissioner.

Mr. Cuomo also said the number of new virus-related deaths had stayed under 200 for the third straight day, with another 166 deaths reported. The number of new virus hospitalizations has continued to stay at levels that preceded his statewide stay-at-home orders, which are set to expire on Friday. A fourth region upstate has now met the criteria to gradually reopen, he said.

Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, was released from prison on Wednesday and granted confinement in his home in Northern Virginia because of concerns over the virus, one of his lawyers, Todd Blanche, said.

Mr. Cohen is serving three years for violating campaign finance laws in part because of a hush money scheme to silence two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump. The president has denied the affairs.

Doug Mills, a New York Times photographer, captured Vice President Mike Pence arriving at the White House on Wednesday wearing a protective mask. The White House on Monday ordered all West Wing employees to don masks at work unless they were at their desks.

Both changes, which are expected to win approval on Friday, would be firsts for a tradition-bound body that has been loath to alter its rules, even with the advent of new digital technologies. After weeks of debate, they reflect the leaders’ conclusion that there may be no other way for Congress to fully function in the months to come as Covid-19 continues to spread in the capital and around the country.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel E. Bowser, said Wednesday that the city was extending its stay-at-home order through June 8.

The new rules would allow any member who was unable or unwilling to travel to the Capitol because of the pandemic to designate another lawmaker to cast votes on their behalf on the House floor.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, a Democrat of Maryland, said he was disappointed Republicans were not backing the move, adding that several of their ideas had been included in the final proposal. Friday’s vote will authorize the House to study the feasibility of using technology for members to fully cast votes remotely, rather than using an in-person proxy.

Republicans immediately panned the proposal, calling it “the most significant power grab in the history of Congress.” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican, called the proposal sloppy and self-serving for the majority party, and predicted it would forever alter our democratic institution for the worse.”

Hospitals across the country are filled with a curious sight these days: patients lying on their bellies.

Patients almost always lie on their backs, a position that helps nurses tend to them and allows them to look around if they’re awake. But for many patients, the crisis is literally flipping the script.

The surprisingly low-tech concept, called proning, can improve breathing in patients stricken by the respiratory distress that is the hallmark of the virus, doctors have found. It draws from basic principles of physiology and gravity. Lying on one’s stomach helps open airways in lungs that have become compressed by the fluid and inflammation unleashed by the virus infection.

When patients are on their backs, “the heart is now sitting on top of the lungs and compressing it even more,” said Dr. Michelle Ng Gong, chief of the divisions of critical care and pulmonary medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx. “The rib cage cannot move in the usual way because it’s now up against the bed.”

But, she said, “When you flip the patient onto the belly, now the back of the lungs can start to open,” allowing more air sacs to function, she said.

In addition, a larger share of the lungs is in the back of the body than the front, meaning that patients on their stomachs don’t have to support as much lung weight.

Colorado is one of the few Democrat-led states to move fast to reopen.

While Republican governors and conservative protesters have led the charge to reopen their economies, Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado has moved faster than many of his fellow Democrats in allowing statewide stay-at-home orders to lapse and some businesses to reopen.

Mr. Polis and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, a Republican, were meeting with Mr. Trump in the White House on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Polis said this week he felt some “trepidation” about flying across the country, but that it was important for the president “to hear what’s really going on, on the ground: The fear, the anxiety, the health condition, the economic challenges the people of the country face.”

Throughout the crisis, Mr. Polis has given wonky news conferences touching on the rate of new infections, the state’s testing abilities and whether people are abiding by social-distancing guidance. Colorado now has more than 20,000 confirmed cases, though new cases have fallen since a peak last month. Hospitals and local leaders are watching anxiously whether those rates spring back.

And tensions are boiling up over whether Colorado is reopening too quickly or too slowly. Reports about a cafe in the conservative suburbs south of Denver went viral over Mother’s Day weekend after it defied state orders and reopened to a packed house. The party ended quickly when the authorities declared it was an “imminent health hazard” and suspended its license.

In New Jersey starting Monday, all retail stores can open for curbside pickup, drive-in events for movies and religious gatherings will be allowed, and nonessential construction can resume, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said on Wednesday.

“We’re moving slowly and deliberately because any misstep risks further outbreaks,” he said. “We want to be quick, but we want to be right.”

The state reported 197 fatalities on Wednesday, the sixth consecutive day that the number stayed under 200.

Online sales in the United States have surged since the middle of March, when shelter-in-place measures shuttered brick-and-mortar stores throughout the country.

Beyond what might be temporary shifts, consumer habits appear to be changing in ways that may well endure beyond the pandemic and determine who will become the most important online players, writes Nathaniel Popper, who covers finance and technology.

Instead, the Agriculture Department is focusing on giving states more flexibility to feed residents through regulatory waivers, many of which expire at the end of the month.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, rates of household food insecurity have doubled and rates of childhood food insecurity have quadrupled, according to The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.

The Agriculture Department has issued waivers giving states more administrative power over the agency’s 15 nutrition assistance programs, which cover children, women and infants, and adults. The department also plans to send more than five million food boxes a week to children living in rural areas who would have difficulty getting meals that are distributed at many schools.

Those waivers are modest: One allows school meals to be served outside of crowded settings; another allows meals to be distributed without some education activity. The department has allowed 22 states to receive additional assistance through an electronic transfer of benefits that accounts for the value of free and reduced-price meals that their children no longer receive because of school closures, an average of $114 a month per child.

Families in 21 states can use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase groceries online, and other waivers have allowed states to issue emergency allotments that increase SNAP benefits to the maximum monthly allotment for all beneficiaries. That has expanded food assistance for some working poor families, but it does not increase help for the poorest, who already get the maximum benefit. The federal government has not moved to increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent, as Democrats have wanted.

The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt continued its monthslong fight against the virus, with at least one sailor aboard the ship testing positive, according to crew members.

The infected sailor, who had tested negative before reboarding the Roosevelt, was quickly whisked off the ship, which is docked in Guam as Navy officials make preparations for the vessel to deploy. The episode underscores the stubborn challenges facing top Navy officials as a second investigation into the service’s handling of Covid-19 — this one by the Defense Department’s inspector general — got underway this week.

Navy officials said they had been aggressively screening and testing as crew members returned to the ship after quarantining in Guam over the last month. Officials on the Roosevelt, they say, are doing everything from requiring masks to repeated cleaning and sanitizing to prevent another outbreak like the one in March, which infected about 1,100 crew members.

A journalist and father of a student in the district, in Palm Beach County, Fla., says he has revealed a security flaw in the way the district uses Google Classroom: a simplistic elementary school password formula that makes it easy for students to log into others’ accounts.

The School District of Palm Beach County acknowledged a single incident, but said it was not aware of any widespread security breaches among its 176,000 students. On Tuesday, the district rolled out the ability for younger students and their parents to change passwords independently, and now plans to advise them to do so.

Keith Oswald, the district’s deputy superintendent, said Palm Beach County was continuing to learn how to take tools originally used within school buildings and adapt them to heavy home use. About 70 percent of students are using Google Classroom on a typical weekday, he said, while others are watching lessons broadcast on local television stations.

The virus spreading around the globe “may never go away,” becoming a long-term fact of life that must be managed, not an enemy that can be permanently eradicated, a top World Health Organization official said on Wednesday.

“This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Mike Ryan, head of the organization’s health emergencies program, said at a news briefing. “H.I.V. has not gone away but we’ve come to terms with the virus and we have found the therapies and we have found the prevention methods, and people don’t feel as scared as they did before.”

“There are no promises in this and there are no dates,” he said, tamping down expectations that the invention of a vaccine will provide a quick and complete end to what has become a global health and economic calamity. A good vaccine might be developed, but there is no telling when, he added, calling it “a moon shot.”

If infected people become immune or resistant, then when enough people have had the virus, there will be fewer left who can catch it or spread it, making outbreaks more manageable. But no one knows how long that will take.

“The current number of people in our population who’ve been infected is actually relatively low,” Dr. Ryan said.

Reporting was contributed by Alexandra Alter, Karen Barrow, Pam Belluck, Alan Blinder, Helene Cooper, Michael Cooper, Carla Correa, Maria Cramer, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Manny Fernandez, Lazaro Gamio, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Michael Gold, Dana Goldstein, Denise Grady, Matthew Haag, Maggie Haberman, Jack Healy, Shawn Hubler, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Sheila Kaplan, Annie Karni, Sharon LaFraniere, Michael Mason, Sarah Mervosh, Brad Plumer, Marc Santora, Eric Schmitt, Dionne Searcey, Michael D. Shear, Jeanna Smialek, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Katie Thomas and Daisuke Wakabayashi.





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