Coronavirus brings life in US to a halt as Trump urges calm, federal and local officials try to stop spread

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Coronavirus brings life in the US to a grinding halt as federal, local governments work to stop spread
It was the week that changed everything. Federal, state and local governments, in the past 72 hours, have taken unprecedented steps to try and slow the coronavirus’ spread, and bolster small businesses, first-responders and hospitals that prepare for an influx of patients exhibiting serious symptoms.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who is spending some time in Italy, wrote in Newsweek that the U.S. should plan for a "worst-case pandemic." He called for a unified effort with the kind of "intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II."

President Trump, at a news conference on Sunday, said the U.S. is studying how countries effectively managed the outbreak. South Korea and China are two countries praised for their efforts. Italy, which has a large elderly population, is considered, at this point, to be a cautionary tale.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has sickened more than 162,000 people worldwide and has left more than 6,000 dead, with thousands of new cases confirmed each day. The death toll in the United States climbed to 68, while infections passed 3,200. West Virginia is the only state without a confirmed case.

Americans have seen dramatic steps taken that affect their everyday lives, from reduced hours at work, new concerns for an elderly relative or an urgent need for childcare. But the country has also seen measures that affect our national identity. NBA, NHL, MLB pre-season, NCAA and PGA seasons have been suspended. The Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and Ellis Island are closed to the public effective immediately.

There is going to be an emergency meeting to discuss the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The U.S. Capitol will cease all public tours. Walt Disney World theme parks and the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles will also close. Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City are among the places that ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service. Takeout and delivery will still be allowed.

Trump on Sunday worked to calm Americans who’ve seen their schools closed and grocery stores emptied. He said these grocery stores will remain open. The National Security Council took to Twitter late Sunday to deny rumors of a "national quarantine." Click here for more on our top story.

In other coronavirus developments:
- Biotech company ships first batches of coronavirus vaccine to be tested on humans: report
- New York City closing movie theaters, entertainment venues due to coronavirus
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for bars, wineries to close; people over 65 to stay home

House’s coronavirus bill may be in trouble in the Senate
“Do not underestimate the challenge the Senate could face passing this bill.” Those were the words of a senior Republican source about how tough the path may be for the Senate to align with the House of Representatives and approve a massive coronavirus measure.

There is one school of thought that the Senate could simply take up the House bill and pass it on the spot. But frankly, the course is much, much harder than that. In fact, there are some technical problems in the drafting of the coronavirus legislation that requires the House to pass the bill again – perhaps with a skeleton staff – later this week. Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports. Click here for more.

In related coronavirus developments: 
- Dow futures tumble 1,000 points after Fed takes emergency action on interest rates
- White House open to third relief bill as coronavirus hits travel industries
- Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Sanders attacks Biden record as one-on-one debate gets personal: ‘Don’t laugh, Joe’ 
A Democratic debate that was tamed from the outset by coronavirus-related precautions nevertheless produced fireworks Sunday night as Bernie Sanders repeatedly attacked Joe Biden’s lengthy record and spurned the presidential primary front-runner’s attempts to win over him and his base by adopting liberal platforms.

Biden, meanwhile, bristled at Sanders’ transparent attempts to use the coronavirus pandemic to renew his call for “Medicare-for-all,” saying: “People are looking for results, not a revolution.” But the Vermont senator was notably more aggressive, hitting his rival in their first one-on-one debate over everything from super PAC support to his history on Social Security.

Their first one-on-one stand-off represented perhaps Sanders’ last moment to alter the trajectory of Biden’s front-running campaign ahead of another round of primaries that could see the Vermont senator fall further behind in the delegate count. Biden, meanwhile, is essentially looking for a peace accord, as the party establishment aims to avoid a drawn-out and bruising primary battle redolent of 2016. Click here for more.

Other developments from Sunday's debate:
- Sanders confuses coronavirus for Ebola as Biden botches swine flu reference
- Biden commits to naming female running mate, if nominated
- Mary Anne Marsh: In Biden-Sanders debate, solutions win and revolution loses

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#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."
 
SOME PARTING WORDS

Dr. Oz says washing your hands alone can bring a 50 percent reduction in the transmission of coronavirus: "It’s a DIY vaccine ... it's that powerful."

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Keep your spirits up during this coronavirus outbreak -- we'll get through this together. We'll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.