President Donald Trump holds phone call with major sports leagues commissioners

Ross Houston
April 5, 2020

He revisited a familiar message, saying he wants to get the economy up and running as soon as possible.

Emergency medical technicians transport a patient to Elmhurst Hospital Center emergency room in the Queens borough of NY.

NY state, the USA epicenter, saw a record 630 deaths in a single day and Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the worst was yet to come. Such a surge would overwhelm hospitals, which now have just 3,000 intensive care unit beds statewide.

In a sombre start to his daily briefing on the pandemic, the president said: "There will be a lot of death, unfortunately". "There will be death".

The doctor leading the White House's coronavirus response team, Deborah Birx, presented a model Wednesday for the potential number of deaths from the virus in the U.S.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country is "close to passing the peak of infections" as the number of coronavirus deaths fell for the second day in a row. "I've said it from the beginning - the cure can not be worse than the problem itself".

More than 300,000 people in the US have contracted the virus and more than 8,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. So far, 14,500 people have recovered.

Much of the country is under orders to stay home, including professional sports leagues that were among the first to clamp down in the pandemic.

Silver, the NBA's commissioner, told Trump on the call that the National Basketball Association would "love to lead the way" in restarting games, but that an " "all clear" from public health officials" had to come first, according to ESPN.

Asked about the possibility of fans heading to stadiums in September, Newsom said: "I'm not anticipating that happening in this state".

Trump also said that his administration was working to speed up economic relief, to both companies suffering under the economic lockdown, and working Americans whose wages had been reduced or had lost their jobs, "because when we open, we want to open strong". On March 11, the NCAA announced that it would play NCAA men's and women's basketball tournament games without fans.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the President expressed a belief that the National Football League season should start, as scheduled in November.

"This is a very important data point", said civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli, adding that it "allows our hospitals to breathe".

Hard-hit states were seeing cases rise.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not retaliate after President Trump blocked exports of personal protective equipment for medical staff. Foreigners from several countries also went to the event, which was held despite government requests to cancel it over virus fears.

Mr. Trump said Friday that the new guidance on masks is voluntary and that he doesn't plan to wear one.

New York City and its adjoining metropolitan area in the states of New Jersey and CT has emerged as the epicenter of coronavirus in the U.S. where several hundreds of deaths are being reported every day. NY is poised to get more than 1,100 ventilators from China and Oregon. "As sobering and as hard as this is, what we are doing is making a difference, so we really need to continue to do that".

"Even though we see the losses rising in the days ahead do not be discouraged".

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