Coronavirus Lockdowns, Russia, Donald Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing

Coronavirus Lockdowns, Russia, Donald Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering a lockdown extension in France, a bleak coronavirus admission from Russia and a pivotal case for #MeToo in China.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron extended France’s lockdown until May 11 as the health authorities reported over 98,000 confirmed infections and nearly 15,000 deaths from the coronavirus. And with no sign that the outbreak in Britain is slowing down, the government there is expected to leave coronavirus-related restrictions in place until next month.

In a combative presentation on Monday, President Trump defended himself against criticism that he had moved too slowly during his initial response to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump showed a campaign-style video reel of reporters and Democratic governors applauding his decisions and lashed out at journalists who questioned the administration’s earlier steps in the outbreak, before adding that “everything we did was right.”

The briefing also touched on an apparent rift between himself and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert. On Monday, Mr. Trump said he had no plans to remove Dr. Fauci from his team, while Dr. Fauci said his own comments had been taken out of context.

2020 election: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. as the Democratic nominee for president on Monday, a major step toward unifying the party against Mr. Trump.

Also: A small study of chloroquine, a drug closely related to one that Mr. Trump has promoted, was halted after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose increased their risk of fatal heart complications.

In bleak comments on Monday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia warned officials that the number of severely ill patients was rising and that medical workers faced shortages of protective equipment.

It was a turnaround in rhetoric for the country, which until this month had appeared invincible, even sending medical supplies abroad.

Now, Russia has over 18,000 cases, most of them in Moscow, where the health system is under growing strain. The city of 13 million people is in lockdown, and residents are required to apply online for permission to leave their homes.

Go deeper: A Times investigation found that Mr. Putin has sown misinformation about health issues including the spread of viruses to discredit the West for more than a decade.

Another angle: China saw its largest uptick in new cases in over a month on Monday, fueled by citizens who had returned to the country from Russia.

This year, T, The Times’s style magazine, is celebrating creative people who — united by outlook or identity — have shaped the cultural landscape from film to fashion.

They include a group of veteran black actresses who have fought the odds to achieve long Hollywood careers. Above, clockwise from left: Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett, Lynn Whitfield, Halle Berry and Kimberly Elise.

Mekong River: New research shows that Beijing’s engineers appear to have directly limited the flow of the crucial waterway, threatening farmers and fishers with record droughts in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

#MeToo in China: The central government in Beijing will investigate the case of an 18-year-old woman who has accused a prominent lawyer, Bao Yuming, of sexually abusing her for years. The case is a pivotal test for China’s #MeToo movement.

Disney: The company’s storied executive, Bob Iger, had just about retired. Now he’s reasserting control amid the pandemic to reimagine a new Disney with fewer employees.

Snapshot: Above, Anna Carlsson running with her dog near the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Runners are finding innovative ways to log miles, whether it involves sprinting across a frozen lake or laps in their backyards.

52 Places revisited: Months after returning from a trip around the world, our traveler reached out to see how his new friends, from Siberia to Samarkand, were faring under the pandemic.

What we’re watching: This Twitter video of surgeons hosting a cello and piano recital at a New York hospital last week. Shira Ovide, who writes our On Tech newsletter, says: “I felt better, for 40 seconds.”

Here’s our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe in our At Home section.

Screaming children, worried employees and anxious grocery shoppers: On Monday’s episode of “The Daily,” our reporters asked people around the United States about their new realities.

Here’s an excerpt from one conversation between Campbell Robertson, our correspondent in Pittsburgh, and his neighbor, Tanying Dong, who works in public law and has been at home with her three sons while her husband works in a hospital.

How is it going today?

It was a relatively calm morning. I had Yan do some homework. I had the other two just watch TV. I tried to get some work done midmorning, which I did. I finished one project. My oldest one had one major tantrum where he was just screaming because he couldn’t find his sweatshirt.

Oh no.

It’s, like, his favorite sweatshirt. It turned out, it was on one of the strollers outside. Like, why would you leave it in the stroller?

How are the 3- and 5-year-olds today?

I have been just generally letting them float along and whatever they want to do. Occasionally they’ll get sick of the TV, and they’ll want to just come upstairs and do something non-TV-related, and it’s good and bad. It’s like, oh, that’s nice. You’re using your imagination. But on the other hand, it’s like, please just go watch TV and don’t destroy the house.

The little one just likes to kind of run laps around the house, which is great because that kind of wears him out a little bit.

I think, generally, we’re settling into a routine. I mean, that first two weeks was rough.


Just having a hard time accepting that, Oh, my God, all three of my kids are going to be home all the time and I’m going to be pretty much by myself with them the entire time. And, Oh, my God, how am I going to handle this? Because I’ve never had to do this.

Right now they’re used to being at home, they’re used to this, whatever this is.

Well, there’s not really a choice at this point.

Yep. We’re all condemned to be with each other, basically.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Isabella

Thank you
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about life in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: make laugh (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times translated its examination of how common pandemic terms are used to mean different things in different countries into Spanish, Italian, French, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.

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