The Trump administration has reversed its decision to cut federal resources for coronavirus testing sites

  • The Trump administration originally planned to cut federal support for some coronavirus testing sites after Friday, according to CNN.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency has helped run dozens of "community-based testing sites" as states scramble to ramp up testing efforts. Some sites are now transitioning to state-managed operations, CNN reported.
  • The anticipated cuts came as some governors continue to spar with the Trump administration over the provision of testing kits and critical medical supplies.
  • While testing in some states has scaled up in recent weeks, the US still lags far behind other countries at a time when public-health experts are saying widespread testing is critical.
  • However, the White House reversed course on Thursday following bipartisan pushback by lawmakers, according to new reporting by NPR.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Update (9:52 p.m. ET): The White House on Thursday reversed its decision to cut federal resources for testing sites, according to NPR. A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote a letter opposing the federal pullback to Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, apparently prompting the change in plans. Some of the information below may no longer be current.

The Trump administration is cutting federal support for coronavirus testing sites and prompting states to take control of them, according to CNN.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has helped states create and run "community-based testing sites," or CBTSs, by providing nasal-swab testing kits, financial support, personal protective equipment, and other resources. But a number of sites are now reportedly transitioning to state-managed operations, and some are closing down entirely.

"Many states have already begun transitioning these programs, and other states have implemented testing sites based on the CBTS model," a FEMA spokesperson told Business Insider in an emailed statement. "Transitioning fully to state-managed operation creates an opportunity for the states to better serve their own communities, while leveraging federal support to augment their state's success."

States that transition "can choose to source testing kits and supplies through their standard ordering process or to request assistance from their FEMA Region," according to a policy the agency updated following the initial publication of this story.

The community-based testing sites were meant as only a temporary effort to jump-start testing in parts of the country hit hardest by the pandemic, CNN reported the agency said. However, some testing sites will be closed, apparently as a result of the change in federal support, including locations in Pennsylvania and Colorado, NPR reported — two states where cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, continue to grow.

"While I'm grateful to have had federal and state support for our successful community-based testing site, I am understandably disappointed that the supplies and the federal contract for lab testing are ending just as we are heading into the surge here in southeastern Pennsylvania," Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners, reportedly told CNN.

The decision by the Trump administration to withdraw federal support was met with criticism from some, given that it comes as public-health experts say widespread testing is critical. The US has managed to increase testing capacity recently — with nearly 2.2 million tests completed nationwide — but efforts still lag in many areas, including some with widespread outbreaks.

"The idea of cutting funding to testing in any way right now? We should just be ramping up as much testing as humanly possible," Phil Petit, the national director of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, told Business Insider.

Even though the US missed its chance to contain the coronavirus by not testing enough people early on, experts say the country still needs to test as widely as possible, not just to isolate and treat those who are sick but also to find people who have recovered and may have developed immunity.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Wednesday that his playbook for preparing the US for future waves of COVID-19 infections, which could come after lockdowns lift, depends on the US developing its capacity for widespread testing, contact tracing, and case isolation.

"The keys are to make sure that we have in place the things that were not in place in January, that we have the capability of mobilizing identification — testing — identification, isolation, contact tracing," Fauci said.

Government agencies have been criticized for rolling out testing and isolation policies too slowly. Errors and delays in producing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's coronavirus test led to dangerous shortages, and decisions about lockdowns have been left to states in piecemeal fashion.

Several governors have also sparred with the administration over the federal government's response to the virus, criticizing the lack of a coordinated response, testing kits, and critical medical supplies.

Morgan McFall-Johnsen and Dave Mosher contributed reporting to this story.

This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published at 4:08 p.m. ET.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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Sandra Bullock Donates 6,000 N95 Masks to Health Care Workers in Los Angeles



Bullock and Randall began dating in the summer of 2015 and have since kept their relationship out of the spotlight.

The Oscar-winning actress is the latest star to donate masks to health care workers who have faced a shortage of personal protective equipment amid the outbreak of the virus.

JAY-Z and Meek Mill donated 100,000 surgical masks through their Reform Alliance organization. The highly sought out supplies will be redistributed to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, with the bulk of it going to New York’s Rikers Island Correction and their medical facility as one of the country’s largest prisons.

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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Rihanna, Jack Dorsey Donate $4.2 Million to Aid Domestic Violence Victims Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) and Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey have teamed up to help victims of domestic violence in Los Angeles, California during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

The $4.2 million joint grant to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles will help provide support and resources to individuals and children suffering from domestic violence, including shelter, meals and counseling. CLF and Dorsey have each committed $2.1 million to the fund.

According to the Los Angeles Housing Authority, an estimated 90 people per week have been turned away from full shelters since the stay-at-home order went into effect last month. The joint grant is expected to cover 90 domestic violence victims per week through 10 weeks.

While Rihanna and Dorsey’s grants will aid domestic violence victims in Los Angeles, “victims of domestic violence exist all across the world, so this is just the beginning,” the announcement states.

Last week, Rihanna’s CLF and Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation donated $2 million to support undocumented workers, the incarcerated, homeless and elderly populations, and children of frontline healthcare workers in Los Angeles and New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Rihanna donated a supply of personal protective equipment via her foundation to the state of New York to assist the state in its pandemic mitigation efforts. CLF also donated $5 million to multiple organizations around the world to help protect healthcare workers and marginalized communities in their battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Coronavirus crisis sees sales of homegrown grub boom and rise in beer and chocolate jobs – The Sun

THE coronavirus crisis has seen food brands rise to the challenge to feed the nation, with sales booming.

While big-name brands are busy expanding their workforces, thousands of small firms have stepped up to fill the shelves, too.

The food and drink industry contributes £28billion to the UK economy annually and employs 430,000 people — but 96 per cent are small or medium-sized firms.

And while 8,500 new products hit stores each year, three in five are made by small “challenger” brands, meaning food and drink is a tasty area for new job opportunities.

The lockdown has seen demand for certain products — including chocolate and beer — rocket, and job openings have soared, too.

Vacancies available range from developing products, sales and marketing, distribution and design, to even starting your own brand.

The chocolate industry is worth £1.1billion to our economy and dozens of firms have set up in recent years.

Among them are doisyanddam.com, founded by pals Edward Smith and Richard Wilkinson, with products sold in stores including Sainsbury’s.

Edward, 31, says: “A typical day involves eating my weight in chocolate. I know that sounds fun, but try tasting six new products before lunch and still having an appetite.

CHANGING CUSTOMER HABITS

“There’s space for small brands to develop ideas which respond to changing customer habits. Chocolate is one of those areas.”

Young Foodies is the UK’s largest community of food and drink businesses.

Co-founder Theadora Alexander says: “There are hundreds of brand teams you can join, with opportunities in some of the most exciting roles you’ll find anywhere.”

See youngfoodies.co.uk to find out more details.

On a home run

Could coronavirus start a home-working revolution?

Three in ten of us believe flexible working will become the nation’s preferred way to work.

And 43 per cent say they would ask for a remote-working option in a future job, according to a new report.

A quarter of workers claim commuting left them exhausted before they even started work.

Chris Biggs of accountants Theta Financial Reporting, which carried out the poll, said: “Covid-19 is having a huge impact on business and productivity at the moment.

“Even as offices and co-working spaces reopen, the appetite of employees to return immediately may be diminished.

“Employers will need to look at more permanent solutions.”

Jobspot

FARMFOODS is recruiting for store assistants and warehouse roles.

Search at farmfoods.co.uk/join-us.php.

THOUSANDS of care roles are available in the North West, including cooks, care workers and cleaners.

See greater.jobs/search-and-apply.

Prepare to work in crisis

Workers under 25 will be the hardest hit by the Covid-19 fallout, a new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found.

Here Sophie Phillipson, founder of hellograds.com, which offers tips for those graduating from university, reveals how they can find work during the pandemic.

  1. Focus your job search on companies crucial to the coronavirus response. Sectors seeing the biggest hiring increases include transport and logistics, hardware and networking, supermarkets, food production and healthcare.
  2. It’s likely you will have to alter your expectations. Don’t expect to be able to pursue your career aspirations in this climate. Any work looks better than none on your CV.
  3. If you are struggling to land paid work, volunteer. There are thousands of community roles delivering food and medicines to people who can’t leave their homes.
  4. Future employers may ask what you did during lockdown. If you’re not working or volunteering, you could use the time to access free courses and trial free software to develop new skills.
  5. Grow your professional network on LinkedIn. Those who have been furloughed or lost work may have more time to answer your industry questions.
  6. Get ready for when things pick up again. Get your CV and LinkedIn profile sparkling, and research a list of companies to target.

Amazon's amazin'

Amazon is delivering 70 new roles for apprentices, including in software development, digital marketing, automation and ­network engineering.

Jonathon Williams is an engineering technician at Amazon’s Swansea fulfilment centre – a role he landed after completing a three-year apprenticeship.

He said: “While I was an apprentice, Amazon paid my course fees as well as a wage, so I was earning while learning.

“As I spent my first year off-site with other Amazon apprentices, I now have friends all over the country and we still meet up.”

Inspired by Jonathon, his twin brother Alex joined Amazon’s scheme – and is in the final year of his ­engineering apprenticeship.

See amazon.jobs/apprentices to apply.

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‘Fox & Friends’ Weekend Co-Host Jedediah Bila Says She’s Recovering From Coronavirus

Fox & Friends’ weekend co-host Jedediah Bila has revealed she is recovering from coronavirus.

Bila shared the news on social media Thursday. “I know I’ve been a little MIA, she wrote. “I’m actually at home recovering from Covid-19. I’m very much on the mend, so please don’t worry. My husband is also recovering well at home and Hartley luckily did not get sick (Thank you, God, I am forever grateful.”

Hartley is her infant son, who was born in November.

Bila last appeared on Fox & Friends on March 29.

As with other broadcast news networks, Fox News has put additional precautions in place enabling anchors and other on-air talent to broadcast from their homes amid the coronavirus crisis. This week, management also distributed thermometers and facial coverings to all essential employees still reporting to the company’s mid-town Manhattan headquarters.

Fox Business parted ways last month with one of its primetime hosts, Trish Regan, after putting her show on hiatus as the coronavirus crisis escalated. The move came after she delivered a segment that described the coronavirus pandemic as an “impeachment hoax.”

Bila is the latest TV news professional known to have tested positive for coronavirus. CNN’s Chris Cuomo and anchor Brooke Baldwin have both tested positive for COVID-19. Cuomo has continued to do his prime-time program in quarantine from the basement of his New York home.

Bila was previously a co-host on ABC’s The View.

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Watching Under Quarantine: Movies Anywhere Screen Pass, Twitch Watch Parties, 'Reno 911' on Zoom, and More

I know different parts of the country adopted self-isolation and quarantine procedures at different times over the past several weeks, but many of us are coming up on a full month of being in quarantine due to COVID-19. And amid all of the Tiger King discourse, our daily streaming recommendations, and films like Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire hitting Hulu, you may have missed a few things that might help make your time at home a tiny bit better. So let’s run through a few of them, shall we?

Movies Anywhere Screen Pass

You’re familiar with Movies Anywhere, right? The online hub that collects all of your digital film purchases? Well, Collider points out that they’re launching something called “Screen Pass” which allows you to remotely share the movies you own with friends and family. Most (but not all) movies seem to be eligible for the program, and once you sign up for the Beta program and select a Screen Pass eligible title, you simply text it to a friend, and they’ll have a limited time to watch it. You can do this three times per month, as long as you add one new movie to your library every six months. It might not be a perfect fit for everyone’s habits, but for those of you with a sizable Movies Anywhere selection, this sounds like a nice way to spread the love of movies safely.

Amazon Gets Into Community Viewing with Twitch Watch Parties

We recently wrote about Netflix Party, a third-party extension that allows viewers from all over the world to virtually hang out and watch a Netflix movie together, complete with a chat box on the side of the page. But none of the major streaming services have approached community viewing on their own…until now. Amazon is the first out of the gate with Twitch Watch Parties, which lets multiple people watch select movies and shows on Amazon Prime through Twitch.

But there are some pretty severe restrictions to this technology. Inverse reports that it’s only available to U.S. Twitch partners (although a rollout to everyone in the country is coming soon). Everyone who wants to watch has to be an Amazon Prime subscriber. And perhaps most crucially, this tech can’t be used for every single movie or show available on Amazon Prime – it’s limited to this list, which currently only has 73 items on it. That could change over time, but right now, it barely seems worth the hassle to try to organize a big group of people if there are all of these roadblocks in the way.

YouTube Originals

For those of you who never ponied up to pay for YouTube original programming (and I assume that is a lot of you), the streaming site is releasing several of its shows to the public for free due to the pandemic. For a limited time, you can now check out Step Up: High Water (Seasons 1-2), Me and My Grandma, Impulse (Seasons 1-2), Foursome (Seasons 1-2), Escape the Night (Seasons 1-4), SideswipedMatpat’s Game Lab, Overthinking with Kat & June, Re:Set, and The Fake Show. Personally, I have no clue what any of those things are, but if you’ve been eyeing them for a while but just couldn’t justify pulling the trigger to pay for them, today’s your day.

Adam Sandler’s New Song

Earlier this week on an episode of The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon and virtual guest Adam Sandler played a new coronavirus-inspired song called “Don’t Touch Grandma.” It’s exactly what you think it’s going to be, so take that as you will.

Reno 911 Zoom Briefings

And finally, to promote Quibi’s upcoming revival of comedy series Reno 911, the cast has been gathering for Zoom “briefings” that can be found on Quibi’s YouTube page. Check out the first one above, and the second one below.

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Rihanna’s Dad ‘Thought He Would Die‘ From Coronavirus: Singer Sent Him A Ventilator

Rihanna’s dad in Barbados caught the coronavirus, and he said he felt like he was going to die. She’s been checking in on him and even sent him a ventilator.

Rihanna and her dad Ronald Fenty have not had the easiest of relationships, but she put his health first when he came down with the coronavirus. He’s at home on her native island of Barbados, where Ronald spent 14 days inside the Paragon Isolation Center there being treated. He’s at home now and spoke to the UK’s The Sun. He still refers to RiRi by her first name, Robyn, and told the publication, “My daughter Robyn was checking in on me every day.”

“I thought I was going to die to be honest. I have to say, I love you so much, Robyn,” the 66-year-old told The Sun‘s reporter while standing at his gate. “She did so much for me. I appreciate everything she has done.” The pop superstar even bought her dad a ventilator and sent it to him in Barbados, but he said he had not needed it as it was a fever that got the worst of him.

“I got a fever up inside of my nose. I had a fever across my lips. It was just a lot of fever. I feared the worst. I thought I was going to die, honestly,” he revealed. Ronald also said that Rihanna gave him “more than” he needed to get through the illness. He has now been declared virus-free and is recuperating at the home she purchased for him. Ronald had one of the few cases that Barbados has seen of the COVID-19 virus, and only three people have died from it on the Caribbean island.

Ronald made a call for the local government to “shut down,” and begged his fellow citizens to self-isolate. “I want everybody to stay home. This is a serious situation. More serious than people realize. Please stay home,” he told the publication.

Rihanna hasn’t just been generous with her dad. On March 23 through the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation, she donated $5 million to various charitable organizations “to prepare communities w/ critical protective gear, medical supplies, equipment and access to food across multiple countries and regions,” including her home country of Barbados.

On March 31 the singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation donated $1 million to COVID-19 response efforts that will be matched by rapper JAY-Z’s equally thoughtful donation from his Shawn Carter Foundation. The total $2 million will support undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles. On April 9, the CLF donated $2.1 million to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 “stay at home” order. What a hero RiRi is.

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Public Figures Who Went Back to the Healthcare Field amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, from Actors to Miss England

Actress Jennifer Stone 






The former defensive back for the Tennessee Titans was already a third-year neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, when he pivoted to working to save patients with coronavirus.

Rolle left professional football in 2013 to enroll in medical school to turn his dream of becoming a brain surgeon into a reality.

“Our neurosurgical floor has been transformed into a floor just full of COVID-19 patients,” Rolle told ESPN. “It is hectic, that’s for sure.”

“I was seeing so many individuals with respiratory distress and respiratory compromise, and the numbers are staggering. Our bed space, our operating rooms may even be turned into ICUs because there are so many people that are either positive with COVID-19 or suspected of having it.”

5 of 5

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Coronavirus: Jamie Oliver shows fans how to make homemade pasta

Jamie Oliver has shown us just how easy it is to make pasta – without the help of a pasta machine.

Hand on heart, we had no idea it was this easy.

The TV chef is encouraging the nation to cook during coronavirus-induced lockdown on his show Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On.

And like Joe Wicks’ exercise videos on YouTube, once you watch the show, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

In tonight’s episode, Jamie and random members of his brood (along with wife Jools, he’s a parent to Poppy, 18, Daisy, 16, Petal, 11, Buddy, 9, and River 3) made a tuna-veg-pasta masterpiece.


Ingredients include tinned tuna, whatever vegetables you have to hand (in his case, leeks and broccoli), a trademark splash of oil added from a height, and for the pasta, flour and hot water.

Simple! In theory…


Here’s the method for the pasta:

1 Empty 3 cups of pasta flour or plain flour onto a flat surface and create a dome shape with a dent in the middle
2 Empty one cup of hot water (for every three cups of flour) into the centre of the flour
3 Stir with a fork until it forms a thick dough
4 Knead it until it’s not sticky, like Play-Doh
5 Let the dough set for half an hour in greaseproof paper and a tea towel
6 Roll a small piece of dough into a small sausage shape, with a fat middle and thinner ends, and then drag your fingers into it to make a thin, delicate, curved shape
7 Leave the pieces to dry until rock solid in a jar, with some grains of rice to absorb any water

Then, for the pasta dish as a whole (serving seven):

1 Place a pan on a high heat, add five cloves of finely-cut garlic and a pinch of dried chilli
2 Chop the vegetables roughly and simmer with a pinch of salt and soften
3 Add tuna
4 Simmer for 40 mins
5 Add handful of cheese, for example, parmesan, and lemon juice
6 Squash with a potato masher to create a sauce
7 Add pasta, after boiling for 4-5 minutes

Jamie donned a shirt from his Naked Chef Days for the demo – with Jools having a field day with his fashion choices.

‘Can’t close the buttons!’ she joked.

Burn.

Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On is on every weekday this week at 5:30pm on Channel 4.

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Leftover Scraps from the AIDS Memorial Quilt Are Now Being Used to Make Coronavirus Masks




McMullin has now made hundreds of panels — which, by design, measure the dimensions of a grave, 3 ft. by 6 ft. — more than anyone else. Her work has never stopped; there is still no cure for the disease. She has always called the 54 tons of fabric “my boys” — which now, 35 years later, of course includes women.

In early April, the National AIDS Memorial was going to display the quilt, to celebrate the 48,000 panels — as Jones and McMullin put it — “coming home.” The ongoing coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold.

Around the same time, McMullin began feeling echoes of the past — and symptoms of PTSD. She knew just what to do. She returned to her sewing machine. McMullin started sewing masks.

Her masks are made from leftover scraps of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. They are being used at facilities run by Bay Area Community Services, which serves the homeless and people suffering from addiction. The face masks are helping both employees and residents. They are also helping McMullin.

“During the AIDS crisis, I could go and do something,” she says. “But now, I can’t. I’m not sued to sitting around and helping people.”

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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