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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared projections on Wednesday that suggest the state can expect to reach its "apex" for novel coronavirus hospitalizations in 21 days.

Why it matters: The number of cases in New York is expected to continue surging for weeks, even as President Trump suggests that parts of the country should lift social distancing restrictions by Easter — 18 days away.

What he's saying:

"What we're studying is what is the high point of that line, what is the apex of that line? That is the point of the greatest number of people coming into the hospital system. So that's our greatest load, is the apex. And when is that going to happen? Again, that is a projection. Again, that moves around. But the current projection is that could be in 21 days."
— Gov. Cuomo

The big picture: New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., with more than 30,000 cases as of Wednesday morning. Cuomo said the state needs 140,000 hospital beds, but currently has about 53,000.

  • He has also warned the state is short of the 30,000 ventilators needed to manage the crisis.

The state of play: The governor pointed to evidence suggesting that social distancing is working, as the rate of people who need hospitalization has slowed in recent days.

  • "This past Sunday, the projection was that hospitalizations were doubling every two days," Cuomo said. "On Monday, the numbers suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days. On Tuesday, the projections suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days."
  • "The theory is given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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