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Daily News Update: Intel confirms China hiding deaths; Cats can get virus

The world may reach a sad milestone today as it inches closer to passing 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. More than 932,000 cases with 42,600 deaths have been reported as of this morning; the US accounts for almost a quarter of the cases and about 10 percent of the deaths (using China’s questionable death toll).

U.S. markets

US markets took another bruising, one day after closing out the worst quarter in their history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 974 points (-4.4%), with the S&P 500 (-4.4%) and Nasdaq (-4.4%) following suit. Also today, unemployment claims numbered 6.3 million, twice the previous week’s record of  3.3 million claims. The performance follows the announcement by the nation’s coronavirus task force that the next two weeks will be “very painful,” a signal the economic shutdown may last longer than expected.

READ: China hiding true death rate

New York, the center of the country’s outbreak, saw the number of deaths double over three days to more than 1,900. Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Florida directed or expanded some form of stay-at-home orders, joining more than 40 other states with varying levels of restrictions. The different orders can be confusing and vary by state.

Separately, reports said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top adviser on the pandemic, has beefed up personal security in response to personal threats.

Cats can be infected by the virus

New research shows cats can get infected, but occurrences are rare and pets are unlikely to accelerate the virus’ spread. We’ve posted this story on our coronavirus resource page, along with a look at how the nation’s do-it-yourself community is crowdsourcing solutions to a critical shortage of medical supplies.

Intel says China hiding death numbers

US intelligence agencies believe China has concealed the true number of coronavirus cases and deaths, according to reports yesterday. The claims, part of an assessment delivered to the White House last week, allege systemic underreporting as part of a propaganda campaign by the Chinese government. China publicly reports just over 82,300 cases and 3,300 deaths, with more cases said to be originating from foreign visitors than Chinese citizens. Meanwhile, the US stands at more than 216,700 cases and 5,100 deaths, with White House models predicting between 100,000-250,000 deaths – or two orders of magnitude more deaths per capita than reported by China. The allegations coincide with reports that Chinese propaganda has taken an aggressive stance toward the West, praising Chinese leadership in minimizing deaths and even suggesting the virus did not originate in the country.

–Wire Services