Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. immigration officials evaluate vulnerable detainees for possible release amid pandemic
U.S. immigration officials said on Tuesday they are considering releasing some detainees at high risk for coronavirus infection as detainees and workers have tested positive for the resulting COVID-19 illness. In an email sent to lawmakers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that it had instructed its offices around the country to consider the release of detainees with an increased risk of contracting the deadly respiratory disease. Among those whose cases are being reviewed are pregnant women and detainees ages 60 and older, according to the agency.
House chairman wants Navy leader's removal, despite apology
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee reiterated his call on Tuesday for the removal of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, despite Modly's apology for ridiculing the commander of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier. Representative Adam Smith, Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on a conference call with reporters that he did not agree with Modly's assessment that Captain Brett Crozier had "panicked."
U.S. deports 400 migrant children under new coronavirus rules
U.S. immigration officials have rapidly deported nearly 400 migrant children intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border in the past two weeks under new rules billed as seeking to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to government data seen by Reuters. President Donald Trump's administration implemented new border rules on March 21 that scrapped decades-long practices under laws meant to protect children from human trafficking and offer them a chance to seek asylum in a U.S. immigration court. Under the new rules, U.S. officials can quickly remove people without standard immigration proceedings.
Special Report: How federal snafus slowed testing at a top U.S. hospital
The lab directors at the University of Virginia Medical Center felt powerless. In early March, people began arriving with symptoms of COVID-19. One complained of a cough and had just returned from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak erupted. An elderly patient, already on end-of-life care, had a mysterious respiratory infection. Another, struggling to breathe, had come from a nursing home.
Trump says 110,000 ventilators will be added in coming weeks
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the federal government had 8,675 ventilators in a national stockpile available to states who need them while another 110,000 are to be delivered in coming weeks. "I don't think we'll need them," the president said, referring to the ventilators, in a White House briefing. "But we'll have them for the future and we'll also be able to help other countries who are desperate for ventilators."
CDC removes unusual guidance to doctors about drug favored by Trump
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed from its website highly unusual guidance informing doctors on how to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, drugs recommended by President Donald Trump to treat the coronavirus. The move comes three days after Reuters reported that the CDC published key dosing information involving the two antimalarial drugs based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science.
Trump says U.S. may be getting to top of coronavirus curve
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States might be getting to the top of the "curve" of the coronavirus outbreak and said he did not see an early written warning about the pandemic from a top White House aide. The president said he was reluctant to talk about it but that the country might be on track for far fewer deaths than projected. Trump's coronavirus task force previously projected, based on models, that as many as 240,000 people in the United States could die in the pandemic.
New York's Cuomo sees coronavirus crisis slowing despite record daily death toll
Even as doctors and nurses struggled to save an onslaught of gravely ill coronavirus patients, the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations appeared to be leveling off in New York state, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday. Both New York and the neighboring state of New Jersey reported their single-highest daily loss of life from COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus - a staggering 731 fatalities in Cuomo's state alone.
Most Americans, unlike Trump, want mail-in ballots for November if coronavirus threatens: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Most Americans, including a majority of Republicans, want the government to require mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election if the coronavirus outbreak still threatens the public this autumn, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found. President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election this year, has been trying with other Republicans to discourage efforts to expand voting by mail, saying it would increase the chance of voter fraud.
Trump says he did not see memos by adviser Navarro warning of coronavirus risks
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had not seen memos by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro warning of coronavirus risks, and that he retained confidence in Navarro. Navarro, a China hawk, sent a memo in late January warning the new coronavirus could create a pandemic and urged a travel ban for China, the New York Times reported. A second memo, written in late February and sent to the president, said it could kill up to 2 million Americans.