190614 Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel Image Credit: AP


  • Cases exceed 318,000, deaths top 13,600: Johns Hopkins data
  • Italy fatalities climb by 651, less than Saturday, to 5,476
  • Spain deaths rise 30% to 1,720
  • Emirates to suspend most passenger flights
  • Wuhan partially lifts entry/exit ban
  • Germany cases rise to 24,254, deaths climb to 81
  • New York halts elective surgeries to free beds
  • U.S. infections top 27,000, France fatalities rise to 562

European nations clamped down as coronavirus cases mounted: Germany banned meetings of more than two people. Italy barred any movement inside the country. Greece ordered a lockdown.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine at home. U.S. Senator Rand Paul has tested positive.

The U.S. Congress is racing to complete a massive aid program, with Republicans saying a deal is close. Democrats plan to unveil a similar plan in the House.

Spain is extending its state of emergency as deaths jumped 30% for a third consecutive day. Fatalities worldwide have doubled in a week.

Senator Paul infected, in quarantine

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said on Twitter that he tested positive for Covid-19 and is in quarantine. He is the first U.S. senator to become infected.

He said he was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events.

He said he is feeling fine. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person, according to the tweet.

Merkel in quarantine after contact

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in quarantine at home after coming into contact with an infected doctor, her spokesman said.

Italy’s Cases, Deaths Slow (1:30 p.m. NY)

Italy’s new fatalities increased by 651, fewer than a day earlier, to reach 5,476, the highest level globally. Total known cases jumped by 5,560 to 59,138.

”Today’s numbers are smaller than yesterday’s,” Angelo Borrelli, head of the civil protection agency, told reporters. “We all hope that this trend can be confirmed in the new few days. But we must not lower our guard.”

US Congress works on stimulus plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican and Democratic negotiators are nearing a deal on the massive stimulus package he still plans to put to a vote in the Senate on Monday.

“I’m confident we’ll get to yes,” McConnell said. “Make no mistake about it, we’ll be voting tomorrow.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there’s still no bipartisan agreement, and that Democrats plan to introduce their own version of the package. “Hopefully it will be compatible with what they discussed in the Senate,” Pelosi said.

Germany to start borrowing  

Germany may borrow as much as 350 billion euros ($370 billion) in an unprecedented financing push to cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic.

A rescue fund set up to buy stakes in companies and fund corporate loans could issue up to 200 billion euros in additional debt if needed, Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Kukiessaid in an interview with Bloomberg.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition is abandoning a long-standing commitment to balanced budgets and using emergency powers to suspend rules restricting borrowing that are enshrined in the constitution.