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Coronavirus live updates: US deaths decline again; Trump take swipe at Fauci; sailor dies on USS Theodore Roosevelt

A sailor on the USS Theodore Roosevelt died Monday, but the daily U.S. death toll from the coronavirus dipped for the second straight day, providing hope that the worst of the pandemic could soon be behind us.

U.S. stocks opened lower Monday after a week that saw the biggest gains in almost half a century. 

President Donald Trump has signaled displeasure with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the medical face of the White House battle against the pandemic. Fauci's apparent sin: acknowledging that earlier federal action might have saved lives. Trump remains determined to "reopen" the U.S. for business as soon as possible. He'll name a task force Tuesday charged with figuring out when and how to do it.

Ogbonnaya Omenka, a public health specialist at Butler University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, told USA TODAY a "stepwise approach" to opening up the country would likely be needed. 

"Determining when to reopen is a dicey task," Omenka said. "The decision could backfire if it turns out to be too soon."

Monday marked one month since Trump declared a national emergency. There were fewer than 2,000 confirmed cases nationwide then. Much has changed:

The U.S. numbers have exploded, with more than 22,000 deaths – more than any other country – and 558,000 confirmed cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Every major professional sports league in the country has suspended operations.
Forty-two states have issued stay-at-home orders.
Most national and state parks have closed.
The airline industry has crumbled. Tourism has been crippled. 

Sunday's U.S. death toll was 1,557, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That was down from 1,877 on Saturday and more than 2,000 on Friday. Worldwide, there are more than 116,000 deaths and 1.87 million coronavirus cases early Monday.

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US death toll declines for second day in a row
Daily U.S. deaths exceeded 2,000 for the first time on Friday, but slipped lower Saturday and were down again Sunday. Experts were hoping the country had reached the peak and would continue descending down the curve. 

"A decrease in mortality rates for two consecutive days is welcome news definitely, but one that should be received with a lot of cautious optimism," said Ogbonnaya Omenka, a public health specialist at Butler University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. But he warned that confirmed cases and hospitalizations were crucial gauges in determining the direction of the outbreak.

"Hospitalizations could still overwhelm the health care system," he said. "So, while a decline in deaths is an important measure, an even more important benchmark is a wane in new transmissions."

Trump retweets post calling for Fauci firing
President Donald Trump apparently was not happy with Dr. Anthony Fauci's claim that lives could have been saved if the president had shut down the country sooner than  he did. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pressed on the timeline Sunday, conceded on CNN that there was more pushback against a shutdown when the coronavirus was still emerging.

That drew an angry tweet from Trump supporter DeAnna Lorraine, who is challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat out of San Francisco. Lorraine tweeted that, early on, Fauci was downplaying the coronavirus. Her tweet, retweeted by Trump Sunday night, concluded with Time to #FireFauci..." 

Sailor from USS Theodore Roosevelt dies
A USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor who was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam last week died Monday of COVID-related complications, the Navy said. The sailor, whose name was not immediately released, tested positive March 30, was removed from the ship and placed in an isolation house. Latest USA News He was found unresponsive Thursday, CPR was administered and the he was rushed to the hospital where he died, the Navy said. 

The USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam on March 27 for a scheduled port visit. Since then, the crisis on the ship has rocked the Navy. Almost 600 members of the 4,800-member crew have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Navy fired the aircraft carrier's captain after he pleaded with the Navy for help in a letter obtained by the media. Days later the Navy secretary was ousted.

– Tom Vanden Brook

Stocks open lower after historic gains
U.S. stocks faded almost 1% in early trading Monday following Wall Street's biggest week in almost half a century. Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 12% in four days last week – markets were closed on Good Friday – and jumped more than 20% in the past three weeks. The optimism was driven projections suggesting the pandemic will soon ease in the U.S., along with trillions of government dollars being poured into the economy to keep it afloat during the almost-nationwide lockdown.

George Stephanopoulos 'feeling great' despite testing positive
"Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos said Monday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus but has no symptoms. His wife, actress and author Ali Wentworth, confirmed she tested positive for COVID-19 almost two weeks ago. The couple have two children, and Wentworth self-isolated in a room in the family's New York home. Wentworth was ill but did not require hospitalization.

"I’ve never had a fever, never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath," Stephanopoulos said. "I’m feeling great."

– Amy Haneline

Overwhelmed: Pandemic plays out the way experts expected
The coronavirus pandemic is playing out as emergency officials across the nation expected when they drafted response plans over the past decade. Many foresaw a spreading disease overwhelming hospitals and physicians forced to choose which patients would get life-sustaining care and which would die because of a shortage of medical equipment. The actual result: A mad scramble for ventilators and for masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment. 

A lack of readiness cannot be blamed on ignorance, said Dr. Ashish Jha, faculty director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute.

“We have known forever that we were going to get hit by a pandemic like this,” he said. “This was the scenario everybody talked about.”

– Dennis Wagner

Fear and loathing: 1 month later, a changed view of COVID-19
Americans' attitudes changed dramatically between USA TODAY/Ipsos polls taken March 10-11 and April 9-10. The changes were not surprising after a month in which almost all Americans have been ordered to stay at home and the nation's death toll has reached a global record. The number who say the virus poses a high threat to them personally and to the USA  doubled.

"At first, I thought, OK, we're going to have to do this; everyone stay at home for a few weeks, for a month, and we'll be back to normal," says Brent Charnigo, 39, of Cleveland, who was among those surveyed. "Now it's clear that's not going to be the case. It's going to be long-lasting." How long? He pauses. "Years."

– Susan Page

British PM Boris Johnson discharged, not immediately returning to work
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged Sunday from the London hospital where he was being treated for the coronavirus. Johnson 55, will continue his recovery at Chequers, a 16th-century manor house in the English countryside that is the prime minister's official vacation retreat. He will not return to work immediately.

Johnson, in a video posted on social media, thanked Britain's National Health Service for saving his life "no question." He also urged his countrymen to continue social distancing.

Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and still had a cough and fever 10 days later. He was admitted to the hospital a week ago and spent three days in intensive care. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is standing in for Johnson while he is sick. 

– Kim Hjelmgaard

Second TSA employee dies
A Transportation Security Administration manager in Virginia has died from the coronavirus, the second TSA death this month. Alberto Camacho, a branch manager for the TSA's Acquisition Program Management in Arlington, died April 3, according to a TSA news release. Camacho first joined the TSA in 2005 and held multiple positions in security operations, enterprise support and the Federal Air Marshal Service. 

"Every day, he worked closely with TSA’s partners to ensure the nation’s aviation security technology remained cutting edge and ahead of the threat," a statement from the TSA read. "We offer our heartfelt condolences to Alberto’s family, friends and his TSA colleagues."

On April 3, the agency announced the passing of its first employee from the coronavirus: Francis “Frank” Boccabella III, who worked as a explosive detection canine handler at Newark Liberty International Airport died April 2, the agency said.

– Hannah Yasharoff

Great-grandma, 97, beats COVID-19
A 97-year-old woman was discharged from a Brazilian hospital Sunday after becoming one of the world's oldest patients to survive COVID-19. Gina Dal Colleto was hospitalized April 1 after displaying symptoms including a cough and mental confusion, according to a statement from Rede D’Or São Luiz, Press Release Distribution Service which controls the Vila Nova Star hospital. Dal Colleto was put on oxygen and spent time in the intensive care unit. She was wheeled out of the hospital to applause.

Dal Colleto lives alone in the coastal city of Santos, according to the hospital. She has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and "enjoys walking, shopping and cooking," the hospital said in a statement. Brazil has experienced the highest number of coronavirus cases in South America – 22,318 confirmed cases and 1,241 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

– N'dea Yancey-Bragg

More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY
President Donald Trump vs. WHO: We fact-checked three claims.
Your guide for COVID-19: What you need to know about safety, health and travel.
Wear a mask. Coronavirus might spread farther than 6 feet in the air, CDC warns.
Mapping coronavirus:Tracking the outbreak, state by state.

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