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Live Reporting

Max Matza, Jessica Murphy, Robert Greenall, Tom Spender, Claudia Allen, Andreas Illmer, Frances Mao, Saira Asher, Tessa Wong, Owen Amos, Krutika Pathi, Henri Astier and David Walker

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're ending our live coverage

    We're pausing our live updates of the coronavirus pandemic for now but we'll continue to bring you the latest developments across the BBC News website until our colleagues in Asia pick things up.

    For now, here are Wednesday's headlines:

    • Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have issued lockdown orders, as the virus heads into a two-week period that President Trump forecasts will be "horrific"
    • Mr Trump said in his daily briefing that he will not issue a national lockdown because some states "don’t have much of a problem"
    • The US now has seen more than 210,000 cases and 4,700 deaths
    • Italy's death toll rose to 13,155, up by 727 - about 100 fewer than the day before. The rate of infection rose slightly compared to Tuesday, but the broad trend suggests the spread of the virus may be slowing
    • The number of deaths in the UK has risen by 563 to 2,352
    • UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said testing was the "government's top priority" and that the UK could now carry out 10,000 tests a day
    • More major events have been cancelled including Wimbledon, the Edinburgh festivals and the COP26 UN climate conference
  2. Trump shifts focus on virus threat

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    A day after the White House coronavirus task force presented a dire outlook for the coming weeks that included more than 100,000 projected US deaths, Donald Trump shifted focus.

    Instead of leading with the latest efforts to control the spread of the disease, the president had his military officials talk about drug interdiction in Latin America.

    Eventually the subject did turn to the virus, with Trump once again warning that the days ahead would be “horrific”.

    He said he would not issue a nationwide stay-at-home order, however, because “states are different”. Nor would he restrict airline flights out of “hotspot” cities like New York, Detroit and New Orleans at this time.

    He also once again declined a chance to criticise the Chinese government for the spread of the virus – a marked change from past weeks.

    Trump had previously made a point to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” at every opportunity – even writing it in by hand in his briefing notes.

    Now he downplayed China’s role as the source of the disease and suggested he had no opinion on allegations that China was underreporting its coronavirus deaths.

    “I’m not an accountant from China,” he said.

    Instead, he emphasised the recent Chinese trade deal and described his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping as “very good”.

    While many of the president’s conservative supporters hold China responsible for the global pandemic, assigning blame no longer seems to be part of the president’s strategy.

    US President Donald Trump is accompanied by members of his national security team
    Image caption: US President Donald Trump is accompanied by members of his national security team
  3. Trump praises 'a little short' Dr Fauci

    "He was a little on the short side for the NBA," says Mr Trump about his top immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci, after reporters ask if he's been given a security detail due to his time in the public spotlight.

    Dr Fauci refuses to respond, and Mr Trump jumps in to say that everybody loves him.

    Mr Trump then tells a story he says he once heard about Dr Fauci winning an "unwinnable" basketball game.

    Dr Fauci is now giving an update on efforts to identify a vaccine to the coronavirus.

    He says US researchers are "right on target" to have a vaccine in the next year and a half.

  4. Possibility of curtailing domestic flights

    Mr Trump suggests that he may seek to curtail domestic flights, which in some cases, he says, are flying from "hot spot to hot spot".

    But, he says, if you do that "you’re really clamping down on an industry" that is desperate, as fewer and fewer people are travelling.

    "That’s a calculation we’re looking at right now," he says.

  5. What changed Trump's mind

    Mr Trump said that his "older" and "heavier" friend is not doing well after being infected with coronavirus.

    He says it was the "severity" of the virus and how infectious it was that led him to stop equating it to seasonal flu.

    "It is so contagious. Nobody has seen anything like this," he says, adding: "The flu is not anything like that."

    "Also the violence of it. if it hits the right person that person's in deep trouble," he says, adding that his own friend "is in deep trouble".

  6. Trump: 'Next weeks will be horrific'


    Mr Trump continues, saying "difficult days are ahead for our nation".

    "We’re going to have a couple of weeks starting pretty much now that are going to be horrific.

    "But even in the most challenging of times Americans do not despair, we do not give into fear.

    "We persevere, we overcome and we win."

  7. How can you stop false advice spreading?

    If you share one bit of advice with 20 of your friends and they then do the same, it only takes five times for that to happen for more than 3m people to see the message.

    That is how quickly information - and therefore misinformation - can spread.

    We all want to help our friends and families by passing on advice that can support them at this time - but if it turns out to be false it could end up doing more harm than good.

    In this video the BBC's Zeinab Badawi explains how we can all slow the spread of falsehoods online.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How can you stop the spread of misinformation?
  8. 'We can't turn off the US military'

    the ship
    Image caption: The USS Theodore Roosevelt pictured in 2018

    Reporters are now asking military officials about the 4,000 US Navy sailors whose ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, is facing a coronavirus outbreak that has already sickened scores of US sailors.

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he rejects the "narrative out there that we should shut down entire US military" to contain the spread.

    "That’s not feasible. We have a mission, to protect United States and our people. So we live and work in cramped quarters," such as tanks, submarines and aircraft carriers.

    It's the "nature of our business", he adds.

    Guam has agreed to quarantine the sailors in hotels around the Pacific island US territory after the captain issued an urgent appeal for help.

    Read more here:

    Crew of US aircraft carrier to be quarantined in Guam

  9. Trump: We'll have too many ventilators

    President Donald Trump says that soon the US will have more ventilators than it needs, despite the claims by healthcare workers across the country that they are desperately lacking ventilators and other medical equipment.

    "We're going to be distributing the extras around the world," Mr Trump says, specifically mentioning Italy, China and Spain.

    Earlier today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that only about 20% of people who are put on ventilators there are surviving Covid-19.

  10. US networks not airing White House briefing

    Today's White House briefing has not featured updates from Drs Fauci or Birx, who have become the public faces of the administration's efforts to contain the virus. Instead the illegal narcotics trade has been the focus.

    "For a long time we've had lots of drugs coming into our country," says Mr Trump.

    "We want to see if we can stop a good percentage of the drugs coming into our country," Mr Trump says, arguing that the people who smuggle the drugs - who could be infected with Covid-19 - will also be kept from entering.

    Meanwhile, most US networks are not airing this press briefing live, as the BBC's Anthony Zurcher points out.

    View more on twitter
  11. Things the US has got wrong, and things it's got right

    Nurse in Washington state
    Image caption: Nurse in Washington state

    While the White House daily briefing continues, here's a look at the policy decisions taken by President Trump's administration so far.

    Medical supply shortages, slow to test and mixed messaging are among the shortcomings in the US response, writes the BBC's Anthony Zurcher.

  12. 'You will not kill additional Americans'

    The focus of the White House briefing on Covid-19 continues to be the illegal drugs trade.

    US Defense Secretary Mark Esper tells reporters that "many criminal organisations are attempting to capitalise on this crisis".

    The US military, he says, will "keep the pressure on these criminal groups and protect Americans from the devastation caused" by the illegal drug trade.

    "You're not going to kill additional Americans," warns General Mark Milley.

  13. Trump: Cartels taking advantage of pandemic

    "In this difficult time, I know that every American will do their patriotic duty and help us achieve this total victory," begins Mr Trump.

    He is joined at the podium by Attorney General Bill Barr, and members of the military.

    Mr Trump says that drug cartels are taking advantage of the pandemic to expand their network into the United States.

    He adds that the US Southern Command will double anti-drug efforts, in an effort to protect the health of all Americans.

  14. White House press briefing due to begin

    Cleaners wipe down the White House podium before the briefing
    Image caption: Cleaners wipe down the White House podium before the briefing

    The daily White House coronavirus briefing is due to begin very shortly.

    Yesterday Donald Trump said the next two weeks were going to be "very, very painful".

  15. Mississippi and Georgia issue lockdown orders

    In the past few hours, Mississippi and Georgia have issued stay-at-home orders, after the nearby state of Florida took the same action earlier today.

    The Republican governors of both states had been reluctant to issue mandatory orders, as had the Florida governor, who was facing massive pressure to shut down the state amid a growing death toll.

    On Wednesday, Florida's Ron DeSantis spoke directly to President Trump before issuing his decision.

    A majority of US states are now on lockdown, with over 75% of the US population told to stay at home.

  16. Dolly Parton gives $1m for a cure

    Meanwhile US country music superstar Dolly Parton has pledged $1m to Vanderbilt University, in her home state of Tennessee, to support research into a cure for Covid-19.

    On Twitter, Parton said she hoped to inspire "people that can afford it to make donations" as well.

    Starting on Thursday, the nine-time Grammy award winner will also begin reading children's stories in a new Facebook video series called Goodnight with Dolly.

    View more on facebook
  17. Trump due to update the nation

    The daily news briefing from the White House is due to get under way shortly. We'll let you know as soon as it begins.

    President Donald Trump and his Covid-19 task force will discuss the latest efforts to contain the outbreak - and the latest predictions.

    The US death toll has surpassed 4,000 and fears grow that as many as 240,000 people could die from the disease, even with the mitigation measures in place.

    New York is the hardest hit state in the nation.

  18. UK to call up 3,000 reservists

    The UK will call up 3,000 military reservists as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Their duties will include "providing additional medical and logistical support for the NHS, acting as liaison officers and deploying specialist skills such as engineering and accounting", the Ministry of Defence said on its website.

    They will be deployed for six months initially, and no-one already working for the NHS or delivering essential services will be mobilised to ensure they can continue in their roles, the ministry added.

    Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said: "I know our reservists will answer the nation's call with real enthusiasm and will play a key part in our response to Covid-19."

  19. Detroit 'first to deploy 15-minute testing'

    Drive-through testing takes place at the former site of the Michigan state fairgrounds in Detroit
    Image caption: Drive-through testing takes place at the former site of the Michigan state fairgrounds in Detroit

    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has said the city will be the first to use the new 15-minute coronavirus test kits recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    The tests were sent on Wednesday by Abbott Laboratories, a Chicago-based company, and are being deployed immediately.

    Mr Duggan also said there were now 2,483 cases in Detroit and the death toll stood at 82.

    The city is also moving to test all emergency responders after 91 Detroit Police Department employees and 17 firefighters tested positive.

  20. Alcohol sales surge in US, research suggests

    A man takes a bottle of a shelf in a shop

    Sales of alcohol have reportedly spiked in the US, where almost three out of four people are now under some form of lockdown.

    Online sales of alcoholic drinks more than tripled last week (up 243% compared to the same time period the year before), according to market research firm Nielsen.

    Shops sales also rose by 55% the research suggested - with tequila and gin named as the most popular tipples.

    In the UK, some online wine merchants had been forced to suspend orders "due to unprecedented demand" after pubs and clubs were told to close.

    But British off-licences have been told they can stay open - after being added to the list of essential businesses.

    It came as some British supermarkets placed a limit on the amount of alcohol products shoppers can buy at one time after their supplies kept running dry.

    Meanwhile, in South Africa, the sale of alcohol has been banned.