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Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died. His music students included Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Harry Connick, Jr., and 4 of his sons.

: 4/01/20

In this report, we incorrectly refer to Ellis Marsalis III as Ellis Marsalis Jr.

Over the last month, Richard Frieson has lost two sisters to COVID-19. In normal times, Frieson's large family would have gathered in Chicago, where his sisters lived, to sing, pray, hug and mourn.

But in this time of a nationwide pandemic, the Friesons had to make do with a very different gathering.

"Today we are doing a big Zoom call," he said Sunday, referring to the video conferencing application that has become so popular recently. "It's just nice to see them, and I'm glad we have this technology where we can actually look at each other."

President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

Neilly Buckalew is a traveling doctor who fills in at hospitals when there's need. So in the midst of this pandemic, she feels particularly vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus — not just in hospitals but in hotels and on her travels.

It has been only a month since President Trump held his last campaign rally. It was March 2 when several thousand people squeezed into a North Carolina arena to cheer on a confident president seeking reelection at a time of peace and prosperity.

Trump touted the record low unemployment rate to rousing applause, repeating the theme of his 2020 campaign.

"Jobs are booming in our country, incomes are soaring, poverty has plummeted, confidence is surging," said the president.

Not all Americans can stay home during the pandemic.

Millions of essential workers are showing up for their jobs at warehouses, food processing plants, delivery trucks and grocery checkout lines. Work that is often low-paid, and comes with few protections, is now suddenly much more dangerous.

America has a new appreciation for these workers. Bill Osborn, a dairy clerk at a Giant in La Plata, Md., says he never used to be thanked for his job. Ever.

But now that has changed.

Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died at the age of 85. His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.

He reportedly went into the hospital over the weekend with symptoms of pneumonia. The New York Times reports that his son Branford says the cause of death was complications from COVID-19.

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Mobile carrier T-Mobile announced today that it's officially completed a merger with Sprint. The deal, which was announced in 2018, means that the previously third and fourth largest wireless companies in the United States have now become the third — rivaling AT&T and Verizon. The new company, just called T-Mobile, is hoping to use its new pool of resources to expand its 5G capabilities, aiming to provide faster internet speeds to 99% of the population within the next six years.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

About six months after several major pharmacies pulled Zantac and its generic equivalents off their shelves, citing a potentially harmful contaminant in the heartburn medication, federal regulators are throwing their weight behind the drug's removal from the market. The Food and Drug Administration requested Wednesday that manufacturers immediately pull all prescription and over-the-counter versions of the drug.

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City authorities in Moscow are rolling out new digital "social monitoring" tools targeting the public, after what officials say were constant violations of the city's quarantine imposed this week to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.

Under restrictions in place since Monday, most of the city's 12 million residents must remain indoors, barring a few exceptions — like trips to the supermarket or pharmacy, taking out the trash or briefly walking the dog.

"Home," the first single from Caribou's latest album Suddenly, has taken on an unexpected meaning. As millions of Americans sit under self-quarantine at home and may be reaching for music as a form of solace, you could hear the refrain — "I'm home" — as either a cry or a reassurance.

Imagine this: One minute you're a volunteer doing work that you find incredibly meaningful in a faraway place.

Then you get a notice – evacuate immediately. Suddenly you're back home, probably feeling down and definitely jobless.

That's the situation that over 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers found themselves in after an unprecedented evacuation order in mid-March. The reason: fear of coronavirus. The Peace Corps explains that it didn't want its volunteers stranded abroad if travel became impossible.

Italy is extending its coronavirus lockdown to April 13, as the country's death toll from COVID-19 now tops 13,000 people. The death toll rose by the smallest amount in days, but officials say it's too soon to declare the epidemic over. The number of new cases, which had been declining, was higher than the previous day.

News of the continued lockdown in Italy comes after members of the White House's coronavirus task force referred to Italy as an example of how the coronavirus could play out in the U.S.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the president's top advisers on how to tackle the coronavirus spread, so it's hard to imagine he has many free moments in his day. Yet he is spending a lot of time giving interviews.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

Some devout Orthodox Jewish communities have been slow to follow lockdown orders in Israel, helping drive a surge in coronavirus cases that officials are struggling to contain.

Known in Israel as Haredim, or those who tremble in awe before God, ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 12% of Israel's population — but they account for as much as 60% of Israel's COVID-19 cases in major hospitals, according to estimates. More than 6,000 Israelis have been infected and at least 31 have died.

After working for weeks to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Mustafa Ahmed is now fighting his own case of COVID-19.

"For me it was just like being hit by a train," he says.

Ahmed is an interventional cardiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a major medical hub for the state. Now, Alabama's largest city is under a shelter-in-place order, as city leaders here have taken a more aggressive approach than the state officials have in order to curtail the spread of the disease.

As the world battles the deadly coronavirus, there is a lot we can learn from one of the great pandemics of recent centuries: tuberculosis.

Two years ago, science writer Ed Yong wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he warned that a new global pandemic was inevitable — and that the world would be unprepared for it when it arrived.

Third Federal Inmate Dies From COVID-19

Apr 1, 2020

Updated 8:34 p.m. ET

A third person held at the federal prison in Oakdale, La., has died of COVID-19, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons officials. The person's name was not released while authorities notified the person's next of kin.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that Wisconsin should postpone next week's scheduled primary election amid the coronavirus outbreak, even as the state's governor said he was turning to the National Guard to help staff polling places on April 7.

Florida has now joined the list of states that are ordering residents to remain in their homes for all but essential activities to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement at an afternoon briefing. It was just a few hours after he spoke to President Trump. DeSantis said he's issuing an executive order that will direct "all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or essential activities."

Have you or a loved one been refused reentry to a nursing home or long-term care residence after being hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic? Fill out this form to tell us your experiences, and an NPR producer or reporter may call you for an interview to air on the radio.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

President Trump says he may consider grounding some or all flights as a coronavirus pandemic mitigation measure but also said on Wednesday he wants to apply the lightest touch possible in managing the disaster.

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