Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from Friday, April 17, as the events unfolded. Click here to find the latest extended coverage of the outbreak of the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2; the illness it causes, COVID-19; and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world.

National and local leaders continue to weigh how soon to return to normalcy as the number of COVID-19 cases starts to decline in some parts of the country. President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a three-phase plan to reopen U.S. businesses and schools, instructing state governors to move at their own pace, yet insisting the process would happen “relatively quickly.”

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday her plans to provide up to 100 hotel rooms for quarantined medical workers and clear cars off some streets to give people more space to walk and bike.

The most recent count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 11,445 infections and 603 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.

Throughout today, on this page, we’ll be posting updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Thursday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Friday evening.

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Live updates:

MLS suspends season until June 8 due to concerns over coronavirus pandemic

MLS announced Friday it’s suspending its season until June 8.

The league softened the blow to its fans by announcing earlier this week it’s “extremely unlikely” games would resume May 10 due to safety concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The 26 teams played two matches each,  Sounders FC’s last being March 7 against the Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field.

ESPN reported Friday the league is communicating with the MLS Players Association regarding significant pay cuts to offset losses from the season suspension.

MLS top executives have already had their pay decreased, commissioner Don Garber’s by 25 percent.

According to ESPN, the league wants players to take a 50 percent pay cut only if games are canceled. Whether matches are played in front of fans and amount of games could also determine pay.

Read the full story here.

—Jayda Evans
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Republican lawmakers release plan to reopen Washington’s economy amid coronavirus

OLYMPIA — Washington state Republican legislative leaders on Friday released their own road map for reopening Washington’s economy amid the new coronavirus.

Friday’s plan doesn’t set public health benchmarks for when it would be safe to reopen the economy. But it does specify some lower-risk industries — such as residential construction, auto dealers and solo landscapers — that could reopen soon.

The plan’s 16 recommendations focus mostly on assisting small businesses. It would, among other things, slash Business & Occupation (B&O) taxes, provide sales-tax holidays for retail stores and suspend any inflation-adjusted minimum-wage hike for 2021.

The GOP plan recommends, among other things, exempting small businesses from paying B&O taxes and allowing them not to charge sales tax for a year. It would also offer state assistance to small businesses that aren’t eligible for help from the federal government.

Read the full story here.

—Joseph O’Sullivan

Here’s what districts reported to the state about the services they’re providing during coronavirus closures

Washington state expects its school districts to provide three things while their buildings are closed: instruction, food and child care. New data from the state Education Department show districts posted uneven progress on those fronts during the first two weeks of the shutdown.

According to the results of a new state survey, the majority of Washington districts said they served meals and provided online learning to students through April 4, the most recent data the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) could share by Friday.

As of April 4, more than a third of the districts who responded to the survey said they weren’t providing child care. The ones that did were only serving about 2,100 kids collectively.

Between March 29 and April 4, nearly 90% of districts surveyed said they provided meals, 57% said they had or were planning to establish child care, and nearly 100% said they were providing instruction, with 75% reporting some real-time online learning.

Read the full story here.

—Dahlia Bazzaz

These helpers are fighting the coronavirus by delivering hot lunches and groceries to Seattle area seniors

When Seattle’s Eritrean Association Community Center shuttered in accordance with the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee, Isaac Araya was desperate, wondering what in the world to do about more than 100 seniors who usually visit the center to eat lunch and see friends.

First, Araya and his board told his workers to stay home. But they didn’t want to leave the seniors hungry and isolated, the center’s longtime president said. Next, the workers tried to make food deliveries. But navigating to all the homes took hours and the hot lunches went cold.

Then a lightbulb blinked on. Numerous Eritrean community members drive for ride-hail companies, and they had seen their business mostly disappear.

“We came up with the idea to use Uber drivers” who speak Tigrinya and Amharic, Araya recalled. “They know the streets. They know the city.”

Across the Seattle area, other organizations that typically serve seniors also are adapting their in-person models to a new reality. Initially stunned by coronavirus closures, hundreds of helpers have built food-delivery programs out of thin air.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman and Anna Patrick
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Amid international skepticism, China defends its official data after revising Wuhan death toll by 50%

China revised its official coronavirus death toll in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the outbreak, by around 50% on Friday, citing new statistical evidence that has emerged as the city begins to reopen following months of lockdown.

The reassessment counted 1,290 more deaths, bringing the death toll in the city where the outbreak was first recorded to 3,869.

The revision came amid global efforts to produce more accurate data — and growing suspicions among experts and world leaders over how China’s death toll could remain relatively low even as death counts surge across the United States and Europe.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, insisted on Friday that this revision in no way indicated a cover-up and is based purely on standard efforts to take into account deaths that were previously miscounted or excluded.

—The Washington Post

Live in an apartment or senior living facility? Here’s how long your coronavirus eviction moratorium lasts

Gov. Jay Inslee’s updated statewide eviction moratorium, announced Thursday, is arguably the most far-reaching local action yet to protect renters.

The proclamation protects tenants from eviction until June 4. And it goes further, barring landlords from collecting late fees, raising rents or asking tenants in housing closed due to the coronavirus pandemic — including student housing — to pay rent owed.

But even before Inslee’s Thursday announcement, many renters in the state already had some of those protections — though they might not have known it. A federal eviction moratorium, covering as many as 19.3 million people nationwide, was enacted as part of the $2 trillion federal stimulus package in late March.

There’s one big problem with the federal moratorium, though: It’s hard to know who it applies to.

Is your home covered? Search this map to find out.

—Katherine K. Long

King County gets new glimpse into unreported cases of COVID-19 through first-ever ‘swab and send’ home testing kits

Results of first-ever home testing for COVID-19 in Seattle and King County indicate infections are declining but that there still may be thousands of residents infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus undetected in the community, according to a report released Friday by The Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), which has analyzed the first round of “swab and send” testing kits from 4,092 county residents.

The research involved sending newly developed self-test kits to individuals who registered with the group online, then analyzing the results.

It is the nation’s first home-surveillance project on COVID-19 and, while many of the early findings are preliminary and the margins of error wide, the report says the data provides the first real snapshot of the undetected spread of the virus through the community and will be refined as testing expands.

The goal of the study is to give health officials a clearer understanding of how far the virus has penetrated the community and answer the question: “Is there an iceberg of cases below the currently recognized tip?”

Read the full story here.

—Mike Carter
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Have you recovered from COVID-19? The UW Medicine Virology Lab wants to test your blood

The laboratory processing most of Washington state’s COVID-19 tests will soon begin doing another kind of test, to identify people who have recovered from the disease and have developed antibodies to the virus.

“We’ve heard these stories,” said Dr. Keith Jerome, head of the virology division within the UW Medicine’s department of laboratory medicine. “Somebody says, ‘I was really sick in February. Did I have COVID?’ And we haven’t been able to tell them.”

The UW Medicine Virology Lab plans to begin answering this question next week by testing blood samples from people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Serological testing — checking for antibodies — is important because it identifies who has had the disease and helps to build a picture of how widespread the virus is, which can inform decisions about lifting distancing orders and allowing businesses to open.

Read the full story here.

—Ryan Blethen and Sandi Doughton

UW coronavirus model says Washington state can start safely reopening the week of May 18

Washington could begin easing up on social distancing restrictions the week of May 18, according to the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Estimates for other states range from as early as May 4 to as late as the end of June, based on the local status of the epidemic.

In a media briefing Friday, IHME director Dr. Chris Murray cautioned that the potential “opening dates” represent a first stab and are likely to change as more information comes in from individual states. Among the key variables are whether deaths are likely to drop off sharply once they peak, or whether — as seems to be happening in New York — they will plateau and decrease slowly.

But he also said no one should rely solely on IHME projections as they decide when and how to ease life back toward normal.

Read the full story here.

—Sandi Doughton

11,445 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Washington

State health officials confirmed an additional 293 cases and 20 deaths in Washington on Friday evening.

The newly released numbers bring the state's totals to 11,445 infections and 603 deaths.

The bulk of the cases remains in King County, which is reporting 4,865 cases and 330 deaths. New deaths were also reported in Klickitat, Snohomish and Yakima counties.

About 91% of patient samples tested have returned negative, according to the state.

—Elise Takahama
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Seattle’s Jayapal backs U.S. House bill to cancel rent and mortgage payments during coronavirus crisis

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, is co-sponsoring legislation that would cancel all residential rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus emergency. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times, file)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, is co-sponsoring legislation that would cancel all residential rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus emergency. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times, file)

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is co-sponsoring legislation that would cancel all residential rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus emergency that has put huge numbers of people out of work, the Seattle Democrat said Friday. The bill has not passed and no payments have been canceled.

Last month, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution asking Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Congress and the White House to cancel rent and mortgage payments. While the lobbying move didn’t change circumstances on the ground, the city’s congresswoman now is pushing the idea in the other Washington.

Jayapal and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar announced their bill Friday, along with seven Democratic co-sponsors, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act “would constitute a full payment forgiveness, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history,” a Jayapal news release said.

The payment cancellations would apply to primary residences and would be retroactive to cover April 2020 payments, according to a description of the plan shared by the co-sponsors.

The legislation also would establish “a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses from the cancelled payments,” the news release said. To qualify, landlords and lenders would need to agree to “fair renting and lending practices for a period of five years,” according to the plan.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman

‘They’re death pits’: Virus claims at least 6,900 lives in U.S. nursing homes

Freshly suited up, the SERVPRO cleaning team re-enters the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the early epicenter of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak, on March 12 in Kirkland. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
Freshly suited up, the SERVPRO cleaning team re-enters the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the early epicenter of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak, on March 12 in Kirkland. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

The first warning of the devastation that the coronavirus could wreak inside U.S. nursing homes came in late February, when residents of a facility in suburban Seattle perished, one by one, as families waited helplessly outside.

In the ensuing six weeks, large and shockingly lethal outbreaks have continued to ravage nursing homes across the nation, undeterred by urgent new safety requirements. Now a nationwide tally by The New York Times has found the number of people living in or connected to nursing homes who have died of the coronavirus to be at least 7,000, far higher than previously known.

In New Jersey, 17 bodies piled up in a nursing home morgue, and more than one-quarter of a Virginia home’s residents have died. At least 24 people at a facility in Maryland have died; more than 100 residents and workers have been infected at another in Kansas; and people have died in centers for military veterans in Florida, Nevada, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

On Friday, New York officials for the first time disclosed the names of 72 long-term-care facilities that have had five or more deaths, including the Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn, where 55 people have died. In New Jersey, officials revealed that infections have broken out in 394 long-term facilities — almost two-thirds of the state’s homes — and that more than 1,500 deaths were tied to nursing facilities.

Overall, about one-fifth of deaths from the virus in the United States have been tied to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, the Times review of cases shows. And more than 36,000 residents and employees across the nation have contracted it.

Read the full story here.

—The New York Times

President Trump announces $19 billion in aid for farmers

President Donald Trump announced Friday a $19 billion bailout package for farmers hurt financially by the coronavirus crisis.

The aid plan includes $16 billion in direct payments to farmers to boost their incomes, along with $3 billion in government purchases of meat, dairy products and other foods, the president said Friday at a White House briefing. The Agriculture Department will receive another $14 billion in July for further assistance.

“This will help our farmers and our ranchers, and it’s money well deserved,” Trump said.

The combination of direct payments to farmers and bulk government purchases of commodities parallels the approach the Trump administration followed in its $28 billion agriculture trade bailout over the past two years. Farmers and rural communities are a critical part of Trump’s political base as he seeks re-election.

—Bloomberg
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Two trials of new drug show 'promising' results treating coronavirus

Two limited studies, one on humans and the other on monkeys, show that an experimental antiviral drug that was used to treat Ebola may be effective for treating patients with severe cases of COVID-19.

The drug, remdesivir, was given to 53 patients with severe COVID-19 cases on a compassion-use basis and about two-thirds of them showed improvement.

The results are "promising," UC Davis Health’s Stuart Cohen, who led the clinical investigation, told the Sacramento Bee.

“It had a small number of enrolled patients and relatively short follow-up timeline,” said Cohen, who is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine. “It didn’t include a randomized control group and did not collect and compare amount of virus present before and after treatment with remdesivir and other clinical approaches.”

A new, small study done in monkeys showed that the drug decreased how much the coronavirus damaged their lungs.

Two groups of rhesus macaques were infected with SARS-CoV-2. The group that was treated with remdesivir for seven days was healthier. The animals had smaller amounts of virus in their lungs, and their lungs had less damage than the untreated control group. The findings of that study have not been peer-reviewed.

Read more about the human trial here.

—Anne Hillman

Monroe prison failing to provide effective social distancing; staff and inmate under enormous stress, report finds

An investigation by the Office of the Corrections Ombuds has found Monroe Correctional Complex “is unable to effectively impose social distancing” and says inmates and staff are under tremendous stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ombud’s office issued a report Friday, a week after visiting the Monroe prison to inspect conditions at the facility where 10 minimum-security inmates have tested positive for coronavirus.

The report found that despite efforts by the Department of Corrections (DOC) to impose social distancing, it is physically impossible in cramped hallways of housing units, around phones, in chow lines and other areas of the prison.

“Both staff and incarcerated individuals asked for a release of individuals to create greater space and smaller cohorts of individuals, which would also reduce stress on staff,” the report stated.

The tension over the virus outbreak helped spark the disturbance last week involving more than 100 inmates, which guards used pepper spray to quell.

Under an emergency order by Gov. Jay Inslee, the state is preparing to release more than 1,100 incarcerated people who are serving time for nonviolent offenses and who had been already scheduled for release in the coming months.

A lawsuit by Columbia Legal Services is seeking to force the release of thousands of additional people from state prisons and work-release camps. The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Wednesday.

The ombud’s report found DOC employees at the prison “are under tremendous stress” and that staff shortages due to COVID-19-positive or quarantined staff have resulted in several dozen other staff working overtime in relief roles “causing confusion and disruption ...”

Meanwhile, inmates in isolation cells due to infection or exposure to COVID-19 reported they were receiving medical care. However, “conditions in isolation are grim” with “poor cell conditions” and individuals receiving only one shower a week and lacking any communication with loved ones or attorneys, the report said.

In a detailed written response to the report, DOC Secretary Steve Sinclair acknowledged problems but said the agency is constantly working to make improvements, “adjusting protocols and precautionary measures being taken during this uncharted time.”

As of Friday morning, 11 inmates in DOC custody had tested positive for COVID-19. All had been incarcerated at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Fifteen DOC staff across the state had tested positive. No deaths have been reported of inmates or staff.

—Jim Brunner

Inslee condemns Trump's tweets to 'LIBERATE' states

President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets earlier today urging supporters to “LIBERATE” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, and to “save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” People have begun protesting stay-at-home orders in those states and others, including Oregon and Idaho. His tweets directly conflict with the plan the White House issued the day before giving guidelines on how states can safely reopen their economies.

Gov. Jay Inslee responded in a statement, “The president’s statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts. He is putting millions of people in danger of contracting COVID-19.”

Inslee said such encouragement could lead to violence. “The president is fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies even while his own administration says the virus is real and is deadly, and that we have a long way to go before restrictions can be lifted.”

“The president’s call to action today threatens to undermine his own goal of recovery by further delaying the ability of states to amend current interventions in a safe, evidence-based way.”

Read the full story here.

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Virus-fueled conspiracy theories take aim at hospitals

The coronavirus pandemic has breathed fresh life into old conspiracy theories and inspired a mishmash of new ones, with a cast of villains that includes fear-mongering media outlets and Democrats, as well as Bill Gates, 5G wireless technology, the United Nations and President Donald Trump’s political foes.

Many of the social-media accounts driving these baseless stories belong to followers of “QAnon,” a far-right, apocalyptic conspiracy theory that believes Trump is waging a secret campaign against “deep state” enemies.

Alex Friedfeld, an investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said quarantine conditions are ripe for conspiracy theories to mutate and quickly spread. The purveyors are scared and cooped up inside their homes with abundant free time to spend on the internet.

“We are in a time of crisis, so people are frightened,” he said. “They are looking for explanations. Conspiracy theories can be comforting because they basically place order on chaos. A lot of them give you somebody to blame, and that can be comforting to people at an uncertain time.”

Read the full story here.

—The Associated Press

Watch and listen: Ballard’s opera man lets loose from his lawn every weekday

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes to our lives, and most of them we didn’t want. But it’s also brought some unexpected joys.

Stephen Wall, a classically trained tenor and veteran Seattle Opera performer (where he also works as chorus personnel coordinator), has been giving daily 5 p.m. performances on weekdays for nearly two weeks now.

They’re short concerts, 15-20 minutes total, accompanied by a recorded orchestral score playing on an amplifier.

Neighbors — several dozen — gather at appropriate distance to watch; it’s a welcome break in the now-familiar strangeness, for many, of weekdays at home.

Stephen Wall performs Handel’s “Ombra Mai Fu” from his front lawn to an appreciative, socially distanced audience in April, as Seattle remains under a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Read the full story here.

—Moira Macdonald

King County extends property-tax payment deadline for some residents

Residents and commercial taxpayers will have until June 1 to pay the first half of their 2020 property-tax bill.

No forms are needed to take advantage of the extension, and no interest charges will be added.

Banks and other financial institutions that pay property taxes for their customers still need to do so by the original April 30 deadline.

The extension, issued by King County Executive Dow Constantine, applies to taxes on buildings and structures as well as taxes for equipment used in business.

The deadline will not be pushed beyond June 1 because many cities, counties, school districts, fire districts and hospital districts rely on the first installment to fund operations and make debt service payments, according to a news release.

Payments can be made online at kingcounty.gov/propertytax using a credit or debit card. Checks or money orders can be mailed to the King County Administration Building at 500 Fourth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98104, or submitted through a marked secure drop box at the administration building.

In-person payments have been suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Those with questions can contact the King County Treasury at propertytax.customerservice@kingcounty.gov or call 206-263-2890.

—Michelle Baruchman
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Seattle’s parks will be open this weekend, with some new guidelines

Last weekend, Seattle closed its largest, most popular parks and beaches due to concerns that crowds enticed by warmer weather would spread the coronavirus. This weekend, the city is keeping all its parks open, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced.

“The city will allow major parks to remain open throughout the weekend but will be requiring residents to keep moving and not play sports, picnic or barbecue, with additional new guidelines at Green Lake and Seward Park,” a news release said Thursday.

Sunny skies last weekend drew hundreds of people to the 15 parks that were closed, forcing Seattle Parks and Recreation employees to shoo them away in some cases.

But there were no serious crowds, with the city describing residents as “overwhelmingly compliant.”

The National Weather Service’s weekend outlook says the Seattle area can expect a few showers Saturday, with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s, and dry weather Sunday, with highs in the upper 50s and mid 60s.

Parking lots at the major parks will remain closed. Seattle banned the use of playgrounds, athletic fields and sports courts weeks ago, taping off playground structures and swings.

This weekend, the loop trails at Green Lake and Seward Park will be open only to pedestrians; “beach activities” will be banned at Golden Gardens and Alki Beach, with fire pits closed.

“The governor’s order is stay home — not stay out,” Durkan said in the release, referring to Gov. Jay Inslee’s order directing Washington residents to stay home except for essential activities.

“The social distancing necessary to keep us healthy will mean a new normal for Seattle’s parks.”

The mayor said people should: prioritize their smaller, neighborhood parks; “keep it moving” by walking, running, rolling or biking; visit parks during off-peak hours; avoid crowds.

“We know that this virus isn’t leaving our community for a long time, but I am hopeful that Seattle can adapt,” Durkan said.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will be monitoring conditions over the weekend and will close parks if there are too many gatherings or too many people, the release said.

Parks “ambassadors” will be stationed at major parks to remind people to keep their distance from one another, and signs are being installed, as well.

The city is closing 2.5 miles of residential streets in the Central District and West Seattle starting Saturday, to allow pedestrians and people biking more space to move around and comply with social-distancing recommendations. In the coming weeks, 15 miles of streets will be closed.

—Daniel Beekman

FEMA closing pop-up testing site for coronavirus in Everett

FEMA is closing the pop-up coronavirus testing site it set up last month at Everett Memorial Stadium where since then 2,500 people have since been tested, mostly with negative results.

Only about 5% of those tested had positive results, officials said.

The federal agency is shutting down the site, in part because it ran out of some of the needed testing supplies, Snohomish Health District's Heather Thomas told KING 5 News.

Thomas said the testing site had been set up to deal with a possible surge in cases.

"Initially, testing was very limited and our healthcare partners were overwhelmed with the number of patients over a short time," Thomas told KING.

Over the course of the month, testing of new people dropped from 200 to 100 a day, she said, and that's also part of the reason FEMA is moving on.

What remains of FEMA's supplies is now being sent to area long-term care facilities, which have proven to have particularly vulnerable populations.

Priority will be given to those facilities that already have a positive case and will allow everyone at those homes to be tested, not just those with symptoms, Thomas said.

—Christine Clarridge

Bill Gates, at odds with Trump on virus, becomes a right-wing target

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization as “dangerous.” (Samuel Habtab / The Associated Press, file)
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization as “dangerous.” (Samuel Habtab / The Associated Press, file)

In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity was not nuclear war but an infectious virus that could threaten the lives of millions of people.

That speech has resurfaced in recent weeks with 25 million new views on YouTube — but not in the way that Gates probably intended. Anti-vaccinators, members of the conspiracy group QAnon and right-wing pundits have instead seized on the video as evidence that one of the world’s richest men planned to use a pandemic to wrest control of the global health system.

Gates, 64, the Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist, has become the star of an explosion of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus outbreak. In posts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, he is being falsely portrayed as the creator of COVID-19, as a profiteer from a virus vaccine, and as part of a dastardly plot to use the illness to cull or surveil the global population.

The wild claims have gained traction with conservative pundits like Laura Ingraham and anti-vaccinators such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as Gates has emerged as a vocal counterweight to President Donald Trump on the coronavirus. For weeks, Gates has appeared on TV, on op-ed pages and in Reddit forums calling for stay-at-home policies, expanded testing and vaccine development. And without naming Trump, he has criticized the president’s policies, including this week’s move to cut funding to the World Health Organization.

Read the full story here.

—The New York Times
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Quarantine Corner: Making it easier to be stuck at home

Ambakity Cocina Mexicana’s tacos are a bit larger than your average street taco, and come stuffed with your choice of pork, beef, chicken or seafood. (Jackie Varriano / The Seattle Times)
Ambakity Cocina Mexicana’s tacos are a bit larger than your average street taco, and come stuffed with your choice of pork, beef, chicken or seafood. (Jackie Varriano / The Seattle Times)

Neighborhood Eats went to Bothell for takeout. Among our top picks there: tasty tacos, a big smoky burger and a delicious Thai soup. If you live elsewhere, peruse our updated list of Seattle-area restaurants ordering takeout or delivery, or learn about getting a taste of Pike Place Market delivered.

Take your kids on a scavenger hunt around your home. Here’s a downloadable (and color-able) list illustrated by our Seattle Sketcher.

Podcasts can feed your mind and soul. Here are 14 favorites, along with eight of the most intriguing arts events that will stream in coming days.

—Kris Higginson

Alaskans fearful as Washington fishing fleet prepares to head their way — without virus aboard

Tod Hall, left, Trident Seafoods’ manager of vessel operations; Roger Lebel, purser of Trident ship Island Enterprise; and Mike Luchino, director of operations for Trident’s catchers and processors group, gather at the Tacoma pier, where commercial fishery ships are being prepared for the new season in Alaska. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Tod Hall, left, Trident Seafoods’ manager of vessel operations; Roger Lebel, purser of Trident ship Island Enterprise; and Mike Luchino, director of operations for Trident’s catchers and processors group, gather at the Tacoma pier, where commercial fishery ships are being prepared for the new season in Alaska. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Alaskan communities, still haunted by the 1918 flu pandemic, are bracing nervously for an influx of fishermen, and some have called for the season to be canceled. Fishermen in the Seattle-Tacoma area are preparing to squeeze into cramped quarters safely, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake: “The chance of having one hiccup — it’s going to ruin the season for everyone.”

—Hal Bernton

When centers closed, hearts opened

At the Filipino Community Center of Seattle, Lolita Lawson adds food items to be delivered to seniors stuck at home during the coronavirus. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)
At the Filipino Community Center of Seattle, Lolita Lawson adds food items to be delivered to seniors stuck at home during the coronavirus. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

Across the Seattle area, hundreds of helpers have built food-delivery programs out of thin air to serve those who are hungry and isolated. Lolita Lawson, above, packs bags of food for seniors at the Filipino Community Center of Seattle. A video shows how another group of volunteers is pulling together to deliver 1,000 bags of groceries each week. The Sikh community, too, has found creative ways to help — including feeding hospital workers from Everett to Tacoma.

—Kris Higginson
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Catch up on the past 24 hours

Gov. Jay Inslee has frozen rent hikes and expanded a statewide ban on evictions. There's a federal eviction moratorium, too, but it's hard for tenants to tell whether it applies to them. You can check our map to see if you're covered.

The return to normal(ish) will be a far longer process than President Donald Trump envisioned last week, under a new road map that he laid out yesterday for governors. Trump also floated a claim about how the virus started that scientists say is highly unlikely.

Glitches are preventing $1,200 stimulus checks from reaching millions of Americans. Here are the biggest problems, and the steps the IRS recommends to tackle them.

What users see when the IRS “Get My Payment” website is unable to check on the status of their $1,200-plus relief payment. (Washington Post photo by Heather Long)
What users see when the IRS “Get My Payment” website is unable to check on the status of their $1,200-plus relief payment. (Washington Post photo by Heather Long)

The state has named more than 1,100 prisoners who will be freed in coming days because of coronavirus concerns. One high-profile federal inmate is going free, too: Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer and "fixer."

If you have asthma, are you more vulnerable to COVID-19? It's not showing up among the most common risk factors so far, researchers say.

Boeing's airplane factories will roar back into business next week with new protections for workers. That includes the 737 MAX assembly lines, indicating Boeing expects the FAA's clearance to fly the jet this summer.

The tail sections of two Boeing KC-46 tankers in front of the final assembly factory in Everett on Monday afternoon. Boeing said Thursday it will phase in a return of Puget Sound- area production workers starting April 20. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)
The tail sections of two Boeing KC-46 tankers in front of the final assembly factory in Everett on Monday afternoon. Boeing said Thursday it will phase in a return of Puget Sound- area production workers starting April 20. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

The massive small-business loan program has run dry, leaving many companies flailing for a lifeline. Businesses in Washington state are getting a sizable infusion from the $349 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program.

Coronavirus is closing meat-processing plants, sparking fears of higher prices and a new round of hoarding.

How deadly is COVID-19? Here's why scientists still don't know the death rate, and which clues are proving most useful.

Seattle's biggest Pride events are going virtual. Organizers are asking for the community's help figuring out what they'll look like.

The Greater Seattle Business Association spells out the word “Equality” in a cloud of bubbles at the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade Sunday June 30, 2019. Pride organizers announced Thursday that the major Seattle Pride events for 2020 will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)
The Greater Seattle Business Association spells out the word “Equality” in a cloud of bubbles at the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade Sunday June 30, 2019. Pride organizers announced Thursday that the major Seattle Pride events for 2020 will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

—Kris Higginson

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