Coronavirus, India’s lockdown, Jamal Khashoggi: Your Thursday Briefing

Coronavirus, India’s lockdown, Jamal Khashoggi: Your Thursday Briefing

Surf: Patrick Stewart reads Shakespeare on Twitter, Ballet Hispánico is on Instagram and art museums are expanding their digital offerings. If you’re stuck at home and hankering for the fine arts, there are plenty to choose from online.

New York City is now the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., with more than 17,000 confirmed cases, and the state’s case count is doubling every three days, the governor said.

To understand why, we spoke to Brian Rosenthal, an investigative reporter on our Metro desk who has written about the challenges facing the city in its fight to stop the outbreak. Below is his conversation with our Briefings contributor Jonathan Wolfe, for our Coronavirus Briefing.

What is it about New York City that made the virus surge here?

According to the experts, the single biggest factor is simply the density of the city. Twenty-eight thousand people live in every square mile of New York.

New York has been testing a lot of people. Are the big numbers just a product of that?

We looked into it. New York has conducted more tests than any other state. However, even after you account for that, the number of cases in New York is much higher.

If you just compare the percentage of tests that have come back positive, it’s about 25 percent in New York, and in California it’s about 5 percent. That doesn’t necessarily mean that five times as many people in New York have it, but it is a sign that the virus is probably more widespread in our community than in California.

What would explain the difference?

What the experts think is that this virus was circulating in the city for much longer than we thought, and it spread before we put in place these social-distancing measures. We are starting to see the ramifications of that now, days and weeks after the virus spread, because it takes time for symptoms to show up.

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