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House of Representatives will not return to DC until at least April 20

FILE - (Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group){p}{/p}
FILE - (Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

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WASHINGTON (SBG) - The coronavirus is now taking a toll on work in Washington, DC, when it comes to the United States Congress.

As of now, the House of Representatives will not be returning to the city until at least April 20.

The District's Mayor, Muriel Bowser, announced stricter rules for residents at a press conference Monday.

"The only reason she should be leaving your home or to buy groceries, pick up medicine, or to exercise with your own family because you have been, or because you had been advised to seek medical attention or because you are performing any central job," Bowser said.

That, following another sobering prediction from the White House Task Force.

"I would not be surprised. I don't want to see it - I would like to avoid it, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 100,000 deaths," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves on the task force and is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The FDA is now giving speedy approval for emergency use of other drugs, like ones used to treat Malaria, on certain COVID-19 patients, hoping they will help.

But there are more signs that it's getting tougher to keep up. In New York City's Central Park, a field hospital with 68 beds for a respiratory care unit has been built. And inside already packed hospitals, there's a need for more supplies.

Dr. Arabia Mollette, an ER doctor at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, told CNN that they are trying to keep their heads above water.

"We need gowns, we need gloves, we need masks, we need more vents, we need more medical space, we need psychosocial support as well,” she said.

President Trump says the federal government has sent much of its necessary equipment, and help, coming in the form of the Naval hospital, the USNS Comfort, which arrived in New York's harbor Monday morning, to treat non-coronavirus patients.

"It's not just about the beds and the doctors and the equipment," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said after welcoming the ship to the city . "It's also about hope. It's also about boosting the morale of New Yorkers who are going through so much. It's about saying to our heroes in those hospitals that help has come."
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In Washington, there's still a bit of action on Capitol Hill. Some senators introduced a bill Monday morning to halt an electric or gas shutoffs during the crisis. There have also been louder calls for a nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

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