Coronavirus outbreak, Space Force launch, unemployment numbers: 5 things to know Thursday

Have a question for Dr. Fauci? Check out NBA star Stephen Curry’s panel

With the NBA encouraging players to learn more about the coronavirus outbreak through trusted sources, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has turned to one of the world’s most trusted experts: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. On Thursday, the NBA star will host a panel with Fauci (1 p.m. ET, Instagram Live) who will answer questions about the coronavirus.Fauci has become a household name during the pandemic, speaking almost daily during White House briefings on the coronavirus. And Fauci has not been shy about correcting President Donald Trump during those briefings

Unemployment claims could reach several million due to coronavirus

The Labor Department on Thursday is set to release the most vivid evidence yet of the widespread economic damage the coronavirus outbreak already has wrought.Markets and economists are bracing for Labor’s report on unemployment benefits, which is expected to show that up to several million American workers were laid off last week, the highest weekly tally on record. The pandemic has set off the most abrupt near-shutdown of the U.S. economy in history as many restaurants, shops, movie theaters, sports arenas and other gathering spots across the country suddenly closed their doors or scaled back service. The data is set to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Sam’s Club, Costco add senior hours to meet shopping demands

Two popular warehouse clubs will open their doors for early shopping Thursday for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. From 7 to 9 a.m., every Tuesday and Thursday, Sam’s Club will allow seniors, people with disabilities and those with compromised immune systems to shop for supplies. Meanwhile, rival Costco will “temporarily implement” special operating hours for members 60 or older. Costco’s senior shopping hour, also designated every Tuesday and Thursday, will run 8 to 9 a.m. Discount grocer Aldi is now reserving the “first hour of business for vulnerable shoppers” including seniors, expectant mothers and those with health concerns Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting at 8:30 a.m. The moves come as panic shopping has left store shelves empty in many places across the country, putting at-risk groups in a predicament. 

Coronavirus or no, Space Force has a satellite to launch

The launch of a Space Force communications satellite is still a go for Thursday despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Weather permitting, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket is set for a 2:57 p.m. ET liftoff from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, Space Force officials said Tuesday. Civilians and military personnel have been encouraged to telework as much as possible to avoid exposure to the virus, which has not yet led to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Patrick Air Force Base or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess said.

Strat-O-Matic saves opening day for baseball junkies

If you’re a baseball fan, you already know what’s NOT happening Thursday: opening day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed back the start of the season indefinitely, but devastated fans will be able to get little of that magic back, thanks to the folks at iconic board game Strat-O-Matic. Using its unique player ratings, Strat-O-Matic will simulate each game on the original MLB schedule and unveil the scores, stats and highlights each day at 2 p.m. ET. Season saved! The company will ask fans, former players and media members to help select pitching rotations and lineups; see

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