Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Cancer patient aboard coronavirus-stalled cruise faces possible chemotherapy delay

Among the 2,400 passengers stranded off the California coast on a cruise ship carrying at least 21 people infected with coronavirus, few people aboard likely have more to lose than Kari Kolstoe, a retiree from North Dakota with stage-4 cancer. Kolstoe, 60, said she and her husband, Paul, 61, had looked forward to the Grand Princess cruise to Hawaii as a brief, badly needed respite from the grind of medical intervention she has endured for the past 18 months.

CPAC attendee tests positive for coronavirus

Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, said an attendee of its annual Washington-area conference last month has tested positive for coronavirus. "A New Jersey hospital tested the person, and CDC confirmed the positive result," said a statement by the American Conservative Union, the host of the event.

Americans divided on party lines over risk from coronavirus: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Americans who now find themselves politically divided over seemingly everything are now forming two very different views of another major issue: the dangers of the new coronavirus. Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to say the coronavirus poses an imminent threat to the United States, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted this week.

Exclusive: U.S. considers discouraging some travelers from cruises - sources

The United States is considering ways to discourage U.S. travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to four officials familiar with the situation. The officials, who asked to remain anonymous, said no decision had been made. The discussions were taking place ahead of a meeting this weekend between Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and the cruise industry.

SXSW canceled as tech and entertainment world faces coronavirus

The South by Southwest music, technology and film festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled on Friday, adding to a growing list of events being suspended around the world over concerns about the spreading coronavirus outbreak. Known as SXSW, the annual showcase of pop culture had been scheduled to run March 13 to 22. Organizers and local officials said at a news conference that they had concluded it was unwise to draw crowds of people together in close proximity with the number of coronavirus cases rising around the world.

No more refills: U.S. airlines step up measures to guard against coronavirus

U.S. airlines are stepping up measures to guard against the spread of coronavirus through person-to-person contamination on airplanes, from eliminating wine and water refills to keeping passengers from touching serving trays and food baskets. Rather than bringing wine or water bottles into the aisles for refills, flight attendants on United Airlines will now provide a new cup or glass.

U.S. pastor tells how Bethlehem trip turned into coronavirus quarantine ordeal

Thirteen Americans suspected of being exposed to coronavirus during a trip to the Holy Land are in quarantine near Bethlehem and are coordinating with U.S. and Palestinian authorities to try to get home. "It was going to be the trip of a lifetime," Chris Bell, 42, lead pastor of the 3Circle Church in Fairhope, Alabama, said in a video chat with Reuters from the second floor of the Angel Hotel in Beit Jala, which is next to Bethlehem.

Weinstein's prison sentence should reflect 'lifetime of abuse': prosecutors

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein should get a prison sentence that reflects not only his conviction for sexually assaulting two women, but a "lifetime of abuse towards others," New York prosecutors said in a court filing on Friday. Throughout his adult life, Weinstein has shown a "staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office said in a letter to Justice James Burke, who is scheduled to sentence Weinstein on Wednesday.

Two more succumb to coronavirus in U.S., New York declares state of emergency

Two more people succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Washington state, officials said on Saturday, bringing the nationwide toll to 19, while the number of confirmed cases in New York jumped by 21 overnight and a cruise ship with infected passengers remained stranded outside San Francisco. More than half of all U.S. states have reported cases of the coronavirus, which originated in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19. As the outbreak takes root, daily life has become increasingly disrupted, with concerts and conferences canceled and universities telling students to stay home and take classes online.

FDA head says 2.1 million coronavirus tests will have been shipped to labs by Monday

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Saturday that materials for 2.1 million coronavirus tests will have been shipped to non-public U.S. labs by Monday, as the Trump administration aims to counter criticism that its response to the disease has been sluggish. Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, told reporters at the White House that manufacturers have told the agency they believe that by the end of next week they could scale up to a capacity of 4 million additional tests.