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Republicans pick Jacksonville, Florida, as convention site

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A protester wears a face shield made of recycled plastic bottles by artist Leeroy New during a anti-terror bill rally at the University of the Philippines as they observe Independence Day
A protester wears a face shield made of recycled plastic bottles by artist Leeroy New during a anti-terror bill rally at the University of the Philippines as they observe Independence Day on Friday, June 12, 2020, in Metro Manila, Philippines.Aaron Favila / AP

The Republican National Committee announced that it had selected Jacksonville, Florida, as the site where President Donald Trump will accept the party's nomination. That comes after the party bailed on Charlotte, North Carolina, over coronavirus restrictions.

As the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, some scientists are proposing that existing vaccines could give the body’s immune system a much-needed temporary boost to stave off infection.

A number of vaccine efforts are planning to start final-stage trials this summer, while the Walter Reed Army Lab is beginning human trials.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Can blood plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients help prevent infection in others?

Survivors of COVID-19 are donating their blood plasma in droves in hopes it helps other patients recover from the coronavirus. And while the jury’s still out, now scientists are testing if the donations might also prevent infection in the first place.

Thousands of coronavirus patients in hospitals around the world have been treated with so-called convalescent plasma — including more than 20,000 in the U.S. — with little solid evidence so far that it makes a difference. One recent study from China was unclear while another from New York offered a hint of benefit.

“We have glimmers of hope,” said Dr. Shmuel Shoham of Johns Hopkins University.

With more rigorous testing of plasma treatment underway, Shoham is launching a nationwide study asking the next logical question: Could giving survivors plasma right after a high-risk exposure to the virus stave off illness?

Read the full story here.

CDC: Every public activity in the U.S. 'has some degree of risk'

The United States may see coronavirus cases increase in the coming weeks as states continue to reopen and Americans gather together, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, in a warning that underscored protective measures must accompany a return to daily life.

"Every activity that involves interacting with others has some degree of risk right now," Dr. Jay Butler, the leader of the CDC's COVID-19 response, said during a briefing.

"It’s important to remember the situation is unprecedented and the pandemic is ongoing," he said.

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Who bought all the toilet paper? Study suggests who was most likely to stockpile during COVID-19

In mid-March, as coronavirus cases started their sharp climb in the United States, many Americans appeared to have one thing in mind before hunkering down: Buy toilet paper. Lots of it.

But not everyone grabbed every roll in sight, and research published Friday in the journal Plos One offers insights into why some people scrambled for toilet paper while others held back.

The study looked at whether different personality traits were associated with toilet paper hoarding, and found stockpilers tended to be more anxious and fearful about the coming health threat compared with those who didn’t load up on the product.

Read the full story here.

Department of Transportation to distribute nearly 100 million masks for passenger use

The Department of Transportation plans to distribute nearly 100 million masks for passenger use, the department announced in a news release Friday.

About 86.8 million cloth facial coverings will be distributed to airports, and 9.6 million coverings will be distributed to 458 transit agencies and Amtrak. 

“This Administration is committed to protecting our people and reopening the economy; distributing these facial coverings will help boost public confidence as we begin to resume our normal lives,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.

Florida sets record for new coronavirus cases on second straight day

Florida on Friday set another record for new cases of COVID-19 with 1,902, according to numbers released by the state health department.

This marks the second consecutive day of the state logging another record high, with 1,698 new cases reported on Thursday.

The Sunshine State has reported more than 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,877 deaths.

Few N95 masks, reused gowns: Dire PPE shortages reveal COVID-19's racial divide

Amy Arlund, an intensive care unit nurse in California, starts every overnight shift hoping her supervisors will give her a fresh N95 respirator.

“You are asked to reuse them for weeks on end,” Arlund, 45, told NBC News. “You have to justify to your manager repeatedly why you need a new one.”

Nearly 100 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, health care workers across the country are still facing major shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE, including crucial equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and N95 respirators. Amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, the situation is especially dire at hospitals serving communities of color or patients on Medicaid, NBC News has found.

"The issue of PPE for health workers has not gone away," Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said Wednesday at a news briefing.

Read the full story here.