Republicans pick Jacksonville, Florida, as convention site

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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

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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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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.

How did 140 people avoid coronavirus at salon where 2 stylists tested positive?

Coronavirus contact tracing apps were tech's chance to step up. They haven't happened.

At a briefing this week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy touted his state's efforts to trace the spread of the coronavirus, outlining plans to hire 1,600 contact tracers who will call people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Not part of his plan: a smartphone app to help with contact tracing.

"The state of New Jersey is neither pursuing nor promoting exposure notification or digital alerting technology, at least at this time," Murphy said.

New Jersey isn't alone. States that had committed to using contact tracing apps or expressed interest are now backing away from those claims. The few states that have rolled them out have seen only tepid responses. And there are no indications of any momentum for the apps at a national level.

Read the full story here.

Beijing elementary students' return to school delayed after new coronavirus cases found

The return to school of Beijing students in years 1, 2 and 3 has been delayed after two new coronavirus infections were diagnosed in China’s capital. The students were scheduled to return to school this coming Monday.

Students who already returned to class will remain in school, the government said.

The two coronavirus cases, which are believed to have been transmitted in China rather than from abroad, were isolated and treated in Beijing coronavirus hospitals. On Thursday, China reported 11 newly confirmed cases across the country, but they all came from outside the country. 

Millions of children at risk of being pushed into work, report says

Millions of children around the world are at risk of being pushed into child labor due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization and UNICEF.

The report warns that the difficult economic situation in many countries could lead to the first rise in child labour after 20 years of progress.

“In times of crisis, child labor becomes a coping mechanism for many families,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, in a press release. “As poverty rises, schools close and the availability of social services decreases, more children are pushed into the workforce. As we re-imagine the world post-COVID, we need to make sure that children and their families have the tools they need to weather similar storms in the future.”