The U.S. Senate passed on Tuesday, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign, a nearly $500 billion coronavirus relief bill.
Meanwhile, Trump on Monday said he is suspending immigration in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the "need to protect jobs." White House officials offered few details after the president's Twitter announcement Monday night.
In the South, some governors have begun loosening restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp granted businesses across the state permission to reopen later this week and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that beaches and retail stores can reopen Tuesday.
In Europe, German officials made the difficult decision to cancel the country's world famous Oktoberfest celebration.
As of Tuesday evening, the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. stands at more than 44,000 and there have been more than 802,000 recorded cases of the disease, according to NBC News' count.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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Texas Lt. Governor on reopening economy: 'There are more important things than living'
Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick doubled down on the controversial comments he previously made regarding the coronavirus pandemic, telling Fox News on Monday that Americans had to “take some risks” in reopening the economy.
Patrick was heavily criticized last month after he suggested in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he and other senior citizens might be willing to die in order to save the U.S. economy. The Texas official stood by his statements in a new interview with Carlson on Monday night, saying that “we are crushing the economy.”
“And what I said when I was with you that night, there are more important things than living," Patrick said.
Senator wants Apple, Google execs to be personally liable for virus privacy
A U.S. senator said Tuesday that tech executives should face personal legal consequences if they don't protect the privacy of people using their smartphones to track the coronavirus.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote in a letter to Google and Apple about their virus-tracing plans that their executives should be "personally liable if you stop protecting privacy." He said the companies should not, for example, give advertising companies access once the pandemic is over.
"Do not hide behind a corporate shield like so many privacy offenders have before. Stake your personal finances on the security of this project," he wrote.
Apple and Google have said their plans would be voluntary and include a number of privacy measures. Apple and Google declined to comment on Hawley's letter.
Hundreds gather in North Carolina and Missouri to protest stay-at-home orders
Hundreds of protesters gathered at state capitols in North Carolina and Missouri to protest stay-at-home orders Tuesday, the latest in a wave of demonstrations against statewide restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
The small protests featured demonstrators — many of whom wearing gear promoting President Donald Trump and waving American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags — who mostly opted against wearing masks and ignored social distancing guidelines health experts say are necessary to mitigate the transmission of the highly contagious virus.
U.K. working to increase PPE supply after shortages reported
The U.K. is working to make more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) domestically while also entering into talks with international factories, Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.
Hancock said the government had more than 8,000 offers of PPE equipment as of Monday and was investigating each one, while working with 159 potential U.K. manufacturers.
“We’re working day and night to expand that supply base,” Hancock said during Britain’s daily coronavirus briefing.
The government has come under fire in recent weeks after shortages of PPE have been reported in some British hospitals.
The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, warned earlier this month that National Health Service staff had reported “dangerously low levels” of PPE in London and Yorkshire, putting medics and patients increasingly in harm’s way.
Potential coronavirus vaccine in Britain to be trialed on people from Thursday
A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford in Britain will be trialed on people starting Thursday, Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
Hancock said Tuesday two “leading” vaccine developments were taking place in Britain — one at the University of Oxford and another at Imperial College London — as he announced more than $50 million in fresh funding for the trials.
“We have put more money than any other country into the global search for a vaccine,” he said. “Both of these promising projects are making rapid progress and I’ve told the scientists leading them that we will do everything in our power to support.”
Hancock added that at the same time the U.K. will invest in manufacturing capabilities so that if either of these vaccines safely works then they can make it available for the British people “as soon as humanly possible.”
But he warned that “nothing” about the process was certain.
Nurses hold White House protest over need for protective equipment in coronavirus fight
Their numbers were small, but their message was powerful.
Nearly two dozen nurses from National Nurses United stood in protest outside the White House Tuesday, demanding more Personal Protective Equipment and a codification of protective standards as healthcare workers across the country find themselves underprepared on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re here because our colleagues are dying,” Erica Jones, a nurse at Washington Hospital Center in D.C., told NBC News. Jones stood silently Tuesday as the names of 50 nurses who died from COVID-19 were read aloud in the shadow of the White House.
OPINION: The coronavirus will devastate the South because politicians let poverty to do so first
Though President Donald Trump insists on calling it an “invisible enemy,” COVID-19 is ever before us and the data increasingly make clear that the South will soon become ground zero for coronavirus deaths.
COVID-19, then, is a contrast dye, highlighting the South as the native home of poverty in America.
Gov. Cuomo is questioned sharply on coronavirus response — by his daughters
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he faced sharp questions — from his own adult daughters — on why he had not looked overseas to buy coronavirus test kits.
Cuomo said his family was watching TV news on Monday night when a story aired on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who with help from his wife, just scored 500 test kits from her native South Korea,
"My daughter turns to me and looks at me and says, 'Wow that was really smart,' " said Cuomo, father of three adult daughters. "One of my other daughters, who's a little more pointed in life ... said, 'Why didn't you think of that, Dad? Why didn't you think of buying test kits from South Korea?'"
The New York governor was hammering home his belief that the federal government should take the lead in securing equipment to contain the pandemic, though he heaped praise on his Maryland counterpart: "God bless Larry Hogan; he really thought outside the box."
German officials cancel Oktoberfest
Germany's famous Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, has been cancelled, Bavarian officials announced Tuesday.
"It hurts, it's such a pity," Minister President Markus Söder of Bavaria, in southern Germany, said in a news conference. "We have agreed that the risk is simply too high."
The festival, planned to begin in late September and last through early October, usually draws around six million visitors from around the world. But Soder said "as long as there is no vaccine, as long as there is no medicine, special care must be taken," adding that the festival could have been a potential "virus hub."
Nearly 800 COVID-19 deaths in Georgia as governor plans to reopen businesses
Georgia reported nearly 20,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 800 deaths Tuesday — days ahead of Gov. Brian Kemp's planned reopening of many of the state's businesses.
The latest numbers, announced at noon Tuesday, reflect an increase of 482 cases and 24 deaths since the previous update at 7 p.m. Monday. The counties with the most coronavirus cases are Fulton (2,208 cases and 82 deaths), Dekalb (1,534 cases and 29 deaths), and Dougherty (1,446 cases and 103 deaths).
An additional 3,779 remained hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Despite the state's coronavirus death toll continuing to rise, Kemp on Monday announced plans to reopen businesses such as gyms, barber shops, and bowling alleys. Kemp's decision was criticized by many state and local leaders.
“There's nothing about this that makes sense," Stacey Abrams said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” "The mayors of Atlanta, Albany and Savannah have all questioned the wisdom of doing this. And the fact is the governor didn't consult with mayors before making this decision.”