President Donald Trump signed a nearly $500 billion interim coronavirus bill into law Friday that includes more money for the small-business loan program, hospitals and testing.
The bill includes more than $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, created by the CARES Act, which was passed late last month and provides forgivable loans to small businesses that keep their employees on the payroll.
Meanwhile, experts ripped Trump's idea of injecting disinfectant as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections. But during the ceremony, Trump walked back his comments from Thursday, saying he was being “sarcastic.”
The new legislation comes as the death toll in the U.S. topped 50,000 on Friday, according to NBC News' tally. The global recorded death toll has passed 190,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
- 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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Prisoners in Germany to produce face masks
The southern German state of Bavaria announced on Friday that it will involve prisoners in the production of face masks in an effort to continue in curbing the coronavirus.
Officials bought 65 modern high-speed sewing machines on short notice and redesigned existing workplaces in the correctional facilities for mask production, the Bavarian Justice ministry said in a press release.
The plan for the prisoners — who will sew rubber strands onto mask blanks — will create 1.6 million masks per year, the ministry said. Germany is the fifth-worst-hit country in the world, with more than 150,000 reported cases as of Friday.
Photo: Social distancing during Friday prayer
The EPA is reminding people to use disinfectant only on surfaces
The Environmental Protection Agency is reminding people to only use disinfectant on surfaces.
The agency issued the update shortly before President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that it might be helpful to inject disinfectant to combat the coronavirus.
The EPA says, “Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products.”
The warning comes after Trump said at his daily press briefing on Thursday, "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
Bill Gates: Vaccine could come sooner than later, but 'it's going to be awhile before things go back to normal'
Bill Gates, who has been warning for years of a global disease outbreak, said that while many countries have coordinated testing on a national level during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. has not, and access to tests is "chaotic."
But Gates also said in his interview with Savannah Guthrie that aired on the "TODAY" show Friday that he has recently seen evidence that a hoped-for timeline of 18 to 24 months for a coronavirus vaccine may come to pass. "The best scientists [are] working hard on this," Gates said. "In fact, in the last few weeks I've seen signs that we may get to the optimistic side of that time projection" for a vaccine.
Still, he said, "it's going to be awhile before things go back to normal."
"Many countries decided that at the national level, they would orchestrate the testing" for the virus, he said. "That hasn't happened in the United States. It might not happen. But, you know, the access to tests is just, you know, chaotic."
Outbreak in two of the oldest orthodox monasteries in Ukraine
Two of the oldest orthodox monasteries in Ukraine have reported virus outbreaks, as the country announced it had surpassed 7,500 cases on Friday.
Earlier this week, the Pochayiv Lavra monastery — which is a major center for pilgrimage and has about 600 priests and monks living inside — was closed for quarantine. The town of Pochayiv itself has also been locked down due to worshippers praying in the 500-year-old monastery last Sunday on the Orthodox Easter, local police reported.
There are currently 44 confirmed cases in the monastery, the city’s mayor said on local TV. Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, however, suspects the outbreak is much larger but cannot confirm due to a lack of cooperation from the abbot.
Earlier in the month, a 1,000-year-old monastery complex in the country’s capital of Kyiv was also locked down after 150 people were infected. While the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery had initially criticized the government’s quarantine measures and urged people to continue going to church, it is now holding services behind closed doors.
Cases surge to a record high in the Indian state of Maharashtra
Health authorities said Friday that Maharashtra recorded 778 new cases on Thursday, and 1,680 total cases across the country. This brings the total in India — which has been under lockdown since March 24 — to 22,930 as of Friday. This marked its biggest single-day jump since April 19, a day before India relaxed some lockdown restrictions in a bid to help employ some of the millions of migrant workers who fled cities for their homes villages.
Fearing rampant spread of the disease in the city’s crowded slums, officials in India’s financial capital of Mumbai — the state capital of Maharashtra — are developing a plan to administer doses of the Donald Trump-backed anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against COVID-19.
Lysol manufacturer warns against internal use after Trump comments
The manufacturer for Lysol, a disinfectant spray and cleaning product, issued a statement warning against any internal use after President Donald Trump suggested that people could get an "injection" of "the disinfectant that knocks (coronavirus) out in a minute."
"As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)," said a spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, in a statement to NBC News.
"As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information," the statement continued, adding that the company believes it has a "responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts."
The Week in Pictures: Lockdown protests and a window wedding
See how countries around the world have handled the coronavirus crisis and more in this week's The Week in Pictures slide show.
Moscow to test all medical personnel for immunity
Around 40 percent of Moscow's healthcare system is now dedicated to combating the coronavirus after the city rapidly refit hospitals to serve as COVID-19 wards, Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said on sate television Friday.
“Doctors, nurses […] everyone is truly working to the limit,” Rakova said on Channel One. She told the Interfax news agency later on Friday that all healthcare personnel working in these hospitals and clinics will receive new rapid immunity tests. The tests were launched last week by a major state lab in Siberia.
While medical professionals are receiving priority for new immunity tests, the deputy mayor also said that all patients in Moscow hospitals will be tested for active coronavirus, and that Moscow labs are now processing more than 18,000 tests per day.
Traffic jams in France after McDonald's reopens some drive-thru locations
Big Mac fans caused traffic jams in France this week after McDonald's reopened dozens of its drive-thru locations in the country.
Amused locals posted incredulous videos on social media of the long lines of traffic to access their local branches. "All that for some McDonald's," wrote one.
Josua Haron, 24, went looking for his usual choice of 20 chicken McNuggets after a McDonald's-branded car announced over loudspeaker the reopening his local drive-thru in Moissy-Crayamel, south of Paris. He went home empty-handed, though, after learning how long it would take to get to the front of the line. "Three hours wait, not for me!" he laughed.