As his aides and allies increasingly worry that President Donald Trump's lengthy appearances at his his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic may may backfire politically, the White House is considering scaling them back.
It follows widespread mockery and an immediate and universal backlash from the medical community after the president suggested Thursday evening that people might be able to inject household cleaning items or disinfectants to deter the respiratory illness.
The evaluation of Trump's briefings comes as the worldwide death toll for the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Over 53,000 of those fatalities have been recorded in the U.S. according to an NBC News tally and more than 20,000 in the U.K. making it the fifth nation to reach that grim milestone.
However, in China where the pandemic began, the government reported no new deaths for a 10th straight day.
- 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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South Korea mulls reopening schools
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea reported only 10 new cases of the coronavirus, its 26th straight day below 100 as officials mulled reopening schools amid the slowing caseload.
The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday brought the national totals to 10,738 cases and 243 deaths.
At least 1,044 infections have been linked to international arrivals, but such cases have also declined in recent weeks amid tightened border controls.
NFL draft averages record 8.4M viewers across 3 days
Seth Markman was just as nervous as NFL coaches and general managers about the unknown factors involved with a virtual draft. But the ESPN executive producer said he was overwhelmed with how everything came together over the three days.
It also ended up being must-see TV as the first significant live sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic ground everything to a halt. The draft averaged a record 8.4 million viewers over all three days, according to the NFL and Nielsen. The previous high was 6.2 million last year.
“I thought a coach or general manager might put a towel on the camera or point it another direction, but there were zero issues,” Markman said. “There were a couple times that we lost a feed or two, but it quickly came back.”
Californians head for beach during heat wave
Official resigns after throwing cat during Zoom meeting
A planning commissioner in Vallejo, California, has resigned after throwing his pet cat and apparently drinking a beer during a Zoom meeting between city officials that was made public, according to a newspaper report.
During the April 20 teleconference of the city’s Planning Commission, Chris Platzer announced, “I’d like to introduce my cat,” and then picked up his pet before suddenly tossing the animal off-screen.
Platzer was seen sipping from a green bottle during the meeting, the Times-Herald reported. After the conference ended, he could be heard making derogatory remarks. “I’m going to call bull---- on you little b------,” according to the original commission meeting video released by the Northern California city.
In an email to the Times-Herald on Saturday, Platzer said he had resigned from the planning commission, effective immediately. The resignation came days before the City Council was set to consider a resolution removing him from the seven-person panel, the newspaper said.
A prayerful Ramadan during lockdown
Mexico all but empties migrant shelters
MEXICO CITY - Mexico has almost entirely cleared out its migrant shelters over the past five weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, returning most of the occupants to their countries of origin, official data showed on Sunday.
In a statement, the National Migration Institute said that in order to comply with health and safety guidelines, since March 21 it had been removing migrants from Mexico's 65 migrant facilities, which were harboring 3,759 people last month.
In the intervening weeks, Mexico has returned 3,653 migrants to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador by road and air with the result that only 106 people remain in the shelters, it said.
Boston partners with Massachusetts General Hospital to begin antibody testing
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced on Sunday the city will begin testing residents for the COVID-19 antibody.
The city has partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital and will randomly test 1,000 residents living in the city’s East Boston, Roslindale, and Dorchester neighborhoods; testing is completely voluntary.
According to a statement released on Sunday afternoon, “MGH will collect data of 1,000 asymptomatic Boston residents this week by administering testing for both the COVID-19 virus and the COVID-19 antibodies.”
Testing is expected to be completed by May 1 and the results will be made available to the public following completion.
Italy says professional soccer can resume practice on May 18
ROME — Nearly seven weeks after the last game was played, Italy’s top soccer division finally has a target date to resume practice.
Premier Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18, while individual sports can resume practice on May 4.
The move means that the Serie A league could resume playing games in June — albeit without any fans in the stadiums.
Conte said that starting on Monday, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora “will work intensely with … the soccer system, the professional sports in general, to find a road map that we have already partly defined in terms of the resumption of individual training on May 4 and teams on May 18."