Trump's White House briefings may be scaled back after disinfectant comments

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Image: Children play on the streets of Barcelona on April 26, 2020. Spain eased some lockdown restrictions, now allowing children to leave their homes for up to an hour per day.
Children play on the streets of Barcelona on Sunday. Spain eased some lockdown restrictions, now allowing children to leave their homes for up to an hour per day.David Ramos / Getty Images

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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.

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

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 27 for coronavirus news.

Californians head for beach during heat wave

A surfer carries a board Sunday in Huntington Beach, California, as a heat wave lured people to California beaches, rivers and trails, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress.Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

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

A Kashmiri Muslim man offers prayer on the banks of Dal Lake on the second day of Ramadan during lockdown in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on Sunday. Kashmiri shrines usually packed with devotees during the holy month of Ramadan were deserted as authorities closed the shrine for public safety.Mukhtar Khan / AP

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

Juventus and Parma players pause before the start of a Serie A match in Turin, Italy, on Jan. 19, 2020.Massimo Pinca / Reuters file

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."

Beto O'Rourke on Trump immigration order: Quarter of hospital workers 'born in another country'

President Donald Trump signing an executive order limiting immigration during the coronavirus pandemic is discussed by Beto O'Rourke, who tells Joy Reid, 'It's really important for us at this moment to remember that a quarter of those who are working in our clinics, in our hospitals right now were born in another country.'

Rolling Stones coronavirus lockdown single 'Living in a Ghost Town' hits No. 1 on iTunes

The Rolling Stones perform in London on May 22, 2018.Dylan Martinez / Reuters file

The Rolling Stones’ new single “Living in a Ghost Town” hit number one on iTunes in more than 20 countries, the band announced on Sunday, as the song becomes an anthem for life during the coronavirus.

Mick Jagger, the group's frontman, told Apple Music in an interview on Thursday that the song had been written last year, prior to the lockdown measures implemented during the pandemic, but he adjusted some lyrics before the song's release.

“Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it,” Jagger told Apple Music. “But I said, ‘Well I’ve got to rewrite it.’ Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark.”

Read the full story here. 

The Zoom shiva: Jewish funerals and mourning in the age of coronavirus

The Satnick family hosts a drive by shiva outside their home in Demarest, N.J.Hal Satnick

Jacquelyn Bell had to say goodbye to her mother, JoAnn, over the phone.

Joann, who was 73, battled multiple sclerosis most of her adult life, and survived three strokes and bouts of pneumonia. Bell always joked her mom had nine lives. But on March 30, JoAnn died of COVID-19 in a Michigan hospital.

As the U.S. coronavirus death toll tops 50,000, families are being forced to navigate grief in isolation. For Jewish families like Bell’s, coronavirus has also upended a highly structured process of mourning and burial. Jewish families and clergy are trying to find ways to uphold tradition while keeping loved ones safe.

Per Jewish religious law, burial is supposed to happen within 48 hours of death. The funeral service that follows is conducted by a rabbi or cantor and concludes with the shoveling of dirt into the grave by the deceased's loved ones.

Read the full story here.

Governors urge Trump to keep briefings 'fact-based' after disinfectant comments

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces a stay at home order to combat coronavirus on March 23, 2020.Julia Pickett / Michigan Office of the Governor via AP file

Governors on Sunday reacted to comments President Donald Trump made last week musing whether injecting disinfectants into the body could cure COVID-19.

"I think it's critical that the president of the United States, when people are really scared and in the middle of this worldwide pandemic, that in these press conferences that we really get the facts out there," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, told CBS' "Face The Nation." "And unfortunately, some of the messaging has not been great."

On "This Week," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said, "when the person with most powerful position on the planet is encouraging people to think about disinfectants, whether it was serious or not, people listen."

Read the full story here.