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Global cases surpass 3 million, U.S. states begin to reopen

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
300 ventilators arrive at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, England, on April 4, 2020.
300 ventilators arrive at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, England, on April 4, 2020.Sgt. Ben Beale / Ministry of Defense via PA

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 28 coronavirus news.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 55,000 Monday, with more than 985,000 confirmed cases, according to NBC News' tally.

Globally, there are now more than 3 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestones comes as the White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx warned that many of the social distancing measures that have upended American life will be a fixture through the summer.

President Donald Trump said during an address in the Rose Garden Monday that the number of tests performed across the country spiked after his administration gave a list of laboratory facilities to governors. But the COVID Tracking Project data did not show any "skyrocket" in testing.

On the state level, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state's stay-at-home order will expire on Thursday and many businesses will be allowed to open on Friday. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine laid out strict guidelines for the resumption of retail business in May, including requirements for both employees and shoppers to wear face coverings.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is seeking to overturn a ruling by a judge who issued a restraining order against the extension of his stay-at-home order. Similarly, Attorney General William Barr directed the nation's federal prosecutors to look for stay-at-home orders that could be unconstitutional.

Meanwhile in Italy, Europe's hardest hit country, the prime minister laid out plans for a phased end to restrictions, including the opening of restaurants and libraries in mid-May.

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.

Afghanistan set to release 12,000 more prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

Afghanistan plans to release more than 12,000 prisoners as it battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total number of inmates the government has pledged to release amid the pandemic to over 22,000, an Afghan official said Monday.

Ahmed Rashid Totakhail, head of prison administration told reporters Monday, said that President Ashraf Ghani had signed a decree to release a further 12,399 out of the approximately 36,000 people currently serving time in Afghanistan.

It follows an earlier presidential decree to release 10,000 prisoners amid the outbreak signed on March 26. Totakhail said Monday that so far out of those 10,000 people identified for release, more than 6,000 had been set free. Separately, the Afghan government and the Taliban are currently pursuing a prisoner swap as part of the withdrawal deal signed by the United States and the Taliban in February. 

It was not immediately clear how many, if any, of the more than 22,000 identified for release on Monday or March 26 were members of the Taliban. 

Global cases surpass 3 million, according to Johns Hopkins tally

The total number of global coronavirus cases topped 3 million on Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

The number stood at 3,002,303 as of 1 p.m. ET.

Recovered from COVID-19? Here's how to donate plasma

Plasma is precious for people sick with COVID-19.

The liquid portion of blood taken from survivors of the disease may be rich in antibodies that doctors hope can speed up recovery for the sickest patients.

The effort to gather plasma is a top priority for the Red Cross, but they're struggling to keep up with demand.

Read the full story on TODAY.

New York State effectively cancels Democratic presidential primary

Citing coronavirus concerns, the New York State Board of Elections on Monday decided that Sen. Bernie Sanders' name will be removed from the June 23 presidential primary ballot - effectively canceling the primary and making Joe Biden the winner.

"I think it's time for us to recognize that the presidential contest is over," Commissioner Doug Kellner said, citing concerns from voters.

The move, which Sanders had been urging the board against, leaves Biden as "the only candidate" and "effectively the winner of the New York primary," Kellner said.

Fellow Democratic commissioner Andrew Spano, explaining his decision, said that "we should minimize the number of people on ballot," citing the coronavirus outbreak linked to Wisconsin's presidential primary. He said the move would help minimize the number of people in close quarters at polling locations throughout the state. 

Speaking at a separate coronavirus briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would not "second guess" the board's decision.

Another 337 dead from COVID-19 in New York state

Caskets of Muslims who have passed away from the coronavirus are prepared for burial at a busy Brooklyn funeral home on the first day of Ramadan on April 24, 2020 in N.Y.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

New York state added at least another 337 victims to its COVID-19 death toll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. 

The grim total has now reached 17,303 deaths, not including those who are presumptive COVID-19 victims. 

It was, however, the second consecutive day that New York's daily tally came in at under 400 fatalities. 

Trump: Federal govt. shouldn't rescue states and cities struggling under pandemic

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that the federal government should not be responsible for bailing out states and cities that are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat-run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

“I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?” he added.

Read more here.

Russia claims it has surpassed China in confirmed cases

Russia on Monday said it surpassed China in number of confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, reporting a total of 87,147 infections across the country. 

Russia has been seeking significant day-on-day growth the past two weeks, with 6,198 new cases reported on April 27 by the Coronavirus Crisis Response Center. 

Russia’s fatality rate remains low, however, with just 50 fatalities reported Monday — bringing the total to 794. Authorities claim 7,346 recoveries. 

These numbers stand against a backdrop of Europe’s largest claimed testing operation. Russia’s consumer safety agency on Monday claimed to have surpassed 3 million tests. 

Chinese state media accuses Pompeo of spreading 'political virus'

Chinese state media accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday of spreading a "political virus" and making himself "humanity's public enemy" over his criticism of Beijing's handling of the coronavirus.

Pompeo has accused China of withholding information in early stages of the outbreak, and last week claimed it was using the pandemic as a distraction to push its territorial ambitions in the disputed South China Sea.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Monday told its estimated audience of 130 million that "Pompeo should know that the enemy of the United States is a virus, not China."

"If Pompeo stands alone and continues to put political self-interest above public interests, then he will be abandoned by the American people and will remain infamous in the history of American diplomacy," it said.

"Lies and defamation cannot make up for lost time, cannot save lives on the verge of death, nor can they make the United States 'great again.'"

In Detroit, grief runs deep as city grapples with COVID-19

Jamon Jordan with a photo of his mother, Jacquelynne Jordan, in Detroit on April 24, 2020.Paul Sancya / AP

Jamon Jordan could not mourn his mother in the traditional way. At Jacquelynne Jordan’s memorial in early April, there were just seven people. No hugs. No traditional dinner where family members could gather to honor the 66-year-old matriarch’s memory.

That stripped-down scenario has played out hundreds of times in Detroit — 912 to be exact, the number of city residents who have died of COVID-19.

So amid the pandemic, Detroit — the nation’s largest black city, the birthplace of distinctive soulful music and black cultural significance — grieves collectively.

Read the full article here.