More than 1 million people in the United States have been infected by the coronavirus as of Tuesday, a mark that comes as some states begin to ease lockdowns.
The U.S. has recorded more than 56,000 deaths due to COVID-19, according to NBC News' tally. Worldwide, over 3 million people have been sickened and more than 212,000 have died.
Some parts of the U.S. have shown indications of a leveling off of new cases and deaths. That has, in turn, sparked greater calls — particularly from supporters of the Trump administration — to push for governors to begin reopening stores and public spaces.
But health professionals warn that coronavirus cases could easily spike again if proper social distancing is not maintained.
President Donald Trump said Monday that the effort to expand testing is being done with the private sector to "help local governments get this horrible plague over with and over with fast."
- 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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'Fogging' technology could help battle coronavirus
A machine invented a dozen years ago may make it possible to kill the coronavirus in shared spaces.
The HaloFogger, which has been used against SARS and Ebola, has been approved by the EPA for emergency use against COVID-19.
It sprays a dry hydrogen peroxide mist that can clean rooms without damaging electronics. Each machine costs $10,000, and the amount of mist needed to clean a room costs $10.
Tom Trojansky, whose ambulances serve a portion of suburban Philadelphia, has been using a HaloFogger to clean his fleet of emergency vehicles. He has more than 100 employees, responding to dozens of COVID-19 calls per day, but says only one employee has contracted the disease.
NYC mayor announces 'one big city-wide virtual graduation ceremony' for seniors
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said the city would throw "one big city-wide virtual graduation ceremony" for seniors who won't be able to walk and receive their diplomas in person this year.
De Blasio said he realizes graduating seniors are being robbed of a very "human moment," but that "we need to celebrate you." Individual schools can decide how to handle graduation ceremonies on their own, and the city-wide event will be additional.
"We're going to make it something very special," de Blasio said. "We’re going to give you something you will remember for the rest of your life."
He said the ceremony will include "very special guests," some of whom are from the "extraordinary roster of people" who graduated from the New York City public school system.
JetBlue becomes first U.S. airline to require passengers to wear masks
JetBlue Airways on Monday became the first U.S. airline to announce that all passengers will have to wear a face covering on flights.
Starting May 4, passengers will be required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth during the duration of each flight and also during check-in, boarding and deplaning, according to a JetBlue statement. Small children who can't keep a mask on are exempt.
The airline has already started requiring flight crew members to wear face coverings on the job. American Airlines will begin requiring flight attendants to wear masks starting May 1, the airline said in a statement Monday. Passengers will be offered personal protective equipment. Masks became mandatory for United Airlines flight attendants on Friday.
On Thursday, the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 50,000 flight attendants across 20 airlines, sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking that the departments use their "authority to mandate masks in aviation for crew, employees and passengers; require personal protective equipment; and end all leisure travel until the virus is contained."
Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds to honor frontline workers
The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels will give a loud salute Tuesday afternoon to healthcare workers and others on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus with flyovers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The event will begin at noon in Newark, New Jersey and New York City and will last about 35 minutes, the Thunderbirds said in a press release. The aircraft will then head to Trenton, New Jersey, for a 10-minute show that begins at 1:45 p.m.
The final stop will be in Philadelphia at 2 p.m. and will last for about 20 minutes.
'Naked concerns': German doctors strip down to protest lack of protective equipment
A group of German doctors has posed naked to show how vulnerable they feel without adequate protective equipment on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group calls its protest Blanke Bedenken, which translates as “naked concerns,” saying shortages of protective clothing and equipment are putting their lives at risk.
“We are your general practitioners. To treat you safely, we need protective equipment. If we run out of what little we have, we look like this,” one of the group’s tweets said next to a naked photo of a male physician.
The group, which was launched on Thursday and has since garnered growing attention online, has featured more photos of doctors posing in their medical practices, some wearing nothing but a stethoscope.
Naples' pizza ovens fired up again as city eases lockdown restrictions
Wood is burning again in Naples’ pizza ovens as of Monday night, giving a symbolic and savory boost to Neapolitans after two months of lockdown meant an end to their most iconic and favorite food.
Whereas pizzerias in Rome and elsewhere were allowed to operate for take-out and delivery service, they were banned in Naples out of fears that such a congested, high-density city could fast become a new hot spot for COVID-19 infections. With Italy as whole gradually reopening, Campania’s Governor Vincenzo De Luca lifted bans on pizza deliveries as well as home deliveries from bars, pastry shops and ice-cream parlors and restaurants.
De Luca enforced strict lockdown measures, knowing that the region’s hospitals couldn’t handle a major influx of sick. In the end, Campania had a relatively manageable outbreak of about 4,300 people infected, half of whom didn’t need to be hospitalized. Italy was the first country in the West to be slammed by the outbreak, and its death toll is the highest in Europe and second only to the U.S.
Over 30 percent of Americans have witnessed COVID-19 bias against Asians, poll says
Sixty percent of Asian Americans, who made up about 6 percent of the survey’s respondents, told Ipsos they've seen the same behavior.
The poll, released Tuesday, comes as advocacy groups and researchers report an alarming rise in anti-Asian discrimination. Stop AAPI Hate, an effort to track these cases, reported about 1,500 instances of harassment against Asian Americans in a one-month period since mid-March.
Turkey donates medical equipment, PPE to U.S.
The Turkish government donated essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment to the United States on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara confirmed.
The supplies were loaded on a Turkish A-400M military aircraft and headed to Washington, D.C., to help the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the embassy said in a statement. Distribution of the equipment— including N95 masks, gowns and face shields — would be handled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
U.S. officials thanked Turkey, a NATO ally, adding it was a signal of the strong relationship between the countries.
McConnell: 'Better idea' that White House focus briefings on health care experts
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday suggested that the White House change its daily coronavirus press briefings so that people hear more from health experts and less from the president.
"Certainly what the American people are most interested in is advice from health professionals about how to conduct their daily lives safely," McConnell said in an interview on Fox News Radio when asked whether President Donald Trump should shorten the briefings or not show up at all.
He added, "And to the extent that the White House decides to recraft those briefings to reflect that goal, probably a better idea."
Trump has faced fierce backlash since he suggested last week that people should possibly inject themselves with disinfectant in order to treat the coronavirus and clean the lungs.
Britain is on track to become one of Europe's worst-hit countries
Britain is on track to become one of Europe's worst-hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic, according to data on Tuesday that showed deaths from COVID-19 had already topped 20,000 by April 17, including a fast-rising toll in care homes.
The Office for National Statistics said the death toll involving COVID-19 in England and Wales was 52 percent higher than the daily figures for deaths in hospitals released by the government as of April 17, according to official data that include deaths in the community.
That takes the United Kingdom's total death toll as of April 17 beyond that reported by France — which also includes deaths in care homes — and Spain, according to Reuters calculations, though lower than Italy's total toll.
Pandemic 'far from over,' World Health Organization head says
The head of the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic was "far from over," expressing concern about growing outbreaks in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.
"We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Monday, adding that cases and deaths are under-reported in many countries in these regions because of low testing capacity.
The virus, which originated in China late last year, has so far claimed the lives of more than 211,000 people worldwide, infecting more than three million people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
'So stoked': New Zealanders get their caffeine fix as lockdown eases
Spain expected to roll out wider plan to lift restrictions
The Spanish government is expected to roll out a wider plan to lift coronavirus restrictions and gradually restart the country’s stuttering economy on Tuesday. Having suffered one of the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreaks, Spain shut down public life on March 14 to curb its spread, but recently began to ease restrictions as it reined in the infection rate.
In the most significant relaxation of the lockdown yet, children under 14 were granted one hour of daily supervised outdoor activity on Sunday if they adhered to social-distancing guidelines and stayed within 0.6 miles from their homes.
More than 23,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Spain, with nearly 210,000 confirmed cases.
Berlin Zoo welcomes visitors as Germany slowly reopens
Hong Kong's civil servants will gradually return to work starting May 4
The Hong Kong government announced Tuesday that with coronavirus case numbers dropping in the city, it plans to resume public services in phases starting May 4.
The semi-autonomous city has reported no new cases for three consecutive days and said the epidemiological situation had stabilized.
Officials emphasized that public services, including the reopening of outdoor facilities such as tennis courts and jogging tracks in sports grounds, will be resumed while still maintaining “a high degree of vigilance” and following all necessary precautionary measures. Hong Kong has so far recorded 1037 confirmed cases and four deaths.
Judge sides with tribes, limits distribution of virus relief
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A judge has ruled in favor of tribal nations in their bid to keep Alaska Native corporations from getting a share of $8 billion in coronavirus relief funding — at least for now.
In a decision issued late Monday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., said the U.S. Treasury Department could begin disbursing funding to 574 federally recognized tribes to respond to the coronavirus but not to the corporations.
The ruling comes in a case brought by at least 15 tribes against the Treasury Department. The tribes allege that Congress intended the funding to go only to tribal governments and that the corporations don’t fit within the definition of “Indian Tribe” in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
Mehta said the tribes easily showed they would suffer irreparable harm unless he limited the funding temporarily to tribal governments while he awaited more argument on the question of eligibility of Alaska Native corporations.
The Treasury Department and the U.S. Justice Department representing the Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
Tokyo Olympics unrealistic without vaccine, Japan medical expert says
TOKYO — The head of Japan’s medical association thinks it will be difficult to hold the Olympics without an effective coronavirus vaccine.
“I hope vaccines and drugs will be developed as soon as possible,” Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura said Tuesday.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games until July next year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is under a monthlong state of emergency amid a rapid increase of infections throughout the country, where hospitals are overburdened.
Yokokura did not say whether he opposes the Olympics without a vaccine.
“The key is a situation with the infections at that point. If the infections are under control only in Japan, it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world,” he said.
Experts have said it could take 12-18 months or longer to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective for clinical use.
Japan has 13,576 reported virus cases, plus 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, with 389 deaths, the health ministry said Tuesday.