As states around the U.S. consider reopening, the country's death toll topped 61,000, according to an NBC News tally. Globally, there have been more than 232,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Protesters, some armed, demonstrated on Thursday against the Michigan lockdown on the steps of the state capitol building. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down beaches in Orange County after seeing what he called "disturbing" images of crowds from over the weekend.
Florida on Wednesday announced that it would slowly reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the plan to lift restrictions "in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way," will go into effect Monday in every county except the three where most of the state's COVID-19 cases have been reported.
Meanwhile, South Korea recorded no new domestic COVID-19 cases for the first time in 72 days. The country dealt with the first major outbreak outside China, but brought the crisis under control with a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. are starting to reopen.
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LeBron James to honor Class of 2020 with all-star event
LeBron James is putting together an all-star event to honor and celebrate the high school class of 2020, which has had its graduation season upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
The LeBron James Family Foundation, XQ Institute and The Entertainment Industry Foundation on Wednesday announced that the one-hour special, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” will air simultaneously on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox on May 16 at 8 p.m. EDT. The event will pay tribute to high schoolers graduating this year and will include appearances by James, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Bad Bunny, Yara Shahidi, Ben Platt, Lena Waithe and H.E.R.
“I wanted to help create a show that looked and felt very different from traditional specials. Something that spoke to kids in a different way. These kids worked so hard to graduate and what is happening to them is truly unfair,” James said in a statement.
“Graduate Together” was curated by high school students, educators and the American Federation of Teachers. It will feature commencement speeches, performances and more. It will also air on TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Complex Networks, PeopleTV and other digital platforms.
Elon Musk compares stay-at-home orders to imprisonment in rant to Tesla investors
Elon Musk used Wednesday's Tesla earnings call to rant about stay-at-home orders that have been adopted by many states across the country to limit the spread of coronavirus.
"'Shelter in place.' Frankly, I would call it forcibly imprisoning of people in their homes against all of their constitutional rights, in my opinion," said Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla. "It's breaking people's freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country. What the f---. Excuse me. Outrage. Outrage.”
His comments follow a tweet on Tuesday in which he said "FREE AMERICA NOW," seemingly in response to the lockdown. The tweet was soon followed by a trending hashtag urging people to #boycottTesla. Musk also previously said panicking about the pandemic "is dumb."
Musk's Fremont-based car factory has been limited to maintaining only “minimum basic operations" since March as part of shutdown orders that have closed non-essential businesses. Initially, Tesla told employees at the factory that it would stay open, but government officials stepped in and determined the factory was not an essential business. On the call, Musk said the closure poses a "serious risk" to the company. Despite its factories being shut down, Tesla reported a surprise first-quarter profit on Wednesday.