As the coronavirus pandemic lingers in the U.S., its social implications are just starting to emerge, but the spread of misinformation has crossed divides on social media, unexpectedly gaining traction with both white conservatives and black liberals.
Meanwhile, scientists are working to find a vaccine for the virus, which has infected more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. and killed nearly 65,000. There are 14 potential coronavirus vaccines under development in the Trump administration's program to fast-track one for use as early as January, according to senior administration officials.
But the personal toll of coronavirus might never be recouped for million of Americans. Aging grandparents are being robbed of spending precious time with their families while millions of people are forced to adjust to life without a stable income for the foreseeable future.
- 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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Violence erupts when ICE detainees refuse testing
An altercation over coronavirus tests broke out between federal immigration detainees and officers at a detention center in Massachusetts, authorities said Saturday.
The incident Friday ended with three detainees hospitalized and $25,000 in damage to the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in Bristol County. Immigrant rights advocates called for an investigation.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said Friday that 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees refused to go to the center's medical unit for testing even though each had symptoms.
At National Mall flyover, concept of social distancing went over some heads
Some people who gathered at the National Mall in Washington on Saturday to watch a Blue Angels and Thunderbirds flyover appeared to ignore social distancing.
Social media photos of the festivities showed large crowds standing on the grass as they watched the event.
"Not wearing masks. Not social distancing," tweeted NBC News correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell, who covered the flyover.
Oklahoma mayor ends face mask rule after store employees are threatened
The mayor of an Oklahoma city amended an emergency declaration requiring customers to wear face masks while inside businesses after store employees were threatened with violence.
Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce announced the change Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the declaration took effect.
“In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse," City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement. "In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm."
Joyce said in a series of tweets that he expected some pushback on requiring face masks but did not think there would be physical confrontations with employees and threatening phone calls to City Hall.
Senate, House decline White House offer for rapid coronavirus testing
WASHINGTON — The Senate and the House declined the White House's offer to provide lawmakers with rapid coronavirus testing capabilities on Saturday, just two days before the Senate plans to reconvene and as the House considers coming back to Washington the following week.
“Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities to Capitol Hill, but we respectfully decline the offer at this time," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a joint statement.
"Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly," they added.
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he would offer rapid tests to Congress after the Capitol physician had initially informed senators that there were not enough tests for everyone; only lawmakers and staffers who displayed symptoms would be tested, and that they did not have the tools for rapid testing.
Virginia photographer captures high school seniors' images at unprecedented time
A photo project in Virginia seeks to capture the images of a school's high school seniors who, like most of their counterparts across the U.S., have missed many of the usual milestone events of graduates due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Matt Mendelsohn plans to photograph the entire senior class at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, this year in a photo series project called "Not Forgotten: The Yorktown Seniors of 2020."
New Jersey coronavirus deaths climb to 7,742 with more than 123,000 cases
The governor of New Jersey announced an additional 205 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 7,742.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 123,717, Phil Murphy said at a news conference on Saturday.
Although the numbers of cases are continuing to climb, Muprhy noted that hospitalizations have dropped by more than 1,000 patients over the last week.
"Even with the positive trends that we are seeing, we continue to lose too many of our precious brothers, sisters, residents to COVID-19," he said.
Murphy also said Saturday that 53 hospitals in New Jersey will receive a $1.7 billion in federal aid for fighting the pandemic.
China mocks U.S. in 'Once upon a virus' online video
China appeared released a short animated video on Saturday titled "Once upon a virus" that appeared to mock the "contradictory" U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the video, a masked terracotta warrior representing China and a Statue of Liberty figurine talk to each other. The Chinese warrior tells the U.S., "we discovered a new virus," to which the Liberty statue shrugs, "So what?" It goes on to outline a series of time periods where China alerts the WHO and a seemingly unbothered U.S. about the coronavirus.
The move is the latest in a war of words between the two powers, each criticizing the other's handling of the outbreak that has so far killed more than 239,000 people around the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
New Mexico blocks all roads into city of Gallup over 'frightful' coronavirus spread
New Mexico blocked roads into the city of Gallup, with the state's governor saying tougher measures were needed in a county where "the virus is running amok."
The state police and the New Mexico National Guard have put a stop to traffic on all roads into Gallup, which borders the Navajo Nation, where at least 44 people have died of coronavirus. The American Indian territory has the the third-highest infection rate in the country behind the states of New York and New Jersey.
“The spread of this virus in McKinley County is frightful,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham upon issuing the order Friday under New Mexico's Riot Control Act. “It shows that physical distancing has not occurred and is not occurring."
"The virus is running amok there," she said. "It must be stopped, and stricter measures are necessary. A problem in one part of our state, with a virus this dangerous and this contagious, is a problem for our entire state."
'Extraordinary' effort to disinfect NYC subways includes workers in hazmat suits
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Metropolitan Transit Authority leaders spoke in Queens on Saturday about the unprecedented decision to shut down the New York City subway system each night as an effort to disinfect trains every 24 hours.
Due to the pandemic, ridership is at its lowest in a century, Cuomo said, which gives the state an opportunity to shut down subways between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. when the fewest number of people ride in order to deep-clean each car. A team of 900 cleaners are working each night, and additional contractors are being hired to help.
"I just viewed the operations on how they’re doing it," Cuomo said. "It’s smart, it’s labor intensive. People have to wear hazmat suits; they have a number of chemicals that disinfect. You have to go through the whole train with a misting device."
"This has never been done before, and it's an extraordinary effort," the governor said in a tweet.
Cuomo has received some criticism for the decision because homeless people at times find refuge on subway cars, but the governor said an "unprecedented" amount of funding has been directed to help the homeless population.
“You do not help the homeless by letting them stay on a subway car and sleep on a subway car in the middle of a global pandemic," he said.