Number of U.S. cases reaches 1.1 million as misinformation crosses social divides

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People sit maintaining social distancing as Frontier Corps (FC) personnel distribute food on a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Quetta, Pakistan on May 2, 2020.Banaras Khan / AFP - Getty Images

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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.

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

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading May 3 coronavirus news.

Fearing an undercount, advocates say census outreach is getting crushed

When Commonpoint Queens started its census outreach efforts earlier this year, the social services group would sometimes get 300 people to fill out the government survey in a single day.

Now, with much of the nation shut down by the coronavirus, they're lucky to get 50 to watch a webinar.

Community groups across the U.S. are facing a daunting challenge as they try to inform historically hard-to-count minority communities why the census is important. Population data is used to distribute federal money — currently about $675 billion a year — to states and communities for schools, hospitals and roads, as well as Medicaid, welfare, school lunches, food stamps, college grant money for low-income students and dozens of other programs for those in need.

Read the full story here.

Coronavirus misinformation infects black social media

There's a kind of public and collective schadenfreude taking shape on black Twitter.

It began after Diamond and Silk, among the best known and most outspoken black supporters of President Donald Trump, were reported to have parted ways with Fox News after they promulgated unproven and dangerous medical advice, false claims, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak.

The irony is that the misinformation amplified by Diamond and Silk and others has gained traction in conservative, mostly white social media spaces and black, mostly left-leaning online spaces, too.

Read the full story here.

Violence erupts when ICE detainees refuse testing

C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in Dartmouth, Mass.WBTS

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.

Read the full story.

At National Mall flyover, concept of social distancing went over some heads

A large crowd gathers on the National Mall to watch the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds conduct a flyover of Washington, D.C., to honor essential workers and health care providers who are confronting the COVID-19 pandemic on May 2, 2020.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

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.

Read the full story.

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.

Read the full story here

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."

Read the full story here

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

Signs inside the Walmart to advise shoppers that non-essential items aren't available for purchase in Gallup, N.M., on May 1, 2020.Patrick Sandoval / AP

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."

Read the full story here.