White House to wind down task force

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: How Royal Papworth Hospital Adapted To Battle A Pandemic
Clinical staff wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they care for a patient at the Intensive Care unit at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England on May 5, 2020.Neil Hall / Pool via Getty Images

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President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force is in the early stages of winding down, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci are still expected to be at the White House on a daily basis, but other members of the task force may be less physically present.

Speculation about the task force's ongoing presence emerged as Trump was traveling outside the D.C. area for the first time in more than a month to visit a Honeywell mask manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll passed 70,000 Tuesday, with at least 70,972 deaths linked to the illness across the country, according to an NBC News count of reports. Globally, there have been more than 257,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, businesses in several states including Florida and California, have reopened their doors, hopeful to bring back customers while managing expectations and safety. But fears continue to mount about America's food supply chain. At a Tyson meat factory in Iowa, 58 percent of workers tested positive for COVID-19.

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.

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading May 6 coronavirus news.

Federal judge rules New York must hold June primary election canceled over coronavirus risks

A federal judge ordered Tuesday that New York state hold its Democratic primary in June, which was canceled over coronavirus concerns, which places Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other former 2020 candidates back on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of Manhattan ruled in favor of the law team representing businessman Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the Democratic primary in early February.

Yang’s lawyers brought the lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections late last month after the board canceled the state’s primary, which already had been postponed two months. Citing coronavirus concerns, the board stripped Sanders' name from the June 23 presidential primary ballot after he dropped out — effectively canceling the primary and making former Vice President Joe Biden the winner.

Dozens of states have postponed their primaries or moved to mail-in or drive-by voting as the pandemic has upended the 2020 election cycle. Some states, however, have gone forward with their usual in-person voting. Wisconsin, for instance, held its April 7 primary with in-person voting after Republicans blocked efforts to move to mail-in ballots, and several cases of the coronavirus have been linked to those who went out to vote.

Click here for the full story.

Pennsylvania hospital celebrates release of one of first COVID-19 patients

Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania, discharged one of its first coronavirus patients on May 1. 

The patient reunited with his wife as dozens of staff members applauded and held signs that said, "Mount Nittany Medical Center Will Miss You" and "Wish You All The Best." The scene was captured in a video released by the hospital this week. 

The man, whose name was not released, had been hospitalized for 31 days. He had been on a ventilator and in a coma for two weeks. Four days after being removed from the ventilator, he was able to sit up and breathe on his own. 

“I can’t thank all of the doctors and nurses at the hospital enough. I appreciate them so much,” his wife of 46 years said in a statement. “I’ve always believed in miracles, but I’d never had one in my life until now.”

Pennsylvania has had more than 52,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to NBC News' count. 

Former Olympian Jenny Thompson joins the fight against COVID-19

Jenny Thompson is best known as the record-holder for the most Olympic medals won by a female swimmer.

However, Thompson, a pediatric anesthesiologist, traded her swim goggles for a face shield and joined the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19 in Charleston, South Carolina.

As the number of cases continued to increase, Thompson became concerned about the lack of personal protective equipment needed in order to keep medical professionals safe while treating patients.

Two of her former Stanford swimming teammates, Gabrielle Rose and Lea Maurer, created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Thompson and her colleagues; the page raised almost $11,000.

“I just was so touched by the outpouring of support, from friends and family, the swimming community, even people I didn’t know," Thompson told Team USA. "It brought me a feeling that this is a crisis, but all of these people have my back.”

Thompson won eight gold, three silver and one bronze over the course of her four Olympic appearances.

Americans divided over coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home orders

According to a new poll, 78 percent of Americans are uncomfortable with going out to eat, while 56 percent say they’re comfortable with going to a grocery story. Most believe gyms, theaters and barber shops should not yet be allowed to reopen.

'There'll be more death': Trump says it's time to reopen country despite fears of coronavirus rebound

President Donald Trump said Tuesday “there’ll be more death” related to the coronavirus pandemic as a growing number of states move to slowly relax their stay-at-home mandates in the coming months.

"It's possible there will be some because you won't be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is," Trump told ABC News in an exclusive interview while visiting a mask-making factory in Arizona. "But at the same time, we're going to practice social distancing, we're going to be washing hands, we're going to be doing a lot of the things that we've learned to do over the last period of time.”

Trump has faced mounting criticism, largely from Democrats, about hastily moving to reopen the country as new coronavirus cases emerge in some areas and states, such as Georgia and Texas, move to reopen as cases appear to stabilize. Public health experts have also warned that reopening too soon could lead to more death and economic damage.

In the interview, Trump claimed that the virus is going “to pass” without a vaccine.

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Dallas salon owner gets 7 days in jail for reopening during coronavirus lockdown

Shelley Luther said desperation pushed her into her decision to open Salon A La Mode on Friday despite receiving a cease and desist order from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' office.KXAS

A Dallas salon owner on Tuesday was sentenced to seven days behind bars for disobeying coronavirus shutdown orders, doing business well ahead of even the aggressive reopening plans in Texas.

Dallas County Judge Eric Moye held Shelley Luther, owner of Salon a la Mode and her corporate entity "Hot Mess Enterprises," for both criminal and civil contempt.

Moye cited "the refusal of the defendants to cease operation of the salon, despite the clear and unambiguous language of the order."

Read the full story here. 

Rand Paul defends not wearing mask, claims 'immunity' to COVID-19. Experts say he can't be so sure.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for the Senate Republicans lunch in the Hart Senate Office building on May 5, 2020.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul, the only senator known to have contracted COVID-19, defended his decision not to wear a mask on Capitol Hill Tuesday, citing his "immunity" to a disease top scientists are still trying to understand.

“I have immunity. I’ve already had the virus, so I can’t get it again and I can’t give it to anybody,” Paul, R-Ky., told reporters, referring to his March diagnosis. “I can’t get it again, nor can I transmit. So of all the people you’ll meet here, I’m about the only safe person in Washington.”

Paul can't be so sure of any of these claims, according to individual experts and guidance provided by the Trump administration. Medical professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that while some type of immunity for recovered patients is probably likely, the extent — including the duration of that immunity and whether a recovered person can be reinfected — isn't known.

Read the full story here. 

Pfizer, NYU working on innovative coronavirus vaccine that could be ready by end of summer

Researchers at Pfizer and New York University are working on a never-before-tried coronavirus vaccine that the pharmaceutical company believes could be available by September.

The vaccine, which carries genetic code known as “messenger RNA,” attempts to reprogram the deadly pathogen rather than manipulating the live virus.

“It is probably the fastest way of having a vaccine available to stem this pandemic, based on the data that I have seen,” said Kathrin Jansen, who leads vaccine research for Pfizer.

Read the full story here.

Trump says only blue states have budget woes. He couldn't be more wrong.

President Donald Trump thinks all the states that need Congress to provide emergency relief funding are "run by Democrats in every case" and he charged it's because they have been fiscally mismanaged.

That's not the case. Numerous Republican-led states are facing coronavirus-caused financial crises, just like the Democrats.

Less than 24 hours after conducting an interview with The New York Post in which Trump made those remarks, the president took off to visit a mask-making plant in Arizona — a Republican-led state that by its own projections could face a shortfall ranging from $600 million to $1.6 billion by the end of the next fiscal year.

Arizona is not alone. COVID-19 has led to dramatic decreases in revenue for state governments across the country — regardless of which party has its hand on the wheel. While many states are still crunching their numbers ahead of the next fiscal year, which begins in the summer for most, a handful of GOP-led states already have made clear the budget woes that face them.

Read the full story here.