Coronavirus researcher fatally shot, Trump defends not wearing mask

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Mitch factory worker
Mitch oversees the Clorox Bleach production line.NBC News

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

President Donald Trump said “there’ll be more death” related to the coronavirus pandemic but claimed it's time to reopen the country as a growing number of states move to slowly relax their stay-at-home mandates.

“I think we're doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it's going to pass, and we're going to be back to normal,” Trump told ABC News in an interview while visiting a mask-making factory in Arizona.

Trump also defended his choice not to wear a mask at the factory during a Wednesday press conference, where he said he was told he didn't have to use one. The president also claimed he wore a mask for "some period of time" during the visit.

At least 64 children in New York state have been hospitalized with an illness apparently linked to the coronavirus. The symptoms are consistent with other inflammatory illnesses, such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

As scientists around the world race to develop a potential solution, researchers at Pfizer Inc. and New York University are working on a never-before-tried coronavirus vaccine that the pharmaceutical company says could be available by September.

A medical researcher from the University of Pittsburgh was found shot to death over the weekend after what police believe to be a "lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner." The university said Dr. Bing Liu "was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie" the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the U.S. rose to more than 72,000, according to NBC News' count, and there are more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of the virus.

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 to May 7 coronavirus news.

Europe set for record recession, new forecast says

The European economy will contract by a record 7.5 percent this year in "a recession of historic proportions" brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission forecast on Wednesday. 

“Europe is experiencing an economic shock without precedent since the Great Depression,” Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Paolo Gentiloni said. “Both the depth of the recession and the strength of recovery will be uneven, conditioned by the speed at which lockdowns can be lifted, the importance of services like tourism in each economy and by each country’s financial resources." 

Italy, Greece, Spain, France and Croatia will be among the hardest hit economically by the pandemic, the commission said. The forecast baseline assumes that lockdowns will be gradually lifted from May, but a more severe and longer-lasting pandemic could cause an even larger fall in GDP, it added. 

Give us first-hand information to fight virus, Taiwan asks WHO

Taiwan's health minister asked the World Health Organization on Wednesday to ensure the island had access to first-hand information about the coronavirus, saying that not having the full picture slows down epidemic-prevention work.

Taiwan's exclusion from WHO — China, which considers the island one of its provinces, objects to Taiwan's membership — has infuriated Taipei. Officials there say it has created a gap in the global fight against the coronavirus and threatened the island's health.

"For Taiwan, what we want is first-hand information. Any second-hand information slows down any actions we take, and distorts our judgment about the epidemic, like we're unable to see the woods for the trees," said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung to foreign reporters, adding that Taiwan wanted proper access to the WHO.

'I love you': Trump's message to those grieving the loss of loved ones from COVID-19

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he wants to say "I love you" to Americans whose loved ones died from COVID-19. 

In an interview on on ABC News' "World News Tonight" during Trump's visit to Phoenix, Arizona, the president was asked if he wants to say anything to the families who lost relatives to the disease. 

"I want to say, 'I love you.' I want to say that we're doing everything we can," Trump said. 

"It's a vicious, vicious virus," he added. "But I want to just say to the people that have lost family and have lost loved ones, and the people that have just suffered so badly, and just made it — and just made it — that we love you."

"We're with you," Trump added. "We're working with you. We're supplying vast amounts of money, like never before. We want that money to get to the people. And we want ‘em to get better."

Some countries, against advice, mull certifying ex-virus patients immune

Governments and health agencies around the world are considering issuing “immunity passports” to help restart their economies — documents certifying that the holders are immune to COVID-19 because they’ve already had it.

But global health authorities warn that such documents would be unreliable and potentially dangerous.

The World Health Organization says there’s no proof that being infected once with the coronavirus makes a person immune. And critics warn that granting additional freedoms to people who are theoretically immune would risk creating a black market for certification – and even create an incentive for deliberate infection.

Read the full story.

Italy considers ways for museums, beach clubs to reopen, official says

The Italian government is considering measures that would enable the tourism and cultural industries to return to work as the country attempts to reopen its economy after weeks of coronavirus lockdown.  

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini asked the government’s scientific committee Tuesday to develop a protocol to ensure proper safety guidelines for the reopening of theaters, museums, hotels and beach clubs.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said last month that museums will be allowed to reopen from May 18 but Franceschini said Tuesday that not all Italy’s museums would be ready by that date.

Wuhan students return to school for the first time since lockdown lifted

Students in Wuhan return to their classrooms on Wednesday for the first time since the lockdown began.AFP - Getty Images

Some students in Wuhan, China have been allowed to return to school for the first time since the city, where the virus is believed to have originated, was locked down.

Senior students in high schools and vocational schools preparing for the college entrance exam resumed their studies after they all tested negative for the coronavirus. Before beginning their studies, the students first had to carry out an exercise for epidemic prevention and control, according to Chinese state media.

Disneyland in Shanghai set to reopen May 11

Disneyland in Shanghai, China, is set to reopen May 11 with limited capacity and advanced reservations, the company announced Tuesday.

“As the park reopens with significantly enhanced health and safety measures, our guests will find Shanghai Disneyland as magical and memorable as ever,” The Walt Disney Company chief executive officer Bob Chapek said in statement.

Under the new procedures, guests will need to buy admission tickets for a specific day, lines and rides will ensure people are socially distant and cast members will be trained on contactless guest interaction. The park will also have temperature screening and increased disinfection measures. Guests will be required to wear a mask during their visit.

New York City subway closes for nightly disinfection

Mumbai closes liquor stores because of too-large crowds

NEW DELHI — Indian authorities have decided to shut down liquor shops in Mumbai, India’s financial capital which is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, after the police found it extremely difficult to control the surging crowds at the vends over the past two days.

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi in an order late Tuesday said that only groceries and pharmacies will be allowed to be opened in Mumbai which is battling a rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases.

Mumbai currently has around 10,000 positive cases and 387 deaths. On an average it has been getting more than 400 cases per day.

After some lockdown restrictions were eased in India on Monday, thousands turned up at liquor stores across the country without following social distancing guidelines. This led the authorities to shut many of the liquor shops. 

Authorities in India’s capital imposed a special tax of 70 percent on liquor purchases on Tuesday to dissuade huge gatherings of thirsty drinkers at stores. The new tax is called the “special corona fee.”