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

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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:

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Uber to lay off 3,700 workers

Uber is laying off 3,700 employees, almost 14 percent of its workforce, the ride-sharing company announced Wednesday.

Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will also forgo his $1 million salary for the rest of the year.

The coronavirus lockdown has kept Americans homebound and shuttered businesses and travel, throwing many of the company's drivers out of work.

In a statement released to NBC News, Uber said it was taking these steps in order to bring costs in line and protect the future of the business.

Uber's stock dropped by around 2 percent Wednesday morning. The company reports its quarterly earnings on Thursday.

Around 20 million workers lost their job last month, new ADP data shows

The private sector lost around 20 million workers last month, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report, making April the worst month ever for America's workforce.

The report comes ahead of the closely watched monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which will be released Friday morning.

The coronavirus has already wiped out all job gains since the Great Recession, with more than 30 million Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold.

Continuing claims, or the number of people receiving ongoing benefits, hit 18 million last week, far surpassing the recessionary peak of 6.6 million.

After a record 10-year streak of economic growth and months at a half-century low, the unemployment rate, as measured in March, soared to 4.4 percent.

Economists expect Friday's BLS data to show that the national unemployment rate has now more than tripled, to around 16 percent.

Indonesian government postpones regional elections

The Indonesian government announced Wednesday that it had postponed its 2020 regional elections.

A statement on a government website explained the decision “aims to maintain the quality of the elections and maintain national political stability.”

The country’s 190 million potential voters would have turned out for the elections for several public offices including governors and mayors.

Prince Harry and Meghan mark Archie's first birthday with story for charity campaign

Meghan reads her son Archie for his first birthday on Wednesday as Prince Harry films the scene in support of Save the Children.The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK

Queen Elizabeth II's grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle released a video of Meghan reading to their son Archie to mark his first birthday.

Released on the Instagram page of the charity Save the Children, the video features Meghan reading the book "Duck! Rabbit!" in support of a campaign to raise funds for food and educational materials for children who normally rely on school for meals in the U.S. and U.K. Harry filmed the family scene and cheered at the end.

The Royal Family’s Twitter account posted a family picture wishing Archie, the queen’s eighth great-grandchild, a happy birthday. 

View this post on Instagram

"Duck! Rabbit!" with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex (and Harry, The Duke of Sussex behind the camera), read to their son Archie for his 1st birthday. Happy Birthday, Archie! . Thank you #DuchessMeghan for helping us to raise urgent funds for our coronavirus appeal by reading "Duck! Rabbit" by @akrfoundation, illustrated by @tlichtenheld (published by @chroniclekidsbooks). . As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, children’s lives are being turned upside down. By donating to Save with Stories, you can support the most vulnerable families in the UK and around the world by helping to provide early learning packs, supermarket vouchers, essential household items and virus protection. . Please donate today by visiting our website. Link in bio. . Or you can text STORIES to 70008 to give a one-off donation of £5. . Together, we can help families get through this. . You can only donate via text from a UK mobile. You’ll be billed £5 plus standard rate text message. We receive 100% of your donation. By texting STORIES you agree to calls about fundraising appeals, campaigns, events and other ways to support. Include NO PHONE to opt out of calls. Queries? 02070126400. Read our Privacy Policy The Save the Children Fund is a charity registered in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570) . #SaveWithStoriesUK #SaveWithStories #GrowingThroughThis

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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.