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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

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.

882d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

Number of kids in New York with rare COVID-19 complication rises to 64

A total of 64 children in New York State are suspected of having developed a rare complication believed to be linked to COVID-19.

The illness, referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, can lead to inflammation of the heart muscle, and "has features which overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome," according to a press release from the New York State Department of Health.

On Monday, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued an alert about the condition, which, at that time, had affected at least 15 children in the city alone. 

Symptoms can include fever, rash and abdominal illness. Some children have required intensive care. No deaths have been reported.

 

882d ago / 5:38 PM UTC

Photo: Blue Angels over Dallas

Image: The Blue Angels Fly Over Dallas Area To Honor Healthcare, Frontline And Essential Workers
Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Hospital staff cheer as the Navy's Blue Angels pass over Medical City Dallas as a show of support for health care workers and first responders on Wednesday.

882d ago / 5:17 PM UTC

Coronavirus 'parties' in a Washington county linked to rise in cases, officials say

Health officials in a county in southern Washington state say a rise in coronavirus cases is linked to "COVID-19 parties."

"Walla Walla County health officials are receiving reports of COVID-19 parties occurring in our community, where noninfected people mingle with an infected person in an effort to catch the virus," the county said in a press release Tuesday.

The statement stressed that scientists don't know yet if people infected with the coronavirus become immune and that contracting the virus risks serious illness.

"Health officials stress that there is much we don’t know about COVID-19," the release said. "Epidemiologists don’t know if immunity is a sure thing, if reinfection is possible, or if [the] virus could continue living inside you. They do know that even the young can be hospitalized, survivors may suffer long-term damage, and even a ‘mild’ case isn’t mild."

Read the full story here.

882d ago / 5:13 PM UTC

Afternoon roundup of coronavirus coverage

The discovery of germs changed American life, especially parenting. Will covid-19 do the same? [The Washington Post]

The H1N1 crisis predicted COVID-19’s toll on black Americans [Wired]

The coronavirus crisis could change the way we eat meat [HuffPost]

882d ago / 5:10 PM UTC

Bill to forgive health care workers' student loans unveiled by Democratic lawmaker

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced a bill Tuesday that would forgive student loan debt for health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The legislation would create “a federal and private loan forgiveness program for loans acquired to receive medical and professional training held by health care workers who have made significant contributions to ... respond to this urgent crisis,” Maloney's office said in a news release. Nurses, doctors, medical researchers, lab workers and other healthcare professionals fighting the pandemic would be eligible for the program.

“Frontline health workers are delivering care to the sickest patients and putting their own safety at great risk in order to keep doing their jobs,” Maloney said in a statement. “And in return, I believe that we have an obligation to ensure that they are relieved of the debt they incurred to train for this critical work.”

Medical school graduates incur an average of $200,000 in student loan debt, according to Association of American Medical Colleges.

882d ago / 5:08 PM UTC

A 'shocking' two-thirds of recently hospitalized New York patients had been staying home

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that a survey showed that a "shocking" two-thirds of patients recently hospitalized for coronavirus became infected despite staying at home.

Hospitals were asked to document where their most recent COVID-19 patients had been staying before admission, Cuomo said, and 66 percent came from their own homes, 18 percent from nursing homes, 4 percent from assisted-living facilities, 2 percent were homeless, 2 percent had been at other group-home settings, fewer than 1 percent were prison or jail inmates, and 8 percent were classified as "other."

"This is a surprise," the governor said. "Sixty-six percent of the people were at home, which is shocking to us." 

"They're not working; they're not traveling," Cuomo said.  "We were thinking that maybe we were going to find a higher percent of essential employees who were getting sick because they were going to work — that these may be nurses, doctors, transit workers. That's not the case. They were predominantly at home."

882d ago / 3:16 PM UTC

Photo: Students return to class in Wuhan

Image: Wuhan
High school seniors sit behind plastic partitions Wednesday in Wuhan, China. Students are returning to classrooms for the first time since their city was shut down in January.AFP - Getty Images
882d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

More than 1.5M Hong Kong residents register for free reusable masks

and

Image: CuMask+
CuMask+ is made of six layers of functional materials, two of which are specially made with small quantities of copper, capable of immobilising bacteria, common viruses and other harmful substances.The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

More than 1.5 million Hong Kongers have signed up to receive free reusable masks as the semi-autonomous city continues its coronavirus containment efforts. 

The new mask, which can be washed up to 60 times, will be distributed free to all citizens of Hong Kong who have a valid address.

The office of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said more than 1.5 million people had registered for the mask on Wednesday.  

Hong Kong has been effective in containing the outbreak with only four deaths and 1,040 infections so far.

882d ago / 3:04 PM UTC

Ohio lawmaker refuses to wear mask because he says it dishonors God

An Ohio state representative says he won't wear a mask because he believes it dishonors God.

"This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask," Rep. Nino Vitale, a Republican, wrote on Facebook. "That's the image of God right there, and I want to see it in my brothers and sisters."

The conservative Vitale has also been vocal in criticizing Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home orders, attending a protest against the measures in April and penning a letter to the governor urging him to reopen Ohio. 

"No government can stop death, no matter how hard we try. Life comes with some level of risk and it should be our choice to determine how we assess that risk as free citizens," Vitale wrote. 

DeWine ordered a partial reopening for Ohio that went into effect on May 1. By May 12, consumer, retail and service businesses will be allowed to reopen

But Vitale said on Saturday he was still displeased with the eased restrictions, writing: "Is this a stay safe order or does it look more like a house arrest order? Does this look like freedom or oppression?" 

882d ago / 2:59 PM UTC

NYC Mayor de Blasio says 139 homeless people came off the streets in one night

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in touting the success of the shutdown of the New York City subway early Wednesday morning for overnight cleaning, said 139 homeless individuals out of 252 agreed to accept support and come off the streets.

"This number is extraordinary," de Blasio said at a news conference. "More than half of the people encountered agreed to come in. We have never, ever seen so much success in a single night before."

De Blasio said the city will "obviously need to see how things play out over a longer period of time."

882d ago / 2:39 PM UTC

Social media influencers team up with Red Cross to combat coronavirus misinformation

The International Federation of the Red Cross announced Wednesday it will collaborate with social media influencers around the world to combat the spread of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. Working alongside creative agency Billion Dollar Boy and launching across four continents, the Red Cross will send an approved and verified message to a network of more than 30 influencers, who will incorporate the message into their own creative content.

“Influencers have a crucial role to play in tackling this infodemic and cutting through the noise,” IFRC’s media manager Nichola Jones said. “They have a level of access to younger people that public authorities or charities don’t have and their relationship with their followers is different. By working together, we can make sure credible content reaches a broader audience and has a positive impact.”

A few of the influencers who have already signed up to the network are Antonio Nunziata, Katie Woods, Neda Ghenai, who have more than half a million global followers combined.

With global data showing a sharp rise in social media use since some countries began locking down, the IFRC hopes to use influencer’s engagement with their followers to get vital information to the public on a global scale. The network will initially reach more than 2 million followers, with more expected join each day, according the Red Cross.

882d ago / 2:31 PM UTC

German Bundesliga to resume matches later this month

Germany's top-tier Bundesliga will become the first major football league to resume matches later this month after it was suspended over coronavirus concerns, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. 

“We talked about the first and second league, which after the second half of May will be able to restart under the approved and tested regulations," Merkel told reporters in a briefing. 

Merkel did not specify what restrictions will be put in place. 

The league was suspended in March as Germany went into lockdown to slow down the spread of the virus. 

882d ago / 2:30 PM UTC

In change of plans, Trump now says coronavirus task force will continue 'indefinitely'

A day after President Donald Trump confirmed that he planned to wind down the White House coronavirus task force, the president announced Wednesday that it will now continue indefinitely.

In a series of tweets, Trump said the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, has done a “fantastic job of bringing together vast highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future.”

Trump said that ventilators are now being produced in the thousands, repeated the false claim that the U.S. is doing more testing than all other countries combined and said face masks and shields are “plentiful.”

“The last four Governors teleconference calls have been conclusively strong. Because of this success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN. We may add or subtract people,” the president tweeted.

Read the full story.

882d ago / 2:27 PM UTC

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.

882d ago / 12:15 PM UTC

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.

882d ago / 12:08 PM UTC

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.

882d ago / 12:04 PM UTC

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

Image: Meghan reads her son Archie for his first birthday on Wednesday as Prince Harry films the scene in support of Save the Children.
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 savethechildren.org.uk/privacy The Save the Children Fund is a charity registered in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570) . #SaveWithStoriesUK #SaveWithStories #GrowingThroughThis

A post shared by Save The Children UK (@savechildrenuk) on

882d ago / 11:22 AM UTC

882d ago / 11:08 AM UTC

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. 

882d ago / 10:42 AM UTC

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.

882d ago / 10:41 AM UTC

'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."

882d ago / 10:29 AM UTC

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.

882d ago / 10:22 AM UTC

882d ago / 9:45 AM UTC

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.

882d ago / 9:37 AM UTC

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

Image: Students in Wuhan return to their classrooms on Wednesday for the first time since the lockdown began.
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.

882d ago / 9:12 AM UTC

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.

882d ago / 6:35 AM UTC

New York City subway closes for nightly disinfection

882d ago / 5:59 AM UTC

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.”

882d ago / 5:19 AM UTC
882d ago / 5:17 AM UTC

Where's my check? Answers to common relief payment questions

The U.S. government has distributed about 130 million economic impact paymentsto taxpayers in less than 30 days. The IRS anticipates sending more than 150 million payments as part of a massive coronavirus rescue package.

The distribution has had some hiccups, including an overwhelmed website, payments to deceased taxpayers and money sent to inactive accounts.

For those still waiting or with other questions, find the answers here.