Coronavirus researcher fatally shot, Trump defends not wearing mask

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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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:

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has now ended. Continue to May 7 coronavirus news.

Inside the secret DHS lab trying to crack the COVID-19 code

The aerosol chamber at the Department of Homeland Security's biodefense research laboratory.Department of Homeland Security

For scientists working at the Department of Homeland Security’s biodefense research laboratory, the directive from senior agency officials was unprecedented: drop everything and focus on one target, the coronavirus.

As the number of positive cases in the United States tops 1.2 million and deaths exceed 70,000, those scientists have been working 15 hours a day, seven days a week trying to crack the COVID-19 code.

Dozens of staff comprise multiple teams investigating different characteristics of the coronavirus, in the hopes of quickly learning more about its survivability and the transmission of the disease, both on common surfaces and in the air. Unlike other viruses, little was known about the emerging coronavirus when the pandemic broke out.

“This is the most urgent thing we have worked on since 9/11,” said Lloyd Hough, a senior official and biology expert with Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate.

Read the full story here

Nursing group says at least 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected

Governments aren’t doing enough to keep accurate records regarding how many healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) claimed Wednesday.

The organization, which represents more than 20 million nurses worldwide, said that the current infection numbers are significantly underestimated, which puts healthcare workers at higher risk. In data released Wednesday, the ICN said that at least 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected and more than 260 nurses have died. 

“The lack of official data on infections and deaths among nurses and other healthcare workers is scandalous,” ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton said in a news release. “If governments do not count the number of nurses who have lost their lives, if they continue to turn a blind eye, it sends a message that those nurses’ lives didn’t count.”

Newborn baby born with COVID-19 discharged from UK hospital

One of the few babies born worldwide with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was discharged from a hospital in the United Kingdom after recovering from the virus.

Ruby Dawson was born with the virus on April 1 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in Blackpool, England after her mother Katherine contracted it in March.

Following her birth, Katherine's condition worsened and she was placed on a ventilator and put into an induced coma. The hospital put her chances of survival at 50/50. 

While both mom and baby were fighting the virus, father Stuart remained at home with the couple's two other children, Grace, 5 and Ava, 11 months. 

“I owe my future to the staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. I thought I was going to be a widow looking after young children on my own, but they saved her life and Ruby’s life," he said in a hospital press release.

After 37 days in the hosptial, Ruby and Katherine were discharged with a guard of honor made up of staff from the delivery suit, the neonatal unit, A&E and the COVID ITU. 

Healthcare workers cheer for patient who spent 44 days in hospital fighting COVID-19

Danny Wongis, 43, was first admitted to St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, New York, on March 22 with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. His breathing quickly worsened and he was placed on a ventilator.

After 38 days on the ventilator, Wongis recovered from the virus and left the hospital for a rehabilitation center on May 6. 

To celebrate his recovery, hospital staff lined the hallways of St. Joseph Hospital clapping as Wongis was wheeled out on a balloon-adorned stretcher.

“Thank you to everybody who is here who took care of me,” Wongis said in the video. “From the bottom of my heart, I really really thank you.”

51 workers at Tyson plant in Maine test positive for COVID-19

At least 51 workers at a Tyson Foods processing plant in Portland, Maine, have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said Wednesday.

That number reflects an increase of 14 cases since Tuesday. The facility is currently closed.

Outbreaks at meat processing plants have slowed down national production, creating supply chain issues.

Maine has experienced more than 1,250 confirmed and likely COVID-19 cases.

For sickest patients, blood thinners may be linked to reduced COVID-19 deaths, study finds

Blood thinners may help keep COVID-19 patients on ventilators alive longer, a study published Wednesday suggests.

In recent weeks, physicians have noticed that the sickest coronavirus patients are more prone to forming blood clots — an unexpected symptom for a respiratory virus.

Read more.

Pedro Martinez launches initiative for COVID-19 relief in Dominican Republic

Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez and a group of more than 40 Dominican baseball players launched “Step Up To The Plate,” an initiative aimed at supporting relief efforts in the Dominican Republic during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The campaign, organized by the Pedro Martinez Foundation, and supported by some of the biggest names in the sport, is providing food kits, masks and other personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and residents of the Caribbean nation.

"The Dominican Republic has always been my home, and right now it truly needs our help," Martinez said in an interview with ESPN. "These are people without the most basic needs, and we are blessed to be in a position to help, and it is our duty to do so."

According to data from the World Food Program, more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Sources told ESPN that the MLB and MLB Players Association will make a joint donation to relief efforts in the Dominican Republic, with the announcement reportedly being made next week.

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.

 

Photo: Blue Angels over Dallas

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.

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.