In just over a month, the coronavirus has wiped out all job gains since the Great Recession and brought the country's decade-long record economic growth streak to an abrupt halt.
According to the monthly employment report released Friday by the Department of Labor, the U.S. economy lost an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent, after months at a half-century low.
The White House is considering measures aimed at providing relief, including another delay in the deadline to file federal taxes, that can be adopted without legislation from Congress, two people familiar with the discussions told NBC News.
More states are loosening restrictions, including California, where some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses will be allowed to reopen. Michigan will allow manufacturing firms to reopen their doors as of Monday.
The U.S. death toll stood at more than 76,700 early Friday, with more than 1.2 million cases of coronavirus, according to NBC News' count.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. are starting to reopen.
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Oregon strip club pivots to preparing food, and its dancers deliver
The Lucky Devil Lounge, a strip club in Portland, Oregon, has transformed itself into Lucky Devil Eats to stay afloat during the global pandemic.
Its dancers deliver food made in the strip club's kitchen, and those who order takeout from Food 2 Go-Go get to enjoy an in-car experience that includes performances, music and lights under canopies.
After closing in March under stay-at-home orders, owner Shon Boulden decided on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, to pivot to food delivery and takeout to keep his cooks and dancers working.
New drug trial looks at remdesivir combined with anti-inflammatory
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has begun a trial looking at the effects of remdesivir combined with a second drug, called baricitinib, on treating COVID-19.
The study builds upon a previous NIAID trial, which found that remdesivir reduced patients' hospital stays from 15 days to 11 days, on average.
“We now have solid data showing that remdesivir diminishes to a modest degree the time to recovery for people hospitalized with COVID-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of NIAID, said in a statement released Friday. The new trial "will examine if adding an anti-inflammatory agent to the remdesivir regimen can provide additional benefit for patients, including improving mortality outcomes.”
Baricitinib (brand name: Olumiant) is an anti-inflammatory drug made by Ely Lilly that's approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The trial will enroll more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, who will receive either remdesivir alone or remdesivir plus baricinitib.
Senators urge federal contractor accused of flouting CDC rules to meet with worried workers
Six U.S. senators on Friday urged a federal contractor accused of failing to follow social distancing guidelines at a Mississippi call center to meet with workers worried about their safety.
Their letter came after a whistleblower claimed in an NBC News report that Maximus, which hired her to provide callers with coronavirus information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was not following CDC guidelines and exposed dozens of workers to the virus.
NYPD says 81% of social distancing citations went to blacks, Latinos
The New York Police Department said it has issued 374 summonses tied to social distancing enforcement from March 16 through May 5, with 89 percent issued to men and 81 percent to people identified as black or Latino.
The department had about 1 million contacts with the public regarding social distancing in that period, including visits to pharmacies, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, parks and other institutions and establishments, it said.
A total of 193 summonses, or 51.6 percent, were issued to blacks; 111, or 29.7, percent to Latinos, with the majority of enforcement occurring in the in the Brooklyn patrol borough, the department said.
Of all summonses, 66 percent went to people between the ages of 20 and 39, with 46 percent going to people ages 20 to 29.
Afternoon roundup of coronavirus coverage
The morgue worker, the body bags and the daffodils [The New York Times]
Prioritize play when schools reopen, say mental health experts [The Guardian]
Op-ed: The freefall economy will scar these Americans worst [The Daily Beast]
Live animal markets should not be closed despite virus, WHO says
The World Health Organization said Friday that although a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan selling live animals likely played a significant role in the emergence of the new coronavirus, it does not recommend that such markets be shut down globally.
In a press briefing, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said live animal markets are critical to providing food and livelihoods for millions of people globally and that authorities should focus on improving them rather than outlawing them — even though they can sometimes spark epidemics in humans.
He said reducing the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans in these often overcrowded markets could be addressed in many cases by improving hygiene and food safety standards, including separating live animals from humans.
He added that it was still unclear whether the market in Wuhan linked to the first several dozens of coronavirus cases in China was the actual source of the virus or merely played a role in spreading the disease further.
'Can I carry the empty ones?': Pence caught joking about delivery of boxes on hot mic
Vice President Mike Pence's delivery of personal protective equipment to a nursing home in Virginia came complete with a joke offer to carry empty boxes, video of the delivery shows.
An out-of-context video snippet of the moment went viral on Friday thanks to comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
Complete video of the moment shows that after delivering several packages of equipment to the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria on Thursday, Pence offered to take more boxes from the back of the delivery van. The van's driver then tells him, "Those boxes are empty, sir."
"Can I carry the empty ones? Just for the cameras?" Pence asks the driver, who laughs and says, "They're a lot easier." A smiling Pence then closes the van doors and goes to talk to reporters. Pence's quip blew up on social media after Kimmel played a snippet of it on his ABC late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Fact check: Trump claims national stockpile 'was bare.' It wasn't.
"The cupboard was bare when we took it over," Trump said on Friday, referring again to the Strategic National Stockpile. "We had nothing."
We've fact checked this claim before — it's false.
More than 130 million stimulus checks have been sent out, Treasury says
The Department of the Treasury and the IRS have distributed over 130 million Economic Impact Payments in the past five weeks, according to a release.
The stimulus payments grant up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples, and a $500 credit for each child under the age of 16. The distributed checks add up to over $218 billion paid out since the program began in mid-April.
“This Administration has delivered Economic Impact Payments to Americans in record time,” said Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “More payments are on their way as we continue to deliver this much-needed relief to the American people.”
The Treasury also reports that more than 150 million payments will be distributed in total.
Distribution began the week of April 13, going first to Americans who had set up direct deposit. NBC News reporting from last month found that there have been concerns that paper checks may be delayed for several months.
Americans who have still not received a payment can check their status at the IRS website.
Coronavirus vaccine: This week's updates from Moderna, Pfizer and more
Work on a potential coronavirus vaccine is proceeding at breakneck pace around the world, with more than 100 projects in motion, yet even the best predictions put an effective vaccine at least nine months away.
And experts are cautioning that even promising early results don’t guarantee that vaccines will be widely available anytime soon, because clinical trials are done in phases and require observing participants over time to assess how they respond to the doses.