Fauci warns of 'little spikes' becoming outbreaks

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Leah Chapman, a registered nurse, waits for a protective gown before the healthcare team rotates a COVID-19 patient on the third-floor ICU at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., on May 7, 2020.David Joles / Star Tribune via AP

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Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday cautioned that reopening state economies before COVID-19 prevention measures are in place could lead to "little spikes that might turn into outbreaks."

Fauci's warning, part of his testimony by video conference before a Senate hearing, stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's urging on Monday that the U.S. is prevailing against the coronavirus and should "reopen."

The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 has passed 80,000, a figure that Fauci admitted is probably lower than the actual death toll because some who died were not tested for the coronavirus.

Also Tuesday, House Democratic leaders pushed for a second round of payments of up to $1,200 per person in new coronavirus relief legislation that's headed for a vote Friday.

Its prospects in the Republican-run Senate are far from certain. Michael Zona, a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the overall legislation "DOA in the Senate," although he didn't comment specifically on the stimulus money.

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Fauci warns 'little spikes' of coronavirus might turn into outbreaks if states reopen too soon

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday warned of serious consequences if governors reopen state economies prematurely, saying he fears spikes in coronavirus infections could morph into further outbreaks of the disease.

Testifying by videoconference before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, ticked through the criteria that the White House said states should meet before reopening.

"My concern [is] that if some areas, city, states, or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks," Fauci said in response to a question from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Fauci and two of the other witnesses — Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration — are testifying by videoconference Tuesday because they self-quarantining after possible exposure to COVID-19. The fourth witness, Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and the administration's coronavirus testing coordinator, also testified remotely but is not in self-quarantine.

Read the full story here.

U.S. service member tests positive for COVID-19 after charter flight from Seattle to South Korea

A U.S. service member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday after a charter flight from Seattle with other service members and dependents, according to U.S. Forces Korea.

A spokesperson for U.S. Forces Korea said all the passengers and crew were tested on arrival in South Korea. The individual who tested positive was placed in isolation and the rest of the passengers and crew are all in quarantine.

All passengers and crew are required to wear masks during the flight, the spokesperson said. These chartered flights go on a loop between Seattle, Japan, and Korea. Direct flights across the Pacific Ocean from the U.S last more than 10 hours.

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52 cases of mysterious pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome recorded in NYC, one child dead

More than 50 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome — a mysterious illness affecting children and likely linked to COVID-19 — have been recorded in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. 

One child has died, the mayor said. In all, 52 cases have been detected, and another 10 are pending. Of those, 25 children have tested positive for coronavirus and 22 have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. 

"It's something we did not see essentially through March and April," de Blasio said. "It really has grabbed us all just in the last week or two — it's sobering, it's bluntly frightening." The city is "combining the efforts of healthcare professionals all over New York City to figure out what it is and how to deal with it," he said. 

De Blasio encouraged parents to watch their kids for fever, rash, vomiting and a lack of energy, and immediately call a doctor or 3-1-1 if they see those symptoms and especially if they see a combination of those symptoms. "Early detection, early action makes all the difference here," de Blasio said. "We want people not to hesitate here."

Georgia nearing 1,500 total COVID-19 deaths

Georgia reported 16 new COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday morning, bringing its statewide total to 1,460.

The state also reported 163 new cases. In total, the state has experienced 34,165 cases of COVID-19.

The deadliest day for the state has been April 16, with 52 deaths — but deaths and cases have been declining since reaching their peaks last month.

Gov. Brian Kemp eased coronavirus restrictions and allowed businesses to reopen, but many residents and business owners have been wary about returning to their usual routines.

Love-struck American dresses as cleaner to evade German airport security

An American man hatched an unusual plan to see his girlfriend in Germany. After flying from Washington, D.C., he disguised himself as a garbage cleaner at Frankfurt airport to avoid coronavirus-related border checks but never got beyond the transit area, German border police said Tuesday. 

The 20-year-old man changed into a yellow neon vest upon arrival Sunday and carried two black garbage bags he had brought with him from the U.S., police told NBC News. He then tried to convince aviation security that he was a cleaner at the airport.

A staff member noticed he didn't have a security ID or speak German and alerted federal police. After a brief investigation, "the yearning-stricken man was sent back to Washington on May 11," the police report read. He will not face additional repercussions as he never made it past the airport's transit area.

In Nicaragua, express burials cast doubt on official coronavirus numbers, doctors and families say

A woman wears a mask against the spread of COVID-19 disease, as she attends a funeral at the Central cemetery of Managua, Nicaragua, Monday, May 11, 2020.Alfredo Zuniga / AP

President Daniel Ortega’s government has stood out for its refusal to impose measures to halt the coronavirus for more than two months since the disease was first diagnosed in Nicaragua. Now, doctors and family members of apparent victims say, the government has gone from denying the disease’s presence in the country to actively trying to conceal its spread.

Read more here.

Kremlin spokesman falls ill with coronavirus

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state news agencies Tuesday that he has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Yes, I have fallen ill,” he told that TASS news wire. “I am being treated.” 

Peskov follows Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who announced he was heading to a hospital on April 30 after testing positive.

It is not known when Peskov last came in contact with President Vladimir Putin. Putin has been seen in recent days taking one-on-one meetings without wearing a mask. 

Fauci set to testify to Congress on U.S. coronavirus response, reopening plans

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top Trump administration officials are set to testify at a public Senate hearing Tuesday about the coronavirus response and plans for people to return to work and school.

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, is expected to testify by videoconference during the hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee because he has decided to self-quarantine after possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

This is the Democrats’ first opportunity since March to grill top administration officials on their response to the coronavirus.

In an email to The New York Times, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he plans to warn senators Tuesday of "needless suffering and death" if the country opens too early.

Read the full story here.

Pakistanis throng to shops as some businesses re-open

Pakistan began the limited opening of businesses and commercial activities this week, after two months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

People thronged to markets and shops in large numbers, in many cases ignoring continuing government measures in place to stem the virus.

On Monday, 28 people died from COVID-19 bringing the total to 667 deaths. Pakistan has recorded almost 31,000 cases, officials said, mostly in the densely populated Punjab region.