Fauci warns of 'little spikes' becoming outbreaks

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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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Arizona gives green light for pro sports to return, minus fans

Pro sports are welcome to return to Arizona as soon as this weekend.

"Major league sports can resume limited reopening, without fans, this Saturday," Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted Tuesday while announcing the easing of some restrictions aimed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The invitation applied to Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, Ducey said at a news conference Tuesday.

The move follows reports that Major League Baseball was considering a truncated season beginning in early July that would include games only in Arizona and Florida.

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Texas AG Ken Paxton calls local orders 'unlawful,' 'Orwellian'

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned cities and counties across the state that local laws requiring face coverings and other measures meant to stem the coronavirus pandemic were “unlawful.”

In a letter to officials in Austin and Travis County, Paxton called a contact tracing provision “Orwellian.”

In the letters, which were also sent to Dallas County, Bexar County and San Antonio, Paxton cited an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott that went into effect earlier this month and allowed businesses like barber shops, nail salons, restaurants and movie theaters to reopen with reduced occupancy and, in some cases, social distancing rules.

On May 18, gyms, offices and manufacturers will also be allowed to reopen.

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As cases of rare COVID-linked illness in kids rise, Fauci warns much remains unknown

The number of children with a rare and potentially deadly inflammatory condition likely linked to COVID-19 has risen to more than 100 in at least 14 states.

The tally comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's actively preparing guidance for health officials to track what's now being called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS, nationwide.

The vast majority of the cases are in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the state has treated about 100 patients who range in age from younger than one to 18 years old.

Read the full story here. 

Broadway star Nick Cordero wakes from coma after leg amputation due to coronavirus

Nick Cordero and Amanda Kloots attend the "Going in Style" New York premiere on March 30, 2017 in New York.D Dipasupil / FilmMagic file

Broadway actor Nick Cordero woke from a medically induced coma Tuesday weeks after doctors amputated his leg as part of his coronavirus treatment.

Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, announced his updated condition on Instagram just a day after sharing that the Tony-nominated actor was making progress by following doctor’s commands. Kloots, a fitness instructor, shared the news in a video with the couple’s infant son, Elvis.

“Dada is awake, he is awake guys. I asked the doctor today, ‘Can we say he’s awake?’” Kloots said. “He is awake. It’s just that Nick is so weak right now that even opening his eyes, closing his eyes, takes out, like, all of his energy.”

Read the full story here. 

California State University system announces plans for a virtual fall semester

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White answers reporters' questions at the CSU Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach on Jan. 29, 2014.Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

The California State University System, which runs 23 campuses, plans to offer most of its courses for the fall virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Most classes for the 2020 fall semester will be held online with few exceptions for in-person activity, Chancellor Timothy White said during a Zoom conference with the board of trustees on Tuesday. Research labs, for example, would continue on campus but with small class sizes and with students wearing personal protective equipment, White said.

White confirmed the plans for a “hybrid approach” in a statement posted to the school’s website Tuesday.

Read the full story here. 

LA County stay-at-home order likely to continue until August

Los Angeles County’s public health director said Tuesday that stay-at-home orders in the nation’s most populous county would be extended for another three months beyond the existing May 15 deadline “with all certainty.

Speaking before a meeting of the county’s board of supervisors, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the only way the extension would not take place would be unless there was some “dramatic change to the virus” and related “tools” to treat it.

Just one day earlier, the county said it would re-open beaches on Wednesday, May 13, albeit with some limitations, including required face coverings unless actively surfing or swimming.

People are not allowed to lie or sit on the sand, nor to bring canopies or coolers, according to the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Pence tweets out task force meeting photo where everyone's in a mask

AOC and Rep. Lee offer burial assistance legislation for COVID-19 victims

Two Democratic congresswomen are offering legislation that would give people financial assistance to bury loved ones who died of the coronavirus.

The bill by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif., called the COVID–19 Funeral Assistance Fund, would offer $10,000 to help people pay for funerals of relatives who died of the virus if they can “demonstrate a common familial relationship to the deceased individual” and don’t have insurance to cover it.

The money is limited to $500 million. The legislation, first reported by NBC News, comes as House Democratic leaders rolled out a new $3 trillion relief bill that includes narrower provisions what Ocasio-Cortez and Lee have pushed for, directing some financial assistance to cover funeral expenses in disaster areas."It's a necessary measure."

"We're talking about life and death. And we're talking about the basic human dignity of being able to bury our loves ones," said Ocasio-Cortez, whose district in the Bronx is one of the hardest-hit by the virus.

The median national cost of an adult funeral in 2019 was $9,135, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Lee argued that “minimally, we should allow families who are grieving access to benefits to just lighten their load.”

Kushner predicts it will be 'very hard for America to ever lock down again' after reopening

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner predicted in an interview with Time that it will be much more difficult to impose a future shutdown once the U.S. opens large swathes of the economy.

"Once America opens up, it will be very hard for America to ever lock down again," he said Tuesday.

Kushner's prediction comes as states en masse have started the reopening processes while health officials warn about the potential for future outbreaks or spikes later in the year — to say nothing less of the initial wave having yet to pass. Dr. Anthony Fauci said in congressional testimony Tuesday he is concerned about the potential for states to move too hastily in their reopening.

The concept Kushner described echoes the cautionary tale of the Spanish Flu pandemic in the U.S. more than 100 years ago.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft auctioning off Super Bowl ring for relief efforts

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft this week announced that he is auctioning off his Super Bowl LI ring to help feed those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The proceeds from the auction, part of the “All In Challenge” launched by Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, will benefit Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. As of Tuesday evening, the “All in Challenge” has raised over $40 million for these organizations.

The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons for the 2017 championship by overcoming a 28-3 deficit, the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. 

The 5.1 carat-weight ring features 283 diamonds and is inscribed with “Greatest Comeback Ever.” As of Tuesday afternoon, the highest bid is $900,000.