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Democrats push $3 trillion relief package, Trump calls it 'DOA'

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: West Java
A health agency official rests by the entrance to a public toilet as other colleagues conduct testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a bus station in Bandung, West Java, on May 13, 2020.Timur Matahari / AFP - Getty Images

President Donald Trump said he disagreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci's Senate testimony from Tuesday. Trump said Fauci's remarks about the dangers or reopening too soon were "not an acceptable answer."

House Democrats are pushing a new $3 trillion stimulus package, which would include another round of $1,200 checks for Americans and extending federal unemployment benefits. Trump called the legislative bill "DOA. Dead on arrival."

Meanwhile, the California State University system said that it plans to offer most of its courses for the fall virtually. And in the U.K., coronavirus restrictions eased on Wednesday morning, allowing people to spend time outdoors and play sports with members of their household.

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 reading May 14 coronavirus news.

1000d ago / 4:16 PM UTC

Feds warn of Chinese attempts to hack health-care, drug firms doing COVID-19 research

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The U.S. government issued a stark and unusual warning Wednesday asserting that China's efforts to hack health care and pharmaceutical companies pose a "significant threat" to the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency disclosed that the FBI is investigating "the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research" by the Chinese military and other Chinese hackers.

"These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research," the statement said. "The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options."

Click here to read the full story.

1000d ago / 4:02 PM UTC

Johns Hopkins launches free online contract tracing course

Officials have said that contact tracing is an important tool to limit the spread of COVID-19 and now you can learn how to do it for free. 

On Monday, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, launched a free course aimed at training an army of contact tracers to slow the spread of COVID-19, the school announced in a news release

The course, which is completely online and takes approximately six hours to complete, will teach participants about the science behind the virus and how contact tracing is done. It is a requirement for the thousands of contact tracers being hired by New York. 

"This innovative online training course is a key component of our program that will provide tracers with the tools to effectively trace COVID-19 cases at the scale we need to fight this pandemic," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explained

A recent report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School estimated that the United States will need at least 100,000 contact tracers to slow the spread of COVID-19.

1000d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

Photo: Grim burial in Russia

Image:
A person who presumably died of COVID-19 is buried at a graveyard on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. Anton Vaganov / Reuters
1000d ago / 3:21 PM UTC

Congress, not the Federal Reserve, may need to take the next step, says Fed Chairman Powell

Congress, not the Federal Reserve, may need to inject more financial help to guide the country through the pandemic that has already caused “a level of pain that is hard to capture in words,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

Powell praised lawmakers for taking quick action, but acknowledged the need for more stimulus.

“There is a growing sense that the economy may recover more slowly than we would like,” Powell said Wednesday morning during a scheduled video conference with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

While the Fed has slashed rates to near zero and implemented a series of crisis relief measures that support lending and liquidity, Powell said the central bank's "timely and appropriately large" economic response "may not be the final chapter." 

Powell said the scope and speed of the economic downturn is "significantly worse than any recession since World War II,” but he still rejected calls for negative rates.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump and some policy experts encouraged the Fed to consider negative interest rates to boost the economy.

“I know there are fans of the policy, but for now it’s not something that we’re considering,” Powell said. “We think we have a good toolkit and that’s the one that we will be using.”

1000d ago / 3:16 PM UTC

Restaurants are open again in Texas — with some big changes. Is it safe to eat out?

Image:
Waiter Jason Vernon takes the order of some of the first guests to arrive at the reopening of Coltivare in Houston. "My whole goal was to make them feel comfortable," Vernon said. "I didn't want them to feel out of place."Brandon Thibodeaux / for NBC News

At one Houston restaurant that reopened recently following the coronavirus lockdown, the salt and pepper shakers were replaced with complimentary bottles of hand sanitizer.

That's just one change that the owners of Coltivare made as they sought to reassure their regular customers that it was safe to return.

“If we’re going to do this,” Ryan Pera, Coltivare’s chef and co-owner, recalled telling his team, “then we’re going to do it right.”

But not every business is taking the same precautions, and public health officials warn that there are risks associated with eating out, especially in parts of the country where the rate of new coronavirus cases is still growing.

Read the full story here. 

1000d ago / 3:09 PM UTC

Schumer pushes for Senate to support release of CDC report, GOP blocks it

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., offered a unanimous consent request Wednesday for the Senate to adopt a resolution calling for the release of the reopening guidelines prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"America needs and must have the candid guidance of our best scientists, unfiltered unedited uncensored by President Trump or his political minions. The CDC report on reopening the country is an important piece of that guidance. The Senate should unanimously support the uncensored release of that document," he said on the Senate floor. 

The White House sent back the guidelines last month with a request for revisions. The coronavirus task force viewed the CDC’s advice as overly restrictive, an official told NBC News last week.

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., however, objected to the request and blocked the resolution from being adopted because he said that Schumer was trying to get CDC bureaucrats to "shutter the economy."

1000d ago / 2:45 PM UTC

This couple is delivering backpacks with pandemic supplies to N.Y.C.'s homeless

Backpacks for the Street - Covid-19
Jeffrey Newman, 52, left, president and CEO and Jayson Conner, 43, right, Vice President of Backpacks for the Street on April 19, 2020 in New York.Stephen Yang / Redux

A simple backpack has become a symbol of hope to the tens of thousands of homeless men and women throughout New York City, the epicenter of the nation's coronavirus pandemic.

A volunteer movement called Backpacks for the Street is crisscrossing the city’s boroughs in a rented U-Haul, delivering backpacks filled with masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other essentials to New York's homeless. Since the COVID-19 crisis began ravaging the metropolis, where the virus has killed over 15,000 people since March, 1,200 backpacks have been handed out, according to Jeffrey Newman, who started the group with his fiancé, Jayson Conner, in 2018.

“For the people out on the street, the biggest thing when you talk to people out there is that they feel invisible, and they feel like nobody sees them as a human being," Newman, 52, told NBC News. "The thing about a backpack is that it gives people hope, it says, ‘Hey, we see you, and you matter.’”

Read more here.

1000d ago / 2:32 PM UTC

Brazil records its deadliest day for COVID-19 with 881 deaths

Brazil recorded its deadliest day for COVID-19 with 881 confirmed deaths — as the total death toll has passed 12,000.

The country has documented more than 178,000 cases of the coronavirus.

The actual number of cases and deaths in the country are likely far higher than the official counts, since Brazil is only testing people with symptoms who've gone to the hospital.

1000d ago / 1:43 PM UTC

Angela Merkel urges Germans to stay vigilant

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Parliament on Wednesday that it would be "depressing" if, "just because we want too much too quick," Germany had to reverse the easing of its coronavirus lockdown measures. 

Speaking to the Bundestag, she urged Germans to stay "vigilant," adding that the country was still living "in the pandemic and with the virus."

Germany is believed to have fared better than other European countries in its handling of the pandemic, largely credited to early, widespread testing. The country began easing lockdown measures late April, ahead of many other nations.

Image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Maja Hitij / Getty Images
1000d ago / 1:23 PM UTC

Saudi Arabia imposes Eid holiday curfew as Dubai eases restrictions

Saudi Arabia will enforce a countrywide 24-hour curfew during the five-day Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month, to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The curfew will apply for the festival that follows the ongoing fasting month of Ramadan. The kingdom has so far recorded 264 deaths — the highest number in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Nearby Dubai, the United Arab Emirates' business and tourism hub, began easing measures on Wednesday. It re-opened public parks and will allow hotel guests to access private beaches, state media said. Mosques, cinemas and nightclubs remain closed.

1000d ago / 1:20 PM UTC

Paul Manafort released from prison to home confinement amid coronavirus concerns

Paul Manafort, the imprisoned former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, was released to home confinement for the remainder of his sentence Wednesday amid concerns he could contract coronavirus in federal prison, his attorney Todd Blanche confirmed to NBC News.

Manafort's release follows a request from his attorneys to the Federal Bureau of Prisons that he be allowed to leave the prison due to underlying health concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 71-year-old veteran GOP operative had been staying at Federal Correctional Institution Loretto, Pennsylvania, since he was sentenced in March of last year to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Manafort was hospitalized in December while in prison, and his lawyer had previously said he suffered from severe gout.

Read the full story here.

1000d ago / 1:01 PM UTC

Virologist Joseph Fair hospitalized with coronavirus

Prominent U.S. virologist Joseph Fair has fallen sick with the coronavirus, he said Wednesday on Twitter .

The scientist, also a contributor for NBC News, has been hospitalized and said he was "not out of the woods yet," as he urged Americans to continue social distancing.

"I used max precautions, but still managed to contract it. Back as soon as I’m able, friends. #StaySafe," he tweeted.

1000d ago / 12:15 PM UTC

1000d ago / 12:05 PM UTC

India provides $266 billion boost to pandemic-hit economy

Image: Migrant workers and families head back to their hometowns on Wednesday on a special train to Uttar Pradesh after the government eased a nationwide lockdown.
Migrant workers and families head back to their hometowns on Wednesday on a special train to Uttar Pradesh after the government eased a nationwide lockdown.Narinder Nanu / AFP - Getty Images

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he would provide $266 billion to support India's economy, battered by a weeks-long lockdown to fight the coronavirus.

In an address to the nation, Modi said the financial package was equivalent to 10 percent of India's gross domestic product, and was aimed at helping the multitudes of people out of work as well as businesses reeling under the prolonged shutdown. He also said strict stay-at-home orders would be extended beyond May 17 with a new set of rules due soon.

India has more than 70,000 coronavirus cases among its 1.3 billion population and that number is set to surpass China, where the outbreak began, within a week.

1000d ago / 11:57 AM UTC

For lifeguards during the pandemic, the life they save could be their own

A swimmer cries out for help. The lifeguard races to the rescue. And before they reach the water, the coronavirus risk calculation begins.

Every lifeguard reckons with the knowledge that to save a life they could lose their own, that the person they are trying to rescue can potentially pull them down, as well.

But in the age of the coronavirus there is an extra level of danger, lifeguards say, because staying six feet away from a person who is drowning is not an option.

Read the full story here.

1000d ago / 11:45 AM UTC

Germany mulls opening its borders to its neighbors

Germany hopes to relax borders and travel restrictions with neighboring Austria, Switzerland and France, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said.

Seehofer told reporters at a press briefing that Germany's border restrictions would remain in place until June 15, and after that "our goal is to open these borders." Easing the restrictions would be conditional on coronavirus infection rates staying low. Some crossings between the state of Bavaria and neighboring Austria have already opened for commuters, school children and goods. 

By June 15, the government will also re-evaluate worldwide travel restrictions, he added. Currently, travelers from non-E.U. countries like the U.S. and Russia, remain subject to a 14-day quarantine rule. Travel from Italy and Spain will also still be restricted beyond June, he said, as these "are still highly affected countries."

1000d ago / 11:24 AM UTC

1000d ago / 10:57 AM UTC

Actor Matt Damon describes his coronavirus lockdown in quiet Irish seaside town

The coronavirus lockdown has made life strange for many in Ireland, but the residents of a Dublin seaside suburb are getting used to a particularly surreal sight: Hollywood actor Matt Damon.

Damon, his wife Luciana Barroso, and their youngest three children arrived in Ireland in March, before lockdown restrictions took effect, so he could continue shooting on the now suspended Ridley Scott film "The Last Duel."

Since then Damon — who starred in "Contagion," about a fictional deadly pandemic — has been isolating in the village of Dalkey. After multiple sightings by locals, and attempts to track him down, Damon broke his silence in an interview Wednesday with Dublin radio station Spin 1038.

Read the full story here.

1000d ago / 10:48 AM UTC

Mexico and Brazil experience their deadliest days

Mexico and Brazil both experienced their deadliest days as South America becomes a new global hot-spot for the coronavirus.

Mexico's health ministry confirmed 1,997 new cases on Tuesday, along with 353 additional deaths — the deadliest day since the pandemic began. The country now has 3,926 deaths in total, according to an official tally. Meanwhile, the country's health committee announced plans to put some sectors, such as mining and construction, back to work. It will also begin easing some social and economic restrictions from June 1. 

Brazil, where the outbreak is accelerating, recorded 881 confirmed deaths from the virus on Tuesday. The number of cases in the country passed those in Germany, while President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the risks of the virus.

1000d ago / 10:48 AM UTC

Jared Kushner says he hasn't been involved in talks about changing Election Day

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Jared Kushner, a top adviser to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, told NBC News on Tuesday night that he hasn't been involved in any discussions about changing Election Day this November. 

"I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the Presidential election," he said in a statement to NBC News. 

Only Congress can change Election Day. 

This comes after Kushner raised eyebrows in an interview with Time magazine that published earlier Tuesday. Kushner was asked if there's a chance the election could be postponed past Nov. 3 because of the coronavirus and he said that it isn't his decision. 

"I'm not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan," he said.

1000d ago / 10:31 AM UTC

1000d ago / 9:58 AM UTC

Sumo wrestler becomes youngest to die from coronavirus in Japan

A 28-year-old sumo wrestler has become the youngest person to die from coronavirus in Japan, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday. Kiyotaka Suetake, known as "Shobushi," died from viral pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association said.  

The head of the sumo stable where Shobushi lived was also taken ill and hospitalized by the coronavirus in late April but had been discharged. According to the Sumo Association’s website, 24 sumo wrestlers belong to the Takadagawa stable where Shobushi lived, but it's unclear how many others may be infected. 

Sumo wrestling is a major national sport in Japan, where large opponents wrestle each other out of a ring or to the ground.

1000d ago / 9:20 AM UTC

Israeli police arrest hundreds for coronavirus breach on festival

Israeli police arrested some 300 people at a Jewish bonfire festival where they were celebrating an ancient sage, after worshipers rioted over coronavirus restrictions that denied them access to his tomb. Hundreds of people had attempted to enter the area that was closed to the public due to health and security measures, police said.

The tomb of 2nd-century mystic Shimon Bar Yochai in northern Israel is a focus of the annual Lag b'Omer festival which took place on Tuesday. It usually draws thousands of worshipers for all-night prayers, dancing and singing around bonfires.

Though many leading rabbis have backed Israel's curbs on public assembly as a precaution against contagion, some ultra-Orthodox Jews have been frustrated at the disruption of religious rites.

1000d ago / 8:56 AM UTC

Tennis, golf and sunbathing now OK as England eases some lockdown restrictions

Thousands of people across England got back to work Wednesday morning as the government partially eased coronavirus lockdown rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the relaxing of some measures to Parliament on Monday, with people now able to exercise outdoors with no time limit, as well as play golf or tennis, sunbathe and see one non-household member and visit garden centers. 

Those who must work and cannot do so from home, including cleaners and construction workers, were also given the green light to return to work. The vast majority of the country remains indoors, however, with the government urging people to stay vigilant against the virus that has so far killed more than 32,000 people, according to official statistics. 

Image: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson records a televised message to the nationNo 10 Downing Street / Getty Images
1000d ago / 5:52 AM UTC

Alameda County says Tesla plan submitted amid spat over closure

Alameda County's health department said Tuesday that they received a plan from Tesla about coronavirus safety measures after its CEO Elon Musk said he was reopening a plant in defiance of local orders.

"If Tesla’s Prevention and Control Plan includes these updates, and the public health indicators remain stable or improve, we have agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their Minimum Business Operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week," the health department said in a statement.

The message appears to signal a possible deal after Musk earlier this week said he would reopen his primary car assembly plant in Fremont in defiance of public health orders. The county said it would work with Fremont police to verify that physical distancing and other measures are being adhered to.

Musk has criticized stay-at-home orders imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19. In a May 1 tweet he wrote "Now give people back their FREEDOM."

1001d ago / 5:25 AM UTC

Trump admin unveils plan to ramp up syringe production for future vaccine

Seeking to ramp up the nation’s capacity to administer a possible COVID-19 vaccine, the Trump administration has signed a $138 million deal with the makers of an innovative syringe designed to be used in developing countries.

The goal of the public-private initiative, called Project Jumpstart, is to facilitate the production of 100 million prefilled syringes by the end of 2020 and more than 500 million in 2021 in the event a vaccine becomes available, officials announced Tuesday.

The Health and Human Services Department and the Defense Department are partnering with ApiJect Systems America, which manufactures inexpensive prefilled syringes made of plastic.

Read the full story here

1001d ago / 4:47 AM UTC
1001d ago / 4:40 AM UTC

California council member cited after scuffle with protesters at his home

A California city councilman was cited with misdemeanor battery after a physical altercation with protesters who confronted him at his home Tuesday over coronavirus restrictions.

Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias told NBC affiliate KSEE that he felt threatened that the activists had shown up while his kids were home. He said that after asking them to leave, he swiped at their equipment and shoved one man during the confrontation on a stairway.

In a video obtained by KSEE, Arias can be seen swatting at two men, including a local conservative activist, Ben Bergquam.

“What do you say to the businesses you’re destroying?” an activist can be heard saying at one point.

Read the full story here

1001d ago / 3:31 AM UTC

USA Gymnastics postpones events until 2021 over coronavirus

USA Gymnastics is postponing all "premier events" until 2021 because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The GK U.S. Classic, which had been scheduled for May 23, will now be May 22, 2021, and the U.S. Gymnastics Championships which were to start on June 4 will be rescheduled for June 3, 2021, the organization said Tuesday.

"In light of recent guidance from health experts, and after receiving feedback from our athletes and coaches, we believe it is in the best interest of our community to wait until 2021 to hold premier events,” said Li Li Leung, USA Gymnastics' president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which had been scheduled for this summer have previously been postponed until next summer.