The global coronavirus death toll passed 300,000, with more than 4.4 million confirmed cases around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the world's worst-hit country, with more than 86,600 deaths.
Friday evening the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that would include another round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per person. President Donald Trump has suggested he won't support the bill.
Critics Friday said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is presenting families detained at the border with the choice of allowing children to be released without them or staying together and facing possible virus exposure in detention.
Additionally, the CDC issued a health alert to physicians on a rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19 in children that has now been reported in at least 19 states and Washington, D.C.
- 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. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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Sailors on sidelined USS Theodore Roosevelt get virus for second time
WASHINGTON — Five sailors on the U.S. aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam due to a COVID-19 outbreak have tested positive for the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, according to the Navy.
The resurgence of the virus in the five sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt underscores the befuddling behavior of the highly contagious virus and raises questions about how troops that test positive can be reintegrated into the military, particularly on ships.
All five sailors had previously tested positive and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. As part of the process, they all had to test negative twice in a row, with the tests separated by at least a day or two before they were allowed to go back to the ship.
The Roosevelt has been at port in Guam since late March after the outbreak of the virus was discovered. More than 4,000 of the 4,800 crew members have gone ashore since then for quarantine or isolation. Earlier this month hundreds of sailors began returning to the ship, in coordinated waves, to get ready to set sail again.
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NYPD to no longer enforce wearing masks absent 'serious danger'
New York City police will no longer enforce mask-wearing by the public unless there is "serious danger," Mayor Bill De Blasio announced at a Friday news conference.
The decision comes after criticism of the NYPD this week over a video showing officers handcuffing and pinning down a 22-year old mother who was not wearing a mask properly.
The police department has also come under scrutiny over its enforcement of social-distancing policies resulting in a disproportionate number of summonses of people of color.
Photo: Lonely Manhattan street
Fort Lauderdale will allow restaurants, shops to reopen
Officials in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will allow restaurants, retail stores and other businesses to reopen beginning Monday.
Dean Trantalis, the mayor of the popular beach destination, said Friday that the decision was made in light of COVID-19 cases appearing to "drastically decline" in the community. He said in a memo that while positive coronavirus tests accounted for 13.4 percent of all results in the week that ended April 11, the number fell to 3.6 percent in the week that ended May 9.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Broward County officials have permitted the reopening, Trantalis added. But there will still be restrictions, he said, including that restaurants and retail stores can't be at more than half their normal capacities and must still follow certain social distancing guidelines. Other places that can reopen are hair and nail salons, museums and drive-in theaters. Gyms and community rooms in condo complexes can also open to members.
Trump names ex-pharma executive, Army general to lead coronavirus vaccine effort
President Donald Trump on Friday announced a team of two men to lead his administration’s effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine, dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.”
The team consists of Moncef Slaoui, the former head of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines division, and Gen. Gustave Perna, a four-star U.S. Army general, Trump said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
Slaoui will serve as the chief scientist for the White House initiative and Perna will serve as its chief operating officer, said Trump, whose suggestions that a coronavirus vaccine could come within months have been repeatedly refuted by prominent health experts and veteran vaccine developers.
Trump repeated his timeline objective Friday, saying he wanted a vaccine ready "by the end of the year if we can." He also indicated that he would urge state governments to reopen their economies regardless of whether the timeline was met.
Connecticut to distribute 50,000 infrared thermometers
Connecticut will distribute 50,000 infrared thermometers for small businesses, nonprofits and places of worship to aid in COVID-19 monitoring efforts, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Friday.
The thermometers will be delivered to municipalities, which in turn will contact organizations that fill out an online form with instructions on picking up the thermometer.
The state partnered with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP to distribute the thermometers. Businesses with between 2 and 100 employees are eligible to receive a thermometer.
Beaches in New York, New Jersey, neighboring states to reopen for Memorial Day weekend
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will open beaches the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, a day after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced his plan to open the Jersey Shore.
Cuomo said group sports such as volleyball will be prohibited, and picnic areas, playgrounds, arcades and concession stands will remain closed to help prevent a resurgence of coronavirus infections. Beaches will only open to 50 percent capacity, according to the governor.
Social distancing will be enforced, and visitors who cannot keep a distance of at least six feet from another person will have to wear a mask, Cuomo said. The reopening does not include pools.
Coronavirus vaccine: This week's updates from Oxford and the NIH
The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is on, as scientists work as quickly as they can to find a way to prevent the disease that has sickened more 4.4 million people and killed more than 300,000 worldwide.
On Friday, Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said the agency is planning to begin large-scale testing of several of the most promising vaccine candidates this summer. Despite such efforts, and despite statements from President Donald Trump this week, a vaccine most likely won't be ready by the end of the year.
Here are all the major retail companies who have filed for bankruptcy since the coronavirus pandemic hit
From iconic department stores to entertainment giants, the coronavirus has seemingly spared no one in its devastation of the U.S. economy.
With bankruptcy currently hovering over household staple JCPenney, factors such as falling consumer demand, reduced entertainment spending, and stay-at-home orders mandating certain businesses stay closed continue to take their toll.
Even with the slow reopening of the economy as lockdowns beginning to lift, social distancing measures may continue for months. That will impact store capacity for retail and restaurants. For some businesses, these temporary changes could indicate bigger problems.
While bankruptcy doesn’t inherently mean that a company will go out of business — it's more a financial restructuring — it does spell news of changes to come.
Fact check: Trump needs 'miracle' to be right about rosy vaccine timeline, experts say
President Donald Trump has suggested multiple times that a coronavirus vaccine could come within months, an accelerated timeline prominent health experts and veteran vaccine developers say is unlikely absent a miracle.
“Vaccine work is looking VERY promising, before end of year,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
But experts said the development, testing, and production of vaccine for the public is still at least 12 to 18 months off, and that anything less would be a medical miracle.
“I think it’s possible you could see a vaccine in people’s arms next year — by the middle or end of next year. But this is unprecedented, so it’s hard to predict,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Read the full fact check here.
Senators to introduce nonprofit aid bill
A group of Democratic senators are introducing a bill Friday that aims to help nonprofits meet the needs of their communities by providing federal grants to pay the salaries of their workers.
The measure, dubbed the "Work Now Act," would help the groups that provide a public service to scale up their activities and hire more workers if needed, even as charitable contributions and revenues decrease because of the pandemic.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., one of the co-authors, said the bill will help nonprofits that are struggling financially as demands for their services soar, as well as employ some of the 36 million people who've lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
"Nonprofits are on the front lines of this crisis helping millions of Americans in need," Klobuchar said in a statement to NBC News. "From food banks, to shelters, to counseling centers, charitable organizations are doing incredible work to help families put food on their table, provide housing assistance, and serve people with disabilities.”
Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford said his organization has had to “make deep cuts” that included layoffs, while Brian Gallagher, the president and CEO of United Way, said his group's budget and resources have become “incredibly strained.”