As the number of deaths neared 90,000 in the U.S., 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.
Similar to the first major coronavirus aid package signed into law in late March, the 1,815-page HEROES Act passed by a vote of 208-199 and now heads to the Senate. One Republican backed the bill, while 14 Democrats voted against it.
It came as 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.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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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Pence to visit Florida on Wednesday
WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence announced he will travel to Florida on Wednesday to meet with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss the state’s phased economic reopening.
Pence’s office said the vice president will also deliver personal protective equipment to a nursing home and attend a roundtable discussion with hospitality and tour tourism industry leaders.
Pence’s trip comes as both he and the president have started to make out of town visits to battleground states to highlight their coronavirus relief response.
DeSantis, a close ally of President Donald Trump, has been criticized for his response to the pandemic, including allowing some beaches to remain open to spring breakers and rushing to reopen the state.
New York will reopen racetracks as COVID-19 deaths keep declining
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that the state will on June 1 reopen its horse-racing tracks. Watkins Glen International automobile racetrack will also reopen. But events at all the tracks will be without fans.
The state is "looking for all opportunities to reopen economic activity without crowds," Cuomo said.
In addition, Westchester County and Suffolk County in the New York City metropolitan area will soon be able to perform elective surgeries and provide ambulatory care.
"Hospitals are safe places to go," said Cuomo. "We want to make sure that people who need medical services get it."
As the state continues it's phased reopening, Cuomo said officials anticipate a possible increase in coronavirus cases, but, he added, "We don't want to see a spike" that would overwhelm hospitals' capacity to care for COVID-19 patients.
The number of deaths from the virus increased on Friday to 157, compared to the previous day's 132, which was the lowest number of fatalities the state saw this week. The number of new hospitalizations was 400, down from the prior day's tally of 431, Cuomo said.
NYC tourist who posted pics at the beach in Hawaii arrested for violating quarantine rule
A New York City tourist in Hawaii was arrested for violating the state's quarantine rule after he shared photos of himself on Instagram at the beach, authorities said.
Tarique Peters, 23, was arrested on Friday after local residents saw the pictures and alerted Hawaiian authorities.
"He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation," a press release from the state's COVID-19 information center states.
Peters posted numerous photos of himself as he walked around Waikiki, went to the beach with a surfboard and sunbathed, the release states.
Thailand extends ban on international flights until end of June
Thailand on Saturday extended a ban on international passenger flights until the end of June, the country's aviation regulator said.
The Civil Aviation Authority's, which comes as new cases in the country dwindle, extends a previous order that was set to run until the end of May.
The country has started to relax local restrictions after reporting single-digit increases of infections from the virus this month. On Saturday, the country reported no new cases and no new deaths, leaving the total at 3,025 cases of the virus and 56 fatalities.
Soccer kicks off in Germany as first major sports league reopens amid pandemic
As Germany’s top soccer league, known as the Bundesliga, prepares to kick off for the first time since the country entered a coronavirus lockdown, 10-time U.S. international Tyler Adams admitted there was one thing he had not thought about — how he will celebrate if he scores for his RB Leipzig team on Saturday.
“I haven’t thought about anything yet,” the 21-year-old midfielder told NBC News, adding that he would hopefully get a goal against SC Freiburg. “That’s my first concern, and then we’ll see,” he said.
In the week leading up to the game, Adams has been living in quarantine with his teammates at his team’s training ground in the eastern German city of Leipzig.
RNC plans in-person convention 100 days out
WASHINGTON — Despite warnings from health officials about the potential risks of mass gatherings this summer, the Republican National Committee says it's still planning an in-person convention for this August in Charlotte, N.C. The RNC expects as many as 50,000 visitors to gather to re-nominate President Trump.
“This 5-star event will play an integral role in promoting local businesses and generating millions of dollars across the region. It will leave a lasting impact,” the group said on Saturday — Saturday also marks the 100-day countdown to the event.
Earlier in May, the RNC announced it was adding a medical expert as a senior adviser to the convention planning team to develop “health and safety protocols.” That came after NBC News reported the group was considering alterations to the traditional four-day spectacle due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic National Committee already pushed back their Milwaukee, Wis. convention from mid-July to August because of health concerns. The DNC has left open the possibility that parts of the convention will be held virtually, but officials expect a portion of the event will be held in-person.
Kansas City Zoo penguins take a field trip to the museum
Greeks return to beaches in heat wave, but keep umbrellas apart
Greeks flocked to the seaside on Saturday when more than 500 beaches reopened, as the country sought to walk a fine line between protecting people from the coronavirus while reviving the tourism sector that many depend on for their livelihoods.
For a lot of people in Greece, it was a first foray into a big public venue since the country began easing its lockdown earlier this month, and it also coincided with the first heat wave of the year. Sun-seekers were required to respect distancing rules, which even stipulated how far umbrellas must be kept apart.
No more than 40 people were allowed per 1,000 square meters (10,750 square feet), while umbrella poles had to be 13 feet apart, with canopies no closer than one meter to one another (about three feet), according to a government-issued manual, complete with a diagram.
Greece has reported a fraction of the coronavirus cases of neighboring countries — more than 2,800 infections with 160 deaths.
Wave of 'vaccine nationalism' hinders global efforts to halt virus
The coronavirus crosses borders without regard for national boundaries or identities. But the response to it, and the hunt for a vaccine, has been caught up in a tide of nationalism that was already sweeping the world before the virus hit, and which may end up delaying distribution of a vaccine to billions of people.
A competitive vision outlined in the United States and other vaccine-producing powerhouses such as China and India threatens to undermine the efforts of dozens of countries, which are raising billions of dollars in an attempt to find an effective immunizing shot that they say should be available equally around the world.
Some experts and former officials fear that leaders such as President Donald Trump may be pursuing the doctrine of "vaccine nationalism." This is the idea that any government whose scientists win this vaccine "race" — as it's often described — might try to hoard the shots for domestic use.
'I gave this to my dad': COVID-19 survivors grapple with guilt of infecting family
Paul Stewart thought he’d caught a bad cold.
In the third week of March, he came down with a sore throat, mild fever, cough, chills and body aches. The coronavirus was just starting to spread across Illinois, shuttering schools and workplaces, including the clinic in DuPage County where he worked as a rehabilitation technician. It didn’t occur to him that he might have the virus, even after a co-worker tested positive. Paul’s symptoms came and went, and on some days he felt well enough to go on a five-mile run.
Then his father started coughing.
Paul, 55 and twice divorced, lived with his parents in the house where he grew up. He assumed his father, Robert, 86, a tough former professional baseball player, Army veteran and cancer survivor, had picked up his cold. But the bug seemed to take over Robert’s body, wrecking his appetite and pummeling his lungs.