President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted. The FDA has warned the drug can cause serious heart problems.
The U.S. coronavirus death toll has topped 90,800, according to NBC News' count. More than 1.5 million cases have been confirmed in the country.Globally, more than 318,000 have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The number of deaths in the U.S. is expected to hit 100,000 by June 1, according to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Monday, China pledged an extra $2 billion to deal with the coronavirus crisis at the World Health Assembly, which was held virtually. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that the World Health Organization's "failure cost many lives and it must not happen again."
- 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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From touchless payments to 'quarantined' returns, the retail experience may be forever changed
Eager shoppers will soon be able to browse their local retail stores as states continue to roll back stay-at-home orders. But instead of testing a swatch of lipsticks at a makeup counter or waiting in line to try on summer shorts, customers should expect “virtual try-on tools,” styling via app, shuttered fitting rooms, and returns that are quarantined for 72 hours.
With no vaccine for the coronavirus on the market, the role of the retail store has abruptly pivoted from a high-touch experience to safety and practicality as states begin to reopen nonessential businesses.
Aside from new sanitation practices, stores such as Gap are temporarily closing restrooms and quarantining returns for 24 hours before putting them back on the sales floor. Nordstrom is keeping tried and returned merchandise off the sales floor for 72 hours. Gap and Kohl’s are also temporarily closing fitting rooms.
Several retailers have adopted Kroger's strategy of adding space between merchandise in their stores and designating certain shopping hours for high-risk customers.
But with the virus still not contained, some shoppers are avoiding leisure shopping altogether.
“They are ensuring that customers wear PPE or follow social distancing but I don't see a need to shop if there is no need,” said Michell Tinoco, a college student who recovered from the virus. “I will only go to a store in dire circumstances.”
Korean soccer team apologizes for apparently setting up sex dolls in stands
South Korean soccer club FC Seoul apologized, expressing "sincere remorse," after it was accused of placing sex dolls in empty seats during a match.
Pro baseball and soccer have returned to Korea with leagues playing in empty stadiums until the risks of coronavirus infections are lowered. With players competing in front of empty seats, some soccer and baseball teams have been trying to create a festive and humorous atmosphere by filling stands with huge team banners, pictures of mask-wearing fans, or even vegetables.
FC Seoul said it was attempting to add “an element of fun,” during Sunday’s 1-0 win over visiting Gwangju FC, with the mannequins provided by Dalkom,
The club didn’t directly address criticism of why it chose to work with Dalkom, which does manufacture sex dolls, according to the company’s website, or why nearly all the mannequins at the stadium were female in design.
Dutch health officials release new COVID-19 sex guidelines
The Dutch government has released new guidelines on sex during COVID-19, suggesting "sex with yourself or with others at a distance" among other recommendations published on its health ministry's website amid the relaxation of some lockdown rules.
The new guidance, which was issued on by the Dutch National Institute for Health and Environment on May 16, acknowledges that it is "logical" for single people to seek physical contact, but advises minimizing risks by picking just one partner and discussing "how best to do this together.” Couples are reminded to avoid sex with partners who have been self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms, with officials going as far to suggest safer at-distance alternatives.
Lockdown rules in the Netherlands are being relaxed countrywide as part of a four-phase plan announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the end of April. COVID-19 has caused 5,680 deaths in the country so far, with 43,995 cases reported, according to John Hopkins University.
Time off school could reduce kids' career earnings by 4%, research group warns
A research group in Germany warned Monday that students whose school years are significantly shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic risk lower incomes throughout their career.
The analysis by the Muncih-based ifo Institute showed that kids who lose a third of study time in one school year will on average receive around 3 to 4 percent less income over their professional lives. By looking at previously shortened school years, because of strikes and other interruptions, the ifo Institute found that individual student's study habits vary greatly during the downtime, with some barely studying at all.
"We must do all we can to ensure that all children and young people start studying again immediately — whether they're going to school or not," Ludger Woessmann, director of the ifo Center for the Economics of Education, wrote in the research group's monthly journal, ifo Schnelldienst.
Blood donations in five Southern states to be tested for coronavirus antibodies
Blood donations given through the not-for-profit blood center OneBlood will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies in a five Southern states, the organization announced on Monday.
Donors in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama will be tested using an FDA-approved method that will indicate whether the donor's immune system has produced antibodies for the virus. It's thought that many people may have been exposed to the virus without ever showing symptoms. Donors will find out the results 48 hours after donating.
"In addition to donors learning if they have the antibody, OneBlood will be identifying additional people who can be COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors," said OneBlood Senior Vice President Susan Forbes. Convalescent plasma can help treat people critically ill with coronavirus.
Arnold Schwarzenegger reassures Norwegians they'll 'be back'
Arnold Schwarzenegger reassured Norwegians on Sunday that their national celebrations will eventually "be back" as the country held a socially distanced Constitution Day holiday.
"We must live with limitations, rules and measures in order to take back the holiday as we know it," said Prime Minister Erne Solberg in a video address posted on Facebook, referring to the cancellation of traditional festivities that celebrate the signing of the country's constitution in 1814.
"For that reason, I have a message from someone who is very good at taking things back," teased Solberg.
Wearing a stetson and sitting next to an American flag, Schwarzenegger reassured the Norwegian public that children's parades, sack races and everything they loved about their national day "will all be back" as long as they obeyed social distancing and remembered to wash their hands.
Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, is known for his "Terminator" movies and as a former governor of California.
Egypt uses coronavirus to hold hundreds in pretrial detention without review, rights group says
Egyptian authorities have been holding hundreds, and most likely thousands, of people in pretrial detention without review since mid-March, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
Authorities have used the coronavirus to renew many pretrial detentions more or less automatically without hearings, the rights group said.
“Covid-19 has peeled away the last fig leaf covering Egypt’s grossly unjust pretrial detention system by eliminating even a pretense of independent review,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Kuwait warns that no face covering could mean a trip to jail
People found not to be covering their nose and mouth in Kuwait could go to jail for up to three months, the country's health ministry has said.
In a statement on Twitter on Sunday, the ministry said those flouting the rules could also be fined a maximum penalty of the equivalent of more than $16,000.
There are 14,850 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kuwait, a country with a population of around four million, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. The country has also seen 112 coronavirus-related deaths.
New coronavirus cases in Moscow decline as they grow outside the capital
Russia on Monday reported the lowest growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases since May 1, charting just 8,926 new infections and marking the third consecutive day that growth has been recorded below 10,000 per day.
The decline in numbers has sparked hope that Russia may have passed its peak infection rate, however it is still too soon to say. Last week, with case numbers still growing, President Vladimir Putin called on Russian regions to begin easing some elements of their coronavirus restrictions.
Close examination of Russia's official data shows that the decline in daily confirmed cases is mostly centered in Moscow, which charted just 3,238 cases Monday, while the rest of the country continues to see consistent day-on-day growth in the mid to high 5,000 range. Currently the lockdown in Moscow is scheduled to be lifted on May 31. On Friday, the city launched an ambitious antibody testing program to help inform next steps.
WHO faces global call for investigation at general assembly
More than 100 health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the organization's 73rd general assembly on Monday.
The video conference is officially focused on international cooperation on vaccines, treatments and testing to fight the virus, but has already been marred by an intensifying blame game over the WHO's handling of the outbreak.
Several heads of state, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and China’s Xi Jinping, are scheduled to address the assembly, which is also expected to hear a resolution calling for an investigation into the origins of the virus and review of the WHO’s response.