The countries with the highest numbers of confirmed cases are the U.S., Russia, Brazil and the U.K., according to the WHO.
On the same day, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly published a 60-page document that recommends precautions for reopening the nation's restaurants, mass transit, schools and child care programs.
The CDC cautioned that, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in a particular region, not all businesses and institutions should reopen just yet.
Joe Biden said Wednesday it's "totally irresponsible" for President Donald Trump to be taking and touting the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a way to prevent COVID-19.
"There's no serious medical personnel out there saying to use that drug, it's counterproductive, it's not going to help," Biden said Tuesday in a virtual Yahoo News event with chef Jose Andres.
- 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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This live coverage has ended. Continue to May 21 coronavirus updates.
WHO says the last 24 hours saw biggest ever daily increase in COVID-19 cases reported
More than 100,000 cases have been reported to the World Health Organization in 24 hours, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during a news conference Wednesday.
"We still have a long way to go in this pandemic," he said. "In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO — the most in a single day since the outbreak began."
He added that almost "two thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries," although he did not specify where the cases had been recorded.
Trump blasts vote-by-mail efforts in Michigan, Nevada amid pandemic
President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funding for Michigan and Nevada over their pursuit of mass mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The president said, falsely, that Michigan is sending absentee ballots to 7.7 million voters, following that with a warning to Nevada if it pursues voting by mail. The president said Michigan's action was done “illegally and without authorization from a rogue secretary of state.”
Michigan's secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said Tuesday that all of those registered voters will be mailed applications for absentee ballots for the state’s elections in August and November — not the absentee ballots themselves.
Nevada, meanwhile, is planning an all-mail vote for its state primary in June.
NYC lagging on census; mayor urges residents to participate
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday urged residents to participate in the U.S. census as the city lags behind the rest of the country.
Only 49 percent of New York City households have responded to the once-every-decade national population count, in comparison with a 59 percent average response rate across the U.S.
"The census says how many members of Congress you get. The census says how much [federal] funding you get" for the city, de Blasio said. "If it’s not accurate, you literally can lose a member of the Congress; you can lose billions, many billions of dollars."
The mayor said he recognized that the national survey comes as the city copes with the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the metropolitan area harder than anywhere in the U.S.
"The 2020 census will have so much to say about the future of this city, and it’s being attempted against the backdrop of the biggest crisis we’ve dealt with in generations, and we’re the epicenter. So we’re really up against a wall here yet again, and we've got to find a way forward, and quickly," de Blasio said.
The census has no questions about immigration or citizenship. It can be completed in under five minutes at 2020census.gov.
Monkeys can develop immunity to coronavirus. Can humans?
A small study published Wednesday in the journal Science offers promising evidence to suggest that recovery from COVID-19 could lead to immunity against reinfection.
The study, from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, involved nine rhesus macaques — monkeys that share a majority of their genes with humans. The macaques were infected with the coronavirus and later recovered — and more than one month later, they were re-exposed to the virus.
All of the macaques had developed antibodies against the virus, the researchers found, and had "near-complete protection" against the virus when they were re-exposed — a sign that they had developed immunity.
Still, more research is needed to determine whether the findings also apply to humans, as well as to determine how long this immunity may last.
Photo: Lighting candles for every COVID-19 victim in Germany
Egypt requires people to wear masks in workplaces
Egypt will require people to wear masks in workplaces and in stores from the end of May after the country recorded 720 new cases in one day this week, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Tuesday.
As of May 30, people in Egypt will be required to cover their nose and mouths at work and in stores, and those flouting the rules will face a fine of the equivalent of $255, Madbouly said. Air traffic will also be suspended, he added.
The measures will be reviewed after two weeks.
China launches new Twitter accounts, 90,000 tweets in COVID-19 info war
China has launched a Twitter offensive in the COVID-19 information war, more than doubling its number of official government tweets since January and in recent days using the platform to spread a conspiracy theory that the virus came from a U.S. government lab.
"The #US keeps calling for transparency & investigation. Why not open up Fort Detrick & other bio-labs for international review? Why not invite #WHO & int'l experts to the US to look into #COVI19 source & response?" the spokesperson for China's Foreign Affairs Ministry wrote in a May 8 tweet that has been liked more than 4,000 times. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is where the military houses and researches infectious diseases.
The Chinese have pushed out 90,000 tweets since the start of April from 200 diplomatic and state-run media accounts as part of an offensive in the COVID-19 information war, according to data collected by the Hamilton 2.0 dashboard of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a tool that aggregates accounts connected to the Chinese government.
Hero fundraiser Capt. Tom knighted — but no word yet on official ceremony
The 100-year-old hero fundraiser, Capt. Tom Moore, has been awarded a knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II after raising nearly $40 million for Britain's National Health Service by walking laps of his garden. The World War II veteran was nominated for the honor by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and it was subsequently approved by the queen.
Although he can take the title of Capt. Sir Thomas Moore immediately, it's unclear how the honor will be presented due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Recipients typically attend an investiture at Buckingham Palace in person. Traditionally, a knight kneels before the queen — or another senior royal — and has a sword placed on the right, then the left shoulder. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that they plan to discuss "potential arrangements" with the family.
Writing on Twitter, Moore said he was "absolutely overwhelmed" to receive the honor.
All 50 states now reopening in some way
All 50 states are now to some extent lifting the lockdown measures imposed to suppress the coronavirus pandemic. Connecticut was the last state with a state-wide stay-at-home order in place, but that expired Wednesday.
As this NBC News interactive map shows, the only place not lifting its lockdown in some way is Washington, D.C., where the stay-at-home order runs through June 8. Health officials say contact tracing is a crucial in preventing a virus flare-up after this wave of reopenings.
But some agencies are wrestling with a lack of necessary resources from the federal government, as well as a need for more qualified workers and a growing backlash of misinformation.
Cases in Russia top 300,000 cases as outbreak shifts beyond Moscow
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia surpassed 300,000 on Wednesday, but there is some hope found in the official data: daily case growth nationwide fell to 8,764 cases, suggesting a solidified downward trend.
However, the decline in new cases continues to be focused in Moscow, where fewer than 3,000 were reported. Outside Moscow, daily new cases continue to inch higher to more than 6,000 for the first time.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has cautioned that the capital is not yet out of the woods. Some 18,000 COVID-19 patients remain in critical condition in Moscow, he said Tuesday evening.
Large European electronics show will go ahead in person this September
Coronavirus has resulted in the cancellation of many of Europe's big events, but the largest consumer electronics show, the IFA, has said that it will indeed take place in Berlin this September in a format that puts "health and safety first."
The event will take place over three days from September 3, with a strict limit of 1,000 attendees per day.
“After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase its innovation, so that it can recover and rebound," said Jens Heithecker, the Executive Director of IFA Berlin.
Brazil's daily death toll reaches new record
Brazil's daily death toll from the coronavirus jumped to a record 1,179 as President Donald Trump said he is considering a travel ban.
The highest daily toll before Tuesday had been 881 deaths on May 12. The pandemic has killed at least 17,971 people in Brazil, according to the Health Ministry.
Brazil overtook Britain on Monday to become the country with the third-highest number of confirmed infections, behind Russia and the United States. Brazil's confirmed cases also jumped by a record 17,408 on Tuesday, for a total of 271,628 people who have tested positive for the virus.
Restaurants reimagine the dining-out experience post pandemic
Remember how dining out used to be — the dim light, the flickering candle, the cozy corner, the romance? Well, as the poet Robert Graves wrote following a previous cataclysm — World War I — "Goodbye to all that."
As restaurateurs seek to attract customers, the use of enticing words such as "intimate," "cozy" and maybe even "atmospheric" may fall by the wayside.
They'll likely be replaced by words such as "bright," "clean," "spacious" and — who knows? — maybe even "sterile." Not the most romantic of words, but there are lives at stake.
Alaska business restrictions end Friday
Alaska's governor announced Tuesday that all businesses and other activities will be allowed to fully reopen Friday, although some local governments might not do so right away.
Bars, gyms and other businesses have already been cleared to reopen although with reduced capacities. The new order will lift those capacity limits.
"It'll all be open, just like it was prior to the virus," Gov. Mike Dunleavy said, noting that Alaskans are still being asked to keep 6 feet apart, wear masks, wash hands and surfaces, and stay home and get tested if feeling sick.
Dunleavy said Tuesday that over the last 24 hours, no new cases and no new deaths were reported and that more than 36,300 tests have been done.
Alaska has seen 399 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths, according to the state health department.
Waffle House shooter was told to wear a mask, Colorado police say
A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after opening fire on a Waffle House employee who told him he needed to wear a mask, authorities in Colorado said.
He was arrested Monday. The attack happened early Friday at a restaurant in the Denver suburb of Aurora, police said in a statement. Officers responding to a report of a fight and possible shooting found the employee with a gunshot wound, the Aurora Police Department said.
"The victim was transported to the hospital and is recovering from his injury," police said.
U.S. births fall, and virus could drive them down more
U.S. births continued to fall last year, leading to the fewest number of newborns in 35 years.
The decline is the latest sign of a prolonged national “baby bust” that’s been going on for more than a decade. And some experts believe the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy will suppress the numbers further.
“This unpredictable environment, and anxiety about the future, is going to make women think twice about having children,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University.