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World Health Organization records worst day

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A couple wait to exchange marriage vows at one of six pop-up socially distanced marriage booths in the parking lot of the Honda Center amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 19, 2020 in Anaheim, California.
A couple wait to exchange marriage vows at one of six pop-up socially distanced marriage booths in the parking lot of the Honda Center amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 19, 2020 in Anaheim, California.Mario Tama / Getty Images

The globe recorded it worst single-day of coronavirus cases, more than 100,000, since the beginning of the outbreak, the director-general of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

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.

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 ended. Continue to May 21 coronavirus updates.

WHO reports most coronavirus cases in one day as total number nears 5 million

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775d ago / 8:07 PM UTC
Image: Doctor Dmitry Cheboksarov (L) wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) works in the intensive care unit for the COVID-19 coronavirus patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow
The intensive care unit for coronavirus patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow on May 17, 2020.Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP - Getty Images

More than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been reported to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours, "the most in a single day since the outbreak began," Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at 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.

The countries with the highest number of confirmed cases are the U.S., Russia, Brazil and the United Kingdom, according to the WHO.

Read the full story here. 

100-year-old U.K. fundraising phenomenon Captain Tom earns knighthood

775d ago / 7:51 PM UTC

World War II veteran Tom Moore raised millions for the coronavirus-battling National Health Service, and has since been made an honorary colonel and member of the England cricket team.

Anti-lockdown demonstrators trade guns for scissors at Michigan 'haircut' protest

775d ago / 7:42 PM UTC
Image: Haircut protest Michigan
Annette Rafacz gives Manny Orovcoa a free haircut at the State Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., on May 20, 2020.Paul Sancya / AP

Hundreds of protesters turned out to protest Michigan's stay-at-home order on Wednesday — and get free haircuts.

Toting signs that read "End tyranny," "Live free or die" and accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of "killing small businesses," demonstrators rallied outside of the state Capitol in Lansing as part of "Operation Haircut."

Several barbers were in attendance, giving free trims to demonstrators. Some of the barbers and protesters were not wearing face coverings. Many of the demonstrators also stood within 6 feet of one another as they waited for their cuts.

Read the full story here. 

CDC quietly releases detailed plan for reopening America

775d ago / 7:31 PM UTC
Image: Broward County In Florida Allows Retailers And Restaurants To Open
Maria Iraola wipes down the sidewalk tables of the Argentino Las Olas restaurant as it prepares to open to customers on May 18, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Restaurants and bars should consider installing sneeze guards at their registers. Mass transit workers should close every other row of seats on their buses. Students should eat lunch in their classrooms instead of congregating in a cafeteria.

These are among the social distancing measures that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed in a document it quietly released on its website this week outlining recommendations for reopening restaurants, mass transit, schools and childcare programs across the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The detailed 60-page document was posted on the CDC’s website with no accompanying announcement from the public health agency, and comes weeks after many states have already ended or partially ended their lockdowns.

Read the full story here. 

Daytime Emmys rescheduled for June 26 as virtual ceremony

775d ago / 6:55 PM UTC

In yet another sign of the times, the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will go virtual this year.

Awards in leading categories will be presented June 26 on CBS with recipients and other special guests appearing from home. Additional categories will be announced simultaneously on Twitter and others will be presented in a separate ceremony in July. 

“In these challenging times, daytime has been a primary influence in staying connected with its audience, entertaining them and keeping them informed,” said David McKenzie, Daytime Emmys executive producer and director of Associated Television International. “We are honored to be a part of it. We are also excited for the challenge of introducing a new format that will celebrate the contributions of daytime television.”

Nominations will be announced Thursday, May 21, on CBS' "The Talk" and then online at Entertainment Tonight

At last: CDC guidelines on reopening businesses, schools are released

775d ago / 5:50 PM UTC

Weeks after a draft of guidelines for reopening businesses across the U.S. were leaked from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the final plans have been released. 

The 60-page guidelines include details about what child care facilities, schools, restaurants and business need to do to keep people safe. Measures include cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, and monitoring for possible reemergence of infections. The document also includes criteria and thresholds for states to meet as they go through the three phases of reopening. 

Read the full CDC guidelines.

Video shows Costco worker calmly handle customer berating him over mask policy

775d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

A Costco employee is being lauded online for his handling of an encounter with a customer who recorded himself berating the worker and refusing to wear a mask.

video of the incident posted to Twitter on Monday has been viewed millions of times and highlights a reality for many retail workers who are having to enforce stores' rules and public health guidelines on masks. The original video was posted on Instagram before it was deleted.

Costco requires every employee and customer in its stores to wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In the 37-second video, which has more than 6.8 million views, a customer who appears to be in a checkout line can be heard telling a Costco employee whose name tag says Tison, "I'll just put you on my 3,000-follower Instagram feed, mostly locals."

Read the full story here.

New York unveils contest finalists for video to boost mask wearing

775d ago / 5:10 PM UTC

New York state hopes a public service announcement will encourage more residents to consistently wear face coverings when they are outside of their homes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and daughter Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo unveiled five finalist videos out of several hundred submissions, with the winner to be selected through online voting.

Balloting in the "Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest" runs from now until Monday, and the chosen ad will be announced Tuesday.

House committee to hear from HHS watchdog who identified hospital supply shortages

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775d ago / 5:02 PM UTC

Christi A. Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, a staffer on the committee told NBC News.

She is expected to brief the panel on her office’s work on coronavirus and other aspects of the administration's response to the pandemic.

In early April, Grimm presented President Donald Trump with a report showing that hospitals responding to the pandemic were lacking vital medical equipment including thermometers and test kits.

Trump criticized Grimm in a tweet and then eventually nominated a new IG to replace her. Grimm was not fired and remains in a senior role at the IGs office.

The committee notes this will take the form of a briefing and not a hearing. It will also take place entirely remote over video conference.

NYC's low-income neighborhoods hardest hit by coronavirus

775d ago / 4:49 PM UTC
NBC News

New York City's low-income neighborhoods with large minority populations have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, state officials said Wednesday.

Based on 8,000 antibody tests administered recently in the city, 19.9 percent came up positive, indicating infections, with several neighborhoods outside Manhattan showing higher-than-average rates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.

The Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx showed an infection rate of 43 percent; Brownsville, Brooklyn,  41 percent; the East Bronx, 38 percent; and the Hollis neighborhood in Queens, 35 percent, the state found.

"Focus on low-income communities, do the testing and do the outreach," Cuomo said. "That’s where the cases are coming from. ... That's where you're going to see the highest number of deaths."  

U.S. pledges $162 million more in COVID-19 foreign assistance, bringing total to over $1 billion

775d ago / 4:45 PM UTC

The State Department announced on Wednesday that the U.S. government has pledged an additional $162 million in foreign aid to fight the coronavirus, bringing the total to more than $1 billion.

The new funding will continue to support hygiene, sanitation and safe water, but for the first time will also pay for emergency food assistance, since the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global food supply chains.

Law school graduate holds mini commencement ceremony for 2020 classmates

775d ago / 4:13 PM UTC

A law school graduate found a creative way to celebrate her graduation, even though the in-person ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alexandra Lenczewski, a Brooklyn Law School class of 2020 graduate, held a mini commencement ceremony in her backyard with photos of every member of the graduating class, complete with caps on their heads. The students were even arranged in alphabetical order, according to the Instagram post.

“Outstanding! And congratulations!” Brooklyn Law School Dean Michael T. Cahill wrote in a retweet of the video.

WHO says the last 24 hours saw biggest ever daily increase in COVID-19 cases reported

775d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

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

775d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

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.

Read the full story here.

NYC lagging on census; mayor urges residents to participate

775d ago / 2:51 PM UTC

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?

775d ago / 2:45 PM UTC

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

775d ago / 2:15 PM UTC
Image: Gertrud Schop
60-year-old Gertrud Schop lights candles arranged in the shape of a cross, with one candle dedicated to each of the more than 8,000 German Covid-19-related victims, in Zella-Mehlis, eastern Germany on Tuesday. Schop is planning to continue the project until a vaccine against Covid-19 is available.Jens Schlueter / AFP - Getty Images

Egypt requires people to wear masks in workplaces

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775d ago / 12:30 PM UTC

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.

Image: Hair cut
A boy get his hair cut at his home in Cairo, amidst the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease, Egypt, on Monday. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

 

775d ago / 12:03 PM UTC

China launches new Twitter accounts, 90,000 tweets in COVID-19 info war

775d ago / 11:44 AM UTC

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.

Read the full story here.

Hero fundraiser Capt. Tom knighted — but no word yet on official ceremony

775d ago / 11:30 AM UTC
Image: British World War II veteran Capt. Sir Tom Moore, 100, received a knighthood after raising over $40 million for the National Health Service.
British World War II veteran Capt. Sir Tom Moore, 100, received a knighthood after raising over $40 million for the National Health Service. Justin Tallis / AFP - Getty Images

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. 

775d ago / 11:12 AM UTC

All 50 states now reopening in some way

775d ago / 10:56 AM UTC

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

775d ago / 10:50 AM UTC
Image:A doctor wearing personal protective equipment works in the intensive care unit with COVID-19 patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow on Sunday.
A doctor wearing personal protective equipment works in the intensive care unit with COVID-19 patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow on Sunday.Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP - Getty Images

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

775d ago / 10:32 AM UTC

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.

775d ago / 10:20 AM UTC

Brazil's daily death toll reaches new record

775d ago / 9:57 AM UTC
Image: Cemetery workers wearing protective gear bury a coffin at Sao Paulo, Brazil's Vila Formosa Cemetery on Monday.
Cemetery workers wearing protective gear bury a coffin at Sao Paulo, Brazil's Vila Formosa Cemetery on Monday.Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images

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

775d ago / 9:03 AM UTC

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.

Read the full story here.

Alaska business restrictions end Friday

775d ago / 7:14 AM UTC

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

775d ago / 6:06 AM UTC

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.

Read the full story here

U.S. births fall, and virus could drive them down more

775d ago / 5:34 AM UTC

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.

Read the full story here

775d ago / 5:06 AM UTC

Inside Mexico's fight against coronavirus

775d ago / 2:10 AM UTC