The United States marked Memorial Day with somber ceremonies and, in many places, reopened beaches, as the number of coronavirus deaths inched closer to 100,000, according to NBC news' count.
President Donald Trump, who participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, was also looking ahead to the Republican National Convention. Trump threatened on Twitter on Monday to move the event from Charlotte, North Carolina, if there is a chance the venue might not be filled there later this summer due to virus-related restrictions.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden appeared in public Monday for the first time in more than two months, laying a wreath to honor the fallen at a Delaware war memorial.
- 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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New York's daily deaths back under 100
New York state coronavirus deaths were back under 100 on Sunday after a slight rise the previous day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Memorial Day news conference.
Ninety-six New Yorkers died from from COVID-19 on Sunday, 75 in hospitals and 21 in nursing homes, the governor said Monday. On Friday, the state’s 84 recorded deaths marked the first time New York saw under 100 deaths since late March, but the number had risen on Saturday to 109.
Trump says he's no longer taking hydroxychloroquine
President Donald Trump said he had "just finished" taking a two-week course of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, the medication he has vigorously promoted as a preventative or curative treatment for coronavirus, even as evidence piles up that the drug may cause more harm than good.
The president again defended his decision to take, and talk about, the unproven treatment in the interview, amid Food and Drug Administration warnings against using the drug for COVID-19 outside of hospital settings because of a risk of serious heart problems.
Bars and gyms reopen in Iceland
Iceland eased its national alert against the coronavirus on Monday, allowing for public gatherings of up to 200 people and night clubs and gyms to reopen as the country nears complete recovery from the outbreak.
The North Atlantic nation, which limited the virus spread through a meticulous test and trace strategy and a full lockdown, has confirmed 1,804 infections and 10 deaths. But there have been only five reported new cases in May, and more than 99 percent of infected people have recovered.
Iceland's alert level was lowered from "emergency phase" to "alert phase," the second of three stages, the government said in a statement on Monday.
Gyms can now reopen, though only at half capacity, while bars and restaurants can serve customers until 11 p.m., it said.
Austrian hospital performs first COVID-19 lung transplant in Europe
Doctors in Austria completed a lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient, the first to be done in Europe, the Medical University of Vienna said in a news release on Monday.
The procedure last week at Vienna General Hospital was performed on a 45-year-old woman from the southern state of Carinthia who had developed severe respiratory failure after contracting the virus approximately eight weeks ago.
Dr. Walter Klepetko, head of the Department of Surgery and the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna, said the patient was previously healthy.
“We are very satisfied with the patient’s condition, given the extremely difficult initial circumstances,” Klepetko said in a statement released by the Medical University of Vienna. “Only a few days after the procedure, the patient is well on the way to recovery.”
Footage of packed pool party at Houston club draws criticism
A Houston club is under fire after footage surfaced of it hosting busy pool parties over Memorial Day weekend, despite state social distancing guidelines.
Video of a pool party on Saturday at Clé Houston, a club in the city’s Midtown, shows a crowded outdoor gathering with no masks in sight.
Trump threatens Republican convention move if NC limits attendance over coronavirus
As states struggle to contain the novel coronavirus that’s killed nearly 100,000 Americans, President Donald Trump threatened to move the Republican National Committee from Charlotte, North Carolina, if there is a chance the venue might not be filled there later this summer due to virus-related restrictions.
“Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, [Roy Cooper] is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena,” Trump said in a string of tweets, adding that a decision must be made now because the preparations cost millions and supporters needed to be able to make their travel plans now.
“If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site," he said.
Professional baseball slated for June 19 return in Japan
Japan’s professional baseball season, stalled because of the coronavirus pandemic, will deliver its first pitch on June 19 with no fans in attendance, league officials said Monday.
The 12-team league, considered the world's top pro competition outside of North America's Major League Baseball, will start with preseason games from June 2 to 14, Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito announced.
MLB is and its players union are currently in talks, with hopes of play beginning in early July.
Vehicle theft spikes across the U.S. amid COVID-19 pandemic
The coronavirus hasn’t been kind to car owners.
With more people than ever staying home to lessen the spread of COVID-19, their sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs are parked unattended on the streets, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.
Despite silent streets and nearly non-existent traffic, vehicle larcenies shot up 63 percent in New York and nearly 17 percent in Los Angeles from Jan. 1 through mid-May, compared with the same period last year.
And many other law enforcement agencies around the U.S. are reporting an increase in stolen cars and vehicle burglaries, even as violent crime has dropped dramatically nationwide in the coronavirus pandemic. It's a low-risk crime with a potentially high reward, police say, especially when many drivers leave their doors unlocked or their keys inside.
“You might as well put a sticker on the window that says ‘come take my stuff,’" said an exasperated Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff.
South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing
The new robot barista at the cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is courteous and swift as it seamlessly makes its way towards customers.
"Here is your Rooibos almonds tea latte, please enjoy. It's even better if you stir it," it says, as a customer reaches for her drink on a tray installed within the large, gleaming white capsule-shaped computer.
After managing to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus which infected more than 11,000 people and killed 267, South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules towards what the government calls "distancing in daily life."
Robots could help people observe social distancing in public, said Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, a smart factory solution provider which developed the barista robot together with a state-run science institute.