U.S. death toll nears 100,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A man wears a protective mask as he walks on Wall Street during the coronavirus outbreak in New York
A man wears a protective mask as he walks on Wall Street during the coronavirus outbreak in New York on March 13, 2020.Lucas Jackson / Reuters file

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The number of U.S. coronavirus deaths approached 100,000, with more than 99,600 deaths recorded as of early Wednesday, according to NBC News' count. The U.S. leads the world in both deaths and confirmed cases, with 1.69 million infections.

The National Hockey League on Tuesday announced a plan to resume its suspended season by moving directly into playoffs, but details, including which "hub cities" would host the contests, remained up in the air.

Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called President Donald Trump "an absolute fool to talk that way" after Trump criticized Biden for wearing a mask during a Memorial Day remembrance.

"Every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," Biden said in a CNN interview.

Trump, who did not wear a mask during Memorial Day services, retweeted Fox News commentator Brit Hume's Monday night tweet criticizing Biden. Trump denied mocking Biden at a Tuesday news conference.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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'Someone wasn't responsible': Missouri man exposed at salon speaks out

Miami, Miami Beach reopen restaurants

Starting Wednesday, the city of Miami will allow dine-in eating to resume at restaurants, but with restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

"Restaurants are a big part of our local economy, directly employing thousands of Miamians, and we are ready to begin carefully reopening them to dine-in customers,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said in a statement.

Restaurant capacity will be capped at 50 percent of maximum approved occupancy. Masks will be required unless customers are seated at a table, and no parties larger than four allowed, except household parties, which are capped at six. Restaurant bars remain closed for now.

The city of Miami Beach also announced Tuesday that restaurants could reopen Wednesday. 

Justice Department drops insider trading investigations of three senators

The Justice Department has closed insider trading investigations into three senators who sold off stocks following early briefings on the coronavirus, aides told NBC News.

A spokesman for Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., confirmed that she had been informed that the Justice Department had dropped an inquiry into her trades and called the allegations "politically motivated."

"Today's clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Senator Loeffler has said all along — she did nothing wrong. This was a politically-motivated attack shamelessly promoted by the fake news media and her political opponents. Senator Loeffler will continue to focus her full attention on delivering results for Georgians," said the spokesman, Stephen Lawson.

Read the full story here

Los Angeles allows all retail businesses, houses of worship to reopen

After weeks of public health restrictions over the coronavirus epidemic, all retail business in Los Angeles will be allowed to welcome customers back inside, and houses of worship can resume in-person services, the mayor announced Tuesday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said some restrictions will remain for retail and churches, like limiting the number of people inside.

"We're not moving beyond COVID-19, but we're learning to live with it," Garcetti said.

Places like barbershops and hair salons remain closed, and in-restaurant dining is not yet allowed. 

The news that retail businesses and houses of worship could reopen or resume in-person services comes a day after the state announced they could resume under certain restrictions if county health officials approved. The restrictions on places like churches include having less than 25 percent capacity or 100 people inside, whichever is less.

Nevada governor cancels press briefing after possible coronavirus exposure

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak canceled Tuesday's press briefing after learning of a possible exposure to COVID-19, Sisolak wrote in a series of tweets.

The Democratic governor said he visited a workplace last week where an employee, who was not in the building at the time of his visit, has since tested positive for COVID-19. Sisolak's office learned of the test result on Tuesday. 

Sisolak said that he will take a coronavirus test on Wednesday and share the results publicly. He said he currently does not have any symptoms. 

Biden calls Trump 'an absolute fool' for mocking him wearing a mask

Joe Biden called President Donald Trump "an absolute fool" for criticizing the former vice president for wearing a face mask during a Memorial Day remembrance. 

"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way. Every leading doc in the world is saying you should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," Biden said in a CNN appearance on Tuesday, adding that Trump is trying to act "macho."

Biden also changed his profile picture on Twitter to one of him wearing the same mask he donned during the services. 

Trump, who did not wear a mask during Memorial Day services, retweeted Fox News commentator Brit Hume's Monday night tweet criticizing Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, for wearing one. Monday’s appearance was Biden’s first public one since mid-March. He appeared wearing a black mask covering most of his face and a pair of aviator sunglasses with his wife, Jill Biden, who also wore a mask.

Trump denied mocking Biden at a Tuesday news conference. 

"Biden can wear a mask," Trump added, saying it was "unusual" since Biden does not wear one indoors. However, the administration's guidelines recommend wearing a mask outdoors.  

Coronavirus 'injures' placenta in infected pregnant women, study finds

New research out of Northwestern University could be a first step to answering the many questions that persist about how contracting the coronavirus during pregnancy affect mother and baby.

The small study followed 16 women who tested positive for COVID-19 and gave birth between late March and early May at Northwestern's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Looking at the placenta, it found that these mothers "were significantly more likely" to develop abnormal or injured blood vessels, according to the research published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology.

While all of the full-term babies in the study tested negative for the coronavirus and were doing well when they left the hospital, study author and obstetrician Dr. Emily Miller said in a statement, “Not to paint a scary picture, but these findings worry me. I don’t want to draw sweeping conclusions from a small study, but this preliminary glimpse into how COVID-19 might cause changes in the placenta carries some pretty significant implications for the health of a pregnancy."

Read the full story here.

Republicans plan to sue to block remote voting in the House

Republicans plan to file a lawsuit Tuesday to block the House of Representatives from using newly passed procedures for voting remotely amid the pandemic, two House GOP aides confirm to NBC News.

The New York Times, citing three officials familiar with the case, reported that the lawsuit will be brought by Republican leaders and name House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., among others, as defendants. According to The Times, the lawsuit will argue that the measure allowing members to cast floor votes by proxy, a historic change approved earlier this month over GOP objections, is unconstitutional.

In a statement, Pelosi called the impending filing a "sad stunt" by Republicans. The House is expected to first use proxy voting Wednesday.

California gives OK for hair salons, barber shops to reopen in parts of the state

California gave the green light on Tuesday for hair salons and barber shops to reopen in parts of the state that are seeing fewer coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during his daily press briefing. 

Los Angeles, California's largest and most populous county, is not on the list of approved regions. 

Employees and customers visiting eligible hair salons and barbershops must wear face masks at all times. Workers should be screened daily for symptoms and given a temperature check each day if possible, according to state guidelines. Nail services, facials, eyebrow styling and other services that require close contact are not permitted. 

The new guidelines mark an upcoming launch into Phase 3 of Newsom's four-phase reopening plan for the state. The complete timeline for that part of the plan hasn't been made clear.