U.S. death toll tops 100,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
Medical workers walk outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York on May 26, 2020.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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The United States surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC News' count, becoming the first country to reach the grim milestone.

The U.S. leads the world in both deaths and confirmed cases, with 1.69 million infections. Among the infected are more than 62,000 doctors, nurses and other health care providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. At least 291 have died.

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

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading May 28 coronavirus news here.

Feds' response to Native Americans is another 'broken promise,' Warren, Haaland say

Two Democratic lawmakers, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are asking the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to update its 2018 report on how the federal government has failed to sufficiently fund Native American communities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The report, "Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans," described vast health care, housing and educational disparities and stated that "the efforts undertaken by the federal government in the past 15 years have resulted in only minor improvements, at best, for the Native population as a whole."

"The Administration's failure to uphold the trust responsibility to provide adequate relief, health services, and public safety resources to tribal communities has exacerbated the pandemic's impact. This failure requires the Commission's voice," Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico wrote in their request to the commission, which makes recommendations to the administration.

The lawmakers noted that promised federal funding to tribal nations and urban Indian organizations was significantly delayed from the onset of the pandemic. The issue of funding disbursement remains an ongoing problem, tribal leaders have said.

NYC hopes to do 50K coronavirus tests per day by Aug. 1

New York City, now doing about 20,000 coronavirus per day, hopes to have that rate up to 50,000 a day by Aug. 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The country's largest city has the capacity to conduct 27,000 tests a day at more than 180 sites that are open now or will be operating shortly, according to the mayor.

"It's getting easier and easier for more and more New Yorkers to get testing," the mayor told reporters during his daily briefly on the city's efforts to fight the global pandemic. "And that's going to help us move forward." 

New York City has been the nation's epicenter for the coronavirus, with over 21,300 deaths.


Charts: COVID-19 cases in Alabama, California and Virginia are surging

As the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. inches toward 1.7 million, certain states are seeing case numbers surge.

California's had 15,000 new cases since last Thursday and will likely count its 100,000th confirmed COVID-19 case Wednesday.

Alabama, where no more than 500 new cases had been reported in a day, has now reported 500-plus cases four of the previous five days according to an analysis of NBC News COVID-19 case data.

Virginia, which has close to 40,000 cases, set new one-day highs for confirmed cases Monday and then again Tuesday, with 1,615.

See NBC News’ coverage of the coronavirus, read a timeline of the spread of the coronavirus, see a map of U.S. coronavirus cases, a map of U.S. deaths, and a map of coronavirus cases around the world.

Egypt's doctors union warns health care system could collapse due to lack of PPE

Egypt’s main doctors union has warned that the country’s health system could “completely collapse” if the government continues to provide inadequate personal protective equipment to health care workers.

In a statement posted on their website, the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, which has more than 200,000 members, said the government had failed to provide enough PPE, had not made early detection tests available to workers and had not properly trained hospital staff who were working closely with COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamid, treasurer of the organization, told NBC News that 19 doctors had died since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The Egyptian minister of health and population, Dr. Hala Zayed, disputed this figure and said 11 doctors had died and 291 had been infected. She defended the government’s management of the pandemic and said the ministry had taken “all precautions and procedures to protect its medical staff.”

Students return to school in South Korea

More than two million students returned to school in South Korea on Wednesday, as the country recorded the highest number of new infections in more than a month.

Kindergarten students, the two lowest grades of elementary school, middle school seniors and second-year high school students were among those to return. It followed the reopening of high schools for seniors on May 20.

Some 450 schools chose to delay reopening their doors, however, after a kindergarten student and teacher in Seoul tested positive for coronavirus. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education told NBC News at least 19 of those schools will aim to reopen classrooms from June 1. The country reported 40 new cases as of midnight Tuesday, nearly double the 19 recorded the day before.

Prince Charles curates classical music playlist for Britons

Britain's Prince Charles gave radio listeners a glimpse of his taste in music, broadcasting a playlist of classical favorites as the country remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I have no doubt when we are finally allowed to enjoy concerts and theatrical performances once again, our brilliant orchestral players...will be ready to thrill us all," he said, adding that they will be "all the brighter because of their enforced silence and absence." 

The curated playlist, including both of Frédéric Chopin’s piano concertos and the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss also included a specially commissioned piece in memory of his grandmother, the queen's mother. Charles, 71, was among the high-profile British figures to contract coronavirus in March but made a swift recovery and remains in his Scottish home during the lockdown.

The Americas now the 'epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic,' WHO says

The Americas have emerged as the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said in a briefing.

"Our region has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic," Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas and head of the Pan American Health Organization, said via videoconference on Tuesday. Also of concern to WHO officials are accelerating outbreaks in Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

The Americas have registered more than 2.4 million cases of the new coronavirus and more than 143,000 deaths from the resulting COVID-19 respiratory disease. Latin America has passed Europe and the United States in daily infections, she said.

Robot waiters, video doctors: SKorea moves to less personal contact

SEOUL, South Korea — When you approach the sleek silver counter of Lounge X, a cafe in one of southern Seoul's corporate hubs, a masked and aproned barista takes your order. Motioning toward the chip reader, he completes the order and walks over to pick out a glass cup. He presses a few buttons, then hands it off to Baris, the robot barista.

The robotics cafe, founded almost a year ago, finds itself in the middle of South Korea's "untact" paradigm, the word being a portmanteau of the negative prefix "un" and "contact" that alludes to what a contactless society in the post-coronavirus era will look like.

Schools are back in session and hordes of masked commuters squeeze into cars. Daily life has resumed — but with the tacit acknowledgment that human interaction may never be the same.

Read the full story here.

New Zealand discharges its last coronavirus patient from hospital

New Zealand has reached another milestone in its fight against coronavirus, discharging its final hospitalized patient on Wednesday. 

"Currently there is nobody in hospital with COVID-19, following the discharge of one person," Ashley Bloomfield, the country's director general of health, told reporters.

New Zealand has been praised for its handling of the virus where only 21 people have died so far and much of the country has slowly begun to re-open. The country credits its success with enforcing a strict and early one-month lockdown.