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.
- 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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Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine, AP-NORC poll finds
Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That’s surprisingly low considering the effort going into the global race for a vaccine against the coronavirus that has sparked a pandemic since first emerging from China late last year. But more people might eventually roll up their sleeves: The poll, released Wednesday, found 31 percent simply weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.
Federal remdesivir trial enters second phase. Here's what's next.
A large federal trial of remdesivir has entered its next phase, in which researchers will test the effects of combining the antiviral drug with a pill to bring down inflammation.
The pill, called baricitinib, was approved in 2018 to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Remdesivir, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, is the only treatment that's been shown in a clinical trial to have an effect on COVID-19 so far. Preliminary results from that trial, which included sites worldwide, published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the drug reduced patients' length of hospital stay by about four days, from 15 days, on average, to 11 days. More than 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 received either remdesivir or a placebo.
Boeing to lay off almost 7,000 workers this week
Boeing announced plans to lay off 6,770 workers this week, as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer the aircraft manufacturer.
"We have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs. We’re notifying the first 6,770 of our U.S. team members this week that they will be affected," Boeing CEO David Calhoun wrote Wednesday in a letter to employees he called an "update on workforce actions."
Citing the "whipsawing" of the global pandemic, Calhoun said "it will take some years" for the airline industry to "return to what it was just two months ago."
Air travel has seen a 95 percent decline in traffic since the coronavirus hit, with major airlines canceling flights, pulling out of airports, and laying off large swaths of their staff.
In March, Chicago-based Boeing saw a near-record number of order cancellations for its passenger jets, and zero new orders in April, exacerbating the company's financial woes. The troubled 737 Max aircraft has been grounded worldwide since last March, following two fatal crashes.
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
"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.