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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History in the making as House is poised for proxy voting
It’s a day that's shaping up as one for the history books: For the first time, House lawmakers intend to vote by proxy, a move to avoid the risk of travel to Washington during the pandemic.
To mark Wednesday's history-making moment, House Republicans sued to stop the majority party from going ahead.
The House, with 432 current members and three vacancies, is trying to strike a balance between working from home during the coronavirus outbreak and honoring the Constitution’s requirement to be “present” and voting.
The House rules change is fast becoming a political test on party lines. Dozens of Democrats signed up to have colleagues cast their vote by proxy. Twenty Republicans joined in the leaders’ lawsuit against that move, which House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California says is unconstitutional.
How do you get Americans to wear masks on vacation? Gentle persuasion.
Where’s your face mask?
That is the question that everybody from security workers guarding major venues like Walt Disney World to the proprietors of shops in tourist towns are already asking visitors as they descend on vacation venues that had been shuttered by the coronavirus.
And it’s a question that some quarantine-weary vacationers are already rebelling against.
“It’s been a big shock to the system ‘cause we have found that a sizeable number of folks coming and visiting aren’t taking the mask wearing as seriously as folks here locally are,” Ben Sproul, mayor of the scenic Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, told MSNBC recently. “We’re in the vacation business here, so we hope that we can communicate that we really want everybody to come and have fun but also be as safe as possible.”
These simple financial tweaks can help you survive — and even thrive — during the pandemic
We are all getting back to the basics.
While it might feel good to bake bread, the best way to get through the coronavirus pandemic could be to stock your emergency fund and learn to “do-it-yourself” with household chores so you can save on expenses.
One bright spot: You might have more time on your hands.
Think optimistically. You can learn to DIY, sock away cash and set a disaster budget for tough times.
If you’ve been putting off thinking about money, now’s the time to dedicate those extra hours in the week — no more commuting, no more rushed work mornings — to shoring up your finances.
Iconic Berlin theater looks very different with seats removed for social distancing
When the famous Berliner Ensemble theater company in Berlin reopens in September, the auditorium will look much different than before the coronavirus pandemic. In order to follow social distancing rules, the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, the historic building where the theater company performs, will have only 200 of its usual 700 seats.
Berliner Ensemble artistic director Oliver Reese called the temporary seating arrangement a “creative solution” to allow theatergoers to access their seats while also keeping a safe distance from others. “It is not only our primary mission and obligation as a public theatre but also our heartfelt wish to get back on stage,” wrote Reese in an email. “We are all longing for normality. But I am absolutely sure that our ensemble will perform with at least the same energy for 200 than for 700 people.”
The theater has suffered a massive financial hardship as a result of canceling tours and shows, and this new seating plan allows them to resume performances as well as renovate the theater’s seats. The theater was built in 1892 and has housed Bertolt Brecht’s famous theater company since 1954.
“I am positive that this will allow actors and audience to connect in a different way with the perspective of creating a new intimacy between the auditorium and the stage,” wrote Reese.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases may be more common than suspected
New estimates of the number of asymptomatic people with the coronavirus suggest that "silent" COVID-19 is much more prevalent than once thought — but these individuals may not spread the virus for as long as symptomatic patients do, a study from China suggests.
The report, based on 78 people in Wuhan, China, was published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network Open. All of the patients were confirmed to have COVID-19; a little more than half of the patients (58 percent) had symptoms, while 42 percent did not.
Louisiana cop fired for saying 'unfortunate' more black people didn't die of coronavirus
A Louisiana police officer was fired over a Facebook comment that said it was "unfortunate" more black people did not die of the coronavirus.
The chief of police in Kaplan, about 87 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, said Officer Steven Aucoin commented under a local news station's live feed of the governor's coronavirus news conference on May 15. Aucoin was fired later that day.
CBS affiliate KLFY in Lafayette, Louisiana, reported that Aucoin's post was made on its Facebook page in response to another commenter who wrote,"virus that was created to kill all the BLACKS is death."
"Well it didn't work," Aucoin wrote, "how unfortunate," according to screenshots shown by KLFY.
Animated map: See the U.S. coronavirus death toll hit 100,000 across the U.S.
From the first reported COVID-19 fatality March 1 to the 100,000th death, every U.S. state and territory, except American Samoa, has lost a resident to the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the day-by-day rise in reported deaths in this animated map:
Disney announces plans to reopen in mid-July
The Walt Disney Company announced plans Wednesday to begin a phased reopening of some of its Orlando, Florida, parks later this summer.
The plans have been approved by the Orange County Recovery Taskforce and endorsed by the mayor of Orange County, but still need to be approved by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are planning to open July 11. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are set to open July 15. That's more than one month after other Orlando-based parks such as SeaWorld, which is planning to open for staff on June 10 and June 11 for the public.
The parks will have "substantially lower numbers of guests" when they first open, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC in an interview Wednesday morning. While he did not give a specific number for capacity, he said "the number of people we put in the park" will be a "function of the six-foot social distancing guidance that we have from the CDC."
There will be temperature checks for guests and employees, and masks will be required throughout the park for everyone over the age of three.
Some Disney attractions that draw large group gatherings, such as parades and nighttime events, won't return when the parks first reopen. High-touch experiences such as playgrounds and character meet-and-greets will also be temporarily unavailable.
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.