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House holds moment of silence for COVID-19 victims

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
A woman walks by a memorial for those who have died from the coronavirus outside Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The House on Thursday afternoon held a moment of silence to honor those who have died during the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for the moment around 1:15 p.m. "in remembrance of the over 100,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus."

COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam combined.

While the pandemic is confusing to adults, it's especially so for children who have suddenly lost their school, their connections with friends and grandparents, and even their ability to play freely outside. To them, coronavirus is like an unseen monster under the bed. What no one knows yet is just how sharp its fangs are.

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

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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading May 29 coronavirus news here.

Researchers in Denmark develop robot that can test for COVID-19

Robotics researchers in Denmark have developed a machine that can test patients for COVID-19, which they say could help limit the need for health care workers to come into contact with people carrying the virus. 

The robot, which was designed by the Industry 4.0 Lab at the University of Southern Denmark, is able to swab a patient's throat using a disposable tool, place the swab into a glass bottle and screw on the lid, according to a press released published on the university's website on Wednesday. 

Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu demonstrates his team's automatic throat swab robot.Industry 4.0 Lab, University of Southern Denmark

"I was surprised at how softly the robot managed to land the swab at the spot in the throat where it was supposed to hit, so it was a huge success," said Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, who runs the Industry 4.0 Lab. 

The lab says it is working with Danish startup Lifeline Robotics to manufacture a prototype that can begin testing patients by the end of June, with the end goal of selling the machines by fall.

Photo: Romanian port city marks Easter late due to coronavirus

Orthodox worshipers, a few wearing masks for protection against COVID-19, attend an Easter service at an open archaeological site outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Wednesday, May 27, 2020.Vadim Ghirda / AP

NYC hopes to get up to 400,000 people back to work in early June

New York City, a focal point for America's coronavirus pandemic, hopes to reopen a wide swath of businesses and get 200,000 to 400,000 people back to work in early June, officials said Thursday.

The Phase 1 of reopening businesses would include construction, manufacturing, wholesale and nonessential retail in the first two weeks of next month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Work sites would need to keep employees 6 feet apart, be at no more than 50 percent capacity, offer personal protective equipment and keep confined space to one person, such as in an elevator or behind a cash register. Retail locations would be limited to pickup only.

“We’ve come a long way, we're not going to blow it now," said de Blasio, who declined to set an exact date for the partial reopening.  “We don’t get a memo from the disease telling us when it plans on a resurgence.” 

Trump eager for July Fourth celebration in D.C. despite coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump is again eager for the nation's capital to host a Fourth of July celebration, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“As President Trump has said, there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

Americans have “shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year,” Deere said.

The president last commented on the event on April 22, saying, “on July 4, we'll be doing what we had at the Mall, as you know. We're going to be doing it. Last year was a tremendous success, and I would imagine we'll do it — hopefully, I can use the term 'forever.'”

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Anxiety and depression rates up in Americans during pandemic

More Americans are reporting signs of clinical anxiety or depression during the coronavirus pandemic than they were at the same time last year, according to data from both the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most recent results from the Census Bureau's weekly Household Pulse survey, which asks adults about mental health symptoms they were experiencing over the past week, showed that more than 28 percent reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder, and 24 percent reported symptoms of depression. 

That's up significantly compared with last year: Thursday, the CDC released preliminary data from another survey, the National Health Interview Survey, which found that this time last year, 8 percent of adults reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder, and 6.5 percent reported symptoms of depression.

Trump says the U.S. reaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths is 'a very sad milestone'

President Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday that the U.S. death toll in the coronavirus pandemic had reached 100,000, calling it "a very sad milestone." 

"To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!" Trump tweeted. 

The U.S. has become the first country to top 100,000 reported coronavirus deaths. The U.S. leads the world in both deaths and confirmed cases, with nearly 1.7 million infections. 

Boris Johnson's top adviser may have broken lockdown rules, police say

British police said Thursday that a top political adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have broken lockdown rules, when he drove 30 miles to a nearby town.

Johnson has faced mounting public pressure to fire Dominic Cummings, who drove from London to Durham, in the north of England, at the height of the lockdown despite his wife suffering coronavirus symptoms.

Durham police force said in a statement that the 260-mile cross-country trip did not break the law.

However, a second trip he made while he was there — to the nearby historical Barnard Castle — "might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention," police said. 

Cummings said he made that trip to test his eyesight before attempting a longer drive back to London. 

The police force said it will take no further action.

U.K. royal gives reading of Roald Dahl book for virus relief

The Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of Prince Charles, joined a star-studded cast in performing the beloved Roald Dahl children's classic "James and the Giant Peach" on Wednesday to raise money for organizations fighting the coronavirus.

Camilla — playing a ship's captain who spots a giant flying peach — reads in the video: "Holy cats! Send a message to the Queen at once! The country must be warned!"

She is accompanied by the actors Lupita Nyong'o and Josh Gad. Celebrities from previous weeks of the book’s reading include Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett.

Camilla is not the first British royal to be involved in coronavirus campaigns. Last week, Prince William and Kate joined seniors confined by lockdown restrictions in a game of virtual bingo. 

Google launches awareness campaign around coronavirus scams

Google has helped launch a public awareness campaign to keep people from falling for online scams that capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign, Scam Spotter, aims to spread the basics of online awareness, like how to recognize a phony IRS call, or to be wary of a stranger insisting on being quickly paid in gift cards.

The COVID-19 scare has inspired an enormous boom in cybercrime. It's particularly hit older Americans: those 50 and older have reported a combined nearly $10 million in money lost to coronavirus-themed fraud, according to FTC complaints.


Weekly initial jobless claims in U.S. hit 2.1 million

More than 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, the 10th straight week that jobless claims have been in the millions as the coronavirus continues to cripple the economy.

The total number of people who have sought unemployment assistance now stands at more than 40 million since the crisis began in mid-March.

Continuing claims, or the number of people who have filed for ongoing benefits, is now at 21 million, according to weekly data released Thursday by the Department of Labor.

Read the full story here. 

The U.S. Department of Labor Building in Washington, DC.Alex Edelman / AFP - Getty Images file