House holds moment of silence for COVID-19 victims

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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

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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:

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

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

FEMA faces concerns over ability to respond to disasters during COVID-19 pandemic

Democratic House members raised concerns about FEMA's ability to respond to multiple disasters during the coronavirus pandemic and asked for a briefing on the agency's preparation efforts.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and the other Democratic members of the committee sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins on monday, June 1, has already seen two named storms this month.

“Given these projections, we are concerned about FEMA’s capacity to manage natural disaster preparedness and response efforts during the ongoing pandemic,” the committee members said. 

“FEMA needs to take a proactive role in procuring the staffing and resources necessary to respond, keeping in mind that conventional disaster response strategies, such as communal shelters and volunteer recovery and supply distribution efforts, could pose increased health and safety risks during the pandemic.”

Georgia man charged in attempted $317 million N-95 mask fraud

The federal government has charged Paul Penn, a Georgia man, with trying to sell 50 million nonexistent N-95 masks to a foreign government at a price 500 percent higher than the masks' normal market value.

Penn and his associates, through his company Spectrum Global Holdings, LLC, acted as a middle man to negotiate a cut of the $317 million sale price. But the group did not actually possess the masks, according to prosecutors.

The unnamed foreign government agreed to the price and wired funds to complete the purchase. The money transfer was disrupted by the U.S. Secret Service "just before the transaction could be competed," according to the Justice Department.

“Using a worldwide pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of those searching for badly needed personal protective equipment is reprehensible,” said Bobby Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event due to coronavirus

The Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic after Mayor Marty Walsh announced that hosting a traditional race would not be feasible. 

Runners who are participating will have to complete the 26.2 mile distance within 6 hours and provide proof of their timing, the Boston Athletic Association announced.  

Everyone who finishes the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, a T-shirt for participating, a medal and a runner's bib. 

"While our goal and our hope was to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year," Walsh said during a news briefing.

Coronavirus relief payments are taking a new form — here's what to look for

Still waiting for your coronavirus relief check? It may be coming to you in an unusual form.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a reminder on May 27 that nearly 4 million people are being sent their stimulus checks, also known as economic impact payments, in the form of prepaid debit cards.

According to the IRS statement, the debit cards will arrive in a plain envelope from "Money Network Cardholder Services." Cards will be preloaded with your payment and feature the same protections against loss, theft and fraud as a traditional bank account would.

Read the full story here.

Chicago to begin reopening next week, mayor says

Chicago will begin reopening on Wednesday, June 3, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Twitter. 

Child care centers, libraries, hotels, hair salons and barber shops, dentist offices and other health care centers and non-essential retail businesses will be among those allowed to open as long as safety guidelines are followed. 

People will be able to visit restaurants and coffee shops but for outdoor dining only and gyms will reopen with restrictions.

Lightfoot said she wants to reopen the city "in a way that protects the health & safety of our residents." The full list of businesses that will reopen can be viewed here

Pattern of uneven social distancing enforcement coming into view, civil rights experts say

What’s happening with social distancing enforcement mirrors broader patterns in policing, who is most agressively monitored, handled when coming in contact with police and then penalized, according to multiple police accountability, civil rights and civil liberties advocates.

Data provided to NBC News by the New York Police Department show that from mid-March to mid-May, about 81 percent of all citations for social distancing violations were issued to black or Latino individuals, although only about half the city’s population are black or Latino.

But in the spaces in New York and other cities around the country where mostly white people gather, they appear free to sunbathe and picnic, with the occasional police offer of a mask, or even crowd together in small pools. And Americans have watched overwhelmingly white anti-social distancing protesters shovescream and arm themselves at rallies in state capitals. There, they’ve faced-off with police who were not wearing riot gear, and yelled about alleged tyranny.

“We’ve just started seeing more and more incidents happen,” said Lynda Garcia, director of the policing campaign at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “We recognize this is unprecedented. We don’t necessarily have the answers, and law enforcement doesn’t have the answers. But we do think we need to put our heads together to reduce the disparities we’ve already seen in the arrests and stops because this is not a public health response to this epidemic. Arresting someone and putting them in jail is the opposite of social distancing.”

Read the full story here.

Maine shifts to virtual emergency operations center after 7 workers exhibit COVID-19 symptoms

Maine's emergency operations center moved to virtual operations after seven employees at the Augusta facility exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced on Thursday.

The employees, who began exhibiting symptoms overnight, are being tested for COVID-19 and did not go to work Thursday.

Maine CDC is testing, contact tracing and closely monitoring the employees who experienced COVID-19 symptoms. In the meantime, Maine CDC planned to conduct its daily media briefing over Zoom.

House holds moment of silence to honor the 100,000 dead from coronavirus

The House on Thursday afternoon held a moment of silence to honor the 100,000 Americans 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."

Boris Johnson announces plan to further relax England's coronavirus restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Thursday a plan to further relax England’s coronavirus restrictions, allowing some outdoor vendors to reopen and increasing the number of people those in England can meet in parks or private gardens.

Starting Monday, groups of up to six people can meet in outdoors provided those from different households continue to stick to social distancing rules by staying two meters (about six feet) apart.

Next week, outdoor retail and car show rooms will also be able to open and the government intends to open other non-essential retail on June 15, Johnson said.

The prime minister had already announced that some children will be able to return to school starting June 1. High schools will begin to provide “some face-to-face contact time” for some students on June 15, he said. 

Coronavirus through kids' eyes

If the coronavirus pandemic seems confusing to adults — and it is, even at the highest levels of government — imagine how it might seem to 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.

Interviews with dozens of parents and children across the country show the extent of the strain and difficulty for children. Some worry about the potential for lasting trauma. But they also point to promising signs of resilience. Sibling relationships strengthened. New traditions embraced. Family bonds, cemented.

“There will definitely be change, and we’re all kind of holding our breath to see what it is,” says Dr. Tovah Klein, author of “How Toddlers Thrive.” “It’s clearly going to be part of their narrative and their life story and where they started out, but the question of whether it becomes part of the story and springboards them in strong ways or hurts them, that hasn’t been written yet.”

Read the full story here.

Wisconsin reports record number of new coronavirus cases, deaths

Wisconsin saw a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in a single day on Wednesday, two weeks after the state’s Supreme Court struck down its statewide stay-at-home order.

The state reported 599 new known COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with 22 known deaths, according to Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, the highest recorded daily rise since the pandemic began there. As of Wednesday, the state had more than 16,460 known cases and 539 known deaths, according to the department.

The previous record in new coronavirus cases was 528 the week prior.

Wisconsin also issued a record number of test results Wednesday, with more than 10,300 tests conducted, according to the department.

Read the full story here.