Fears continue to grow over the growth of COVID-19 in Latin America, with the number of confirmed cases in Brazil passing that of Italy to make it the second worst-affected country, after the United States.
Brazil recorded 1,349 deaths in a single day Thursday — only the U.S. and the U.K. have declared more COVID-19 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of minimizing the effects of the crisis.
Elsewhere, more shops, businesses and places or worship are opening up. The Las Vegas strip was abuzz this week with tourists and revelers after some casinos reopened. Across the Muslim world, from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Friday prayers are starting again after weeks of mosques being off-limits.
Meanwhile authorities across the world are struggling to ensure that people attending protests sparked by the death of George Floyd practice social distancing.
More than 1.84 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with more than 107,000 deaths.
- 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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Obama holds town hall on racial injustice with Rep. John Lewis
Black unemployment rises
Before George Floyd was killed in police custody and protests wracked the country, he had been laid off from his security job at a Minneapolis restaurant. He was just one of the millions of workers of color most likely to lose their job in the pandemic, recent labor market data shows.
As the nationwide shutdowns gradually lift and economic activity returns, the latest employment figures show that while the virus is colorblind, its effects are anything but indiscriminate.
Black unemployment rose to 16.8 percent in the monthly employment snapshot released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that number is slightly up from 16.7 last month, white unemployment came in at 12.4 percent, down from 14.9 percent.
Protesters should get tested and timing is key
“The question that's been posed to me is do mass protests have the risk of spreading covid-19? The answer is: yes,” Dr. Jay Varkey, an infectious disease physician at Emory said.
Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield also advised demonstrators to “highly consider” a coronavirus test. That doesn’t mean go to a testing site a day after protesting.
“The virus enters your body immediately. But it does take some time for enough of the virus to build up in your system for a diagnostic test to detect it,” NBC medical correspondent Dr. John Torres said.
“In three, five, seven days, go get tested,” Redfield said.
Getting a test too early could result in a false negative. So waiting between 3-7 days will give a more accurate read.
Donald Trump touts racial equality while referring to COVID-19 as 'China plague'
President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “China plague” on Friday during a news conference in which he boasted about the U.S. economy.
Speaking at the White House, Trump addressed the May jobs report that was released this week, claiming that a strong economy is the “greatest thing that can happen for race relations.”
“When we had our tremendous numbers … just prior to the China plague that floated in, we had numbers, the best in history, for African American, for Hispanic American, for Asian American, and for everybody,” he said.
The re-emergence of the phrase elicited criticism across social media, from many who pointed out that terms like the “China plague” or the “China virus” -- which experts have warned could put Asian Americans in harm’s way -- run counter to ideas of racial equality, particularly as protests continue across the nation over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
Dow closes up 829 points after blowout jobs report
The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued its five-day rally on Friday, after the monthly jobs report revealed 2.5 million positions were added to the economy last month, the largest monthly gain on record. Economists had predicted 8 million jobs would be lost.
Confidence in a faster economic recovery boosted all three major averages, with the Dow closing up by 829 points at the closing bell, or just over 3 percent. The S&P closed up by 2.6 percent and the Nasdaq gained 2 percent, reaching a record high.
Companies that would benefit from a return to travel and tourism saw some of the strongest gains, with American Airlines up by 8 percent and MGM Resorts up 2.4 percent. Boeing provided the biggest boost for the blue-chip Dow, gaining more than 11 percent.
President Donald Trump described the jobs report as "amazing," "incredible," and "really big."
"This shows that what we've been doing is right," he said in a news briefing from the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning.
Ohio golf club plans to host PGA Tour event -- with fans in attendance
A PGA Tour event, the Memorial Tournament, is slated to be held next month in Ohio with fans in attendance, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.
The golf tournament is scheduled for July 16 to 19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin.
Further details on social distancing measures were expected in the coming days and weeks. Tournament organizers, in a statement, called the decision "an example of how public gathering events can be developed and implemented with approved and accepted protocols in place."
Ohio also plans to reopen casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks on June 19, DeWine said.
WHO changes COVID-19 mask guidance: Wear one if you can't keep your distance
The World Health Organization is broadening its recommendations for the use of masks during the coronavirus pandemic and said Friday it is now advising that in areas where the virus is spreading, people should wear fabric masks when social distancing is not possible, such as on public transportation and in shops.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said people over age 60 or with underlying medical conditions also should wear masks in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. WHO previously had recommended that only health care workers, people with COVID-19 and their caregivers wear medical masks, noting a global shortage of supplies.
Black Americans talk of pain, uncertainty with soaring jobless rates due to COVID-19
Victor Patterson, a human resources executive who moved from Chicago to Atlanta, thought his six-month job search had ended, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“I was positioned to receive a job offer in late February/early March,” he said. “As the virus anchored itself in America, the position was postponed or put on hold with projected ‘new’ dates when an offer and hire date would occur. At this point, it has not materialized.”
Patterson, 51, is not alone. More than 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, according to government figures, and African Americans are disproportionately affected by the sudden economic collapse.
According to statistics from the Department of Labor on Friday, the jobless rate dropped to 13.3 percent and 2.5 million jobs were added in May. But the unemployment rate for African Americans rose to a staggering 16.8 percent; Hispanic women 19.5 percent. The jobless rate for whites dropped from 14.2 percent to 12.4 percent. That’s not comforting news for many African Americans.
CDC report on COVID-19 cleaning practices finds some gargling with bleach. That's very dangerous.
People are engaging in extremely dangerous behaviors — including gargling with bleach — in an effort to prevent COVID-19, according to a report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Such acts are not only harmful, they also do nothing to prevent infections and should never be done.
Surgeon General: You don't have to choose between being heard and being safe
Protesters against the killing of George Floyd may feel they're caught between the two pandemics of COVID-19 and racism. While it'll be at least another week or two before cities and states see an uptick in new cases related to protests, many public health experts seem certain there will be a rise in transmissions — they just don't know how much. They also say there's a way to lessen the risks of being in close proximity to other protesters and police.
In a series of tweets Friday, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams advised participants that they "don’t have to choose between being heard and being safe."
"If going out in public for any reason — especially to protest in large groups — wear a face covering. Pay attention to hand hygiene (carry hand sanitizer & avoid touching your face), and practice social distancing as much as possible," Adams wrote.
Florida announces more than 1,300 new coronavirus cases
Florida's health department announced 1,305 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the statewide total to 61,488.
The state also announced 53 additional deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak; some 2,660 people have died across Florida.
Wisconsin's World Dairy Expo canceled due to COVID-19
The World Dairy Expo, a Wisconsin tradition that drew more than 60,000 attendees in 2019, was canceled for the first time in its 53-year history due to COVID-19 concerns.
This year’s expo was scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
By that point, members of the expo’s Executive Committee expect Dane County to be in the third phase of the state’s reopening plan, which sets a 250-person limit for outdoor events.
“Our collective heart is heavy as we share with you that World Dairy Expo 2020 has been cancelled,” Scott Bentley, WDE General Manager, said in a statement. “We know how much this hurts; we feel it, too. Please know other options were explored and considered by the World Dairy Expo Executive Committee and staff.”
CBP seizes 'unapproved' COVID-19 products, including hydroxychloroquine
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Friday that it "continues to ... seize a large number of counterfeit, unapproved or otherwise substandard COVID-19 products" and "unproven medicines," including chloroquine.
A CBP official said chloroquine is an umbrella term for drugs that include hydroxychloroquine, and that the agency's drug seizures included hydroxychloroquine. President Trump has taken the drug and touted it as a treatment for COVID-19.
Among the items CBP said it had seized as of June 1 were 107,300 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits in 301 incidents; 750,000 counterfeit face masks in 86 incidents; 2,500 EPA-prohibited anti-virus lanyards in 89 incidents; and 11,000 FDA-prohibited chloroquine tablets in 91 incidents.
In a press release, CBP said, "Criminal organizations are attempting to exploit the limited supply of and increased demand for some pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment and other medical goods required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other products, these criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products through the online marketplace."
Michigan governor signs executive orders reopening additional parts of the state
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put her signature on executive orders Friday to reopen more regions of the state, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The executive orders state that much of northern Michigan and all of the state's Upper Peninsula can reopen salons, movie theaters and gyms starting on Wednesday. The businesses in question will still be "subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19," the governor's office said.
The orders further state that businesses that provide personal services — including hair and nail salons, and massage parlors — can reopen on June 15.
“Today marks another milestone in the safe reopening of Michigan’s economy,” Whitmer said in the release. “As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections.
"The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we'll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part," Whitmer added.
Global coronavirus case numbers are spiking
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting new heights around the world.
Driven by surging case counts in Brazil and India, and a steady number of new cases in the United States and Russia, the number of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases globally has crossed the 100,000 mark all but once this week.
More than 6.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide.
According to worldwide coronavirus case numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center and NBC News' collection of U.S. case counts, new infections have totaled more than 100,000 14 times during the pandemic. Twelve of those 14 have occurred in the last two weeks.