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U.S. COVID-19 death toll inches closer to 100,000 as country pauses for Memorial Day

The White House announced restrictions on travel from Brazil as outbreak spikes there.
A woman wears a mask to protect against coronavirus as she walks through a field of flags in honor of Memorial Day on Saturday in the Seaport District in Boston.Michael Dwyer / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The White House on Sunday imposed new travel restrictions on Brazil while the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. crept toward 100,000 on a day meant to honor men and women killed in military service.

Here's what we're watching on this muted Memorial Day.

Brazil travel ban, muted Memorial Day

The White House announced a travel ban with Brazil on Sunday that will bar anyone from entering the United States who has been in that country during the prior two weeks.

Brazil now ranks second in the world for the most reported cases after the United States, according to an NBC News tally.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has publicly clashed with the country's health ministers over social distancing and quarantining and has praised anti-lockdown protesters.

Doctors in Brazil have warned that there is so little testing that the rate of infection could be 15 times higher than the official estimate.

NBC News' Chief Global Correspondent Bill Neely reports on how coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire through Rio de Janeiro's notoriously cramped slums.

The number of U.S. coronavirus deaths inched closer to 100,000 over Memorial Day weekend, with the toll now standing at more than 98,500, according to NBC News' count.

Here are some other developments from the weekend:

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'I'm looking for the truth': States face criticism for COVID-19 data cover-ups

As states ramp up their reopenings, some are coming under criticism for making public misleading statistics or concealing information related to the coronavirus outbreak.

While the U.S. has reported more cases and deaths than any other country, the method for counting COVID-19 deaths varies by state.

Government officials in a number of states are facing questions about how open and honest they are about how the virus is impacting their state.

A last resort to save tourist season: 'Travel bubbles' emerge as solution to Europe's summer woes

Never heard of "travel bubbles" or "air bridges"? Read on because what you learn just might save your summer vacation now that we are in the coronavirus era.

With little clarity on when the pandemic might end, many Europeans have already given up on the idea of a summer getaway.

But some countries, desperate to salvage this year’s travel season — and eager to jump-start their economies — are slowly reopening their borders and offering a glimpse of what travel might look like now.

Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-al-Fitr amid curfews, coronavirus restrictions

Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a normally festive holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks.

The three-day holiday is usually a time of travel, family get-togethers and lavish daytime feasts after weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting.

But this year many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims will have to pray at home and make due with video calls.

A man wearing a protective face mask prays in a space to enforce social distancing ahead of the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in Durres, Albania, on Sunday.Gent Shkullaku / AFP - Getty Images

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THINK about it

Trump's COVID-19 lies echo Soviet leaders. It's time for an American "perestroika," Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at The New School, writes in an opinion piece.


Eight chefs share their favorite burger recipes for Memorial Day.


As more and more brands enter the face masks and face coverings space — from Disney to Old Navy — here’s what you should know about buying the right one.

One fun thing

Talk about grace under pressure.

"Just having a bit of an earthquake here, right."

That's all New Zealand's unflappable Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had to say as an earthquake happened during a live TV interview.

"Quite a decent shake, here. But if you see things moving behind me, the Beehive moves a little more than most," she said with a wink and a smile, referring to the parliament building she was standing in.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

I hope you get the chance to observe Memorial Day today in a safe and healthy way.

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Thanks for reading, Petra Cahill