Trump on state closures: "People are dying that way, too"
From CNN's Nikki Carvajal
President Trump claimed that Americans are "dying" from social distancing measures while defending allegations he made that Democrats are keeping the states closed for political reasons to hurt his reelection chances. “People want to go back. The numbers are getting to a point where they can and there just seems to be no effort on certain blue states to get back into gear,” Trump said. “People aren’t going to stand for it. They want to get back. They're not going to stand for it. They want our country to open. I want our country to open. I want it open safely.” He said people are also dying from drug addiction and suicides because of social distancing measures, with no evidence to back up the assertion. At least 80,087 people have died in the US from coronavirus. Last month, a Washington Post analysis found coronavirus to be one of the leading causes of death among Americans. “Don't forget, people are dying the other route,” Trump continued. “You can go with the enclosed route. Everything closed up, you're in your house not allowed to move. People are dying with that too. You look at drug addiction. You look at suicides. Look at some of the things that are taking place.”
Trump on positive tests in the White House: "I think it's really well contained"
From CNN's Nikki Carvajal
President Trump defended the White House response to diagnosed cases of coronavirus among staffers, continuing to insist it’s safe for businesses to reopen even as the administration struggles to keep its own employees healthy. During a news conference Monday, Trump was asked how the system broke down to allow staffers to expose others within the White House to the virus. “It can happen,” he said. “It’s the hidden enemy, remember that. It’s the hidden enemy, so remember that.” Trump added that “the one that tested positive,” the vice president’s press secretary Katie Miller, “will be fine.”
On reopening businesses: Asked how businesses should feel comfortable reopening when even the White House is seeing positive cases of the virus, Trump said the White House has seen low numbers of positive cases.
“We have a lot of people in the White House, and we had one,” he said. “Basically we had one." Miller was the second White House employee diagnosed with Covid-19 last week, after CNN first reported that one of the President’s personal valets also tested positive. The President did not seem to acknowledge that employee’s diagnosis in any way. “We have a lot of people that work here. This building is shocking if you look at the numbers. It's also tremendous numbers of people coming in. Normally you wouldn't do that, but because we are running a country we want to keep our country running. We have a lot of people coming in and out,” he said. Trump said everybody coming into his office is tested. “I felt no vulnerability,” he said. The President later added that he thinks the White House is “really doing a very good job in watching it, and I think it’s very well contained.”
Michigan governor says more than 12,000 prisoners have been tested for Covid-19
From CNN's Julie Gallagher
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said 12,208 people in Michigan prisons have been tested for Covid-19 She said 2,152 people were positive for the virus and 6,162 were negative. Results for 3,894 tests are still pending.
“Michigan has tested more prisoners than any state in the country,” Whitmer said. The state is also offering parole at what the government expects to be a record pace. “Last week the parole board paroled 225 people. This week they have 273 projected paroles. Next week, they project 253, and the week of May 25, the project 303. That will likely be the highest number of paroles in one week,” Whitmer said.
Trump suggests testing for American workers will be accessible "very soon," but offers no details
From CNN's Maegan Vazquez
President Trump was asked today when Americans returning to work will be able to get coronavirus tests every day, in the same way as they are conducted at the White House. “Very soon,” Trump replied, but offered no details, adding, “We are tested. We have great capability. You have all of these machines here, they’re incredible.” “We do have a great testing capability at the White House. We’re doing it and, I think, generally speaking … (all the governors) were extremely happy,” he continued. When the reporter followed up to ask if Americans should be told to return to work before they have the assurance of testing access, Trump responded, “We’re leaving that up to the governors as you know. And if we see something wrong we’ll call them out and we’ll stop it,” he said.
US surpasses 80,000 coronavirus deaths
According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases, at least 80,087 people have died from coronavirus in the US. The first known US coronavirus-related fatality was Feb. 6, 95 days ago.
Trump: "I don't think the system broke down at all" after White House staffer tests positive
Asked about the White House official who tested positive for coronavirus and where the system broke down to allow that to happen, President Trump said, "I don't think the system broke down at all." "One person tested positive, surprisingly, because the previous day, tested negative. And three people that were in contact, relative contact, who I believe they've all tested totally negative, but they are going to for a period of time self-isolate. So that's not breaking down," Trump said.
What we know: A member of Vice President Mike Pence's staff tested positive for coronavirus. After that, three other administration officials announced they would self-isolate. "The one who tested positive will be fine, will be absolutely fine," Trump said. The administration has said that members of Trump's staff are able to get tested every day. Asked today when Americans across the country will be able to get tested every day, Trump said, "Very soon. Really very soon."
Trump administration official clarifies states will receive $11 billion for testing
From CNN's Elise Hammond
Dr. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary, clarified that the federal government will be giving states $11 billion to be used on coronavirus testing efforts. "As the President said, $11 billion are now being announced to be delivered to the states for the sole support of testing," Giroir said at a news briefing on Monday. President Trump said just a few minutes before Giroir took the podium that states were receiving $1 billion. Giroir said in order for states to receive the funding, there have to be plans in place that address testing in "vulnerable communities." "There needs to be minimum numbers to be planned to test. They have to have plans for their vulnerable communities, including nursing homes, including those who are disabled, including those who are in prisons or who have working environments that they may have a more likely to spread the infection," he said.
Trump lays out a plan to help states increase testing capacity
From CNN's Elise Hammond
President Trump announced several efforts by the federal government to help states increase testing capacity. "My administration located 5,000 machines in 700 labs across all 50 states and governors have learned how to maximize these testing resources. The federal government is also supporting states with vital supplies, quick approvals of new tests, and one-on-one coaching from the team here at the White House on how to increase capacity and increase it very quickly," he said on Monday. Trump said the administration will also provide approximately 9 million transport media to transfer swabs to labs as well as expand testing in "the most underserved communities." "Through our partnership with the private sector, leading pharmacies and retailers are now operating over 240 testing sites across the country — and that's in addition to all the other sites that we've working. Seventy percent of these sites are located in communities with unique vulnerabilities," the President said. "There will be more than 300 sites by the end of this week and retailers are making plans to open up hundreds and hundreds more locations within the next 30 days," he added.
White House announces funding to states for testing
President Trump announced today that he approved the $1 billion to fund testing for the country’s “states, territories, and tribes." Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir later clarified the amount that will be distributed to states, which he said is $11 billion. "I said from the beginning that the federal government would back up the states and help them build their testing capability and capacities and that's exactly what's happened,” he said. Trump called the funding a "major investment." This post has been updated with the latest $11 billion figure from Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir.
Illinois received shipment of remdesivir over the weekend
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, announced Monday that the state has received its first allocation of remdesivir, the first and only drug shown to be effective against the novel coronavirus in a rigorous trial — shortening a patient's hospital stay by about four days. The Department of Health and Human Services sent an initial shipment of remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, Ezike said. “Since it was going to be impossible for every hospital to get a case, we did establish a criteria, including hospitalization and intensive care unit data, and also trying to make sure that we had an equitable transparent data-driven way to allocate the medicine. It was distributed to hospitals that have seen the most critically ill Covid-19 patients. We also included safety-net hospitals and hospitals treating large communities of color to address the equity aspect,” Ezike said. The state expects to receive more remdesivir in the future, according to Ezike.
Hydroxychloroquine could cause heart problems, a new study shows
From CNN Elizabeth Cohen
A new study shows that hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by President Trump, does not work against Covid-19 and could cause heart problems. The study was the largest of its kind and was published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It follows a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine that also showed the drug doesn't fight the virus. Even before these reports were published, the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health issued warnings about using the drugs for coronavirus patients. In the most recent study, researchers at the University at Albany looked at 1,438 patients with coronavirus who were admitted to 25 New York City area hospitals. After statistical adjustments, the death rate for patients taking hydroxychloroquine was similar to those who did not take the drug. The death rate for those taking hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic azithromycin, was also similar. The patients who took the drug combination were more than twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest during the course of the study. Heart issues are a known side effect of hydroxychloroquine.
US stocks finish mixed
From CNN’s Anneken Tappe
US stocks closed mixed on Monday, with the Dow giving back some of last week’s gains. Investors worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections following a spike in South Korea, which limited gains in Monday’s trading.
Here's where the markets closed on Monday:
The Dow finished down 0.5%, or 109 points.
The S&P 500 ended flat.
The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8%.
Both the S&P and the Nasdaq had started the day in the red but turned higher.
California governor backs county on reopening of Tesla factory
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
California Gov. Gavin Newsom backs regional modifications to the statewide stay-at-home order, essentially backing Alameda County, which was one of seven jurisdictions that held back on reopening. Tesla recently filed a lawsuit to resume making cars. The Tesla factory in Fremont, California, which is in Alameda County, appeared to reopen this morning, following a weekend battle between Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and California Congresswoman Lorena Gonzalez. “Manufacturing broadly throughout the state of California is no longer restricted, with modifications,” Newsom said, adding that he spoke directly with Musk several days ago. Noting that many of the restrictions lifted in California on Friday included manufacturing, Newsom indicated that Tesla can resume operations next week when Alameda County lifts those same restrictions. “Over the weekend, as it relates to the health and safety of employees and that one particular facility, and the extent that they're moving forward, we will work with the county health officials but again it's county led enforcement," Newsom said. “In these cases, and to the extent their modifications are being violated, I imagine Alameda County Health Department would be the first to check-in with and we'll certainly be doing that as a follow-up,” he added.
Top Senate Democrat urges Fauci not to hold back at coronavirus hearing tomorrow
From CNN's Ali Zaslav
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, not to hold anything back and to “let it rip” ahead of tomorrow's Senate Health Committee oversight hearing on the administration’s coronavirus response. “This will be one of the first opportunities for Dr. Fauci to tell the American people the unvarnished truth without the President lurking over his shoulder,” Schumer said. “Dr. Fauci, let it rip.” He also said that until now, the country has mostly heard from the members of the coronavirus task force “through the distorted lens of the White House press conference with the President often prevents them from answering fully, interrupts their response, or even contradicts their fact-based advice.”
“The American people need to hear from experts, in a fair, open, and truthful setting," Schumer added. “This is the kind of hearing we need, not once a week, but several a day,” he said.
Matthew McConaughey: Coronavirus "doesn't give a damn who you voted for"
From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury
Actor Matthew McConaughey discussed his nonpartisan public service campaigns to unite the nation to defeat the coronavirus pandemic with CNN’s Brianna Keilar. McConaughey has launched a number of PSAs promoting social distancing measures and the use of face masks. He and his wife have also donated about 80,000 face masks to first responders, according to Keilar. His most recent PSA calls for the nation to unite in order to fight the virus. “Just recently, just started to notice a little bit of a partisan, political divide in the country and wanted to remind everyone with this latest PSA, ‘Hey it's about us, as in the USA.' We have to stay together, this is a human thing. Don't be divided. We don't need two wars. We have one, against the virus," he said. McConaughey added that the coronavirus doesn’t “give a damn who you voted for or who you’re going to vote for … we’re not going to going to let science catch up, we’re not going to beat this virus the way that we can, if we’re fighting each other.” McConaughey said he believes that both Democrats and Republicans can be more responsible “with how they’ve used this virus for their own partisan, political advantage.”
At least 30 New York City teachers have died from coronavirus
From CNN's Kara Scannell
As of Friday, at least 74 employees of the New York City Department of Education have died due to complications related to Covid-19, including 30 teachers, according to a spokesperson for the department. The Department of Education said 70 were school-based employees, including the 30 teachers, 28 paraprofessionals, and other food service staffers, administrators, facilities staff, school aides, and guidance counselors. The other four were central office employees. The NYC Department of Education specified that the count includes an additional three employees from numbers released last week. “In the course of continued outreach to families, we confirmed that one food service employee originally listed did not, according to their loved ones, pass away due to COVID-19 or related illnesses,” DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said in an email to reporters. “This individual has been removed from the total count. In this instance, a name was initially reported through other avenues and to be overly cautious and not undercount, we initially added this individual to our total count," the email added.
Note: These deaths are not confirmed by the Department of Health as related to Covid-19, because the DOH is no longer confirming individual cases due to community transmission, according to Barbot.
McConnell: "We have not yet felt the urgency" on a state and local funding bill
From CNN's Manu Raju
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Senate Republicans and the White House will be unified on how and when to move ahead on a phase four recovery package that could give funding to state and local governments. House Democrats plan to advance it as soon as this week. “We’re basically assessing what we've done already,” McConnell said. “I'm in constant communication with the White House. If we decide to go forward, we will go forward together."
“In the meantime, I don't think we have yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. That time could [come], but I don’t think it has yet," McConnell said. Some context: Governors across the country have been saying they desperately need federal assistance as they face huge budget deficits from fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier today, the states in the Western Pact — California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada — wrote a letter to Congress asking for $1 trillion in aid.
National Guard chief tests negative for coronavirus — 2 days after testing positive
From CNN's Ryan Browne
The Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, tested negative for the coronavirus Monday, two days after he tested positive for the virus immediately prior to a White House meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Trump. Lengyel “was tested for COVID-19 today at Walter Reed Military Medical Center and received a negative result. This was the second negative test result since he received a positive test result during a routine screening prior to attending a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting at the White House on May 9,” the National Guard said in a statement. CNN reported yesterday that Lengyel had tested positive at the White House, causing him to miss the meeting. The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday also missed the meeting and has self-quarantined due to his coming into contact with a family member who had tested positive for coronavirus.
West Virginia governor outlines state's reopening plans
From CNN's Taylor Romine
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said if states continue to stay closed, it will lead the country into a depression, and that could cause joblessness, starvation and could cause millions of deaths. There was "no choice in the matter" but to try and get back to work, Justice said at a news briefing Monday where he outlined more plans for how the state will reopen. He also discussed how Vice President Pence "nudged" states to get back to work during a call with the nation's governors today. When asked by a reporter about what Pence said about reopening the economy on the call, Justice said the vice president is encouraging states to start that process. "You know, there's a real movement to encourage, I'm not going to say push, but encourage more and more and more reopening," Justice said. "And in West Virginia, while it looks like that we're reopening things, you know we are going really slow. Really, really slow compared to a lot of others." Justice said that starting Friday, guided fishing tours could reopen under strict guidelines. On May 21, indoor dining at 50% capacity will be allowed, as well as large specialty retailers and some outdoor activities. Other no-contact outdoor sports facilities, like baseball and soccer fields, will start to reopen on June 8.
Western states ask the federal government for $1 trillion in relief
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
The states in the Western Pact are asking the federal government for $1 trillion in aid to help deal with the financial effects of the pandemic. A letter signed by all five states was sent to Congress today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in his daily coronavirus briefing on Monday. California alone is seeing record unemployment with 4.5 million people filing claims just since March 12. The state has paid out $13.1 billion in unemployment insurance claims in that time, Newsom said. The state’s unemployment rate currently stands at about 20%, but Newsom predicts it could rise to nearly 25%.
Pennsylvania reports its lowest number of new Covid-19 cases since March
From CNN’s Evan Simko-Bednarski
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine told reporters Monday that the state had seen 543 new cases in the past day, marking the lowest number of new cases reported on a single day since March 28. That makes the statewide total 57,154 confirmed positive cases across 67 counties. At least 3,790 of those have been health care workers, 11,801 among residents of long-term care facilities, Levine said. Pennsylvania also reported 24 new deaths on Monday, bringing the statewide total of confirmed deaths to 3,731, according to Levine. Levine cautioned that it’s still too early to tell whether this data is indicative of a downward trend. “We have noticed for weeks now, maybe months, that there tends to be decreased reporting on the weekend, especially if there's a holiday and yesterday was Mother's Day. So we're going to have to see as data comes in this week if that's one day's reporting or if that's a trend. So, we'll see,” Levine said.
New memo directs White House staffers entering the West Wing to wear a mask
From CNN's Kristen Holmes
A memo went out to White House staffers today saying it is now required for all staffers entering West Wing to wear a face covering, a source familiar tells CNN. It also said that face coverings would be available in the medical office. Additionally the memo told staffers to follow social distancing guidelines and placed restrictions on guests.
Some background: Trump administration officials spent the weekend scrambling as they attempted to do contact tracing for Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary who tested positive for coronavirus last week. Aides were also trying to determine who came into contact with the military valet who tested positive last week. It appeared the valet's contacts with other members of the West Wing staff were limited, but there remains some concern among other valets and staff.
At least 5 Covid-19 cases in Ohio started as early as January
From CNN’s Rebekah Riess
Antibody testing determined that the date of onset for five different cases of Covid-19 in Ohio had been as early as January, the state's Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said today. The cases were in five different counties. “I think we’ll see a lot more of this. I also think there are a lot of deaths and coroner reports yet to be seen, so I think as time goes on, we will learn more and more about history with this virus,” Acton said. She also announced that Ohio will begin sample testing across the state, with 1,200 samples to be taken on a voluntary basis. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio is now at a testing capacity of 14,275 tests per day, but that in a couple weeks, that number should be at 20,000 to 22,000 tests per day.
The latest numbers: The state today is reporting at least 696 additional cases of Covid-19 on Monday, for a total of at least 24,777 cases. There were also 16 new deaths in the state, bringing the total to at least 1,356. Dr. Acton said overall, the trends in numbers for the state are staying very plateaued.
Agitated customers lob verbal abuse at 17-year-old ice cream shop employee after store reopening
From CNN's Jason Kurtz
A teen girl was subjected to verbal abuse as a local ice cream shop struggled to follow social-distancing protocols while keeping up with unexpected demand. "I thought I had a pretty good plan, everything was going well, the people were ordering online at least an hour ahead," said Mark Lawrence, owner of "Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour" in Mashpee, Massachusetts. However the store ultimately became unable to provide the ice cream fast enough to meet the steady stream of customers. "People start to get very agitated. We were only doing curbside pick up, so you have to sit in your car in the parking lot. Some people would get out of their car... and it was like, 'No, get back in your car, or don't have ice cream.'" And that's when customers became unruly, Lawrence told CNN. "The wheels fell off the bus because we couldn't produce that much product to get out the door in a timely enough fashion," he said. "It was like you let caged animals out of their cage after being in it for seven to eight weeks and then they took it on the easiest prey, they took it all out on this poor 17-year-old girl," Lawrence added. The unpleasant experience ultimately led to the teen resigning 20 minutes after her shift. "F-bombs were flying like snowflakes... we shouldn't call anybody some of the words that were used," Lawrence said. After closing up shop following the incidents, Polar Cave has since reopened, this time with overwhelming success. "Saturday was a whole new ball game. It was wonderful. People ordered, they came when they were supposed to come," he said.
44% of Rhode Island coronavirus cases are in Latino patients
From CNN’s Will Brown
Latinos account for 44% of Rhode Island’s coronavirus cases, despite only making up about 16% of the state’s overall population, Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said Monday. Gov. Gina Raimondo faced criticism in a news conference that her administration’s outreach to the Latino community has been insufficient. Raimondo disagreed, arguing that her team has “doubled down” on outreach with targeted radio, TV, and Facebook interviews. “We are working overtime to communicate to the Latino community,” Raimondo said. “To suggest that it’s just a small effort isn’t true.”
Iowa got its shipment of remdesivir over the weekend, governor says
From CNN's Gregory Lemos
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said that her state received its first shipment of possible coronavirus treatment remdesivir over the weekend. She said there has already been a call with doctors and pharmacists, and there will be a second call this afternoon between the State Medical Director and Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati and the Department of Public Health to discuss distribution throughout the state. "So they will put the parameters together and agree to what that distribution looks like based on who benefits the most from the drug," the governor said. Reynolds also said the state is working to make sure doctors on the frontlines of fighting the virus are able to consult with "someone who has experience with the drug."
About the drug: Remdesivir is the first and only drug shown to be effective against the novel coronavirus in a rigorous trial. Its effects are modest but significant — shortening a patient's hospital stay by about four days. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, has called it the new "standard of care" for Covid-19. As it stands now, there's only enough remdesivir in the world for about 200,000 patients, according to the drug's maker, Gilead Sciences.
MLB and players association in talks to begin baseball season
From CNN's Kevin Dotson
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) are starting conversations aimed at beginning the 2020 MLB season with the approval of local governments and health officials, according to a source with knowledge of MLB operations. The MLB source tells CNN that league and team leadership are gathering for their weekly meeting today to discuss plans to get back on the field and the safety and economic conditions that would need to be met to do so. However, lines are already being drawn regarding key financial terms previously outlined in a March agreement on how much players would be paid in a shortened season. The potential financial snag could create a public relations nightmare for the sport at the worst possible time. As unemployment hits depression-era levels, and the world economy struggles to reopen, this is not the kind of game that the fans want to see being played. Under the terms of the March agreement, MLB players received a $170 million salary advance. In exchange for that advance, the MLBPA agreed not to challenge the loss of their 2020 salaries if the season were to be canceled and to accept prorated salaries if a partial season is played. An excerpt from that March agreement provided to CNN indicates that if MLB games cannot be staged in teams' home stadiums in front of spectators, the MLB and MLBPA agree to hold good faith discussions about the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at neutral sites. MLB's position is that those discussions could include asking players to take further salary reductions. The MLB Players Association is balking at the idea of reopening the discussion of players' salaries. "Players recently reached an agreement with Major League Baseball that outlines economic terms for the resumption of play, which included significant salary adjustments and a number of other compromises. That negotiation is over. We’re now focused on discussing ways to get back on the field under conditions that prioritize the health and wellbeing of players and their families, coaches, umpires, team staff and fans," MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement. A separate source with knowledge of the MLBPA's position tells CNN that MLB owners are in no need of a financial bailout from MLB players. The source echoes Clark's position that the salary issue was previously settled in the March agreement, which provided the owners with the flexibility to adjust their revenue sharing this season.
Catch up: Here are today's top coronavirus headlines in the US
From CNN's Elise Hammond
It's 2:30 p.m. ET in the US. If you're just tuning in, here's what you need to know:
Vaccine development: The World Health Organization says 110 potential Covid-19 vaccines are in development around the world — eight of those are in clinical trials.
More emergency federal funding: House Democrats are finalizing their new stimulus bill, according to Democratic sources, with one senior aide saying it’s more likely that the bill will be introduced tomorrow.
White House outbreak: People inside Vice President Mike Pence's office are concerned more staffers have been infected, a source close to the vice president tells CNN. They said officials are waiting to see if somebody comes back positive after they spent the weekend attempting to do contact tracing for Katie Miller, Pence’s press secretary who tested positive last week.
Food workers: The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union estimates at least 30 meatpacking plant workers have died, and more than 10,000 meat plant workers have been infected or exposed to Covid-19.
Airline industry: At least 3,162 planes were grounded on Sunday, representing 51% of the fleet in the US, according to Airlines for America, which represents major air carriers. But, the number of air travelers on Mother’s Day weekend climbed to levels not seen since March, according to Transportation Security Administration figures.
New York's reopening plan: The state will start a phased reopening on May 15. This includes starting with construction, manufacturing, retail (for curbside pickup), agriculture, forestry, and fishing. New York has also investigated 93 cases of young children that have Covid-related diseases.
Stay-at-home attitudes: New surveys by Gallup show that many people think that a mandatory quarantine for people who test positive and the availability of a vaccine needs to be in place before they'd be willing to return to normal life.
New Orleans reports nearly 77% of coronavirus deaths in the city are African Americans
From CNN's Kay Jones
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, speaking at a news conference today, said that of the 470 deaths in the parish associated with Covid-19, 360 are African American and 99 are white. Orleans Parish currently has 6,693 cases, with 11 new cases and two new deaths reported on Monday. Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the director of the New Orleans Health Department, spoke about the milestones the city needs to meet in order to reopen, including a decline in new cases and testing capacity. Avegno said that the city has seen at least 28 days of sustained decline in new cases. With a threshold of low numbers set at around 50, which is 90% below peak, the city has met that milestone for weeks now. She said that roughly 3% of those tested through the mobile testing being conducted by the city are positive. This is down from a high of 20%. Avegno said the city has met that milestone as well.
Connecticut summer camps to open June 29 with strict guidelines
From CNN's Yon Pomrenze
Summer camps in Connecticut will be able to reopen on June 29, but with strict public health guidelines, according to Beth Bye, commissioner of the state's Office of Early Childhood. Bye talked about summer camps during a roundtable discussion Monday held by members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group. The discussion covered a wide array of education topics for the state. Bye said summer camps will provide parents with much-needed child care. A number of camps have been opening already to provide child care. Schools that are traditionally used for summer camps are also being encouraged to make the space available due to a critical need for families, it was announced during the online discussion. "We are working incredibly hard to plan for scenarios. Our best hope is that we will have some type of in-person learning in the fall, and we’re very hopeful that maybe we’ll be able to begin that in the summer,” said Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
Massachusetts will be ready for phase one of reopening next week, governor says
From CNN’s Alec Snyder and Melanie Schuman
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced today the framework for reopening the state, which is expected to begin next week. There will be a four-phase reopening plan for businesses starting on May 18. “The goal of the phased reopening, based on public health guidance, is to methodically allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases," the governor's office said in a statement.
Phase one will be “start:” Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
Phase two will be “sautious:” Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
Phase three will be “vigilant:” Additional industries resume operations with guidance
Phase four will be the “new normal:” Development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal
There are more than 1.3 million cases of coronavirus in the US
There has been at least 1,337,541 cases of coronavirus in the US, and approximately 79,825 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins reported today 7,750 new cases and 297 deaths due to the virus. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
New Jersey reports more than 1,400 new cases of Covid-19
From CNN's Julian Cummings
There are 1,453 new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of cases in the state to at least 139,945, Gov. Phil Murphy announced at a press conference. There were 59 new deaths reported bringing the total to 9,310 total deaths in the state, according to Murphy. “We are seeing real progress in declining positivity rates,” Murphy said. Murphy stressed that deaths reported on Mondays tend to be lower after a weekend.
Rhode Island restaurants can reopen with outdoor dining beginning May 18
From CNN’s Will Brown
Rhode Island restaurants can reopen outdoor dining areas beginning May 18, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Monday. Restaurants will need to comply with several regulations that Raimondo says will ensure Rhode Island “can live safely with the virus.”
Here are the requirements:
Groups will be required to make a reservation, cannot exceed five people, and must provide their contact information for potential contact tracing.
Tables must be spaced eight feet apart or separated by barriers.
Menus, condiments, and utensils should be single-use or must be sanitized in between groups.
Cashless transactions are recommended, and valet service is not permitted.
Rhode Island has created a team of inspectors that will visit businesses to confirm compliance with reopening guidelines.
New Jersey officials call for federal stimulus funds for states
From CNN's Julian Cummings
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and Gov. Phil Murphy called on Congress to pass legislation for federal aid for states. Singling out Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Murphy said, “Sen. McConnell, good luck tapping N.J. for your next project in Kentucky if New Jersey has nothing to give because you refuse to help us restart and recover.” Murphy called the financial situation in New Jersey a “fiscal disaster” and said that it is “not months away, hard and unpalatable decisions are being made here and now.” Menendez said that a “Covid4 stimulus” will include state aid and that he thinks there is bipartisan momentum for the bill. “New Jersey can’t do it alone and it requires a national response. We did not choose to lose more than 9,000 residents…We did not choose to have our economy decimated and our state and local governments besieged by the soaring costs of the virus at a time when tax revenues have all but dried up," Menendez said at the news conference.
Temporary hospital in Washington, DC, will be ready to accept patients tomorrow
From CNN's Alison Main
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled an alternative care site that will be used to provide hospitals with additional capacity during the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary hospital was set up at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and holds 437 beds. The facility is ready to accept 100 patients this week and is on track to be operational tomorrow, the mayor said. Peter Gaynor, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA has committed to $56 million for the US Army Corps of Engineers' medical surge support facilities in DC, which includes convention center. However, Bowser emphasized that the site is only meant to serve as an "insurance policy" to provide additional capacity if hospitals become overwhelmed. DC hospitals are currently at 71% capacity.
By the numbers: As of today, there were at least 6,389 positive coronavirus cases and 328 deaths in Washington, DC. Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director for the DC Department of Health, said that the District is still expected to reach its peak in late May.
Fauci on the possibility of full NFL season: "The virus will make the decision for us"
From CNN's David Close
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “the virus will make the decision for us" in response to a question on whether or not the NFL should expect to play out their full 2020 season. In an interview with NBCSports, Fauci expanded that the NFL has the summer months to see how the virus narrative plays out. “I think it’s feasible that negative testing players could play to an empty stadium. Is it guaranteed? No way . . . It’s going to depend. Like, right now, if you fast forward, and it is now September. The season starts. I say you can’t have a season — it’s impossible. There’s too much infection out there. It doesn’t matter what you do. But I would hope that by the time you get to September it’s not gonna be the way it is right now.” A member of the White House's coronavirus task force, Fauci told NBCSports.com that players will need to be tested multiple times a week and understand that star players could be forced to quarantine for 14 days with a Covid-19 positive test result. "This is a respiratory virus, so it’s going to be spread by shedding virus...Sweat as such won’t transmit it. But if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that’s the perfect set up for spreading. I would think that if there is an infected football player on the field — a middle linebacker, a tackle, whoever it is it — as soon as they hit the next guy, the chances are that they will be shedding virus all over that person ... If you really want to be in a situation where you want to be absolutely certain, you’d test all the players before the game … Those who are infected: Sorry, you’re sidelined. Those who are free: Get in there and play.” Fauci said that the NFL has not reached out to speak with him.
Navajo Nation president says he supports Sioux tribes in South Dakota
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
Navajo Nation's President Jonathan Nez says he fully supports South Dakota Sioux tribes in refusing to take down checkpoints that the governor says are illegal because they're hoping to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in their communities. "We have to use our own sovereign ability to govern ourselves, and that's why we have to go as far as saying we're going to cut off traffic," Nez said. "We've been cutting off traffic to our Navajo Nation as well and telling people our tourism destinations are closed." He also credited Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico for working with Navajo Nation during the pandemic. "That is a partnership here because we are all in this together. What affects the Navajo Nation affects the states and vice versa. I'm hoping the South Dakota governor sees the same thing here. We've all got to work together to help our citizens." He said that while Navajo Nation is testing its people aggressively, the coronavirus pandemic has "shed light on the inadequacy of our public health system" among the tribal communities.
More than 22,000 people have recovered from Covid-19 in Louisiana
From CNN’s Kay Jones
The Louisiana Department of Health reported Monday that more than 22,600 people have recovered from coronavirus. Health officials on Monday reported at least 31,815 cases of coronavirus and 2,242 deaths. Orleans Parish continued to report low numbers, with 11 new cases and two deaths reported. Jefferson Parish reported 46 new cases and five new deaths.
68% of Americans say a vaccine is needed before returning to normal life, a new survey finds
From CNN's Grace Sparks
Two new Gallup surveys show how stay-at-home behavior and attitudes towards the pandemic have changed in the last month. Here were some of the key findings:
Small gatherings: Fewer people avoiding small gatherings than were doing so last month, one survey found.
Around 74% of Americans say they’re avoiding small gatherings — that's down slightly from 80% who said so in mid-April, an indication that some are starting to break their quarantines and return to their lives.
The avoidance of small gatherings has decreased mostly among independents and Republicans — down 10 percentage points since mid-April among independents to 74% and down 7 percentage points to 60% among Republicans.
Visiting family and friends: Gallup also found more people now say they are going to visit others in their homes.
About 16% of Americans reported they have visited someone else’s home or apartment in the last 24 hours, an uptick since March.
Return to normal life: Another release from Gallup finds 80% of Americans say it is very important for those who test positive for Covid-19 to mandatory quarantine. They said this measure needs to be in place before they'd be willing to return to normal life.
Nearly three-quarters consider it very important for there to be a significant reduction in the number of new cases or deaths, and a 68% rate the availability of a vaccine as very important. About 6 in 10 people call widespread testing to identify and monitor infections very important.
Those factors, few of which are in place in any of the places where reopening has begun, were rated as far more important than their state government telling them to restart regular life — however, 39% call that very important.