More than 66,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US
There are at least 1,134,058 cases of coronavirus in the US and roughly 66,430 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. As states begin to include “probable deaths” in their counts, so will the university. In the upcoming days, these changes may show as surges of deaths in the United States. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans hospitals, and federal prisons.
Number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 is up slightly in New York City, mayor says
From CNN's Sheena Jones
The number of people admitted into hospitals for Covid-19 as of yesterday was 113, which is up slightly from the 92 admitted April 30, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. People that are currently in intensive care units across the city is 645; that number is down from the 677 reported on April 30, de Blasio said. About 20% of the people tested for Covid-19 across the city tested positive. That number is down from 21% reported on April 30.
White House trade adviser addresses the US response to coronavirus
From CNN's Nicky Robertson
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN that the administration thinks it moved as quickly as other countries in addressing the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump “moves stuff in Trump time. We are moving mountains in this crisis," Navarro said. On the issue of testing, Navarro emphasized “we’re doing what we need to do as fast as we can do it,” and said he sees a “bright future ahead.”
On the economy: Navarro said that when he visited the General Motors plant with Vice President Mike Pence in Kokomo, Indiana, he “saw the future." He said the President will “have a pathway to rebuilding this economy, which now has manufactured unemployment, but which will have a manufacturing renaissance.”
New York City will produce its own coronavirus test kits
From CNN's Sheena Jones
New York City will produce its own Covid-19 test kits, Mayor Bill de Blasio said today. The city will be working with Print Parks, a local partner, that will help create swabs for the testing kits, the mayor said. The city is on track to produce 50,000 3D-printed swabs per week, with an initial 30,000 expected by the end of this week, de Blasio said. The testing kits are broken down into three parts, swabs, transport medium and screw tube tops, the mayor said. Viral Transport Medium (VTM) will get the tests to hospitals as soon as possible, he said.
Massachusetts is still in the early stages of the outbreak, Boston mayor says
From CNN's David Wright
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he is concerned about reopening the economy and relaxing social distancing measures, saying it is still very early in the outbreak. Massachusetts is “between the first and the fifth” inning in its fight against coronavirus, and that “we’re still very much in the beginning days of coronavirus," Walsh said. “I think we're between the first and the fifth. I think that these numbers, we see, they are going up. We are watching our hospitalization. Our hospitals are doing a very good job of managing,” Walsh told CNN Sunday morning. Walsh criticized the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak, saying “the mixed messaging is confusing.” He responded to pictures of crowds on the national mall in Washington, DC, and New York's Central Park, saying, “whether it's Central Park or the Mall is the wrong message. We're still very much in the beginning days of coronavirus.” Walsh said cities across the US still need mass testing and personal protective equipment for frontline workers. "As we move down the road here, if there's a second surge, all of the equipment that they have now, they'll need more stuff. I think that's what the federal government should be focused on,” Walsh said.
Birx says a coronavirus vaccine by January is possible "on paper"
From CNN Health’s Arman Azad
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Fox this morning that having a coronavirus vaccine by January is possible “on paper” but will require the proper execution. Birx was asked whether it was realistic to have a vaccine by the start of next year, given other estimates that it will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop. “The way that it’s possible is if you bring forward five or six different classes of candidates, which the Operation Warp Speed has done,” Birx said. “And so it’s not relying on a single vaccine platform. It’s relying on several different candidates that are made differently and act differently.” The vaccine would also require speeding up clinical trials, she said. “And so, on paper it’s possible. It’s whether we can execute and execute around the globe, because you also, for phase three, have to have active viral transmission in a community in order to study its efficacy," Birx said. CNN previously reported that the goal is to make 100 million doses of a vaccine available by November, 200 million doses by December and 300 million doses by January, according to a senior administration official.
On remdesivir: Birx described the investigational drug remdesivir as a “first step forward." In early results from a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the drug was found to shorten the duration of illness in severely affected patients, but it had no statistically significant effect on mortality. Birx said we’ve only seen “half the data,” but she said an independent monitoring board thought the improvement was significant enough to start giving remdesivir to patients who were previously receiving a placebo. “So it’s a first step forward. In parallel, we have a whole series of therapeutics including plasma, and also monoclonal antibodies being worked through,” she said, referring to lab-made antibodies targeting the virus.
Chief economic adviser says there will be a pause before considering additional stimulus aid
From CNN's Kristen Holmes
Larry Kudlow, the head of the White House’s National Economic Council, told CNN there may be a need for additional stimulus aid because of Covid-19 but said there was a “pause” right now before the money is sought. Kudlow said the government still needs to execute the last package and “see what the results are.” The President was “very keen” on a payroll tax holiday for workers and would like to see tax deductions for businesses/entertainment, as well as a shield on liabilities, Kudlow said. Democrats have opposed such a payroll holiday.
Birx said Michigan protests were "devastatingly worrisome"
From CNN's Nicky Robertson
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that the protests last week in the Michigan state legislature were “devastatingly worrisome to me, personally.” In an interview on Fox today, Birx expressed her concern about protestors exposing elderly family members to the virus because if there was an “unfortunate outcome,” those people would feel guilty. Birx called on Americans to “protect each other, at the same time we are voicing our discontent.”
About the protests: Protesters crammed inside the capitol building where the lawmakers were meeting on Friday, demanding an end to the state's state of emergency. About 400 to 700 people stood on the Capitol grounds, according to Michigan State Police. The state of emergency was set to expire on Thursday. On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed executive orders that terminated the old state of emergency and put in place a new one through May 28. Last week, Whitmer had extended the separate stay-at-home order through May 15.
Chief economic advisor addresses his coronavirus comment from February
From CNN's Elise Hammond
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended his initial response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "my quote then was based on the actual facts which at the time." Kudlow said on February 25, "we have contained this. I won't say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We've done a good job in the United States." At that time, the US had 53 confirmed cases, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was warning there would be "community spread in the country." "My quote was, at that time, there were very few cases. Then, as the virus spread exponentially in ways that virtually no one could have predicted, of course we changed our mind," Kudlow told CNN Sunday morning. "There were hardly any cases," he added. Kudlow said the administration was dealing with the information they had at the time. "When the information changes, you change. We changed our strategy. So did everybody else around the world change their strategy," he said.
Spain's coronavirus daily death toll lowest in 6 weeks
From CNN's Helena Cavendish de Moura in Atlanta and Ingrid Formanek in Spain
Spain reported 164 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the lowest number in six weeks, according to new figures released by the country’s Ministry of Health on Sunday. “As sad as it is to speak about the deaths, the increase of 0.7 percent from the previous day is a good number” said Fernando Simón, Spain’s director for health emergencies, comparing the number to coronavirus fatality figures in recent weeks. The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic in the country stands at 25,264. Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus technical briefing, Simón noted a clear decrease of numbers” of new hospital and intensive care unit admissions, as well as a 0.39% rise in new infections since Saturday, which are about half of the numbers of those who have recovered in the same period. Simón cautioned that Sunday’s markedly improved numbers could be influenced by the delayed long weekend holiday reporting from Spain’s 17 regions.
More data: A total of 42,111 health workers have been infected by coronavirus to date, Spain’s health ministry Sunday reported, representing nearly one-fifth of all cases at 19%. As Spain gradually begins its de-escalation from strict confinement-in-place orders in place since March 15, four islands in the Canaries and the Balearics will be the first to transition to the so-called "Phase One" on Monday. During this time, a further opening up of small businesses and further lifting of restrictions on movements is expected because the islands “have not had any new cases in many days, and very few, or no new infections."
A speedy return to normal is "unrealistic," Dallas mayor says
From CNN's David Wright
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said his main priority is to keep people safe as some lockdown measures in Texas began to ease on Friday.
“What I have to do is do my job as the mayor of Dallas, which is to keep our people safe," Johnson told CNN.
People in Dallas are “putting their toe back in" and "aren't pouring back into these restaurants and into movie theaters and malls and things because they don't feel like it's safe to do so," Johnson said. The mayor also expressed skepticism about the prospects of a speedy return to the “normal” of three months ago, as President Trump has suggested would be possible. Johnson called that prospect "unrealistic." “It's impossible to say what we think is going to happen in the next few months. But I think this, I think it's unrealistic to believe that we're going to be able to be shoulder to shoulder here anymore soon," Johnson said. "As much as we want to control things, to try to pick a date on the calendar and say we will be opened by this date and we will be shoulder to shoulder at baseball games by this date, it doesn't work that way," he added.
Here's why you can't find flour in grocery stores
From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf
Despite meat processing plants across the US shutting down due to coronavirus concerns, for now, you can still find plenty of meat in the grocery stores. One thing you can't find on the shelves is flour. Stores are cleaned out and it's not currently available on most websites. But why is that? Carey Underwood, who is director of mission-driven partnerships and programs at King Arthur Flour, said it's because people have been baking a lot. "People who were baking monthly are now baking weekly, and people who were baking weekly are baking daily," she said. "We expect this increase in baking to continue for the foreseeable future as trends show more in-home eating compared to dining out and people choosing to bake the food staples they cannot find in their grocery stores," Underwood said the shortage in grocery stores is because of the spike in demand for flour, not because there is a shortage of wheat. "The demand for all signature flours, but especially all-purpose and bread flours, is simply unprecedented and is outpacing the inventory in our warehouses," she said.
Underwood added: "The wheat is available, but it must be milled, bagged, and transported to warehouses. These steps simply take time and the flour is selling out again as quickly as it reaches shelves."
About $175 billion has been given out in the second round of small business loans, administration says
From CNN's Kevin Bohn
The Trump administration announced Sunday that at least 2.2 million loans, worth about $175 billion, have been paid out in the second round of federal emergency relief aid for small businesses. The second relief package was signed into law by Trump on April 24 and included an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The second round of PPP was distributed starting on April 27. In a joint statement Sunday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said the average size of a loan made under the second round of the program was $79,000. During the first round, there was criticism over how some large corporations and other entities like private schools had applied for, and were given, loans. “The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in the statement adding the average loan size indicated “…the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.” The administration said since the launch of the PPP, about 3.8 million loans, totaling more than $500 billion, have been made.
Bangladesh reports its largest single-day jump in coronavirus cases
From CNN’s Sugam Pokharel
Bangladesh reported 665 new coronavirus cases on Sunday -- the largest single-day increase since the outbreak was first reported in the country on March 8, the country's state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) said. The densely populated South Asian nation has so far reported 9,455 cases and 177 deaths, the BSS reported, citing a senior health department official. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday held a video conference call with officials from 56 districts across the country on the coronavirus situation, according to the BSS. During the call, the prime minister announced several stimulus packages and steps to combat the fallout from the pandemic, in addition to directing the officials to take steps to contain the virus in their areas.
It's 8 a.m. in New York and 1 p.m. in London. Here's everything you need to know
People rest and enjoy the day in Central Park maintaining social distancing norms, during the coronavirus outbreak in New York City on Saturday, May 2. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.4 million people and killed at least 244,000 worldwide. If you're just joining us now, here are the latest developments on the pandemic.
Parks and protests in the US: The pandemic drove people across the US outside for recreation and protest. While thousands rallied in California, residents of New York City and Washington DC enjoyed warmer weather Saturday while observing social distancing. States including Pennsylvania and New Jersey were able to visit some state parks, forest facilities, and golf courses for the first time this spring.
Russia cases spike: Russia reported 10,633 new coronavirus cases in another record single-day increase Sunday, bringing the total to 134,687 cases and 1,280 deaths. Russia has seen four days of record increases after a week of steady growth. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit city, accounts for more than half the cases.
UK launches app: A contact-tracing app will be released this week in the UK as the country's transport minister suggested people would be encouraged to walk or ride to work when restrictions ease. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said doctors had plans in case things went "badly wrong" when he was in the hospital with the coronavirus.
Leaders pledge funds: The leaders of France, Norway, Italy, and Germany have pledged to raise an initial $8 billion on Monday in an “international alliance” to find a vaccine and treatments for the coronavirus. They said more funding would be required to achieve their aim of developing and delivering medicines worldwide.
China's busy holiday weekend: Mainland China reported no new deaths for the fifth day in a row Saturday, as people flocked to attractions around the country for the Labour Day weekend. Meanwhile, Harbin City, on the Russia-China border, closed all dine-in restaurants until further notice, according to state-run CCTV.
France's deaths decline: The daily number of deaths from coronavirus in France continues to decline. At least 24,760 people have died from coronavirus, an increase of 166 since Friday, the Health Ministry announced Saturday. The French government will extend its state of emergency for another two months.
Thailand lifts alcohol ban: Thailand began to ease some of its month-long restrictions today, as Covid-19 cases continue to fall. Businesses such as markets and hairdressers can reopen, train, and bus stations can also reopen and bars can sell alcoholic drinks, but people must consume them at home.
Philippines suspends air travel: All passenger and commercial flights to and from the country were suspended today to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Philippines has confirmed 8,928 coronavirus cases and 604 deaths.
Across the world, dictatorial regimes use Covid-19 to quash press freedom
Opinion from Alan C. Miller
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by attacks on press freedoms and journalists around the world amid the pandemic. We've seen this pattern before: A crisis engulfs a nation, and its government moves to curtail, manipulate or shut down news coverage. But that doesn't mean that we should pay less attention to it now. In fact, we should be especially vigilant. Iran has imposed sweeping restrictions on coverage of the pandemic, including a ban on printing newspapers. Journalists have been arrested for their reporting, including one who criticized the government's failure to prepare and another who alleged that a local official had tested positive for Covid-19. In Hungary, a new law giving the prime minister wide-ranging emergency powers includes a provision prohibiting publication of "false information" on the pandemic, with violators facing up to five years in prison. The law has generated uncertainty over whether journalists could be prosecuted for reporting true information. China's government maintains that controlling information is necessary to combat the virus. Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who traveled in January to Wuhan and posted videos on YouTube reporting that hospitals were overwhelmed, has not been heard from since February 6. This "Covid-19 crackdown" is unfolding as we mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, in a reminder to defend the press from attacks on its independence, and remember those who have lost their lives while keeping us informed. This year, that reminder is particularly resonant.
How a travel photographer in lockdown "escaped" her apartment
From CNN's Amy Wray
Los Angeles-based photographer Erin Sullivan has found an unconventional way to satiate her penchant for exploration while under a stay-at-home order because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sullivan let her creativity go wild in her latest photo series, "Our Great Indoors." In it, she constructs fantastical landscapes from common household objects found in her apartment, such as pancakes, pillowcases, and raincoats. Sullivan's career as a travel photographer has brought her to some of the most beautiful places around the world. These excursions helped her prepare for more than 40 days in self-quarantine. "I was asking myself how I can stay creative and how I can stay connected to the outdoors and travel to these things that have been so important to my growth and the growth of my community," Sullivan told CNN. So far, she's made an ice cave out of sheets and pillows, a paper bag canyon, a broccoli forest, and a jello lake.
The big problem coronavirus poses for White House economists
Analysis from CNN's John Harwood
The numbers evoke the worst economic nightmares in American history. But White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett freely admits he can't map the path out.
A lot of it depends on things I have no expertise in," Hassett, previously a CNN contributor, said in an interview this past week with Poppy Harlow.
That's the surreal reality facing President Donald Trump's economic team as growth turns into contraction and 30 million Americans have lost their jobs. It is a Great Depression-level economic crisis that has everything to do with public health -- but, unlike the 2008 financial collapse, very little to do with anything wrong in the underlying economy. As a result, the tools economists typically use for adjusting supply and demand -- targeted spending, tax cuts, changes to trade and regulatory policy -- hold little power. The restoration of American prosperity lies more in the hands of the public health officials, epidemiologists, and scientists racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine. "The No. 1 rule of virus economics is, go stop the virus if you want to fix the economy," says Austan Goolsbee, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama. He suggested that White House economists pore over state-by-state data to identify the best ways to halt the epidemic spread. Success would preserve the possibility of the rapid "V-shaped" recovery that the Trump administration has embraced as its objective.
How the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is keeping the message of hope alive during the pandemic
From CNN's Lauren M. Johnson
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum has been continuing its mission of sharing the stories of hope and courage, even though the coronavirus pandemic. Though the museum temporarily closed in March due to stay-at-home restrictions, employees were determined to continue their daily practice of honoring victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks on their birthdays. The building's security team, which is considered essential staff at One World Trade Center, volunteered to take up the task. Each day, members of the team receive the list of victims' birthdays from museum employees. They then place a single white rose on top of each victim's name on the memorial outside the building.
It's a way of saying, we're not going to stop doing what we do, we just have to do it a slightly different way," Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, told CNN.
FloraTech, which donates the flowers, has continued to order them from the Netherlands for this specific purpose, even though the store is closed.
The next generation of teachers grapples with uncertainty as coronavirus shuts schools
From CNN's Dakin Andone
As an undocumented student, the connections Homar Jaimes Rodriguez made with educators were incredibly important, inspiring him to become a physical education teacher. "For underrepresented communities, it's definitely a tough thing to not have educators of color," he said, "and many students have never seen a male Hispanic educator like myself." Jaimes Rodriguez, a senior at Delaware State University, recently took one of the last steps toward becoming a fully-fledged teacher and began student teaching at a high school. But after just nine days, the coronavirus forced schools to close, leaving him without the classroom access he needs to complete the last requirement for his teaching license. "It's very, very stressful," he said. "It's something I think about every day because I've worked hard to get to the point where I'm at now. I was very excited for this year, excited to get started with my career in education." Across the US, aspiring educators have had to adjust their plans after 43 states and the District of Columbia closed schools through the end of the year to slow the spread of Covid-19. They should be in the classroom, working with students, and gaining hands-on experience. Instead, they're navigating new rules as states try to provide alternate routes for certification. And they've had to adapt, like their mentors, to teaching online and redefining what their student-teaching experiences look like. It's raised questions about whether they'll be ready when they have classes of their own.
South Korea to loosen social distancing orders from May 6
From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul
South Korea will relax its strict social distancing rules starting Wednesday as the number of new coronavirus cases has remained low in the country, South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Sunday. The measures to contain the spread of the virus have been in effect since March 22. At a briefing, Chung said that from Wednesday closed facilities will reopen gradually and events and gatherings will be allowed as long as they abide by disinfection guidelines. Local governments can however adjust their administrative orders according to local circumstances, Chung said. Chung suggested that the country’s health authorities review lowering the current highest alert level but urged the nation to maintain some social distancing measures in everyday life.
The numbers: South Korea reported 13 new virus cases on Sunday, bringing the nation's total infection cases to 10,793, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
UK rolls out contact-tracing app and set to encourage walking or riding to work as restrictions ease
From CNN's Simon Cullen in London
The UK’s coronavirus contact-tracing app will start being used in a limited way this week, said the country’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “That system’s going into testing this week on the Isle of Wight. And then later in the month that app will be rolled out and deployed -- assuming the tests are successful of course -- to the population at large,” he told Sky News. "And the idea is that we will encourage as many people as possible to take this up as possible. "We need for this to work – 50, 60% of people to be using this app.” He said it would be the "best possible way" for people to help the UK's National Health Service (NHS), adding that the data will be confidential. Other countries have already launched smartphone apps to help track the spread of the virus in the community. Shapps also indicated there’ll be a push to get more people walking or riding to work when coronavirus restrictions start to ease so that public transport is not overcrowded. “[There is] a very popular scheme where you can buy a bike through your employer – effectively before tax – and pay it back,” he told Sky News. “We’ve seen hundreds of percent increase [in interest] in that scheme.” “And I’m going to be saying more about that shortly because 'active transport’ – keeping people off the public transport and getting there off their own steam – that can be a very important part of the recovery.” The UK has now recorded 183,500 cases and 28,205 deaths from the coronavirus, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Russia adds over 10,000 cases in another record single-day increase
From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow
Russia reported 10,633 new cases of the coronavirus in another record single-day increase Sunday, bringing the total number to 134,687. Around 50% of the cases were asymptomatic, the country’s coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement, adding that a total of 1,280 deaths had now been recorded. Russia has seen four consecutive days of record single-day increases after a week of relatively steady growth when it added five to six thousand cases per day. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit city, accounts for more than half of total cases. In March, Vladimir Putin radiated confidence about his government's response to a growing global crisis, reassuring his citizens that the situation was "under control" thanks to early intervention measures. The Russian President then played the role of international rescuer, dispatching a planeload of medical supplies to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. But by April 13, the mood had changed. "We have a lot of problems," Putin said in a video conference. "There is nothing to boast about, and we must not let our guard down, because in general, as you and your specialists say, we have not passed the peak of the epidemic yet."
George W. Bush says "spirit of service and sacrifice is alive and well in America" in a Twitter video
From CNN's Noah Broder
A video posted Saturday by the George W. Bush Presidential Center featured a message from the former US President urging compassion and empathy during “a challenging and solemn time in the life of our nation and world.” The message was originally shared during “The Call to Unite” 24-hour event. Bush told people to remember “we have faced times of testing before” and that “empathy and simple kindness are essential powerful tools of national recovery.” He added: “…we are not partisan combatants. We're human beings, equally vulnerable, and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together.” Former President Bill Clinton also appeared during the event, along with other notable guests like Oprah.
Singapore reports 657 new coronavirus cases
Singapore reported 657 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 18,205, according to the Ministry of Health. Most of the cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. Ten are Singaporeans or permanent residents, the ministry said. In recent weeks, the Asian city-state has had a spike in coronavirus infections, with thousands of new cases linked to clusters in foreign worker dormitories. To control the spread, the government has attempted to isolate the dormitories, test workers, and move symptomatic patients into quarantine facilities. But those measures have left hundreds of thousands of workers trapped in their dormitories, living cheek by jowl in cramped conditions that make social distancing near impossible. Singapore has announced plans to ease restrictions over the coming weeks, with business to resume more fully from June 1.
America's weekend of park days and protests over coronavirus restrictions
From CNN's Madeline Holcombe
This weekend under the coronavirus pandemic drove many people across the US outside -- some for recreation and others in protest. States across the country are either holding fast to stay-at-home orders or beginning to phase out the restrictions, with several orders already expiring. In California, people showed up in droves to protest restrictions put in place to combat coronavirus, which has killed 66,385 people in the country and infected more than 1,100,000. More than 1,000 people, many of them not wearing masks, demonstrated with signs and American flags Friday at the California state capitol building to protest Governor Gavin Newsom's stay at home order, according to a statement from the California Highway Patrol. More than 30 were arrested for "disobeying a lawful order, demonstrating without a permit and resisting or delaying a police officer," the statement said. Further south, between 2,500 and 3,000 people gathered Friday at California's Huntington Beach to protest Newsom's closure of the state's beaches, according to Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy. There were no arrests or injuries. Elsewhere, residents of New York City and Washington DC, many of whom appeared to be observing social distancing rules, enjoyed warmer weather in parks and open spaces Saturday. And those in states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey were able to take advantage of some state parks, forest facilities, and golf courses for the first time this spring.
Leaders pledge $8 billion to finding coronavirus vaccine and treatments
The leaders of France, Norway, Italy, and Germany have pledged to raise $8 billion in an “international alliance” to find a vaccine and treatments for the coronavirus. In a press release published by the European Council on Saturday, they said that they were building on the commitments made by G20 leaders and supporting the call to action from the World Health Organization and other groups. “For this reason, we have recently launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global cooperation platform to accelerate and scale-up research, development, access, and equitable distribution of the vaccine and other life-saving therapeutics and diagnostics treatments,” the release said. “We are determined to work together, with all those who share our commitment to international co-operation,” they added. The release was signed by Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; and Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway. It was also signed by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The leaders said they aimed to raise an initial 7.5 billion euros ($8 billion) in an online pledging conference on May 4 “to make up the global funding shortfall estimated by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) and others.” They said more funding would be required to achieve their aim of manufacturing and delivering medicines on a global scale and “to achieve universal access to vaccination, treatment, and testing.”