Coronavirus live updates: US - cases, deaths and news, today

Coronavirus live updates: US - cases, deaths and news, today

Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news on 1 May

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US coronavirus update at 17:00 EST, 14:00 PST (23:00 CEST) Friday 1 May

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University3,329,740 cases have been detected worldwide, with 237,647 deaths and 1,046,403 people now recovering.

In the USA, there have been 1,070,032 cases with 63,127 deaths. 159,663 people have recovered from the virus.

Stimulus check

Second stimulus check plans

With many arguing the first stimulus check won't be enough to tide ordinary Americans over during the coronavirus pandemic there is ongoing debate about the requirement for a second stimulus check, or even ongoing payments. 

Trump has no comment on Kim Jong un sighting

U.S. President Donald Trump declined on Friday to comment on a report by North Korea's state news agency that the country's leader Kim Jong Un had made his first public appearance since 11 April. "I'd rather not comment on it yet," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We'll have something to say about it at the appropriate time."

There has been speculation about Kim's health after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of state founder Kim Il Sung on 15 April. Trump has been unusually restrained on the subject of Kim since questions about the North Korean leader's whereabouts and health surfaced last month.

The two leaders have held three summits on efforts to persuade North Korea to denuclearize and, while Trump and Kim have gotten along well, no agreement has been achieved. Asked by Reuters what he knew about Kim in an interview on Wednesday, Trump said, "I know everything," but would not be drawn out on any details.

Remembering Gigi

Gianna “Gigi” Bryant would have turned 14 today and her mother Vanessa celebrated her birthday by asking fans to #PlayGigisWay by wearing something red to honor Gianna on her birthday because she “loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures,” and to share an “act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi’s way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness.”

“Red means love and life,” Vanessa said in the caption to a post featuring a red bracelet that reads “Gigi Bryant ❤️Mambacita.” She also said to use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay.  Vanessa posted on her Instagram page a smiling and colorful snapshot of the teen, wishing a happy birthday to “my sweet baby girl, Gianna.”

“Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!! ❤️🎉🎂🎉❤️”

Remdesivir

FDA authorises using Remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients

President Donald Trump said on Friday the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted authorization to Gilead Sciences Inc for emergency use of its experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir to treat patients with Covid-19.

During a meeting in the Oval Office with the president, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O'Day called the move an important first step and said the company was donating 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients.

Newsom: "This disease doesn't know if you're a protester, a Democrat, a Republican"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has advised those who are protesting about the state's stay-at-home restrictions that it is in their own interest to protect themselves from the highly contagious and dehabilitating Covid-19 virus. 

Newsom took the decision to close beaches in Orange County this week after thousands ignored lockdown regualtions to flock to the seaside to sunbathe. 

"This disease doesn’t know if you’re a protester, a Democrat, a Republican. Protect yourself, protect your family, your kids, your parents, your grandparents, your neighbours," he said today before releasing California's figures for the last 24 hours.

urged protesters to take care of themselves by wearing face coverings and employing physical distancing. 

Ariana

Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande team up to raise funds for frontline workers

Pop superstars Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande are teaming up for the first time on a duet that will fund scholarships for the children of health and emergency workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The duet, called 'Stuck With U,' will be released on 8 May, the two singers announced on Friday on Instagram, where they jointly have some 316 million followers.

All net proceeds from streaming and sales of the duet will be donated to the First Responders Children's Foundation to fund grants and scholarships for the children of those working during the pandemic.

Bieber and Grande, both 26, are two of the biggest young singers in the United States with hits like 'Love Yourself' and 'Thank U, Next,' but have never recorded a song together. "We hope we make a big difference with this and we hope it uplifts you and makes you feel happy," Grande said in a statement. The single is the first in series from Scooter Braun, who manages both singers, that will benefit charities during the year, Braun said.

WHO: The pandemic is not over

The World Health Organization said today that it still considers the coronavirus pandemic to be a public health emergency of international concern - the highest level of alarm for the world.

WHO Committee member Dr. Didier Houssin said in today's press briefing: "Covid-19 pandemic is not finished.  As we have done clearly from the beginning, we will continue to call on countries to implement a comprehensive package of measures to find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact.

"We will continue working with countries and partners to enable essential travel needed for pandemic response, humanitarian relief and cargo operations, and for countries to gradually resume normal passenger travel".

Houssin added that there is still much to learn about the transmission of the coronavirus.Currently, there is no vaccine nor licensed therapeutics for the treatment of Covid-19.

A change of tune

The new norm of concerts and other large gatherings is likely to look very different.

US airlines to make face masks mandatory

According to USA Today, American, United, Delta, Alaska, Frontier and JetBlue have all announced passenger mask requirements. It is expected that when air travel resumes the measure will remain in place across the country indefinitely. 

Everton stars surprise US fans

This is a nice initiative by Everton FC. Some of the club's players have been making surprise calls to fans in the US to see how they are getting along during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Although it has been proven that SARS is transmittable through water, there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 can be considered a waterborne disease.

Confirmed coronavirus cases surge in reopened Colorado beef plant

(Reuters) Covid-19 cases at a JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado have more than doubled "in a number of days" and a sixth employee died of the virus, a union official said on Thursday, underscoring the risks of U.S. meat plants reopening.

The beef plant in Greeley, Colorado, started operating last Friday after it was closed for about two weeks following an outbreak among workers.

"The uptick in cases in a matter of days shows how serious this crisis is and the dangers that workers are facing every day just trying to do their jobs," Kim Cordova, leader of the local United Food and Commercial Workers International Union chapter, said in an e-mailed news release.

Confirmed cases among workers at the plant rose from 120 on Sunday to 245 on Wednesday evening, a union spokeswoman told Reuters, citing numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

JBS USA did not immediately respond to request for comment on the most recent worker death and rising cases in Colorado. 

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday invoked the Defense Production Act to mandate meat plants continue to function during the pandemic after companies warned of looming shortages. The order is designed in part to give them legal cover with more liability protection in case employees catch the virus as a result of having to go to work.

Cordova reiterated workers' demands for protective equipment and testing, as well as stronger whistleblower laws and better health care.

"Our members share a common goal with JBS, federal, state and local authorities: to ensure that the plant continues to function to protect the food supply chain and to protect jobs, but it must be done in a way that protects the workers so no one else has to die,” she said.

Some 20 plants in North America have closed in recent weeks.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said they would open in "days not weeks," in an interview on Fox News on Thursday. He said the department, which is overseeing Trump's order, is working to ensure workers' safety.

US states easing lockdown restrictions

Iowa is set to partially lift its lockdown on 1 May, with Alabama also opening up various sectors of the economy again including the vast majority of stores, business and beaches.  

Michigan

As reported earlier, armed protesters had their say about lockdown measures in the flashpoint state of Michigan on Thursday, with militia group members and pro-Trump supporters storming the state capitol. That protest follows one several days ago that led state governor Gretchen Whitmer to point out that by ignoring social distancing measures those against the lockdown could well lead to it being extended.  

Trump

Trump to leave White House on Friday for first time in a month

U.S. President Donald Trump will leave the White House on Friday for the first time in a month when he travels to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

Trump will make the 70-mile (40 km) trip to Camp David on Friday evening, according to a schedule released by the White House on Thursday night. The schedule did not indicate how long Trump would stay at Camp David.

Trump has been holding regular press events at the White House to highlight his administration's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump's last trip away from the White House was on March 28 to Norfolk, Virginia, where he bid farewell to the Navy's USNS Comfort hospital ship as it sailed to New York City to help take the pressure off civilian hospitals.

Trump, who faces re-election in November, said on Wednesday he would visit Arizona next week for an "industry"-related event.

Protest in Michigan as governor seeks to extend emergency powers

Hundreds of protesters, some armed, gathered inside Michigan's state Capitol in Lansing on Thursday objecting to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's request to extend emergency powers to combat COVID-19, an appeal Republican lawmakers there have opposed.

The protest appeared to be the largest in the state since April 15, when supporters of President Donald Trump organized thousands of people for "Operation Gridlock," jamming the streets of Lansing with their cars to call out what they said was the overreach of Whitmer's strict stay-at-home order.

The slow reopening of state economies around the country has taken on political overtones, as Republican politicians and individuals affiliated with Trump's re-election promoted such protests in electoral swing states, such as Michigan. Many people at Thursday's "American Patriot Rally", including militia group members carrying firearms and people with pro-Trump signs, appeared to be ignoring state social-distancing guidelines as they clustered together within 6 feet of each other.

Face masks obligatory on flights

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines will require passengers to wear face masks on flights, two days after Jet Blue became the first major US airline to announce this change.

Trump

Trump says he has evidence coronavirus may have originated in Wuhan lab

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly disease.

Trump did not mince words at a White House event on Thursday, when asked if he had seen evidence that gave him a "high degree of confidence" the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. "Yes, yes I have," he said, declining to give specifics. "I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that."

The Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology has dismissed the allegations, and other US officials have downplayed their likelihood. Most experts believe the virus originated in a market selling wildlife in Wuhan and jumped from animals to people.

The Republican president has shown increasing frustration with China in recent weeks over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatened his chances of re-election in November.

Trump said previously his administration was trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from the Wuhan lab, following media reports it may have been artificially synthesized at a China state-backed laboratory or perhaps escaped from such a facility.

The coronavirus outbreak has contributed to a deepening rift between the Trump administration and China, with Beijing suggesting the U.S. military might have brought the coronavirus to China and Trump saying China failed to alert the world to coronavirus risks in a timely and transparent fashion.

Trump also said on Thursday it was possible that China either could not stop the spread of the coronavirus or let it spread. He declined to say whether he held Chinese President Xi Jinping responsible for what he feels is misinformation about the emergence of the coronavirus. Trump told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that he was looking at different options in terms of consequences for Beijing over the virus. "I can do a lot," he said.

Donald Trump

Trump to leave White House on Friday for first time in a month

US President Donald Trump will leave the White House on Friday for the first time in a month when he travels to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. Trump will make the 70-mile (40 km) trip to Camp David on Friday evening, according to a schedule released by the White House on Thursday night.

The schedule did not indicate how long Trump would stay at Camp David. Trump has been holding regular press events at the White House to highlight his administration's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump's last trip away from the White House was on 28 March to Norfolk, Virginia, where he bid farewell to the Navy's USNS Comfort hospital ship as it sailed to New York City to help take the pressure off civilian hospitals. Trump, who faces re-election in November, said on Wednesday he would visit Arizona next week for an 'industry'-related event.

Covid

Number of coronavirus cases worldwide rises by almost 72,000 in 24 hours

The number of people infected with the Covid-19 virus worldwide rose by almost 72,000 over the past day. The number of fatalities has risen by more than 9,000, which is 4,000 more than the day before, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Thursday.

According to WHO data, the United States accounts for the largest number of infected people (1,003,974). It is followed by Spain (212,917), Italy (203,591), United Kingdom (165,225), Germany (159,119), France (127,066), Turkey (117,589), Russia (106,498), Iran (93,657) and China (84,373).

Mexico reports 1,425 new cases and 127 deaths

Mexican health officials on Thursday reported 1,425 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 127 new deaths in the country, bringing the total to 19,224 cases and 1,859 deaths.

newport

California closes Orange County beaches

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered beaches in Orange County in the southern part of the state to close, after crowds defied public health guidelines to gather on the popular shoreline last weekend. The move came after Newsom complained that beachgoers could hasten the spread of the coronavirus in California, delaying the state's ability to ease public health restrictions even as millions of people in the most-populous U.S. state obey the stay-at-home rules imposed in March.

Newsom's decision to close the Orange County beaches, announced at his daily coronavirus briefing, stood in contrast to media reports that the Democratic governor planned to close all parks and beaches in the state. The reports were based on a memo that supposedly had been sent from the governor's office to local police chiefs, but Newsom said he had not sent or seen such a document.

The California Police Chiefs Association, cited in several of the news reports as a source of the memo, apologized on Thursday for the confusion. 'We apologize for the undue concern that caused to the public, our colleagues, the Governor and his staff.' Newsom said it was never his intention to close all of the state's parks and beaches.

On Thursday, he said 95 people had died in the past 24 hours in California of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Trump

Trump threatens to hit China with new tariffs

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic and he threatened new tariffs on Beijing, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.

Trump's sharpened rhetoric against China reflected his growing frustration with Beijing over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatened his chances of re-election in November.

Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a range of options against China were under discussion, but cautioned that efforts were in the early stages. "There is a discussion as to how hard to hit China and how to calibrate it properly," one of the sources said as Washington walks a tightrope in its ties with Beijing while it imports personal protection equipment (PPE) from there and is wary of harming a sensitive trade deal.

Trump made clear, however, that his concerns about China's role in the origin and spread of the coronavirus were taking priority for now over his efforts to build on an initial trade agreement with Beijing that long dominated his dealings with the world's second-largest economy. "We signed a trade deal where they're supposed to buy, and they've been buying a lot, actually. But that now becomes secondary to what took place with the virus," Trump told reporters. "The virus situation is just not acceptable.".

The Washington Post, citing two people with knowledge of internal discussions, reported on Thursday that some officials had discussed the idea of canceling some of the massive US debt held by China as a way to strike at Beijing for perceived shortfalls in its candidness on the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump's top economic adviser denied the report.  "The full faith and credit of U.S. debt obligations is sacrosanct. Period. Full stop," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Reuters.

Asked whether he would consider having the United States stop payment of its debt obligations as a way to punish Beijing, Trump said: "Well, I can do it differently. I can do the same thing, but even for more money, just by putting on tariffs. So, I don't have to do that."

The latest graph from the Finacial Times...

Coronavirus was not manmade, says US intellegence

The US intelligence community has conclude that the coronavirus "was not manmade or genetically modified", though it is still investigating the origins of the pathogen.

"The [intelligence community] will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan," said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees US spy agencies.

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In pictures: Volunteers organized by the First Baptist Church of Glenarden hand out food to those in need at Suitland High School April 30, 2020, in District Heights, Maryland. - The US Federal Reserve said April 30, 2020 it is expanding its business loan program to reach more firms as companies struggle to weather the impact of the coronavirus shutdowns. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

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Amazon posts record $75bn quaterly sales

Amazon is one of the companies that has seen profits sore during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to surging e-commerce sales as people across the globe shop online to stave off boredom, buy books, gadgets, games, music and home excercise equipment during lockdown.

And such has been the impact that Amazon has registered record quaterly profits of $75 billion. The "current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon's business as never before, but it's also the hardest time we've ever faced," read a statement by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man who just got richer. (Photo: AFP)

Fed's balance sheet at $6.7 trln, but growth pace down sharply

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet increased to a record $6.70 trillion this week, but the pace of expansion slowed dramatically as key credit markets have calmed since a firestorm of volatility sparked by the coronavirus pandemic drove the central bank to take emergency measures last month.

The central bank's balance sheet as of Wednesday was about $81.75 billion higher than the $6.62 trillion a week earlier, data released by the Fed on Thursday showed. In all the Fed's stash of bonds and other assets is up nearly 60% from just $4.2 trillion in the first week of March. 

900 workers test positive at Tyson Food plant in Indiana, US. Tyson had taken out an ad in several newspapers earlier this week to warn that 1 million tons of meat cound be wiped off the food supply due their factory closures...

 

California closes Orange County beaches where crowds defied coronavirus guidelines

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said he had ordered beaches in Orange County in the southern part of the state to close, after crowds defied public health guidelines to throng the popular shoreline last weekend. (report by Reuters)

120 million stimilus checks have been issued

President Donald Trump has announced that the IRS has already issued 120 million stimius checks to eligible Americans...

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In pictures: US President Donald Trump meets with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (L), Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx (2nd R) and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 30, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has proposed a $1 trillion fund to help state and local governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic...

The vaccine race

The World Health Organisation has revealed that there are currently 102 potential coronavirus vaccines being developed worldwide. 

Eight of the potential Covid-19 vaccines have already been approved for clinical trials. The American National Institutes of Health (NIH) trial was the first to being testing on humans on March 16.

Latest survey reveals citizens in all 50 states feel their governor is doing a better job than Trump, who will not like to hear such polling numbers six months ahead of the US election...

Oprah, Julia Roberts lead 'Call to Unite' 24-hour global livestream

Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Deepak Chopra and former U.S. President George W. Bush are among some 200 cultural and spiritual leaders taking part in a 24-hour livestream this weekend aimed at unity during the coronavirus pandemic. 'The Call to Unite,' starting on Friday at 8 p.m. ET (midnight GMT) and streamed globally on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms, hopes to support people who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus or who feel isolated, depressed or overwhelmed.

Classical musician Yo-Yo Ma, rapper Charlamagne tha God, the African Children's Choir, lifestyle guru Marie Kondo and American pastor Rick Warren are also among those who will offer prayers, songs and inspirational messages, organizers said. 'As much as it may feel like it, no one is alone in this moment,' the organizers said in a statement, inviting people around the world to 'join millions in solidarity over 24 powerful hours.'

The livestream, one of several remotely produced events aimed at bringing people together during the pandemic, is organized by Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics, founded in 1968, provides year-round sports training for people with intellectual disabilities, but its programs have been put on hold due to the coronavirus. (reporting by Reuters)

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