Coronavirus US: summary of news for 4 and 5 May: cases, deaths, news and stimulus checks

Coronavirus US live updates: cases, deaths, news, and stimulus checks, today

Coronavirus live: latest USA Covid-19 news - 5 May

USA Cases

US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PST/16:00 EST (22:00 CEST) on Tuesday 5 May

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 3,640,835 cases have been detected worldwide, with 255,096 deaths and 1,186,730 people now recovering.

In the USA, there have been 1,194,494 cases with 70,272 deaths. 187,180 people have recovered from the virus.

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Mike  Pence

Coronavirus task force may be wound down

Vice President Mike Pence said the White House is looking to wind down its coronavirus task force over the coming weeks. 

This news comes as the US today passed 70,000 Covid-19 deaths, with at least one projection warning the daily death toll could hit 3,000 by 1 June.

US passes 70,000 deaths from Covid-19

According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University the death toll in the US from the coronavirus has now passed 70,000. 

President Donald Trump continues to revise upwards his prediction of deaths from Covid-19. On Sunday he said in an interview with Fox News, "we're going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people", up from his previous prediction before that of 65,000.

The full list of every sport affected by coronavirus. What events are cancelled or postponed... and which sports are about to open up again.

US government sued over stimulus checks

Children of undocumented immigrants are suing the government for being denied the stimulus payments designed to help with economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci

Fauci won't be allowed to speak to the House

Donald Trump said today that Anthony Fauci won't be allowed to the speak before the Democrat dominated House because "The House is a set up. The House is a bunch of Trump haters".

The President said Fauci, the government's top infectious diseases expert, who has became famous for his appearances at Trump's daily coronavirus briefing, will be allowed to speak to the Senate, where Republicans have a majority: "Dr. Fauci will be testifying in front of the Senate, and he looks forward to doing that."

The stick-on throat patch that detects Covid-19 symptoms

Researchers in the United States are developing a wearable throat patch designed to detect signs of Covid-19 and monitor the progress of sufferers.

Full story:

"Possible more early cases will be found as countries retest samples"

After the discovery in France of a coronavirus case from late December, the World Health Organization has urged countries to retest samples to better understand how and how extensively the virus has spread.

The United States has begun retesting patients for coronavirus, leading an autopsy in California to find that the state’s first case came a month earlier than previously thought.

Full story:

Stars dress up despite Met Gala cancellation

Although Monday’s annual Met Gala was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, that didn’t prevent the stars from dressing up in honour of the New York event, which is one of the major attractions of the fashion calendar.

Celebrities such as Julia Roberts and Amanda Siegried took to social media to post pictures of themselves in the glamorous outfits that they would have worn. 

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic:

What to do with a stimulus check for someone who died

Stimulus checks have been sent to deceased people as the IRS didn't have time to cross-reference databases given the importance of the coronavirus financial impact.

More here:

Pfizer and BioNTech begin human vaccine trials

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Tuesday they have begun delivering doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines for initial human testing in the United States.

The US drugmaker and German partner said if the vaccine proves to be safe and effective in trials, it could potentially be ready for wide US distribution by the end of the year, shaving several years off the typical vaccine development timeline.

The vaccine, which uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, has the potential to be among the first vaccines against the virus that has infected more than 1,000,000 people in the United States and killed some 68,000.

(Reuters)

US stimulus checks: how to get your payment faster

Millions of eligible American residents have been receiving stimulus checks to help them cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis.

More details here:

Where is my stimulus paper check and when will it arrive?

As of 4 May, more than 80 million people in the United States have received their stimulus payments - but there are many more who are still waiting for their $1,200 payment to arrive.

Full details here:

Fauci also dismisses China laboratory theory

In an interview with National Geograhic, Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has joined the World Health Organization and the 'Five Eyes' network in pouring cold water on suggestions that the coronavirus was created in a lab in China.

“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated," Fauci told the publication. "Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species."

What's 'helicopter money'?

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, 150 million stimulus checks are expected to be distributed in the United States.

As a result of the cash injections being received by people in the US, the term ‘helicopter money’ has become a feature of the current financial conversation.

Here's where it comes from:

'Five Eyes' spy network has no evidence Covid-19 created in lab

In addition to the WHO's statement that suggestions the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab are "speculative", intelligence sources have told the Guardian newspaper that the ‘Five Eyes’ spy network comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US has no evidence to support the theory.

WHO denies Trump's China claims

The World Health Organization said on Monday that Washington had provided no evidence to support ‘speculative’ claims by the US president that the new coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.

"We have not received any data or specific evidence from the United States government relating to the purported origin of the virus - so from our perspective, this remains speculative," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual briefing.

(AFP)

Internal White House report warns of potential daily death toll

The daily death toll in the US could reach 3,000 people a day by June, according to an internal Trump administration report obtained by the New York Times, the BBC reports. 

Global coronavirus deaths exceed quarter of a million

(Reuters) - Global coronavirus deaths reached 250,000 on Monday after recorded infections topped 3.5 million, a Reuters tally of official government data showed, although the rate of fatalities has slowed.

North America and European countries accounted for most of the new deaths and cases reported in recent days, but numbers were rising from smaller bases in Latin America, Africa and Russia.

Globally, there were 3,062 new deaths and 61,923 new cases over the past 24 hours, taking total cases to 3.58 million.

That easily exceeds the estimated 140,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 caused by measles, and compares with around 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness caused annually by seasonal influenza, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

While the current trajectory of COVID-19 falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of patients, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

The concerns come as several countries begin to ease strict lockdowns that have been credited with helping contain the spread of the virus.

"We could easily have a second or a third wave because a lot of places aren't immune," Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital, told Reuters. He noted the world was well short of herd immunity, which requires around 60% of the population to have recovered from the disease.

Trump administration pushing to rip global supply chains from China

(Reuters) - The Trump administration is "turbocharging" an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as it weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials familiar with U.S. planning.

President Donald Trump, who has stepped up recent attacks on China ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas.

Now, economic destruction and the U.S. coronavirus death toll are driving a government-wide push to move U.S. production and supply chain dependency away from China, even if it goes to other more friendly nations instead, current and former senior U.S. administration officials said.

"We’ve been working on (reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China) over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative," Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the State Department told Reuters.

"I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist," Krach said, adding that the matter was key to U.S. security and one the government could announce new action on soon.

An important day every year, but even more so in 2020. Read more about Hand Hygiene Day. 

And if your stimulus payment has been wrong, here's some guidance on what to do. 

Make sure you don't miss out on additional stimulus payments if you have dependent children!

It's not reassuring.

Projection of Covid-19 deaths: nearly 135,000 by August

New U.S. COVID-19 forecasts project nearly 135,000 deaths in the United States through the beginning of August, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Monday.

The revised projections almost double the number of deaths foreseen in the United States since the last estimate in mid-April.

The new projections reflect rising mobility and the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11, said the IHME, whose models are used by the White House. The increasing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus, it said.

In some places in the US the infection numbers are flattening or even declining, but in others they are still on the rise...

People are worried about the debt load, but if the US doesn't spend now to cushion the impact of coronavirus, the effects could be far, far worse.

McConnell

US Senators back in Washington

On the political front, US Senators are back in Washington for the first time in nearly six weeks. There is concern that their legislative sessions could put lawmakers and staff at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. 

The Senate reconvened at 3 p.m. ET and party leaders immediately raised partisan differences over the next step in how to combat the pandemic, nominations for senior government posts put forward by President Donald Trump and the decision to come back to the Capitol.

Democrats and Republicans set to tussel over aid 

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over the contents of any new coronavirus legislation. Democrats want up to $1 trillion to help state and local governments. Republicans are demanding liability protections for businesses, as a condition for moving forward on any bill.

With Washington still under a stay-at-home order, lawmakers were advised by the congressional physician to wear masks, stay six feet (2 meters) apart and limit the number of staff on Capitol Hill.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives chose to remain in recess this week because of potential health risks.
 

Hello and welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of all the latest Covid-19 news on 4 and 5 May, as it happens from around the United States. 

Sadly, the official global death toll from the coronavirus now stands at over 250,000, with 68,442 of those being in the US. That's some 27% of deaths occurring in the United States. 

What is clear however is that total number of actual deaths caused by the pandemic is very much higher than 250,000, because many coronavirus deaths are not being attributed to Covid-19 due to a lack of testing.

Italy's institute for statistics today revealed some 11,600 'extra' unaccounted for deaths in the population between 21 February and 31 March. This situation is likely repeated in most countries, including the USA.

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