Coronavirus USA news summary: cases and deaths - 6/7 May

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Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - 7 May

Trump

White House shelved CDC guidance on easing of virus restrictions

The White House shelved a step-by-step guide prepared by U.S. health officials to help states safely reopen mass transit, restaurants, daycare centers and other public places closed by the coronavirus pandemic, an administration official said on Thursday.

The 17-page document prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was put off to avoid giving "overly prescriptive" guidance, said the official, a member of President Donald Trump's White House task force, confirming a news report by the Associated Press that the guidance was shelved.

More than 74,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

Can I use my stimulus check to pay off credit card debt?

Over 155 billion dollars has already been paid out in 88 million checks and with a total of 150 million non-taxable payments expected to be made out by the end of stimulus check scheme.

BRIAN SNYDER

National Guard distribute free milk in Boston

Members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard distribute free milk, offered instead of dairy farmers throwing away excess milk due to lower demand amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Trump

Trump tests negative for coronavirus, White House says, after report valet infected

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative for the novel coronavirus after a member of the U.S. military who worked at the White House was found to have been infected, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

The military official was identified by CNN as a personal valet to Trump."We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for Coronavirus. The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health," spokesman Hogan

Gidley said in a statement. Trump has now been tested at least twice for the coronavirus and both times tested negative. A test on April 2 came out negative, the White House said.

Trump

Kremlin says Trump offered to send coronavirus medical aid to Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump offered during a phone call on Thursday with Russia's President Vladimir Putin to send medical aid to Moscow to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

In a readout of the phone call, the Kremlin said the two presidents had also discussed global oil markets, noting their support for last month's output deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, something they said had helped stabilise oil prices.

Vaccine addiction

The big drug companies are all obsessed about getting ahead in the race to find a cure, so are not waiting around for government direction. An interesting opinion piece for the WSJ.

Younger people sadder and lonelier

People under 35 have been made sadder and lonelier than older adults as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, a European survey found, concluding that the strain of being separated from friends and family was taking a tougher toll on the young.

The report, from an online survey of 85,000 people across the continent by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, found a sharp deterioration in reported quality of life among all ages. With most Europeans confined to their homes by the coronavirus outbreak, 16% said they were lonely 'all or most of the time' over the past two weeks, up from just 6% who described themselves as lonely in surveys before the crisis.

There were differences across countries, which may reflect how long they have been in lockdown or how severe the crisis has been. Greeks and Bulgarians reported the lowest level of life satisfaction. Loneliness was most common among the French. Optimism was below average in countries hardest-hit by the virus, including France, Italy, Belgium and Spain.

Are you eligible for PUA?

Some of those who may not have been able to apply for unemployment benefits in the past can now file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

First immigrant detainee dies of Covid-19

The first immigrant in U.S. detention has died of the novel coronavirus, local health authorities in the state of California said on Thursday, via Reuters, as infections steadily climbed among the country's around 30,000 immigrant detainees.

A 57-year-old man, who was held at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego before being hospitalised in late April, died on Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said. ICE did not respond to a request for comment.

Local media reported earlier that a family representative of the deceased man had identified him. They said the man, who was diabetic and left El Salvador with his mother and sisters in 1980, had lived in the Los Angeles area and had been detained since January.

US

US unemployment report: 7 May - millions more claim

Each Thursday since the coronavirus crisis forced US companies to close down operations, we have seen millions of Americans make their jobless claims. Here are the figures from Thursday 7 May.

Surreal stuff as the US secretary of the treasury got into a spat on Twitter with Axl Rose from Guns' N' Roses. But he posted a flag of Liberia instead of the United States.

A glitch in the system saw people who had filed their taxes for the last two years but had since passed away receive checks from the IRS and now the IRS wants them back despite some of them already being cashed.

"We ride that seesaw every day - is it a good idea?" said the district's superintendant. "We're not taking this lightly. We don't want people to think we're being irresponsible by making this choice. We're trying to do what we feel is in the best interest of the students."

coronavirus

Hoaxes and scams over stimulus money

Hackers, scammers and hoaxers have set their sights on government-issued stimulus checks. 180,000 coronavirus-themed websites have been set up to encourage people to fill in their details in an effort to get their $1,200. These are nervous times for people in the United States with over 26 million people now unemployed and these scammers are taking advantage of those nerves.

Seems a nice way to remember that despite the large numbers, these are still people with families and jobs and lives that they have left behind.

The row between China and the US continues to escalate. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said there was overwhelming evidence that the virus was created in China and escaped from a lab there. He was challenged to show proof of these claims by China but has gone quiet over the issue. 

Celie Marcos

Nurses, colleagues and friends of Celia Marcos gather during a vigil to honor her memory amid the coronavirus pandemic at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 06 May 2020. Celia Marcos died two days after testing positive for COVID-19, which she contracted at work. She was 61. EFE/EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Donald Trump says US citizens have "to be warriors"

“We have to be warriors,” Trump told Fox News when asked if Americans should expect additional deaths as the country looks to reopen. “We can’t keep our country closed down for years.”

The president added: “Hopefully that won’t be the case … but it could very well be the case.”

US announces $225 million in emergency aid to Yemen

(Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday announced it will provide $225 million in emergency aid to Yemen to support food programs, and called on the Houthis to do more to allow aid operations to operate "independently and neutrally".

U.S. Secretary of Mike Pompeo told a news conference that the funding Washington is committing will go to the U.N. World Food Program’s (WFP) emergency food operation in southern Yemen, as well as its reduced operation in northern Yemen.

The WFP said it was going to halve the aid it gives to people in parts of Yemen controlled by the Houthi movement from mid-April after donors cut funding over concerns the Houthis are hindering aid deliveries.

Yemen is already grappling with the world's biggest humanitarian crisis caused by a war between the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore the internationally recognized government, and the Houthi movement that drove the government from power in Sanaa in late 2014.

US unemployment rolls seen swelling as coronavirus restrictions bite

Millions more Americans likely sought unemployment benefits last week, suggesting a broadening of layoffs from consumer facing industries to other segments of the economy and could remain elevated even as many parts of the country start to reopen.

The Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report on Thursday will probably reinforce economists' views of a protracted recovery of the economy, which is reeling from nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

The economy shrank in the first quarter at the steepest pace since the Great Recession from 2007-2009. The weekly claims report would follow news on Wednesday that private payrolls fell by a record 20.2 million in April, which set up the overall labor market for historic job losses last month. (Reuters)

New, dominant coronavirus strain could beat vaccines

According to a study carried out at a lab in the US, the mutation that has occurred in the dominant strain of the virus makes it particularly dangerous.

Full story:

McEnany denies Trump made exaggerated-death-toll remarks

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has denied a report that president Donald Trump has said the US death toll has been exaggerated. 

Earlier on Wednesday, meanwhile, Trump suggested that more deaths in the US was a necessary price to be paid for reopening the country’s economy

We have to be warriors,” the 73-year-od told Fox News reporter John Roberts. “We can’t keep our country closed down for years.”

US Unemployment Insurance: phone numbers and online portals by state

State-by-state contact information for people in the United States who need to file a claim for unemployment benefits:

Pressed hard

Recently-appointed White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had to field a number of tough questions, and people have started to react to her performance.

Testing times

Mike Johnson from Louisiana's 4th Congressional District is one of those happy with Trump's efforts amid the growing number of deaths of US citizens.

Sliding oil price

"Disgruntled" ex-employee, says Trump

Where better to begin than with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said that an ousted health official who filed a whistleblower's complaint accusing the administration of retaliating when he voiced concerns about the coronavirus in January seemed to be a disgruntled person who wants to help Democrats.

The Republican president told reporters at the White House that he did not hear good things about Rick Bright, who was ousted last month from his job as the director of a U.S. agency responsible for developing drugs to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Bright had been director of agency, known as BARDA, since 2016. Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees BARDA, said Bright had been moved to a new role within the National Institutes of Health. Bright said in a whistleblower complaint filed with a government watchdog on Tuesday that he warned about the virus in January and was met with hostility from HHS Secretary of Health Alex Azar and other high-ranking officials in the agency.

USA live blog - welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of all the latest Covid-19 news as it happens from in and around the United States. 

With our rolling feed we'll aim to keep you posted on everything from President Trump's latest comments to the most recent developments on vaccines and treatment, not to mention how to's related to the stimulus package and unemployment processes.

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