Coronavirus US summary 8 May: cases, deaths, news and stimulus checks, today

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Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - 7/8 May

USA

US coronavirus latest: 14:30 PST / 17:30 EST on Friday 8 May, (23:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 3,918,316 cases have been detected worldwide, with 273,034 deaths and 1,306,920 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,279,546 cases and 76,706 deaths. 195,036 people have recovered from the virus.

Trump, Saudi king reaffirm defense ties amid tensions

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman spoke by phone on Friday and "reaffirmed the strong United States-Saudi defense partnership," the White House said, amid tensions over Saudi's oil output.

The conversation came a day after a variety of reports said the United States plans to withdraw two Patriot anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia that have been a defense against Iran.

Trump had worked last month to persuade Saudi Arabia to cut its oil output after an increase in production during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic put heavy pressure on U.S. oil producers.

"The two leaders agreed on the importance of stability in global energy markets, and reaffirmed the strong United States-Saudi defense partnership. The president and King Salman also discussed other critical regional and bilateral issues and their cooperation as leaders of the G7 and G20, respectively," said White House spokesman Judd Deere.

The coronavirus is getting closer to Trump, it seems. 

A government watchdog says Rick Bright might have been pushed out for pushing back against Donald Trump's policies on coronavirus. "There was sufficient evidence to believe that his involuntary removal as” BARDA director “was retaliatory," said Bright's attorney.

US companies very cautiously starting to open back up.

Stimulus checks

Second round of stimulus checks could be stopped by Republicans

The US government are still considering sending out a second coronavirus stimulus check in May but some Republicans might stop that idea in its tracks as they put more focus on opening up the economy again rather than public spending. One republican senator said "people want ice water in hell too" before saying he was against public spending.

Various perspectives after news that US unemployment situation is the worst it's been since the Great Depression.

New York coronavirus hospitalizations at six-week low says governor

The number of people hospitalized for the novel coronavirus across New York has fallen to a six-week low as the state hit hardest by the pandemic has figured out how to "control the beast", Governor Andrew Cuomo told a briefing on Friday.

Cuomo said that hospitalizations dropped to 8,196 on Thursday, down from 8,665 a day earlier. It was the lowest level of hospitalizations for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, since March 27.

New York Times

The US unemployment situation has not been this bad since the Great Depression. There is hope, however, that they can bounce back quickly given the number of temporary lay-offs according to the New York Times.

Trump says record unemployment numbers were "fully expected"

On his call with Fox News this morning Trump was faced with the latest, shocking, unemployment numbers, with 14.7% of the workforce currently out of a job, up from 4.4% at the end of March. 

"It’s fully expected. There is no surprise. Even the Democrats are not blaming me for that,” Trump said. The president predicted that the third quarter will be one of transition, the fourth quarter will see recovery and “next year will be the best we’ve ever had".

Trump on Fox

President Donald Trump has given a breakfast interview with Fox News. Here's some of the headline.

- He will decide soon on funding the World Health Organisation. He previously decided to stop funding the WHO.

- Trump has not been tested for the coronavirus antibody, but will "probably do that soon"

- He does not believe China released the coronavirus on purpose. Note that the overwhelming majority of scientists do not consider the virus was released by humans, but that it jumped naturally to humans from another mammalian species. 

- According to the President, California and some other states could move quicker to reopening their economies. 

- Staff at White House will wear masks and "have already started". Trump has so far refused to wear a mask, even when in places where a mask was either recommended or obligatory. 
 

IRS no

Do not call the IRS

If you're having difficulties with your stimulus check DO NOT call the IRS. Here's advice on what to do.

Covidiots in a time of pandemic

Alfredo Relaño takes a look at fools behaving stupidly during #coronavirus lockdown, including Mou and Salomón Kalou.

Trump Golf

Democrats concerned over Trump organisation taking Advantage of coronavirus bailout funds in UK

Democrats are asking the Trump Organisation, which holds President Trumps’ properties including three golf resorts in the UK, for information about requests for coronavirus bailout funds from foreign governments amid concerns that it violates the US constitution, which calls for the president to have undivided loyalty to the US. 

Officials in the UK have also raised concerns about furlough schemes and loans being used by the Trump Organisation given the president’s apparent wealth. The Organisation has been said to be seeking UK and Irish bailout funds to cover wages of furloughed staff at the company’s golf properties.

What are you doing, man?

This happened in Michigan

 

AS front page: Friday 8 May

Trump and 'his' media

'Lies were reported as facts. Credible sceptics were downplayed, ignored or attacked as unpatriotic “appeasers”. The thrill of landing a big “story” overtook the media’s fundamental duty to prevent the public from being deceived.'

Ben Geurens puts forward his opinion for The Guardian.

Covid-19 causes worst jobs market since Great Depression

- Nonfarm payrolls forecast to plunge 22 million in April

- Unemployment rate seen surging to 16% from 4.4% in March

- Average hourly earnings expected to increase 0.4%

AS English will be taking a break from our live coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA but the morning team will be back shortly to keep you up to date with all developments and news as it breaks on Friday 8 May.  

Trump administration considering second tax delay

To help bolster the economy, the White House is weighing a variety of measures, including the possibility of extending the tax-filing deadline to September or even December, NBC News reports.

Millions of Americans are still waiting for their stimulus check from the US government and can see the status of their application on an IRS web portal.

Daily FT graphs

Since the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic, the daily algorithm based graphs by FT journalist John Burn-Murdoch have offered highly interesting analysis to the spread of the virus and its impact around the world.

NYC Mayor to outline park plans

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would release details on Friday on a plan to manage crowd sizes in some of the city parks.

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan governor allows coronavirus-hit manufacturers to reopen on May 11

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday said the state's factories can reopen on May 11, removing one of the last major obstacles to North American automakers bringing thousands of laid-off employees back to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While reopening the manufacturing sector, Whitmer also extended her state's stay-at-home order by about two weeks to May 28, citing a desire to avoid a second wave of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Not filled taxes and wondering about eligibility for a stimulus check?

 

US death toll tops 75,000 mark

The United States fatality figure from Covid-19 related deaths reached the milestone on Thursday evening.

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.

Trump

Donald Trump considering more coronavirus economic relief measures

President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration was considering further economic measures, possibly via executive orders, to provide help against the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump appeared to confirm the possibility of further postponement of the deadline for filing 2019 federal income tax returns, already extended by three months to July 15.

"Things could happen like that. We have to help people," Trump said in response to a question about the tax deadline and economic measures that would not require congressional action.

"We can do things ... through executive order or otherwise that can help a lot of people ... like delays. We can do delays of various files. ... I can see that happening," he said.

Congress has passed major coronavirus relief bills worth nearly $3 trillion, including payments of $1,200 to many individuals and more than $650 billion in loans to small businesses.

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 the latest information relating to the stimulus package and unemployment processes.

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