Coronavirus US summary: cases, deaths, news and stimulus checks

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

Coronavirus live US updates: cases, deaths and news - 12 May

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US coronavirus latest: 13:30 PST / 16:30 EST Tuesday 12 May (22:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University4,239,872 cases have been detected worldwide, with 290,269 deaths and 1,482,930 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,359,319 confirmed cases and 81,805 deaths232,733 people have recovered from the virus.

We have wrapped up this live feed for the day but you can follow Wednesday 13 May's latest and breaking news right here.

In abrupt move, Connecticut replaces health commissioner amid pandemic

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said on Tuesday he was replacing his public health commissioner, in an abrupt decision to shakeup leadership of the agency at the heart of the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lamont said in a statement that Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre Gifford would take over as head of the state's public health department, replacing Renee

Coleman-Mitchell, effective immediately. While the statement did not disclose a reason for the change, Coleman-Mitchell has been the subject of controversy since taking the helm last year, including an allegation of racial discrimination.

The move comes one day after Connecticut disclosed that it had surpassed 3,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. It is one of the hardest-hit states and, like other states, has struggled to protect nursing homes.

Coleman-Mitchell's "service over the last year has been a great deal of help, particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has brought disruption to many throughout the world," Lamont said in his statement.

Donald Trump thinks the coronavirus is just going to disappear but Dr Fauci says it's 'just not going to happen'. 

Why payment may be different amount than expected?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started sending stimulus payments in mid-April and as of yesterday 12 May, they have sent over 130 million with the promise that more are on the way as millions of Americans are still waiting for that payment. To check the status of their check they can visit the ‘Get My Payment’ portal.

The IRS said that payments are sent as a check by mail or through direct deposit for those who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. Some people have been getting a different amount of the $1,200 expected and the IRS noted that they had to revert to the 2018 tax return to calculate eligibility and amount of the economic impact payment.

What is the Cares 2 Act and when will it go to the Congress and Senate?

Democrats are trying push through another bill as soon as Monday or Tuesday but Republicans are wary of further public spending while the economy is shut down.

US state-by-state tracker

White House waiting on reopening data before deciding on next coronavirus aid

(Reuters) - Top Trump administration officials want to wait and see the effects of state economies reopening before deciding the shape of the next stages of coronavirus rescue legislation, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Tuesday.

Hassett told a Brookings Institution webcast event that it was possible that existing aid meant to float businesses and workers through coronavirus shutdowns might be enough to keep the economy on solid ground if reopenings were successful, but more data was needed.

"Right now we're watching the economies that open up, watching how quickly economic acclivity picks up and watching the response of the disease and as we get more information on that, then we can make a judgment about what the next phase might look like," Hassett said.

Twitter have made a move many think is the future of work

Twitter Inc on Tuesday became the first major tech company to allow employees who can work remotely to do so indefinitely, as the coronavirus outbreak forces unprecedented changes in work culture across the world.

The pandemic, which has infected more than 4.2 million people globally so far, has led to strict lockdowns in most countries and changed the way businesses function, with work-from-home emerging as the new norm.

The social media company said it will not re-open most offices before September and employees can choose whether or not to come to the facilities. BuzzFeed first reported Twitter's move.

Twitter said it will not have business travels before September, with very few exceptions, and no in-person company events for the rest of 2020.

The US budget deficit in the last 12 months has widened to almost $3 trillion. CNBC report that it is partly because of a delay in tax filings.

The race is one to get the vaccine as companies invest in getting ahead of the rest. 

Senate hearing

Covid-19 response leaders speak at Senate hearing

Senators listen to HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir remotely during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Tuesday. The committee is hearing testimony from members of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce on how to safely open the country and get America back to work and school. (Photo: EFE/EPA/WIN MCNAMEE / POOL)

Coronavirus vaccine: "Trump's 'America First' approach hinders the global search"

The "go-it-alone approach" adopted by Donald Trump's administration in the search for a coronavirus vaccine "has seen it exclude the US government from an accelerating global effort against Covid-19, raising concerns that the endeavor could falter without official US support and leadership," reports Tom McCarthy in the Guardian:

Football academy

A visit to the national football stadium is usually a big occasion in a young fan's life, but for some schoolchildren in Copenhagen it has become part of the daily routine. Could other countries see similar initiatives?

Prison infections

Worrying tactic to ensure an early release from jail seen in LA.

Stimulus check: part II

A new plan from the right is being examined which aims to provide struggling Americans with an immediate cash injection, but this one is 'opt-in' for a reason.

Will the IRS contact me about my stimulus check? Do I need to contact the IRS?

Millions of people in America are being sent Economic Impact Payments to help them cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Particularly among those yet to receive their money, the initiative has prompted frequently-asked questions about contacting, and being contacted by, the IRS.

Full details here:

"We're in the middle of a mental-health crisis. Millions of Americans are suffering in silence"

"The overall financial and health impact of Covid-19 is unprecedented," writes CNBC in an op-ed published today. "However, while we can think of little else, we are also in the middle of a mental-health crisis. Millions of Americans are suffering in silence. They are sad and alone. They feel scared and hopeless."

Can coronavirus stay in my hair or in a beard?

Coronavirus particles can linger in still air for several hours but if droplets land on my hair or in my beard, is there a chance I can become infected?

Full details here:

Covid-19 leaves Democrats planning "smaller-than-usual or mostly virtual" convention

Fauci warns of "needless suffering and death"

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, who is a leading member of the United States’ coronavirus taskforce, has revealed to the New York Times that he is to tell a hearing by the US Senate on Tuesday that reopening America too soon will lead to “needless suffering and death”.

In an email to the newspaper, Fauci said: "If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal."

Stimulus check: will there be a second round of payments?

Stimulus check payments have been distributed by the Internal Revenue Services to help millions of Americans during the outbreak. Will there be more of these payments?

Full story here:

US

Medical workers from the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York come out to be greeted by applause from FDNY firefighters, NYPD police officers, neighbours and passerby for their efforts in caring for Covid-19 patients. (Photo: GTRES)

Doubts over Russia figures

Donald Trump has questioned nightly the numbers coming out of China, but there are other doubts around the world's reporting of coronavirus cases.

FT latest trends

Elon Musk to be arrested

...well, that's at least his desire if any prosecution is to take place at his plant.

UNICEF doubles Covid-19 appeal

United Nations children's agency UNICEF appealed on Monday for $1.6 billion, more than doubling its initial request for money two months ago to help children already suffering through humanitarian crises and now hit with the coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF said it has so far received $215 million since late March.

The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness Covid-19, has infected some 4.1 million people globally and more than 282,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally. The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

"We have seen what the pandemic is doing to countries with developed health systems and we are concerned about what it would do to countries with weaker systems and fewer available resources," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

Footage of the Trump walk off

Trump

Trump lashes out then leaves press briefing

President Donald Trump reacted angrily at a press briefing after being asked by Asian American reporter Weijia Jiang why the president emphasised how many tests the US was doing when so many people were still dying and there were more cases every day. 

Trump replied: "Well, they are losing their lives everywhere in the world. Maybe that is a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China that question. When you ask China that question you may get a very unusual answer.”

Trump then called on Kaitlin Collins of CNN for the next question, but as she readied to speak Jiang asked Trump why he had said what he had to her specifically.

"I am not saying it specifically to anybody. I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that."

Collins attempted to ask her question but Trump said she had lost her chance. As she objected, Trump decided he'd had enough and walked off. 

Opening up

This of course is the big question: even if people are allowed out to eat and drink and socialise, will they?

How much fun is eating out if you're worried about getting a disease that could kill you, or give you a stroke or leave you needing dialysis when your kidneys fail. And even if it doesn't harm you, what about your ageing parent or grandparent...

White House imposes mandatory face mask use

(Reuters) The White House has directed staff working in the West Wing, where the daily operations of President Donald Trump's administration are carried out, to wear masks at all times in the building, except when they are at their own desks, a senior administration official confirmed on Monday.

ABC News first reported that a new memo directed everyone who enters the wing to cover their faces. With Trump's valet and Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary both testing positive for the deadly coronavirus last week, pressure is growing for the White House to take further steps in protecting the health of country's 73-year-old president.

Disney pushes ahead with plans to reopen theme parks

Citing "encouraging" signs from Shanghai, Disney CEO Bob Chapek says the company will be “very conservative” as it looks to reopen theme parks in the US. 

Pence

Trump to limit contact with VP Pence

(AFP) Donald Trump on Monday raised the possibility of limiting contact with his vice-president Mike Pence, which appeared to confirm he was in quarantine after a case of coronavirus in his entourage.

Asked at a press conference about measures to limit their contacts preventively, the President of the United States replied: "This is something we will probably talk about during this quarantine period".

Pence, who remains in charge of the White House Covid-19 Task Force, was not present at the press conference.

MLB

MLB owners to present proposal to start season

(Reuters) Major League Baseball owners will present a proposal to players on Tuesday that will outline plans for the start of the coronavirus-hit 2020 season, a source close to the talks told Reuters on Monday.

Like other major professional sports leagues, MLB's calendar has been put on hold amid the outbreak and its March 26 Opening Day never materialized.

Team owners on Monday agreed a plan to start playing in empty stadiums in early July, with the owners and players splitting the revenues 50-50, ESPN reported, citing sources.

The players are expected to push back against the revenue splitting proposal and an inability to strike a deal could jeopardize the entire season, ESPN said.

MLB and the Players Association did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

U.S. coronavirus death toll tops 80,000

(Reuters) U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 80,000 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, as nearly all states have taken steps to relax lockdown measures.

Deaths in the United States, the epicenter of the global pandemic, have averaged 2,000 a day since mid-April despite efforts to slow the outbreak.

The death toll is higher than any fatalities from the seasonal flu going back to 1967 and represents more U.S. deaths than during the first 11 years of the AIDS epidemic, from 1981 to 1992.

Total coronavirus cases in the United States have exceeded 1.3 million with infections rising in such states as Mississippi, Minnesota and Nebraska, highlighting the risk of a new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Cases are falling in New Jersey and New York at the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, accounting for nearly half of the American deaths from Covid-19, according to a Reuters tally, and the two states have among the strictest lockdown rules still in place.

Coronavirus live US: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Globally we have now seen over four million cases officially registered.

We'll endeavour to bring you the latest news and statistics as they emerge throughout the day...

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