Coronavirus US summary: Covid-19 news, Thursday 14 May

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

Coronavirus live US updates: cases, deaths and news - 14 May

USA Covid

US coronavirus latest: 12:30 PST / 15:30 EST on Thursday 14 May (21:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 4,408,618 cases have been detected worldwide, with 300,315 deaths and 1,576,871 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,401,948 confirmed cases and 85,066 deaths. 243,430 people have recovered from the virus.

What's in Heroes Act, a proposed $3tn relief package?

House speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday unveiled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (Heroes) Act, a $3-trillion-dollar relief bill aimed at tackling the coronavirus and its economic effects in the US.

It is the most expensive of the five pieces of legislation so far proposed in America as a result of Covid-19’s financial impact.

U.S. Senate approves bill to pressure China over Uighur rights

The U.S. Senate approved legislation on Thursday calling on President Donald Trump's administration to toughen its response to China's crackdown on its Uighur Muslim minority, the latest push in Washington to punish China as Trump blames Beijing for worsening the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican-led Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, without a roll-call vote. Passage sends the measure to the Democratic-led House of Representatives, which must approve it before it is sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto. 

The House overwhelmingly approved its own legislation late last year responding to the treatment of the Uighurs. That measure called for sanctions against senior Chinese officials responsible for the crackdown on Muslims in the Xinjiang province, angering China.

Coronavirus

Municipal workers decontaminate outside of the LG Polymers Plant following a gas leak at the plant in Visakhapatnam, India, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/R Narendra/File Photo

Without wearing a mask, Trump tours Pennsylvania mask distribution center

Without wearing a face mask himself, President Donald Trump toured a mask distribution center in Pennsylvania on Thursday and announced plans to replenish the U.S. strategic stockpile of medical equipment depleted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump, a Republican who is running for re-election in November, has resisted wearing a mask in public despite his administration's guidance to Americans to wear them and new White House rules requiring that staff wear them at work.

The president toured the Owens & Minor Inc distribution center, which the White House said has sent millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns and gloves to hospitals and surgery centers across the United States. Company officials wore masks.

The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the Tebas siblings very busy. As LaLiga president Javier bids to safely restart professional league football in Spain, his brother, Pablo, is heading up a group of virologists at the University of Pennsylvania that are seeking to develop a vaccine to Covid-19.

Not something that should be applauded in this instance as thousands lose their lives over something that could have been prevented.

This comes on the back of Elon Musk's strange tweet asking that if anyone be arrested for the re-opening of his Tesla factories, let it be him.

U.S. says it condemns China-linked 'cyber actors' trying to steal COVID research

The United States on Thursday condemned attempts by China-linked "cyber actors and non-traditional collectors affiliated" to steal U.S. intellectual property and data related to coronavirus research, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

"The PRC’s behavior in cyberspace is an extension of its counterproductive actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," Pompeo said in a statement.

"While the United States and our allies and partners are coordinating a collective, transparent response to save lives, the PRC continues to silence scientists, journalists, and citizens, and to spread disinformation, which has exacerbated the dangers of this health crisis," he said.

Senator under investigation over market trades

Senator Richard Burr has stepped down as chairman of the Intelligence Committee amid a Justice Department investigation into stock-market trades he made early in the coronavirus pandemic.

Burr is suspected of breaking a law forbidding members of Conrgess from trading using insider information from their work, the Los Angeles Times revealed on Wednesday. 

Burr is reported by ProPublica to have dumped $1.7 million in stocks before the market crash caused by the coronavirus crisis.

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:

Michigan

People gather at the Michigan Capitol Building on May 14, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Protesters are angry at Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for the stay at home order currently being enforced in the state during the ongoing global pandemic due to Covid-19. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP 

US death toll under question

According to the New York Times, the US' protocols for coronavirus deaths may have led to an underestimation of the number of fatalities caused by the disease. 

Trump mobilizing U.S. military to deliver coronavirus vaccine

(Reuters) President Donald Trump is mobilizing the U.S. military to distribute a novel coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available and will focus first on older Americans.

"You know it's a massive job to give this vaccine," Trump said in an interview broadcast Thursday on Fox Business Network. "Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year, we're going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly."

He said he believes there will be a vaccine by the end of the year and the United States is mobilizing "our military and other forces" on that assumption.

The White House has set a target of having 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. No such vaccine for this pathogen has been approved though a number are under development, and producing and distributing an effective vaccine are seen as key steps to jumpstarting the U.S. economy.

What is Donald Trump's position on a second round of stimulus check payments?

The Democratic party have proposed for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to help cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic but what is the president's view?

Trump whistleblower says US "missed early warning signs"

Former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Rick Bright is expected to give the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic a going over when he testifies. 

France issues US vaccine warning

(Reuters) Giving some countries such as the United States priority access to any coronavirus vaccine developed by Sanofi would be unacceptable, France's junior economy minister said on Thursday, after the firm suggested Americans could get it first.

The French drugmaker's chief executive, Paul Hudson, said on Wednesday that vaccine doses produced in the United States could go to U.S. patients first, given the country had supported the research financially.

Sanofi, which had already flagged this possibility in recent weeks and had urged stronger European coordination in the hunt for a vaccine, has since clarified that it would be made available to all, following a backlash in France in particular. 

"It would of course be unacceptable for us if there were to be a privileged access for this or that country under pretext of a pecuniary motive, especially in the current context," Agnes Pannier-Runacher, France's junior economy minister, told Sud Radio.

"A new low in pandemic profiteering" 

Uber has come under fire in the US for its plans to buy out GrubHub. 

Whistleblower to warn Congress of 'grave risks' of rushing to reopen U.S.

(Reuters) A whistleblower who says he was removed as director of a government research office because he raised concerns about coronavirus preparedness will testify before a U.S. House of Representatives panel on Thursday. 

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce's health subcommittee will hear from Rick Bright, who until last month served as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, which is responsible for developing drugs to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

"Science – not politics or cronyism – must lead the way to combat this deadly virus," Bright will testify, according to written remarks made public on Wednesday.

Bright said he wanted his testimony to be "forward looking," adding that the U.S. faces "grave risks" if it eases restrictions too quickly and fails to develop a national coordinated response.

China calls U.S. accusation of hacking in Covid-19 research 'slander'

(Reuters) China's foreign ministry, asked about China-linked hackers breaking into U.S. Covid-19 research, said China opposed what it called slander from the United States.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian added on Thursday that any action online to sabotage efforts against the disease should be condemned.

Covid-19 impacts on Hollywood Bowl

The famed Hollywood Bowl amphitheater in Los Angeles has announced that it will not open for the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. It closed for 12 days in 1951, but has never been shuttered for an entire season in its 98 years.

WSJ

Wall Street Journal: Thursday cover

Staff taking customers' temperatures ahead of shopping and US companies reaping tax breaks to survive slump featured articles on the cover of today's WSJ.

Uber masks up

Uber is now requiring drivers to wear a mask from May 18. Drivers will have to upload a selfie to prove they are masked up, with mask-recognition software checking they are. If they then take the mask off, it's down to riders to complain to Uber HQ.

More rightwing militia protests 

Rightwing militia groups in Michigan are organising a protest at the state capitol building on Thursday in opposition to Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders designed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The Thursday protest will be just the latest in a series of rightwing protests about the lockdown policy, which have become heatedly political. 

On 30 April militia members openly carried assault rifles in the galleries of the state legislature.

On Facebook people have called for violence against the governor, with many calling for her assassination. Facebook have removed one group, Michigan United for Liberty and deleted posts on other groups. 

The man promoting hydroxychloroquine

Fascinating profile, well worth grabbing a coffee for:

Bike

Bike use soaring in US

A good story from the Guardian: bike ridership in the US is massively increasing in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

With less cars on the roads cycling feels a lot more fun...

Trump says Dem's plan DOA

Nancy Pelosi announced their latest $3 trillion coronavirus aid plan yesterday. Donald Trump today said it was "DOA. Dead on arrival. And Nancy Pelosi knew that"

Here are the some details of the plan, which provides for a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

Second stimulus check proposals

For a lot of Americans there is a dire need for some form of second stimulus payment - here are five of the most likely proposals to make it onto the statute books.

Coronavirus may become endemic, says WHO

The World Health Organisation has warned that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, could be come endemic, like HIV.

"It is important to put this on the table: This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away," said Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies expert.

"I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear. I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be," continued Ryan.

He noted that while there were great hopes for a vaccine, there are many other illness, such as measles, where vaccines exist but the disease has not been eliminated. 

NFL

NFL stuck on Zoom for now

Even if a city where a franchise is located terminates its local stay-at-home orders, players, coaches and staff are forbidden from attending their team's facility. 

USA Covid

US coronavirus latest: 15:30 PST / 18:30 EST on Wednesday 13 May (00:30 CEST on Thursday 14 May)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 4,336,973 cases have been detected worldwide, with 296,252 deaths and 1,538,388 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,388,002 confirmed cases and 83,791 deaths. 243,430 people have recovered from the virus.

Report from NBC New York into the inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19 in kids

This syndrome has been seen in Italy, the UK and Spain too.

Trump

Trump disagrees with Fauci

Yesterday top public health official Dr Anthony Fauci cautioned against opening schools too soon. President Trump is not happy about that and said this afternoon: “I was surprised by his answer,” Trump said. “To me it’s not an acceptable answer especially when it comes to schools.”

Trump has been pushing for schools and businesses to reopen, and specifically as to schools he said they should definitely reopen. 

"I think they should open the schools, absolutely. I think they should. It’s had very little impact on young people. And I think that if you’re an instructor, if you’re a teacher, a professor over a certain age like let’s say 65 or maybe even if you want to be conservative, 60, perhaps you want to stay out for a little while longer.

But I think you should absolutely open the schools. Our country has got to get back and it’s got to get back as soon as possible, and I don’t consider our country coming back if the schools are closed."

While young people appear to be far less affected by Covid-19, some children and youngsters have suffered side effects from the infection (some lethally so) and even if young people themselves do not suffer with infection they can pass it on to more at risk elderly individuals. 

Trump's latest

President Donald Trump has been speaking at the White House, you can catch up with everything he said, both to the governors of Colorado and North Dakota respectively, and the journalists there, on this tweet from ABC News:

Hello and welcome

Good afternoon/evening and welcome to our live coverage of the latest coronavirus news from the United States. 

The official global death toll is inching its way up to 300,000 (although the reality is likely to be far more than that with many people dying undiagnosed). Well over four million people worldwide have now been diagnosed with Covid-19.

In the US, nearly 1.4 million people have been confirmed to have or have had the virus. Sadly 83,715 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States.

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