Coronavirus USA news summary: cases and deaths - 20 May

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

Coronavirus live USA updates: cases, deaths and news - 20 May

USA

US coronavirus latest: 13:00 PST, 16:00 EST and 22:00 CEST on Wednesday 20 May

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University4,955,312 cases have been detected worldwide, with 325,810 deaths and 1,874,998 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,541,110 confirmed cases and 92,712 deaths with 289,392 people recovering from the virus.

For all the latest developments and breaking news concerning the coronavirus crisis in the USA, please head over to our live blog for Thursday 21 May here

Counties across the Golden State will be allowed to open up further from the full coronavirus lockdown if they meet certain standards.

Wall Street

People walk past the New York Stock Exchange, which is set to reopen its trading floor next week after being closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

The coronavirus crisis has cost some 36.5 million American jobs in two months with experts warning that figures could peak above the height of the Great Depression in 1933.

CDC studies return to school in US

According to Politico, the Centers for Disease Control has been looking at the possibility of reopening some schools in the US next month. 

New York City's low-income, minority areas hit hardest by Covid-19

(Reuters) New York City residents from low-income communities have tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies at a higher-than-average rate, underscoring the disproportionate impact of the disease on people of color, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Cuomo told a daily briefing that of the 8,000 people tested in low-income communities of the city, 27% had antibodies for Covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, compared with 19.9% in the general population.

US successfully tests vaccine on monkeys

A prototype Covid-19 vaccine has apparently been successfully trialled on monkeys but the search for a fully safe and widely available coronavirus vaccine is likely to stretch towards the new year, experts have warned. 

Donald Trump continues to make friends in China. 

The coronavirus has become the hot-button political topic as some want to open the country back up and others don't.

Stimulus check

Second stimulus check: what needs to happen for it to be approved

The $3tn HEROES Act includes a second coronavirus Economic Impact Payment for people earning under $75,000 annually in the United States. But what needs to happen for it to be voted in by the government.

False information has been rampant during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delta CEO: More summer flights seen as U.S. travel slowly rises

Delta Air Lines Inc is likely to increase capacity this summer by adding flights in June and July as U.S. domestic travel slowly picks up amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

CEO Edward Bastian told Fox Business Network the airline's 60% cap on passenger load would help it maintain social distancing, while it also undertakes other efforts such as cleaning to boost customer confidence.

"Today our load factor on Delta is somewhere about 35-40% full," he said in an interview. "Once we get close to 60% on an individual route that'll be the trigger for us to add more planes into the system."

Trump threatens to cut off federal money for Michigan over mail-in voting

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Michigan's plan to send mail-in voting applications to all voters in the state illegal, without citing a specific law, and threatened to withhold funding to the state.

"This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!" Trump wrote in a tweet.

As in 1918, New York may use staggered work hours to keep subway safe

As New York City makes plans to reopen in the coming months, officials are dusting off the playbook from the 1918 flu pandemic, when businesses were ordered to begin their work days at staggered times to prevent the subway from becoming a vector of disease.

The idea, then and now, is to spread riders through the day to avoid the kind of crowding health experts fear could turn the subway into a breeding ground for the novel coronavirus which has killed over 20,000 people in the city.

Talks over staggered hours and days for offices are still at an early stage, a member of the New York state's reopening panel told Reuters. Coordination could prove complex in a city of 220,000 businesses, most of them smaller firms.

But Patrick Foye, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has been making the case to business leaders, signaling that he sees it as key to restoring confidence in the tangled web of 665 miles of track that ferried 5.5 million people a day before the lockdown in March.

Coronavirus

People gather outside of Springreens Community Cafe to get free Iftar meals for fasting Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 19 May 2020. The halal restaurant located next door to Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, Atlanta's oldest mosque, has served more than 10,000 free Iftar meals to Muslims and others during Ramadan's convergence with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. EFE/EPA/ERIK S. LESSER

emissions

Largest drop in carbon emissions in recorded history

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on countries, communities and families. The global economy has not seen anything like it for decades and unemployment is widespread. Cities were closed down because of strict quarantine and isolation measures and airlines have practically ceased operations.

The lack of cars on the road and planes in the sky has contributed to an estimated 17 percent decline in daily global carbon dioxide emissions compared to daily global averages from 2019 according to an analysis carried out on Tuesday and published in the Nature Climate Change journal.

U.S. Department of Justice warns California governor over pandemic church closings

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday warned California's governor that his COVID-19 restrictions discriminated against places of worship by preventing them from meeting while businesses and film studios are allowed to carry on working.

In a three-page letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, the DOJ said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution required churches and other houses of worship be given equal treatment under the law, even when a health emergency has been declared.

"Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband wrote in the letter.

A spokesman for Newsom, asked for comment, said only that the governor's office had received the DOJ letter.

Nancy Pelosi said people in Trump's weight group, 'morbidly obese', should not be taking drugs that are not approved by science.

Study warning of hydroxychloroquine effects a "Trump enemy statement", says US president

Donald Trump has also claimed that a recent Veterans Department study on hydroxychloroquine, which found that the drug could lead to dangerous side effects, is a "Trump enemy statement".

It was revealed earlier this week that the United States president has been taking a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine, which is unproven as a coronavirus remedy.

Trump says US case count a "badge of honor"

The US president, Donald Trump, has told reporters that the country's coronavirus case count, which is higher than anywhere else in the world, is a "badge of honor" because it reflects the large amount of testing that the nation is carrying out.

The next gen

Covid-19 has changed the economic landscape for many of those currently in work, but also for those about to enter it.

Covid-19 spread

Watch as this dynamic graphic shows how the rate of infection quickly spread around the globe...

Trump on the deregulation

US coronavirus latest: 16:00 PST/19:00 EST on Tuesday 19 May (01:00 CEST Wed 20 May)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University4,881,619 cases have been detected worldwide, with 322,457 deaths and 1,672,406 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,524,156 confirmed cases and 91,661 deaths with 283,178 people recovering from the virus.

Yesterday's news

You can catch up on our previous feed here and it was another busy day. The headlines:

- Donald Trump taking hydroxychloroquine pills daily

- China says Trump deflecting attention from own mishandling of crisis

- The IRS issue prepaid debit cards to those waiting for their stimulus check

- US President Donald J. Trump signs an executive order making hundreds of deregulations

Coronavirus live US: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now led to nearly five million cases worldwide with well over 1.5 million reported cases in the US.

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

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