Coronavirus USA news summary: cases and deaths - 21/22 May

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

Coronavirus live USA: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 22 May

This US coronavirus live feed is now closed. For the latest updates, stats. and breaking news relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA please follow the May 22/23 blog here.

Another company set to possibly disappear due to the coronavirus.

A lovely tribute by the NY Times to remind us that there are families and stories behind every number we see in the statistics.

U.S. veterans agency has given hydroxychloroquine to 1,300 coronavirus patients

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has treated 1,300 coronavirus patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which a study has tied to an increased risk of death, according to a document released by a Senate Democrat on Friday.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who received the information from the VA in response to questions he submitted on the issue, said he was "deeply troubled" by the data.

President Donald Trump has long urged use of hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus and recently said he has been taking it himself, despite evidence that the treatment could be harmful.

A study published on Friday in the medical journal Lancet tied the drug to an increased risk of death in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

In April, doctors at VA itself also said hydroxychloroquine did not help COVID-19 patients and might pose a higher risk of death.

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How to celebrate Memorial Day 2020 during Covid?

The US will celebrate Memorial Day this weekend with many citizens divided over whether to re-open the country or not. Scientists are concerned that the mingling that usual takes place during Memorial Day weekend could see a spike in cases but they have given advice on how to celebrate the holidays in a safe way.

The debate about re-opening the country rages on in America and whether the country should. That is before the questions about whether small businesses can survive are answered.

Democrats have been pressuring the Senate to approve the HEROES Act that among other measures will provide a second round of stimulus payment for millions of Americans struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

But Republicans are not in favor of the HEROES Act and want the economy to reopen as soon as possible amid the outbreak. Republicans say the bill is DOA and it will not be discussed until after Memorial Day weekend.

But Trumo was more optimistic about a second round of stimulus checks.

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Americans will celebrate Memorial Day weekend this weekend, a national holidays typically filled with family trips and visits out of state. Given the fragile state of the country at the moment and the varying laws regarding lockdown, many Americans who had plans to travel will instead stay at home. But where exactly can they travel to this weekend?

U.S. plans massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet year-end deadline

The United States plans a massive testing effort involving more than 100,000 volunteers and a half dozen or so of the most promising vaccine candidates in an effort to deliver a safe and effective one by the end of 2020, scientists leading the program told Reuters.

The project will compress what is typically 10 years of vaccine development and testing into a matter of months, testimony to the urgency to halt a pandemic that has infected more than 5 million people, killed over 335,000 and battered economies worldwide.

To get there, leading vaccine makers have agreed to share data and lend the use of their clinical trial networks to competitors should their own candidate fail, the scientists said.

Candidates that demonstrate safety in small early studies will be tested in huge trials of 20,000 to 30,000 subjects for each vaccine, slated to start in July.

Broadway

Two regions near New York City ready to reopen

Two New York state regions adjacent to New York City could begin reopening businesses next week so long as deaths from coronavirus continue to decline and a contact tracing program is up and running, Governor Andrew Cuomo said today.

Cuomo also told a daily briefing that New York would launch a $100 million program to support smaller businesses in partnership with private banks, saying the target was very small firms, including landlords hurt by non-payment of rents. 

The governor said construction staging could begin in the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk counties, and in the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Dutchess, Orange and Westchester counties, ahead of a likely reopening next week.

Once Long Island and Mid-Hudson enter phase one, New York City will be the only region out of 10 still under the strictest lockdown. "If the number of deaths continues to decline, they get their tracing up and online, both regions could reopen this week," Cuomo said, referring to Long Island and Mid-Hudson. 

Facts about Coronavirus are changing every day

In today's press briefing, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo highlighted some of the challenges which authorities have been trying to deal with during the coronavirus crisis. "The facts about coronavirus are changing every day," he explained. "From Day One, everyone said this virus came from China. It turns out it came from Europe. The virus was already here in January, February, March before anyone knew". 

Coronavirus can be carried in breast milk

The breast milk of a mother infected with Covid-19 has tested positive for coronavirus, Newsweek reports. However, it is unknown whether the virus can be passed on to babies who are breastfed.

US death toll inches closer to six figures

The total, confirmed death toll from Covid-19 in the United States stood at 94,729 - almost 100,000 victims since the first recorded fatality on 6 February.

Will Covid-19 keep Florida spectators away from astronaut launch?

In other times, the beaches and roads along Florida’s Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years. That might change this year, AFP report.

NASA and SpaceX are urging sightseers to stay at home next Wednesday for safety reasons. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey is asking visitors those that do attened to practice social distancing as they watch the launch of astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a test flight of SpaceX’s Dragon crew capsule. Liftoff is set for 4:33 p.m. EDT.

Taxable benefit or not?

There are nearly 40 million Americans newly filing for unemployment benefits and this is raising questions as people across the country deal with financial uncertainty.

Hidden deaths in Mexico increase official Covid-19 figures

 

During four weeks between April and May, paramedics encountered 329 people who died in their homes or in ambulances in Tijuana, Mexico  — more than twice the number that would be expected based on data from recent years.

Over the same period, the Mexican government reported just eight official Covid-19 deaths in Tijuana that occurred outside hospitals.

We may never find a vaccine for Covid-19, says US scientist

William Haseltine says countries easing lockdowns should rely on contact tracing and self-isolation measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Son murders father during Zoom video chat in New York

A 72-year-old man has been stabbed to death by his son in New York state during a Zoom video chat with 20 other participants, police say. Dwight Powers was attacked by his 32-year-old son, Thomas Scully-Powers, who then jumped out of a window and fled in Long Island's Amityville village.

He was held within an hour after chat guests had called the police. The motive of the attack was not yet clear. Mr Scully-Powers has been charged with second-degree murder.

US Scientists have created a mouse embryo that's part human

The hybrid is what scientists call a human-animal chimera, a single organism that's made up of two different sets of cells -- in this case, a mouse embryo that has both mouse cells and human cells.

This human-mouse chimera has by far the highest number of human cells ever recorded in an animal, according to researchers. Their experiment suggests that many types of human cells can be generated in mouse embryos, and at a much faster rate than in human embryos.

And that, the scientists say, carries enormous potential for the treatment of human diseases, possibly even Covid-19.

George Soros: coronavirus threatens EU's survival

Billionaire financier George Soros has cautioned that the European Union's survival is under threat from the coronavirus crisis unless it can issue perpetual bonds or 'consuls' to help weak members such as Italy.

"If the EU is unable to consider it now, it may not be able to survive the challenges it currently confronts," Soros said in a transcript of a question-and-answer session emailed to reporters. "This is not a theoretical possibility; it may be the tragic reality."

Soros said the EU would have to maintain its AAA credit rating to issue such debt - and thus have to have tax raising powers to cover the cost of the bonds - so suggested it could simply authorise the taxes rather than imposing them.

Head-in-sand tactics discussed

Virtual football reality

As the beautiful game begins to return, could ideas like this become part of the new fan experience?

All-mail vote problems

Newsom called the move a necessary response to the pandemic since voters at crowded vote centers could be exposed if they cast in-person ballots.

US reports a further 1,255 covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours as President Donald Trump announces that all flags on Federal Buildings and National Monuments will fly at half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans who have lost their lives to coronavirus....

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In pictures: A Starbucks employee in a dinosaur costume is seen outside the Starbucks on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut May 21, 2020 as Phase 1 of Reopening Connecticut began on May 20, 2020. - All 50 US states have now partially emerged from coronavirus lockdowns. Connecticut became the final state to begin lifting restrictions. (AFP)

Bucks GM: NBA can return with 'safe, healthy' option

If commissioner Adam Silver and NBA owners can create a safe and healthy format for the league to finish the season, Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst expects the games will go on. Horst was a guest on Bucks forward Pat Connaughton's radiothon fundraiser on Thursday. The team opened its practice facility on May 11 and continues to approach the hiatus, now over two months, as a temporary pause in the season.

"I have complete confidence that if there's a way for us to return to basketball, return to play, in a healthy and safe manner, for our players and for the public and people that would be involved, that our league will figure out how to do it," Horst said. "Commissioner Silver is incredible." The Bucks are leading the NBA with a 53-12 record. If the NBA decides to shift immediately to the postseason under the traditional eight-team, conference-based format, the Bucks would play the No. 8 seed Orlando Magic (30-35) in the first round. (report by Reuters).

The death rate continues to fluctuate in the US.

Trump chomping at the bit to get back on the campaign trail

U.S. President Donald Trump, eager to get back on the road and make his case for re-election on Nov. 3, said on Thursday he may have to stage campaign rallies at outdoor sites until the coronavirus pandemic settles down enough for traditional events.

“We got to get back to the rallies,” Trump told reporters during a tour of a Ford auto plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. "I think it's going to be sooner rather than later.” 

With little more than five months left until the election, Trump is behind Democratic rival Joe Biden in national polls and in some battleground states, such as Michigan, which he won in 2016.

A senior campaign official said officials held a meeting last week and discussed how and when to resume the big campaign rallies that Trump craves.

“It’s clear, he’s chomping at the bit to resume the rallies,” the campaign official said.

Donald Trump really didn't want to say he had tested negative but forced into it in the end. He says he tested 'positively towards negative', which led to confusion.

Coronavirus live US: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, United States-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now led to over 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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