Coronavirus US summary: Covid-19 news, Thursday 4 June

Coronavirus live US: latest Covid-19 news - 4 June

USA

US coronavirus latest: 16:10 PST/19:10 EST on Thursday 4 June (01:10 CEST on Friday 5 June)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 6,591,933 cases have been detected worldwide, with 388,612 deaths and 2,850,862 people now recovered.

In the USA, there have been 1,870,156 confirmed cases and 108,051 deaths with 485,002 people recovering from the virus.

Las Vegas

A statue of Julius Caesar wears a mask at Caesars Palace on Thursday as the Las Vegas Strip as the property opens for the first time since being closed on 17 March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Hotel-casinos throughout the state are opening as part of a phased reopening of the economy, with social-distancing guidelines and other restrictions in place. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images/AFP)

NBA confirms season restart plans

Here’s the full story on the news that the NBA is set to resume at the end of July, having been suspended in March after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pending an agreement between the NBA and Disney, the 22-team competition is to be played at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

NY governor urges George Floyd protesters to get tested

New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, has urged people who have taken part in the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd to get themselves tested for the coronavirus.

"I’m not a nervous Nellie, I’m just looking at the numbers," said Cuomo, who estimated that around 30,000 people have joined in protests in the state of New York, Reuters reported.

"Many wear masks. But there is no social distancing. Police are in their face... If you were at a protest, get a test, please."

(Reuters)

The facts on mail-in voting

Efforts to ensure the safety of voters amid the coronavirus pandemic have seen mail-in voting explode into a hot topic in the United States - one that led Twitter to fact-check a Donald Trump diatribe on the postal vote's supposed potential for fraud. Here’s what you need to know about mail-in voting:

Second stimulus check: how much would my HEROES Act payment be?

Calculate how much you would be entitled to as part of the coronavirus Economic Impact Payment scheme proposed by the HEROES Act:

NBA to return at end of July

Just under three months after the 2019/20 NBA season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic, the competition's board of governors has approved a plan for a 22-team return to action in Orlando, with play due to resume on 31 July.

Coronavirus affecting students' mental health, study finds

Las Vegas

John Landin of Las Vegas celebrates after winning a hand of blackjack during the reopening of The D hotel-casino in the Nevada city, closed by the state since 18 March as part of steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: REUTERS/Steve Marcus TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Britain says nearly 30,000 COVID-19 tests sent to U.S. lab came back void

Nearly 30,000 COVID-19 tests which Britain sent to a U.S. lab for processing came back void, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said on Thursday, adding to a mounting pile of questions over the UK's testing regime.

The admission comes in a week where the government has faced criticism by a statistics watchdog over incomplete test data, pressure over turnaround times for test results and teething issues with a new test and trace programme.

Johnson's spokesman said that "operational issues in our lab network" had meant that 67,000 tests were sent to the United States for processing.

"Unfortunately these tests from the U.S. returned a higher void rate than expected. Around 29,500 were returned void," he said.

U.S. new weekly jobless claims drop below 2 million

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped below 2 million last week for the first time since mid-March, but remains astonishingly high as companies adjust to an environment that has been significantly changed by  COVID-19.

New claims for state unemployment benefits totalled a seasonally adjusted 1.877 million for the week ended May 30, down from 2.126 million the prior week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.8 million initial claims in the latest week.

New jobless claims have declined since hitting a record 6.867 million in late March. Despite the still elevated reading, the most recent data suggested the worst is over for the labor market, combined with data on Wednesday that showed a smaller-than-expected drop in private payrolls in May.

Donald Trump vs Twitter

The Columbia Journalism Review have written an article about Donal Trump vs Twitter about his social media use and the recent micro-wars he has been fighting on the platform. The tide seems to be turning somewhat on Trump. Influential Republican figure, James Mattis, said Trump is the only president in his life who has tried to divide America instead of uniting it. If one Republican figure of Mattis' stature feels this way and voices that concern, could more Republicans soon be ready to speak out?

You get the feeling we will never get the true scale of coronavirus and the number of deaths it caused. This is obviously misleading in order to avoid scrutiny.

Peter Marks's abrupt switch from White House back to the FDA was the latest sign of the FDA's struggle to fend off outside political pressure, particularly from the White House, amid the desperate search for a coronavirus cure.

The HEROES Act sent to the Senate by the Democrats included a second stimulus check but after initial optimism, Republicans are pushing back on the idea.

Swathes of money being thrown at the production of a vaccine but still no sign of a major breakthrough yet.

There was a lot of confusion around the first round of checks with payments sent to the wrong addresses and other logistic issues but the IRS would get the second round out much quicker this time if they are approved.

The two crises combining at the same time are set to cause America problems for weeks and months to come.

Looks like the NBA could be the first league in America to return with progress being made on the structure and logistics of a return. That comes three months after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

We do not yet know the impact the protests will have on the coronavirus pandemic and America's slow recovery from it. They have seen their number of daily deaths increase across two days now. The Guardian, in this piece, ask some key questions about what's next.

Such as:

Where are cases of coronavirus increasing?

Where are cases of coronavirus decreasing?

When will live go back to normal?

Americans are having it tough right now between the pandemic and the George Floyd protests. 

White House publishes then deletes synagogue terrorist tweet

The White House posted and then deleted a tweet on Wednesday that falsely suggested a synagogue's rock-filled anti-terrorism barrier had been placed on the street by domestic terrorists.

The tweet featured a compilation of video clips from around the country in which people expressed suspicion of the presence of bricks or other objects on the streets. The tweet claimed that "Antifa and professional anarchists are invading our communities, staging bricks and weapons to instigate violence. These are acts of domestic terror."

Senate passes bill lengthening coronavirus small-business loan terms

The US Senate unanimously approved legislation which will give small businesses up to 24 weeks to use Paycheck Protection Program loans created during the coronavirus pandemic, up from the current eight-week deadline.

The legislation, already passed by the House of Representatives, now goes to President Donald Trump to sign into law. The program was created in March to support small businesses during the pandemic and encourage them to retain their employees. Under the PPP program, loans for restaurants, hotels and other small businesses would convert into federal grants if recipients adhere to a set of conditions, including spending the loan amount within the required time.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said that Washington had so far handed out 4.4 million forgivable loans valued at a total of $510 billion. He called it a 'lifeline' for businesses struggling during the pandemic. A total of $659 billion has been provided by Congress for the loan program, which is part of broader coronavirus emergency aid totaling around $3 trillion so far. 

US to bar Chinese carriers

The Trump administration is to announce a blanket ban on Chinese passenger aircraft coming into the US amid escalating tension between the two countries. The move, set to be announced on Wednesday, penalizes China after Beijing failed to comply with an existing agreement on flights between the world’s two largest economies, reports CNBC. 

Trump

U.S. to impose restrictions on additional Chinese media outlets

 The United States is expected to designate at least four additional state-run Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies, increasing restrictions on their operations on American soil, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The action by the State Department, sure to further inflame U.S.-China tensions, could come as soon as Thursday, the sources told Reuters. It follows President Donald Trump's announcement on Friday of retaliatory measures against Beijing over its tightened grip on Hong Kong.

The designations are expected to include China Central Television (CCTV), the top state-owned network, and China News Service, the country's second-largest state-owned news agency, two sources said on condition of anonymity.

NBA set to approve plan for 22-team return

The NBA's Board of Governors on Thursday is expected to approve the league's plan for a 22-team return in Orlando, ESPN reported.

The conference call is slated to take place at 12:30 p.m. ET. The NBA's Board of Governors require a three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan.

The return of basketball would begin July 31 under the proposal, with the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals being Oct. 12, ESPN reported.

Wall St.

Wall Street surges on signs of economic rebound

Wall Street jumped in a broad rally on Wednesday, closing ground on all-time highs as signs of recovery from mandated economic shutdowns helped investors look beyond ongoing social unrest and pandemic woes.

Financials, industrials and tech led the three major U.S. stock indexes well into the black, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on course to post their fourth straight day of solid gains.

The Nasdaq, the S&P 500 and the Dow have rebounded sharply from March lows hit as coronavirus-related lockdowns shocked the stock market, and they are now about 1.6%, 8.1%, and 11.6%, respectively, away from overtaking record closing highs set in February.

Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic in the USA. 

Sadly the number of deaths from Covid-19 in the United States is over the 106,000 mark with over 1.8 million people confirmed to have been infected with the virus. The good news: over 460,000 people have recovered from the disease.

As well as the coronavirus pandemic, of course, America is facing protests and disturbances across the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. We have a dedicated live blog covering the latest on that situation.

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