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US Coronavirus live updates: Pandemic could last 2 years, report says; some state lockdowns wind down; Trump pushes China virus theory

18:47  01 may  2020
18:47  01 may  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

McConnell says Congress has reached deal to replenish halted coronavirus small business loan program

  McConnell says Congress has reached deal to replenish halted coronavirus small business loan program The Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to small businesses, was halted Thursday after it allocated all of its initial $349 billion.The nearly half-trillion deal will provide more funds to the Paycheck Protection Program, which was halted last week after it ran out of money.

As many states move toward reopening after a horrific April that saw nearly 60,000 deaths because of the coronavirus, a new report offers a stark warning: A group of experts has concluded the pandemic could last as long as two years, until 60% to 70% of the population is immune.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is scheduled to leave the White House on Friday for the first time in a month to travel to Camp David, one day after the expiration of federal social distancing guidelines.

Mom of family repeatedly denied care for coronavirus hospitalized with blood clot in lungs

  Mom of family repeatedly denied care for coronavirus hospitalized with blood clot in lungs Cheryl Fowler is back in the hospital, this time with a blood clot in her lungs, weeks after she came off a ventilator to help her breathe.The 57-year-old Grosse Pointe Woods mother of four has been through a lot in the last few weeks.

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing

Bing COVID-19 tracker: Latest numbers by country and state

Here are the most important developments Friday on the coronavirus pandemic. Scroll down for the latest updates. 

  • Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, suggested social distancing could continue in some form through the summer as the White House quietly allowed official guidelines to expire. Meanwhile, a new report warns the pandemic could last up to two years, until the world hits the threshold for herd immunity. 
  • Trump said Thursday he's seen evidence suggesting the new virus originated in a Chinese virology lab. The president didn't provide the evidence, but his top national intelligence official said the virus was not man-made or genetically modified, as scientists have concluded. The intelligence community "will continue to rigorously examine" the virus' origin, the national intelligence director's office said.
  • Amid all the reopening talk this week, Dr. Tom Inglesby, a leading expert on pandemics, reminded us: We will not have complete "normal" – no masks, fully social – until we have a vaccine. Read more in The Back Story.

Nation's largest mall chain set to begin reopenings

The nation's largest owner and operator of shopping malls, Simon Property Group, is set to reopen 49 properties in 10 states in a first wave starting Friday.

Coronavirus live updates: Sunday church services draw scrutiny; US confirmed cases near 1 million

  Coronavirus live updates: Sunday church services draw scrutiny; US confirmed cases near 1 million The eyes of the nation are on the state of Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp announced he would reopen large swaths of the state. Sunday coronavirus news.NFL superstar Vernon Davis (C) and restaurateurs Sahil Rahman (L) and Rahul Vinod (R), through a partnership between the Vernon Davis Foundation and RASA Restaurant, help to prepare free meals for frontline healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic at the George Washington University Hospital on April 24, in Washington, D.C.

Simon closed all of its properties last month as states grappled with coronavirus outbreaks, and it released safety protocols earlier this week for its properties that begin reopenings. 

When shoppers return, they'll likely find food courts with less seating, directional signs and dividers to control the flow of foot traffic, and free temperature testing via infrared thermometers. It's unclear how many stores customers could visit.

– Alexandria Burris

Friday numbers: 9 times the number of 9/11 deaths in NY

As the pandemic continues to unfold, we are tracking the data. Here’s what’s new today, via the Associated Press.

  • Through Wednesday, the virus was believed to have killed at least 23,600 people in New York, including around 5,300 people who died before a lab test confirmed their infection. That’s nearly nine times the death toll of the Sept. 11 attacks. 
  • Some economists say the U.S. unemployment rate for April may be as high as 20% – a figure not seen since the Depression of the 1930s, when joblessness peaked at 25%. Layoffs amount to 1 in 6 American workers. That's more people than the entire population of Texas. Texas, meanwhile, is reopening some businesses.

Most experts agree death figures are an undercount, since it only includes deaths where the link to COVID-19 was certain enough to be included on a death certificate.

13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy

  13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy A Post analysis reveals a president using the White House lectern to vent and rage; to dispense dubious and even dangerous medical advice; and to lavish praise upon himself and his government. Trump has attacked someone in 113 out of 346 questions he has answered — or a third of his responses. He has offered false or misleading information in nearly 25 percent of his remarks. And he has played videos praising himself and his administration’s efforts three times, including one that was widely derided as campaign propaganda produced by White House aides at taxpayer expense.

States reopening: Michigan extends restaurant closures; New Mexico eases business restrictions

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended an order that shutters theaters, restaurants, bars, casinos and gyms until May 28. Her restrictions have been met with protests, most recently Thursday at the state Capitol in Lansing, where hundreds of people gathered, some armed, to express opposition.

Meanwhile, New Mexico is easing business restrictions Friday, allowing nonessential retailers, pet groomers, state parks and golf courses to reopen.For the latest details on your state's plan, follow along here.

Report: Coronavirus could last up to 2 years

The coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon, infectious disease experts predict in a report released Thursday.

The pandemic could last between 18 and 24 months and won’t be halted until 60% to 70% of the population is immune, according to the report by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Coronavirus spares one neighborhood but ravages the next. Race and class spell the difference.

  Coronavirus spares one neighborhood but ravages the next. Race and class spell the difference. Coronavirus rates vary dramatically from one neighborhood to another, based in part on race and income, a USA TODAY analysis of ZIP code data shows.In one direction, a ZIP code relatively unscathed by the coronavirus outbreak. In the other, a community decimated by the disease. One mostly white, with six-figure incomes the norm. One mostly minority and earning much slimmer paychecks.

Researchers note that COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than the flu because it has a longer incubation period, spreads while people are asymptomatic, and has a higher basic reproductive number, meaning the average number of new infections that result from one infected person.

Because it's so contagious, "more people will need to get infected and become immune before the pandemic can end," the researchers note. 

The report presents three scenarios for the spread of COVID-19 and makes several recommendations, including advising government agencies to plan for worst-case scenarios, making plans for periodic resurgences, and warning the public that the disease won't be over soon. 

– Rachel Aretakis

a man and a woman standing in a room: Postal workers May Chen, left and Wilson Yu wear masks and gloves on Thursday as they sort mail at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Oakland, Calif. © Ben Margot, AP Postal workers May Chen, left and Wilson Yu wear masks and gloves on Thursday as they sort mail at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Oakland, Calif. Gilead is 'moving very quickly’ to get FDA approval for remdesivir

The maker of remesivir, an experimental drug that is reportedly showing promise for treatment of the coronavirus, is “moving very quickly with the FDA” to get approval, its CEO said Friday.

Daniel O’Day, of Gilead Sciences, told the "Today" show that the pharmaceutical company has already increased its treatment courses from 5,000 to 100,000 and hopes to make 1 million available by the end of the year. 

Coronavirus live updates: Senate reconvenes; J.Crew files for bankruptcy; Pence regrets not wearing mask

  Coronavirus live updates: Senate reconvenes; J.Crew files for bankruptcy; Pence regrets not wearing mask The Senate reconvenes as more states across the country reopen their economies. A new report says China hid the outbreak's severity.

The drug has shown some promise for severely ill patients. Early results from one study found patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster recovery time than those who received a placebo. 

“This is a medicine that’s really for the most severe patients. This is for hospitalized patients, this is for patients that have really progressed …" he said. “What we see here is really, of course not a cure, but a very, very significant and important treatment for patients."

– Rachel Aretakis

Disney introduces face masks featuring Baby Yoda, Black Panther, Forky and more

If you're apprehensive to go outside, maybe a face mask with your favorite Avenger – or perhaps Baby Yoda – will help.

Disney has announced a new line of non-medical, reusable cloth face masks featuring Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters available to pre-order for the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control is advising the use of cloth face coverings (masks) to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some municipalities and businesses, such as Costco, are requiring that customers wear them.  

– Josh Rivera

OSHA safety inspectors reviewing scores of employee hospitalizations, deaths

Workplace safety inspectors are conducting nearly 200 coronavirus-related investigations to determine whether employers failed to adequately protect their workers, according to data from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Half involve employee deaths or hospitalizations.

'Bad economies are as hurtful to health as viruses’: US lurches toward reopening despite ominous coronavirus models

  'Bad economies are as hurtful to health as viruses’: US lurches toward reopening despite ominous coronavirus models As opposed to other countries, much of the U.S. is reopening despite cases of coronavirus rising or plateauing. What lies ahead?About half the states in the U.S. have taken similar steps to loosen the social distancing measures imposed to keep the virus from spreading, and others are considering it.

The inspections target nearly 50 hospitals and two dozen nursing homes, including one in Illinois, where administrators believe an infected maintenance worker spread the virus room to room. Twenty-four residents died, along with a nursing assistant and the maintenance worker himself.

Also under review: a school system garage in Kentucky, where 17 employees tested positive and one died; a meatpacking plant in Nebraska, where the widow of a deceased employee said he kept working after getting sick so he could get incentive pay; and two Native American schools in Arizona that reportedly stayed open after others shut down and where two employees died.

In all, OSHA officials are reviewing workplaces in two dozen states with a total of 96,000 employees, according to USA TODAY's analysis. OSHA has been under fire for not doing enough to protect workers amid the pandemic. Read more here. 

– Donovan Slack, Dennis Wagner and Dan Keemahill

Trump says he's seen evidence virus came from Chinese lab. US intelligence agencies say it was not man-made

President Donald Trump said Thursday he has seen evidence suggesting the novel coronavirus originated in a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

Trump did not provide any evidence to support that assertion, and he seemed to hedge a bit by saying there were many "theories" about the origin of the virus. He has repeatedly called for an investigation into the origin of the virus, part of what critics say is an effort to shift blame to China amid growing criticism of Trump's missteps in response to the crisis.  

Earlier Thursday, Trump's director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, issued a statement on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community stating there was broad agreement the virus was not man-made or genetically modified. But that statement left open the question of whether the virus was accidentally released by a laboratory in China or whether it came from animals and then jumped to humans.

Growing number of students suing colleges that moved classes online amid pandemic

  Growing number of students suing colleges that moved classes online amid pandemic An Indiana University student is suing the school, looking for a partial reimbursement on tuition and fees paid for the spring semester.Democratic state Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai wears a mask as she tells member how the coronavirus has devastated the Navajo Nation while urging members to approve a move to end the legislative session at the state Capitol in Phoenix, on May 8. The Senate by a 24-6 vote approved a move to adjourn pending approval by the House.

A March paper published in Nature Medicine said the scientific evidence shows the virus was not purposefully manipulated and that it most likely came from an animal, and the World Health Organization has concluded similarly.

– Deirdre Shesgreen

White House announces new plan as social distancing guidelines expire

The deadline to lift social distancing guidelines quietly passed Thursday as the White House pushed a new set of suggestions designed to reopen the U.S. economy now decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The White House is sunsetting the federal guidelines, once a central tenet of its coronavirus response and the focus of the administration's message. The Trump administration is under economic pressure to shift its strategy from battling the coronavirus to pressing ahead with a message of economic revival that he hopes will help secure his reelection in November. 

The administration has pivoted to a three-phase plan that leaves the decision to states, creating a patchwork strategy that some health experts warn could undermine the progress that has been made in stemming the spread of coronavirus. 

— Courtney Subramanian and Michael Collins

More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY

  • Remdesivir has emerged as the first possible scientifically proven treatment for coronavirus. Here's what we know about the experimental drug.
  • The U.S. is emerging from coronavirus quarantine? Here's what your state is doing to ease social distancing guidelines.
  • Is it coronavirus or allergies? Here's how to tell the difference.
  • Mapping coronavirus: Tracking the U.S. outbreak, state by state.
  • Staying Apart, Together. Sign up for our newsletter on coping with a world changed by coronavirus. ????

'Operation Warp Speed': Trump administration pushes for vaccine by January

Trump administration officials are racing to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus by January in an effort dubbed "Operation Warp Speed," media reports say.

The effort, first reported by Bloomberg, would cut the time needed to develop a vaccine by as much as eight months and rely on private pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military working together.

Bloomberg reported that as part of the arrangement, taxpayers would shoulder the brunt of the cost if a vaccine candidate were to fail or be proven unsafe.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had said that vaccine development would take at least 12 to 18 months at the earliest, but indicated Thursday the January deadline was possible.

"We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective. I think that is doable," he said on NBC's "Today" show.

May Day rallies go on around the world, demand coronavirus relief

Millions of workers around the globe demanded better conditions and relief amid the coronavirus pandemic as social distancing guidelines altered some traditions of International Workers' Day.

In Greece, demonstrators lined up six feet apart, Parisians sang from balconies to plead for workplace masks, health insurance and more government aid for the jobless and strikes were planned in California.

The events come as the economic impacts of the pandemics have led to mass layoffs. In the United States, a staggering 30 million people have filed unemployment claims. Meanwhile, essential workers who have not been laid off have demanded better conditions to ensure their safety while working.

In Los Angeles, a coalition of over 60 organizations that led the movement to legalize street vending in the city, will hit the streets Friday to demand coronavirus relief.

Delta, United, JetBlue will require passengers to wear masks starting Monday

As travelers begin to return to the country's airports, they'll notice the changes meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Beginning Monday, Delta, United and JetBlue will require all passengers to wear face coverings. Delta and JetBlue will make them mandatory from the time they check in through the time they deplane. Delta, which says customers can take them off for meals, will also require them in its Sky Club lounges.

Wearing face masks will be customary, and even required by most domestic airlines. More airports may use machines to check passengers for fever. Security checkpoints may have plexiglass shields between passengers and screeners.

— Curtis Tate

Broadway actor Nick Cordero's wife hopeful he'll 'wake up' from coma

Nick Cordero's wife Amanda Kloots is hopeful the Broadway star "will wake up" from a medically induced coma despite several setbacks in his recovery from the coronavirus, including the amputation of his right leg.

During a virtual appearance on "CBS This Morning" Thursday, Kloots said Cordero's blood count dropped "really, really low," suggesting there may be internal bleeding. 

The "Rock of Ages" star was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for what was initially thought to be pneumonia, Kloots wrote on Instagram on April 1. An initial coronavirus test came up negative, though a subsequent test was positive for COVID-19. 

— Cydney Henderson

Gov. Gavin Newsom closes some Southern California beaches

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a targeted “hard close” of some Southern California beaches after they were overrun with people during a heatwave last weekend. The announcement followed speculation Newsom would close all beaches in the state after a memo to police chiefs leaked Wednesday.

“The conditions last week, the images we saw on a few of our beaches were disturbing,” Newsom said. He called out crowded beaches in Orange County and praised local officials in San Diego, Los Angeles and other regions for not allowing their beaches to be overrun.

Newsom said the targeted closure affecting “a few coastal cities off and around the Orange County area” would be short-term and could be rolled back once plans were in place to reopen with guidelines to maintain physical distancing.

Local leaders in San Diego County have used measures such as parking lot closures to help meter the number of people who can access the beach.

— Joel Shannon

More coronavirus headlines from USA TODAY

  • No sex, please, we're in a pandemic: Who can be intimate, who shouldn't while in coronavirus quarantine.
  • Want to clean, reuse or hack a coronavirus mask? Here's how.
  • Can I get unemployment if I stay home to take care of my child? Your coronavirus money questions, answered.
  • Want to go to the zoo? This one is offering a drive-thru experience.
  • Your guide to COVID-19: What you need to know about coronavirus.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus live updates: Pandemic could last 2 years, report says; some state lockdowns wind down; Trump pushes China virus theory

Growing number of students suing colleges that moved classes online amid pandemic .
An Indiana University student is suing the school, looking for a partial reimbursement on tuition and fees paid for the spring semester.Democratic state Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai wears a mask as she tells member how the coronavirus has devastated the Navajo Nation while urging members to approve a move to end the legislative session at the state Capitol in Phoenix, on May 8. The Senate by a 24-6 vote approved a move to adjourn pending approval by the House.

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