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5 Things To Watch This Week In Politics And Coronavirus – NPR

Then-President Obama and then-President-elect Donald Trump shake hands during a transition planning meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in November of 2016. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Then-President Obama and then-President-elect Donald Trump shake hands during a transition planning meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in November of 2016.

With Joe Biden on the ballot, so is the legacy of Barack Obama, and it appears we're about to see a throwdown between the last president and the current one and their polar opposite worldviews.

Amid criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has been falsely laying blame on Obama for leaving the "cupboard bare" when it comes to the national stockpile of emergency medical supplies and equipment.

And lately, Trump and conservatives have been running with allegations of potentially criminal activity by Obama administration officials for their handling of surveillance that later led to the investigation and guilty plea of Michael Flynn, Trump's three-week national security adviser. (The Department of Justice now wants to drop its case against Flynn.)

In the past week, Trump has tweeted "Obamagate" (on its own, as a retweet or as a hashtag) 18 times. Three times, he's tweeted simply "Obamagate!" with nothing else.

Neither Trump nor White House officials have been able to identify a specific crime, but it sure helps fire up the base.

Obama, for his part, seemed to reply with one word of his own Thursday: "Vote."

And then, on Saturday, he had more words during two virtual commencement addresses.

"[T]his pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many folks in charge know what they're doing," Obama told graduates of historically black colleges and universities. "A lot of them aren't even pretending to be in charge."

Then, when speaking to graduating high school students, he said: "Do what you think is right. Doing what feels good, what's convenient, what's easy that's how little kids think. Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grownups, including some with fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way which is why things are so screwed up."

Wow.

And a week earlier, when talking to former officials from his administration, leaked audio revealed that Obama called Trump's handling of the coronavirus an "absolute chaotic disaster" and an example of what happens when a "what's in it for me" mindset "is operationalized in our government."

Pressed about Obama's remarks Sunday, Trump said he hadn't heard them, but noted, "Look, he was an incompetent president, that's all I can say, grossly incompetent."

Welcome to the 2020 presidential campaign. Reelections are always a referendum on the sitting president. But with Biden, Obama's vice president, at the top of the Democratic ticket, it's somewhat of a referendum on Obama, too.

And there's reason for Trump to want or even need to try and take Obama down a few pegs. Currently, Obama is among the most popular politicians in the country and one of the highest-polling political figures (besides his wife, Michelle.)

It's a clear and stark choice offered up to voters and one Trump seems to want front and center. He even tweeted at Republican Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham, who says he wants to hold hearings on the Flynn case, to call Obama to testify.

"Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it," Trump tweeted. "No more Mr. Nice Guy."

Graham responded, telling reporters he thinks that would "be a bad precedent" to compel a former president to testify and would "open up a can of worms."

"I understand President Trump's frustration," Graham said, before warning, "but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for."

1. Coronavirus death toll approaches 90,000: About 90,000 people are now confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the United States, and though new cases are slowing, the country is still on pace for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus before the end of the month.

That slowing of new cases is good news, but with two-thirds of states significantly relaxing stay-at-home restrictions, experts are concerned about a potential resurgence.

"We're seeing a decline; undoubtedly, that is something good to see," Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told The New York Times. "But what we are also seeing is a lot of places right on the edge of controlling the disease."

Another good sign, though: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Sunday that his state now has "more testing capacity than New Yorkers are using." And he wants not only symptomatic New Yorkers to get tested, but also those who "have been in contact with someone with COVID." That's a first step in what experts say is one of the most important things to do to try and contain the virus test as many people, including those without symptoms, as often as possible.

President Trump and Vice President Pence look on as a video plays of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving a press conference in April. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

President Trump and Vice President Pence look on as a video plays of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving a press conference in April.

2. Will the Senate make a push for another relief package? Health versus the economy has been the tension since the beginning of the lockdowns. Unemployment has hit almost 15%, the highest since the Great Depression. And as deaths spiked in April, 20 million jobs were lost. Congress has passed four relief packages; the Democratic-led House has passed another, but Senate Republicans and the White House have balked at a fifth major package. "We have not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week.

On Tuesday, there could be more clarity on the state of the economy and what more the administration is planning to do to support people and the economy in the coming weeks when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appear before the Senate Banking Committee, as required by the CARES Act.

3. Watching for fallout from inspectors general firings: The firing of the State Department's inspector general, Steve Linick announced on a Friday night, which is where bad news goes to be buried in Washington is raising more questions than answers. Linick is the fourth inspector general the Trump administration has sought to remove in the past six weeks. A Democratic congressional aide told NPR's Michele Kelemen that Linick was looking into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's conduct.

The move triggered Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Chuck Grassley to question Trump's motives. Romney said the move "chills" the IGs' essential independence and called the moves "a threat to accountable democracy." Collins said Trump had not provided "the kind of justification for the removal ... required" by law. Grassley pointed out that "written reasons" are "required" and that "A general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient." But what does the Republican Senate do to maintain the accountability that they say Trump is threatening or not abiding by? So far, during the Trump presidency, it's done little to hold him in check.

4. Senate Republicans move ahead with Hunter Biden probe: On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security Committee will vote on a subpoena to Blue Star Strategies. That's a company that worked with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which hired Biden's son Hunter to sit on its board. Republican senators are looking into whether Blue Star "sought to leverage Hunter Biden's membership on the board of directors for Burisma." Call it the impeachment backlash.

With Romney signaling he will vote in favor of the subpoena, it is expected to pass, NPR's Philip Ewing and Claudia Grisales report.

5. Supreme Court opinions Monday: The Supreme Court is expected to issue opinions Monday. We are keeping an eye out for an LGBTQ employment discrimination case, as well as whether the court thinks the Trump administration acted lawfully in shutting down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. When the DACA case was argued last fall, the court's conservative majority appeared it would go along with the Trump administration. Both of these decisions could be released at any time in the next few weeks.

"After much reflection, I've concluded that circumstances don't lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate."

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan announcing via Twitter the end of his short-lived Libertarian bid for the presidency. There was much Democratic hand-wringing that Amash could cost Biden votes, especially in Michigan.

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5 Things To Watch This Week In Politics And Coronavirus - NPR

My Cancer Doesnt Care About the Coronavirus – The New York Times

There is a checkpoint as you enter the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where I am being treated for cancer of the prostate and lymph nodes. With all but two sets of doors to the building locked shut, patients are corralled into an area roped off from the rest of the first-floor lobby. You are required to show your orange Hopkins patient identification card and proof that you have an appointment.

Questions are asked. Questions that have become the norm in the new normal. Have you had a cough? Have you visited New York or New Jersey in the last 14 days?

Your temperature is taken. You are given a checkpoint security bracelet which you wrap around your wrist. You are instructed to not deviate from the floor-taped path assigned to your appointment location. You are urged not to share an elevator. That last instruction is really not necessary. No one wants to share a hospital elevator in the age of coronavirus.

The anxiety of the nurses manning these checkpoints is often palpable. Decked out with face mask, full face shield and full protective gown, a nurse checking me in was so overwrought, she began to cry as she asked, Are you having any trouble breathing?

In the parking garage for the Kimmel Center, you notice many cars with their drivers still inside. Just sitting there, checking their phones, probably filling out crosswords and solving Sudoku puzzles.

At first glance, this seems somewhat peculiar. Then, you realize these are the loved ones of those receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Visitors are not allowed in the hospital in the age of coronavirus.

So, patients sit by themselves in the waiting room. They fidget in light blue leather chairs measured six feet apart. Frightened eyes peering out over face masks, they have the look of lost souls. I know this look. I saw it on my father during one of his last hospital stays years ago.

From his bed, he gazed up at me and begged, Please take me home. I could not.

But at least I was there with him. The patients in the waiting room of the Kimmel Center are isolated, some feeling abandoned. Its understandable. In many cases, some cancer treatments are now considered as elective.

My urologist gave me my first round of androgen deprivation injections and my oncologist said he would administer the second round. But the states stay-at-home order left that in limbo, and I wasnt sure how Id get my shot.

You really should not be at a hospital right now, my urologist told me.

Do you think my cancer knows that? I replied.

This is your choice in the age of coronavirus. Risk exposure or dont treat the cancer.

It was a nurse named Ann who came to my aid and volunteered to administer my shot. She has a young child at home, a girl. Anns career now comes with a new peril. The risks she brings home from her work weigh heavily on her. You can see this in her face. She is tired. Her voice is quiet. Nurse Ann admits that a visit to her hairstylist would be nice. When I thanked her for coming to my aid, she dutifully replied that she was only doing her job.

Nearly all the nurses and technicians Ive met have been more than patient and kind. For me, the catheter changes, M.R.I.s, CT scans and fiber optic cameras shoved in places the human body did not intend have been a series of compounded indignities and humiliations. Nurses and technicians take such things in stride. They offer support and comfort.

Anyone who has had an M.R.I. scan knows they make significant noise. They bang. They buzz. They clang. You are given ear plugs. You are given headphones. You are offered a choice of music. The intention being that these will drown out the clatter. They dont.

As a renowned music snob, I asked the nurse at my most recent scan, for something other than smooth jazz. What would you like to hear? she asked. Charles Mingus. Five minutes later I was listening to Mingus elegy to the beloved saxophonist Lester Young, Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat, a sentimental favorite. It was a small thing. Small things mean a great deal these days.

More than your doctors, nurses and technicians have your health, your life, in their hands. They are decent, hard-working, well-meaning and caring hands.

This should not be a revelation. In the age of coronavirus, one hears heroic stories every day. It hit home, hard, for me, when I had to go to the hospital. Two hours at there is nerve wracking. I leave each visit emotionally exhausted.

Nurses shifts are 12 hours, day after day. It is amazing what you learn to live with. Though I imagine we all have a breaking point.

In a few days I start radiation therapy. There will be permanent tattoos on my stomach and legs marking where the beams are to be targeted. The X-rays (hopefully) kill the cancer. They will also compromise my immune system. A cold will now be much easier to catch. A cold that can quickly escalate to pneumonia. Covid-19? Well

Radiation five days a week for eight weeks. Forty trips to the hospital in the age of coronavirus.

As I said, it is amazing what you learn to live with.

Richard Goggin is a television creative director.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Wed like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And heres our email: letters@nytimes.com.

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My Cancer Doesnt Care About the Coronavirus - The New York Times

Coronavirus Is Making Young People Very Sick. I Was One of Them. – The New York Times

The day before I got sick, I ran three miles, walked 10 more, then raced up the stairs to my fifth-floor apartment as always, slinging laundry with me as I went.

The next day, April 17, I became one of the thousands of New Yorkers to fall ill with Covid-19. I havent felt the same since.

If you live in New York City, you know what this virus can do. In just under two months, an estimated 24,000 New Yorkers have died. Thats more than twice the number of people we lost to homicide over the past 20 years.

Now I worry for Americans elsewhere. When I see photographs of crowds packing into a newly reopened big-box store in Arkansas or scores of people jammed into a Colorado restaurant without masks, its clear too many Americans still dont grasp the power of this disease.

The second day I was sick, I woke up to what felt like hot tar buried deep in my chest. I could not get a deep breath unless I was on all fours. Im healthy. Im a runner. Im 33 years old.

In the emergency room an hour later, I sat on a hospital bed, alone and terrified, my finger hooked to a pulse-oxygen machine. To my right lay a man who could barely speak but coughed constantly. To my left was an older man who said that he had been sick for a month and had a pacemaker. He kept apologizing to the doctors for making so much trouble, and thanking them for taking such good care of him. I cant stop thinking about him even now.

Finally, Dr. Audrey Tan walked toward me, her kind eyes meeting mine from behind a mask, goggles and a face shield. Any asthma? she asked. Do you smoke? Any pre-existing conditions? No, no, none, I replied. Dr. Tan smiled, then shook her head, almost imperceptibly. I wish I could do something for you, she said.

I am one of the lucky ones. I never needed a ventilator. I survived. But 27 days later, I still have lingering pneumonia. I use two inhalers, twice a day. I cant walk more than a few blocks without stopping.

I want Americans to understand that this virus is making otherwise young, healthy people very, very sick. I want them to know, this is no flu.

Even healthy New Yorkers in their 20s have been hospitalized. At least 13 children in New York state have died from Covid-19, according to health department data. My friends 29-year-old boyfriend was even sicker than I was and at one point could barely walk across their living room.

Maybe you dont live in a big city. Maybe you dont know anybody who is sick. Maybe you think we are crazy for living in New York. Thats fine. You dont have to live like us or vote like us. But please learn from us. Please take this virus seriously.

When I was at my sickest, I could barely talk on the phone. Id like to say that I caught up on some reading, but I didnt. Im a newswoman, but I couldnt look at the news.

Instead, I closed my eyes and saw myself running along the New York waterfront, healthy and whole, all 8.5 million of my neighbors by my side. I pictured myself doing the things I havent gotten to do yet, like getting married, buying a house, becoming a mother, owning a dog.

I stared at the wall of photographs beside my living room window and promised the people in them over and over again that we would see each other soon.

I watched movies, dozens of them. I rediscovered Air Force One and fantasized about what it would be like if Harrison Ford were actually president right now. I stayed up late at night doing breathing exercises and streaming episodes of Longmire, a show about a Wyoming sheriff in which the good guys always win.

One thing I learned is how startlingly little care or advice is available to the millions of Americans managing symptoms at home.

In Germany, the government sends teams of medical workers to do house calls. Here in the United States, where primary care is an afterthought, the only place most people suffering from Covid-19 can get in-person care is the emergency room. Thats a real problem given that it is a disease that can lead to months of serious symptoms and turn from mild to deadly in a matter of hours.

The best care I received came from my friends. Fred, an emergency room resident treating patients at a New York hospital, called me on his bike ride to work, constantly checking in and asking about my symptoms. Chelsea, my college roommate and a physician assistant, has largely managed my recovery from pneumonia. Zoe, my childhood friend and a nurse, taught me how to use a pulse oximeter and later, the asthma inhaler I now use.

Through them, I became an amateur expert. This is the advice they gave me. Heres what Im telling my family and my friends: If you can, get an oximeter, a magical little device that measures your pulse and blood oxygen level from your fingertip. If you become sick and your oxygen dips below 95 or you have trouble breathing, go to the emergency room. Dont wait.

If you have chest symptoms, assume you may have pneumonia and call a doctor or go to the E.R. Sleep on your stomach, since much of your lungs is actually in your back. If your oxygen is stable, change positions every hour. Do breathing exercises, a lot of them. The one that seemed to work best for me was pioneered by nurses in the British health system and shared by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

Nearly a month later, Im still sleeping on my stomach and still cant go for a run. But I will be able to do those things, and much more. For now, every conversation with an old friend brings a new rush of love. Every sunny day feels like the first time I saw the ocean as a child and wanted to leap right in.

Many of my neighbors didnt make it. I know because I heard the ambulances come for them late at night. The reports from the citys heroic E.M.T. force suggest that for many of these New Yorkers, it was already too late.

Why are more people dying of this disease in the United States than in anywhere else in the world? Because we live in a broken country, with a broken health care system. Because even though people of all races and backgrounds are suffering, the disease in the United States has hit black and brown and Indigenous people the hardest, and we are seen as expendable.

I wonder how many people have died not necessarily because of the virus but because this country failed them and left them to fend for themselves. That is the grief for me now, that is the guilt and the rage.

As I began to recover, others died.

There was Idris Bey, 60, a U.S. Marine and New York City Fire Department E.M.T. instructor who received a medal for his actions after the Sept. 11 attack.

There was Rana Zoe Mungin, 30, a New York City social studies teacher whose family said she died after struggling to get care in Brooklyn.

There was Valentina Blackhorse, 28, a beautiful young Arizona woman who dreamed of leading the Navajo Nation.

Theirs were the faces I saw when I lay on my stomach at night, laboring for every deep breath, praying for them and for me. Those are the Americans I think about every time I walk outside now in my tidy Brooklyn neighborhood, stepping slowly into the warming spring sun amid a crush of blooming lilacs and small children whizzing blissfully by on their scooters.

I hope the coronavirus never comes to your town. But if it does, I will pray for you, too.

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Coronavirus Is Making Young People Very Sick. I Was One of Them. - The New York Times

Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape Coronavirus – The New York Times

Top 50 metropolitan destinations

outside New York City

Miami-

Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

Top 50 metropolitan destinations

outside New York City

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

Top 50 metropolitan destinations

outside New York City

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

Top 50 metropolitan destinations

outside New York City

Miami-

Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

By The New York TimesArrows are sized by the proportion of requests for that destination.

New York City has long been a cheek-to-jowl town with cramped apartments and determined strivers. But starting in March, as the coronavirus outbreak here began, parts of the city emptied out, with many leaving from New York's wealthiest neighborhoods. Mail-forwarding requests show where a number of them went. Some abandoned the Upper West Side for sunny Miami. Others left Gramercy Park for New Jersey. Some left Brooklyn apartments for California.

In March, the United States Post Office received 56,000 mail-forwarding requests from New York City, more than double the monthly average. In April, the number of requests went up to 81,000, twice the number from a year earlier. Sixty percent of those new requests were for destinations outside the city.

By The New York TimesSource: U.S. Postal Service

The empty feeling is the most pronounced in Manhattan. In April, a little more than half of those requests for destinations outside New York City originated in Manhattan, led by neighborhoods on the Upper West and Upper East Sides.

The data from neighborhoods that saw the most requests mirrors cell phone data showing that the city's wealthiest areas saw the most movement.

Right after Covid hit, everyone just blasted out of here, Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal said of the Upper West Side. You could walk just in the middle of Columbus Avenue. And I often did.

Miles of normally cramped streets are empty, and garbage collection is lower in those neighborhoods than in recent years. In Times Square, you can practically hear the hum of electronic signs glowing above empty sidewalks.

Many New Yorkers who fled their homes in the city moved to nearby areas in Long Island, New Jersey and upstate New York.

The Hamptons are a summer

home destination for many

New York City residents.

The Hamptons are a summer

home destination for many

New York City residents.

The Hamptons are a summer

home destination for many

New York City residents.

By The New York TimesSource: U.S. Postal Service

In most locations, the United States Postal Service allows individuals and families who normally get mail at a given location to temporarily forward their mail somewhere new, for up to a year.

Now, mail that used to go to Hells Kitchen in Manhattan is going to Maine and Connecticut. Lower East Side letters are being rerouted to Florida and Pennsylvania. Packages meant for Park Slope, Brooklyn, are going to Texas and Rhode Island.

New York City

region excluding

the city

32% of requests

Miami-

Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

N.Y.C. region

excluding

the city

32% of

requests

Miami-

Ft. Lauderdale-

W. Palm Beach

N.Y.C. region

outside the city

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

New York City

region excluding

the city

32% of requests

Miami-

Fort Lauderdale-

West Palm Beach

By The New York TimesSource: U.S. Postal Service

After being laid off from his job as a theater stage hand, Kurt Gardner, his wife and their young daughter left their crowded two-bedroom apartment in the Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn for the familys three-bedroom summer home in eastern Suffolk County, on Long Island.

Mr. Gardner, 50, said he hears about friends in the city who have to wait outside an hour for Trader Joes. The Gardners now live near a well-stocked supermarket with practically no lines. Theyre surrounded by open space, and their daughter doesnt have to worry about socially distancing at Prospect Park, he said.

As for their mail, it comes maybe once a week, Mr. Gardner said. He and his wife filed mail-forwarding requests in mid-March, but he said much of his mail from March never arrived.

Brooklyn had the second-highest number of mail-forwarding requests, which were concentrated in neighborhoods like Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights.

Mail-forwarding requests

by ZIP code in April

Mail-forwarding

requests by ZIP

code in April

By The New York TimesSource: U.S. Postal Service

Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, including many areas where essential workers live, tended to have far fewer mail-forwarding requests. Roman Suarez works for a union in New York City and travels on weekends doing stand-up comedy. He was in Texas when his boss in New York called to say things were shutting down. I immediately rushed home, said Mr. Suarez, 42, who lives in the Bronx. He picks up medication and groceries for about three dozen family members who live nearby. I just stayed and made myself available for my family, he said.

His neighbors, many of whom work for the city, or in health care, stayed too, he said. His neighborhood, just east of the Bronx Zoo, had fewer than a quarter as many mail-forwarding requests as the Upper East or Upper West Sides.

My father was a cab driver. My mom was a hairdresser, so I understood service to your community, Mr. Suarez said. He recalled living through other challenging times in the city, from Hurricane Gloria in 1985 to the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001. Whenever New York goes through stuff, the best thing to do is just be there.

Metropolitan area

Mail-forwarding requests

New York-Newark-Jersey City

16,041

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

1,830

Philadelphia

1,456

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

1,456

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

1,298

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim

1,131

Boston-Cambridge-Newton

1,092

Kingston, N.Y.

963

Atlanta

710

Torrington, Conn.

Read more:

Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape Coronavirus - The New York Times

WHO warns it could take up to 5 years before the coronavirus pandemic is under control – CNBC

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on January 12, 2020 in Geneva.

FABRICE COFFRINI | AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic may continue into the latter half of the decade, a senior global health official has warned, as the death toll of the virus approaches the grim milestone of 300,000.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization's chief scientist, told the Financial Times' Global Boardroom webinar on Wednesday: "I would say in a four to five-year timeframe, we could be looking at controlling this."

Swaminathan said a vaccine appeared to be the "best way out" at present but warned there were lots of "ifs and buts" about its safety, production and equitable distribution.

The development of an effective vaccine and successful confinement measures were both among the factors that would ultimately determine the pandemic's duration, she added, the FT reported.

To date, more than 4.3 million people have contracted the Covid-19 infection, with 297,465 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

A global public health crisis has meant countries have effectively had to shut down, with many world leaders imposing stringent restrictions on the daily lives of billions of people.

The lockdown measures, which vary in their application but broadly include school closures, bans on public gatherings and social distancing, are expected to result in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

In recent weeks, some countries have sought to gradually relax restrictions, allowing some shops and factories to reopen.

People wear a protective mask due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), this Thursday morning, on Avenida Paulista, in the central region of the city of Sao Paulo.

Fabio Vieira | FotoRua | NurPhoto via Getty Images

However, the emergence of new Covid-19 cases in South Korea and China has exacerbated concerns about the potential for a second wave of infections.

The International Energy Agency on Thursday estimated that the number of people living under some form of confinement measures at the end of May would drop to 2.8 billion people worldwide, down from a recent peak of 4 billion.

At a separate media briefing, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, said at the organization's Geneva headquarters on Wednesday that the coronavirus "may never go away."

When asked to address Swaminathan's comments earlier in the day, Ryan said no one would be able to accurately predict when the disease might disappear.

He added that trying to control the virus would require a "massive effort," even if a vaccine is found.

Excerpt from:

WHO warns it could take up to 5 years before the coronavirus pandemic is under control - CNBC

Coronavirus Live News: Updates and Analysis – The New York Times

  1. Coronavirus Live News: Updates and Analysis  The New York Times
  2. Anthony Fauci's quiet coronavirus rebellion  CNN
  3. 6 takeaways from the surreal Senate hearing on coronavirus - STAT  STAT
  4. NFL games could be the perfect storm for spreading coronavirus even without fans, Dr. Fauci warns  CNN
  5. Senate Hearing Recap: Reopening Amid The Coronavirus  NPR
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Coronavirus Live News: Updates and Analysis - The New York Times

Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs: How Is It Being Developed? When Will It Be Ready? : Goats and Soda – NPR

Engineers work on a potential vaccine for the coronavirus at a Beijing lab. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Engineers work on a potential vaccine for the coronavirus at a Beijing lab.

Most health experts agree that the need for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is clear.

"To return to a semblance of previous normality, the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is an absolute necessity" is how a perspective in Science magazine puts it.

So it's hardly surprising that, around the world, anticipation is high. With more than 100 coronavirus vaccines under development, researchers are reasonably confident that at least one will be successful. Skeptics, and there are some, remind us that optimism about an AIDS vaccine was once high, and 40 years later there is no vaccine.

Still, even if experts today are right that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be easier to develop than an AIDS vaccine, estimates for when it will be widely available vary. Here are some of the vaccine-related questions being raised and what we know at this point.

Is the timeline for COVID-19 faster than for previous vaccines?

President Trump has offered perhaps the most optimistic estimate. He said he expects the United States to have a vaccine by the end of 2020.

So far, it does seem as though the vaccine will be developed faster than ever before in vaccine history. It took more than two decades to come up with a successful polio vaccine. Federal health officials suggest a COVID-19 vaccine may be ready in a tenth of that time.

But there are only some things that you can fast-track, and others, not so much. And even though the Food and Drug Administration is going to be evaluating the various stages of testing with great speed in this case, certain standards must be met: First, you have to prove that a vaccine is safe. Then you need to prove that it generates the immune response you want. And then you need to find out if it actually prevents people from getting sick if they're exposed to the virus.

How would researchers know they have developed a vaccine that works?

Vaccine studies present researchers with a conundrum: You want people to be exposed to the disease being targeted because you need to know if your vaccine is working, and yet in another sense you don't want them being exposed because you don't want them to get sick.

The way you know that the vaccine is effective is that you give a vaccine to one group of people and another group gets a sham injection that doesn't contain the vaccine being tested. Then you see if the vaccinated group is protected.

So how are they going to get exposed to, in this case, the novel coronavirus? Well, if there's a lot of virus circulating in the population, that's one way.

Another possibility that people have talked about is intentionally infecting volunteers with the virus and then seeing if a candidate vaccine prevents them from getting sick. That way you know for sure that the volunteer testers have been exposed and can be confident the vaccine works if that person does not get sick. Such studies, known as challenge trials, are ethically fraught, since you are deliberately infecting volunteers with a potentially lethal virus for which there is no cure.

The alternative to challenge trials is to vaccinate enough people so that you can be confident that some fraction of them will be exposed to the virus. The number you need to vaccinate depends on how prevalent the coronavirus is in the area where the vaccine is being tested. You then compare the vaccinated group with another group that received a sham vaccine to look for efficacy.

Once a vaccine has been developed, how does the manufacturing process work?

"The requirement to scale up to the kinds of numbers we're talking about within the short time-frame that we're speaking about would be an extraordinary effort," says Emilio Emini, who has been working on vaccines for decades and now leads the HIV program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a funder of NPR and of this blog).

Making billions of doses of vaccine is a herculean task.

The tools that you need for manufacturing one vary considerably depending on the kind of vaccine you're making, but in many cases, you need something called a bioreactor a giant tank that allows the organisms that are actually spewing out the vaccine of interest to grow.

Sometimes you could be talking about a 20,000-gallon bioreactor, and you're not going to go down to your local hardware store and pick one of those up. So that's one issue. There's specialty equipment that has to be made.

In addition to the big stuff, there are smaller things to take into consideration, such as medical-grade glass.

"You have to put a product into a sterile vial or syringe, and there's only so much of that glass to go around," says Fred Porter, senior vice president for technical operations at Adrenas Therapeutics. "If we're thinking about billions of doses to be able to deliver vaccines around the world, that becomes a significant bottleneck."

Is making a vaccine available globally important?

Definitely.

Seth Berkley, CEO of an organization called Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, believes you can't roll out a vaccine one country at a time.

"We're not going to be safe as a world unless everywhere is safe," he says. "So even if we had parts of the world that would have low spread or no spread, if you had large reservoirs of the virus in other places, of course you have a risk of reintroduction."

With more than 100 vaccines in development around the world, is it safe to say the majority of them are never going to become viable candidates?

Yes.

They may not succeed for a variety of reasons. They may not work, or they work but are too hard to manufacture. At this stage of development, many are expected to fail. That's just the nature of vaccine trials.

Is it possible that we don't get just one vaccine but that multiple vaccines are developed that might work even in somewhat different ways?

It seems likely because there are multiple approaches to making vaccines that have advantages and disadvantages. Some are tried and true and have worked for other viral illnesses. Some you can make much faster, but it's unclear that they'll be as effective. Experts such as Emilio Emini believe the parallel development of multiple vaccines is a good thing.

"It's my perspective that this is going to require more than one successful vaccine," he says. "It's going to require at least several, if not more, that are successfully developed in parallel so that the scope of what will be needed can be satisfied."

Will the coronavirus vaccine be like the annual flu vaccine in that it changes every year because the virus changes every year, or will it be more like the measles or the polio vaccine, which is fixed?

Unfortunately, right now the answer is unclear. There is some indication that this virus doesn't change very rapidly, so if you find a vaccine that works against it, it may work in perpetuity. But researchers also don't know how long immunity to this virus lasts, so we may need to get booster shots not a different shot every year but a booster of the same shot to make the vaccine actually work for multiple years.

How hopeful should we be that there will be a vaccine that works and that we can get our hands on by next year?

Several companies, governments and foundations are betting billions of dollars that it will be possible.

Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer for Johnson & Johnson, says he's optimistic because of his company's recent experience making vaccines for other viral diseases.

"We have done it with Zika, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), Ebola," he says. "We know what we do. And if we plug a new virus into that system, we are pretty sure we can get to a vaccine."

That said, vaccine people will tell you that every time you start working on a vaccine for a new virus, you don't know what the hurdles will be. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before we know for sure whether those bets will pay off.

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Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs: How Is It Being Developed? When Will It Be Ready? : Goats and Soda - NPR

Coronavirus updates: ‘Disturbing situation’ with COVID-associated illness, Cuomo says – ABC News

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 290,000 people worldwide.

More than 4.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.3 million diagnosed cases and at least 81,805 deaths.

Today's biggest developments:

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom released new guidelines for the reopening of industries like offices that cannot telework, malls for curbside pickup and outdoor museums.

Before reopening, Newsom said all facilities are required to: "perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan"; apply physical distancing rules; start disinfection protocols; implement control measures and screenings; and train employees on how to limit the spread and how to screen themselves for symptoms.

A lone pedestrian passes by Madame Tussauds wax museum on the largely empty Hollywood Boulevard as shutdown orders continue in California due to the coronavirus pandemic, May 11, 2020, in Los Angeles.

When all these steps are finished, businesses can post that checklist to show customers and employees that they're open, according to the state.

In Los Angeles County,officials are recommending another three months for the stay-at-home order, reported ABC Los Angeles station KABC. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said Tuesday that the order will be extended"with all certainty"unless there's a "dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand," KABC reported.

California has over 69,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,847 people in the state have died.

Customers wait for their order outside at the Park Bench Cafe, May 12, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif. California restaurants waiting for permission to reopen have been preparing for the "new normal" in the age of the coronavirus.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

New York state is investigating approximately 100 cases of thePediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, aninflammatory syndrome which has features that overlap with Kawasaki disease.

Playground equipment is taped off, March 30, 2020, in the Old Bethpage hamlet of Oyster Bay on Long Island, New York.

Three young people in New York state have died: a 5-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy and an 18-year-old woman, Gov. Andrew Cuomosaid Tuesday.

"This is a truly disturbing situation and I know parents around the state and around the country are very concerned," Cuomo said. "If we have this issue in New York, it's probably in other states and probably hasn't been diagnosed yet in other states because, again, these children don't present the usual COVID symptoms."

The governor urged parents to monitor their children for these symptoms:

Those with tickets to New York City Broadway shows that were scheduled through Sept. 6 can now get refunds and exchanges, the Broadway League announced Tuesday.

Broadway went dark on March 12 -- and will stay dark until further notice.

Broadway stands closed and empty in Times Square, May 4, 2020, in New York City, during the coronavirus pandemic.

In New York City, the latest tracking progress indicators are mixed, but show progress.

A MTA worker cleans subway trains at a station, May 7, 2020, in New York City.

On May 10, there were51 people admitted to New York City hospitals for suspected COVID-19 -- down from 55 admissions on May 9.

There were 550 patients in intensive care units on May 10, a slight increase from 537 patients on May 9.

And of those tested citywide, 14% were positive on May 10. Of those tested on May 9, 13% were positive.

New York City has 52 confirmed cases of thePediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, aninflammatory syndrome which has features that overlap with Kawasaki disease.

NYPD officers hand out free face masks on May 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Out of the city's 52 cases, 25 tested positive for COVID-19 and 22 others had antibodies, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

One fatality has been reported, the mayor said. Tenmore cases are pending.

Howard Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, said last week that "most children with COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms, but in some, a dangerous inflammatory syndrome can develop."

De Blasio on Tuesday urged parents to call their pediatrician immediately if their child has symptoms including persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting.

"We want people not to hesitate here," the mayor said. "The quicker the parent reports it in ... the more chance of protecting the child."

Buckingham Palace will not open to the public this summer due to the challenges of social distancing,The Royal Collection Trust said.

Cyclists rest in front of Buckingham palace, May 8, 2020, in London.

Frogmore House and Clarence House will also not open in August.

Those who booked tickets will be refunded.

A fire that broke out in a Saint Petersburg hospital early Tuesday killed five coronavirus patients, according to Russian state media.

Four of the patients were attached to ventilators in the intensive care unit of St. George hospital when the blaze erupted, while the fifth patient was on a ventilator in a neighboring ward, state media reported. The identities of the deceased were not immediately known, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Preliminary reports suggested an overheated ventilator had short-circuited and caught fire.

Russian emergency workers attend the scene of a fire at St. George Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 12, 2020. Russian state media reported that the blaze killed five coronavirus patients who had been put on ventilators at the hospital.

A source who worked closely with the hospital before it began treating coronavirus patients and wished to remain anonymous confirmed to ABC News what state media has reported on the incident.

A local emergency official told ABC News that firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

Russia's investigative committee announced it has launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

The proportion of deaths occurring in care homes in England and Wales that involved the novel coronavirus is increasing, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics.

"In the most recent days, the proportion of deaths occurring in care homes has accounted for 40.4% of all deaths involving COVID-19," the report states.

The latest data was from deaths registered in the week ending May 1. The proportion was up from 35.7% the previous week.

"Although we expect numbers of deaths to increase as more are registered," the report states, "it currently appears that deaths per day are decreasing."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly has been hospitalized after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

"Yes, I've gotten sick. I'm being treated," Peskov was quoted as telling Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

In this file photo taken on June 15, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after his annual televised call-in show as his press secretary Dmitry Peskov (right) smiles in Moscow, Russia. Peskov told state media on May 12, 2020, that he is hospitalized after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

Peskov said he last met face-to-face with Putin a month ago and has since been communicating with him only by telephone or video call.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week and is still being treated for it in the hospital. Nonetheless, he chaired a cabinet meeting via video last week.

New data shows that the novel coronavirus was present in Ohio as early as January, according to Dr. Amy Acton, director of the state's health department.

Acton revealed the new data during Monday's coronavirus briefing, explaining that antibody testing now shows at least five COVID-19 cases in five Ohio counties have a date of symptom onset in January. The earliest one dates back to Jan. 7.

Previous data showed an onset of symptoms as early as February.

The Ohio Department of Health is investigating these cases and looking to see whether they are linked to any recent travel, according to Acton.

As more antibody testing is conducted, Acton said health officials will learn more about how long the virus has been circulating in the Midwestern U.S. state. As of Monday, the state had reported a total of 24,777 cases of COVID-19 with 1,357 deaths and 4,413 hospitalizations, according to Columbus ABC affiliate WSYX.

Meanwhile, retail stories across Ohio were allowed to reopen Tuesday so long as they adhere to the state's guidelines for social distancing.

Bars, restaurants, beauty salons and barber shops will be allowed to reopen across Italy this month rather than having to wait till June.

Regional governors got their way on Monday when Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte dropped his plan to keep restaurants and hair salons closed until June 1 and instead moved up their reopening to May 18. A list of coronavirus-related safety precautions for those businesses will be issued later this week.

While some Italian provinces move ahead with reopening businesses earlier than originally planned by the central government, Conte still has the power to overrule policy decisions made by governors if the number of COVID-19 cases start to climb again. Monday marked the first day that Italy's nationwide total of patients in intensive care units fell to under 1,000.

A young hairdresser and a customer wearing face masks and gloves to protect against the coronavirus in a salon in Brixen, Italy, Monday, May 11, 2020. The northern Italian province of South Tyrol is moving ahead of policies by the central government, reopening restaurants and shops closed during the coronavirus crisis earlier than planned by Rome.

Once the hardest-hit country in Europe, Italy was the first nation in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Italy began to slowly lift the strict lockdown by easing some restrictions.

Italy's Civil Protection Agency recorded the country's lowest daily death toll from COVID-19 on Sunday. The single-day rise of new infections also fell below 1,000 for the first time since early March.

Italy is one of the worst-affection nations in the world in the pandemic, with more than 219,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and at least 30,739 deaths.

Russia reported more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday for the 10th day in a row, as the country emerges as a new hot spot in the coronavirus pandemic.

There were 10,899 new cases and 107 new deaths confirmed in Russia over the past 24 hours, according to the country's coronavirus response headquarters.

A man wearing a face mask walks at Savyolovskaya metro station in Moscow, Russia, on May 12, 2020, on the first day of mandatory use of masks and gloves on Moscow public transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest daily tally is down from Monday's record of 11,656 new infections.

So far, Russia has reported a total of 232,243 confirmed cases of COVID-19, making it the second-largest national tally in the world, behind the United States. Russia also has one of the world's fastest rates of new infections in the coronavirus pandemic, second only to the U.S.

The Seoul metropolitan government is ramping up its efforts to trace clubgoers at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.

A police task force team of over 8,500 members are combing through mobile phone records, credit card bills and even surveillance footage to identify individuals who recently visited reopened clubs and bars in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon, after 21 new cases of COVID-19 linked to the area were confirmed on Tuesday.

So far, South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has counted a total of 102 confirmed cases tied to individuals who were at Itaewon bars or nightclubs that reopened after anti-virus measures were relaxed or who had come in contact with those who were. Authorities have since shut down more than 2,100 nightclubs, hostess bars and discos in the South Korean capital.

Quarantine workers spray disinfectant at a nightclub in the Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea, on May 12, 2020, amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Seoul police have secured a list from mobile operators of 10,905 customers who were present in the Itaewon area for over 30 minutes between April 24 and May 6 and sent text messages asking the owners of those mobile phones to get tested for COVID-19. Police also tracked the credit card transactions of 494 people out of about 1,000 who paid tabs at the clubs and bars currently under investigation there.

"Messages have already been sent to everyone and will be sent once more this afternoon," Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a press briefing Tuesday. "Those who have received the messages should visit the nearby health center or screening clinic soon for the testing."

Some 10,300 people tied to the Itaewon area have been tested for COVID-19 so far. Many of the individuals are in their 20s and 30s.

South Korea has begun to gradually ease its strict social-distancing measures that were put in place to curb the spread of the virus. Last week, people resumed their daily routines while museums, libraries and other public facilities reopened under the relaxed rules. The number of new cases reported in the country have stayed low for weeks, but the sudden spike among the younger generation has raised concerns that the quarantine measures may have been lifted too soon.

People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing station in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul, South Korea, on May 12, 2020. Seoul authorities are using mobile phone data to trace nightclub visitors as they try to tackle a coronavirus cluster, they said, promising anonymity to those being tested due to the stigma surrounding homosexuality, as the Itaewon area caters to a large LGBT community.

City health authorities have said that all testing will be free for those who come forward and no questions will be asked. But a number of clubgoers are still reluctant to get tested for fear of being stigmatized, as the Itaewon area caters to a large LGBT community.

"This is not a matter of being gay or not. This is a problem that arose unexpectedly to all young people," David Kim, an LGBT activist at the Sinnaneun Center in Seoul, told ABC News. "No one expected an outbreak. Even the government said it's OK to reopen the clubs after a two month break. It's just sad that we are being targeted by conservative media and social opinions as if we are the villains."

South Korea once had the largest outbreak outside China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged, but the country quickly implemented an extensive "trace, test and treat" strategy. A total of 10,936 people across the nation have been diagnosed with COVID-19, of which 9,670 have recovered and 258 have died, according to South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wuhan, the Chinese city that was ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic, plans to test its entire population for the novel coronavirus after a cluster of new cases emerged.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an emergency notice on Monday announcing a "10 Day Battle" to ramp up its ability to conduct nucleic acid tests on the city's 11 million residents. Each district must submit a detailed plan by Tuesday on how they will test their respective communities, according to an official leaflet which has been circulated on social media and carried by state-run media.

The document did not state a timeline for the completion of the testing drive itself.

Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province, reported its first cluster of coronavirus infections on Monday in over a month, stoking fears of a second wave. The five new locally transmitted cases arose from a previously asymptomatic patient who then spread the virus to four others in their residential compound, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency.

A worker wearing a face mask checks passengers' body temperatures as well as a health code on their cellphones before they take a taxi after arriving at Hankou railway station in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province, on May 12, 2020. China reported no new locally-transmitted infections of the novel coronavirus on May 12, after two consecutive days of double-digit increases, including a new cluster over the weekend in Wuhan which fueled fears of a second wave of infections.

China's National Health Commission said Tuesday morning that no new cases had been reported in Hubei province over the past 24 hours.

Wuhan was the first city in the world to go under a coronavirus-related lockdown after the newly identified virus was thought to have first emerged there in December. The lockdown was lifted last month and life in the city has slowly been returning to normal. Last week, Chinese authorities decided to downgrade the entire country from high- to low-risk for the novel coronavirus as the number of new infections continued to hover just above zero and no new deaths had been reported for several consecutive days.

But Wuhan's Dongxihu district raised its risk level from low to medium after a new locally-transmitted case was confirmed there over the weekend, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Chinese mainland has reported 82,919 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,633 deaths. There are still 115 people with the disease in hospitals, according to the National Health Commission.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will maintain a physical distance from each other in the immediate future, a senior administration official told ABC News.

The decision was made in consultation with the medical unit at the White House, the official said. The change comes after two aides on the White House campus, including Pence's press secretary, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Sources had told ABC News earlier that there were discussions over the weekend about keeping the president and vice president separated, but no decision on that had been made until now. It's unlikely the two will be attending meetings together unless necessary, sources said.

U.S. President Donald Trump turns to Vice President Mike Pence as they depart following a coronavirus response news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2020.

Pence spent all of Monday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where he maintains his ceremonial office and where most of his staff have offices, a senior administration official told ABC News.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building is part of the White House campus and situated adjacent to the White House building itself. Pence did not go to the White House at all on Monday, the official said.

While in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Pence followed the guidelines for critical infrastructure workers laid out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the official told ABC News. The vice president qualifies as a critical infrastructure worker because he's a key member of a government entity that works to provide public health access, among other critical functions, according to the official.

Those guidelines call for people to take their temperature before going into work, monitor for any symptoms, wear a mask at all times in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure to an infected individual, maintain a six-foot distance from others and practice social distancing at work as much as possible, as well as disinfect and clean workspaces regularly.

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Coronavirus updates: 'Disturbing situation' with COVID-associated illness, Cuomo says - ABC News

Fauci warns again about the US reopening as more evidence emerges of virus’s early spread – CNN

The onset of five Covid-19 cases in five separate counties in Ohio happened as early as January, state Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has said, citing results of antibody testing.

"I think we'll see a lot more of this. I also think there are a lot of deaths and coroner reports yet to be seen, so I think as time goes on, we will learn more and more about history with this virus," Acton said Monday.

Those milestones, which the White House recommended in mid-April, include a downward trajectory in virus cases for 14 days and a robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers.

"If some areas, cities, states or what have you jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks," Fauci told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

Also, a vast majority of poll's respondents were "afraid" or "concerned" (35% and 46%, respectively) about the potential for a second wave of Covid-19 cases this year, while 18% were not concerned. Those two questions in the multi-topic poll -- conducted by phone Thursday through Sunday, with 1,112 adult Americans -- had a margin of error of +/- 3.7%.

Don't expect a vaccine for the upcoming school year, Fauci says

Some other developments from Tuesday's Senate panel hearing:

School reopenings will vary from region to region because "dynamics of the outbreak are different in different regions," Fauci said.

The nation's actual death toll is likely higher than reported, Fauci said. He cited New York City, where the health care system was overwhelmed. "There may have been people who died at home (in that city) who did have ... Covid who are not counted as Covid because they never really got to the hospital."

The US should have the capacity to produce, distribute and apply "at least 40 (million) to 50 million tests per month" by September, said Adm. Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Number of inflammatory illnesses in NY children rises to around 100

New York health officials are now investigating about 100 cases of an inflammatory illness in children that might be related to Covid-19, up from 73 last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Three youths -- a teenager and a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old -- have died of the inflammatory illness, officials have said.

The state has said many of the children tested positive for Covid-19 or had its antibodies, but that they did not present with typical symptoms for the coronavirus disease. So health officials are investigating whether coronavirus presents a danger to children not previously understood.

The plurality of cases -- 29% -- involved children ages 5 to 9. About 28% of the patients were between 10 and 14, according to the state.

Leaders push forward with reopening

By late this week, 48 states will have relaxed at least some measures as the country moves toward reopening -- but heavy debate remains around whether it's safe to begin carving a path to normalcy just yet.

Experts and public health officials have for weeks warned a premature release of measures could drive the US death toll up by thousands.

But business owners and some local officials across the country have demanded stay-at-home orders be lifted to avoid a crash of the economy -- amid an already unprecedented amount of unemployment claims in many states.

In California, where the governor created guidelines last week for regions to meet before beginning to move forward toward reopening, officials in San Diego said their city is ready to go back to business.

"I admire the governor and the work that he's been doing but I think the standard he set last week, to not allow businesses to reopen unless the counties have gone two weeks without any deaths, is unrealistic in any urban county," San Diego Supervisor Greg Cox said. "We certainly want to work with him in a cooperative vein but we need to have standards that are attainable."

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will lift the state's stay-at-home order Friday, adding the state would be moving into phase one of its reopening plan.

Restaurants, casinos, churches, hair salons and gyms are some of the businesses that can open with restrictions during that first phase, but are limited to 25% occupancy and must practice social distancing.

CNN's Jeremy Herb, Lauren Fox, Arman Azad, Amanda Watts, Jacqueline Howard, Jennifer Henderson, Alexandra Meeks, Andy Rose and Sara Sidner contributed to this report.

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Fauci warns again about the US reopening as more evidence emerges of virus's early spread - CNN

What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, May 12 – CNN

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The rest is here:

What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, May 12 - CNN

About 100 N.Y. Children Treated for Illness Tied to Virus: Live Updates – The New York Times

About 100 children in N.Y. are suspected of having a rare illness tied to the virus.

New York State health officials are investigating about 100 cases of a rare and dangerous inflammatory syndrome that afflicts children and appears to be connected to the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday.

More than half of the states pediatric inflammatory syndrome cases 57 percent involved children ages 5 to 14.

Earlier the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that 52 cases of the syndrome had been reported in New York City, with 10 potential cases also being evaluated.

The dead included a 5-year-old boy, who died last week in New York City; a 7-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl, Mr. Cuomo said.

This is a truly disturbing situation, Mr. Cuomo said at his daily news briefing. And I know parents around the state and around the country are very concerned about this, and they should be.

The governors announcement came as he reported 195 more virus-related deaths in the state, an increase from Mondays total but the second consecutive day that the toll was under 200.

The pediatric illness began to appear in the region in recent weeks, and doctors and researchers are still investigating how and why it affects children.

Connecticut reported its first cases of the syndrome on Monday. As of Tuesday, six children in the state were being treated for the ailment, officials said.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced three of the Connecticut cases at a briefing on Monday.

I think right now its a very, very tiny risk of infection, he said. It was not really ever detected in Asia, which, I dont quite know what that implies.

Three other children were being treated for the syndrome at the Connecticut Childrens Medical Center in Hartford, a spokeswoman, Monica Buchanan, said on Tuesday. Two of the three were confirmed to have the illness, Ms. Buchanan said.

As of Monday, health officials in New Jersey said they were investigating eight potential cases of the syndrome.

With New York making steady progress in its battle against the virus and three upstate regions poised to start a gradual reopening by this weekend, Mr. Cuomo on Tuesday reiterated the importance of federal aid as the state charts its recovery.

The number of people hospitalized in New York continued to decrease, Mr. Cuomo said, one of the key metrics that officials are monitoring in assessing whether the outbreaks severity is waning.

The number of new daily hospitalizations has fallen close to where it was on March 19, just before Mr. Cuomo issued executive orders shutting down much of the state.

Were making real progress, theres no doubt, Mr. Cuomo said. But theres also no doubt that its no time to get cocky, no time to get arrogant.

While sounding that warning, Mr. Cuomo urged lawmakers in Washington to give state and local governments whose budgets have been ravaged by the pandemic the financial help they need to rebound.

To get this economy up and running, were going to need an intelligent stimulus bill, Mr. Cuomo said.

New York state needs an estimated $61 billion in federal support to avoid enacting 20 percent cuts to schools, local governments and hospitals, Mr. Cuomo said.

He also said it would be impossible for New York to resume business as normal without the money it needs to develop a sophisticated testing and contact tracing apparatus.

It is unclear whether Congress will give Mr. Cuomo the help he is seeking. Like President Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, said he last month that he did not support what he has labeled a blue state bailout.

Mr. Cuomo called Mr. McConnells characterization one of the really dumb ideas of all time.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey began outlining plans on Tuesday for the testing and contact tracing that he said would be critical to reopening the states battered economy.

Still, Mr. Murphy made the case that New Jersey which, along with New York, has been an epicenter of the pandemic is currently the state most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. New Jersey, he said, had overtaken New York and Connecticut in the rate of new infections and deaths.

There are still thousands in our hospitals, and sadly an untold number more will perish, the governor said, while noting that the number of hospitalizations, deaths and new cases had plunged since the states peak in mid-April.

To continue to beat back the outbreak, New Jersey officials said they planned to test up to 20,000 people a day by the end of the month. The state would also be sending out hundreds of contact tracers to determine who has had a close interaction with a sick person, Mr. Murphy said.

Mr. Murphy said the goal in New Jersey was to recruit a racially diverse group of contact tracers who can speak various languages and identify with the communities in which they will work. The pay is about $25 an hour, he said.

The drop in the number of new coronavirus cases means that the state can consider a limited reopening, Mr. Murphy said, but he warned impatient residents about the risks of loosening restrictions too soon. After closing parks and golf courses in early April, the state reopened them on May 2; the governor did not say which businesses other places may open next.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Murphy announced 198 new deaths 139 more than were reported the day before for a total of 9,508. About half of those fatalities were of residents of nursing homes. The daily report of new deaths in New Jersey may include deaths that occurred weeks ago and were only recently confirmed.

Those numbers dont lie, Mr. Murphy said. We are still the most impacted state in America.

The puzzle of how to revive New York Citys tourist trade is so vexing that city officials are pulling together a group of industry experts and one of the biggest names on Broadway to try to solve it.

On Tuesday, the citys tourism agency, NYC & Company, said it was establishing the Coalition for NYC Hospitality & Tourism Recovery. Among the groups leaders: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist and actor who created the musical Hamilton.

The coalitions task is to come up with a plan for wooing people back to the city once it starts to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, a chapter that appears to be months off at least after the Broadway League said on Tuesday that its members were canceling shows through Sept 6.

It is time to consider how we can begin to reopen our doors and safely reconnect with our city and with each other, and with the visitors who will one day again flock to New York, said Charles Flateman, NYC & Companys chairman and executive vice president of the Shubert Organization.

Joining Mr. Flatemen and Mr. Miranda at the groups helm are Ellen Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, which recently announced a number of layoffs; Thelma Golden, the Studio Museum in Harlems director and chief curator; the restaurateur Danny Meyer; and Peter Ward, the president of the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council.

Before the pandemic struck, NYC & Company was forecasting an 11th straight year of increased tourism. In 2019, the city had more than 66 million visitors who generated about $70 billion of economic activity that supported 400,000 jobs, according to the agencys estimates.

Together, we will create a next act for our city, Mr. Miranda said in a statement.

Mr. de Blasio on Tuesday announced an expansion of coronavirus testing and tracing across New York City, but he warned again that a limited reopening of the city was weeks away at best.

Twelve new testing sites will be set up in the next three weeks in a push to double the public hospital systems testing capacity, the mayor said at his daily news briefing. The city was also training 535 contact tracers, with a goal of having 2,500 in the field by early June.

Still, the city, the pandemics U.S. epicenter, has met just four of the seven criteria required to start to reopen, Mr. Cuomo said on Monday while announcing that three upstate regions had achieved all of the necessary benchmarks.

Mr. de Blasio has said he is closely monitoring three measures in weighing the citys progress toward reopening: the number of new virus infections; the number of infected patients in intensive care units; and the percentage of residents testing positive for the virus.

Clearly, these indicators are not getting us the kind of answers we need to change our restrictions in May, the mayor said. Youve got to have 10 days to two weeks of consistent, downward motion. We havent had that in a sustained way at all.

As Connecticut continues to respond to a virus outbreak that has killed more than 3,000 people in the state, Gov. Ned Lamont said on Tuesday that he was replacing the public health commissioner, Renee Coleman-Mitchell.

Mr. Lamont did not provide a reason for the change, only saying that he had appointed the commissioner of the states Department of Social Services, Deidre Gifford, to act as Ms. Coleman-Mitchells replacement.

In a statement, Mr. Lamont said that Ms. Coleman-Mitchells service over the last year has been a great deal of help, particularly in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic that has brought disruption to many throughout the world.

Ms. Coleman-Mitchell began her tenure in April 2019. Though she appeared at Mr. Lamonts daily news briefings in early April, she has been absent from them in recent weeks.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought much of life in New York to a halt and there is no clear end in sight. But there are also moments that offer a sliver of strength, hope, humor or some other type of relief: a joke from a stranger on line at the supermarket; a favor from a friend down the block; a great meal ordered from a restaurant we want to survive; trivia night via Zoom with the bar down the street.

Wed like to hear about your moments, the ones that are helping you through these dark times. A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.

Reporting was contributed by Maria Cramer, Michael Gold, Patrick McGeehan, Jesse McKinley and Azi Paybarah.

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About 100 N.Y. Children Treated for Illness Tied to Virus: Live Updates - The New York Times

5 things to know for May 12: Coronavirus, health, economy, SCOTUS, Mexico – CNN

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Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Coronavirus

2. Health

3. Economy

4. Supreme Court

5. Mexico

THIS JUST IN ...

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Here are all the entertainment livestreams to keep you, well, entertained this week

Man finds 100,000 bees buzzing in his ceiling

TODAY'S NUMBER

12,000

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?"

Weijia Jiang, a White House correspondent for CBS News, who was visibly taken aback when President Trump responded to a question from her at a contentious White House briefing by saying she should "ask China." Jiang is Asian American.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

An ode to simpler times

Continue reading here:

5 things to know for May 12: Coronavirus, health, economy, SCOTUS, Mexico - CNN

CNN Poll: Negative ratings for government handling of coronavirus persist – CNN

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CNN Poll: Negative ratings for government handling of coronavirus persist - CNN

Where is the coronavirus in N.J.? Latest map, update on county-by-county cases. (May 12, 2020) – NJ.com

Among the nations 50 states, New Jersey continues to rank No. 2 among coronavirus cases and deaths, sitting behind No. 1 New York.

According to Worldometer here is the updated Top 10 list of states with coronavirus cases reported and deaths:

New York: 345,987/26,874

New Jersey: 140,930/9,312

Illinois: 79,007/3,459

Massachusetts: 78,462/5,108

California: 67,986/2,719

Pennsylvania: 60,557/3,843

Michigan: 47,552/4,584

Florida: 40,982/1,735

Texas: 40,251/1,137

Georgia: 33,927/1,441

New Jersey health officials have been reporting statewide totals and providing a county-by-county breakdown, but some county and municipal health departments have been providing additional detail, including town-by-town case numbers. NJ Advance Media has compiled that information below.

ATLANTIC COUNTY (State reports 1,533 with 77 deaths; county reports 1,530 cases and 77 deaths, with 351 who have recovered.)

Atlantic County officials reported 15 new cases and 3 new deaths Monday. Town-by-town numbers:

Absecon: 122 with 6 deaths

Atlantic City: 153 with 6 deaths

Brigantine: 19 with 1 death

Buena Borough: 30 with 1 death

Buena Vista Township: 230

Corbin City: 10

Egg Harbor City: 190

Egg Harbor Township: 190 with 15 deaths

Estell Manor : 70

Folsom: 100

Galloway: 180 with 6 deaths

Hamilton: 111 with 3 deaths

Hammonton: 253 with 24 deaths

Linwood: 56 with 5 deaths

Longport: 20

Margate: 150

Mullica: 190

Northfield: 70 with 4 deaths

Pleasantville: 132 with 6deaths

Port Republic: 30

Somers Point: 310

Ventnor: 280

Weymouth: 100

BERGEN COUNTY (State reports 17,028 with 1,358 deaths; 17,060 with 1,358 deaths, according to county officials)

Bergen County officials released town-by-town totals Monday. 793 of the people who died resided in a long-term care facility. 383 cases have not been associated with a municipality.

Allendale: 61

Alpine: 22

Bergenfield: 748

Bogota: 167

Carlstadt: 94

Cliffside Park: 466

Closter: 79

Cresskill: 107

Demarest: 46

Dumont: 290

East Rutherford: 132

Edgewater: 126

Elmwood Park: 510

Emerson: 204

Englewood: 733

Englewood Cliffs: 55

Fair Lawn: 582

Fairview: 343

Fort Lee: 430

Franklin Lakes: 145

Garfield: 742

Glen Rock: 116

Hackensack: 1,229

Harrington Park: 28

Hasbrouck Heights: 194

Haworth: 35

Hillsdale: 111

Ho-Ho-Kus: 45

Leonia: 106

Little Ferry: 187

Lodi: 632

Lyndhurst: 364

Mahwah: 254

Maywood: 222

Midland Park: 84

Montvale: 74

Moonachie: 65

New Milford: 422

North Arlington: 250

Northvale: 57

Norwood: 67

Oakland: 214

Old Tappan: 60

Oradell: 175

Palisades Park: 239

Paramus: 941

Park Ridge: 154

Ramsey: 125

Ridgefield: 184

Ridgefield Park: 257

Ridgewood: 283

River Edge: 131

River Vale: 106

Rochelle Park: 153

Rockleigh: 99

Rutherford: 182

Saddle Brook: 292

Saddle River: 72

South Hackensack: 56

Teaneck: 1,020

The rest is here:

Where is the coronavirus in N.J.? Latest map, update on county-by-county cases. (May 12, 2020) - NJ.com

Ranked: The 10 US Cities Best Positioned To Recover From Coronavirus (And The 10 Worst) – Forbes

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted cities across the country with varying force. New York City has been hardest hit, and its no secret that the Big Apple is going to be one of the places that will have the most challenging time bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, no matter when things subside. But which cities will have the best coronavirus recovery? And which other cities will struggle? Moodys Analytics has issued a report that examines the potential to recover from coronavirus among the top 100 metro areas in the U.S.and while some of the results are to be expected, some are more surprising.

The most dynamic recoveries may well bypass traditional powerhouses and take place instead in areas that either were or were poised to lead the way in 2020 before everything changed, writes Adam Kamins, senior regional economist at Moodys Analytics and the author of the report.

Moodys grouped the 10 cities best poised to recover quickly from the coronavirus pandemic and the 10 cities worst poised to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Note that they are sorted alphabetically in order to avoid assigning false precision to our calculations, Kamins told Forbes Women.

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A new list has ranked the cities that are best positioned to recover from coronavirusand the worst ... [+] cities.

Best Cities for a Coronavirus Recovery

Among the 10 cities best poised to recover, Kamins points out that small college towns are particularly well positioned for a recovery. Durham, North Carolina and Madison, Wisconsin could enjoy a surge in growth in the years to come, says Kamins.

Fast-growing tech hubs in the West and South will also lead in the post-coronavirus era. Silicon Valley is nobodys idea of an up-and-coming area. But there is a notable contrast between the San Jose metro area, with its sprawling tech campuses, and tightly packed San Francisco, says Kamins, who notes that Raleigh, North Carolina could also prove to be more attractive in a new, post-COVID-19 world.

Cities that were fast-growing pre-coronavirus will continue their rise. Denver and Salt Lake City are well positioned to retake their crown as two of the fastest-rising metro areas in the U.S., says Kamins.

While Washington, D.C. is one of the more densely populated metro areas in the nation, its highly educated workforce and its architecture will pay off. Its longstanding height limit on buildings [will help] leave it in better shape than the rest of the region, says Kamins.

Other cities on the top 10 best list include Boise City, Idaho; Durham, North Carolina; Provo, Utah; and Tucson, Arizona. Read on forthe full list of best cities for recovery.

New York City is going to be one of the worst cities to recover from coronavirus.

Worst Cities for a Coronavirus Recovery

A significant number of cities in the Northeast made it to the bottom of the list. The region of the country that I think is worst off is going to be the Northeast, says Kamns. You've got New York, Philadelphia, New Haventhree of the 10. It is a highly educated area, but so many large urban centers have an outsize share of residents living in big cities. That may be difficult to sustain, especially in the short term.

And despite the fact that New York City has a large, skilled workforce, there are other factors that will hold it back. Riding the subway, dining in crowded restaurants and attending Broadway shows may be viewed as inherently risky for some time, consistent with the city's status asthe single-most economically exposed metro area, writes Kamins.

Honolulu also made it onto the worst list, Kamins says, because of its exposure to tourism.

Kamins says he was surprised by some of the cities on the worst list, including McAllen, Texas and Stockton, California. McAllen is more densely populated than most areas with [a lot of] poverty and low degrees of educational attainment. And inland California is much worse off economically than coastal California. Plus, a place like Stockton is a little bit more compressed. There's not as much space there. So there's a bit more risk, says Kamins. We think that in the aftermath of COVID-19 or even while the pandemic is still going on over the next couple of years, potentially, if there's no vaccine, that these are areas that might be less attractive.

Other places on the list of 10 worst cities to recover include Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Tampa, Florida. Read on forthe full list of worst cities for recovery.

The Data

In analyzing the cities, Moodys Analytics looked at population density and plotted it against two measures of workforce quality, both using educational attainment. In the first comparison, Moodys used data to compare population density against the share of jobs that require either a college or graduate degree. Those economies that can provide high-paying jobs to would-be city residents are especially well positioned, writes Kamins.

Moodys also looked at CBSAs (core-based statistical areas), a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that consists of one or more counties (or equivalents) anchored by an urban center of at least 10,000 people plus adjacent counties that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. In this case, Moodys used educational attainment and theaverage density across countiesthat was used to calculate regional exposure to COVID-19.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Big Cities

One of the biggest impacts the country might witness, post-coronavirus, is a migration away from living in big cities. The generation that is growing up today could remember the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on large, densely populated urban areas and be more likely than its predecessors to opt for less densely packed pastures in the decades to come, writes Kamins.

Kamins believes that this will also impact where business is done. Firms will need to follow those workers, writes Kamins. Places that are more spacious, rely more heavily on car travel and provide ample access to single-family housing are likely to emerge as more attractive as a result, especially among those who choose to bypass the highly urbanized Northeast.

Austin, Texas is a city to watch in the post-coronavirus era.

Beyond the Lists

Other urban areas that didnt make the top 10 list, but are places to watchaccording to Moodysinclude Austin, Texas; Seattle; and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, the draw of suburban areas should not be overlooked, says Kamins. The Silver Spring, Maryland; Montgomery-Bucks-Chester County Pennsylvania; and Cambridge, Massachusetts metro divisions could become appealing alternatives to their neighboring cities in a world in which physical proximity is viewed as inherently risky.

And while they didnt make it into the top 10 list, more isolated places in the Midwest could also succeed, including Omaha and Des Moines. Kamins points out that that they will benefit from the fact that they face few land constraints.

Kamins believes that the coronavirus fallout could damage some of the nations other dynamic economies in the future, including Boston and San Franciscowhich didnt make the 10 worst list, but will also fare poorly in the post-coronavirus era. Each place is resilient enough to eventually find its footing again, but out-migration could pick up in the medium term, writes Kamins.

Here arethe 10 best and 10 worst cities for recovery.Note that Moodys sorted the cities alphabetically in order to avoid assigning false precision to the calculations.

Boise, Idaho will be one of the cities best poised to bounce back from coronavirus.

Top 10: Cities Best-Positioned to Recover From Coronavirus

(Note: These are alphabetically sortednot listed in order)

Boise City, Idaho

Denver, Colorado

Durham, North Carolina

Madison, Wisconsin

Provo, Utah

Raleigh, North Carolina

Salt Lake City, Utah

San Jose, California

Tucson, Arizona

Washington, D.C.

Los Angeles is predicted to be among the worst cities to recover from coronavirus.

Bottom 10: Cities Worst-Positioned to Recover From Coronavirus

(Note: These are alphabetically sortednot listed in order)

Detroit, Michigan

Honolulu, Hawaii

Los Angeles, California

McAllen, Texas

Miami, Florida

New Haven, Connecticut

New York City

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Stockton, California

Tampa, Florida

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Ranked: The 10 US Cities Best Positioned To Recover From Coronavirus (And The 10 Worst) - Forbes

How we ‘Leeeeroy Jenkins’-ed the coronavirus reopening – CNN

The video featured 20-ish people plotting how to attack a boss. (It was in an area known as "upper black rock spire" in the game.) It was an intricate plan, with all sorts of coordinated moves being worked out and even a guy calculating the group's chances of survival. (It was "32.33, uh, repeating of course" if you were wondering. You weren't.)

The plotting went on for an extended period of time -- right up until one of the players yelled, "Time's up. Let's do this. Leeeeeerrrroy Jenkins!!!!" and sprinted into the room to battle the boss. ("Leroy Jenkins" was his screen name in the game.) They all followed him because, well, what the hell else were they going to do?

The "Leroy Jenkins" video has become the stuff of absolute legend on the internet -- as almost every piece of the video has been transformed into an internet meme of some sort.

What, you are wondering at this point, doesany of that have to do with the coronavirus -- and the way in which governors are reopening their states?

A lot, actually. In fact, "Leroy Jenkins" is the perfect way to understand how we got to a place where 48 of the 50 states will be at least partially reopened by May 17 despite the fact that very few of them have met the federal guidelines for reopening.

Once Leroy -- er, I mean Kemp -- had run through that reopening doorway, the other governors had no choice but to follow.

Because the political pressure to do so -- once Kemp had broken the seal -- became even more intense. And faced with growing protests and economic numbers that hadn't been so bad since the Great Depression, governors rushed to reopen their states, plans, plots and federal guidelines be damned.

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How we 'Leeeeroy Jenkins'-ed the coronavirus reopening - CNN

Were All Casualties of Trumps War on Coronavirus Science – The New York Times

In 2004, 60 Minutes aired a segment on what it called virus hunters, scientists searching for bugs that can leap from animals to humans and cause pandemics. What worries me the most is that we are going to miss the next emerging disease, said a scientist named Peter Daszak, describing his fear of a coronavirus that moves from one part of the planet to another, wiping out people as it moves along.

In the intervening years, Daszak became president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research organization focused on emerging pandemics. EcoHealth worked with Chinas Wuhan Institute of Virology to study coronaviruses in bats that could infect humans, and, as Science magazine put it, to develop tools that could help researchers create diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for human outbreaks. Since 2014, the EcoHealth Alliance has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health, until its funding was abruptly cut two weeks ago.

The reason, as 60 Minutes reported on Sunday evening, was a conspiracy theory spread by Representative Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who in March wore a gas mask on the House floor to mock concern about the new coronavirus. On April 14, Gaetz appeared on Tucker Carlsons Fox News show and claimed that the N.I.H. grant went to the Wuhan Institute, which Gaetz intimated might have been the source of the virus the institute may have birthed a monster, in his words.

The first of Gaetzs claims was flatly false, and the second unlikely; the C.I.A. has reportedly found no evidence of a link between the virus and the Wuhan lab. But at a White House briefing a few days later, a reporter from the right-wing website Newsmax told President Trump that under Barack Obama, the N.I.H. gave the Wuhan lab a $3.7 million grant. Why would the U.S. give a grant like that to China? she asked.

In fact, Trumps administration had recently renewed EcoHealths grant, but Trump didnt appear to know that. The Obama administration gave them a grant of $3.7 million? he asked. Then he said, We will end that grant very quickly.

And they did. But ending the grant dealt a blow to efforts to find treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus. Remdesivir, the antiviral drug thats shown some promise in Covid-19 patients, was earlier tested against bat viruses EcoHealth discovered. Now the nonprofit is facing layoffs.

This political hit on Daszaks work is far from the only way that the Trump administrations contempt for science has undermined Americas coronavirus response. Conservative antipathy to science is nothing new; Republicans have long denied and denigrated the scientific consensus on issues from evolution to stem cell research to climate change. This hostility has several causes, including populist distrust of experts, religious rejection of information that undermines biblical literalism and efforts by giant corporations to evade regulation.

But its grown worse under Trump, with his authoritarian impulse to quash any facts, from inauguration crowd sizes to hurricane paths, that might reflect poorly on him.

Until recently, it seemed as if Trumps sabotage of efforts to combat climate change would be the most destructive legacy of his disregard for science. But the coronavirus has presented the country with an emergency that only sound science can solve. That means that the Trump administrations disdain for expertise, its elevation of slavish loyalty over technical competence, has become a more immediate threat.

Months before this pandemic began, Reuters reported, the Trump administration axed the job of an epidemiologist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China to help detect emerging disease outbreaks. As the pandemic raged, the administration removed Rick Bright, one of Americas premier experts on vaccine development, from an agency overseeing efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Last week Bright filed a whistle-blower complaint claiming hed suffered retaliation because he resisted funding potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections and by the administration itself. (A federal watchdog agency has called for him to be reinstated pending its investigation.)

Another whistle-blower complaint, filed by a former volunteer on the coronavirus team assembled by Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, claims the effort has been beset by inexperience and incompetence. The Associated Press reported on how the White House buried guidance from the C.D.C. on how communities could safely reopen. Now the president is urging Americans to return to work even as the White House itself has proved unable to keep the coronavirus at bay.

According to Axios, Trump has even privately started expressing skepticism of the coronaviruss death toll, suggesting its lower than official statistics say. (Most experts believe the opposite.) A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically, reported Axios. The Trump administrations approach to the coronavirus began with denialism, and thats likely how it will end.

Any progress America makes in fighting Covid-19 will be in spite of its federal government, not because of it. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science not politics or cronyism has to lead the way, Dr. Bright said when he went public with his complaint in April. Trump wont let that happen. Hed rather essentially give up on combating it at all.

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Were All Casualties of Trumps War on Coronavirus Science - The New York Times

Some companies are part of the coronavirus economy. The rest are in trouble – CNN

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","descriptionText":"Laid-off workers are lining up in front of a Las Vegas casino to get food, as a result of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. CNN's u003ca href="/profiles/kyung-lah-profile" target="_blank">Kyung Lahu003c/a> reports. "},{"title":"America's economy is shrinking for the first time in six years","duration":"02:02","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/04/29/gdp-economy-covid-christine-romans-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/04/29/gdp-economy-covid-christine-romans-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200429131332-christine-romans-gdp-explainer-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/04/29/gdp-economy-covid-christine-romans-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-economy/","description":"CNN Business' Christine Romans explains why shrinking GDP in the first quarter is a dire warning for the future of the US economy.","descriptionText":"CNN Business' Christine Romans explains why shrinking GDP in the first quarter is a dire warning for the future of the US economy."},{"title":"Women account for 60% of job losses over 2 months","duration":"02:31","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/04/28/women-owned-businesses-coronavirus-kyung-lah-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/04/28/women-owned-businesses-coronavirus-kyung-lah-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200427214611-kyung-lah-women-businesses-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/04/28/women-owned-businesses-coronavirus-kyung-lah-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-economy/","description":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kyung-lah-profile" target="_blank">Kyung Lahu003c/a> speaks with several women about how the coronavirus pandemic has halted their small businesses. ","descriptionText":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kyung-lah-profile" target="_blank">Kyung Lahu003c/a> speaks with several women about how the coronavirus pandemic has halted their small businesses. 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Business owners in those states are weighing a tough choice: reopen while Covid-19 is still a threat, or face closing their doors for good.","descriptionText":"Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina are allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen after being closed for weeks. 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CNN's John Defterios investigates. ","descriptionText":"The oil industry has been ravaged by the coronavirus and a price war between two of its biggest players. CNN's John Defterios investigates. "},{"title":"Fed boosts support for small businesses, local governments","duration":"02:13","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/04/09/federal-reserve-stimulus-states-cities-small-businesses.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/04/09/federal-reserve-stimulus-states-cities-small-businesses.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200409085044-federal-reserve-building-0402-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/04/09/federal-reserve-stimulus-states-cities-small-businesses.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-economy/","description":"The central bank announced a new $2.3 trillion round of loans that include even more support for small businesses and consumers and, for the first time, for states, cities and municipalities, too.","descriptionText":"The central bank announced a new $2.3 trillion round of loans that include even more support for small businesses and consumers and, for the first time, for states, cities and municipalities, too."},{"title":"Here's the difference between a recession and a depression","duration":"01:28","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/03/23/recession-depression-difference-coronavirus-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/03/23/recession-depression-difference-coronavirus-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200323171545-depression-recession-christine-romans-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/03/23/recession-depression-difference-coronavirus-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-economy/","description":"CNN Business' Christine Romans explains the difference between a recession and a depression, and the likelihood of the first depression since 1929.u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/specials/health/coronavirus-videos-latest" target="_blank"> Watch the latest videos on Covid-19.u003c/a>","descriptionText":"CNN Business' Christine Romans explains the difference between a recession and a depression, and the likelihood of the first depression since 1929.u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/specials/health/coronavirus-videos-latest" target="_blank"> Watch the latest videos on Covid-19.u003c/a>"}],'js-video_headline-featured-21uzm6e','',"js-video_source-featured-21uzm6e",true,true,'business-economy');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

Go here to read the rest:

Some companies are part of the coronavirus economy. The rest are in trouble - CNN

Mitch McConnell: Obama ‘should have kept his mouth shut’ instead of criticizing US coronavirus response – CNN

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"},{"title":"Here are West Wing's close quarters as workers test positive","duration":"02:51","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/05/11/white-house-west-wing-map-coronavirus-covid-19-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/05/11/white-house-west-wing-map-coronavirus-covid-19-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200511121554-west-wing-map-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/05/11/white-house-west-wing-map-coronavirus-covid-19-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/john-king-profile" target="_blank">John Kingu003c/a> shows the layout of the West Wing of the White House after two staffers tested positive for coronavirus.","descriptionText":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/john-king-profile" target="_blank">John Kingu003c/a> shows the layout of the West Wing of the White House after two staffers tested positive for coronavirus."},{"title":"A reporter questioned Trump and he told her to 'ask China'","duration":"02:31","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/05/11/collins-jiang-reporter-questions-briefing-blitzer-sot-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/05/11/collins-jiang-reporter-questions-briefing-blitzer-sot-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200511174527-trump-weijia-jiang-split-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/05/11/collins-jiang-reporter-questions-briefing-blitzer-sot-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Trump told CBS reporter Weijia Jiang to "ask China" in response to her question at a White House press conference and refused to answer questions from CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kaitlan-collins" target="_blank">Kaitlan Collinsu003c/a>. 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"},{"title":"Video shows executives removing masks before Pence event","duration":"01:55","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/05/11/pence-roundtable-masks-removed-crn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/05/11/pence-roundtable-masks-removed-crn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200511153742-des-moines-register-masks-vpx-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/05/11/pence-roundtable-masks-removed-crn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Participants at a food supply roundtable convened by Vice President Mike Pence in Iowa u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/politics/mike-pence-iowa-video-masks/index.html" target="_blank">removed their face masks before Pence arrived,u003c/a> according to video from the event posted online.","descriptionText":"Participants at a food supply roundtable convened by Vice President Mike Pence in Iowa u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/11/politics/mike-pence-iowa-video-masks/index.html" target="_blank">removed their face masks before Pence arrived,u003c/a> according to video from the event posted online."},{"title":"Gov. 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","descriptionText":"Vice President Mike Pence does not plan to self-quarantine after his press secretary tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Vice President's office. 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","descriptionText":"CNN's Daniel Dale fact-checks five of President Donald Trump's claims this week, from falsely saying the Obama administration left him broken coronavirus tests to promising he'll always protect health care plans for people with pre-existing conditions. 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Mitch McConnell: Obama 'should have kept his mouth shut' instead of criticizing US coronavirus response - CNN

Coronavirus is the ultimate demonstration of the real-world impact of racism – The Guardian

A

s coronavirus continues to rampage across the globe, it has become apparent that, while biologically the virus may not discriminate, it is having a much worse effect on people from ethnic minorities. As the researcher Omar Khan has noted, BAME Covid-19 deaths track existing social determinants of health such as overcrowding in homes, insecure work and lack of access to green spaces. In other words, the virus is hitting people harder not because it can see their race but because racialised people those who are categorised by societies as, say, black or brown are more vulnerable.

And this is not the only way that race is playing a role in the crisis. All around the world, minority communities are disproportionately targeted by ramped-up policing that has accompanied the enforcement of lockdown measures. Data from New South Wales in Australia reveals that, although the richer, whiter Sydney beach suburbs have the majority of Covid-19 infections, it is in the neighbourhoods with larger numbers of people of migrant origin and indigenous Australians that people have received the most fines for breaching social distancing directives. The US has seen a business-as-usual approach to police brutality targeting black people while, at the same time, groups of overwhelmingly white people in New Yorks West Village freely breached social distancing.

Some voices are uninterested in this connection between race and the virus or treat it with derision. Campaigners are twisting BAME Covid data to further their victimhood agenda, reads a commentator in the Daily Telegraph. An article in Quillette the online magazine of the so-called intellectual dark web asks the question Do Covid-19 racial disparities matter? before concluding: The fact is our culture is obsessed with race. These responses are the product of a discourse in the west that for decades has claimed that making it about race unnecessarily sensationalises an issue. But as BAME people die and suffer disproportionately from a virus, it is clear that race is about power which is very much contrary to the way that it is usually discussed.

The usual discussion of race in Britain is exemplified by conservative academics and political commentators who argue against what they see as an unhelpful leftwing moralism around issues of race and migration, which silences the concerns of a working class that they portray as uniquely white. In 2018, the online publication UnHerd organised a panel discussion originally titled Is rising ethnic diversity a threat to the west?, before this was changed following a backlash. In response to an open letter against the event signed by more than 230 academics, two of the organisers, Eric Kaufmann and Matthew Goodwin, wrote that large numbers of people across western democracies do feel under threat from immigration and rising ethnic diversity. There is no point shying away from it.

Labelling those concerned about immigration racists is unhelpful. But through books, media appearances and social media, these commentators created a climate where the conversation around race is defined by free-speech rationalists pitted against irrational antiracists. These antiracists see race everywhere, supposedly demonising and silencing everyone with concerns about migrants, Muslims or black people the same people who are now dying disproportionately of Covid-19. But race is not a category that antiracists impose on the world, or a debating point about individual morality: it is a factor that shapes the lives of the people who are racialised.

At its most extreme, this discourse has enabled a return of eugenics treating the pseudoscience as just another part of the marketplace of ideas. The seemingly benign term race realism is defended by a growing circle of pundits who argue for the spurious claims of behavioural genetics and differential IQ dividing the middle class from the poor; white and Asian from black people.

The British associate editor of Quillette magazine, Toby Young, epitomises the worrying nexus between free speech advocacy, eugenics cheerleading and now coronavirus scepticism. Young has advocated for genetically engineered intelligence to be offered to parents on low incomes with below-average IQs. He has now started Lockdown Sceptics, a website opposing measures to stem the spread of Covid-19 by staying home. It publishes links to articles by other sceptics whose past output has the common thread of opposing antiracism in the name of free speech.

Racial inequality is expressed in all dimensions of life. But given that it takes the form during the coronavirus pandemic of disproportionate deaths, the growing calls to relax social distancing measures across the global north further signal societies disregard for the lives of racialised people. This disregard was made possible in societies that declare themselves post-race by the treatment of racism as a matter of mere opinion, with commentators and activists given carte blanche to vilify migrants and Muslims, double down on anti-blackness and anti-Roma racism, and ramp up antisemitism in the interests of media balance.

The pandemic shows us that race is not a biological fact, as the race realists believe, since there is no meaningful biological explanation for the BAME experience of Covid-19. Instead it is a technology of governance that shapes the life chances of many racialised people and maintains white supremacy.

Alana Lentin is an associate professor in cultural and social analysis at Western Sydney University and author of Why Race Still Matters

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Coronavirus is the ultimate demonstration of the real-world impact of racism - The Guardian


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