Live updates:Slowing rates of infection in some of the hardest-hits part of the United States have offered a glimmer of hope, as New York City, once the country’s coronavirus epicenter, on Thursday announced plans to ease restrictions after 10 weeks under lockdown.
Yet as officials say a possible phased reopening there is likely to start next month, other parts of the nation and world are bracing for the worst. Globally, the pandemic has shifted to Latin America and the Middle East as the death toll — now more than 354,000 — continues to rise. In the United States, home to more than 100,000 of those fatalities, rural areas are reporting surges, too.
“Restarting won’t mean back to normal — we CAN’T rush back,” New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) wrote on Twitter. “We need to keep this virus in check.”
- Trump is set to outline measures against China on Friday, as the political fallout over the virus spurs a broader power struggle between Beijing and Washington on trade, finance and the fate of Hong Kong.
- Jobless claims were filed by 2.1 million Americans last week, raising the total over the past 10 weeks to more than 40 million. The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday to make it easier for small businesses to use federal loans, but Senate leaders have not yet signaled support.
- The Trump administration mishandled the initial distribution of the only approved coronavirus medication, remdesivir, delaying treatment to some critically ill patients with covid-19.
- South Korea is to reinstate some social distancing measures, including school closures, after a recent uptick in new infections.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs has drastically scaled back the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat veterans with covid-19 after a major study raised questions about its efficacy and linked it to serious side effects, including higher risks of death.Read more..