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Coronavirus Live: Global Updates

2020-05-24 05:46:42

The U.S. loosens restrictions, even as it nears 100,000 deaths.

The United States edged closer to 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday, even as overall infections have slowed and the country has moved to loosen restrictions intended to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Medical experts have warned that lifting lockdowns could cause a spike in cases, but governors continued to ease rules in hopes of reviving the economy, while President Trump played golf at his members-only club in Virginia.

In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distancing protocols were followed. On Saturday the governor reported 84 new deaths from the virus statewide, the first time the daily death toll has fallen below 100 since late March.

The risks of trying to return to normal life were underscored in Missouri, where health officials said that a hair stylist who worked for eight days at a salon while sick with the virus had potentially exposed 84 clients and seven co-workers.

And a new study found that, compared with white or Hispanic patients, black patients seeking care have more advanced cases of Covid-19.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggested that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

On Thursday nights, Britons bang pots and pans and let out hearty cheers of support for doctors and nurses who care for coronavirus patients and for other essential workers amid the pandemic.

But Annemarie Plas, the organizer who started #ClapForOurCarers, said in an interview with the BBC on Friday that next week’s national applause, the 10th, should be the last, pointing to concerns that the act of recognizing the workers had become politicized.

“I think that would be beautiful to be the end of the series, to maybe then stop and move to an annual moment,” Ms. Plas said. “I feel like this had its moment and then we can, after that, continue to something else.”

Ms. Plas said that she believed the ritual was “slowly shifting” and that other opinions had “started to rise to the surface,” referring to some criticism the movement has received. An opinion article in The Independent questioned the point of applauding if health care workers were underpaid. And some National Health Service workers have said they felt “stabbed in the back” by people who ignore public health guidelines.

While Britons have shown their appreciation for health care workers, Ms. Plas said, it’s now time for people in power to “reward and give them the respect they deserve.”

“I think to maintain the positive impact that it’s had so far, it’s best to stop at its peak,” she told the BBC.

The future of nightly clapping rituals in cities like New York, where it began in late March and continues to go strong in some neighborhoods, remains unclear.

As the United States nears 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, several members of the Trump administration, which has been pushing states to loosen lockdowns and reopen, will appear as guests on the Sunday talk shows.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, will appear on ABC’s “This Week,” while President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, will appear on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Kevin Hassett, a White House senior adviser, will speak on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Dr. Birx will also be a guest on “Fox News Sunday,” along with Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who said on Saturday that his state had seen an increase in cases, which he called a “second peak.”

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, who took early and bold actions to lock down his state, will appear on “Meet the Press” as he moves to reopen businesses in his state.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey, whose state has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country after New York, will appear on “State of the Union,” along with Senator Rick Scott and Representative Val Demings, both of Florida, which has already reopened many businesses.

The race for a vaccine will be discussed on “Meet the Press” by Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who is working with Johnson & Johnson to develop a vaccine that uses a specially modified virus, called Ad26, that he developed.

Italy’s $180 billion fashion industry is known for its glamorous brands, but it is built on a vast and tightly woven network of designers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, large and small, that help make up the backbone of one of Europe’s largest economies.

Italy’s fashion manufacturing sector is expected to contract by up to 40 percent this year, said Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at the consulting firm Bain & Company.

“It is a very worrying situation,” she said, adding that beyond luxury artisans was a vast ecosystem of export-oriented factories producing everything from metal hardware for accessories to rubber footwear soles.

“The big brands are enduring tough times but generally have some liquidity and a strong consumer profile,” Ms. D’Arpizio said. “However, they all have networks of small suppliers scattered all over Italy. Those are the businesses more likely to disappear.”

The N.B.A. is in the early stages of discussions with the Walt Disney Company to restart its suspended season in late July at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a league spokesman said Saturday.

The restart would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which would act as “a single site for an N.B.A. campus for games, practices and housing,” the spokesman, Mike Bass, said in a statement.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Mr. Bass said.

The N.B.A. was among the first major sports leagues to suspend its season on March 11 as a result of the coronavirus, beginning a cascade of other leagues doing the same. Since then several players, including the Nets star Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus.

Several hurdles remain to a resumed season. One is testing. The league was criticized when some of its teams were able to obtain tests for their players even though there was a nationwide testing shortage, raising questions of greater accessibility for the wealthy.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bass said, “Regular testing will be key in our return to play,” and that the league wanted to ensure that it “does not come at the expense of testing front-line health care workers or others who need it.”

Any return to play must also come with a green light from the players’ union. A union spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is also unclear how many, if any, fans would be allowed into an arena for games.

Drones have been working as police officers, soaring over the banks of the Seine in Paris and the city squares of Mumbai to patrol for social distancing violators.

They’re delivering medical supplies in Rwanda and snacks in Virginia, and hovering over crowds in China to scan for fevers below.

The coronavirus has been devastating to humans but may prove a decisive step toward a time when aerial robots become a common feature of daily life, serving as helpers and even companions.

“Robots are designed to solve problems that are dull, dirty and dangerous,” said Daniel H. Wilson, a former roboticist and the author of the 2011 science fiction novel “Robopocalypse.” “And now we have a sudden global emergency in which the machines we’re used to fearing are uniquely well suited to swoop in and save the day.”

Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Sopan Deb, Michael Levenson, Sharon Otterman, Elizabeth Paton, Roni Caryn Rabin, Luis Ferré Sadurní, Edgar Sandoval, Marc Stein, Matt Stevens, Derrick Bryson Taylor, James Wagner and Alex Williams.


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