WASHINGTON (AP) — For weeks, President Donald Trump has been eager to publicly turn the page on the coronavirus pandemic. Now fears are growing within the White House that the very thing that finally shoved the virus from center stage — mass protests over the death of George Floyd — may bring about its resurgence.
Thousands of Americans — many without protective face masks — have jammed the nation’s streets over the past week in defiance of social distancing guidelines from governors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House coronavirus task force, which has dramatically scaled back its operations as states reopen their economies, is scrambling to track the potential impact on infection rates.
Any uptick in cases in the weeks ahead could slow the economic rebirth that Trump’s advisers believe he needs before he faces voters again in five months. Read the full story here:
Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.
- Nearly 1.9 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, the ninth straight decline since applications spiked in mid-March, a sign that the gradual reopening of businesses has slowed the loss of jobs.
- The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are urging that governments and others unite in developing a “people’s vaccine” to protect everyone against the coronavirus.
- Officials in other U.S. cities and rural communities — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — have issued similar plea to be careful about what you flush as wastewater plant operators report a surge of stopped-up pipes and damage to equipment.
- Dozens of domestic workers gathered outside the Ethiopian consulate in Beirut on Thursday, some inquiring about flights home, others stranded after they were abandoned by employers who claimed they could no longer afford to pay their salaries.
- India’s tally of COVID-19 fatalities surpassed 6,000 and its number of infections has risen to nearly 217,000, the Health Ministry said. That makes India the seventh worst hit by the pandemic.
- Pakistan reported over 4,000 new cases and said 82 more people had died, raising its death toll to 1,770. Its confirmed cases surpassed neighboring China, jumping to 85,264 compared to Beijing’s total of 82,967.
- For nearly four months, Capt. Andrei Kogankov and his oil tanker crew haven’t set foot on dry land. With global travel at a virtual standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian captain was forced to extend his normal contract. He still doesn’t know when he’ll be able to go home.
- The Japanese public is being prepared for the reality of next year’s postponed Olympics, where athletes are likely to face quarantines, spectators will be fewer, and the delay will cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
- As of Thursday, more than 6.5 million people worldwide have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus and more than 386,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The actual number of infections is thought to be much higher, due to limits on testing and many asymptomatic cases.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for a chart tracking jobless claims, interactive maps tracking the virus' spread and more.
More on today's jobless report
The total number of people who are receiving jobless aid rose slightly to 21.5 million, down from a peak of nearly 25 million two weeks ago but still at a historically high level. It shows that scattered rehiring is offsetting only some of the ongoing layoffs with the economy mired in a recession. Thursday's latest weekly number from the Labor Department is still more than double the record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak.
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