Coronavirus Live Updates: States Rely on Trust in Loosening Limits

As states reopen, the warmer climate attracts people abroad and confrontations arise due to restrictions.

Almost a dozen states tentatively returned to public life on Friday, the first mass reopening of companies since the coronavirus pandemic left America paralyzed six weeks ago.

Texas raised requests for home stays for its 29 million people. Maine's beauty salons welcome customers back inside. In Alabama, clothing boutiques open their doors.


But in other states that maintained most or all of the restrictions in place, governors were faced with a new round of protests, as well as signs suggesting that some people were already being careless when returning to the few parks and common areas that are open.

The clashes took place in Illinois, California and Michigan, where protesters demanded that leaders loosen restrictions. The skirmishes there and elsewhere reflected not only political divisions and geographical differences, but also something more basic: a vast and wide variety of personal views on what the country should do.

"He's already here and he's going to spread, no matter what," said Martin Hicks, mayor of small Grants in New York State, after challenging a state order to keep companies closed. "It will run its course like all viruses. Why did we freak out about it?


Some in the states that are reopening are struggling with risks that come with returning to work. Andrea Pinson has not been paid since March 18, the last day she worked in a bingo hall in Fort Worth, taking orders from customers, cooking and serving their meals. But this week, she received a short text from her boss, telling her to go to work on Friday, when Texas reopened restaurants, shops, churches and other meeting places.

If she went to work, she was at risk of taking the coronavirus back to her great-uncle, 73, who lives with her and is in good health.


"We need the money, for sure, but I don't want to put your life at risk just so we can have money," she said on Thursday. "He had open heart surgery, he has asthma, there is no way he can get back from this."

In places still closed, the weekend is bringing new challenges.

Protesters were starting to meet Saturday afternoon in Kentucky's capitals, Oregon and even Florida, whose Republican governor has already announced a relaxation of many of the state's restrictions.

Lee Watts, the rally organizer planned for Saturday afternoon in Frankfort, Kentucky, said The Courier-Journal in Louisville that the protesters would be "free to distance themselves socially" and that the meeting would be "respectful".


"If any store can open using certain health guidelines, there is no reason why no other store can open using the same health guidelines," Watts told the newspaper. "He doesn't follow the Kentucky Constitution and he doesn't follow common sense."


In New York City, where the temperature hovered around 70 degrees, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to resist the urge to meet outdoors. "The pleasant climate is a threat to us," he said.

In an effort to mitigate this risk, the city police department said it would send more than 1,000 police officers over the weekend to ensure that people have adequate social distance.

In New Jersey, state and city parks are expected to reopen, as well as golf courses. Governor Philip D. Murphy urged people to avoid "tense behavior with people who ignore social detachment".

"If we see that again," he said, "we will not hesitate to close the parks."

But when people gathered at New Jersey's newly opened Liberty State Park on Saturday morning, visitors seemed to take varying degrees of caution.

Carl Greene, 77, a Jersey City native, resumed his regular walks in the park without facial coverage.

"Everyone is like, 'Why don't you wear a mask?'" He said. "I grew up swimming in that swamp, I'm not worrying about anything."

The lifting of strict rules across the country signaled a new and significant phase in the country's response to the coronavirus and occurred even when confirmed cases of viruses continue to grow nationally. While the rate of growth of the virus has slowed in places like New York and California, new outbreaks are intensifying in Massachusetts, Nebraska and Wisconsin, among other states.

"It's clearly a life-or-death decision," said Dr. Larry Chang, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. “If you get it wrong, many more people will die. It's that simple."

Four months after the coronavirus his death march began around the world, the search for a vaccine has taken on an intensity never before seen in medical research, with huge implications for public health, the world economy and politics.

With political leaders – chiefly President Trump – increasingly pushing for progress and with huge potential profits at stake for the industry, drug makers and researchers signal that they are advancing at unprecedented speeds.

But the entire company remains concerned about uncertainty about whether any coronavirus vaccine will be effective, how quickly it can be made available to millions or billions of people and whether the rush – compressing a process that could take 10 years to 10 months – will sacrifice safety.

"We are going to start increasing production with the companies involved," Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the federal government's leading infectious disease specialist, told NBC this week. "You don't wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing."

Two of the top players in the United States, Johnson & Johnson and Modern, announced partnerships with manufacturing companies, with Johnson & Johnson promising one billion doses of a vaccine not yet developed by the end of next year.

While scientists and doctors talk about finding a "global vaccine", national leaders emphasize immunizing their own populations first. Trump said he was personally in charge of "Operation Warp Speed" obtain 300 million doses of American weapons by January. The most promising clinical trial in China is funded by the government. And in India, the executive director of the Serum Institute of India – the world's largest producer of vaccine doses – said most of his vaccine "would have to go to our countrymen before going abroad".

But George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School, said that thinking country by country and not globally would be imprudent, as “it would involve wasting the initial doses of the vaccine on a large number of low-risk individuals, rather than covering so many high-risk individuals around the world ”- health professionals and the elderly -“ to prevent spread ”around the world.

When Eliana Marcela Rendón was finally able to visit her grandmother, a coronavirus patient who had spent four weeks in a Long Island hospital, a staff member met her in the lobby to ask if the 74-year-old woman had a favorite song.

Rendón, after calling family members, requested several religious selections in Spanish. Then, she and her husband were referred to an intensive care unit with coronavirus.

"Give us a miracle, Lord," she prayed as the couple waited for an elevator. "Don't take my grandmother, please."

Her grandmother, Carmen Evelia Toro, who lived with the couple in Queens, fell ill after returning from a family reunion in Colombia. Since then, his relatives there and in the United States had participated in online evening prayer sessions, each with a different theme: faith, gratitude, patience, mercy, obedience, love, faithfulness. The night before Rendón's visit to the hospital, the subject was miracles.

Their story mirrors what many families have experienced in the past few weeks, facing dire decisions about loved ones whose lives the virus has endangered. And, with rare exceptions, these choices were even more difficult because they had to be made from afar.

"We feel powerless," said Rendón during his grandmother's illness, "because we want to be with her right now."

Leading White House Democrats criticized the White House on Saturday for "letting politics overtake public health" by allowing Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to testify before the Senate this month, but not to Chamber.

The House Appropriations Committee wanted Dr. Fauci to testify as part of a personal hearing led by Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democratic of Connecticut, who oversees the subcommittee responsible for funding health, labor and education agencies and programs. But when the committee asked Fauci to appear, the Trump administration denied the request, and a government official told the committee that it was because of the White House, according to Evan Hollander, spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee.

But a Republican aide said Fauci would appear on the Senate health committee the week of May 11 to give evidence, prompting DeLauro and New York Democrat Nita M. Lowey and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to criticize the White House.

"The White House's party policy is clearly at stake in this decision during our country's most challenging public health and economic crisis, and this is alarming and offensive to the work the American people have elected us to do," the lawmakers said in a statement. on Saturday.

The House panel will hear from a former Obama administration official, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a professor from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A White House spokesman said the decision was made to keep the government focused on its response to the virus. "It is counterproductive to have the individuals themselves involved in the efforts that appear in congressional hearings," said spokesman Judd Deere. "We are committed to working with Congress to provide testimony at the appropriate time."

Fauci, one of the most visible facets of the government's fight against coronavirus, often silently contradicts many of Trump's statements about how he and his aides are dealing with the outbreak and how quickly the country can recover. But the White House drove government health officials and scientists to coordinate all public statements and appearances with Vice President Mike Pence's office in an effort to optimize the administration's messages.

Immigrants in ICE detention clash with authorities about virus testing.

A group of immigrants at the Bristol County Chamber of Corrections in Massachusetts clashed with police officers late Friday over coronavirus testing, according to Immigration and Customs and local officials.

The detainees showed symptoms consistent with the virus, but declined mandatory testing, officials said, leading to a fight with prison guards that resulted in three injured detainees and $ 25,000 worth of damage to facilities in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

The episode is the latest example of a growing reaction against the agency among immigrants in government custody, as it addresses concerns about the health of detainees and officials. Detainees started a workers' strike at the facility last month to draw attention to conditions they have faced since the pandemic spreaded.

The Bristol County Sheriff's Office said a group that included 10 detainees who had symptoms of the virus and 15 others "ran violently against Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson and prison officials, barricaded himself inside the facility, tore up washing machines and pipes in the wall, broke windows and destroyed the entire unit. ”

Prison officers sprayed the detainees with pepper. The medical team evaluated them and three were hospitalized. No unit employee was injured.

Descriptions of the episode's statements conflict with the detainees' complaints. Annie Gonzalez Milliken, activist for the Boston Immigration Justice Follow-up Network, told ABC News that immigrants wanted to be tested.

“What they said was that they were willing to be tested, in fact they wanted to be,” she said, “but they didn't want to be moved. They did not want to deal with cross-contamination in the medical unit. "

There will be a derby on Saturday. Three of them, in fact. Churchill Downs is hosting a virtual Kentucky Derby, one pitting all 13 Triple Crown winners against each other in a simulated race, while Oaklawn Park will manage the Arkansas Derby. Twice.

With so many horses with nowhere to run, the Hot Springs, Arkansas track is running its $ 1 million signature race in two divisions, now each worth $ 500,000.

"For them to do what they did, it was a godsend," said Jack Wolf, managing partner of Starlight Racing and co-owner of Charlatan, the morning's favorite to win the top flight.

The pandemic halted horse racing in almost every state and turned the Triple Crown into something – no one knows what yet. Races have not yet resumed in Maryland or New York, so no date has been confirmed for the Preakness or Belmont Stakes.

In March, the Kentucky Derby – the live one – was moved from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September, after Churchill Downs officials decided that Derby would not be Derby without over 150,000 fans, wearing big hats, square pocket and mint juleps.

Meanwhile, the virtual Derby, announced as the Triple Crown Showdown, will air on Saturday at NBC around 5:45 pm. East, the time when the live race was originally scheduled.

The faithful of one of the largest Catholic churches in Seoul should avoid singing hymns or saying "amen" for fear of spreading saliva. Priests clean their hands during communion. Holy water was removed from the chapel.

"This should become the new normal from now on," said Gong My-young, 53, who owns a private school and attended mass one night this week at Myeongdong Church in the South Korean capital. "We have to be ready for war."

South Korea still has a name for the new practices: "quarantine of everyday life". Authorities recently released a 68-page guide, offering advice on situations like going to the cinema ("refraining from shouting") and attending funerals ("bow your head instead of hugging").

As cities in Asia, Australia and elsewhere control their coronavirus outbreaks, churches, schools, restaurants, cinemas and even sports venues begin to open up, creating a sense of normalcy for people who have spent weeks and even months in isolation.

But they are going back to a reimagined world for the coronavirus era, where social detachment, hygiene standards and restrictions imposed by the government are infused into almost all activities – a way of life that is likely to persist until a vaccine or treatment is found.

In Hong Kong, restaurant tables must be spaced at least five feet apart and customers are given bags to store their masks during dinner.

In China, students face temperature checks before they can enter schools, while cafeteria tables are equipped with plastic dividers.

In South Korea, baseball games are devoid of fans and players cannot spit on the field.

The new social customs and mandates in Beijing, Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as Sydney, Australia and the capital of Taiwan, Taipei, offer a preview of what may soon be common worldwide.

The timing and extent of the blocking restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have sparked a series of lawsuits in the United States – even a mariachi band is suing to get back to work.

All kinds of rights are being claimed. Individual rights. Commercial rights. Freedom of expression rights. Property rights. A mariachi band is suing to get back to work.

"Constitutional and other issues are profound in every way," said James Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University. "It really is becoming a resistance across the country to what has been the most profound use of public health power in this century."

Initially, in March, there was a consensus, sometimes spiteful, that the “police powers” ​​granted to states gave them ample authority to impose measures to protect public health. As home stay requests spanned weeks to months, these powers are being examined and questioned.

Butzel Long, a suburban Detroit law firm, filed a federal lawsuit in the Western Michigan District on behalf of five companies trying to reopen. "Courts really need to get involved in deciding how far a governor's emergency authority can extend," said Daniel McCarthy, chief lawyer.

The Michigan governor wants to save lives, he said, but companies also have a right to be safe, and it is not clear that just one order fits in stricken areas like Detroit and northern counties with far fewer cases.

In Los Angeles, a diverse group of small businesses, including a gondola service and a pet spa, sued a federal court. "We cannot keep track of the number of people who are basically disabled by this and do not understand," said his lawyer, Mark J. Geragos.

In the past, courts used to support governments in public health measures, but the situation is getting more confusing, said Wendy E. Parmet, director of the Center for Health Policy and Laws at Northeastern University, with party divisions controlling the virus more. challenger.

"I think there is a lot of uncertainty right now," she said, and the proliferation of lawsuits "represents our disunity because of that."

Warren Buffett's company lost $ 49.7 billion in the last quarter amid the pandemic.

Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway shook the a loss of $ 49.7 billion in the first quarter, the conglomerate released on Saturday, reflecting the toll that the coronavirus inflicted on one of America's best-known investors.

The loss – compared to a profit of $ 21.7 billion in the same quarter last year – was driven by the impacts of the pandemic on its wide range of investments and operating businesses, which exposes it to huge stretches of an American economy affected by the pandemic.

This portfolio includes holdings in financial companies like Bank of America and American Express, which reported sharp declines in profits in the first quarter and four of the largest US airlines. (In its regulatory filing disclosing its quarterly results, Berkshire said the paper's gains or losses from its investments were "often meaningless" to understand its overall health.)

The launch comes before Berkshire's first annual shareholder meeting, online only. It is a change, required by the pandemic, to an event that usually draws tens of thousands of investors to an arena in Omaha, Nebraska, to hear Buffett expose about the state of capitalism, business, politics and more.

For decades, drive-through fast food has been a greasy symbol of Americana, a roadside ritual for millions of travelers with a burning desire for hamburgers and fries.

Now, drive-through, with its colorful signage and ketchup-stained paper bags, has taken on a new importance in the era of social detachment.

In the past month and a half, the pandemic has increased forced small independent restaurants to close and Michelin star chefs for experiment with food. But the country's drive-throughs continued to produce orders, providing financial relief for chains like McDonald & # 39; s and Burger King, even as fast-food workers became increasingly concerned about the threat of infection.

While restaurant dining rooms are empty, many people have started to treat drive-throughs like supermarkets, making only occasional trips, but placing larger orders. Popeyes introduced "family packages" to capitalize on the demand for larger meals. Taco Bell is offering a promotion – free Doritos Locos Tacos on Tuesdays – that has increased traffic on some of its drive-throughs, overwhelming employees. And restaurant chains like Texas Roadhouse have converted empty parking in temporary drive-through lanes.

"For many restaurants," said Jonathan Maze, executive editor of Restaurant Business Magazine, "he is an absolute savior."

Every night at his kitchen table in southwest Michigan, Congressman Fred Upton, a moderate Republican in his 18th term, sends a coronavirus dispatch to his constituents, highlighting his efforts to respond to the crisis and news from Washington, many sometimes with Democrat appearances.

Absent from his Facebook updates, there is no mention of President Trump, whose provocative news have become a forum for party attacks and dubious claims about the virus.

"You need to stick the needle," said Upton in an interview, explaining how he tried to navigate Trump's performance during the crisis. "I was careful. I said, 'Let's look to the future' versus 'Why didn't we do that a few months ago?' I'm not interested in pointing the finger of guilt. I want to fix the problems.

It is a complicated task for lawmakers in centrist districts who understand that their prospects for re-election – and Republicans' hopes of resuming the Chamber of Deputies – may increase or decrease based on how they approach the pandemic.

Some vulnerable House Republicans are, therefore, brandishing their own independent tendencies, doing their work with Democrats, holding city-style events and avoiding mentioning Trump whenever possible.

Puerto Rico, which has been under a strict block since mid-March, woke up on Saturday with a 5.4 magnitude quake.

Governor Wanda Vázquez urged Puerto Ricans to evacuate any damaged structures to grab their emergency backpacks – and wear masks. "Stay safe," she wrote on Twitter.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the southwest of the island, according to the United States Geological Survey. No victims were reported immediately.

Power fell in parts of the island, and Mayor María E. Meléndez of Ponce, on the south coast of Puerto Rico, reported some structural damage in the historic center of the city. She asked the residents to remain at home.

Puerto Rico experienced a wave of tremors in January that left some people effectively homeless for months. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic.

The island extended its blockade until May 25 to prevent the virus from spreading, but some companies may reopen as of Monday.

The testing fee in Puerto Rico remains lowrecently faced scrutiny for his response to the virus. Last month, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Republican chairman of the Finance Committee, presented an inquiry examining the misuse of disaster aid by Puerto Rican officials.

The letter also raised concerns that about $ 40 million in contracts to purchase coronavirus test kits had been aimed at companies with close ties to Puerto Rican politicians or with little experience in providing medical supplies.

Even though states and cities in the United States consider conditions safe enough to gradually reopen some businesses and public spaces, thousands of foreign residents are unable to return home, as their countries have extended travel blocks and restrictions.

Thousands of Indian citizens in the United States were jailed for two more weeks on Saturday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a national blockade until May 18, suspending domestic and international air travel. The blockade was originally set to expire after May 3.

Worrying data released this week has heightened fears that India may remain closed for some time. The country reported 2,293 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, its biggest single-day increase so far.

Although the true count of idle visitors is unknown, leaving home has become an increasingly risky proposition, as the United States has emerged as the main hot spot of the virus, accounting for about a third of cases worldwide.

Travelers looking to return to African countries also faced uncertainty, as 34 of the continent’s 57 international airports remained closed or significantly reduced operations, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Travel restrictions have also become increasingly burdensome for the more than one million international students studying at American universities, many of whom usually return home in the summer. As universities closed dormitories and suspended summer scholarships for graduate students, many face financial instability, with no clear indication of when they can leave.

The restaurants received customers in partially isolated dining rooms for social distance, friends sought a safe conversation in the sun and some tried to continue a productive path ahead in isolation.

As the patchwork of rules aimed at slowing the pandemic continued to evolve this week, photographers from around the country documented how people were browsing social gatherings, working to preserve their business, engaging in outdoor activities, such as surf and maintain religious practices.

How to get crucial sleep.

Adequate sleep is vital for physical and mental health, especially during the pandemic. Here are some recommendations for getting some.

If you did not receive what you paid and the amount you purchased cost five digits, it stands to reason that you would recover part of your money.

But that's not what is happening with US residential graduate institutions this spring. Although many offered partial reimbursements for accommodation and food, administrators maintained the idea that tuition payments should not be returned.

Colleges know that many people are not getting full value for their dollar. Administrators and professors from places like Northern Arizona University and the Ivy League recognized the shortcomings. Collective action lawyers have also noticed and filed a lawsuit against several brand institutions and are actively seeking additional claimants.

So, what should students expect from colleges and universities? To answer that question, you need to ask another question, which Ron Lieber does in his week's Your Money column: what are we really paying for when we decide to pay for college?

The reports were contributed by Kevin Armstrong, Julie Bosman, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Joe Drape, Michael J. de la Merced, Catie Edmondson, Nicholas Fandos, Jacey Fortin, Michael Gold, Jack Healy, David D. Kirkpatrick, Ron Lieber and Grace Maalouf. The film tells the story of a boy who falls in love with a girl who lives in a small town in the interior of São Paulo, but who does not know what to do with her. She is one of the most famous in the world. Bellany, Javier C. Hernández, Su-Hyun Lee and Carl Zimmer.

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