Disneyland’s County to Open; Brazil Cases Rise 5%: Virus Update
May 24, 2020
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A popular tourist destination in California got the all-clear to start reopening, a boost for shuttered theme parks such as Disneyland. Brazil’s new infections climbed 5%.
The increase in new U.S. trailed the daily average of the past week, and remained below 2% for the eighth day. Long Island is poised to reopen on Wednesday as New York’s daily deaths fell below 100.
A top aide to the U.K. prime minister is under fresh pressure to quit after reports suggested he breached a lockdown twice. He denies the allegations. President Donald Trump golfed for the first time in more than two months.
23,790 in U.S.Most new cases today
-14% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.073 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-4.8% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), April
Virus Tracker: Cases top 5.2 million; deaths over 340,000
In Harvard’s backyard, graduations vanish as does business
Epic tourism decline has holiday destinations scrambling
Xi says China won’t return to planned economy
Trump says open, but religious leaders say let’s go slow
The race to recruit virus sleuths as U.S. states reopen
Fate of global economy rests more than ever on a vaccine
Coronavirus adds to health risks of ailing 9/11 responders
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Brazil Cases Rise 5%, Deaths Climb (7:20 a.m. HK)
Brazil’s coronavirus curve steepened further a day after it overtook Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases.
The Latin American nation added 16,508 infections Saturday and said the death toll rose by 965.
Brazil has 347,398 cases, trailing only the U.S. The death toll reached 22,013, up 4.6% from 21,048 in the previous 24 hours. Brazil now ranks sixth in the world for fatalities.
Johnson Aide Faces Fresh Pressure Over Breach (6:30 a.m. HK)
Boris Johnson’s chief adviser faced further calls to quit, hours after a minister said he had the full support of the premier, amid fresh reports that suggested he broke lockdown rules more than once.
Dominic Cummings traveled to Durham with his family in late March to seek help with childcare because his wife was infected and he had symptoms, the prime minister’s office said in a statement, defending the decision. The U.K. told citizens to stay home if they had symptoms.
A report in the Mirror and Guardian newspapers, published hours after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Cummings had Johnson’s full backing, suggested they had evidence the aide breached the rules again in April -- returning to Durham after being in London. Cummings told the PM’s office the latest report is “totally false,” the Telegraph reported.
Opposition politicians from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party asked Britain’s top civil servant to open an inquiry into the allegations.
Disneyland’s County Approved to Reopen (5:45 p.m. NY)
California approved Orange County to open restaurants and shopping malls, setting the stage for wider opening of the region’s tourism economy.
The county, home to Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland and Cedar Fair’s Knott’s Berry Farm theme parks, is one of the most visited U.S. destinations. Restaurants can open for dining in, provided guests make reservations, and shopping malls can reopen with stores offering delivery and curbside pickup, according to a statement from the county.
Disney has been opening its resorts in stages and last week opened its Disney Springs mall in Orlando, Florida. The company has not announced a date to open its similar Downtown Disney shopping and dining area in Anaheim, California.
Trump Ends His Golf Lockdown (5:30 p.m. NY)
President Donald Trump golfed Saturday for the first time in more than two months, engaging in a personal passion and trying to show how the U.S. can return to normal after states ease lockdowns.
A CNN photojournalist posted photos on Twitter of Trump swinging a club, waving at the camera, and driving, solo, in a golf cart during his three hours at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. He appeared to be playing in a foursome. The White House doesn’t routinely confirm Trump’s activities at his golf courses.
Zambia Official Tests Positive (5:30 p.m. NY)
Zambian Information Minister Dora Siliya tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into self isolation, she said in a video posted on her Twitter account. Siliya said she had no symptoms and didn’t feel ill. Zambia reported 920 cases and seven deaths as of Friday.
U.S. Takes on China Over Flights (5 p.m. NY)
The U.S. said China is blocking American carriers after lockdowns disrupted global travel by failing to answer requests from Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc.
The DOT stopped short of restricting or penalizing the four Chinese airlines that serve U.S. markets, but it is a warning after repeated U.S. objections failed to get action, the government said.
China had set March 12 as the baseline for resumption of service. Because Delta, United and American Airlines Group Inc. had halted service to China by that date, it put them at an unfair disadvantage, the DOT said.
U.S. Cases Rose 1.3%, Below Weekly Average (4 p.m. NY)
U.S. cases increased 1.3% from the same time Friday to 1.61 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The national increase was below the average daily increase of 1.5% over the past week. Three states have more than 100,000 cases each. Deaths rose 1% to 96,479.
New York reported 1,772 new cases, for a total of 359,926, and added 84 deaths, the lowest tally since March 24, bringing the total to 23,282, according to the state Department of Health.
New Jersey had 443 new cases, pushing the total to 153,104. Deaths rose by 96, for a total of 11,081, Governor Phil Murphy said.
Illinois added 2,352 cases, taking the total to 107,796, with 75 new deaths, for a fatality toll of 4,790, state public health officials reported.
California reported 2,187 new cases, bringing the total to 90,631, and added 78 deaths, with the fatality count at 3,708.
Pennsylvania added 725 cases, for a total of 66,983, with 112 new deaths, raising the total to 5,096, the health department reported.
Moment of Silence Urged for June 1 (3:10 p.m. NY)
A bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate proposed a moment of silence at noon June 1 to honor the almost 100,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus.
“The human toll of the Covid emergency is tragic, and to get through it, we must stand together,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Vermont Democrat, said in a statement. Senate co-sponsors include Republicans Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Brian Schatz of Hawaii.
President Donald Trump ordered U.S. flags flown at half staff on government buildings this weekend for losses to the pandemic.
Jaguar in U.K. Talks for Aid (2:45 p.m. NY)
Jaguar Land Rover, the U.K.’s largest carmaker, is seeking a government aid package after car sales collapsed amid the pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.
The auto manufacturer is in talks to borrow more than 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) through the U.K.’s emergency coronavirus lending program, the people said. JLR is also seeking tax breaks, research grants and other subsidies, which could bring the value of the support to more than 2 billion pounds, one of the people said.
The automaker said it’s in “regular discussion with government on a whole range of matters,” declining to provide specifics.
Roberts Urges Humility, Courage (2:20 p.m. NY)
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, in a video address to his son’s high school graduation, said the pandemic “has pierced our illusion of certainty and control.” He urged students to confront challenges with humility, compassion and courage.
“I think the pandemic is the world’s way of saying to mankind, ‘You’re not in charge,’” Roberts said in a video recorded at the Supreme Court for graduates of Westminster School, a private boarding school in Simsbury, Connecticut, attended by his son Jack.
He touched briefly on how the outbreak affected the court, noting he’d been asked whether the justices wore their robes during telephone arguments -- dodging the question by saying he didn’t know whether it referred to robes of the “judicial or bath” variety.
Spain Posts Fewer New Deaths (1:10 p.m. NY)
Spain reported 48 deaths in 24 hours, compared with 56 the previous day, according to Health Ministry data. Total fatalities are 28,678. Infections increased by 361 to 235,290.
France ICU Cases Decline (1 p.m. NY)
France reported 1,665 patients in intensive care, down from 1,701 on Friday. Hospitalizations fell to 17,178 from 17,383.
Italy’s Cases Rose a Bit (12:10 p.m. NY)
Italy’s new cases rose slightly on Saturday, remaining below 1,000 for the 11th day. Authorities reported 669 cases, compared with 652 a day earlier. Daily fatalities fell to 119 from 130 on Friday; a total of 32,735 fatalities. Confirmed cases rose to 229,327
N.Y. Deaths Lowest Since Late March (11:47 a.m. NY)
New York reported 84 new deaths, the fewest since March 24, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing held at his home in the executive mansion on Saturday. Hospitalizations continued to fall.
“It’s a sign that we’re making real progress,” he said.
Cuomo said Long Island could reopen by Wednesday with the Mid-Hudson region between Albany and New York City to reopen on Tuesday. The city remains in under a stay-at-home order.
New York issued an order late Friday that allowed gatherings of 10 or fewer people, the biggest step yet to loosen rules that barred most non-essential gatherings.
Democrats to Scrutinize Trump Test Plan (11:10 a.m. NY)
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray, ranking member of the Health committee, vowed on Saturday to scrutinize the Trump administration’s national testing strategy that’s to be delivered on Sunday.
“When it comes to testing, they’ve failed the American people at nearly every turn,” according to their statement. “The Trump administration has been erratic and more focused on cherry-picking facts to fit their narrative than executing a comprehensive plan to protect families and workers.”
U.K. Reports Slowdown in Cases, Deaths (11:02 a.m. NY)
The U.K. reported 282 deaths, down from 351 on Friday. The number of cases rose by 2,959, also a decline from the previous day’s 3,287. Total cases rose to more than 257,000 and fatalities to 36,675, the highest death toll after the U.S.
— With assistance by Steve Geimann, Sara Marley, Blaise Robinson, and Todd White