More than 4.4 million people worldwide – including 1.4 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies.
Live updates for Thursday, May 14, continue below:
Texas sees deadliest COVID-19 day so far with 58 deaths
Update 11:50 p.m. EDT May 14: Texas saw its deadliest COVID-19 day of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with state officials reporting 58 deaths during a time span between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, according to state tabulations.
In Corpus Christi, 63 workers of the 747 employees, contractors and vendors at the STX Beef processing plant tested positive for COVID-19, Nueces County health officials said.
Also, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling that, for now, Texas does not have provide inmates at one prison with hand sanitizer, masks and unrestricted access to soap amid the coronavirus pandemic. The high court’s decision upheld an appeals court ruling that had put a previous ruling on hold.
In Houston, meanwhile, a $15 million program that was created to help residents who have been hurt economically by the coronavirus and are struggling to pay their rent ran out of money within 90 minutes after applications were accepted online.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports the number of deaths linked to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, reached 1,216 Thursday, up from 1,158 Wednesday. State figures also show 116 COVID-related deaths over the past three days.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported to the state rose by at least 1,800 in one day to almost 44,000 on Thursday. However, the true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
FDA warns fast virus test used by White House may be inaccurate
Update 10:25 p.m. EDT May 14: The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday night warned that users of the Abbott ID NOW point-of-care test to diagnose those with the Coronavirus - a test often used by the White House and touted by President Donald Trump - may not be accurate.
"Specifically, the test may return false negative results," the FDA said in a statement.
"We are still evaluating the information about inaccurate results and are in direct communications with Abbott about this important issue," the FDA added.
The Thursday night statement indicated the test was accurate for positive results on the Coronavirus, but that negative results might need to be confirmed with a second review.
Billions in cuts proposed as California revenue plunges
Update 9:40 p.m. EDT May 14: California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed $14 billion in budget cuts on Thursday because of the coronavirus, with more than half coming at the expense of public schools already struggling to educate children from afar during a pandemic.
The cuts are part of a plan to cover a $54.3 billion budget deficit caused by plummeting state revenues after a mandatory, statewide stay-at-home order forced most businesses to close and put more than 4.7 million people out of work.
Thursday, Newsom proposed to fill that hole through a combination of cuts, tax increases, canceled spending, internal borrowing and tapping the state’s reserves. It also includes a 10% pay cut for all state workers, including the governor himself. Overall, the $203 billion spending plan is about 5% lower than the budget lawmakers approved last year.
“Nothing breaks my heart more than having to make budget cuts,” he said. “There’s a human being behind every single number.”
Newsom said all of those cuts could be avoided if the federal government approves a $1 trillion aid package for state and local governments. The state would need that money before July 1 to avoid the cuts, a daunting task considering the partisan divide between Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republicans in charge of the U.S. Senate.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club to partially reopen this weekend
Update 8:55 p.m. EDT May 14: President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club will partially reopen to members this weekend as South Florida slowly reopens from the coronavirus lockdown.
An email sent Thursday to members says the Palm Beach resort’s Beach Club restaurant, its pool and its whirlpool will reopen Saturday after being closed two months, but its main building that includes hotel rooms, the main dining area and the president’s private residence will remain closed. Members will have to practice social distancing and lounge chairs will be set 6 feet (2 meters) apart. They will have to bring their own towels.
The email was first reported by The Washington Post. The Trump Organization did not return a call seeking comment and a security guard who answered at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday afternoon said no administrators were available.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close ally of the president, has been slowly allowing the state to reopen, with the hard-hit counties of South Florida trailing the rest of the state. Restaurants in Palm Beach County, like most of the state, can operate at 25% capacity indoors and must maintain 6 feet (2 meters) between tables outdoors. DeSantis is expected to soon boost the capacity limit to 50%. Bars and nightclubs are closed.
Mar-a-Lago executives told Florida officials last month that it was temporarily laying off 153 workers because of the shutdown, a decision the president defended at the time.
“You can’t have many hundreds of employees standing around doing nothing,” he said April 21. “There’s no customer. You’re not allowed to have a customer.”
The federal government’s economic relief bill specifically bars Trump’s businesses, as well as those with ties to other top government officials and members of Congress and their immediate families, from receiving emergency loans and other benefits meant to help businesses retain workers during the pandemic.
Palm Beach County has had nearly 4,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases since early March and at least 263 deaths.
Virus tests hospitals in pockets of US as some states reopen
Update 7:55 p.m. EDT May 14: From a hospital on the edge of the Navajo Nation to the suburbs of the nation’s capital, front-line medical workers in coronavirus hot spots are struggling to keep up with a crushing load of patients while lockdown restrictions are lifting in many other parts of the U.S.
Governors are starting to slowly reopen some segments of their local economies, pointing to evidence that COVID-19 deaths and new hospitalizations are peaking or starting to recede in their states. But a government whistleblower warned Thursday that the U.S. faces its “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the virus.
While many state and local officials see modest signs of progress in the pandemic fight, coronavirus outbreaks are testing public health networks in pockets of the U.S.
Among them is a suburb of Washington, D.C. The head of a hospital system in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, a majority black community bordering the city, said the area’s intensive care units “are bursting at the seams.” Meanwhile, a civil rights group’s lawsuit claimed the county’s jail failed to stop an “uncontrolled” coronavirus outbreak and isolated infected prisoners in cells with walls covered in feces, mucus and blood.
“I would say we are the epicenter of the epicenter,” said Dr. Joseph Wright, interim CEO of University of Maryland Capital Region Health.
The hospital in Gallup, New Mexico, is on the front lines of a grinding outbreak on the Navajo Nation that recently prompted a 10-day lockdown with police setting up roadblocks to discourage non-emergency shopping.
After arrest, gym owner defies health order and reopens
Update 6:40 p.m. EDT May 14: About a dozen masked weightlifters did sets in front of mirrors at a Southern California gym that was open Thursday despite the weekend arrest of its owner who was charged with a misdemeanor after authorities said he violated stay-at-home orders intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Lou Uridel — wearing a red, white and blue mask with a stars and stripes pattern and the words “justice for all” emblazoned across it — vowed to keep the doors open at his Metroflex Gym in the coastal city of Oceanside, north of San Diego.
But he said he warns his customers that they might be handcuffed and hauled off like he was on Sunday.
“There’s some members who kind of shy away from that and there’s some members who say, you know what, if they’re going to take me away in handcuffs for working out, then they can go ahead and do it,” Uridel said.
Uridel may be the first business owner arrested in California, although a growing number of businesses have defied state and local orders and reopened. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reopened his plant in defiance of Alameda County health rules and tweeted that he was prepared to be arrested. He wasn’t. Instead, he won praise from President Donald Trump. Musk and local officials reached an agreement to allow vehicle production to resume next week.
Authorities wary of a public backlash have preferred to use warnings to get businesses to comply. But forcing a business to shut its doors and cite the owners is rare, and arrests are even more rare.
The state is now allowing some counties with a low infection rate to allow certain businesses to reopen more quickly than others. But gyms are not being allowed to reopen anywhere in the state because they are considered a high-risk business due to people being indoors, touching machines and breathing hard as they exercise.
Uridel has been charged with a misdemeanor and will be arraigned in 90 days, though the arrest is under review, said Tanya Sierra, spokeswoman for the San Diego County district attorney’s office.
Trump says he’ll replenish stockpile for future pandemics
Update 5:50 p.m. EDT May 14: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he intends to prepare for future pandemics by replenishing the national stockpile and bringing manufacturing of critical supplies and equipment back to the U.S. His comments came the same day a whistleblower told Congress the Trump administration had failed to properly prepare for the current pandemic.
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” Trump said during a visit to a Pennsylvania distributor of medical equipment. “My goal is to produce everything America needs for ourselves and then export to the world, including medicines.”
Trump had complained about supply chains in a television interview that aired before he left Washington for the trip to Owens and Minor Inc. in Allentown.
“These stupid supply chains that are all over the world — we have a supply chain where they’re made in all different parts of the world,” Trump said in the interview with Fox Business Network. “And one little piece of the world goes bad, and the whole thing is messed up.”
“We should have them all in the United States,” he said.
It was Trump’s second trip outside Washington in as many weeks as tries to convince the public that it’s time for states to begin to open up again, even with the virus still spreading. Trump’s remarks came as federal whistleblower Rick Bright testified before a House panel on Thursday about his repeated efforts to jump-start U.S. production of respirator masks that he says went nowhere.
Officials release edited coronavirus reopening guidance
Update 5:05 p.m. EDT May 14: U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page “decision tool” documents that use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.
The tools are for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants. The CDC originally also authored a document for churches and other religious facilities, but that wasn’t posted Thursday. The agency declined to say why.
Early versions of the documents included detailed information for churches wanting to restart in-person services, with suggestions including maintaining distance between parishioners and limiting the size of gatherings. The faith-related guidance was taken out after the White House raised concerns about the recommended restrictions, according to government emails obtained by the AP and a person inside the agency who didn’t have permission to talk with reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity.
‘Frozen’ musical on Broadway not to reopen
Update 4:55 p.m. EDT May 14: The big budget musical “Frozen” will not reopen when Broadway theaters restart, marking the first time an established show has been felled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Until now, only shows that were waiting to officially open have announced postponements or cancellations. Disney still has “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” on Broadway and five productions of “Frozen” planned worldwide.
Citing the “global pandemic,” Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, said Thursday that running three Disney shows on Broadway was “untenable.”
The 40-cast “Frozen” opened in March 2018 and placed among the top five Broadway productions for both gross and attendance over both years it ran, often pulling in over $1 million, and even $2 million a week. It grossed over $150 million.
Trump says he knew five people who have died of COVID-19
Update 3:55 p.m. EDT May 14: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he knew five people who have died of coronavirus infections.
The president told a crowd gathered at a medical supply facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania, that “two were very good friends.”
“Now they were older,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t say they were in the greatest of health. I wouldn’t say their weight was perfect. Not perfect. But they’re gone. .. It’s just a terrible, terrible thing.”
He compared the virus to influenza, telling the socially distanced crowd that, “You can say what you want about the flu, but I’ve never lost anybody that I know to the flu."
Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, died of the flu in 1918, according to The Washington Post.
The president spoke after touring the Owens & Minor Inc. mask distribution center, according to Reuters. Trump himself did not wear a mask during the visit, although Reuters reported that company officials did.
Massachusetts nurses declining to use decontaminated masks
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT May 14: A nurses’ association in Massachusetts is demanding an end to the decontamination of face masks after several nurses complained of the smell of the coverings, according to WFXT.
“(We’ve received) complaints of everything from, ‘They smell foul,' (to) one nurse told me it almost smells like rotten eggs,” Judith Pare, director of the division of nursing education and practice for the Massachusetts Nursing Association, told WFXT. “Some have had nausea and dizziness.”
Officials with 3M, the leading N-95 mask manufacturer, said they’re working with several decontamination companies to make sure the cleaning systems work “without having a negative impact on fit and filtration.”
Pools, campgrounds, daycares, gyms to reopen in Ohio
Update 3:20 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio announced that several businesses will be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks after they were closed due to the risk of the coronavirus pandemic, according to WHIO-TV.
Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen beginning May 21 while gyms, fitness centers, and community and public pools will be allowed to reopen May 26, WHIO-TV reported. Summer day camps and daycare facilities will be allowed to reopen May 31.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 26,357 cases of COVID-19 have been reported statewide. As of Thursday, 1,534 people have died, officials said.
108-year-old woman recovers from COVID-19 in New Jersey
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT May 14: A 108-year-old woman in New Jersey has become one of the oldest people to have recovered from a novel coronavirus infection, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday at a news conference.
“She was 7 years old during the 1918 flu pandemic and she survived it," Murphy said. “Last month, Sylvia tested positive for COVID-19 and now we can say she has beaten that.”
Burr steps aside as Senate Intel chair amid coronavirus-related investigation
Update 3 p.m. EDT May 14: A day after federal agents reportedly served him with a search warrant for his cell phone as part of an investigation into his stock sales after a secret briefing on the threat of the coronavirus, Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee."
Burr had drawn scrutiny because of a flurry of stock sales made in mid-February, soon after the Intelligence Committee received briefings on the threat posed by the coronavirus.
The stocks which had been owned by Burr plummeted in value a few weeks later, when the markets went down in response to the virus outbreak.
Los Angeles County requiring people wear masks in public
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT May 14: Everyone in Los Angeles must wear a mask when outside their homes.
The new order is intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus as easing of other restrictions allows more people to return to work and recreation. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the requirement Wednesday evening, saying “every reasonable precaution” must be taken as steps are slowly being taken to reopen the economy.
Easing of the “safer at home” orders issued by the city and Los Angeles County began last week with the reopening of some retail using curbside pickup, hiking trails and golf courses. Beaches reopened Wednesday, and there is now further opening of retail, manufacturing and logistics.
Atlanta zoo to reopen Saturday
Update 2:40 p.m. EDT May 14: Zoo Atlanta is slated to reopen Saturday with restrictions to support social distancing measures, according to WSB-TV.
The zoo had been closed since March 14. Officials initially expected to reopen around March 31, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed those plans.
"As important as this is to us, it was essential that we not reopen the Zoo until we could do so confidently, with the safety of our visitors, team members and the animals in our care as the number one priority,” Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B. King said, according to WSB-TV. “Many weeks of planning have gone into our reopening, and everything we have done or will do is being done with this in mind.”
Parts of New York slated to begin reopening Friday
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that some parts of the state were on track to reopen Friday, though he warned that the move “does not mean the problem has gone away.”
Cuomo identified the regions which will allowed to begin reopening as Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and the North Country.
He said local government in those areas will closely monitor COVID-19 case numbers for any changes.
157 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that 157 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide, continuing a downward trend in fatal coronavirus cases.
The number was slightly less than the 166 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Still, Cuomo urged people to continue to practice social distancing.
“It’s about you protecting you and I heartily recommend caution and diligence,” he said.
1,216 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Thursday that 1,216 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 142,704.
Officials also reported 244 new fatal COVID-19 cases. Statewide, 9,946 people have died of coronavirus.
“In all likelihood, we will pass a solemn milestone tomorrow,” Murphy said in a Twitter post Thursday as the state approached 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Mall of America to reopen June 1
Update 1:55 p.m. EDT May 14: The largest mall in the United States, the Mall of America in Minnesota, will begin reopening June 1, according to officials.
In a statement posted on its website, representatives of the mall said the timeline “will allow us the time to create the safest environment possible for guests and allow our tenants the time needed to prepare for reopening.”
Not all stores and none of the restaurants at the mall will reopen.
“Our restaurants and attractions will remain closed until further guidance from state officials is provided,” mall officials said.
The announcement came one day after Gov. Tim Walz said he’d let the state’s stay-at-home order expire Monday and let some businesses begin the reopening process.
Ousted HHS official Rick Bright testifies before Congress
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT May 14: The ousted former director of a government unit focused on countermeasures to infectious disease and bioterrorism is testifying before Congress on Thursday during a House hearing on protecting scientific integrity in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Rick Bright, who headed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority until his dismissal last month, is expected to tell Congress that President Donald Trump’s administration was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic and that without further intervention the country will face “unprecedented illness and fatalities,” CNN reported.
Jersey Shore to reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend, NJ governor says
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Thursday that the Jersey Shore will be reopened in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Effective May 22, all the state’s private and public beaches will be reopened with restrictions to ensure social distancing measures can be implemented.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” Murphy said. “We can make the cast that, at this moment in time, we’re the most-impacted state in the region. This is why we need to keep up with social distancing, even as we begin our restart and recovery.”
Louisiana officials report 827 new coronavirus cases
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT May 14: Officials in Louisiana reported 827 new coronavirus infections Thursday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 33,489.
Officials said that statewide, at least 2,351 people have died of COVID-19 and 22,608 people have recovered from the viral infection.
White House to make an announcement on WHO ‘probably next week,’ Trump says
Update 1:30 p.m. EDT May 14: President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that he plans to soon make an announcement on the World Health Organization, the United Nation’s public health agency.
“We’ll be making an announcement on the World Health Organization shortly,” Trump said. “Probably next week sometime.”
In April, Trump announced he was putting a hold on all funding to the WHO because of its management of the cornoavirus pandemic, which the president has frequently criticized. Trump has accused agency officials of doing China’s bidding and therefore missing early signs of the global pandemic.
“Took them a long time to realize what was going (on), but I have a feeling they knew exactly what was going (on),” Trump said during a coronavirus task force news conference in April, according to The Washington Post.
Florida governor says Miami-Dade, Broward will begin reopening
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 14: Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said Thursday that Miami-Dade and Broward counties are now able to move into the first phase of reopening, WFTV reported.
The South Florida counties were among the hardest hit in the state from the coronavirus pandemic but DeSantis said Thursday that cases had begun to lower enough for reopening to become possible.
Palm Beach County, another South Florida county that was hit hard by COVID-19, entered Phase 1 on Monday.
3,446 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK
Update 12:25 p.m. EDT May 14: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 3,446 new coronavirus infections Thursday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 233,151.
Officials said that as of 9 a.m. local time, 33,614 people had died nationwide of COVID-19.
Numbers released by the Department of Health and Social Care showed the country had one of the highest numbers of cases in the world and the worst in Europe. Officials in Spain, which had been the hardest-hit country in the region, had about 229,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed as of Thursday.
The U.S. has the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with nearly 1.4 million infections, followed by Russia, where more than 252,000 cases have been reported, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Whistleblower Rick Bright says officials ignored warnings about mask shortages
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT May 14: Former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Director Dr. Rick Bright, who was ousted from his position last month, told Congress on Thursday that he tried to sound the alarm about the need for more N-95 masks in February but that officials didn’t believe the situation was urgent.
“My response was, ‘I cannot believe you can sit and say that with a straight face,'” Bright said.
During testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Bright said he brought up the mask shortage at a Feb. 7 meeting with leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Bright said that because officials didn’t address the issue in February, the United States had to scramble to get supplies and imported masks from other countries, some of which have shown to be only 30% effective.
“Live were in danger, and I believe lives were lost.” Bright said.
Whistleblower Rick Bright: We need to unleash the voices of the scientists
Update 12 p.m. EDT May 14: Ousted Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Director Dr. Rick Bright told Congress on Thursday that to improve the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, “We need to unleash the voices of the scientists in our public health system in the United States."
“Their guidances need to be listened to and we need to convey that information to the American public so that they have the truth about the consequences about their actions if they don’t follow those guidances,” Bright said during a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on protecting scientific integrity in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bright warned lawmakers that the U.S. lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. He said the nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively.
152 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT May 14: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Thursday that 152 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 6,736.
Bowser also said eight more people between the ages of 46 and 76 died of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, 358 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.
Whistleblower Rick Bright: 12-18 month timeline for vaccine possible if everything goes perfectly
Update 11:05 a.m. EDT May 14: Dr. Rick Bright, the Health and Human Services Department official ousted last month amid an alleged disagreement with President Donald Trump, told Congress on Thursday that the 12-18 month timeline given to create a COVID-19 vaccine is “aggressive” but possible if no issues arise during drug development.
“We’ve never seen everything go perfectly,” Bright said. “My concern is that if we rush too quickly and consider cutting out critical steps, we may not have a full assessment of the safety of that vaccine.”
He emphasized that the clock for that timeline began after companies first began developing the drugs and were for the drugs to be used “on an emergency basis.”
“Normally it takes up to 10 years to make a vaccine," Bright said. “I still think 12 to 18 months is an aggressive schedule.”
Whistleblower Rick Bright: The window is closing to address coronavirus pandemic
Update 10:40 a.m. EDT May 14: Ousted Health and Human Services Department official Rick Bright told Congress on Thursday that “the window is closing to address” the coronavirus pandemic.
“We still don’t have a standard, centralized coordinated plan to take our nation through this response,” he said during a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on protecting scientific integrity in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said leadership and collaboration are key to creating a plan that allows scientific data to lead the response and avoids unnecessary illnesses and deaths.
“We can devise a plan that includes all Americans and helps them help us guide them through this pandemic,” Bright said. “People are getting restless to leave their homes and we have to make critical decisions.”
Stocks open lower on Wall Street as job picture dims further
Update 9:40 a.m. EDT May 14: Stocks opened lower Thursday on Wall Street as more grim data poured in showing the economic damage being wrought by the coronavirus shutdowns.
The S&P 500 lost 0.8% in the first few minutes of trading. The index is coming off two days of losses.
Nearly 3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the outbreak led more companies to slash jobs, even as many states take tentative steps to reopen businesses. Officials said 36 million people have filed for unemployment aid in the two months since the coronavirus forced millions of businesses to close their doors.
Universal Orlando’s City walk to partially reopen
Update 9:35 a.m. EDT May 14: In Florida, Universal Orlando’s CityWalk is set to partially reopen Thursday for limited operations, according to WFTV.
Select venues in the park’s entertainment and retail district will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, WFTV reported. Restaurants that are reopening will have a limited menu. Guests will be required to wear face coverings while visiting and floor markings will be placed on the floor to ensure guests are staying six feet apart.
Universal Orlando’s theme parks will remain closed, as will the nightclubs and movie theater, according to WFTV.
Trump: 'With his attitude’ whistleblower Rick Bright 'should no longer be working for our government’
Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 14: President Donald Trump on Thursday called Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, “a disgruntled employee” who was “not liked or respected by people I spoke to."
The president shared his thoughts in a tweet posted Thursday morning ahead of Bright’s scheduled testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The hearing, on protecting scientific integrity in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
According to prepared remarks obtained by CNN, Bright is expected to tell Congress that Trump’s administration was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic and that without further intervention the country will face the “darkest winter in modern history.”
The government unit Bright headed was focused on countermeasures to infectious disease and bioterrorism. He had received a job performance review of outstanding before he was summarily transferred last month. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services.
36 million have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit
Update 8:35 a.m. EDT May 14: Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak led more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen under certain restrictions.
Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Still, the number of first-time applications has now declined for six straight weeks, suggesting that a dwindling number of companies are reducing their payrolls.
By historical standards, though, the latest tally shows that the number of weekly jobless claims remains enormous, reflecting an economy that is sinking into a severe downturn. Last week’s pace of new applications for aid is still four times the record high that prevailed before the coronavirus struck hard in March.
Worldwide cases approach 4.4M, total deaths top 297K
Update 7:37 a.m. EDT May 14: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 297,491 early Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 4,369,410 people worldwide. Meanwhile, nearly one in every four deaths reported worldwide has occurred in the United States, and 10 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,024.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,390,764 cases, resulting in 84,136 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 252,245 cases, resulting in 2,305 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 230,985 cases, resulting in 33,264 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 228,691 cases, resulting in 27,104 deaths.
• Italy has reported 222,104 cases, resulting in 31,106 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 190,137 cases, resulting in 13,240 deaths.
• France has confirmed 178,184 cases, resulting in 27,077 deaths.
• Germany has reported 174,098 cases, resulting in 7,861 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 143,114 cases, resulting in 3,952 deaths
• Iran has recorded 114,533 cases, resulting in 6,783 deaths.
Broadway star Nick Cordero wakes up from coma weeks after COVID-19 forced leg amputation
Update 5:42 a.m. EDT May 14: Broadway star Nick Cordero has awakened from a medically induced coma nearly a month after doctors amputated his leg following coronavirus complications.
According to CNN, Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, shared the news in an Instagram story Tuesday.
“He is awake. We did it,” she told her social media followers.
Lloyd’s of London facing at least $3B in coronavirus claims, report says
Update 5:17 a.m. EDT May 14: Lloyd’s of London is facing one of its largest payouts in the 332-year-old insurance and reinsurance market’s history, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Based on assumptions that shelter-in-place orders could persist through the end of June, Lloyd’s estimates it is set to pay out between $3 billion and $4.3 billion in coronavirus-related claims across the globe, the Journal reported.
Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer John Neal said the figure could be as much as $2 billion higher if lockdown measures continue past June.
Catering workers demand United Airlines shutter NJ kitchen after 4 coronavirus deaths
Update 5:03 a.m. EDT May 14: Meal preparers for United Airlines flights are demanding closure of a New Jersey catering facility, following the coronavirus-related deaths of four employees, The Washington Post reported.
Unite Here Local 100, which represents catering workers, told the Post that the Newark Liberty International Airport facility’s current 100 workers represent about one-tenth of the facility’s pre-pandemic payroll. Of that 100, more than 40 have tested positive for the virus, though it is not clear if the cases were contracted on the job.
Regardless, workers’ demands include closure of the kitchen, the distribution of N95 masks to all employees and requests for three coronavirus tests per employee per week, the union told the Post.
American pilot delivering COVID-19 tests dies in plane crash
Update 4:19 a.m. EDT May 14: An American pilot en route to a remote Indonesian village to deliver COVID-19 tests died Tuesday when her plane crashed minutes after takeoff, CNN reported.
Joyce Lin, 40, had been a missionary, pilot and information technology specialist with the Mission Aviation Fellowship for about three years, according to the organization’s official website.
According to CNN, Lin reported an emergency moments after takeoff from the Sentani airport.
The organization confirmed Lin was the only person aboard the Kodiak aircraft bound for Mamit in the Papua highlands, and divers confirmed after searching Lake Sentani that Lin did not survive the crash.
Canadian zoo repatriating 2 pandas to China amid bamboo shortage caused by coronavirus
Update 3:47 a.m. EDT May 14: Disruptions in the global supply chain have forced a difficult decision for one Canadian zoo.
The Calgary Zoo will soon send two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, home to China after six years of a 10-year agreement because fresh bamboo is more abundant in their native country, The Washington Post reported.
63 employees at 1 Texas beef processing plant test positive for COVID-19
Update 3:18 a.m. EDT May 14: More than 60 workers and vendors at a Texas beef processing plant have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said.
According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, officials this week confirmed 63 cases among STX Beef workers, vendors and contractors after 747 people were tested at the Corpus Christi plant beginning Saturday. Results from tests conducted Wednesday, the last day of testing for workers, were not yet available, the newspaper reported. Workers’ family members will undergo tests Thursday.
Read more here.
WHO sounds alarm on worsening coronavirus-driven mental health crisis
Update 3 a.m. EDT May 14: The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that the novel coronavirus is fueling a secondary mental health crisis and world leaders need to prioritize the well-being of their citizens in crafting their responses to the pandemic.
“The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil — they all cause or could cause psychological distress,” Devora Kestel, who leads the U.N. agency’s mental health department, told The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Kestel’s office released a report highlighting specific groups which appear particularly vulnerable to adverse mental health conditions as the pandemic lingers, including:
• Victims of domestic violence
• Children isolated from friends and school
• Medical workers dealing directly with patients and deaths
“The mental health and well-being of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently,” Kestel said at a news conference, Reuters reported.
US coronavirus cases continue climb toward 1.4M, deaths near 85K
Update 12:28 a.m. EDT May 14: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb toward 1.4 million early Thursday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,390,406 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 84,119 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 340,661 cases and 27,477 deaths and New Jersey with 141,560 cases and 9,714 deaths. Massachusetts, with 80,497 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 5,315, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 84,694. Only 18 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each.
Nine other states have now confirmed at least 30,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 72,798 cases, resulting in 2,957 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 62,101 cases, resulting in 4,094 deaths
• Michigan: 48,391 cases, resulting in 4,714 deaths
• Texas: 43,020 cases, resulting in 1,172 deaths
• Florida: 42,402 cases, resulting in 1,827 deaths
• Georgia: 35,427 cases, resulting in 1,517 deaths
• Connecticut: 34,855 cases, resulting in 3,125 deaths
• Maryland: 34,812 cases, resulting in 1,809 deaths
• Louisiana: 32,662 cases, resulting in 2,381 deaths
Meanwhile, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 25,000 cases, followed by Colorado with 20,475; Washington state, Tennessee and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 16,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 13,289; Minnesota and Arizona each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by Rhode Island with 11,835; Wisconsin, Alabama Missouri and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Nebraska and South Carolina each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Kansas with 7,518; Delaware, Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 5,364.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.