Sparring and Schedules Offer Glimpse of Pandemic’s Partisan Lens

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Pool photo by Rod Lamkey

Administration officials will only testify before Congress if committee leaders agree to conduct the hearings in person, the White House informed Congress on Friday. The decision amounted to a direct challenge to new House rules that allow committees and lawmakers to conduct their work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, but it was also symbolic of a growing partisan divide about how to conduct political business in an era of concerns about public health.

The new condition, outlined in a notice obtained by The New York Times, is in addition to a policy the administration instituted this spring barring administration and agency officials from testifying without the express permission of Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff.

“The Administration is willing to make accommodations, but only when Congress is similarly willing to make accommodations, including agreeing to appear in person,” the White House said, according to a notice sent to congressional staff members. The notice acknowledged exceptions could be made in instances in which a witness needed to quarantine.

The policy comes as the House of Representatives plans to pull back from its usual activities. Democratic leaders announced on Friday that they expect to call the chamber into session for votes for only three weeks over the next three months — a substantially scaled-back summer schedule.

President Trump, in contrast, is ramping up his campaigning in the coming weeks. While he still has no mass rallies scheduled, he will resume in-person fund-raisers next month under new restrictions, according to Republican Party officials.

Mr. Trump will headline a June 11 fund-raiser at a private home in Dallas, and a June 13 fund-raising event at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

The Dallas event will cost $580,600 per couple to attend, a party official said, and the Bedminster event will be held outdoors and cost $250,000 per person.

Only about 25 attendees are expected at each of the events, a nod to social distancing recommendations. But each attendee will have to submit to a virus test, complete a wellness questionnaire, and pass a temperature screening.

Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to resume attending fund-raisers in June, but the future of the Republican convention scheduled for August in Charlotte, N.C., remained in limbo as Republicans planning the event traded demands with North Carolina’s Democratic governor.

In a joint letter to Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, and the president of the convention committee, Marcia Lee Kelly, laid out a deadline of June 3 to approve safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus during the event.

On Friday, Mr. Cooper’s administration responded with a letter of its own, asking Ms. McDaniel and Ms. Kelly to detail the R.N.C.’s plans to protect participants, and to specify whether the president was still set on holding a large-scale nominating event where crowds would not wear face masks.

Credit…Travis Dove for The New York Times

The first mention of the coronavirus pandemic was a joke.

A master of ceremonies was explaining to a crowd of more than 100 people why the keynote speakers — home-state Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott — were running a bit late.

“You have to understand, they haven’t got to do any politicking for a while,” said the M.C., Robert Rabon of the Horry County Republican Party. “They’re like a kid in a candy store — they’re going wild!”

And with that passing mention, South Carolina Republicans returned to the normal rhythm of the campaign trail, coronavirus all the same.

The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio. Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks.

“Social distancing guidelines are recommended,” the invitation had said. “Hand sanitizer and face masks will be available.” In reality, according to interviews with more than a dozen attendees, the event was an active rejection of behavior that the hyper-conservative crowd has come to associate with liberal enemies in recent months — wearing masks and gloves, staying six feet away from other people, avoiding physical touch.

To treat the coronavirus as something to be feared, they said, was a political act incongruous with their values.

Dwayne “Duke” Buckner, who is challenging Mr. Graham in the Republican Senate primary next month and came to the event to meet voters, said he had recently stopped adhering to public health guidelines, which he described as overly burdensome.

“You can quote me on this,” Mr. Buckner said. “When the good Lord calls you home, a mask ain’t going to stop it.”

Credit…Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Friday that he expected the city to meet several benchmarks that would permit millions of virus-weary residents to enjoy the first signs of a normal life as early as June 8. Retail stores could open for curbside or in-store pickup, and nonessential construction and manufacturing could resume, part of an initial phase that could send as many as 400,000 people back to work.

As other parts of the nation, including less populated sections of New York State, have already reopened, New York City, which lost more than 20,000 lives to the virus, has taken much longer to recover.

Deaths in New York have dropped to only dozens a day, rather than the 700 or 800 a day that were taking place in April.

That progress largely came because many New Yorkers followed the rules, and have been wearing masks and maintaining social distance as requested. The rewards of vigilance have been manifest not only in decreasing fatalities, but also in the declining number of people testing positive for the virus and those requiring hospital stays because of it.

“I am proud of the way New York is figuring it out,” Mr. Cuomo said.

But even with the strides the city has made, the road to normalcy will no doubt be steep and rocky. Since February, nearly 900,000 local jobs have vanished and thousands of businesses have closed their doors — some forever. Revenues from sales taxes are expected to drop by $1 billion, part of a frightening $9 billion estimated budget shortfall that could push officials into risky borrowing and force drastic cuts to essential city services.

Credit…J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Major cities like Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles were set to continue easing restrictions, with Washington reopening outdoor seating at restaurants. The number of diners in a party will be limited to six people and tables will have to be spaced at least six feet apart. Hair salons and barbershops were also permitted to open for appointment-only haircuts with stations six feet apart. The city’s parks are open, but not its playgrounds.

The northern suburbs of Virginia also began limited reopenings on Friday, while suburban counties in Maryland remain shut. Earlier this week, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House virus response coordinator, singled out the Washington region as among a handful of metropolitan areas where positive test rates remained high.

Illinois is expected to enter its third phase of reopening in the coming days, bringing barbershops, salons, retail stores and other businesses back with some limitations. Gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned. New cases in the state continue to mount, with an average of more than 1,800 new cases a day over the past week.

The governor of Connecticut announced Friday that his state would begin to allow gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Houses of worship would be allowed to hold indoor gatherings at 25 percent capacity or up to 100 people, whichever is fewer; outdoor services could include up to 150 people as long as social distancing was observed. Casinos on land held by sovereign nations could also reopen, a move the governor, Ned Lamont, had opposed.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said that over the next several weeks the state would permit child care services to fully open and some summer programs for children to begin operating.

“As more and more workers prepare to get back out to their jobs, we must ensure a continuum of care for their children,” he said.



Trump Announces That the U.S. Will Withdraw From the W.H.O.

President Trump said he would terminate the United States’ relationship with the World Health Organization, and repeated past charges that China had mishandled the coronavirus outbreak.

China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year. Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities. Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe. We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization, and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs. The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency.

Video player loading
President Trump said he would terminate the United States’ relationship with the World Health Organization, and repeated past charges that China had mishandled the coronavirus outbreak.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

After spending weeks accusing the World Health Organization of helping the Chinese government cover up the early days of the coronavirus epidemic in China, President Trump said on Friday that the United States would terminate its relationship with the agency.

“The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government,” Mr. Trump said in a speech in the Rose Garden. “Countless lives have been taken, and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe.”

In his 10-minute address, Mr. Trump took no responsibility for the deaths of 100,000 Americans from the virus, instead saying China had “instigated a global pandemic.”

There is no evidence that the W.H.O. or the government in Beijing hid the extent of the epidemic in China, and public health experts generally view Mr. Trump’s charges as a way to deflect attention from his administration’s own bungled attempts to respond to the virus’s spread in the United States.

A spokeswoman for the W.H.O. in Geneva, where word of Mr. Trump’s announcement arrived around 9 p.m., said the agency would not have a response until Saturday.

Public health experts in the United States reacted to Mr. Trump’s announcement with alarm.

“We helped create the W.H.O.,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has worked with the organization since its creation in 1948.

“We’re part of it — it is part of the world,” Dr. Frieden said. “Turning our back on the W.H.O. makes us and the world less safe.”

Credit…Misha Friedman for The New York Times

When experts recommend wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, washing your hands frequently and avoiding crowded spaces, what they’re really saying is: Try to minimize the amount of virus you encounter.

A few viral particles cannot make you sick — the immune system would vanquish the intruders before they could. But how much virus is needed for an infection to take root? What is the minimum effective dose?

A precise answer is impossible, because it’s difficult to capture the moment of infection. Scientists are studying ferrets, hamsters and mice for clues but, of course, it wouldn’t be ethical for scientists to expose people to different doses of the virus, as they do with milder cold viruses.

“The truth is, we really just don’t know,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York. “I don’t think we can make anything better than an educated guess.”

So-called super-spreaders seem to be particularly gifted in transmitting the virus, although it’s unclear whether that’s because of their biology or their behavior.

On the receiving end, the shape of a person’s nostrils and the amount of nose hair and mucus present — as well as the distribution of certain cellular receptors in the airway that the virus needs to latch on to — can all influence how much virus it takes to become infected.

The crucial dose may also vary depending on whether it’s ingested or inhaled.

But the virus’s uncertainties will weigh on American employers as they contemplate sweeping new recommendations from the C.D.C. on the safest ways to reopen their offices.

The recommendations include temperature and symptom checks for arriving employees; keeping desks six feet apart; and the wearing of face coverings at all times.

If followed, the guidelines would lead to a far-reaching remaking of the corporate work experience. They even upend years of advice on commuting, urging people to drive to work by themselves, instead of taking mass transportation or car-pooling, to avoid potential exposure to the virus.



In Coronavirus Advertising, You’re the Hero

In coronavirus-themed commercials, consumption is reframed as a public service performed by heroes, for heroes. Amanda Hess looks at how brands are selling shopping as a heroic act.

Locked inside my apartment under stay-at-home orders, the pandemic begins to look oddly routine. Bingeing some reality TV show, I can begin to forget why I’m stuck here — until the commercial break. “We’re all living a new normal —” “Especially now.” “Even in times as uncertain as these.” It’s jarring how quickly the realities of the coronavirus have been processed into the optimistic language of advertising. Every crisis inspires its own corporate PSAs, but these ones are strangely ubiquitous. The hallmarks of coronavirus ads are so consistent they could be generated by bots. “People.” “People.” “People.” “People.” “People.” “And family.” They’re all collected in this YouTube montage called, “Every Covid-19 Commercial Is Exactly the Same.” “Especially now.” The ads begin with eerie drone footage of empty streets, a shot of a child staring plaintively out the window, some desperate-looking individual, and then — upbeat musical key change. A medical worker peeling off their mask, a guy jamming on his home piano, a deeply pregnant woman rubbing her stomach as if summoning a genie from a bottle. And finally: “We care about keeping you safe.” “We’re here to help.” “We’re still here for you.” “Our spirit is what unites us.” What’s weird is, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to buy. These ads are often strangely devoid of product placement. Instead, they lean on pat metaphors that stuff the crisis into the various receptacles affiliated with the products. There are no Cokes in this Malaysian Coke ad, just the note, “Thank you for filling the glass with kindness and hope.” Dunkin’ talks about raising a cup. And Hefty’s message compares the human spirit to a bag of trash. “Thank you.” Uber even ran an anti-Uber commercial that tells its customers, “Thank you for not riding with Uber.” In the place of images of products, these ads are selling a vision of the workers who made them. They show Fareway employees striding in slo-mo through stockrooms, and masked warehouse workers monitoring Amazon conveyor belts. “To our over one million heroes —” “To all of our Amazon retail heroes, we want to thank you.” “I say thank you.” They’re capitalizing on the trend of anointing all essential workers as heroes. It’s a well-meaning impulse to thank those people who are stocking shelves and bagging groceries, but employers have seized on it as a tactic to soften the uncomfortable truth that their workers are at risk, and ease our own tensions as consumers about benefiting from their work. “So how does it feel when you see an ad that valorizes a grocery store worker as a hero?” “The word, hero, has always implied having some sort of agency. Somebody running into a burning house and saving a baby, they are making a conscious decision. But we weren’t trained for this kind of thing. This wasn’t in our job descriptions. We’re not these altruistic angels that are just so happy to be there, and to serve you. And that’s kind of what they’re trying to show in these ads. It’s wonderful to be acknowledged. It’s when it becomes a catchphrase, it’s when it becomes ingenuine. It’s like memos from corporate like, ‘You guys are heroes,’ you know? It doesn’t mean anything anymore.” These ads have reimagined their ideal consumers too. Medical workers have swiftly been elevated into unwitting corporate spokesmodels, creating a fantasy where all consumption is reframed as a public service performed by heroes for heroes. In the coronavirus ad world, heroes are broadly defined. They’re not just the nurses and grocery stockers. Now every couch surfer can feel like they’re doing their part. Basically anything a person does during the pandemic can be reframed in a commercial as an act of heroism. It’s telling that so many of these ads are constructed from found images of social media, or at least they’re made to appear that way. They locate hope in amateur video of a woman cutting her own bangs and a baby riding a Roomba. It’s as if by some kind of transitive property, drinking the same brand of coffee that I saw a nurse drink means that I’m contributing to the cause. [sirens] I may not be packing meat or intubating patients, but at least I am bravely maintaining my consumption habits. They make me feel like I’m doing my part by staying on my couch.

Video player loading
In coronavirus-themed commercials, consumption is reframed as a public service performed by heroes, for heroes. Amanda Hess looks at how brands are selling shopping as a heroic act.CreditCredit…The New York Times

For the TV networks, 2020 was supposed to be a big year. The presidential election and Tokyo Olympics would keep people watching, and companies were expected to spend more than usual on commercial time.

But with the Summer Games postponed and campaign rallies on lockdown, television advertising revenue is likely to drop 12 percent this year, according to a projection by the research firm MoffettNathanson. Networks will lose out on $25.5 billion in spending, according to a report released on Thursday by the WARC research group.

Viewership is not the problem; now that millions of homebound people have limited entertainment options, many people are watching more TV. But the economic fallout of the pandemic has caused companies to slash their advertising budgets by more than 40 percent, according to the research firm Kantar. To hedge against that drop in revenue, networks have offered commercial time at double-digit discounts, and some companies have turned to bare-bones advertisements instead of more elaborately produced commercials.

Before the pandemic, 30 percent of ad spending in the United States went toward TV commercials, while 56 percent went to purely digital platforms. By the end of the year, “this gap is really going to blow out,” with TV “falling more dramatically,” said Michael Nathanson, a founding partner of the MoffettNathanson research firm.

Credit…Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, disclosed Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and said that he planned to donate his plasma to help fight the virus.

Mr. Casey was the second senator in two days to announce a recent positive antibody test, after Tim Kaine of Virginia said Thursday he had the antibodies, and the third now known to have contracted Covid-19. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, tested positive for the virus earlier this spring, and continued to come into close contact with colleagues in the Capitol in the days before receiving his results.

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 28, 2020

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.

It was unclear from his statement whether Mr. Casey could have been carrying the virus when Congress was in session, at a time when it was known to be infecting others on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Casey said he had experienced “mild” Covid-19 symptoms including “for a number of days” this spring, without providing a precise timetable. He said he had been able to work remotely, in isolation, through the symptoms and that by mid-April he was feeling better. Because the case was mild, Mr. Casey said his doctor at the time recommended against getting a coronavirus test.

More recently, Congress’s attending physician advised Mr. Casey to take an antibody test.

“The results revealed substantial levels of Covid-19 antibody in my blood, significantly more than the amount required to qualify me as a plasma donor,” he said on Friday. “In an effort to help others fighting this virus, I will be making my first donation today.”

There is widespread agreement that the United States economy will soon begin to recover from coronavirus lockdowns. The big debate is whether that rebound will resemble a V, a W, an L or a Nike Swoosh.

Increasingly, economists and analysts are penciling in another glyph: a question mark.

Forecasters often label their expectations for a post-recession rebound with letters — a “V” suggests a rapid recovery, a “W” a double-dip, and so on — but that’s hard to do this time around. As all 50 states begin to open up, consumers trickle out of their homes and businesses make adjustments — crafting everything from restaurant protocols to remote auctions — the path ahead is wildly uncertain, making prognostication dicey.

It isn’t just Wall Street forecasters eschewing declarative forecasts and the alphabet in favor of a range of what-ifs. From the Federal Reserve to the White House, analysts have suggested that posing confident prognostications is probably more misleading than helpful.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said at an event sponsored by The Washington Post that he shares President Trump’s expectation for a rapid bounce-back, but suggested that there are wide ranges around those estimates.

“It’s really hard to model a virus, or a pandemic, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 100 years,” Mr. Kudlow said.

“You can have your own Vs; there’s Vs, there are lesser Vs,” Mr. Kudlow said. “There are combos of Us and Vs.”

Cognizant of that uncertainty, the White House confirmed it will not even issue an update to its economic forecasts this summer, breaking decades of tradition.

Credit…David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Athletes tend to view themselves as perhaps better equipped than the general population to avoid the worst consequences of the disease.

Yet interviews with athletes who have contracted it — from professionals to college athletes to weekend hobbyists — revealed their surprise at the potency of its symptoms, struggles to reestablish workout regimens, lingering battles with lung issues and muscle weakness, and unsettling bouts of anxiety about whether they would be able to match their physical peaks.

“It definitely shook me up a bit — it was very surreal, you know?” Von Miller, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos who contracted the virus, said in an interview.

Panagis Galiatsatos, a pulmonary physician and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, singled out three complications from Covid-19 that could be of particular concern to athletes.

First, coronavirus patients, like anyone with a serious respiratory infection, were at risk for long-term lung issues. He also considered the high incidence of blood clots seen as potentially troubling for athletes because people diagnosed with blood clots, and prescribed blood thinners, are typically discouraged from participating in contact sports.

Finally, Dr. Galiatsatos said patients placed on ventilators and confined to a bed often lost between 2 and 10 percent of their muscle mass per day.



Minneapolis Precinct Fire: How a Night of Chaos Unfolded

Videographers for The Times captured the scene outside the Third Precinct in Minneapolis as peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd turned violent, and a group of protesters set the building on fire.

Protester: “Hands up, don’t shoot. Hands up, don’t shoot. Hands up —” [explosion] The Third Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department. On fire. Nearby businesses, ablaze. This is how the night of May 28 unfolded. George Floyd’s arrest and death in police custody on Monday set off protests in the Twin Cities. The protesters are demanding that criminal charges be brought against the officers involved. Protester: “Put that fist up — we’re all him. All lives matter.” When that didn’t happen on Thursday, some demonstrators escalated their tactics … … while others tried to keep the peace. [shouting] Police scanner audio, and footage from outside the precinct, provide insight into what happened. The police shoot tear gas from grenade launchers. “You want more of your people to die? You [expletive] coward. You want more of the people you’re supposed to protect to [expletive] die? You [expletive] coward — [expletive] you!” This back and forth with protesters continues for about an hour. Around 10 p.m., the officers begin evacuating the precinct. Crowd: “No justice, no peace.” Protester: “Everybody get garbage — let’s fill the cops’ place with garbage.” Protester: “Burn it!” On Friday, one former officer was charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with George Floyd’s death.

Video player loading
Videographers for The Times captured the scene outside the Third Precinct in Minneapolis as peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd turned violent, and a group of protesters set the building on fire.CreditCredit…Carlos Barria/Reuters

As restrictions eased across the country, new measures were issued and under consideration in some cities and states where protests were growing over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes.

The Minnesota authorities said Friday afternoon that the officer, Derek Chauvin, who was fired after the episode, had been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.

Earlier, large crowds of demonstrators had gathered against the backdrop of a pandemic that had kept many residents from engaging with one another directly for months. Last week, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House virus response coordinator, said that Minneapolis was considered a hot spot for virus cases.

More than 100 scientists and clinicians have questioned the authenticity of a huge hospital database that was the basis for an influential study published last week that concluded that treating people who have Covid-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine did not help and might have increased the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and death.

In an open letter to the editor of The Lancet, which published the study’s findings, and the paper’s authors, the scientists asked the journal to provide details about the provenance of the data and called for the study to be independently validated by the World Health Organization or another institution.

A spokeswoman for Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, the Harvard professor who was the paper’s lead author, said on Friday that the study’s authors had asked for an independent academic review and audit of their work.

Use of the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat Covid-19 has been a focus of intense public attention. President Trump has promoted the promise of hydroxychloroquine, despite the absence of gold-standard evidence from randomized clinical trials to prove its effectiveness, and recently said he was taking it himself in hopes of preventing coronavirus infection.

Credit…Sharon Chischilly/Getty Images

Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, said central bankers had seen the need to use their tools “to their fullest extent” as coronavirus restrictions shuttered economies around the globe and caused United States unemployment to soar.

“We crossed a lot of red lines, that had not been crossed before,” Mr. Powell said in a webinar on Friday. He added that he was comfortable with what the Fed had done, because “this is that situation in which you do that, and you figure it out afterward.”

The Fed cut interest rates to near-zero and rolled out unlimited bond purchases to soothe markets, while setting up emergency lending programs to keep credit flowing to businesses and state governments. Several of those tiptoe into uncharted territory for the central bank, including programs to buy corporate bonds and purchase debt from states and large cities.

But even with that extraordinary support, the Fed chair made it clear that there is uncertainty about what will happen next, acknowledging that “a full recovery of the economy will really depend on people being confident that it’s safe to go out.”

Economists say that the path ahead for the economy is wildly uncertain, as massive questions loom over whether additional virus outbreaks will shutter the economy again, and over whether and when consumers will come back to stores. While a quick “V”-shaped recovery seems unlikely — and an “L” in which growth fails to rebound also seems off the table — what path the rebound will follow is a question mark.

“We’re all prefacing what we say with: We’re not epidemiologists,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities.

There have been nearly 700,000 new known cases reported in the past week as the virus spreads in Latin America. But many countries are sputtering into reopenings at what experts fear may be the worst time.

Airplane travel is inching back, but staying safe remains a concern and safety protocols are changing. We have tips for approaching your next flight.

Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Karen Barrow, Alan Blinder, Julie Bosman, Ben Casselman, Emily Cochrane, Andrew Das, Nicholas Fandos, Dana Goldstein, Jenny Gross, Maggie Haberman, Astead W. Herndon, Andrew Jacobs, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Annie Karni, Andrew Keh, Apoorva Mandavilli, Donald G. McNeil, Jr., Andy Newman, Sona Patel, Roni Caryn Rabin, Matt Richtel, Katie Rogers, Dagny Salas, Marc Santora and Eileen Sullivan.

View original article here Source

Related Posts