Trump Superfans Line Up Early for Tulsa Rally

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Trump Supporters Camp Out Ahead of Tulsa Rally, Despite Virus Risk

Supporters of President Trump lined up outside the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., two days ahead of his rally. The president and some of his supporters have shrugged off concerns that the event could spread the coronavirus.

“I could get the flu someday — you never know. So I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t feel like I’m going to get the coronavirus. I use safety measures when I need to, but when I don’t, I’m just going to be my regular self.” “I really thought this was an important rally for me to go to. It’s the ninth one I’ve been to, but after having been away from rallies for so long, I think that there’s going to be some very important themes the president’s going to introduce here. And I wanted to be here to support his message.” “Well, we have face masks with this — and how do you feel about it, Mark?” “I think it’s all a hoax, to tell you the truth.”

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Supporters of President Trump lined up outside the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., two days ahead of his rally. The president and some of his supporters have shrugged off concerns that the event could spread the coronavirus.CreditCredit…Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

Two days before President Trump was scheduled to speak at a rally downtown, some of his biggest fans braved a sweltering Thursday afternoon to make sure they made it into the event.

The crowd of a few hundred included locals and visitors, most everyone pitching a tent to shield themselves from the 90-degree heat. Vendors and performers hawked memorabilia with Mr. Trump’s likeness, including a silver bust of the president and T-shirts with some of his best-known commentary.

Mike Grimes, of Minnesota, drove 750 miles to line up at the event.

“I wanted to be at the first one back, because it feels like a symbol of America opening back up,” he said. Mr. Grimes, a 41-year-old postal carrier, said well wishers had dropped off Gatorade and water.

One Trump supporter, who said Saturday will be the 64th rally he has attended, is part of a group of Mr. Trump’s superfans who call themselves “Front Row Joes.” Other members had arrived in Tulsa as early as Monday, he said. He made it to town on Thursday.

The man, who is 60, said he was not worried about the spread of coronavirus in the arena here. (Previous reports show he was arrested for disorderly conduct after disrupting a 2019 event in Iowa for Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts.)

“Sure, the virus is out there. But when you look at the survivability rate — I’ll take those odds,” he said, laughing.

He said this rally feels different.

“We’re going to show the country and were going to show the world that we need to open up,” he said. “We’re Americans. We have freedom and choice. And we have the choice to be at risk.”

Oklahoma reported a record number of cases on Thursday: 450, up from 259 on Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive day that levels reached new highs.

Officials at the BOK Center, the arena where the rally is scheduled to take place, have asked the campaign for a written health and safety plan detailing precautions it will take, including those related to social distancing.

“The BOK Center will encourage all attendees to remain masked throughout the duration of the event until they exit the building,” the center said in a statement, adding that 400 hand-sanitizing stations had been placed throughout the venue. “Signage reminding attendees of precautions will be placed throughout the building.”

The Trump campaign said Thursday that it was reviewing the letter from arena management.

“We take safety seriously, which is why we’re doing temperature checks for everyone attending, and providing masks and hand sanitizer,” the campaign said in a statement. “This will be a Trump rally, which means a big, boisterous, excited crowd.”

Mr. Trump has shrugged off concerns that attendees will be at risk of infection. The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said on Wednesday that attendees would be given face masks, but using them would be optional.

Key data of the day

Credit…Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The coronavirus caseload is surging globally, driven by outbreaks in Latin America, Africa, South Asia and the United States.

More than 140,000 cases were reported on Tuesday and another 166,000 on Wednesday, two of the three highest tallies since the outbreak began. Seventy-seven nations have seen a growth in new cases over the past two weeks, while only 43 have seen declines.

While Wednesday’s total, the record high, was inflated by a backlog of more than 30,000 mishandled and unreported cases that Chile added to its tally, the rising daily numbers reflect the pandemic’s stubborn grip on the world.

Brazil reported more than 32,000 new cases on Wednesday, the most in the world, and the United States was second, with more than 25,000. The leaders of both nations have been criticized for their handling of the outbreak.

On Thursday, California and Florida reported their highest daily totals of new cases yet. And Texas became the sixth state in the nation to surpass 100,000 cases, according to a New York Times database. Cases there have doubled over the past month.

The virus is also taking off in other parts of the world.

If the outbreak was defined early on by a series of shifting epicenters — including Wuhan, China; Iran; northern Italy; Spain; and New York — it is now defined by its wide and expanding scope. And more risks lie ahead as nations begin to reopen their economies.

In India, which initially placed all 1.3 billion of its citizens under a lockdown — then moved to reopen even with its strained public health system near the breaking point — officials reported a record number of new cases Wednesday. And the virus is now spreading rapidly in nearby Pakistan and Bangladesh as well.

It took Africa nearly 100 days to reach 100,000 cases, the World Health Organization noted, but only 19 days to double that tally. South Africa now averages a thousand more new cases each day than it did two weeks ago.

And some countries where caseloads had appeared to taper — including Israel, Sweden and Costa Rica — are now watching them rise again.

U.S. Roundup

Credit…Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

As cases continue to mount in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered people to wear face masks in most indoor — and some outdoor — public settings.

He issued the order as California reported more than 4,000 new cases on Wednesday, a new one-day record. The new guidance states that “people in California must wear face coverings” in indoor public spaces from offices to Ubers to apartment hallways, and outdoors if it is not possible to stay six feet away from people in other households.

“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered, putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” Mr. Newsom said. “California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

The updated guidance comes amid national tension over masks, which have become a political flash point between those who prioritize safety and those who have come to associate them with political correctness. President Trump has eschewed masks in public. This week Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, which is also seeing record numbers of new daily cases this week, gave mayors the power to require wearing masks.

In California, face mask requirements have varied from county to county, and at least seven county health officers have recently resigned amid controversy over those and other preventive measures. Earlier this week, Santa Clara County revealed that its public health officer had been threatened.

The state’s orders make exceptions for toddlers, people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing face coverings, restaurant customers while eating and people who are incarcerated.

Other news from around the United States:

  • Texas, which has reported large increases in new cases in recent days, plans to reopen its schools in the fall with both in-person classes and options for remote instruction, the governor’s office said Thursday. After Gov. Greg Abbott announced the plans, one of the state’s major teachers’ organizations demanded that teachers be directly involved in the planning.

  • The S&P 500 closed essentially unchanged on Thursday after stocks drifted between negative and positive territory, as investors considered new data on unemployment claims and the latest reports on fresh outbreaks. Another 1.5 million U.S. workers applied for state unemployment benefits last week, a report released Thursday by the Labor Department showed.

  • The governors of at least six states — Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina and Vermont — have recently extended their state of emergency orders, even as cases in some of the states have been declining. Along with control over travel restrictions and business closures, the emergency declarations provide a direct line to federal funding for disaster relief.

  • New Jersey malls, as iconic in the state as the shore and the boardwalk, can reopen on June 29, the governor said. Stores will be limited to 50 percent, employees and customers must wear masks, and food courts stay closed, though restaurants can serve takeout.

Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan lifted a virus-related travel ban on Friday that had prohibited residents from moving between prefectures, a sign that the government believes the country has tamed the coronavirus enough to ease domestic travel.

Mr. Abe’s government is also in discussions to ease international travel bans for passengers arriving from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Tokyo, which with close to 5,700 documented infections has the highest concentration of coronavirus cases in the country, Governor Yuriko Koike announced that all businesses could resume normal operations on Friday after about two months of restrictions on nightclubs, karaoke bars, restaurants, pachinko gambling parlors and other establishments.

The announcements came as Tokyo announced 41 new infections on Thursday, of which 19 were deemed close contacts of an infected person. When reported cases spiked earlier this week, Ms. Koike said they were mostly related to an intensive testing campaign in Tokyo’s nightlife district. The government has issued guidelines for nightclubs that include measures such as increasing disinfection and ventilation, mandating face masks and erecting plastic partitions between tables or at bar counters.

In announcing Tokyo’s infection numbers on Thursday, the government did not explain the routes of infection for more than half of the cases.

Japan’s Health Ministry reported 71 new cases for the entire country on Thursday, including three that were detected among passengers arriving at airports. Japan has more than 18,000 infections and 942 deaths as of Friday, according to a New York Times database.

“We need to run the economy strongly by controlling the infection risks with less restrictive measures,” Mr. Abe said on Thursday evening in announcing the easing of domestic travel. He said that officials and citizens need to “take measures that put more emphasis on protecting jobs and life.”

Mr. Abe also announced that the government was introducing a smartphone app on Friday that will allow the health authorities to inform people who have been in close contact with an infected person and encourage them to self-isolate.

In remarks to reporters, Mr. Abe said that studies show a lockdown would not be necessary “when 60 percent of the population has the app that leads to early detection of infection.”

Credit…Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

For months, British authorities went their own way, pursuing an app they promised would help ease the country out of lockdown, even as criticism grew that it posed privacy risks and would not work well.

On Thursday, they abruptly reversed course.

Now, Britain plans to join other countries and design a new contact-tracing app based on software provided by Apple and Google.

It was an embarrassing turnaround, and just one of a string of pandemic missteps by the government. At one point, the government said the contact-tracing technology would be available to the public in May. Now the aim is to have it ready by winter.

British officials had counted on the app, which is intended to alert anyone who may have come near an infected person, such as on a bus or subway, to help prevent a new wave of infections.

Leaders stuck to a plan of building an app in-house even as other countries changed course. Germany and Italy, which both agreed to use Apple and Google’s technology more than a month ago, debuted contact-tracing apps this week.

British public health officials wanted to avoid using the software provided by Apple and Google because it limits the amount of data that can be centrally collected and analyzed — information they felt was critical in tracking the disease. But the British team struggled to build an app that worked properly without support from the Silicon Valley giants.

Apple and Google, whose operating systems run on nearly every smartphone on the planet, prevented outside apps that did not use their code from taking full advantage of a device’s ability to measure proximity. The companies took this approach in the interests of privacy.

The switch comes as big tech zeroes in on the virus-testing market. As businesses across the United States grapple with how to safely reopen during the pandemic, numerous tech giants and start-ups are pushing out a glut of new virus risk-reduction products.

Global Roundup

Credit…Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A top Chinese epidemiologist has said that seafood vendors in a Beijing market linked to at least 183 new coronavirus cases had suffered the most infections and showed symptoms of the virus earlier than those who sold beef and lamb.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Thursday that low temperatures and high humidity in the seafood and meat areas of Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market may have contributed to the spread of the virus.

Dr. Wu compared the circumstances surrounding the latest cluster in Beijing to the initial outbreak in the city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged late last year. Specifically, he said the vendors selling wildlife in the Wuhan market had been grouped together with the seafood stalls, and that the proximity of fish and meat stalls could provide clues into how the virus emerged.

“The findings reminded us of the first outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in Wuhan last year — that happened at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market,” he said. “Why do seafood markets appear to be a possible source of infection?”

Officials have been racing to contain the new outbreak in the Chinese capital, shutting down the city’s schools and enacting strict lockdowns in high-risk neighborhoods. On Thursday, thousands of restaurant workers lined up around the city to get tested for the virus. The health authorities also released new guidelines urging the public to prevent “splash contamination” by not rinsing raw meat or seafood directly under the tap.

Travelers looking to leave Beijing via plane or train are being required to show proof of a negative nucleic acid test taken within seven days before boarding. As a result, demand for tests has surged in the capital, with the wait-list at some hospitals stretching into September, according to Caixin, a Chinese investigative news outlet.

The latest flare-up emerged after 56 days of no new locally-transmitted cases in Beijing, and despite an order by China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to fortify the capital against the virus.

But Mr. Wu on Thursday expressed confidence that the peak of the latest wave had passed and that the number of new infections would soon be declining. “Beijing’s epidemic has already been controlled,” he said.

On Friday, Beijing recorded 25 new cases, four more than were reported a day earlier.

In other news from around the world:

  • South Korea reported 49 more cases on Friday, as a second wave of infections continued to spread in the Seoul metropolitan area.

  • Britain’s official coronavirus caseload surpassed 300,000 on Thursday.

  • Nearly 500 medical workers in Russia have died after contracting the virus, more than four times the number announced previously, the head of a health watchdog agency said Thursday. But the agency later backtracked, saying the figure was not an official count — merely one from the internet.

Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

Mr. Aron also said that AMC Theaters, the largest theater operator in the United States, would not perform temperature checks on patrons, a practice some businesses have adopted to screen for fever related to the virus.

The company had already announced this month that patrons might be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks but that face coverings would be mandatory for all employees, a point that Mr. Aron reiterated in the interview.

But his comments prompted a swift backlash anyway.

“How is public health ‘political?’” one person wrote on Twitter.

“Then I’m out!” appeared on another Twitter account. “You should be protecting your customers. Follow the science.”

A spokesman for AMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Credit…LM Otero/Associated Press

As cases rise in 20 states around the United States, pockets of student-athletes returning to campus have tested positive, underscoring the difficulty colleges and professional sports leagues face as they prepare for the possibility of a fall sports season.

The University of Texas, where football players began voluntary workouts this week, said Thursday that 13 players had tested positive, and another 10 were self-quarantining after officials carried out contact tracing. Last week, the University of Houston suspended voluntary workouts for its athletes after six of them tested positive. And at Southern Methodist University, officials said this week that five of 75 athletes tested were positive.

At least eight Kansas State University athletes tested positive for the virus since returning to campus, officials said this week. University officials said athletes were being asked to quarantine for seven days after arriving on campus and were not being allowed to practice until they tested negative. Many of the athletes who tested positive were asymptomatic, according to their universities. As students return to campus, they risk bringing the virus with them and seeding outbreaks in parts of the country with relatively few cases. Some fall games can usually attract about 100,000 fans.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Thursday on CNN. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

At least four Division I football games have already been canceled. On Thursday, the Atlantic Coast Conference said that it would move its annual kickoff event to a virtual format, following similar decisions by the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences.

In professional sports, no leagues have regular-season games on any public schedules. Because of precautions, there are few solid plans to include fans. And the N.F.L. slate could be in jeopardy as teams are unsure about the start of training camps in July.

Major League Baseball may not happen, either. For weeks, team owners and players have not been able to agree on how to stage a shortened season.

The N.B.A. wants to quarantine teams in Florida to finish its season in August and perform a two-month postseason beyond that, though some players are balking at such confinement. The N.H.L. has similar ideas, but nothing is truly scheduled.

There are some glints of optimism. Professional golf, NASCAR and combat sports have returned — and tennis is expected to resume in August — though more as made-for-TV events than as anything resembling a collective experience. NASCAR will hold a race in Alabama this weekend, but attendance will be limited to 5,000 fans.

Texas, which has reported large increases in new cases in recent days, plans to reopen its schools in the fall with both in-person classes and options for remote instruction, the governor’s office said Thursday.

After Gov. Greg Abbott announced the plans in a conference call with lawmakers, one of the state’s major teachers’ organizations quickly raised concerns about restarting classes during the pandemic and demanded that teachers be directly involved in any planning for reopening schools.

“We don’t think right now that it’s safe to be talking about reopening school buildings,” said Clay Robison, a spokesman for the 65,000-member Texas State Teachers Association.

Texas in recent weeks has seen a sharp increase in cases, and on Tuesday and Wednesday it reported the highest daily totals of new cases since the pandemic began.

John Wittman, a spokesman for the governor, confirmed Gov. Abbott’s intentions to reopen public schools in the fall. He said that the Texas education commissioner, Mike Morath, “will be announcing a plan next week laying out guidelines and health protocols for students to safely return to school in the fall.” that includes both in-person and virtual learnin. ”

In a statement to the news media, Mr. Morath said the plan would allow for students, teachers and staff to return to school campuses for class, but he said that there will also be “flexibility” for students to be taught remotely if their families have health concerns.

Governor Abbott is moving forward with a plan to reopen the Texas economy and social activity even as the nation’s second-largest state faces a spike in cases and hospitalization rates. In a television interview earlier this week, the governor said his goal “is to see students back in classrooms.”

State Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, who participated in the conference call, confirmed that the governor told lawmakers that “schools will open” and said further details will emerge in the plan to be rolled out by the education agency.

Credit…Aurélien Pottier/Getty Images

A doctor in a small city in Canada tested positive. Then the police opened a criminal investigation.

The crime? He had driven from the province of New Brunswick into Quebec, and returned without self-isolating, violating an emergency rule. The authorities accused him of bringing back the virus and sparking an outbreak, which he disputes. He believes he contracted the virus at his hospital job.

The story of the doctor, Jean Robert Ngola Monzinga, captures the fear and uncertainty the pandemic has unleashed. While it has brought some communities together, it has turned others against one another. In some places, doctors and nurses have been physically attacked and ostracized as perceived vectors of the disease.

Dr. Ngola made the trip to pick up his 4-year-old daughter, stopping for a job interview along the way. Two weeks later, he and his daughter tested positive. The same day, he was denounced online and by the provincial government, and suspended from his job without pay.

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 16, 2020

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • 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.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

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

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • 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 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.)

    • 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.

Some say Dr. Ngola’s example shows the calamitous effect a single person’s carelessness can have; others say it highlights the danger of scapegoating individuals for suffering unleashed by a virus that will be with us for the foreseeable future.

Weeks after he was diagnosed, Dr. Ngola remains hidden in his home, not even leaving for groceries for fear he will be targeted. He is an easy mark — a rare black man and immigrant in the shrinking mill city of Campbellton. He believes that racism played a role in his public denunciation and shaming.

“I have been treated like a criminal,” Dr. Ngola said. “I am a destroyed person.”

Credit…Robert Ghement/EPA, via Shutterstock

Antibodies to the new virus may last only two to three months in the body, especially in people who never showed symptoms while they were infected, according to a study published on Thursday.

The new study, published in Nature Medicine, looked at only 37 people who did not show symptoms when infected, but it is the first to offer a characterization of the immune response in such people.

It suggests that asymptomatic people mount a weaker response to the virus than people who develop symptoms. And within weeks, antibody levels fall to undetectable levels in 40 percent of asymptomatic people and 13 percent of symptomatic people.

“That is a concern, but I’d point out that these are pretty small group sizes,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York who was not involved in the work. She also noted that immune cells would continue to offer protection even in the absence of antibodies.

“Most people are generally not aware of T cell immunity and so much of the conversation has focused on antibody levels,” she said.

Still, the results offer a strong note of caution against the idea of “immunity certificates” for people who have recovered from the illness. If levels of immunity decrease so soon after illness, the authors suggest, people who have had the infection once might fall ill a second time.

Antibodies to other coronaviruses, including those that cause SARS and MERS, are thought to last about a year. Scientists had hoped that antibodies to the new virus might last at least as long.

Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

Each year, thousands of migrant workers make their way from southern Florida up the East Coast and into the Midwest, following the ripening of fruits and vegetables. This year, many will undoubtedly bring the virus with them.

Florida’s agricultural communities have become cradles of infection, fueling a disturbing spike in the state’s daily toll of new infections, which hit another record on Thursday, when more than 3,200 cases were reported. The implications go far beyond Florida: As case numbers in places there are swelling, many farmworkers are migrating north.

As in other agricultural communities around the country, Florida’s farming regions have a high degree of built-in risk. Fruit and vegetable pickers toil close to each other in fields, ride buses shoulder-to-shoulder and sleep in cramped apartments or in trailers with other laborers or several generations of their families.

While many of them are guest workers on temporary visas, others are undocumented, with little access to routine health care and an ingrained fear of the authorities.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has called the contagion in agricultural communities Florida’s “No. 1 outbreak.” (He has also repeated the Trump administration’s misleading claim that the rising case numbers in the state should be attributed primarily to more widespread testing and not to the economic reopening.)

Farmworkers tend to be younger and fitter than the rest of the population and may not suffer as severely from the virus. Some of them joke, in gallows humor, that if the tomato fertilizer has not killed them yet, maybe the virus will not.



‘A Phase Has Rules,’ Cuomo Warns

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York provided updates on the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday and detailed plans for New York City, which is expected to enter Phase 2 on Monday.

Our New York City reopening: The way we do this, the way we’ve done it in every region across the state, is we compile all the data when we get near the end of that phase. We have state officials review it. And we then have global experts review that data, to make sure there’s nothing in the data that we’re missing. We just had a call this morning where we went over the New York City data, and everybody’s feeling good. So, my advice to New York City businesses: Plan to reopen Monday on Phase 2. But there are rules. It’s not: We reopen. Hallelujah. No, no. That’s what other states did. And that’s a mistake. We reopen in phases. And a phase has rules. And that’s what makes it a phase as opposed to an overall reopening. If you ignore the rules, then it’s not a phased reopening, right? People need to know the rules, and they have to follow the rules. We’re going to take an added step, where I’m going to increase the state’s enforcement capacity by executive order, where violations of the rules and regulations could allow State Liquor Authority to do an immediate suspension of an alcohol license.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York provided updates on the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday and detailed plans for New York City, which is expected to enter Phase 2 on Monday.CreditCredit…Juan Arredondo for The New York Times

As New York City began reopening earlier this month, a kind of informal outdoor dining took place, with large groups eating and drinking on streets outside businesses.

The center of the U.S. outbreak in its earliest weeks, the city is being observed as a barometer of recovery, its slow-and-steady approach helping bring the number of daily deaths to just 29 reported on Thursday, down from highs around 800 in April.

On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the city will ease more restrictions on Monday, which the governor said the day before could go forward. As many as 300,000 workers are expected to get back to work as outdoor dining, in-store shopping and office work resumes with limits, the mayor said at his daily briefing.

Not long afterward, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that while the state would not make its final decision on easing restrictions until Friday, he was still advising businesses to prepare.

Restaurants, many which have been open for takeout but do not have available outdoor space, would be able to place seating in curbside parking areas and on sidewalks adjacent to their restaurants, the mayor said. In July, the city would allow restaurant seating on 43 miles of streets closed to vehicle traffic. The mayor predicted that the expanded outdoor dining plan would save 5,000 of the city’s restaurants and 45,000 jobs.

The governor said he is also signing executive orders that allow the state to immediately suspend the liquor license of a business or shut it down if they’re not complying with reopening guidelines, as well to give bars the responsibility to limit the number of people gathered outside.

In Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Heather Sumner, 32, repeated a phrase commonly heard these days: “We can’t stay inside forever.”

Here’s what else is going on in New York:

  • The mayor again repeated concerns that the virus might have spread during massive protests over systemic racism and police brutality. Still, he said that city and state officials had been encouraged by “the trend line” of test results and hospitalizations, which have stayed flat in recent weeks, and decided to allow the reopening to go forward.

  • The mayor said that the city’s playgrounds, which have been shut since March, would also reopen on Monday. But team sports, like basketball, soccer and softball, will not be permitted in city parks.

  • Mr. Cuomo said that he was considering requiring travelers coming into New York from Florida to quarantine for 14 days — a move similar to one Florida imposed on New Yorkers in March. “I have experts who have advised me to do that,” he said. “I’m considering it now.”

  • The state would issue guidance to colleges and universities to allow some residential and in-person programming to resume this fall, the governor said. Schools needed to submit plans for monitoring the virus and discouraging its spread in order to reopen.

  • Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet and Lincoln Center all canceled their fall seasons, following similar announcements from the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. It will be City Ballet’s first year without “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” since its premiere in 1954 — disrupting a holiday tradition beloved by thousands, and leaving a big hole in the company’s budget.

Credit…Raphael Minder/The New York Times

When one of Madrid’s main public theaters reopened on Wednesday, the audience was limited to a third of the theater’s capacity because of virus-related restrictions.

The rest of the auditorium was filled with dummies.

Madrid is Spain’s last major city to be kept under a stricter version of a nationwide lockdown, ahead of the June 21 lifting of a state of emergency that was declared in mid-March.

Before the show, spectators lined up outside the Canal theater complex under the supervision of theater workers, in order to maintain social distancing and have their temperatures checked at the entrance.

A dance performance by Israel Galván, one of Spain’s most famous flamenco choreographers, lasted less than an hour. What took longer than usual, however, was leaving, as an employee used the sound system to tell each section of the auditorium exactly when to stand up.

Credit…Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Wall Street faced another day of unsteady trading on Thursday, with stocks drifting between negative and positive territory as investors considered new data on unemployment claims and the latest reports on fresh outbreaks.

In the end, the S&P 500 closed essentially unchanged.

Another 1.5 million U.S. workers applied for state unemployment benefits last week, a report released Thursday by the Labor Department showed. Not all the unemployment claims necessarily reflect new layoffs. Some states are still working through backlogs of claims filed earlier in the crisis; in other cases, people filing under multiple programs may be counted twice.

But three months into the crisis, there is little doubt that layoffs remain elevated. Economists warn that job losses could worsen if government support that has helped prop up the economy is allowed to lapse too soon.

Hoping to goose job growth, House Democrats said Thursday they would bring up a $1.5 trillion package of infrastructure improvements by month’s end. The 10-year plan is about twice as large as the bill they introduced in January to rebuild the nation’s highways, airports and other infrastructure, a size that Speaker Nancy Pelosi said reflects the toll of the pandemic.

“With the coronavirus, so many needs have been magnified,” Ms. Pelosi said.

The plan includes an additional $100 billion for schools, $100 billion for affordable housing and more money for clean energy projects.

There is little doubt that it will pass the Democratic-led House, but infrastructure plans have so far faced indifference in the Senate.

Credit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mr. Trump derided the importance of virus testing and raised doubts about the value of face masks in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Thursday.

“I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history,” Mr. Trump said. He added that because more tests lead to a higher number of confirmed cases, at least in the short term, “in many ways, it makes us look bad.”

Mr. Trump questioned the use of masks as a means of slowing the virus’s spread, and said some people wear them to signal political opposition to him. Most experts say that risk does not outweigh the benefits of widespread use of face masks.

“They put their finger on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth,” Mr. Trump said. “And then they don’t know how they caught it?”

Mr. Trump shrugged off concerns that attendees at his scheduled indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday will be at risk of infection.

Since the killing of George Floyd, some of these health care workers have joined the fight against another crisis: racism. While acknowledging the risk of infection posed by protests, they say this movement is too important to sit out.

Credit…Erik Branch for The New York Times

A lot of the demonstrations took place around the hospital. I went back to work a couple of days after the death of George Floyd. You feel heartbroken. I was an African-American going back to work as a minority, not knowing if the majority is feeling the same way. The last place you want to be is at work. The first conversations I had with everyone were: “What can we do as white Americans? How can I help the black community? What can I do to help reduce my own implicit bias?” It was uncomfortable, but a lot of people were willing and open to have those conversations.

Talking to a lot of my patients, women who look like Breonna Taylor and who also look like me, and having conversations throughout clinic, you could tell how the city was fired up wanting justice for Breonna Taylor.

Knowing that we serve a majority African-American population and knowing black social injustices are happening around the country, I felt it was really important for us physicians to take a stand to show the community that we support them. That’s why I helped organize the White Coats for Black Lives demonstration.

As I told everyone, this was just a beginning.

Gyms are slowly reopening, outdoor fitness classes are starting up, and many people are hoping to get back to their typical workout routines. But wearing a mask while working out can be challenging. Here are some ways to make it more tolerable.

Reporting was contributed by Alan Blinder, Jane Bradley, John Branch, Chris Buckley, Ben Casselman, Damien Cave, Michael Cooper, Maria Cramer, Michael Crowley, Melissa Eddy, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Michael Gold, Jenny Gross, Matthew Haag, Amy Haimerl, David M. Halbfinger, Andrew Higgins, Tiffany Hsu, Mike Ives, Josh Keller, Apoorva Mandavilli, Patricia Mazzei, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Benjamin Mueller, Elian Peltier, Catherine Porter, Amy Qin, Motoko Rich, David E. Sanger, Adam Satariano, Natasha Singer, Mitch Smith, Matt Stevens, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Noah Weiland, Michael Wilson, Billy Witz, Will Wright, Mihir Zaveri and Karen Zraick.

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