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The Latest Irresistible Headlines

    After weeks of staying apart to prevent COVID-19, suddenly thousands of people are together in the streets. “There’s times there can’t be gatherings, but this is a time there has to be gatherings,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told police brutality protesters on Tuesday. Durkan also reminded the crowd, “I know that I’m going to be sounding like a mom, but we are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic.” Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee urged demonstrators to keep wearing masks. 'I'm very hopeful people will remain committed both to justice in our society, as well as survival against COVID-19. We ought to be able to do both at the same time,' Inslee said Wednesday. A letter signed by more than 1,200 public health and infectious disease professionals is circulating the country and advocates an “anti-racist public health response” to the demonstrations. “We do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States,” the letter states. The letter makes specific suggestions, such as demonstrating with close contacts and moving together as a group, or using ropes, knotted at 6-foot intervals to help people maintain distance as they march. The letter suggests supporters provide hand-washing stations and sanitizers and hand out face shields, goggles, and single-serving food and drinks. The letter states police should not hold protesters in confined spaces and should not use tear gas, which makes the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection. “What is being protested right now is a public health issue — racism is a public health issue,” Christopher Bhang of the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice told KIRO-TV. Bhang is on the county's equity response team for COVID-19. The county produced a video reminding people that the “decision to wear a mask is not so simple” for black men facing systemic racism. “The suggestion that ... as a public health matter, you should wear a mask into a public place as a black man is not just a simple calculus of physical health,” Bhang said. That’s why county officials say the face-covering policy is not actually an order.
  • The University of Central Florida is reviewing a series of tweets posted by a professor at the school after students and social media users began urging officials to fire him. Twitter users called for the university to fire psychology professor Charles Negy after he posted a tweet comparing black Americans to Asian Americans. The tweet came amid protests across the country after an officer was filmed kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, leading to his death. Negy has other racially divisive tweets that users pointed out to the university with the hashtag #UCFfirehim. Here’s what his more recent tweets said in full: “Sincere question: If [African] Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?' “Here’s a suggestion to those who think they are being ‘screwed’ and oppressed in the U.S.: Stay in school. Be the best student possible. Avoid crime. Avoid gangs. Avoid unwanted pregnancy. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Amazing what a little common sense can do you for your destiny.” While the university confirmed the professor’s tweets went against its values, it wasn’t made clear which action it would take, if any, citing the professor’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. UCF President Alexander Cartwright addressed Negy’s tweets in a town hall with students on Thursday, WFTV reported. “These posts do not reflect the values of UCF, and I strongly condemn these racist and abhorrent posts. I understand the anger it has caused many of our students, staff and faculty,” Cartwright said. “I promise you this is a matter that has our full attention, and we have launched an inquiry to quickly – but fully – evaluate this situation.” According to the university’s faculty page, Negy has been with UCF since 1998. His research areas include “examining how people rate the seriousness of domestic violence differently depending on the race and ethnicity of those involved in the violence,” according to the website. Sociology professor Jonathan Cox said he is on the fence about whether Negy should be fired. But other’s are not. “I definitely think UCF should fire him,” said UCF student Megan Felder. Via email, Negy told WFTV he’s been making controversial comments for three decades and that he’s “bi-ethnic, gay.” He said he “probably should have given it a rest for week or so,' but added that he wanted to chime in on the national conversation. Negy’s tweets are among many posts that have gone viral on social media recently. TikTok user Rishi Madnani, a student at Bates College in Maine, is one of many Asian allies who have posted messages online calling out systemic racism. Madnani, who is an Indian man, referred to the model minority narrative. Madani, referencing the 1965 Immigrant Act, said, “The U.S. only allowed Asian immigrants in that had very high education levels or special skills. And because of this, we were predetermined to be successful. And when we were, the media painted us as ‘model minorities,' as good, law abiding citizens that were the opposite of black people.' He continued: “Remember, black Americans were not introduced to society on the base of education. They were brought in as slaves, as property. And then they were lynched and segregated against and forced into ghettos and not given jobs and they were mass incarcerated against and criminalized for petty drug crimes and so much more. These issues generationally affect their communities because it’s a part of the system. So yes, South Asians face ignorance -- casual racism, hate crimes -- but we have never in American history been systematically dehumanized and oppressed in the way that black people have.” In a blog post for a University of Oxford exploration into race and immigration, Madeline Y. Hsu, associate professor for the Center for Asian American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, wrote this: “After World War II, Asians served as templates for the determination of attributes and recruiting mechanisms that made up desirable immigrants, chiefly defined by family connections, capacities to contribute economically, and strengthen foreign relations as refugee admissions. These are the main criteria for entry under the 1965 Immigration Act, which has significantly remade Asian Americans into a model minority population. Given the choice of potential immigrants from around the world, the United States has given preferential admission to those with higher-than-average levels of education; white-collar, professional, and technical employment; and thus household incomes.” Read more about the model minority narrative on NPR and The Washington Post. Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.
  • In April, as Florida’s unemployment system was crashing under the weight of the number of claims, the state signed contracts to bring call centers online to help meet the demands. But a former employee said she wasn’t hired to help process claims, just to answer phones. One woman, identified only as “Jessica,” told WFTV she worked for Titan Technologies, one of the companies hired by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “They were like, ‘You are really going to be helping these people. They have been waiting for months. They have been waiting for weeks,’' she told WFTV. “After going in and working, you come to find out that you can get into the account, but you can only see so much and you can only do so much.” “Someone would call and they would be crying and ecstatic that they finally got a human being after they’ve been on hold for four hours,” Jessica said. “People are mad because they are waiting three hours, and I can’t help them submit their application, because we don’t have a submit button.” According to Jessica, employees were given a list of answers to common questions, but did not have access to claims or the ability to submit information. She also told WFTV that there was almost no communication between employees and DEO, and that even call center supervisors couldn’t submit claims. “These supervisors are people that were hired either before you or after you, and they have the same training and the same credentials as you so they can’t get any further than you can, nothing, they can’t get any further,” she said. According to Jessica, at the call center, the connection to the state’s unemployment website was almost as unreliable as the public site, and the system would routinely crash, leaving people waiting for hours on hold. “I couldn’t help them. It was really sad because ... there were people saying they are going to commit suicide. I had people crying, telling me that their 92-year-old father is going to be homeless because they take care of them and they have no money,” Jessica said. “It was the most stressful thing because no matter what you do, you couldn’t help these people. We were babysitters, and they would say, ‘Give them this number and tell them to call.’
  • Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, were arraigned and charged with assault Saturday, two days after a video surfaced of them shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground. Officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe both pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree assault charges, the Buffalo News reported. Both men pleaded not guilty via video conference and were released without bail by City judge Craig D. Hannah, CNN reported. The judge ordered the two officers to return to court July 20, the News reported. The arraignment lasted about two minutes, according to the newspaper Torgalski, 39, can be seen on Thursday’s video pushing Martin Gugino before he fell, the newspaper reported. McCabe, 32, was shown on the same video about to kneel toward Gugino before he was moved along by a supervisor. Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended the officers without pay after the incident and ordered an internal investigation, the News reported. The suspensions led to the resignations of all 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team team, the News reported. Several of its members, along with others from the department members, gathered outside Buffalo City Court Saturday morning to support Torgalski and McCabe, the newspaper reported. The incident in Buffalo was one of dozens nationwide since the death of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of a Minneapolis officer. Gugino is recovering at an area hospital and is reported to be “alert and oriented” his attorney told WGRZ. Erie County District attorney John Flynn told the television station that felony charges were issued because of the age of the victim and that the accused were at least 10 years younger. At a news conference Saturday, Flynn said he waited a day before charing the officers. “I could have done this yesterday,” Flynn said. “I found out that the entire emergency response team of the Buffalo Police Department had quit and they weren’t going to come out last night to protect the city of Buffalo.” Flynn said he “didn’t want to pour gasoline on the fire.”
  • Owners of hotels, Airbnbs and other lodging locations in Massachusetts are making final plans to reopen ahead of Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement Saturday, when he is expected to further detail the state’s plans for phase two of reopening. On Cape Cod, lodging is a crucial component to summer tourism. “I think everybody has been pent up ... anxious to come out and re-enter society,' Mark Novota, managing partner of Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, told WFXT-TV. “And I think the Cape is an idyllic place for that.” The five-star resort in Harwich is still empty, but not for long. “We’re very fortunate to be a drive-to destination. Being on Cape Cod, there’s nearly 100 million Americans within six hours of here,' Novota told WFXT-TV. “So, we suspect we’ll get a little bit of those coming our way to escape.' Novota said the resort put together a 60-page training program for staff that highlights new safety guidelines included in Gov. Baker’s reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We will offer extensive training to all of our employees so that when the employees come they’re not only ready for our guests, but so that they too feel safe,” he said. According to Novota, the resort has plans to add 24 sanitation stations on the property along with new social distancing signs. Guests will be encouraged to utilize the outdoor space. “Our property, to a large degree, was built for social distancing: 27 acres, 22 buildings, an abundance of space for dining, all outdoor, which is something that people are excited to do right now,” Novota said. With half the number of bookings expected for this summer compared to previous years, Novota added that tourists may want to take advantage of the lesser crowds. “We anticipate there being a slow-down by comparison, but at the same time we think there’s going to be pretty significant demand,” he said. Short-term rentals on the Cape face different challenges as property owners who rely on the income still experience cancellations. “It’s scary. I mean, we have a lot of people booked but a lot of people have backed out,” said Scott Tessier, a rental property owner in the area. Tessier and his wife, Anne, told WFXT-TV that they’re ramping up disinfecting procedures and hoping to make the house safer for guests. “We have a wall of books and puzzles and games, so some of those things are going to come out because they’re not easily cleaned,” said Anne Tessier. Out-of-state guests must also be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, which is a rule that the Tessiers hope won’t turn more people away. “I just hope we can get the renters in,” said Scott Tessier.
  • British street artist Banksy has added his voice and drawing talent to the Black Lives Matter movement, on social media, the BBC reported. On his Instagram account Saturday morning, Banksy drew a shrine to an anonymous black figure. In the three panel drawing, a burning candle set the American flag on fire. In a more subtle move, Banksy, noted for his political commentary, also changed the circle for his profile to solid black. 'At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue,” Banksy wrote. “But why would I do that? It’s not their problem. It’s mine. “People of color are being failed by the system. The white system,” Banksy said. “Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. This faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t -- no one will let them in the apartment upstairs.” “This is a white problem,” Banksy concluded. “And if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.” A Black Lives Matter protest is scheduled to be held Sunday in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol, the BBC reported.
  • A Catholic bishop in Texas who kneeled with 12 other priests in a show of solidarity and prayer for George Floyd received a special call from Pope Francis on Wednesday. Mark J. Seitz, 56, who has been bishop in El Paso since July 2013, knelt for 8 minutes, 46 seconds for Floyd, the El Paso Times reported. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin the man’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The priests prayed with their eyes closed and with masks covering their faces. The held roses and handwritten signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” CNN reported. With eyes closed, masks covering their faces, white roses in hand and handwritten signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” Seitz and 12 other priests from the Diocese of El Paso knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Monday. Wednesday morning around 9:30, Seitz said he received a call on his cellphone from Pope Francis, according to the Catholic News Agency. The pontiff spoke to Seitz in Spanish, the priest said. “I expressed to the Holy Father that I felt it was imperative to show our solidarity to those who are suffering,” Seitz said in a statement. “I also told him how honored I am to serve the people of the Diocese of El Paso and the Borderland.' Seitz was the first Catholic bishop in the United States to join the protests, according to CNA. “Frankly, what I did and what I have said is only a very small way to take part in what so many are doing in their peaceful protests,” Seitz told CNN. Mike Lewis, one of the priests in Seitz’s diocese, said the bishop shared the news of the pope’s surprise call during a weekly Zoom meeting, the Times reported. “We wanted to make prayerful sign of support for the efforts to eradicate racism and for the protesters who are peacefully trying to bring some attention to this issue that hasn’t gone away, that isn’t going away, and is something we all need work towards,” Lewis told the newspaper.
  • A north Alabama man is accused of throwing a chemical agent container back at police after it was deployed during a protest in Huntsville on Wednesday, authorities said. Patrick Joseph McCool, 52, was arrested Friday and charged with disorderly conduct in connection to the Wednesday incident, Huntsville Police Public Information Officer Lt. Michael Johnson told AL.com. Authorities said McCool picked up a chemical agent canister and threw it back at police, who had deployed the container to disperse the crowd protesting the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, who died after an officer put his knee on the man’s neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25. A group of residents had peaceably protested during the day, but when the permit for the gathering expired, police asked the crowd to leave, WAFF reported. Police called the nighttime protests an “unlawful assembly,” the television station reported. When the officers deployed the chemical agent and activated it, McCool allegedly ran toward the canister, picked it up and threw it back, WHNT reported. Police said the crowd that evening had become unruly, the television station reported. Huntsville police said that included making threats at police, throwing objects, blocking traffic and refusing to leave the area, WAAY reported. “At the time, the chemical agent was activated and being used to assist in dispersing an unlawful assembly that had already displayed evidence of civil disobedience as well as dangers to public safety,” Johnson said in a statement. “HPD will always support the citizens right to peacefully protests but it will hold those accountable that violate any other citizen’s constitutional rights.
  • A Florida high school band teacher is accused of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old student, authorities said. Jason Phillip Allgair, 35, of Tampa, was arrested Friday evening and charged with 30 counts of being an authority figure engaging in sexual conduct with a student, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said the student claimed she was involved in a relationship with Allgair, who taught at Steinbrenner High School in the Tampa suburb of Lutz, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The Sheriff’s Office said the incidents occurred from October 2017 to May 2018 between Allgair and the female student, who was 17 at the time, WTSP reported. “The care and protection of young students is a teacher’s duty. Jason Allgair’s alleged actions violated the trust of not only one student, but also the parents, school faculty and community that entrusted him with their children,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “I commend the victim for finding the courage to speak out about what happened.” Allgair, who has taught at Steinbrenner High School since 2016, was put on administrative leave pending termination, according to officials with Hillsborough County Public Schools. “He will not be returning to our school and will be placed on administrative leave pending termination,” the school district said in a statement. Before coming to Steinbrenner, Allgair taught for nine years at nearby Wharton High School, according to the Laker/Lutz News. Allgair is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail, with bail set at $225,000.
  • More than 6.7 million people worldwide -- including nearly 1.9 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, June 6, continue below:  Cuomo plans to speed up reopening of houses of worship Update 1:13 p.m. EDT June 6: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he plans to speed up the reopening of churches, mosques and temples. The houses of worship will be allowed to reopen at 25% occupancy as New York state moves to phase two, Cuomo said at his daily news conference. “We are doing so well on the metrics,” Cuomo said, but urged residents to “stay smart.” UK reports 204 new deaths Update 9:46 a.m. EDT June 6: The United Kingdom’s Department of Health reported an additional 204 coronavirus deaths, boosting the country’s total death toll to 40,465. The BBC reported that 284,868 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK, according to official figures. Brazil tops 35,000 deaths Update 8:28 a.m. EDT June 6: Brazil’s health ministry reported 1,005 more deaths Friday, pushing the country’s total to more than 35,000. Brazil is third worldwide in reported deaths behind the United States and the United Kingdom. The ministry also reported 30,830 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hour, putting the nationwide total to 645,771 cases. Global deaths top 395K, total cases approach 6.8M Update 7:45 a.m. EDT June 6: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 395,331 early Saturday, 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 6,759,210 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 17 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,177. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,897,838 cases, resulting in 109,143 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 614,941 cases, resulting in 34,021 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 458,102 cases, resulting in 5,717 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 284,735 cases, resulting in 40,344 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 240,978 cases, resulting in 27,134 deaths. • India has reported 237,566 cases, resulting in 6,650 deaths. • Italy has reported 234,531 cases, resulting in 33,774 deaths. • France has confirmed 190,180 cases, resulting in 29,114 deaths. • Peru has reported 187,400 cases, resulting in 5,162 deaths. • Germany has reported 185,416 cases, resulting in 8,666 deaths. Some Arizona ICUs nearing capacity amid coronavirus hospitalization surge Update 7:20 a.m. EDT June 6: One of the largest health-care systems in the United States is nearing capacity in its Arizona intensive care units as coronavirus hospitalizations spike. Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer Marjorie Bessel discussed the uptick as a “concern” during a Friday news conference. As of June 4, there was 1,234 hospitalizations, and about half of those patients are hospitalized in Banner Health facilities, Bessel confirmed. Of those hospitalizations, 116 patients are were on ventilators as of June 4. Bessel also said the company has been “load balancing” between Banner hospitals, meaning they are transferring patients and resources between facilities to meet as needed to serve the individual communities without overtaxing any one facility. Should the trend continue, Bessel said, Banner will need to exercise surge planning and “flex” up to 125% bed capacity.  Officials are concerned about the steep incline of patients on ventilators, with 116 patients on ventilators in Banner hospitals as of June 4. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, Arizona has confirmed a total of 24,439 novel coronavirus infections, resulting in 1,015 deaths. Nearly half of US seeing uptick in coronavirus transmissions, report Update 6:12 a.m. EDT June 6: The rate of novel coronavirus infections has slowed in the United States since reaching its peak in mid-May, but cases continue to mount nationwide and several locales appear particularly hard hit. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have seen their 7-day average of coronavirus cases increase compared with the prior week. The majority of those regions have recorded an increase of at least 10%.  Read more here. US coronavirus cases near 1.9M, deaths top 109K Published 12:42 a.m. EDT June 6: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb toward 1.9 million early Saturday 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 1,897,838 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 109,143 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 376,208 cases and 30,236 deaths and New Jersey with 163,336 cases and 12,049 deaths. Massachusetts, with 102,557 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,235, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 125,915. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Seven other states have now confirmed at least 50,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 125,738 cases, resulting in 4,529 deaths • Pennsylvania: 78,815 cases, resulting in 5,898 deaths • Texas: 72,548 cases, resulting in 1,812 deaths • Florida: 61,488 cases, resulting in 2,660 deaths • Michigan: 58,525 cases, resulting in 5,613 deaths • Maryland: 56,770 cases, resulting in 2,702 deaths • Georgia: 50,621 cases, resulting in 2,174 deaths Meanwhile, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 33,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington, Iowa and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Alabama with 19,387 and Mississippi with 16,769; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 14,572, South Carolina with 13,453 and Utah with 11,252; Kentucky and Kansas each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 7,007 and South Dakota with 5,277.  Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Although Disney is scheduled to re-open its theme parks in July, apparently that was not soon enough for one 40 year old Florida man. According to W-D-W News Today, an off duty Orange County deputy caught the unidentified man hovering a drone 100 feet above Cinderella Castle on May 20th. Disney security and other officers were also able to locate the man after seeing the drone. The man reportedly did not have an answer when the deputy asked him why he was in the parking lot of an apartment complex that he did not live in and standing behind trees out of view from Reams Road.  Although the man was not arrested, he was issued a trespass warning and he was told to delete the footage that the drone caught. In case he was wondering, the date for Magic Kingdom's reopening is Saturday, July 11th.
  • Universal Orlando has re-opened its theme parks to the public for the first since since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It had a light attendance during re-opening day on Friday, but despite limited capacity and new safety measures, more people are expected to return over the weekend. In case you are thinking about planning a trip, here are some things you need to know: - Guests will be required to wear masks and undergo a temperature screening before you enter the park. If you or anyone in your party reaches 100.4, you will not be allowed to enter.  - Single rider lines have been eliminated, and all play areas of the park will be closed.  - There will also be no parades or meet and greets.  - You can still wait in line or reserve a spot using the virtual line. Virtual line reservations can only be made through the Universal Orlando app. You can only make reservations when you are in the park, and you are only allowed 2 reservations at a time. The reservation times cannot overlap and you cannot reserve multiple wait times for the same ride( in other words, no back to back riding).  - In order to enforce social distancing, there will be queues in the locker room areas to make sure that people are not overcrowding it. There will also be markers so you will know where to stand while being at a safe distance from others once you are in line at a ride.  - Once you get to a ride, you will wait until an employee quickly cleans and sanitizes it before you board. You will also be seated at a safe distance from other riders. However, you can still sit next to everyone in your party.  - Due to limited capacity and social distancing, you can expect long wait times for rides, as well as certain virtual line reservations to be booked quickly, so it is recommended that you book them as early as possible.  - Mobile food and drink orders from select restaurants can also be made through the Universal Orlando app. Depending on the restaurant, you will have the option to either have them bring it to your table or pick it up at the designated window.
  • More than 6.7 million people worldwide -- including nearly 1.9 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, June 6, continue below:  Cuomo plans to speed up reopening of houses of worship Update 1:13 p.m. EDT June 6: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he plans to speed up the reopening of churches, mosques and temples. The houses of worship will be allowed to reopen at 25% occupancy as New York state moves to phase two, Cuomo said at his daily news conference. “We are doing so well on the metrics,” Cuomo said, but urged residents to “stay smart.” UK reports 204 new deaths Update 9:46 a.m. EDT June 6: The United Kingdom’s Department of Health reported an additional 204 coronavirus deaths, boosting the country’s total death toll to 40,465. The BBC reported that 284,868 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK, according to official figures. Brazil tops 35,000 deaths Update 8:28 a.m. EDT June 6: Brazil’s health ministry reported 1,005 more deaths Friday, pushing the country’s total to more than 35,000. Brazil is third worldwide in reported deaths behind the United States and the United Kingdom. The ministry also reported 30,830 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hour, putting the nationwide total to 645,771 cases. Global deaths top 395K, total cases approach 6.8M Update 7:45 a.m. EDT June 6: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 395,331 early Saturday, 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 6,759,210 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 17 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,177. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,897,838 cases, resulting in 109,143 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 614,941 cases, resulting in 34,021 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 458,102 cases, resulting in 5,717 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 284,735 cases, resulting in 40,344 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 240,978 cases, resulting in 27,134 deaths. • India has reported 237,566 cases, resulting in 6,650 deaths. • Italy has reported 234,531 cases, resulting in 33,774 deaths. • France has confirmed 190,180 cases, resulting in 29,114 deaths. • Peru has reported 187,400 cases, resulting in 5,162 deaths. • Germany has reported 185,416 cases, resulting in 8,666 deaths. Some Arizona ICUs nearing capacity amid coronavirus hospitalization surge Update 7:20 a.m. EDT June 6: One of the largest health-care systems in the United States is nearing capacity in its Arizona intensive care units as coronavirus hospitalizations spike. Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer Marjorie Bessel discussed the uptick as a “concern” during a Friday news conference. As of June 4, there was 1,234 hospitalizations, and about half of those patients are hospitalized in Banner Health facilities, Bessel confirmed. Of those hospitalizations, 116 patients are were on ventilators as of June 4. Bessel also said the company has been “load balancing” between Banner hospitals, meaning they are transferring patients and resources between facilities to meet as needed to serve the individual communities without overtaxing any one facility. Should the trend continue, Bessel said, Banner will need to exercise surge planning and “flex” up to 125% bed capacity.  Officials are concerned about the steep incline of patients on ventilators, with 116 patients on ventilators in Banner hospitals as of June 4. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, Arizona has confirmed a total of 24,439 novel coronavirus infections, resulting in 1,015 deaths. Nearly half of US seeing uptick in coronavirus transmissions, report Update 6:12 a.m. EDT June 6: The rate of novel coronavirus infections has slowed in the United States since reaching its peak in mid-May, but cases continue to mount nationwide and several locales appear particularly hard hit. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have seen their 7-day average of coronavirus cases increase compared with the prior week. The majority of those regions have recorded an increase of at least 10%.  Read more here. US coronavirus cases near 1.9M, deaths top 109K Published 12:42 a.m. EDT June 6: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb toward 1.9 million early Saturday 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 1,897,838 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 109,143 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 376,208 cases and 30,236 deaths and New Jersey with 163,336 cases and 12,049 deaths. Massachusetts, with 102,557 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,235, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 125,915. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Seven other states have now confirmed at least 50,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 125,738 cases, resulting in 4,529 deaths • Pennsylvania: 78,815 cases, resulting in 5,898 deaths • Texas: 72,548 cases, resulting in 1,812 deaths • Florida: 61,488 cases, resulting in 2,660 deaths • Michigan: 58,525 cases, resulting in 5,613 deaths • Maryland: 56,770 cases, resulting in 2,702 deaths • Georgia: 50,621 cases, resulting in 2,174 deaths Meanwhile, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 33,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington, Iowa and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Alabama with 19,387 and Mississippi with 16,769; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 14,572, South Carolina with 13,453 and Utah with 11,252; Kentucky and Kansas each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 7,007 and South Dakota with 5,277.  Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Eleven days after George Floyd’s death, outrage over police violence continues to fuel protests nationwide. Floyd, 46, died May 25 in police custody, and authorities have arrested four Minneapolis police officers in connection with his death. Former officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Three other officers -- identified as Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao – face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders and shared on social media showed Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air. Live updates for Saturday, June 6 continue below: Watch: George Floyd’s memorial service in NC Update 2:58 p.m. EDT June 6: Mourners gathered at Free Will Baptist Church in Raeford, North Carolina for a service for George Floyd. Watch it here: Romney recalls father’s participation in civil rights march Update 2:41 p.m. EDT June 6: Sen. Mitt Romney invoked the memory of his late father’s participation during a Civil Rights march in Detroit during the 1960s, The Washington Post reported. Romney, R-Utah, shared a photo on Twitter and Facebook of then-Michigan Gov. George Romney waking with protesters. “Force alone will not eliminate riots,” Mitt Romney wrote, quoting his father, who was governor of Michigan from 1969 to 1973. “We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.” Queens DA will not prosecute certain arrests Update 2:26 p.m. EDT June 6: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz tweeted Saturday that she will not prosecute protest arrests based on curfew and social distancing violations. “We are proud to be a united front on this issue. Queens DA Katz is committed to reforms in the name of #SocialJustice and has declined to prosecute based on curfew and social distancing violations,” Katz said. A spokesperson for Katz told CNN that DA has refused to prosecute curfew-breakers 'from the start.” More than 2,500 protesters assemble in Philadelphia Update 2:18 p.m. EDT June 6: Approximately 2,500 protesters gathered outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art before heading to City Hall to rally against police brutality, WPVI reported. The demonstration began at noon, with protesters chanting, “No justice, no peace!” the television station reported. Thousands of protesters gather in DC, police say Update 1:48 p.m. EDT June 6: Police in Washington D.C. said there are about 6,000 protesters in the nation’s capital. According to a tweet by DC Police Traffic, a division of the Metropolitan Police Department, approximately 3,000 people have gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and another 3,000 have massed g near the White House. George Floyd’s high school to hold candlelight vigil Update 1:40 p.m. EDT June 6: A candlelight vigil honoring George Floyd will be held Monday at the Houston high school he attended, KTRK reported. National and local alumni were invited to the football field at Jack Yates High School for the 7:30 pm.. vigil, the television station reported. In a statement, Jack Yates officials said the alumni of the school “is deeply saddened and enraged over the senseless murder of our beloved Lion.” “We wish to express our support for the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. We along with millions of others across the world demand justice for this Injustice..” Social distancing will be enforced at the vigil, KTRK reported, and attendees will be required to wear masks and gloves. Mourners in NC gather for George Floyd memorial service Update 1:31 p.m. EDT June 6: The body of George Floyd was returned to his home state for a public viewing Saturday in Raeford. North Carolina, The Washington Post reported. Floyd’s body was inside a plush blue coffin at Free Will Baptist Church, the newspaper reported. Floyd, 46, was dressed in a tan suit and a brown tie and coffin was surrounded by floral arrangements, although his family had requested no flowers, the Post reported. As people posed for selfies in front of the church, an official told mourners to put away their phones before entering the church, the newspaper reported. “No phones out. No photos. No foul language,” he said. “This is a respectful service.” Buffalo officers who shoved elderly man charged with assault, released Update 11:31 a.m. EDT June 6: Prosecutors said two Buffalo, New York, police officers were charged with assault after video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester, The Associated Press reported. Both men pleaded not guilty to a single count of second-degree assault via video conference and were released without bail, CNN reported. Earlier, police shut down roads in front of the City Court and gathered to support two fellow officers who were arraigned on charges that they shoved peace activist Martin Gugino on Thursday during a protest, the Buffalo News reported. Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended the officers without pay after the incident and ordered an internal investigation, the News reported. National Guard has deployed 43,000 members nationwide Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 6: The National Guard said in a tweet that it has deployed 43,000 members in 34 states and the District of Columbia in response to protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd on May 25. That number represents an 1,800 increase of Guardsmen now engaged nationwide. Thousands attend Black Lives Matter protests in UK Update 9:38 a.m. EDT June 6: Thousands of protesters gathered at London’s Parliament Square on Saturday as part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration, CNN reported. The protest was one of several across the United Kingdom. There also was a Black Lives Matter protest in Manchester, according to the BBC. which estimated the crowd around Piccadilly Gardens to be at least 15,000 people and growing. Protesters, police clash in Portland Update 8:52 a.m. EDT June 6: Police in Portland, Oregon clashed with protesters late Friday and early Saturday after declaring a large gathering at the Justice Center a “civil disturbance and an unlawful assembly,' KATU reported. The declaration came after police said people in the crowd began throwing objects at officers standing guard at the Justice Center, the television station reported. A Portland Police Bureau spokesperson said several officers were injured but did not reveal the extent of their injuries. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said it used gas and later tear gas to disperse the crowd, The Washington Post reported. Deputies said they arrested 20 adults and one juvenile, the newspaper reported. The crowd left the area by 4 a.m. local time. California gov: Chokehold has ‘no place’ in 21st-century policing Update 4:29 a.m. EDT June 6: A controversial chokehold has been removed from the state’s police training curriculum, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday. Known as a “carotid hold,” the maneuver can block blood flow to the brain. “We train techniques on strangleholds that put people’s lives at risk That has no place any longer in 21st century practices and policing,” Newsom said. Drew Brees’ reversal on kneeling fails to persuade Trump of NFL protest’s value Update 3:51 a.m. EDT June 6: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took to Instagram Friday to try explaining one more time his new understanding of NFL protests to U.S. President Donald Trump. In the post, which Brees directed to Trump personally, he explained the American flag was never the target of the protest but rather systemic racism. Brees’ post came two days after he said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag,” for which he later issued a formal apology, calling his own comments “insensitive” and noting they “missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.' Trump was not impressed in the least by Brees’ Mea culpa. 'He should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag,' Trump tweeted. 'OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high...' In turn, Brees’ Instagram post argued “we can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.' California soldier removed from National Guard duty after violent Snapchat remarks Update 3:12 a.m. EDT June 6: A soldier who posted a Snapchat image that referenced killing “rioters” has been relieved of duty by the California National Guard. The soldier, who was removed Friday, had written: “Bout to put some rioters faces on those RIP shirts.” Meanwhile, an Ohio National Guardsman has been removed from duty in Washington after expressing “white-supremacist ideology on the Internet,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Friday news conference. Federal judge rules ‘threat to physical safety and free speech outweighs the threat to property’ Update 2:33 a.m. EDT June 6: A federal judge ruled late Friday that tear gas and rubber bullets are no longer options for the Denver Police Department confronting peaceful protesters. The threat to physical safety and free speech outweighs the threat to property,” U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson wrote. Jackson’s ruling came after four protesters filed suit against the city of Denver, prompting the immediate moratorium on the use of “chemical weapons or projectiles” against protesters. “If a store’s windows must be broken to prevent a protester’s facial bones from being broken or eye being permanently damaged, that is more than a fair trade. If a building must be graffiti-ed to prevent the suppression of free speech, that is a fair trade,” Jackson wrote. The judge’s ruling also stipulates rubber bullets can never be aimed at the head, pelvis or back or shot indiscriminately into a crowd, and officers must wear body cameras that are recording at all times, The Washington Post reported. NYPD suspends 2 officers, transfers supervisor amid multiple protest complaints Published 2 a.m. EDT June 6: Two NYPD officers and one supervisor are facing stiff consequences following three high-profile incidents during recent New York City protests, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed late Friday. “Like all New Yorkers, we are acutely aware of the unique times we are in,” Shea said during a Friday news conference, noting two officers have been suspended without pay pending internal investigations and one supervisor has been transferred as a result of recent skirmishes captured on video. “While the investigations have to play out, based on the severity of what we saw, it is appropriate and necessary to assure the public that there will be transparency during the disciplinary process,” Shea said. One officer was caught on video pushing a woman to the ground in Brooklyn on May 29, and a supervisor present during the altercation has been transferred. The second suspended officer can be seen in a separate video pulling down a protester’s face mask and pepper spraying him. All three cases have been referred to the department advocate for disciplinary action, Shea said.
  • More than 6.6 million people worldwide -- including nearly 1.9 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Friday, June 5, continue below:  NYC readies to reopen as virus hospitalizations, deaths dip Update 11 p.m. EDT June 5: w York City is preparing to reopen some businesses and increase subway service Monday, the state’s latest data suggests hospitalizations and deaths linked to the coronavirus are continuing their gradual decline. Mayor Bill de Blasio says city inspectors will visit every construction site to ensure compliance with rules to protect workers and the community from COVID-19. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 42 people died in New York on Thursday due to COVID-19. That’s a drop from as many as 800 deaths in one day as the crisis peaked in mid-April, according to the state’s official tally, which doesn’t include people who likely died of the disease. Meanwhile, 2,728 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 Thursday, down from a peak of over 18,000. “The people of the state radically changed how they behaved and look at that progress: lowest number of hospitalizations to date in a matter of weeks,” Cuomo said. The latest data suggests deaths are dropping in New York City as well: The city has reported nearly 150 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last week, down from about 300 in the previous week. There are concerns that the progress could be undermined by large protests in the recent days over police misconduct. The governor has urged protesters to get tested for the virus. Some regions that are reopening have seen upticks. The Fingers Lake region, for example, has seen over 200 people hospitalized for COVID-19 this week, up from around 120 in early May. Kansas protester who didn’t wear mask infected with COVID-19 Update 10:15 p.m. EDT June 5: Health officials are asking everyone who attended a Lawrence protest over the death of George Floyd to monitor for symptoms of the coronavirus after one of the participants tested positive. The Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health said in a news release Friday that the infected person didn’t wear a mask while attending Sunday’s protest, which attracted thousands of people to the downtown. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the person’s sample was taken on Thursday, and health officials were notified of the positive test Friday. The patient disclosed during the contact tracing and disease-investigation process that he was not wearing a mask. “Similar to what we would ask anyone who goes out in public right now, we are asking anyone who attended the recent protest to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate if they become sick as well as call their healthcare provider for next steps,” Sonia Jordan, informatics director, said in the release. Populous Kansas counties see dozens of new coronavirus cases Update 7:45 p.m. EDT June 5: Kansas’ four most populous counties reported dozens of new coronavirus cases in the past two days, part of an increase that’s occurred since Gov. Laura Kelly lifted statewide restrictions on businesses. The state Department of Health and Environment said Friday that Kansas has had a total of 10,393 novel coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached it in early March. That’s up 2.2% or 223 from Wednesday. The department’s figures show that 70% of the new cases over the past two days — 156 in all — came from only four counties. They were Sedgwick County, home to the state’s largest city, Wichita; Shawnee County, home to Topeka, and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in the Kansas City area, the state’s first hotspot. Kelly lifted statewide restrictions on businesses on May 26 and left decisions on rules to each of the state’s 105 counties. Since then, Kansas has seen more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases. More than 500, or roughly half, have come from the four populous counties, and the percentage would be larger without outbreaks among workers in meatpacking plants. The state reported 10 new COVID-19-related deaths over the past two days, leaving the number at 232. Mexico alleges some doctors sold false death certificates Update 7:45 p.m. EDT June 5: Mexico City officials said Friday that prosecutors are investigating several doctors who allegedly issued false death certificates for people who may have died of the coronavirus. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum alleged the doctors “were involved in charging for these services,” which are supposed to be free but can sometimes be lengthy and bureaucratic. “They sold these certificates when they should not have,” Sheinbaum said. The scheme purportedly involved at least one city government employee and around 10 doctors, none of whom were city hospital employees, the mayor said. There are also indications the doctors may have signed off causes of death other than COVID-19 for bodies they had never seen or examined, though the reasons were unclear, officials said. But bodies had been piling up at hospitals in Mexico City as the pandemic worsened, and some relatives may have simply wanted to get their deceased family members released more quickly. In addition, bodies of people who died from COVID-19 have to be cremated or buried under stricter rules so some families may have paid for a false certificate to avoid that or the social stigma the virus carries. No charges have been filed in the case. Citing jobs, Trump claims victory over virus, econ collapse Update 5:55 p.m. EDT June 5: President Donald Trump effectively claimed victory over the economic crisis and COVID-19 on Friday as well as major progress against racial inequality, heartily embracing a better-than-expected jobs report in hopes of convincing a discouraged nation he deserves another four years in office. In lengthy White House remarks amid sweeping social unrest, a still-rising virus death toll and Depression-level unemployment, the Republican president focused on what he said was improvement in all areas. He was quick to seize the positive jobs report at a time when his political standing is at one of the weakest points of his presidency less than five months before the general election. Just 2 in 10 voters believe the country is headed in the right direction, a Monmouth University poll found earlier in the week. California to allow schools, gyms and bars reopen next week Update 3:30 p.m. EDT June 5: California will allow schools, day camps, bars, gyms, campgrounds and professional sports to begin reopening with modifications starting next Friday. Mark Ghaly, the state’s top health official, said the state will release guidance later Friday for counties to follow to reopen a broad range of businesses that have been closed since mid-March because of concerns about spreading the coronavirus. The rules on schools and day camps will apply statewide. But only counties that have met certain thresholds on the number of cases, testing and preparedness will be allowed to start reopening the other sectors. The state’s guidance will also include rules on hotels, casinos, museums, zoos and aquariums and the resumption of music, film and television production. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has been moving the state through a methodical four-step process for reopening. Most of the new businesses are part of “Phase 3.” Nail salons will not be included in the list, Ghaly said. Ghaly stressed that its up to counties to determine whether they are ready to reopen based on their ability to manage an expected increase in the number of those testing positive. He said Thursday that the state’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations remain stable. But the state is monitoring and preparing for a potential increase in cases due to broader reopening and mass protests across the state against racial injustice. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause pneumonia and death. Nearly 42,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 3:30 p.m. EDT June 5: Officials in Louisiana reported 427 new coronavirus infections Friday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 41,989. Statewide, at least 2,801 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 31,728 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. Officials report 1,289 new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, setting another high record Update 2:50 p.m. EDT June 5: Health officials in North Carolina announced Friday that 1,289 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, setting a new high record for new coronavirus infections reported in a single day in the state, WSOC-TV reported. The record broke the one set one day earlier, when 1,189 new COVID-19 cases were reported, according to WSOC-TV. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 33,255 coronavirus infections have been reported statewide. As of Friday, 966 people have died of COVID-19. >> Read more on WSOCTV.com RNC to conduct official convention business in North Carolina, not Trump’s speech Update 2:30 p.m. EDT June 5: President Donald Trump won’t accept his party’s nomination in North Carolina, but the Republican National Committee confirmed to WSOC-TV that it would still hold meetings in Charlotte. City officials sent WSOC-TV a statement Thursday confirming that the city’s attorney met with RNC representatives, the host committee and all other parties Thursday. “RNC representatives confirmed that at this point in time, they intend to locate the entirety of the business portion of the Convention in Charlotte,' the statement said. “It was understood by the parties that some of the Convention events that were originally set to occur in Charlotte may be relocated to another community outside of North Carolina.' >> Read more on WSOCTV.com 864 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 2:10 p.m. EDT June 5: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Friday that 864 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 163,336. The governor also announced that he’s extended a public health emergency declared statewide for another 30 days. “We will continue our path forward, while remaining vigilant and prepared to act should there be a new outbreak of (COVID-19),' Murphy said. Officials also reported 79 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday, 12,049 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Trial finds hydroxychloroquine has ‘no clinical benefit’ for COVID-19 patients Update 1:55 p.m. EDT June 5: An anti-malarial drug touted by President Donald Trump as a possible cure for COVID-19 has been found to have “no clinical benefit” for patients receiving treatment for coronavirus infections, according to a study out of the United Kingdom. “We have concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19,” The chief investigators of the RECOVERY trial, which is run by the University of Oxford, said in a statement Friday. “We have therefore decided to stop enrolling participants to the hydroxychloroquine arm of the RECOVER trial with immediate effect.” Researchers said they found no difference between the recoveries of 1,542 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine compared to 3,132 patients who were not given the drug. “There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality,” investigators said. “There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on hospital state duration or other outcomes.” Louisiana moves into second phase of reopening Update 1:15 p.m. EDT June 5: Spas, tattoo parlors, pool halls and more businesses were allowed to reopen Friday in Louisiana as officials continue to allow businesses shuttered by the threat of the coronavirus pandemic to reopen. In a statement released Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards emphasized that the move does not mean the threat of the virus has ended. “The public should not let its guard down,” he said. “COVID-19 is still a real issue in our communities, and it is still necessary that people wear masks while in public, wash their hands frequently and maintain good social distancing so that we can prevent cases from spiking as we ease restrictions in Phase Two.” Deaths from COVID-19 top 40,000 in the UK Update 12:55 p.m. EDT June 5: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,650 new coronavirus infections Friday, raising the country’s total number of infections to 283,311. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Thursday, the most recent date for which data was available, 40,261 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. World Health Organization widens recommendations for use of masks Update 12:25 p.m. EDT June 5: The World Health Organization is changing its recommendations for the use of masks during the coronavirus pandemic and is now recommending that in areas where there is widespread transmission, people should wear masks when social distancing is not possible, such as on public transport and in shops. In a press briefing on Friday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said people over age 60 or those with underlying medical conditions should wear a medical mask in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. WHO has previously only recommended that health care workers, those sickened by COVID-19 and their care givers wear masks. Tedros emphasized that “masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19” and emphasized the importance of hand-washing, social distancing and other measures. He added that health workers in areas with widespread transmission should now wear medical masks in all areas of health facilities and not just those with confirmed COVID-19 patients, saying that doctors working in cardiology or other wards, for example, should continue to wear a medical mask even if there are no known coronavirus patients. Trump says he hopes George Floyd ‘looking down,’ seeing better-than-expected jobless numbers Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 5: President Donald Trump said Friday that he hopes George Floyd, the 46-year-old killed by Minneapolis police last week, would be glad to see the May jobs report, which showed lower unemployment than expected amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country,’” the president said during a news conference. “This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody.” Floyd died last week after then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as three other police officers, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, watched or actively helped to hold him down, according to prosecutors. Nearly 84,000 National Guard members activated amid COVID-19, civil unrest Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 5: Officials with the U.S. National Guard said Friday that nearly 84,000 soldiers and airmen have been activated due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Officials said 37,400 National Guard members were assisting states as they respond to the threat of COVID-19. More than 41,500 members of the National Guard were on duty in 33 states and Washington D.C. as protests over police brutality continue across the country. 42 new fatal COVID-19 cases reported in New York Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 5: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Friday that 42 more people have died of COVID-19 in the state, “the lowest number since we started.” “Eight weeks ago, we had 800 (deaths),' Cuomo said at a news conference, calling the fall in deaths 'amazing.' He praised New Yorkers for adhering to social distancing measures to keep themselves and others safe amid the pandemic. “The people of the state radically changed how they behave,” he said. 79 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 5: Health officials in Washington D.C. said Friday that 79 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 9,199. Officials also announced that four more people between the ages of 44 and 84 have died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 479. Judge rules Tennessee residents can vote by mail Update 10:45 a.m. EDT June 5: A judge ruled Thursday that residents of Tennessee can vote by mail for August primary and the November general election, according to WHBQ-TV. The American Civil Liberties Union had brought the case to court on behalf of several Tennesseans who believe their health will be in jeopardy if they’re forced to vote in-person amid the coronavirus pandemic, WHBQ-TV reported. The state had required voters to provide an excuse to vote by mail. >> Read more on Fox13Memphis.com Trump holding news conference after release of May jobs report Update 10 a.m. EDT June 5: President Donald Trump is speaking Friday morning following the release of the May jobs report, which found that unemployment fell slightly to 13.3% last month. Stocks jump on Wall Street following surprise May job gains Update 9:55 a.m. EDT June 5: Stocks climbed early Friday after the government delivered a big positive surprise on the job market. Instead of another month of slashing jobs, employers added to their payrolls last month. The report gave another shot of adrenaline to Wall Street’s recent rally. The S&P 500 rose 2% and bond yields rose sharply after the government said employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, while economists were expecting them to cut another 8 million. While it’s just one month of data, the report gives credence to a building sense of optimism among investors that the economy can recover relatively quickly from the coronavirus slump. Universal Orlando reopening its three theme parks Friday Update 9:25 a.m. EDT June 5: Three Universal Orlando theme parks are set to reopen Friday morning after they were shut down due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Universal is the first of Orlando, Florida’s three major theme parks to reopen, according to WFTV. Park officials said guests, team members and vendors will be required to wear face coverings in public areas, according to WFTV. Guests, team members and vendors will also be required to have temperature checks upon arrival, the news station reported. >> Read more on WFTV.com Trump to speak about unemployment figures Update 8:50 a.m. EDT June 5: President Donald Trump said Friday that he plans to speak at 10 a.m. about the May unemployment figures released by the U.S. Labor Department. Earlier Friday, Trump heralded the “really big jobs report.” US unemployment rate dips to 13.3% Update 8:40 a.m. EDT June 5: The unemployment rate in the United States slipped to 13.3% in May, down from the 14.7% reported in April, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department. The figures include an addition of 2.5 million jobs in May, as state governments eased restrictions on businesses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as economies have reopened. Other evidence has also shown that the job market meltdown triggered by the coronavirus has bottomed out. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off. The overall job cuts have widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers. Though the unemployment rate for white Americans was 12.4% May, it was 17.6% for Hispanics and 16.8% for African-Americans. Even with the surprising gain in May, it may take months for all those who lost work in April and March to find jobs. Some economists forecast the rate could remain in double-digits through the November elections and into next year. Global deaths near 392K, total cases approach 6.7M Update 8:02 a.m. EDT June 5: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 391,588 early Friday, 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 6,658,334 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,171. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,872,660 cases, resulting in 108,211 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 614,941 cases, resulting in 34,021 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 449,256 cases, resulting in 5,520 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 283,080 cases, resulting in 39,987 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 240,660 cases, resulting in 27,133 deaths. • Italy has reported 234,013 cases, resulting in 33,689 deaths. • India has reported 227,273 cases, resulting in 6,367 deaths. • France has confirmed 189,569 cases, resulting in 29,068 deaths. • Germany has reported 184,924 cases, resulting in 8,642 deaths. • Peru has reported 183,198 cases, resulting in 5,031 deaths. US biotech firm wins contract to deliver 10M doses of coronavirus vaccine candidate  Update 7:18 a.m. EDT June 5: Novavax Inc., a Maryland-based biotech company, said Thursday it has landed a contract worth as much as $60 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to mass produce its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. The therapeutic candidate, which goes by the experimental name NVX-COV2373, started a Phase I safety trial with volunteers in May. Per the DOD contract, Novavax will deliver 10 million doses of the vaccine in 2020 that could be used in late-stage clinical trials or under an Emergency use authorization if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine, CNN reported. Mexico records 3rd consecutive daily record increase in new coronavirus cases  Update 6:40 a.m. EDT June 5: For the third consecutive day, Mexico has reported record-setting new coronavirus diagnoses. With 4,442 new cases recorded Thursday, Mexico’s total infections now stand at 105,680 and have resulted in at least 12,545 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Brazil’s coronavirus deaths surpass Italy’s fatalities Update 6:22 a.m. EDT June 5: With 1,473 additional novel coronavirus deaths recorded in the 24 hours ended Thursday, Brazil’s virus-related death toll surpassed that of Italy, once the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak. According to Brazil’s health ministry, the South American nation’s coronavirus deaths now total 34,021 compared with Italy’s 33,689. Meanwhile, Brazil’s total infections have swelled to 614,941, meaning it trails only the United States with slightly fewer than one-third of the U.S. infection count. US coronavirus cases near 1.9M, deaths top 108K Update 12:41 a.m. EDT June 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb toward 1.9 million early Friday 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 1,872,660 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 108,211 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 375,133 cases and 30,174 deaths and New Jersey with 162,530 cases and 11,970 deaths. Massachusetts, with 102,063 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,201, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 124,759. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 55,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 122,168 cases, resulting in 4,444 deaths • Pennsylvania: 78,335 cases, resulting in 5,832 deaths • Texas: 70,555 cases, resulting in 1,776 deaths • Florida: 60,183 cases, resulting in 2,607 deaths • Michigan: 58,241 cases, resulting in 5,595 deaths • Maryland: 55,858 cases, resulting in 2,668 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington and Iowa each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 16,560; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 14,438 and South Carolina with 12,415; Utah, Kentucky and Kansas each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Arkansas and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,907 and South Dakota with 5,247. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • Instead of an unemployment rate topping 20 percent as had been held out as a possibility by economic experts and senior Trump Administration officials, the latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy bouncing back a little, as states loosened restrictions from the Coronavirus, with the jobless rate dropping to 13.3 percent. 'These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,' the report stated.  At the White House, President Trump reveled in the job gains. 'It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'The Market was right. It’s stunning!' Jobs data in May showed sharp job gains in construction, retail trade, leisure, education, and health care, as the unemployment rate retreated from a historic high of 14.7 percent in April. Republicans in Congress joined President Trump in hailing the new job figures. 'We’ve still got a ways to go but the Great American Comeback is underway!' said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA). 'Not only are we going to bounce back, in many ways it may be even better than before,' said Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR). 'America is on a HUGE comeback in record time,' said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS). 'The Great American Comeback is starting!' said House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. The jobs report though also showed the level of upheaval within the job market, as over 6 million more Americans are working part-time right now, even though they would rather have a full-time job.