A version of this story appeared in the April 23 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

CNN  — 

“It’s just too soon.” President Donald Trump said he “strongly” disagreed with the Georgia governor’s decision to allow beauty salons, barbershops and other businesses to reopen this week, contradicting both his own impatient insistence that states restart the economy — and a source who said he had supported the move. Some mayors in Georgia are also pushing back against the governor.

A coronavirus model routinely cited by the White House warns that no state should be opening before May 1, and that Georgia shouldn’t reopen until June 19.

But other state and city officials disagree. “I’d love everything open,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, appearing to offer up the city as a “control group” without social distancing measures to compare against other places with strict guidelines. Pressed on how she would prevent the spread of the virus in casinos and hotels, she suggested it wasn’t the government’s job to ensure safety in those workplaces.

As the debate over when and how to ease restrictions rattles on, the Trump administration and the nation’s top scientists seem to be increasingly at odds. A virus vaccine chief says he was ousted after resisting efforts to push unproven drugs promoted by the President. It’s an alarming news sign that, under Trump, scientists can speak — but only if they stay in line, Stephen Collinson writes.

That dissonance was on display during yesterday’s White House briefing, when Trump claimed that the director of the US Centers for Disease Control, Robert Redfield, had been “totally misquoted” when he warned that a second wave of the virus in the fall could be much worse than the current outbreak.

Seeking relief from a heat wave, thousands of people crowded beaches in Southern California this weekend, despite a state-wide stay-at-home order implemented last month.

Global Town Hall

During a Global Town Hall hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight at 8 p.m. ET, Alicia Keys will join CNN for the world premiere of her new song “Good Job,” dedicated to the everyday heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic.


Q: Who does Trump’s new executive order on immigration actually apply to?

A: While the 60-day pause falls short of an outright ban on legal immigration to the US, as Trump initially suggested, it stands to affect thousands of people overseas seeking to come to the country. Who’s affected: People applying for green cards to legally live and work in the US. Who’s exempt: Workers entering the country on a temporary basis, many of whom are in industries deemed essential against the backdrop of the pandemic, like food processing or health care. Priscilla Alvarez has the full rundown of who will, and won’t, be allowed into the country.

More than 50,000 people have asked us questions about the outbreak. Send yours here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.


“Unprecedented” post-war recession underway

Ratings agency Fitch says the world is headed for a recession of “unprecedented depth in the post-war period” with global gross domestic product forecasted to fall by 3.9% in 2020. “This is twice as large as the decline anticipated in our early April GEO [global economic outlook] update and would be twice as severe as the 2009 recession,” Fitch’s chief economist said.

South Korea’s economy has already recorded its worst contraction since the Great Recession as the pandemic weighs on consumer demand and exports.

And there are signs Corporate America is already bracing for a long-term slowdown: Movie studios are shifting summer release dates, Google has slowed hiring, conferences slated for the fall have already been canceled, and AT&T, the owner of CNN, became the latest company to withdraw its financial guidance.

“We’re just not making progress on testing”

To end the coronavirus pandemic, the US is either going to have to continue with extreme social distancing measures or do it with “ubiquitous” testing, according to Dr. Anish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Initiative.

And the US isn’t making enough progress on the latter, Jha said: “We have estimated we need at least three times as much testing as we have right now.”

New revelations about ventilators, strokes

About a quarter of coronavirus patients who needed ventilators to help them breathe died within the first few weeks of treatment, a study of New York’s largest health system showed.

And another revelation: coronavirus appears to be causing sudden strokes in adults in their 30s and 40s, who are not otherwise terribly ill, doctors say.

Latin America lockdowns leave poor in the lurch

Demonstrators took to the streets of Colombia’s capital Bogota yesterday, protesting over what they say is a lack of support from the government during the country’s lockdown.

Elsewhere in Latin America, outbreaks are reaching serious phases of spread, but with little in the way of critical health care. Cases in Mexico have passed 10,000 after the largest single day spike of 1,043 was reported; 970 have died.

And facing a mounting death toll, excavators are digging mass graves in Manaus, Brazil, according to CNN affiliate CNN Brasil.

“A second wave is coming”

Many Wuhan residents believe there could be a second wave in the epicenter of the outbreak, now that the city is returning to normal life.

Hector Retamal, a photojournalist with Agence France-Presse, who covered the lockdown and is documenting the city’s reopening, says the anxiety is palpable: “I still see the fear in people who timidly return to the streets.”


  • Today marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan for many Muslims. But with places of worship closed and social distancing measures in place, the holiday will look very different.
  • This man is just nine countries away from visiting every nation without flying. But now he’s stuck.
  • Instead of commiserating about canceled travel plans, TikTok and Instagram users are using the #travelfromhome hashtag to recreate vacation scenes at home.
Philipp Klein Herrero scaling a snowy mountain, in his apartment.
  • In a win-win for sea animals and humans, a scuba diving group is turning plastic water bottles that once polluted oceans into face masks.
  • She paid $68,000 to do an MBA at Cambridge. Now she’s studying via Zoom in India.


Struggling to stay calm? Organization can help you find a sense of peace in isolation, Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying guru, says. Kondo’s six-step method, which focuses on discarding items that don’t “spark joy,” can bring psychological benefits too. Kondo has these steps for transforming your home into a sanctuary.


“In a way, sports, or the lack of them, serve as a litmus test for how serious the pandemic is.” — CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta

The NFL Draft starts tonight, virtually. But will the season start with or without spectators? Gupta explores the significance of the suspension of most sports due to Covid-19 and the proposed strategies for returning to play. Listen now.

Update: After a story about a study on the rate of deaths among Covid-19 patients on ventilators in a New York health system published, the study’s authors updated the data in the report. This article has been updated to reflect the corrected data.