Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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7:10 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Mississippi governor says he changed his mind on reopening after increase in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Gov. Tate Reeves, speaks at a press conference at the Woolfolk Building in Jackson, Mississippi on March 3.
Gov. Tate Reeves, speaks at a press conference at the Woolfolk Building in Jackson, Mississippi on March 3. Sarah Warnock/Clarion Ledger/USA Today/Reuters

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said today that he had planned to announce the reopening of certain businesses but decided against it after the state reported its largest increase new cases.

He said the number of cases increased after the state received new information on previous deaths and tests.

"This thing is not over, we are not out of the woods yet," he said. "We have to stay flexible."
6:39 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Washington state governor to extend stay-at-home order to May 31

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Gov. Jay Inslee at a press conference in Seattle, Washington on March 11.
Gov. Jay Inslee at a press conference in Seattle, Washington on March 11. John Moore/Getty Images

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said he will extend his stay-at-home order until May 31.

Inslee said the new executive order "will continue a ban on public gatherings."

"Many businesses will have to remain closed and that is why I'm extending the order through May 31," he said at his news conference.

7:01 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Disaster experts urge governors not to reopen businesses yet

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Dr. Irwin Redlener speaks during the Children's Health Fund Annual Benefit 2019 in New York City on June 05, 2019.
Dr. Irwin Redlener speaks during the Children's Health Fund Annual Benefit 2019 in New York City on June 05, 2019. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Governors who are easing restrictions on businesses and residents are risking the lives of citizens, disaster experts said Friday.

“You’re making a big mistake. It’s going to cost lives,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.

Redlener and Joseph Fair, senior fellow in pandemic policy at Texas A&M University, warned in a report that no state or city should begin to reduce restrictions until coronavirus infections have been steadily decreasing for 10 days to two weeks, and not until enough tests are available to assess just how many people really are infected. So far, 31 states have announced plans or have started reducing restrictions imposed to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Redlener said he sent the report on Friday to every governor, senator and member of Congress. 

“We clearly understand the need to reopen America’s businesses. People need the work and families desperately need the income and businesses need to survive. And people need to come out of isolation and resume the normal activities of social interactions, attending events and getting our children back to school,” Redlener wrote in a letter accompanying the report.

“But if we don’t do this properly, more people will die. Is that a burden and responsibility that America’s governors wish to assume?” he added.

Testing is nowhere near where it should be, the report said.

“We do know that we are very far from doing enough diagnostic tests each week in the US,” Redlener and Fair write in the report. 

7:23 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

JBS USA and Tyson Foods agree to shut down plants in Kentucky temporarily for cleaning

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. on April 26.
Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. on April 26. Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/AP

JBS USA and Tyson Foods have agreed to do a temporary shutdown of its facilities in Kentucky for a thorough cleaning, Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday.

He said Purdue Farms has not been as "helpful and as responsive" on the issue.

“We can't ask people to walk into a very dangerous situation, if we, and an employer aren't doing everything they can to make it safe," he said. “I continue to believe that if you have to shut down for three days, but it means that you can create a safer, healthier environment, that may keep you from having to shut down for multiple weeks or even a month."

6:16 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Trump says he's upset with Georgia governor's decision to open spas and tattoo parlors

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to the media during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on April 27.
Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to the media during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on April 27. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

President Trump said Friday he is generally supportive of Georgia's reopening efforts, but said he is upset with Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to open spas and tattoo parlors before meeting federal guidelines on such businesses reopening.

“I think it’s wonderful. I want to see us open safely. But I didn’t like spas and tattoo parlors and I was not thrilled about that, but I said nothing about Georgia other than that,” Trump said.

Last week, Trump said, "I told the governor of Georgia Brian Kemp that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia." 

Trump has said that if he sees something “totally egregious” in terms of reopening states that he would step in but has not done so. 

Kemp's decision has drawn criticism from public health experts who have repeatedly stressed the dangers of relaxing social distancing measures too early.

Georgia hit its projected peak for daily deaths on April 7, according to an influential model often cited by the White House. But that same model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, says that Georgia shouldn't start relaxing social distancing until after June 15 — when the state should be able to begin considering other measures to contain the virus, such as contact tracing and isolation.

6:02 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Orange County reports 22% increase in coronavirus cases amid protests to reopen beaches

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

The local health department in Orange County said there's an increase in coronavirus cases amid protests from residents to reopen the beaches.

OC Health Care Agency said there were 163 new cases confirmed in Orange County Friday, which is 22% higher that the previously recorded high for one day – 133 cases announced Thursday.

The news comes after hundreds of demonstrators gathered Friday in Huntington Beach, California, where, despite recommendations from public health officials that people socially distance, large crowds were packed shoulder-to-shoulder near the popular Huntington Beach Pier.

Most were not wearing masks.  

6:09 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

White House blocking Fauci from testifying next week

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a Coronavirus Task Force news conference at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, April 10.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a Coronavirus Task Force news conference at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, April 10. Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg/Getty Images

House Appropriations Committee spokesman Evan Hollander tells CNN that the White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, from testifying on the Hill next week.

"The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying," Hollander said in a statement.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere confirmed the decision.

"While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings. We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time," Deere said in a statement.

5:59 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

New Jersey governor signs executive order to allows virtual weddings

From CNN’s Sheena Jones

Gov. Phil Murphy speaking at a Coronavirus press briefing in Trenton, New Jersey on April 3.
Gov. Phil Murphy speaking at a Coronavirus press briefing in Trenton, New Jersey on April 3. Michael Brochstein​/Sipa USA

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order to allow couples to get married using video-conferencing technology.

The order amends the in-person requirements for couples to obtain a marriage license.

The order still requires that a marriage or civil union be solemnized in the physical presence of an officiant and two witnesses, but it can be satisfied through the use of live audio-visual technology, according to a statement.

The order will take effect Monday, May 4.

5:48 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Trump says he's hoping the US will "come in below that 100,000 lives lost" projection

 From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he departs the White House in Washington DC, on May 1.
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he departs the White House in Washington DC, on May 1. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump discussed the projected number of deaths from coronavirus saying that “hopefully we are going to come in below that 100,000 lives lost.”

Trump said Friday that thanks to the steps Americans have taken as part of the 30 days to slow the spread guidelines, “we have saved thousands of thousands of lives. I can even make that if you want, hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Trump said that the 100,000 number is a “horrible number nevertheless,” and added that coronavirus “should have been stopped at the source, but it wasn’t.”

The 100,000 predicted deaths is a higher number than Trump has used in recent weeks, he had been predicting a high of 50 to 60,000 or even 70,000 people dying from the virus.