Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:11 PM ET, Fri May 1, 2020
43 Posts
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3:05 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

White House press secretary: "I will never lie to you"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

During her first briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany promised that she'd "never lie" to the reporters in the room.

"I will never lie to you. You have my word on that," she said.

She added that she plans to hold regular briefings, and she will announce timing on that later.

Thursday marked 417 days since the last briefing by a White House press secretary.

Watch the moment here:

2:27 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Boston

From CNN’s Pamela Wessman

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks on March 13.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks on March 13. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said there were 9,271 coronavirus cases as of yesterday, 216 more than the day before. The city also saw 357 deaths, which is up by 17 from the day before.

Walsh emphasized that there is still a surge in cases today, and people should wear their masks. He also said, the city is working to expand testing. There has been an increase in testing, he said with an average more than 44% last week. East Boston had 86% more testing than the previous week.

However, while the percentage of people testing positive in East Boston has gone down, it still has highest rate in the city of Boston.

Of the 28,000 Bostonians tested, 32% tested positive, a slight decrease from 33% the week before.

The mayor stressed the city must reach benchmarks and protocols before reopening. One of Walsh’s greatest concerns is “making sure people have confidence and feel safe when they go back to work.” 

2:20 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Trump says he will go to Mount Rushmore for fireworks display in July

From CNN's Jason Hoffman with Konstantin Toropin

Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images
Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced that he will attend a firework display at Mount Rushmore on July 3, despite uncertainty about what the coronavirus pandemic might look like that month.

Trump made the announcement while speaking on the Dan Bongino podcast on Friday.

“We’re getting them at the great monument, we're getting them, I got fireworks, for 20 years or something it hasn’t been allowed for environmental reasons, you believe that one, it’s all stone. So I’m trying to say where’s the environmental reason? Anyway I got it approved so I’m going to go there on July 3rd, and they’re gonna have the big fireworks,” Trump said.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said on Tuesday that the firework display would go on as scheduled.

"We’re excited that this will be happening at Mount Rushmore — we’ve been working on this for quite some time," Noem said.

"I want to thank the President and the Department of Interior for working with us to make it happen," she added.

When asked about implications of a large gathering amid the nationwide Covid-19 pandemic, Noem was unconcerned.

"We’ll continue to evaluate what the crowd looks like and how we'll be able to facilitate that event but regardless of how many people will be there, the fireworks will go off and I can't think of a better way for us to celebrate America’s birthday," Noem said.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the President had floated the idea of heading to South Dakota for fireworks at Mount Rushmore. 

2:21 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

New Mexico governor locks down city to stop spread of coronavirus

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Pamela J. Peters/Reuters
Pamela J. Peters/Reuters

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has locked down the city of Gallup in an effort to "mitigate the uninhibited spread of Covid-19."

Starting at noon today, "all roads into Gallup are closed," the governor's office said in a statement.

Businesses in the city will close from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., and vehicles will only be allowed to have a maximum of two individuals, the statement said.

The move comes after Gallup's former mayor requested that Grisham declare a state of emergency in the city, according to a letter made public by the governor's office.

"The virus has caused many deaths, stretched our medical facilities and resources to their capacity, and adversely impacted the welfare of the City of Gallup," the city's former Mayor Jackie McKinney said in the letter.

McKinley County, the home of Gallup, has 1,027 positive cases of Covid-19 as of Thursday. That's more than 30% of the state’s total cases and the most positive cases in the entire state, the governor's statement said.

"Its infection trend has shown no sign of flattening," the statement said.

2:25 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

SOON: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a briefing

From CNN's Allie Malloy

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold her first briefing in the White House briefing room at 2 p.m. ET.

She will likely face questions about the coronavirus pandemic, the US's response and how it's affecting the economy and.

Thursday marked 417 days since the last briefing by a White House press secretary.


2:22 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

This summer will be "critical" in fight against Covid-19, CDC says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anne Schuchat, speaks during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on March 3.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, speaks during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on March 3. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said how the US fights the coronavirus pandemic in the upcoming months will be "critical" to how the virus will evolve this autumn.

"I do think that what we do this summer is going to be critical," Schuchat said Friday in an interview with JAMA Network. "The more we intensify the testing and expand the public health capacity and assure that our hospital capacity and material to support the hospitals is adequate or has excess, the better we're going to be in the fall."

Schuchat told JAMA Editor in Chief Howard Bauchner she doesn't know if there will be a resurgence of the virus once the temperature goes down, explaining, "A lot of the seasonality of respiratory viruses may relate to the way we work, the way we interact, and in the fall, people go back to school — whether it's school or colleges, and we don't know how much of that is driving that upsurge that we see."

1:25 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Louisiana reports highest new case total since April 11

From CNN’s Kay Jones


People line up for walk-up coronavirus disease testing at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, on April 21.
People line up for walk-up coronavirus disease testing at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, on April 21. Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday 710 new cases of Covid-19 in the state, bringing the total to 28,711. This is the biggest jump in new cases in a day since April 11.  

According to the governor's office, the health department has two new labs reporting tests, which likely explains the bump. Those labs reported 381 positive results, so the increase could be a function of delayed reporting to the state.

At least 1,927 people have died of coronavirus across the state. 

Although Gov. John Bel Edwards extended the stay-at-home order through May 15, he did ease some restrictions to the order, which go into effect today.

Malls throughout the state will remain closed to the public, but stores can offer curbside delivery. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery orders, but can also offer outdoor seating. Edwards said workers interacting with the public will be required to wear masks.

However, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted not long after the governor's announcement that there would be no changes to the existing mandate throughout Orleans Parish. The tweet went on to say that "restaurants will not be allowed to host curbside seating and stores will not be allowed to open curbside delivery."

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

Georgia reports nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours 

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Walmart pharmacists help operate a new mobile COVID-19 drive-through testing site at Diamond Lakes Regional Park on April 23, in Hephzibah, Georgia.
Walmart pharmacists help operate a new mobile COVID-19 drive-through testing site at Diamond Lakes Regional Park on April 23, in Hephzibah, Georgia. Curtis Compton/AJC/AP

The number of coronavirus cases in Georgia has surpassed 27,000 with nearly 1,000 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to the state's department of health. 

As of noon on Friday, Georgia Department of Health reported 27,134 cases, up from 26,175 recorded cases on Thursday. 

The majority of the state's cases are in the metro Atlanta area. 

At least 1,147 Georgia residents have died as a result of COVID-19 

1:11 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Two major Texas universities plan to return in the fall

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The University of Texas campus is quiet on March 29, since it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The University of Texas campus is quiet on March 29, since it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jay Jenner/Austin American-Statesman/USA Today

Texas A&M University and the University of Texas will reopen and be operational for the fall semester.

"This summer, we’re fully online and enrollment is actually up, a sign that you remain undeterred in pursuing your goals," Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said in a letter.

Fall enrollment is also up and though online classes "are an option if needed," the university is planning to open its campus for the fall semester, Young said. University faculty and staff are "preparing for all the requirements necessary to do so safely across academics, athletics and campus activities," according to Young. 

The University of Texas (UT) said plans for its campus reopening won't be announced until the end of June, UT President Gregory L. Fenves said in a letter to students. 

"Our goal remains to reopen the Forty Acres in the fall, likely with some courses and activities held in person and others online as dictated by health and safety concerns," Fenves said.