May 2 coronavirus news

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12:44 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Snapshot of a pandemic: The state of coronavirus around the world

In some countries, the coronavirus is still peaking, with authorities scrambling to respond to spikes in cases and deaths. In others, people are returning to normal life. Here's what the pandemic looks like around the world.

In the US, multiple protests are taking place.

Friday was Labor Day, and employees from various major companies including Amazon and Whole Foods went on strike -- demanding better wages, rent suspensions and government protections for essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Activists participate in a May Day protest in Washington.
Activists participate in a May Day protest in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There were also protests on the other side of the spectrum -- people angry about governments ordering beaches and businesses to close. People held rallies in Massachusetts, California, Nevada and other places, calling the mandatory closures "fascism" and "tyranny."

A protester outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on May 1.
A protester outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on May 1. Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In Australia, restrictions have loosened in some states, and the federal government is considering ending the nationwide lockdown early. In Queensland state, residents are now allowed to go out for recreational activities like picnics or boating.

While people are still expected to observe social distancing, residents flocked outdoors today, eager for fresh air after weeks at home.

People walk and skate along the Burleigh Heads foreshore at the Gold Coast, Australia, on May 2.
People walk and skate along the Burleigh Heads foreshore at the Gold Coast, Australia, on May 2. Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

In China, businesses are reopening and people are cautiously resuming normal life. Several of Beijing's most iconic sightseeing spots, like the Forbidden City, also reopened -- albeit with new restrictions, like a cap on daily visitors.

A Chinese tourist wears a face mask in Beijing's Forbidden City on May 1.
A Chinese tourist wears a face mask in Beijing's Forbidden City on May 1. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

In Spain, authorities are preparing to ease restrictions after seven weeks of a nationwide state of emergency. Most people will be able to do limited sports activities or take short walks every day under the loosened guidelines.

With case numbers slowly going down, Madrid authorities closed an emergency hospital on Friday. The field hospital treated more than 4,000 people during its 41 days of operation.

The Ifema Emergency Hospital is closed on May 1 in Madrid, Spain.
The Ifema Emergency Hospital is closed on May 1 in Madrid, Spain. Credit: Community of Madrid via Getty Images
12:28 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Dr. Fauci will testify before the US Senate health committee on May 12

From CNN's Manu Raju

Anthony Fauci attends a coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 9.
Anthony Fauci attends a coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 9. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious diseases expert, will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12, per an aide to Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander.  

“Chairman Alexander looks forward to hearing from Dr. Fauci and other administration officials at the Senate health committee’s second hearing back,” the aide said.

Earlier today, CNN reported that the White House had blocked an appearance by Fauci at a House Appropriations Committee hearing next week.

"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," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said earlier in reference to the House hearing.
"We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time."

CNN is asking the White House for comment about the May 12 hearing.

12:04 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

China reports just one new case and no deaths for fourth straight day

From CNN's Anna Kam in Hong Kong 

Medical staff work inside a testing clinic in Beijing, China, on April 29.
Medical staff work inside a testing clinic in Beijing, China, on April 29. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

China's National Health Commission (NHC) has reported a single new case of the novel coronavirus and no deaths for the fourth consecutive day.

It's a huge drop from the peak of the outbreak, when the country was reporting thousands of new cases a day, and suggests the danger there has mostly passed.

The latest case was imported from abroad, and not a local transmission, the NHC said.

Here's the country breakdown, according to the NHC:

  • Total confirmed infections: 82,875
  • Total deaths: 4,633
  • Total recovered and discharged: 77,685
  • Active cases remaining: 557
11:46 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Oprah Winfrey hopes the world becomes more "united" after the pandemic

From CNN's Chloe Melas

Oprah Winfrey speaks on tour on March 7 in Denver, Colorado.
Oprah Winfrey speaks on tour on March 7 in Denver, Colorado. Credit: Tom Cooper/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey invited fans into her home (virtually) Friday night for a spiritual discussion.

Winfrey kicked off the 24-hour global livestream event called "The Call to Unite," organized in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her discussion featured the event's organizer, Timothy Shriver, as well as Bishop T.D. Jakes and Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual leader and bestselling author.

"I've had a lot of time to reflect what this moment means to us as a family and a community," Winfrey said. "In this moment we have an opportunity to take a step forward as a collective consciousness. I am hoping we all come out of this more united ... seeing each other as a part of the whole."

Tolle said: "When you experience adversity in your life, it is even more important to be in the present moment. If you do not, you suffer a lot ... when you move to the present moment you might realize ... there's a lot to be grateful for in this moment."

11:26 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Some countries are slowly reopening. Here's a recap

Visitors walk through the newly reopened Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on May 1.
Visitors walk through the newly reopened Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on May 1. Mark Schiefelbein/AP

The coronavirus pandemic is nowhere near over -- but in some parts of the world, governments are slowly opening up for business.

Here's a roundup:

  • China: Mainland China was the first country in the world to go under lockdown. Now, with its daily cases in the low single digits, cities are easing their restrictions and tourist favorites like Beijing's Forbidden City are reopening. However, some limitations remain, like daily visitor caps and health checks.
  • The US: More than half of all states will have partially reopened by the end of this week, despite some still reporting record single-day increases in new cases.
  • India: The nationwide lockdown, affecting 1.3 billion people, was originally scheduled to lift on Sunday, May 3 -- but has since been extended to May 17. However, restrictions have eased in some low-risk areas that haven't had new cases in three weeks.
  • Australia: The government is considering easing the nationwide lockdown earlier than planned. “We can’t keep Australia under the doona, we need to be able to move ahead,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday. A doona is what Australians call a duvet.
  • Malaysia: The country will allow the majority of businesses to reopen Monday. Those that involve close contact like movie theaters or nightclubs will remain closed. 
11:08 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Japan planning to extend state of emergency as 261 more cases reported

From CNN's Junko Ogura

A doctor holds a coronavirus test sample at a drive-thru testing site in Fujisawa, Japan, on April 27.
A doctor holds a coronavirus test sample at a drive-thru testing site in Fujisawa, Japan, on April 27. Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Japan had 261 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths yesterday, according to the country's health ministry.

The nationwide state of emergency was set to lift on May 6, but Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said on Friday that the government plans to extend it for about a month. The final decision will be made Monday, he said.

Japan has had a total of 15,257 coronavirus cases and 471 deaths.

10:54 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Honeymooners arrested in Hawaii for allegedly violating quarantine

A California couple was arrested at a Hawaii hotel on Thursday for allegedly violating the island state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers.

Officials say the couple, from California's Citrus Heights, came to Honolulu on their honeymoon and arrived at the hotel late Wednesday, when a front desk manager informed them about the self-quarantine order.

The couple allegedly told the manager that airport personnel told them contradictory information, and after further discussion of the rules, the Californians “scoffed at him again and then left the hotel,” according to a press release from Hawaii's COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

The couple, aged 20 and 26, subsequently returned to the hotel with a pizza after midnight, and refused to sign the quarantine acknowledgment, officials say.

The couple was informed again Thursday morning that they were in violation of the state’s quarantine requirements before being arrested, according to the release.

“We appreciate the vigilance and cooperation of the hotel staff, and staff at other hotels, in helping maintain the health and safety of visitors and residents,” Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement to CNN.
“It is important that everyone flying into Hawai‘i at this time, abide by our mandatory rules. Law enforcement, in partnership with other state and county agencies and the travel industry, are continuing to monitor compliance with the mandatory self-quarantine rule.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all passengers arriving in the state after March 26, and continuing through May 31.

10:40 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Opinion: Elon Musk is using his power to be selfish

Opinion from Kara Alaimo

Editor's note: Kara Alaimo, an associate professor of public relations at Hofstra University, was spokeswoman for international affairs in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.

Early Wednesday morning, Tesla CEO and self-styled futurist Elon Musk called on Twitter for the government to "FREE AMERICA NOW." He also tweeted"Give people their freedom back!" On a Tesla earnings call later that day, Musk called stay-at-home orders "fascist."

His words were tone deaf and, for someone with over 33 million Twitter followers to call on the government to end its lockdown, they were also dangerous. Musk is advocating for behavior that would lead to more Covid-19 related deaths in the US.

And while Musk did later tweet, "Yes, reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don't put everyone under de facto house arrest," we are not there yet.

Musk is perhaps frustrated because Tesla factories in New York and California have been shuttered for the time being. Perhaps he thinks that he can tweet them open and help his car business. If this is the case, he is likely to be sorely mistaken. Americans are a lot smarter than Musk is revealing himself to be, and though Tesla reported a Q1 profit -- a surprise to many -- this week, I predict that Musk's ill-advised tweets will negatively impact his business.

In fact, the factory was only closed in March after appearing to operate in violation of a county order limiting activities of nonessential businesses for days. If Musk feels this strongly about opening up the country, then he should tell the public exactly how he plans on safely getting his factory workers back to work. 

Read the full op-ed here:

10:25 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

The countries hit hardest by Covid-19, by the numbers

An emergency worker wears a protective suit outside a hospital in Madrid, Spain, on April 30.
An emergency worker wears a protective suit outside a hospital in Madrid, Spain, on April 30. Manu Fernandez/AP

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.34 million people worldwide and killed at least 238,500, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the five countries with the highest figures:

  1. United States: More than 1.1 million cases and 64,500 deaths
  2. Spain: More than 213,000 cases and 24,500 deaths
  3. Italy: More than 207,000 cases and 28,000 deaths
  4. The UK: More than 178,000 cases and 27,000 deaths
  5. France: More than 167,000 cases and 24,500 deaths