May 23 coronavirus news

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2:24 a.m. ET, May 23, 2020

The coronavirus crisis in Brazil is hitting poverty-stricken favelas

The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting inequalities in wealth and health care access around the world -- and in Brazil, the crisis has reached the poverty-stricken and densely-populated favelas.

An estimated 13 million people nationwide live in these neighborhoods, where many residents subsist on minimum wage or less and depend on jobs that have been impacted by the pandemic.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh visited the favelas of Sao Paulo, the country's most populous city.

"This is the place people don't want to live in, yet poverty means it's packed all the same," he said, walking through narrow streets. "It's in these densely-packed alleyways you can tell the real risk of a high infection rate."

One resident in the favela told CNN she had tested positive despite wearing masks whenever going outside to the market. Without much space to self-isolate, she resorted to sitting on her second-floor terrace.

Some context: On Saturday, Brazil surpassed Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases globally, after the United States.

The country has seen its numbers spike in recent weeks; on Friday authorities said they had recorded 20,803 new cases in the past 24 hours.

The nationwide total now stands at 330,890 cases and 21,048 deaths, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.

Take a look at the Sao Paulo favelas:

1:38 a.m. ET, May 23, 2020

The pandemic could reshape the world order. Trump's chaotic strategy is accelerating US losses

Analysis from CNN's Nic Robertson

US President Donald Trump makes a statement in the briefing room at the White House on May 22, in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump makes a statement in the briefing room at the White House on May 22, in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Europe outright rejected US President Donald Trump's vision of the world this week. Tensions between these historic democratic allies that have been simmering since Trump came to office three years ago have now come to a boil during the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 has shocked the world by the speed of its spread, but it is also accelerating another global change in the balance of power -- and not in America's favor.

US and China: Despite Trump's early hailing of Xi Jinping's handling of the pandemic, he has since blamed the Chinese President for covering up the early stages of China's outbreak. Beijing has consistently denied such accusations, and criticized the US approach to the pandemic.

Trump has also sought to blame the WHO for siding with China, and cut almost $500 million in funding to the United Nations body.

Europe's role: Despite deep concerns about China's handling of the pandemic, European leaders backed the WHO resolution calling for "a stepwise process of impartial independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms, as appropriate to review experience gained and lessons learned" from the global response to Covid-19.

What this means: The language is convoluted and hardly inspires confidence China will atone appropriately for its early failures, but it is a measure of the gulf opening up between Trump and his European allies that such a compromise could even be countenanced.

Read the full analysis here:

1:05 a.m. ET, May 23, 2020

India reports more than 6,600 cases within 24 hours, in largest one-day spike

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

People gather at a market in the old quarters of New Delhi on May 22.
People gather at a market in the old quarters of New Delhi on May 22. Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Imag

India recorded 6,654 new cases in the past 24 hours -- the country's biggest one-day surge in cases so far, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

This raises the nationwide total to 125,101 cases and 3,720 deaths.

The western state of Maharashtra is the hardest hit in the country, with 44,582 cases and 1,517 deaths.

This comes as domestic flights resume in India. The government announced that domestic airlines would be able to resume services starting next week, though some states have said incoming passengers would still be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

12:34 a.m. ET, May 23, 2020

The US reported more than 24,000 cases today

A nurse in the intensive care unit at Regional Medical Center on May 21, in San Jose, California.
A nurse in the intensive care unit at Regional Medical Center on May 21, in San Jose, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The US reported 24,104 new cases of Covid-19 and 1,299 related deaths on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

That brings the national total to at least 1,601,251 cases and 96,001 deaths.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

New York is the worst-affected state, with at least 358,154 cases and 28,853 deaths. New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts follow next.

12:06 a.m. ET, May 23, 2020

China reports no new symptomatic Covid-19 cases for first time since pandemic started

From CNN's Anna Kam in Hong Kong and Shanshan Wang in Beijing 

People wearing protective face masks walk in Shenzhen, China on May 22.
People wearing protective face masks walk in Shenzhen, China on May 22. Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

China reported no new symptomatic coronavirus cases on Saturday, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak in December.

There were 28 new asymptomatic cases, which are counted separately, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

With no new deaths reported, China's death toll stands at 4,634.

Of the 82,971 patients who have been confirmed with coronavirus since the outbreak began, 78,258 have since recovered and been discharged from hospital, the NHC said.

11:37 p.m. ET, May 22, 2020

US man charged with fraud for falsely claiming he was infected, federal prosecutors say

From CNN's Jay Croft

A man in the US state of Georgia is charged with defrauding his employer by falsely claiming he was infected with Covid-19, federal prosecutors say.

Santwon Antonio Davis, 34, of Morrow, a suburb of Atlanta, worked for a Fortune 500 company with a facility in the Atlanta area, according to a news release from the US attorney's office in Atlanta.

He allegedly submitted a falsified medical record to the company, which then closed the facility for cleaning "in concern for its employees and customers," and paid employees during the shutdown, the release says.

That cost the corporation more than $100,000 and forced the unnecessary quarantine of several other employees, according to the US attorney's office.

"The defendant caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families," US Attorney Byung J. Pak said.

An affidavit filed by an FBI agent said the company repeatedly contacted Davis in an effort to get a copy of a positive Covid-19 test but he never provided it. Davis has since admitted he did not have Covid-19, according to the US attorney's office.

Read more here:

11:11 p.m. ET, May 22, 2020

Car rental company Hertz files for bankruptcy

From CNN's Chris Isidore

Customers are assisted at a Hertz rental car office on August 8, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
Customers are assisted at a Hertz rental car office on August 8, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy on Friday, becoming the latest victim of the sudden economic downturn sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company had missed an April 27 payment due to a group of lenders that leases vehicles in Hertz's day-to-day US rental fleet. The lenders extended a grace period for the payment only until May 22.

By declaring bankruptcy, Hertz says it intends to stay in business while restructuring its debts and emerge a financially healthier company.

Some background: The company rents cars under the brands Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly, a discount brand outside the United States.

Hertz has been devastated by the plunge in travel since the pandemic hit earlier this year. Nearly two-thirds of its revenue comes from rentals at airport locations, and air travel has fallen sharply. 

The company has already made deep cuts to stem losses. Hertz cut 12,000 of its 38,000 employees in North America, while another 4,000 are on furloughs.

Hertz has been renting cars since 1918, when it first rented a dozen Ford Model Ts, and has survived the Great Depression, the virtual halt of US auto production during World War II, and numerous oil price shocks.

10:53 p.m. ET, May 22, 2020

US experts skeptical after Chinese researchers report positive vaccine results

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Arman Azad

Vials of a possible coronavirus vaccine candidate, also know as “Ad5-nCoV”, co-developed by CanSinoBIO and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology pictured on a table.
Vials of a possible coronavirus vaccine candidate, also know as “Ad5-nCoV”, co-developed by CanSinoBIO and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology pictured on a table. CanSinoBIO

Researchers in China reported results from one of the first Covid-19 vaccine trials Friday, but experts who spoke to CNN were skeptical of their findings and called the data lukewarm.

In a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers said their vaccine was well-tolerated and generated an immune response against the novel coronavirus.

The vaccine, developed by CanSino Biological Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, was tested in 108 healthy, uninfected adults aged 18 to 60 in Wuhan, China -- the original ground zero of the pandemic.

All the participants received injections at low, middle or high doses, and no "serious" side effects were reported, researchers said.

Side effects: Still, almost half of vaccine recipients reported fever, with 44% reporting fatigue and 39% reporting a headache. Overall, 9% of patients reported side effects that were severe enough to have potentially "prevented activity."

These side effects are "not a good safety sign," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Experts also suggested the vaccine did not elicit a strong immune response; all the doses, even the "low" dose, were actually very high, Offit said.

Read about the trial here:

10:32 p.m. ET, May 22, 2020

Peru reported almost 3,000 new cases on Friday

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

A health worker transports an oxygen tank at the Cesar Garayar support hospital in the city of Iquitos, Peru, on May 22.
A health worker transports an oxygen tank at the Cesar Garayar support hospital in the city of Iquitos, Peru, on May 22. Cesar Von Bancels/AFP/Getty Images

Peru reported 2,929 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to the country's Health Ministry, taking the country's total to 111,698.

The ministry also said 96 deaths had been reported in the past day, raising the national death toll to 3,244.

Peru has the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Latin America, behind Brazil.