Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:02 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020
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4:50 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Salons in Texas allowed to reopen this Friday 

From CNN’s Jessica King

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that hair salons and tanning studios will be allowed to reopen this Friday. 

He said while there is a best policies manual that businesses should consult, some of the guidelines include:

  • One customer per stylist unless an individual is waiting for service
  • 6 feet of distance between operating stations and while waiting for an appointment
  • An appointment system

Abbott said face masks are strongly recommended for both customers and for stylists, though he did not make it a requirement of businesses.

He went on to say that one of the biggest apprehensions in reopening has been the close proximity required in operations.

Abbott said the “only safe way” to prevent the spread of Covid-19 would be for both the customer and stylist to wear a face mask. 


4:45 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Minnesota projecting $2.4 billion deficit due to coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Janine Mack

Minnesota is projecting a $2.4 billion budget deficit because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Gov. Tim Walz's website. 

"COVID-19 will damage Minnesota’s economy. There is a long winter ahead. COVID-19 is upending life as we know it—and our economy will not be spared," Walz tweeted Tuesday.

A deficit of $2.4 billion is now projected for the current biennium, which is a nearly $4 billion change compared to the February forecast, according to a May 2020 interim budget project on the governor's website.

The same website said revenues are expected to be $3.6 billion lower and spending is expected to be $391 million higher.

"We cannot view that we're going to fix this budget situation within the next 15 days," Walz said. "The legislature needs to be intimately involved in all these decisions and is going to have to be prepared."

Read Walz's tweet:

4:40 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Melania Trump's office sends 150 boxed lunches to sick children

From CNN's Kate Bennett 

First Lady Melania Trump sent 150 lunches to Children’s Inn at National Institutes of Health, according to a statement released by her office. 

The Inn is a residential “Place Like Home’’ for families with children participating in research studies at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The first lady has visited sick children there on Valentine's Day for the past three years.

It is not clear how the meals were transported, but Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham says it was done through “contact-free delivery.”

The first lady has not publicly left the White House for an official event since March 10 when she attended a national PTA convention in Alexandria, Virginia.

She recently ordered staff to send care packages of Be Best blankets, teddy bears and t-shirts to various hospitals around the country. Last month, at the first lady's directed the White House chief usher, butler and executive pastry chef to deliver boxed lunches to staff at a DC Trader Joe’s store.

4:35 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Food trucks can operate at certain rest stops, Minnesota governor says

From CNN’s Janine Mack

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order that permits food trucks to operate at up to six highway rest stops in the state.

"As many restaurants across the United States have closed, restrictions pertaining to commercial activities at highway rest areas have restricted fresh food options for truck drivers operating in Minnesota," according to a statement on the governor's website.

"Executive Order 20-49 will provide an additional option for truck drivers, who play a critical role in supporting the supply chain and depend on eating their meals on the road," the statement said.

Food truck operators will have to apply for a permit and will be able to serve truckers for at least the next two weeks while the stay-at-home order is in place, according to the website.

The order is effective immediately upon approval by the Minnesota Executive Council, Walz said.

4:33 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Disney's profit plunged 91% last quarter as parks closed due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta

Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images
Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

Disney's profit dropped 91% during the first three months of 2020, showcasing the widespread decimation the coronavirus pandemic has brought on its media empire.

Although sales for the quarter were up 21% to $18 billion, Disney's profit took an enormous hit from the closure of its parks as well as large costs associated with getting the Disney+ streaming service off the ground.

The company's parks and experiences unit was hit particularly hard by the outbreak. That segment saw a 58% drop in operating compared to last year, a result of Disney shuttering its theme parks and resorts around the world.

4:30 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Denver will begin reopening Saturday

From CNN’s Sarah Turnbull

Denver will allow some businesses to reopen on Saturday given the guidelines laid out by the state of Colorado, according to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

“These businesses can start to reopen offices with only 50% of their employees on site, and 6 feet of physical distancing between them, retail businesses with only 50% of their employees on site and six feet of physical distancing available between customers,” Hancock said at an afternoon news conference.

Hancock says restaurants and bars in the city will remain closed. Personal care businesses like hair salons will be allowed to open on a by appointment only basis with no walk-ins.

6:14 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Ousted vaccine director to testify on Capitol Hill next week

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond 

Dr. Rick Bright
Dr. Rick Bright HHS


Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, will testify on Capitol Hill next Thursday, his lawyers were informed.

“I’ve received notification from Congresswoman Eshoo that she is going to be scheduling hearings next week, May 14, and Dr. Bright will be testifying,” Bright's attorney told reporters during a conference call Tuesday.  

CNN reported last month that Rep. Anna Eshoo, the chairwoman of the House's Health subcommittee, told CNN she plans to call in Bright to testify before her panel as she reviews the circumstances of his removal from a key position after he raised concerns about the safety of a drug that President Trump touted as a potential treatment to the coronavirus.

Bright had led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority since 2016 when he was reassigned last month to a narrower position at the National Institutes of Health.

He formally filed an extensive whistleblower complaint Tuesday alleging his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored and that his caution at a treatment favored by Trump led to his removal.

Watch here:

4:24 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Airbnb is laying off nearly 1,900 employees

From CNN’s Kaya Yurieff

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airbnb is laying off about 25% of its workforce as the coronavirus pandemic upends the travel industry and threatens the company's core business.

The short-term rental startup on Tuesday said nearly 1,900 employees will be let go worldwide, out of 7,500. 

"We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill," Airbnb CEO and cofounder Brian Chesky said in a letter to employees.

He added that Airbnb's business has been "hit hard" and revenue this year is expected to be less than half of what the company earned in 2019. 

Airbnb has also reportedly delayed plans for a Wall Street debut this year.

In the US, Airbnb said it will cover 12 months of health insurance for its employees through COBRA. In all other countries, it will cover health insurance costs through the end of this year.

"I have a deep feeling of love for all of you," Chesky wrote in the letter. "I am truly sorry. Please know this is not your fault. The world will never stop seeking the qualities and talents that you brought to Airbnb."

Airbnb has also grappled with appeasing frustrated customers with refunds, and supporting its hosts, many of whom are struggling to make mortgage payments and pay bills due to coronavirus-related cancellations.

4:08 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

US stocks finish higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday, as investors grew optimistic about the reopening of the US economy.

Here's where the markets closed today:

  • The Dow closed up 133 points, or 0.6%.
  • The S&P 500 ended 0.9% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite finished up 1.1%.

It marked the second straight day of gains for the three indexes, though they finished well off their session highs Tuesday.