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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11:07 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

April unemployment could be as high as 20%, senior White House adviser says

CNN's Aditi Sangal

A Pulaski County Sheriff's officer gives out numbers as people wait in line at the Arkansas Workforce Center, in Little Rock, on April 23.
A Pulaski County Sheriff's officer gives out numbers as people wait in line at the Arkansas Workforce Center, in Little Rock, on April 23. Thomas Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

The unemployment rate could be as high as 20% in the latest jobs report that will be released this Friday, according to Kevin Hassett, senior economic adviser to President Trump.

“We are looking at probably the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression. It's a tremendous negative shock," he said.

Just a week ago, Hassett had estimated a 20% unemployment rate for June but he said the latest data received on claims is "worse than expected," which led to the latest forecast revised for April. 

“We've now got 30 million people who have filed, a little bit more, for initial claims for unemployment insurance,” he said. “When you add them all up and think about how many people are employed in the country, then you can estimate the change in unemployment.”

Hassett also said the projections did not include the prospect of tariffs on China as a punishment for a lack of transparency.

WATCH:

10:31 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Frontier Airlines will offer empty middle seats starting at $39

From CNN's Pete Muntean 

A Frontier Airlines jetliner taxis to a runway to take off from Denver International Airport on April 23, in Denver.
A Frontier Airlines jetliner taxis to a runway to take off from Denver International Airport on April 23, in Denver. David Zalubowski/AP

Frontier Airlines is allowing passengers to purchase an empty middle seat, as part of a program aimed at “well-being and comfort.”

The airline said there will be 18 “More Room” seats per flight, which include the empty middle seat. The program runs through August 31 and could be extended beyond that.

It comes following the airline’s announcement that all passengers are required to have face coverings in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

10:30 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Senate officially announces hearing with Dr. Fauci next week

From CNN's Manu Raju and Lauren Fox 

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, on April 29.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, on April 29. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee officially announced next week's hearing with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the administration's coronavirus task force.

The hearing will be at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, according to the announcement.

As CNN has reported, this was expected and comes as the White House is blocking Dr. Fauci from testifying before the Democratic-led House next week. 

Here is the full list of witnesses:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci— NIH
  • Dr. Robert Redfield — CDC
  • Dr. Brett Giroir — HHS
  • Dr. Stephen Hahn — FDA

10:24 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

New York City will offer antibody tests for 140,000 health care workers and first responders

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

New York City, in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will offer antibody test for 140,000 healthcare workers and first responders starting next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference this morning.

The tests, which will identify likely past coronavirus infections, will be offered at city hospitals, firehouses, police stations and corrections facilities, he said.

10:16 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Connecticut cancels school for the rest of the academic year

From CNN's Carma Hassan

A kindergarten class sits empty at the KT Murphy Elementary School on March 17, in Stamford, Connecticut.
A kindergarten class sits empty at the KT Murphy Elementary School on March 17, in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont ordered all in-person classes in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the academic year.

Distance learning will continue and schools will continue providing breakfast and lunch to students at home, he said in a statement. Lamont said he will determine later on this month whether summer school programs will be able to occur as scheduled.

10:14 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

New York City mayor: Trump "seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a coronavirus briefing on May 5, in New York City.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a coronavirus briefing on May 5, in New York City. NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said President Trump “seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back," referring to Trump's “no bailout” comments in a recent interview with the New York Post.

“I think Congress is inclined to do a lot of things but I don’t think they’re inclined to do bailouts. A bailout is different then, you know, reimbursing for the plague … It’s not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they’re run by Democrats in every case,” the President said in the interview.

In his Tuesday morning press briefing, de Blasio asked, “what kind of human being sees the suffering here and decides that people in New York City don’t deserve help?”

He continued:

“I’ll tell you something – everyday President Trump resembles more and more Herbert Hoover, the president that ignored the Great Depression, who didn’t care to put America back on its feet, who has been now remembered in history as someone who failed at the most basic responsibility which is to protect the people he serves. President Trump wasn’t there for us when we needed the testing to stop this horrible disease, and now he’s talking about not helping us in our hour of need."
10:51 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

This is what the Senate looks like under new social distancing guidelines 

From Jeremy Herb and Zachary Cohen

Senate Intelligence Committee is holding a nomination hearing for President Trump's pick for Director of National Intelligence, Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe's hearing is the first Senate hearing being held since senators reconvened this week in a new, socially distant environment at the US Capitol. You can watch the hearing live here.

About the nominee: Ratcliffe withdrew from consideration when he was first tapped for the role last summer after even some Republicans voiced concern about exaggerations to his national security resume. But President Trump picked him again in February for the role.

Ratcliffe appears to have the support he needs from Republicans who were skeptical the first time he was picked, but Democrats are sure to press him on his ability to be independent from Trump. 

9:50 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Tyson Fresh Meats to resume operations at Washington state plant

From CNN’s Pamela Kirkland, Dianne Gallagher and Dan Shepherd

The exterior of a Tyson Fresh Meats plant is seen next to a nearby farm on May 1, in Wallula, Washington.
The exterior of a Tyson Fresh Meats plant is seen next to a nearby farm on May 1, in Wallula, Washington. David Ryder/Getty Images

Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, announced on Tuesday that it will resume operations at its Pasco, Washington, beef processing plant. The plant halted production at the facility on April 23 after it was linked to an outbreak of Covid-19. 

“While the plant was idle, we performed a deep clean and sanitization of the facility and took proactive steps to complement our existing prevention efforts,” said Shane Miller, senior vice president and general manger beef enterprise said in a statement.

Tyson Fresh Meats says that US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for meat and poultry processing workers and employees have also been put in place.  

9:50 a.m. ET, May 5, 2020

US stocks open higher on optimism about the reopening of the economy

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks opened higher today, adding onto yesterday's gains, as optimism about the reopening of the economy boosted the market.

Here's how the markets opened today:

  • The Dow kicked off nearly 1%, or 225 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 opened up 1%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2%.

Follow live updates from the markets here.