Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Elise Hammond and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:03 p.m. ET, May 15, 2020
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6:43 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020

China calls for stable bilateral ties with US after Trump criticizes Beijing

From CNN's Isaac Yee

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after returning to the White House on May 14.
President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after returning to the White House on May 14. Alex Brandon/AP

China has called for stable bilateral ties to be maintained between Beijing and Washington after US President Donald Trump heavily criticized the country on Thursday.

"Maintaining stable development of bilateral ties serves the fundamental interests of both the Chinese and US people and is also conducive to world peace and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
"Now China and the US should continue to enhance our cooperation against the novel coronavirus to defeat the virus as soon as possible and to treat patients and resume the economic development and production, but doing this also calls for the cooperation on the US side.”

Trump has repeatedly attacked China as coronavirus cases rise in the US.

The US has increased military pressure on China over the last few weeks, amid increased tensions over the South China Sea.

Washington has also accused Beijing of seeking to leverage the coronavirus pandemic to extend its sphere of influence in the region.

8:17 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020

Nevada's casino restaurants can reopen, state gaming commission says

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The shuttered Four Queens Hotel & Casino is seen in Las Vegas on March 22.
The shuttered Four Queens Hotel & Casino is seen in Las Vegas on March 22. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Restaurants in Nevada's casinos are now permitted to reopen for business, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has said.

Most restaurants in the state were permitted to open for dine-in services with social distancing from May 9, under the first phase of the state governor's reopening plan. But Nevada's casinos remain shut under the state's social distancing guidelines.

The casino restaurants will have to comply with the same industry-specific guidance the governor set forth for food establishments, the board said in a notice sent on Thursday.

Restaurants will need to inform the board “whether there is a separate entrance for the restaurant, apart from any entrance to the restaurant off the gaming floor," according to the notice.
"If there is not a separate entrance for the restaurant, the licensee must articulate to the Board how it will ensure that patrons are only able to enter the restaurant from inside the property without traversing the gaming floor," it added.

If there is no restroom inside the premises, restaurants will have to outline how customers can use a bathroom outside of the restaurant without stepping onto the casino's gaming floor.

The business will also need to provide a plan on how it will prevent customers from congregating outside of the restaurant prior to entering, if they are located in a county with a population of more than 100,000.

5:20 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020

Almost 86,000 people have died in the US

From CNN's Joe Sutton

At least 85,906 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally of cases. There are 1,417,889 recorded cases of the disease across the country.

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

CNN is tracking the spread of coronavirus across the US here.

5:14 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020

New coronavirus case counts are going down in almost half of US states

From CNN's Holly Yan and Faith Karimi

In 24 states, the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day is generally going down.

In 17 states, the numbers are holding steady, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. And in nine states, the numbers of new cases are still rising.

But that doesn't mean it's time to celebrate and take off face masks in public.

As states remove more stay-at-home restrictions, it will take weeks to learn the health effects.

A poll shows most Americans aren't yet ready to return to their regular routines.

And a new study reveals the virus can be spread just by talking, with airborne particles lingering for eight minutes.

As of Thursday, more than 1.4 million people in the US have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 85,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins.

6:07 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020

5 takeaways from Rick Bright's House hearing

From CNN's Melissa Macaya, Adrienne Vogt, Alex Rogers and Maggie Fox

Rick Bright testifies in Washington on May 14.
Rick Bright testifies in Washington on May 14. Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Rick Bright, who filed a whistleblower complaint after being removed from his position as head of the agency in charge of pandemic response, testified for just under four hours Thursday before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's health subcommittee.

Here are a few key points Bright made in his testimony:

  • Bright 'alarmed' at lack of plans from federal agencies and the administration: Bright said there is still no "master, coordinated plan" and noted that a "comprehensive strategy" was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic that included widespread testing, tracing and ongoing efforts to "develop a cure," as well as what to do with a vaccine once one is developed.
  • Bright says his warnings about supply shortages were ignored multiple times: Bright said he began to get alerts that the supply chain for masks and other personal protective equipment was "diminishing rapidly" back in January. But when he forwarded the alerts to leadership in the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as with national infrastructure and stockpile teams, he said they were ignored.
  • "There were some attempts to bypass" a vetting process for hydroxychloroquine: The Trump administration rushed out recommendations about the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, Bright said. "We have a very rigorous scientific review process for all the investments that we make for the drugs, vaccines and diagnostics through BARDA and through our department," Bright said, a reference to the agency for which he used to be the director, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
  • He cast doubt on the 12- to 18-month timeline for a vaccine: Bright called the White House's vaccine timeline an "aggressive schedule" and warned that if the administration rushed too quickly to get out a vaccine, the country may not have a full assessment of its safety.
  • GOP members question need for hearing and its timing: Some Republicans on the subcommittee said that the hearing shouldn't have been held at all, citing other needs for Congress to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.