109 died from coronavirus yesterday in New York state, Gov. Cuomo says
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
There were 109 coronavirus-related deaths in New York on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news briefing today.
"This number has been stubborn on its way down," he said.
Hospitalizations are down, as well as the number of new daily coronavirus cases, Cuomo said. He added that the level is lower than when the coronavirus crisis began 83 days ago.
11:21 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
Long Island and Mid-Hudson could reopen next week
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference today that the regions of Long Island and Mid-Hudson could reopen next week under two key conditions:
Deaths continue to decrease
They get contact tracing up and online
You can see where the other regions are on reopening here.
11:09 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
Universal reopening plan now in the hands of Florida governor
From CNN’s Natasha Chen
Orange County, Florida Mayor Jerry Demings submitted a letter this morning to Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving his support to Universal Orlando’s plans to reopen its theme parks.
In the attached letter, Demings writes that an on-site inspection of safety procedures and protocols was conducted by a team of medical doctors and senior members of the Planning, Development and Environmental Services Department from both Orange County and the Florida Department of Health.
Universal Orlando has presented a plan to begin a phased reopening of its theme parks on June 1, initially only for its own team members.
Here are some details on their reopening plan:
On June 3 and June 4, Universal hopes to invite guests such as annual passholders, with an opening to the public on June 5.
John Sprouls, Universal Orlando chief executive officer, and Rich Costales, Universal Orlando executive vice president of resort operations, said all guests will be required to wear face masks and go through temperature screenings to enter the parks.
One disposable face mask will be provided for free to guests who did not bring their own.
DeSantis said Wednesday regarding theme park reopening proposals, "Obviously I want to get to yes, so I think if you work with your local [officials], you'll be in pretty good shape."
Universal has theme parks in Orlando, Los Angeles, Japan and Singapore, all of which are temporarily closed. However, the CityWalk portion of Universal Orlando -- featuring shops and dining -- partially reopened on May 14.
10:41 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
Air travel on the rise heading into Memorial Day weekend
From CNN's Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace
More than 300,000 people passed through airport security checkpoints on Thursday, the first time that has happened since March.
This is also the first time in eight weeks that daily traffic at checkpoints was more than 10% of the number of people screened last year, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.
TSA said it screened 318,449 people on Thursday, and 2.7 million on the same Thursday in 2019.
10:30 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
WH economic adviser says it's "likely there will be a fourth phase of stimulus"
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt and Jason Hoffman
White House Economic Advisor Kevin Hassett said “it’s pretty likely that there will be a fourth phase of stimulus” and said we could see it “sooner rather than later.”
Hassett also said that there are some technical things that need to be fixed from the previous stimulus packages.
When asked by CNN’s Poppy Harlow if the need for another stimulus bill is due to economic numbers being worse than initially anticipated, Hassett said no, “but there is still a lot of pain out there.” He added that almost 70% of businesses are opening up and “we are getting back to normal.”
On unemployment, Hassett said a “technical glitch” in the form of a surveying error led to a higher percentage of unemployed Americans in the April report.
He said unemployment could be between 18-22% for the May report depending on whether the surveying error gets fixed.
Hassett also said he expects June’s report could be even worse, but that June could also be a “turning point” and the employment number could “head in the right direction.”
“I think that June will be a little bit higher; we can already tell because of like when the survey happened and what is happening with claims. So I would expect that the turning point will be June,” he said. “We’ll see a very bad number for May, and then I think that in June, it will start to head in the right direction, given the number of businesses open.”
10:28 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
New York City will open 13 more miles of streets to help with social distancing
From CNN's Sheena Jones
New York City will open an additional 13 miles of open streets to help with social distancing around the city ahead of Memorial Day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday morning.
The additional 13-miles will open across the city Saturday, de Blasio said.
New York City will now have a total of 45 miles open to help people social distance, he said.
The mayor also reminded residents to not hang out around restaurants and bars this holiday season and instead, “take out.. don’t hang out,” he said.
9:54 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
US stocks fall after China moves to crack down on Hong Kong
From CNN’s David Goldman
Rising tensions with China sent US stocks down at the open. Not as much as other stock markets around the world, mind you: Global stocks got hammered today. The Hang Seng Index had its worst day since 2015.
Still, the Dow was down 100 points at the open, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell about 0.3%.
China announced Friday it would move to pass a hugely controversial national security law for Hong Kong, the financial hub of Asia.
Meanwhile, India, the world’s other enormous economic growth engine, said it wouldn’t grow at all this year.
That’s not going to be great news for investors either, even in the United States. Remember, despite the Trump administration’s “America First” campaign, the global financial markets remain intimately connected.
9:58 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
McConnell says next coronavirus aid package must fall under $1 trillion mark
From CNN's Lauren Fox
During a meeting at the White House earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stressed that the next coronavirus aide package needs to be under $1 trillion, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
This is in stark contrast to the $3 trillion bill recently passed by the House.
Some context: CNN has reported that McConnell acknowledged on a private call with House Republicans on Wednesday that Congress may have to pass further legislation to boost the economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted it would be far different than the multi-trillion dollar House bill.
"If we do another bill it won't look anything like the House Democrats' bill," McConnell said.
9:43 a.m. ET, May 22, 2020
Alabama football coach releases PSA on wearing masks
Famed University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban has released a public service announcement encouraging people to wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines.
In it, Saban can be seen scolding the Alabama mascot Big Al for not wearing a mask.
"All of us want to make sure we play football this fall, and to make that happen, we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow social distancing guidelines and please wear a mask any time you're around other people," Saban said in his PSA.
Some context: Masks took on greater significance Thursday after President Trump brought a navy blue mask stamped with the presidential seal to a Ford plant in Michigan but refused to wear it in front of cameras.
"I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it," Trump said before showing off his fabric face covering, which he said he'd briefly strapped on backstage before removing for a tour of the factory. "It was very nice. It looked very nice. They said not necessary."
It was another example of Trump shrugging off the rules in place for others that are meant to guard against the coronavirus. As he walked through the facility -- where Ford rules say everyone must wear a mask -- he was surrounded by company executives whose faces were covered.