Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 0126 GMT (0926 HKT) May 29, 2020
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9:00 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

1 in 4 American workers have filed for unemployment benefits during the pandemic

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Signs hang from an apartment building in Washington on May 18.
Signs hang from an apartment building in Washington on May 18. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

More than 40 million Americans have filed for first-time unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic forced the US economy to shut down in March –– that's nearly one in four workers.

Another 2.1 million people filed initial jobless claims last week, the Department of Labor reported Thursday morning. 

It was the tenth-straight week in which claims were in the millions. America had never recorded a single week of 1 million jobless claims prior to the coronavirus crisis.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks rose to 21.1 million. 

State labor departments across the country continue to struggle to process the millions of claims. Before the pandemic, weekly claims were around 200,000.

A look at the economy: Economists, politicians and workers have high hopes that people will be able to return to work as the US economy reopens. But this reopening will be staggered and unsynchronized. Some states will move ahead faster than others, just like some industries will be revived quicker.

Jobs have been lost across the board.

The hospitality industry, which accounted for the bulk of jobs lost in April, is expected to be scarred for the long-term by the pandemic. It could take consumers some time before they are willing to go out to bars and restaurants again.

Unemployment claims don't equal jobs lost – the two data sets are based on different surveys – but economists expect the unemployment rate to jump again in May. Next week's jobs report is expected to show an unemployment rate of nearly 20%, up from 14.7% in April.

8:33 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony with Kobe Bryant postponed until spring 2021, ESPN reports

Kobe Bryant is pictured during a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 28, 2007. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.
Kobe Bryant is pictured during a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 28, 2007. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will have to wait to be inducted posthumously into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The enshrinement ceremony scheduled for August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN.

Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall, told ESPN Wednesday the Class of 2020 ceremony will be pushed back to the spring of 2021.

"We're definitely canceling," Colangelo said. "It's going to have to be the first quarter of next year. We'll meet in a couple of weeks and look at the options of how and when and where."

The Board of Governors will get together June 10 to discuss possible dates for next year, ESPN reports.

Eight other honorees, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings, were set to join Bryant in the distinguished class.

Colangelo said there will be separate ceremonies for this year's class and the class next year despite both happening in 2021.

"We won't be combining them. The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration," he said.

CNN has reached out to the Hall for confirmation on the induction ceremony delay.

8:49 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

It's just past 8 a.m. in New York and 5 a.m. in San Francisco. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician, listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus at the White House on May 15.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician, listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus at the White House on May 15. Alex Brandon/AP

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 5.7 million people globally. If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments:

  • US passes 100,000 deaths: More than 350,000 people have died from the disease globally, including at least 100,442 people in the US, which has the highest number of deaths and cases around the world.
  • Fauci discusses second wave: A second coronavirus wave "could happen, but it is not inevitable," the nation's top infectious disease expert said.
  • CDC says antibody tests are often wrong: The tests, used to determine if people have been infected in the past with Covid-19, might be wrong up to half the time, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
  • Mail-in voting fight continues: Conservative groups have accelerated attempts to push state officials to purge voter rolls, in moves that could affect who receives mail-in ballots in this time of Covid-19 and could impact November's presidential contest.
7:29 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Legal battles heat up as mail-in ballot fight continues

From CNN's Joan Biskupic

President Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on state plans for mail-in ballots as parallel fights are intensifying over whether hundreds of thousands of people on state rolls may be ineligible to vote.

Conservative groups have accelerated their litigation to push state officials to purge voter rolls, in moves that could affect who receives mail-in ballots in this time of Covid-19 and could impact November's presidential contest.

The conflict over potentially ineligible voters on state rolls, often pitting the ideological right against left, Republicans against Democrats, helped drive controversy over the Wisconsin primary held last month despite coronavirus risks. In a case now pending at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the nonprofit Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is trying to strike more than 200,000 names it believes are no longer valid in that swing state.

In related action, the conservative group Judicial Watch has filed new lawsuits against North Carolina and Pennsylvania officials, claiming they have violated federal law by not keeping their rolls current. The Public Interest Legal Foundation, another right-wing group at the forefront of challenges to state lists, has a pending claim against Detroit. The group asserts that thousands of names of dead people are on city rolls.

Read more here.

8:51 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

US coronavirus cases near 1.7 million

From CNN's Joe Sutton

There are at least 1,699,933 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to John Hopkins University. At least 100,442 people have now died from the disease.

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

CNN is tracking Covid-19's spread across the US here.

6:54 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Covid-19 antibody tests are wrong up to half the time, CDC says

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A health care worker takes a blood sample for a Covid-19 antibody test in Los Angeles on May 20.
A health care worker takes a blood sample for a Covid-19 antibody test in Los Angeles on May 20. Damian Dovarganes/AP

Antibody tests used to determine if people have been infected in the past with Covid-19 might be wrong up to half the time, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in new guidance posted on its website.

Antibody tests, often called serologic tests, look for evidence of an immune response to infection.

"Antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset," the CDC says.

They are not accurate enough to use to make important policy decisions, the CDC said.

"Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities," the CDC says.
"Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace."

Health officials or health care providers who are using antibody tests need to use the most accurate test they can find and might need to test people twice, the CDC said in the new guidance.

Read more here.

5:31 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

On the west coast, Covid-19 patients spent an average of 10 days in hospital

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Patients being treated for coronavirus in California and Washington states spent an average of 10 days in hospital, researchers reported Wednesday.

Few studies have looked at how long virus patients spend in hospital, but the duration of treatment is an important factor during the pandemic, as longer patient stays risk hospitals being overwhelmed by outbreaks.

Longer patient stays are also more expensive than briefer courses of treatment.

Joseph Lewnard at the University of California Berkeley and a team of colleagues looked at medical records for 1,800 coronavirus patients at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California and Washington. 

“The estimated median duration of stay among survivors was 9.3 days and among non-survivors was 12.7 days,” the report notes.
“The estimated median length of stay for all patients admitted to hospital by 9 April 2020 was 10.1 days."

The research was published in the BMJ, a medical journal.

The report also provided other details about the west coast patient population. More than 18% of the patients sick enough to be hospitalized had died by April 22, and out of 1,100 California patients, 333 spent time in intensive care.

6:15 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Top US health official says second coronavirus wave "could happen, but it is not inevitable"

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician, on "CNN Newsroom" on May 27.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician, on "CNN Newsroom" on May 27. CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician, said the US can "prevent this second wave" of Covid-19 if it reopens "correctly."

Fauci, speaking to CNN yesterday, said that it is necessary to put in place "clear and effective" testing, tracing and isolation measures in order to do this.

He added that the country does not have to accept a second wave — particularly in the fall — "as an inevitability."

"It could happen, but it is not inevitable," Fauci said.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that areas of the US that are seeing upticks in coronavirus cases need to be watched carefully. 

With reopening, "when you do that and you see no negative effect in one week, please don't be overconfident," Fauci told CNN.

6:04 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

More than 100,000 Americans have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Holly Yan, Steve Almasy and Jay Croft

A Maryland Cremation Services transporter wheels the body of a coronavirus victim at Stauffer Funeral Home in Frederick, Maryland, on May 12.
A Maryland Cremation Services transporter wheels the body of a coronavirus victim at Stauffer Funeral Home in Frederick, Maryland, on May 12. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It took less than four months for an unseen enemy to kill 100,000 Americans.

That's almost twice the number of Americans lost during the entire Vietnam War.

No one knew how bad the coronavirus pandemic would get when the first known virus-related death happened on February 6.

But since then, an average of nearly 900 Americans have died every day from Covid-19.

Even as the number of deaths reaches such a grim milestone, Americans are at odds over whether it's necessary to keep taking protective measures, including wearing a face covering.

A leading researcher says the data is clear: The path ahead in the Covid-19 pandemic is being shaped by masks.

"We now have really clear evidence that wearing masks works — it's probably a 50% protection against transmission," Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, or IHME, at the University of Washington, told CNN late Tuesday.