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
26 Posts
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12:07 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Montgomery mayor says entire city only has two ICU beds available

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Montgomery, Alabama, Mayor Steven Reed said the whole city only had two available ICU beds this morning amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

“We're not doing better, we're actually doing worse, unfortunately. … We are in a place that would be considered a crisis at this moment,” Reed said in an interview on CNN. 

“We have not gotten out of this, and unfortunately, people believe that the pandemic is over, and they believe that we get chance to determine when things go back to normal, and we don't. So I'm certainly concerned about those who may be sick and those who may have some illnesses not being able to get the attention they may need,” he continued.

Reed said he understands that residents “have Covid fatigue” and are itching to return to living life how they did before the pandemic, but it’s not time to let up yet.

“We can't fast-forward to the end of this movie, and we're trying to do that right now in the way we're approaching this process, and I think that's why we're seeing the spikes — not only in Montgomery but also throughout Alabama. And that is problematic for our business owners, it's problematic for our schools, it's problematic for our hospitals, our first responders and our entire community,” he said. 


12:03 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

New York governor will sign Executive Order giving businesses right to deny entry to those not wearing masks

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Brooklyn, New York, on May 28.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Brooklyn, New York, on May 28. State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he is signing an Executive Order that will authorize private businesses in the state to deny entry to people who do not wear a mask or a face covering.

"When we are talking about reopening stores in places of business, we are giving the store owners the right to say if you are not wearing a mask, you can't come in. That store owner has the right to protect himself," he said.

He continued: "If you don't want to wear a mask, fine, you don't have the right to go into that store owner if that store does not want you to."

Cuomo noted that the state has delivered more than 8 million masks for New York City, many which went to public housing, food banks, churches and homeless shelters. He added that they are bringing in a million more masks today.

"The masks work. They work," the governor said.

11:44 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

74 people died in New York from coronavirus yesterday, governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 74 people died yesterday in the state from the coronavirus. He called this "relatively positive news" compared to the higher daily death toll number the state was previously seeing.

"This is always painful. And we're going to be watching this number to see how far down it actually goes," he added.

Cuomo said that hospitalizations, intubations, and new Covid-19 cases are also down in the state. "That is all very very good news," he said.

Watch here:

11:26 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Top US general says he is "very confident" a coronavirus vaccine will be ready in the fall

From CNN's Jamie Crawford

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a presentation in the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump on May 15 in Washington.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a presentation in the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump on May 15 in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said he was “very confident that a vaccine” for coronavirus “will be on line beginning sometime in the fall and we’ll have, the goal is to have upward of three hundred million doses by the first of January.”

“If that happens – and there is very high confidence levels that it will happen – then we will be able to immunize the military and immunize the population at large and then we will see a very very rapid decrease in this disease throughout the country and then I think we’ll get back to more normal conditions,” he said.

Milley made the comments Thursday during an online town hall with US forces and Defense Department staff alongside Defense Secretary Mark Esper. 

Esper and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar are leading a task force unveiled earlier this month by President Trump called ‘Operation Warp Speed’ that is working to develop a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

11:22 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Nine businesses in Brooklyn were shut down in the last 48 hours, NYC mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a coronavirus briefing in New York City on May 28.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a coronavirus briefing in New York City on May 28. NYC Media

Nine businesses in Borough Park Brooklyn have been shut down in the last 48 hours, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, adding it is “idiotic” to try to open a business that will be legally allowed to “open in as little as a week or two.”

Responding to a question from a reporter, de Blasio explained that those businesses were told they were not to be open and stopped operating. He added that the sheriff’s department has been working this. 

“If any of them are found in operation again that begins with a $1,000 daily fine," he said.

“Hey how bout waiting until it's legal and safe? And then you can do it the right way,” de Blasio said.

“If you don’t, you’re going to suffer this kind of consequence, it makes no sense," he added.

Earlier in response to a more general question about businesses deciding to reopen early, de Blasio said, “Businesses are not supposed to make up their own rules and jump the gun, it’s just, it’s really clear.”

11:11 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Senator Tim Kaine says he tested positive for coronavirus antibodies

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images
Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Senator Tim Kaine announced in a statement Thursday that he and his wife have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month. While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide," the Virginia senator said in a statement. "So we will keep following CDC guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”

Some context: Earlier this week CNN's health team reported that antibody tests used to determine if people have been infected in the past with Covid-19 might be wrong up to half the time, according to new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

11:18 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Nissan won't rule out US job cuts after shutting down Spanish plant

From CNN's Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo and Angus Watson in Hong Kong

The logo of Nissan is covered by smoke columns as employees burn tires in front of the Japanese cars manufacturer's plant in Barcelona on May 28 to protest the factory closure.
The logo of Nissan is covered by smoke columns as employees burn tires in front of the Japanese cars manufacturer's plant in Barcelona on May 28 to protest the factory closure. Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Nissan can't guarantee long-term job security for its 10,000 workers in the US, now furloughed during the coronavirus lockdown, the automaker’s chief operating officer told CNN. However, he said, those workers are beginning to return to their factories.

“Now we are ramping up the plants, and they are coming back,” Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta told CNN. 

Nissan said Thursday it will slash its overall production capacity by 20% after 2019 proved its worst year since 1999, including a big drop in sales in the United States.

“When we look at the United States [in 2020] we anticipate that the United States will be 12 million, which is 4-5 million less than last year. That's why we are not giving any projection this year. Because nobody knows how the recovery will come back,” says Gupta.

Nissan's market share in Europe is now just 2.7%, Gupta told CNN, prompting the ailing Japanese firm to close its Barcelona plant, costing 3,000 jobs. 

There are no planned production line closures in the UK, he said.

“US, China, Japan are the top three markets for us in terms of market share. But Europe is very important for us because we are the ones who created the crossover SUV. We are going to focus that in Europe, focusing that in Sunderland. At the moment there is no line closures in Sunderland.”

10:43 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

New York City preparing for phase 1 of reopening beginning of June, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined the first phase of reopening as it aligns with state guidelines, adding that based on metrics, this will happen either in the first or second week of June.

“That’s four whole parts of our economy, manufacturing, construction, wholesale, and parts of retail that haven’t been opened yet again with restrictions," de Blasio said at his daily news briefing on Thursday.

The mayor added that clothing stores, office supply stores and furniture stores are restricted to curbside pickup or in store pick up.

It's estimated a range of 200,000 to 400,000 workers will be returning to work. The estimate is based on analysis of April 2020 employment in affected industries. 

In a lot of other parts of the country “that would be their entire city,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said there are basic “common sense” rules for all sectors during reopening including social distancing, to keep occupancy to under 50%, personal protective equipment, regular cleaning of shared surfaces, health screenings for employees such as temperature checks or questionnaires, and communication with employees and patrons in the form of creating distance markers and signage.

10:01 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

White House expected not to issue economic projections this summer, officials say

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The White House will forgo issuing economic projections that are traditionally released over the summer that would likely show the effects of the coronavirus downturn, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

The "mid-session review" usually comes over the summer after the winter release of the President's budget proposal. It includes updated projections on unemployment and growth.

The officials said the coronavirus had injected too much uncertainty into the economy to allow for accurate projections. Instead, the report will likely include a summary of the current economic conditions and information about relief legislation enacted by the Trump Administration.

The Washington Post first reported on the decision to forgo the traditional economic forecast this year.