May 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 11:26 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020
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4:47 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

New York has reported 299 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Source: Governor's Cuomo Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reported that 299 people in New York died due to coronavirus over the past day.

"The new cases walking in the door, the new Covid cases, the number of new infections was also down a little bit, 831. It had been relatively flat at about 900 every day. Which is not great news. Yesterday was 831. We'll watch to see what happens with that," Cuomo said a news conference moments ago. "The number that I watch every day, which is the worst, is the number of deaths. That number has remained obnoxiously and terrifyingly high. And it's still not dropping at the rate we would like to see it drop. It even went up a little bit, 299, 289 the day before. So that is bad news. 276 deaths in hospitals. 23 in nursing homes."

Cuomo added that nursing homes are where the "most vulnerable population is, and the highest number of the most vulnerable population."

Watch:

4:50 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

White House economic adviser says additional stimulus package might not be necessary

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks about reopening the country during a meeting with business executives at the White House on Wednesday, April 29.
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks about reopening the country during a meeting with business executives at the White House on Wednesday, April 29. Alex Brandon/AP

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said that another stimulus package – called phase four – might not be necessary.

"I think right now because there's been good news really that the opening up is starting to happen faster than we expected, appears to be doing so safely, then there is a chance that we won't really need a phase four," Hassett said on Fox News Saturday morning regarding the package, which is expected to have funding for states and localities.

In a gaggle with reporters after his Fox appearance, Hassett seemed to imply that there would be some sort of additional stimulus package but that a potential phase four deal might be geared more toward "growth and taking off and recovering, rather than just building a bridge to recovery."

Some context: President Trump said earlier in the week that he would look at funding for states in a potential phase four stimulus package but that “we want to take a little bit of a pause” before passing such a package.

Trump said that Republicans are in a much better negotiating position on funding for states and if they agree to it, Republicans "have to get something for it."

Hassett said that aid to states "will be a political issue that will be worked out between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill" but that President Trump "is absolutely opposed to bailouts."

On opening up the economy, Hassett said that "probably by the end of May, almost every state will be mostly open economically" but added that economic numbers over the next few months will be "as bad as you've ever seen."

4:51 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

France to extend coronavirus emergency measures for 2 months

From CNN's Pierre Buet and Zahid Mahmood

A woman wearing a facemask walks along the Jardin du Palais Royal on May 2 in Paris.
A woman wearing a facemask walks along the Jardin du Palais Royal on May 2 in Paris. Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

The French government will extend a state of emergency over coronavirus for around two months in a set of measures to be proposed to Parliament on Tuesday, Health Minister Olivier Véran said in a press conference today.

Following a cabinet meeting over the coronavirus crisis, Veran was joined by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to propose a new legislation on Tuesday that will see the health emergency move forward through to July 24.

Véran said that lifting the emergency earlier would "waste" the "considerable efforts made by the French people."

"If we were to decrease overnight on May 11, the efforts we made... we can bet that all these efforts, made admirably by the French people would have been in vain," Véran said.

Other proposed measures include limiting travel and introducing a quarantining process for people entering France from "abroad, Corsica and other overseas territory."

"The government’s objective is not to prevent the French people from traveling –– the government’s objective is to prevent the virus from traveling," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

Castaner added there would be no border restrictions between French districts in the proposed measures.

4:44 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Virginia to receive systems that sterilize personal protective equipment

From CNN's Liz Turrell

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Saturday that the Commonwealth has received Federal Emergency Management Agency approval to receive three Battelle Critical Care Decontamination Systems.

The three systems can sterilize up to 240,000 units of personal protective equipment per day for reuse.

The three systems are being installed at the Marching Virginians Center on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, a warehouse site in the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, and the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds.

The system in Blacksburg will support Virginia and West Virginia and will be jointly operated by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

A system delivered to Washington, DC, last week is supporting Northern Virginia and Maryland health care systems, in addition to those in DC.

 

4:52 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Roughly 100 people may have died from coronavirus at a geriatric center in New York City

From CNN's Sheena Jones

The Isabella Geriatric Center in New York on May 1.
The Isabella Geriatric Center in New York on May 1. Frank Franklin II/AP

There are 98 people who may have died from Covid-19 at the Isabella Geriatric Center in New York City, according to a statement from the center.

This statement comes after New York Representative Adriano Espaillat accused nursing homes of not accurately reporting Covid-19 deaths to the Department of Health.

Espaillat wrote a letter addressed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Attorney General Letitia James calling for an investigation into nursing home facilities.

"Recent reports suggest that nursing home administrators across the state have abandoned transparency, leaving patients unnerved and their families unenlightened as to the status of their loved ones’ health. By withholding important information regarding facility conditions, patients’ status, and the accurate number of cases and deaths related to Covid-19 from families and elected officials, nursing home administrators are abnegating their most fundamental duty," Espaillat said.

The 705-bed geriatric center said that as the virus hit its facility, they didn’t have access to testing to "quickly diagnose" residents and staff, according to a statement.

The center noted that they are getting more access to testing and that they have reported accurate data to the Department of Health.

4:52 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Trump says there is enough coronavirus testing for returning senators

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

There is enough testing capacity for Senators who are returning on Monday, President Trump said in a tweet this morning.

"There is tremendous CoronaVirus testing capacity in Washington for the Senators returning to Capital Hill on Monday," the tweet said.

Trump added that there is testing capacity for the House and criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for deciding not to delay the return of its members.

Some background: On a call with top Senate republican aides yesterday, the Capitol attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan said that testing capacity on the Hill is limited and can only be made available to those who are ill, according to a source familiar with the call.

However late last night, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tweeted that he had received an "initial request and are sending 3 Abbott point of care testing machines and 1,000 tests for their use."

Read Trump's tweet:

9:41 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

New York City residents will be able to get their marriage licenses online

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Starting May 7, New York City residents will be able to obtain marriage licenses online, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday on Twitter.

"An important new visitor is coming to New York City, and that visitor is Cupid," de Blasio said in a video where he answered questions sent in by New Yorkers.

The mayor said the service will be available online at nyc.gov/cupid.

"Even though we've been through so much in this city, even though we're fighting back this pandemic, this pandemic cannot stop love. And so for all of you looking forward to getting married, we're back in business and ready to serve you and ready to celebrate with you," de Blasio said.

This comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a few weeks ago that he was signing an executive order that would allow couples to get marriage licenses remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies over video.

See de Blasio's tweet:

9:25 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Fargo, North Dakota, to reopen city buildings on Monday

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Downtown Fargo, North Dakota.
Downtown Fargo, North Dakota. Shutterstock

Fargo, North Dakota, will reopen city facilities on Monday, including city hall.

This decision is part of "phase one" in reopening the economy, the city said in a news release.

City buildings will open safely, but said "these methods will be adjusted as needed to appropriately address and respond to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic," according to the release.

Several safety initiatives will be implemented, such as supplying personal protective equipment to employees, encouraging people to wear masks when they are not able to social distance and conducting business virtually or on the phone whenever possible, the release said.

The city said it will also "defer all fees related to late payments on city utilities" and "will refrain from utility shut-offs due to lack of payment through June 30, 2020," the release said.

4:53 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Harry Potter author gives $1.25 million to coronavirus charities

From Zahid Mahmood

J.K. Rowling accepts an award onstage during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC on December 12, 2019.
J.K. Rowling accepts an award onstage during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC on December 12, 2019. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is donating $1.25 million to two charities helping vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rowling made the announcement on Twitter saying that on the 22nd anniversary of the "Battle of Hogwarts" – a significant event in the books – it was "inappropriate" to talk about fictional deaths where "many people are losing loved ones in the real world."

Rowling said the donation will be split between two UK charities –– one that helps people experiencing homelessness and the other which provides refuge from domestic abuse.

"As ever in a crisis of this sort, the poorest and most vulnerable are hit hardest, so in honor of the Battle of Hogwarts, I’ll be making a donation of £1 million, half of which will go to Crisis, who’re helping the homeless during the pandemic," Rowling's tweet said.

"And half of which will go to Refuge because we know that domestic abuse has sadly increased hugely during the lockdown," the tweet said.

Read Rowling's tweets: