May 4 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 9:19 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020
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1:42 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

"Operation Warp Speed" scientists in US have identified 14 coronavirus vaccines to focus on

Scientists working as part of the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus have identified 14 vaccines to focus on for development, an administration official told CNN’s Jim Acosta.

CNN’s Sara Murray reports "Operation Warp Speed" was a name chosen by the scientists working on all the challenges that surround vaccine deployment. They are already working on solutions to quickly ramp up production, organize distribution and determine who gets the first doses of the vaccine.

US President Donald Trump speaks with news anchor Bret Baier during a virtual town hall inside of the Lincoln Memorial on May 3 in Washington.
US President Donald Trump speaks with news anchor Bret Baier during a virtual town hall inside of the Lincoln Memorial on May 3 in Washington. Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump said Sunday night at a Fox News town hall, "We are very confident we are going to have a vaccine by the end of the year."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told NBC on Thursday it’s possible there could be a vaccine by early next year.

"You don't wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing -- you at risk proactively start making it, assuming it's going to work, and if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline," Fauci said.
"So we want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it's safe and it's effective. I think that is doable."
1:28 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

America's weekend was marked by park days and protests over coronavirus restrictions

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Holly Yan

From California to New York, more Americans are headed outside -- some for recreation and others in protest.

But as some states loosen or let go of their stay-at-home orders, researchers predict a higher death toll from coronavirus this summer than previously expected.

As of Sunday, more than 1.1 million people in the US have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 67,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

States such as California have stood firm on their stay-at-home orders -- and have been met with protests.

But more than 30 states have started easing some social distancing restrictions -- ranging from simply opening state parks to allowing certain businesses to restart.

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1:06 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

A "travel bubble" between New Zealand and Australia could be a model for post-coronavirus future of tourism

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth in Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on April 27.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on April 27.

It may be some time before tourists are traveling the globe again. But what if you could travel through designated, approved parts of it?

Politicians from Australia and New Zealand are discussing the possibility of opening up borders to each other, creating a travel corridor -- or "travel bubble" -- between the two nations.

Both countries almost completely shut their borders to foreigners in March, a huge blow to their respective tourism industries. But with both appearing to have successfully brought their coronavirus outbreaks under control, politicians are now talking about when borders could be opened to each other.

"That is a situation we would all like to be in, but of course, our number one focus at the moment is making sure that both our countries are in the position where we're domestically managing Covid-19 to a point where we can with confidence open borders," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on April 27.
"One thing I'm not willing to do is jeopardize the position that New Zealand has got itself into by moving too soon to open our borders -- even to Australia."

It's not clear when this "bubble" could become a reality -- currently both countries still have domestic travel restrictions in place, and all international arrivals are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

Travel industry experts say August is when the corridor is likely to be rolled out, possibly in time for the ski season in New Zealand and the school holidays in September.

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12:49 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

China records 85 million domestic tourists in first half of May Day holiday

From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong

Visitors watch as fireworks explode over the Ancient Town of Tong Guan Kiln in Changsha, Hunan province of China on May 3.
Visitors watch as fireworks explode over the Ancient Town of Tong Guan Kiln in Changsha, Hunan province of China on May 3. Yang Huafeng/China News Service/Getty Images

China recorded 85 million domestic tourists during the first three days of the five-day May Day holiday, generating 35 billion yuan ($4.95 billion) in revenue, according to the country's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Last year, 195 million domestic tourists traveled during the entire holiday, generating 117.7 billion yuan ($16.67 billion) in revenue, according to previous data from the ministry.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry has ordered tourist sites in the country to strictly control the flow of visitors, capping numbers at 30% of each site's capacity.

Some 70% of scenic spots rated "A class" in China's tiered grading system were open on the first day of the holiday, according to the ministry.

12:34 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

More than 25,000 new cases reported in the US

The sun sets on the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building in New York City on May 3.
The sun sets on the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building in New York City on May 3. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

A total of 25,502 new coronavirus cases and 1,313 deaths were reported in the United States on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 1,158,041 cases and 67,682 fatalities have now been recorded in the US, according to JHU's tally.

As states begin to include “probable deaths” in their counts, so will JHU. In the upcoming days, these changes may show as surges of deaths in the US. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans hospitals and federal prisons. 

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

12:24 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

When your home is a Japanese internet cafe, but the coronavirus pandemic forces you out

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka, Junko Ogura and Will Ripley in Tokyo

A resident picks up his shoes at a temporally shelter for internet-cafe dwellers at the Kanagawa Budokan martial arts gymnasium in Yokohama, Japan, on April 22.
A resident picks up his shoes at a temporally shelter for internet-cafe dwellers at the Kanagawa Budokan martial arts gymnasium in Yokohama, Japan, on April 22. Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Odd jobs on construction sites used to earn Takahashi enough money to pay for a private booth each night at one of Tokyo's internet cafes. But Japan's coronavirus lockdown not only cost him his work, it has temporarily closed the cafe that was his de facto home.

The 35-year-old has been sleeping rough at a Tokyo bus terminal for two weeks.

"Many companies have become bankrupt due to the pandemic. There are many people like me without jobs at the moment," said Takahashi, as he waited in line in Shinjuku to receive a free meal from Moyai, a support group for the homeless.

Takahashi is one of Tokyo's 4,000 "internet cafe refugees" -- homeless people, mostly men, who before the pandemic usually paid between $17 and $28 to stay overnight in a 20 square foot booth in one of the city's 24-hour internet cafes.

Over the past few weeks, Japan has scrambled to contain an uptick in coronavirus cases. As of Monday, Japan had recorded 15,769 cases nationwide and 523 deaths, according to the country's health ministry.

To stop the virus spreading, Japan called a nationwide state of emergency, which closed businesses including internet cafes, forcing their inhabitants to seek refuge elsewhere.

The Japanese authorities are providing emergency housing to support those living in internet cafes, but the pandemic measures have exposed a problem that goes back decades.

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12:09 a.m. ET, May 4, 2020

South Korea reports 8 new imported cases

From CNN's Sophie Jeong and Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

Eight new cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded in South Korea on Sunday, all of which were imported, according to a news release from the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No new locally transmitted infections were recorded, according to the KCDC, a sign that the country's local outbreak is under control as it prepares to relax strict social distancing rules later this week.

In total, 10,801 confirmed cases of the virus have been recorded in South Korea. Some 9,217 of those patients have recovered from the disease, with another 34 patients being discharged from isolation on Sunday.

Two more fatalities were reported on Sunday, bringing the country's death toll to 252.

Rules relaxed: South Korea will loosen its social distancing rules from Wednesday as the number of new coronavirus cases have remained low in the country, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Sunday. The measures had been in effect since March 22. 

11:53 p.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Japan reports more than 200 new cases

Another 218 cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Japan on Sunday, as the total number of infections recorded in the country reached 15,769.

According to Japan's health ministry, 18 people died on Sunday from the virus, bringing the country's death toll to 523.

The totals include 712 cases and 13 deaths linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Tokyo reported 91 new cases and four deaths. Japan's capital has now recorded a total of 4,568 cases and 145 fatalities.

Abe expected to extend state of emergency: Japan's Prime Minister will make an announcement today on the lockdown measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, Abe is likely to extend the state of emergency until May 31.

11:35 p.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Trump again shifts estimated US coronavirus death toll

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc and Jason Hoffman

US President Donald Trump said Sunday that the US coronavirus death toll could reach 80,000 to 90,000, a considerable upward shift from his previous estimates last month.

While praising the US response to the outbreak during a Fox News town hall, Trump said, "That's one of the reasons we're successful, if you call losing 80 or 90,000 people successful."

"But it's one of the reasons we're not at the high end of that plane as opposed to the low end of the plane," the President continued.

When pressed on his shifting estimate, Trump conceded, "I used to say 65,000 and now I'm saying 80 or 90 and it goes up and it goes up rapidly."

"But it's still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane if we did the shutdown," he said.

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