May 17 coronavirus news

By Nicole Chavez, James Griffiths, Jenni Marsh, Tara John and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:41 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020
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12:40 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

There have been more than 88,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the US

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there are at least 1,471,674 cases of coronavirus in the country and at least 88,836 people have died from the disease.

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

1:31 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

Child abuse reports are down during the pandemic, which is a bad sign, experts say

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

Joel Marklund/Bildbryan/Reuters
Joel Marklund/Bildbryan/Reuters

A drop in child abuse would usually be welcome news –– but with schools closed and kids at home, experts believe that the recent decline in calls to child abuse and neglect hotlines might really mean more cases are going unnoticed. 

Figures provided to CNN from states across the country show considerable drops in child abuse reports as social distancing measures have kept people home and kids out of sight. 

In Massachusetts alone, reports of alleged child abuse dropped almost 55% from 2,124 in the first week of March to just 972 by the last full week in April, according to data provided by the state. 

Compared to last year, Connecticut, California, Michigan, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Louisiana have all seen double-digit percentage drops as they've implemented their own stay-home orders. 

Teachers, coaches and other adults who interact with children and are legally required to report signs of abuse can't always see red flags over Zoom or other remote connections if they're able to get in touch with at-risk kids at all. 

And kids who are at-risk are less able to signal distress if their abusers are in the background of calls. 

"When children are no longer visible to the vast majority of people who are trained and required to report, and then you see this kind of decline, we get super concerned," said Melissa Jonson-Reid, a professor of social work research at Washington University in St. Louis.

Children's advocates say they're also having a harder time finding ways to intervene before abuse starts in at-risk families. Paula Wolfteich, intervention and clinical director of the National Children's Advocacy Center, told CNN that mitigation measures have hampered their contact with at-risk families and handicapped the organization's ability to help.

"The kids that we normally can see and support and –– and families that we can support, our hands are tied and we're unable to do that as well as we usually do," she said.

Wolfteich said because families are "sort of on lockdown and isolated," her organization has seen a stream of reports including "substance abuse involvement, there's domestic violence in the home and then, you know, physical abuse is going on."

Keep reading.

12:32 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shows how easy it is to get a Covid-19 test

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Gov. Cuomo's Office
Gov. Cuomo's Office

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo got a coronavirus test during his daily news briefing on Sunday.

"It is so fast and so easy that even the governor can take this test," he said.

He said there should be no reason why people should not get tested.

"I'm going to show you how fast and easy to take a test and demonstrate why there should be no reluctance," Cuomo said.

New York is now conducting about 40,000 Covid-19 tests per day, Cuomo said.

Per capita, New York is doing “significantly more” diagnostic tests by population than other countries, he added.

There are over 700 coronavirus testing sites, across the state, Cuomo added.

Any individual who thinks they have a Covid-19 symptom can get a test, the governor said. 


12:33 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

India extends its lockdown until the end of May

From CNN’s Vedika Sud in New Delhi

Men wearing protective clothing ride in the back of a vehicle in New Delhi on May 4.
Men wearing protective clothing ride in the back of a vehicle in New Delhi on May 4. Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

India’s coronavirus lockdown will continue until at least May 31, the Ministry of Home Affairs said Sunday.

Earlier Sunday, the country reported its biggest surge in infections with a record 4,987 cases reported in the past 24 hours. 

Under new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, more power is being given to states and union territories to make decisions in the fourth phase of India’s lockdown.

The movement of passenger vehicles and buses around the country will be allowed in non-containment areas, with the mutual consent of states and union territories. There will also be red, green and orange containment zones decided by respective state and union territory governments, based on parameters shared by the India’s Health Ministry.

District authorities will draw containment and buffer areas in the red and orange zones and only essential activities will be allowed in those containment zones. There will be intensive contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance.

The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday also encourage people to work from home. 

Some context: According to the Ministry's previous order, the movement of individuals will remain strictly prohibited between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., except for essential activities.

Schools and colleges will remain closed, with online and distance learning to be encouraged. Both domestic and international air travel for passengers is banned, except when permitted by the Health Ministry.

Metro rail services will not be allowed and movie halls, shopping malls and gymnasiums will remain closed. All social, political, sporting, religious and cultural functions and gatherings remain prohibited in India.

India has bee under a nationwide lockdown since late March.

12:21 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

The mental health crisis caused by the pandemic should not be underestimated, Gov. Cuomo says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Gov. Cuomo's Office
Gov. Cuomo's Office

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the mental health crisis that goes along with the coronavirus pandemic is something that deserves more attention and that the trauma it has created for people shouldn't be underestimated.

"We've been talking about hospital dedications and deaths and infection rates but there's also a more subtle but very present mental health crisis that has been going on. Don't under estimate the trauma this has created for people," Cuomo said at his daily news briefing on Sunday.

"It's been incredibly anxiety producing, traumatic, disturbing, and we've felt and seen all along evidence this is creating a significant mental health challenge for people," he added.

Cuomo said the state has several resources people can use including the New York Emotional Support Hotline (1-844-863-9314). He said New Yorkers can call into the hotline to talk with mental health professionals.

"This is nothing to be ashamed of ever in life, but especially now," Cuomo said.

Additional mental health resources are also available at

12:05 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

New York state reports 139 coronavirus-related deaths over the past day

There have been 139 coronavirus-related deaths across New York state as the number of hospitalizations continue to fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference today.

"In a different time and place, if I had that news to deliver, that would be incredibly shocking to people. Only in this environment is it not shocking. Relative to where we were, it's good news. Again, we're right about where we were when we started. We just want to make sure we never go back to where we were. The question is reopening or not. Everybody wants to reopen. Nobody wants to reopen more than I do," Cuomo said.

At least 157 people died from Covid-19 on May 15, Cuomo said Saturday.

12:10 p.m. ET, May 17, 2020

United Kingdom reports 170 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Nada Bashir

The United Kingdom is reporting 170 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said Sunday.

Sharma, speaking at the daily Downing Street news conference, said this brings the UK’s total death toll to at least 34,636.

There are approximately 10,035 people in hospital with Covid-19, which is a 15% decrease from 11,817 patients this time last week, Sharma said.

11:31 a.m. ET, May 17, 2020

White House trade adviser says CDC "let the country down" on coronavirus testing

From CNN's Kristen Holmes and Arman Azad

Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images
Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images

Amid reports of growing tension between the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro slammed the top healthy agency, saying “it let the country down” on testing.

“Early on in this crisis, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space — really let the country down with the testing. Not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy they had a bad test and that set us back,” Navarro said on NBC.

A spokesperson for the CDC did not have any immediate comment.

More from the White House: The comments from Navarro Sunday come as CNN reported that tensions are rising between the White House and the nation's leading public health agency.

In interviews, senior administration officials in Washington as well as top officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta described a growing sense of mistrust and animosity between the White House and CDC over how quickly the US should reopen and how the government tracks data on the virus.

In particular, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the President's coronavirus task force, has become increasingly critical of the CDC, making clear in recent meetings that she is more than frustrated with the agency, according to two senior administration officials.

Specifically, Birx believes the way the CDC gathers data on the coronavirus is antiquated, causing inaccurate and delayed numbers on both virus cases and deaths.

Some background: Contamination in manufacturing the CDC test for the coronavirus caused weeks of delays that slowed the US response to the pandemic, multiple health officials told CNN last month, a problem that stemmed in part from the CDC not adhering to its own protocols, according to a US Food and Drug Administration spokesperson.

The government has never fully explained what stalled the rollout of a crucial test needed to begin measuring the extent of the spread of Covid-19. It would take until the end of February to correct.

11:25 a.m. ET, May 17, 2020

Tennessee's Graceland is set to reopen on Thursday 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The gates of Graceland will reopen May 21 with a more private and social distanced tour experience, according to the Memphis mansion’s website. 

“We are so excited to welcome you back to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, 100+ acres dedicated to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the website said. “You will have the unique opportunity to walk in Elvis’ footsteps like never before, in your own personal tour space spread out from other touring guests."

The estate will reduce mansion tour capacity to 25%, the website added.

Graceland temporarily closed on March 21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to its Facebook page.