May 24 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:04 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020
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12:23 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

New York state reports an increase in coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours

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

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported an increase in coronavirus-related deaths in New York over the past 24 hours.

The state recorded 109 deaths, Cuomo said at a news briefing today.

"Number of deaths ticked up, which is terrible news, but the overall line is still good. The 109 families that lost a loved one, they are in our thoughts and prayers," he said.

There were 84 lives lost from Covid-19 on May 22, Cuomo said yesterday. Saturday was the first day since March that deaths had creeped below 100 in New York.

12:02 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

New Jersey governor warns of major cuts to teachers and police officers without more funding

From CNN's Chandelis Duster


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Sunday warned that key employees — including health care workers, firefighters, police officers and teachers — could be laid off if the state does not receive additional funding from the federal government.

The dire prediction from Murphy reflects what many governors across the country fear as states grapple with budget shortfalls from the economic calamity brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Democrat and other governors have called for additional federal assistance while the White House is reluctant to provide additional funds to states. On Friday, Murphy announced the state is estimated to have a revenue loss of $10 billion.

Some context: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Sunday in an earlier interview with CNN that there should be an analysis on state budget shortfalls and that some state's requests are "radically more money than the expected shortfall for the year."

"I thought Kevin (Hassett) was reasonable, but on this one I have to say I'm going to say time out," Murphy said. "We don't need a data crunch."

"We announced a budget on Friday for the next four months and we had to cut or defer over $5 billion of expenditures. And this includes potentially laying off educators, firefighters, police, EMS, health care workers. This is not abstract. This is real. It's not a blue state issue. It's an American issue," Murphy said.

The last thing New Jersey needs to do is "lay any of those folks off and increase the unemployment rate and underserve our residents," the governor added.

"So we need it, and it's not just New Jersey, it's not just blue states, it's American states up and down the country," Murphy said.

As of Sunday morning, New Jersey had more than 153,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second-highest rate in the country, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. At least 11,080 people have died from the virus in the state.

11:39 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Birx says masks work and assumes Trump is mostly keeping 6 feet from others

From CNN's Arman Azad and Nicky Robertson

Dr. Deborah Birx speaks with a facemask on during a briefing at the White House on May 22.
Dr. Deborah Birx speaks with a facemask on during a briefing at the White House on May 22. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Sunday that there is “clear scientific evidence” masks work.

When asked whether President Trump should wear one, Birx said she assumes he is able to keep 6 feet of distance “in a majority of cases.”

“What we have said to people is there is clear scientific evidence now, by all the droplet experiments that happened, and that others have done, to show that a mask does prevent droplets from reaching others,” Birx said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance."

“Well the President did wear a mask while he was less than 6 feet in an occasion where that was important – I think when he was traveling last week,” Birx added. “I’m not with him every day and every moment, so I don’t know if he can maintain social distance.” 

Regarding the large crowds who were not socially distancing seen on some beaches Saturday, Birx said on ABC: “ I think it's our job as public health officials every day to be informing the public of what puts them at risk. And we have made it clear that there's asymptomatic spread. And that means that people are spreading the virus unknowingly."

11:51 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Spain records a small rise in coronavirus deaths on Sunday

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro and Abel Alvarado

Figures released Sunday by the Spanish Health Ministry show a small increase again in the number of deaths due to coronavirus.

The statement reported 70 additional deaths, bringing the total to 28,752. The number of patients in intensive care rose by three across the nation, for a cumulative total of 11,477 since the crisis began. 

The Ministry also announced 246 new coronavirus cases nationwide in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 235,772 in the country. This is a decrease from Saturday's 361 confirmed cases.


11:29 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold news briefing as calls for him to sack his chief aide grow

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead the UK government’s news briefing in the next hour, amid growing criticism over his chief aide Dominic Cummings reportedly breaking lockdown measures on multiple occasions.

Johnson has stepped in to deliver the 5 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) briefing after a weekend where his government came under intense pressure to sack Cummings.

Some context: Cummings drove across England to stay at his parents’ property in late March while his partner was sick with Covid-19 symptoms. He also reportedly made subsequent trips to Durham in April.

Earlier on Sunday, a video screen showing Johnson instructing people to stay at home was set up outside Cummings’ London home by protesters.

10:30 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Argentina extends coronavirus lockdown until June 7

From CNN's Jackie Castillo

The financial district in Buenos Aires, Argentina, stands empty on May 21.
The financial district in Buenos Aires, Argentina, stands empty on May 21. Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Argentina has extended its mandatory coronavirus lockdown until June 7, according to a televised announcement made by President Alberto Fernandez Saturday night.

The president said that although quarantine measures are working and 19 provinces have not reported coronavirus cases, much work still needs to be done.

Highly-populated areas such as Buenos Aires continue to see a spike in cases since the country relaxed restrictions more than two weeks ago, Fernandez said.

The president has asked those living in provinces with a high concentration of people to stay under lockdown. The remaining part of the country currently in stage four of the reopen phase will remain working towards gradually reopening the country.

Argentina reported 11,353 coronavirus cases and 445 deaths as of Sunday, according to Ministry of Health officials.

10:53 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Myrtle Beach City Council declares Memorial Day an "Extraordinary Event"

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

People enjoy the day in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23.
People enjoy the day in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

In a special meeting convened Thursday, the Myrtle Beach City Council declared this Memorial Day weekend an "Extraordinary Event" and authorized the city manager to take all necessary steps to protect the public health, safety and welfare, according to city council meeting minutes posted online.

The "Extraordinary Event" outlines the ways in which Myrtle Beach Police Department can protect the safety and well-being of the city’s residents in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In the executive order, authorities have been permitted to request assistance from federal, state and other local governments and require the temporary cessation of businesses in the city from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., among other things.

If anyone violates any of the rules and regulations outlined in the executive order, they risk receiving a warning, citation or notice and at worst, misdemeanor charges punishable by a fine of $500 or 30-day imprisonment or both.

10:19 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Spanish health minister: "The state of emergency has worked, but the virus is still among us"

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro and Helena de Moura

Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images
Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images

Spanish Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero and Health Minister Salvador Illa held a news conference on Sunday in which Illa highlighted that while the situation has improved in Spain, “the virus is still among us."

Montero explained that on Monday the whole national territory will have overcome phase zero, and that around 50% of the population will be in phase two.

The government of Melilla announced Saturday that they are the first region to be free of coronavirus in Spain.

“The remaining four people with the disease have now recovered. Therefore, today there are no people admitted to the local hospital, there hasn’t been anyone in the ICU for weeks; but also, there are no people in their homes with Covid-19," said Melilla’s Public Health Counselor Mohamed Mohand.
11:38 a.m. ET, May 24, 2020

White House economic adviser says unemployment will reach "north of 20%" in May

From CNN's Ali Main


White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN he thinks the unemployment rate will reach "north of 20%" for the month of May.

Hassett said he expects the rate will be even higher in June than in May, but after that "it should start to trend down."

Hassett thinks it is possible that the unemployment rate could still be in double digits in November, but he said he thinks "all the signs of economic recovery are going to be raging everywhere."

Pressed further by Bash, Hassett doubled down on his prediction for November, saying it would take a while for the unemployment rate to go down and adding that a vaccine breakthrough could change things.

"I think that, yes, unemployment will be something that moves back slower. I think it could be better than that. But you're going to be starting at a number in the 20s and working your way down. And so of course you could still not be back to full employment by September or October. Again if there were a vaccine in July, then I would be way more optimistic about it," Hassett said. 

Hassett said President Trump is "going through all the options" related to another phase of economic stimulus.