Austrian hospital completes first coronavirus lung transplant in Europe
From CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Berlin
Vienna’s medical university successfully conducted the first coronavirus lung transplant in Europe last week, the medical center said in a press release Monday. The hospital said the 45-year-old COVID-19 patient would not have survived otherwise but is now recovering well.
“In our view, she is doing exceptionally well and there are not major problems,” said Walter Klepetko, the head of surgery at the clinic.
The hospital said the patient was in good health without prior illnesses before coming down with coronavirus eight weeks ago. Shortly after falling ill, her condition deteriorated dramatically.
“The situation was hopeless," Klepetko said. "The lung was like a block, there was nothing left,”
The hospital describes the operation as being “highly complicated” but successful.
Klepetko added, “All organs are working and we are very satisfied. But it will still be a long way ahead until we can hopefully discharge her from the hospital."
8:32 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
It’s 1:30 p.m. in London and 8:30 a.m. in New York. Here’s the latest on the pandemic
Global cases rise above 5.4 million: The number of cases around the world has risen to 5,423,388, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 345,360 people have died from the disease.
US bans arrivals from Brazil: Anyone who has been in Brazil in the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter the US. Meanwhile, the country's president was called a “killer” and “trash” by an angry crowd in the country’s capital Brasilia.
Japan to lift state of emergency: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the measure would be lifted on Monday night.
Boris Johnson struggles to contain aide scandal: The UK leader is under fire from party colleagues, government scientists and Church of England bishops after refusing to fire top aide Dominic Cummings, despite multiple reported lockdown breaches.
New Zealand aiming for no transport restrictions by June 22: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country should aim to reduce its Covid-19 alert level from 2 to 1 by June 22. Alert level 1 means no restrictions on domestic transport or gatherings and all schools and workplaces can open.
South Africa kick-starts its economy: President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that South Africa would reopen the majority of its economy on June 1, while maintaining social distancing and health safety measures. South Africa had its largest spike in new infections yet on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with more than 1,200 cases confirmed.
8:16 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
White House adviser says unemployment rate could reach "north of 20%" this month
From CNN's Ali Main
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said he thinks that the unemployment rate will reach "north of 20%" for the month of May. He said he expects the rate will be even higher in June than in May, but after that "it should start to trend down."
Hassett, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" yesterday, said that he 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 CNN's Dana 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 President Trump is "going through all the options" related to another phase of economic stimulus. Bash ticked through a series of potential proposals for future legislation. On extending unemployment insurance, Hassett expressed hesitation about incentivizing not working and said the benefit would need reform.
8:24 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
Police asked to examine facts of trip made by Boris Johnson's top adviser
From CNN's Nada Bashir and Simon Cullen
The political scandal consuming the UK’s government continues to develop, with police officers asked to investigate the facts of a trip made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
Cummings is accused of breaching lockdown rules by driving 260 miles across England in March to stay with his parents in Durham while his wife was sick with Covid-19 symptoms. He denies any wrongdoing. Johnson has defended his aide and refused to sack him.
Steve White, the commissioner overseeing Durham Police, said he had written to the police force's chief constable on Monday, “asking her to establish the facts concerning any potential breach of the law or regulations in this matter at any juncture”.
“It is vital that the force can show it has the interests of the people of County Durham and Darlington at its heart, so that the model of policing by consent, independent of government but answerable to the law, is maintained,” White said.
He added that he believed the police force had responded “proportionately and appropriately” to the issues surrounding Cummings’ visit to Durham.
“It is clear however that there is a plethora of additional information circulating in the public domain which deserves appropriate examination,” he said.
10:13 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
Japan to lift its state of emergency tonight
From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki and Kaori Enjoji
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will end the state of emergency across the whole country tonight, he said in a briefing on Monday.
Much of Japan entered the state of emergency on April 7, as the country tried to rein in the coronavirus pandemic.
It has since been lifted across most of the nation and businesses have reopened and social activities have slowly resumed.
“We were able to end the outbreak in about one month and a half with Japan’s own way," Abe said Monday, adding that Japan would gradually increase social and economic activities to create a “new life” with the coronavirus.
Abe will have a task force meeting Monday night after which the lifting of the state of emergency will take effect.
Abe also announced he would put together a second supplementary budget on Wednesday, to boost the government's stimulus packages.
The amount provided by the two stimulus efforts comes to over 200 trillion yen ($1.87 trillion).
"The economic revival would be the first priority for my administration," Abe said.
Museums and sports facilities will open in Tokyo from Tuesday, the city's governor Yuriko Koike said, while schools in the capital will reopen with a phased approach.
While taking questions after the briefing Abe also discussed the Tokyo Olympics. He said that the development of a coronavirus vaccine was “significant” for the country being able to host the event in its complete form.
The Games are scheduled to begin on July 23 2021, after being postponed for a year due to the pandemic.
The Japanese leader was also asked about the dispute between the US and China over the origins of Covid-19.
Abe said in response that he believed the coronavirus started in China.
7:11 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
UK scientific adviser says Boris Johnson "trashed" scientific advice by defending chief aide
From CNN's Lauren Kent and Hilary McGann
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "trashed" the recommendations of scientific advisers by refusing to sack his embattled chief aide Dominic Cummings, according to one of the professors working with the government on Covid-19.
Johnson has stood by Cummings, who is accused of breaking the UK's lockdown restrictions by driving 260 miles across England in March to stay with his parents while his wife was sick with Covid-19 symptoms.
Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the UK Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), responded on Twitter to Johnson’s defense of Cummings.
“Boris Johnson has trashed all the advice we have given on how to build trust and secure adherence to the measures necessary to control COVID-19,” he tweeted. “Be open and honest, we said. Trashed. Respect the public, we said. Trashed. Ensure equity, so everyone is treated the same, we said. Trashed. Be consistent we said. Trashed. Make clear 'we are all in it together'. Trashed." “It is very hard to provide scientific advice to a government which doesn't want to listen to science. I hope, however, that the public will read our papers ... and continue to make up for this bad government with their own good sense.”
In an interview with BBC on Sunday, Reicher added: "I'm not particularly concerned what happens to Dominic Cummings -- it's what happens to the rest of us."
"If we undermine the unity between the population and the government, if people lose trust and lose adherence, if they stop complying with the measures which have contained the infection, then all of us will lose out because the infection will spike again and many more people will die."
Reicher's comments have been echoed by his SPI-B colleagues.
"People have to feel that everyone's doing the same thing and pulling their weight in the same way. And once you start to see that crumble, that's a problem," said University College London health psychology professor Robert West, another government adviser.
"But even more problematic, I think, unfortunately, in relation to the prime minister's statement on it, is that in interpreting the rules he seemed to be blurring the boundaries," West said.
"And another very important principle with this kind of behavior change is that the rules have to have very clear boundaries."
"As soon as they start to get leaky, then people start to say, 'Okay I'm sure I must be in this exceptional case.'"
6:46 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
Russia reports another 8,946 cases
From CNN's Nathan Hodge
Russia reported 8,946 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the country's coronavirus headquarters said in a statement Monday.
The nation has the third-highest number of confirmed cases globally, with 353,427 recorded cases according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Officially, Russia has recorded 3,633 deaths caused by the virus.
6:21 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
US death toll rises to 97,722
From CNN's Alta Spells
At least 97,722 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The country has record at least 1,643,499 cases of the disease, the most anywhere in the world.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
CNN is tracking Covid-19's spread across the US here.
6:14 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020
Germany's active coronavirus cases fall below 10,000
From CNN's Fred Pleitgen and Lauren Kent
The number of active coronavirus cases in Germany has fallen below 10,000, according to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the national agency for disease control and prevention.
There are 9,113 active cases in Germany, which has recorded a total of 178,570 cases.
Among the total number of confirmed cases, 161,200 people have recovered, while 8,257 have died.