By May most of the world had managed to contain or otherwise deal with treating COVID-19 victims. The main exceptions are United States, closely followed by Brazil, and Russia, as countries with the most active cases and seemingly poorest containment.
President Trump has been pushing to lift state’s stay-at-home orders and “put America back to work,” even as Coronavirus cases continue to increase. Senate Republicans mostly supported Trump’s push, backed up by right-wing (frequently armed) protesters storming state capitols, mostly in states governed by Democratic governors.
During the month tensions were obviously building across the U.S. Many states, mostly those controlled by Republican Governors, started “re-opening.” The “re-openings” meant people were given a choice of either going back to work or lose unemployment as fears of catching the Coronavirus could no longer be used as justification for not working. No solid federal guidelines were published defining actions by the business owners to protect employees and customers. The agriculture industry in particular became hot spots for new Coronavirus cases.
On the flip side, many people had never received any of the already inadequate Coronavirus relief funds approved by Congress. Food banks were stretched to the max attempting to provide enough food for the millions of people requesting assistance. Rents and mortgages were going unpaid, and landlords were threatening evictions. Millions of small and even major businesses were facing bankruptcy and permanent closure.
With the backdrop of these tensions, on May 25 four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, were video recorded callously killing a black man (George Floyd) who had been arrested, handcuffed, and lying face down on the pavement. One officer kept his knee on the arrested man’s back for 8 minutes and 43 seconds while Floyd pleaded “I can’t breath,” until he died. This was a culmination of hi-visibility police murders of black people over the previous several years, with no police accountability, and seemed to be the final straw. Multiple video recordings were posted to social media, and by the next day protests and police-involved riots were spreading across the United States, triggered by this killing.
The George Floyd protests/riots are a separate story from the Coronavirus, but this story is also closely intertwined. For the last several days of this month the timeline includes incidents from these protests which were increasing in size and violence as the month ended.
A 17-page report written by a team titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” is blocked from publication by the White house. This report was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen. Agency scientists were told the guidance “would never see the light of day.” The Trump administration has sought to put the onus on states to handle COVID-19 response.
Iowa – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, loosens restrictions in 77 of the state’s 99 counties, and the remaining counties on May 15. Bars will reopen May 28.
North Dakota – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, allows a variety of businesses to reopen.
Utah – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, downgrades the state’s risk to “orange,” or moderate risk, allowing restaurant dining, gyms and salons to reopen with precautions.
Wyoming – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, begins lifting restrictions.
Global Cases: 3,175,207 | Global Deaths: 224,172
Dr. Yujia Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, submits a research paper to pre-print site BioRxiv for open peer review. The paper suggests that the Coronavirus may have been created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and inadvertently escaped, triggering the coronavirus pandemic.
Global Cases: 3,267,184 | Global Deaths: 229,971
Missouri – Stay-at-home order expires . Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, said he would reopen the economy starting May 4. Under the new order, all businesses, including large venues, concerts and movie theaters, are allowed to operate, as long as seating is spaced out to enforce social distancing. The state plans to loosen restrictions further in June.
West Virginia – Stay-at-home order expire. Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, lifts restrictions on certain businesses starting May 4 while encouraging people to stay at home.
Global Cases: 3,349,786 | Global Deaths: 238,628
Indiana – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, eased restrictions and allows some re-openings for most of the state beginning May 4. Most counties will be allowed to move into the later stages of reopening by May 22.
Kansas – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, announces the first phase of re-opening. Re-openings allowed at the discretion of individual counties.
Nebraska – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, announces a plan to reopen restaurants and salons in certain regions, followed by all counties June 1.
South Carolina – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, was among the last to issue a stay-at-home order and was also among the first to begin opening up his state starting April 20. The reopening began with retail stores, which are under instructions to operate at 20 percent capacity.
Global Cases: 3,435,894 | Global Deaths: 239,604
files a whistleblower complaint against the Trump administration. In his complaint, he details a staggering degree of inaction from administration officials bracing for a historic pandemic. He claims he was ultimately fired for pushing back and speaking out against the administration’s attempts to push the unproven COVID therapy drug hydroxychloroquine.
Projections by the leaked to the New York Times on Monday suggested that the federal government also expects COVID-19 to begin hitting rural areas harder than urban ones. Citing data from up to May 2, the document said that, over the coming months, cases in “the Great Lakes region, parts of the Southeast, Northeast, and around southern California” were expected to increase.
Five Republican governors that did not close down their states, and re-opened early, publish an OpEd explaining why their approach was effective. They also credit President Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” guidelines in providing adequate guidance for their management of the Coronavirus in their states. (Mark Gordon – Wyoming governor. Pete Ricketts – Nebraska governor. Asa Hutchinson – Arkansas governor. Kim Reynolds – Iowa governor. Mike Parson – Missouri governor.)
As states loosen stay-at-home orders and businesses call back their workers, families across the nation are finding themselves in a bind with childcare. With most childcare centers, schools and summer camps still closed, how can caregivers go back to work? And if they can’t go back to work now, how will they afford alternate forms of childcare so they eventually can?
Chevron Corp (CVX.N) will cut 10% to 15% of its worldwide workforce as part of an ongoing restructuring at the second-largest U.S. oil producer.
Global Cases: 3,517,345 | Global Deaths: 243,401
President Trump Tweet: “President Trump explains why he changed his mind on “winding down” the coronavirus task force: “I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday.””
President Trump announced his coronavirus task force would shift its primary focus to reviving U.S. business and social life, while acknowledging that reopening the economy could put more lives at risk. Asked by reporters if Americans will have to accept that reopening will lead to more deaths, Trump said: “You have to be warriors. We can’t keep our country closed down for years and we have to do something. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but it could very well be the case.”
First indications on the scope of long-term health effects of people who do recover from Coronavirus emerge. Anecdotal indications indicate that there may be as many as five times as many patients who will require long-term care medical care from Coronavirus as there are deaths.
The US meatpacking industry hits a grim milestone of 10,000 coronavirus cases linked to plant workers.
Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa are among at least a half dozen states that want companies to report employees who refuse to return to work during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure they can’t get jobless benefits. A growing number of states that also include South Carolina and Oklahoma are reminding workers that refusing a job for fear of contracting the coronavirus will disqualify them from unemployment benefits. Late last month Alabama’s labor department warned that workers who continue to claim those benefits may even be committing fraud.
The White House is using modeling data for predicted Corinvirus infections on a so-called “cubic model” devised by that shows COVID-19 deaths plummeting to zero by mid-May. This model contradicts all other data and modeling.
tweeted that Hassett’s modeling was “beyond stupid” and will “kill thousands.”
Arkansas – Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, announces a phased re-opening plan with significant changes starting with the reopening of salons. Restaurants and large entertainment venues are expected to open later in May with limits on customers and social distancing restrictions.
Global Cases: 3,588,773 | Global Deaths: 247,503
Florida governor Ron DeSantis refuses to release full and complete information about the Floridians who have died from COVID-19, including their names. The governor has reportedly muzzled the state’s 21 medical examiners who had been releasing the information, and also making sure the Department of Health continues to slow-walk any disclosure of virus infections and deaths in the state’s 3,800 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Editorial Commentary: The decision to wear a mask in public is becoming a political statement — a moment to pick sides in a brewing culture war over containing the coronavirus. While not yet as loaded as a “Make America Great Again” hat, the mask is increasingly a visual shorthand for the debate pitting those willing to follow health officials’ guidance and cover their faces against those who feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown.
Hawaii – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, extends the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31 but allowed some businesses, including retail stores and repair shops in certain parts of the state, to begin reopening. Other re-openings will start May 22.
Global Cases: 3,672,238 | Global Deaths: 254,045
Investigative Report: Six weeks after its launch, Project Airbridge has completed its 122nd flight, having cost taxpayers at least $91 million. But its impact on the pandemic is unclear and shrouded in secrecy. The White House, , and the companies involved have declined to disclose where supplies have been delivered. State governors are prohibited from disclosing details about the supplies or the destinations of shipments.
Bureau of Labor Statistics announces the U.S. economy lost a never-before-seen 20.5 million payrolls in April, bringing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. But the true unemployment rate is likely as high as almost 20%, a difference due to how people not working because of coronavirus may have been categorized.
Rhode Island – Stay-at-home order expires. As the state’s stay-at-home order lifts, Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, allows retail stores to reopen, with limits on the number of customers and with shoppers encouraged to “limit browsing time.”
Global Cases: 3,759,967 | Global Deaths: 259,474
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly report, April grocery store bills showed a 2.6 percent increase, the biggest monthly increase since February 1974. U.S. consumers paid 4.3 percent more in April for meats, poultry, fish and eggs, 1.5 percent more for fruits and vegetables, and 2.9 percent more for cereals and bakery products. The overall April declined 0.8%.
Nevada – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Steve Sisolak said restaurants and personal care businesses could start to reopen but Nevadans were encouraged to stay home. Casinos and gaming can resume June 4.
Global Cases: 3,759,967 | Global Deaths: 259,474
Global Cases: 3,917,366 | Global Deaths: 274,361
A survey from the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 55% of Americans disapprove of the on-going protests in some states against contuinuing stay-at-home orders.
News Editorial on canceling the research grant. “We’re All Casualties of Trump’s War on Science; The administration kneecaps experts as the coronavirus rages.”
New Hampshire – Stay-at-home order in effect since March 27 and set to expire June 15. Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, extends a stay-at-home order until June 15 but announces plans to open certain businesses, starting with retail stores and salons. Restaurants will be allowed to open to outdoor seating on May 18.
Global Cases: 4,006,257 | Global Deaths: 278,892
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) discussion with : “The official statistic, Dr. Fauci, is that 80,000 Americans have died from the pandemic,”, referring to the current death toll. “There are some epidemiologists who suggest the number may be 50 percent higher than that. What do you think?” “I’m not sure, Senator Sanders, if it’s going to be 50 percent higher,” Fauci replied. “But most of us feel that the number of deaths are likely higher than that number.”
The Trump administration has ordered a “hard stop” on deployments of more than 40,000 National Guardsman on June 24, just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits. Governors and lawmakers in both parties have been pleading with the White House to extend the federal order for several more months or until the end of the year, warning in a letter to Trump that terminating federal deployments early in the summer just as states are reopening “could contribute to a possible second wave of infection.”
The opaqueness and mistrust of outsiders in the Chinese Communist Party’s system makes it hard to judge—but learning more about the coronavirus data used directly by Chinese officials is invaluable for governments elsewhere. A dataset of coronavirus cases and deaths from the military’s National University of Defense Technology, leaked to Foreign Policy, offers insight into how Beijing has gathered coronavirus data on its population.
California – Stay-at-home order in effect since March 19. California was the first state in the nation to order all residents to stay at home. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has led a phased and regional reopening. Today restaurants and shopping centers are allowed to open in counties that meet certain criteria. On May 25, Mr. Newsom will announce that houses of worship and in-store shopping could resume subject to county approval.
Global Cases: 4,088,848 | Global Deaths: 283,153
President Trump and some officials on the Coronavirus Task Force are pushing the to change how it counts the number of people who have died from the virus to retroactively reduce the death toll. The proposed revisions would reduce the numbers to below the current toll of more than 80,000, in part by excluding deaths of people who presumably died of COVID-19 without having tested positive.
A lack of federal guidelines has created huge variation in how states are reporting their COVID-19 data and in what kind of data they provide to the public.
In addition to loss of income, job loss carries the risk of loss of health insurance for people who were receiving health coverage as a benefit through their employer.
Wisconsin – Stay-at-home order struck down by the state Supreme Court, in a ruling that appears to be effective immediately. Mr. Evers, a Democrat in a highly contested battleground state, had already announced plans for a gradual reopening of businesses. “This turns the state to chaos,” he said after the ruling. “People will get sick. And the Republicans own the chaos.”
Global Cases: 4,170,424 | Global Deaths: 287, 399
The Republican-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Governor Tony Evers’ order shutting down daily life to limit the spread of coronavirus — marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort. The state’s highest court sided with Republican lawmakers Wednesday in a decision that curbed the power of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration to act unilaterally during public health emergencies. The ruling immediately lifts all restrictions on businesses and gatherings in Wisconsin imposed by the administration’s order but keeps in place the closure of schools until fall.
Texas “reopened” May 1. Today health officials reported 58 new deaths related to the coronavirus and 1,448 new cases, the highest single-day increase for both numbers.
had his cellphone seized by federal agents at the senator’s Washington, D.C., residence. Both the FBI and the have refused comment, as has Burr’s team; however, the search warrant indicates “a significant escalation” in the investigation into Burr’s possible violation of the . This relates to his stock selloff in February that netted him anywhere between $628,000 and $1.72 million.
Global Cases: 4,248,389 | Global Deaths: 292,046
According to data compiled by the Brookings Institution’s Bill Frey, COVID-19 is spreading faster in less populated areas, leaving big cities and entering rural America. “A big part of the shift is the disease moving to the South, and into the Midwest, into a lot of rural counties.”
A divided House narrowly passes a $3 trillion pandemic relief package, the , to send aid to struggling state and local governments and another round of direct $1,200 payments to taxpayers, advancing a proposal with no chance of becoming law over near-unanimous Republican opposition. Democratic leaders characterized the measure, which President Trump has promised to veto, as their opening offer in future negotiations over the next round of coronavirus aid.
In an interview, Sen. Mitch McConnell walks back a previous statement, “I was wrong. [The Obama Administration] did leave behind a plan, so I clearly made a mistake in that regard. As to whether or not the plan was followed, who’s the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that to comment on it in any detail.”
detention facilities are hotbeds for the virus, with 85 cases already discovered in New York and New Jersey. Four staff members at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, one of the state’s four detention centers, have died from Covid-19. The nonprofit Government Accountability Project recently estimated that almost all of those held in facilities could be infected by the 90th day of a Covid outbreak.
Brazilian Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned on Friday after just weeks on the job, adding to turmoil in President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of an accelerating coronavirus outbreak in one of the world’s worst hot spots. Teich, whom Bolsonaro had criticised as being too timid in the push to reopen the economy and advocate the use of anti-malarial drugs to fight the virus, said he had decided to resign from his position.
is stepping aside as chairman of the influential Senate Intelligence Committee while he’s under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. To date no search warrants have been served on , but she has forwarded documents and information to , the , and the Senate Ethics Committee establishing that stock trades she and her husband conducted were appropriate and observed both the letter and the spirit of the law.
Joseph Edlow, the acting head of , signaled in an email sent to staff that the coronavirus pandemic had put the agency in a financial crisis that could be disastrous: USCIS “will exhaust its funding this summer, and without congressional intervention, we risk not being able to make payroll and will have to take drastic actions to keep the agency afloat,” he wrote. The agency is requesting $1.2 billion from Congress to keep it going after seeing a serious drop in applications and fees since March.
Arizona – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, extended the state’s stay-at-home order through today, but outlined a plan for retail stores and other businesses to begin opening sooner. Most businesses are now open under a “Return Stronger” plan.
Louisiana – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, allows the state’s stay-at-home order to lift and an array of businesses to reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Maryland – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who has called for an aggressive response to the virus, allows stores, salons and houses of worship to open up with social distancing requirements. The city of Baltimore opted out and will remain closed until May 29.
Vermont – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, allows small changes, such as the opening of farmers’ markets, before a broader reopening beginning with retail stores on May 18. Other businesses, such as salons and restaurants, remained closed.
Global Cases: 4,338,658 | Global Deaths: 297,119
Eric Trump, Son and advisor to President Trump, Tweet: “Eric Trump on his dad being unable to hold rallies b/c of a pandemic that has killed nearly 90k Americans: “After Nov. 3, coronavirus will magically all of the sudden go away & disappear & everybody will be able to reopen. [Dems] are trying to deprive him of his greatest asset.”
China has confirmed that it had ordered unauthorized laboratories to destroy samples of the new coronavirus but insisted that it was due to “biosafety reasons.” The announcement comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly said that China refused to give virus samples taken from patients infected with COVID-19 in late December last year and that officials had destroyed early samples
Global Cases: 4,425,485 | Global Deaths: 302,059
Two months after the cruise industry shut down amid repeated COVID-19 outbreaks on ships, more than 100,000 crew members remain trapped at sea with little reliable information about what will happen to them. During the prolonged isolation, the virus continued to spread through the ships. At least 578 crew contracted COVID-19 at sea and seven have died. At least two crew members have leaped overboard in apparent suicides.
Athletes from four countries who participated in the October 18 – 27 World Military Games in Wuhan, China, report severe illnesses after returning from the games. Although none were tested for the coronavirus, reported symptoms align with those of the virus.
Minnesota – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, first allowed employees in certain agriculture, industrial and office settings to return to work starting April 27. After his stay-at-home order expires retail businesses are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. Bars, restaurants and salons will be closed until June.
Global Cases: 4,525,497 | Global Deaths: 307,395
Some 108 million people in China’s northeast Jilin province are being plunged back under lock down conditions as a new and growing cluster of infections causes. Cities have cut off trains and buses, shut schools and quarantined tens of thousands of people. Health officials suspect this cluster started with patients coming into contact with infected returnees from Russia, which has one of the worst outbreaks in Europe.
President Trump claims he is taking daily doses of hydroxychloroquine, a drug he’s long touted as a potential coronavirus cure even as medical experts and the US Food and Drug Administration question its efficacy and warn of potentially harmful side effects.
Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lock down protests are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones. The data raises the prospect that the protests will play a role in spreading the coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infections.
Massachusetts – Stay-at-home advisory expires. Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, announced a phased reopening with four stages scheduled to last three weeks apiece. The first reopenings included houses of worship and will expand to include salons, offices and retail stores for curbside pickup on May 25.
Global Cases: 4,618,821 | Global Deaths: 311,847
President Trump posts his letter on his Twitter account.
Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced that the southern and northern borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed to nonessential travel until June 22. Commercial trade and travel, which are essential to the Texas economy, are again excluded from the updated order. Wolf also announced an indefinite extension of a policy that quickly returns undocumented immigrants apprehended between the ports of entry without allowing them the chance to apply for asylum. The policy, generally referred to as Title 42 restrictions after the provision in the United States Code, was announced in March and extended in April.
The scientist in charge of Florida’s Covid-19 database, Dr Rebekah Jones, says she was fired for refusing to change Covid-19 data. Dr Jones was the architect and manager of the online dashboard held up by the White House in April as a model of transparency and integrity. She said she was previously sidelined after protesting orders to censor some of the information it contained. Today she was fired for refusing to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen”.
The courts are no longer blocking landlords from evicting Texans struggling to pay rent amid the economic instability of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, eviction proceedings are moving forward in Houston-area courts, weeks ahead of many other cities after the Texas Supreme Court order temporarily preventing courts from processing evictions is lifted.
Global Cases: 4,711,830 | Global Deaths: 315,471
Video: Florida Governor DeSantis with Vice President Pence, responding to charges his state is falsifying coronavirus data.
officials say their agency’s efforts to mount a coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic have been hamstrung by a White House whose decisions are driven by politics rather than science.
The pandemic affects every source of revenue for state, territorial and local governments, while sharply increasing costs for healthcare, emergency response and an historic surge in unemployment claims. With millions of jobs and the economic recovery at stake, the seven leading organizations representing state, territorial and local governments call on Congress to approve an aid package that would sustain vital services to Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thirty-one scientific societies representing hundreds of thousands of scientists send a letter to NIH Director calling for the to reconsider its decision on terminating a grant to on April 24. They write “The continued politicization of science during this pandemic crisis is an alarming trend that is risking not only the integrity of science, but also the lives of citizens. Scientific research must remain clear of the partisanship that divides the nation and must be the foundation for sound policymaking during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.”
An analysis reveals at least nine shootings related to face masks, store closures, and social distancing rules since the first statewide lock down went into effect on March 19. According to an analysis of news clips and Gun Violence Archive data, at least four people have died and seven have been wounded in incidents that run the gamut from disputes over coughing in public to anger at businesses refusing service to customers who aren’t wearing masks.
Connecticut – Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, allows the state’s stay-at-home order to expire. An initial reopening begins with retail stores and outdoor dining at restaurants.
Kentucky – Healthy at home in effect since March 26. Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, announces a plan to reopen retail stores. Houses of worship were allowed to open earlier after a federal judge intervened. Starting May 25, salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen.
Global Cases: 4,789,205 | Global Deaths: 318,789
President Trump acknowledges there could be a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic later this year, but flatly states he wouldn’t let any further outbreaks shutter the economy again. When asked a possible second wave Trump replied “People say that’s a very distinct possibility. It’s standard. And, we’re going put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country.”
The is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. Researchers have identified the is combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The result is that the is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19.
The United States deliveres 50 ventilators to Russia, part of a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to help Moscow fight the coronavirus. Another 150 will follow next week. The U.S. Embassy called the delivery “rapid fulfillment” of a request Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on a recent phone calls with President Trump.
Seventy-seven U.S. Nobel Laureates write to and to “act urgently” to review a controversial decision terminating a grant to , writing that the reason for killing the grant on April 24 was “preposterous.”
President Trump declined to wear a protective face mask in public during a visit to a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan that is turning out ventilators and masks for use in the coronavirus pandemic, despite a request from the carmaker that he wear one and an executive order from the state’s Democratic governor requiring them. Prior to his trip, the state’s Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) sent Trump an open letter asking that Trump respect the men and women of Ford Motor Company, and comply with state law, by wearing a face mask in public.
Global Cases: 4,893,186 | Global Deaths: 323,256
A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not. People treated with hydroxychloroquine, or the closely related drug chloroquine, were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death.
In an interview, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said of President Trump and his refusal to wear a face mask during his previous day’s tour of Ford Motor Company: “The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules. This is no joke.”
President Trump’s Tweet response to A.G. Nessel: “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask. Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!”
President Trump’s Follow-up Tweet: “Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor – they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have – until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!”
North Carolina – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, continues to order people to stay at home, but increases the number of allowable reasons to go out. Retail stores could open with limits on customers beginning May 8. Restaurants, personal care businesses and pools are reopened.
Global Cases: 4,993,470 | Global Deaths: 327,738
Conservatives in several areas of the country (and the government) openly defy requirements to wear masks on ideological grounds, in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak. North Dakota Govenor Doug Burgum (R) begs North Dakotans to avoid “creating a divide” either “ideological or political” over the importance of wearing a mask with so many lives at stake. “This is a, I would say, senseless dividing line. And I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding.”
Global Cases: 5,103,006 | Global Deaths: 333,401
The Trump administration announces that it was restricting entry for travelers from Brazil, which ranks only behind the United States in the number of coronavirus cases according to the Johns Hopkins University database.
Global Cases: 5,204,508 cases | Global Deaths: 337,687
While discussing whether the U.S. economy might recover this fall after the coronavirus downturn, states: “Our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed, our human capital stock is ready to get back to work, and so there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises,” also calls the requests for additional federal funding for states “absurd” and “radical.”
The nation’s rental car companies are in deep trouble, which also means trouble for auto manufacturers. During normal times rental car companies account for 10% or more of US new car sales — an estimated 1.7 million to 1.9 million cars purchases last year. Rental car companies get two-thirds of their revenue from airport locations. With airline travel is down 94% in April and May there are far fewer people needing to rent cars.
The forced distancing required by the coronavirus prompted several cities to quickly close some public roads to make room so cooped-up residents anxious to get outside for exercise could do so safely. Now, following moves to shut, narrow or re-purpose streets from Oakland to Tampa, cities including Washington are seeking to understand how those emergency closures might have lasting impacts on some of urban America’s most important, and contested, real estate.
Four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, arrest George Floyd for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. In the process of arresting him, one police officer presses his knee into Floyd’s back for over eight minutes, cutting off Floyd’s breathing while Floyd is face down on the ground, suffocating him. The incident was recorded by several people and later posted to social media.
Ashley Smith, the cofounder of Reopen NC and the movement’s most visible leader, is organizing simultaneous rallies in five cities — Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville and Wilmington — to commemorate Memorial Day and protest Gov. Roy Cooper’s handling of the coronavirus response. The rallies have attracted considerable support from Republican politicians.
Tweet: The reopen movement in NC is increasingly aligning w/ the boogaloo & constitutionalist fringe on the far right, w/ the husband of Reopen NC cofounder Ashley Smith saying supporters must be “willing to kill people.
Global Cases: 5,304,772 | Global Deaths: 342,029
The will not file insider trading charges against . informed lawyers for Loeffler and two other senators scrutinized for their coronavirus-era stock trades that they are closing their investigations into the matters. A investigation into remains ongoing.
With its entire membership of 51,000 professional actors and stage managers out of work, Actors’ Equity Association announces the health and safety guidelines it expects theaters to follow before it will authorize its members to return to the stage.Union president Kate Shindle and executive director Mary McColl made it clear that conditions for productions to resume have not been met anywhere in the country.
President Trump’s seeding of a culture war over face masks just got a lot less subtle, as he reinforces his own role in subtly seeding that culture war. In perhaps his most overt effort to shun the wearing of masks, Trump retweets a tweet from Fox News analyst Brit Hume ridiculing Joe Biden for appearing with a face mask during a Memorial Day ceremony in Delaware.
Brit Hume Tweet: “This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today. [image]”
A protest and rally in Minneapolis in memory of George Floyd, killed during an arrest by Minneapolis police the day before, turns violent.
Father Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, publishes an opinion piece explaining his rational for reopening the university in the fall, and describes university plans for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. His plans includes restarting athletic programs. Citing Aristotle, Father Jenkins dismisses as a scientist who doesn’t speak for moral values.
The United States sends 1,200 Marines to Darwin, Australia, in a show of military might as tensions escalate between China and Australia over who is to blame for the spread of Covid-19.
Global Cases: 5,404,512 | Global Deaths: 343,514
Thousands of people poured into the streets here for a second night of protests — which later turned chaotic as police fired rubber bullets from a rooftop, several buildings caught fire, and one person was shot and killed by a store owner. The evening started with peaceful protests that descended into disarray and looting as the night wore on. At times, the tear gas was so thick, it wafted down neighborhood streets where people standing in their front yards were coughing and wiping at their eyes.
Global Cases: 5,488,825 | Global Deaths: 349,095
Former Vice President Joe Biden Tweet: “There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they’re forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief. Today is one of those moments. 100,000 lives have now been lost to this virus. To those hurting, I’m so sorry for your loss. The nation grieves with you.”
President Trump Tweet: “We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!”
Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center is the reference for the report of 100,000 U.S. deaths.
The Coronavirus Task Force assembled by President Trump to confront the pandemic has been sharply curtailed as the White House looks ahead to reopening. The task force has essentially been sidelined by Trump, said senior administration officials and others close to the group, who described a greatly reduced role for the panel created to guide the administration’s response to the pandemic.
Kenosha County, Wisconsin, has seen a 20% spike in COVID-19 cases since the Safer at Home order ended May 13. Since March, a total of 1,061 people in Kenosha County have tested positive. 24 people have died of coronavirus.
With 52,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Florida is in the top ten states when it comes to infections. But the 2,300 recorded deaths is less than half of those from Michigan, a state with a similar number of cases. Florida Governor DeSantis has been bragging both about the “success” of his policies and sneering at pundits that warned of potential disaster from his refusal to enforce social distancing guidelines. Yet, there is increasing evidence that Florida is hiding over 1000 deaths by reporting them as due to pneumonia, not COVID-19.
Americans have filed more than 40 million claims for jobless benefits in the past 10 weeks.
During a 10-week period that saw a staggering 40.7 million Americans loosing their jobs due to mass layoffs induced by the coronavirus pandemic, the combined net worth of America’s billionaires grew by $485 billion, an increase of 16.5%. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw their combined wealth soar by $63 billion over the last 10 weeks, a $2-an-hour hazard pay increase for Amazon warehouse workers is set to expire at the end of the day May 28.
New York – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, announced limited reopenings by region starting May 15. Under a modified executive order issued on May 22 groups of up to 10 people can gather for any lawful reason. New York City, the hardest hit part of the state, will move into the first phase of reopening on June 8.
Global Cases: 5,593,631 | Global Deaths: 353,334
President Trumps remarks are made against a backdrop of violent nationwide protests against a police-caused death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
Every single farm worker on a Tennessee farm of roughly 200 employees has been infected with COVID-19. In New Jersey, more than 50 workers have the virus at a farm in Gloucester County, adding to nearly 60 who fell ill in neighboring Salem County. Washington state’s agricultural region of Yakima County has the highest per capita infection rate of any county on the West Coast. These outbreaks show comparisons to infections in the U.S. meat industry over the past few months.
District of Columbia – Stay-at-home order expires. In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, announces a plan to reopen some businesses in the district. Her stay-at-home order was supposed to expire June 8 but she lifts this also.
Illinois – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, announces a broader reopening in much of the state. Restrictions on certain outdoor activities were loosened starting May 1. Chicago will move into phase three with the rest of the state on June 3.
Ohio – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, began reopening retail stores on May 12 and allowed salons and barbershops to reopen shortly after.
Global Cases: 5,701,337 | Global Deaths: 357,688
Unemployment claims for the last week of May are the lowest since the novel coronavirus started spreading widely back in March, a sign the economy may no longer be in free fall.
Federal and state officials across the country have altered or hidden public health data crucial to tracking the coronavirus’ spread, hindering the ability to detect a surge of infections as President Trump pushes the nation to reopen rapidly.The spotty data flow, coupled with a lack of regular briefings by the White House, is particularly worrisome to public health officials trying to help Americans make decisions about safely venturing out.
Protests over the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd spread to American cities coast to coast, and violence intensifies. Overnight curfew is declared in at least 25 cities.
Global Cases: 5,817,385 | Global Deaths: 362,705
Delaware – Shelter in place expires. Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, allows a limited number of businesses to reopen with restrictions, to be followed by most businesses on June 1.
Maine – Stay-at-home order expires. Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, allowed some personal care businesses to begin reopening statewide May 1 and took a regional approach for other reopenings. Retail stores and restaurants were allowed to reopen in rural counties without community spread starting May 11 and May 18, respectively, then statewide on June 1.
New Mexico – Stay-at-home order expired on May 31. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended New Mexico’s stay-at-home order through the end of May but allowed retailers, offices and houses of worship to open at limited capacities beginning May 16. Three northwestern counties with the most severe outbreaks will be shut down until June 1.
Washington – Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, keeps a shutdown order in place through the end of May while allowing some businesses to reopen by county. King County businesses face stricter limits than in other counties, but every county in the state has moved into some phase of reopening.
Global Cases: 5,934,936 | Global Deaths: 367,166
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Trump Twitter Tweet Defunct
This timeline cites a number of Twitter Tweets including those of then-President Trump. On January 8, 2021, Twitter deactivated President Trump’s Twitter account. This caused the citation links to become inactive.
Timeline Source Data File
I built this timeline from a set of working notes in spreadsheet format. At present, my working notes have 1247 news entries, in addition to other references that form my “Additional Reading” sidebar entries, and other source references. Not all these news items are published in this timeline, for various reasons. My notes are freely available under a Creative Commons license (BY SA) to any writer or researcher who finds this work useful.
Global Coronavirus Spread
First reported confirmed cases per country.
This document is a final version of “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” initially reported April 17. Written by the CDC, it was planned for release on May 1, but reportedly blocked from publication by the White House.
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Marshall Islands
- North Korea
- Solomon Islands
Research Paper: SARS-CoV-2 is well adapted for humans. What does this mean for re-emergence?
Full Text Prepared Congressional Statement of Dr. Richard Bright
Questions About the CARES Act’s $500 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds
Study Published by the U.K. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team
Published May 21, the study results suggest COVID-19 is spreading out of control in much of the U.S., and suggests deaths over the next two-month period could exceed current cumulative deaths by greater than two-fold.
Open Letter From Michigan State Attorney General to President Trump
On May 20 the Michigan State Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) sent President Trump an open letter asking that Trump respect the men and women of Ford Motor Company, and comply with state law, by wearing a face mask in public. On his trip the following day, Trump declined to wear a face mask in public.
Letter from the Science Community Supporting EcoHealth Alliance
On May 20 thirty-one scientific organizations, representing tens of thousands of members of the American biomedical research enterprise, sent a letter to Director expressing alarm by the National Institutes of Health’s revocation of a peer-reviewed research grant for studies of coronaviruses by on April 24.
The White House coronavirus task force would buy a defense company’s new cleaning machines to allow critical protective masks to be reused up to 20 times. And at $60 million for 60 machines on April 3, the price was right. But over just a few days, the potential cost to taxpayers exploded to $413 million. By May 1, the Pentagon pegged the ceiling at $600 million in a justification for awarding the deal without an open bidding process or an actual contract. Even worse, scientists and nurses say the recycled masks treated by these machines begin to degrade after two or three treatments, not 20, and the company says its own recent field testing has only confirmed the integrity of the masks for four cycles of use and decontamination.
Trump administration paying huge premium for mask-cleaning machines. Which don’t do the job.
An in-depth investigation into the meat packing industry practices during the pandemic. On April 28 President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) using the Defense Production Act of 1950 to keep meat packing plants operating at full capacity. His EO used language very similar to a draft presented by the industry on April 21. As of May 20, officials have publicly linked at least 15,300 COVID-19 infections to 192 U.S. meatpacking plants. At least 63 workers have died since. Published May 22, 2020
Cheap chicken, beef came at a cost. How American meat plants bred coronavirus hot spots
This is a follow-up in-depth article to “How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air””Listed in this timeline in the month of April. This article follows the decision-making processes of Kushner’s team on procuring medical equipment, with first-person accounts of a tense meeting at the White House in late March that suggest the President Trump’s son-in-law resisted taking federal action to alleviate shortages and help Democratic-led New York. Instead, he enlisted a former roommate to lead a Consultant State to take on the Deep State, with results ranging from the Eastman Kodak fiasco to a mysterious deal to send ventilators to Russia.
“That’s Their Problem”: How Jared Kushner Let the Markets Decide America’s COVID-19 Fate