If President Trump does not wear a face mask Thursday during his tour of a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan, he will be asked not to return to similar facilities, the state’s attorney general said.
Appearing on CNN hours before Trump’s scheduled arrival, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) also warned that the state could take legal action against “enclosed facilities” that permit Trump to enter without wearing a mask.
Nessel’s admonition came amid mounting tension over whether Trump, who has not previously donned a mask in public, would comply with an executive order from the state’s governor as he tours a facility in Ypsilanti that has been repurposed to manufacture ventilators for coronavirus patients.
“If we’ve learned nothing over the last several years of President Trump in the White House, it’s that he doesn’t have the same level of legal accountability as everybody else,” Nessel said. “Honestly, if he fails to wear a mask, he’s going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facilities inside our state.”
She added: “I think we’re going to take action against any company or any facility that allows him inside those facilities and puts our workers at risk. We simply can’t afford it here in our state.”
“Leaders need to lead,” she said during a separate appearance on CNN. “I hope the president will follow the protocols because people will see the importance of wearing those masks. It matters.”
Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who has been largely absent from television in recent weeks, appears in a new interview conducted by actress Julia Roberts in which he discloses he was getting so little sleep last month he felt like he was “falling apart.”
The interview is part of an initiative in which celebrities are turning over their social media channels to health experts and front-line health workers. According to the organizer, the global nonprofit ONE Campaign, other celebrities participating in the #PassTheMic initiative include Hugh Jackman, Millie Bobby Brown and Danai Gurira.
“Last month, I was getting three, and three doesn’t work any more than two or three days in a row, and I started to really feel like I was falling apart,” Fauci says.
“I won’t, I promise,” he responds.
The discussion later turns to more substantive topics, including Fauci’s call to address “the extraordinary health disparities” among countries.
“Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don’t have the health-care system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or L.A. or New Orleans or Chicago, we have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world,” Fauci says.
WASHINGTON — More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns two months ago and sent the economy into a deep recession.
An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. These figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the government doesn’t include them in the overall number of applications
The continuing stream of heavy job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.
Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found.
During April, U.S. employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.
Since then, 10 million more laid-off workers have applied for jobless benefits. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an interview Sunday that the unemployment rate could peak in May or June at 20% to 25%.
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After New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that the city’s beaches would remain closed over Memorial Day Weekend, Long Island officials began to worry that their shores would be swarmed with out-of-town visitors.
So a number of communities are instituting a controversial locals-only policy, highlighting the downside of a piecemeal approach to reopening.
Nassau County officials on Wednesday passed a bill restricting access to popular Nickerson Beach, saying that banning nonresidents was the only way to avoid overcrowding. With a patchwork of similar measures already in place for other cities and towns along the coast, that means that only one public beach on Long Island’s South Shore will be open to New York City residents over the holiday weekend, Newsday reported.
Both de Blasio’s decision to keep beaches closed and Long Island’s crackdown on New Yorkers have met with contention. As Gothamist reports, beaches that have received federal funding are legally obligated to be accessible to all members of the public. Much of Long Island’s coastline meets that definition, having been rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers after Superstorm Sandy.
Nassau County acknowledged on Tuesday that banning city dwellers from a newly-reopened Nickerson Beach would be against the law, the outlet reported. Instead, a spokeswoman for the county said, nonresidents will be unable to park in the beach’s parking lot, forcing them to travel four miles from the nearest train station.
Other municipalities in Long Island have yet to address the legal complications of barring nonresidents, but say that their locals-only policies will come to an end as soon as New York City opens its own beaches for the season.
Monday’s “wanted” post on the Maui Police Department Facebook page included all the information one would expect: a photo, physical description, phone number to call with information. And a description of the Colorado woman’s alleged offense: “violating the Rules and Orders for failure to quarantine.”
According to police, the 31-year-old tourist arrived on Maui on Friday, acknowledged the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine and said she would be at a hostel. Later, authorities learned she had canceled her reservation; when efforts to reach her failed, police took their search public.
The visitor dragnet is the latest example of how seriously Hawaii — a destination that attracted more than 10 million tourists last year — is treating the coronavirus threat posed by outsiders , as new cases in the state have dwindled. Between May 12 and Tuesday, just nine cases have been reported statewide.
Lebanon warns of major food crisis
In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post late Wednesday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab also warns of eventual “starvation” in the Middle East that he says may spark a new migration flow to Europe.
He urges the United States and the European Union to establish a dedicated emergency fund to help the conflict-prone region.
Lebanon, one of the most indebted nations in the world, defaulted for the first time in March on its sovereign debt. Anti-government protests that erupted in October over widespread corruption subsided during a nationwide lockdown since mid-March to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, but sporadic protests continue.
Diab’s government is seeking a rescue program from the International Monetary Fund while grappling to deal with the financial crisis that saw the local currency crash, people’s savings devastated and prices and inflation soar in the past few weeks.
In a stark warning, Diab says many Lebanese may soon find it difficult to afford even bread.
Wary of the competition from other Mediterranean countries already reopening borders, hoteliers and officials in tourist-magnet islands and coastal regions have been pressing Spanish central authorities to relax curbs in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
But Environment and Energy Minister Teresa Ribera has told EFE news agency that an early massive opening to visitors would be “irresponsible.”
“Our idea is to work on safe origins and destinations thinking on July rather on June,” Ribera told the state news agency.
Tourism contributes 12% of Spain’s 1.24 trillion-euro (1.4 trillion-dollar) gross domestic product. The country has recorded at least 27,800 deaths for the novel virus and over 232,000 confirmed infections.
Drug maker prepares to manufacture vaccine still in testing
The pharmaceutical company says in a statement Thursday that it plans to conclude further deals in order to expand capacity over the next few months.
The company says it has the capacity to manufacture 1 billion doses of the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot says the company “will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available.’’
Wuhan bans the hunting, consumption of wild animals
BEIJING — The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic is believed to have originated, has issued a total ban on the hunting, breeding and human consumption of wild animals.
The move is in an apparent response to research showing the virus most likely originated among bats and was transmitted to people via an intermediary wild species sold for food at a market in the city.
The regulation issued Wednesday seeks to carry out measures passed at the national level covering protected land animals as well as sea life, promising financial relief to help dealers move into other lines of business.
However, it contains numerous exceptions, including for animals used for traditional Chinese medicine, as long as they are not consumed as food for humans. That left it unclear whether the ban would cover pangolins, small mammals whose scales are used for traditional Chinese medicine but which are thought to have been the intermediary carrier of the virus.
The regulation will be enforced immediately and will be in effect for five years.
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