coronavirus-live:-updates-from-around-the-globe

Coronavirus Live: Updates From Around the Globe

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The U.S. banned travelers from Brazil and India restored domestic flights. And President Trump caused outrage by playing golf as the death toll in America neared 100,000.

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The head of a virology lab in Wuhan, China, denied it had any role in setting off the outbreak.

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Credit…Adriano Machado/Reuters

Countries struggle to resume air travel, as the U.S. bans passengers from Brazil and India restore flights.

Around the world, countries are struggling with how to best resume air travel, a cornerstone of modern commerce but also a dangerous vector of coronavirus infection.

As some nations get their outbreaks under control they are both reopening their skies to flyers and looking for similarly safe countries in which to allow their citizens to travel.

But elsewhere, countries still in the throes of the pandemic are finding themselves newly closed off, their people banned from arriving at once-accepting airports.

The United States on Sunday added travelers from Brazil to a list of countries from which travel is banned. China and members of the European Union had previously been banned from traveling to the United States.

As The United States was restricting travel, India, emerging from a nationwide lockdown, was resuming it.

In Europe, those countries who have been most successful at containing the virus looked to broker travel agreements.

Officials in Greece have suggested an “air bridge” with other nations that have minor outbreaks. International flights to Athens are to resume June 15, and to the country’s other airports on July 1.

Trump tweets and golfs as U.S. coronavirus deaths approach 100,000.

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Credit…Tom Brenner/Reuters

As President Trump’s motorcade pulled into his golf club in Virginia on an overcast Sunday, a small group of protesters waited outside the entrance. One held up a sign.

“I care do U?” it read. “100,000 dead.”

Mr. Trump and his advisers have said that he does, but he has made scant effort to demonstrate it this Memorial Day weekend. He finally ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the White House only after being badgered to do so by his critics and otherwise took no public notice as the American death toll from the coronavirus pandemic approached a staggering 100,000.

While the country neared six digits of death, the president who repeatedly criticized his predecessor for golfing during a crisis spent the weekend on the links for the first time since March. When he was not zipping around on a cart, he was on social media embracing fringe conspiracy theories, amplifying messages from a racist and sexist Twitter account and lobbing playground insults at perceived enemies, including his own former attorney general.

This was a death toll that Mr. Trump once predicted would never be reached. In late February, he said there were only 15 coronavirus cases in the United States, understating even then the actual number, and declared that “the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” In the annals of the American presidency, it would be hard to recall a more catastrophically wrong prediction.

They survived World War II. And died of the virus.

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Credit…David Goldman/Associated Press

It was 1952, and the young men had returned to the industrial towns of western Massachusetts after serving in World War II. They were kids from poor families. And they were damaged: shellshocked, learning to live without limbs, unable to communicate what they had seen.

It was to these men that Gov. Paul Dever, who had fought in the war himself, dedicated the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, promising to protect injured veterans.

But nearly 70 years later, as the coronavirus began spreading across the country, that promise was broken. Of the 210 veterans who were living in the facility in late March, 89 are now dead, 74 having tested positive for the coronavirus. Almost three-quarters of the veterans inside were infected. It is one of the highest death tolls of any end-of-life facility in the country.

These veterans had survived some of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

There was James Leach Miller, who at 21 was on Omaha Beach on D-Day, crowded into a landing ship with other young men. He died of the coronavirus on March 30.

There was Emilio DiPalma, who at 19 was an Army staff sergeant. He guarded Hermann Goering, the driving force behind the Nazi concentration camps, during the Nuremberg trials. He died of the coronavirus on April 8.

The question of what went wrong at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home will be with Massachusetts for a long time.

Investigations have been opened, several of which seek to determine whether state officials should be charged with negligence under civil or criminal law. But many in the state are revisiting decisions made since 2015, when a moderate, technocratic Republican governor, Charlie Baker, was elected on a promise to rein in spending.

The conditions inside the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home were so chaotic that some of the family members of those who died cannot recount them without breaking down.

“He died with no care whatsoever,” said Linda McKee, the daughter of Mr. Miller. “There was no one there giving orders.”

Returning to school in Sydney, and remembering what we’ve learned.

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Credit…Damien Cave/The New York Times

Damien Cave, the Times’ bureau chief in Sydney, writes about the resumption of classes in Australia.

I made my daughter her favorite breakfast this morning and packed extra snacks in my son’s lunchbox. Not even a soaking rain could dampen my mood — if my wife and I could have popped champagne at 8 a.m. we would have.

Finally, after seven weeks at home filled with Zoom lessons, fractions, overdue assignments, TikTok and a few tears, our two children were returning to their real-life classrooms full-time.

“I’m not excited for school,” my daughter, Amelia, 9, told me, as we made our way to morning drop-off in downtown Sydney. “I’m excited for normal life!”

The announcement of a full return came suddenly last week. In our house, cheers rattled the windows. We’d seen Australia’s infection rates decline, and wondered when the moment would come. Schools, we felt, brought only minimal risk and great benefits.

But as I watched other parents this morning, some in masks, others with hand sanitizer, I couldn’t shake the sense that “normal life” has already narrowed.

Amelia tells me that hugging at school now brings a scolding. Dance is still canceled. Balthazar, her brother, who is 11, will also probably not be going to bush camp with his class next month — a sixth-grade milestone he’d been looking forward to since last year.

I want to believe that these small sacrifices are not what they’ll remember. I want to believe they’ll look back and recall these insular months as a special interlude, yes, with some arguing, but also with a lot of Snickerdoodles, art projects and funny family videos too.

What have we learned? Honestly, less about school than ourselves.

Our children said they were surprised to discover how hard their parents worked. I come away with a deeper understanding of my children as students — now I know my usually quiet son learns best not alone but in groups, even if that means sitting across from me; and my daughter, it turns out, is far more diligent than her chattiness suggests.

There’s a part of me that will miss them now that they’re gone. But I don’t want them back, not just because that would mean a second wave of the virus; also because school, we now know more than ever, is a beautiful luxury.

The head of Wuhan’s virus lab denies that it was the source of the novel coronavirus.

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Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Trump administration’s unsubstantiated claims that the coronavirus pandemic was set off from a Wuhan government laboratory are “pure fabrication,” the head of the lab was quoted as saying in Chinese state media on Sunday.

Wang Yanyi, who leads the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said that the institute first received a sample of the virus at the end of December. By that point, the virus had been circulating in Wuhan, a major travel hub, for weeks.

“We didn’t have any knowledge about the virus before that, nor have we ever met, researched or kept the virus,” Dr. Wang said.

Scientists are still studying how the outbreak first happened. Most of them believe that the virus was passed from bats to humans via an intermediary species, one that was probably sold at a wet market in Wuhan late last year.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, appeared on “Face the Nation” and “Meet the Press,” accusing Chinese officials of carrying out a cover-up of the Covid-19 outbreak that effectively “unleashed” the virus on the world.

The coronavirus has infected more than 5.3 million and killed more than 340,000 in its spread around the world. The United States is suffering by far the largest known outbreak. China says it has contained the virus, but Russia confirmed 8,599 new cases in the last 24 hours alone.

Houses of worship around the world face tough choices in reopening.

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Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Congregations across the U.S. were still using Facebook or YouTube to hold services on Sunday, or were taking part from their cars in the church parking lot.

But pastors have been sharing plans for returning to in-person services in the weeks ahead while deciding how to do so safely.

“Some governors have deemed the liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s not right. So I am correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”

Houses of worship can already open legally in more than half the states, but many had decided to remain closed while working out their next steps. Many that are considering opening for in-person worship soon have been mapping out new seating arrangements or foot traffic flows.

The idea of reopening is an especially difficult issue for African-American churches, as the coronavirus has been infecting and killing black people at disproportionally high rates.

Leaders of the Church of God in Christ, a historically black denomination with about six million members worldwide, are urging pastors not to begin reopening until at least July.

“The moral safe choice is to wait,” Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., the church’s presiding bishop, said. “We don’t think now is the time, and neither do the scientists and doctors we consult with.”

In Germany, which for weeks now has allowed religious services, 40 churchgoers became infected with the coronavirus during a service at a Baptist church in Frankfurt, the health authorities said.

Six parishioners were hospitalized, according to Wladimir Pritzkau, a leader of the parish.

France took tentative steps on Sunday to reopen churches, mosques and synagogues. Officials were nudged by a legal challenge to a blanket ban on public worship that was not set to be lifted until the end of May.

In Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher reopened after a two-month lockdown. On the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians crowded into streets early Sunday in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, including many who demanded that the Palestinian authorities reopen mosques for Eid al-Fitr, the festival for the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramadan.

So you got a face mask. Is it time for a face shield?

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Cinemagraph

In a video played at 1/8th speed, aerosols are expelled into a face shield at a distance of 18 inches. Video by Lindsley et al, 2014/NIOSH

The debate over whether Americans should wear face masks to control coronavirus transmission has been settled. Governments and businesses now require or at least recommend them in many public settings. But as parts of the country reopen, some doctors want you to consider another layer of personal protective equipment in your daily life: clear plastic face shields.

“I wear a face shield every time I enter a store or other building,” said Dr. Eli Perencevich. “Sometimes I also wear a cloth mask, if required by the store’s policy.”

Dr. Perencevich is an infectious disease physician at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System. In an opinion article published last month in JAMA, he and two colleagues argued that simple clear-plastic face shields could help reduce the transmission of infections.

The idea is not just a thought experiment. In Singapore, preschool students and their teachers will receive face shields when they return to school next month. Local health experts recommended that teachers in Philadelphia wear shields when schools reopen, and a teachers’ union in Palo Alto, Calif. requested them as well.

There has also been no research on how well one person’s face shield protects other people from viral transmission — the concept called source control that is a primary benefit of surgical and cloth masks.

Boris Johnson says he won’t fire top aide who defied lockdown orders.

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Credit…Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Despite calls for him to oust a top adviser who disobeyed Britain’s stay-at-home order, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is standing by that official, Dominic Cummings, who had fallen ill with the coronavirus.

During a news briefing on Sunday, the prime minister staunchly defended Mr. Cummings for driving in April to visit his parents in Durham, in the north of England. But Mr. Johnson deflected questions about whether he had known of Mr. Cummings’s travels and muddied the details of the lockdown rules.

Mr. Cummings has said there was no other way to get care for his young child after he and his wife began showing symptoms of the virus.

“He followed the instincts of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that,” Mr. Johnson said on Sunday. “I believe that in every respect, he has acted responsibly, and legally, and with integrity.”

Mr. Johnson’s decision to stand by his adviser underlines his deep reliance on Mr. Cummings, who was the architect of his election victory last year and the driving force behind his ambitious post-Brexit agenda. But it is unlikely to defuse the uproar over Mr. Cummings’s actions, which critics say send a signal that Britain’s leaders can ignore the rules they impose on others.

The opposition Labour Party called for an inquiry into Mr. Cummings’s conduct and accused Mr. Johnson of double standards.

“It is an insult to sacrifices made by the British people that Boris Johnson has chosen to take no action against Dominic Cummings,” the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, said in a statement. “The public will be forgiven for thinking there is one rule for the prime minister’s closest adviser and another for the British people.”

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Reporting was contributed by Mark Landler Stephen Castle, Damien Cave, Joshua Barone, Mariel Padilla, Michael Paulson, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Knvul Sheikh, Ben Sisario, Michael Wilson, Zachary Woolfe Kai Schultz and Ellen Barry.

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