President Donald Trump visited a Honeywell mask factory in Arizona, but ignored guidelines to wear a mask. So did senior White House staff and Honeywell executives. Trump’s visit, meant to promote his message that it’s time to reopen the economy, came amid ominous signs for the country’s battle against the coronavirus.
An Associated Press analysis found that if the New York metropolitan area’s progress against the virus is removed from the equation, the rest of the U.S. is moving in the wrong direction, with the infection rate rising. Trump acknowledged that some people will “be affected badly” by the lifting of stay-at-home orders and other restrictions.
Elsewhere, Britain on Tuesday became the first country in Europe to confirm more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths, and infections rose sharply again in Russia. China and South Korea each reported only two fresh coronavirus cases.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— A senior U.S. government scientist alleged in a whistleblower complaint Tuesday that the Trump administration failed to prepare for the onslaught of the coronavirus. Dr. Rick Bright also alleges he was reassigned to a lesser role because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug pushed by Trump as a treatment for COVID-19. The drug has not been proven to be effective and regulators have warned doctors not to prescribe it.
— America’s least-populated states are scoring big when it comes to getting federal aid. Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming got an outsized proportion of the $150 billion that was supposed to address coronavirus-related expenses. When measured by the number of positive COVID-19 tests, Alaska got nearly $3.4 million per test, according to an Associated Press analysis. New York, the hardest-hit state, received about $24,000 per positive test.
— In Brazil, the capital of tropical Maranhão state and three neighboring cities ground largely to a halt Tuesday, becoming the first major Brazilian areas to enter a lockdown. Some 1.5 million people are confined to their homes under a decree from Gov. Flávio Dino that will last 10 days and comes despite President Jair Bolsonaro’s insistence that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.
— Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories within two weeks, potentially putting thousands of workers back on the assembly line. Fiat Chrysler said it plans to start reopening factories May 18, though that depends on an easing of government restrictions. The United Auto Workers union appears to be on board.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 2: The number of hits given up by former Detroit Tigers pitcher Warwick Saupold in his complete-game shutout for the Hanwha Eagles as baseball returned to empty stadiums in South Korea.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— DON’T FORGET MOM: Mother’s Day this year is a mix of love and extra imagination as families do without their usual brunches and huggy meet-ups. As the pandemic persists in keeping families indoors or a safe social distance apart, online searches have increased for creative ways to still make moms feel special.
— CINEMA MACHINE: The coronavirus has brought back something unseen in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution: a drive-in movie theater. Once decried by revolutionaries for allowing too much privacy for unmarried young couples, a drive-in theater now operates from a parking lot right under Tehran’s iconic Milad tower, showing a film in line with the views of hard-liners.