Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
CDC reports 1,412,121 coronavirus cases, 85,990 deaths
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 1,412,121 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 27,191 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 2,043 to 85,990. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on May 14, compared with its count a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/2SGLijD)
In patchwork restart, parts of New York and other U.S. states reopen
Less populated areas of New York, Virginia and Maryland took their first steps towards lifting lockdowns on Friday, part of a patchwork approach to the coronavirus pandemic that has been shaped by political divisions across the United States. Construction and manufacturing facilities in five out of 10 New York state regions were given the green light to restart operations, although New York City, the country's most populous metropolis, remained under strict limits.
U.S. House votes to allow 'proxy' voting during coronavirus crisis
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved an historic change to its rules, allowing lawmakers to vote by "proxy" from remote locations temporarily, as they also moved toward a vote on $3 trillion in new coronavirus emergency aid. By a mostly partisan vote of 217-189, the House approved the rules change proposed by Democrats, allowing Speaker Nancy Pelosi to trigger the remote voting procedure for the first time in Congress' history if she deems it necessary.
New York to join neighbor states in opening beaches for Memorial Day: governor
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday the state would join New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware in reopening beaches for the Memorial Day weekend, aiming to prevent people from crossing state borders for a respite from the coronavirus lockdown. The move is part of a broader loosening of restrictions in New York, which gave the green light on Friday to five of 10 regions outside urban areas to start reopening their economies, starting with construction and manufacturing work.
Across U.S., students in lockdown celebrate graduations virtually with celebrity guests
Graduation ceremonies are a rite of passage in the United States, a chance to don a scholarly cap and gown and celebrate with friends and family another stage of school completed. But the graduates of 2020 are having to seek other ways to mark this milestone, with the majority of the population still under coronavirus-related lockdowns and school and college campuses closed.
U.S. employers wary of coronavirus 'immunity' tests as they move to reopen
U.S. employers have cooled to the idea of testing workers for possible immunity to the coronavirus as they prepare to reopen factories and other workplaces. Blood tests that check for antibodies to the new coronavirus have been touted by governments and some disease experts as a way to identify people who are less likely to fall ill or infect others. Italian automaker Ferrari NV has made antibody testing central to its “Back on Track” project to restarting factories.
Factbox: Trump-Biden healthcare showdown in the spotlight amid pandemic
Healthcare was already a top concern among U.S. voters even before the coronavirus pandemic killed tens of thousands of Americans and eliminated millions of jobs. The crisis is likely to shine an even brighter spotlight on the vast differences on healthcare policy between Republican President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead of November's election.
Georgia woman arrested over U.S. Medicare fraud on coronavirus testing
A Georgia woman was arrested on Friday for allegedly bilking Medicare - the U.S. health insurance program for Americans over age 65 and the disabled - by submitting fraudulent claims related to coronavirus testing and genetic cancer tests, the U.S. Justice Department said. The case against Ashley Hoobler Parris, 32, of Lawrencevile, Georgia, marks one of the first Medicare fraud cases in connection with billings for COVID-19, the sometimes deadly illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
U.S. to stockpile vaccine candidates as trials continue: health secretary
The U.S. government plans to stockpile hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines that are under development to combat the novel coronavirus with the goal of having one or more vaccines ready to deploy by the end of the year, the health secretary said on Friday. "We've got over 100 vaccine candidates that have been discovered," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox Business Network.
In Pennsylvania, signs that Trump's attacks on mail voting could backfire
With Pennsylvania's June 2 presidential primary fast approaching, local Republican leader Mark Hrutkay took to Facebook to remind supporters they have the option to vote by mail as coronavirus sweeps the state. Instead of thanks, Hrutkay said he got an earful from angry devotees of Republican President Donald Trump.