Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Hopes of a new witness dashed in case of slain Georgia black jogger

Hopes of finding a new witness in the case of an unarmed black jogger whose fatal shooting in Georgia triggered a national outcry were dashed Thursday afternoon. The note found at the memorial of Ahmaud Arbery reading "I should have stopped them" was left by a person "expressing their condolences" and not a new witness in the case of the jogger who was shot after being chased by an ex-cop and his son, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said in a Twitter post.

U.S. CDC issues guidelines on how to reopen schools, transit and workplaces

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued guidelines to help schools and workplaces determine whether they are ready to open for business. It provided six "decision trees" that cover yes-or-no scenarios to help assess readiness for opening workplaces, restaurants and bars, mass transit, childcare, camps and schools.

Without wearing a mask, Trump tours Pennsylvania mask distribution center

Without wearing a face mask himself, President Donald Trump toured a mask distribution center in Pennsylvania on Thursday and announced plans to replenish the U.S. strategic stockpile of medical equipment depleted by the coronavirus outbreak. Trump, a Republican who is running for re-election in November, has resisted wearing a mask in public despite his administration's guidance to Americans to wear them and new White House rules requiring that staff wear them at work.

U.S. Senate votes to extend government surveillance tools

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on Thursday, two months after the divisive provisions allowing government data collection expired. The Senate backed the reauthorization by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.

U.S. issues first coronavirus workplace guidance to nursing homes

The U.S. Department of Labor issued its first workplace guidance to nursing homes on Thursday since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country and ravaged care facilities, saying residents, staff and visitors should keep 6 feet (1.83 meters) apart. The alert from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also said nursing homes should screen resident and staff for symptoms and should find alternatives to group activities.

CDC reports 1,384,930 coronavirus cases, 83,947 deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 1,384,930 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 20,869 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,701 to 83,947. 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 13, compared with its count a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/2SGLijD)

Sand, surf, social distance: Jersey Shore to reopen

The beaches and boardwalks of the New Jersey shore, made famous by the music of Bruce Springsteen, will reopen for Memorial Day weekend as the state that was among the hardest hit by the coronavirus emerges from lockdown, Governor Phil Murphy said on Thursday. While beachgoers will need to keep their distance from one another, opening the Jersey shore in time for the traditional May 23-25 start of summer will enable to the state to fire up a key economic engine and showcase one of its crown jewels.

U.S. faces 'darkest winter' if pandemic planning falters: whistleblower

A whistleblower who says he was removed from his government post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing on Thursday that the United States could face "the darkest winter" of recent times if it does not improve its response to the pandemic. Hours after President Donald Trump railed against him on Twitter, whistleblower Rick Bright testified to a U.S. House of Representatives panel about readiness for the outbreak.

U.S. accuses Chinese-born researcher at Cleveland Clinic of ties to Chinese spying

A Chinese-born former employee of the Cleveland clinic was arrested on fraud charges related to $3.6 million in federal grants, the FBI said on Thursday, the latest move in a U.S. crackdown on alleged attempts by China to steal American scientific advances. The FBI and other federal enforcement agencies searched the Shaker Heights, Ohio, home of Dr. Qing Wang, and arrested him on charges of false claims and wire fraud on Wednesday.

Wisconsin at center of sharp political divide over reopening U.S. economy

Wisconsin's governor on Thursday predicted confusion among residents and business after the state supreme court struck down his sweeping stay-at-home order, fueling a growing political divide over how and when to reopen the shattered U.S. economy. The court's decision, which found that Governor Tony Evers and state health officials did not have the authority to unilaterally confine residents to their homes or bar them from work, marked the first time such coronavirus restrictions had been overturned in the United States.