Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

New York City needs $7.4 billion in federal aid amid coronavirus: mayor

New York City needs a $7.4 billion in federal aid to offset economic losses from the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday, urging President Donald Trump to push his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate to back more relief funding for states and cities. "The federal government must make us whole for us to be able to be in a position to restart," De Blasio, a Democrat, said in an interview on Fox News. "If New York City is not whole, it will drag down the entire region, and it will hold up the entire national economic restart."

Oklahoma asks Trump to declare coronavirus an 'act of God' to help oil producers

Oklahoma's governor has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to declare the coronavirus pandemic an "act of God," a step to help oil-producing states contend with a crude glut that caused futures prices to close below $0 last week for the first time. "Over-production of oil continues to threaten the economy," Governor J. Kevin Stitt said in a letter to Trump that Stitt posted on Twitter late on Saturday.

Next wave of U.S. states set to reopen as coronavirus could push jobless rate to 16%

Another wave of states prepared to ease coronavirus restrictions on U.S. commerce this week, despite health experts warning there is still too little diagnostic testing, while the White House forecast a staggering jump in the nation's monthly jobless rate. Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee were set to join several other states in reopening businesses without the means to screen systematically for infected people who may be contagious but asymptomatic, and to trace their contacts with others they might have exposed.

U.S. Labor Department issues new guidance for meatpacking workers

The U.S. Labor Department issued new guidelines on Sunday for U.S. meatpacking and meat-processing plants that have seen a rash of coronavirus outbreaks, saying employees should be spaced at least 6 feet (1.8 m) apart and screened before they start working. The interim guidance from the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration also recommended temperature checks and the wearing of cloth face coverings as a protective measure.

U.S. response to virus splinters into acrimony and uncertainty

Six weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the spreading new coronavirus, the United States is deeply divided over the correct economic and health response. What was meant as a grand experiment in fast action, nearly $3 trillion in federal support to keep U.S. companies and individuals afloat as economic activity froze, is slipping into a morass of finger-pointing and uncertainty.

Trump rejects reports that he will fire HHS chief Azar

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday rejected reports that he was planning to fire Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, saying he was doing an "excellent job." On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal and Politico reported that the Trump administration was considering replacing Azar, because of early missteps in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. CDC reports 928,619 coronavirus cases, 52,459 deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 928,619 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 32,853 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 2,020 to 52,459. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on April 25, compared with its count a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/2IVY1JT)

U.S. economy faces historic shock, with 16% joblessness possible: Trump adviser

The shuttering of the U.S. economy due to the coronavirus pandemic is a shock of historic proportions that likely will push the national unemployment rate to 16% or higher this month and require more stimulus to ensure a strong rebound, a White House economic adviser said on Sunday. "It's a really grave situation," President Donald Trump's adviser Kevin Hassett told the ABC program "This Week."

'Like test dummies': As Colorado reopens, some see too much risk

Royal Rose is reopening her Colorado tattoo studio next week after closing a month ago, not because she wants to but because the bills are piling up and she says she has no choice. "I would stay home if the government encouraged that, but they're not, they're saying 'Hey, the best thing to do is go back to work, even though it might be risky,'" said Rose, 39, sitting inside her salon in a wood-sided building on a leafy street in the farming and oil town of Greeley.

Florida felons' voting rights case to begin on Monday

A federal court will begin hearing a case on Monday that could decide whether hundreds of thousands of newly enfranchised felons in the key swing state of Florida will be able to vote in November's election. A group of Floridians and voting rights organizations sued Republican Governor Ron DeSantis last June, arguing that a law that requires felons who served their time to pay all legal fines, fees and restitution before they can register to vote amounts to an illegal poll tax.