L.A. County coronavirus data show possible bending of curve
Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
First lady sending gifts to hospitals in hard-hit states
WASHINGTON — Melania Trump is sending blankets, caps and other gifts to hospitals in 10 states, including some hit hardest by the new coronavirus outbreak, for use by medical staff and children who are patients.
The care packages were shipped Thursday to hospitals in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Delaware, Nevada and the District of Columbia, the White House said.
“The medical community has gone above and beyond to protect the health of the American People,” the first lady said in a statement. The packages are “just a small token of my appreciation for their courage and leadership in this time of need.”
The hospitals were not identified. She met doctors and nurses at some of the hospitals during past visits to promote her youth program, the White House said.
The gifts bear the logo of her “Be Best” youth initiative and include blankets, caps, tote bags, pencils, backpacks, stickers, Dr. Seuss books and games for young patients.
The Associated Press
2h ago / 4:09 AM UTC
UFC to hold 3 shows without fans in Florida
The UFC is returning to competition on May 9 for three shows without fans in eight days in Jacksonville, Florida.
The mixed martial arts promotion announced its plans Friday to return to action after postponing and canceling several shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.
UFC 249 will be held May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville with no fans in attendance. The pay-per-view show will still be headlined by Tony Ferguson’s interim lightweight title bout against Justin Gaethje.
UFC President Dana White also plans to hold shows on May 13 and May 16 at the same arena in northern Florida. Only “essential personnel” will be in the arena, according to White.
Can the U.S. learn any lessons from Denmark as it reopens schools for youngest students?
The Associated Press
3h ago / 3:24 AM UTC
Showdown looms between Silicon Valley, U.S. states over contact tracing apps
U.S. states promoting apps that could prove essential to ending the coronavirus lockdown may be headed for a showdown with the two Silicon Valley companies that control key software on 99 percent of smartphones over the collection of sensitive GPS location data.
Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google plan to release technology jointly in the coming weeks for digital contact tracing through Bluetooth sensors on phones. Public health authorities have determined that the technology is crucial to apps that will alert people when they have been close to people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
For contact tracing apps to work, however, millions of people must be willing to use them without fear their locations and other personal data is being tracked and stored.
Google and Apple have sought to build public trust by emphasizing that the changes they are making to Bluetooth to allow the tracing apps to work will not tap phones’ GPS sensors, which privacy activists see as too intrusive.
Officials order closure of Colorado Walmart after 3 virus deaths
Health officials in suburban Denver said Thursday they closed a Walmart Supercenter in Aurora, Colorado, after three people associated with the location died from COVID-19.
A 72-year-old woman who worked there, her 63-year-old husband and a 69-year-old security contractor have died, the Tri-County Health Department said in a statement. Six other employees have coronavirus, and another three are awaiting test results.
The department said it received “a series of complaints” from employees and shoppers about improper social distancing and workers not wearing masks at the store.
Walmart said in a statement that it will sanitize the store. It said it had installed plexiglass barriers at checkout counters, and install floor decals promoting social distancing.
“We recognize how hard this is for our associates in Aurora and everyone impacted by this difficult situation,” it said. “We want to do everything we can to support them at this time. We will continue to work closely with Tri-County Health Department and take additional steps as needed to re-open the store.”
Navy officials recommend reinstatement for ship commander
Top U.S. Navy officials Friday recommended that Capt. Brett Crozier, criticized by President Donald Trump for seeking help after a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Roosevelt, be reinstated to the ship’s command.
According to a U.S. defense official, a source familiar with the matter and a former defense official, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and Acting Secretary of the Navy Jim McPherson both laid out a series of options to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Friday afternoon, including the recommendation that Crozier be reinstated.
Crozier was relieved of the aircraft carrier’s command April 2 by Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who subsequently resigned after he suggested Crozier was “stupid” for sounding the alarm without greater consideration for the security of his communication to brass.
6h ago / 12:38 AM UTC
Private haven for wealthy received $2M from small business loan program
A housing association representing the richest zip code in America was approved to receive a $2 million emergency coronavirus relief loan from the Small Business Administration.
The Fisher Island Community Association, which manages the members-only private island off the Miami coast that can only be reached by helicopter or boat and once counted Oprah Winfrey as a member, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program loan intended to help small businesses who had shuttered, laid off workers, or furloughed staff due to the viral outbreak.
Ana Tinsly, a spokesperson for public services union SEIU Florida, said earlier this week that she was not aware of any layoffs, according to The Miami Herald.
The $2 million loan comes as scrutiny mounts over the structure of the government’s emergency program, which allowed many companies with strong cash flow to receive millions of dollars in forgivable loans while small businesses desperate for cash were shut out.