Coronavirus Live Updates: South Korea Donates 2 Million Face Masks To U.S.

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HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.) 

South Korea Donates 2 Million Face Masks To U.S. — 5/11/2020, 3:58 a.m. ET

South Korea’s foreign ministry said Sunday that it had donated 2 million face masks to the United States, in a show of “support for our ally.” The masks were set to arrive in America on Monday aboard a U.S. cargo flight, the ministry said, per South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Harry Harris, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, thanked the country on Twitter for the shipment. 

“Our alliance and friendship are as vital and ironclad today as it was 70 years ago,” Harris wrote.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Boris Johnson Sets Out ‘5 Alert’ Plan For Britain To Ease Lockdown — 5/10/20, 2:30 p.m. ET

U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has announced the country’s first changes to the coronavirus lockdown, which will come into force on Wednesday, but warned it would be “madness” to remove restrictions entirely this week.

Johnson said people will be permitted to do “unlimited” outdoor exercise, sunbathe, play sports with members of their household, and “drive to other destinations.” He added that from Monday people who cannot work from home will be “actively encouraged” to return to their jobs.

But in the pre-recorded speech to the nation on Sunday evening, the prime minister said that while some rules will be relaxed, fines for people who break the lockdown guidelines will be increased.

Johnson said some primary-age children could return to school by June 1 “at the earliest.” The “phased” reopening of shops could also be allowed at the start of next month. Under the P.M.’s plan, some of the hospitality industry and other public places could be allowed to reopen at the beginning of July.

A new alert system, similar to that used to monitor active terrorist threats, is being established to monitor the threat posed by the virus. The U.K. is currently at level four of the five-tier system, just below the “most critical” threat.

The number of registered deaths from COVID-19 currently stands at 33,021 across the country.

Read more here.

— Ned Simons

Mnuchin: Actual U.S. Unemployment Rate ‘Could Be’ Close To 25% — 5/10/20, 12:15 p.m. ET

The Labor Department reported this week that the unemployment rate has hit a record 14.7%, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the actual rate could be closer to 25%.

The latter figure would match the joblessness rate during the Great Depression, which is estimated to have peaked at 24.9% in 1933.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Mnuchin said the reported unemployment numbers would probably “get worse before they get better.”

“That’s why we’re very focused on rebuilding this economy and getting back to where it was,” he said. “This is no fault of American business. This no fault of American workers. This is the result of a virus.”

— Hayley Miller

White House Officials Killed Report On Reopening Country, Not The CDC ― 5/8/20, 7:07 p.m. ET

It was high-ranking White House officials who made the decision to shelf detailed reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Associated Press reported Friday.

AP’s findings conflict with claims by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who said Friday that CDC Director Robert Redfield did not approve the documents. Emails obtained by the AP show that he did. 

AP also found that CDC officials repeatedly inquired why the White House hadn’t posted their guidance, which included “decision trees,” a type of flow chart that would establish benchmarks for when communities can resume business as usual. But the White House killed the documents for good on April 30. 

― Lydia O’Connor

For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here. 


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