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The United States on Thursday reported more than 41,000 new coronavirus cases, a record total for the second straight day, as a nationwide sense of urgency grew and caseloads soared in Southern and Western states that were far removed from the worst early outbreaks.

In an apparent sign of that urgency, the White House said that its coronavirus task force planned to reconvene on Friday for its first briefing in nearly two months.

Thursday’s grim record came as at least four states — Alabama, Alaska, Montana and Utah — reported their largest daily totals.

California, where stay-at-home orders were imposed particularly early in the pandemic, surpassed 200,000 total cases on Thursday, as its number of infections doubled over the past month. That is the second highest total for any state, though California’s per capita infection rate remains far lower than New York’s.

In some Southern and Western states, the virus has overwhelmed hospitals and forced officials to stall on plans to lift virus-related restrictions. On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said that he did not intend to move to the next phase of reopening, while Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas paused his state’s reopening process and moved to free up hospital space for coronavirus patients.

The new nationwide totals confirmed the resurgence of the virus, which led to lockdowns that started in mid-March. Before this week, the country’s largest daily total was 36,738 on April 24, according to a Times database of coronavirus infections.

And in a stark reminder of what officials still don’t know about the scope of the outbreak in the United States, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that number of Americans who have been infected with the coronavirus is most likely about 10 times the 2.3 million cases that have been reported.

Younger people are making up a growing percentage of new cases in cities and states where the virus is now surging, a trend that has alarmed public health officials and prompted renewed pleas for masks and social distancing.

“What is clear is that the proportion of people who are younger appears to have dramatically changed,” said Joseph McCormick, a professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health in Brownsville, Texas. “It’s really quite disturbing.”

In Florida, there have been more than 10,000 new cases over the past two days, bringing its total to more than 114,000. Orange County, home to Orlando, is averaging 353 new cases a day, compared with 73 two weeks ago. And across the state, long lines have returned at testing sites that just a few weeks ago were seeing limited demand.

Miami-Dade County’s mayor, Carlos Giménez, has said that all plans to move forward are on pause. Beaches, malls and hotels are open, as well as restaurants at 50 percent capacity, but concert halls, public pools, massage and tattoo parlors are not.

“We’re not opening up bars, we’re not opening up nightclubs,” Mr. Giménez said Wednesday. “That’s just asking for trouble.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Congressional leaders are in the final stages of vetting Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to lead a bipartisan oversight commission to scrutinize stimulus programs related to the coronavirus, according to a person familiar with the plans.

After months of delay left the panel without a chairman, General Dunford has emerged as the top choice of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the Senate’s majority leader, to lead the five-person commission. The board was established as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus law in March. Politico first reported news of General Dunford’s consideration.

General Dunford, who stepped down from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in November after serving in both the Trump and Obama administrations, has had bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

The commission has issued two reports examining the implementation of the stimulus law and met with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, this week.

But under the law, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. McConnell were required to agree on a chair.

On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office said the Trump administration had delivered more than a million stimulus payments worth about $1.4 billion to dead people in a rush to pump money into the economy this year.

The Treasury Department, working with the Internal Revenue Service, raced to deliver nearly $270 billion in economic impact payments to Americans this spring. But a chunk of the money ended up in the wrong places.

With intensifying scrutiny on the Trump administration’s response to the virus — on both the economic and public health fronts — the White House coronavirus task force planned to reconvene on Friday for its first briefing in nearly two months. The last briefing took place on April 27.

Despite a surge in infections in the South and West, President Trump said of the virus, during a speech this week in Arizona, “It’s going away.”

Global Roundup

Credit…Manish Swarup/Associated Press

Officials in India’s capital, New Delhi, planned to test all of the city’s 29 million residents over about 10 days, as the nationwide caseload surged toward 500,000 coronavirus infections and pushed many hospitals to their breaking point.

New Delhi and three Indian states have collectively reported about two-thirds of the country’s more than 490,000 cases, according to a New York Times database. On Thursday, the government reported 16,922 new cases, a single-day record.

As of Friday morning, more than 15,000 people had died from Covid-19. And in hard-hit areas, hospitals have run out of beds, forcing patients to cram into their corridors.

In New Delhi, which has more than 70,000 cases, officials said that teams of health care workers planned to visit every household and to conduct blood tests on anyone who exhibited coronavirus symptoms.

The exercise, which was announced on Wednesday, is scheduled to begin on June 27 and end by July 6. Each three-person team is expected to cover at least 50 of the city’s roughly 4.5 million households per day.

In addition to testing, the plan calls for using more police officers to enforce social distancing and for increased monitoring — via CCTV cameras and drones — of people moving through areas with viral clusters where the police have barricaded neighborhoods and put in place other restrictions to curb movement.

  • Officials in South Africa — where the national caseload of more than 118,000 is the highest on the continent — published new measures on Friday to ease restrictions that had been in effect since late March. Among other things, people will be allowed to leave home to go to work, buy food, and attend a place of worship in their neighborhoods.

  • In South Korea, the city of Daegu has filed a civil lawsuit seeking at least $83 million in damages from a church that was an epicenter of the country’s outbreak. More than 40 percent of the country’s nearly 13,000 coronavirus patients have been members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus or their contacts. The city has accused the church of hampering the government’s disease-control efforts by not fully disclosing its number of worshipers.

  • Starting on Saturday in Egypt, restaurants, cafes and mosques will gradually reopen after three months of lockdown that exacted a punishing economic toll on Egypt’s 100 million citizens. Restaurants will operate at 25 percent capacity and close by 10 p.m., and mosques and churches will stay shut for weekly prayers, the busiest time of the week.

  • Mexico’s finance minister, Arturo Herrera, said Thursday that he has tested positive. Mr. Herrera is part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s inner circle, and was seen in a video standing next to the president on Monday at the National Palace, where both men have their offices.

  • Unicef warned on Thursday that 2.4 million Yemeni children, including half of those younger than 5, could be pushed to “the brink of starvation” because of shortfalls in humanitarian aid amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably,” the organization said in a report on the Arab world’s poorest country after more than five years of war.

  • The French health minister told the newspaper Le Monde on Thursday that the authorities would introduce a “large-scale campaign” to test over a million people in the Paris region, “even if they don’t have symptoms,” in a bid to stave off more infections. The Eiffel Tower partially reopened, but its elevators and top observation deck remain off limits until July 15.

  • The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is over, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, after nearly two years and 2,280 deaths. The announcement, about an outbreak in eastern Congo, came as the country contends with the world’s largest measles epidemic, as well as the coronavirus

The number of Americans who have been infected with the coronavirus is most likely about 10 times higher than the 2.3 million cases that have been reported, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

“We probably recognized about 10 percent of the outbreak,” Dr. Robert Redfield said on a call with reporters.

He added that between 5 percent and 8 percent of Americans have been infected to date.

The C.D.C. is basing those estimates on antibody test results from across the country. The tests detect whether an individual has ever had Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as opposed to diagnostic tests, which detect current infections. Both types of tests have been plagued by accuracy problems, although the antibody tests, which are based on blood samples rather than nasal swabs, have had a higher rate of failures.

During the call, the C.D.C. also clarified some of its previous reports on who is at increased risk of getting severely ill from Covid-19. Older people do have a higher risk of severe cases, the agency said, but that is in part because they are more likely to have other underlying medical problems, such as chronic kidney disease, lung disease, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

But the agency stressed that young people, especially but not limited to those with these conditions, are also at risk for severe illness and death.

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N.Y.C. Is ‘on Track for Phase 3’ of Reopening, de Blasio Says

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that New York City could ease more coronavirus restrictions as early as July 6.

So considering the success — which we have just have pure data that tells us how we’re doing. We continue to fight back this disease. Everyone’s in this together. Given that success, it’s time to talk about Phase 3. Now Phase 3 can start as early as Monday, July 6. And right now, we are on track for Phase 3. That’s exciting that we keep making progress. Now we’ve got obviously a ways to go until Monday, July 6. We’re going to be working closely with the state of New York to make the final decision as we get closer. But, since it’s all about the data: The data is telling us yes right now. So we want to start getting people ready for it. We’re going to have more guidance starting tomorrow on how businesses that can open in Phase 3 should get ready to do so. But the good news is: We’re on track.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that New York City could ease more coronavirus restrictions as early as July 6.CreditCredit…Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for The New York Times

New York City is on track to enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan on July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, which would allow indoor dining and personal-care services, like manicures, tattooing and waxing, to resume with social-distancing limits.

“Right now we are on track for Phase 3,” he said at a news briefing. “That’s exciting.”

The state has a four-stage reopening plan that gradually lifts shutdown restrictions imposed at the start of the outbreak. New York City is the only region left in the state that has yet to enter the third phase; five upstate regions will enter Phase 4 on Friday.

The city entered Phase 2 on Monday, allowing outdoor dining to resume and the reopening of offices, playgrounds, hair salons and barbershops.

When Phase 3 begins, the city will also reopen outdoor recreational spaces, including basketball courts, tennis courts and dog runs, the mayor said. (Separately, the city’s public beaches will open to swimming on July 1.)

Mr. de Blasio said he expected the change would come as a particular relief to children, who have been cooped up for months now, with limited access to school, friends and outdoor activities.

The mayor said that the city had continued to keep its infection rate down as it eased earlier restrictions. But as he has with each stage of the reopening, Mr. de Blasio cautioned that plans could change if the city’s infection rate surges.

“Am I 100 percent confident? Of course not,” he said.

For the first time since March 18, fewer than 1,000 people were hospitalized in the state with the virus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Thursday. At the peak of the state’s outbreak, more than 18,000 were hospitalized; the number is now down to 996. Statewide, there were an additional 17 deaths, he said.

U.S. Roundup

Credit…Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By mid-February, there were only 15 known cases in the United States, all with direct links to China.

The patients were isolated. Their contacts were monitored. Travel from China was restricted.

But none of that worked, as some 2,000 hidden infections were already spreading through major cities.

At every crucial moment, American officials were weeks or months behind the reality of the outbreak. Those delays likely cost tens of thousands of lives.

The Times has analyzed travel patterns, hidden infections and genetic data to show how the epidemic spun out of control in the United States.

In other news from around the country:

  • Tarrant County, which includes Fort Worth, on Thursday became the latest metropolitan region in Texas to order businesses to require customers and employees to wear face masks. The order, which goes into effect on Friday, came days after a similar policy went into effect in neighboring Dallas County.

  • New Jersey on Thursday reported more than 1,800 deaths from Covid-19, though not all were recent.

  • U.S. testing capacity has begun to strain as the pandemic spreads, with more than a dozen public laboratories saying they are “challenged” to meet the demand. The problem has become especially acute in Arizona.

  • North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, announced on Thursday that he planned to sue Gov. Roy Cooper over his decision a day earlier to extend the state’s emergency orders and his mandate that state residents wear masks. Mr. Forest — a Republican who will face Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, in the November gubernatorial election — accused his opponent of overstepping his authority.

  • Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday laced into President Trump, condemning him for saying he had ordered a slowdown of coronavirus testing. “He thinks that finding out that more Americans are sick will make him look bad,” Mr. Biden said, adding that without a capable leader in the White House, it will be up to the American people to care for themselves during the crisis. “Trump can’t wish it away,” he said. “There are no miracles coming.”

  • A federal whistle-blower who lost his job as chief of a Health and Human Services research agency has added a new charge to his complaint against the Trump administration: The president is orchestrating a “retaliatory media campaign” against him.

    Dr. Rick Bright was removed from his job as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in late April, shortly before he filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency that protects whistle-blowers. In an amended complaint filed Thursday, he pointed specifically to a tweet in which Mr. Trump called him a “disgruntled employee, not liked or respected” shortly before Dr. Bright was to testify before Congress on May 14. “This message was a clear attempt by the president to unnerve and intimidate Dr. Bright,” the complaint said. Michael R. Caputo, an H.H.S. spokesman, dismissed the amendment as “more misleading claims from Rick Bright.”

  • Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, signed an executive order on Thursday that allows professional sports to resume in the state without fans. The order stipulates that participants must stay six feet away from each other “to the extent compatible with the sport.”

  • In Connecticut, schools will be allowed to reopen for the upcoming academic year, but students and teachers will be required to wear masks, top officials said on Thursday. Classrooms are likely to be reconfigured and glass barriers could be installed for teachers, officials said; school districts should have contingency plans to go back to remote learning if infection levels rise.

  • A San Antonio man was cited with disorderly conduct on Thursday, one day after he smacked the hand of a judge at a Lowe’s home improvement store when the judge reminded him of a requirement to wear a mask in public, the authorities said. A felony charge of assaulting a peace officer was downgraded to the misdemeanor at the request of the judge, Nelson Wolff, who had signed the county’s mask order.

  • California, where the earliest stay-at-home orders in the U.S. took place, has already set single-day case records twice this week, leaving officials to navigate uncharted territory and fend off criticism. As Gov. Gavin Newsom announced thousands more cases on Thursday, he unveiled a state open-source portal meant to allow residents with programming expertise to scour county data for trends and problems.

    Mr. Newsom said that the state had increased its testing, but the positivity rate has also increased, to 5.6 percent on average over the past seven days. About 34 percent of available intensive care unit beds are full, up from about 30 percent the day before. The governor said efforts to build hospital capacity early was helping California now. But “at just a moment’s notice,” he said, “conditions can radically change.”

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Head of W.H.O. Defends Praise of China’s Coronavirus Response

In an address to the European Parliament, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, urged global unity in combating the coronavirus and defended his praise of China’s response.

In the first month of this outbreak less than 10,000 cases were reported to W.H.O. In the last month, almost four million cases have been reported. We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths within the next week. Although transmission has been suppressed in most E.U. countries, the virus is still circulating. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible. This is the time to be on our guard, not to let it down. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of national unity and global solidarity. The virus thrives on division but is thwarted when we unite. We cannot criticize China, saying, “You didn’t tell us on time” — because who do we, what do we compare it with?

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In an address to the European Parliament, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, urged global unity in combating the coronavirus and defended his praise of China’s response.CreditCredit…Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA, via Shutterstock

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, defended the agency’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday while taking pointed questions from members of the European Parliament.

The W.H.O. has been accused of missteps since the virus first emerged in China. Critics, including President Trump, have accused the organization of not pushing China to be more forthcoming in the outbreak’s early days and of waiting too long to declare a global health emergency.

Peter Liese, a European Parliament member from Germany, said Dr. Tedros should apologize for not calling for a travel ban early in the outbreak.

Dr. Tedros said that the W.H.O. was not empowered to impose such bans and that it followed the guidelines set forth in the International Health Regulations.

Parliament members also questioned Dr. Tedros about his praise of China.

He said his compliments were for specific actions taken by Chinese officials, including their quick recognition of the virus and rapid dissemination of its genetic sequence. “Praising or appreciating on concrete issues, I think, is not a problem,” he said.

The W.H.O. is awaiting the findings of an independent panel commissioned to review its response to the outbreak. “If there is anything we need to accept, as W.H.O., we will be happy to accept,” Dr. Tedros said.

Also on Thursday, the W.H.O. announced that the number of new cases in Europe had increased last week for the first time in months. In 11 countries in particular, “accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, the organization’s regional director for Europe.

If left unchecked, he said, the resurgence could “push health systems to the brink once again.”

Credit…Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When the pandemic first hit Egypt, the words “Stay Home” were projected in neon light across the Giza pyramids every night, a grand gesture fusing urgent health messaging with one of the world’s most famous monuments.

But no more.

Starting Saturday, restaurants, cafes and mosques will gradually reopen after three months of lockdown that exacted a punishing economic toll on Egypt’s 100 million citizens. Restaurants will operate at 25 percent capacity and close by 10 p.m., and mosques and churches will stay shut for weekly prayers, the busiest time of the week.

In July, the Giza pyramids and ancient sites along the Nile will reopen, the tourism minister said on Wednesday, in an effort to tempt tourists.

But experts have questioned the wisdom of easing restrictions as the virus continues a steep upward trajectory in Egypt. Some desperate patients, unable to find treatment in overburdened hospitals, have resorted to social media to appeal for medical assistance. Medical unions say that chronic shortages of equipment and training have caused nearly 100 doctors to die and more than 3,000 to become infected.

On Friday, Egypt reported 1,774 new cases, the highest number yet, for a total of nearly 60,000 cases and 2,450 deaths — the highest death toll of any Arab country.

The national carrier, EgyptAir, said Thursday it would resume flights to 24 destinations in early July when airports reopen.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been keen to show he is in control, even as several of his top generals died from the virus in March. But he has been hit with unusually strong criticism from the country’s main doctors’ union.

Although public protest and most strikes are outlawed in Egypt, doctors in several hospitals have walked out in protest over their working conditions. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly this week accused the doctors of fueling a rise in infections.

The main doctors union accused him of “ignoring the real reasons” for the crisis.”

Credit…John Sommers II/Getty Images

Nearly 1.5 million workers filed new claims for state unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. It was the 14th week in a row that the figure has topped one million.

An additional 728,000 filed for benefits from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federally funded emergency program aimed at covering the self-employed, independent contractors and other workers who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment insurance.

The total number of people collecting state unemployment insurance is 19.5 million, down from about 25 million in early May.

Stocks drifted on Thursday, as growing outbreaks in parts of the United States added to concerns about the economic recovery. The S&P 500 and major European markets wavered between gains and losses.

Investors have worried for days about a rising number of new infections in the United States, a surge that raises questions about how quickly the world’s largest economy can get back up to speed.

The shaky economic outlook has both experts and workers worried about the looming expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides a supplement of $600 a week to those collecting state jobless benefits.

Sports Roundup

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The Kentucky Derby planned for Sept. 5 will allow spectators to watch the race in person, track officials announced Thursday as they outlined health precautions including masks, fewer interactions throughout the venue and spaced-out guest areas.

The plan, developed with the local health and labor departments, encourages guests to wash their hands frequently and remain socially distant. But it was not clear how many guests would be allowed at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the venue in Louisville, Ky., that has hosted the race since 1875 and welcomed more than 150,000 fans for the Derby last year.

It was also unclear how the protocols would be enforced, though officials said they would “severely” limit access throughout the facility. General admission tickets would be sold only for the track’s infield, and “guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue,” the plan said.

Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Derby in May are automatically valid, the announcement said.

In other sports news:

  • The N.F.L. has canceled its annual Hall of Fame game — traditionally the first game of the preseason — as it tries to prepare for a football season in the midst of the pandemic. The game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers was scheduled to be played on Monday, Aug. 6, in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • Billy Witz of The Times reported how Kansas State became the first school from a Power 5 conference to shut down football activities because of the virus.

Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Trump administration delivered more than a million stimulus payments worth about $1.4 billion to dead people in a rush to pump money into the economy this year, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday.

The Treasury Department, working with the Internal Revenue Service, raced to deliver nearly $270 billion in economic impact payments to Americans this spring. But a chunk of the money ended up in the wrong places.

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 24, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


The improper payments reflect some of the wasteful government spending that occurred in the wake of the rapid economic stabilization effort that was undertaken after Congress passed a $2.6 trillion bailout package in March.

“The agencies faced difficulties delivering payments to some individuals, and faced additional risks related to making improper payments to ineligible individuals, such as decedents, and fraud,” the report said.

The report noted that while the I.R.S. typically uses death records maintained by the Social Security Administration to prevent improper payments, that did not happen with the first three batches of stimulus payments. The Treasury and the I.R.S. “did not use the death records to stop payments to deceased individuals for the first three batches of payments” because of a legal interpretation of the legislation authorizing the payments. I.R.S. lawyers “determined that I.R.S. did not have the legal authority to deny payments to those who filed a return for 2019, even if they were deceased at the time of payment,” the report found.

The G.A.O. recommended that the I.R.S. find ways to notify ineligible recipients of the payments how to return them, though it did not explain how that would work with regard to those who are deceased. It also suggested that Congress ensure that the Treasury and its Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which distributed the payments, gain full access to the Social Security Administration’s full set of death records to help prevent money from being paid to the deceased.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in April that the heirs of the deceased who received stimulus money should give the funds back.

In its report, the G.A.O. also warned that the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was vulnerable to fraud because the Small Business Administration is relying on borrower certifications to determine if the loans are needed and how they are being used.

The G.A.O. called on the S.B.A. to develop a system for identifying fraud associated with the program. It also expressed concern about potential overlap of people who were being paid unemployment insurance while also receiving proceeds from P.P.P. loans.

The report also criticized the C.D.C.’s counting of coronavirus tests, which combines tests for an active infection and those that detect antibodies. This practice inflates the percentage of Americans that appear to have been tested and gives an unreliable picture of the way the virus is spreading around the country, according to the new report.

After the C.D.C. was criticized last month for combining the two types of tests in its reports, the agency promised to separate them. But as of June 9, it had still not resolved the issue, the office reported.

China has warned its citizens to stop falsifying virus test results to board flights home from Russia.

The Chinese Embassy in Russia issued a statement this week in response to recent discoveries that Chinese travelers from Russia had fabricated negative results for the nucleic acid tests that are required before passengers can board their flights. The embassy announced that the counterfeiters had been placed under investigation and would be made to “bear the corresponding legal responsibilities.” It was the second time in three weeks that the embassy had issued such a warning.

Some passengers had “deliberately concealed their illnesses, caused adverse effects and consequences, caused great harm to the health and safety of other passengers and crew members on the same flight, and undermined China’s domestic epidemic prevention work,” the embassy said in a statement.

China requires passengers to produce a negative test that must be taken within the five days preceding their flight from Russia to China.

The Chinese government, fearful that incoming travelers would bring in the virus, has restricted international flights and banned foreigners, including those with resident permits.

Several Chinese cities along the China-Russia border have struggled with hundreds of infections. Russia on Wednesday reported 7,176 new cases over the previous 24 hours.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel praised the collaboration on Thursday, but his ebullient description of it was contradicted a few hours later when the Emirates issued a much more muted statement.CreditCredit…Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Israel on Thursday announced a new partnership with the United Arab Emirates to battle the pandemic, a deal could open a door to closer ties with its Arab neighbors.

The partnership, announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an air force base near Tel Aviv, appeared to represent a significant step toward normalization between two important U.S. allies in the Middle East.

But it fell well short of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. And hours later, the Emirates issued a statement of its own, announcing what it described as an agreement between two private Emirati companies and two Israeli companies to develop technology to fight the virus.

The Emirati statement appeared to take the wind out of what Mr. Netanyahu was touting as a major diplomatic achievement.

The dueling announcements came at a time when Israel is drawing up plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a move that Arab countries, including the Emirates, say would thwart warming relationships.

In recent years, Persian Gulf monarchies have shifted away from blanket condemnation of the Israelis over the Palestinian issue, in part because they view Israel as a valuable potential partner in trade, security and their rivalry with Iran.

The new partnership will include formal cooperation in research and development between the Israeli and Emirati health ministries on medical projects related to Covid-19 and other health issues in the Middle East, Mr. Netanyahu said.

Credit…Orlando Sierra/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Coronavirus contagions have struck at the heart of two Central American governments that are struggling to contain outbreaks in their countries. In one, Guatemala, scores of presidential staff members have fallen ill; in another, Honduras, the pathogen has sickened the president himself.

The condition of President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, who was hospitalized last week and who has pneumonia after testing positive for the coronavirus, was improving after adjustments were made to his treatment this week, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by his office.

Doctors detected a worsening of the pneumonia on Monday, with falling oxygen levels and increasing inflammation, the statement said, but exams on Wednesday showed “a good general condition, without fever, without respiratory difficulty” and with a decrease in inflammation.

In neighboring Guatemala, the number of members of the presidential staff who have tested positive for the virus has climbed to 158, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Wednesday. The employees work in Mr. Giammattei’s official residential compound in Guatemala City’s historic center, and they include members of his security detail and workers on the compound’s cleaning and kitchen staffs.

Officials first announced the outbreak in early June, when there were a few dozen cases. Mr. Giammattei said on Wednesday that one of the infected employees, a member of the presidential security service, had died.

The president said that he himself had been tested three times, and that the results had been negative.

Credit…Sonny Tumbelaka/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

For the House of Om, a spiritual center on Bali, the gathering last week was meant to be a celebration of community and bliss. Any joy evaporated, however, after it became public that the gathering of about 60 foreigners had violated Indonesia’s coronavirus protocols.

The House of Om’s director, Wissam Barakeh, has been detained and will be deported to his native Syria for endangering the public health, officials said on Thursday.

Photographs of the event in the tourist town of Ubud, which showed the celebrants sitting close together without wearing masks, were widely shared on social media and prompted harsh criticism of the foreign community for disregarding social-distancing rules.

Indonesia, the Southeast Asian country hit hardest by the virus, has seen its cases surge in recent weeks to 50,187, with 2,620 deaths, even as it tries to revive its sputtering economy.

Bali, a magnet for tourists, has reported 1,214 cases, but the island is hoping to begin reopening hotels and tourist facilities as early as next month.

The Ubud gathering came to light in a Twitter post by Jenny Jusuf, a scriptwriter and women’s empowerment activist. She said by email on Thursday that other organizers of the event should also face disciplinary action.

Mr. Barakeh initially asserted that the gathering was held last year, but after more evidence surfaced, including his open invitation to the event on Instagram, he apologized. His visa was revoked and officials said he would be detained until international flights resumed.

Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

At least 22 police officers were wounded in South London on Wednesday night as they tried to disperse crowds that had gathered for an illegal outdoor party in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, the police said.

Gatherings of more than six people from separate households are banned in England, but hundreds of partygoers had assembled for the block party in the Brixton neighborhood, as the city experienced its hottest day so far this year.

The party was one of dozens of illegal gatherings across Britain, which is still grappling with the pandemic. Even as the numbers of new cases and deaths have dropped significantly, scientists have warned that the easing of restrictions and a reduction in the required social distance between people could trigger a wave of infections.

Britain has reported more than 43,000 coronavirus deaths and 306,000 cases since the pandemic began, and this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country’s pubs, restaurants, hotels and museums would reopen on July 4.

Credit…Julien De Rosa/EPA, via Shutterstock

The French health minister said on Thursday that the authorities would introduce a “large-scale campaign” to test over a million people in the Paris region in a bid to stave off a fresh wave of infections.

The minister, Olivier Véran, told the newspaper Le Monde on Thursday that nearly 1.3 million people living in the Île-de-France region, which includes Paris, would receive vouchers from the national health insurance fund to get tested, on a voluntary basis, in any public or private medical lab, “even if they don’t have symptoms.”

“The goal is to identify potentially dormant clusters, that is to say invisible hotbeds of asymptomatic people,” Mr. Véran said.

Mr. Véran added that the authorities were first going to target 30 towns near existing clusters.

“For now, we are at an experimental stage to see if this is something the French want,” he said. “This experimentation could then be extended to other regions.”

Mr. Véran’s comments came as the Eiffel Tower in Paris partially reopened after a monthslong closure that had left one of Europe’s biggest tourist attractions unusually empty. Millions of visitors, most of them from abroad, usually stand in snaking lines at its base.

The tower’s elevators are still off limits, as is the top observation deck, until July 15 at the earliest. Face masks are also mandatory for any visitors older than 11, and the number of visitors will be limited.

With eased lockdowns in many places, keeping the recommended distance from others this summer has become more complicated. Here are ideas for handling conflicts over differing ideas of what is safe.

Reporting was contributed by Brooks Barnes, Ronen Bergman, Aurelien Breeden, Weiyi Cai, Benedict Carey, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Jill Cowan, Abdi Latif Dahir, Reid J. Epstein, Thomas Erdbrink, Jacey Fortin, Rick Gladstone, James Glanz, Michael Gold, Shane Goldmacher, Josh Holder, Ben Hubbard, Mike Ives, Sheila Kaplan, David D. Kirkpatrick, Abdi Latif Dahir, Apoorva Mandavilli, Salman Masood, Patricia Mazzei, Raphael Minder, Dave Montgomery, Jack Nicas, Richard C. Paddock, Elian Peltier, Alan Rappeport, Dana Rubinstein, Christopher F. Schuetze, Nelson D. Schwartz, Kirk Semple, Dera Menra Sijabat, Mitch Smith, Chris Stanford, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Carlos Tejada, Daniel Victor, Neil Vigdor, David Waldstein, Declan Walsh, Derek Watkins, Sui-Lee Wee, Jeremy White, Nic Wirtz, Katherine J. Wu, Sameer Yasir and Karen Zraick.