Today’s coronavirus update: State data under scrutiny; a live concert looks tame

The US had surpassed 90,000 deaths from the coronavirus as of Tuesday, with more than 1.5 million Americans testing positive for the bug, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

But data on cases in two states has come under scrutiny.

Georgia’s public health department was accused of using erroneous numbers that provided curve-flattening models used to justify reopening its economy.

And the woman behind Florida’s case-counting website claims she was booted from her post for refusing to doctor figures to support the state’s plan to reopen.

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Here’s what else we learned today: 

New York crisis:

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll allow Memorial Day ceremonies of up to 10 people, and announced more reopening measures for the state.
  • A battle is brewing between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Nassau County officials over the reopening of beaches — and whether Big Apple residents should be allowed on Long Island sands.
  • But the summer won’t offer much fun in the sun for the nearly 180,000 city public school students who’ll continue remote learning.
  • Here’s how Goldy Landau, an ex-Hasidic EMT, feels about the Orthodox community’s response to the pandemic.


  • President Trump defended taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off the virus — while a Chinese journalist accused him of “witchcraft.”
  • Trump called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “sick woman” for saying he shouldn’t be taking the drug given his age and weight.

Openings and closings:

  • The owners of a New Jersey gym that reopened in defiance of the state’s shutdown said they’ll keep their business running even if it means going to jail.
  • America’s first socially distanced concert took place Monday night in Arkansas — here’s what it looked like.
  • Some historic venues, like Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London, may shutter forever. And Pier 1 Imports announced it’s closing all stores after nearly 60 years.

Global pandemic:

  • The World Health Organization is attempting to quell an outpouring of criticism over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak by pledging to conduct an investigation into “lessons learned” about its global response.
  • The Canada-US border will remain closed for another 30 days, extending the measure until at least June 21 to stop the spread of the virus.
  • And PETA has demanded an investigation into whether a baby orangutan at a German zoo died from COVID-19.

Research continues:

  • Nearly 300 recovered COVID-19 patients who tested positive a second time weren’t contagious, South Korean health officials have found.
  • The coronavirus-related condition found in more than 100 New York City kids will be referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, going forward.

Gone but not forgotten:

  • Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and US Sen. John Glenn — who became an inspiration to people with disabilities around the globe by overcoming a severe stutter — died at age 100, of complications from the coronavirus.

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